ALLEN CHASTANET'S LITTLE DAVID PREPARES TO TAKE HIM TO HIS WATERLOO
That unapologetic accent.
That sometime-ish relationship with verb conjugation.
|Boug Bwa, Turtle, Winner|
His unmitigated truthfulness to himself and where he comes from. Of course, it all comes off as hilarious to St Lucian voters, who divide their leaders neatly in the classically educated (John, George, Vaughan, Kenny) and the Neg Marrons (Ol Man Bousquet, Cecil Lay and now, Harold Dalson). But unlike most of the boug bwa MPees before him, Harold Dalson is a card carrying intellectual. As Allen Chastanet found out, just because a university education filed to bleach out the Soufriere in his speech, doesn’t make him a clown.
But it sure does make him sound like one. And we are begin to suspect that Dalson likes it that way.
Which brings us to the point. Is Harold Dalson playing the boug bwa clownster on purpose? Is he monopolizing the underdog territory? Using reverse psychology to transform what has turned others into a laughing stock into a stealth tactic that cripples opponents?
Harold Dalson has beaten 'sweeter' sounding candidates twice. The first time he was one of only two new Labour candidates to survive the party’s defeat in the 2006 polls. The second time, he beat the future leader of the UWP, Allen Chastanet. In advance, so to speak. Chastanet had ten times more money to spend than Dalson. But Dalson, with his high pitched voice and deep Kontree accent, simply played the underdog, a David facing off against a Goliath. You know who won that fight. (To play on another old fable, doesn’t Dalson actually look like the steady old tortoise from THE TORTOISE & THE HARE? He does, doesn't he?)
Laugh still, Rabbit. Torti creeping....
It looks like Dalson is fighting against the odds all the time. But really, the first time, his government was in power and the second time, he was going up against someone who is the exact opposite of what he is. Or rather looks like. Harold Dalson is just as, if not more educated than Allen Chastanet. You have to have a masters to be a principal and teachers, as we all know, out rank all other professionals of the same rank by virtue of being THE MOST IMPORTANT PROFESSION IN THE WORLD. So not only is he more roots, he is also more ivory tower and his profession is the most respectable.
You see, Harold Dalson is not operating at a disadvantage with his comical accent and tortoise face. He has, in fact, used those very attributes to prove that he is more representative of people, by nature, than Allen Chastanet.
OMG!!! The Kracken!!!
He has also proven that he can slay that Jab la Mer once. Just because the Kracken (as the Jab la Mer likes to call himself cause he doesn't like Kweyol) is coming back in a new incarnation as leader of the UWP doesn’t mean Dalson can’t do it again. In fact, that probably gives him more pep, thinking that his party is relying on him to behead the UWP.
It’s something that black-tellectuals, middle classers and cultural aliens like Chastanet don’t understand about Neg Marrons like Dalson. Because you laughed at their funny accent, because you wrote them off as clowns and golliwogs, they have something to prove. They have to prove they are as good as or better than you. The role of the underdog is natural to them. (You want to ruin a good Neg, make him feel like the master.) Dalson has been playing this to the hilt, and Chastanet, through no fault of his own, has fallen into doing exactly what makes Dalson stronger – he tries to overwhelm, outspend and overrun him.
Everyone knows the only way to beat a Neg is to beat a path through the bush to places no real white man has ever gone before. Chas can visit those places physically, but the truth is, deep down inside where it counts, he really can’t 'go there.' He just can't get as far into the people's psyche.
What were we saying about Dalson being the underdog, again? Oh right. He's just playing one. Chastanet didn't give him the value for money in the last election campaign, so he's setting up to really make some mileage on the naïve little rich boy this time. This time around, Dalson is going to get to take down the leader of the UWP. After that, his prestige goes through the roof and everyone will remember just how serious, how powerful and how dangerous the comical, funny sounding Harold Dalson really is.