WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

After Eight Years in Govt- What Next

High-fivingIt is with sober reflection that I congratulate the United Progressive Party (UPP) administration of Antigua & Barbuda on its eighth birthday of serving the public.

 To imagine a more tedious job in these tough times is difficult. Given the fog of where we came from, and the fortune of where we are heading, I have to believe that the restoration of Antigua & Barbuda is worth our best efforts. 

We should bless our destiny. It teases out possibilities presented over magnifying hazards inherited.

Let’s give profound thanks for what has happened, and what could become. If we are going to win the fight against material selfishness, bad mindedness, narrow politics and hopelessness, hard-earned commitment to the greater good must be affirmed.
 
In reviewing the government’s track record through critical lens, we must confront the noble lie that all is well. We must equally reject the vicious half-truth that everything is awful.  Several unsettling insights are worth celebrating.


First, the government’s high-fiving is a stunning vindication of the distance between jovial talk and harsh reality. Perhaps such jubilance represents the "LIE" politicians are told before their faces versus the "TRUTH" spoken behind their backs.

In fact, the high purpose of inspiring leadership is to bring life-quality sensibility to social chaos with modifying effect on the common good. Everyone should benefit from good governance and healthy public service.

Second, although the global financial pain has been civil to the nation, our gratitude for big-picture thinking and consensus conduct has escaped nation-building aspirations. To claim that the government “held it together” and “prevented economic calamity” falls short of basic operational requirements.  Bold leadership achievements are found in poverty reduction, integrity in performance, and transparency in major decision-making. Love of country is never to be equated with blind obedience. Demanding public accountability is the most patriotic thing each of us can do.

Third, we love Antigua & Barbuda by being willing to speak the truth about how to make the nation better for all. The few doing well at the expense of the many is a recipe for status quo injustice. Agreed! The UPP has navigated unheard of economic challenges with distinction. But its actions have not yet provided pragmatic answers for the future.

At the same time, the government must lead so that political dividends yield positive adaptation. The search for solutions should spur meaningful debates amongst citizens. Tough times can create a culture of solving problems. This will kill the need for cute impressions, pleasant speeches, and playing smart with foolishness. 

Fourth, rather than postpone disaster, it is quite possible to harness prosperity. Leaders could balance fiscal discipline with innovative growth in real terms. One remedy is to use homegrown intelligence, and the high-end talent pool of the Diaspora. The Antiguan & Barbudan mind, locked in a Caribbean aesthetic and attached to global perspectives, is the way forward. It could unleash solid solutions and incredible initiatives. 

Fifth, without serious consideration of the needs of the people, ministers of government will overlook major bread and butter qualms, which require more than reviving the economy and creating jobs. Building up the people is the foundation for restoring hope. This involves boosting national self-confidence and using untapped resources, far beyond partisan support.


Sixth, what an opportunity for the UPP to provide a powerful record of its stewardship. I’d love to see PM Baldwin Spencer share a laundry list of substantial achievements and lessons learned from crises. Without ignoring the horrific economic and social hardship of Gray's Green the PM’s own constituency he must take great pains to benchmark strategies for a preferred future, at the local and national levels.

I want to see the Spencer's action put a premium on the intrinsic value of every citizen and resident, without tarnishing vital relationships with our Caribbean brothers and sisters.

If the UPP leadership does not guide the nation into the best approach to break free from crippling economic conditions and social traumas, what hope have we?

Seventh, the narrow quest for party success can sometimes overshadow our better desire for awesome outcomes. Perhaps we could hold our public officials to higher standards of excellence. For democratic energies to flourish, a blistering call for justice should inspire new optimism.

Each one of us must face the gruesome truth of celebrating the UPP’s unfinished tenure with appeals to social ideals and holistic criteria. I’d love to see indigenous businesses get a bigger piece of the national pie. I wish for a restructured tax regime that makes Antigua and Barbuda, the most business friendly island in the Caribbean.

Do you want to feel a national pulse for an uncompromising hope nailed to a thriving domestic agenda and a towering regional progress? Let's play a meaningful role in turning Antigua & Barbuda, and the entire Caribbean region into a glorious place to live and succeed.

 Think big! You and I have a country to transform and the Caribbean to improve. Only a strategic plan grounded in superior ideas will tilt CARICOM in the right direction. If the UPP government pursues this extraordinary course, it is to be preserved, praised, and paraded!

Dr Isaac Newton is an International Leadership and Change Management Consultant and Political Adviser. He specializes in Government and Business Relations, and Sustainable Development Projects.

Dr Newton works extensively, in West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America and is a graduate of Oakwood College, Harvard, Princeton and Columbia. He has published several books on personal development and written many articles on economics, education, leadership, political, social, and faith-based issues.


Hits: 2909

34 Comments In This Article   

HEADER   

@HHC

#34 Morning Joy! » 2012-03-20 15:29

I have been reading your comments. What is your mind is the main point of this article?

Are you agreeing that the distinction use in this article was used to imply disappointment in terms of national achievements or to signal remarkable management skills in terms of good goverance?

Please read Snake Yard's perceptive breakdown of the major themes and core messages embedded in this thoughtful commentary.

What driving results could you point to, that you are willing to give the UPP administration credit for?
0
0
+
−

Morning Joy!

@ Sally Williams

#33 HHJ » 2012-03-20 10:03

Is there a definition of the word distinctionthat I am not aware of?

Not me but Dr. Newton should be the one to list those acheivements since he is the one who has seen it fit to give a grade of distinction; unless the sarcasm that I searched for earlier is actually there. Is it in the exclamation mark following the word 'agreed'?
1
0
+
−

HHJ

@ HHJ

#32 Sally Williams » 2012-03-20 08:36

Follow the flow of the argument: The government after eight years is unable to present a substantial list of achievements. The statements are not contradictory, they are complementary. Dr. Newton says that the government is celebrating the basics because they have nothing else to celebrate. In fact, the whole sweep of the article argues that very persuasively. The connection is quite logical. The UPP management the economy with the distinction of being unable to grow it. So, they celebrate holding it together. Don't hank out one statement from entire article and then make a whole case from a sentence you are deliberately misleading. Why not answer the question that Deep Roots posed? He asked you to list 10 achievements worthy of celebration. Please do...
2
0
+
−

Sally Williams

RE: After Eight Years in Govt- What Next

#31 HHJ » 2012-03-19 13:39

Whild this article makes very good points, I see that there is some measure of contradiction, again with respect to the grade of distinction being given to the UPP for traversing harsh economic times. How does one correlate these two statements in the same article: 1) "To claim that the government 'held it together' and 'prevented economic calamity' falls short of basic operational requirements' with 2) "The UPP has navigated unheard of economic challenges with distinction"? How can Dr. Newton in one breath say that the government's performance meets only elemental requirements then exhaled a whopping distinction grade to the same government? Clarification would be most welcomed.
2
0
+
−

HHJ

[email protected] Roots

#30 HHJ » 2012-03-19 10:14

Deep Roots, where is the distinction in 'stopping the gushing blood but leaving the patient to die'? I see none. I see only failure; failure to resusitate, failure to effect recovery so if the UPP has done nothing to jump start the economy and restore it to good health, I can't see any distinction.
Dr. Newton's statement about the UPP navigating unheard-of economic conditions with distinction seems to stand alone. I would love to see him support that claim with examples of how they have done so and the out comes.
I cannot ignore the exclamation mark which follows 'agreed' and I must say that it is well placed.
There is no question regarding the Doc's qualification and ability but on this one, he needs to convince me that he truly believes the statement he made.
0
0
+
−

HHJ

@ Deep Roots @ HHJ

#29 Pat White » 2012-03-18 10:37

Very thoughtful discussion, a far cry from the empty name callings associated with these chatter. But you both are dissecting Dr. Newton's commentary with an eye for the hard social and economic issues that are plaguing the GOAB.

HHJ is right the Doc is being honest not sarcastic. Deep Roots is an avid reader of the Doc's commentary and seem to be fairly open minded and quite objective in his response. Waiting for more folks! Feed us.
0
1
+
−

Pat White

HHJ and her Sarcasm

#28 Deep Roots » 2012-03-17 14:06

Part 11

In order words, the UPP may have stopped the gushing blood but left the patient to die. Let's look at the following facts, which his former commentaries have highlighted: Poor fiscal management that did not bolster A&B from the global economic fallout (Dr Corte, former finance minister); A growth-killing tax regime without one strategy of growing the economy (Harold Lovell); Reckless spending via countless instances of alleged corruption, (fence, car park and road scandals to name a few) and; the foolish claim that the UPP negotiated with the IMF on their own terms (terms that are designed to strangle social programs and kill local businesses).

The intent of the article was not to avoid a hint of sarcasm but to reveal brutal facts to truth seekers and nation-building activists. I suspect your interpretation of the overall thrust of Dr. Newton's commentary is a pigment of the imagination. I suggest you consider re-reading this article with an open mind, following which you detail 10 solid achievements worthy of celebration under the leadership of the UPP.
0
0
+
−

Deep Roots

HHJ and her Sarcasm

#27 Deep Roots » 2012-03-17 14:04

Part 1

HHJ, who-so-ever digs a pit will fall in it. Having said that, Dr. Newton has repeatedly made countless recommendations to the Ministry of Finance and Minister Lovell of how to better managed the economy. He has pointed out where the government has gone wrong and provided corrective interventions. Bear in mind that he is a highly trained economist with no need to compromise objective analysis for political favor.

There is a comfort in better grasping the full enlightenment of his article. Basically, he made the point that the government does not have any substantial achievements to celebrate. As a result, he graciously attempted to help the terrible blow become far less so, by pointing the way forward. For example, the Doc was hinting instead that the distinction with which the UPP navigated unprecedented economic conditions did not provide concrete answers for the future recovery of the nation.
0
0
+
−

Deep Roots

RE: After Eight Years in Govt- What Next

#26 HHJ » 2012-03-16 19:35

A bit surprised that Dr. Newton agrees that ' the UPP has navigated unheard of economic challenges with distinction'. This is a glaring departure from former position he has held on this subject. I have searched for a hint of sarcasm but found none.
2
2
+
−

HHJ

@ Deep Roots

#25 Flowers For You » 2012-03-16 09:21

Your wisdom is obvious. I like how you map out our rationale for accepting and celebrating the mediocrity we validate from our leaders. As Dr.Newton says all the time, the problem is with the people not the leaders. The leaders get their marching orders from people whom they represent. As soon as the people begin to demand and expect excellene in deeds and in words, then leaders will deliver.

Rationalizing Darkness is what we do to excuse our politicans. Deep and Wide Deep Roots
1
0
+
−

Flowers For You

@ Deep Roots

#24 Warrior » 2012-03-16 08:05

Dear Deep Roots,

The only people in this "room before" is either the PLM or the ALP. Which are you advocating? Bearing in mind that the UPP is the PLM in a different name.

You can't mean Newton since he's never been in this dark room before?

I guess Weston is right after all..."MURDER"!
3
0
+
−

Warrior

Dr. Welcome Back

#23 Deep Roots » 2012-03-16 01:41

Dr. Newton,
Once again, we want to say thank you for directing our elected officials to the well flowing with water. As always, "In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty." Fact is, as a people, we filter our life experiences through our unique belief in our elected leaders to lead us. When they fail as they often do, we create our own personal reality. As such, we likened our experiences to being in a totally dark room; we could attempt to gain mastery by interpreting it in a variety of ways:
1. We could curse the darkness and become very effective at blaming it for all our problems;
2. We could struggle and strain, trying with all our might to force the darkness out of the room;
3. We could accept the darkness as a natural part of our existence and even create an elaborate belief system around our particular dark experience;
4. We could pretend the darkness does not exist and maybe even convince ourselves that the room is actually full of light;
5. Or we could take the advice of people who have been in this room before: “Turn on the light switch and dispel the darkness” (Cashman, 2008).
2
0
+
−

Deep Roots

Must - Hide and Seek

#22 ACLM » 2012-03-15 18:10

I guess i hit the mark? Enjoy all the cheese now! The elections soon call!
1
0
+
−

ACLM

Pure Truth

#21 Heather James » 2012-03-15 08:57

Dr. Newton, this article was not only well written. Its content is solid like a rock. At the end of the day, the UPP based upon its own standards, have nothing to celebrate.

How can anyone measure the UPP's progress, when no one, not even the UPP itself, know where the hell it is going.

The UPP has not set out a clear or clean path for national development. Where is the nation going? Economically? Educationally? Socially? Infrastructural Development? Healthcare?
5
0
+
−

Heather James

@ ACLM

#20 Hide & Seek » 2012-03-14 19:12

But you are a comprehensive FOOL! Are you an ALP bottom-licker? Why you don't read with ounce of understanding. Is this selective reading or what?

Read the next line "But its (UPP government) actions have not yet provided pragmatic answers for the future." Newton is not as c** as you are. His language is finely calibrated. That sentence you quoted was a tantamout to the Doc building a Masion out of Mud. This is sophisticated writing ACLM. Lovell and the PM are so wasted that they would have pay big money for a man of Newton's professional calibre...
5
2
+
−

Hide & Seek

Newton

#19 ACLM » 2012-03-14 18:06

The UPP has navigated unheard of economic challenges with distinction.

You sound like you looking work...only Lovell can provide you with any...i hope the ALP don't use you...you are worse than Baldwin because at least he can claim ignorance...what is your excuse? Mercenary?
4
6
+
−

ACLM

@Thinking big

#18 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-03-14 15:29

"After reading your article, the road ahead looks much brighter for the UPP"

What road are you referring to? It must be the one that leads to the round-a bout that we cant find,You must be really going insane.What is wrong with you people,you must have drank some of the pond water that the Pm boasted of drinking,no wonder he has such much heart,it takes a strong stomach to drink pond water,not very sanitary if you ask me.
7
1
+
−

ANTIGUAN WOMAN

@Zack Manoor

#17 Devon Benta » 2012-03-14 12:58

The Doc is neither Red nor Blue. He is FOR ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA. i know the man. We grew up together. Don't try and pin him down.

TALK EXCELLENCE IN PERFORMANCE AND ETHICS AND YOU HAVE HIS ATTENTION. IF YOU DOING WELL HE WILL AFFIRM. HE WILL ALSO ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO BETTER. IF YOU ARE DOING BAD, HE WILL SAY SO AND THEN GO AND POINT THE WAY FORWARD.
6
3
+
−

Devon Benta

dr newton both red and blue?

#16 zack mansoor » 2012-03-14 12:19

sometimes red and sometimes blue. where is the doctor?
0
6
+
−

zack mansoor

Nice article ... but good luck

#15 Lester Baldwin » 2012-03-14 12:14

I am surprised that after 8 years (2 different USA presidents) that some people are still waiting for Baldwin Spencer to "perform" !!!

He just doesn't have it in him!!! NEXT!!!
11
3
+
−

Lester Baldwin

@ John French II

#14 Johnson Watson » 2012-03-14 11:29

Dr. Newton, you are too wicked. But you make me LOL and smile all day. This is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I for one John French II join you in shouting AMEN. You and Dr. Newton shoud write a book:


"...the government’s high-fiving is a stunning vindication of the distance between jovial talk and harsh reality. Perhaps such jubilance represents the "LIE" politicians are told before their faces versus the "TRUTH" spoken behind their backs.
7
1
+
−

Johnson Watson

PM-your own words may come back to you

#13 Dig It » 2012-03-14 11:06

Dr Newton, welcome back! Very good article! It is funny that many in the public, including supporters of the GOAB, don't feel the same sentiment like Lovell, Senator Messiah, the PM and others in regards to what they have accomplished in eight years in office! With an anniversary like this, one would expect the ruling party to show its face to the people in a public rally, with the "bragging" and "boosting" of its "track-record!" Afterall, one doesn't run from his or her record! Yet, as the PM and his cronies celebrate far from the public-eye in a "dark place," many in the public continues to struggle to make ends meet and keep their necks above the water! For many, the PM has failed to create an economic environment with sound opportunities for families and small businesses to look forward to! They have seen more and more taxes, and higher cost of living at their door-steps. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if the PM own words came back to haunt him years ago, when he said to take out your "cutlass" and chop up the tax man" over that 2%! Mr. PM you are a PM for all Antiguans & Barbudans, and, not only for your friends, supporters or the Chinese!
8
3
+
−

Dig It

RE: After Eight Years in Govt- What Next

#12 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-03-14 10:32

This Govt do not have a clue,no amount of advice will help,they have lied they way into Govt,have slandered and destroyed persons reputation along the way just to gain power,they never had a plan and still dont,they are visionless bats with one agenda,to gain wealth and recognition.If Antiguans were to ever put them back in office in 2014,then i think whatever happens after will be well deserved,not to mention the rest of the region will see us an Illiterate people,only a gullible fool likes punishment.
9
2
+
−

ANTIGUAN WOMAN

most pertinent

#11 tenman » 2012-03-14 10:15

Quote:
cute impressions, pleasant speeches, and playing smart with foolishness... the narrow quest for party success can sometimes overshadow our better desire for awesome outcomes.
The above statements sums up the last eight years. Sadly the only thing that interests the PM (as pointed out by John French) is winning the 2014 election. The focus is not on bettering this country for present and future generations. This is why the government is willing to impose taxes but backs down on implementing good governance (Accountability, transparency, proper resource management...). Good governance would prevent them from spending tax payers money with mostly political gain in mind (eg. the fencing scandal, bloated public service etc..) It will prevent them from continuing to be unaccountable. However, though such good governance policies would be better for the country, it is seen as putting the government in power at a political disadvantage.

..
6
2
+
−

tenman

@ Dr. Newton

#10 Seeing Clearly » 2012-03-14 09:21

Spencer and the UPP is cooked. They gone, gone, gone, gone. But the ALP must get rid of Lester Bird. Which is worse, Dead Economy or Back to Bird? Dunce Spencer or Bright Bird? Capable ALP or Deadbeat UPP?

Can we have a serious third party?
6
4
+
−

Seeing Clearly

Truth, Honesty & Dr. Newton's Way!

#9 John French II » 2012-03-14 08:53

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. Let the Congregation say Amen!
After Eight Years in Government - What Next? Follow the next two years and Quote:
the strategic plan grounded in superior ideas
as developed and implemented by Juno a Bec, Shaka & chaku. One can safely say as the Good Hon Dr. PMQuote:
Any government anywhere in the world, especially those systems that practice so-called Western democracy, any government operating in this environment right now would either be totally unpopular, or would have seen their popularity waning somewhat."
Onward and Upward will be the "Battle Cry" for a Blue GoAB, which is what motivates, is the Vision, Mission and Values of Quote:
his party (which) has the wherewithal to bounce back and win the 2014 poll.
First Past The Post Governments exist to win elections when they GoToThe Polls. That is the Primary Goal! All else take a lesser Priority! With only two years left, Quote:
"Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, ... Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-- ...!"


Much Respect!
Heaven Help The Nation Of Antigua & Barbuda.
5
1
+
−

John French II

Afraid of the TAX man...

#8 Out of a JOB » 2012-03-14 08:31

what's next you ask..?

Time to go UPP! I voted for UPP in 2004, did not vote in 2009. Next time, I will be VOTING against UPP. You have failed me BIG TIME. Joanne utterances were the last straw.
7
2
+
−

Out of a JOB

The Difference

#7 Two Cents » 2012-03-14 07:29

Doc the ALP walks and talks like a duck. But's an eagle.

The UPP talks and walks like a lion but it's a toothless Dog.
3
2
+
−

Two Cents

Thoughtful

#6 Dr. Samuel Steven » 2012-03-14 07:20

Dr. Isaac Newton, is this a solid hug for the UPP?

How excited are people in Antigua about re-electing the UPP? The ALP?

With all that's going wrong, the ALP is more iffy than the UPP in 2014.

The ALP's arrogance will sink it. Trust me.
4
2
+
−

Dr. Samuel Steven

THE UPP WILL WIN

#5 One Dollar » 2012-03-14 07:16

YOU HAVE GIVEN THE GOVERNMENT A TURNING POINT PLATFORM...
4
4
+
−

One Dollar

Profoundly Interesting!

#4 Thinking Big » 2012-03-14 07:14

Beneath your analysis are some realities that lurks. The UPP still has the best chance to win in 2014 with Lester Bird leading the ALP ticket.

The ALP strategy depends on the UPP losing. It has no idea of creating a Winning strategy

Yes, PM BS is the most disappointing Politican in Antigua but the maths don't work for ALP.

After reading your article, the road ahead looks much brighter for the UPP
2
10
+
−

Thinking Big

What next?

#3 City Girl » 2012-03-14 07:06

Doc the UPP is listening to more LIES and TRUTH. They fooling themselves. They are spent. Can't win again. Baldwin admitted that they are losing support. Of course he saved face by saying they are heading in the right direction and on the right track. Really?
9
2
+
−

City Girl

Great Analysis!!!

#2 Snake Yark » 2012-03-14 07:02

1. The UPP is celebrating in illusion
2. Poor performance defines the UPP
3. The UPP has no solutions
4. The UPP ignores homegrown talent
5. The UPP is lost about development
6. Spencer have no achievement list
7. The UPP neglects Local businesses

Doc you sending the government to hell in a first-class cabinet. Wow!!!
13
2
+
−

Snake Yark

Masterpeice! We Missed You Doc

#1 Dr. Sharon Patterson » 2012-03-14 06:54

I love it!!!! Conditions are so bleak in ANU. Yet your article paints are realistic picture of how to get of the social mess and financial chaos at the deepest level of human investment.

By identifying some stress tests and red alerts, you have given our people and government, not just a honest take on the past but frank analysis about the future. Percentage wise, the UPP is both losing support and not having a clue about how to stop its rapid decline.
9
1
+
−

Dr. Sharon Patterson

Add comment

Dr.Isaac Newton

Dr. newtonDr. Isaac Newton is an International Leadership and Change Management Consultant and Political Adviser. He specializes in Government and Business Relations and Sustainable Development Projects. Dr. Newton works extensively in West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America and is a graduate of Oakwood College, Harvard, Princeton and Columbia. He has published several books on personal development and written many articles on economics, education, leadership, political, social, and faith based issue

Follow us on Facebook

Spotlight on Education

Previous Next
Govt to give Two Uniforms
Antigua St. John's - Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has confirmed...  Read more

Latest Opinions by Dr. Isaac Newton

App

Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!