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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!

Friday, May 24, 2013


US weather forecasters have predicted an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season of seven to 11 hurricanes.

There is a 70% chance 13-20 named storms will form, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

This is above the average of 12 named storms, including six hurricanes, in the six-month season beginning in June.

The agency's administrator urged families to prepare well, recalling devastating super storm Sandy, which smashed the US east coast last year.

The conditions in the Atlantic could produce three to six major hurricanes - storms with wind speeds of more than 111mph (179km/h). Those storms are classified as category three or higher hurricanes.

"This year, oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic basin are expected to produce more and stronger hurricanes," forecaster Gerry Bell said.

"These conditions include weaker wind shear, warmer Atlantic waters and conducive winds patterns coming from Africa."


Friday, May 17, 2013



BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday May 17, 2013 – Adding its voice to predictions of some pretty wild weather for the Caribbean and the United States in the forthcoming months, private weather firm AccuWeather has concurred with the forecasting teams who have already predicted an above-average Atlantic hurricane season this year.

In a forecast released earlier this week, AccuWeather expects that 16 named tropical storms will form, of which eight will become hurricanes.

Based on records that go back to 1950, an average season’s tally is 12 tropical storms, of which six are hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The above-normal number of storms predicted by forecasters to date is attributed to unusually warm water across the Atlantic and Caribbean, along with less frequent wind shear.

According to AccuWeather, three of the storms are predicted to make landfall in the United States, with Florida thought to be long overdue for a direct hurricane hit. While the state has been hit by named tropical storms in the past couple of years, AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski says a direct hit by a hurricane has not occurred since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

AccuWeather reports that concern is also high along the East Coast of the United States, due to the remaining devastation from the landfall of Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.

Last month, several forecasters predicted an above-average 2013 hurricane season, with Weatherbell’s well-known forecaster Joe Bastardi saying that this could be a very dangerous hurricane year for the Caribbean and the southeast United States. He also forecast above-average activity up the East Coast and into the Gulf and further west.

Bastardi called for 16 named tropical storms, a very high 12 hurricanes, and 5 hurricanes reaching major status of Category 3 or higher.

The Weatherbell expert believes that 2013 will see hurricane activity shift back to the traditional paths we know from seasons such as 2004 and 2005, with hurricanes tracking a little further south than in 2012 – a pattern generally thought to raise Caribbean risk.

In their pre-season forecast issued last month, Colorado State University (CSU) weather gurus Phil Klotzbach and William Gray also predicted a turbulent, above-average storm season. The CSU tropical research experts predicted a high 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes, four of which would be major.

According to the two CSU climatologists, the tropical Atlantic is unusually warm and El Niño, the atmospheric force that inhibits storm formation, is unlikely to emerge this season, which runs through November 30.

Adding his comments on El Nino, Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of online weather site Weather Underground, said years where neither El Niño nor its polar opposite, La Niña, emerge can be highly active.

“Remember the neutral El Niño year of 2005?” he said, referring to the season when 28 storms, including 15 hurricanes, formed.

Meanwhile, respected forecasters Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) are also expecting an above-average season this year.

In their pre-season forecast released in April, TSR predicted 15 named tropical storms, 8 of which will become hurricanes and 3 of which will attain Category 3 status or higher becoming major hurricanes.

Adding to the list of predictions released in April, Weather Services International published its early season Atlantic hurricane forecast for 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is scheduled to release its predictions later this month.