More follies

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And the oops and poop keep on coming. Think, the oop or poop of the week.  It is the stock-in-trade of this hapless and mistake-prone administration. The latest gaffe is the lame and hardly credible description of the talks with Carnival Cruise Lines this past weekend as “fruitful.” Please! Too often have we heard that word used at the end of meetings and conferences, and in almost every case, the so-called “fruitful” discussions have never amounted to a hill of beans. In other words, “fruitful” means that nothing of any significance happened. Deadlock! It is diplo-speak employed by the parties in a difficult negotiation who do not wish to offend the other. In this case, the good government of Antigua and Barbuda is the supplicant, notwithstanding her prior bluster and offensive name-calling of the other party, begging pardon with hat in hand. Antigua and Barbuda will do well to watch her mouth and choose her words carefully. After all, as our National Scold is fond of saying, without the slightest hint of irony, “Attitude determines altitude!” But not to worry fellow-citizens, our toughest negotiator, he who could not negotiate a decent disposition of Deluxe without resorting to his government connections, is on the job in Florida. Needless to say, his presence there does not inspire confidence.

From the feckless and evasive response of Diann Black-Layne, Director of the Department of Environment, to the mangrove destruction at Crabb’s, to the talk about modifying some of the terms of the Global Ports Holdings Memorandum of Understanding, to the on-going industrial action at the Antigua State College, to the careless and sloppy way in which the pipes and other material are being dropped at the side of the work area on Sir George Walter Highway and Friars Hill Road, to the arbitration action by Bahamas Hot Mix (some say ‘Bahamas Hot Mess’), the poop and oops are flying fast and furious. Think, the follies of this administration!

So what are follies? They are “Costly undertakings having an absurd or ruinous outcome.” Another way of looking at follies is by way of the story of King Pyrrhus who was undone by his costly and misguided adventures and wars (275 – 270 BC) against the Romans. Many here in our fair state (NEWSCO included) believe that we are being subjected to poorly-thought-out schemes and other giveaways and undertakings that cannot end well for the people of Antigua and Barbuda. We will be paying a high and ruinous price for the misadventures of this administration for generations. Yes, we get a few dollars for the retiring of a debt and the building of a pier and other throw-ins, but at what cost to us in terms of national pride and ownership and control, and for how long? Yes, supposedly, YIDA will be building a beach to replace the mangroves at Crabb’s (shaking our heads), but the cost to our ecosystem and marine life for generations will be immeasurable. And let us not forget the Paradise Found deal.

Recently, we have heard talk about another victory for Antigua and Barbuda, what with something big coming our way out of Dubai. Help us Lord! Given the oops and poop track record of this administration, Antiguans and Barbudans are loathe to celebrate. Indeed, many people are already dreading the details of this deal with “Much fear and trembling.” Another giveaway? Another long-term yielding of sovereignty? Another assault on the environment? Another highly inflated contract for something that is, for all intents and purposes, useless a la ebooks? Heaven forfend!

We fear that this big investment victory already smells like a defeat. Remember, “A pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to a defeat.” Hmmmm! We are all too familiar with those here in our fair state. Many of the marvelous and wonderful schemes of this administration have taken, and will take an enormous toll on us; a toll that will negate any benefit. Folks, “it” is getting quite thick in here. And we fear that the half has not yet been told!

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