WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Such a Terrible Disaster to Waste

A political warAfter the 1974 earthquake that rocked Antigua & Barbuda, the citizens pulled together to rebuild. The same was true for the devastating Hurricane Luis in 1995.

Antiguans & Barbudans are known for their resilience and ability to get through tough times. Today, during the worst economic crisis of our time however, things are different.

We have spent the past year or two fighting each other rather than bonding together for the good of the nation. So what has changed, and why must be the pertinent questions.

Surely, there is no simple, clear cut answer to the above question, as there are many reasons why things are different this time around. For starters, we must agree that the natural disasters - the earthquake and the hurricane - affected the nation quite differently than this economic crisis. Some may suggest that their impact was more devastating, as lives were lost.

True, one cannot place a price on one’s life, but clearly the impact on the society can be measured by the nation’s ability to deal with or rebound from certain disasters.

Despite the fact that the St John’s Cathedral is still damaged since 1974, and there are utility lines lying around since Luis, I think it would be fair to say that the nation has rebounded.

Don’t get me wrong, Antiguans and Barbudans have suffered through more than just the disasters mentioned here. For the purposes of this article however, these are the three worthy of note.


We came through the earthquake, we moved above the trials of Luis... but we are torn apart by this economic crisis. Why?

I was hoping to find the answer by staying away from the politics of the day, but to do that makes the question impossible to answer. So here goes.

The reason we are unable to make any significant strides to effectively deal with this crisis is purely and simply political. At a time when we should be pooling all our resources and energies to fight this crisis, we spend most of our time fighting a political war. It’s the ALP versus the UPP, every living day.

Had we waged a political war in ‘74 and ’95, there is no way the country would have rebounded the way it did. So why now?

Don’t the politicians of the day recognize that this "political war" impedes our ability to overcome this crisis? Surely they must.

It stands to reason then that the stakes are much higher, and mean much more to the politicians than the good of the nation. So here is my next question.

Are we as a people going to allow politicians to keep us in this economic mess for personal gain or fulfillment? It is our responsibility to pull the politicians in line for the good of the nation. So, for those of us who are pointing fingers at the politicians for keeping us in this financial dungeon, think again.

If the ruling UPP does not live up to its promises, its supporters should condemn such actions. Similarly, the ALP supporters are obligated to hold their leaders responsible for their actions. Yes, it’s that simple. It’s no secret that the ALP is facing numerous allegations of corruption stemming from its time in office from 1976 to 2004.

There are also allegations of corruption levelled against the UPP since it took office six years ago. Unless we get past this finger pointing, we will be dealing with this crisis long after the rest of the world has moved on.

The other day, I had a debate with an acquaintance who I absolutely disagreed with. We were discussing the merits of the judicial system as it applies to our elected officials. We were speaking specifically of the IHI case involving ALP leaders accused of misappropriating public funds.

Reports indicate that these ALP leaders have filed numerous motions in court. My acquaintance believes that it’s their right. Crap.

Imagine having to take your accountant to court to see your financial statement. Public officials are accountable to the people who elect them to office, and should not be allowed to use the courts to delay such responsibility. The point is, as a citizen of this country, ALP supporter or not, all public officials (no excuses) must be held accountable.


It’s no secret that the political war that confronts us has a lot to do with the court case involving the former prime minister and this IHI matter. There is a general belief that Bird will stop at nothing to safeguard his interest as it pertains to IHI. Why? Whatever the reason, the entire nation is being drawn into a personal battle that is affecting us all.

We must - no matter our political affiliation - demand open accountability.

The ruling UPP needs to be more decisive. Its motto of transparency and accountability has come under tremendous fire, fairly and unfairly. The point is, while I am all for open access to the leaders of the ALP’s accounts, the members of the UPP must also be open to same scrutiny. If there is any hanky panky, it should not be tolerated by any of us.

The deal is, while the ALP continues to wage "war" against the UPP, we get caught in the middle. In the meantime, the things we ought to be doing to help us out of the financial crunch are placed on the back burner.

Now is the time for training and upgrading our human resource capital. This is the moment to overhaul our programmes and methods to get ready for the future. Our educational system needs to be revamped, and the time is now.

We have wasted so much time in this pointless ‘"political war" that I’m afraid we have wasted this crisis. It’s time for us as a people to hold all of our elected officials’ feet to the fire for the benefit of Antigua & Barbuda.

Hits: 1768

16 Comments In This Article   

HEADER   

Disgusted and tenman

#16 naiomi » 2010-08-06 03:21

Disgusted all I have to say Amen well said.
Tenman u donot have to explain anything to the idiots let them go and educate themselves because as I said many times Dem na lub Antigua
0
0
+
−

naiomi

#15 Disgusted » 2010-07-28 04:31

All those things you mention that needs to be done,who do you expect to do them,the people? We have a problem in Antigua and its not the Political war as you call it,we have had political wars before,but yet always recovered in quick time from past crisis, you yourself admitted to that, our problem is the UPP govt, they dont have a clue what time of day it is, so lets all just stop playing all holy holy,and call a spade a spade, Useless, hopeless, and helpless is what they are, until we see the back of them,things will get no better,COOL Ruler sorry to dissapoint you ,but the Alp started the library,Govt is continuing,with all these taxes why cant the UPP finish it? then again, what have they finished?
0
0
+
−

Disgusted

Jerry Springer show

#14 Rufus » 2010-07-27 03:42

ZDK reminds me of the Jerry Springer show. No real substance ;D
0
0
+
−

Rufus

dislike for procedure due to laziness and its implications PART 2

#13 tenman » 2010-07-26 12:01

Authorities get upset with an individual, Lennox Linton, who they feel attacks them too often, so the solution is to deport the person without due process. Of course when the ALP deported Gittens a few years earlier these same persons considered it an attack against the press and some could be heard to call the ALP government evil. Linton takes the matter to court and a judge ruled the deportation illegal because the work permit was valid and Linton is awarded 20k.

Simple repeated lesson, follow the established procedure. Where they seem powerless empower them by providing more teeth eg at APUA update their systems so they can more easily track delinquent customers. Integrity commission, provide them with needed resources also enact in law and back it up with resources, the ability for them to do random audits.
0
0
+
−

tenman

dislike for procedure due to laziness and its implications PART 1

#12 tenman » 2010-07-26 11:59

ZDK owes APUA, instead of allowing the regular mechanism to deal with the issue, we have a minister after beforehand threatening to lock the place down, then proceed with a few of the workers and police officers to said station and turn the electricity off. Imagine a judge hearing all of this, of course he/she will see it as heavy handed and insist that the proper procedure be followed ie treat them the way they do every other business.

Next we have the IHI matter and instead of following the proper procedure, going through the Integrity office, since this is an issue that should involve them, we instead have ministers talking about hounding ALP members and then bringing in special investigator. Imagine an adjudicator listening to all of this, of course it will be seen as over the top and political victimization, so yes injunctions are granted and appeals are won.
0
0
+
−

tenman

integrity in public life act part 2

#11 tenman » 2010-07-26 10:49

page 13 (Investigation of breach of Code of Conduct).
24. (1) Where upon examination of a complaint made under
section 22, the Commission is of the view that an investigation is
necessary, it shall inquire into the matter.
(2) In conducting an inquiry under this section the Commission
shall have the same powers to summon witnesses as a
commission of inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act.
(3) The sittings of the Commission to take evidence or hear
submissions in the course of any inquiry under subsection (1)
shall be held in camera.
(4) The complainant and the person in public life against whom
any inquiry is held under this section are entitled to notice of the
proceedings of the inquiry and to be represented at the inquiry
either personally or by an Attorney-at-Law.
25. (1) On conclusion of an inquiry under section 24, the
Commission shall forward the report to the Governor-General,
an d if it is of the opinion that the evidence before it may warrant
that the Director of public Prosecution take action against the
person the Commission shall forward a copy of the report to him.
0
0
+
−

tenman

integrity in public life act part 1

#10 tenman » 2010-07-26 10:45

pg 11 (the bottom)
A person in public life who, without reasonable cause, fails to make a declaration as required by section 16 shall, by reason of that failure, vacate all offices in public life held by him and the
Commission may order that he be disqualifed from holding any office in public life for such period as the Commission may determine.
page 17 (a short list of persons under the ACT)
PERSONS IN PUBLIC LIFE
1. Member of the Commission and the Secretary to the Commission
2. Members of the House of Representatives
3. Members of the Senate
4. President of the Senate
5. Speaker of the House of Representatives
0
0
+
−

tenman

#9 Anon » 2010-07-26 10:02

Tenman, I read enough of your post to know exactly what you are doing
0
0
+
−

Anon

Lock up

#8 coopin » 2010-07-26 08:26

All this stealing by ALP UPP .......over thirty years of STEALING and not one politican get lock up yet!!!
AND YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY ANTIGUA IS GOING KNOW WERE.......IT IS A ** JOKE...AND THE WHOLE WORLD IS LAUGHING......:D.... .:D.......:D
0
0
+
−

coopin

judge

#7 tenman » 2010-07-26 08:03

So if a defendant request a judge be removed because he/ she questions the judges ability to be impartial does that make the defendant guilty? Does Miami only have 1 judge? Just a few months ago, in the state of Florida, Casey Anthony's (a Florida mother charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter) attorney asked for Judge Stan Strickland top be removed from the case. The reason given was Strickland has a casual friendship with Dave Knechel,a well-known blogger also known as Marinade Dave. Does this request make Casey Anthony guilty?
0
0
+
−

tenman

IHI and injunctoins.

#6 wada » 2010-07-26 07:39

If there were no misgivings regarding IHI, there would be no need for injunctions nor would there have been any need for requesting the removal of an Antiguan judge in Miami. A political war is being waged by desperate men and women, desperate for power.

Do they care if their supporters can get 3 meals? No they don't care.
0
0
+
−

wada

@anon &Who is in Charge

#5 tenman » 2010-07-26 06:14

@anon [email protected] Who is in Charge I really do not think based on the two responses that you read my post. especially the end of it. There is no need to use a jackhammer when a simple hammer (Integrity in public life act with teeth) is all we need. The logic in magic statement is similar to arguments that say let's forget about search warrants and such, all we need to do is break down doors once we suspect persons of a crime. The law is set up to protect us all, we need to stop thinking we can get rid of portions we do not like, for present expediency.
0
0
+
−

tenman

This is a Mouthful

#4 Who is in Charge? » 2010-07-26 05:45

Nuff said Magic. Hope our political leaders and prospective leaders take note and be guided accordingly. This is time for united action and not the crab in the barrel mentality.

As for Tenman, you need to stop making excuses for your colleagues, who are using the process to avoid having to account for their actions. The point Magic made is that you guys are destroying the country, for, in the hope of returning to power, so that matters like the IHI case can be dropped, you are prepared to undermine efforts to revive the economy.
0
0
+
−

Who is in Charge?

#3 Anon » 2010-07-26 05:35

Here you go again Tenman, defending Lester et al. It is really sickening reading your post sometimes.
0
0
+
−

Anon

justice system

#2 tenman » 2010-07-26 03:58

Magic I agree with most of your article except the portion pertaining to injunctions. The definition of a injunction is a court order prohibiting a party from a specific course of action. I get the feeling that many persons have difficulty in understanding our legal system. We have no problem when we use the tools available but then cry foul when others, exercising their rights, use the same tools. It seems many persons wrongly think you simply walk into court and get an injunction with no questions asked. Magic injunctions should not be the issue and it is already law that all politicians (public officials) make available to the integrity commission, all of their financial information. There should be no issue if this office is functioning. The Integrity commission by law can establish an inquiry whose findings would be reported to the Gov. General who would then pass the information on to the Director of public prosecution. You need to ask yourself why the procedures entailed in the Integrity act, are not being followed in regards to not only the IHI matter but also matters like the purchase of that building by medical benefit
0
0
+
−

tenman

#1 Cool Ruler » 2010-07-26 03:13

Good piece magic, it saddens me that since 1974 from PLM, ALP and now UPP we still can’t get a public library completed. That is what comes to my mind when I remember that fateful day which, I was a small boy but can still remember that earthquake. We continue to rent a small space on top of a store on Market Street after all these years. Imagine how much we have paid in rent and picture those monies going towards a loan for a building we could be proud of.
0
0
+
−

Cool Ruler

Add comment

Ian 'Magic' Hughes

Ian 'Magic' Hughes is an Antiguan Journalist.






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 Ian 'Magic' Hughes

App

Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!