The lecture by Dr. Severin (left) was described as an intellectual fraud by Astaphan

The lecture by Dr. Severin (left) was described as an intellectual fraud by Astaphan

Dr. Francis Severin has come under fire from Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan following his presentation at the Eleventh Annual Dame Eugenia Charles Memorial Lecture recently.

Astaphan described the lecture as an intellectual fraud, which reeked of dishonesty, misrepresentation, was shameful, disgraceful and was based on the propaganda of the United Workers Party.

The lecture entitled, “Dem belly full, but we hungry: Insights into autocratic rule,” was a wide-ranging one, touching on numerous topics. In one area he spoke of democracy and Parliament, saying Parliament is an agency of the country’s democracy belonging to the people and no one else. He said it was backward for anyone, especially the Speaker of the House of Assembly to frustrate elected members.

Many in Dominica felt the lecture was a good one, but Astaphan did not share such feelings.

“I think it was an intellectual fraud executed on the minds of the people of this country,” he told state-owned DBS Radio. “It reeked with dishonesty, it reeked with misrepresentation.

He believed the lecture was a disgraceful one delivered by someone who should display intellectual honesty at all times.

“I think it was a shameful and a disgraceful speech by somebody who holds a position in society where intellectual honesty must be demanded at all and absolutely all times …” Astaphan noted.

He said Dr. Severin was pandering “to a political crowd” and the lecture was calculated and a dishonest, political and intellectual act “by someone of his standing that I have witnessed in a long time.”

“Because so much of it was based on misrepresentation, so much of it was based on lies and so much of it was based on the propaganda of the United Workers Party,” the Senior Counsel said. “So I say all of this without in any way trying to denigrate the person, but the speech from that person, to me, was an intellectual disgrace, a fraud and something that should be condemned.”

Dr. Severin is the Director of Open Campus Country Sites at the UWI Open Campus.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO FULL SPEECH BY DR. SEVERIN