The ULP’s Electioneering Housing Scheme Hits a Slippery Slope.
Homes at Clare Valley are now blighted and worthless.
by Peter Binose
When you have evil in your heart you can almost be certain things will inevitably go wrong – the Karma will get you. That’s what has happened, and that’s the basis of the ULP housing schemes. The ULP like to describe them as a “government” housing schemes, but that is not true. They are schemes designed by a political party that is in a position of power – to build houses for their own supporters in areas where the party needs to boost their voting electorate. It is no more and no less than that.
It’s an attempt to move whole swathes of supporters into areas where the ULP have low support. It’s the old British Labour Party style of increasing votes where the party needs votes to get elected. This is a practice invented by the British Labour Party government in the early days when nasty Marxist types and other little red devils ruled the country.
“The ULP had the brilliant idea of acquiring rock-bottom priced land and giving it to political supporters.
Of course these lands had no value because they were problem lands – extreme slopes with soil problems that made construction a dangerous proposition…”
In 1951 the British Labour Party established a scientific socialist revolution and planned to build council houses in the UK for rent and sale in areas that traditionally had low socialist support. They went to pretty little towns and villages of a few hundred or a few thousand people and supplanted a populace that greatly exceeded that of the original people count – sometimes by more than double.
That is exactly what the ULP government wants to do: plant and install large numbers of people in housing projects in areas where they previously could not get elected. But to do that they must ensure that those who take the houses are grateful to the party and will vote for them come hell or high water. This cannot be a fair government policy; it can only be a party political policy dressed as a government giveaway scheme that benefits a certain section of the populace and excludes others.
St. Vincent is not Britain!
One of the main differences between the British government of that time and the Vincentian government of this time is the fiscal situation. The UK was flush with money and could print their own currency whenever they ran short. The current government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is broke – and can’t even afford toilet paper in the public toilet at the hospital. It can’t afford to fund the upkeep of our roads, buildings and infrastructure, let alone build large numbers of houses for low income.
When the ULP had the brainwave of building to the socialist scientific formula, the government was already broke. They already had managed to bring down the state bank by excessive borrowing. Even what I describe as ULP cronies had borrowed from the bank and were unable to repay their debts. The bank under such onslaught appeared doomed to fold.
The ULP, or perhaps the ULP government [the supporters, even the hierarchy, don’t know the difference] therefore had the brilliant idea of acquiring rock bottom priced land at 30 cents upwards a square foot and giving that to the proposed house buyers.
Of course these lands that had no value because they were problem lands with extreme slopes and soil problems such as the land at Clare Valley [price of land still awaited]. Caribbean 360: Poor engineering, drainage led to St Vincent house collapse – Gonsalves
The lands at Clare are clay based upper structure with an abu base. The clay top soil is of no use for farming or growing crops, and the base material is an unstable type of clay that has many rocks and stones in it. When dry it shrinks and when wet it increases in volume considerably and is unstable and sticky – somewhat like runny plasticine. It is therefore unsuitable for farming or building. In fact, the land in Clare Valley has laid fallow for thousands of years. Despite a number of reports that carry warnings about such soil, the ULP government went ahead and built on it. They must of been aware of the inherent problems, and if they were not, they should have been. The results being that one house has fallen off its stilts/columns and all the others are at risk of doing so.
Peoples’ lives are in jeopardy, men, women and children living in these houses at Clare Valley are at great risk.
I have recently acquired a US Aid report from the 1970’s and it has maps and plans showing all areas in SVG with such soils as those at Clare Valley. It may well be that Clare Valley is not the only government building site with such problems.
The government, because they could not borrow money at the time from the banks, had the proposed house owners borrow the money themselves from lenders for payment of building their houses, and such loans were paid over to the government HDLC – a company formed by the government to again try to put the government at arms length in the project, (lest it goes wrong, as it has!)
So now the government believe they are one removed from the borrowing source and perhaps also HDLC the building contractor put them further out of reach.
If the current house owners don’t pay the mortgage it’s between the owners and their banks, its them in the crap not the government. But in truth it’s not quite as clear cut as that… If the house owners stop paying their mortgage lenders, that will be the total end of the government socialist scientific building program because no lender henceforth will lend to people who buy into such schemes.
Aggressive Class action lawyer needed!
That’s why the government spokesman is saying “don’t abandon your house”, and is begging the people to stay in the homes regardless of the consequences and regardless of the risk to life and limb. In fact, it appears that the government has no regard to the possible consequences of people staying in their homes at Clare Valley. The owners need to wise up and get themselves a lawyer to represent them as a group – preferably a lawyer with no government or ULP links, association or affiliation.
Perhaps the lenders must bear some responsibility, did the have their own surveyors look at and test the lands? If they did then they got it wrong and deserve to make a loss, if they didn’t they also deserve to make a loss.
The ULP government think nothing of poor people, because most of them don’t vote for anyone let alone ULP. So the houses that they describe as low and middle income homes simply are not that at all. They are upper-middle income homes. No low income or lower middle income earners could afford these homes. The words “low income” are concocted to fool the people that they are doing something for the poor. They are not.
What they are doing is creating a new upper middle class electorate that will consistently vote ULP. That is the only reason for the building of these type of homes in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They are not social housing, they are not for low income citizens, they are not for the poor and needy – they are for ULP supporters.
The reason for these homes
These are houses for people like lawyers, doctors, well paid government workers and ranked police officers. Even the sister of Ralph Gonsalves’ press secretary Hans King has one. “Party and supporters first” is the motto! They own the jobs, own the government and they own the houses.
But its just backfired. The homes at Clare Valley are now blighted and worthless.
Whatever they do to them, even rebuild them, they will always be blighted. That’s the way reality works. The homes have been sold what’s called ‘a pig in a poke‘. The current owners have homes that are worthless and will remain worthless for the foreseeable future.
The ULP party can walk away without a loss, except that is in votes, and rightly so. This is yet another example of them stumbling from crisis to crisis.
Can we accuse the owners of being driven by greed? As a group most thought that their party was giving them an exclusive half-price deal, perhaps even giving them bargain houses worth two or three times what they paid for them.
Yet what they have now ended up with are homes which are worthless – homes which are blighted and unsaleable at any price. They have homes which in law can only be described as unfit for the purpose for which they were purchased.
I suppose some may well of had greed in their hearts and minds. They saw this as a golden opportunity to get ahead in the current red rat race society – but no one deserves being ripped off regardless of party affiliation or beliefs, even if misguided in such.
Let’s pray that there are no major earthquakes in the near future – because all these houses may fall like a pack of cards.
The titles and certain edits are the doing of Barbados Free Press. The article has been edited by BFP.
Dear Mr. Binose,
Your insightful articles get to the root of corruption and all that is wrong with the governments of small Caribbean island nations. Thank you and we wish you were a Bajan!
A small matter of editing: please only use one space to separate sentences – not two – as we have to manually remove the extra space to publish in a modern format. You are showing your typewriter background!
(Our own Robert does the same and I keep reminding him! Cliverton)