I have no intention of making a mockery of the flashing style and no substance of the new UWP two press conferences. However, the trend of the two press conferences that the party has staged is juvenile. To the seasoned eye they are also self-serving and lack substance.
For all the good last week’s “press conference” did, the UWP may as well just pay the Flogg blogger (of blessed memory) to hold their press conferences for them. The Flogg blogger, who I miss dearly, would have carried more weight and reached a wider cross section of the public, with a desired message that is not lost in translation.
The two press conferences have allowed my modest experience to evaluate the party’s new direction as a comical approach, which mature lads like me have difficulty identifying with, though I need a good old laugh from time to time.
Listening to the replay of the press conference on Harmony Radio, chairman Ezekiel Joseph could hardy compose a sentence. He had trouble structuring his thoughts. I wonder how he got elected -- thankfully once! Although resurrected as chairman of Allen’s UWP.
I also wondered how the journalist and reporters felt with such a performance. But there I was listening in awe to a clueless party press conference. I can only imagine how the witty, linguist, theatrical and legal brilliance of Henry Giraudy would be in painful anguish of the performance of his successors.
I will not go into the question and answer session. That was absolutely a waste of time. The three female journalist/reporters by my understanding are cozy with the UWP. They asked soft (pip-pin-do) questions. They received rehearsed answers that were never challenged. What a soft press corps that was present!
Anyway, Guy Joseph, with his usual street-talk, was in keeping with his days as a bus driver, a profession which he is good at. Leonard Montoute was as natural as can be, nothing to offer -- empty brain cells and the usual lazy attitude. Sir John Compton was right, and never favoured him. No wonder the Gros Islet voters switched to Labour.
Allen Chastanet was at his best, repeating what he learned from listening and watching Fareed Zakaria Global Public Square, (GPS) last Sunday. I couldn’t believe my ears. What a copy cat. The laziness of his deputy seems to be rubbing off on him. He tried to impress with little success, while missing what a press conference is supposed to do. That is to make an important announcement. Address a few specific matters with in-depth and concise policy contrasts that will impact the listener/viewer’s thought process. And to deliver a pointed message, preferably in both languages, to grasp the attention of the public. But that simple task Allen Chastanet was not able to do -- twice in a row!
It is often said that a picture tells a thousand words. The pictures I saw showed journalist and reporters dozing off. Some looked stoic. Others looked comfortable in the company of party insiders, showing off their designer bag (orange and brown). The cameramen looked tired, holding on to yellow walls, and couldn’t wait to leave after two hours.
I have come to believe that the new UWPs, the beneficiaries of the 1964 Compton era, have not learned what makes UWPs stand out. The gravitas and enthusiasm of learned men and women in the UWP way of politics is sadly absent. The fortified naturalist of the UWP struggle seems to have died with Sir John Compton. And so, the come-along beneficiaries are there for the ride.
While I understand the uneasiness of not being in government, the steps to returning to office are certainly not visible. The base is absent. This is made even more real as long as the party continues to have more confidence in imported strategists, continuing the same error that ended in defeat at the polls. The unending “restructuring” is weak. It lacks the historical understanding of the UWP’s winning ways, more so with foreign communication experts and motivational speakers and a political leader who cannot identify with the masses, without a seat in parliament and claims to know it all.
Allen Chastanet does not understand UWP culture and what makes UWP voters excited.
Sir John always reminded his people, “Everything I do -- I do it for you.” Theme, song Bryan Adams. Who can beat that!
Allen Chastanet does not live our culture, and is unable to learn and speak the affectionate language of the people. A true essence of one’s roundness is one who understands and can identify with the struggling people of the valley, Micoud and Mon-Repos, Soufriere and Choiseul; a leader with charm and charisma, who has taken the time to study our history; a servant leader who leads by example, with humility, integrity and generosity; and one who is bona fide capable of living eating and drinking with the people respectfully!
Knowing him as I do, Allen Chastanet does not have the touch, and the magic to woo, sincerely! He does not come close, with his aristocratic personality.
At least both Sir George Mallet and Sir John Compton, although foreign born, were able to mesh with the Saint Lucian people. I recognize that Stephenson King, a true stalwart of the Sir John Compton era has shepherded his people, under harsh world conditions, with intimidation from his own party. Remember super 8. Which side were you on, Allen?
There may still be light. Stephenson King has denied passing the mantle and the flambeau. But there can be no turnaround, as long as these press conferences continue to expose the nakedness of Allen’s UWP’s ‘false hope,’ to lead a cultured people.