“Heartless,””cruel,” “unconscionable,” “uncaring,” were but a few of the words used to describe the brutal way in which he of a high place spat in our faces after putting his knee on our necks. We’re talking about the desperate haste in which he slapped us with a massive (EC$3.20) increase in the price of fuel at the pump. His action is one that will long live in infamy, a dastardly deed that we shall not soon forget.
Of course, he has infamously said in the past, words to the effect that the administration ought never to let a good crisis go to waste, and manifestly, he is living down to his calculating, self-serving mantra, even if it means adding exponentially to the great hardship that the suffering citizens of this country are facing. Seems, the plaintive cries of the people are small, pesky matters that he will readily ignore, except when a great theatrical pretense at caring suits his political machinations. For example, he can shed crocodile tears on cue, as he did at the Sir V C Bird Airport, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017. What a charade! It was designed to seduce the people, except that it failed miserably. Every one could see through the phony tears, and history has proven the unbelievers correct. He of a high place has never cared about the Barbudans (he has said as much himself, especially after the Barbuda smack-down that he got at the last election), and he NEVER will.
He of a high place has often publicly scolded, or rescinded directives from his ministerial colleagues, in order to score cheap political points with the public. It is all about him. Just ask Minister Dean Jonas (The PM claims that Jonas was a slacker), Minister Molwyn Joseph (The PM reversed the good minister’s Vitz car suggestion), Minister Michael Brown (the PM ridiculed his Global Ports denunciation, forcing him to reverse his own thoughts; and don’t forget the ebooks mess, and the Watts and Isaac non-cases), and MP Asot Michael (See the PM’s verbal fisticuffs with Asot, and how he positions himself as the paragon of virtue, while levelling charges of impropriety).
It is not difficult to imagine that he of a high place will cut back a portion of the exorbitant fuel price hike of $3.20 . . . just before the election, and brazenly ascribe unto himself messianic virtues – the savior of this fair State. But nobody is buying that malarkey anymore. They have seen his tired grade B act before, and they are hardly impressed. Au contraire, they are downright disgusted at his political games, his boorish one-upmanship.
Antiguans and Barbudans are justifiably aghast at the gasoline price hike, and they are calling for a day of outrage. We are not sure where, when, or what form the protest action will take, but we will be participating. All the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda should participate, raising their voices in protest and discontent. This administration did not provide a stimulus to dislocated Antiguans during the Covid crisis. They dithered on the question of a minimum wage, promising to form a committee. We all know that forming a committee is code for doing nothing. (See the wonderful Economic Recovery Committee. We all know how that worked out). We do not expect much movement on the minimum wage until just before the election. Folks, many great and wonderful things will happen just before the election. Cynicism will abound. Be not deceived again.
Let us never forget that just as we were beginning to exhale after the severe hardships caused by Covid-19, with no help from this lame administration, mind you, those in high places are delivering a low blow to the gut. A gasoline price hike of $3.20 is a severe hardship, and by executing it without consultations with regular vehicle owners, and taxi, bus, and delivery truck drivers, and so on and so forth, and with such inordinate haste, and no thought to a more gradual increase, he of a high place has added insult to injury. This insensitivity to the plight of the people is reminiscent of the Mighty Sparrow’s, NO, DOCTOR, NO, in which he laments how the government of Dr Eric Williams instituted a number of deleterious price hikes on milk, taxi fares, and other basic necessities, ignoring the people, almost immediately after the people had voted for them. Consider the following excerpts of that classic. The similarities then and now are striking.
“Listen, listen carefully . . . I went and vote for some councilmen
They have me now in the pen
After promising so much tender care
They forget me as they walk out of Woodford Square
Because they raise up on the taxi fare
(No, Doctor, no!)
And they have the blasted milk so dear . . .
When I can’t buy milk, I use sugar and water
Support local industries, they done declare
They mean Vat 19 rum and Carib beer
They way how they forcing we to drink VAT
It look as if they want to kill we in smart
What I say may be very small
But I know that poor people aren’t pleased at all
We are looking for a betterment,
That is why we choose a new government
But they raise on the food before we could talk
And they raise taxi fare so we bound to walk . . .”
Many of us will be forced to walk here in Antigua and Barbuda in order to save money on gasoline. And yes, “poor people aren‘t pleased at all.” Seems,those in high places have forgotten us “as they walk out of [our version of] Woodford Square.”
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