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Friday, 23 July, 2021
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When people show you who they are, believe them

Antiguans and Barbudans, beware! Achtung! (German: pay attention!) The word from well-placed sources is that the hideous costumes worn by those in high places on Sir V.C. Bird’s birthday/Heroes Day, was no dry-joke. Neither was it a belated macabre Halloween party, or an early John Bull parade, never mind that the addition of two red horns, and a red tail to the political poseurs would have completed the ensemble, and convinced onlookers that that was the case. The bizarre military-style costumes worn by the masqueraders (pun intended) of the ruling junta is a not-so-subtle message to the citizens of this fair State – that the regime will be adopting a “more muscular” approach to governance. Achtung!

Of course, many Antiguans and Barbudans are of the mind that this administration is already quite muscular in its mode of governance, too muscular, if you ask us here at NEWSCO. Let us not be unmindful of the way that this administration makes long-term consequential decisions (eg: the sprawling development for the rich on the fringes of the Frigate Bird sanctuary in Barbuda, and the Global Port giveaway) without any real consultations with the people whose lives, livelihoods and legitimate expectations will be affected. It is their way or the highway! That’s quite ‘muscular.’

Remember, this regime, with it’s authoritarian bent, insisted that the Barbudans “must comply” with the diktats of the central government. Plus, let us not forget that the head honcho made it quite clear that he would no longer be coddling and pampering the Barbudans. Instead, he was going to show them that “this land is his; he is the boss!”Since then, he has been siding with wealthy developers, some who seem not to care one whit about the environment and the concerns of the Barbudans. He has threatened to call the army on the Barbudan people and held up funds for the Barbuda Council. (The subventions to the Barbuda Council are almost always late). Yes, folks. The iron curtain has come down in Barbuda. Thankfully, the Barbudans, they who have seen this sort of iron-fisted rule before, have refused to yield and be pushed around. Just ask the Codrington family and subsequent Barbuda lease holders. They will not be intimidated by macho talk from the political directorate.

Would that we here on the mainland could be more like the Barbudans . . . and the pensioners. The Barbudans have a stellar record of resistance, and it was the pensioners who recently stared down the “Dear Comrade Leader” and gave him a mouthful. At that showdown, he was forced to beat a hasty retreat, and dig into the administration’s war chest to pay them their long overdue monies. The pensioners were not ‘sky-larking!’ Of course, as he has on other occasions, the ‘Dear Comrade Leader’ felt compelled to remind them (not that they were listening) that “Me nuh fraid aryou!”

Look folks, we’re talking about a new muscular approach to governance as evidenced by the ghoulish Saddam Hussein outfits recently worn by members of the ruling junta. We suggest that the only thing new about the ‘muscular approach’ is the dramatic unveiling of the hideous military ensemble. The recent chatter about calling in the army to bust industrial action at the post office and the port are of a piece with this junta’s style of governance. Achtung! It conjures up images and thoughts of the Mighty Gabby’s, GOVERNMENT BOOTS where he sings, “Left right, left right, de government boots, de government boots!” And in one verse he asks, “Is it necessary to hire dem soldiers to out one small fire / . . . when unemployment high and de treasury low. . ?“ Sigh! He’s talking about misplaced priorities, and a new ‘muscular approach’ to governance. We too are talking about misplaced priorities. Instead of solving the vexing problems at the post office and the port, as a matter of urgency, this regime resorts to threatening to call in the army.

Of course, we wish that the government’s new muscular approach would apply to those who assault and violate Mother Nature in the North East Marine Management Area (NEMMA) instead of to the ordinary citizens who are merely trying to protect our precious natural resources. Alas, this regime winks and nods with environmental rapists, instead of bringing down the hammer on them. History will not be kind to this regime. We further wish that the administration would be more muscular with its many underperforming and feckless MP’s. They leave so much to be desired. Indeed, we further wish that this administration would be more muscular with itself. It has been such a major-league disappointment! Cant seem to get anything right. (see the early fumbling with LIAT).

Finally, we wish that this administration would fire the public relations advisor who came up with the dumb idea to dress-up the political directorate in those grotesque military-style costumes. They made this regime the laughing stock of the entire world. We can imagine Mia Mottley and other regional leaders chortling and shaking their heads. Plus, there is the damage to our already shaky investment situation. We mean, those silly photos could give investors pause. Who the hell wants to invest in a country where the MP’s harbour dictator fantasies, and demonstrate totalitarian mindsets?

Mayo Angelou once declared, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.”Fellow citizens, this regime has shown its true colours. It has revealed its ham-fisted propensity. Achtung! We must needs pay attention and be guided accordingly! By their clothing, we now know them!

We invite you to visit www.antiguaobserver.com and give us your feedback on our opinions.

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