Remember Ubaldus Raymond? Sure you do. He’s the fall guy with the degree in development economics (as did Sir Arthur Lewis, revered everywhere save the land that he gave worth) but was nevertheless not nearly savvy enough to tell he was about to be served up as Stephenson King’s Castries North banquet turkey.
For the opportunity to service the land that gave him birth, Ubaldus and his sempiternally (for crissakes look it up!) supportive spouse had generously packed up their hard-earned clutter and bade au revoir to a cushy overseas job, for which he was not only well compensated but also highly respected by equally gifted colleagues and other beneficiaries of his one of a kind perspicacity.
Alas, having permitted his best friend and fellow academic genius Robert Lewis to seduce him into leaving the big city in favor of country life—a reversal of the Aesopean fable—a busted, broke and bewildered Ubaldus soon discovered himself deserted in the den of the King of beasts.
It actually got to the point when the circus ringmaster just wouldn’t take his desperate calls for help. But his faith kept him going. Faith in what? How should I know, dear reader? Faith in faith, I suppose. I dare to say, no different from religious faith—for what indeed is a political party if not religion by another name?
Forever the positive thinker, Ubaldus imagined the reason his brethren seemed to be keeping their distance really had nothing to do with him. Perhaps they were simply too busy hunting for future consultants. Or they were having an unexpected difficult time convincing the troops that better days would arrive once the King had been deposed. It didn’t help Ubaldus when a previously undeclared offspring chose to establish his existence in the worst way.
When it came time to make the most embarrassing announcement of his life, it was no great consolation that his fellow red hearts had been so generous as to permit Ubaldus the use of party headquarters.
Perhaps coincidentally, from that point on it seemed nothing could go right for the campaigner for King’s throne. When it was too late to save himself, the confused economist in Ubaldus would discover the ringmaster’s “better days” pledge had absolutely nothing to do with promised jobs-jobs-jobs and a hundred-million-dollar investment in the comatose private sector. Rather, it had to do with Chavez-inspired programs with strange-sounding names. Names like NICE and YEP and LOL and IDK, and computers in every shack, to say nothing of five-hundred-dollar red letters for every red hot Mama, with or without a supportive baby maker.
Mainly because the other side were drunk like skunks on Taiwanese largesse, the en-rouge train was first to arrive at the only station that counts on the Rock of Sages.
Of course, Ubaldus was not aboard, having fallen under the hooves of the King’s horse.
Oh but just when it seemed the city mouse had dug himself a country grave, his faded star suddenly lit up: the ringmaster had handed him what appeared to be a juicy plum but was actually made of wax. For several months, by his own recall, he had suffered the life of a doctor assigned to a garage. It seemed his years at university, his years of experience in all things economic, the sacrifices endured in the best interests of his country, had been a waste of time.
He tried to be patient; he talked with people he’d imagined were friends and would therefore stand by him. Alas, none was ever so bold as to whisper in the ringmaster’s ear a word or two about the talent going to waste at the Ministry of Commerce. Finally Ubaldus decided he’d had enough. He told the ringmaster where to stick his mechanic job—but ever so diplomatically, you understand. He even had some nice words to say to his lady boss after she threw a party to wish him future better days.
As for the rest of his en-rouge brethren, what they said about the departing Ubaldus amounted to, WTF—nothing. Save for the president of the Republic of Laborie, of course. He wished Ubaldus well in his future endeavors, then reassured everyone else that his departure further proved there was “so much talent in this Labour Party that we
can afford to export some of it.”
Well, goodie for him. The latest word is that the Turks & Caicos Islands Department of Strategic Planning is forecasting a 3.4 percent growth for the TCI economy in 2013, “underpinned by a recovery in tourism and construction, with spillovers into the wholesale and retail sectors.”
Moreover: “Construction activity is projected to increase in the last quarter of 2013 and is expected to surge inn 2014, as a result of direct investment in large-scale tourism-related projects.” Evidently with no help from Bolivia, Ecuador, Syria, Venezuela or Iran!
Meanwhile, the projected growth figure for Saint Lucia is 0.9 percent.
Oh, guess who operates TCI’s Department of Strategic Policy Planning portfolio? Hint: a particularly garrulous soi-disant president of an imaginary republic between the dead-zones of Vieux Fort and Choiseul had once referred to him as if he were a bunch of bananas headed for the UK market!