The Star (St. Lucia) - - FRONT PAGE - By Rick Wayne

For sev­eral months last year such as Laura JnPierre (host of DBS’ show ‘Laura’), Catherine Sealys (of Raise Your Voice St. Lu­cia) and the pub­lisher of this news­pa­per cam­paigned as­sid­u­ously against the abuse of women fea­tured in sex tapes on­line. How ironic that the first Saint Lu­cian to be charged with at­tempt­ing to black­mail an­other in that fash­ion should prove to be fe­male. Pic­tured, al­leged vic­tim Sen­a­tor Ubal­dus Ray­mond.

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 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 pho­to­shop­ping 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 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!

Dr. Ubal­dus Ray­mond, Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Fi­nance

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