Editorial: O, haste the day!

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This is not good! This is the second time in as many months that we have been teased with the headline, RESIGNATION OF MP IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE COUNTRY. Of course, the first tease occurred this past March when the headline read, EDUCATION MINISTER RESIGNS! Naturally, many of the good folk here in Antigua and Barbuda jumped for joy and sang the GLORIA PATRI aka The Doxology. Others went down on bended knee and joyfully sang the TE DEUM, which is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty. But alas, our joy was short-lived.  The glorious headline, MINISTER OF EDUCATION RESIGNS, referred to the Minister of Education in Jamaica, Mr. Ruel Reid, who demitted office after being faced with corruption allegations.

 Seems, we here in Antigua and Barbuda were going to have to endure, for a while yet, our own Minister of Miseducation, MP Michael Browne. Give us grace, Lord! How long?

Then just when all hope seemed lost, yesterday our hearts leaped within us when we heard the obligatory dismissal euphemisms, “[The Minister] has served our country well . . . and in several capacities . . . I thank him for his years of service to our nation . . . and his resignation is in the best interest of all parties and the country . . .” Glad tidings of great joy to all people, indeed! But again, our dreams and hopes were dashed, when it was revealed that that most recent resignation story had to do with the stepping down of Dr. Ubaldus Raymond, the Public Service Minister of St. Lucia. Seems, the good minister was tendering his resignation after a titillating conversation between himself and a female became public. Seems, in-between pillow talk and some erotic phone-sex talk, the good minister was also allegedly discussing privileged and confidential information pertaining to the governance of St. Lucia. (Sigh. We men never learn. We continue to think with our lower extremity. But that’s a discussion for another time and place.) The point is that, after a fair amount of pressure, the good minster of Public Service did the right thing and freed St. Lucia from protracted and silly water-cooler and office gossip about phallus (male genitalia) and yonic (female genitalia) and how the good minister was caught ‘in flagrante delicto,’ so to speak. (Pun intended).

Of course, the question naturally arises in our minds: how long ‘ere we hear the wondrous news that one, or two, or heck, the entire cabal of ministers here in our fair state has resigned, “in the best interests of all parties and the country?” O haste the day! Look, we here at NEWSCO are struggling to be as kind and as generous as possible when we say that the ministers in this administration have done little or nothing to inspire confidence in their vision and leadership. Well, we are not even sure that they have a vision for the further advancement of this blessed country. Indeed, “the vision thing,” as President George Bush, the father, once exclaimed in exasperation, escapes them. Just take a look at all the ministries, with one or two exceptions, nothing much is happening. There is no grand plan, no overarching idea.  The MP’s are all merely content to tread water and do just enough to get by, until the next election, when the BIG RED MACHINE will go into high gear with cheap and insulting handouts. 

In any other part of the world, none of these men would get re-elected, based on their sorry performances in the discharge of their portfolios and their egregious neglect of their constituents. From Owl Road to Cushew Hill, from New Winthorpes to Yorks, the cry is the same: “Where de hell is our good MP, now that the election has come and gone?” Apparently, the good MP is in “an undisclosed location,” not taking phone calls, and busy as a bee doing, well . . . nothing. The good MP’s only show up for funerals, birthday parties and big church events to shake hands and preen and pose for pictures and utter insipid platitudes! And so it goes – our honorable MP’s . . . as bland and as banal as ever! At feeding time they belly up to the trough (oink, oink) cashing a fat paycheck for doing little, precious little! They all lack charisma, and a worthy thought independent of the Prime Minister, who seems to do all the thinking for them. In fact, he has suggested as much that that is their problem. They are trying to think. Well, from all appearances, they are taking his advice and “using their contacts” and “enriching themselves creatively,” but that’s as far as the thinking goes.

 Meanwhile everybody else is catching hell! We submit that only those persons who are connected to this government are doing well in this fair land of ours. Everybody else is ‘sucking salt and butter!’ And living in third-rate conditions! Look at the mess on the Friars Hill Road and the Sir George Walter Highway! Look at the fourth landed campus uncertainty, never mind the good PM’s assertive talk! Look at the mess at the Antigua State College! Look at the failure of the “local consortium of investors” to show an interest in Wadadli Beer! Look at the eBooks mess! Look at the failure to deliver reliable water after promising to solve our bedeviling water situation! Look at the commandeering of the sporting complex in Grays Farm to house the courts! Good grief, look at the unconscionable mess in Grays Farm!

 Indeed, we suggest that you look all around you, and ask yourselves if you like what you see! It is not a pretty picture!  Would to God that those responsible for our blighted state would make like Ruel Reid of Jamaica and Dr. Ubaldus Raymond of St. Lucia and resign!!! O haste that day!

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