Only fools rush in to TALK!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Ozzy King

Guest­ing on Rick Wayne's TALK is ad­mit­tedly not for the faint-hearted, slow-wit­ted or the un­pre­pared. It's cer­tainly not for the priestly politi­cian (or the po­lit­i­cal priest). Un­doubt­edly, this week's guest was ill-pre­pared and re­flected a naiveté not un­char­ac­ter­is­tic of a po­lit­i­cal novice.

Nev­er­the­less, when asked to state the most im­por­tant is­sue con­fronting St. Lu­cia, he ten­dered the valid re­sponse that it is one of the poverty in the dis­sem­i­na­tion of jus­tice (with the IMPACS scan­dal ad­vanced as an in­stan­ti­a­tion, though he did not do a good enough job at de­mon­strat­ing the con­nec­tion be­tween the two points).

This the host some­what triv­i­al­ized, per­haps out of dis­ap­point­ment that his guest had not gone im­me­di­ately to the sub­ject of our eco­nomic predica­ment. It must be said that the is­sue of jus­tice pre­ex­isted our present eco­nomic cri­sis and will con­tinue to ex­ist long af­ter we, hope­fully, sur­mount the eco­nomic cri­sis. There­fore, the jus­tice and the poverty is­sues are in­de­pen­dent of each other, notwith­stand­ing the present truth that the lat­ter has ex­ac­er­bated the for­mer.

Also, it seems to me that in­ad­ver­tently the more sea­soned politi­cians don't get as hard a time on TALK as do the po­lit­i­cal novices, such as Dr. An­dre Matthew, even if they are no more fruit­ful in the qual­ity of their re­sponses. Logic seems to de­mand that if the novice is placed in a cru­cible at 100 de­grees Cel­sius, then the sea­soned politi­cian should be placed in a cru­cible at 10 times 100 de­grees Cel­sius.

A guy like Ru­fus Bous­quet ap­pears on TALK and may de­part look­ing like a su­per­star even if, when con­fronted with such ques­tions as how we ad­dress our eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion, he ten­ders glib, unimag­i­na­tive, and for­mu­laic re­sponses. Of course, he does it with more fi­nesse than most but un­der­neath the glam­our of his words, empti­ness reigns.

The point I would like to make is that if we tol­er­ate the ab­strac­tions from our sea­soned politi­cians, we should also tol­er­ate them from the novices. And this is by no means an at­tempt to say that our novice politi­cians should not be tried and tested (now more than ever) but it must be done with a more alert sense of fair­ness (given the mon­strous ab­strac­tions and vacuities we tol­er­ate from our most ex­pe­ri­enced politi­cians, per­haps out of a mis­guided sense of po­lite­ness).

Fur­ther­more, the brav­ery and frank­ness with which some per­sons called to say how dis­ap­pointed they were in Dr. Matthew was un­nerv­ing, given that this same au­dac­ity does not ex­tend to the way we han­dle our es­tab­lished politi­cians (who con­sis­tently fail us).

Why aren't the de­mands made of Dr. Matthew (as far as ideas and so­lu­tions are con­cerned) also made of Dr. An­thony, Philip J. Pierre and the other guys who have been given a li­cense to spout out all sorts of in­dis­crim­i­nate garbage? Why aren't our politi­cians weighed and mea­sured like Dr. Matthew was? This is cer­tainly not a de­fense on be­half of Dr. Matthew. Rather, it is a call for uni­ver­sal ap­pli­ca­tion and fair­ness of our de­mands and crit­i­cisms. Our crit­i­cism seems to fol­low only the path of least re­sis­tance. As such, they are clearly un­bal­anced.

I think Rick Wayne pro­vided his guest suf­fi­cient time (more time than most) to de­liver what he was made of. That was never the is­sue. My dis­ap­point­ment is that, in the end, Dr. Matthew was what made that the is­sue!

This week’s guest on Rick Wayne’s TALK on DBS,

Dr. An­dre Matthew.

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