Editorial: A few good men

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So here we have it – in all this fairland of ours, both east and west, there are only a few good men left. Fie on us! Notwithstanding all the bright students who majored in finance and economics and business administration and money management and so on and so forth, never mind all those now-retired, qualified, and willing and able Antiguan and Barbudan men and women; those who once served our blessed country with honour and distinction, only a few good men could be found to sit on the board of the National Asset Management Company (NAMCO).

Shame on us! We beat our chests and talk all sorts of fancy talk to much sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. But it is all for naught. None of us are good enough to sit on the board of this NAMCO.

Think NYAMCO, because they are seemingly on a mission to gobble up a hefty chunk of our nation’s assets. None of us make the grade – only MPs Yearwood (chairman), Nicholas (deputy chairman), Greene, and Marshall, as well as the Accountant General, the Financial Secretary, and the Solicitor General, are good enough to sit on this august body.

Everybody else in this Wadadli island is a ‘Jumby crab!’ Of course, these NAMCO board members (excepting those whom we believe deserve to be on the board by virtue of their financial and legal standing in the administration) are taking a seat on this critical body even though, at best, they are doing a lousy to-mediocre job managing their ministerial portfolios.

But not to worry! This is par for the course here in our bit of paradise! And we sigh and shrug. After all, the good Lord, bestowed upon us a double portion of those virtues, Patience and Apathy. Well . . . Apathy is not really a virtue, it is a cardinal sin alongside Laziness, but we have turned it into one. So MP’s can wear two, three, four, five, six hats.

They can operate in and out of their personas (Tim Hector). They can have an interest in an entity, and strike a deal on the left hand with that entity, and write the laws clearing the way for that entity with the right hand.

These men have a remarkable ability to divorce one part of themselves from the other, much like the cunning Lieutenant Columbo of television fame, who once hilariously apologised to an unwitting suspect whom he’d been pestering, “It is not me, it is my mind!” The time may not be long hence when we could very well hear some of our fedora, bowler and felt-hat-wearing politicos declaring, “It was not me, it was my evil twin.”

Or, “It was not me, it was my alter ego!” And such other nonsensical disclaimers that will require a willful suspension of disbelief. And many among us will happily oblige. Meanwhile, in addition to the Lt. Columbo dissociative ailment, our politicos seem also to be afflicted with a speech or cognitive defect, and words and expressions such as “transparency,” “good governance,” “accountability,” “recuse,” “conflict of interest,” “in poortaste,” “poor optics” and so on and so forth are Greek to them.

The point is that, even if there are no laws prohibiting MP’s from sitting on boards such as the soon-to-be-too-bigto-fail NAMCO, the stacking of this deck with politicians who already have their hands full, is not sitting well with many in our fair state. It just does not look right. Indeed, it smacks of cronyism and . . . well . . . (feel free to add the word that comes immediately to your mind). Ah, the chosen few! They may be doing that which is lawful, but “While all things are lawful, all things are not expedient; all things are lawful, but all things edify not.” (1 Corinthians 10:23 KJV)

Editor’s Note: In our Editorial in yesterday’s issue of the Daily OBSERVER (Thursday 17 January 2019) we stated that accused multiple “vampire” killer Delano Forbes, while on the loose after escaping police custody on February 12, 2018, “killed again”. What we should have stated was that Forbes is accused of having killed another person (on top of the two for which he was already charged at the time) after escaping custody. Forbes, like any other person charged, is presumed innocent until convicted by our court system. We apologize for expressing our point in a manner that would suggest it was already a proven fact he committed that recalled third homicide. Delano Forbes is yet to stand trial for any of the three murders with which he has been charged.

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