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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

OLD KING COLE DISPLACED: A VIEW FROM THE BUSH!

“Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three. . .”

The poem was first published by William King in his Useful Transactions in Philosophy in 1708–9. It described a merry king who called for his pipe, his bowl, and his three fiddlers, suggesting that King Cole and his fiddlers played music together as a group.

Well, our Ole King Cole merriment and music are no more . . . as he has been deposed by one of the wealthiest kings in St. Lucia! Ole King Cole has been replaced by the “King from the Chastanet dynasty”.

Initially, Gale and Spider may have brought a measure of disappointment to St. Lucians by allowing the ”Royal Legacy” to perpetuate through the UWP. But on Sunday July 28 2013, there was a sense that this disappointment was drowned in a temporal Chastanet euphoria.

Did I say Euphoria? Yes! While King Chastanet’s supporters were jumping up in joy and jubilation at the spanking defeat meted out to Ole King Cole and his fiddlers, the new Rich King seemed to have been consumed by a different kind of emotion. Whether King Chas’ “merriment” was moderated by the Herculean nature of the task that lay ahead or some other impending threat, it was hard to tell on last Sunday evening.

His victory speech sounded uncharacteristically low-spirited, flat-footed, ordinary and uninspiring. Paradoxically, Ole King Cole, in his concession speech (and even without a prepared script), sounded more “royal” than King Chas. In fact, it may not entirely extraneous to suggest that King perhaps felt a sense of relief, a sense of liberation at relinquishing the position of party leader – an act that was overdue since in November 2011 when he lost the general elections.

Has the Ole King played the domino leadership game fair and square? Was it a “hypnagogic jerk” for King or was it a most welcomed “coup de grĂ¢ce” for him?

The general feeling prior to the vote was that King had to go. There was a quirky feeling that he probably enjoyed more empathy in the ranks of his “red nemesis” than he enjoyed among his UWP colleagues who made no bones about going for his jugular. Ironically, his main supporters and empathisers turned out to be most questionable elements of the party like Tucker and the Pit Bull. Was that the culmination of his desperation?

Albeit a prevailing school of thought that Chastanet won the leadership contest more by “default” and “orchestration” than “choice” – just as Ole King Cole did in 2011, a vociferous cross-section of UWP seems ecstatic with their “new party king”. (Remember, after King lost the General Elections in 2011, it was incumbent on him to demit office. He merely held on as caretaker leader. Hence, it is argued he was put on the ballot paper only to give Sunday’s charade a democratic face).

It was clear that Ole King did not provide the dynamic political leadership and failed to live up to expectations of the party! But will the “new king” rise to the occasion or do any better than the Ole King Cole? Will he metamorphose from the vociferous and raucous species (we have known him to be) to a more organised, purposeful and skilful leader like Kenny Anthony? Will he self-destruct and implode, and ultimately self-destruct the UWP? Will his absence from parliament be a liability?

On the matter of his “parliamentary wilderness”, let me hasten to add that I don’t buy the argument that one has to be in parliament to be political leader. Granted that being a parliamentarian may give a leader an advantage; however, our political history has shown that it is not a critical success factor. Kenny was not in parliament when he became the leader of the SLP! When Compton was not in parliament either when he was re-elected political leader UWP. George Odlum was mostly in the parliamentary wilderness when he led the PLP. Prudent, ex-UWP activist and leader of his ineffectual UWP-oriented LPM is not in our Parliament, yet he is the LPM leader!

On the contrary, I’m of the view that being out of parliament may actually turn out to be a “blessing-in-disguise” for Chastanet. He has three years to cover ground, to mobilise and to re-organise the party. He has enough time to build - and even rebuild - a new credibility. But can he do so?

In the weeks leading to the convention, he demonstrated an overwhelming propensity to mobilise; but is that propensity sustainable? Does he have the focus, fortitude and vision to stay put? Will the ideological arguments thrown at him by his detractors both within and outside the UWP party come to haunt him? Will his family background and seemingly excessive wealth be factors that will bring him to heal or will they be success factors?

It is noteworthy that members and sympathisers of his own party (like Richard and Juke Bois) were the “main framers” of the pedigree and genealogy argument against him. Clearly, Richard is doing to Allan what Rick did to Kenny in the past! Irrespective of the un-tenability of his position, Rick invariably attacked Kenny on the grounds of pedigree and excoriated him for his “genealogy”. Lately, members of Chastanet’s own Kingdom have been using a similar strategy against him. But it is left to be seen how this pans out in the days ahead. Will Richard gobble up his own vomit and conform?

Whatever happens, the litmus test for King Chastanet will be how he deals with radioactive elements like Richard, Bousquet and even the controversial Guy Joseph (who campaigned so hard for him). His success in that regard will be what will differentiate him from Ole King Cole.


Meanwhile, St. Lucia can breathe a sigh of relief for being spared another national disgrace by the UWP rejection of Rufus “Bruce Tucker” Bousquet as party chairman. It would be a humiliation of our integrity. We have made the mistake of electing him twice to our parliament and the Old King Cole made the fatal mistake of appointing him as our foreign minister. I hope Chastanet promptly begins to clean the UWP Augean stables with a sense of urgency and never to allow that disgrace to befall St. Lucia again.

Friday, July 26, 2013

ROUGH SEAS AND POOR "FLAMBEAU" COMPASS!


The battle between Chastanet and King for the Leadership of the UWP party has now reached crescendo proportions. The heat has gained unprecedented intensity and I get the impression that it may well be impacting on the “equilibrium” of the party.

Indeed, a seeming “massive disequilibrium” appears to have taken its biggest toll on the “convalescing” Bousquet who is also seemingly the victim of a serious “disorientation syndrome”.

After the Choiseul PowerHouse broke the news a few months ago, Bousquet hesitantly crept out of his shell and told the nation that he was suffering from advanced colon cancer.

The state of his health became an issue to him while he was on government business in the UK; he discovered that he had a serious constipation disorder and upon his return to St. Lucia he was finally diagnosed with colon cancer.
 
As part of his ongoing rehabilitation, he may still be carrying around with him a mobile chemotherapy kit strapped to his body; but true to his character, he has courageously defied any “odds” against him. He has not allowed his illness to undermine his unique and trademark political bravado – a bravado which he in another life, told me was partly derived from his inspiration from Louis Farrakhan, Bobby Seal and other “Black Power” heroes.

The latest demonstration of Bousquet’s bravado is his controversial pronouncement on the paramountcy of the Chairman of the UWP over the Party leader; but that wasn’t unexpected. He made a parallel statement about the Ministry for Foreign Affairs when he was foreign minister which suggested that this Ministry was the most important Government Ministry. He would probably echo the same for any Ministry he was put in charge of.

But we shouldn’t read too much into those charlatanistic pronouncements, except that they simply paint a picture of Bousquet's “cynic” egocentric power-play desires; and true to his misguided paradigm of Bousquet-centrism, he will always believe that he is the centre of gravity of the world where he dwells. Unfortunately, his view of himself is too heavily circumscribed by excessive charlatanism - for he has proven over time (and time and time again) that he rarely has the competencies to match his pronouncements.

Having said all of the above, it may also be appropriate to consider Bousquet’s pronouncement on the paramountcy of party chairmanship as perhaps only the small tip of broader “political-berg” which the potential to sink the Titanic UWP ship. Yes! It may well be a signal of an impending irretrievable disaster for the UWP.

Let me explain. There may be several evolving complex scenarios; but let’s narrow them down to one simple one in which Bousquet wins his bid for the Chairmanship of the party. In my humble view, that would be an irretrievable blow to the credibility of the party (and the SLP powerful political machinery must be licking its lips at that outcome!). Bousquet has demonstrated that his sense of loyalty is shaken and, therefore, irrespective of who wins UWP leadership, he will be a “Trojan Horse” to contend with. I suspect that, with the more vociferous and proactive Chastanet who always aims to “hit the ceiling”, any potential confrontation with him may turn out to be very abrasive and nasty. King, on the other hand, will more likely take his blows “lying down on the floor”!


It’s really a "bad time" for the UWP to be holding a convention! They are in the middle of extremely rough seas and they don't seem to have a proper compass! Will the winners at Sunday's convention discover or invent one?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

TROPICAL STORM "CHANTAL" FORMS OVER THE ATLANTIC



The following tropical weather outlook was issued by NWS National Hurricane Centre (Miami Florida) at 1100 pm EDT Sun Jul 7, 2013:


The strong tropical wave located about 1000 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands has now become Tropical Storm Chantal. Chantal is racing towards the West 26 mph. At 11 00 EDT, the centre of Chantal was located at 9.8 N and 47.2 W. Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph. Maximum central pressure is 1008 MB or 28.77 in.


A Tropical Storm Warning is in already effect for Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent and Saint Lucia. (A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 24 to 36 hours.)

This system is expected to produce locally heavy rains and winds to tropical storm force in squalls over portions of the Lesser Antilles on Monday night and Tuesday.

WEST INDIES ODI CAPTAIN (DWAYNE BRAVO) SUSPENDED



by ESPNcricinfo staff
July 6, 2013

Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies captain, has been suspended for one match after being fined a second time within 12 months for maintaining a slow over-rate. He will miss the crucial tri-series match against Sri Lanka on Sunday. 

West Indies were ruled one over short of the target at the end of match against India in Port-of-Spain for which the match referee, Jeff Crowe, fined Bravo 20% of his match fee and his team members, 10% of their match fees.

"The captains were informed of their respective positions relating to over-rate breaches before the start of the series," Crowe said. "On Friday, the umpires had kept Dwayne [Bravo] informed throughout the innings about the position regarding over-rates, and more so when his side fell behind."

The charge was laid by on-field umpires Nigel Long and Peter Nero, as well as third umpire Nigel Duguid and fourth umpire Joel Wilson, with Bravo pleading guilty.

It was the second such offence for Bravo after he was fined for a slow over-rate during the Champions Trophy match against South Africa on June 14.

Virat Kohli was also slapped with a similar fine after India's match against Sri Lanka in Kingston.

Source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/tri-nation-west-indies-2013/content/story/648245.html