Giddy-up, donkey! Hee-haw, hee-haw!

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There is a popular saying from back in the day that reads a bit like this: “Came up donkey, let us went.” It had something to do with the rider of a donkey switching from the vernacular to what he believes to be standard English, while coaxing the donkey to move. I cannot recall the reason for the switch in elocution. Interestingly, there was a cartoon from a prominent newspaper (The Nation) out of Barbados that featured our Prime Minister, looking frustrated and hapless atop a dead donkey named LIAT. Our PM was beating the donkey with what appears to be a bullpistle, to no avail. We understand that Bajans found it amusing. After all, in their minds, LIAT is as dead as a doornail. LIAT is now in the dustbin of history, never to emerge again; at least, not with Bajan help.

And certainly not with the help of Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Seems, the good doctor and PM Mia Mottley have ‘knocked one head’ on charting a way forward without LIAT. According to this past Wednesday’s Cabinet notes, The Cabinet has encouraged the Prime Minister to seek an audience with other shareholder governments in order to advance the re-organisational plan that has been designed to ensure that LIAT keeps flying and delivering when borders re-open. A planned meeting scheduled for Monday past has been postponed with no new date fixed.” Sigh! Mottley blew off the meeting citing other commitments. Gonsalves has been coy and non-committal, currying favour with ‘Su Amor Mottley.’They obviously do not care, so we find it incomprehensible that Cabinet would still encourage our PM to “seek an audience with other shareholder governments.” It is a fool’s errand. We mean, how many put-downs and brush-offs is our Prime Minister expected to abide?

In that regard, we draw your attention to today’s cartoon in this paper. It depicts our Prime Minister, bullpistle in hand, sitting astride a collapsed donkey, and beating it with might and main. To no avail. As you can imagine, the deadbeat donkey’s name is Vincy & Bimshire. (affectionate monikers for St. Vincent and Barbados). Folks, there will be no meeting with these two comrades to discuss the resurrection of LIAT, in the very near future, if ever at all. Indeed, the latest news on that front is that One Caribbean out of St. Vincent, is setting up a major base in Barbados. Sigh!

Of course, the LIAT situation is not the only case of our PM flogging a dead donkey. The fanciful notion of five hundred houses in five hundred days is a dead donkey, as is the notion of Antigua and Barbuda as an economic powerhouse. Notwithstanding our PM’s protestations that he only used that hifalutin expression in an aspirational manner, we find that members of his administration still seem to throw it around with abandon. For example, earlier this week, the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, was quite happy to utter those damning words. Then there is the hyperbole about fixing our water situation as a matter of urgency. That is also a dead donkey. Six years into this genius administration, our water situation is as bad as it has ever been. Then there is the delusional notion that Antigua and Barbuda would be a leader in the Caribbean; that most of the other islands would be looking to Antigua and Barbuda for guidance on a host of matters, even in their responses to Covid-19. Woops, waps! That flight of fancy is another dead donkey. Nobody is looking to us for a blessed thing! Indeed, they are ignoring us for the most part, and when they do pay attention, it is to giggle and scoff at our misfortune. Exhibit A: Mottley failing to make herself available for the grand meeting at which our PM was supposed to unveil his wonderful LIAT-saving plan. Exhibit B: A recalcitrant Gonsalves saying words to the effect that our PM had better come good with the self-same plan. Exhibit C: The Timothy Harris honchos engaging in much merriment and mirth at our failure to come up with a decent stimulus for the distressed Antiguan population during the height of the Covid crisis, as did St. Kitts/Nevis and a number of other Caribbean countries.

Meanwhile, notwithstanding his unabashed toking of the bong, and his widely publicised romancing of wide-eyed, star-struck officials here, seems Mike Tyson is more in love with the “Vincy Sensi” rather than the “Wadadli Gold,” so to speak. Schoolchildren are suggesting that he will be taking his grand investment in cannabis to St. Vincent. So that’s another possible dead donkey. Phew! We know not whether the pungent odour is that of the ‘dutchie’ or the dead donkey. If you recall, it was around this time last year that Iron Mike expressed an interest in setting up a cannabis farm here under the auspices of his Tyson Holistic Holdings. The company was supposed to produce a wide assortment of medical cannabis products, and so on and so forth. But, as in so many other things here, we have not heard much else since that time when Tyson was given the grand tour of our blessed island and spoke rather bluntly (no pun intended) of poverty and the people on the street corners and the hustling. Good grief! Again, if Iron Mike takes his business to Vincy, as schoolchildren are suggesting, that will be another dead donkey for us. Sigh!

Came up donkey, let us went! Brrrrrrrr!

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