Letters & Opinion, Politics

The Silence is Deafening

By Stephen Lester Prescott

DURING his short but eventful life in politics, Allen Chastanet has gained a reputation for a number of things, the vast majority of which reflect negatively on his ability to lead. The excessively high telephone bills at taxpayers expense, the tent he rented for over one half of a million dollars, the highly paid but underperforming Hepple and the lavish failure called Boxing in Paradise, to name but a few. Bad as are the foregoing, Chastanet’s knack for speaking loudly and frequently on matters he has no knowledge or understanding of, is his major “Achilles heel.” No wonder one regional entrepreneur remarked that “Allen Chastanet can do anything until he is given the task of doing it.” What an endorsement!

Over the past year, Allen Chastanet became an instant economics guru. Place a microphone near “Ti Chas’’ lips and statistics immediately had no value or meaning. He would use five completely different figures in one sentence to describe Saint Lucia’s economic performance and outlook.

Chastanet also became a Gas Pricing Expert, in the process redefining and developing a new formula for calculating the CIF value of imported fuel. Not even the seasoned and reasoned voice of the former Petroleum Dealers Association’s President, Everistus Jn. Marie, was enough to have the failed Soufriere candidate rethink his illogic.

Sadly for our international image, Chastanet’s political posturing and nonsensical commentary was not limited to Saint Lucia. He along with his poodle participated in the most recent Dominica general elections campaign during which they embraced every opportunity to score cheap political points. At least so he thought, for the results of that election once more proved conclusively that Chastanet was far more liability than he was benefit.

The UWP’s embattled political leader has become widely known as the talker who has registered opinions on every single matter relating to governance and politics in Saint Lucia and the region, none of which was even remotely connected to reality. And he moves with ease between subjects he has no knowledge about. A few articles past, I referred to him as the snake oil salesman and he has done everything since then to live up to that name. ALBA was once his whipping boy. He said it was a leftist organisation and joining it would spell disaster for Saint Lucia. Shortly after, his CDU colleague, the very conservative Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, came on board and ever since “Ti Chas” took an oath of silence on that issue.

Tourism and Lorne were his targets too. But whilst Chas was talking Lorne was producing more tourists than during Chastanet’s tenure and with much less money than Chas had at his disposal. Even his dad’s hotel is bursting with visitors. So now “Ti Chas” has left Lorne alone.

I remember the days when VAT on medication was the reason he woke up on mornings. By the time the female duo of Alvina and Emma were done Chas was once more the region’s poster boy for stupidity. Now he speaks no more on the subject.

When the under fire UWP leader ran out of ideas and speaking notes, the removal of the Press Secretary became his project. Poor Allen would soon be “Jadarised” into submission by the sheer brilliance of Mrs. Jn.Pierre-Emmanuel’s responses. Is there anything Chastanet can get right?

And what was Chastanet thinking when he decided to go after Kenny Anthony? For crying out loud, wasn’t it Kenny D. Anthony who almost singlehandedly, whilst in opposition, lifted the rug under Chastanet and his UWP government with the now infamous Tuxedogate? Has Chastanet not realised that intellectually he is to Kenny what a bicycle is to a Ferrari? By the time Kenny was half way done Chas had already raised the white flag. Or was it the orange one?

So the question is where is Chastanet now? Is he even in Saint Lucia? Is he still the Political Leader of the United Workers Party? Why the deafening silence on the IMPACS report? Why the silence on rising fuel prices? Not even LAMBIRDS brought Ti-Chas out of hiding? Is it that he has run out of ideas, ridiculous as his previous ones were? Or does he fear the disconnect between his mouth and brain would lead the nation to discover some of the details that he knows about Operation Restore Confidence?

Surely, Chastanet would have heard the Prime Minister’s Address to the Nation earlier this month! I would bet my last dollar too, that Chastanet has several copies of the speech. Former Prime Minister King has spoken and so has Richard Frederick. Even Gale Rigobert’s vacillation was on display. So, where is the man who is desirous of leading this country on this issue? Why the silence? Is finding a seat more important than restoring the image of the country? Is Chastanet even concerned about the findings revealed in the Prime Minister’s Address?

I really want to know. Many Saint Lucians want to know.

Chastanet was a minister of government during Operation Restore Confidence and if I recall, he was a most vociferous supporter and defender of the operation. Has his position changed? Was he aware of some of the claims made? Where is Mr. Lang Caca” to enlighten the nation on the intention of Operation Restore Confidence and to shed light on the mandate or directives given by Cabinet, if any, at the time? After all, the Leader should have an interest in “clearing his name”, as some have put it. There must be something that Chastanet knows that we do not know that is newsworthy.

One would think that the fly by night trade unionist would at least have some care and concern for the Police and therefore say something about the impact – no pun intended – of the IMPACS Report on them, like others have done. However, Chastanet remains silent. For once his lips can have the pleasure of remaining in touch with each other.

I would have thought that someone who desires to be Prime Minister would immediately express hope for a speedy resolution to this issue. However, Chastanet’s mouth remains on vacation.

I would have thought as well that Chastanet would applaud and embrace training in Human Rights Protection for Police Officers, because his party has been highlighting concerns involving the Police and civilians over the past few years. As usual, Chastanet has practised his mantra “If you cannot say something bad about the government, just shut up”.

Given how recent Operation Restore Confidence is, how loudly Chastanet spoke when the US withdrew aid from the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and how deeply involved he was in the Cabinet during Operation Restore Confidence, his silence bothers me. How is it that a man who is so tortoise like in listening and so Usain Bolt likes to speak on everything else can totally ignore the Prime Minister’s Address and its revelations?

Is Chastanet operating on the advice of his English handlers or his lawyers? Is this a sign of self preservation? Is Chastanet trying to shield someone or something? Or is he too busy fending off the numerous internal challenges to his leadership? Inquiring minds want to know, WHY THE DEAFENING SILENCE FROM THE USUALLY LOQUAICIOUS CHASTANET?


  1. Boom-a-la-ca-boom
    Dodgers know
    Da boys from de RC wanna know …..too!
    and dat newly minted “hail mary” is NOT ‘full of grace”
    How ironic for someone with a double dipping of biblical names!
    What were her psyche experiences during the religious milestones of First Communion and Confirmation?
    Lord knows my parents felt obliged to severely impinge on their meager household budget to provide me with the OBLIGATORY custom fitted hand tailored FIRST and SECOND suits etc for above mentioned religious events (in retrospect I would have preferred a more climate friendly dashiki, Nehru or Mexican wedding shirt jacket).
    I shall never forget the work crews of working stiffs in my community -sans POMPOUS union reps-toiling long overtime hours to put bread on the table and basic clothes on our backs-day in -night out and often day and night too.
    And how do we honor our foundation -the ones who toiled with quiet dignity to give us a shot at middle class potential-
    too many scream and tantrum like likkle wa wa infants when asked to shoulder a national economic crisis to spread or ease the burden more evenly.

    Oh no! Not this conniving Delilah Jezebel. The untouchables and garbage scavengers be damned!
    Like Santana’s lyrics warned :
    Her idea of unionism is to maintain CAVIAR and MOET CHANDON on the agenda of negotiations while relegating other workers to boiled eggs and lime skin squash -no ice 🙁 .
    She knew, full well, that her IMPERIAL demands were not just unattainable- they were -like most thinking currently going on at the cobwebbed SEANCES in the attic of her sphere of influence
    -if not robotic puppeteer controls
    – delusional at the very least.

    Like the Hittite queen, she was motivated to topple true , divinely infused spiritual power -the one vested to serve all the people – not just the royalty.
    -and like the voracious hyena hordes marching to STEAL the Lion King’s perch -she desires to feast figuratively and of course literally assou la tete of her formidable nemesis. Dis is her only raison de etre as shoved or hoed in SINATOR
    Her tainted legacy is etched at the crucial negotiation table of national crisis with her NO MAS posture. We need a Sugar Ray to keep the condors….cornered or caged!

  2. how they yearn for Allen lies, too bad, you will simply have to hold on to your truths. the realities will speak loud for all to hear.

    There was a man who swallowed a fly, I don’t know why he swallowed the fly, perhaps he will die, indeed what doesn’t kill you makes you strong!, what do you think you will get by in the love of our common people, the wicked sings praises to their God, but how can we satisfied our souls with maliciousness
    Running down your country man, you may be walking on the fighting side of others. Time marches on.

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