Published On: Mon, Apr 16th, 2018

Critical Ferrier-commercial blasts cronyism

Mike Ferrier 201071005 HH

PHILIPSBURG –Finance Minister Mike Ferrier, as the owner of automotive retailer NAPA, has built quite a reputation with his often funny radio commercials. In his most recent commercial, broadcast on Oasis 96.3 FM, Ferrier goes all out against everything that is wrong in St. Maarten – not as the Minister of Finance or the owner of NAPA, but simply on personal title.

The commercial runs for 1 minute and 40 seconds and Ferrier maintains a blistering tempo with his statement. It begins with observations about Hurricane Irma. “It kicked us in the gut, slapped us in the face and tried to stamp us into the ground. But we fooled her.”

“Just like the kids in US-schools ducking for just another gun, we too played dead. But now we see that we are very much alive and digging out of the mess she made. Thank you St. Maarten for your resilience, your strength and your determination to bring back this 37 square miles island.”

That, of course, is not the point Ferrier wants to make with his commercial: Now, hear me out. In the years after 1995 when we came out of the Hurricane Luis mess we greatly improved our way of governing, our sense of pride, our desire to be our brothers’ keepers – all strengthening our determination to make this dual-nation island the gem of the Caribbean. But then we forgot.”

Ferrier does not mince his words about what we forgot: “We started littering again, disrespecting unofficial zoning, building garages and junk yards in residential areas, destroying mangroves, cutting corners in construction and out of unadulterated greed never dealt with the dump.”

On a different level things also went south according to the highly critical commercial: “We put friends and cronies on boards and in the management of government entities, allowing many to steal while our eyes were wide open. We employed barkers to scream at tourists on Front Street and the Boardwalk and we issued taxi licenses to loud unkempt persons who have no clue about how to be a tourist ambassador. We reward common thieves by appointing them to important positions and we vote for people whom we know should not hold public office. But yet we expect the world to respect us.”

In spite of all this, Ferrier remains optimistic in the final line of his commercial: “Come on St. Maarten, we can do better; Hurricane Irma was just the messenger.”

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