An unholy hi-jacking of history!

Did the St Lucia Labour Party turn to Sir Allan Louisy for his supposed image of respectability?

On this island surrounded by an ocean of hypocrisy, it’ll come as no surprise that many conveniently ignore verifiable facts while embracing the rhetoric of a clique that pretends to be the sole custodians of truth. The
consequence is not unlike a deadly cancer at the core of the St Lucian sensibility.The pretenders shout with gusto and bravado, daring their audiences to contradict their salted truth. “Garcon, you eh know dat?” Well, no, I don’t know that. With good reason. For I know well that what I’ve been offered as truth is someone else’s reality; a readjustment, a falsification of the details to suit a particular objective. The Bible reminds us that the living know they shall die but the dead know not anything. To which I might add—and tell no tales. No wonder so many take it upon themselves to speak for the dead and to rewrite their history even before their bodies have been interred.
Recently, in his Lapses & Infelicities, Rick Wayne once again set the historical record straight when he exposed Joyce Auguste’s inaccuracies and over-dramatization—otherwise known as falsification—of the record concerning George Odlum’s famous visit to Radio St Lucia in 1979 and the
explosion in William Peter Boulevard that gave us our burglar-bar architecture. My contribution here is offered in the best interests of truth, for the particular benefit of young St Lucians and future generations.
Yes, in death the late Sir Allan Louisy has been given a clean bill of health. He is now not only spotless and sinless, but it is also he who, according to the chief of the gargoyles, saved St Lucia from the rabid communist take-over that George Odlum had in mind! But for this
distinguished judge and statesman, say the rewriters of history, Odlum and Peter Josie with their evil designs would have taken St. Lucia, lock, stock and barrel, into communism..
Trust me, my fellow
St Lucians, when I tell you George and Josie, whatever else they may have been back in the day, were never communists. They were—and are—full blown capitalists who by their platform rhetoric affected young and impressionable minds but finally were incapable of delivering on their promises. Immediately after his ascendancy to Minister of Agriculture, Peter Josie suddenly developed a fetish for made-in-the-USA jigger-boots, and a particular love affair with travel, especially to New York. George also fell in love abruptly with the Big Apple, where he indulged his secret t life’s finer things . . . more on that at another date. Don’t get me wrong, folks; I believe that both Josie and Odlum in their own way and style were patriotic St Lucians. Like Compton and Louisy, they too loved their country and their contributions to the mobilization and revitalization of the St Lucia Labour Party are indisputable, regardless that some have tried to rewrite even that bit of
It is an acknowledged fact that the St Lucia Labour Party turned to Sir Allan Louisy, not for his mobilization skills, but for his supposed image of respectability. A successful ex-judge who could water down the party’s communist image! The timing of Louisy’s arrival is interesting, for the party did not appear to have a communication problem. Perhaps a
competent public relations firm may have helped the party with its image projection, but Caribbean politics is built around personalities as distinct to issues. So, a former judge is considered more credible than the son of a
barber, no matter how
eloquent, witty, popular and charismatic. Unfortunately, this class distinction still
permeates our society. We have come a long way but that sensibility lingers. We still love Massa. Look how so many of us still wish that our kids and grandkids were made in the likeness of Massa!
At a 1974 public meeting on the Castries Market Steps (then popularly “the People’s University”) Louisy announced that he had “examined the boys,” and judged them free of any
communist leanings. He spoke with the confidence of an ex-judge, with apparent truthfulness and sincerity. He was convinced the communist bogey was no more than a device to prevent the SLP from securing an electoral victory. The Labour Party missed the boat in ’74 but in 1979 went on to win what Odlum dubbed a “spanking” victory, capturing 12 of the 17 electoral seats. That very night, while the people were rejoicing on the streets, Odlum and Louisy, in the company of other elected members were behind closed-doors, carrying on as crooked politicians carry on, hatching out a secret arrangement. History has shown us, again and again and again, how the people react to secret arrangements. Still politicians refuse to learn!
The chickens would come home to roost six months later when Odlum dispatched a letter to Louisy asking him to man up to his verbal agreement to hand over the prime minister’s chair. When asked why he had so naively made such an agreement without a written commitment, George confided in supporters that he expected an ex-judge to keep his word. Recently, during an RSL Agenda show with Dave Samuels, Louisy’s brother claimed Louisy had never denied the agreement, only that there was a time frame.
During a rally in Grenada days after the SLP’s
election victory in St Lucia, a somewhat obsequious and out-of-place PM Louisy joined Odlum and Josie in extolling the virtues of Maurice Bishop’s illegal takeover: “Viva La Revolucion! Viva La Revolucion!” But later Louisy’s enablers would say he reneged on his promise to Odlum because he feared St Lucia would be taken into the same camp that Bishop had chosen for Grenada. Was Louisy’s primary interest
St Lucia? Or was his main concern the political future of Allan Louisy?
By 1996 the SLP, having banished itself to John Compton’s punishing wilderness for another 15 years, and after he had invested his all to reshape and refocus the party, unceremoniously kicked Julian Hunte aside and again fell for the misguided and dubious image-making principle. It totally ignored the substantial grass-roots mobilization of a self-made businessman and ushered in King Kenny on his mighty high horse. Once again the party thought it needed the smoother talking “pedigreed” candidate who would never threaten to break glass in anyone’s ass! It is very interesting that both Louisy and Kenny rode a wave of popular support that was not of their own making. As is the custom, the slaves did the hard back-killing work and the masters profited from their sweat and toil.
But to hear the re-writers of history this the past week since Sir Allan joined Brother George in Valhalla, you would think this recalled chapter of his life never happened. At the end no man is flawless and mistakes were made on both sides. It is clear that former Prime Minister Louisy made a promise he never intended to keep. He held on to power, not because he thought the country was about to become a communist state but because he wanted power for himself, whether or not with the best intentions!
He was a respected Associated States judge and St Lucians will remember him for his contributions during a very turbulent post-independence period. However, I still honor the daily drumbeat of my parents: “A man’s word is his bond!” Sir Allan failed to keep his word and the country paid a tremendous price, condemned in the process to another 15 years of Comptonism, with Compton’s continuing neglect of, inter-alia, the education of Lucia’s children. I suspect, Sir Allan, that you and George will have very interesting vibes to share, over Bounty and Coke (perhaps without ice), while you play your dominoes in Purgatory. Good-bye Sir Allan and may your work and political sojourn find their correct place in the annals of our nation’s history. I feel quite certain that even you will agree that nations should not tolerate the ugly abomination that is the falsification of history.

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