By: Dr Charles Warner
A number of callers, to various radio shows, have been commenting on the compassionate leadership of Dr Timothy Harris. To the casual, unbiased observer, this is very true and an accurate description or portrayal. This compassion is highlighted and exemplified in this time of the pandemic, the global Covid-19 plague. Since the 1939-1945 second World War the people of St. Kitts and Nevis have not met a crisis of this nature.
At the end of the Second World War – 1945 – the present Prime Minister, Dr Harris, was in God’s blue print. Today, the Federation is blessed that on the coming of Covid-19, Dr Harris is in the leadership position in St. Kitts and Nevis. Nation blessed too because around Dr Harris is a group of dedicated and patriotic Cabinet members.
It must be noted that the present challenges are not the making of Dr Harris and the Team Unity government. This is a global problem affecting all Nations. To this day, Dr Douglas and his peons are still trying to put the crisis of 2007 as the reason for their failure and incompetence.
That crisis came in 2007 but the elections of 2004 were about the National Debt. Today, indeed Dr Harris, like all other leaders comment on the global pandemic.
However, there is a critical and profound difference, the time of the 2007 crash Douglasism had already plunged St. Kitts and Nevis into a 3 billion dollar debt. St. Kitts and Nevis was economically immune in competent as those who are today most vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus.
Dr Harris like all others did not see the Covid-19 coming. One thing should be clear to all, he went into the leadership position bent on prudent, sagacious management of the country finances. As much as he would have seen the reckless, arrogant and incompetent mode of Denzil Douglas, he must be credited for his acumen and responsible approach to the State’s finances.
Without his wise and responsible approach St. Kitts and Nevis would have been in dire straits. The competence of Dr Harris has been recognised regionally and in the outer world and some institutions have made their admiration public.
Many of these persons are the academics and the intelligentsia, but what is significant is what the average man/woman on the street have been feeling and have been speaking openly and thankfully about. They are speaking of the compassionate leadership of Dr Harris and his Team Unity administration. The big press does not comment on such matters but ordinary people whose lives have been made much easier than it would have been are expressing their gratitude.
These are trying days and was it not for the efforts of Dr Harris the people would have been enduring severe suffering. The financial and material part must not obscure the value the prime minister has put on each single life in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Since before 2010 Dr Douglas promised to regularise the so-called non-established workers. That was still born, an election lie, never come to pass. At this stage the process is in high gear and the category of workers has some hope.
One the thing about this effort of the prime minister is not to be missed. It is removing discrimination that has been in place for possibly over 100 years. These people like all others are making their contribution to St. Kitts and Nevis and in ways that many will be too proud to do.
This elevation will allow the low level but highly important worker will be able to do business in the regular way that many enjoy. Also the insurance and periodic options will be open to these persons.
Dr Harris is not using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to keep back the lives of these important members of the work force. Already the House has met and the Legislation discussed. This is a major and pragmatic aspect of the Team Unity Administration. The matter of Progressive Legislative Reform, removing the outdated legislation, the vestiges of colonialism and discrimination. The Team Unity Administration has to be lauded and commended. This will surely set a pattern in the region. A prime minister compassionate enough to eradicate decades of discriminating colonialism legislation. Do not forget that Denzil Douglas made this promise but never kept he word.
It is the compassionate nature of the prime minister why our people have fared better than many around us. This Motto, “Life before livelihood” is not to be taken lightly. Even so every effort has been made to keep our people protected against the real hardship of the Covid-19.
The opening of the borders is another example of this compassion and our people must be complicit and obedient, follow instructions.
The prime minister has taken into consideration that many people have been trapped overseas and separated from their families for nearly a year. He knows too that many of our citizens wish to be home and away from the Covid-19 centers and their new home.
He is making the offer of sanctuary to our people who want to be on the safe shores of St. Kitts and Nevis. This is very significant as St. Kitts and Nevis is regarded as one of the best place to be at this point in the Covid-19.
It is almost biblical; the prime minister has secured St. Kitts and Nevis and now after preparing St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Kitts and Nevis citizens abroad are welcomed home.
The economists, financial experts etc. do not deal with emotions but our local people are on the airways expressing appreciation for the compassionate nature of the prime minister.