Editorial: Man from La Antigua

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The title is a play on the Broadway adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel, DON QUIXOTE. That play was entitled, MAN FROM LA MANCHA. In the book, as well as the adaptation, Don Quixote, the protagonist, goes on a strange quest to save the world from all its ills, real and imagined. Quixote is from La Mancha, hence the name, and in a most enthralling scene, he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants, evil forces to be eradicated from the land. The thing though is that he claims to know how to fix and solve every problem, and he actually gets himself involved in some situations that he makes worse, and others that he manages to fix, albeit by fluke or happenstance.

Well, seems, here in our fair state, we have the man from La Antigua, he who knows everything about business and the way businesses ought to be run, but the good gentleman can’t seem to run the country like a well-oiled machine. It’s crisis after crisis on a weekly basis, with frustrated workers demanding overtime monies and back-pay. Pensioners wait with bated breath every month, not sure when the small income upon which they depend will show up. The good gentleman knows all about building economic powerhouses, but the little things that will help grease the skids for those powerhouses seem to befuddle him. We’re talking about reliable water, good roads and sidewalks, and those sorts of things. The good gentleman just can’t seem to get a handle on the little fundamentals.

 Of course, he knows every blessed thing there is to know about pollution and protecting the environment, but red plastic streamers adorn the skies over the road in his constituency on which he is building quite an empire. Red plastic streamers and bunting also adorn the fence surrounding his party headquarters on the Old Parham Road. The plastic election paraphernalia that was so liberally donated by those who . . . well, who the hell knows the provenance of the obscene amounts of money spent on that last campaign, are still ubiquitous. They are an eyesore, and a clear and present threat to the environment. But the man from La Antigua can’t see that.  Think “do as I say, and not as I do!” The hypocrisy is astonishing! So too, the conflicts of interest that school children are talking about re the growing empire.

Meanwhile, the goodly gentleman from La Antigua blithely dismisses concerns about the unconscionable destruction of the mangroves by YIDA and pontificates about not sacrificing development on the altar of the environment. That callous thinking also informed the actions of his administration in Barbuda.

The guru from La Antigua, has ‘local consortia’ ready to fight for the locals and invest in local enterprises, but he can’t find a single solitary local soul to fight for and invest in Wadadli Beer. And it is not clear whether he searched for the deep-pocketed Antiguans and enlisted their monies in the building of the fifth berth and upgrading Heritage Quay. Well, actually, he deadpans, when referring to the indefensible and odious Global Ports agreement, that “If we could go it alone, we would have done it alone!” Seems, the ‘local consortium’ is only interested in investing in Scotia Bank. 

The goodly gentleman from La Antigua, our de facto “National Scold,” often lectures and berates and belittles and dismisses and admonishes and threatens and talks-down-to all those who do not see the world quite the way that he does. (See Sandals, Scotia Bank, and Barbados and Trinidad and their reservations about a fourth landed campus here in our fair state). We shake our heads!

And we are simply begging the gentleman from La Antigua, much like the folk from La Mancha and other towns begged Don Quixote, to come down from his high steed. Take care of the little vexing problems like the Antigua State College, and the ubiquitous potholes, and babies being burned at Mount St. John, and how to fire Bahamas Hot Mess (BHM) and give the road contract to some of our local road engineers and contractors whom, we firmly believe, could do a decidedly better job. Indeed, they cannot do any worse than the “Tower of Babel-like” work that BHM is now doing.

 Is this too much to ask?

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