No doubt about it: we are indeed a unique people. But let’s not be in a hurry to start crowing. Our admitted uniqueness is hardly good reason to shout out. Not when it is synonymous with backwardness and a stubborn unwillingness to move out of the mud of ignorance and complacency. We talk a lot, yes, but seldom do we back up our words with corrective action.
Lately the old noises have been heard about the STAR’s reluctance to publish our government’s more laudable achievements while churning story after negative story about its ministers. It’s not as if we’ve not written a million times that our prime reason for existence is as a watchdog for the people, not as any government’s public relations agents. We see our job as bringing to our readers such important information as our elected officials would prefer to keep in the dark. We do not expect the official media to headline government corruption. And yes, we acknowledge ours is a dangerous job in an environment where political victimization is commonplace. But someone’s got to do what we do if our country is to move forward and not sink into a cesspool of everything retarding, egregious and downright unconstitutional.
The people cannot all be fooled all of the time. When a government is doing what it was elected to do, the evidence is inescapable. Besides, taxpayers fork out millions to keep the government’s various public relations engines churning out what makes the government happy. With Rufus Bousquet and Timothy James falling over themselves in their determination to polish George Mallet’s tarnished public image, it’s obvious the government does not need the STAR to sing its praises.
If there are any who cannot live with the good word on government without the smallest whisper of reasonable criticism, then let them keep their radios tuned to tax-funded Radio St. Lucia. There is little chance their ears will be assaulted by any mention of the latest tourist board scandal or persistent rumors of the police commissioner’s convenient early retirement. Neither will they hear from the government’s public relations squad about drug trafficking at Her Majesty’s prison.
Yes, indeed, if what you yearn for is what self-serving politicians would prefer to deny you, then obviously you have little choice but to keep reading the only newspaper demonstrably dedicated to bringing the truth to light!
Editor’s Note: The above was first published in the STAR of 24 September 1988!