No takin’ de bait

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It was quite laughable, really. The pitiful invitation from Samantha Marshall to the Honourable Kelvin ‘Shugy’ Simon to a debate. Of course, much to his credit, Simon chuckled at the absurd invite, dismissing it out of hand. We salute him for his astuteness, and his determination not to be distracted by foolishness, because that’s what a debate with Samantha Marshall would amount to. We applaud him for his resolve not to give her moribund campaign any oxygen. She is desperately striving for relevance and acknowledgement from the people of St Mary’s South, and much like the Biblical King Saul, “She wist not that the spirit has departed from her.” [Judges 16:20]

Consider, if you will, what a debate with the good Samantha Marshall would have descended into. There would be Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) operatives in the audience, wearing United Progressive Party (UPP) shirts and pretending to be UPP supporters. Those plants would then get up during the question-and-answer period and ask asinine questions, with phony sincerity, designed to somehow trip-up Shugy. Then social media entities would broadcast the supposed faux-pas and comment ad nauseam, losing focus on the real issue – that Samantha Marshall was a failed representative of the people of St Mary’s South, and the good people of that Constituency have had enough of her neglect. They want Shugy!

Folks, the constituents ‘Roun South’ will not be distracted by the antics and semantics of the good lady. Nay, they are focused like a laser on re-electing their Representative with an even bigger margin than the huge one by which he walloped her during the January 18 general election. It was a good old-fashioned ‘hiding,’ as they would say in the vernacular. Sadly, the good lady seems to be a glutton for punishment.

So there she is in the days leading up to the by-election fixing this and upgrading that, and running hither, thither and yon. She will attempt to do in 120 days, that which she failed to do in nine years. Tut, tut! You see, if she fails to win again (and nobody in full possession of his or her faculties believes that she stands a snowball’s chance in hell) she will be discarded in the dustbin of history. The word is that the Rabble-Rouser-In Chief is pulling out all the stops to salvage her political career, but there is a limit to his patience with losing. We submit that soon after the final vote is counted in this by-election, her erstwhile Cheerleader-In-Chief will ‘cuss her off.’ He often does that in fits of pique. Ask his former colleagues who failed in their reelection bids.

        Desperately seeking Samantha, a la Desperately Seeking Susan of Hollywood fame, is especially desperate now that the Court has dismissed the silly case brought by a Mr Casworth Aaron. Her sinking profile has fallen even lower now, never mind her show of bravado after the Court ruling yesterday. Here’s what the good lady had to say in its aftermath: “I have been prepared for any eventuality, and if you have been following me, I have already been on the ground campaigning, so this is no big surprise . . . the victory will be sweeter, because I will beat him at the polls.” Sigh! Talk about being out of touch with reality.

It is really such an insult to the people of St Mary’s South that the good lady would think that they would vote for her after her abject failure with the Bolans clinic, the Bolans police station, the Urlings Primary School playing park, the Cades Bay Bridge, the Cades Bay Antigua Black Pineapple farm, the Crabbe Hill road, the Crabbe Hill rail protection, and so on and so forth. Chupz! She knows that she has not done right by the people, soshe’s looking for any port in a storm, grasping at straws. Hence her pathetic call for a debate.

Of course, she’s hoping that Shugy will take de bait. She is hoping that if she is able to appear on the same stage with him, it will raise her profile from the irrelevance in which it now languishes. Ah, yes! The good ol’ soapbox. She would mount the platform, bloviating ad infinitum, promising every blessed thing under the sun to the good people of St Mary’s South, never mind that she has NOT delivered on a single promise to them these past nine years. Wha can go so? What makes her think that the people who overwhelmingly rejected her malaise a few months ago, will suddenly have a change of heart and embrace her manifest disinterest in them?

Of course, as the saying goes, “There is nothing to quite concentrate the mind of a politician like the prospect of an election.” And the good lady is concentrating, albeit in vain. Here’s what Shugy had to say following yesterday’s favourable Court decision:

“I am elated, I am happy, I’m excited that that cloud has passed, and it’s onward to doing some work and bringing back the seat for the people of St Mary’s South. I was never in doubt really that the case was going to be thrown out, but just to actually having it thrown out, it brings a sense of relief, and it’s a sense of vindication, because we know what they were trying to do, it was to take the seat away from me and give it to Samantha Marshall, when the people would have decided they wanted me to be the MP. It was just total nonsense,  . . . God is alive and God is well, and in the eyes of God, what they wanted to do was unjust  . . big-up to the Most High, and to St Mary’s South, I am with you all the way, and it’s time to go back to the polls, knock them out of the park again . . . we will continue to work, intensifying the campaign …I will retake the seat, and I will retake the seat in a bigger way this time . . .” Indeed, Shugy!

The momentum is with this caring, charismatic, visionary young man, and it will be quite evident by the huge turn-out at the Bolans playing field tonight. The UPP is fired-up and in a state of euphoria. While the ABLP and its lame candidate continue on a downward trajectory, the UPP and Shugy are soaring. Why, in the name of all that is good, would the front-runner, he with the wind beneath his wings, give Samantha Marshall a platform to mouth-off?

De bait? Nah!

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