Friday, 31 October 2014



The thing about Claudius Preville is that we don’t know what he is made of. And that’s supposed to be a liability. But it’s actually an asset given the current political climate. The thing about Preville is that he might be the same as all the rest of the politicians in St Lucia, but he can’t possibly be worse.

Not without growing a tail and turning into the European version of Robert Mugabe.

If Flambeau wants to ‘save St Lucia’ from the evil Kenny Anthony and his minions, the delegates in seven seats are going to have to get behind Preville in a big way.

And if internal reports from Flambeau are correct, the banana belt seats of Micoud and Dennery are going to decide the 2014 contest for the leadership of the late John Compton’s beloved United Workers Party.

The race for Flambeau’s leadership is so close right now that it could come down to a single vote. Every single delegate matters the most. For the first time in history, the future of John Compton’s party rides, not on the ability of the strong to stray the weak, but on the individual motivations and goals of the average Flambeau supporter. People power is running the party for the moment. And people power will either save Flambeau from itself or divide it against itself.

As political commentator and Lulzmeister General Toot Too Booshe said in a related article, Preville didn’t count his chickens before they were hatched. And in politics, you better count your eggs or you’ll gamble your future on nonsense, just like Mitt Romney and Karl Rove did in the last American presidential election.

He launched something of a surprise attack on Chastanet, which disquieted many in the party. If he, like Chastanet, had conspired and laid in wait, collecting allies before declaring war, he would be in the same position that Chastanet was last year against King. He would have a fait accompli on his hands.
Yo, Bum Rush The Show!!!
Labour's new public enemy number one.

Fortunately for him, Allen Chastanet is an ass. You can just bumrush him.

But where the FLOGG predicted Chastanet’s landslide win last year in understated terms, this year, there is nothing to predict but a tough fight and a marginal victory for either candidate. This is the breakdown:

Chastanet controls six seats of delegates. Preville has pocketed five. Chastanet still has a slight edge. He maintains dominance in Gros Islet, Castries South, South-East, East , Soufriere and Babonneau. But his strength in Babonneau is split. Preville has personal loyalists in the area and many people outside of the group of delegates are fed up with Ezekiel Joseph anyway.

The problem with Ezekiel is also costing Chastanet the Vieux Fort South group of delegates. More on that in a moment. But first, in Chastanet’s own caretaker seat of Soufriere, he has been accused of rigging the delegates list in his favor to disguise disenchantment with him in the region. Preville’s supporters are now charging that the Soufriere delegates were changed after the deadline date in violation of party rules and in service to Chastanet’s agenda.
I did NOT have sexual intercourse with that...wait...
What was the question?
Preville himself rapidly achieved dominance in ALR/Canaries, Choiseul, the Vieux Forts North and South and most recently, he made some important in roads into Laborie. The southern tip of the island seems to have swung to Preville so violently that when Chastanet’s A Team visited them two Thursdays ago, three quarters of the group walked out in disgust, while five stayed behind to FLOGG and castigate Chastanet and company limited.

The Vieux Fort South group also had another agenda, however, adding proof that people power is bending the party into shape rather than leaders. Vieux Fort South’s UWP delegates want Eldridge Stephen to be Chairman of the Party.

Chastanet, however, supports Ezekiel Joseph, who is part of his A Team. The A Team was invented so that the leader and all his boys and girls could be elected as a package. It puts all other comers at a severe disadvantage. Unfortunately, this time, the A Team’s strategy backfired and Vieux Fort  South looks ready to make all of them pay for supporting Ezekiel instead of Eldridge for chairman.

One way or the other, someone is getting thrown under the bus.  If Chastanet was smart, Ezekiel would be road kill by now. But he’s not. And so he might have to wear some tread on his face on Sunday evening.
For whom the bell tolls....?
With the illusion of the A Team’s strength dissolved, over the last few days, Preville’s inroads into the remaining battlegrounds have deepened. And the A Team’s attempts to block the challenger have grown more audacious.

In Micoud North, for example, the constituency chair declared that neither candidate would have access to the candidates. A real purist move.  Except that it only blocked Preville. Chastanet still got access to the delegates.

The remaining seats are an interesting story on their own. The two renegade Castries seats, North and Central, have been pushing an injunction to stop the convention from happening at all. That hearing was supposed to happen on this week, but was postponed to Saturday.

Yes. Saturday. We think it’s odd, too.

As for the rest, Castries South was supposed to be bought and sold for Chastanet, but seems to have suffered some kind of infection of Preville supporters.

Which leaves us with Compton country: Micoud and Dennery. No one seems to be able to predict the outcome in those places, in part because of the weak command of all four UWPees over the delegates and the constituencies themselves. Under the prevailing conditions,  a united front by the banana belt can shift the balance of power in Flambeau – just the way John Compton wanted it.

Even if Castries North and Central continue to play stoosh about showing up and ousting Chastanet, the incumbent can retain the leadership by focusing on the Micoud and Dennery delegates.

If only he spoke their language, lived in their universe and identified with their struggles.

Preville does.

Which is why certain people have been frustrating Preville’s efforts to meet and greet with delegates. If Preville can convince the Banana Belt that he is the future of Flambeau, he will have the edge. And the edge is all he needs.

Chastanet, however, needs more than an edge. If he doesn’t destroy Preville as a challenger, Labour will take strength from Flambeau’s increasing divisiveness. Preville doesn’t have all Chastanet’s political baggage. Because he is new and light, any small amount of political capital turns into huge amounts of  momentum for him.

If he can get the edge, by Monday morning, he achieve something that no one else has done in the history of Lucian politics. He, as leader of Flambeau, will give Kenny Anthony the unique experience of having constipation and kakaglo at the same time.

Because Labour is prepared to face Chastanet. They already have a plan for him. But this Preville guy, for better or worse, he just confuses things for them. He’s going to send them back to the drawing board. He’s going to make them drink more rum and more antacid.


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