Obviously there’s no such thing as an illiterate bus driver!

I will readily admit I’ve grown a little rusty when it comes to writing articles supportive of our prime minister’s statements and policies, particularly his most recent ones that remind me so much of Greece. And I don’t mean Greece in the time of Helen.
But first things first: thirty minutes or so before I decided to write what I am about to write, I received a phone call from someone normally trustworthy. At any rate in our regular dealings, which for the most part is apolitical. Indeed, what he presented me for consideration seemed to underscore a previously undetected interest in good journalism.
“By the way, Rick,” he said, “why has no reporter taken up the prime minister on that nasty line about bus drivers?”
“What nasty line?” I asked, a little bored. After all, is anything more commonplace in Saint Lucia than nasty lines flung from all angles?
And he said: “Haven’t you heard? Haven’t you heard what the PM said about Guy Joseph at their constituency conference on Sunday?”
“What? He called him a poodle again?” I asked. “Or has the poodle grown up into a hound dog?”
Either he has no sense of humor or he was too preoccupied with his own news. “Nah,” said Mr. Normally Trustworthy, “he referred to Guy Joseph as an illiterate bus driver!”
Honest, I was taken aback. Renegades, yes. Criminals, yes. Bus driver, yes. But “illiterate?”  Naaah! I mean, Kenny Anthony, with all the labels I’ve laid on him since 2001, is nobody’s fool. You don’t get all of those scholarships, you don’t get every degree ever invented, by being an idiot. And if you want to say he’s just another bookworm, a no-action academic, well, then how did he manage to land Stephenson King with full responsibility for Grynberg? Explain that. Even King can’t figure this one out. So no, a fool our prime minister is not.
Returning to my caller. “Tell me again,” I said, “you saying Kenny said bus drivers are illiterates?”
And he said: “No, he called Guy Joseph an illiterate bus driver. But the press too scared of Kenny to touch that, right!”
Although I have very little reason to call today’s press courageous, this time around I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the reason they hadn’t
taken up the “illiterate bus driver” issue had nothing whatsoever to do with being yeller.
I called someone else for validation; a member of Guy Joseph’s party. I should’ve known better. He confirmed the “illiterate bus driver” story and proffered Guy Joseph’s number, just so I could get it from “the horse’s mouth.”  In the circumstances, an unfortunate use of the cliché. After all, the “horse’s mouth” in this particular instance couldn’t possibly have been Guy Joseph—unless my informant meant to suggest Guy Joseph had himself started his own self-deprecating rumor.
No surprise that I phoned a dozen times and could get no confirmation from Mr. Joseph. For whatever reasons, former UWP MPs, the majority, anyway, no longer take calls. Doubtless they have their reasons. I waited to hear someone confirm on Newsspin the bus driver story. I waited in vain—until a couple days ago when, of all people, the horse’s mouth spoke.
But first the prime minister turned to Richard Frederick, with a reference to the most recent House debates, described by the PM as “one of the most unusual in the parliament of Saint Lucia.” Conqueror’s history, if you get my drift.
“At the close of the debate,” he went on, “Richard Frederick described the Labour Party slogan as demonic. It was very interesting because a few weeks earlier you heard all the commotion because I used the word cult to describe how the supporters of the UWP relate to their party. So far, I have not heard a single word of condemnation of Richard Frederick from anyone. Not even from the media that was hungry for my scalp when those words were used, although what I said was contextualized perfectly!”
Perfectly? Let’s go over that again, Mr PM. In the first place it was “the Labour Party slogan” that Frederick described as “demonic.” Not the party, not its leader, not its supporters, whether or not cultish. Now consider your statement that was so perfectly contextualized:                  “The enemy is a cunning enemy. The enemy has been in power for so long that it understands the nature of power and critically and crucially the United Workers Party understands what is called psychological warfare. It is a party that knows how to play on the mind, and the way people think, and the way people do things.
“There are times when I think that the United Workers Party is like a cult, and when I use the word cult, I don’t mean cult in a religious sense. I mean cult in the sense of how tightly bound the members are . . .”
You won’t find a statement more perfectly contextualized!
There’s a world of difference between a party’s slogan and party’s “tightly bound members that understand psychological warfare” etc. But you’ll have to admit “demons and cults” are hardly strange bedfellows, in or outside the House—if you get my context!
The part of the party leader’s revelation this week that interested me was where he referred to “Guy Joseph as a bus driver.” I have listened to the original tape from the Ciceron meeting. I’ve also heard the SLP leader quoting from it.                 This is the relevant line:
“The second observation was that Guy Joseph couldn’t resist a little provocation from Philip Pierre. Guy Joseph admitted he has construction equipment, he had it before elections, but the strange thing is that everybody knew Guy Joseph as a bus driver before elections.”
Whatever else might be construed here, the above quoted statement delivers not the slightest suggestion that Guy Joseph is or ever was an “illiterate bus driver.” Regardless of how perfectly or imperfectly contextualized.
Besides, we’ve all heard him reading from his House paypahs!

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