Editorial: Unhelpful rhetoric

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In their desperation to save the embattled Global Port Holdings (GPH) agreement, the Hallelujah Chorus came out to the choir loft to sing for their supper. Needless to say, it was a cacophony of ‘tumult and noise,’ “much sound and fury, and signifying nothing.” Well . . . actually, it revealed how low the Chorus, at the behest of the powers that be, will go to intimidate the people and score cheap points.  We cannot publish any of the foul and pejorative language used in defense of GPH and the unfolding Carnival Cruise disaster on national and other media, because we do not wish to traffic in that which is so manifestly beyond the pale. Suffice to say, it was in exceedingly poor taste, and represented a deep assault on our senses and sensibilities. If you were fortunate not to have heard the unhelpful discourse yesterday morning, we urge you to avoid it. You will be offended!  Indeed, most men and women of goodwill were more than a little appalled at the venom and spite, the viciousness, and the thinly-veiled suggestions hurled at two fine gentlemen, who are good and proper citizens of our blessed land.
But such is the stock-in-trade of officialdom: when faced with a challenge in the marketplace of ideas, they will resort to blows below the belt; they will unleash ad hominem attacks; they will hurl all the resources of the state at their enemies, real and imagined; they will utter naked threats; they will “use a hammer” to silence dissent by those who bear a philosophical difference to theirs. So sad! In an age of enlightenment, officialdom will slither back to the Dark Ages to wallow in muck and mire.
So there it was for all the world to see – a national embarrassment – the media appearances by the good gentleman baritone of the Hallelujah Chorus (note our deference and respectful choice of words) who employed the regrettable language, much to the obvious discomfiture of his media hosts. Quite off-putting, to say the least! We submit that GPH must be quite embarrassed at the poor public relations (PR) effort on their behalf, and if they have any modicum of decency, they should publicly disavow the lame previous PR attempts, and beg officialdom not to engage in any more Global Port PR or Carnival Cruise ‘happy-talk.’ Of course, we could be wrong. But it appears as though it was with this in mind that GPH went on a publicity campaign of their own to persuade skeptical Antiguans and Barbudans as to their good intentions and the benefits that will accrue to our fair state. Alas, that campaign may be too little, too late!
We stand with the concerned citizens who are willing to sound the alarm and take principled positions on matters of great national import such as this dastardly GPH agreement. Even if it means falling out of favour with the party that they once supported. And even under threat to life and limb. We abhor any attempt to cower ‘conscientious objectors’ into submission. We support those who will forsake their ‘cushy’ positions with officialdom to speak truth to power without “fear, affection or ill-will!”  In the words of one of the all-time greats who took a stand, Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK Jr.), “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
Fellow citizens, this GPH agreement does not pass the smell test! And we urge you to examine it, then go with your gut! If it does not feel and smell right, it probably is not right! Appraise yourselves of all the facts, never mind the official PR and propaganda (Methinks they doth protest too loudly!”), and come down on the side of that which is right by this blessed nation. Do the right thing! And remember, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter!” (MLK Jr.) Be guided accordingly!

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