Thursday, 17 May 2012 02:30
By Colin Sampson
Antigua St John's - Describing himself as being “born into politics,” and having committed his life to representing the people of All Saints East & St Luke, Osbert Frederick has presented himself as the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) candidate to contest that constituency in the general elections constitutionally due by 2014.
Frederick made the declaration on Wednesday, during an in-studio appearance on the Colin Sampson Show. Readers are invited to visit the Caribarena.com video archive to view excerpts from the conversation.
The presumptive candidate appears also to have been born “in the bowels of Labour,” because nowhere in his eloquent discourse on the several crying issues facing Antigua & Barbuda does he indicate ever having considered aligning himself with any political party other than the ALP.
At the same time, Frederick dislikes the name “politician,” something he says he has never aspired to be. He prefers to see himself as a representative of the people, protecting and preserving their interests and well-being.
In this connection, he recalled the words of his father, Charles Frederick, reminding him that though he might not be able to change the whole world, he could in fact change the world by changing the tiny corner where he stood. This, said the potential people’s representative, has been his guiding premise through life.
Osbert Frederick stressed the imperative for a proper parliamentary representative to reside in his or her constituency and to be a part of the lives of the people living there.
It is for this reason, along with others more personal to his own family, that he has adopted the Old Road and John Hughes primary schools. The aspiring member of Parliament only wishes he could provide the same level of support to all the primary schools in the South of the island.
Taking a swipe at the United Progressive Party (UPP) incumbent Chester Hughes, who is widely seen as seeking to shift his attention to the constituency of St Mary’s North, Frederick scoffed at what he viewed as an opportunistic ploy by a politician intent on finding the easiest means of achieving a personal ambition.
Expressing himself freely on a wide range of topical issues, the ALP hopeful said that the current state of the nation is the worst he has seen in his 52 years. This too, is the opinion of his father, who lived through both World Wars and the Great Depression.
Following is a selection of Frederick's opinions on several topical issues of the day.
On the Wadadli Power Plant: Frederick is completely convinced that the generator sets are not new. The CARIBARENA.COM photos, he said, provide him with convincing evidence that Prime Minister Spencer is misleading the nation on the matter.
On the Fences Scandal: An unnecessary expenditure on overpriced public works mainly to benefit political cronies and supporters, says Frederick. By sports minister Winston Williams’ own admissions the project was improperly handled, and he and the entire UPP administration should be held responsible.
On the State of the Economy: Frederick cited reports of poor fish sales coming from fisher folk. This he offers as proof that the economy is in an extremely weak condition. In this connection he called for a fresh look at the marketing of conch, which is in demand in export markets.
On the Zacky-Mann Poultry Project: Seeing this as further proof that the UPP government cannot do anything right, Frederick ridiculed the proposal as being as great a disappointment as the famous “Great Disappointment” of 1844 (William Miller, a charismatic religious leader, incorrectly prophesied that The Christ would return on October 22 1844).
Readers are invited to visit the CARIBARENA.COM video archive to sample the views of candidate Osbert Frederick on other issues, among them: Half Moon bay, the sluggish tourism industry, an anemic Sailing Week 2012, the overall tourism product and Pearns Point beach access.