Jeannine way ahead of politicians in bras!

Despite evidence to the contrary, I continue to believe the election of women to the parliament of Saint Lucia can herald positive change, as much in the way we conduct our politics as in the way we live our lives. I’ve imagined women would view our possibilities from new perspectives.  Consider the problems associated with raising children in one-parent households unsupported by contributing fathers. Yes, I know our male parliamentarians have from time to time addressed the disturbing subject—but to what avail? Even when related laws have been enacted, how effectively have they been implemented? How much money have successive governments invested in the family court and halfway homes for women in distress?         Surely, women parliamentarians can address these subjects with more verve than have their male counterparts. Or can they?
How about the issues related to rape? What percentage of victims actually report sexual assaults to the police? How many see their cases through the court process? How many choose to hotfoot it out of Dodge rather than take the demeaning road to justice? How effective are the laws that ostensibly protect women from batterers and little girls from the several abuses inflicted by unconscionable stepfathers and the rapacious boyfriends of dependent single mothers? Might politicians in bras be more interested in such topics than their jock-strapped counterparts?
By popular account, during job interviews female applicants are too often expected to show more than their CVs. Even after they have landed the job women often must tolerate associated indignities by their male bosses and colleagues. Doubtless our female politicians, who might themselves possibly have suffered workplace discrimination, would be well placed to address the problem and bring about effective changes.
How much do we know about the plight of women in need of shelter, whether from nutty husbands and boyfriends? How useful are the current support services? Shouldn’t we know?
Of course, in more developed countries none of the matters here touched on is considered strictly a “woman’s issue.” After all, they are obviously societal shortcomings that ideally should concern us all, regardless of gender. The shameful truth is they have existed for far too long without demonstrated serious concern on the part of our parliamentarians, including our politicians in bras. Which brings up another consideration: can we think of a single female politician in Saint Lucia who is remembered primarily for her stand on so-called female issues? More than a few have in their heyday actually addressed ritual talk-shops in Cuba and in faraway Latin America and similarly deprived other environs.
Some even boast of having held allegedly prestigious positions in the overseas-based organizations. Alas, their related performances here have nearly always left room for cynics such as I to conclude their sole interest was in shaking the hand of, say, a Hillary Clinton or some other hotshot U.N. dignitary or president for life. Per diem-ed photo opportunities, I call them. Indeed, their well-chronicled local spats suggest their affiliations with several overseas-based NGOs have more to do with lining their pretty purses than with do-gooding in the name of less fortunate sisters.
It would appear, yet again, that when it comes to political representation we get no more than we deserve. Recently much was made of a mindless remark by an incumbent male politician in relation to Jeannine Compton’s first husband. The statement was at once a non sequitur, imbecilic and obviously baseless. But rather than taking its source to task for his demonstrated pettiness, every effort was made by his political detractors to turn the foot-in-mouth faux pas into proof of his misogyny—if not misogamy!
There were soulful public demands for “a UWP apology to all Saint Lucian women!” from mouths that had never before uttered a word in acknowledgement, let alone in defense, of women’s rights. This being the season when all manner of stupidity—and hypocrisy!—is excusable, the offending male politician actually acquiesced. He apologized on-air. At any rate, to Ms Compton’s divorced first husband. As for the lady herself, she demanded an apology be issued from a Micoud North platform!
Then again, confused though she may be about genuine women’s issues (after all, nothing in her family history suggests a relationship!) Jeannine stands coifed Compton head and shoulders way above her fellow politicians in bras. Indeed, it is not difficult to imagine Sir John, wherever he may be, chuckling at the expense of those who had been so inastute as to imagine his controversial demise marked the end of his political dominance. Clearly, he lives on in his daughter Jeannine, who is demonstrably more intelligent, cunning and manipulative than her female and male counterparts, traits that had enabled her father to rule the roost throughout his political life. And let us not even for a minute forget that John Compton had in his time tamed such notorious fire-breathers as George Odlum, Peter Josie, Tom Walcott, Julian Hunte—to say nothing of George Charles, Kenneth Foster, George Murrary inter alia—in the prime of their political time.
If Daddy Compton was “the fox,” can it be all that difficult to conceive of his daughter as his vixen equivalent? Remember how she neatly separated herself from her government colleagues in the Taiwanese-funds matter? If it didn’t take much to come up with her sham “accounting,” still it was more than her fellow incumbents had done.
Her expert manipulation of both Kenny Anthony and Ausbert d’Auvergne is classic John Compton. Consider her most recent statement on TV, that she would join neither the SLP nor the NDM. As if in calculated contradiction of all d’Auvergne had put out about their “on-going negotiations,” she let all of Saint Lucia know she had “received a letter from Mr. d’Auvergne inviting me to talk but I never responded.” Imagine that!
Then there were her discombobulating revelations in relation to Richard Frederick’s visa revocation. It seems no one was all that interested in how she came by her scoop when ostensibly the U.S. Embassy had informed only the prime minister and Frederick. Ah, but nearly everyone wanted to hear from the prime minister why, according to Jeannine, he had sent her to Barbados specifically to inquire from U.S. Embassy officials about possible dirt on Frederick and Rufus Bousquet.
If indeed the answer is still not obvious, then consider this: at the time in question the political future of both King and his advisor Ausbert d’Auvergne were tightly woven together and on the line. Jeannine was the only MP not involved in the effort at booting out either d’Auvergne or King or both. Who better, then, to go to Barbados, perchance to uncover something rotten enough to stop the in-house dissidents in their tracks? How was King to know Jeannine would eventually jump ship and join his ejected advisor and her mother in their quest to land a new prime minister.
Of course, with their combined savvy mother and daughter should’ve known Ausbert was a human bomb destined to go off at a moment most inconvenient, but that’s for another show. The Compton in Jeannine will nevertheless not permit her to go down with anyone’s ship, as already is quite clear in her most recent pronouncements. The full story, with all its twists and turns, will doubtless unfold in the days leading up to the elections; we can all wait a while longer.
In the meantime, neither the NDM nor the SLP can find one word to say critical of Jeannine’s candidacy. And while the UWP has threatened to prove her disloyalty to the party her father created back in 1964, it seems they have not quite decided how to launch their attack without rendering themselves friendly-fire casualties. Perhaps they will begin with her tacit endorsement of her mama’s public announcement that she has documentary proof of corruption involving the Taiwanese and the government her husband headed until shortly before his death in September 2007!
A personal note: Despite that I had always enjoyed a close, if relatively secret, relationship with John Compton, his widow never forgave me for publishing the story of his dalliance with a 16-year-old school girl. Yes, we’ve had our moments, she and I, but they’ve always been uneasy. Unlike Sir John, who knew well “the difference between political opponents and enemies,” his wife nurtures grudges with the same fierce tenacity with which she pursues power and influence. If you doubt that, dear reader, then please recall her on-platform promise, shortly after her husband’s passing, when she was Jeannine’s main campaigner for the Micoud North seat: “People say she will have to drag her backside from house to house looking for votes but Jeannine is a Compton and she will do whatever it takes to get what she wants.” And no one knew that better than the now deceased George Mallet. Julian Hunte too. And now Richard Frederick!
Yes, indeed, spoken like a true Compton. But let that not deter from Jeannine’s obvious attributes. If she has on occasion spoken out of turn, well, she’s still young. She is intelligent enough to learn soon how to make friends and influence the electorate. She will discover before long how to make her words serve her every political purpose. Which is not nearly the same as hypocrisy, not by a long shot. Rather it is a talent all the best politicians possess, from her father to JFK to Bill Clinton and Obama.
Besides, as a St Lucian woman she has experienced  the miseries of Heartbreak Hotel. If she had learned her politics at her father’s feet, certainly she had also learned much from the consequences of his more famous proclivities on his family. Doubtless, such first-hand knowledge will allow her to speak with conviction on so-called women’s issues. It certainly would be great to hear her speak about young people and drugs.
Come to think about it, perhaps what separates her from the rest of the politicians in bras is that while they are obviously content with being led by the nose by men, Jeannine knows her ambitions, for herself and for the country as a whole, will amount to nothing if she does not reclaim the chair that was her father’s for almost forty years.
Already the Americans have given her their blessings over the current herd, in boxers or in bras!

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