|"Of course I believe in you. You're the new John Compton," said the most equivocal man in St Lucia to the new Flambeau leader.|
Flambeaus big and small are pretending that Allen Chastanet is the new John Compton.
They praise his vision for tourism even though he offers nothing but the willingness to bend over backwards for all investors, conceding to them things that should never be conceded. They praise him even though what he really stands for is the exact opposite of what they need. For example, the owners of Soufriere’s best eco-tourism heritage resort imagine that Chastanet’s dreams of Miami-style mega-tourism will somehow redound to their benefit. Sad. It won’t. They’re not on his radar at all. They're political points in his book.
But the party is pretending he is the new John Compton anyway. Partly, it is because Flambeau has never been a team, just a bunch of followers behind a leader. They have only just learned the danger of not having a team in place who can disconnect a bad leader from his power base.
Partly, they are trying to scare Labour into thinking that Allen Chastanet is more than he really is. It’s working. Soon after Chastanet and the new team swept into the executive, swatting King and his lieutenants like flies and wiping them from the face of Flambeau’s power circles, the ruling party went into panic mode.
Labour called an emergency meeting of its heads.
|Labour leaders: What a bunch of babies!|
They wailed. They gnashed teeth. They clawed and bit at each other and quarreled and pined and whimpered, thinking that this was somehow an equalizer that put Flambeau back in competition. Labour, it seems, is buying into the myth of Allen Chastanet more than Flambeaus themselves.
|Stop your damned crying! Chas won't last!|
Flambeaus in the know already know that Chastanet is not in charge of Flambeau. Flambeau is in charge of him. Flambeau has to keep Mr Foot In Mouth on a tight leash if they hope to successfully achieve the remaking of their party, after the wanton self-destruction of the 2006-11 government. In a way, this bodes well for the emergent new Flambeau.
|The inmates who run Flambeau's asylum|
They are, for the first time, a true party, where the sum of the followers is greater than the executive and the sum of the executive is greater than the leader. Both the peasants and the snobs of Flambeau were fairly well organized against Stephenson King and company before they let Allen Chastanet know that he was the front man for their new boy band.
Some Flambeaus seem to have hope that he might actually amount to something. After all, Kenny Anthony was nothing to speak of in 1996, but within a year had morphed into a platform giant. The rest of Flambeau doesn’t even care who is political leader as long as they keep Richard Frederick and friends as far away from the power center of the party as possible.
Now that a new executive is in place and they have made some distance from the most disturbing thing in their party. Now they have to do some specialized political surgery to excise the most dangerous cancer from their party.
Their problem is that this surgery may take a bite out of Allen Chastanet in the end. After all, he was part of the 2006-11 government. And he was not the squeaky-cleanest one.
|Rare of photo of the infant Ti Chas|
On top of that problem, TiChas will make it even easier to get rid of him, by putting his foot in his mouth in a very public way at regular intervals. His father, Michael, while known as a very practical man, who despite his reservations, will not be caught not supporting his son’s greatest venture, will make things even worse, will only help TiChads’ demise. Michael can be counted on to, on occasion, put his foot in Allen’s mouth.
As Allen grows more impervious to public outrage and ridicule of his gaffs, he will probably venture to put his foot in Michael’s mouth, whereupon Michael will probably put his own foot in his own mouth, completing the Chastanet family tradition.
It is not the Chastanet’s fault that they are so predisposed. It’s a genetic condition.
Don’t judge. But don’t worry about facing an election against him either. It’s a waste of energy.
Regardless of when Labour calls the next election, Allen will turn out to be a loser. The only scenario in which TiChas wins a seat in parliament is if he escapes his own mouth and furthermore, successfully presses for the splitting of the Gros Islet seat and gets the bourgeois side to himself. In commercial and suburban Gros Islet, kweyol is not necessary, white people are as common a black people and just about everyone has foot in mouth disease.
Apart from that, he’ll lose any election he contests. You can tell by the way he is avoiding any by-election at present. And furthermore, TiChas may not even make it to the next general election. The Flambeau team wants a winner. They want a leader. Not just a new horse to pull the cart. Not just a janitor to do clean up after King.
And that’s exactly what TiChas is to them. The janitor.
Flambeau may be a better team than ever. But the truth is that Flambeau is still looking out for a leader.
More importantly, given the problems on both the domestic and international relations fronts, Labour’s biggest problem isn’t TiChas.
|I am not your biggest problem. YOU are!|