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Sunday, December 8, 2013


I felt awestruck by the outpouring of empathy demonstrated on Social Media for the cause of Choiseul. To me, that empathy is a reflection of the extent of humanity and care flowing in our blood for our fellowmen; it may also be a suggestion that St. Lucia may still be a country “intact”, with perhaps just a minority of us “dabbling” in counter-instances of humanity.

Perhaps, we can even set those "counter-instances" aside and attribute them in part to normal distribution theory.

The (unfortunately) noteworthy observation is perhaps that those who should demonstrate the greatest degree of sublime humanity are generally those who are trapped to the “left of the humanity curve”. Wouldn't it have been a much better Christmas season (for all of us) if only those who hold the relevant “levers of power” could foster greater optimism, hope, and joy in the hearts of “the deprived ones”? Indeed, Christmas is an ideal platform to make the assault. They did got the opportunity but frittered it away!

I cannot camouflage my position on the excoriation of Jimmy Haynes by his own parliamentary rep for the former's community activism. I ask: Why can’t we put the "dirty politics" aside for a moment, especially when we were responsible caps like "parliamentary rep"? Why should the SLP (who claim to know better than Jimmy’s Party) do just like Jimmy’s men?

Let me inform readers that I have been speaking with Jimmy; and I’m happy to inform you that we have agreed to put away the “political cannibalism” (according to the Minister for Social Transformation) and to come together for the greater good of Choiseul – and it is in this context that I take issue with the cannibalistic pronouncements that were made at the SLP constituency conference last month. Frankly speaking, they were uncalled for and déclassé!

But here’s the reality: Augustin Charles (Bolo), Jimmy Haynes (Jimmy) and Dedan Griffifth Jn Baptiste (Gillo) with all our imperfections have tacitly agreed to bury the political hatchet for the greater good of Choiseul! We have pledged (not only want to make “a good place better” but) to start the process to also make our community a great place! Choiseul has all the elements and ingredients of greatness - all we have to do is to "bang start" the "reconfiguration process".

Regarding the pursuit of that process, the pundits perhaps may have many questions: "Is that 'unity' initiative sustainable?" Isn't that Bolo-Jimmy-Gilo 'triumvirate' a charade? Can these opportunistic guys ever bury their hatchet for the good of Choiseul (or, for that matter, anything good)? Wouldn't that battle among these notorius triumvirate gladiators soon resume and Choiseul not suffering from major collateral damage?

While these questions are legitimate, they also express a deep existential pessimism. To some of us, the success of any initiative involving those three fellahs is simply impossible (even if those guys may be "success stories" in more than one sphere of life)!

But here are some facts you should know. I know Gillo and Jimmy very well; and they know me very well, too . . . and that mutual knowledge should  provide us with a sound platform. We all have done SWOT analyses of each other. I went to school together with Gillo; I also taught with him for a number of years. We played in the same Bands (Black Inspirations and Dread Tones). Gillo also taught me a lot about cricket to the point where I became the captain, opening bat and the frontline leg spinner for my club.  I never dreamed of those achievements and perhaps they would never become reality without Gillo.

I have to admit that I had a totally different relationship configuration with Jimmy which is grounded in familial of filial relationships. My first son is a close relative of Jimmy, who I first met when I visited my son in Delcer and thereafter, for all our lives we have been close, treating each other like relatives, like brothers. Yes! we've had bitter political exchanges but those have never torn asunder our filial connections.  His late Dad and mom are like mother and father to me.

No doubt, Jimmy (like all of us) has his imperfections and idiosyncrasies; he must have made an inordinate number of mistakes but isn't it also fair to say that those may have been far outweighed by his infinitesimal intellectual and organisational talents and commitment to community. It may well be a fact that the former may well approach zero when compared to the latter! 

Forget the politics, Jimmy perhaps may have done more for Choiseul than many of the politicians who have represented us and that gives him an indisputably well-deserved presence among us.

Jimmy like many genuinely patriotic Choiseulian wants to elevate his community above the Carib/Arawak "paradigm" which is perceived to circumscribe our existence and causing those who are in command of the levers of power NOT to treat us with the respect we deserve.  

Be that as it may, we are nonetheless prepared to be the sacrificial lambs on the altar of political cannibalism for the sake of a greater Anse Citron!

The “authorities” have obviously embarked on a campaign of "the excoriation of Jimmy" for his articulation of the problems of the constituency. Perhaps their hidden agenda is the pre-emptive destruction of the ROPE initiative before it gets off the ground; but the fact is Jimmy (like me) does not live on Mars or Jupiter! He lives in the heart of constituency and understands the trajectory of constituency problems because he, too, lives those problems everyday! His 70-plus year old mom lives mere metres away from the Delcer water facility and yet she is deprived of water – as is the entire community of Delcer!

Morne Sion, Lower Mongouge, Upper Reunion, parts of Cafeiere are also critically affected. Hence, when we speak, we lay no claim that our voice  is the "voice of God" but it not the "voice of Lucifer" either; our voice is simply the voice of our community. We hope that "those who ignore it" (and even excoriate us) when they hear it understand the full extent of their actions. 

This article is no tribute to Jimmy; it is no defense of him, either! it's just a gut reaction.

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