Sunday, 17 August 2014

TOURISM'S APARTHEID AGENDA - ARE HOTELS INHERENTLY RACIST?

AND IS ALLEN CHASTANET WILL HELP THEM ACHIEVE THEIR MISSION
You call that a Queen's Chain?
Shit. That's not even a Lady in Waiting's Chain.
 

What on earth would Boo Hinkson steal from a hotel?

What would Mae Wayne steal? Why would hotel security, on a small island, where everyone knows everyone, subject people who had no need to steal to searches?

I’m trying to avoid the conclusion that hotel tourism in St Lucia is inherently racist. Tourism is necessary. And fun. I mean, who in their right mind does not want to make millions by cooking for, partying with and cleaning up after people with disposable income?

And hang out with drunk women who are definitely leaving next week. Tourism is a great idea for anyone who has excess beach, relatively good weather and peace.
Click. Take a pic.
Cos you can't trust your politicians not to sell it.
(The bastards would probably blame it on Boz if they could.)
 

But…

The evidence is increasingly against me. More and more, the evidence points to the single conclusion that all right-thinking, modern, multi-racial St Lucians want to avoid.

It’s racist. From the north to the south of the island, hotel tourism is implementing apartheid policies. Not just against black people. Against St Lucians in general. Unless, you have one of those special passes and general recognition amongst the plantation owners, Lucians are not welcome in Rhodesia.

I mean, amongst hotel managers and owners on the hotel complex. What did I say? I didn’t compare hotel tourism with the Belgian Congo, did I?  Because that would be unfair.

Me dat say it.
Tell them, Jacquot say tourism is Belgian Congo.
In their MDC!
 

But Rhodesia, yes. South Africa, yes. Hotel tourism is building a new apartheid. And no matter which party rules St Lucia, the local chieftains co-operate. They collaborate. They even instigate the implementation of tourism apartheid.

It’s not just Allen Chastanet who will sell St Lucia until there is nothing left to sell. Allen Chastanet wasn’t the one who told Discovery Bay to pay construction workers EC$100 when the contractors were ready and willing to pay U$100.  Who did that?

That’s another story. Let’s give this person time to 'fess up or stew, while we deal with something bigger.

Hey kid! WTF? This is a private beach!

 

 
Allen Chastanet is just the most honest about the nature of the beast. In his own words, “If St Lucians want to prevent the selling of the beach, they have to make that decision for themselves.” Which means they can’t count on him to protect the beaches from sale, if he becomes prime minister. He’ll sell the beaches. He tried once. He’ll try again.
"Beat it! Beat it! The hotel owns the beach, so beat it!"
 
At least Allen Chastanet is honest. “Food security is bullshit,” he told me, boldfaced, in our first and last interview, just before he used Richard Frederick to wipe the floor with Stephenson King, in Flambeau’s last leadership contest.

Which means, fishermen and farmers can expect to get totally screwed over, if he ever becomes prime minister, or even tourism minister, again.

Not that Labour is any different. More than one beach in St Lucia has been ‘sold’ and now belongs to the hotel rather than to the nation and people of St Lucia, because of the deliberate foolishness of the St Lucia Labour Party. They let these hotels end up owning the beach. They pretended to fight.
Labour is just full of ass when it comes to tourism.
They have Ray and Nobby fighting all alone for Tourist Board's soul. And none of them are stepping in.

 
At least Allen Chastanet is honest.  He’ll sell all of us to the 21st century Gold Coast traders. But then, he’s not any different from Lorne or Menissa or Pip. They all sold us, piece by piece. Allen is just foolish enough to announce your sale to you in the national media as though it was a good thing and you should be grateful.

He’s just the messiah who, it was foretold, would return St Lucia to the hands of the people who owned it in the first place. You know, the pirates, the slave owners, the colonists and the sea merchants. Whatever version of them exists in the 21st century.

The Amerindians? They didn’t own shit. They just lived here. Died. Whatever. They were savages. They didn’t even know how to own.

Which brings us closer to the core of the problem. You can almost smell it. It looks like a hotel operator. But it’s not. It’s a hotel investor. Apparently, those are two completely different things.

WHO WANTS LESS BEACH?

WTF, DUDES?

Hotel investors are a funny thing. The people who build hotels probably have no interest in running it. They’re looking to sell it. Flip it. The new owners are probably real hotel operators. They’re looking to cut corners. There are all kinds of permutations and configurations of these two categories. They are called worthless conmen, middlers who talk a lot and do very little. It’s not the best situation in which to do business. But…

That’s the way things are all over.

But somehow, in the Caribbean, there’s an even more insidious character to hotel tourism that you can’t really find on Miami Beach. I wonder if it happen in other places in the world.

First of all, in Miami, more beach is good beach. Nobody builds on the beach. In fact, they import sand by the ton in order to turn non-beach areas into beach.

Miami Beach. Notice how much bigger the Queen's Chain is.
And they don't even have a Queen's Chain.
They're just using common sense.

 

 
 

Not so in the small islands. Investors will build in the water if you let them. Somehow, every hotel investor who ever built a hotel in St Lucia was intent on murdering the beach and would have succeeded if he wasn’t held back to save the political career of some corrupt nigger or coolie. They still manage to rape the beach and to prevent its recovery, which I guess, must suffice, until Kenny lets Allen win the next election.

Instead of preserving more beach, they build right up as close the water as they can. This is not to maximize profits for high impact tourism investors. This is to crowd the beach with tourists so that locals are dissuaded from being in ‘visitor areas’.

Basically, it’s psychological warfare.

Hotels vs locals, for the prize possession of the islands, the sunshiny beach.

It is the most visibly obvious evidence of hotel tourism sinister secret agenda. But it is by no means the only evidence.

A SHORT LIST OF TOURISM’S APARTHEID CRIMES

They’re constantly making ‘public access’ more uncomfortable and invisible.

They’re constantly trying to violate the Queen’s Chain and constantly taking every opportunity to own the beach. Why? To keep you out, you stinky little Lucian mongrel.

Staycation guests and workers confess that the Staycation vacation is not on the same level with the foreign visitor vacation. Why? To keep you out AND take your money at the same time, you damned fool. You could have stayed at a nice local guest house in Gros Islet or Canaries. But you want to live like the Joneses.

Go on with your bad self. Give them your money to export. Act as if Balenbouche and Fond Dou don't exist. Couyon!

Sunrise in Gros Islet.
Poor jab. You missed it.
You stayed at  big hotel.
 

Security searches have an increasingly racist pattern. Locals who are not guests are constantly under suspicion. From Boo Hinkson to Mae Wayne, Lucians are subjected to illegal searches, searches that not even police are empowered to carry out. You can make matters even worse by being black.

(As for the politicians, they’re on the hotels’ guest list. Which is not to say that they’re in the hotel’s  pockets. Case in point: When it was pointed out to Allen Chastanet that every single security search carried out by hotel security is illegal, he replied, “Maybe they shouldn’t do it in the front. Maybe they should do the searches round the back.” Current tourism minister Lorne Theophilus ain’t much better. It’s cool with him, too. It was cool with every single tourism minister going back to Romanus Lansiquot. Philip J Pierre. Menissa Rambally. Chastanet. Theophilus. It doesn’t bother them in the least that hotel security are a law unto themselves, conducting searches so illegal that not even local police would make the mistakes they do. And yet, they do them with impunity.)

Workers are also subjected to unconstitutional searches and work under constant suspicion.

So are local guests.

But the evidence from world tourism is that foreign visitor tourists are the single biggest source of theft and leakage. By the time you check that you have been robbed, they’re gone. Yet, there is little evidence that security ever turns on the non-Lucians guests of the hotels. Having gotten the signal that they are not under suspicion, the foreigners continue to pilfer everything from bathroom supplies to small furnishings and appliances, while Lucians, workers and Staycationers get the blame.

As though it’s not enough to place false blame, they are also on a never ending quest to take the bread out of Lucian’s mouths. The hoteliers are also constantly limiting the ability of small independent entrepreneurs in craft and services to get at the tourism dollar. They are monopolizing the beach and every opportunity to make money on the beach. They harass craftsmen, claiming harassment, instead of co-operating to help the people make a buck on the beach that was theirs before the hotel was a twinkle in a real estate conman’s eye.

They are successfully squeezing the life out of St Lucian farmers, whilst at the same time being able to claim that they are making stronger linkages in the agriculture sector. At the biggest hotel chain, farmers are forced to wait three months to get paid. THREE MONTHS. If time is money the farmers are basically selling to Sandals at a loss. Sandals gets all the interest from the farmers money and then pays them four times a year. When farmers have problems resupplying themselves and improving their yield and quality, the hotels go and cry to Allen Chastanet and his ilk about the need to be able to import with impunity.

It’s a brilliant strategy.

It’s like conquering the Congo, using treaties, instead of rifles. You still end up with your own country inside another person’s country and your country is totally private property. And their country is a mess, begging to suck at your teat.

Brilliant.

RACIST AGAINST ANIMALS?

TOURISM’S EXTINCTION AGENDA

 
 
 

It is also a wonder that hotel tourism of the small islands makes itself the enemy of endemic species and archeology. In this day and age, why would anyone kill a rare species to build a hotel? You’d make way more money on the hotel by saving the species. Duh….

One would think that if a hotel investor acquired some land in Fregate Island or at Jalousie and discovered rare species like the Thrasher, the Iguana and the Fer de Lance lived there, they would be overjoyed to protect and exploit these valuable resources. One would think that if, in digging, they found Amerindian and Negmarron artifacts, that they would see this as an opportunity to maximize the cultural profit.

One would think we’d have to fight the hotels to own the Thrashers and the artifacts on the hotel site.


But no.

We have to fight them to keep the rare animals and the history alive.

At Jalousie, they dumped thousands of tons of artifacts. They destroyed St Lucian history, forever entrenching in everyone’s mind the notion that tourism and local archeology are sworn enemies.

At Fregate Island, Le Paradis put the small population of rare and indigenous species under so much pressure that the Fer de Lance were running as far as Canaries and Anse la Raye for shelter.  And you know when a snake goes to Anse la Raye for shelter, boy, things must be really bad, because Anse la Raye is to snakes what Israel is to Palestinians. It’s the most hostile territory that ever once belonged to them.

 

If tourism is illegally searching Lucians, even the foreign-born, light skinned and upper class Mae Wayne, if it is exploiting workers with wages that are cited by the US State Department as a human rights abuse and if it is callously killing the indigenous species and natural beauty of the island….

 

If tourism is against the people and the beauty of the island…

Who is it for? Who is really profiting from this?

Remember the slogan “You are the U in tourism”?

 “U get this. U get that. U get off the beach. U, you’re fired for the summer.”

I don’t want to be the U anymore.

I want to be the I.

After all, we are on an Island. And it is mine. It belongs to I and I. Not you.

 

THE SABOTAGE OF ST LUCIAN TOURISM

It's ironic.

Allen Chastanet is the owner or something at the best damned hotel in St Lucia, barre none. Coco Palm captures the spirit, the culture, the look and the historicity of St Lucia, without subscribing to any of the clich├ęs that other hoteliers fall for.

It’s a like a multi-story plantation house with a pool instead of a pond. The staff there are mostly happy. For real. You can’t get these people to say anything bad about Allen Chastanet, not because he’s a great manager, but because he is such a cool guy. No one who associates Allen with the slave-owner class that Kenny Anthony comes from works for him. He’s nothing like that.

Not in person. Not when you work for him personally.

But change the scale of the economic action and Allen Chastanet will be the first to rip the bread out of Lucians mouths.

Ask Gillan Ajodha how Ti Chas ripped the bread out of his mouth. Out of all our mouths. He practically kidnapped an investor friend of Gillan’s and brought him on a joyride around the island, trying to make a commission on selling the guy a different property.

The result: Cas en Bas still has one hotel and a golf club.

Chastanet will rip the bread out of Lucians mouths.

Ask the staff and contractors of REEL IRIE. This was a boat charter company that never quite made a profit but paid every single one of its bills on time. Finishing a job for REEL IRIE was the best guarantee anyone in St Lucia ever had that they would receive cash in the next 24 hours.

But Chastanet threw REEL IRIE under the bus when SLASPA’s most corrupt decided that they wouldn’t give the company a license, in order to protect some of their friends in Ganter’s Bay.

The result: Less local investment. Less employment for local drivers, cleaners,  , laundry, rum shops, street side barbecues, far flung bakeries, all of which were art of REEL IRIE’s attractions. We sure could use those opportunities now.


A REEL IRIE children's party.


Where's big tourism's children's party?
 

But as we said before he’s not the only one.

When Labour came back into office in 2011, they gave REEL IRIE and other local friendly businesses the same treatment as Chastanet did.

Last year, Lorne let the St Lucia Tourist Board rebuff a French media company’s offer to shoot the entire Jazz Fest for free and then air it for free, all year round in their European markets.

No one in Flambeau or Labour stood up for the boatman  Joe, when a big hotel and a big charter boat operator named Chastanet made a complot that would rob Joe of his entire small business. If not for an international social media campaign, he’d be somebody’s underpaid employee today.

Louis Lewis went on vacation during the performance of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company of Shakespeare in The Rainforest, throwing endless untold opportunities for locals to the wind. No one at SLTB saw fit to visit the cast and crew of the production even once, much less lobby them for more opportunities for St Lucia.

They still want to do bigger business with St Lucia, but no one in Tourist Board would know that, because they didn’t give a shit. The Royal Shakespeare Theater Company is interested in St Lucia. Tourist Board is interested in first class flights to America and Brazil.

Meanwhile, Lorne Theophilus’ stewardship has allowed the apartheid to continue in security, in entrepreneurship and opportunity, the same way Chastanet’s did.

All tourism ministers approve huge budgets for which Tourist Board shows no accountability, while letting small entrepreneurs who really make the St Lucian tourism dollar to fend for themselves.

And then, when VAT hits, nobody gets a break, except the slave owners. I mean, hoteliers. Same fucking thing.

The farmers, the small property owners, the grocers and restaurants and other small service providers who can make a tourism dollar? Fuck them.

The irony is that St Lucia’s tourism plant has working models of success at every scale, from Somewhere Special in Gros Islet to Fond Dou in Soufriere to Coco Palm in Rodney Bay. And none of them are anything like the big hotels that tourism ministers want us to believe we should bend over for.

Maybe that’s the problem.

Maybe the St Lucian side of tourism needs to make its government kiss more ass. Maybe the St Lucian investor and service sector need to threaten the government more. Maybe we’re being too soft on them.

Or maybe they’re selling us out to people who hate us, at worst, and don’t respect us, at best, and we should really think about what life would be like without them.

Because when you’re persona non grata in your own damned country, surely, you can do better than that.
Allen Chastanet: Farting in your face since 1965
 

6 comments:

  1. I just cannot get over how "bwa-bwa" St Lucian politicians are!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Boy I feel I should only read one Flogg article a day. Some of this I knew already, but what is being done to my country while these party hacks defend these scumbags just makes me want to.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dreadie, sometimes, I can barely write this stuff.
      In the good old days, we wouldn't even need a law to get rid of this kind of people.

      Delete
  3. Have you heard that the young tourist lad who got knocked down by the Marina was actually a a victim of a robbery? It like sometimes we cover our problem just to preserve the big picture. Very soon people will be starving in the country and we wouldn't want the tourists on the beach to know.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really enjoy to read your blog and will be waiting for your next update.I appreciate all the work you put into this site, helping out others with your fun and creative works.
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    ReplyDelete