Do the right thing

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In about forty-eight hours, Antiguans and Barbudans will trek to the polls in an extremely consequential general election. The outcome will determine whether the oppressive knee of this horrid Administration will remain on our necks, stifling the little life that is left, out of us, or whether the greed, the highhandedness and the denigration by those in high places will come to an end, and Antiguans and Barbudans will again be able to breathe unencumbered. Oh, for that breath of fresh air, sweeping across this fair land, relieving us of our disillusionment and despair. Remember, dearest Antiguans and Barbudans, none but ourselves can free us, as so beautifully articulated, first by Marcus Garvey in 1937, and later by Bob Marley in song. Let us do the right thing on election day.

Ah, yes – to do the right thing. That line is from Spike Lee’s 1989 movie by the same name. Doing the right thing generally means making decisions that are not based on our own personal needs,  our self-interest, our immediate gratification.It means doing what is best for the greater or common good; what is best for the country as a whole. Accepting a wad of cash wrapped up in a T-shirt, in exchange for a vote, or a voter ID card, is cheap, selfish and tawdry. It is a transient  ‘gift’ that will do nothing to advance the greater good. It will do nothing to better the chances of our children, and their children, and their children’s children escaping from that vicious cycle of poverty.  Neither will it lift us from the need to always be beholden to those svengalis in high places who wish to keep us in a state of perpetual dependence. Let us not be fooled by these incumbent MP’s who are desperate to keep us begging for crumbs from their sumptuous tables, while they continue living the high life. The thought of losing power keeps the incumbents awake at nights – they are terrified. As well they should be. After all, they have not done right by us. They have failed us miserably, and we are fed-up.

Here is what the political leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr Harold Lovell, had to say in the closing moments of this campaign: “We have had some extremely large rallies and it is very encouraging, because there is a comparison. The Labour Party, they have been trying to gather their forces. The so-called Big Red Machine, seems to be having a little trouble, we can’t see the Red Machine striking up, they went to Potters a few nights ago, they were on the basketball court and could hardly get enough people to fill that, we were on the football field last night in Potters, and as you can see, it was a massive rally (See front page photo), but to me, even more than the size, it was the energy, the energy; people are anxious for a change, they are demonstrating that they really intend to go out and vote, and that’s so important. So as far as we are looking at it, the campaign is closing with the type of bang and sizzle that we would have wanted, and the type of energy that we are seeing at these meetings is truly encouraging, and we just have to keep on pressing towards the mark. . . We are asking the electorate to vote for the United Progressive Party, looking at it from two angles: one, the proposals put on the table by the UPP; I am very happy with the proposals and list of policies that we intend to implement . . .we believe that this is a basis upon which we offer a viable alternative to the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP). These come as a result of widespread discussion; . . the ABLP does not deserve another term, their record has been one of failure . . .”  [OBSERVER AM, Friday 13, 2023] Indeed! We here at NEWSCO are persuaded that the UPP provides a better, more credible, more honest and more transparent alternative to the beleaguered ABLP.

WE ENDORSE MR HAROLD LOVELL as the next Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, we endorse ALL the UPP candidates who are contesting the polls in mainland Antigua, and Mr Trevor Walker of the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) in Barbuda. Mr Lovell stands head and shoulders above the present occupant of that office. He of a High Place is childish, mean-spirited, and ineffective. He simply cannot seem to get anything done. Talk about impotence! (No pun intended).  It is pathetic! Talk about how he has brought the dignity of the office to its lowest level yet, what with his cussin like a fishmonger, (No disrespect meant to fishmongers) and the inordinate amount of time that he spends trolling social media, like a silly gossipmonger, minding nearga business, and responding to every perceived slight. What kind of man does that? Well,  . . . there is Donald Trump.

Mr Lovell will undoubtedly be about the peoples’ business, restoring the dignity of the office of Prime Minister, creating jobs, bringing back legitimate investments, empowering small and start-up businesses, providing educational opportunities for our young people, and setting aside meaningful roles in which their voices can be heard. Mr Lovell will not be bullying his way into the banking sector and gleaning and spreading information about customers’ accounts and employee performances. Lovell has promised to make the former LIAT workers whole, and to fix the Social Security mess, the road mess, the water mess, the unpaid contractors mess, and so on and so forth. He will restore Antigua and Barbuda’s stature in the region and further afield, and will conduct himself like the thoughtful, measured statesman that he is. Indeed, he will certainly not be threatening to ‘tump’ anybody in his or her face.

Brothers and sisters, we are troubled by a number of matters that could have very grave implications for Antigua and Barbuda on the international front. For example, we are convinced that the fallout from the trans-Atlantic flights and the corresponding movement of Africans, and other things, to our shores (for God knows what), will not end well. We are also troubled by the number of financial institutions, closely connected to high places, that are making not-so-flattering headlines, here and abroad. We are further disturbed by the videos of crates of cash and the documents surrounding that sketchy story involving billions of dollars. We really see no way that any of this can be good.

Clearly, the time has come for us to reject this type of governance. Let us be sober and prayerful on election day. Let us invoke the guidance of the Almighty, casting our vote for a new administration that is the antithesis to all that we now have. We deserve better. We can do better.

 Let us vote to remove the millstone from about our necks. Let us do the right thing, for God and country.

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