Sunday TALK and lesser-evils politics

Sunday TALK host Rick Wayne gave St Lucia a look at the lesser evils who want to be the leaders of St Lucia.

It was billed the premiere showing of Sunday TALK—a dynamic new show featured on St Lucia’s cutting edge CHOICE TV. Actually, though renamed from TALK (as carried by DBS for a decade) the host was still very much the Rick Wayne we knew before the break. He was on Sunday as ever combative, intolerant of what he considers nonsense. No subject was too taboo to tackle. And typically, he was in no mood to take-no-prisoners. Especially obvious was that during his sabbatical he had not developed a new tolerance of politicians. If his detractors imagined his recent health scare might’ve mellowed him, they soon had reason to think again. Certainly, he had never looked better. Was it just the fantastic Choice TV lighting? For certain, his energy remained undiminished.
Sunday’s episode kicked off with what sounded like a tribute to recently deceased Steve Jobs, with the host referring to the Apple icon’s 2005 commencement address, wherein he advised graduating students to “connect the dots in their lives.” Like Jobs, Rick had himself been connecting the dots of his own life during the last several months. He revealed that one of the lessons he had during his treatment learned was to be careful not to be too quick to judge personal relationships. He spoke of the expressions of good wishes and love he had received from the St Lucian people while dealing with his prostate problem in the United States, and cited a particular letter that he said had touched him in ways that compelled him to reconsider what was true friendship. He actually named the writer: Arthur Neptune.
Unfortunately for local politicians, Rick’s new attitude did not extend to them. The show took a sudden turn right after the first break. Up popped a graphic with the banner headline: “Leadership you can Trust!” Pictured were Ausbert d’Auvergne, Kenny Anthony, Peter Alexander of the Organization of National Empowerment (ONE) and Therold Prudent of the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM). At the bottom was PM Stephenson King, strategically placed, as if to distinguish him from the rest of the pack that Rick referred to as “a bunch of crap!” Never famous for speaking in tongues or in ambiguous terms, the host observed that the histories of Anthony and d’Auvergne were so similar that they should refer to themselves as a hyphenate. You could almost feel the thorns in his tone as he sarcastically intoned “leadership that cannot be trusted”—Ausbert d’Auvergne’s campaign slogan. He reminded his audience that separate commissions of inquiry had found Dr Anthony guilty of “maladministration,” and d’Auvergne as “unfit for public office!”
“Yes, indeed,” he repeated, “leadership you can trust!” As for Peter Alexander, Rick wondered why after five years of his farce the media continued to accommodate him. “Is there really anyone who takes what this guy has to say seriously when all he does is repeat incoherently Kenny Anthony’s latest pronouncements?” As regards the LPM’s Therold Prudent, I thought Rick was downright dismissive. He saved the smart bombs for Kenny-d’Auvergne, lumping them together and stating sarcastically that a hyphen should be inserted between the two names, in effect creating a Frankenstein monster. By Rick’s estimation, they were just two of a kind, and certainly not “leadership you can trust!”
Maybe for the millionth time in his career, Rick reminded his audience that he was not seeking to be popular. You can’t be a rocker of boats and still expect boat people to love you, he said. He was determined to shine the light of truth wherever it is needed, he said, no matter how inconvenient for politicians and their supporters with their unseeing eyes. He long ago gave up on those he refers to as Unidentified Foolish Objects and party hacks.         Oh, but they too would have their say. The evening’s first caller agreed with Rick that the faces of the party leaders currently vying for office were all smeared with mud.                 However,  in the case of PM King the mud was “in his eyes!” He wanted to know if Rick would entrust his business to any of the politicians featured in his line-up of “lesser evils.” Rick answered without a moment’s hesitation: “No!” I got the feeling that the caller did not anticipate that response. As if to soften the blow, Rick added that King inherited what was already in place when he took over from John Compton, including the the warring individuals, d’Auvergne, Rufus Bousquet, Marcus Nicholas, Lenard Montoute and Richard Frederick. Their war had started even before the 2006 elections got underway. It occurred to me that the caller may have forgotten it was the same Rick Wayne who famously had once described the prime minister as “unfit to lead a troop of boy scouts!”
The show was not without its funny moments, such as when a caller (one of those Rick refers to as “hacks” perhaps?) hogged the line and refused to get off, even after the host had already said ‘bye and good night’ to him. To Rick’s obvious amusement and amazement he returned to the line more than twice to find that the caller still hanging in there. For the most part the callers sounded like rehearsed hecklers who were still not ready for prime time. Not one of them dared to challenge anything the
host had said. It seemed they only wanted to say they had made up their minds about the lesser evil who would get their vote and that was that. Rick seemed to welcome the opportunity once again to pitch his line about those who embrace lesser evils, whether or not in politics: “If you embrace evil in any form, whether lesser or greater, you declare yourself evil.
The good work always against evil where they find it!”
Yes, Sunday TALK may have found a new home but the host remains, love-him-or-hate-him, typically Rick Wayne: iconic, one-of-a-kind, seemingly fearless, clearly unconcerned about hecklers who too often do more harm than good to their party’s image, whether SLP or UWP. Something tells me none of the leaders currently promoting their good sides will risk an interview on Sunday TALK.         I, for one, can hardly wait for this Sunday’s show, as much for the host as for his stubborn foils on the other side!

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