EDITORIAL: Ham and turkey will not suffice

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It’s a tradition – ham and turkey at Christmas. It’s also a tradition – ham and turkey, compliments of our politicians. And as the line from the good poem goes, “Christmas comes but once a year . . .” seems, so too do the politicians who deliver that ham and turkey. They are MIA (missing in action). Yes, while it is true that the politicians can be seen dancing and prancing and cavorting all over the various constituencies at Christmas time, especially if that Christmas is the one just before a possible general election, it is equally true that they are as scarce as good gold for the other eleven months of the year.
Consider. Try calling a politician for a broken street light in January. Straight to ring tone. Try to call about a pothole in your neighbourhood in February.  He or she will promise to call you back and see to the repair of the pothole. Both promises are not kept. Go up to his or her office in March to complain about an overgrown lot next to your home, and he or she will slink out the back door. Try getting in touch with him on a matter pertaining to the senior citizens and shut-ins in the constituency, and his secretary will give a different lame excuse every blessed day of the month of April. Indeed, in the month of April, the run-around becomes ‘du jour’ and you quickly realise that APRIL (ALL) FOOLS’ DAY is not only on the first of April. For our political class, every day is APRIL FOOLS’ DAY. And so it goes . . . Politicos send us on fool’s errands and brazenly deceive us into believing their falsehoods. And so it goes . . . every day of every month for the rest of the year until November . . . practical jokes on the people, and only the politicos find the jokes funny.
Of course, in the month of December, the politicos seem to think that they must deliver the obligatory ham and turkey. They are convinced that all they have to do, after months of disengagement and welshing on their promises, is show up with the ham and turkey and all is forgiven. Yes, they will hand out toys to the children in the constituency and shake every body’s hand like Prince Charles, and put on the Prince Charles demeanour and pretend to listen to each constituent (as if they give a damn!), then they join hands with the constituents in a big circle and sing JOY TO THE WORLD! See you at Christmastime next year, or at election time, whichever comes first! For shame!   
But guess what? Antiguans and Barbudans will not be played for fools! Our votes will not be taken for granted! Neither are they for sale to the highest bidder, never mind the lowest bidders – distributors of ham and turkey. In keeping with the great maxim, we will “Beware Greeks bearing gifts!”  By the same token, we call on all our politicos to quit being AWOL (absent without leave) until election time or Christmas. Instead of ham and turkey, we suggest that the politicos bring the viable plans on what they intend to do in the constituency and for all Antiguans and Barbudans.  ‘Sweet-sounding nothings’ will no longer suffice! Neither will ham and turkey!
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