Ian 'Magic' Hughes
Friday, 09 October 2009 11:53
By Ian Magic Hughes
Am I to understand that now that the mega march organized by the Antigua Labour Party is over, the government of Antigua & Barbuda should leave office? Was that the plan, march like the people of Jericho and the government crumbles?
Please, somebody needs to explain what’s next, because clearly the leadership of the ALP has left many in the dark.
To date, the leadership of the ALP still has not gotten it; the country is looking for sound leadership, not just a replacement of government.
The United Progressive Party has landed in trouble because, essentially, many persons are not pleased with its leadership. The people, I presume, will not be quick to return to a Labour-led government with its present leadership.
After decades in politics, leader of the ALP Lester Bird still has not received the memo. It’s either that, or he has received the document and is just playing stubborn.
I am not even going to play the numbers game, because it seems like no one can count whenever marches are staged in this country.
All the same, I think that most would agree that the “White March” over the summer drew many more individuals that the "Mega March" did on Thursday. So what was the purpose of Thursday’s demonstration?
I thought that the ALP was hoping to put out such an effort so that the UPP would be shaking, more so falling today. Well, if that was the rationale behind the march, then the ALP would have failed.
True, the country’s economy is struggling, and that may be a mild assessment of the situation. There are many areas of government that need to be addressed seriously, and leadership is lacking.
That the ALP was not able to mobilize its own base of some 19,000 voters speaks volumes to the disinterest in the ALP’s leadership, the UPP’s vast challenges notwithstanding.
If there is one person who should understand politics, it’s Lester Bird. And in politics, timing is everything. That Bird and the ALP were unable to effectively shake the foundation of the UPP following the “White March” is a clear indication that the opposition has no real plan.
Surely, the ALP had everything in its favour, and the people came out in droves. Thursday’s march came on the heels of the HDI report which stated in clear terms that the Human Development Index for the country was solid. Only Barbados was in a better position than Antigua & Barbuda in these parts.
Essentially, Antiguan & Barbudans are supposedly living well. So why would anyone, after such a report, expected to bring down the government in office?
The timing was bad.
Obviously, the ALP may suggest that they had no idea the report would have come out and been so favourable. True, the ALP tried some damage control by suggesting that the HDI report was favourable because they built a solid foundation.
Anyone in his/her right mind would know that that statement was nothing short of a pure lie. But politics is just what it is, and the ALP tried to shoot down any good by the UPP.
Let’s get back to the report, because I think it’s important to show just how lacking and ill-prepared the leadership of the ALP is. A well-organized party ready to take over the leadership of this country would have had its feelers out for this report.
The leadership of the ALP would have waited patiently for the right time to strike.
Clearly this was nothing but a march for marching sake, almost like when we played marbles back in the day and one would say "damage one for two".
That was a hit and miss situation, and we cannot afford any such leadership. This country is dying a slow death, and in need of sound, steady, intelligent leadership.
Antigua & Barbuda needs men who are willing to put country first, for the betterment of all.
With all its faults and weaknesses at the leadership level, the UPP still appears to be a more attractive government than the ALP. Now why is that?
Many persons are dissatisfied with the UPP, but seem unwilling to go back to the ALP. Again, why?
The ALP was tried and failed, and no amount of rhetoric, it seems, will get them back in office.
There has to be a clear indication that the ALP has changed from what it used to be into something better. Since losing in 2004, the ALP has done little or nothing to demonstrate that it has learned from mistakes of the past.
It’s almost as if the ALP expects people to take them "just as they were" prior to 2004. That shows a level of arrogance and total disconnect to the masses.
The UPP is struggling, not simply because of the failed economy, which we all know has to do with a failed world economy, but rather because the UPP appears to be so similar to the ALP. The people are begging for change; not replacement, but real change in the way our administrators operate.
The ALP is not listening, or they would have come prepared. Each day it’s all about what we all know already, the rhetoric of the ALP. But what is their vision of the future?
The poor excuse has always been "we are not telling" because they (the UPP) will use our ideas. That’s nothing but a load of crap.
The ALP, rather than march, should demonstrate how they will lead us out of this financial mess. Get to work in clearly articulating the way into the future.
Let the UPP steal your plans, as suggested. What, are the people so ignorant that they will not see that the ALP demonstrated the way and the UPP stole it? Of course, the people would understand.
We need people we can trust with our future, and the ALP has not shown that they are to be trusted. Those may seem like harsh words, but the reality is that one has to be honest if he/she is going to make a difference in these trying times.
I’ve even heard that there is at least one investor with billions of dollars just waiting for the ALP to take office so he can come and invest in Antigua & Barbuda. That’s like the investors who were just waiting on a boat outside the harbour for the PLM to lose and VC Bird and Labour to take over the country.
We have seen that movie before, and we know the end; it will not work this time around. Rhetoric alone will not get the ALP into office.
If the leadership of the ALP truly loves this country, one would think that they would convince this investor to come to Antigua anyway. The opposition should be sitting with the government to ensure that any investment available would not be lost. That’s the sign of good, conscientious leadership.
To suggest that there are billions of dollars just waiting for the ALP suggests such a high level of badmindedness. If you ask me, this sounds like blackmail at the highest order.
The country is suffering, and the ALP knows how to stop the pain but will do so only if they are in power.
Wow! And the same ALP is asking the people to support that. That’s incredible.
I am not opposed to the people's right to march and demonstrate; the constitution made way for that.
What is disturbing is the lack of vision by those people who are looking to lead the country. They have been there before, were rejected by the people, and are hoping to return with the same plan that they had before they were abandoned.
The people of this nation are looking for leadership, not political hacks bent on self-fulfillment.