Whew! It took a whole year, and counting! The malingering in the repair of the tiny Little Creek Bridge, just south of Jennings, will go down in history as one of the great monuments to this administration’s mismanagement. Not to mention, its total lack of caring and concern for the good people ‘Roun South.’ Engineering students in Bridge Construction 101 will use the incompetence of this administration in the Little Creek Bridge rebuilding effort as a case study in What Not To Do When Building Bridges.
If you recall, and how could you forget, Antigua suffered a flood of epic proportions, what with cars floating in the streets of St. John’s, when 12 inches of rain fell in a relatively short period of time, last November 9. It was cataclysmic – the damage that we sustained. Things were so bad that our Prime Minister (PM) cautioned us to not expect the repair work to be done with any urgency. After all, we were in the middle of a pandemic, and from all reports, our financial cupboard was bare. Old Mother Hubbard had nothing on us!
Of course, this admission from our PM was something of a surprise to many, especially the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) true believers who were confident that were indeed an economic powerhouse. Whatever the hell that means! They seemed to have forgotten that earlier last year, a few months before the flood, the first powder puff from Covid, brought this vain-glorious administration to its knees. Seems, the supposed ‘economic powerhouse’ was an ‘economic pretense.’
Anyway, while we expected the repair work to be a bit delayed, we never imagined that it would take an entire year. Not with so many administration geniuses preening and posturing as a caring and responsive government. Their bungling of the repair work on the Little Creek Bridge puts a lie to that claim. And nobody knows that this is a lying and uncaring administration more than the long-suffering people ‘Roun South.’ They have had to grin and bear the enormous inconveniences on their commute to and from St. John’s – what with the dusty, crater-filled detour around the crippled bridge. With the poor signage, the inadequate lighting and the shoddy workmanship, the detour is a threat to life and limb. We urge road users in that area to proceed with extreme caution.
Of course, it is anyone’s guess as to when the Little Creek Bridge will finally be reopened. Perhaps in time for Christmas, or better yet, just in time for the election next year. We suspect that it will be the latter. After all, this calculating administration only remembers the people of this blessed country at election time. As the polls draw nigh, the Houdini Representatives in high places will ditch their patented disappearing acts and become ubiquitous. They will begin answering their telephones. They will be at church services and funerals, shaking the hands of the parishioners and posing for pictures with babies. They’ll conspicuously walk in late to the church services, taking a prominent seat, but not before nodding and waving piously to the believers, a plastic cynical smile pasted on their visages.
Usually, as a courtesy, the Pastor will acknowledge their presence and give them a chance to say a few words to the gathering. They become giddy will glee. This is what they live for – another chance to mouth-off and mamaguy the people. It is a study in disingenuity! They sanctimoniously mount the steps to the pulpit, recite a few scriptures, heap all manner of flattery on the congregation, say a few dry jokes, and promise all manner of wonderful things for the constituency. Blah, blah, blah! It is really quite boorish and tiresome! The parliamentary representatives from the area in question are quite good at that charade!
To be sure, whether the bridge is reopened in time for Christmas, or in time for the election, it will matter little to the people from the area. The damage has already been done to the people. It is not a stretch to suggest that they will hold the elected representatives from the area responsible for the tone-deaf inertia in this administration as it pertains to Little Creek Bridge, and the smaller bridge further south, near the Cades Bay pineapple farm. The fact that they failed to be advocates for a speedy repair to the bridge is proof positive that they do not care! The fact that they failed to prevail on the PM and the Ministry of Works that these bridges were a priority, is damning! The people ‘Roun South’ ought not to forget the disrespect and the neglect! The bad treatment!
Singing Francine sang the classic, HOW TO RUN AWAY, back in the seventies. The message is instructive. May we be guided accordingly: “. . . How to get away, how to get away, how to get away from he / Child does run away; fowl does run away / Woman and cat does run away, when man treatin’ dem bad / Dog does run away; cow does run away / Wha happen to you, woman, you could run away too!” Especially on account of this not-so-happy Little Creek anniversary, among other acts of negligence and abuse! Indeed!
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