Ian 'Magic' Hughes
Thursday, 12 April 2012 02:30
By Ian Magic Hughes
There is a saying, "Close your eyes and see," attributed to MP for St Peter’s Asot Michael during a campaign speech years ago.
That statement made Michael a target for public ridicule, since he perhaps should have used "imagine," rather than "see".
Interestingly, since the national debate has been centered on the Chinese Power Plant, there are many, including some in the media, with eyes wide open, yet unable to see.
Typically, supporters of the ALP would insist that the party and its members never did an "ounce" of wrong while in office.
At the same time, they would condemn the United Progressive Party (UPP) and its members no matter what.
While I do not respect that stance, I certainly understand.
I do not, in no way however, agree with or respect such a stance by members of the media, and sadly, this has crept into the institution, which is the watchdog of democracy.
Once again, I call on members of the Observer Group, mainly hosts Winston Derrick of the “Voice Of the People" and Algernon “Serpent” Watts of the “Snake Pit.”
I have to clear that while I do not agree with some of the things these two individuals say, I totally defend their "rights to free speech".
With those rights, however, come the responsibilities of always speaking the truth.
In addition, those with an open mic should never allow themselves to be used as "mercenaries" to personally attack members of the public or elected members.
We, as members of the media, have the right to criticize policies set by elected officials and to call them out whenever they step out of line.
On a personal level, one has to be careful that whatever is said about individuals is true and should be supported by relevant information.
Now let’s revisit the Chinese Power Plant issue.
According to Serpent, the matter was laid to rest by the government after the press conference that had the prime minister spewing "blood".
Serpent questioned Minister of Health Wilmoth Daniel’s motive during his “Snake Pit” Show on Saturday, and demanded that the PM do one of two things.
Either the PM acceded to Daniel’s call for an inquiry or put the MP in his place, whatever that meant.
I agree that the prime minister should act, but it was Serpent’s assertion that the matter was already laid to rest that caught my ears.
This matter has been in the media since 2009 when it was first announced.
Prior to the infamous press conference and the subsequent letter by Daniel, this matter was hot in the public domain.
As a matter of fact, MP for St Mary’s North Molwyn Joseph has led his ALP party on weekly meetings with the Chinese Power Plant as the main topic.
Derrick also asserts that he is in a "wait and see" situation as it pertains to the Chinese Power Plant.
It’s clear that it’s the Observer Group that has put this matter to rest, and not the people of Antigua & Barbuda.
The question is, why?
Only the Observer Group can answer that question, but the question to the prime minister, and Chinese Ambassador David Shoul, is this:
Are the pictures posted on CARIBARENA.COM of the Chinese Power Plant authentic, or doctored fabrications of the truth?
CARIBARENA .COM has no personal issue with the prime minister or Shoul, but like many people in this country, the Chinese Power Plant is nothing short of an insult to the people of Antigua & Barbuda.
As members of the media, both the Observer Group and CARIBARENA.COM should be on the same page, and that is to get to the truth of this matter.
It’s disheartening to hear Derrick echo the sentiments that they are not too concerned whether the Chinese Power Plant is old or new, but whether we got value for money.
Does that even make sense?
I contend, and the pictures affirm, that the plant is not new, as advertised.
Therefore, we could not have gotten value for money.
Why aren't Derrick and Serpent pushing, like they have done on other issues, for clarification and an investigation into the matter?
Some even suggested that they need facts before they ask for an investigation. Really?
I thought that the way it works is to demand an investigation to get at the facts.
One has to be careful that their hatred for the ALP is not blinding their vision of what is wrong with the present administration.
It’s time that we all open our eyes and see that this matter of the Chinese Power Plant is worth investigating, and let the chips fall where they may.
The media can support truth and reject wrong, no matter who’s right or wrong.See related stories:More Support for MP Daniel Bird Demands Answers About Power Plant DealNo Voice Derrick - Serpent Charmed MP Supports Daniel's Call Daniel in the Lions Den Daniel Demands Investigation into Chinese Power Plant Shame and Outrage over Edwards' Commentary Wrong Made Right Money Talks - Power Plant Walks Anti-Power Plant Pickets held in St John'sMP Joseph Exposes Critical APUA Reports
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