Kenny Anthony: Answerable to Nobody?

In an article in the Voice newspaper entitled “Simply Law” Ms Trudy O. Glasgow, a practising attorney at the law firm Gordon, Gordon & Co., wrote on 24th October 2009 of her first interview with Dr Kenny Anthony. It makes interesting reading, though how much of the article reflects the real Kenny and how much is Ms Glasgow’s reading of him is hard to say.
Apparently, Kenny believes “in choosing a field of study, you have to obey your passions. I believe that makes learning more enjoyable, more exciting.” Well, that sounds like Kenny, at least. Nobody would question a statement containing as deep and earth-shattering a platitude as that.
He reportedly goes on to say, “I think that people must prepare for abrupt changes in their lives . . . for example; I had to abandon politics and go into the study of law,” which raises two issues.                 Firstly, did Kenny ever prepare for the abrupt change in his life before his government was rejected by the electorate in 2006? I doubt it. Labour was invincible; the polls said so, and the party believed them. Rejection, for Kenny, was unthinkable; but more on that later.
Secondly, why did he “have to” abandon” politics and study law? Was he rejected by the electorate even then? Did his family demand he got a real job? Couldn’t he find a job as a politician? Or did voices in his head outline his destiny? Did he obey a greater calling? Did the world need more from him? What compelled him to abandon politics? Was it Destiny? But more on that later.
Kenny, apparently, went to study law unwillingly; it was not something he wanted to do, but he grew to love it.             “Despite my initial anxieties, I grew to love the law passionately.”  What caused this outburst of passion? Maybe he was out of work and could not find a job. That’s when people tend to get passionate—or apathetic and take whatever is on offer.
Kenny explains that the Law “is a confined system of reasoning because there are defined boundaries to its logic,” not that anyone is the wiser for that pronouncement. Does he mean that the Law, beyond a certain point, becomes illogical? Or perhaps he means that logic will only take you so far where Law is concerned? Or was Kenny suffering from a touch of VD, “verbal diarrhea” with or without the “o”?         Politicians usually contract VD at some stage in their careers.
Kenny goes on to say, “But within those boundaries, there is extraordinary rigour in reasoning methodologies, styles, and application of the law. If you are able like me to marry all three worlds then your life is bound to be exciting.” There we have it; Kenny is one of a chosen few; he is able to “marry all three worlds,” though what these three worlds are may not be immediately apparent to most of us. The main thing is for us to understand that Kenny has “trisexual” powers when it comes to satisfying three different worlds in marriage.
Although he studied Law, Dr Anthony explained to Ms Glasgow that “he had never planned on a career in the legal profession.” So on the one hand, Kenny has a passion for the Law; on the other hand he has special powers as far as the Law is concerned; and on the third hand—which you must have if you are “trisexual”—he “never planned on a career in the legal profession.” You see, he never wanted a real job; he wanted to be a politician, but more on that later.
Kenny has always been a leader, but as a “leader” he seems to believe that an essential part of leading is “politics.” In what form we do not know, but Kenny seems, if Ms Glasgow “quotes” him correctly, to equate politics with leadership. “Politics has always been a part of Dr Anthony’s life. His interest in politics dated back to his youth. He always held positions of responsibility for example, Head Prefect in his secondary school, Sergeant in his school Cadet Corps and Captain of the cricket team in the River Doree community and President of the Teachers’ Union.” I think we all know the type. There’s always one “glory hog”.
Ms Glasgow further reveals that Kenny’s “political career actually started back in 1979, when he said in jest, that he was coerced into politics by the then Labour government. The constitutional issue that mandated senators to be at least thirty years of age meant that he could not be a fully-fledged member until the constitutional amendment was passed. He laughed when he said that he was the cause of the only amendment to the Constitution since independence.”
Well, well, well! So that is where it all started. If I understand Ms Glasgow correctly, at the tender age of 29, young Kenny learned from his political masters that even the Constitution could be manipulated to suit his purposes. The Labour Party changed the Constitution to allow him to become a Senator—because he was not an elected member of the House—in order to serve eventually as Minister of Education.
Well, well, well! Little wonder then that, years later, it was but a little thing for the SLP to change its Constitution to accommodate Kenny’s extension of power beyond the two-term limit. What, after all, is the Constitution of a political party compared to the Constitution of a country?
Ms Glasgow reminds us that, “at the time, there was a sharp divide in ideology between the late George Odlum and Sir Allan Louisy. Dr Anthony felt acutely vulnerable, as he was not an elected parliamentarian. It was then that Dr Anthony said he learnt his first lesson of politics: never place yourself at the mercy of others.” Frankly, the lesson he learned seems more likely to have been to make sure that nobody ever again would have power over Kenny Anthony; in future, he and he alone would be the decision maker; no one else was capable; dissention was unacceptable.
Fortunately or otherwise, Kenny’s “vulnerability” did not last long. His party was out of power in a flash and it was time to seek employment. So what did he do? He found an excuse for not working. As he reportedly told Ms Glasgow, “Politics made one unemployable. Private sector employers do not want to touch you because they fear you will compromise them and contaminate the rest of their employees.”  Nice try, Kenny! Frankly, it is questionable which is the more dangerous, a contaminating co-worker or a contaminating politician.
So when Dr Anthony left politics, he decided to pursue a law degree with the direct entry programme at the University of the West Indies under “exceedingly difficult circumstances.” Kenny was obviously suffering again, though what these “difficulties” were, is not revealed by Ms Glasgow. Perhaps the world was being unfair to him. Ms Glasgow gets a little hazy at this point. She relates that “having spent most of his career at that point in teaching both at Primary and Secondary school level, the former Prime Minister no longer called himself a teacher but a lawyer—his conversion, he said, had been completed.”                 Ms Glasgow does not reveal what qualifications Kenny had in those days to become a teacher. After leaving school, he worked in an office for a while, and taught before becoming an untrained, inexperienced politician and, later, a student of the Law. By the way, after his degrees, he never really “worked in the workplace”. He returned to teaching, albeit at university level.
Ms Glasgow does, however, give us an incredible insight into the arrogance of Kenny’s approach to teaching, an arrogance that should have disqualified him from the classroom forever.                  “According to Dr. Anthony, in the classroom, the lecturer is sovereign, and does not have to answer to anybody except the integrity of one’s intellect.” Let me repeat that: the lecturer is sovereign and does not have to answer to anybody except the integrity of one’s intellect.
There we have the key to Kenny. In his own words, as reported: He is sovereign. He answers to nobody. The integrity of his intellect is paramount. The rest of us can go to hell! Frankly, the man should never have been allowed into a classroom or lecture hall with that mentality!
People who live inside their own bubble live in a self-controlled environment. The reality outside their sphere is irrelevant. They live for so long in the world they have created for themselves that the imagined history of their lives, however unreal, becomes real.
Apparently, Kenny began teaching after he left school. At the age of 29, this “nobody” was “coerced into politics by the then Labour government.” They even changed the Constitution for his sake. It is little wonder that all this went to the young man’s head; he was indeed The Chosen One. Anyone could have become delusional and prone to illusions of grandeur!
Kenny was never exposed to what most of us would call working life in industry or commerce. After the Labour government collapsed he went off, as stated earlier, to study Law in Barbados. He completed his law degree in 1983, taught at the law faculty for two years and then went onto the
University of Birmingham
to do his PhD. He
completed his Bar
Exams and is a member of Middle Temple. He returned to teaching in 1988 until 1995.
In other words, he spent the whole of his formative years after the age of 29, either studying or working in the protected environment of academic life—if Ms Glasgow’s account is correct —with no experience whatsoever in everyday commerce or industry. It’s all theory!
Ms Glasgow then goes on to say, “He then took a break from academia to act as General Counsel for the Secretariat of CARICOM, when he was invited by the Labour Party to assume the leadership of the party the following year. He described it as an extraordinary opportunity to bring to life many of his ideas on governance, which had been fashioned in his earlier years.”
So, not only did the Labour party “coerce” an untried, inexperienced 29-year-old into the position of Minister of Education, it also, a decade and a half later, invited him to assume the leadership of the party without, as far as I can see, an iota of practical experience in running a business, a commercial venture or anything else for that matter.
Authority is the shield of the ignorant. Kenny, despite the fact that he told Ms Glasgow that “his background as a lawyer and lecturer were “immeasurable” when he carried out his duties as Prime Minister” had no reported experience that would have in any way qualified him for a leadership position. Let me remind you yet again of Kenny’s view: “the lecturer is sovereign and does not have to answer to anybody except the integrity of one’s intellect.” The Labour Party was potentially offering the country on a plate to someone who brooked no opposition
and took no advice. Madness!
Is it any wonder that Prime Minister Anthony would eventually end up in hot water over his unilateral interpretations of the law when “in his opinion,being able to apply and interpret law helped him to be more creative in decision-making”? Creative? How? By interpreting the law to suit his own purposes? Is that how the scandals began?
Dr Anthony, like any good politician, chooses his moments, not those of
Of the protest action of the Saint Lucia Bar Association in September, he stated, “I did not join the march because if I had then the marchers would have been a target; I would have been accused of politicizing the march. But I supported it.”

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