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LOW EARTH ORBIT – More Outside The Box

More Outside The BoxFriday is always a good day for taking aim at all those loyal British subjects, who are determined to be forever dependent on the Mother Country, Great Britain – never mind how callously she treats us in deference to her new commitments to the European Union … and never mind how much damage she does to our economy with her cruel Airport Passenger Duty Tax.

My personal beef with the APD is not that the tax exists, or even with the quantum. In principle, the UK has the right to apply whatever revenue-raising measures that country deems feasible. I am even relatively at ease with the spurious reasons advanced for the levy. Forget all the claptrap about applying the funds to offset environmental damage to the ozone layer, et cetera – there’s a huge hole in the Exchequer, and no kind of Citizenship by Investment Program will fill that bill: so the chancellor can spin that tale in any way he likes without any unhelpful carping from Yours Truly, at least.



The truly hurtful aspect of the APD is that the calculation of the bands (purely a matter of definition, mark you) relegates the islands once regarded as jewels in the British crown to a total backseat position: so far from the UK, so near to the US – where Honolulu, Hawaii is far closer to London than is St John’s, Antigua. So much for Empire, historical ties, and the British Commonwealth: England, we are painfully enjoined to remember, has “no permanent friends … only permanent interests”.

These barbs are aimed directly at a cadre of Antiguan & Barbudan, usually persons belonging to some elite group, who cling doggedly to the view that the constitution document under which we have been struggling to for 30 years to build a functional democracy is above reproach.

According to the argument advanced by these relics of Empire, all this country needs is some “good,” “honourable,” “patriotic” individuals to apply themselves to the levers of governance – and everything will be simply hunky-dory in the best old-fashioned British style.

Now, that is really thinking inside a box of one’s own creation. The solution offered is very practical, too: don’t change the system to suit the reality – change the reality to suit the system. Don’t raise the bridge … lower the river. Of course, we all know what that line of reasoning is designed to achieve: precisely nothing – no change, no movement, no development … the eternal preservation of the status quo, safe forever in the arms of the Mother Country.

My thesis is that the holy status quo is itself the cause of our many manifest problems in this our unfair, twin-island, sub-tropical paradise. Let’s try this one on for size: Things are the way they are because things are the way they are. The only way to change the way things are is to change the way things are to some other, better way. The status quo determines the status quo. The only way to keep the status quo from determining the status quo is to change the status quo to some other, more appropriate status quo. I hope that makes sense … I got lost midway through.

So then, the way to break the tyranny of the status quo is to think outside the box of past experience, past history, past cultural conditioning and past loyalties. For an illustration of the damage that following past patterns can do, let us refer to that famous United Progressive Party boondoggle of the pre-2007 Cricket World Cup period. Oh, those sidewalks and drain covers! What a monumental waste of money! Where are they now? Do you recall the haste, the confusion, the absence of supervision, the lack of definite standards, and the bobol? Of course you do.

Can you also recall the disastrous effects the poorly conceived and badly executed drain-covering programme had on businesses in the city? Of course you do – the resulting floods created great hardships for city business people. All of a sudden, commercial establishments that had never encountered issues with flooding in the past became subject to damaging floods with any decent shower of rain. The flooding was caused by trash and refuse building up under the poorly constructed drain covers. Murphy’s Law and the great sidewalk programme had converted the city’s drains and gutters into a trash concentrating, flood creating monster.

Where once God’s rain had merrily flushed the city’s trash away out into St John’s Harbour to greet incoming cruise vessels, the pappyshow drain covers now trapped the refuse in inaccessible places – creating issues that could only be solved by the wholesale destruction of the very drain covers that had been laid down at such great expense. Yes … in fortunate Antigua & Barbuda, we literally flush good money down the drain. But don’t worry – the CIP, the CPC and the Beaches project will take care of that little problem … the IMF too …and we can always raise taxes.



So who cares? That is the way we do things in our delusional state, where the status quo holds unquestioned sway. All government programmes, especially Public Works projects, are wasteful boondoggles designed mainly to put money into the pockets of favoured cronies and supporters. As a matter of fact, official investigations into proven graft at the Ministry of Public Works and possible corruption at the Central Board Health have been quietly sidelined without result – just like the “Fences” affair. In Antigua & Barbuda, the status quo reigns supreme.

In the meantime, the deluded people of our unfair land appear content to continue to wait in hope for those “good,” “honourable,” “patriotic,” “principled” persons to miraculously appear out of nowhere, like myrmidons bursting from the earth. When, somehow, these special persons manage to create themselves inside the political box, we have constructed for our own containment, they will overcome all our worst impulses, leading us into a wonderful new era of good governance as intended by the benevolent Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

And under the influence of our comfortable delusion, we will also continue to forget that our own special knock-off of the fabled Westminster System was carefully crafted by and for unscrupulous politicians who have made it a tool for deceit, imposing a virtual parliamentary dictatorship cleverly disguised as “democracy”. That is the true status quo. Until we are ready to go more outside that box, the status quo will continue to be the cause of our bitter misfortunes.

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7 Comments In This Article   

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RE: LOW EARTH ORBIT – More Outside The Box

#7 Mangohead » 2013-04-16 08:33

I'm confused and I think you are too Mr Sampson. Are our problems caused by the Brits and the system they bequeathed us or they caused by the incompetence and corruption of our leaders and public servants? The first part of your article suggests the former, while the second re-enforces my belief that it is the latter.
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Mangohead

permanent change only from the bottom up

#6 tenman » 2013-04-12 12:58

Quote:
I thought back to the would-be revolutionaries fighting for institutional change, and I realized that our governments and societies are merely a reflection of the predominant consciousness of the people they serve. The top-down approach of trying to change an institution or a government could not possibly result in a permanent change in society without a corresponding change within the souls of all the people.

However, if individual people freely and willingly change from a self-centered state of consciousness to one that embodies a transcendent ideal, then the way in which we conduct our business on a more global basis will necessarily become more expansive. A spiritual revolution, from the bottom-up, could be permanent. Robert Tolz
Again, I remind of the writer prior article and a well known song: "We get the government we deserve"
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tenman

Outside the box

#5 JD » 2013-04-12 09:37

Yes, definitely time for a change - we need it. Keep spreading the message, Mr Sampson. There are many of us outside the box who are thinking outside the box - let's hear it from all of us, let's do it.
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JD

RE: LOW EARTH ORBIT – More Outside The Box

#4 Just Asking » 2013-04-12 09:35

You need to add Namba and Brother B before shipping.
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Just Asking

solutition2013-04-07 18:48

#3 tenman » 2013-04-12 09:34

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As a People we lack the sophistication to make the change without the guidance of of a caring leader that is willing to fullfil Papa's Legacy and lead the People out of darkness of partisan politics. Professor 2013-04-07 18:48
Yep lets all wait for Moses. We can continue doing what Pompey's past comment alludes to:
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Why go to " ...Boggy Peak," close your eyes and pray to GOD to move " ...Mount Obama," and after praying and opening your eyes, it is still where yo knelt to pray?
How about we follow this advice:

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Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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tenman

@ Colin

#2 skyewill » 2013-04-12 08:10

Now close the lid and call the Salvation Army.
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skyewill

Looks like a wonderful package to ship off to Redonda

#1 Karl Me Funnie » 2013-04-12 06:44

But those guys fit in the box quite nicely and it looks like a wonderful package to ship them off to Redonda. lol
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Karl Me Funnie

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Mr. Colin Sampson

 Mr. Colin Sampson is a Journalist and the host of "The Colin Sampson Show" on Caribantigua TV 

 

 

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