Pancho was a bandit boy, his horse was fast as polished steel
He wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel - Pancho and Lefty, by Towne Van Zandt
In pop culture, Pancho is a Mexican bandit/freedom fighter who, like Toussaint, Christ and Crazy Horse, kicks so much ass, that the only way to get to him is infiltrate his ranks and make his best men betray him. He had a machine gun. One single machine gun. And he made it work overtime for for the little man.
|Pancho Villa and the machine gun: Gangsta! With a Cause...|
He is portrayed in song and film and the one kind of anti-hero we all wish we could.
In St Lucia, Pancho is a wild and crazy guy, a reggae and rock guitar player, a consummate comedian of Latin Caribbean origin.
But he’s also something very special. He is an honest, honest person in a world where lies are necessary to trade commerce and economic growth.
And so, where many people solve great problems only so far as it benefits them, Pancho had to think problems through so they benefit everyone. In the post-Cowboy Compton St Lucia, where Lone Rangers, Renegades and Labour's increasingly elitist Regulators are often the only defense for poor people, Pancho is becoming the hero of choice for the more free-thinkers of the dispossessed demimonde, by talking about cannabis (particularly hemp) as legitimate agricultural enterprise.
|Pancho Lucia: The sign behind him says, 'NO B.S.'|
"America is doing it," he says. "Look the legalized it in Colorado. And not medical marijuana... just MARIJUANA...And we're afraid of what America will do if we grow hemp? That's not just stupidity, that's cowardice."
Told you he was crazy. Foxy crazy. And bloody well right.
Unlike most political leaders, (that means you, too, Therold) Pancho spent years researching vibes before he ever thought that a political solution was necessary. He came to the conclusion that food production was job number one a long time ago and started making links with rural and roots farms.
Dr White Boy Scientist Smoker:
"This is hemp. Not ganja.
You can't smoke this.
For a cash crop, he saw that hemp was a high status crop with multiple uses that encouraged manufacturing. He pitched for license to grow hemp to successive governments, repeatedly, but fear of hemp’s close relationship with ganja prevented anyone from seeing the solution he was proposing.
Frankly, his economic agenda does not consist of much more than that. That's his one machine gun. He wears it outside his pants for all the world to fee. (His social agenda is a simple brand of liberalism in which you leave people alone as long as they leave you alone. And children, old people and the handicapped have special rights.)
St Lucia Green Party mascot Betsy
Answering the urgent political question
“Where’s the beef?”
But right now, St Lucia doesn’t need much more than that, does it?
I don’t think he has any intention of being Prime Minister. I think he’s trying to push some necessary issues to the fore. If he was given a license to grow hemp ten years ago, he’d be too busy running a successful and revolutionary business to give a damn about politics.
But they pushed him.
And now, the ground is swelling beneath him. More and more, his message is getting through and people are seeing that he is the only different one out there, the only one who is even trying to make sense. More and more, people are seeing that they need his T-shirt and jeans mentality more than they need the suits who have been exchanging power for 50 years.
Most third parties in St Lucia are a total joke. A few a little more than a joke. The Green Party, more than any third party since the PLP, has taken the pulse of the next generation. If just a few smart-asses come out of university with more integrity than greed, the Greens are going to become a real force.
Already, we can see than the United Workers Party is hopelessly outdated. They need to throw out the entire motherboard of that party. Labour has been more astute at using the technology of the new millennium to its advantage. But the Labour Party has yet to outgrow its tribal feuding with Flambeau, so visioning the future has taken a backseat to keeping Flambeau in line.
Neither one has shown that they understand the urgency with which food production must be increased and agriculture and manufacturing must be restored. Pancho has a plan for that. The hungrier Lucians get, the more sense his plan will make.
And then one day, suddenly, there will be Greens in Parliament, maybe Cabinet.
Even Pancho isn’t sure he wants to see that happen. He just wants to see the Caribbean head in the right direction, so he can go back to the farm. Pancho don't want to deal with no bureaucrats and foreign investors. And you don't want him to either.
But he got so far without wanting it to happen this way. He’s being pushed. If the existing parties don’t take heed of what the real issues of the day are, he might get pushed all the way.
Think about this.
“This crazy ass?
In the 50s, the Labour Party was practically the only game in own, but with a few short meetings, John Compton managed to invent a completely new dynasty that shelved Labour for decades.
In 1995, Kenny Anthony was nothing…NOTHING…on the island’s political radar. A footnote in the 1979-82 debacle. But now, he has eclipsed George Charles as Labour’s greatest leader and challenges John Compton for the overall number one spot.
Stephenson King was your last Prime Minister and Richard Frederick was your most powerful minister for a moment there. How many of you would have bet against that in 2004? Most of you. But by 2006, it was real.
Now how unlikely does it sound that a little nobody with one good idea can change everything in a matter of a few years?
In the end, most of us who agree with Pancho may sell him out to the Federales come election time. We will vote for one of the two major parties in other to keep the other one at bay. But that doesn't mean we don't know he's right. He's the only one who's right. He's the only one of St Lucia's political leaders who is even trying to make sense of the future.