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Friday, May 31, 2013


The UWP Convention in July will provide the party with an ideal opportunity to reform itself and attract new blood; but will that happen? At the moment, there are no apparent signs that it will! Sadly, there’s no apparent evidence of a new thinking, no sign of injection of new blood, no sign of a new ”paradigmatic behaviour” in a direction that may potentially engender a new UWP face! Rather, it seems to be the same old wrangling and juggling for position by the same old discredited and besieged hardcore crew with corruption-stained hands.

Consider for example the “messages” of the two contenders (Chastenet and King) in the leadership race: Chastenet is calling for a return to Sir John’s vision; King is calling on the base to come together to strengthen the party. In the midst of the earth-shattering indictments levelled in the audit report against them, one would have thought that they would have been putting out a different message - a different theme - aimed at the fundamental restructuring of the party; a message and theme reflective of a vision embracing a paradigm change aiming to re-align or reshape the party and to halt and “restore” its fast dissipating integrity.

Instead, King is calling on “the base” to rally around a group of individuals with corruption-stained hands, potentially about to face the “gallows”, with some of the most notorious culprits among them (including an ex-felon, an outright thief) juggling for positions. Are these the characters that King wants the base to rally round? Is the party as a unit not shamed by those choices?

On paper, Chastenet is seemingly much sounder than King - at least on the intellectual-academic plane; but so far, the former has not matched his professed verified academic competencies with (what we believe to be) his range of intellectual potentialities. If anything, Chastenet exudes more "propensity" and more “idiosyncrasy” than "competency", with his propensities and idiosyncrasies usually taking heavy toll on his competencies and generally ending up with serious collateral damage to his integrity.

Instances of those can be found in many a form or fashion including (but not limited to) the Tuxedo Villas case, his extreme extravagance with public monies placed under his care, his espousal of the Chou financial atrocities against the laws of St. Lucia and generally a slew of other “personality aberrations” which were magnified under the public microscope during his tenure as Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation.

But perhaps my greatest disappointment with Chastenet is his reluctance to use his genius wisely.  Having been exposed to the universe at large, one would have believed that Chastenet would have at least given us a snapshot of his creative genius by crafting his own vision for St. Lucia of which he wants to be PM one day. Regrettably, he has not done so! Instead, the “guru” asks for a return to Sir John’s philosophy, which for all intents and purposes is irreplicable in our time and space.

By his failure to do so, Chastenet has again left the gate wide open for questioning not just his competencies but also his creativity and imagination, and his suitability as a candidate for the leadership of the party.

As a Choiseulian, I had a good laugh at his whistle-stop pursuit of votes in Delcer earlier in the month where he made his ground-breaking pronouncement about a return to Sir John’s dream. While Delcer is 80-90% UWP, there is an unresolved Sir John legacy which does not resonate well with the residents. He should have researched that legacy before making the pronouncement.

As for King: he is feckless, bland, awkward and perhaps too blissful to be party leader. His ramblings may be grammatically – and even politically - correct; he may feign a charismatic voice and posture; but he does not inspire or motivate. He is apparently not blessed with the intellectual and leadership endowments that would make him suitable for the job. Just as Chastenet is lost in his Machiavellian pursuit of political power, so is King equally lost in his own empty bliss.

If the claim that Kenny is outgoing is true, then the politics of St. Lucia will be wide open with a permutation of possibilities which might favour the UWP; but does the UWP have the fortitude to undertake the necessary revolutionary reconfiguration of its machinery without inflicting its own self-destructive attrition?

At the rate things are going - and with the leadership contenders and their protagonists going for each other's jugular - it does not look likely that a new palatable UWP paradigm will imminently emerge. King and Chastenet may subscribe to their own idiosyncratic, transient and territorial positions; but there are no clear signs of that a new, holistic paradigm is in the making; and neither King nor Chastenet seems to have discovered a compass pointing in that direction.

If Chastenet didn’t immerse himself in the Chou mess and corruption, if he came out with his own transformative vision and if he subscribed to his own competencies, then (on balance) he could have been the better of the two evils; but I suspect King at the moment has a significant numeral advantage with at least 11 of the 17 constituencies rallying behind him. 

From all indications, Choiseul seems to be split; although, as we speak there's a massive ongoing pro-Chastenet ground mobilisation attempt to win all candidates to his side. In general, though, there seems to wider and stronger support for Chastenet on the ground. 

The UWP intellectuals are of the opinion that overall Chastenet is a better candidate for the leadership of the UWP and that anything is better than a “King”, especially with the delinquent Mr Tucker in his corner.

Should the UWP proceed with the convention in the midst of the prevailing corruption controversy they are embroiled in, and that should Chastenet should go on to win the contest, then he would have a tall order of Herculean proportions ahead of him. If he wins, his first order of business should be to clean the Augean Stables of corruption in his own backyard; and he must start with the excommunication of Tucker who is smartly trying to sanitise his dirty reputation by vying for an esteemed party position. To elect him to the position of Chairman would be to add insult to injury to an already wounded UWP. If Tucker's contention for remaining in the bosom of the party which he publicly betrayed after he lost  is that he can easily win the Choiseul seat again, then, my dear reader, let me disabuse your mind by assuring you that the Choiseul seat will be one of the easiest seats to win next election; and anybody can win it.

The seeming consensus of a cross-section of Choiseulians is the UWP is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Nonetheless, they seem to believe that Chastenet on balance is the preferred option.  They seem to believe that despite all his odd proclivities and weird idiosyncrasies, he is “more his own man” than King is and that the UWP may be a better party under him!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting analysis, "let me disabuse your mind by assuring you that the Choiseul seat will be one of the easiest seats to win next election; and anybody can win it."