A rather unfunny joke, to be taken with several pinches of salt

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The wonderful announcement that there would be an Antigua Airways carrier flying between Nigeria and Antigua in sixty days evoked peals of laughter in our fair State. In other words, it was seen as another cheap election trick, and nobody in Antigua and Barbuda thought that it was particularly funny. Au contraire, it had the good folks of this longsuffering State shaking their heads at the nerve of those in high places who seem to believe that they can, for yet a third time, fool the people with pie-in-the-sky nonsense, just before the election.

As you already know, it is a dark day when the people of a country no longer believe the utterances from those in high places. Sadly, this is what we have come to here in Antigua and Barbuda. Those in high places are so entrenched in the habit of double-speaking from both sides of their mealy mouths, that prevarication in their twisted minds is now a virtue. They have made so many unfulfilled promises, that as a matter of course, they can no longer be believed. We have paid all pensioners. We are constructing a new city at Willoughby Bay.  The Oases class vessels will be here soon. We will have solved the water crisis by the end of this year. Jolly Beach Hotel will be opened in sixty days. We are going to demolish the old St John’s Health Centre and replace it with a modern polyclinic. Blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam! Pinocchio is proud!

Of course, many Antiguans and Barbudans have been doing their checks on this Nigerian/Antigua Airline entity, and they are not convinced that these supposedly wealthy investors have the means to make this Antigua Airways a reasonably profitable venture, let alone get it off the ground. For one thing, the parent company, Marvelous Mike Press Limited, based in Abuja Nigeria, with six to ten employees all told, appears to be branching off into the aviation business, and that is not an easy undertaking. They’ve only been in the printing business for about ten years, under the leadership of a gentleman named on their internet pages as “Mr Mike.”

Logistically, to get this ambitious venture airborne will be Herculean. To get it done in sixty days, as was vacuously suggested by those in high places, is next to impossible. As far as we can ascertain, no aircraft have as yet been secured to make that trans-Atlantic trip, two to three times per week, as suggested by our Tourism Minister, a reality. It all sounds like poppycock. Dame D Gisele Isaac, of the United Progressive Party (UPP) recently said words to the effect that she will have to see it to believe it. In the meantime, she remains highly skeptical that this Nigerian/Antiguan venture will ever uh . . . ‘take off.’ The leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the Honourable Jamale Pringle was similarly doubtful that anything of substance would come from it. Pringle went a step further by citing a number of wondrous investments announced by this pathetic administration, that have not materialised.

Meanwhile, get this. Who would wish to do business with a supposedly reputable international printing company that makes so many mistakes in its own printed internet profile, as seen in the following script: “MARVELOUS MIKE PRESS limited is an ICT Driven Digital Security Printing, publishing solution Firm provided with the mandate of providing top-notch Prints services to individuals, groups, corporate bodies, non-/government department and private organizations, a multi-disciplined and indigenous company, managed and staffed by very reputable and experience professionals with the goal of delivering first-class services to its teaming clients.” [Marvelous Mike Press FaceBook]Sigh! (See how many grammatical errors you can spot in the above). Quite sad! Talk about not dotting ‘i’s’ and crossing ‘t’s’.  We will be taking this Antigua Airlines story with several pinches of sea salt.

Folks, this administration, now grown famous for attracting investors who have not delivered, is desperately grasping at straws before the next election. They have precious little to show for their stewardship over these past four years, and they are now flippantly making vain promises, trying to convince anyone who will listen that good things are about to come on stream. Don’t forget their overly optimistic declaration that Jolly Beach should be ready for opening in a few months. That was patented bs. They knew that it was bs at the time that they gleefully made the announcement, but they said it anyway. It is of a piece of the way that they do business. Of course, Josef Goebbels, the disgraced German Minister of Propaganda under the Nazi regime, would be tickled. He made famous the notion that if you repeat bs, over and over again, it gains an aura of certitude. Those in high places in this administration are of the Goebbels’ school of thought.

We suggest that the voters of Antigua and Barbuda dismiss all the grandiose promises that will be made by the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) between now and election day. They are all designed to seduce and fool – propaganda of the highest order. Be not deceived!

Those in high places are searching desperately for any port in a storm, and they will say anything. Take their articulations with several tablespoons of iodised salt.

      We invite you to visit www.antiguaobserver.com and give us your feedback on our opinions.

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