Shortly before his retirement from public life, Sir Lester Bird (RIP), a former prime minister of this fair land, issued a word of caution and advise to our current prime minister, the Honourable Gaston Browne. Seems, Sir Lester was quite baffled by the start-and-stop methods of this administration. Apparently, the current holder of the highest office in the land, he of a high place, had grown quite fond of staging grand groundbreaking ceremonies, complete with cameras and assorted media entities, and the requisite pomp and circumstance and empty boastful speeches. Sadly, the numerous and varied groundbreakings never amounted to as much as a hill of beans, they were not worth the spadeful of sod that was turned. It was really quite embarrassing! Sir Lester was so ‘shame’ for this administration, that he forcefully exhorted the PM to begin one project, focus on it, and see it through to completion, before venturing on to something else. They were words of wisdom from an elder statesman.
But our whippersnapper PM would not. He always seemed to be trying to prove something. And he continued with the grand pronouncements and the vainglorious posturings and the silly groundbreakings that never resulted in anything meaningful for Antiguans and Barbudans. Of course, Antiguans and Barbudans quickly caught on to the charade, and they began referring to his pappyshows as “groundfakings!” Good grief!
And by the way, the grand opening of the supposed state-of-the-art adjunct hospital on Nugent Avenue a few weeks ago is of a piece with this administration’s fakery. The hospital is hardly ready. The landscaping and the security fencing are a horrible mess, as is the parking lot. It is unclear whether the supposed elevator that they were supposedly waiting on has even arrived on island. Signage and other accoutrements necessary for the proper functioning of a hospital are still non-existent. Stray animals walk in and out of the premises and relieve themselves at their leisure. Talk about open sesame!
Nonetheless, this pappyshow administration, as is its wont, had a big grand opening ceremony, complete with assembled dignitaries and highfalutin speakers spouting the obligatory hot air, blah, blah, blah, knowing full well that ‘nutten ‘tall go so!’ and the grand opening was nothing more than a distraction from the pressing matters facing this woebegone administration.
Mercifully, Antiguans and Barbudans are no longer enchanted and seduced by these cheap publicity stunts, designed to divert the hurting minds of the people from the bread-and-butter issues that they face. As you can imagine, only a handful of invited guests bothered to show up for the grand opening of the Nugent Avenue Hospital, and their faces indicated that they would rather be anywhere else. The sham event was like unto a wake!
So too was the Mickey Mouse grand opening of the Western Imperial Medical University (WIMU) in the YIDA. The attendees at that event put on a brave face, speaking in lofty tones about the wondrous benefits to be had by us having three medical schools here in our fair State. It was more hot air! More pollution in that special marine management area. Sadly, the dour faces of those who attended, and their forced enthusiasm for a medical school photo-op that looked contrived and shabby and sparse, belied the phony euphoria.
In less than a month, we will be marking the one-year anniversary of the floods that took out the Little Creek Bridge. The repair work is supposedly now complete. Oh, the disrespect to the good people from ‘Roun South!’ Oh, the disregard for longsuffering road users. The voters from Roun South ought not to forget this disgraceful and utterly shabby treatment from those in high places in this administration, especially from their representatives who have let them down in a big way. Neither should teachers, pensioners, LIAT workers, ‘Point people’ and public sector employees who have been threatened, ignored, bullied, cussed and disrespected by he of a high place. They must give him his comeuppance!
Meanwhile, the recent writings of the MP from St Peter, in which he shakes his head at the dysfunction in the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (See news item on P3 in todays’ DAILY OBSERVER) does not auger well for our fair State. Nothing good can come of this – not with the rancor and bitterness and ill-will that we are seeing; not with the accusations and the mud-slinging. Of course, we are paying attention to the mud. Think “mout open ‘tory jump out!” These people know each other. They know where the bodies are buried, so to speak. The more that this internecine strife continues, the more that the good and just people of this land of ours will get their desserts. We ought to reject them all!
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Hmmmm! Think the monies appropriated for the new public cemetery. Think the monies spent on the eBooks. Think the monies spent on monitoring bracelets. Think of our government’s obligations and giveaways to these pathetic Special Economic Zones with not so much as a dime in return for our coffers. And so on and so forth. . . . all in a big pretense at taking care of the people . . . This administration is as phony as a two-dollar coin!
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