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Sunday, June 21, 2015


After the “unprecedentedlecture on the intricacies of monetary and fiscal policy by ex-Foreign Affairs Rufus Bousquet to the Star Publisher (Rick Wayne) on his own TALK show where he is believed to be infallible; and followed by the brilliant legal elucidation by Antigua’s former Attorney General Justin Simon QC on the interface between the Minerals Vesting Act and the Interpretation Act; and culminating with another abrasive “legal” lecture by Anthony Astaphan QC to the Star publisher on Shelton Daniel’s 90-MINUTES on RSL, I felt impelled to share some of my technical and political perspectives with you.

Retribution by Gravity
As long as the laws of gravity exist, they were bound at some point to act on Rick’s “education” and it was only a matter of time before the writing was on the wall. From time immemorial, Rick’s discourse has fed not only on common sense and intuition but equally on misconceptions and misinformation derived from that common sense and intuition. Apparently his wide selected readings and research have not taken him into the mission-critical areas of world discourse.  A typical case is the dynamics of monetary and fiscal policy and their impact on the financial markets. He apparently thought because of the ECCB’s reduction in interest rates on savings that Saint Lucia was the worst country in the world until Rufus Bouquet appearing as a guest on his rejuvenated and rebranded “TALK” show lectured him on haircuts.

Previously, Rick’s journalistic credibility had been put on the line by Guy Joseph's notorious disclosures in the House which placed Rick at the epicentre of an “ethical” dilemma. Even his colleague journalist Clinton Reynolds - a member of his own media fraternity – had pronounced him as “not being credible”.

With “Rochamel”, “RDP 1 & 2” and “Grynberg” having effectively been blown away by the winds of truth; and with the “Lambird’s” pseudo-scandal seemingly on its deathbed, and with the DPP having put IMPACS in its proper perspective, we are now curious about how much is left of or for Rick! Will he “wheel and come back again”? Will he - like King Lear – be left exposed to the elements?

Perhaps not! As we say in the Lucian vernacular, Rick’s head is not only “hard”; but he is also a hard nut to crack! Let’s use some elements of “SWOT” to make a rough assessment of him.

Rick’s post-formal thinking
Rick is blessed with encyclopedias of “crystallized intelligence”; but sadly his universe of crystallized intelligence only seem to have completely overshadowed his “fluid intelligence”; and perhaps, therein may lie a partial scientific explanation for the mismatch between his excellent language skills and his almost “defunct” intellect.

Let’s analyze Rick’s post-formal thinking in the context of the formal literature.

The literature (cf: Kallio, 2011) on cognitive and intellectual growth suggests that at the post-formal level of operations, people like me and Rick are generally able to reconcile even the “irreconcilable” when we think, speak or write. It was therefore expected that it would be a “given” for Rick to appreciate the interface (in law) between the provisions of the Minerals Act with the provisions of the Interpretation Act; but he has thus far not demonstrated that competency, and with the legal revelations coming out of RSL’s “90-minutes” with Justin Simon QC and Anthony Astaphan, it appears that the faith and trust in Rick’s pontifications on the talk shows and in his degenerating Star tabloid might be eroding.

An appreciation of the potentially complex legal and intellectual issues related to the rationalization of the Mineral Vesting Act in the context of the Interpretation Act may require post-formal thinking. According to Michael L. Commons of the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts Harvard Medical School, post-formal thought has four levels: systematic, meta-systematic, paradigmatic and cross-paradigmatic. The systematic stage involves solving problems of a multivariate nature; the meta-systematic stage involves acting on systems; the paradigmatic stage generally involves creating new paradigms out of multiple metasystems; and the cross-paradigmatic stage calls for the integration of paradigms into a “new field”.

My view is: because Rick is quintessentially an “anti-intellectual” wearing a large intellectual mask, it is extremely difficult to place Rick anywhere in that post-formal hierarchy!

There’s also the intervening issue of his oversized Mr Universe ego; he is not only arrogant but equally a paramount figure who likes to bully (but not be bullied) into submission. Lately, however, the tables seem to be turning on him and his larger than life ego has been subject to a few bulls-eyes resulting in his upward, cocky trajectory of motion finally beginning to obey Newton’s Laws of Universal Gravitation.

It Never Rains but Pours .  . .
They say it never rains but it pours; and with all those peculiar quirks of fate which have been plaguing Rick recently, that may be exactly the case with him! And I can only empathise with extent of cognitive dissonance he may have to endure of late.

Yet, the once-upon-a-time, short-lived SLP Senator is certainly no pussyfooter like the “Virgin Mary” senator! He is smart and he does have a few feathers in his cap, too.

One of his distinctive feathers is his skillful marriage of St. Lucian politics with his brand journalism. In fact, Rick's journalism has (like a parasite) invariably fed on politics. It became the driving force which propelled him to national recognition. It is perhaps this skilful achievement that makes him stand out as a colossus on both the media and political landscapes in St. Lucia! He may well be considered as the “knight in shining armour” who has been on the frontline in the open politicisation of journalism in St. Lucia.

How does an observer like this writer view his paradigm of journalism may depend his/her conceptual frame of reference. To some it may be prostitution of the “discipline”; to others, it may be the best thing that has happened to St. Lucian journalism. There’s a also third school of thought that he may have a few proverbial skeletons in his closet; and there’s an equally powerful countervailing view that Rick is a highly transparent figure worthy of emulation. For the moment, Let’s agree that in our circumstances the jury may still out on those. Suffice it to say that whilst he exhibits much aberrational, idiosyncratic behaviour which may be largely linked to his obvious limitations related to his post-formal thought processes, he has practiced his craft with “distinction”.

Propensity for musical chairs
While the limitations of his analyses and resultant skewness are obvious, his advocacy is strong and unyielding; he is by no stretch of imagination an academic but he is not a pimp either. He is skilled writer with an enviable command of the English language! However, there’s a view that his “limitations” tend to circumscribe the command he wields.

Let’s consider an example: Rick has pathological tendency to neurotically latch to issues that many of us perceive to be irrational and he does so with an unparalleled passion to the point of fixation, playing musical chairs with them for years even when the substance, merit and logic in those issues face increasing degeneration.

The Jessica Affair which was perhaps his sputnik moment in Lucian Journalism; he beat on it until there was perhaps nothing else left in it. Then came Rochamel, RDP, Grynberg which he still continues to “go to Jerusalem” with. Lambird’s and IMPACS were the newest fads.

Distinction in skewness
Perhaps, it is precisely his “distinction” in skewness and his apparent inability to consider a different “geometry” for his investigative journalism that summoned the force of gravity on him.

The fundamental question we sought to answer was: What prevented a journalist of the Star publisher’s ranking from reconciling the “interface” between the Mineral Vesting Act and the Interpretation Act and drives him to continue with his interpretations of the former in a vacuum without relating it to the latter? Is it pure stubbornness, or is it fair to say that with time he may have exceeded his capacity to learn?

Suppose none of the above is the case, then what else would drive the holder of an Honourable OBE to be averse to use his competencies in investigative journalism to research that critical interface and its legislative implications?

 A third dimension to the argument also logically evolves: if Rick’s skewed pronouncements on law are any indication of his “heuristics” of investigative journalism and that he has a following of disciples, then just think for a moment of the impact he has had on the “discipline”; and by extension, the potential impact of his “vast store of misconceptions, misinformation” on his impressionable disciples.

Journey to Jerusalem
Figuratively, Rick loves to “go to Jerusalem” with the issues. At the moment, he may not be able to hit the ceiling; but he will certainly not allow the force of gravity to keep him on the floor! Rick may have seen himself as the “saviour” of journalism in Lucian. It is for this reason that that Rick may be a candidate for the “Jesus Christ of Journalism” in St. Lucia. Indeed, like Jesus Christ, he has picked up a few disciples along the way; but is Rick’s current trajectory also leading to his own self-crucifixion?

Rick’s distinction in skewed journalism maybe a major factor in his self-crucifixion. He hammered Labour for Rochamel, RDP and Grynberg. . . but he turned a blind eye to the breaches of the Finance Administration Act, the Taiwanese funds, the findings from the audit of town and village councils, Boxing in Paradise and many other critical issues of governance during the reign of the UWP; hence, it is no wonder that Rufus came back at him on his own show like boomerang.

Rick’s “trajectories of thought” took him high into space but the gravity of the truth on Grynberg for example according to the gospel of Anthony Astaphan on Shelton’s “90 minutes” had the final say: it dragged him down to ground zero again. Indeed, he was obviously his own Judas and Pontius Pilate.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Perhaps, both major political parties here may subscribe in varying degrees to a version of male chauvinism no matter the camouflage; and given our legacy of patriarchy, it is not unexpected.

A natural corollary of that Chauvinism/patriarchy is “male paramountcy” in our political organisations which the political leadership may either equate to effectiveness or perceive as a “critical success factor”.

Let us for argument sake concede that Kenny (because of the perception or reality that he is in absolute charge) has consolidated his paramountcy in the SLP; let us also concede that Chastanet is trying to catch up with Kenny in that regard.

Let us also concede that we have no evidence to suggest that Kenny’s “paramountcy” has never been used to subvert the democratic processes or to alienate the hierarchy of the SLP.

Can we also concede that there is no such evidence against Chastanet?

According to voices of Richard Frederick, Michael Flood, Former Prime Minister Stephenson King, Dr Claudius Preville, and lately for AG “Doddy” Francis, the answer is bone-chilling!

The latest to join the chorus are the UWP Women in Action (WIA).  It does appear that the sabre-rattling inside the WIA about male chauvinism and paramountcy within the leadership hierarchy of the UWP is well-founded.

“Hats off” to the Sealy (WIA Secretary) for her courage not just to speak out but also to demonstrate against a dangerous trend in our politics. She has done it not just for the women in the UWP, but for all the women in St. Lucia and in the process, she has outshone even the Leader of the Opposition. Miss Sealys must be regarded as a trendsetter who is worthy of emulation.

Coincidentally, Ms Sealys’ allegations and action therefrom have surfaced at a time when a UWP-leaning Talk show host excoriated a young lady who made an “unforced error” on his show; and upon the realisation of the error, she courageously offered an apology but that didn’t pre-empt the talk show host from having his full pound of flesh.

The said talk show host has followed a precedent he set when the PM apologised to him for labeling him Media terrorist; ironically, he came out as a media terrorist with a vengeance against the obviously stunned young lady who probably felt molested by the host’s merciless pursuit and desire for a pound of flesh.

In retrospect, the talk show host clearly overstepped his boundaries. He didn’t do justice to his own professional ethics.

Will the media workers endorse that behaviour?

If male chauvinism is bad for politics, then it is even worse for journalism. Moreover, if it goes to the point of using “terror tactics” like the talkshow host did to intimidate a guest on his show, then we need to condemn in the strongest possible terms and to swiftly nip from the bud. What is not good for the gander cannot be good for the goose!