WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Divided ALP stands unchanged

Divided ALP On Thursday the two political parties in Antigua & Barbuda, the ruling United Progressive Party and Antigua Labour Party used the cover of Labour Day to kick off their respective 2014 General Election campaigns.

The ALP may deny using the Labour Day cover since its rally was held at 46 North Street, home of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union.

Nonetheless, it’s common knowledge that the ALP and the AT&LU are one of the same, at least that’s what leader of the ALP said.



ALP officials used that ‘one and the same’ argument as a part of its defense into the case brought against ALP members at last year’s Labour Day march.

In any case, I think that I would be on safe ground to state that both rallies were not very well attended.

Not too many people seemed enthusiastic enough to brave the showers that fell that night.

In this piece, I focus on the unchanged ALP looking to retake the reign of power from the ruling United Progressive Party.

Obviously the UPP would disagree that the ALP is favoured to take the 2014 elections despite admitting that the party is losing popularity.

Well, if these two parties do not go through serious changes, the real losers at the 2014 polls will be the people of Antigua & Barbuda.

Imagine another term under the unguided, non-transparent and unaccountable UPP.

Surely, this country cannot sustain another period of poor fiscal policies under the UPP, and just the thought is unnerving.

Even scarier is an ALP government that is divided to the core and unchanged from 2004 when the people booted them out of office.

Two weeks ago the leader of the ALP Lester Bird and a number of his colleagues announced to the public that the party is united and ready to take over the country and lead us into a better future.

One of the persons making the case of ALP unity was deputy leader Gaston Browne who knows very well that a united ALP is the same as a transparent UPP.

True to form, member of the ALP Vere Bird III publicly accused the elected members of the party of being muzzled on the issue of the Wadadli (Chinese) Power Plant.

There is a saying that ‘if you throw a stone in a pig pen, the one that squeals is the one that got hit.’

Bird III never mentioned a name, but Browne felt compelled to answer, especially after the Daily Observer carried a story that reported corruption amongst ALP elected members.




Bird III questions the accusation being attributed to him.

On Saturday, Browne, while claiming that the ALP is united called out Bird III and even suggested that if he (Browne) was pushed he would expose the members who took to claim that the said engines were used.

And while Browne, his colleagues and their supporters may take this ‘back and forth’ by members making such divisive claims as normal, reasonable people know different.

This conversation is just a small part of the dysfunction that is the ALP.

The topic of corruption seemed unnervingly normal to Browne and it begs the question, are these guys the frontrunners to lead the country in the next elections?

Is corruption going to be an issue like it has always been with the ALP?

What’s more frightening is that Browne intends to be Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, yet he waits to be pushed before he reveals a criminal act.

I can recall previous years when Lester Bird was Prime Minister he claimed he knew who the drug dealers in the country were yet he never mentioned their names.

Is Browne taking a page out of Bird’s book?

As the man to be handed the top job by Bird, maybe Browne has to appear Bird-like.

Well I hope not.

I do hope that Browne recognizes the errors of his ways and make the necessary changes or he may not have the privilege that the former PM made such a mess of.

Now, why would Browne wait to be pushed?

Browne may have to disclose why the party is not on common ground on this extremely troubling issue that will place the nation in debt of some US$52 million.

On a matter that has the potential of ‘taking out the UPP’, the ALP cannot take a common stance for the good of the party and the country as they continue to preach.



It’s clear that whether the engines for the WPP are old or new the contract signed by government appears to be illegal according to members of the parliament.

As one of the more vocal member of the opposition, Browne does not seem too perturbed, perhaps he does not recall, whether the government tabled the bill in parliament as allegedly acquired by law.

If Browne knows better, he should let his colleagues know the truth and stop them from going down that the wrong path.

Remember, they are united.

Anyway, why would anyone trust the ALP to govern any better than the failed UPP?

No matter who is right, Bird III or Browne, the ALP is not the answer to the woes affecting Antigua & Barbuda.

The ALP preaches lack of transparency and accountability by the UPP, but they were just as reckless when they were in power.

What would become of the IHI matter if the ALP was return to office?

And what of Browne?

Does he have enough details or facts to claim that his colleagues did in fact defraud the same system they are fighting to operate?

Don’t the people deserve the truth?

If Browne became prime minister would he continue the court matter against his colleagues in the interest of the nation?

See, these are just some of the questions that arise when the ALP is named as the government.

And why doesn’t the ALP understand that they will have to change their ways if they are to be the ruling party?

Not if and when they are elected but now, starting with the vetting of its candidates.

But like I have said before, I reiterate the ALP is not about good governance but power and with that they will not change.

According to the ALP’s constitution if there are more than one person interested in representing the ALP in any constituency where an incumbent candidate previously lost there should be a primary to decide.

Browne is asking members to forego their constitutional right to allow for a poll.

Unbelievable, but true.

Is this the way the ALP will operate in office?

The ALP thinks very little of the people of Antigua & Barbuda.



Lester Bird still believes that the reason they lost in 2004 was due to the fact that the people simply had enough of the ALP.

In two weeks, the rhetoric coming out of the ALP was enough to scare anyone into thinking twice before making that very important X.

Growing up in the sixties, we played a game in the neighborhood called “who stole the cookie from the cookie jar”. At the start of the game, each child picked and we would randomly call a number as we sang the song.

“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?  (number called) stole the cookie from the cookie jar, who me, yes you, couldn’t be, then who, number (number called) stole the cookie from the cookie jar.”

The party hoping to take power is playing the same game but this time it’s who took what for the Chinese generators.

It’s a pity that this is where we have to go, but with the failures of the UPP it’s almost inevitable; incredible to say the least.

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28 Comments In This Article   

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Simple

#28 justin » 2012-05-23 09:32

Where has BIrd3 come from all of a sudden? What contribution past his name has he made to society or his Country that he can start to throw his weight about!
Mark my words please! Bird day is done & ALP will not win unless they show a new fresh, uncontaminated and united face -
The public now, more than 2004 are looking for change but they are NOT looking to a return to the same old ALP faces and antics!
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justin

Brown's Alleged Suggestions

#27 Antigua Patriot » 2012-05-15 07:46

I find the comments in the article above that "On Saturday, Browne, while claiming that the ALP is united called out Bird III and even suggested that if he (Browne) was pushed he would expose the members who took to claim that the said engines were used." extremely disturbing. It suggests that persons in our community are being bribed to bolster the "old engine" campaign. Now we know that this is a really hot agenda topic in our media houses, so the question is, are our media houses on the take too????? Just wondering......
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Antigua Patriot

RE: Divided ALP stands unchanged

#26 Audrey Taylor » 2012-05-13 14:57

The present Government need to just step down, we then have military rule until a new government is put in place ., it need not be bloody. Something has to be done even most drastic steps
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Audrey Taylor

Flogging "A Bewildered & Bemused Electorate"! PT3

#25 John French II » 2012-05-10 12:16

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. A Third Party has as much chance of winning an election in any of these Caribbean SIDS as "The Master Blaster" returning to Antigua & Barbuda Cricket. Political Organizations need a Critical Mass and the Blues & Reds having occupied that space have sucked the oxygen out of Body Pond. The populations are limited echoing the words of Jamaica Kincaid since this SIDS is indeed a "small place". To those who would suggest otherwise it would be most apropos for this "mere voice in the wilderness" to offer a prayer: Quote:
Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, Look upon a little child; Pity my simplicity, Suffer me to come to Thee.
The Scribe was most apolitical and just as the Lowly Ground Lizard offered no concrete, creative or strategic analysis.
The Electoral Politics as practiced in these Caribbean SIDS, under the Westminister System and the Bretton Woods (World BanK, IMF & Paris Club) Privateer "Fiscal Adjustment & Structural Reform" will not improve the lot of the Poor People or bring about National Freedom & Independence. Electoral Politics in these SIDS is a fight to the death for power or carnival masquerading attention.
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John French II

Flogging "A Bewildered & Bemused Electorate"! PT2

#24 John French II » 2012-05-10 11:51

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. Friends, CountryWomen, Ouadadlians, Rastas, the question as to What of the lowly Antigua, Barbuda & Redonda Ground Lizard with no Chameleon Creativity was answered with: Quote:
The party hoping to take power is playing the same game but this time it’s who took what for the Chinese generators. It’s a pity that this is where we have to go, but with the failures of the UPP it’s almost inevitable; incredible to say the least.
Ms. Taylor, JF has suggested that A&B abandon the First Past The Post System. Too late for that possibility before 2014.
Let's take a Strategic View of Electoral Politics. Here are some thoughts emanating from some of the electorate: this political system will not bring about a better standard for the poor m**; the gap between rich & Poor is widening;the politicians are all about feathering their nests, making accommodations with FDI & the Local Rich Elites.
This then suggest an alternative(s) in which the "carnival masquerading public" storm the Government Complex & The House of Parliament sited on Queen Elizabeth Highway and/or create another party to run in the expected next election.
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John French II

RE: Divided ALP stands unchanged

#23 pedro » 2012-05-10 08:08

I just like this article...go Magic go. Wake up ALP!
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pedro

RE: Divided ALP stands unchanged

#22 Audrey Taylor » 2012-05-10 07:58

@John Frech II I agree with you , the people of Antigua and Barbuda are indeed between a rock and a hard place as we are being circled by a blue and red vultures.None of them are about the improvement of the lives of Antiguan Citizens and residents, they are about their own enrichment. The UPP being unsure of how long they would hold their position of picked the carcass of Antigua and Barbuda to the bone , they over did it they should have learned from the ALP, they ate more slowly and lasted 26 years. I cannot trust the UPP they are gluttons and not smart enough to leave a little for the people who they expect to vote them into power again. We are left with the ALP the rock, we can only hope that they have learned from their failure of the past and so when they get back into power, they will pick our carcass slowly leaving at lease a leg for us to pick at also. The hard place that is UPP did not have the sense to do that so they have gorged themselves out of office. Since no new party is in the offing we are stuck with ALP the Rock. Plan B is to move to North America like so many of our fathers did and leave the stench of Antigua rotting carcass behind you.
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Audrey Taylor

@ Gaston Browne

#21 SlyThatGuy » 2012-05-09 21:30

Gaston,It's no use trying to assure the public that a new ALP Administration will operate within the confines of anything;after reading the article about your failure to report a serious crime,the public will know not to trust you and the ALP.Someone in your position who doesn't have the moral fiber to expose criminals will not deal honestly with the people of this nation. You or Lester Bird would be the worse choice to replace prime minister Baldwin Spencer.
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SlyThatGuy

@ jeb

#20 STEVE » 2012-05-09 18:20

Did you really believe that these calls from the "snakepit" are "just by the way calls"? Come on!! Gaston know exactly what he is saying when he says "there are people dividing the a.l.p. clandestinely.
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STEVE

MAGIC

#19 INDIANAPOLIS » 2012-05-09 16:59

MAGIC YOU ARE LIKE REALLY MAGIC. WHO STOLE THE COOKIE FROM THE COOKIE. I TOLD YOU I WOULD BEING READING. DO I TOUCH A NERVE MAGICCCCCC
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INDIANAPOLIS

Who don't hear will feel

#18 Dig It » 2012-05-09 15:08

Magic, there is also the saying "who don't hear will feel." As I think about the whole WPP issue, I am "amazed" that we don't have "protests" from dusk till dawn! There is no way we should sit-back and allow this WPP "rip-off" to go away or "water-down." Until we get "full-disclosure" of "whey de money gone" we should continue to press for answers, and, ultimately find the "truth" wherever it leads us to! I am of the view that we don't need "reassurance" from our leaders or politicians to tell us "laws-are-broken" and what they plan to do about it! I will not be easily "entice" by "empty-words" and no "deeds" to show or prove to the people that they really have "change!" The country is just bleeding too much for anyone or any institution to take it for granted in making it a better place for all!
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Dig It

Flogging "A Bewildered & Bemused Electorate"! PT!

#17 John French II » 2012-05-09 14:53

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. Quote:
"The floggings will continue until morale improves".
Some attribute the quote to a Captain on a Roman Galley Ship exhorting the galley slaves to row harder.
It has been stated that a Leopard can't change its spots. On this SIDS, lizards are able to change colours depending on whether they are in flight or Fright. Saddly the lowly Antigua, Barbuda & Rdonda Ground Lizard boasts no such chameleon creativity. Quote:
Imagine another term under the unguided, non-transparent and unaccountable UPP. Surely, this country cannot sustain another period of poor fiscal policies under the UPP, and just the thought is unnerving. Even scarier is an ALP government that is divided to the core and unchanged from 2004 when the people booted them out of office.
This is so predictable that it would be a disaster if another thought was provided. Would the Galley Slaves stop Rowing? Would the Lizards engage in Flight or Fright? What of The lowly Ground Lizards with no Chameleon Creativity?
The Scribe echoes A Bewildered & Bemused Elector's Exasperated Cry: Quote:
Blues & Reds Are Two Wings Of The Same Bird Of Prey!
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John French II

@ Gaston Browne

#16 Colin » 2012-05-09 14:30

Right comment - wrong forum.
You need to make those comments via on some truly public media - not in blog-space!
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Colin

shocked

#15 jeb » 2012-05-09 13:33

There is a saying that ‘if you throw a stone in a pig pen, the one that squeals is the one that got hit.’

Have to say that the whole escapade on Serpent shocked me and the above reflects the thoughts that came to mind. I also found that it all seemed rehe**d from answering the phone call so quickly to the unbecoming public threats. None of the interview came over to me as impromptu.
A politician needs to show strength and conviction...anyone with an ounce of intelligence and integrity can see that the WPP is junk from the inside out and is just one more allegedly corrupted transaction that has taken place in the last 8years. One has to think very carefully before voting for people who do not support the obvious...there is no justifiable reason for that; after all we the people (the voters) have to pay for all this crap that has destroyed our country and way of life.
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jeb

Not hate; ALP Reality

#14 PLM » 2012-05-09 13:23

Markus,

Me neber hate not one smaddy! Lester “brock down” Bird can’t even tan up now, but still refuses to give up the leadership. If not Gaston, who? VC3 and his rap sheet; “Passport” Benjamin; Robin “de hood”; “Baby mooma drama” Lake?
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PLM

not so fast Gaston

#13 Cool Rule » 2012-05-09 12:22

On thing we all know, you can promise heaven and earth about what a new ALP will do if returned to office and it may be well intended. However you are not the leader who will become priminister and by all accounts you do not command majority support to oust the ailing leader. We all know that a leopard cannot change it spots and you could not muster a gang of eight as he did to oppose papa, so what makes you think your noble ideas will be taken on board when the old leader still have all those who pledge their aligence to him still have there?
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Cool Rule

PLM

#12 markus » 2012-05-09 11:25

PlM, you just exposed yourself as a Bird hater. For no reason that is reasonable ,you hate the Birds. Rather than examine issues you exhibit classical stereotypical behaviour. examine yourself, hatred could destroy you
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markus

@gaston Browne

#11 naiomi » 2012-05-09 11:21

I hear what you are saying but there is no Action. The ALP need to come better than this as an opposition. Let me put it bluntly to you ANTIGUA HAS GONE TO THE DOGS AND THE OPPOSITION IS DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT. Get off the radio programs and get into the trench and meeting the people of Antigua and hear what they are saying and I don't mean having the open air meetings where you all go up there cussing the opposition. Start listening to Antiguans and Barbudans and get off of you all high houses. Don't wait until election time to do it because you all will be too late and sorry to say you all might have a shock to see you all become the opposition again.
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naiomi

STAND FIRM GASTON!

#10 THE GODFATHER » 2012-05-09 09:45

I respect Gaston Brown's **sment of the issue surrounding the WPP, its what I have always said, vested interest dictates to MPs, journalist, media talk show hosts, many know their names! Gastonn stand firm, be vigilant and careful, never trust anyone.

There is no suggestion I can offer that you have not already considered, you are the future of politics, and a beacon of hope. Keep your focus and do not let anyone intimidate you, you have my support. I know there are plenty damn **s on both side the aisle, and one thing I know there is need for a new party, and a change in attitude towards governance. The change will be sooner than yoiu expect, be preapred!
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THE GODFATHER

RE: Divided ALP stands unchanged

#9 Patrice Labadie » 2012-05-09 09:38

Steve, you are right. Magic seems to know all of the problems yet he has no answer. Why is magic so intrigued by ALP politics ? ALP's problems are small compared to those of the UPP. I think the UPP is more in need of his devices.
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Patrice Labadie

RE: Divided ALP stands unchanged

#8 Gaston Browne » 2012-05-09 09:31

Tenman, I would like to thank you for your usual enlightened observations and comments. I hereby confirm that I abhor the callous breaches of the Finance and Administration Act that have occurred under both ALP and UPP administrations. I want to assure the Public, that a new ALP administration will operate within the confines of the act. In so far as Weston is concerned I have no personal issue with my colleague. We see things differently because we are evidently both thinking. Whereas, there many little conversion in our positions to date, I have every respect for the positions taken by my colleague barring his personal attacks.
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Gaston Browne

Is Gaston working for ASOT!!

#7 John.K.Ford » 2012-05-09 09:28

Vere 111 never called Gaston names but both xxot and Gaston have been making unkind remarks about Vere111..
Vere has a duty to expose those who allegedly cut deals with DR Bs and David to kill the Fencing / CHINESE powerplant issues..
We all know of the old Lebanese guard of xansoon /xsot/xavid using Political power to fight another Arab Rival!!!
Lets get to the facts on the 50m spent on fences,32m on BENCORP,200m on a Car Park instead of a hotel ,;52m usd on on old chinese generator that's riddled with problems from day 1!! I hope people now see why we are at the MERCY of the IMF!!!! :sad:
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John.K.Ford

Magic - warning signs

#6 tenman » 2012-05-09 08:44

Magic good article. As usual I disagree with you with some perhaps minor issues but in general you make sense. The ALP chairman has no issues about laws being broken. Now this is a man who is articulating a code of conduct, yet he does not publicly shun the fact that the finance and admin act was breached when it comes to the loan for the power plant. I sometimes wonder if the game being played by both Weston and Brown is just to be contrary. Currently if Browne is for something Weston is against it (eg. Code of conduct, Economic citizenship). If Weston is for something, Browne is against it (Government being a big part of the ABI problem, Chinese plant being old).

As far as selecting a candidate, the ALP stance makes sense. Political parties try to ensure that it wins the constituency. The candidate should also have ability to win at the forefront of his /her decision to run. The polls are a tool to aid in this. In the recent US Rep. primaries, the number one concern was ability to win. No political party will wish to endorse a candidate who does not stand the best chances of winning. The party has stated the candidate does have the option of a primary.
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tenman

Gaston in the ascendancy

#5 PLM » 2012-05-09 08:33

Gaston, Antigua has been waiting since 2004! Well, better late than never. Gaston “The Anti-Bird” Browne is the only hope for a viable opposition in the immediate future. And that was a glorious smack down of VC3 and feather dusters.
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PLM

RE: Divided ALP stands unchanged

#4 Fred » 2012-05-09 08:27

Magic I heard Gaston say that they are paid mercernaries, paid to say the engines are old. Assuming the statement is true, this could not constitute ******. For Example, if the Hadeeds, pay you Magic Hughes to advocate that the engines are used, that does not constitute ******. SO in that case, I would call you a lobbyist for the Hadeeds. If however, you were a public official serving in the Government, then your actions would or could constitute a ******.
I note that Gaston cleverly, referred to the as paid mercenaries and not ****** and never indicate if these individuals were members of the ALP members or those outside of the ALP who claim to know the engines to be used. I learnt that the issue is now settled and the comrades are back together. Thats probably a strength of Gaston to heal wounds quickly, instead of holding on to malice and hate.
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Fred

RE: Divided ALP stands unchanged

#3 Cool Ruler » 2012-05-09 08:11

Funny how Brown’s accusations did not make headline news on this website because it does not fit into the agenda of the writers or owner of this website. Had it been a UPP member it would have been on hear for days on end.

I find it unnerving that whenever allegations of ****** are made weather its Daniel or Brown a certain family name is always at the center of it. The family name was mentioned regarding the building that was suppose to house the ministry of Health, the family has interest in power generation and the family always tries to influence both UPP and ALP with their money to get their way. It is believe that this is aiming to fill the void left by uncle Allan as the chief power broker in Antigua and would have no problem corrupting the members who are week on both sides
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Cool Ruler

This article is incredible

#2 Skyewill » 2012-05-09 07:05

Who stole the cookie from the cookie Jar? ana you? Den a who? Magic, it's just as if I wrote this article. I nominate this article for a Pulitzer
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Skyewill

Deal with reality Magic

#1 STEVE » 2012-05-09 06:35

Magic, there is life in "theory" and there is a "practical" life. I think we all grow up thinking that we will go through school & university, get a job, buy a piece of land, build our homes, find a "good" man or woman, get married and live happily ever after. That is life in theory Magic. How many people do you know have had the opportunity to live that life? Can you put up your hands Magic? I hope my point is clear to you already. We make adjustments as we go through life "because situations at times dictate our actions". That is living life in a "practical" way. WHAT ARE YOU SUGGESTING BY THE FOLLOWING? "Surely, this country cannot sustain another period of poor fiscal policies under the UPP, and just the thought is unnerving. Even scarier is an ALP government that is divided to the core and unchanged from 2004 when the people booted them out of office". Magic, come out of the state of "theoretical living for a few minutes” and tell us what YOU will do to solve this problem in a "practical" way. Maybe by attempting this "challenge" you may for a few minutes see life in a "practical" way.
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STEVE

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Ian 'Magic' Hughes

Ian 'Magic' Hughes is an Antiguan Journalist.






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