We cannot forget

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In less than two weeks, Antiguans and Barbudans will be going to the polls to elect the servants of the people for the next five years. It is an extremely consequential election, arguably one of our most critical, because it will determine whether we have a country for our children and our children’s children, or whether it will be given away to a chosen few in high places. It will determine whether we will become even more subservient, blithely accepting the verbal and psychological abuse from this sick, self-absorbed Administration. It will determine whether we see an improvement in our standard of living with back-pay and living wage issues resolved, pensioners and other benefit recipients being paid on time, the former LIAT workers being made whole, with good governance, accountability and transparency as the hallmarks of government. This will be the election to usher in an end to the . . . uh . . . half-truths, failed and broken promises, and downright lies.

But lest we forget the list of lies, and half-truths, and failed promises, let us look back at some of the grand stories and pronouncements that NEVER materialised:  the Sunny Hill project, a resort in the Falmouth/Bethesda area; the Beaches Resort by Sandals; the Half Moon Bay Hotel; the Morris Bay Callaloo Cay project; the Maiden Island/Labahia Hotel project; the Valley Church Hotel; the Amazon Call Center at Five Islands; the Beach Club at Fort James; the Marriott Autograph Hotel at Yeptons;  the renovation and expansion of the Halcyon Hotel; the Port Oasis project at Side Hill, the NAMCO acquisition of the Jolly Beach Hotel; the Best Western Hotel at Jolly Harbour; the Marriott Courtyard Airport Hotel; the Cedar Valley Golf Course Hotel; the Mike Tyson Hotel; the Willoughby Bay City project; the YIDA project; the WISEZ project; the failure to complete the Sunshine Hub Car Park; the failure to complete the Nugent Avenue state-of-the-art hospital; the failure to maintain the many playgrounds around the country; the shocking proliferation of warri-board roads; the dilapidated condition of many of our clinics and police stations; the failure to complete the Fort James reverse osmosis plant, and the corresponding storage tanks; the failure to complete the dredging of the fifth berth area to accommodate the Oasis class vessels; the failure to complete the High Street Courthouse; the failure to alleviate the dreadful conditions at His Majesty’s Prison; the failure to complete the work on the Anchorage Road Bridge; the failure to fully utilise the solar plants at the airport and in Bethesda; the failure to fully operationalise the Glanvilles Polyclinic; the failure to install street lights, and to fix the already-installed lights that are not working; the failure to provide a stimulus to the people when we were down on our faces during the Covid pandemic; the TEAR-GASSING of the people, simply because they chose to speak out against the government’s vaccination policy; the verbal abuse and mistreatment of our Barbudan brothers and sisters; and the FAILURE TO PROVIDE A RELIABLE FLOW OF WATER through our faucets, despite promising, two election cycles ago, to fix the darned thing. And so it goes. What a litany of failure! The list is exhaustive.

Of course, because of the fact that they have accomplished so very little, essentially fiddling and fattening their wallets, while our fair country burned, they are now scrambling to make nice and atone for their years of neglect. They are much like a wayward and philandering lover who shows up at the door bearing flowers and cheap trinkets, feigning contrition. But what can that one dance do? According to the famous reggae artist, “If you think one dance will do / And I’ll go home with you / You’re crazy . . .” Ouch!

Remember, folks, there is nothing to concentrate the minds of wayward, distracted, self-absorbed politicians, like the prospect of facing an angry electorate. And boy, are we in a foul humour? The incumbency is now purporting to have found religion, but alas, this come-to-Jesus moment is too little, too late. It will not suffice. They are now desperately flattering in order to deceive, but their sweet-sounding-nothings, and long tears of remorse are like unto the pretense of a slimy crocodile. We will not be seduced. Much like the elephants, we have long memories.

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