Daniel Gibbs: “I’m not a beach chair intellectual”

On Wednesday, he invited the press and his political supporters to make an assessment of his 4-year mandate as deputy.

On Wednesday, at the end of the afternoon, Daniel Gibbs invited the press in the presence of around forty of his political supporters to assess his four years as a deputy. An exercise that he already did last year and which will be the last for him because of the different elections that will be held in 2017 (the territorial elections in March, the presidential elections in April/May and the legislative elections in June).

If until then Daniel Gibbs was satisfied by simply listing in a jumble his measures, his participation in the various committees and meetings with Parisian ministries, interventions on the platform, etc., he changed his way of speaking on Wednesday evening. He highlighted his qualities and his beliefs and showed how they were useful during his mandate at the Palais Bourbon.

In this way, he wanted to demonstrate his fighting spirit to the audience. "As a young parliamentarian, from Overseas, in the Opposition… I accumulated several handicaps," he said. "But those who know me are aware that all you need to do is to tell me that it’s impossible in order for me to give it a shot". And just to mention a few of his actions: "ensure that the pacte de respoonsabilité (accountability pact) was available Overseas (Editor’s note: D. Gibbs co-wrote a report in this sense with a socialist party deputy from Reunion, Jean-Claude Fruteau); and the achievement of a parliamentary information mission on Saint-Martin". Sitting on the National Assembly Law Commission was also a "priority". And it’s also for this reason that he regrets "not making the Collectivité work". "But I’m not criticizing the current majority," he said. "This double role of being both deputy and in the Opposition is uncomfortable", he added while regretting that "the Collectivité hasn’t understood the deputy’s role".

The common theme in his interventions, he said, is to "make people understand and respect the specificities of Saint-Martin", which is "difficult". In Paris, "our Collectivité was the victim of clichés and unlikely delusions", he added. Therefore "fighting these clichés and these delusions took up a large part of my mandate," pointed out the one who wants to make "the Parisian policymakers understand that Guadeloupe and Saint-Martin are two different entities".

After a four-year mandate, Daniel Gibbs has matured. His supporters say so. "He has made a lot of progress". He also admits it himself: “I’m more confident. I better understand politics. I’ve learned a lot.” As a politician and a statesman. "I’ve learned how institutions and things work… I’ve certainly made mistakes in the past but I will avoid them now," he said. Especially in the beginning of the election period. "It’s not about telling people that we’re going to do this and that… We’re not fighting just for the sake of fighting. We need to do things because they’re useful", said the deputy. And added: "We cannot say just anything" about the recent remarks made by various leading figures on the 50 geometric steps, for example. Daniel Gibbs stated that he was working on this subject with a professor. "And when I have answers that I can give people, I will provide them with solutions", he said. This should be possible at the beginning of next year.

"I’m often criticized for wanting to conduct studies, but I’m convinced that they’re necessary in order to be able to make the right decisions in the territory’s interest", he repeated. “I’m not a beach chair intellectual who has no proposals”.


Estelle Gasnet