Sunday, 01 July 2012 02:30
On Thursday, as I was driving in my car, I heard the Prime Minister's initial reply regarding Gaston Browne's letter.
There are times in life when I worry for my country, but never have I been more aware of Mr. Spencer's lack of respect than I was that day. To an average man such as myself, it truly felt like I had been slapped in the face.
The media have been seriously talking about the Power Plant since around December. I haven't kept as informed as I would like, but I have read the big stories and formed my own opinions. I think the Wadadli Power Plant is up there amongst the most scandalous events in Antigua's history. To me though, what makes it many times worse is the Prime Minister's use of language on the issue.
The Prime Minister's best quotes include:
"You expect to see blood?"
"The Office of the Prime Minister views this attack by these known mercenaries and convicted criminals within the Antigua Labour Party as a strategy to destabilize the relationship between Antigua and Barbuda and the People’s Republic of China, particularly as they relate to the number of projects being undertaken by the Chinese Government in Antigua and Barbuda."
The PM is also famous for accusing the media of being libelous and "unpatriotic".
In 2004, I voted for the UPP. In 2009, I did so again. I believed that the UPP, like anyone, were not perfect, but they did much better in their first four years than the ALP ever did. But now, I am starting to question whether UPP haven't become the very thing they swore to protect us from.
I remember vividly in my mind Baldwin Spencer, swearing for Transparency, Accountability, and all those valuable principles of Democracy we expect from him today. So when I heard those words on the radio, that "interest groups" are spreading "misinformation" in order to push their own "agenda", I felt betrayed on some level.
If only people with clear and direct interests against the power plant were asking questions, it would be a different matter. But between Caribarena, the Daily Observer, the ALP, ZDK, the Lone Wolf, and all the other people who are afraid to speak out but suspect something is wrong in the Power Plant, the public drive for information is incredible. And yet the Prime Minister remains determined not to prove anything he has said.
So I went online and read about what is a Prime Minister, and what is his job and responsibilities. I think Wilfried Martens, a former PM of Belgium, had a great definition. This is what he said,
"First of all [the Prime Minister] must listen a lot, and when deep disagreements occur, he must suggest a solution to the matter. This can be done in different ways. Sometimes during the discussion, I note the elements of the problem and think of a proposal I can formulate to the Council (cabinet), the Secretary taking notes. The Ministers then insist on changing game ages. The Prime Minister can also make a proposal which leaves enough room for amendments in order to keep the current discussion on the right tracks. When a solution must be found in order to reach a consensus, he can force one or two Ministers to join or resign."
It is so true that the Prime Minister must listen, and must bring solutions to important matters faced by the country. What solutions has our Prime Minister brought forward? With every accusation he only makes himself look more and more like a dictator.
In my mind, there are only two possibilities for our Prime Minister. If he has evidence to back up the claims that the Power Plant is new, he must present it to the public immediately. Requests have already been made under the Freedom of Information Act, and he has delayed for too long. If he cannot bring the information the people have asked for, he must resign.
It is simple. As a Prime Minister, you are the chief public servant. Your life is different from ordinary people, and you must understand that you must choose what is best for other people, not what is best for you. If the Prime Minister cannot show that the engines in the WPP, which have had so many problems and cost our people so much money, are undisputedly new, then he has no say in the matter, and must resign immediately.
I've had enough of reading in the news that the Prime Minister is accusing the media of having agendas, all the while refusing through silence to show any evidence whatsoever for his own actions. He said the Power Plant is new in the press conference, and thats it!
I am not an ALP supporter. I have my gripes with them, including the IHI matter amongst others, but I am truly afraid of what the accusations the government is making today will manifest into.
To make a long story short, I believe that our Prime Minister is strangling the democracy that we have worked hard to achieve. I believe that his defense of the power plant is also an offense against his people, to protect whom or what is yet uncertain. We the people need to voice our concern more loudly, and support those who are fighting for our democratic rights. As Carl Sagan once said,
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
We cannot reject the evidence! We must not give them power over us! We are the people, and we want the truth, once and for all!
“You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” - Malcolm X