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The above is an expression made popular by the late, great Leonard ‘Tim’ Hector, when he was chronicling the foibles and follies of the Sir Vere Bird administration back in the day. It was in the OUTLET newspaper. He wrote of the infighting, the jockeying for power, the backstabbing, the political intrigue, the plotting, the Gang of Eight, the Gang of Four, the wheeling and dealing, the shenanigans, and the finger-pointing in the Comrade Party. Ah yes, “They were often hung by their own petard.”  Simply put, the expression means that someone is undone by the dangerous actions and words that he or she unleashes on another. Yes, slings and verbal arrows can boomerang and damage those who hurl them. Think, the Biblical Haman who erected a gallows for Mordechai, and then ended up on the very gallows that he’d built. Colloquially, we’d say that “karma is a word that rhymes with ‘witch.’”

To be sure, these sorts of allegations and accusations at the highest reaches of the Comrade Party are nothing new.  What we are witnessing now is déjà vu. Conspiracies, and backroom deals, and plotting are the stock in trade of that party. Don Vito Corleone, he of Mario Puzo’s GODFATHER, would be quite proud of the down-and-dirty muck-racking in this nasty family feud.  To be fair, most political parties around the world often find themselves wracked by internal bickering and power struggles. Seems, power is a helluva thing! It can consume the soul; it can lead to jealousy and envy and betrayal and paranoia (Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown), and tyranny and corruption and murder. Just ask Shakespeare’s Macbeth, who, on the prompting of his dear wife, resorted to murdering King Duncan in order to seize the throne. And speaking of corruption, just ask the aforementioned Tim Hector who was also quite fond of quoting Lord John Acton: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Acton’s thinking was that a person’s moral compass goes awry as his or her power increases.  The more power that a person wields over another (the people), the more corruption is possible on the part of that person. (See George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM).

We will not go into the sordid details of the recent power-playing and the political intrigue among the erstwhile friends and comrades well met. This is a family paper, and we will not be regurgitating the sludge. Most people here in our fair State, and around the world, have seen the writings and heard the alarming voices of those in high places. What harsh words! What damning accusations! What vicious swipes! They are enough to make sailors blush. Indeed, the only things missing are the fisticuffs. (Another of Tim Hector’s choice words to describe the Comrade Party family feuding in days of yore). Hide the children, folks. This is an assault on our good senses and sensibilities. And, oh so revealing . . . . It is a sad confirmation of what many Antiguans and Barbudans already suspected . . .

As you can imagine, the spectacle makes for riveting viewing and listening. We cannot close our ears or avert our eyes, much like curiosity seekers remain glued to the carnage of a train wreck. And much like the folks from Greenbay, our dearly-beloved King Obstinate included, who “climbed up in a tambran tree to get closer to de activity.” And what activity was that, pray tell? We’re talking about “Crazy Elim and Big Foote Maude, who “cussed all day and won’t stop, ‘til dey end-up in Charles Knight Shop . . .”  [WET YUH HAND AND WAIT FUH ME]. Look folks, we submit that the recent cussin on Parliament Hill, the finger-pointing, the threats and denunciations, and the cussin on Labour Party Hill – the bitterness, the closing of doors to any sort of reconciliation, and so on and so forth – make the cussin on Greenbay Hill look like Dolly House.

No need to add or subtract a word from the unseemly spectacle. Just grab the popcorn and pay attention. And be guided accordingly! As Maya Angelou once declared, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it is important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.”

Meanwhile, much like Dove and Pigeon, they who were once good companions, Dove is singing, “Coo, coo-coo-coo bansimanday / Yeti yeti bansimanday / Why, oh, why oh bansimanday / You must pay / And nobody must say / Who sar! Who sar! who sar, who sar, who sar!” Sigh! According to Lord Nelson, “Because of jealousy dey both start to disagree / So they had a contest to see who is de best.” Have at it, Dove and Pigeon! Or better yet, make like Donkey and Lion. [see The Mighty Sparrow] Remember, “Lion and Donkey arguing / Between de two of dem, who is really king.” Of course,Lion was holding a grudge ever since Monkey gave Donkey “First, second and third.” Yes, Lion was told flat that, “If he was the King of the beast, he’d be toting dat . . .” Whatever ‘dat’ is. That fight also got down and dirty when Lion “Ripped away all Donkey clothes and have de whole ass exposed.” It was not a pretty picture. Especially when Donkey made a feint and grabbed Lion in a . . . shall we say, . .  er, ‘unorthodox’’ position . . .

Here in our fair State, they are ripping away each other’s clothes. And in the process, exposing themselves.

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