“The Tide Turns”

By : Charles Williams

The year 2013 is drawing to a close, and the tides that only a few months ago seemed as though they might flirt with the Unity Construct have turned decisively. Today, the political alliance that had fixed its sights on wresting control of the Government of the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis away from the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party is on the run – its ranks shattered, and its strategy in shambles.

In truth, it is in the nature of tides to turn. The turning of the tide is a natural phenomenon that expresses itself in fields beyond the merely physical. Pendulums must swing – and as Sir Isaac Newton postulated, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The turning of the tide is an effect observed in war, in business and in politics, as well as in oceans. Those three fields: war, business and politics, are closely related – as history has repeatedly shown. If such were not the case, the “Art of War” as taught by the great Chinese strategist Sun-Tzu, would not today be required reading for students of business and political science.

The principles of Sun-Tzu prepared Mao-Zedong to lead his battered People’s Army on its famous Long March into the north, only to return and chase the Nationalist Army of Chiang Kai-shek completely off the Chinese mainland. After the debacle of Dunkirk, many feared that the unstoppable German blitzkrieg would leap across the English Channel, and that Nazi-ism would dominate Europe forever. In the months following the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7 1941, many Americans expected Nipponese forces to sweep across the Pacific all the way to the California coast. Adolf Hitler fondly expected his armies to subdue all of Russia.

Yet, the tides of war turned – and within a few years, German and Japanese forces were in full and final retreat on all fronts. We may observe the same phenomenon in business, as anyone who has followed the fortunes of cellular giants Nokia and Blackberry can attest. The same rules apply to politics; and many politicians have suffered the consequences that accrue when, like Adolf Hitler and others, they commit the elementary error of underestimating the will and the resourcefulness of their opponent.

The Unity Construct has fallen victim to that very fundamental error, and today the opposition forces are on the run, their deceptive and treacherous strategy shattered against the unsurpassed record of delivery of Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas. The leader of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party never wavered in the face of the assault mounted by his political opposition, as Unity attempted to whip up national hysteria against his well thought out strategy to advance the economic fortunes of the Federation. In the end, the Prime Minister’s cool nerve and visionary focus have prevailed – and the Unity construct lies in pieces, its own plots exposed and its ranks broken by desertion and duplicity.

In the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis, the political tides are with the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party – and not the failed Unity Construct – that will shortly be holding high the trophies from this most recent battlefield. The lessons of history, and of leadership, are clear, indeed.

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