Julian Rollocks reflects on the late A C Wathey

POSTED: 07/24/14 11:20 PM

St. Maarten – “I worked with him, I learnt from him, and I fought like cats and dogs with him,” former Commissioner of Tourism, local businessman, and current United People’s (UP) Party candidate Julian Rollocks said yesterday of the late Albert  Claudius Wathey. “But at the end, I acknowledged him as the master of his class.” Rollocks took some time to reflect on what would be Wathey’s birthday today and what the man known as “Claude” meant to him and St. Maarten.

“I remember A C Wathey as an exceptional politician,” Rollocks recollected. “Why do I remember him like that?” he asked. “You can’t be everything to everyone,” he answered, explaining that with Claude you knew where he stood on something. Rollocks said that many of the younger politicians that followed Wathey still don’t know how to “package themselves.” Nor do many of them have Wathey’s uncanny ability to deal effortlessly with all types of people without changing who he was, Rollocks added.

“Claude was a guy who would sit on the street and talk and listen to people, or could go down and deal with lowlands millionaires, all on their level. That is an exceptional quality. He could relate to all.”  He said that today most politicians are one dimensional. They are either really good at the grassroots, or with the middle class, or with high income investors, but none can blend it all together the way Wathey did.

Rollocks spoke of what he called the “Wathey economic doctrine,” the economic and political formula that led to St. Maarten’s prosperity in comparison to many of its neighbors. “How did AC do it?” Rollocks said Wathey brought together “vast social, economic, and political differences and made it work, running a peaceful society in which everyone prospered.”

The Wathey economic doctrine, Rollocks explained, is a belief in a small, but nimble and decisive, government that supports and facilitates a large flourishing private sector. “Small government, big private sector,” he said. “But today we’re doing the opposite of the Wathey economic doctrine.

“Government is way too heavy. We need to cut down on the size of government and focus on a big private sector,” he emphasized. “Seek prosperity for people versus bureaucracy over people. We must remember where we come from to design where we are going, not alienate what made us successful. Government must be nimble.

“Take a decision! Suffer the consequences or reap the benefits as Claude would have done,” Rollocks said. “I seek to be elected to Parliament bringing my vast experience in the tourism business where I want to see prosperity on St. Maarten again based on old principles.”


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