Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Can Huggins Nicholas Bridge The Divide To Unseat Lorne?

The propaganda has begun! "Jimmy Haynes and Mr Neil Huggins has decided to support Mr Bousquet as candidate for Choiseul/Saltibus." A Rufus support group on Facebook posted. Jimmy quickly took offence with, "Contrary to a mischievous and misleading post on the 'Rufus 4 Choiseul' Facebook profile, I have not decided to support Mr. Rufus Bousquet as a candidate for Choiseul/Saltibus. Our meeting which was not planned included some very frank discussion about important issues and a mutual commitment to keep the doors of communication open in the interest of the people of Choiseul/Saltibus and the UWP. So whoever you are stop spreading rumours."
Rufus, running into Jimmy at  the Nicholas gas station was purely accidental.  Earlier reports reaching this blog suggests that the two men were in discussion which could have revealed much, but some other guy who it is alleged to be in Rufus' corner kept disrupting the flow of the conversation.
I spoke with both men. Here are their stories as to what transpired at the gas station on this eventful Saturday October 10, 2015.
L to R: Jimmy Haynes, Huggins Nicholas and Rufus Bousquet

I spoke with Jimmy first. Here is his story.

Dedan: Wats the story on this afternoon's event at the gas station?
Jimmy Haynes: Rufus came by we began to have a discussion but ...............(name withheld) kept on interrupting and allowed Rufus to slide out. Not before he said that he would support me if I won the runoff.
Hmmm! Rufus slide out? Not the characteristic of the man, as far as I know. But that's for another show.
I spoke with Rufus next. Here is his take.:
Dedan: Heard that you and Jimmy had it out at the gas station.
Rufus: Not really. He was talking crap.
Dedan: Quite a scene I understood.
Rufus: Not really. People are just exaggerating.
Dedan: What was it about?
Rufus: Jimmy was simply saying I should resign as chairman if I want to submit an application to be the candidate. My response is that I took my cue from the Party Chairman who exercises considerable influence - so far more than a Branch chairman - and yet submitted his name and has since been endorsed as the candidate for Babonneau. I heard no outcry from Jimmy on that one. Surely the leadership he supports should set the example. That's the only relevant issue I entertained. Every thing else from Jimmy was alcohol induced bravado of unintelligible kind....."
So there you have it from the horses' mouths - the two men vying for the candidacy.
Selection of a viable candidate from the UWP camp is expected to create quite a stir in the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency. Presently there are two factions in the constituency which no doubt have been brought about by Jimmy Haynes' intent on throwing his hat into the ring and Rufus' recent statements both on radio and TV. But the irony of it all is that Rufus has never spelt it out to the constituents, why he does not support Chastanet - the political leader of the Party.
Rufus has no doubt lost considerable support throughout the constituency due to his recent statements on radio and TV, his handling of certain issues during and after the last elections, his deliberate neglect of the Saltibus community for over two years, prior to the last elections, and his failure to deliver the Mini Stadium to the sporting youths.
Mind you, this is in no way giving an edge to Rufus' opponent, but rather to inform on the issues confronting Rufus, if he has to make a comeback - an uphill battle in my estimation. Rufus has what it takes to bring back a lot of his lost support, but it all depends on how much of an impact Jimmy has created on them.
What one will surely see in the coming weeks and months is an upsurge in canvassing and registration of new members by both Jimmy and Rufus with the hope of gaining the edge at the run off if it comes to this.
Can Jimmy pull it off with just Delcer, Mongouge and Saltibus boxes in his corner, or can Rufus pull it off without these? Who ever wins if it comes to a run off have to put their differences aside and work together if they want to unseat Lorny Boy.
Huggins Nicholas my very well be the only one who could bring about this unity.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Is Choiseul/Saltibus Heading For a Run Off - Jimmy vs Rufus?

Jimmy Haynes
Jimmy Haynes' "Liberation Train" has surely kicked up some fire in the Constituency. In every single watering hole in the district this is the gossip of the day. It has surely reached Rufus' ears, enough to have him kick start a kind of adhoc campaign to regain the confidence of his once close campaigners who are supposedly riding along with the "Liberation Train."
"Is Jimmy Haynes serious or is he setting up a stage for someone else?" A close friend asked me. What makes you think that he may not be serious, I quickly butted in. " Well, I personally believe that Jimmy's time is past and he should have vied for the seat during the 2006 elections".The friend remarked. Whereas my friend's concern was with Jimmy Haynes, mine was with Rufus Bousquet. What is the latter's reason for wanting to run again? Is it genuine concern for the people of Choiseul/Saltibus, greed or the notion that Choiseulians do not have the gonads to run their own affairs - the last statement has in many subtle ways been expressed by Rufus himself. He made the remark, " When I believe they[Choiseulians] have found someone better than me I will step down." Pure highfalutin, hoity-toity, la-di-da bullshit! Coming to think about it, Rufus may be damn right in saying this. When we have persons like Dr Wilbur Joseph, Mc Arthur Phillip, Huggins Nicholas, Tassa Jean, Bradley, etc cowering out of the race, Rufus is free to go about beating his chest.

Jimmy Haynes may be very well right in putting his hat in the ring, seeing all these soldiers back out.

Rufus Bousquet
In a telephone conversation with Rufus recently, I asked him whether he intends to run the seat?  His answer not direct but through the issues he raised and the way he came across, it is clear that he intends to run once more. There is no contention that the guy still commands a  substantive support base which will make beating him at a run off a difficult proposition for Jimmy. Will Jimmy Haynes' application be accepted by Rufus' Branch Executive? Will Rufus himself be presiding when considering his own application?  Or will an independent body be appointed to deal with applications for candidacy?Just a few questions.
Jimmy Haynes, it has reached this blog is gaining popularity by the minute, while rufus is losing out in Saltibus and Delcer box. Support in Jimmy's home constituency it is alleged has tripled since the Liberation Train came back from Saltibus. The upcoming activity on the Delcer Field this coming Sunday is actually a drive to improve on Jimmy's popularity ratings. Support from key persons who stayed away from Rufus' campaign it is also alleged have pledged to work with Jimmy.
What does both Jimmy and Rufus have to deal with to gain the confidence of the people? Both of them are viewed by many persons as "Birds of the same feather." One person said he can just imagine Jimmy and Rufus - pot calling the kettle black. It will be interesting to hear how Jimmy defends himself against the accusations Rufus no doubt will throw at him and vice versa. Keep your fingers crossed as the volleys are loaded and prepared for firing. Who will the electorate more likely listen to? Your guess is as good as mine.
Silvanus Fontenard
But while the showdown in Choiseul is on the horizon, many party stalwarts are more hell bent on seeing their own agenda go through than wanting the party to win the next general elections. Silvanus Fontenard puts it clearly.
"The guys want Chastanet to embrace them but they do not attend many executive meetings or activities - On most occasions they do not even answer their phones when the office attempts to contact them........  Between 2006 and 2011 while the guys were enjoying the Taiwanese funds much of which went into their own pockets they neglected the party and paid subs for the minimum number to attend the convention every year - This resulted in the marginalization of the majority of party members and now they are complaining that there aren't enough people participating in the process. The question is who caused the problem? While Chastanet is busy rebuilding the party and restoring the constitution those who wish a free for all continue to complain in their attempts to keep the mess they created. They just want the Taiwanese money in their hands to do as they please and so this is why they are so desperate."

"The road ahead is coated with challenges. Today we continue the task of restructuring and strengthening the United Workers Party. But even more critical is the need for all
Allen Chastanet
Flambeaus to come together as one because everything is futile should we not succeed in uniting.
Let us remember our common goal, to unseat the SLP administration in the upcoming general elections." Chastanet reiterated hoping things will turn out for the better.

So who will unseat Lorny Boy, Rufus, Jimmy, or.......? 

Below is the chorus for a calypso I wrote for a student at the Roblot combined school way back in 1992 goes like this:

Elections coming, politicians playing
Dem running par esee, running par la
Asking for me vote
But if they want me vote
Dem have to be positive
Cause dis year
Me en playing coco makak

Monday, October 05, 2015

An Overview Of The Leadership Of Allen Chastanet by Eustus Richardson Henry

Standing Firm at the Helm
Much has been said about the leadership style of Allen Chastanet and his perceived lack of organizational skills that renders him ineffective to lead the United Workers Party to victory at the upcoming general elections. As a concerned citizen who takes a keen interest in political developments, I feel a sense of national obligation to offer my perspective on the issues at hand. In my attempt to make a meaningful contribution to the debate and to offer some measure of objectivity, it is incumbent upon me to state on the onset that I am not a registered member of any political party but have in the past voted for both UWP and SLP candidates.
Notwithstanding the widely held views of the dysfunctional management practices of the preceding prime minister and allegations of corruption by his ministers, the UWP barely lost the 2011 general election. An aggregate of 142 votes (Gros Islet 6, Babonneau 2 and Anse LA Raye/Canaries 134) in effect changed the government from UWP to SLP. It was not a decisive win for the SLP; many believe that the UWP gave away the elections as many of its supporters had earlier expressed disappointment and stayed away from the polls. The SLP to this day remains uneasy with its margin of victory and is more aware of its vulnerability at the upcoming election as the economy continues to shrink. The two years that followed the UWP defeat, the party under the leadership of
Hon. Stephenson King, was comatose, almost non-existent. The period was marked with an ineffective opposition during house sittings, no public meetings and no demonstrations were organized to lead the charge on several public grievances.
Fast forward to the 2013 national convention of the UWP, delegates were task with the responsibility to set the party on a new path with a breath of fresh air and accordingly elected Allen Chastanet as new leader. That decision was not an easy one to arrive at, taking into consideration that King had been a long standing member of the party, had served as a model team player and proved beyond expectations as a good minister of health, sports, youth and community development. Notwithstanding the forgoing attributes, his Achilles heel has been and continues to be his inability to manage people effectively and is seen as one who is easily manipulated thus public perception of his ability to lead has been severely compromised.
With Allen taking on the mantle of leadership, a strategic approach was adopted to rebuild the party’s image and to rekindle public confidence in a reformed UWP. In an attempt to lead the charge to implement change, Allen’s efforts have been hindered by certain elements within the party creating many obstacles that are aimed to derail the reform processes. Some operatives within the party are of the view that these reforms will undermine their influential role they once enjoyed and their future remains uncertain. That feeling of uneasiness has become more acute as the party is now in a better position to win the next general election and operatives would like to be at the right place at the right time to reap the potential benefits that comes with the "territory", so to speak.
The Furious Four
All this uneasiness is really because of selfish reasons and is counter productive in pursuance to political unity or for the national good. A key question that needs to be asked: where were the dissenting voices of King, Spider, Mary, Mondesir et al when a protest march was called for the adjustment of fair fuel prices and to revamp the existing pass through mechanism system from three months to three weeks. They were unavailable for whatever reason but were indeed surprised at the turnout and eventual results achieved. Today, the dissenting voices are unwittingly partnering with the SLP for Allen to go but what comes after his removal is uncertain. I sometimes ponder that If they cannot have their wish, would they prefer to have the SLP win instead of Allen and an organized UWP winning without them? Remember Eric Williams' phrase "one from ten is naught". (removing the 1 from the 10 the zero stands alone).
If the UWP is to succeed it must remain steadfast in the reform process and remain focus on the overall objectives, irrespective of how loud the dissenting voices may grow. It is naive to think that changes will come at little or no cost; often times it can be destructive process as is currently being played out within the rank and file of the UWP. At the upcoming national convention of the UWP in November, the SLP which prefers a face off against King rather than Allen as leader is hoping that Hon. King continues his quest for the party’s political leadership and is certain to present a formidable challenge to Allen. If the election for party leader is limited to just these two gentlemen, the delegates will most certainly re-elect Allen as leader of the UWP.