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Saturday, March 19, 2016


I don't want to "second-guess" Chastanet's investment policies; at the same time, I am also extremely curious about his unambiguous position on the Citizen by Investment Programme (CIP).  Except for blasting Dr Ernest Hilaire and Dr Juffali, I'm yet to hear from him clear and definitive policy pronouncements on the CIP; or at least how he intends to adapt the current CIP configuration to fit his policies.

I'm also uncertain and highly suspect about his “national priorities and preferences”. I can't remember him uttering a single word in support of St. Lucia during the bashing by the British tabloids, except for calling for the axing of Ambassador Juffali.  Indeed, the view of some political observers (that “forces within St. Lucia” might have been in league with the British Tabloid network and Mrs Juffali in their quest to sully the island's name) might be a tenable and justifiable one. One can only hope that our politicians seeking to govern St. Lucia were not part of a larger conspiracy with our detractors.

I raise the CIP issue against the background of the development potential it holds for us, especially given the fact that Foreign direct investment from our traditional sources has literally dried up. The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) which John Compton dubbed as a martial plan for Caribbean was eventually downgraded to Caribbean Basin Security initiative (CBSI) and currently we are not even beneficiaries because of ORC.  Moreover, given the prevailing economic dilemma of the West plus their diversion of practically all aid away from the Caribbean to the Middle East, there isn’t even the remotest chance of the Caribbean getting the quantum of development assistance which was literally poured on us by the West in times past.

Therefore, if (under the CIP) we are going to get a highway linking Gros Islet to Dennery, a hotel at Sabwisha and a diabetic research centre (among other things), then what are Team Chastanet's - not just objections and criticisms but more importantly - policy positions on those? What is Team Chastanet going to do with those projects, should his party form the next government? He certainly needs to expostulate his "policy positions" on those beyond his electioneering rhetoric.

Indeed, and on a broader level, it may also be warranted for Team Chastanet to clarify his party's general investment policy for the country and particularly with regard to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). We need to know where FDI would be coming from and how it relates to his promise of free entry visas into Canada.

On another note, we get the impression that the policy development within Team Chastanet may be hampered by the the party’s own limitations in intellectual resources. There’s the suggestion that the UWP is now run like a plantation with a “motley crew” of incompetent “yes men” and “Labour Party dissidents” who have won the approbation of their leader based exclusively on their unconditional loyalty to the boss. If that suggestion holds water, then those sort of persons may not be very useful in policy formulation and from all indications they are now turning to be “more of a liability than an asset” to the party.

Hence, I’m not surprised by reports that the intellectual powerhouse who powered Sir John’s policies and programmes (and indeed the person that the UWP should have considered in the first place to take over its reigns), is now flirting with the Dennery North constituency with the aim of becoming the candidate. Given the dearth of intellectual material within the party, I applaud this initiative, if it is true. The UWP needs him now

There's no doubt that we live in a "new world" which requires “brains” like Ernest Hilaire, Tennyson Joseph, Reginald Darius, Ausbert d’Auvergne and Claudius Preville working in various positions and capacities in the foreground or background to help forge the way forward for our country.

The electioneering suggestion that the UWP wishes to go down the road of Sir John Compton may well suggest that the party is stuck in the wormhole of the “old world” politics and economics at a time we need a “new paradigm” for our development agenda. It may not have attracted the brains needed to extricate it from the wormhole.

Time is running out on Chastanet. He needs to do more than his chorus criticisms and the conduct of polls. He needs to change the focus of his narrative which comprises almost exclusively criticisms to a focus which is policy-oriented. According to Hon Harold Dalson, he needs to tell us what would he do differently! 

It’s time to make “sense”.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


How can a mature, world-renowned journalist, writer and publisher who was also Mr World, Mr Universe, Mr Europe and Mr America display so much venom and immaturity on a TV screen? Why should “he tell a lie, and tell that he didn't tell it”?

Naturally, I'm referring to Rick, St. Lucia's Merchant of Venice (turned Merchant of Anger) who is eager to have his pound of Kenny's flesh at all cost; and he won't stop no matter what until he gets it!

Like Tantalus, he keeps reaching out for it; but the more he does so, the more the pound of flesh eludes him!

With time, we expect his challenges to deepen in magnitude and complexity, resulting in the production of more venom; and as the venom takes another quantum leap into more negative territory, we also expect it to take an immeasurable and irreversible toll on his already battered credibility, thanks to his own indiscretions.

The "psychological" basis for the argument is simple: there is an inverse relationship between one’s “persona” and one’s “animus”. 

Carl Jung, the well-known Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who established analytical psychology proposed that our personality comprises four systems: a “persona”, an “animus/anima”, a “self” and an “ego”. Jung (pronounced Young) however did not list the permutations which result when those systems react. But I want to suggest that it may be natural that as one’s persona decreases, the animus increases - proportionally.

The rise of the animus may well be a “compensatory mechanism” for the loss of the persona. Hence, “the subject” may feel that shouting out loud and spitting out venom will help regain his/her persona; but in reality, that evidently does not happen! The animus seemingly does more harm than good to the persona; and that seem to be the case with Rick!

The baffling question therefore is: Why do some young and even mature journalists look up to an angry elder in the profession as a role model, even to the point of idolising him?  Is anger then part of a “new paradigm” of journalism in St. Lucia? Suppose a teacher were to be so angry? Suppose public servants or even ministers were to be so angry against the public, then what would we say? What then prevents us from condemning Rick for his venom?

Let's give Rick what rightfully belongs to him: He indeed derived a great measure of greatness from his mighty muscles; and perhaps if he had continued in the same vein that he served in the “world of muscle”, then the possibility of earning the islands highest honours (knight commander, the St. Lucia Cross and medal of honour) instead of a simple OBE (or just caviling over who might be eligible for them) could now have well been a fait accompli as opposed to being subject to “Zeus” perennial curse of anger.

But Rick’s venom and anger weighed, his mind is not what it ought to be! Just imagine the act of ridiculing the award of the Knight Commander to the Hon Derek Walcott. His greatness therefore derived from “Weider’s world” appears to be quickly eluding him as he attempts to adapt on a stage that calls not for muscle power but brain power. Undoubtedly, despite his gift of language, it appears that his brain has not been removed from its box. Hence, just as Daley died having “painter’s eyes” and “plumber’s hands”, it looks like Rick too will die having “a thinker’s eyes” but “a muscleman’s hands”.

Perhaps, this might well be the reason why his faculty to differentiate between “knowledge store” and “knowledge growth” merits microscopic attention. He naively prides himself on the former because he seems unfamiliar with the later. He may be proud that he has a universe of facts (store) in his arsenal but the observation that he remains largely unstructured lends support to the suggestion that he has not pursued knowledge growth in his vast "universe" of concentration. The multitudes that he “criticizes” (like Dr Ernest Hilaire and Sir Vaughn Lewis) have all left him behind. Perhaps he may just be old enough to be Kenny's Dad but yet he lags Kenny by light years. So, while he has spent all his life excoriating those men for their achievements, he has stagnated while those men have grown by leaps and bounds in their intellectual stature.

Rick’s idols and disciples may be following the trail he has blazed for them.

Finally, why would anyone want to call a man who presents himself as a man of integrity a liar? 

I had an opportunity to review the “raw” tapes vis-à-vis the Ad which has beenthe "epicentre" of the ongoing controversy and now I'm prepared to make a judgement.

First of all, the Ad represented a beautiful and creative piece of video editing! The editor/producer was able to conflate different scenarios into one. On his show, Rick did say that all four passengers on Chagoury’s jet held St. Lucian passports; but when he called Claudius show, he said it was three. Wasn't that lying?

Rick perhaps thought there was a way out for him due to the seamless editing (which tiled the video clips in a manner that almost made the two appears as one). The video editor/author (I suspect) anticipated that Rick would have used the tiling to claim the video was false; s/he therefore superimposed the date for each clip on the matching video to eliminate that possibility.

For Choice to apologise to Rick, claiming that an SLP Ad may have caused him injury and embarrassment is a stark misrepresentation. No one has caused Rick any injury and embarrassment; Rick (himself) embarrassed himself.  The embarrassment continues with the airing of the Ad on the other major news networks.