Kenny Apologize? Whatever For?

Upon receiving news of the latest word from the Burning Olive Bush, I knew not whether to laugh or cry. Is there no end to this boring carnival? So Kenny Anthony described the United Workers Party as “the enemy, cunning perpetrators of propaganda and deceit, a cult that will lend blind support to the party and sees nothing wrong with the canceling of Richard Frederick’s US visas.” For that he should apologize?
What’s so shocking about the prime minister’s quoted declaration? Did he not express similar sentiments throughout the campaign that last November had resulted in his reelection? Is his latest outburst worse than “renegades and criminals?”                  If memory serves, much of what the SLP leader said on TV and elsewhere about Frederick’s visa revocation was later echoed on Newsspin by leading members of the United Workers Party and by the then minister’s Cabinet colleagues who in more private circumstances had demanded their leader throw the Castries Central MP to the wolves. So now, why all the yelping?
Nothing new if Kenny Anthony sees the United Workers Party and its supporters as “the enemy.” (His or the state’s?) He said as much during his most recent election campaign—and reaped the spoils.
Why, then, should he not continue to set predictable Saint Lucians up, one against the other, if by so doing he can keep us at each other’s jugulars, too busy spewing venom to pay attention to our real enemies, among them prevaricating political flip-floppers, criminals in police uniforms, a recession with no end in sight, wall-to-wall unemployment and more and more jobs under threat?
Even when the prime minister has admitted the country is bankrupt and headed for the toilet (surprise! surprise!), when the government has admitted it cannot pay its bills, we think it more important to engage in the same divisive activities that had contributed so much to our present sorry state.
Is anyone surprised that there has been no word on the latest issue from Stephenson King? Better to ask if anyone cares. By all the evidence he is the leader of a nonexistent party. At any rate, a party that apparently evaporated immediately following the November elections.
By all accounts its officials threw in the towel the minute the results were in, all except King—who pockets a monthly salary and perks in exchange for service as leader of the opposition.                 But then, not even when the government’s surrogates have accused him of placing the Grynberg millstone around the government’s neck has King seen cause yo protest.
Alas, poor Richard. He remains the government’s favorite bête noir, just when it seemed the House Speaker had rendered him toothless and no longer worthy of special attention. Why is he back in the news? Why has his visa revocation been resurrected? How true are the stories on the Internet that claim concerned US Embassy officials in Barbados recently questioned leading members of the Saint Lucia government about Frederick’s record?
Might the prime minister have by now cleared the air on that? Since returning to office has the prime minister uncovered evidence supportive of his claim that his predecessor knew much more about Frederick’s visa than he had revealed last November?
As I say, we should be talking instead about the way forward. If the prime minister considers it necessary to resurrect dead issues, then so be it, let him.
But show some respect for the people’s intelligence and explain why Frederick’s past is more important a topic than the nation’s miserable present and future. Connect the dots. Show us how last year’s visa issue is today impacting our economy, employment, education, healthcare, tourist industry and so on.
Shortly after the last elections, I wished the new government the best of luck in dealing with the nation’s countless Sisyphean problems. I pointedly went out of my way to say that regardless of my personal feelings about the prime minister’s earlier handling of several matters of national interest, the people had spoken in his favor and I had little choice but to respect their collective voice. Nothing has changed in that regard.
I continue to respect the popular voice, even as I remind myself that the people get the government they deserve. Or, as H.L. Mencken put it: “The common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard!”
By the way, when he suggests the UWP is a cult that “sees nothing wrong with the canceling of Richard Frederick’s visa” is the prime minister saying something was wrong with the cancellation? Will he share the secret for the general good?

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