Some eight months after voting, Saint Lucians having decided they’d had more than enough of the Kenny Anthony administration, it is quite clear the St. Lucia Labour Party has far from recovered from the telling defeat at the polls. Its members and supporters had not anticipated the knockout punch that caught them flat-footed and psychologically unprepared for such an eventuality. Besides, it was one thing to suffer an election defeat at the hands of John Compton but altogether another when the man who forced the SLP to eat dirt was Allen Chastanet – earlier dismissed as unelectable, unqualified to lead Saint Lucia, as much for his colour as for his SLP-fabricated ineptitude.
Recently in Vieux Fort, political home of its leader, the party attempted to get back on its feet. Despite that its knees were still wobbly from the effects of the June 6 encounter, the SLP sought to convince attendants at its first rally since its surprise defeat that it was ready for another round of political fisticuffs. Its leader explained that he had deliberately stayed away for close to six months so that those who had chosen Chastanet’s party over his own would have ample time to contemplate their mistake. That Vieux Fort had remained a ghost town during his three years as prime minister seemed not to matter to the groggy party leader. He offered “no talks, no talks, no talks” about the state of the economy and the role he had played in rendering the nation broke. What he chose to talk about was the Desert Star Holdings project that had remained secretly comatose at his feet until the new prime minister brought it to life before Saint Lucians at home and elsewhere via the Internet. Alas the SLP leader still had nothing good or potentially good to say about the DSH project. Instead he hurled insults at both the developer and the man who had introduced him to the previous administration.
A less punch-drunk SLP could have claimed the project offered a vision of the new south shared by a tested and experienced investor and the party’s new best brain Ernest Hilaire, also present on the Vieux Fort platform. Sadly all that came from the leader and his battered brigade was the same old, same old nonsense that had left him and his followers battered on the floor on June 6 of last year. That the SLP still considered the election result proof of Saint Lucian stupidity echoed in nearly every line delivered by the party leader – who clearly forgot that there were a few Saint Lucians still with faith in his rhetoric, albeit a greatly diminished number growing smaller by the hour.
As if to prove Vieux Fort was no mistake, the SLP circus returned to the Castries market steps last Sunday to unload more post-election bile, most of it still aimed at the new champion. The strategy had failed miserably last June, after six or seven years of nonstop practice, but still the unreasonably hopeful SLP remains faithful to it – Einstein’s definition of insanity. Meanwhile, the new prime minister seems to be pushing full steam ahead in his quest to rescue the nation from the maladministration that had rendered the country broke!