Ian 'Magic' Hughes
Monday, 16 April 2012 02:30
By Ian Magic Hughes
It was a thrill to listen to Winston Derrick, the self-proclaimed "fooley boy from Ovals" carve up attorney at law and Minister of Finance and the Economy Harold Lovell in public on Thursday.
Lovell was a guest on Derrick’s show, “Voice of the People,” on Observer Radio as Derrick unveiled the government’s "hidden agenda" on the Chinese Power Plant.
The finance minister tried to defend the indefensible, but Derrick, armed with substantial and clear evidence, was ready for Lovell each step of the way.
While many listened in amazement, some in shock, others were in awe of Lovell’s weak excuses trying to place the power plant on the shoulders of the engineers at APUA. I saw much more.
I knew that Lovell would take the stance he did.
Lovvel, UPP’s "spin doctor" designate, is the face of what’s wrong with Antigua & Barbuda where most tend to put party before country.
Remember when the topic of the public fencing was raised?
Lovell made a feeble attempt with his fancy words to spin his colleagues wanton spending of taxpayers’ monies.
As a matter of fact, the entire Cabinet seemed to stand behind those who would have spent as much as EC$600,000 at Yasco, for what, we don’t know.
A supposed EC$8.6 M on a 669-seat bleacher at St Johnston’s Village is okay for Lovell and the government during at time when the economy is struggling.
So Lovell's attempt to weave through a financial quagmire that will not go away was striking, but not surprising.
What really struck me however was the amount of information that Derrick had at his disposal.
Recentlym I called out Derrick and Algernon “Serpent” Watts on their public delivery as talk show hosts.
I openly questioned why these two individuals were seemingly quiet on the Chinese Power Plant issue which has become a daily feast in the public discourse for weeks.
The impression I got was that Derrick and Watts were not properly informed, so they were not qualified to speak.
Although there is more than enough information for a serious media house to move for action, I gave the Observer Group the benefit of the doubt.
But Thursday, Derrick surprised me - he had more information than most.
Derrick told Lovell that he was certain that the engines that the government signed for are not the engines at the Chinese Power Plant.
Here is what Derrick told Lovell.
“The contract that you sign, that APUA signed, and which the government of Antigua & Barbuda borrowed 300 million RMB is not the power plant that’s built up at Crabbs because it calls for different engines so somebody needs to give us an explanation about something.
“The engines that were specified in the contracts signed between APUA and BCEG or whatever the name of that company that Chinese company is not what is built at Crabbs.”
To that Lovell says “presumably you have checked,” and Derrick answered, “yes I have checked.”
Really, Winston Derrick, you knew that Antigua & Barbuda paid US$47 M for engines it did not sign for?
Knowing that, what specifically were you waiting for to insist on an investigation on this financial burden on the backs of the Antiguan people?
Earlier, Derrick suggested that he did not have the facts. Now he asserts that we have bogus engines, according to the facts he possesses.
The media has to be careful that with the transparency and accountability that we demand from the people, especially our leaders, that we do not appear to have hidden agendas as well.
We also learned on Thursday that Derrick had asked for and received a copy of the contract between APUA and the construction company.
Well surprise, surprise, Derrick received the contract with missing pages. Really Winston!
We take you at your word, but we would like to see that report as well.
Share it with the people.
One of the roles of the media is to work for the people.
We are the voice of the voiceless and the eyes of the blind. So Observer should be inclined to share with the world, like CARIBARENA.COM did with pictures that Derrick is so unwilling to give due credit.
That you want to have access to the power plant to take your "own pictures" says a lot about you, Winston Derrick, and raises at least one serious question.
What’s the purpose of having the information if you are not sharing with the public?
It’s not Winston Derrick or Observer’s information; it belongs to the people.
We do this for them, don’t we?
Our role is to have the electorate highly informed so that they can make informed decisions, as well as to be properly engaged in the topics of the day.
I wondered if Derrick believes that he would get different pictures than those shown on CARIBARENA.COM.
And perhaps he would, which would then raise more questions.
But Derrick already knows, by his own admission, that the contract signed is not for the power plant at Crabbs, so he should be pushing vigorously for an investigation, and not wait for the government.
When Observer publishes pictures on international or regional issues, do they send photographers to those places to take their own pictures?
Give me a break, we know that’s not so.
What Derrick is trying to do is to suggest that CARIBARENA.COM is not legitimate, and he knows why he is doing that.
It’s all about monopoly and money. News flash!
The media is a fraternity that should be working together in the interest of the people.
You do not need your own pictures.
They are really the peoples’ pictures.
We are here to give the public the truth.
Information is not for our personal benefit unless of course we have ulterior motives.
Like anyone else in this society, I listen to radio, and if by chance there is information that I would love to share with CARIBARENA.COM readers, I do so.
The rule however is, if I get that information from Observer or any other medium, I tell my readers just that.
This is not an attempt to chastise Derrick as he may very well be extremely innocent with no ulterior motives.
Perhaps he simply sees things differently.
The point is if the media truly works on behalf of the people and not pick and choose its own agenda, then it would be more effective in bringing about the necessary changes.See related stories:
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