Guesting on Rick Wayne’s TALK is admittedly not for the faint-hearted, slow-witted or the unprepared. It’s certainly not for the priestly politician (or the political priest). Undoubtedly, this week’s guest was ill-prepared and reflected a naiveté not uncharacteristic of a political novice.
Nevertheless, when asked to state the most important issue confronting St. Lucia, he tendered the valid response that it is one of the poverty in the dissemination of justice (with the IMPACS scandal advanced as an instantiation, though he did not do a good enough job at demonstrating the connection between the two points).
This the host somewhat trivialized, perhaps out of disappointment that his guest had not gone immediately to the subject of our economic predicament. It must be said that the issue of justice pre-existed our present economic crisis and will continue to exist long after we, hopefully, surmount the economic crisis. Therefore, the justice and the poverty issues are independent of each other, notwithstanding the present truth that the latter has exacerbated the former.
Also, it seems to me that inadvertently the more seasoned politicians don’t get as hard a time on TALK as do the political novices, such as Dr. Andre Matthew, even if they are no more fruitful in the quality of their responses. Logic seems to demand that if the novice is placed in a crucible at 100 degrees Celsius, then the seasoned politician should be placed in a crucible at 10 times 100 degrees Celsius.
A guy like Rufus Bousquet appears on TALK and may depart looking like a superstar even if, when confronted with such questions as how we address our economic situation, he tenders glib, unimaginative, and formulaic responses. Of course, he does it with more finesse than most but underneath the glamour of his words, emptiness reigns.
The point I would like to make is that if we tolerate the abstractions from our seasoned politicians, we should also tolerate them from the novices. And this is by no means an attempt to say that our novice politicians should not be tried and tested (now more than ever) but it must be done with a more alert sense of fairness (given the monstrous abstractions and vacuities we tolerate from our most experienced politicians, perhaps out of a misguided sense of politeness).
Furthermore, the bravery and frankness with which some persons called to say how disappointed they were in Dr. Matthew was unnerving, given that this same audacity does not extend to the way we handle our established politicians (who consistently fail us).
Why aren’t the demands made of Dr. Matthew (as far as ideas and solutions are concerned) also made of Dr. Anthony, Philip J. Pierre and the other guys who have been given a license to spout out all sorts of indiscriminate garbage? Why aren’t our politicians weighed and measured like Dr. Matthew was? This is certainly not a defense on behalf of Dr. Matthew. Rather, it is a call for universal application and fairness of our demands and criticisms. Our criticism seems to follow only the path of least resistance. As such, they are clearly unbalanced.
I think Rick Wayne provided his guest sufficient time (more time than most) to deliver what he was made of. That was never the issue. My disappointment is that, in the end, Dr. Matthew made that the issue!