Our Readers' Opinions
January 20, 2006

Kenneth John, wait your turn!

EDITOR: The column by Kenneth John in the issue of the “Vincentian” of Friday, January 11, 2006, under the caption – “Arise Sir Louis Straker” was very revealing of the bitterness, dismay, and disappointment with which he has greeted the award of the Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of St. Michael and St. George to the Honourable Louis Hilton Straker.

Frankly, this reaction by Kenneth John was not unexpected. As he has acknowledged, it has hit him smack in the face and, certainly he must have needed some smelling-salts to revive him. I trust that it would not cause him any further paralysis or the shrinking of his brain in his cranium.{{more}}

Poor Kenneth John had hoped for many years that an NDP in power would give recognition to his contribution to the Party by awarding him with some honour. Oh how he longed to be the Governor-General and be Knighted so that he could be called Sir Kenneth John! Alas, with no prospect of the NDP resuming power in the foreseeable future, Kenneth faces the present and the future a disappointed, dejected and frustrated soul with his dreams dashed to the ground and his hopes perishing.

Kenneth John has persistently and consistently been a Straker-hater. He has never had anything good to say about Straker. It is as if Straker epitomizes all that Kenneth wished for but failed to experience. He once expressed the thought that he fails to see how Straker could just enter politics coming from the United States of America and he has been toiling for years with different political groupings and could not win a seat. Well it may be because he headed that political grouping known as the DFM which the old Labour Party translated as “Damn Foolish Men.”

When Straker contested the Central Leeward seat for the first time in 1994, Kenneth John said that there was no way Straker could defeat the pepper-sauce-man – Herbie Young. Once again in 1998 Kenneth said that now that NDP had a Barrouallie man with strong connections in Barrouallie and Buccament Bay where the NDP candidate had influential family ties and also with the help of the veteran politician Owen Walker who had returned to the NDP fold to campaign for Norrell Hull that was the political doom of Straker. But Straker survived and beat Hull with a bigger margin than when he ran against Herbie.

In 2001, Kenneth John once again predicted that in the race against Norrell Hull and Laverne Grant of the PPM, Hull would garner the bulk of the votes in Barrouallie; Laverne, the daughter of veteran politician Herman F. Young, would siphon off votes, especially in Layou and that would spell the end of the political career of Straker. But Straker survived and won with an even bigger margin. Oh, how this must have been galling to poor Kenneth.

In early 2005 Kenneth said that the Central Leeward seat was up for grabs since Straker had lost credibility with the people of Central Leeward. As the campaign progressed, he had to eat his own words and at the end predicted victory for Glen Beache, Louis Straker and Ralph Gonsalves.

These successive successes have fuelled the flame of hatred in Kenneth for Straker who has done what Kenneth has failed to do, he, Kenneth, having lost his deposit when he ran on two or three previous occasions.

Kenneth, in all of his articles has never had anything kind or gentle to say about Straker. Why? Envy and jealousy at the electoral successes of Straker compared to his own dismal failure in that field. As a reward for his hard work for the NDP he was given the Chairmanship of the Public Service Commission, a position commensurate with his humble ability, and some legal work. Of late his hope was revived and his ambition sparked for the position of Governor-General with a Knighthood if the NDP could win the 2005 elections. He was very critical of Sir Frederick Ballantyne whom he hoped to replace. But to no avail. All Kenneth can do now is lash out in desperation, grabbing any piece of juicy commess to tickle his readers.

One of Kenneth’s fabrications in his statement that as Acting Prime Minister I made “an unscheduled visit to Barrouallie, heralded by outriders, siren blasting and light flashing and Straker royally waving” sounds sensational, but it never happened. He has attributed this lie to Adrian Fraser. I would suggest that a check be made with the Prime Minister’s security personnel to verify the veracity of this nonsense. Once again it never happened. It is all in either Adrian’s or Kenneth’s imagination.

Kenneth has also stated that Straker bold-facedly named after him a Resource Centre funded by a friendly Government. I am sure that Kenneth John and other Straker- haters who are strangers to the truth, deliberately choose to ignore the words of Ambassador Elizabeth Chu as to how the Resource Centre was named. Let me quote from Ambassador Chu’s own words in her address when the Centre was officially opened. These words are on the videotape of the occasion:

“Minister Straker has been an outstanding example in speaking for us (Taiwan) on every occasion both publicly and privately. The Government and People of Taiwan are so grateful to Minister Straker that we suggested that this Learning Resource Centre be named the Straker Resource Centre.”

Please note that the Government and people who funded this project are the ones who suggested the name of the Centre. This was done through the Head of the Mission at the time, Mr. Roger Luo. At the ground-breaking ceremony, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, Dr. Eugene Chen was the one who unveiled the billboard with the name Straker Resource Centre and he once again expressed his delight with the name.

The honouring of Louis Hilton Straker by the bestowal of the KCMG on him hurts Kenneth John to the core. He can hardly disguise his hatred and disdain, but if God is for Sir Louis, who can be against him. No matter how Kenneth John and other Straker-haters try to denigrate him; no matter how eloquent they wax against him, as Sir Alexander Bustamante has said, “what is for a man can’t be un-for him.”

Kenneth has named a few people who are more worthy of the KCMG than Straker. Why in high heaven didn’t he recommend these names to his party that was in power for 17 years? As far as he is concerned, no Labour Party stalwart past or present is worthy of any high honour. He has railed against the founding father of this nation, the Right Honourable Milton Cato as being worthy of the status of National Hero. Well, Kenneth, you will be Knighted, you will be national hero. Your ego will be fully satisfied. You may even get a state funeral. Poor fool!

So, Kenneth, show your rage, show your hatred, show your disdain, your frustration, your desperation; your arms are too short to fight with God. When you try to pull Straker down, God will continue to lift him higher. All you can do is stand in awe and wonder and behold the blessings of the Lord copiously flowing on Sir Louis Hilton Straker.

Hon. Louis H. Straker

Deputy Prime Minister