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Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

There is no doubt that the supposedly "new" Chinese-built Wadadli Power Plant is not new, despite costing the people of Antigua & Barbuda a minimum of US$52 M.

Photos of busted pipes wrapped with cloth to stop oil leaks have been published to demonstrate a plant that is supposed to supply the nation with 30 megawatts of power.

Additionally, a published report suggested that APUA engineers confronted many problems when they visited China to test the plant. A meeting convened by APUA staff at the end of January also documented concerns about bad equipment related to the supposedly "new" plant.

In spite of these very convincing factors, the leadership of the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP), namely former Prime Minister Lester Bird is "thunderously" silent. Why?


True, Molwyn Joseph has been on a campaign of exposure of this power plant during weekly political meetings and his Fire and Steel show on ZDK Radio.

But where is the leader of the Queen’s Royal Opposition?

I know that Bird may be having some health issues, and surely one’s health should not be taken lightly, so he may be more caught up with dealing with those matters at this time.

There is also the IHI matter hanging over Bird’s head, and he may very well be more embroiled in "saving his skin" than worrying about seriously challenging the ruling United Progressive Party (UPP).

Then again, the ALP is split and in need of serious repair, and Bird has maintained that he will not relinquish power of the ALP, the party his "father built".

This Wadadli Power Plant however, is the best "unity pill" the ALP could ever imagine, yet the party still stands divided. Bird is quiet, Gaston Browne, the deputy leader is not too enthused, it seems, and the rest of the guys are just coasting along as well. Why?


Bird, a graduate of the University of Michigan in the United States, is an intelligent man with tremendous politically savvy. He must know what a united ALP dealing with this matter can do for his party’s chances of regaining power in Antigua & Barbuda.

Am I to believe that Bird does not want power? Of course he does.

Then, what is more important to Bird than power?

Perhaps the answer lies with Spencer, the UPP, and the overpriced power plant.

It would appear that being quiet about the Wadadli Power Plant is a very comforting matter for not only the ALP leadership, but the UPP as well.

For all his efforts, Joseph does not appear to have the support of too many in his party, and almost like a lone wolf, he continues to pry.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and the UPP, despite the insurmountable evidence, are unmoved, defying the questions of members of the media.


How can Spencer and the UPP appear so cool under such scrutiny? They must know something the public does not know. Some factions of the media are quiet as well.

Airport lands seem to be more important for some than the dissemination of news about the burden to taxpayers that will be levied on the backs of the people by this obvious "lemon".

All media houses in the country should be fighting "tooth and nail" to find answers for the benefit of the people.

At the end of the day, it’s the "ordinary people" who will foot this enormous bill, while the politicians and their friends and cronies iron out their differences.

Politics, they say, makes strange bedfellows.

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27 Comments In This Article   

HEADER   

I think ... I think ... I think

#27 Lester Baldwin » 2012-03-23 23:09

This article is full of I think this ... I think that ... I think this ... with a little bit of ... or could it be this ... or could it be that!!!

No facts !!! He is just guessing what Lester Bird and Gaston Browne are thinking ... why don't you go and put your mic in Gaston Browne & Lester Bird's chests and ask them? Instead you write a whole article on what you believe is the reason.

Then he is brave in his quest to name and shame Lester and Gaston for being silent but when it comes to name the silent media persons he is afraid and he resorts to saying "some media" ... Is he afraid of the "other media" and their pens and radio stations?

And to make things worse I heard Lester Bird many times asking questions about this power plant and he even requested meetings with the Chinese Ambassador and David Shoul. Where were you? Do you live in Antigua? Did you ever ask the Chinese Ambassador anything? Or are you only strong for Lester Bird?

Well since you are the "reporter" here are a few people who's silence on this matter you should really be questioning ... Sir McLean Emanuel ... Errol Cort ... Harold Lovell ... just to name a few.
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Lester Baldwin

unfair

#26 Reg » 2012-03-23 00:19

I think that magic is being very unfair to Lester Bird. He is head of a party. he is not chief spokeperson on all affairs. Good managers get work done through people. after all magic what do you expect? It is power plant , you want blood or wine? do you think it is hotel lobby? By the way majic ,did you hear Prime Minister Spencer in parliament when he could not even read figures correctly? I bet you have being doing that since in primary school. Spencer just inept and cant do the job. time long gone for him to go.
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Reg

HC & From the Sideline- Magic Mixed up

#25 SOCIAL SCIENTIST » 2012-03-22 22:35

You guys, HC & Side Line, seemed to know about potpouri- no about pepper-pot- Magic mixed up.
Look at the headline- MONEY TALKS-POWER PLANT WALKS. Contents scantily reflect the cost and the plant.

Good and objective writers could develop a sensible story without inserting extraeneous matters, such as IHI, Airport lands, disunity and power struggle. These can be separate stories and plenty can be written about them. Caribarena Editors may give guidance. This one seemed to have gone astray.

Such may have been developed from - non-financial governmental negotiators; contractual arrangements, costing, currency fluctuations, conditions of plant, quality of materials used to build plants; overall economic benefits to China or Antigua. Magicians like the great Houdini might have done a better job.
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SOCIAL SCIENTIST

Its a kind of Magic

#24 Frome the Sideline » 2012-03-22 20:53

Tell me is Magic back on Island?. Has he been fired by his Boss? Is he now therefore writing against his ex-boss? But then again he cannot go back to his old boss LB. Magic if you had done some journalistic works you would have come to conclutions we have already made here on this forum. The ALP have persons assign to certain minsitries. Lester doesn't jump on everything and neither is Gaston. But just follow Parliament and see what is debated. All you do is making baseless assumptions. Write something that has more contents for discussion please.
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Frome the Sideline

RE: Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

#23 HC » 2012-03-22 19:55

For the rest of us who want to see the back of this Govt why dont we start something for ourself, instead of relying on a few men.i am sure if we each get together with who ever our representative is and put what we decide to do,we will get their support. Anything,even my rotweiller is better for this country right now.The UPP just haffu go.
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HC

Magic

#22 HC » 2012-03-22 19:49

If it is about [email protected] and about the wadali power plant,where in the equation the ihi matter and the alp fit in? This is the biggest problem we face right now, big man,little boy and old man fraid fu talk them mine,everybody singing for them supper.If you want to make a statement and be about [email protected],pin the tail on the right jackass and stop pusy footing,for once leave the alp out of this and put the blame where it belong,you will then earn more respect and credibility.
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HC

@tenman

#21 Magic Hughes » 2012-03-22 19:25

look guys, (ladies) I respect your views, however, let's stick to the point.
This is about the people of A&B being burdened with a loan for a 'bad plant' and we not just the politicians need to fix this.
No where in this very serious opinion piece is there any personal gripe against anyone.
I challenge any of you on a discussion on any topic concerning the development of A&B.
Since 2009 I challenged Prime Ministyer Baldwin Spencer and the UPP on this power plant...even if it was brand new, the price was way over the market value.
Both the ALP and the UPP ahve failed the nation on this one and both have come under tremedous scrutiny.
We all can have a discussion on the issue. This is not a fight against you and those who share in the development of this wonderful nation...let's talk
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Magic Hughes

Clue me in

#20 Colin » 2012-03-22 18:23

Can someone help me to understand why any sane person would want to affix their signature to an anti-corruption petition circulated by the ALP?
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Colin

@ tenman

#19 DadliMan » 2012-03-22 16:49

What I'm saying, is that talking alone will not cut it. They have done nothing but talk for 8 years.

Your statement about the petitions for the fencing scandal makes my point. During the time leading up to the MBS inquiry, you couldn't walk in St. John's without being asked to sign the petition a few times every day. Eventually, more than 10,000 signatures were collected. It is complete ignorance for Teko to say that the GG would ignore the request. Give her the opportunity to ignore them. The same goes for the Wadadli Power Plant.

The UPP administration has proven that they do not respond to idle talk. Teko and the rest of the crew needs to try something else.
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DadliMan

DadliMan

#18 tenman » 2012-03-22 14:45

DadliMan I made many of the same points you are to Teco Lake via the Collin Sampson show yesterday. His answer was that the meetings you are calling for have started. I agree with you that they are needed. I also agree with you that the ALP needs to be more strategic. However, when it comes to being more vocal on the Wadadli plant issue, I really can't see what else they can do. All their shows on ZDK have highlighted this issue. My issue with the ALP is more about the spending by the ministry of sports. I expected them to take the legal action promised by MP Joseph after the Nov 10, 2011 march on this issue. Nothing has come of the promised petition with MP Lake basically saying it makes no sense because the GG will simply ignore it. I just find it strange that a potential rip off of perhaps 54 million ec, has less of an impact as the rip off at MBS for much less.

..
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tenman

@ ANTIGUAN WOMAN

#17 DadliMan » 2012-03-22 13:22

Clearly the organisations mentioned are firmly in the pocket of the UPP. However, that is not an excuse for the ALP not to agitate and take the fight to the UPP. Outside of talking on ZDK and hosting some poorly-attended public meetings, what exactly has the ALP done?

The ALP needs to think outside of the box and find ways to connect with the citzenry. For one, the public meetings are not cutting it anymore. How about hosting town hall meetings where people can pose questions and offer suggestions? Public meetings may have worked many years ago when communication media were not as prevalent as they are today. They may also work as a show of party support close to elections. But today, they are an exercise in preaching to the choir.
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DadliMan

@Dadliman

#16 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-03-22 12:13

I agree with you that Antigua is too quite,but all the organizations you mentioned are not apart of the ALP,I do not think that the UPP while in opposition had to plead with them to do anything,they voices were heard loud and clear,now with all thats happening they are silent as a lamb,it is either out of fear, shame or loyalty that they are silent,it cannot be that they are satisfied with the state of affairs.I to are baffled at the silence from all quarters, maybe someone can detect which of the above Antiguans are suffering from,or maybe its a little deeper than we can comprehend, remember one who now sits in Govt, admitted to have dabbled in the occult in the past,with the recent brakedown in all areas of our society,including murders by Children,i for one do not take his statement as a joke.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN

RE: Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

#15 nagga business » 2012-03-22 11:49

@ cassada garden residence, i agree with you 150%
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nagga business

RE: Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

#14 DadliMan » 2012-03-22 11:45

People don’t want to say it, but the ALP is in complete disarray. It appears as if Gaston is reluctant to support a matter championed by Molwyn. This is not the time for Gaston to climb into his shell and sulk because he is not in the forefront. Our hard-earned tax dollars are being pis*ed (urinated) down the drain. The principals of the ALP need to check-in their egos and realise that it is not about them. A&B needs a rescue mission in the worst way, and for 8 years they have played dead while the UPP destroyed this country.

Anyone who has followed politics in A&B will admit that, had this issue surfaced while the UPP was in opposition, A&B would have been turned upside-down. The Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Association, POWA, Coalition of NGOs, Churches , all coerced by the UPP, would have been up and down the streets shouting and praying.

Instead of working, the ALP is sitting on its haunches waiting for the UPP to lose the next election, and doing precious little else.
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DadliMan

Simpletons Simple Minds

#13 SOCIAL SCIENTIST » 2012-03-22 11:44

Tenman, you are thinking outside the box. Frequently, the simpletons who are boxed in and immersed in their emotions, think simple, talk simple, write simple for those of similar mentality.
Simply put, what has the condition of a new or an old energy generating plant has to do with wanting power distinct from electricity?

Does that address other pressing issues- excess taxes- allowances, travel, malspending of public revenues, soaring unemployment for the people, Chinese crippling economy, pressure on scholars who cannot find work to repay their scholarship loans, heightened criminal activities of robberies of young and elderly people, rape and murder of women.

This is a nation gripped by fear of all these things. All we hear is talk and more talk. Jornalists may concentrate on these and ask for relief for the people and accountability.
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SOCIAL SCIENTIST

@ tenman

#12 DadliMan » 2012-03-22 11:37

While I think that Magic's intense dislike for Lester Bird fuels his vitriolic missives, I do find it strange that A&B has not yet erupted regarding these Chinese generators/engines. The ALP's ineptitude as an opposition party is to blame for the existing calm. In that regard, Magic is on point.

Yes, Lester did request the Ambassador’s presence at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, which the good Ambassador treated with scant regard. Yes, Lester wrote a letter to the Chinese Ambassador. Then what? Outside of Max Hurst and Molwyn Joseph (and to a lesser extent Weston), the ALP has been largely silent on the matter.
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DadliMan

RE: Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

#11 Cassada gardens resi » 2012-03-22 10:32

If CA were to allow me,i know they wont.,I would spread you(magic) bare for the world to see. Take the plank from your own eyes and leave the beam in Lesters alone.God nar sleep.
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Cassada gardens resi

Asot/balwin/David /Lester are the same!

#10 Concerned national » 2012-03-22 10:21

A deal has been in the making for years between axox xalxin and xaxid in regards to the Ihi matter? Remember when the alp had The XaXid / xalxin partnership on the ropes with the stadium roads contract? Cow was about to deliver the money trail when xxxx paid him a visit . Alp backs off the stadium and you did not hear anything about Ihi for a while!
Magic is on to something big with this power plant rip off. Will the people allow them to get away this time around is the big question?
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Concerned national

Pipe on!!

#9 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-03-22 10:21

Here he comes again,the Pied Piper,starting the music to lead the Children astray.That was then,this is now,it will not work this time.The IHI files were stolen, remember?Be careful you dont join the Pm in his latest defeat at the courts..
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN

cry cry baby

#8 brooklyn » 2012-03-22 10:20

magic here you go again,what exactly is your point,it is obvious that you,re still hurt by the way the relationship is between you and lester, please find away and deal with it and stop the cry in public.
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brooklyn

RE: Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

#7 alp to me bone » 2012-03-22 09:45

Magic, I want to suggest that you take Tenman's advice. Whatever you feel LB might have done to you or not done for you, there was a time when you both were bottom and po. It is quite obvious that you have started campaigning for the UPP for the 2014 elections. I hope that you will adequately rewarded.
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alp to me bone

Eric - stop with the lies

#6 tenman » 2012-03-22 09:11

Eric why you always spreading lies? First you spreading lies about bank accounts in connection to LB, now you misrepresenting the proposed selling price (80) of the lands. The Ambassador to China has stated the figures being asked for those lands (see Land Deal Hurts Ambassador Shoul, Friday, 09 March 2012 by Everton Barnes):
Quote:
He said the lands were sold to newly-convicted Texan financier R Allen Stanford at the "peppercorn price" of $1.10 per square foot, and are now being offered for $18 to $22 per square foot. Read more: http://www.Caribarena.com/antigua/news/latest/99935-land-deal-hurts-ambassador-shoul.html#ixzz1pqn8Zu88
Look I agree with you that the lands should never have been sold but there are persons in this present government who either advocated or sat quietly when this was going on. One of them happens to be Stanford's lawyer, the great Doctor Cort and I don't recall hearing Shoul's voices back then saying it was wrong. Don't recall any of them joining Alister Thomas in crying down the sale.


..
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tenman

Magic

#5 tenman » 2012-03-22 08:27

Magic, its clear you have issues with LB, try and arrange a sit down with the man so you guys can hammer out your differences. Yes LB has not been as loud as Molwyn Joseph on this issue, but I recall him requesting ambassador Shoul show up to answer questions before the committee Bird heads, and Shoul simply not showing up. Here are some articles you may have missed:
www.Caribarena.com/antigua/news/latest/99445-bird-to-seek-outside-advice-on-power-plant.html
www.Caribarena.com/antigua/news/latest/99725-bird-meets-with-chinese-ambassador.html
www.Caribarena.com/antigua/news/politics/99944-bird-rebukes-pm-over-picket-response.html
www.Caribarena.com/antigua/news/latest/99458-ambassador-shoul-called-to-account.html

As far as Gaston Browne goes, I gather he is spending time with his newly arrived infant and its mother. Magic, Browne did find time to share his issues with the currency used for these loans and the danger we put ourselves in (see www.Caribarena.com/antigua/news/economy/99992-brown-wants-loans-in-us-currency.html)
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tenman

dictator

#4 Reg » 2012-03-22 06:57

I think that magic's conclusion is off. Lester Bird has witten to the Chinese Ambassador for official iinformation on power plant. He has appointed Molwyn and Robin Yearwood as lead person on this issue. What IHI? that is a red herring. I dont think Bird is loosing sleep about that. Baldwin just had to pay $7500 for that. One of the qualitiries of a good leader is his ability to coordinate and that is what LB is doing. He has abundant human resourcses that he is using. It is a team effort. He will be heard at the right time. The fact is the information is coming out. look out for more.
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Reg

RE: Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

#3 Eric » 2012-03-22 06:50

Why would the ALP under Lester Bird sell (give a way) to Stanford all those Lands around the Air Port for $1.08 per Sq ft. without and regards for any future expansions of the Air Port operation for the benefit of us Antiguans & Barbudans and out Children and our Grandchildren? It is now going to cost the people some $80.00 per sq.ft. Before we can expand our Airport – This is now denying the people a new facility and the progress of our country.
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Eric

RE: Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

#2 john d » 2012-03-22 06:25

magic we were in school together for 6 years you were one of the brightest boys in the class and you can't figure this out.Well let me help you!!!!!Lester,Balwi n,David,Asot.When last you hear about the IHI matter or the generator matter.Simple 101 maths you leave us alone we leave you alone.If you don't believe just find out for yourself why suddenly Balwin and David always down Dry Hill. You see my brother money talks and bulls..t walks.
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john d

RE: Money Talks - Power Plant Walks

#1 Cool Ruler » 2012-03-22 06:20

Unlike a calypso from the grand master of calypso commentary chalkdust who would mask what he want to say in song but the people know what he is saying, I am at a loss to interprets what this article is trying to insinuate. Surely he is not suggesting that somehow lester and Gaston has left molwin alone to wage his crusade or that both leader and deputy some how don't care about the issue because they are not on a soap box daily shouting like Joseph or that any benefit derived would benefit the other hence their apparent lack of interest. Well perhaps just perhaps since their economic savior is now in jail they are wary of offending China with just speculations the same China who they will also have to deal with if they are lucky enough to be returned to power.
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Cool Ruler

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Ian 'Magic' Hughes

Ian 'Magic' Hughes is an Antiguan Journalist.






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