Perfumed or not, rotten fish is rotten fish!

Party leaders Ausbert d’Auvergne (L) and Kenny Anthony: Are they about to skinny dip in the murky water under the bridge?

It would appear some people have formed the impression that I inspired—if not outright invented!—the wall-to-wall references to our current party leaders as “lesser evils.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The tag was placed around their necks by the more rabid of their respective supporters who, unable convincingly to rewrite verifiable history, tacitly acknowledge it, if always at the expense of their opposition.
More simply proffered: UWP supporters, faced with the indefensible details of the Tuxedo issue, predictably seek to place emphasis instead on, say, Rochamel or Frenwell or Grynberg—all synonymous with proven maladministration on the part of the Kenny Anthony government. The unexpressed acknowledgement of guilt amounts to: “While I admit my guy is no saint, your guy is the great Satan!”
According to Wikipedia (no relation to Wikileaks!) “Originally, ‘lesser evil’ was a Cold War-era pragmatic foreign policy principle used by the United States and, to a lesser extent, several other countries. The principle dealt with the United States’ attitude regarding how third-world dictators should be handled . . . By contrast, the lesser evil of two evils principle is today most commonly used in reference to electoral politics. A voter is often advised to chose the ‘lesser of two evils’ to avoid having the supposedly ‘greater evil’ get into office and wreak havoc on society.”
Christopher Hitchens observes: “The argument for a lesser evil, then, has one sure effect. It guarantees that the choice will be between greater evils next time around.”
Another Hitchens take that seems most relevant in our circumstances: “Here, stated in its full masochistic form, is the very essence of ‘lesser evilism.’ If it were a doctrine, instead of a reflex or a dogma, it would be a doctrine without limits. Try rephrasing it: We have already made the decision that they can do this to us and get away with it. We have made this decision known in advance. Ergo they can and will get away with it.’ ”
I cannot resist offering still another Hitchens classic: “The reservation or stipulation that the evil must of course be ‘lesser’ is a mental exercise on your part alone. You have already conceded the evil: you leave it to that evil party to determine if it’s ‘lesser’ or not.”
In other words, since you cannot dispute the mountain-high palpable evidence of mediocrity now demanding that you again place your future and the future of generations to come in their sullied hands, you do the next best thing. You quietly admit it to yourself: “What I see and hear from these days on a daily basis is, never mind the attempts to perfume the truth—rotten fish.” But instead of following your natural instincts and walking away from the stench, you hold your nose and concentrate instead on the fresh wrappings. You buy the silly leader-for-life TV ads. Alas, rotten fish is rotten fish, regardless of packaging.
If further proof of this were needed, Ausbert d’Auvergne supplied it in large doses during his recent appearance on Teddy Francis’ New Perspectives this week.
Asked to comment on the wall-to-wall concerns about his failed businesses and his publicized relationship with a convicted international drug baron he had once sought to partner in a local hotel venture that never got past the sod-turning stage, he ducked behind the excuse that at the time not even the FBI knew about the man’s criminal activities. As if that automatically meant d’Auvergne also didn’t know.
As for the reported 17 million still owed local banks, d’Auvergne claimed he had assets worth way in excess of his debts and that the minute he found suitable buyers he would pay off his 20-year-old loans. Not one word about how he acquired some of these assets in the first place.
Besides, he said, his businesses had failed only because he had spent far too much time minding public service affairs and too little at his private offices—as if that had never been a major criticism of his public-service stewardship; as if he had never heard about conflict of interest, defined by law as “corruption!”         As for the several other millstones around his neck, including the 1998 Blom-Cooper inquiry into “a trio of events in public administration,” d’Auvergne seemed to have borrowed his explanation from the former prime minister. In effect, d’Auvergne told Teddy Francis the inquiry was all part of a long-running Labour vendetta against him, “a travesty,” a Kenny Anthony instrument of victimization blah-blah-blah. All of which is reminiscent of the former prime minister’s own dismissal of the Ramsahoye Report that was, according to Anthony, “a gross waste of money” and proved nothing other than that the UWP government sought to make him look less pristine than he really is.
Kenny Anthony’s attempted justification for all the maladministration uncovered by Ramsahoye was simply that “Saint Lucia got a hotel out of it and that hotel is contributing to the economy.” The heck with the fact that taxpayers were unwittingly made to pay millions on behalf of a company without assets that they had never heard of before the Ramsahoye inquiry exposed the rotten Frenwell episode.
As if to cap it all, and despite the contrary evidence, Kenny Anthony still insists the 2009 Ramsahoye Report fully “exonerated” him. Ditto the damning reports concerning the millions of dollars wasted without proper accounting on the multi-tentacled National Conservation Authority.
As for the fantasy vendetta his supporters claim I’ve conducted against him these past several months, let me restate my position: I feel more than justified, bearing in mind his unkept promise to the people who in 1997 had handed him a record mandate in the best interests of change. Instead, Kenny Anthony had spat in their trusting faces several scandals for which even now he refuses to take responsibility.  Indeed, even after he was finally removed from office for his poor judgment and expensive maladministration, he arrogantly insists he did nothing wrong. Which is to say, everything he did was right, from Rochamel and Frenwell to Grynberg—and worth repeating.
It seems to me a tiny island especially famous for having produced two Nobel Prize winners should be capable of a whole lot better at election time than the sorry slate of lesser evils now trying to pass themselves off as angels—albeit angels at a loss to say what might be their solutions for our current social and economic state.
Then again, and I quote no less than Einstein: “The problems we are facing today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them!”

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