Monday, 5 August 2013


Some people just won't let others take a try

John Compton ruled St Lucia for so long that one can legitimately use the word 'rule' to describe his long administration. Since then, Kenny Anthony has managed to develop a political cult of personality that approaches Compton's.

In the small breach between these two most giant of St Lucian political giants, many potentially great leaders have been lost the island.  Some of them were destroyed by greater political strength, others faded away for less brutal reasons.

The bottom line, however, is that the long reigns of the two great giants, Compton and Kenny, have both deliberately and inadvertently obstructed and stifled the potential of other leaders who could have lead St Lucia to a different, perhaps better place.

Here now,  in no particular order (except for the first one) are THE FIVE GREATEST PRIME MINISTERS ST LUCIA NEVER HAD.

Educated,  well-read Neg-in-Chief
1.       HUNTER FRANCOIS: The most brilliant mind in St Lucia, perhaps up to this very day. Hunter Francois was and still is, in the twilight of his  days, a St Lucian Renaissance man. He’s the kind of guy that quotes Shakespeare in casual conversation and has great ideas on the reform of government for breakfast. But he wasn’t the greatest politician in the world. And so, while Compton recognized his genius and handed over the Prime Ministership to him in the early 70s, it was only a few weeks before Foxy wangled it back. What would we have gotten from a Francois Prime Ministership? Well, there might not have been a direct impact on the economy, but everyone who knows him can agree that there would have been a revolution in education. And that, my friends, is  what makes Barbados great. The first thing they did after independence was have an education revolution.

History will absolve him. And if it doesn't, I will...


1.       NEVILLE CENAC: Yes. Yes. Yes. I insist. The propagandist political history of St Lucia writes off Neville Cenac as the most vicious back-biting snake of all time. Many people will be offended to see him included in such an august list of gentlemen, thinkers and warriors. But a truthful reading of St Lucia history will prove that Neville Cenac was one of the most gracious gentlemen, insightful thinkers and brutal warriors of 20th century St Lucia. Chandel Mol, as he was affectionately known, was one of the truest social democrats of all time, fighting for the poor and resisting both capitalist exploitation and Stalinist dogmatism. He, more than anyone,  was responsible for the restoration of the Labour Party after its implosion and decimation after the 1982 election. The financial records will show that Neville Cenac was also one of the most honest and frugal servants of the people EVER!  All his greatness, however, is overshadowed by his last great act in politics, a ‘betrayal’ which was really just self-preservation against frenemies who aimed to annihilate him. What did they want him to do? Sit there and take it? Some like to forget that they created the prevailing myth of Cenac as Judas for political convenience. But history will not forget. (SPECIAL NOTE: The FLOGG owes great debt to the literary and oratorical  style of  the honorable Mr Cenac. He was one of the few who could meld both high standard English and grassroots kweyol into an intelligent and entertaining presentation. Vwai! The FLOGG is still at the level of swinging between the two, with some hip hop slang (which was not available to Cenac, otherwise he would have been an even greater killer on the microphone) thrown in. The FLOGG confesses to not yet have achieved half of  what Cenac achieved stylistically more than 30-40 years ago. But we’re trying, Mr Cenac. We’re trying.)

Coolie Che Guevara
MIKEY PILGRIM: Ex-Communist, financial genius and the best looking person,  man or woman,  ever to grace the political stage in the Eastern Caribbean. He was a master of social tai chi,  financial ninjitsu and on top of all that, he looked like Che Guevara,  except better! What more do you want out of a leader? Unfortunately, Mikey was playing Robin to George Odlum’s Batman (that’s right, Peter Josie, you were Alfred) and as everyone knows, Robin never grows up to be Batman. The implosion of the 1979-82 Labour Government brought an end to Mikey’s success in politics. He was actually leader of the interim government that kept things together until the 1982 election. His three month administration was appointed to oversee the stable transition from Labour’s failed government to a newly elected government. Mikey drifted away from Labour after that (or did Labour drift from itself?) and some years later John Compton, who had something of a muted social conscience of his own, recruited the ex-communist financial genius for his own party. But of course, crossing the floor is not taken kindly in this country and so that put a final end to his political ambitions. But imagined what a financial genius steeped in socialist principles could have done for St Lucia. Too bad he was too young and we weren’t ready yet.

4.       ROMANUS LANSIQUOT: This  guy was not the sharpest political player, neither was he the most earnest 
It's our loss, Lansi..
of all men. But Romanus Lansiquot made a name for himself in a time when most Flambeau ministers were disposable appendages of John Compton’s power. Lansiquot is the first Flambeau who ever considered it his duty to communicate with people. He held press conferences so often that the media was sick of him. But his persistent communication helped usher in a new era of government-media relations, one that culminated in the free press era, starting in 1997. He was a pioneer and a diplomat and with hindsight, one can see that John Compton made a big mistake passing over Lansi for the leadership of the party and the country when he decided to retire circa 1996.

           MAURICE MASON:  Flambeau’s philosopher. Of course, he, like Compton and the Bousquet boys, came from Labour. His premature death left a void in Flambeau that was never filled. Up to today, when most Labourites know BREAD, JUSTICE, FREEDOM better than the national anthem, most Flambeau’s don’t know what their party motto is. The original Flambeau was an alliance of George Mallet’s business party, the PPP and the most power savvy, people friendly of George Charles’ Labour. Mason, along with perhaps Compton, was one of  the few who even knew what political principles were,  much less have them. So much time has passed that few  people can think of what a Maurice Mason prime ministership might look like. However,  The FLOGG would like to remember this unique individual, as one of the best people who should have been prime minister, a Flambeau with a real philosophy, and one of the greatest of all St Lucian politicians. Hopefully,  now  that it’s on the record, his personal contribution to St Lucian politics and development will be further researched and documented.