Part­ing is such sweet sor­row

Mus­ings are thoughts, the thought­ful kind. For the pur­pose of th­ese ar­ti­cles, a-mus­ings are thoughts that might amuse, en­ter­tain and even en­lighten.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Michael Walker

“Part­ing is such sweet sor­row,” sighs Juliet to Romeo, which is, of course, an oxy­moron of con­tra­dic­tory el­e­ments of pain and plea­sure. Juliet sees part­ing as sor­row­ful be­cause she wishes to snare her lover in twisted "gyves" – read: chains or fet­ters - and part­ing is si­mul­ta­ne­ously plea­sur­able be­cause do­ing any­thing with Romeo is “plea­sur­able”; they were, af­ter all, in love. I sup­pose, don't you agree, that that is how press sec­re­taries feel about their bosses when break­ing up time comes around.

Take Prime Min­is­ter of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Ti­mothy Har­ris, for ex­am­ple, who ad­dressed ru­mours that had been cir­cu­lat­ing for some time that he and his Press Sec­re­tary, Mr Clec­ton Phillip, were go­ing through a bad patch. Keep­ing a stiff up­per lip, the PM ex­plained in the bland­est of bland terms that “Mr Clec­ton Phillip will leave the of­fice of the Press Sec­re­tary by mu­tual agree­ment on com­ple­tion of the agreed pe­riod of ser­vice. We will in time de­ter­mine where best his ser­vices can be uti­lized. I wish Mr Phillip well as he finds other av­enues to uti­lize his gifts and tal­ents. I record my thanks to him for his con­tri­bu­tion to the work of the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter and the coun­try at large.” Ah, so sweet; even political di­vorces can end hap­pily, he seemed to be im­ply­ing, though he still clung on to the no­tion that he would be in­volved in de­ter­min­ing “where best his ser­vices can be uti­lized”. Poor fool; he didn't get it. When it's over, it's over.

Of course, the PM's bud­dies all had to weigh in with words of con­so­la­tion. At­tor­ney­Gen­eral the Hon. Vin­cent By­ron Jr. said he was not aware that Phillip had ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion and at­tempted to spill oil on trou­bled wa­ters. “I can't speak to that, I am not aware of that … and as such I am not cer­tain if that is so. But I ex­pect that we would have to be con­sid­er­ing one way or the other if that would have been re­viewed or if he would have wanted to go back to his pri­vate prac­tice.”

Phillip, a busi­ness­man, known as a so­cial ac­tivist, was reg­u­larly heard on ra­dio pro­grammes in sup­port of the party. He was also the Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Peo­ple's Labour Party formed by Prime Min­is­ter Ti­mothy Har­ris and for­mer Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Sam Con­dor. Fol­low­ing Team Unity's suc­cess in the Fe­bru­ary 16, 2015 Gen­eral Elec­tions, Phillip was ap­pointed Press Sec­re­tary to the Prime Min­is­ter but was al­most in­vis­i­ble and only seen at the PM's monthly press con­fer­ences. Op­po­si­tion mem­bers, sens­ing un­rest in par­adise, in­di­cated that Phillip and the Prime Min­is­ter “did not see eye-to-eye”.

It was noted by me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers that Phillip, un­like press sec­re­taries closer to home, rarely sent out govern­ment press re­leases and, if so, most of them would have al­ready been dis­sem­i­nated by the St. Kitts-Nevis In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice. Me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers were also per­plexed by the fact that the Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of SKNIS was the one who had ac­com­pa­nied the Prime Min­is­ter when he went abroad on govern­ment's busi­ness and not the Press Sec­re­tary, again un­like press sec­re­taries closer to home who seemed to be so at­tached to their Si­amese twin boss that bath­room vis­its might have posed a prob­lem.

Oh, by the way and quite ir­rel­e­vantly, Press Sec­re­tary to the Prime Min­is­ter of Saint Lu­cia since 2012 and ac­tive mem­ber of the rul­ing SLP, Ja­dia Jn Pierre-Em­manuel, re­signed with ef­fect from Jan­uary 31, 2016. Asked what led to her de­ci­sion, the for­mer Press Sec­re­tary had said: “I am not in a po­si­tion to give any in­ter­views now.” Ms. Jn Pierre-Em­manuel would not say then what her im­me­di­ate plans were. Isn't it a bit ridicu­lous that peo­ple ei­ther can­not, will not, or more sin­is­terly, are not al­lowed to mo­ti­vate their own de­ci­sions to quit? Surely a PM's grip on the pri­vate lives of his un­der­lings and their fam­i­lies should not be so suf­fo­cat­ing that those who wish to leave can­not clear the air to stop spec­u­la­tion, gos­sip and ru­mour about their con­sti­tu­tion­ally pro­tected right to seek em­ploy­ment or ad­vance­ment else­where. Of course, some bosses ac­cept noth­ing less than 100% loy­alty and obe­di­ence; any­thing else is be­trayal.

Sadly we were told that the PM would make “an an­nounce­ment” and any in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing Ja­dia's res­ig­na­tion would have to come from the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter. At long last, the woman who had an ex­pla­na­tion for ev­ery­thing, who de­fended her boss like a ti­gress would de­fend her young, who could put a spin on ev­ery du­bi­ous, ir­ra­tional twist and turn, ev­ery som­er­sault her boss per­formed, had fallen silent. The woman who sat glued to the ra­dio to ward off in­stan­ta­neously ev­ery crit­i­cism of her boss will be sorely missed at RSL and RCI.

Fi­nally, from a to­tally un­re­lated press re­lease, I have learned that Ja­dia's father, Fran­cisco, will con­test the La­borie seat on a United Work­ers Party (UWP) ticket, at the next elec­tions. What jolly con­ver­sa­tions he and his daugh­ter must have en­joyed over the years. Wasn't it the Fran­cis fam­ily that went through a sim­i­lar tur­moil a cou­ple of years ago? Well, di­ver­sity is the spice of life, they say!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.