Of Palaces, Poverty, and the Paranoid


By Poetic Justice

Humility is beautiful to behold and truly majestic. Vanity, pride, and arrogance are ugly cousins and go before the fall. Such are the lessons of history. It is August 2020, and Dominica is still limping along after the ravages of Hurricane Maria. Truth be told, we are happy that the strength of our overseas communities which poured their hearts out to help, the faith of our honest locals, foreign friends, and aid, helped us survive the ruin left by Hurricane Maria and return our island to some semblance of normalcy. However, there are too many homes, schools, and other property in shambles and the national library still lies in ruins. Added to that, we are now saddled by a limp tourism industry, little in agriculture, zero industry and COVID 19’s death grip. Just the right time to build the palace on the hill, right?

Amid this down economy Dominica’s reigning King made his bold move. When he thought no one was watching he jumped out in the dark of night and dragged the fair maiden Dominica into the dark bushes of unaccountable governance to ravage her. That is how the one-man government has staked his claim to the gaudiest palace on the hill. The 13,000 square foot palace was built by Colombians, and persons all the way from Asia, while Dominicans are unemployed and the Portsmouth MP in a cabinet of “yes” men and “yes” women cannot finish his modest home after three years. The King must get what he wants. His Senior Counsel will play defense. His borrowed brain and propaganda machine will go into high gear and they will defend the indefensible plunder of our near bare treasury of the $64,300.00 per month rent that the citizens must pay to house the King and his overdressed Madame. Clothed as some dandy in Savile Row suits costing more than the average salary of an ordinary civil servant, the King has machine gun-carrying guards guarding his fortress on the hill. Loyal only to the king, and not country, some will kill their own kinsmen to please him.

On Friday, August 14, 2020, when the Leader of the Opposition Lennox Linton and the Honorable Danny Lugay drove by the palace they had to pay. Why should a hard-working businessman like Mr. Walsh dare come by and stare at this monument to vanity? With machine guns menacing, the disgraced excuse for a policeman brutally grabbed Danny Lugay, Member of Parliament for Roseau North from the car within which he peacefully sat. They dragged him into the public road and unceremoniously dumped him into an unmarked black SUV. Assaulted, kidnapped, and imprisoned, this is the treatment meted out by the King to any subject who dares to state that this emperor has no clothes. Intimidation at high noon; the deed was done. The king must have said: “I will show them, I run things in this country!” The king was pleased with the work of his puppets on a string.

But wait. It is shocking for the king to see. It seems the masses are stirring. Even once docile Labourites are grumbling. The outrage has grown, as hungry bellies growl in the down economy that is saddled by men and women who have lost their conscience. They have lost all philosophical affinity for the roots of the Labour party that all shall eat. Today, the King has bred a society in which some shall eat all. What is that society birthed by the regime? The kleptocratic elite is a carnival of cronies, boom-boom flies, enablers, apologists, defrocked priests, prostituted pastors, passport peddlers, sanctions busters, money launderers and other pirates far and near that roam the high seas or fly by night. Gone are the cherished good governance values of a Chief Minister Frank Baron, Premier Edward Oliver LeBlanc, Dame Mary Eugenia Charles, Prime Minister Rosie Douglas, or Pierre Charles. Fueled by the high octane of power, the King has made what may well be his last colossal mistake. He has unmasked himself. Shot himself in the foot, by gorging himself on the goodies of life while the masses sink further into poverty. When criticism rises to a crescendo against this brazen attack on the public purse, the paranoid King in his palace sends his goons to beat up his critics. Stunned by the backlash, he runs to the radio and laments that people don’t like him. He cries out for sympathy stating that he feels harassed. Cornered in his palace, the King is assailed by the ghost of Humpty Dumpty. We recall our school days and the rhyme, “Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. And all the king’s horses, and all the king’s men could not put Humpty together again.

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