WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Follow The Wheelchair

Did not “cut a deal” There is a popular song: “Follow the Leader Leader Leader, Follow the Leader Leader …”  but if the Antigua Labour Party gets its way, “Leader” will be replaced by “wheelchair”.

That’s if Bird and the ALP win the next general elections and his health continues to deteriorate.

Last week, Bird claimed he fell ill moments before he was scheduled to table the highly anticipated Motion of No-Confidence in Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.

With the country on edge, Bird “called in sick” and left for home abandoning many, including ALP Members of Parliament who were present in parliament but were unaware of their leader’s problems.



Since then some persons, including ALP supporters, have accused Bird of letting down the nation - and calls came from all corners for him “to ride off into the sunset”, as he was unfit to lead.

But on Tuesday during the ZDK Radio programme “Insight” Bird insisted: “Nothing is wrong with my mind… I can take on anybody!”

He added: “I resent the accusation that because my legs are a bit weak that I should go somewhere else or the other. I will not accept that… I have made my contribution to this country and this party and I find it offensive that some of the people in the Labour Party could use this one issue to indicate that Lester Bird is no longer capable to lead the opposition.”

Okay, I am not here to punish the sick, but that nothing is wrong with Bird’s mind is something that I question.

Bird is hoping to lead Antigua & Barbuda for a third time after being Prime Minister from 1994 to 2004.

There is no secret of his problems with diabetes, back and knee challenges.

I’m no doctor, but I know that diabetes is an illness that can be controlled - a fact that millions of people suffering from the disease prove every day.

While Bird continues to advance his illness as the reason for his inability to table the motion, I question what exactly was wrong with the former PM.

Since diabetes can be controlled, why was Bird ill-equipped to deal with this illness that has plagued him for years?

Even Bird recalled an incident in Jamaica where he fell ill because he did not eat properly and had to walk for a long while, and some Kool-Aid was his “antidote”.

On this very important issue Bird, from past experience, should have been ready - but clearly he wants the nation to believe he was caught off guard.

Wow!

Maybe it was his knees, which he claims are weak. Well, Bird stood just for prayers and did not need to stand after that for the entire morning session.

Therefore weak knees can be thrown out the door.

This leaves Bird’s back, which has been operated on.

Bird did not contribute to the morning debates except to sit and interrupt members on the government side when they made their presentations.

Often times, Speaker of the House D. Gisele Isaac had to ask Bird to be quiet as he “did not want to speak” (make a presentation).

On such an important matter and knowing the time it would be tabled, why did Bird not leave the House to get some rest and be ready for “his” motion?

What - the ALP could not afford a room at Heritage Hotel for a day so that their leader could recuperate after the morning session and get ready to overthrow Baldwin Spencer and the UPP?

I thought the opposition party wanted to be the saviour of the people of Antigua & Barbuda, whose hardships they are so very concerned about. Well, only Bird can answer that.

Now to his state of mind, which Bird claims is functioning well and he “can take on anyone.”

Bird, a trained lawyer, would like reasonable people to believe that he did not know the rules of engagement for such an important motion.

I bet you that Baldwin Spencer researched all the rules governing this motion even before there was any such concern mentioned.

It’s just the rules of the game of politics at least to anyone who is serious about leadership.

Anyway, another time for Spencer: whose relief, I presume, came in the announcement that he did not “cut a deal” with Bird.

But back to Bird who, remarkably, is claiming ignorance.

Bird said that he did not know that he could allow someone else to table the motion in his absence.



“I always understood that if you move the motion, you will be responsible for putting it through. If I had known I would have insisted that one of the other members of the assembly would have gone forward.”

Even if that’s true, which I do not believe for one moment, why was that not discussed at the customary Monday meetings of the ALP elected seven?

So it’s not just Bird who was ignorant, but also Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, another trained attorney, and veterans Robin Yearwood and Molwyn Joseph.

Browne apparently did not know and Asot Michael is conspicuously quiet.

Who knows what the St. Peters MP knows? Besides, he must be happy that the debate did not carry since Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Corporation (IHI) would have been a main topic.

And as there was no deal, perhaps Michael has no reason to speak.

With all that, the ALP wants to lead Antigua & Barbuda again when all the elected members are clueless and ignorant of such an important issue.

How long have Bird, Joseph and Yearwood been in politics? All told, maybe 100 years - yet they know nothing.

In addition, Gaston Browne made it clear that only the leader should table this very important motion. So what is it: were the ALP parliamentarians unaware of the rules or did they agree that Bird wanted to do this personally?

This failed attempt is nothing short of a clear demonstration that the ALP is not ready to lead Antigua & Barbuda.

There seems to be a special relationship between Bird and Browne, the apparent heir to Bird’s chair.

The two continue to try and convince Antiguans and Barbudans that the failed no-confidence attempt was not deliberate.

The more they speak, though, the more unconvincing they are.

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13 Comments In This Article   

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@ ANTIGUA WOMAN

#13 SlyThatGuy » 2012-06-08 23:15

ANTIGUA WOMAN,I can see now that you're averse to everything the UPP does,without even weighing the facts. So rather than continue wasting both our times,I will not dispute with you about or over the facts in this case.let's not argue about this any more,okay?
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SlyThatGuy

Favorite subject

#12 It Is Me » 2012-06-08 22:21

I see Magic is on his favorite topic ... Lester Bird ... I wonder if Lester Bird un-friend him on facebook or something? What is he gonna find to write about when Lester Bird is gone? For a reporter to spend more time on the opposition (who has been out of office for 8 years) is truly ridiculous.

But Magic says ... "This failed attempt is nothing short of a clear demonstration that the ALP is not ready to lead Antigua & Barbuda." ... Really Magic? You are acting like they are a bunch of inexperienced rookies like the UPP was when they first took office in 2004. Fact is the ALP was in power for 28 years unbroken in Antigua & Barbuda. And nobody can say Antigua was all doom and gloom for the 28 years. We were ahead of many other islands in the region in almost every aspect ... what is the reality today under this administration when you compare us regionally?

If the ALP is not ready Magic then who? We definately cannot stay under this Baldwin Spencer administration!!! Another 5 years of Baldwin will leave Antigua & Barbuda at the bottom of the barrel in the region.
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It Is Me

@Slythatguy

#11 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-06-08 19:28

It seem like you have a problem in facing the truth,please ask God to give you the Grace to accept the things you cannot change,the courgage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.Maybe then you will be able to accept the cold hard fact that(i will spell it out for you) T-H-E U-P-P G-O-V-T,L-E-D B-Y B-A-L-D-W-I-N (cant count)S-P-E-N-C-E-R, A-R-E T-O-T-A-L F-A-I-L-U-R-E-S,A-N- D-FU-L-L-Y R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-L- E F-O-R A-N-T-G-U-A-S D-I-L-E-M-A. No amount of excuses you try to make will alter that fact,you may as well stop trying because no one is interested in what you,re selling.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN

Impertinent Refugees!

#10 PLM » 2012-06-08 10:46

Who body beg u tap in Antigua; bang water go home. And nah badder lef u pickney dem; good riddance!
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@ ANTIGUAN WOMAN

#9 SlyThatGuy » 2012-06-08 08:15

ANTIGUAN WOMAN,if you're not going to propose ideas for solutions,then you shouldn't criticize or imply that the Prime Minister is at fault about anything.Do you even know what the real issue affecting us is? It's not economic problems.What's really affecting us is this:the ongoing tension and every day clashes between the parties.If we can get rid of the distractions that's preventing us from getting and keeping things in order,we can focus on fixing the economy.
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SlyThatGuy

in support this statement by GF

#8 Microwave chef » 2012-06-07 21:11

Godfather thank you for those words, seriously Chef agrees with you on this one ( and only this one).
Politics are dirty we all know that but this is really in bad taste.
seriously follow the wheel chair is not funny but offensive at worst and ignorant at best .It adds nothing of value to an otherwise light article to begin with.
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Microwave chef

Focus on whats affecting us.

#7 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-06-07 20:00

Another long winded article focusing on LB,how about for once focus on the real issues that,s affecting us,Lesters illness which seem to humour you,isnt affecting us one bit.On the other hand,the Pm who do not know figures may not be sick in his body,but certainly is sick in his mind,is the cause of whats affecting us.You should also remember that we cannot see on the inside,so none of us know whats going on internally.Please be careful,I would rather have someone in a wheelchair running my affairs,than one who is on his feet and do not know how to seperate zeros and decimal points,people really get the Govt they deserve.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN

INSENSITIVE

#6 THE GODFATHER » 2012-06-07 18:40

Magic, I disagee with the headline, I view it as insensitive! We can argue with each other on failed policies, but be selective the next time around, since there are many people with disabilities.
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THE GODFATHER

RE: Follow The Wheelchair

#5 Bacchanal » 2012-06-07 12:05

Does the writer of this article have some personal gripe with Lester Bird? just asking.
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Bacchanal

@ STEVE

#4 Colin » 2012-06-07 08:36

Don't give up ... never give up ...
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RE: Follow The Wheelchair

#3 Audrey Taylor » 2012-06-07 08:26

@slapping hand shhhhhhhhhh "It is better to be silent and thought a fool and to open your mouth and remove all doubt".
Lester has a back injury I hear not a teminal illness, he can govern from a wheelchair. A whole new fit and proper party is probably what we need but in the mean time I think tha ALP has learned from its mistakes but like OBAMA he will be inheriting a heavier burdon of debt than he left, so we are going to need some well thought out fiscal planning and a miracle
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Audrey Taylor

Bird?

#2 Slapping Hand » 2012-06-07 08:03

Lester must tell us why he xxxte the xxxer to withdraw the motion? Then when that failed - why he then called sick? Then on Tuesday night on his Insight programme on ZDK Radio why he went to the Nation and said he really wanted to table the motion?

This has convinced me that a: Bird actually set out to withdraw the Motion and when that failed, set out to deceive them with illness? or B: His mind is not functioning properly and he is to be forgiven for this huge blunder?

Either way - he must do the last honourable thing and resign or be removed by the Members of the ALP if they want to distance themselves from this major embar**ment! If not then they too are part of this deception and don't deserve to Lead Antigua and Barbuda!
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Slapping Hand

RE: Follow The Wheelchair

#1 STEVE » 2012-06-07 06:39

Magic, you are right. I want to see the back of the U.P.P. but I have come to the conclusion that ANTIGUA IS LOST. I have began to position myself to leave this country (thought I never would have to do this :cry: ). The sadness I feel cannot be put into words.
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STEVE

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Ian 'Magic' Hughes

Ian 'Magic' Hughes is an Antiguan Journalist.






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