Media Exposes Pig in a Bag

Media Exposes Pig in a BagRecent statements by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer made me take a closer look at democracy and more so the role of the media in democratic societies.

Spencer’s statements also demonstrated his lack of understanding of the times we live in, where technology and the social media dictate the way we operate in a global environment.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Access to information is essential to the health of democracy for at least two reasons. First, it ensures that citizens make responsible, informed choices rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation.

Second, information serves a 'checking function' by ensuring that elected representatives uphold their oaths of office and carry out the wishes of those who elected them.”

When members of the media challenged the government on whether or not the Wadadli Power Plant had new engines, and challenged the government to allow free access, Spencer blasted the media.

"You expect to see blood?" he asked. “It's a plant, it's a generator plant. I mean I just find this amazing. It's not a hotel lobby, it's a generating plant, and you have to see oil and you have to see some degree of erosion from time to time, over time.

And as was pointed out, two years since these things came to Antigua and the process of installation takes place. And so I just wanted to zero in on that because I mean, you're not dealing with a hotel lobby, or you know... what you're looking for blood or wine or something?”

The above statement hints of disgust.

But to answer the prime minister’s questions, the media never expected to see blood, nor wine, and at the same time pictures of the plant suggested an old, used engine rather than a two-year-old one sitting to be installed.

The point is, Antiguans & Barbudans expected a new power plant, which incidentally is way above the price of a top-of-the line system, not an old beat up "lemon".

With a price tag of US$47 M plus a sub-station for an additional US$5 M, signs of a beat-up engine, and leaking oil gave rise to legitimate questions.

Spencer gave the impression that the media is his enemy for asking legitimate questions, and he did not hide his feelings.

The prime minister however should not be upset with the media, but rather the people who bought this "pig in a bag".

Spencer should be thanking the media, rather than criticising journalists for asking these very timely and legitimate questions.

Technicians at the Antigua & Barbuda Public Utility Authority should be grilled as to why we have a plant looking the way it does, not media chastisement.

Spencer is a politician, and he must recognise that the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) will question proper programmes, much less such visible disasters.

The media did not team up with the ALP to lie about the Wadadli Power Plant.

The ALP jumped on the bandwagon of an honest investigative report by Caribarena.COM about a people being taken for a ride.

This very detailed, investigative report should have been praised by the PM rather than to point fingers at the press.

I expected the prime minister to launch an independent investigation to get to the bottom of the issue.

Once the investigation confirms the media reports for it could lead to no other conclusion then whoever is responsible for attempting to mislead and cheat us should be reprimanded.

There are many ways to deal with such situations, and the prime minister should use whatever avenue available to him to make things right.

Instead, the nation’s chief servant is seemingly on a war path with his friend, the media, and "sleeping with the enemy"  those who would place the nation in this situation.

I think that most Antiguans & Barbudans would agree that APUA should generate its own power.

At the same time, most would agree that the Wadadli Power Plant is not value for money, and should be rejected by all, especially Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.

Times have changed, and politicians, including Spencer must recognise this.

The media has done the prime minister a favour, and yet he cannot appreciate that simply because he is stuck in the days of media suppression.

Those days when the media was controlled by the government of the day is over.

Armed with the information shared by the media, Spencer should be able to do like the government of East Timor, which faced a similar situation.

Rather than blame the media, Spencer should thank the media and go back to pack in the best interest of Antigua & Barbuda.

Hits: 2185

4 Comments In This Article   


PM BS knows

#4 BAD 2 DA BONE » 2012-03-15 14:52

Dishonorable PM BS knows its only a matter of time when he declares himself PM for life. ** will make sure that the elections are rigged to ensure he is returned to the helm.
The media doesn't realize that they are witnessing the decline of democracy in our country. ** doesnt play fair, he isnt above fraud to ensure his win.


RE: Media Exposes Pig in a Bag

#3 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-03-15 10:10

Did anyone take the time to actually decipher the PM,S last speech,when he mentioned us living in a "so called democracy"as quoted.What is a so called democracy,and why would he refer to it is as such.I think it is becoming clearer and clearer than he does not embrace Democracy,according to him it causes Govt to lose popularity, in democracies people have a right to criticize openly,I think in soo little words he have made his deep rooted desires known,had we not have a democratic system,he would be absolutely sure of retaining power,there will be no one asking questions or dear retaliate against him.The Man is a dIctator.


Magic doesn't understand

#2 Judge Dredd » 2012-03-15 09:06

Magic, you don't live here so you don't understand. This Government has a mind set of 'Stay in Power at ANY cost'. Right and wrong; legal and illegal does not matter. Democracy does not matter. If you understand that Antigua is now a DICTATORSHIP thenn you will understand the PM's attitude.

Judge Dredd


#1 David! » 2012-03-15 08:00

Dear Carib Arena,

This will only work if the PM BS and/or his surrogates hands are "clean"! You tend to be naive. Look at the Fences Rip-off scandal...you see any independent investigation - even when a few of their hand-picked persons openly claim that there were breaches in the Fence spending!

That day will come when pink elephants can fly!


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


Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!