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Achile Joseph, CEO of the DEF
Achile Joseph, CEO of the DEF

By Chris JOSEPH

As this land of our fathers, and the love of our lives prepare a rendezvous with the traditional Christmas celebrations, I cannot but reflect on this time one year ago. Most predicted a "dead" Christmas 2017, and for all very good reasons. Most of us had to electrical power from the grid, or what was left of it. The Woodbridge Bay Port was battling the onslaught of containers coming in. Tarpaulin roofs were the order of the day. Lay-offs were a many, and the private sector was all but solidly beaten, and down for the count. Something I've learnt over the years is that Christmas has a habit of being spiced-up when the economy is in the doldrum. This cannot be explained from a trader's point of view, rather it is something holed-up in the cranium of anthropod. It seems when the country is stressed, and when we have little or no money to spend, we flock the streets and alleyways looking for something to wake our dead spirits. A starlight or firecracker or bandit or fireworks would suffice. Christmas 2017 was indeed a busy time in Roseau.

This time around, everyone had more time to prepare. Many took the time to reflect on the progress made over the last year. For the business community, an open wound refuses to heal. This wound was inflicted repeatedly by publics with the wilful omission of intervention from law enforcement. The refusal of the competent authority to acknowledge a law enforcement blunder, amounts to fresh lime juice squeezed on the wound. Even after the application of home remedies, the healing process leaves behind deep psychological hurt and betrayal. What can SANTA bring this year which will impress the minds of the competent authority that all is not well in public-private sector relationship? We know that SANTA will be hard-pressed to make his "ho ho ho" charm work, more so on the hills of a powerful Police presence at a non-threatening civilian rally in Roseau last Saturday. Where were the Police on the morning of September 19th 2017 and the days following? Where were their firearms? Where were the canisters of teargas while looters raped enterprises? What happened to the call, "All shall eat?" echoed on the morning of September 19, 2017? Sometimes I feel consoled in the phrase "westay twanchill" but, alas, the treatment meted out to entrepreneurs, shareholders, directors and management is unfair, and will go unforgotten to the grave.

Let's see what Saint Nicholas, the patron Saint of alms, has in his bag this time around.