Lesser Evils You Can Trust!

From left: Ausbert d'Auvergne (NDM), Kenny Anthony (SLP), Therold Prudent (LPM). Peter Alexander (ONE) and Stephenson King (UWP)

Journalism can never be altogether pure, wrote Truman Capote in his preface to The Dogs Bark, “nor can the camera, for after all art is not distilled water: personal perceptions, prejudices, one’s sense of selectivity pollute the purity of germless truth.” Still, one should endeavor to be as factual as is humanly possible. Alas, the more watertight a truth, the more unacceptable it is to those who would in their own selfish interests perpetuate obvious myths.
Lawyers and politicians head the list. As I’ve often reminded readers of my columns, lawyers and politicians are interested in truth—but only when it serves their cause. Imagine then, the panic at election time when a lawyer-politician is faced with a set of inconvenient facts. I experienced yet again the phenomenal fall-out, after I had placed under the microscope during the first episode of Sunday TALK this election season’s five party leaders (yes, five!), all considered “lesser evils” by their respective blinkered apostles, at least one of the leaders referring to himself as “leadership you can trust”—never mind their disturbing common morphology!
As much as I had anticipated the reaction last Sunday, still I was taken aback by the mindless retorts of their stubbornly defensive aiders and abettors (anonymity emboldens even rodents, don’t you know!), all of them absolutely disconnected from what I had said during the earlier part of the show. And boy, did I say a mouthful about the quality of this year’s election candidates!
There was the former, well, better to let it go at that. The peculiarly talented party leader has had so many former lives—from controversial public service head honcho to controversial car salesman—that it would be difficult to list them all here. Let it suffice just to identify him as the leader of the resurrected NDM, which in some quarters was once understood to stand for Nine Dead Men and still may, for all I know. I refer to the singular Ausbert d’Auvergne and his National Development Movement.
Then there was Kenny Anthony, whose public service history, sadly, now too closely resembles that of the previously mentioned former permanent secretary—a principal player in the famous “I was duped” UN Scandal Inquiry. And Peter Alexander, whose personal claim to fame (apart from yeoman service as Kenny Anthony’s full-time distorted echo) is based on his somehow having managed to convince most of the media, and quite possibly himself, that there is more to ONE than one.
Then there’s the New York-based Therold Prudent, who in 1997 had famously fed Julian Hunte’s battered carcass to Kenny Anthony’s dogs of war.
Last but hardly least was the prime minister himself, Stephenson King. At the end of my discourse on what their candidacies said about the rest of us, I dismissed the queer quintet en-masse as “the sorry consequence of our complacency over the years and our stubborn refusal to demand quality candidates at election time.”
Not unexpectedly, the more determined resistance came from the seasoned Labour Party’s more experienced, better-trained—and way more desperate!—specially assigned faceless dirty dozen, who proudly boasted that their collective mind was irrevocably made up and permanently closed to new considerations. Despite my irrefutable pronouncements, they fully intended, like Tammy Wynette, to stand by their man. It didn’t stop there. Over and over the UFOs sought verbally to shoot the singer who had earlier delivered the well known Songs of Ramsahoye, Frenwell and Grynberg!
An unforgettable caller refused to hang up until he had declared me a UWP hack for the millionth time.                 Another accused me of seeking to keep uncommitted young voters away from the polling booths. When I invited a fiesty female to substantiate her charge that the prime minister had lied several times to Saint Lucians, she echoed one of the more worn out yarns from her party’s election repertoire: “King say
Hess woulda build a oil refinery here and Hess
say da eh true!” I dutifully reminded her that none of our leaders had ever had a close relationship with the whole truth and nothing but the truth, at which point she hung up.
Meanwhile, four of the five wannabe prime ministers have been spinning their unchallenged tales on television and on the radio, boldly offering their failsafe solutions to the world recession and its consequences on a region that at the best of times cannot properly feed its citizens, let alone offer them proper education, security, regular employment opportunities and adequate health care.
Kenny Anthony promises to find and make available to the barely breathing private sector $100 million, as an incentive to find work for thousands of unemployable citizens, as well as those rendered unemployed by the unavoidable recession.
(A recent HTS survey indicates that 84 percent of those polled consider Anthony’s $100
million panacea just another of his mindless election promises!)
Ever the used-car salesman, d’Auvergne is still seeking buyers for his “quadrant” cure-all that for undisclosed reasons was passed up by both Sir John and his immediate successor—who evidently sought to correct the old man’s mistake and fired d’Auvergne.
Meanwhile, like the hero of Paul Robeson’s Ol’ Man River who didn’t plant taters, didn’t plant cotton, and didn’t say nuthin’ but had to know sumpin,’ the Heavy Roller just keeps on rollin’ along!

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