Opinion: Frans Richardson, a happy man.

POSTED: 09/14/11 12:09 PM

It’s always nice to see a happy human being and MP Frans Richardson was definitely in an exuberant mood when he drove onto the parking lot of our newspaper on Monday evening. As we were just about to leave and already sitting in our car, Richardson opened his window and held what looked like a sheet of white paper in his outstretched left hand. He had a smile on his face so bright and beaming that it seemed capable of solving GEBE’s energy production problems for the next two hundred years.
We opened our window too, and though our mind was actually elsewhere, our sense of curiosity was wide awake. Richardson simply handed over the paper and he kept smiling all the way like he’d just won a big prize in Robbie’s Lottery, asked brightly how we were doing (fine, just on our way home), we knuckled, and then he sped off again.
The white paper contained his declaration of independence, so to speak. We returned to our desk and wrote the story about the change in his political career.
Yesterday, a day later, we marveled at that same statement. And we started wondering, because that’s what we do for a living.
The nine brief paragraphs that make up the statement contain no less than six times one of the most popular expressions among local politicians. Yep, that would be “the people of St. Maarten.”
We sort of like the reference to Ghandi and at the same time we wonder if Richardson could not have found a source of inspiration closer to home – Emilio Wilson for instance, but okay, maybe Emilio’s quotes did not fit the occasion.
What struck us most is the statement’s smoothness, its almost unworldly way of putting things.
What about this sentence (italicized by Richardson): More often than not, the road ahead can only be followed by leaving behind what we already know.
One could easily read this as a call for collective divorce, but we’re pretty sure the writer had something else in mind, like, I will only achieve my goals if I leave the National Alliance.
Those goals could be both political and personal. So far, we have not found proof, only rumors, about Richardson’s possible motive for carting off eight years of National Alliance to the garbage dump, so we won’t get into that for now.
However, this particular line did make us wonder who Richardson’s speech writer is. Fabian Badego? Lasana Sekou? Rhoda Arrindell?
Note how careful Richardson claims that he will support initiatives by other members of parliament “when I feel they are in line with achieving the collective needs and goals of the people of St. Maarten.”
This is not a straightforward run across the political road to the other side, but sooner or later the truth will emerge. The budget debate will be a fine moment to define one’s political position. Remember that, as a member of the opposition, Richardson traditionally voted against the budget. As an independent MP he will have the opportunity to make up his own mind. Anybody interested in taking bets on the way his vote will go this time?

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Opinion: Frans Richardson, a happy man. by

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