Here we go again! What is it exactly that turns almost too friendly opposition politicians overnight into media-hunting predators no sooner than they are elected to office?
How quickly they forget their oath to serve all the people, regardless of their political color.
We’ve all, at one time or another, found ourselves victimized by politicians yet we continue to trust them even when we know they have proved themselves undeserving of public trust.
We live in a small society and know the racists, the wife-batterers, the sexual abusers. But for too many of us, all that matters is that our favorite party wins, even when its slate of candidates reads like a prison population.
Sir John Compton was never friendly toward the press. The man who replaced him for a very short time couldn’t have been more arrogant when it came to dealing with the Media Association. The battered politician infamously returned unopened a letter sent to him by the association.
At the time, Vaughan Lewis sported the color of the UWP and was doing his utmost to keep the SLP’s then media favorite, Kenny Anthony, at bay. He failed. But not long after taking office, the former media star took to parliament the infamous Section 361. Now in opposition, Vaughan Lewis turned on the prime minister, labeling him anti-press, especially after he had labeled Timothy Poleon “a media terrorist.”
No need to remind readers where Lewis stands these days, his sins and the sins of his former enemy having been washed clean in the waters under the bridge.
But just when everyone was hoping the cited horrors were at an end, we all have been given reason to think again, reminders that politicians will always be politicians, especially politicians bereft of ideas in particularly desperate times.
We need not go into the details of that sordid matter involving the Soufriére MP Harold Dalson and the recently elected UWP leader Allen Chastanet. Not to be outdone, the biggest mouth in politics these days from the “Republic of Laborie” has been busy proving what he is made of. His remarks have overnight moved from laughable to absolutely disturbing.
Like his leader and the man who once threatened never to allow Tom Chou to set foot in Soufrière, Baptiste seems obsessed with Allen Chastanet. They have launched egregious attacks on both Allen Chastanet and his father, once highly promoted by successive Kenny Anthony administrations.
As if to further prove he’s lost it, last Sunday during an SLP constituency meeting in Vieux Fort, Alva Baptiste assured his audience he would never apologize for his “over my dead body statements” in reference to Chastanet’s chances of becoming prime minister of Saint Lucia.
For his part, Dalson blamed the media for making him appear less than attractive following that venomous episode in Soufrière, when expletives dominated the normally sulphuric atmosphere.
Said a stuttering Dalson: “They misrepresent the issues!” What issues?
Of course the self-styled orator Baptiste was more direct: “Listen to who is on the media talking,” he sniffed. “Andre Paul and Charlie.” He described the Radio 100 personalities as people who “gossip every morning.”
He went on: “We must look for a job for Charlie in STEP, because, you see, the devil always finds work for idle hands.” So was Baptiste the devil finding work for Charlie’s idle hands?
When the STAR approached Andre and his sidekick for a comment yesterday they both insisted that enough had already been said. Earlier, Andre had used songs like Katy Perry’s “Roar” during his morning show to underscore his point. “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, ‘cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar,” (Andre in Katy Perry’s voice).
The STAR has also learned that Charlie, besides his part-time gig at Radio 100, is actually an employer specializing in the construction of roofs and house fittings. He certainly has no need of STEP.
And now Andre wants to know what exactly Alva Baptiste meant: “Was he saying STEP is for worthless people with nothing better to do? That certainly was his tone. So condescending,” Andre says.
Moreover, is STEP the devil’s idea of work?
On Sunday Alva Baptiste also warned his detractors to tread carefully around him: “I am cooked and baked and well-trained in guerilla warfare.” It would be interesting to know where Baptiste got his guerilla training, since it’s not locally available. Hopefully our youth parliamentarians will know better than to follow the real McCoys!