As the story goes: A boy called Peter lived with his parents in a village on the hillside. His parents, like most of the other people in the village, were sheep farmers. Everybody took turns to look after the sheep and when Peter was ten years old he was considered old enough to take his turn at shepherding. But Peter was too easily bored and he found it very tiresome being on the hillside with only sheep for company. So he’d find ways to amuse himself, running up rocks, climbing trees, chasing sheep. But nothing really kept him amused for very long. Then he hit upon a brilliant idea. He climbed to the top of the tallest tree and started shouting towards the village: “Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!”
One of the villagers heard him and got all the other men together and, armed with axes, hoes and forks, they ran out to the village to chase away the wolf and save their herd. Of course, when they got there they found only Peter perched high up in his tree, laughing, and the sheep grazing peacefully. They were very annoyed with him. That night Peter got a spanking from his mother and was sent to bed without supper.
No need to go further with this. You realize by now the above was lifted from the Uncle Remus fairytale about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” You know, too, that for Peter the story ends badly. As for the moral of the story, it is that if you always tell lies people will eventually stop believing you; and when you tell the truth for a change, when you really need people to believe you, they won’t.
It is hardly classified information that the final episode of TALK shortly before the Christmas break featured Prime Minister Allen Chastanet as my guest. Nearly all of my questions to him came out of a public statement issued earlier that day by the Labour Party’s Ernest Hilaire. So it struck me as quite hilarious to read the suitably salted reviews posted the next day on the Internet, including that even as I tossed him softballs the PM and I were playing footsie-footside under the table. Funnier still, and more to the point, was the accompanying photograph—reminiscent of the Frankenstein monster—that featured Allen Chastanet and me, both shirtless, astride a horse, conceivably representative of Desert Star Holdings.
To say the least, the photo-shopping was atrocious. At best amateurish. Our respective heads had been pasted onto the same body duplicated—never mind that Chastanet stands close to six feet-four and possibly outweighs me by a hundred pounds. It seemed a shame that for as long as the Labour Party’s dirty tricks department has been practicing its bitchcraft, still it was unable to produce something less unprofessional.
Regular viewers of TALK will know the number of times I’ve said publicly that the surest sign elections are imminent is the reappearance on the Internet of my genitals. It became something of a joke, yes, but I was always serious. Shortly before the surprise of June 6, studio tapes were disseminated here, there and everywhere, all featuring disparaging speeches about yours truly, Timothy Poleon and other journalists perceived by the red brigade as unsupportive of dee partee. I planned to play them but decided against it, on two counts. Even by my measure the language stank. Secondly, with so many serious matters waiting to be discussed, came the June 6 surprise that caught even SLP stalwarts off guard.
It must also be common knowledge the number of times I warned on TV that before long there would be on the Internet, posted by desperate characters without a chance of private sector employment, images of one party leader or other with his genitals growing out of his forehead. It hasn’t happened, but there’s time. And certain people are on the minute visibly growing more desperate to see the back of Allen Chastanet.
It came as no surprise when on Thursday morning I received word that embarrassing pictures of Ubaldus Raymond were making the rounds via Whatsapp. My immediate reaction: “Oh, boy. Here we go again.” It was not election time, at any rate, so far as I knew, but some may well be self-convinced that the anti-DSH campaign currently underway will end with an early election and the removal of Allen & Company from office.
My own mind had quickly reversed to the time of Stephenson King, when the country was on its knees and the Labour Party could think of nothing better than to join in the CSA’s killer demands for their 14 percent pay increase, promised by the King government, doubtless in a fit of madness.
“I’ve come back after six months in purgatory,” said one of the party leaders, “and I’m ready to lead again.” Another said: “Give de people dere moneee.” Still another shouted: “The UWP hates workers, if they want to say we playin’ politics, then so be it!”
Of course, if there is one politician that the Labour boys hate, yes, hate, more than they do Allen Chastanet and Guy Joseph, that poor man just has to be Ubaldus Raymond—the deserter! Nuff said, for now. But it is hardly the point, whether pictures purporting to be the minister are genuine or the work of the earlier cited creative dirt department. By all I’ve learned there is no allegation of rape, child abuse or human trafficking. Ah, but you may want to talk instead of morality—which would require a look at the regular standards demanded of our politicians. Again, for now, nuff said.
What is more urgent a question centers on whether the involved minister himself did something illegal—or whether he is the victim of calculated illegalities by persons known or unknown. As I write, I am informed that a woman has been charged with blackmailing the minister and was granted bail. (See the minister’s statement on page 13.)
For his part, Ubaldus Raymond has issued a public statement to the effect that the whole matter is in the hands of the police and his lawyers. Meanwhile, he says, he will continue to do the work assigned him by the prime minister of St. Lucia!