Item number five in the Cabinet notes of Wednesday, October 1, 2020 caught our attention. It read: “The Minister of Works gave the Cabinet an undertaking that the Bolans and Parham police stations will receive the upgrade as promised, as soon as the already busy PWD repairmen have completed work on government-owned buildings that is being done elsewhere. The Bolans police station is in temporary quarters; the Parham police station will also be temporarily relocated while work is carried out on the building. . . “. As you can imagine, we have very little faith that either of these two police stations will be rehabilitated and reoccupied by our men and women in uniform any time soon. And our lack of confidence is not without reason. This administration has made a virtue out of hifalutin pronouncements and grandiose promises that seldom materialise, especially at the time promised. Of course, our scepticism is reinforced by the sneaky little caveat in the Cabinet notes: “As soon as the already busy PWD repairmen have completed work. . . ”. That could be anytime between now and the fanciful month of NEVUARY. It is the lexicon of the realm – the employ of open-ended words such as “soon,” “a matter of days,” “shortly,” “expeditiously,” “in the not-too-distant future,” blah, blah, blah. It is quite off-putting, really – the notorious failure on the part of this hapless administration to deliver on so many of its promises.
The ADOMS building, which we referred to in yesterday’s editorial, was supposed to be completed by the self-same PWD some two years ago. It is now rotting away from disuse – a monument to what Chalkdust referred to as “Lots of talk, but no action ever commence.” Mind you, it was the same thing with the Keeling Point jetty down at Perry Bay. Plenty talk! And the action only commenced when the jetty collapsed, endangering the lives of many who used it, and who’d been complaining forever about its decrepit condition.
Ditto, the many roads and gutters all over this blessed land of ours. They pose a threat to life and limb, and they are now only being repaired as a photo-op for the neglectful incumbent Constituency representatives, roused out of their self-interested reverie, by the dynamic slate of candidates recently unveiled by the United Progressive Party. It is cynicism of the highest order, and it will no longer suffice. The immortal Tim Hector would have phrased it, “Enough has become too much, and up with it we will not put.” This administration’s shtick has worn thin. “We done tired,” as Mr Clarvis Joseph, one of our finest thinkers, would sombrely remark when referring to government fecklessness.
Interestingly, in the very same Cabinet notes, item number one ended on another fanciful note, which, based on this administration’s dreadful record of “fiddling while Rome burns,” could be long in coming. Quoth the Cabinet scribe: “The experts also showed aerial shots of the Dredge Bay area where nine (9) acres of new land are being created with fill from dredged material, deposited on the north side of Rat Island. The fishers who normally use the Point Wharf will have special facilities built for them in this new area. The additional work to be done in the harbour will cost US$15 million dollars.” Hmmm! While we have no doubt that the Point Wharf fisher-folk will be uprooted from their historic premises as a matter of great urgency to satisfy the . . . uh . . . ‘the development needs,’ we seriously doubt that the wonderful new Dredge Bay jetty and facilities will be completed any time soon. The fishermen will be forced to wander the waves, looking for new landing sites to secure their vessels and sell the catch of the day. Some may migrate across the harbour to Keeling Point.
And so it goes . . . Sweet-sounding fluff, far removed from a reasonable completion time-frame and a carefully considered cost. Yes, the cost over-runs are unconscionable, and taxpayers are always taken to the cleaners. Nothing, but nothing, is ever as promised! No wonder we have so little faith!
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