Saturday, 22 February 2014

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE, LOSERS (Or SomeThings Lucians Can Actualy Be Proud Of)

St Lucia as a girl - so young and full of promise. Now she's obese and diabetic, unskilled and dependent.


If St Lucia was a 35-year-old person,  she would be broke, just a few steps from financial ruin, underworked, underpaid, uncreative and scamming her foreign boyfriends out of an ever-decreasing amount of money.

When we got Independence in 1979, the first thing we should have done was form some kind of Federation with other small islands. But having not done that, we needed food security. We didn’t do that and our cash crop carried us through an entire decade before the Berlin Wall fell directly on top of the Windward Island banana industry.

 It was tragic and hilarious at the same time.

In the 20-sum years since then, we have done absolutely nothing about food security, though, to our credit, we have talked about it an awful lot.

Mighty Banana. What a dick. Banana may be the most perfect food...
But everybody knows
That man shall not live by fig alone
Food security leads to food processing, which leads to a diversification of technological skills which leads to becoming Taiwan. St Lucia spent a long time trying to be Singapore, not realizing that Singapore is a strategically placed international port that has nothing in common with St Lucia.

For all the speeches you heard this weekend, replaying on NTN ad naseum for the benefit of those who deserve it, St Lucia is still, essentially, the same animal it was in 1979 before the British flag came down and the Tricolor Triangle went up. The computer has not been reprogrammed to be self-administrating. The creature has not been retrained to survive in the wild. Left on its own it will die.

And this horrible thing will remain true until such time as this island becomes a net contributor to the food and energy security of the world. This country is a drag. Apart from the artists, intellectuals, artists and agriculturists it has given the world, it is just one big liability.

The ancestors are ashamed.

Photo of actual Lucian ancestor being ashamed...

(Phew. I’m so glad I finally got that off my chest. And now, for something completely different:)




As bad as things are and have always been, it's not so bad to be born on a tropical island. And when it comes to tropical islands, St Lucia's pretty much up there with the best of them, not down there with the rest. Think if it this way: When people from Martinique see you with envy, you still have something going for you.

Having said that, you need to actually take account of what you have going for you. Compy, Odlum, George Charles. Lewis, Walcott, St Omer. Sammy, Spencer, whatever. We know that.

You get stuck in a rut if you can’t see the heroes right under your nose because you’re so busy deifying people who don’t need deification. You start thinking that maybe these people were exceptional and the rest of us can never be that great. And that’s the worst thing you should do because the whole point of hero worship is to make little kids look at a statue of a dead guy and say to himself, “Yeah, I want to be like that. I want them to raise statues when I die.”

Or better yet, met up with a live hero on the street and say something like, “Hey Kendel/Luther/Barbara, can you show me how to do this?”

Greatest is a thing you find in the most unlikely places. Especially places like this, small and surrounded by the sea. It’s in your community, it’s in your family, it’s probably in you. You have to know it when you meet it, because a lot of the time, greatness does not have any interest in blowing its own trumpet. You have to know it when you meet it and appreciate it because if you don’t, greatness will still be greatness and you will be the one who missed out.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet greatness, Lucian style. (The authors of this article mean, by no means, for it to be taken as an exhaustive survey.)

Beethoven, Bach, Buschel

IRMA BUSCHEL: I never get tired of talking about Luther Francois’ greatest or Boo Hinkson remarkable ability to negotiate the right situation. I’m still in love with Barbara Cadet. But Irma Buschel, I have to tell you about Irma Buschel, because if you don’t already know that she’s the greatest thing since toasters made sliced bread interesting, then you don’t know anything about Irma Buschel at all. Irma Buschel singlehandedly composed and performed the single greatest piece of St Lucian music since Luther Francois gave us the international revered work, Mon Du Don. Buschel’s contribution was the soundtrack for the play Malfinis, directed by Kendal Hippolyte for CARIFESTA. But soundtrack is a petty word for what Buschel produced for Hippolyte and his company. The correct word to express Buschel’s mindblowing music was ‘score.’ She scored the play, like a professional composer does for an opera. The play was a kind of horror story set somewhere between hell and a plantation in the early 20th century. The music was a post post-modern mix of all the musical ideas that anyone ever thought were no good. At first listen, you don’t get it. It’s not a bunch of songs. It’s a progression of sounds that have unpleasant results of your emotional state. But then, you get it. Buschel wasn’t just playing music. She was telling the truth. While all other music out there is trying to deceive us, make us feel good in bad times or make us feel powerful when in fact we are weak, Buschel simply made a piece of music that told the truth, not just about life on a plantation in the 1920s but about life in the early 21st century. All the parts of life that other songwriters avoid are in there: Guilt, shame, secrecy, defensiveness, cruelty, conspiracy, deliberate deception, all the things that make us human that we want to  avoid, Buschel wrote them down in sound and music. Her music broke all the rules. Time signatures that bind other musicians to their beats were toys to her. Scales and keys and even notes as we know them became flexible, changeable, almost unrecognizable things. Music is the master of many a man, but not Irma Buschel. Music was her bitch, doing what she wanted, when she wanted, breaking and remaking rules as though that was the only thing she could do with the rules. And then…silence. Long sustained silences like the night creeping across the land, enveloping even the mountains in the safety of the darkness. With all she had said in the music, with all she had to say, Buschel also understood what Miles meant when he said that sometimes you say the most by saying nothing at all. And that’s Irma. Hanging around Theo’s in Gros Islet, approachable, conversant, fun loving and social and yet, supremely silent, never even touching her own glory much less trumpeting it and as the world continues around her oblivious to the fact that they are in the company of greatness.

Original Lucian Rock Star

MACOLM MAGARRON: What? You still don’t know who Malcolm Magarron is and why that is critically important? Okay, youth, here is what you do. You find out for youself on the internet. But then, you also go to every adult St Lucian you know and ask them about Malcolm Magarron. Everyone who knows something about Malcolm Magarron and why he is important is part of your solution in life. Everyone who knows nothing about Malcolm Magarron is part of the problem the world is facing now.
Nerd of the Century

EDSEL EDMUNDS: Your teacher told you he was a diplomat and the internet confirmed. But look deeper and you will find an important scientist who made a global contribution to  the banana industry. Edmunds should go down in history as the greatest nerd in the history of the island and that’s counting Lewis and Walcott. While the two Nobel Prize winners were out there working their way up the ladders that led to fame, Edmunds was down in the dirt that they talked about in their books, solving an actual problem. Banana plants were not giving the yields we needed and Edmunds noticed that the plants looked sick. Under a microscope, he found little tiny vampire worms in the dirt had been sucking the life out of the plants. His discovery saved the banana industry in many countries from a sickness they couldn’t even see.
God's Country. Too bad He left Man with Power of Attorney...

SMMA/PMA/WHS: With a mixture of pride and shame, we include the Qualibou Caldera on this list. Pride, because it confirms to the world that we are something unique, in world of Pyramids, Himalayas and Taj Mahals. Shame because we’re selling the World Heritage Site as real estate. It’s like we’re not just selling the goose, we’re shooting it first and selling it by the pound. Shame on the government. Shame on the planning ministry. Shame on the landowners. Shame on us all for turning a blind eye.

MERLE GODDARD: Microbiologist who makes preserved food safe for some of the biggest companies in the world. You know what that means? We have, in the national skill set, the ability to process and preserve complex foods. You know what that means, nigger? It means mangoes and coconuts never need to rot, ever again. We can turn every single edible thing in the country into money. Or at least food for later.

JOHN PHULCHERE: If John Phulchere lived anywhere in the developed world, people would be clamoring to be the one who made him famous, the one who got him the best deal, the one who got him the highest price. Unfortunately, he is from St Lucia, the one place in the world that produces high art but has no appreciation for it at all. He doesn’t care. He’s still the only person anyone knows who produce portraits that look like they were painted with candlelight and sculptures that look like they might sweat or burst into tears.

ZANE PIERRE: Not because he’s Zane Pierre, but because he is currently the premiere symbol of enduring excellence in St Lucian football in spite of institutionalized neglect, chronic misorganization and all manner of unspeakable bullshit. Praise Jah Trinidad as a pro-league that Lucians can defect to. If not for that, St Lucia would be the most suicidal place in the world to be a great footballer. No lie, bro. The Iraqi footballers have better facilities than our ballers.
The audacity of heterodoxy, the triumph of levity...

LUCIAN BOBO SHANTI: For bringing back honor and dignity to the livity of Ras Tafari in this island, even though it is at the cost of orthodoxy.

YOUNG FARMERS: If there is one set of people who will save this country from its leaders, it’s the young farmers. In spite of government’s failure of deliver the lands and the support needed to boost agricultural diversification, in spite of the collective failure to recognize food security as the foundation of nation building (unless you’re a Hun), young people have recognized that the future of money is in food. From young bank tellers to young drug dealers, the youth are going back to the land.

LUCIAN HACKERS: Hacking in St Lucia used to be limited to fellas trying to crack the firewalls of their jabal’s Facebook page and phone. But over the last year in particular, it seems like some hackers got serious and started hacking the right people for the right reasons. The results have been in the news and have been to everyone’s benefit. Well, almost everyone. Okay, I’m talking too much about something that should not even be spoken of. Moving on…

GANJA FARMERS: I don’t want to say too much, but I have to tell the truth: Lucian weed got better. Waaay better. It’s like local ganja farmers read a book or something. Right now, as we speak, fellas in the hills are translating micro-biological terms into kweyol. No lie, dread. An amazing number of ordinary ganja smokers and growers have decided to be scientific about their stuff. And in no time you can see the results. And smell it. And smoke it. But I digress. It used to be that it one guy offered you a local and another guy offered you a Vinci, you’d take the Vinci. But now? You mad! Lucian weed is top grade. If only our government would find some way to help us sell this stuff to Holland. Help us make legal Euros. In return, we’ll pay VAT. Plus, you can tax five bags if you want. We’ll play a license fees too. And pay VAT on the domestic stuff, too. Not to mention that you get to turn a generation of young criminals into enterprising agriculturists, like magic.

DRENIA FREDERICK/DAVINA LEE: As we get used to the idea of jumping straight from theater into audio/visual features, bypassing the whole tie up of television and film production, two young female directors have emerged as top ting in the future of St Lucian performance. Drenia Frederick has emerged as the dramaturge par excellence, the heir of Hippolyte and other great theater directors. Davina Lee, meanwhile, has emerged as the cinematographer par excellence. While the rest of the Lucian camerati are either tech zombies or amateurs with ambition, Lee is a tech saavy artist with an eye, not just for perfection, but for the composition of the shot.

KENDEL HIPPOLYTE: You really thought I was going to be able to resist this, Mr Hippolyte. Ha. That’s funny. Okay, for the benefit of the humble master, let us digress for a moment. Kendel Hippolyte is perhaps the youngest of the generation of writers who came after Walcott. Now, you have to understand that Walcott himself is not an isolated case of genius, he is the apex of a generation of unrelenting genius that included Stanley French and Roddy Walcott. Having established that Walcott was the tallest tree in the forest, it became easy for lazy people to neglect the fact that there were other tall trees that we could climb and see the world from. I got lucky. Kendel Hippolyte was my literature teacher. But that generation also gave us Garth St Omer, MacDonald Dixon, John Robert Lee. Okay, I realize now that Kendel is not one of that generation. He comes later. But that’s how great he is. His influence has surpassed that of the entire generation between him and Walcott. And unlike Walcott, Hippolyte is a great director as well as a great writer. Many Lucians don’t know this, because they see this mystic dread on the bus and could never imagine that they were rubbing shoulders with someone whose legacy is greater than that of any living Lucian political leader. But leave St Lucia with him and see how fast you learn that in some places, this man is a demigod and everywhere he works, he leaves a little legend behind him and transforms someone’s life.





The following is the transcript of the Labour Prime Minister’s magnanimous address at the unveiling of a statue of Flambeau’s founder Sir John Compton, given on the eve of Independence Day, 2014.

“This monument is a slap in the face of the last Flambeau government who didn’t have the guts or the integrity to put it up when they had the chance.
“This monument is revenge against Flambeaus for naming the stadium after George Odlum, appropriating the name of the greatest leftist mind-bender in the island’s history to their infernal right-wing, fake-conservative cause.
“This monument is a constant reminder that John Compton’s wife and children want nothing to do with the current version of Flambeau and thought that if the current members of the opposition party had raised the statue of their founder during their administration, it would have done nothing but damage Compy’s legacy.
“This monument is nothing but a play on the political chess board to the Labour Government. A distraction, a smokescreen, an excellent opportunity for one-up-man-ship.
“This monument was a total waste of money. It’s the kind of thing that John Compton would never take money out of our pockets to pay for. The brother was not interested in statues. He was interested in highways and dams and tunnels. But the last Flambeau government already wasted the money, so the current Labour government figured, ‘Hey, why not collect the political capital on this before Lucians lose their bloody minds and make Allen Chastanet prime minister?’
“This monument is not pretty. It’s a statue of Compy after all the prettiness had evaporated from him and all that was left was a leathery old bastard. This monument should have portrayed Compy as a young political pirate lying down in the way of a bulldozer during a plantation protest. He was much more handsome back then. But the high class bastards in Flambeau’s smoky back rooms and towers don’t want to remember the part of history where he was a bad ass. They just want to remember the parts where he was the best friend of the ‘opportunity class.’
“This monument does nothing to illuminate St Lucian history or enlighten St Lucian politics. In fact, it is just another political football. But to hell with it. Flambeau did it to themselves. So they can suck it.”
Wait. That’s not what he said?
Well, that’s what he should have said.

Friday, 14 February 2014


But Because He’s A Hero, Not A Traitor

Anyone who doesn’t think by now that Edward Snowden did the world a huge favor is wearing blinders. They just haven’t thought it through. Snowden put the secret powers of government back under public scrutiny and rebalanced a democracy that was falling into exactly the trap that Osama bin Laden hoped it would.

Limiting freedom to fight terror has its merits. In WWII, Roosevelt rationed gas and controlled prices, something that would have been considered if the second Iraq War was in any way justified.

But attacking privacy on the kind of wholesale global scale opens intelligence communities up to abuses. Those abuses were already taking place when Snowden did what he did.

Snowden’s critics argue that he should have found a better way to do what he did. He should have used the right channels. But that’s what freedom fighters have always been told as they burnt passports and  plantation houses, dumped tea in the harbor, broke salt and textile monopolies and defied segregation and apartheid laws. Snowden read history right when he broke the law to reveal the truth and restore some balance between freedom and security.

But when he ran away and ‘Assanged’ himself in Russia,  he read Scripture and literature wrong.

From Mandela all the way back to guys like  Jesus and Buddha,  the people we have come to think of as Gandhians have exemplified  a model of non-violence that the military industrial complex and the elites of money, politics and academia seem to have no long term defense against. In the long run, Snowden will win. He has already been absolved by history in all but the most paranoid political, military and intelligence circles.

Where Snowden is going wrong is that he has to face the consequences of his actions, face down the injustice in ‘justice’ pay an unfair penalty for an indefinite period until the society itself rebels against the injustice that locks him up. The examples of Christ, Bahuallah, Mandela.  MLK, Gandhi all show  that this is his most profitable course of action.

It was Dostoevsky who best explained why a guy should pay for a crime that shouldn’t be a crime at all. The theory is part Crime and Punishment and partly from the section in The Brothers where he makes that argument about bread versus freedom.
You see, when a law is unjust, it is still a law. Those who break the law to fight its injustice must also be willing to pay the penalty for breaking a law out of respect and love for the society they are helping…by breaking the law. Breaking the law attacks the law, but paying the penalty attacks the injustice of the law directly. Paying an unjust penalty also helps create consensus, which is always helpful when you’re fighting the Roman Empire or the NSA or whatever. It helps people who  wouldn’t break the law  agree that the law is unjust and needs either modification or abolishment.

Running away (especially when you finally run out of ammunition) only helps  people who  are already on your side sell more books.

Edward Snowden still has loads of ammunition left, so he has time on his side.  In fact, right now, he is not so much running away as he is in a standoff. But if I were him, I would figure out a mid-to-long term strategy for how to secure the ammunition/information  and then I would turn myself in.

If the US Government can’t see the sense in pardoning a guy from breaking the law for a very good reason then they deserve what they get for imprisoning that guy. It will be their loss. Snowden has already been absolved by history.

They want a martyr…give them a martyr.




In which we get a brief history of recent surveillance of St Lucian leaders, learn how they called it on themselves and consider what situation we are in now.

On, January 17, 2014, US President Barack Obama made a funny speech where he joked that the US will do more to protect individual privacy while doing almost nothing at all to restrict American government surveillance of everyone and everything.

Obama, moments after promising to curb mass surveillance

As it was very high brow humor, most people would not get the jokes, unless they are explained – which, of course, sucks all the funny out of it. Suffice it to say that technology has overtaken the primitive human notion of privacy and there’s nothing that Obama can do about it.

Most people also probably don’t realize that Obama’s speech on the American spy machine has serious implications in the Eastern Caribbean.
"I don't understand. It's like insects are attracted to my phone.
I wonder if anyone else has this kind of problem with bugs."

But when Obama said that leaders of friendly nations would no longer have their communications intercepted, was Kenny Anthony on that list? Or is he still on the list of people who should be watched because of his failure to co-operate on investigations into the police, his stalling of inquiries about a former minister and his fetish for flirting with communists, Iranians and other people who write poetry about destroying America.

Kenny Anthony was once considered the most highly respected prime ministers in the small islands by the US State Department. But while  recent developments in Iran have lessened pressure on him to get the hell of out ALBA, his continued stalling on implementing US State Department recommendations relating to the police force remain a major impediment to better relations between the US and St Lucia.

And so, he might still be subject to non-stop surveillance – and not just by the US. Even if  the  Americans decide he’s a good friend and doesn’t deserve being spied on, Chinese, Taiwanese, British and Iranian sources all have Kenny’s  number. And it seems he’s none the wiser.


George Odlum: The person dangerous person to never be phone tapped

In the old days of George Odlum and Maurice Bishop, the spies had to be here, pretending to be a person on your side. Nowadays, the spy is in a factory shell in the middle of West Virginia  or whatever, listening a Caribbean leaders posture and pose and lie on the phone and on the internet.

Ever since the 2020-11 extra-judicial police killings and the Dudus affair in Jamaica, St Lucia became a prime Caribbean target for American surveillance. The American surveillance of St Lucia may not have been sparked off by then opposition leader Kenny Anthony and his minions crying on the shoulder of anyone in the US Embassy in Bridgetown every chance they got. But it certainly didn’t hurt.
Scene hot.Dudus talking...

The financial jimmy-flicks, fast-talkery and self-serving audacity of the then Flambeau government was what really brought the heat down on St Lucia. Members of that government were the subject of criminal investigations from Europe as well as attracting surveillance from as far away as Morocco. That was not a joke. I am not making this up. Morocco was using ‘every means necessary’ to keep tabs on at least one St Lucian minister in the Flambeau government. Smh.
"You think we forget about you, Kafir.
You take our money but you no build stadium.
You no build nothing.
"You think we forget?"

When Labour came into power, they had a real shot at making all this go away. After all, Labour foreign allies (communist China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran) were happy to see their friends in power while Flambeau’s  special friends (Taiwan, America, Taiwan and of course,  Taiwan) were pissed out of their minds at the betrayals, corruptions and excesses of the men who propped up Stephenson King’s government. Kenny Anthony could have been like Bob Marley, causing old rivals to join hands on the St Lucian stage.

Every single nation on the planet except North Korea was rooting for Labour in December 2011. All they had to do was something called The Right Thing. They didn’t even have to do it for the right reason.

The US wanted to take part in a special investigation of the cops, they wanted St Lucia to back away from ALBA and to stop pretending to be half-assed communists in the United Nations. It was so simple that you didn’t even have to do all of it.

The only thing Kenny Anthony had to do was implement the recommendations of the US State Department report wholesale and let the chips fall where they may. He got that report by January 2012. If he had done that, all that heat about ALBA and subbing US Vice President Joe Biden would not have been such a big deal. And the blacklisting of Lucian cops would never have happened.

But for some reason, the brightest prime minister in the Caribbean could not do The Right Thing even though the US pressured for it, his Cabinet colleagues begged for it and it was written down in point form in black and white in a language that even a law professor would easily understand. A year and a half after first ignoring the report, he called a special investigation but gave the US the middle finger by leaving them out of it. People in the international community (and the cabinet) began thinking that maybe Kenny Anthony was deliberately  frustrating progress on this issue.

They started thinking that Kenny Anthony had something to hide.
Oh Lord, Jason, why you have to bring this up?
I thought you were my friend...

What effect do you think that had on the surveillance of St Lucian leaders? That’s right. It made things worse.

It was for this reason that ALBA became a bigger issue here than it was in any other island. Things that were no big deal anywhere else were being used as leverage against St Lucia. Then the Iranians who were using ALBA to infiltrate the Western Hemisphere arrived in St Lucia and the surveillance of St Lucia escalated to levels previously experienced only by Cuba and Venezuela in this region.


Meanwhile, the Labour government was clueless when it came to cyber-security.

The Flambeau government was clueless, attracting endless negative attention and  surveillance, while acting with impunity as though they were not just immune but innocent, no matter how  bad what  they did was.
St Lucia Parliament
also known in the international intelligence community as
"The Sitting Ducks"

Everyone in the international community knew Kenny Anthony’s Labour was smarter than that.  Unfortunately, Kenny & Company were merely playing a different game from Flambeau. And they were doing it all without any more security than setting their phones to withhold their numbers. Because that’s what PhD’s are for.

While attracting the attention of intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the Far East, North America and Europe, St Lucian government leaders merrily continued on their way as though it was still 1969. None of them use encryption on their phones or computers, very few use dedicated, secret emails, very few of them use proxies or VPNs and very few even know what a TOR Browser is.

And so, novice who has read Hacking for Dummies can gain access to the personal information has all the tools he needs to gain access to the most secret data of St Lucia whether it be personal or national.

(You can just imagine US and Taiwanese officials shaking their heads when St Lucian officials try to mamaguy them.)

Please Jah, tell me Barack isn't listening to my calls, anymore..

The most accurate answer to that question is, “Don’t be ridiculous. Of course he is.” This part is reasoned speculation, because we at The FLOGG considers the US to be our friends and we must allow them enough room to plausibly deny that they ever did what they have always done.

Obama promised to not to spy on friendly leaders anymore. But surveillance technology is like disease and nukes and other stuff that came out of Pandora’s  box. You can close the box but you can’t put the stuff  back in. Once it’s out, it’s out.

One understands that America has to make the world feels more safe as it continues the exercise of godlike powers that the rest of us are only just beginning to develop. (Or in the case of St Lucia, doing our best to stifle.) But one also understands that no one gives up and advantage especially when other people would never give  up their advantages either.

This is not even to mention that Kenny Anthony, personally, has pissed America off,  for no better reason than protecting a person that he made everyone think was ‘the most dangerous.’  It’s like he ratted out a child abuser and then when the police came, he wouldn’t help them find the bastard.
Kenny, is that you flirting with Iran?
I thought we were just joining ALBA, bro...

When Iran’s new President started flirting with Barack Obama, the US pressure on Kenny went down considerably, because now ALBA is just an organization of pretend Chavos instead of the radical threat it would be if Iran was still digging for uranium in Bolivia.

But as the continued US blacklisting of Lucian cops demonstrates, America is not yet ready to kiss and make up. They want something very specific from Dr Anthony.  And until he gives it to them, you can probably safely bet that they are very, very interested in every lie he tells, every secret he keeps, every single breath he takes.








Dear Nina,
What does it feel like to be a gift to an entire nation?
The power of one excellent person to lift the spirit of an entire nation has been proven repeatedly on this little island. Nobel Prizes and what not, the top end of St Lucia excellence has always been the best stuff internationally.
But even though Tourist Board totally dropped the ball when it comes to exploiting this media moment, even though SLAP had to tell the government, on Facebook, that the nation needed to do something special in this moment, the nation has collectively decided that this is a moment worth celebrating together.

Thanks Nina.

You brought the entire Compton family together for a national celebration during a Labour administration. (Which is, by the way, going to be quickly followed up by the unveiling of the bust of Sir John in time for Independence celebrations. Poor Flambeau is so busy firing each other that the staff of Coco Palm is getting more mileage out of this than they are.)

You caused highly competitive media companies to collectively put aside their differences and all pirate the same program at the same time in the spirit of nation pride. Except for DBS, which was featuring somebody named Jada Something Something being interviewed by a person who wasn't Clinton Reynolds.

You caused soca artistes to openly praise your mother’s superior anatomical capacity…or something equally unmentionable…

You caused Jason Sifflet to write about a person who cooks. That has never happened before.

Don’t get me wrong. While you are the hottest thing out right now, people who usually go to country and western dances on Wednesday night still went. People who hang out in bars where the music kills the conversation and the tv monitor plays sports that no one really watches still…did whatever people in that situation do…I don’t know…I can’t stand those places.

But I must confess that everywhere that people were engaged in conversation in eyeshot of a television set, they were watching you and to a large extent talking about what a goddam, relentless, unmitigated winner you are.

I, myself, am not the least bit interested in cooking shows. But there I was, fascinated with the effect that a single person committing repeated acts of excellence can have on a nation trapped in an intractable, protracted depression.

You have lit a great fire at home and in the Diaspora. And also, you gave mad scientists like me a chance to see how excellence, media coverage and intense social participation can produce interesting capital.

Warm yourself on that. By the way, you wouldn't be interested in politics, would you? The way things are going here...nevermind....



So the prime minister is telling St Lucians to get real about crime and do their part.

Makes you want to laugh to prevent yourself from crying. After all, Kenny Anthony has made himself look like the number one obstruction to the investigation of the biggest, most problematic criminal cases on the island. I’m not saying that he is. I’m saying that’s what he made it look like.
Please Dr Anthony...don't make me angry.
You won't like me when I'm angry.

When a tourist like Pratt get viciously beaten, robbed and killed, that gets a lot of international press, because it’s easy to relate to. But that doesn’t mean it is the really big criminal story of St Lucia. The infrequent attacks on tourists are just that – infrequent. Isolated. Not really part of a chronic problem.

Unless that problem is the cancer that is killing the Royal St Lucia Police Force.

The really big story is what it has been since before Kenny Anthony was prime minister. It is a problem that Kenny Anthony is very aware of because he identified the problem more clearly than anyone else and called it “the most dangerous development.”

But ever since getting back into office, Kenny Anthony has deliberately and consistently failed to co-operate with efforts to, ahem, shall we say, resolve the problem. In fact, his actions have only made things worse.


If the prime minister of the country won’t  co-operate with efforts to investigate the biggest, stinkiest, most internationally damaging criminal problem in St Lucia…why should a regular citizen put himself out to rat out a little coke runner or midnight robber or tourist assaulter?

The same goes for Commissioner Vernon Francois who wants civilians to do their share in crime prevention while he effectively shelters the entire force – good guys and bad guys – from investigations into the extra-judicial killings under the last administration. Although, to be fair, Francois’ vision of what a police force is requires good socialists like Kenny to improve to social development infrastructure so that anyone who has criminal ideas truly deserves a kick in the ass. And Kenny promised to be that good socialist.

Not that this excuses the protection of potentially criminal elements in the police force and the people who commanded their extra-judicial operations.

Perhaps, the prime minister and the police commissioner think that they are targeting their comments to an international audience of tourists and potential tourists. But when it comes to the domestic audience and the people who pull strings on the outside world, the moral high horse won’t run when Kenny Anthony and Vernon Francois are riding it.

Not until they do what you know that I know that they know they haven’t done.



King had to go.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the wrong straw. After all, the opposition leader doesn’t have inform anyone that he has to attend a meeting of the highest disaster response authority in the land. He has to attend that meeting and then, perhaps, report back so that his party can co-ordinate its disaster relief efforts and or political responses. King was not doing a great job of being opposition leader, but in the moment after the Christmas rain storms, he was actually doing the job they accused him of not doing. His disaster response protocol was the wrong reason for precipitating an end to his tenure as leader of the opposition. It was the wrong reason to humble him.

But King had to go.

And Allen Chastanet had to make sure that the person who took King’s place was beholden to Allen Chastanet, would speak with Allen Chastanet’s voice and would not feel good making a move without Allen Chastanet up their butt.

Unfortunately, such a person does not exist and in his short time as political leader of Flambeau Allen Chastanet has not showed any signs of cultivating such loyalties.

And so, Chastanet is forced to choose the only person with a stupider accent than he does: Gail Rigobert.

The whole thing looks good on the surface. With Rigobert, UWP has created a historic first female Opposition Leader of St Lucia. She was also not part of the last UWP administration and that certainly helps. These factors propelled her to the junior deputy leadership of the party ahead of all the veterans and newcomers who contested the last UWP executive election. And, in spite of her insistence on talking in an accent that can’t make up its mind whether it’s British or Yankee, she can’t be any worse than Sarah Flood-Beaubrun (the former political virgin who went on to betray her party in order to prevent doctors from having the power to save pregnant women’s lives, create the opening in which Richard Frederick would become a national, regional and international pain in the ass and from there get promoted to Caribbean Grand Inquisitor of Gays, Condom Users, Contraceptive Users and Others Who Would Rather Exercise The Free Will God Gave Them Rather Than Do What Sarah Says God Wants Them To Do. And yes, that is actually her real current job description. Lol.)

In choosing Rigobert, Chastanet appears to be leading the country in the right direction. Unfortunately, the right direction may not include Chastanet. Consider this:

Rigobert currently occupies the safest Flambeau seat in the entire universe. The notion that she might give up the seat in order to install her erstwhile and beloved leader has already been rejected as something so far out of the realm of possibility that no one can admit that it was ever even discussed. Chastanet, meanwhile, still lingers in political no man’s land.

So basically, Chastanet has done nothing to secure his politically existence and has ended up promoting the one person in the Flambeau executive who needs him the least.

The one person who Flambeaus, Labourites and independents all agreed would have been the right person to lead the party to complete renewal in the post-Compton era.

Genius. It’s like he’s committing suicide because he realizes he’ll be bad for St Lucia, but not before making sure that Flambeau is safe from the forces that made King a spineless, dangerous leader. If Chastanet was doing this on purpose, he would be a selfless hero. Unfortunately, he’s still hoping that Kenny and Company call elections before Flambeau comes to its senses and makes Rigobert the undisputed heavyweight champion of the United Workers Party.

Kenny, meanwhile, is weighing his options. The last time he delayed an election hoping for things to get better, John Compton taught him an unforgettable lesson. But the thought of losing to Allen Chastanet at anything must be enough to give any genius pause. If only Kenny could count on Flambeau to act reasonable and do the right thing for the good of their party, he could just wait to face Rigobert in the next election and be sure that no matter the outcome at least Allen Chastanet will never get his chance to ‘fon’ St Lucia.

Unfortunately, Flambeau has shown no sign that they are learning how to act reasonably in a timely fashion. Looking how long to get rid of King. And even when they finally did the right thing, they still did it at the wrong time in the wrong way. And then, they put a cherry on top by firing King’s staff in the Opposition Leader’s office instead of trying to find some way to transfer these long-serving but dangerous Flambeaus to jobs where they could do harm.

Roll over, Compy. Roll over. You don’t want to see this play out.





Is Labour borrowing from Trinidad to pay salaries and wages?

If government has a $25 million overdraft facility that refreshes every three months from CDB for this purpose, why are we borrowing from the Trinis? Is the $25 million for this quarter already spent? I mean, committed.

More to come.


Civil war in Flambeau. That's exactly what some people want and unfortunately, that's exactly what Allen and Gail Rigobert seem to be giving them.
I mean, how hard was it to find jobs for those King loyalists in the Opposition Leader's office, instead of making them redundant.
But it really shows that the new leadership of the United Workers Party is really willing to make the old leadership a more potent enemy than the ruling St Lucia Labour Party.
That's why they picked exactly the wrong moment to pull King's pants down and spank him.
It almost sounds like a funny movie about making a porno. It would be totally hilarious if it wasn’t,  somehow,  true. You know what? It’s funny, in spite of the fact that it’s true.

First of all, Allen Chastanet showed us all exactly how much political game he has when he beat King for the leadership of the party but left him as opposition leader. That wasn’t magnanimity, that was stupidity. This wasn’t a case of Julian Hunte winning a contest for leadership that did not include Neville Cenac. This was a case of beating a guy for doing shate and then leaving him there to do more shate. If King was bad enough to remove as political  leader, if he is such a macoumere for Richard Frederick’s political manhood, then he should have been replaced with one of Chastanet’s loyal parliamentary deputies as soon as possible.

Flambeaus rightly claim that King is acting like a bitch, not co-operating with anything, not showing up for executive meetings and generally using the opposition leader’s chair the way a potato uses a couch. He’s still hurt that not only did St Lucians  reject him but Flambeaus rejected him as well. And worse yet, they rejected him for little mongrel shabine rich boys…both times!

So when King traipsed off to a government-led disaster response meeting, it seemed only right that his political leader and party executive should discipline him for that.

No.  Wait. That actually doesn’t make any sense at all.

You mean to tell me that Chas and Company were lying in wait for King to do some shate for them to jump him, and this is what they chose? A disaster response meeting? Aiyaiyai,  eh…(face slap).

Just when you thought St Lucian politics couldn’t get any stupider…Allen Chastanet’s Flambeau decides to discipline Stephenson King for not calling him to say, “Dread, I have to go to a disaster response committee meeting.”

Chastanet and friends might think they are stamping authority on the party, but all they are doing is alienating a guy who can still win his seat, even though he is hopeless at governing a country. And they are making themselves look they’re suffering from some kind of inflammation of the lack of judgment. To make things worse for them, Kenny Anthony’s Labour has shown a penchant for absorbing all of Flambeau’s defectors with the obvious exceptions of Rufus  Bousquet, Marcus Nicholas and Richard Frederick – three guys who are hell bent on dying friendless anyway.

Now King is fanning the flames of new party talk, but everyone knows that Richard Frederick with his hands up King’s butt making him say things that he could never imagine much less accomplish. The aim, obviously, is to threaten Flambeau with a force that could divide the party’s base in the Castries Basin and realistically take two seats (Castries Central and North) out of Flambeau’s parliamentary pocket.