But that proved to be a difficult task, because most of them said either they had started listening then stopped, or that they had not listened at all.
And when I asked why, they all gave basically the same answer. They felt that there was little point in listening because they were fed up with Denzil’s habitual ‘double-speak’ and manipulativeness.
One response that came from a number of them was that nobody who wants to be objective and honest with himself or herself believes anything Denzil says any more, so there was no point listening.
One of them who said that she had listened for a while, told me that Denzil’s answer to a question as to why the construction of the Dieppe Bay Police Station was not completed, after several years since the ground-breaking, was untruthful.
This is a person who is very knowledgeable about Government finances and other matters. She told me that Denzil cited “technical” problems as the cause of the delay, but he did not explain what those “technical” problems were.
Then she laughed.
“Why are you laughing?”, I asked her.
She answered: ”Technical problems, my foot. They ran out of money! What’s so “technical” about that? They were looking for an extra $800,000.00 to finish Dieppe Bay. The Mexicans had become ticked off with them, and had thought of withdrawing their support of the project.”
She said: ”Imagine, the poor leadership of a man, who boasts about how efficient and caring he is, and about how many men in one he is, caused the country to be still without Police Stations in Dieppe Bay( which is in his own Constituency) and Tabernacle, both of which could have been up and running for the last two years”.
Another person told me that he had lost his appetite for anything that Denzil says, after listening to him frequently on his monthly press conferences and on his ‘Ask The PM’ Show on ZIZ Radio.
He said that despite veneer of openness with the media and the public, during those press conferences and ‘Ask The PM’, all Denzil does is evade questions; he takes forever with his ‘beating about the bush’ and his ‘non-answers’( and he does so intentionally to be evasive and to ‘run the clock’) ;and he intimidates, and is rude to, the media.
And he said that Denzil has been successful in intimidating the media, because, firstly, they have not stood in solidarity to show him that they will not tolerate his rudeness, and, secondly, they are not sufficiently professional and do not follow through with the hard questions.
He said that a loose media makes for loose leadership of a nation, that a vigilant, assertive and responsible media is the glue in a democracy, and that the media in St.Kitts & Nevis was falling far short of the mark.
He said: ”Show me a democracy anywhere in the world, Dwyer, where a leader can try to intimidate, insult and disrespect journalists, as has happened here in St.Kitts & Nevis repeatedly and the media still attends his press conferences. It can’t happen. They would shut him down!”
Then he went on to make what I thought was a very profound statement when he said that if a leader is not forthcoming with the people, and the media fails keep the pressure on that leader to deliver answers, then the people have to step in.
And, he said, if and when that happens, the people no longer want anybody, whether it is the leader or the media, to give them the answers. Instead, they get the answers themselves.
At that point in time, disappointed, fed up and frustrated, they say: Don’t ask the PM. Don’t ask him anything. We got this!
As I end, I remind you of the public meeting to be held, God willing, at Greenlands Park on Thursday, 3rd February, 2011, starting at 7 pm.
We are trying to have the meeting broadcast via the radio and the internet. We hope to be successful in getting this done.
For now, I will tell you that Mr. Richard Caines and I will be speaking.
If you wish to assist in any way with this meeting, and/or with our efforts generally, please feel free to contact me in person, by phone(662-4921) or by email(email@example.com).
Meanwhile, I wish to thank the many persons who have already expressed their support.
Democracy will come. But we will have to work to get it, and work harder to keep it.