Other than snobbery, what else is at stake? (commentary)

By Melanius Alphonse

2016-09-29 10_51_10-Other than snobbery, what else is at stake_ - slunewsonline@gmail.com - GmailCOMMENTARY – Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, in his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), said, “I sincerely hope that our efforts during the early decades of the 21st century will help to create a new world order”.

My immediate thought was of the accepted wisdom of the theological virtues of faith, hope and love, as enunciated by St Paul; the four cardinal virtues: prudence, temperance, courage and justice; and the seven heavenly virtues: faith, hope, charity, fortitude, justice, temperance, prudence.

But that was not to be. What unfolded was a tale of rhetorical belligerence, rather than outlining policy or convictions focusing on the necessity of building good relations with the West, particularly with America, an ally that Saint Lucia depends on in the international arena.

Prime Minister Chastanet later said: “There is therefore no need to continue to create a world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another,” clearly oblivious that “as a transactional, trans-colonial leader [he] will have a deleterious effect on the psyche of Saint Lucians.”
In contradictory fashion, Prime Minister Chastanet’s UN speech read:

“We are mindful of the enormous challenges of our moment in history, and we are determined to act boldly and collectively on behalf of justice and prosperity, at home and abroad. At home, we have given our people a commitment to build a prosperous and progressive Saint Lucia… for the benefit of all citizens. We are fully aware that we can only succeed in this mission with the support of those nations with which we interact.”

It’s is worth noting that this precept promotes democratic ideals on the basis of which Saint Lucians elect a “leader” and not a ruler, prone to temperamental attitudes, forcing him to complain, “I don’t get no respect.”

In opposition, Chastanet decried the violation of free speech, freedom of the press and human rights. However the real “trans-colonial leader” has emerged, believing that he is somehow deserving of and demanding respect and that it is worth spending an undue amount of time, money and effort trying to influence a model of his own “free press”.

A model to push shameless propaganda and distract the public from lies. Hence the attempt to intimidate Rehani Isidore, a journalist with HTS Television in Saint Lucia.

This further suggests that pretenders to the virtues as defined by St Paul and their electoral misrepresentations have left the truth in abeyance.
The UN platform is an idea setting for fate and opportunity to play more of a role towards normalization and what better opportunity to have placed Saint Lucia’s foreign and national security policy, especially given that, according to Chastanet, “A prime minister can open doors faster… expedite the process because it tells you there’s a priority with the country.”

Instead Prime Minister Chastanet’s jerky delivery and non-diplomatic statements included:
“We say our destinies are interlinked as we have all adopted a universal approach to sustainable development through the Sustainable Development Goals; but we still think in terms of the zero sum game. The truth is that we have been endowed with abundant natural resources, which, if put to proper use, could wipe out poverty throughout the world.

“In this hall we come from many places, but we share a common future. The magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our actions.

“The United Nations was founded on the belief that the nations of the world could solve their problems together. It was rooted in the hard lessons of war; and rooted in the wisdom that nations could advance their interests by acting together instead of holding steadfast to our insular policies.”

By now, it is well known that Prime Minister Chastanet does not understand much of what he is given to read, or think clearly with judgment, as evidenced by his assertion: “The G20 also has a serious legitimacy problem.” [Apparently, without looking at the “man in the mirror” to borrow Michael Jackson’s lyrics.]

He continued: “The time has come for the world to move in a new direction,” but again unable to elaborate, which is of no surprise.

However, this bold declaration must draw on personal credibility and merit, and given that Prime Minister Chastanet has no direction either on the home front or abroad, he is unable to walk the talk with gravitas and influence.

“Every single member state of the UN should be honest in shouldering our responsibilities. Nothing is easier than blaming others for our troubles, and absolving ourselves of responsibility for our choices and our actions. True leadership in this new world order demands much more. We must bring ourselves in tune with the call of the times.

“We must decide to put less focus on what drives us apart and more emphasis on what brings us together. We must decide to give renewed meaning to the promise embedded in the name given to this institution: the UNITED Nations.”

No paragon of truth-telling, Prime Minister Chastanet’s UN address and, later that evening, at a town hall meeting in New York with nationals, were clearly just empty posturing,

Chastanet’s difficulty in providing straightforward answers to simple questions is unbefitting a mature statesman, unless of course it is a devious reincarnation of what former US president Richard Nixon called “the Madman Theory”, in which he and his administration tried to make the leaders of hostile Communist Bloc nations think Nixon was irrational and volatile. According to the theory, those leaders would then avoid provoking the United States, fearing an unpredictable American response.

The inherent flaw in such a strategy is that the prospect of an unpredictable Saint Lucian response is not going to scare anyone.

Chastanet’s actual strategy seems to be simply to talk, in order to cover up discrepancies, the lack of policy substance, the absence of future plans and far too frequent inaccuracies, which generate a diminishing level of trust. And the value of his utterances thereby becomes worthless and useless.

In the absence of a convincing strategy, this creates, for any rational person, a perilous obstacle to credibility and integrity.

Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant, a long-standing senior correspondent and a contributing columnist to Caribbean News Now. His areas of focus include political, economic and global security developments, and on the latest news and opinion. His philanthropic interests include advocating for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality. He contributes to special programming on Radio Free Iyanola, RFI 102.1FM and NewsNow Global affairs and economic analysis. He can be reached at:


This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.


  1. On the point of press freedom, all rights and freedoms come with equal responsibility. First of all Chastanet did not suppress Rhiani's freedom to say what he wanted. He did not use any method of intimidation, example threatening to sue him, as was done previously to the likes of Timothy Poleon. He simply told him that he had lied, which is also within Chatanet's right to free speech. The two individuals were face to face and the Reporter also had the facility to clarify since he was in control of the media at the time. He could have made an addendum to the report and give the facts of his findings which Chastanet may or may not have accepted.

    What people like Melanius should have done was to fact check Rhiani's assertions and prove whether Chastanet was wrong. Then the public would have all the facts in front of them. That's the problem with information in this country a reporter too timid to prove his allegations and another who hides behind a computer arriving at conculsions based entirely on incorrect assumptions. Why not find out the truth Melanius and report it to us here? That's why Rick Wayne remains far ahead of all opportunistic journalism. All this went on and we still do not have the facts. So who is right?

  2. The writer once again proves that information is not one of his literacies. Example, how could cooperating with other nations be taken to mean support for one nation over the other? Clearly the writer is either not armed with analytical skills or is creating his own language. We all know that all governments speak one language at home and another on the international stage, however this is a poor attempt at fact checking a statement.

  3. Keeping them honest, good job

  4. This commentary is full of intelluctual jabbery and nonsense.. The message comes across as the thoughts of a bitter and get back at you person..

  5. As an apparent educated person (based only on the bold paragraph below your commentary) what really are you hoping to achieve from such shitty commentary. A revolution? St Lucian hating Mr. Chastanet, since it is always an attack on the individual? You continue to undermine the electorates who have displayed that they have confidence in the party which he leads. I am a post secondary student and know why and when to vote for a government.

  6. Great piece. People should know by now you cannot be bought, not even with a piece of promised pie. As usual your detractors will find a way to critique you with nothing pertaining to your opinion piece.

  7. Alphonse, what is it that makes you so bitter?
    Is it because you were not given your way, the way you wanted,
    given you have read some books, and maybe passed some exams
    that dose not make you king of the hill, you better learn to be humble
    and start at the back of the line. If you want to make noise now, then
    what if, with your little Diploma or two you were allowed a piece of the Pie??
    Garcon, take it easy and as the "GUY" said, know your Place, "ti couyon."

    • You have nothing to complain about. Once upon a time you and UWP benefited from his onslaught for at that time he was SLP's back. The man is reporting it as he sees it and Chastanet is not beyond criticism although he may want to think so.

    • This is a family vendetta being carried out in the public. Most of the accusations here are a stretch and quite baseless. Someone is on the verge of losing it. Some people should take their meds in order to avoid haranguing other people.


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