This is supposed to be a happy moment; an occasion for an outpouring of enormous national pride. After all, LIAT is scheduled to take off on a limited basis (five days per week) to Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines as of Monday, November 30. True, there are still a number of unanswered questions such as the very vexing issue of monies owed to severed workers. Nonetheless, we are hopeful that at some point in the not-too-distant future, they will be made whole, albeit with a haircut.
Then there is the small matter of who will be partnering with us in this huge undertaking. According to the court-appointed Administrator, Cleveland Seaforth, he is in talks with a handful of potential investors, two of which are airline companies, but they have yet to ink any partnership deals. So, as it stands, the government of Antigua and Barbuda is footing all the costs of the resurrected LIAT. Of course, this is an untenable situation that must be remedied as a matter of urgency.
The sad thing is that nobody in Antigua and Barbuda is talking about LIAT. Instead of euphoria, we are all of a melancholy humour, brought about by the follies and foibles of those in high places in this beleaguered administration. How appropriate the Biblical David’s lament over Saul and Jonathan’s demise: “The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places. How are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon!” [Samuel 1:19] Sigh! An administration so full of hubris and false pride, brought low by its ineptitude, its overreach and its straw men. No wonder King Zacari had to ask out loud, “How come so much ras hold in government?” We are asking ourselves that very same question.
Of course, we will not regurgitate the sordid details of the many men of straw that have brought this prideful administration low. Even the true believers, the faithful, are stunned at the precipitous fall of those in high places. They rue the day that they ever cast a vote for these feckless pretenders. Obviously, there is no joy in Mudville! Night falls, and darkness encompasses the land! It is a fair bet that the people of this blessed State will never again look at this administration through rosy-tinted glasses, as they once did. Antiguans and Barbudans have had a reality check, a wake-up call, if you will. Not that the Barbudans were ever asleep! They have never been fooled by the tricks and gimmicks of this insufferable regime. To their eternal credit.
Look folks, when a scion of the immortal Oscar Mason, he who is most deserving of our nation’s highest honour, and he who dedicated his life to V C Bird and the Antigua Labour Party, can cry from his soul, from the depths of his very being, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN ANTIGUA?! WE CAN’T BREATHE! WE NEED TO BREATHE! I NEED TO BREATHE! I’M SICK, TIRED AND FED-UP! WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY WE’RE LIVING IN?” then we’ve come to a fine pass.
The scriptures tell us that “Pride goeth before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction.” [Proverbs 16:18]. They are instructive. Consider Daniel’s interpretation of the words from Belshazzar’s feast – “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin: God has numbered the kingdom and brought it to an end. Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.” Oh haste that day! Seems, history is repeating itself right here in our fair State. Talk about a Shakespearean tragedy! In those classic works by the Bard, (referred to as ‘histories’ since they are based on real historical figures), the tragic heroes are brought to ruination by their own fatal flaws. See Macbeth, Othello, Brutus, Hamlet and King Lear. Sigh!
Shakespeare could have difficulty recounting this history.We invite you to visit www.antiguaobserver.com and give us your feedback on our opinions.