|Wait until he opens his mouth....|
|Don't do it, Allen. For the sake of the country, don't say anything at all...ever again!|
CHASTANET’S LAST STAND
(Otherwise known as EVERYBODY vs ALLEN)
If Allen Chastanet cannot survive his current bid for the United Workers Party leadership, how will he endure in St Lucian government or politics?
Last Wednesday, the man who made his name as a public service professional announced to the media that he thought he was good leadership material for the United Workers Party. Chastanet’s name has been in leadership contention for several years now, even though he has never actually contested the leadership. With his reputation for being a lightning rod with a gun pointed at his foot – which often happens to be in his mouth – many within the party thought that Chastanet might be more focused on winning a seat in the Lower House that posing a premature leadership challenge.
In less than 24 hours after Chastanet spoke to reporters, Richard Frederick was firing back that, basically, Chastanet’s own father – one of the richest business people in St Lucia – won’t hire him. Frederick essentially pulled the trigger (of the gun pointed at Chastanet’s foot, which is in his mouth) on Chastanet’s leadership, accusing his former Cabinet colleague of being a wasteful mis-manager.
You can't trust them, dude. They'll stab you in the back. And they're not even voting yet.
The brutal retort from Frederick was not only a confirmation that Frederick remains King’s strongest supporter, but that Chastanet is not a smart enough politician to diffuse potential (and foreseeable) threats like Frederick, before mouthing off in the media.
Chastanet’s obvious ambitions have attracted some support from people who are frustrated with the current status quo in the United Workers Party. Some actually think that current leader Stephenson King may be amenable to a change of leadership if he can retain his dignity and perhaps the salary of the Leader of the Opposition. (The position of party leader does not pay a salary.)
However, a brief survey of Flambeau’s leadership shows that Chastanet has not successfully lobbied the more powerful members of the party and indicates that he has made no concerted attempt to win delegates over, in preparation for a leadership contest. Without a critical mass of support from both the leadership and the rank and file, Chastanet’s bid for leadership is either a joke or a mistake waiting to happen.
By Friday, Chastanet was getting caught in the crossfire of the budget debates with new tourism minister Lorne Theophilus calling him and his party colleagues sans haute for accusing the present government of wastefulness. Chastanet attracted Theophilus’ wrath by criticizing his performance as minister, calling Theophilus “confused.”
Richard Frederick giving Ti Chas the evil eye and Lorne Theophilus giving him The Smirk
Theophilus took aim at Chastanet by way of responding to Micoud South’s Gail Rigobert’s criticisms of Alva Baptiste’s foreign affairs ministry and their considerable increases in spending over the two years.
“The former tourism minister’s phone bills were higher than the budget increases at the foreign ministry,” Theophilus said with slight exaggeration, revealing monthly phone bills – at the public’s expense – from almost $42,000 to over $48,000.
Theophilus practically prosecuted “Chastanet’s expertise as a spendthrift and a poor manager,” adding that while St Lucia was “subjected to the touristic genius and majesty of Allan Chastanet,” spending and airlift increased while tourist arrivals and revenue decreased. He compared that with his short record of decreased arrivals and airlift, but increasing revenues.
Frederick was not present to enjoy continue the work of scuttling Chastanet’s political ambitions.
Theophilus’ also ridiculed Chastanet’s approval of the new St Lucian tourism brand “Live the Legend” which cost a reported $900,000 and looked very much like Peru’s tourism brand.
With members of both his own party and the current government criticizing, not just his ambitions, but his performance as a minister and a manager, how does Allan Chastanet intend to rise to the top in the United Workers Party? How does he even intend to survive as a candidate until the next election, if he continues to enrage people whose support or silence he will need to continue any kind of political career?
One key supporter during the last general election said, “Maybe he thinks if he wins the leadership, he can ensure he’s the candidate for Soufriere or wherever he wants to run. The problem is that there is no big set of people anywhere calling for Chastanet to run, and the way he is contesting this leadership, if he loses, he will not be the candidate for anything again – at least, not in Flambeau.”