For five years, he patiently suffered the slings, arrows and downright bombshells of the United Workers Party Government. He weathered the co-ordinated attacks of Richard Frederick and Guy Joseph, the articulate charisma of Rufus Bousquet and the clownish buffoonery of Marcus Nicholas without great theatrics.
Even when the government moved to pass a parliamentary motion to condemn him, he didn’t fight back, but rather helped them to correct the prodigious procedural errors they had made on their way to their goal.
Kenny Anthony is widely characterized as one of the most thin-skinned people ever to venture into politics – certainly the most thin-skinned ever to be Prime Minister of St Lucia. Where George Odlum and John Compton seemed to separate their political and personal selves, “everything for Kenny is personal. These things actually hurt him.”
At last year’s budget, five months after beating Flambeau out of office, Kenny Anthony went easy on the new opposition, seeming to signal a new era in St Lucia politics, after almost two decades of useless inquiries, investigations and other reprisals.
But revenge is a dish best served cold and this year’s budget will probably be a whole different story.
After a year of probing, stumbling upon, prodding, digging and exhuming the ghosts of all the Flambeau did from 2006-11, Kenny Anthony and the St Lucia Labour Party now seemed poised to report on the financial commess that they had long suspected (and accused) Flambeau of.
In the spotlight will be tens of millions of dollars (at least) in, not cost overruns, but disturbingly, if not deliberately, over-cost projects. A brief preview of the data shows that Flambeau spent more on small projects in 2010 than Labour spent on the entire capital works budget in 2011/12 – which is no easy feat, because Labour did $60 million in capital works that year, much of it to address overdue repairs to infrastructure left crumbling since Hurricane Thomas.
The role of the former Taiwanese Ambassador Tom Chou in helping fund much of these projects may also on the agenda.
How will Flambeau respond to these attacks? Are they prepared to take it like they gave it from 2006-11. Common sense would dictate that they try to paint their administration as one where there were more jobs, more projects and greater circulation of currency. However, their well-established patterns of political rhetoric will no doubt entice them to resuscitate old weapons like Rochamel, Grynberg, cost overruns and others which won them the 2006 election, but lost them the election of 2011.