Monday, September 29, 2014

Ray Roberts' big lie

INITIALLY, I had no intention of responding to Ray Roberts press conference of a couple of weeks ago, even though it was replete with assumptions, half-truths, innuendos and childish diatribe.

As he rightly said at the press conference, we had worked together for many years – and so in some ways – for old time sake – I wanted to give him a pass.

Having worked with him – I also manage to know him well. So psychologically, I dismissed a lot of his statements as – well, typically Ray Roberts – the master of smoke screens, “voose’’, and deliberately putting things into the wrong context. 

 He threads this thin line of not having said something, but knowing well it will give the impression that he wants to convey, without him being accused of saying it.

Indeed, that is one of his strengths – and I have given him credit for that since the days of working with him at Radio Free Grenada.

At his recent press conference, Ray Roberts spoke about a lot of things he either knew nothing about – or conveniently chose not to know anything about –including about the ownership and management make-up of the Caribupdate Weekly newspaper – which is a Grenada concern; and which is distinctly separate and apart to the Caribupdate News Service, which controls regional television, radio and web content properties, and which – as a legal entity – is based in Hollywood, Florida.

The official response to Roberts’ general comments about the newspaper article was adequately made at the time by theCaribupdate Weekly editorial team and that stands by itself.

The Ray Roberts I know tried to do a job at his cry-baby press conference of covering his backside by throwing up smoke screens; and if you listened to him carefully and the reason he cloaked himself in for abstaining on the Casino Gaming Bill in the Senate. According to Roberts, he “did not think” the discussion among the TUC management committee about the bill amounted to an instruction to vote yes. Therefore, he did not follow it.

I don’t think the media picked up that nuance – but that, to me, spoke volumes.
I will give Ray his space to kick up a fit, and to go back behind closed doors to fighting with the TUC as he grapples with the reality of having to represent workers’ interest in parliament and simultaneously to juggle with his own personal ambition of wanting to run in St George’s South for the National Democratic Congress in 2018.

What I do know, having observed his performance in parliament closely, Ray is more likely to take his cue from the NDC leadership than he would from the TUC management – while skillfully giving the impression that this is not so.

Someone said that he is the NDC’ fourth senator – and that’s not being far off the mark.

I have no personal beef with Ray – and as far as I know, we get on very well; but, I tell him off when I need to, in his face.

I was even going to cut him some slack for having taken some very liberal swipes at me at his ‘having-caught-a-fit, allow-me-to-let-off-some-steam’ press conference.

But there was one thing that stood out – that, at the time, both myself and others in the media fraternity had a big laugh at, because it was such a joke.

However, when his partner in crime that runs that illegal newspaper decided to publish the claim – that everybody else dismissed as rubbished - I thought I needed to set the record straight.

Roberts made assertions about me being paid $10,000 a month by the government.

The very day I heard that claim, I personally called Ray.

I said to him – “Ray, you either have to be crazy or dishonest” because you made a claim there that I know you know is not accurate; that you know exactly how much money I  earn’’.

He said to me – that, yes, he knows what I get; but, he just deliberately called a big figure, since he had requested the information in the Senate and it was never provided to him officially.

So to paraphrase what Ray Roberts personally acknowledged to me: he deliberately told a lie on me to make me look bad. (But I am just the latest victim of Roberts two-facedness).

All I have to say to that – true to form – the Ray Roberts I know – continues to be the master of smokescreens, innuendos, and misinformation – and before now I didn’t think of this one – outright lies, too.

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