Monday, March 30, 2009



By Mshaka


I just read a “comment” that was made to a local online news site whereby the reader used the term “Man-A-Pause” in his/her comment to an article. It was used in reference to someone called “Lester” and sought to explain his irrational behaviors and confusing public statements.

I think that the person got the word wrong – on purpose. But I understood it … like it … and would like to expound on it.

So what is the “man-a-pause” that this individual named “Lester” is purportedly going through?

Well ‘man-a-pause’ is simply a ‘multi-dimensional set of changes in a man, whereby he experiences a number of seriously life changing symptoms’ … Some physical… some psychological.

What are some of these symptoms? Psychological irritability and indecisiveness, and sometimes depression that is tied to significant events… (events like losing an election.) It can also involve mood swings… whereby one time the person is happy (like at winning their seat) and then they swing to being very unhappy… (like at not getting enough public attention).

Another symptom is selective memory loss. So for example, a former leader might forget that when he was in high office for 28 years, he made sure that the opposition leader was never sworn in at the Government House. But now that he is in a similar category, he is demanding to be sworn in there.

While I cannot speak to many of the physical symptoms that this person named ‘Lester’ is going through… I would like to comment on the symptom of weight gain… something many men in ‘middlescence’ have recognized… and many older men like the person called ‘Lester’ might have and still might be experiencing. In one popular case, an individual boasts of having been an athlete and cricketer… yet one is hard pressed to imagine that… based on the size and weight that he carries now…

As a part of this bloated physiology… there is an accompanying inflated sense of self… an inflated sense of importance… a bloating of one’s ego… “I am now the big “O” leader… you Miss G G…. are duty bound to install me in the G House…” Puffed up on the outside… puffed up on the inside!

There are spiritual dimensions to ‘man-a-pause’ also whereby the individual apparently has longings to be seen as a demi-god and have lots and lots of people pay attention to and follow him. Additionally, there may be reported episodes of involvement with off-beat quasi ritual magic (purpose - for example - to influence up coming court cases). There is also a great restlessness and yearning for people to worship you… and if not you… someone dead who is a family member. Accompanying all of this is an unrealistic sense of importance… “I sent a letter to the Queen”…

Confusion and irrationality are classic symptoms of ‘man-a-pause’. They show up in the statements that people make and in their public decisions. “We will challenge the results in these constituencies… because of the problems on election day in these and other areas… including my constituency… But I will not challenge the results in mine… There were problems… but… I accept these results.”

For those of you who like to do research, I must warn you that ‘man-a-pause’ should not be confused with male menopause, andropause or hypogonadism. That disorder, though not fully recognized by the medical profession, is said to impact men in their fifties and sixties. Our exemplary reference, Lester, is purported to be in his mid-seventies!  So he would conceivably already have gone through the symptoms of andropause…

Though some of the symptoms are similar, ‘man-a-pause’ has one distinguishing factor: These symptoms are mostly psychological, related to an increasingly irrational desire for power: an increasingly rabid do-anything-to-get-the-power mentality; a very bloated and singular belief that only-I-can-lead-this-country mindset; and, a very smooth, silky, slick ability to use gibberish to win and influence unwitting voters.

‘Man-A-Pause’, as evidenced by this person who the reader identified as ‘Lester’, is a pervasive pattern of grandiose behaviors where the individual is preoccupied with fantasies of being the best, brightest and in charge of everything. This person will use the biggest words or phrases that no one else uses…  and they will use them over and over… (I hope that this is pellucidly clear). The individual diagnosed with ‘man-a-pause’ lacks empathy (for example – for the people of Barbuda), while he and his cronies steal others blind (like the people of Barbuda). This individual also has a sense of entitlement (my family will rule for generations).

So as you can see… the person who identified ‘Lester’ as having ‘man-a-pause’, in reality conducted a lay person’s diagnosis of an individual who has a potentially serious disorder… a disorder, though not categorized in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 4-TR) is a disease which should concern all of us.

Certainly… I am un-easy about having any of our ‘Lesters’ walking around our country with ‘man-a-pause’ and not being under the care of a good psychiatrist or psychologist.

If the ‘Lester’ that that online reader referenced in their post reads this blog… (I doubt it), I urge him to take a pause and seek medical or psychological care.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Who Should Vote?

A Simple Formula to Solve this Big Problem!!

By Sojourner

I have been following the debates… radio debates, street side debates, coffee table debates, the Saturday rice pudding and maw and goat water debates, the after church service debates, the village shop debates, at the office debates… all the debates… which are all about the non-national issue. And let me tell you it is a big issue…. and many people see it as a big problem!

Most of the persons in these discussions felt really strongly and passionate about the issue. It seems to be the general feeling that non-nationals ought not to have the power to skew the results of our elections.

There is also a lot of discussion around how the ALP set up the non-nationals against the UPP (that discussion is for another time), and how only citizens of Antigua and Barbuda should be able to vote in our elections. This latter view has received much attention, I dare say, by Antiguans and non-nationals alike.

Yes, and interestingly enough, there are some non-nationals who believe that it is only when they attain citizenship that they should be accorded the privilege to vote. And I also heard one non-national saying that he would support a move to amend the seven (7) year citizenship requirement to 10 years. I agree.

Now I know that this won’t go down well with many of the thousands of non-nationals who voted during our recently concluded elections on the basis of their temporary residence status. And the ALP supporters will certainly not agree.

In fact some persons on the radio discussions are stepping very lightly on this one… as if to insist that if only citizens vote that this is wrong, uncivilized or even unjust… So I have been thinking about it quite a bit!

And as usual, when I have some difficult problem to solve, I normally use a simple formula to solve it. I developed this strategy since my school days... especially for difficult math problems. Sometimes the numbers made my head spin and the problem seemed unsolvable… But then, I just reduced it to simple terms, using everyday situations, using simple numbers, applying simple logic and voilaproblem solved!

So I am going to do the same here…. So who gets to vote?

I have been a member of numerous organizations: community organizations, church organizations, youth organizations, women organizations… some formal, some not so formal… But for ALL these organizations, voting is always an important activity. So important that there is a lot of regulations around it... Most of the constitutions stipulate who can vote and under what conditions they can vote.

If you are a member of Lions and Rotary or Soroptimist, or POWA or your church youth group, or even the ALP, you would know that you cannot vote unless you are a member. That’s almost a no brainer!

So you have to be a member in order to vote. And in order to be a member, you may have to go through a period of probation, during which time you cannot vote. Mark you, you have to contribute to the group during this period and prove yourself worthy of membership… But that contribution does not entitle you to the vote. And if during this period of probation you do not measure up, either the probationary period is extended or you are asked to leave. The group feels no obligation to you! But, if you are determined… you may try to get into another group. That’s up to you!

There are some organizations which stipulate that once you gain membership that you should be IN for about a year, before you take part in general elections such as voting for the executive body. And, of course, in addition, some organizations also require that you are a member in good standing in order to vote.

It sure seems as if voting is an important activity.

So I am extrapolating the lessons… and I am seeing that most of us in Antigua and Barbuda see voting as the most important activity in the life of an organization. And we all agree that in organizations only members should vote!

So that’s it. For our general elections only nationals of Antigua and Barbuda should vote.

End of story!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Failure to Connect

Build Relationships… Not Only Roads!


By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.


Without exception, all the UPP candidates and the UPP political machinery need to examine what happened last week. Why did seven of them lose? There are many answers… here is one: They failed to connect with individual voters!

I heard this story from a voter in my area… who despite the story below voted the UPP way. She said that in the years prior to this election, the UPP candidate had visited them – maybe once. This is a candidate who had narrowly lost in the 2004 election. Then about six months ago he came to her house and sat down at her table. Though he was very formal, she thought that he responded well to her questions. At the end he asked for her and her husband’s support. She indicated to him that while she would consider voting for him, he would have to come by again and talk with her husband and ask him for his support.

The candidate promised to do so… but never returned. She also indicated that the candidate is a frequent visitor to her neighbors who live in a house across the street from her… And on many occasions… maybe weekly… the candidate would pass by her front porch… to go to and from his friends across the street. And each time that he passed her on her porch or in her yard, he did not say “good morning”, “good afternoon” or anything at all! He totally ignored her.

Now imagine that… he wanted her support… and he wanted her husbands vote! Yet… he ignored both of them.

Very close to the election… he passed by… trying to engage them… She was quite incensed… that at the very least he could not even remember her name!

This same candidate, who I cast my X for… was dismissed from my front yard by my 94 year old mother… when he came by a couple of months ago. After finding out who he was… she let him have it! She indicated to him that in the last six years (prior to the 2004 election and since), she had never met him. He had never come by our house… he had taken us for granted. She did not want to see him… not now!

According to her, she subsequently did put her X beside his name… but her vote was not for him… it was for Baldwin Spencer and the UPP.

After the election results were announced many of his close supporters were in shock… as were many other people across the nation. I was not! My mother certainly was not.

Those who were surprised by the results claimed that “he had done so much for the community. He had paved the roads, put up street lights, fixed the basketball court, developed the community…”

Yes he might have. But he failed to do the most important thing! He had not paved the way for people to related to him. He did not position himself as a beacon of light for people to see. He did not establish any connection with the young people who played basketball.

As much as I hate to quote the man who beat him… I am propelled to… because of the truth of the statement he made. He said that to win your seat, “You must build relationships… not roads.”

Every UPP candidate who lost… and those who almost lost… including the big guns… in some cases failed to build and in most cases failed to maintain close relationships with the people! Not relationships with the communities… But relationships with the people… the individuals… who individually cast their ballots.

Our candidate from my constituency had failed to build close relationships… had failed to come across as personable… had failed to connect at an individual level with the people… the individuals who he wanted to cast their X’s for him.

He was distant… he did not talk much… he was normally not smiling… he appeared out of touch with the people… At least that was my assessment – before the election!

On the day of the election, I arrived at the polling booth just after 6:00 a.m. He was there. He looked serious… He was unsmiling… he looked unapproachable. On the other hand, his competitor, the man who beat him, came by at around 7:45. He was smiling ‘cutely’, shaking people’s hands (he greeted me and shook mine… even though he knows what side I am on!), saluting people, exchanging bantering remarks with people on both sides of the divide. Win, loss or draw… he was putting the best face forward… and letting everyone see that!

Again… the ALP candidate was focused on the relationships he had built… and even at the 11th hour he appeared to be still building relationships… or at least massaging them!

Too many of our UPP candidates believed it was enough to sit in their ministerial positions and build roads and put up lights! Two years into the last UPP administration, I warned one of the key UPP leaders that he was too busy governing… and not paying enough attention to his community… to the people who put him there!

Governing… but not politicking! Good governance… but poor politics. That is a recipe for disaster

I am a clinical psychologist… not a political psychologist… But I dare you to show me the difference when it comes to understanding people’s behaviors. Even within the context of business… every marketing manager, sales manager and business leader knows (or should know) that the focus today is on customer relationships. They know that every sale – is an individual sale. Therefore… every good ad… every successful marketing campaign is directed at the individual person. It is called relationship marketing!

As a matter of fact one of the key approaches that is taking the world by storm has changed from emotional intelligence to social intelligence… the ability to emotionally and intelligently connect with the people. It is described as the new science of human relationships.

Successful managers know that it is through the power of their staff that they get things done… therefore… the new focus on management today is relationship management… management that is focused – not on policies or processes…. but on people!

In politics, people… at least Antiguan people… do not vote based on how many roads you build in their communities. They do not vote based on how much electricity lights you put up. They do not vote based on how many basketballs courts are in their community - even if they are fenced and painted yellow and green! Nope@

People vote based on the individual or family relationships they have with the politician. Rightly or wrongly – it is a fact of life in Antigua. Yes… they like increased electricity in their community… but what they want to know is what the politician is doing about the huge electric bill they have to pay monthly… or the high price of gasoline… People want to know… “What have you done for ME, lately? …. so that I can do something for you… and then in return you do something more for me.”

Yes… yes… yes… Some would say that we should be focused on national development… But all national development must translate into personal development and empowerment for the individual voter! Communities don’t vote… individuals do!

Additional, we have failed… the UPP has failed to help people translate how national development projects and how community development projects translate into individual and personal benefits to them.

How does the school meals program benefit the individual or their family? How will the new car park benefit the hotel worker who lives in Bolans and works at Jolly beach? How does the new hospital impact the farmer from All Saints or the fisherman from Point? How does the income tax structure impact the teacher from Five Islands?

Politicians need to translate all of these national and community development projects into individual benefits… They must paint a picture… they must tell the story… they must make the connection… 

And they must make the connection through the relationships that they have built… those that they must re-build and the new ones that they now have to construct – with all the people… natives and non-nationals. And, they must do so long before the next election comes around.

Failure to connect…. No… Continued failure to connect and foster and maintain good relationships with the individual voter… will translate into failure for the UPP.

ALP’s Legal Shenanigans!


By Sojourner


Today I listened to the ALP’s lawyer speaking to the issue of the writs that they (ALP) had filed in with respect to the recently concluded elections. They filed the writs contesting the results in four constituencies: St. Georges,  St. Johns Rural West, St. Johns Rural North and Barbuda. 

This ALP lawyer apparently wanted to objective, and he may actually fool himself in believing that he had succeeded. But what he may not know is that he is reeking of the stench that follows the “ALP-ites”. 

I am no lawyer, but I have common sense. It is almost an understatement to say that the recently concluded elections were a disaster. What happened should not have. The list should have been posted early, the photo list should have been ready days prior to Election Day, the photocopier should not have broken down, the polling stations should have opened on time, and voting should have started on time. But in a lot of cases these did not happen, so the question remains… who benefitted more from these inconsistencies? ALP? UPP?

This ALP lawyer seems to be suggesting that the ALP suffered more than the UPP as a result. He and his ALP friends seem to believe that if the list was ready and the polling stations opened on time that the ALP would have won. Now, to make such an assertion (implied as it is) this lawyer and his ALP friends must have information that the rest of us do not have.

I believe that they have information about the list… In fact I think that they helped to concoct a list with help from officials at the Immigration Department and the Electoral Office (Birdites in high positions).  

I am making this comment based on comments that I’ve heard from comrades such the political leader of the ALP. He said that he registered over 600 persons in St. Johns City East.

In addition to this there are discrepancies in voter lists in that constituency. So obviously, there is something funny going on there. The ALP lawyer and his team of lawyers acting on behalf of the ALP need to add this seat, St. Johns City East to the list of constituencies named in the writ.

This lawyer and his ALP friends seem to be grabbing at straws, just as a drowning man does. They will soon discover, albeit too late, that straws cannot hold them up.

They are about the only ones that see logic in their arguments. They are adamant that the late start hurt them to the extent that if the polling stations were opened on time, they (ALP) would have been returned to power.

But this is not what the OAS Observer Mission concluded. They are of the view that the late start had no significant impact on the results. And I agree.  According to laws of mathematics and chance, all things being equal, the impact of the lateness would be equally dispersed, affecting the UPP as much as it affected the ALP, and the other candidates. So Honourable Counsel, that is a mute point! A no brainer!

The lawyer, on behalf of his ALP friends, also made other allegations with respect to the conduct of candidates at the  Polling stations. One of his issues is that at a St. Johns Rural West polling station, the UPP leader was handing out brown paper bag… he said with documents. 

But when the ALP first raised this point, they mentioned that the UPP operatives were handing out food in brown paper bags. I found it strange, when they were making an issue of it, since on Election Day, the UPP made similar allegations against ALP at a St. Johns Rural North.

A reporter confronted two ALP big shots… two candidates both of whom gave very different stories to the reporter. One admitted that there was food, but that he had nothing to do with it. According to him their agents organized their own food giving activity… The other one denied the allegations, and said that it was the UPP who was doing this. All of this happened in a time of about 5 minutes and to the same reporter!

The ALP lawyer also spoke of the UPP candidate for Rural West, who he claimed was hugging up persons in the line. This lawyer is suggesting that something was wrong with this. And I agree with him. But he should have also ensured that his ALP friends, who were candidates in the elections, were armed with this knowledge when they went to the various polling stations.

I voted at St. Johns City South, and the incumbent… the one who thinks that all he needs to win is to be cute and whisper sweet nothings in the ears of the constituents,  was hugging persons in full view… grinning his hypnotic smile. I saw him!

And while I am at it, that same  incumbent, seemed to have forgotten to mention to his ALP comrade lawyer about the scene he made at the  Mary E Pigott polling station at about counting time… and the bigger scene one of his sons made when he literally threw himself in the path of the bus, police aboard,  that was  taking the boxes to the counting station.  Oh… and he (the incumbent) should have also mentioned how he threatened an officer.. “Wait, you’ll see what happens to you” … purportedly when they would have won!

The inclusion of Barbuda in the writ is laughable.  Yes, Barbuda’s results were close..but this is nothing unusual… I remember that there was a tie for the 2004 elections… with the very same candidates.  In a revote, Mr.  Walker won by about 6 votes;  So the fact there Mr. Walker won by 1 vote this time is nothing out of the ordinary.

Now I understand how desperate ALP is… but this is ridiculous… and to me the ALP’s lawyer and all his high powered crony lawyer colleagues lawyers look just as ridiculous. Face the truth… UPP won.

I think that the thing that is really bothering them is that despite, all the money, all the bribery, all the prostituting, all the slandering, all the monstrous the give-aways, the criminal shenanigans, the “mega concerts” and the millions and millions of dollars they poured into the campaign, they lost.  They are out again. The UPP is in AGAIN.

Ouch… ALP! I know that hurts!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ALP’s Cultish Hold On Their Supporters

By Sojourner


I am flabbergasted. I just cannot imagine how people voted for ALP. I cannot imagine how some decent people run behind ALP and Bird.  And the thing that confuses me is that some of these people are my friends… and I consider them to be decent. So I am flabbergasted.

To me the ALP is one corrupt organization, devoid of morals… The leaders are vagabonds and crooks. So I am really flabbergasted when people I know who I consider decent follow behind them.

The discussions I’ve had with at least one of them, a really seasoned comrade, had me thinking. She holds the view that UPP is “worst than ALP”; that “they have not done anything”;  Now my friend is a professional, so I cannot say that she is dumb or daft. There has to be some other explanation.

So I got to thinking about the ALP and how it seems to control the mind of its followers... and the word “CULT” came to me.  Yes, as I think about it more and more, the ALP seems to have a cultish hold on its supporters… and those people seem to be in a trance-like stupor!

So how is the ALP like a cult?

For one thing, in cults, the leader is accorded God-like status. In the ALP Papa Bird is revered, even though he is dead, and they constantly try to summon his spirit. Lester constantly remind the followers that he is the “continuum” .

Additionally, as in cults, the leaders can do no wrong, they are above the law.  So in the ALP, minister after minister, have been associated with criminal acts - from child abuse, to pornography, to fraud, to “tiefing” from the public purse.

And, as in cults, the followers rally around them even more… because… they can do no wrong! Papa Bird can do no wrong (never mind that he defiled a minor), Lester Bird can do no wrong (his rap sheet should be long long).  Asot can do no wrong, Molwin can do no wrong, … and the list goes on…..  And the followers say Amen to whatever these people do and say!

Secondly, cults systematically create a sense of powerlessness in the followers.  The ALP is master of this tactic. The ALP prides itself on its ability to provide ‘labour.’ So let us look at how they use ‘labour’ to keep the people powerless and needy. Successive ALP ‘Labour’ Governments are known for providing jabs (Jobs)… Lots of persons are given jobs at below minimum wage. These very people, would have to again go to the ministers, in person to solicit favours… help with school fees, help with utilities, help with whatever they want help with… and then again when Christmas comes, they line up for their turkey and ham. And so as the followers’ sense of powerlessness increases, their good judgment and understanding of the world are diminished.

Closely tied to this is the fact that ALP through ‘labour’ demoralized the Antiguan labour force. What pride is there in working in poor working conditions, working without a clear sense as how your effort links into a greater good. What pride is there in being a square peg in a round hole? What pride is there in  being one of four persons who operate one telephone?

So what we have now is a whole civil service, a whole bunch of Antiguans who think work is showing up at the office… A whole bunch of people who don’t understand the concept of ‘labour’, ..a whole bunch of beggie beggie people.

Thirdly, Cults keep the person unaware of what is going on. This sounds just like the ALP. I Know that most of their followers are locked into ZDK. Now I do not listen to ZDK… I consider that soul abuse, but  I hear of their programmes from others, especially my ALP friends.  When I hear of the things being spouted on that radio station, I have to wonder. The spin their input on things… everything. So you hear everyday folks talking about how things bad, how taxes killing them, how they go to the supermarket and things expensive. They talk about how the UPP politicians corrupt… And the ALP followers gobble it up.

The ALP like all cults shape the reality of its followers… Now I understand why my ALP friend can look me in the eye and say that the UPP has not done anything… Now I can understand why the people in St Johns Rural East and City South see solid infrastructure and still say they see nothing… Like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, just in reverse. Now this is serious mind control!

Fourthly, Cults  are  preoccupied with making money and using money to control the behaviour of followers. In a political cult, this would include excessive fund raising, especially by illegal means such as electoral campaign-finance fraud and bribery. What do we know of the ALP? We know that for the past election there was a lot of activity around money. Lots of money. That translated into a feeding frenzy of its followers. Nationals and non-nationals backed up their trucks… literally. We know of the dollar bills that tumble out of T-shirts, we know of laptops, single checks written for thousands of dollars. MONEY.  Money everywhere.  And the people said Amen!

Fifth, Cults have an us-versus-them mentality that causes hostility towards, and/or conflict with, political opponents and the wider society to an irrational degree. Although non-cults, including mainstream political parties, also frequently encourage us-versus-them thinking, in the political cult it is carried to an extreme in which the entire world outside the cult is regarded either as the enemy or as pawns to be manipulated in the fight against the enemy. In turn, critics of the cult and other opponents are demonized in a manner that brooks no questioning from the loyal followers. Does not this remind us of the ALP? Because of this we can now understand the venom of some non nationals. (This is fueled by misinformation, and a lot of emotionality - Asot’s outburst that “Blood will flow” for example.)

Sixth, cults cultivate a “the end justifies the means” mentality. This may result in members participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group. In the political context, this could include criminal activities, including unprovoked violence against opponents. How does the ALP measure up here? Can we put the shenanigans at the electoral office, and Immigration Department under this one? Certainly we can put the total collusion with evil acts such a bribery here.

So, yes, the more I think about it, the more I see the parallels… Cult: ALP.

It is the only thing that explains the blind allegiance, the circular thinking and closed logic, the deification of the leaders, intolerance to descent, the collusion with corruption, the silence, the beggie, beggie mentality, and the hate mongering.

Now we know what we are up against. We have to reprogramme these people. And the PEOPLE say Amen!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It Is Not Business As Usual!

By Sojourner

The elections are behind us (or in front of us, because I think that we need to begin now in order to retain the government in 2014!). Let’s face it: The truth is that it is over and thank God, the UPP is still the government!

The other truth is that the road ahead is not going to be easy and the government, No Baldwin, the Honourable Prime Minster has some hard decisions to make. I only hope that when the decisions are made the WE the people will fling our support behind  the Prime Minister.

I remember all the banging he got during the early days of his last administration when he was attempting to make some fundamental changes. We talked about victimization, about taking bread out of people’s mouth… we talked… and yapped and yapped and yapped. I just want us to know that this time around, it cannot be things as usual! CANNOT.

The Prime Minister and the UPP have to make some real hard decisions… and he must begin with the public sector. The Public sector is packed like sardines with ALP saboteurs. They are everywhere… they are permanent secretaries, they are SEO’s, CEO’s, receptionists; they are the cleaners… they are the people at the Immigration Department, at Customs, at The Elections Office… They are everywhere.

Now I am not at all suggesting that all of the civil servants ought to be UPP supporters. To the contrary! Civil servants have the right to support whatever party they choose. That is democracy. But civil servants ought to do their jobs in a non-partisan way. They are public servants!

But the reality is that here in Antigua and Barbuda, many of the civil servants are in their positions because of political patronage. These people have never worked for any other government or any other employer and they have a ‘cultish’ loyalty to the ALP. Never mind that the vast majority of them work for pittance and have worked for a pittance because of the ALP 28 year strangle-hold on Antigua!  The Bird Government understood the Willy Lynch principle very well. What a thing, the ALP, BIRD,  using the same weapons against the people that the slave owners used. (Talk about father of the nation!).

By the way… it was the UPP who not only raised the salaries of all civil servants but gave them the back pay that Lester Bird and his government had been promising them… owing them for years… the same ALP government that they… many of them saboteured the UPP for.

The new UPP administration must clean House.  The Government gets its business done through the civil service. The civil service we have now is inefficient and works to sabotage the system. So it cannot be things as usual.

We need to begin at the top: the permanent secretaries.  Many of them must GO.  Besides many of them came up through the ranks… receptionist, typist… up, up, up and now they have reached to the level of P.S. They  have not learned a thing. Incompetent. Inefficient. Years of service does not translate into being more skilled; and to add insult to injury according to local parlance ‘dem bad minded bad!” They keep down a lot of bright energetic upstarts, they frustrate a lot of civil servants who wish to work in a professional way and who have professional training.  They have got to go.

The UPP has to make good its plans to institute public sector reform. And they have to get someone with experience outside of our corrupt, inefficient public sector to spearhead this initiative. The public sector must be guided by principles of integrity, productivity and accountability. 

There needs to be systems of performance appraisals put in place. Civil servants must be held accountable for outcomes and for output. Civil servants must begin to understand the concept of WORK and its relationship to personal development and integrity and national development.

No longer can we have four persons manning one phone… or civil servants coming into the office late and expect to have breakfast, go to lunch for an hour and come back to the office to eat lunch, sit in an office all day doing everything else except the work for which they are paid. Just think of how much money is lost to non-productivity! It cannot be business as usual.

And, the UPP government needs to provide the tools and the resources for its public sector to deliver on its mandates. It must identify the critical and strategic areas and properly align the resources needed.  To tell the truth, you wonder sometimes how come some ministries are more resourced than others... and the ones that are normally under resourced are some awfully critical ones… the ones that will help them to build better relationships, build human capacity  (remember the victory speech) of  MP for City South) about building relationships not roads!  

Additionally, the UPP government needs to concentrate on its support base- the constituency. There must be much  robust community mobilization. And it must begin NOW.  And for this effort, it is every hand on deck. It cannot be business as usual.

We are all involved, we are all consumed. There is work for everyone.

Join in the campaign to defend our country! It is not business as usual!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


By Mshaka

There is a backlash coming to Antigua! It is a backlash that will be driven by the behaviors of non-nationals and the attitudes they demonstrated during the weeks leading to the recent elections.

This backlash is coming from everyday, grassroots men and women from town and country side. Antiguans are fed up. They are stirred up. People are angry!

This is one Antiguan who believes that the backlash is long overdue. For too long we have allowed Bird, Saunders and Reese to manipulate our immigration system. We have allowed them and their cronies to purposefully pack up Antigua with people from Jamaica and Guyana particularly. And when those people get here, they act as if they are not visitors - but people who have a right to be here. As a matter of fact they act in ways that they cannot act in the towns and villages and ghettos from whence they came.

Most of these people come here because they need work... they need education... and they need medical care. Yes, there are some who are educated... but the level of work that they may get in Guyana cannot compare to the salaries they get here. And, where they are from.. they are politically disenfrancised.

Antiguans are tired of the fact that wherever we go people are speaking Spanish... responding to you in Spanish... act as if you are dumb if you can't speak Spanish... and often choose to serve Spanish speaking people first... even if they are in the back of the line.

And then there are the Jamaicans who are aggressive and try to intimidate both our children and our women. Listen to them speak... listen to their music and the trash that they are chanting... Look at how they dress... men's pants down at their knees... the women showing the buttocks and breasts and everything else...

Within a few short years, Antigua has changed... radically... negatively and violently. Yes... there are Antiguans involved in some of the negativity. But for the most part, most of the negative changes can be laid at the feet of non-nationals - most of them here illegally.... many of them with brought in by polictical operatives of the ALP.... some of them with criminal backgrounds!

But the backlash is being driven because Antiguans have now awakened to the fact that we are fast becoming second class citizens in our own country. We are almost outnumbered... I think we are already outnumbered.

As an Antiguan who has traveled back and forth for over twenty years... I have been more sensitive to these changes than people living here. For years, I have been complaining to my friends and family that the countenance of Antigua had changed. For example, about 12 years ago, I noticed that the Grays Gren area was changing rapidly. Thirty years ago, I used to coach and train the Empire Football Club. I also used to teach at the Greenbay Government School. I lived at Perry's bay for almost forty years of my live. I was born down there!

Each time I came back (several times per year) I would visit King George V grounds to watch the guys practice cricket or soccer. When someone passed by, if I did not know them, I would look at their faces and recognize that they were so-and-so's family... But graudally, I began having problems... Who is that? Where are they from? Oh... they are Dominicans... Guyanese... Jamaicans... Spanish... Jamaicans... Spanish... And so it went... and so it has been.

Now, when I pass through the area... I scarcely see anyone who even looks Antiguan. And... being a student who went to school when I had to pass the G.C.E. and had to learn a more formal type of English... I cannot understand the languages being spoken... sometimes I cannot tell whether it is English or Spanish!

So Antiguans are now fed up. Most Antiguans have been uncomfortable for a long long time! But enough is enough. We won't take it any longer!

We need to take steps to weaken the growing immigrant stranglehold... to destroy the web of manipulation and deceit weaved by the ALP... to obliterate the conspiratorial influence of Bird, Saunders and Reese in which they seek to control the future of Antigua and become Kings and Emperors of Antigua crowned by Jamaicans and Guyanese!

Two Critical Steps We Need to Take... Yesterday!

By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.

There are many many things that the UPP government need to do... needed to do... have not done... that still needs to be done!

Two of the most critical are the establishment of a national I.D. card and the naming of streets and alleys along with the numbering of each house.

The national I.D. card should be one that is linked to an individual's passport, driver's license, social security card, medical benefit card and their election I.D. card. This of course would be a super I.D. card for each individual who is eligible to vote. The card would also identify where the individual lives.

The naming of streets and alleys is probably the most critical of all the things that our new government needs to implement... post haste! Let's take a look at Greenbay and Gray's Farm. Anyone can say that they live in Perry's Bay. There are no named streets down there. None.

"So you say you live at Perry's Bay? Where exactly?"

"Me live down the alley, walk by the bayside, turn left by Miss Norma... then go between there by Bush and the little green house behind the gray house. And I live there... Its my girl friend's house. My old lady live round the corner, down there by the gutter! Just pass where ' Ras Jess I' rest!"

Did you understand that? Do you think you can find that person?

Still in Gray's Farm: Someone says that they live 'off Christian Street'. Off Christian Street? "Yes... You go up Christian Street, pass the green house on the right... then turn into the alley. When you go into the alley, look for the house with the antenna... then turn right there and go to the blue house with the red drum outside."

One thousand persons can give you any off the addresses above and you cannot challenge them. Because at this time, these are legitimate so-called 'addresses'. If you go looking for them... even if they really live somewhere in that area... you probably won't find them.

So it is critical... it is imperative that we name every street and every alley... every highway and byway. Then we need to number every residence, every apartment and every rented room! Then we need to make those addresses the official residence of addresses of every individual in this country.

When people go to register for their super National ID card, they would have to provide an ID like a driver's license that already has their name and address on it. They would also have to provide additional proof... like a stamped letter addressed to them... a letter which has obviously been already delivered to them. This would take the form of a bill (electricity, water, etc.), or a copy of a letter from their bank that they have received.

These are two critical things that would go a long way to prevent the ALP or any other party from manipulating the electoral system in Antigua and Barbuda! We need to make these changes now... yesterday!

Kudos to Bishop Dorsette


By Sojourner

Unlike many other polling stations, things went rather smoothly at the one where I voted. When I arrived there at about 6:15 am, there was already a sizeable crowd. People were standing in two lines, huddled together, determined to cast their X. Although the line moved slowly, and some unruly, ill disciplined persons jumped the line, there was not much to complain about. But that is me… at my station…Mary E. Pigott school in the constituency of St. Johns City South.

One of my sisters called me from her polling station at about 8 a.m., when I was just leaving mine. She had gotten there at about 4:30 a.m., and when she was calling me was when the polling station was opening – 8:00 a.m. She had been standing in the line… being there first… and had been there for almost 4 hours! She was not perturbed, just determined to cast her vote. As I drove home, and listened to the radio, I learned that other polling stations were similarly afflicted.

When I got home, there was mounting disquiet about the late start of the voting, and over the fact that some polling stations were still closed. Greenbay school was one such station. I jumped in my car and journeyed to Grays Farm. There were hundreds and hundreds of people standing in the lines. They all seemed determined to vote. And I must say that I felt proud of Grays Farm people… there was no fuss…just quiet determination. They stood there… waiting.

By the time I left there, I had a splitting headache. I was coming down with the flu and standing in the sun had aggravated the situation.

As I listened to radio and heard of the delays, I could not help asking questions about why this happened.  How is it that there is all this confusion around an activity that we had all the time in the world to prepare for? As I thought about that, a couple of things came to mind.

Although I would love to jump on the band wagon and lay all the blame at the feet of the commission, I think that other persons must take the blame too.

Yes, the  Electoral Commission and the Election Office, must take responsibility for what has happened. After all, the buck stops with them. They should have ensured that they have all the necessary measures in place... including a Plan A and a Plan B. They should have assessed the situation (anticipated the mad rush based on past experiences with the Antiguan public… we are a last minute people); they should have put in place a support staff to augment the work of the office... and should have hired some extra hands; and, they should have anticipated the breakdown of the machine. Most of us who have copied stuff on these machines, know that when these machines are ‘pressured’, they overheat, they stick up, they splat, they breakdown. This is normal machine behavior! And so there should have been a plan B and C.

And there should have been more than one data entry officer.  One may be sufficient for the daily operation of the Commission, but at a time when there was this mad rush, in the days before the election, someone should have thought of getting at least another pair of hands. There is only so much that one pair can do!

So the commission dropped the ball there.

But what about the people? The stakeholders, the electors, political parties, and their candidates?

Much of the confusion was caused because we Antiguans  and the others who are sneaking in. We caused the problem. Period.  Many persons waited until the last minute to look for their cards... in fact many persons did not really look for their cards. They turned up at the commission and expected that their cards would be ready… Pronto!

Now can you see how this mad rush would have prevented the Electoral Office from doing all the necessary things to ready itself for the successful execution of the electoral process? So we are fussing, but we are not fussing with the right people. We dropped the ball too

And it is obvious that the political parties were not doing what they were supposed to do. Too many persons did not even know where they were to cast their vote. It seems like the candidates should have made it their duty to inform the persons in their constituencies.  Make it easy for them to vote! So the candidates dropped the ball, big time!

But as I thought about the situation. My mind went into over drive and a lot of pieces of information began to coalesce around voting confusion and began to make sense.

About two years or more ago, someone shared some concerns with me about ALP politicians stuffing constituencies with non nationals. Then, when Mr.  Everet Christian, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce raised concern the other day about the increase in the voters’ list, red flags went up. When I put all this together with the situation where one of the ALP candidates… the lawyer who was signing documents for non nationals so that they can get their passport… it all began to make some sense.

Additionally, when I began to think of the situation where there was an inquiry into how many non nationals were illegally acquiring temporary residence status… all with the help of top persons at immigration, it also began to make sense. 

And when I think of the persons who are in top positions at Immigration and the Election Office who are strongly aligned to the ALP,  I started to smell a rat. Some people would say that things look fishy. Whatever… there is something awry. Something needs to be put under the microscope.

Yesterday, I heard of Bishop Dorsett’s intention to resign and his call for the other commissioners to resign. I say Kudos to Dorsett.

Here is a man of integrity, and one who understands the principle of accountability. It is a decent thing to do.

The Commission presided over a system that failed miserable. It does not matter who is at fault. The buck stops with the Commission. And I agree that they should resign.

So I am adding my voice to Bishop Dorsett’s. But the Bishop did not just stay there. He also calls for the top officers at the Election Office to resign as well.  And I strongly support this. In fact I support this move even more than the call for the resignation on of the commissioners. Bishop Dorsett also called for an inquiry which I strongly support, and it must be supported by the public as well.

I want to also add that they must link this inquiry with an inquiry into the distribution of Temporary Residence status  given by the Immigration Office over the last 5 years.

Kudos to Bishop Dorsett. Let us join or voices with his. Commissioners and top election officers must resign and we need an inquiry.  It won’t be business as usual!

Burn that Big Tent!

By Marcus Mottley, Ph.D.

Five years ago, the new UPP administration led by Baldwin Spencer opened their arms to embrace members of the ALP who wanted to cross over. Prior to the election of 2004 UPP had invited them to “Come outta that and come into this!”

Before the UPP won a few ALP supporters trickled over… or appeared to.

After UPP won in 2004 there was a red tide that hustled over to be embraced under the “Big Tent”.

Many of us cautioned that the apparent changes in these people were only mirages… acts of deception that they played magnificently on the good intentioned and naive UPP leadership.

As a result, the UPP decision makers not only allowed these ALP people to come over… they gave them jobs… not just jobs but good jobs… Some were placed in positions where they had to make critical decisions and positions where they were privy to classified and highly valuable information.

While in those key positions, the Big Tent ALP members wielded a lot of power: Two or three top positions in the Ministry of Finance! The highest level positions at the immigration department… and top level positions in all the statutory corporations! High positions… including a few ambassadorial positions… They even crowned a known Middle Eastern red fox as minister and allowed him to sit in Cabinet!

In the meantime, UPP decision makers neglected many of their own! The very people who had wandered in the desert with the UPP for 28 years were now taken for granted and in many cases discarded in preference of the ALP supporters who were now protected under the Big Tent!

Some of the UPP faithful who had worked hard year after year, campaign after campaign were cast aside. Many of them became disenchanted… then began to criticize the party that they had supported and protected! Why? Because they saw UPP Ministers and officials adopting a new attitude… embracing members of the Middle Eastern community who had not fought in the trenches all these years… They saw UPP higher-ups making decisions that went against the grain – like being involved with the rogue financial pirate of the Caribbean and the Middle Eastern who sat in the Cabinet! Placing incompetent people in critical positions such as at the new stadium… (where they messed up – by incompetence or as part of a ploy… it doesn’t matter). The UPP faithful were very upset… and still are.

Now, here we are after the 2009 election where we barely scraped though… barely! All of those red people under the Big Tent… well… guess who they voted for?

They went right back to vote red! Well… they never really left… they found the good intentioned, naive UPP leadership easy to manipulate. And they took advantage of them in order to get high paying jobs and positions of power and influence!

Have you ever attended an ALP meeting or rally? They were all there. No many of them did not wear red… but they were there in the crowds. A few days before the elections one of them… one who holds the top position in a financial agency… commented to another person that “We caught UPP with their pants down!”

Here we are… with UPP winning nine (9) seats… most of them just barely! Those people under the Big Tent did not help! They all acted as plants and spies. Over the last five years they were patiently waiting, gathering and shoveling information to the ALP directorate, building support among the undecided… just biding their time!

Here we are after the 2009 election with the full knowledge that the Big Tent was used against the UPP! A strategy developed by UPP decision makers was most effectively used against them right under our noses. And over the years our leaders refused to listen to the common folk who objected to the existence of a red tent within the UPP front yard.

So, here we are! Today I am calling for that UPP Big Red Tent to be burned down to blue ashes!

We don’t need any red tent. What we need to do is strengthen and empower the UPP core of supporters. We need to focus on those who brought the UPP out of the desert, those who saved them yesterday and those who will form the wall of protection over the next five years.

We need to organize at the grassroots level and develop leaders at all levels of the UPP rather than trying to steal leaders from the ALP. We need to take the best, brightest and most passionate of our supporters, develop them, empower them, coach and mentor them and get them ready to lead.

We need to foster a new generation of UPP leaders to take us into the next three election cycles. We need a vision for the party… not just for the country! And we need people at the helm who can deliver on that vision.

We also need to thank those who have tried to represent us but have lost. We need to examine whether or not those people have the mettle, the intestinal fortitude, the social personality and the leadership aptitude to represent us in their constituencies! If they don’t… we need to replace them with some of the people who we should be preparing… coaching, mentoring and developing!

But now… right now… right here… we must burn that Big Red Tent down…. burn it into blue ashes and dump in the blue ocean!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Deal with the Immigrant Issue Now!

By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.

Now that the United Progressive Party has been re-elected to govern Antigua and Barbuda, there are several very critical things that need to be done – even before they begin to address the programs in their manifesto!

Today I will address one of the most painful and controversial issues that will divide many of us. What this election has showed is that it has already divided us!

I am writing about the immigrant issue where non-Antiguans can vote in our elections after being in the country for just three years. These people… some of whom are just passing through… are given the highest privilege that can be assigned to anyone: the opportunity to decide who should lead the country. In so doing, many of them seek to vote in ways that serve their interests… the interests of the immigrant community… which often conflicts with and differs from the interests of many Antiguans and Barbudans.

Many of them boast that they can and will decide our elections and many of them aggressively and often violently confront us in our own country. Imagine that! They come from Jamaica and Guyana and elsewhere… come here and want to fight me… spit at me… curse me out… and try to disenfranchise me. Me… a born Antiguan.

On this issue – whatever needs to be done… needs to be done now before Antiguans and Barbudans rise up! And I mean rise up! I am fed up with feeling like a second class citizen in my own country where Jamaicans, Guyanese, Dominicans and Spanish speaking individuals – act as if they are masters (and mistresses) of my land!.

Many of these people are… for some reason… running from their own country. Many of them have come here for opportunities that they don’t have where they were born. Here, they compete with our people for jobs… no problem! The children they brought with them get free education in our public schools… no problem! They get free hospitalization and free medical care… no problem. Their non-Antiguan children get free school meals… no problem!

And… they get the privilege… after only three years… to vote in our elections… BIG PROBLEM!

And with these things that they receive… they believe that they have the right… the right… to do as they will and to act as if this is their country… BIG PROBLEM!

Well… enough is enough!

Do you think that I can go to Jamaica and act like they do when they come here? Do you think that I could go to Guyana and act they way some Guyanese act and behave here in Antigua?

Enough is enough! This problem must be dealt with. And those politicians who have imported immigrants so that they can vote in our elections must also be dealt with. One way or the other!

As a born Antiguan… I will not be made a second class citizen in my homeland. I have travelled to the USA. I am a US citizen. I have a US passport. Before I received those do you think that I could behave the way these people behave. Every day… every step of the way… the US government made you understand in a thousand different ways that you were an “alien” in their country.

And let me make another issue clear: I did not give up my rights here as a native born Antiguan when I received a US Passport! (This is another matter that I will deal with in another article!)

Here in Antigua we must develop a clear immigration policy that allows and disallows entry. We must have a clear policy that strictly lays out the levels of privileges for various immigrant classifications. And we must have laws that we will rigorously implement for those who violate them including those for the public officials, politicians and lawyers who assist guilty non-natives.

Immigration and emigration is a fact of life. People will move to and fro. As a matter of fact the most powerful factor in globalization today is not economy or finance – it is the movement of people from one country to another. It cannot be stopped. It will not be stopped. But it must be controlled.

We must be both careful and strategic in who we give the privilege to work among us. We must be cautious in selecting those who we allow the privilege to live next door or we might find ourselves with another sniper as our neighbor, or an individual with a lengthy criminal record from another country who we have teaching our children as our neighbor.

Lest you think that I am blindly anti-immigrant let me fill you in. My mother is Barbadian…. she came here almost 70 years ago. All the people who are closest to me were born elsewhere. They are all non-Antiguans! But they are here legally! They did not circumvent the system that is in place so that they could vote or get a passport! And they have been here for over seven years… even my children!

I have thought long and hard before I wrote this article. I have chosen to do so because of what I saw this week… when several times I was confronted by non-Antiguans in red who acted as if I was the immigrant… as if they were the ones born at Holberton… as if they were the ones who used to carry water on their head at Perry Bay… or teach at Greenbay School… or coach soccer at King George…

I will not suffer any indignities at the hands of people who are imported to vote and disenfranchise me!

Yes… yes… This is the time for gentle engagement… and gentle dialogue and gentlemanly discussion.

But hear me clearly… Do not mistake the gentle dialogue from this Antiguan for lack of seriousness or firm commitment… to address this issue by whatever means necessary.

People like me have been gentle too long… have been quiet too long. I will be quiet no longer… I will not be stifled… not here where my mother gave birth to me!

I did not drink Cooks pond water… but I bathed in and swallowed Perry Bay water… and for those who know what that means… well… you will understand why I feel this way about my country.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Plenty of Levity… But No Brevity!


By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.


As I stood in the line this morning waiting to vote, I was surprised at the levity and good humour that people exhibited.

Most people in my line appeared to be frustrated at how slowly the line was moving. They were particularly perturbed because the other line was moving much more quickly. As I understood it… one line was ‘greased’ with molasses and the other was greased with tar! Our line had the tar – yet people were very respectful of each other and quite jovial! There was levity… but certainly no brevity!

One loud individual indicated that he was in a hurry to vote because he wanted to go back home so that he could watch the process unfold on television. He wanted to see the politicians ‘sweat’, pace back and forth, wring their hands, and smile at people they never saw before.

“This is the last time for five years that ah we will see dem act like if ahwe important,” he said. “As the day go by, me will get more fun as the candidates become more and more frightened.”

As I stood in the senior citizen’s line with my 94 year old mother, he remarked “Me go fine some ole somebady for hole onto… so me can get outta this line yah quick!” Then he began to address some of the senior citizens as granny and mammie and even auntie!

So, as people patiently waited to take care of this serious business of voting, they were entertaining and entertained.

But the lines moved slowly… too slowly! Once you got inside the process was smooth… although some people stayed in there for over 15 minutes! Getting inside was the problem. And then there were those people who tried to find some reason why they should be given preferential treatment. Some of those I can understand… like my 95 year old mom.

I certainly don’t understand why police officers in uniform were given the advantage of being allowed to vote as soon as they showed up! They are working people like everyone else… the rules apply to them too! Unless you are over sixty then you stay in the line like everyone else. Except in my case – of course – where I had brought my mom, I then was given the courtesy of voting after her.

This was one of the only times that my mother claimed her senior citizen status… normally when we say that she is 95 she responds that we have numbers backward… Of course her legs and knees began to hurt after standing in the line… even the senior citizen’s line for one hour! There were no seats in the area to accommodate her… She had to stand!

But the light banter that flowed through the crowd helped people to manage waiting. As one of the candidates passed by, one of the people in the crowd shouted: “Me in this line since 5 O’clock, this ya no “cute” taaaaaaall!” Everyone had a bellyful on that one – even the candidate!

The other candidate brought a voter whose hand was in a plaster. The polling clerk who was guarding the door looked at her hand… examined the cast… and pushed her to the head of the line – even my 94 year old mother. One individual commented: “Them ha this new thing at the new hospital… invisible leg cast… Ah that she hab on! Them ah work pon the one for the hand…” So because of her leg with the invisible cast and with the invisible leg pain that she was suffering… she had to be sent to the front.

This morning there were both both levity and lack of brevity…  Tonight… well… tonight is going to be a long night… particularly for the politicians!

Don’t Be Complacent!


By Patriot


This is a response to Mshaka’s article “Rock Solid”.

I understand the reasons for concluding that the UPP is rock solid. I'm with that 100% in the conviction that the UPP's record makes a clear cut case for a second term.

My concern is that some among us may use this (i.e. the conviction that the UPP is rock solid) as an excuse or justification for not voting.

To persons with such thoughts, I caution you in the strongest terms possible - DON'T TAKE THAT RISK!!!

It's not over until it's over. Complacency is our worst enemy.

Remember that all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men and women to remain quiet (or not vote).

So, let's early out and keep them out and then turn our attention to the important task of nation building.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Focus on the Future

By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.


I urge all Antiguan and Barbudan citizens to focus on the future as they vote in tomorrow’s historic elections.

What is your vision of the future?

Do you see a country that continues on the track of good governance, decent leadership and political restraint?

Or do you see a country that will be racked with political diatribe by an incoming team of politicians hell bent on saving themselves from the legal nightmare that faces them?

Do you envision a future where our leaders turn their attention fully on addressing the current global financial crisis? Do you see our leaders continuing to minimize the impact of the global financial crisis on the lives of common folk by developing meaningful programs that touch everyone? Do you see a well run new hospital, a modern library that serves our educational needs,  and a car park that reduces the parking and traffic crunch and confusion in the city?

Our future is at the crossroads and it is in our hands… yours and mine.  I know that I am going to vote responsibly… I know that I will vote UPP!

Do what you will with your vote… and remember: There is a child who does not want the school meal program rolled back; there is a teenager who is depending on the library to be completed; there is an elderly pensioner who wants to make sure that she gets her monthly check… without fail; there is a university student overseas who wants to know that the government is going to fulfill its commitment to pay for his education; there is an old man who wants to make sure that he gets his free medications from the clinic; there is a hotel worker and a vendor who want to be assured that the tourists will visit; there is a small business person who would like to invest in the new programs that are being developed by the current government; and, there are our children – yours and mine – who want to be assured that our lands are not given away or gifted to the next smooth-talking investor who visits our beautiful shores…

Let us focus on the future… it is in our hands… yours and mine! Let’s be responsible… I suggest that you vote UPP!

We Must Not Turn Back


By A Patriot


I am asking you to join me in voting for the United Progressive Party (UPP) this Thursday, March 12th. The polls are open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm and don't forget to take your voter identification card with you! If you don't know where to vote or if you don't know if you're eligible to vote, you can find out on the UPP website:

If you need a ride to the polls, please contact your UPP constituency office:

The UPP has done so much for this country. From paying our pensioners to opening Mt. St. John's to starting the School Meals Programme and the School Uniforms programme. The UPP made promises to us in 2004 and they've delivered.

Now, they're planning to open the University of Antigua and Barbuda. They also plan to give us the right to own, have a say over and profit from state owned companies through their Power to the People initiative. The UPP has us on the right track and headed in the right direction. We must not turn back.

The ALP's manifesto is a dangerous document that promises voodoo economics that will make our country as poor as Haiti. Their sinful rhetoric calling for us to be divided into tribes, calling our church leaders wicked and evil and calling for blood to flow in the streets shows us that they are not fit to lead.

I hope you'll join me in voting solidly UPP on Justice Day, Thursday, March 12th. Every vote counts and I personally hope that you'll join me in voting UPP. Our country needs us.

Remember, all that it needs for evil to prosper is for good men and women to remain quiet. 

Please ensure that your voice is heard in defense and love of Antigua and Barbuda by voting for the United Progressive Party Candidate in tomorrow's elections.



By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.


No! Not again! We won’t return ALP to dominance!

It is unbelievable that anyone would want to vote for Lester Bird and that group. Unbelievable that people have such short memories that they forget what had happened over the 28 years of ALP reign.

No! Not again! ALP must remain on the dust heap of history!

It is inconceivable that any Antiguan or Barbudan would want to turn back the hands of time. The ALP represents the past, the corrupt… everything that reflects the darkest days in Antigua and Barbuda’s history. Have people forgotten that ALP could not pay the people’s salaries in 2003? Have people forgotten that ALP had to borrow money from everyone and everywhere in order to run the country? Have people forgotten that our country’s name became synonymous with corrupt leaders? Have people forgotten that an ALP led Antigua was connected to illegal arms, drug running, inappropriate use of grants and loans from developed countries, and much much more?

No! Not again! ALP must stay on the sidelines!

Antiguans and Barbudans must not forget that ALP opened the door to allow foreigners to take over this country – just so that they could try to get an edge at election time! Now foreigners outnumber the native born! An ALP has promised them blanket amnesty… for both the benign and the criminal element!

No! No ALP again… never! Banish them to the history books!

The Medical Benefit scam that they schemed up. It was a scheme from the beginning; the fact that they drained all the money out of Social Security; the fact that they sucked all the money out of State Insurance; the fact that they siphoned off the money from the Free Trade Zone; the fact that they skimmed $11 million from the airport project; the fact that they got money for the South African arms deal; the fact that there were passport scams that included the infamous sniper who terrorized the Washington, DC area; the fact that they got dirty rich from being Government ministers; the fact that they stole all the sand from Barbuda; the fact that they gave our lands away to the pirate… the one that will soon be arrested by the FBI; the fact that they knew that what he was doing was illegal; the fact that he lined their pockets in return for known and unknown deals that they agreed on with him; the fact that he probably owns more acres in Antigua that we are yet to uncover; the fact that some of their ministers were not only involved in corrupt financial dealings… but also in immoral Sodom and Gomorrah type practices…

What else can ALP do wrong? What evil have they not done? And people still want to reward them… and give them another chance?

No! Never again! Give ALP up to the history books.

ALP… Not… not today… certainly not tomorrow… Never again.

No! No! We don’t want them! No!

ALP.  No!

Monday, March 09, 2009

“The Audacity of Dem People”

By Sojourner


There is a lot of buzz in the air… much ado… but not about nothing! Because for this election it seems like EVERYTHING is at stake....the stakes are high high… and politicians are pulling out all the stops!

So there is a lot of discussion around all the politics: the expensive billboards,  the number of plywood signs, the red plastic… and blue plastic, the red streamers hanging over our heads like biddie biddie, the calypsos and other songs (even heard a clap clap one), the Ads… oh the Ads!

To me it's it all so hilarious, and even though I do not want to respond, when I hear one or two of them I cannot help my self from laughing and my body from jigging.

But today much of the discussions I got into centred on the non-national issue.

It is funny how in this election, everybody is concerned about non-nationals. The UPP is walking on egg shells trying not to antagonize them! And the ALP, acting like a rich knight, or the dashing prince trying to woo the poor peasant girl.

I hope that those non nationals also know that sometimes those dashing princes just turn out to be toads that can only croak (or smoke pipe), or trolls that do wicked things to unsuspecting, needy and sometimes greedy peasant girls!

Anyhow, there is a lot of anxiety about the non-nationals. And, there is much suspicion about how they have acquired their Temporary  Residence status.

One suspicion is that plenty of them, apparently with help from top people at immigration were able to get the status with out spending the required 3 years here.  The nerve of these people!

Now I do not know if this is true, but the persons who added this information in the discussion, should know. If this is true something needs to be done about this. Yes, it is late for that now, but when UPP wins the public trust again – for the second time, they must put their foot down and have clean up these illegal practices at the Immigration Department… and elsewhere…

Talking about Immigration... I also understand that that whole place needs cleaning out… (Other places too!) And again, much of the discussion was about how the UPP dropped the ball. They left all them ALP die-hards in positions where they can do damage and sabotage. And damage they apparently have been doing for the past five years. Now, the chickens are coming home to roost… or in the words of a high ranking comrade, “We catch dem with them pants down.”

What audacity… that an Antiguan… a well placed Antiguan… a professional Antiguan with a “king”-sized job… An Antiguan pitied by the UPP and given a seat at the table… but an Antiguan non-the-less…  would stoop so low as to help to disenfranchise Antiguans and Barbudans for political gain… maybe other gain too!

Then the discussion shifted to how the non-nationals walking around large, like dem own the place, looking at you funny if you don't sound like dem. Just imagine, Antiguans feeling uncomfortable in our own yard... Antiguans marginalized in their own country.

Can you imagine going to Jamaica and taking over the place, or going to Guyana and acting like you run things… The audacity of these people come here trying to take charge and skew our election!

Can you imagine non-nationals having this kind of power in any other Caribbean country? In St Lucia? In Dominica? In Trinidad? In Barbados? Well, Barbados, is the last place I should have mentioned. Because, in Barbados they have a bench at the airport call the “Guyana Bench” when they come in at the airport, they put them to sit on it and send them packing on the next available flight! So Barbados won't have this kind of problem. We shouldn’t either.

You know the thing that bothers me, is that when I check out the scene, it seems like most Antiguans, have gotten tired of ALP, tired of their corruption, tired of their immorality, tired of all the wheeling and dealing… Just tired of them. But the non-nationals seem to be in a drunken stupor… and when I hear them talking about blue chicken, and about how the UPP wicked and don’t love non-nationals… I really really get vex! The audacity and nerve of them!

After we take care of business on Thursday, March 12th we have got to take care of this non-national issue… once and for all!

Rock Solid

By Mshaka

Never mind that ALP seems to have quietly, some say illegally, registered hundreds of new voters. Never mind that many of these so-called ‘new registered voters’ have not collected their voter registration cards. Never mind that the rumor mill says that these people will show up without their cards… and be allowed to vote because their names will be on the voters’ list.

Never mind those things. The UPP is solid. They have performed solidly! They have solid candidates. They have responded solidly to the local, regional and global challenges of our changing world! And, they have provided sound, ethical and visionary leadership! UPP is Rock Solid! We will return them to governance!

Never mind that it is rumored that six retired Guyanese military officers came in yesterday and were greeted by one of the red tide’s operatives. Never mind that people on the street are saying that those men have been brought in to cause mayhem.

Never mind all of that… the UPP is solid. They have delivered change that we can see and in the next term will bring more positive and uplifting change to Antigua and Barbuda. UPP is Rock Solid! We will vote for them and then they will deal with those illegals who are causing mayhem in the country. Return them to Governance!

Never mind that ALP operatives… who the UPP took pity on and left in places of high power are now turning their backs and jumping out of the ill-conceived “Big Tent”. Never mind that these same executives have been clandestinely working against the only Government they could ever really depend on!

Never mind all that… UPP is solid. Those same highly placed government and statutory executives, (some of them under-cover) will definitely be kicked out this time. They have continued to undermine the government of the day. They have worked clandestinely to do harm, to share information with their ALP handlers and to purposefully place obstacles to any UPP success anywhere and everywhere. This time… this time… they will get their just deserves. UPP will deal with them from a position of strength because UPP is Rock Solid! Return them to give good governance!

Never mind that the red tide has brought in their own pollsters to fudge the numbers to reflect their dreams. Never mind that the real results of their so-called polls embarrassingly were just like all the other polls - showing UPP winning almost all the seats!

Never mind all that because UPP is Rock Solid! Polls or not… we will vote them back in!

Never mind that they promised to give the disgraced pirate whatever he wanted, to do with as he wanted, whenever he wanted and for however long he wanted to misuse our resources. Never mind that since they received the last investment they received from him in February, they have scrounged to get money - both for their campaign and equally for their pockets. Never mind that some of them have received thousands of dollars and other kickbacks over the years – Just for cooperating with the disgraced pirate of the Caribbean… for looking the other way… while he robbed us blind!

Never mind that! UPP is solid. First we know that a new era of accountability has arrived on our shores. The UPP is solid… with a solid set of ethical guidelines already in place and a solid slate of candidates who we will return to lead our country on Justice Day.

Never mind that the leaders of the red tide have flights booked for weekend travel. Never mind that they will probably run before they have to face the charges! If they run, we will catch them. If they hide, we will find them. The UPP is Solid as a Rock. You can run but you can’t hide – not from the 2009, newly elected UPP Government!

Never mind that all the crapeau and frogs are disappearing from the ponds and swamps… (going to learn to smoke pipe… is what I heard!)

Never mind all of that! Let us get this election over and done with. Go out and vote on Thursday! Show them that the UPP is Rock Solid and wont be beat!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Chalk and Cheese!

By Sojourner

I pride myself on being a rational and reasonable person. But when I hear the ALP leaders and supporters talking about how the UPP has done nothing for the past 5 years, I literally started second guessing myself. I had to stop myself, step back and take a look at the situation. And I love to be fair, so I literally stepped outside myself and looked at the situation from an objective position.

The best way I know how, is to judge the UPP against the standard ALP. You see I need to make a good and sound judgment this election. My country is too important to make a decision willy nilly.

So here I go... and I want you to come along in this exercise with me, like a good sport......

ALP - Pensioners disgruntled, their pleas for relief disregarded... They received less than $300 per month. Lots of them still had to use this to pay utilities.

UPP - Pensioners negotiated successfully for benefits. They now receive upwards of $1000 per month. Even with this, their utilities are heavily subsidized.

ALP - Civil servants were taken for granted and month after month after month, they received their salaries late. Civil servants could not pay bills on time... they could not pay their mortgages on time. They incurred late fees and many of them faced the embarrassment of calls from businesses reminding them of their payments.

UPP - Civil servants received salaries on time every month. Bills paid on time, mortgages paid on time. No late charges, no returned checks, no disgusting phone calls!

ALP - Public Library damaged in 1974 and abandoned. No public library built. The dingy room upstairs Lolita's that passes for a library is grossly inadequate.... and has been grossly inadequate for over 28 years!

UPP - New Public Library is near completion. This is a top of the line facility and will support thousands of students in their academic work.

ALP - Few scholarships awarded annually. Lots of scholarships poured in from abroad, but most not used and many thrown into wastepaper baskets at the various ministries. Result- a largely unqualified and untrained population. Result- people from other places move in and scoop up jobs and high positions because they are better trained and more qualified. They turn up with papers... certifcates, diplomas, degrees.

UPP - Quantum increase in the number of scholarships offered. Young Antiguans are studying everywhere... Cuba, UWI, USA, Canada, England, Japan, Israel, Singapore, China, India... And they are studying all sorts of things... the UPP is building capacity, readying a young generation to add value to the national growth and development while preparing themselves for the challenges of CSME and globalization.

ALP - Scant regard for the health of the nation. This is reflected in the way they kept Holberton... and how they treated the nurses.

UPP - Reorganized the health sector. Improved community health care. Completed Mount St. Johns and put plans in place for a tip top health care delivery system.

ALP - Simply nasty and worthless. St. Johns under their watch attested to this. Smelly, dirty, with clouds of flies. I often wondered how the tourists felt, coming from their cities with clean streets and well trimmed gardens (Not many tourists come from New York!)!

UPP - St. Johns can rival any developing city. Garbage disposals for all to use, covered drains, cobble stones, nicely paved sidewalks. We are heading toward "Metropol"!

ALP - Plenty, plenty dirt roads, and alleys long forgotten. When it rained, you better made sure that you had enough plastic bags for shoe covers. Ask the people in Briggins and they will tell you. "Me nar lie, Me nar make up story!" My friends in neighbouring islands used to grind me about our roads too.

UPP - Well, just look around and see. The UPP embarked on a proper road rehabilitation programme. There are now lots of good roads. Concrete roads to boot. And the people in Briggins and Belmont say that "the cute one" should be paying toll to use the road.

ALP - Children go to school hungry because many parents could not afford to give them food or money. Now if you don't believe me ask any teacher. Find out how many of them used to have to give these hungry children food to eat. Even the ALP ones will tell you this!

UPP - Children get hot meals at school. Teachers get hot meals too... good, nutritious food! Everybody is happy, and everybody is ready to learn (and teach)!

ALP - Parents feared September. Book Scheme Prgramme was some help but they still had plenty expenses. School fees to pay, school supplies to buy, and school uniforms to buy. Imagine having two, three, four, five children...

UPP - Parents relieved of some of the expenses and much of the stress. The School Uniform Grant is a big help and more schools benefit from the Book Scheme Programme. (Even the private schools now benefit more!)

ALP - They are trying to find something they did for young people over the 28 years and they are finding it hard! Oh... the Manpower Work Programme. Now as I remember this, I am getting angry, because this was a programme to exploit young people's labour and benefit the politicians' business friends. These young people on these work programmes were always in a state of perpetual probation... while government subsidized not them... but their crony business supporters.

And there is the Land for Youth Programme..problem is that they sold the same plot to more than one youth; or the promised several young people the same plot. Advantage!

The NYO was a bunch of young people who supported ALP and no one can tell you what they did. Maybe we should ask the elderly minister of religion who was head of the NYO to give an account of his stewardship.

UPP - The establishment of community computer access centres, the fencing and upgrading of sport complexes are among the many things that have been initiated. Now there is a youth division with a comprehensive programme and there is a National Youth Policy.

ALP - Borrow, borrow with no intention of repaying. They left with a bad international reputation with lending agencies,

UPP - Has repaid a lot of the debts racked up by the ALP. and has committed to reducing the national debt. As a result, Antigua and Barbuda has now gained some international respectability

ALP - They go out of their way to pack up the place with foreigners. They seemed to have actually had a "Foreigners Voter Programme". As part of that programme some cute ministers were reported to have been involved in passport shenanigans. When they were kicked out of power, they found other ways to continue their cute scams, reportedly.

UPP -Shows respect for our hard working Caribbean brothers and sisters. Has ended the pawn game of the ALP by instituting the Mellinium Naturalization Act. Legal initiatives were developed so that our non-Antiguan born residents could play their full roles in the development of our country. They have received all rights benefits and privileges of citizenship with the UPP Government. No under-the- table- hanky panky.

Now, when I do the comparison, its like comparing chalk to cheese. It is clear to me that the UPP in its short 5 years has done much much more than the ALP over its 28 plus years reign. It is clear to me that the UPP and Antigua are the right fit. It is clear to me who has the country at heart - and it is not the ALP (never mind that the ALP's logo is a heart... that heart means brazeness!)

And so it is abundantly clear who deserves to take Antigua and Barbuda into the future.

It has to be UPP.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Defend Our Name: Antigua & Barbuda!

I Feel Proud To Be An Antiguan

By Sojourner

What's a name... we ask. A name is a name. But is that really so?

Today I toyed around with other names... I pretended to be Jane, Nicole, Pamella...and they did not seem right and did not feel right! I am not a Jane. I am not a Pamella. And I am certainly no Nicole.

I am Sojourner! I love my name, the sound of it..what it stands for: Truth! And when someone calls me by that name... I feel very proud!

Well, I feel the same way about Antigua and Barbuda! I feel proud to be Antiguan and Barbudan. But when I really look at it, I only recently started feeling this way about the name of our twin island state. Well let's just say I started feeling proud about 5 years ago... And if you think that there is a coincidence that this happened at the time the UPP took office.. Well you may be on to something.

But it is not a coincidence. A coincidence just means that two things happen to be occurring at the same time. Well this aint no coincidence, because, the UPP has a direct link to my feeling proud to be an Antiguan and Barbudan.

I see a government that is respectable. A government where the ministers are respectable... and respectful. And, yes, although one or two of them may have had a few moments of indiscretion... we know that those were just momentary lapses that do not characterize their over-all behaviours and track record.

The other day I heard an old lady saying how good she felt to see the UPP ministers in public with their wives. Now this old lady is in her nineties and she has seen much.... But this minister and family and wife thing is new to her. And she likes it.

I did not even realize how much this meant to people, but just today I heard a young man in his twenties saying the very same thing! How he'll vote for the UPP because they seem to believe in family values more than the ALP. Now when you hear a young man talking about family and espousing values... you have to take notice. And I really feel even prouder of the UPP ministers because they have impacted a young man who is taking notice and is learning some important lessons.

I feel proud when I go overseas and I hear the comments about how the country is now on the right track (right direction too!). Now this is something I think all Antiguans and Barbudans... native and non-nationals take for granted. People in other countries cannot understand how come we seemingly decent people called Antiguans and Barbudans could have put up with indecency and corruption for so long! Privately they say we either corrupt too or we 'fooley'.

I have been to international forums and conferences and heard people from other countries talk about the ALP ministers and government personnel who used to represent us. Apparently, our former representatives, elected, appointed and salaried, would leave Antigua, enter the country where the conference would have been held, but never show up at these meetings... They go on shopping sprees and visit concubines ... or take their mistresses... on state trips which were paid with state resources.

To tell you the truth, I used to feel so ashamed! But when the UPP was elected and took the reins of leadership, my foreign colleagues and attendees at these sessions did a right about turn so fast it made my head spin! When they talk of our country - Antigua and Barbuda - they actually speak without hesitancy - and you can look them in the eye. Yea man... I feel proud. I am proud!

I feel proud... because those international agencies are talking to Antigua again.... Looking at us respectfully again... They feel that they can now trust the government to properly use the monies they either lent or granted us. In fact Antigua is off the black list of all of these international agencies.

I feel proud to be Antiguan and Barbudan because we have cleared off a lot of our debts run up by the ALP. Now I don't know about you, but I hate to owe people. When you owe people, you don't feel right, you don't like to bounce up on them, you tired making up excuses and you always fearful that they come to reclaim their goods (Like Courts & them Syrians), or they expose you and put your name out there in the public. There is no pride in that. So when Antigua and Barbuda paid what we owed to these international agencies, I felt proud. Now, I feel like I can hold my head up and walk in the world.

I feel proud when the Prime Minister said to that rich foreign investor that Antigua and Barbuda is not for sale. And I thank God that Lester and his gang are out of the equation (and will be kept out of the equation). Remember Lester was willing to sell off Antigua in less than the 24 hours that the rich investor gave him to make up his mind. Imagine that! I felt proud when PM Spencer stood up tall and said to local investors that they must respect him and the position of Chief Servant of the people of Antigua and Barbuda. I felt like he was standing up for me. I felt proud. I still feel proud. I am proud!

I feel proud about the many social projects of the UPP... I feel the dignity that comes from a dignified government that brings programs that allow low income people to walk with their heads held high.

I am now imagining how the school children must feel: happy, relieved, normal. Can you imagine a child going to school, with dry bread or maybe with a little butter or mayonnaise daubed on it? Or maybe with some other little thing that the child's mother managed to scrape together? Can you imagine that child going to school now... and having much more to eat - like all the other kids at school? Now that child doesn't have to hide to take out their dry bread daubbed with butter or mayonnaise, or even peanut butter. Now they are eating in style..yes, because they have china plate, and silver fork. Think about it... many children must feel proud.. and very special. Thanks UPP!

And the parents must feel relieved too cause they don't have to worry about providing those meals for their children. Now many of them will be afraid to say this in public or even to think it for fear of being disloyal to the ALP! But I believe that in their heart of hearts... they feel proud too!

And when I see the Public Library... although it is not completed... with all that activity around that important project... I feel proud.

And when I see St. Johns, and the efforts being made to keep it clean and beautiful... cobble stones... beautiful side walks... covered gutters... I feel proud!

And when I see the county pond, especially when it is lit... I feel proud.

And when I visit mount St Johns I feel proud. I only hope that we keep it clean. You know how you keep your things says a lot about you... how you keep your yard, your school books.... etc. I only hope that some bad-minded people don't slice up the chairs or mark up the walls. I hope we keep it in tip top fashion. And if I sound a little anxious forgive me. But you and I know how some people can make party politics get the better of them.

The other day a lady had a difficult time taking a sick child to Mount St. Johns, because she was afraid that her husband would find out that she went up there. Imagine that..Now it is that kind of backward thinking that would make someone scratch up and deface the place on purpose. It is that kind of thinking that worries me... But, on the other hand, I think those people are in the minority. They are not going to stop the show. We will not let them. We are too proud of our nation!

Antigua ah shine. And me proud for be wan Antiguan and Barbudan... And, no! Me no born ya... but you can't tell. Me Antiguan!