It would be difficult to find a government anywhere in the Caribbean as incompetent as the ruling regime here in this blessed state. I mean, with misstep after misstep, only the willfully ignorant have any faith that they will be able to get their act together and right the broken and floundering ship of state.
From the (oops!) release of the American visitor with ammunition in her luggage after only one day in prison; to the (oops!) release of murderers, sex offenders, a fraudster and a career thief; to the (oops!) mistake with eBooks; to the (oops!) acceptance of a six for a nine from this YIDA supposed investment group (schoolchildren say they have no money), to the (oops!) screw-up with the Global Port Holdings negotiations and the unhappy fallout (cruise line cancellations); to the (oops!) embarrassing debacle on Friar’s Hill Road and the Sir George Walter Highway; to the (oops!) apparent inability to manage back-pay and overtime obligations; to the (oops!) failure to attract any—genuine – new investors to our shores, to the (oops!) failure to deliver the long-awaited homes to the frustrated homeowners (the 500-homes-in-as-many-days comedy); to the (oops!) many scandals – like Odebrecht – that are simmering beneath the surface; to the (oops!) Barbuda mess – equipment for the new airport reportedly being sent back to Antigua; to the . . . good grief! We have a headache! The mind wobbles!
Not surprisingly, in light of the bewildering fumbling in high places, many are opining that the government is deliberately screwing up in order to lose the next election, because they know deep within themselves that they are not equal to the task at hand. The thinking is that no reasonably intelligent and sensible government could make so many elementary mistakes in so many areas. But can it be? Can it be that we the people also made a ‘wrong mistake’ and elected Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum? Gasp!
Actually, there are some who are so appalled at the bumbling surrounding the Global Ports Holding mess (Global Ports now going directly to the people with their own sales pitch and damage control) that they are calling on Sir Lester Bird – he who negotiated many great deals for Antigua and Barbuda without mortgaging our future and our patrimony – to come out of retirement and show this band of misfits (the tough negotiators and legal whizzes in the AG’s office) how to avoid missteps (biting off more than you can chew – re: Friars Hill Road) and create misunderstandings (Carnival Cruise Line cancellations).
Of course, while we concur that the good Sir Lester still has much to offer, and he could show those whippersnappers a thing or two about diplomacy and negotiating, we believe that the good Sir Lester should stay in retirement because these young ‘uns in officialdom will not be told. As the older folks would say in the vernacular, “Dem dif,” that is, they are hard of hearing. Not to mention prideful!
Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda will continue to languish! “The Ship of State sat on a prideful wall (of vanity and arrogance) / The Ship of State had a great fall / And neither Sir Lester, nor all the King’s horses, nor all the king’s men, will be able to put it together again!” As Elmer Fudd, he of LOONY TUNES fame would say,“That’s all folks!”
Stay tuned for more episodes of OOPS! next week on the Antigua Cartoon Network!