Narcissus & New Labour

The person who lured Narcissus to the pool and to his eventual death was named Nemesis. Universally, a narcissist has become known as someone who is overly self admiring and self-indulgent. As far as he’s (or she’s) concerned, it’s all about him, or her, and the rest of us are mere pawns.

And a nemesis is a person’s unbeatable enemy, or the karma or fate or doom that he’ll inevitably face. For every Narcissus, there’s a Nemesis. Modern psychiatry and clinical psychology recognize narcissism as a personality disorder which, in its extreme form, is regarded as being malignant. And a person who has the disorder is classified as a psychopath.

Typically, psychopaths:(i) are glib, charming and charismatic; (ii) are manipulative; (iii) are shallow emotionally; (iv) are pathological liars; (vi) lack remorse or guilt; (vii) have a grandiose sense of themselves;(viii) are callous; (ix)lack empathy; (x) don’t accept responsibility for their own actions, always blaming other people; and (xi) have no respect for rules. You can find psychopaths in every sphere of human endeavor and at all levels, from the most menial right up to being CEOs, governors, presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens and emperors. The more powerful the psychopath, the greater is the suffering that he causes.

Reports suggest that at least 4% of all Americans are psychopaths. And the culture of deception, manipulation, shallowness and callousness that is being marketed nowadays may be breeding more and more of them.

And nowhere is such a culture more visible than in our own country where corruption, deception, manipulation, disregard for the Constitution, the Parliament and rule of law, and utterly outrageous and crude conduct by our leader are rated and admired as political acumen; and where, on a broader scale, and apparently more and more each day, yesterday’s deviancy has become today’s norm, and the psychopath has become the role model.

This is a tragedy, especially given that the history of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the St.Kitts-Nevis Trades & Labour Union is a history of service, sacrifice, and selfless love. A history whose pages glow from the sterling efforts of responsible, respectful, responsive, sensitive, honest men and women dedicated to the elevation of the downtrodden and to social justice, and deeply committed to nation building and region building.

But when Denzil Douglas came onto the scene, he introduced a creature which he branded as ‘New Labour’, and which, as some of us later learned (and some of us are still to learn), was nothing more than a device intended: (i) to erase the great legacy of the Labour Movement, something which persons openly opposed to Labour had been unable to do; and (ii) to blind people to the new reality of the ‘Ten Man in One’, Ah Bad Since Ah Born’ Douglas cultism which was to come.

Now, please indulge me for a moment. Go back and re-read the 6th paragraph before this one, then reflect on some of the things that Douglas has said and done over the past 20 years, and ask yourself if he fits the description of a narcissist and psychopath, and if, by his own words, deeds, character and personality, he comes anywhere close to the description of a true leader of Labour.

While you do that, and while Douglas’ true personality and his leadership of the Labour Party and country over the years will no doubt be the subject of a book in time to come, I want to focus now on his deception and manipulation, not over the last two decades, but for the present, and in relation only to a handful of persons.

It’s widely known that for years Mr. Jason Hamilton was seen as Sam Condor’s successor as the Labour candidate in West Basseterre. Hamilton was Condor’s Constituency Chairman and protégé. And there was no love lost between Hamilton and Douglas. Nor were certain persons very, very close to Douglas impressed with, or fond of, Hamilton.

But when the differences between Condor and Douglas became more definitive, Douglas began to woo Hamilton, offering him the candidacy as well as a seat in Cabinet. However, it must be noted that Douglas was talking to other persons about succeeding Condor. But Douglas was somewhat rushed, as he needed an extra vote in Parliament, and Hamilton was his most convenient and immediate option at the time.

Hamilton accepted. However, when a poll revealed his low level of electability, Douglas started applying extra charm and pressure on one of the other persons that he had been contemplating for the candidacy in West Basseterre: Konris Maynard, the son of one of Douglas’ closest advisers and henchmen, which in and of itself could constitute political baggage for the young man, as Douglas knows.

Douglas has problems.

So he told Maynard that he (Douglas) would look to move on in the not-too distant future, paving the way for new leadership. That’s something which might’ve captured the young man’s imagination, perhaps luring him into seeing a short path for himself to the prime ministership of St. Kitts & Nevis.

Accordingly, inside reports suggest that at his Party’s Annual Conference on Sunday, May 19th, 2013, in addition to the plan to kick Sam Condor and Timothy Harris out of his Party, Douglas intends to inform his followers of his intention to lead the Party into the next election, then to stand down in a year or two, and give way to his chosen successor. But he won’t name a specific, single successor.

He’ll say that there’s an abundance of talent in house and that any one of his colleagues, and others, would make a good leader. Douglas’ objective will be to rile up his followers, to energize them into action this one last time for himself (who else?). One last time ‘for the Gipper’!

Remember, it won’t be the first time that Douglas would’ve said publicly that he’d step down after the election. And Maynard wouldn’t be the first or last person that he’d have dangled that particular carrot at.

I can think of at least four persons attending the Conference and who’ll be happy to hear the announcement on Sunday, each lured into believing that it is he or she who’ll be next in line, each having been given what they’ve seen as ‘signals’ of favor here and there from their boss.

And they’ll for some strange reason think that their boss is ‘playing’ Maynard for all he can, teasing the young man with near-to-medium-term leadership fantasies, but Douglas understands them a thousand times better than they understand him, and, being who and what he is, he’s actually ‘playing’ all of them, and looking to keep himself on top.

Douglas is playing ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’, the frighteningly popular psychopathic TV reality shows, and he’s beating all of his so-called comrades at it, feeding them what they need to be fed, and fooling them every step of the way. He’ll never stand down on his own accord unless he’s absolutely certain that his successor is a total puppet to him. And he already trusts none of them. So he’ll continue to control them, and the game, until his last breath.

That is, as long as he continues to get his way. But remember, every Narcissus has his Nemesis. Accordingly, in the unlikely event of a win, and as they become increasingly restless, he’d turn them more and more against each other, but at the same time, with all of the innocence and righteous indignation that he can conjure up, he’d call on them to settle down under their new mandate, then he’d use the internal instability as justification for holding on to the leadership, in the interests of the Party until all is settled.

What else can you expect? What we’re dealing with here is a scientific phenomenon. So who wants to be fooled by all of this standing down talk is free to be fooled. Again!

Meanwhile, Hamilton isn’t happy with the possibility of Maynard being in the picture. And he has continued his campaigning in West Basseterre. Indeed, a few persons very close to him has said that if Hamilton isn’t the candidate, they’d vote against Douglas’ candidate. Positions are already hard.

In the end, Douglas might choose to have Hamilton as the candidate, supported by Maynard, telling the people of West Basseterre how ‘lucky’ they are to be getting two for the price of one. The downside with that for Douglas is that it creates bounteous cannon fodder for opponents.

It’s unfortunate, mostly for themselves that these two young men would even consider linking up with Douglas, especially at this time and in these circumstances.

Because what we have here are Narcissus and ‘New Labour’, a.k.a. ‘No Labour’.

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