Barbados TODAY Editorial – Defend us Dear Prime Minister

32

It is said that timing is everything, and that position is the art of gunnery. That may be so. However, we continue to be boggled by the failure of our Government so far, to at least publicly, defend the citizens it serves, who have been the target of long-running attacks from the leadership of the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

We have come to accept that Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne is a bit of an eccentric, to put it politely; a leader who is accustomed to having his way. And while that may be so, his outbursts in recent times are becoming more untenable and increasingly difficult to ignore.

Often when confronted by someone with a counter argument, who is prone to shout over you or cover his ears with his hands when you seek to present a counter position, the likely response is to be silent because your intervention is sure to be an exercise in futility.

We suspect that Prime Minister Mottley may have chosen to take the path of silence in the hope that Browne, like our childhood starlight fireworks, will have his moment of excitement and shortly thereafter, fizzle.

But it appears Mr. Browne has no intentions of going away quietly. We are forced to surmise that there is some repressed anger for Barbados and what Barbados represents. His boorish language and antics when addressing some issues related to Barbados, are a cause for serious concern.

No longer can our Prime Minister, and we dare say the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), continue to cover their eyes and ears to the maverick and condemnable behaviour of their fellow CARICOM leader. We believe his behaviour constitutes further danger to the advancement of the regional integration movement, that Prime Minister Mottley has been so keen to pursue.

From the moment Barbados expressed a desire, during the former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration, to have LIAT’s headquarters, or at least, a significant portion of its operations returned to Bridgetown, the Antiguan leader has been on the war path.

Early last year, the blistering letter he penned to CARICOM colleagues over their planned liquidation of the beleaguered regional air carrier, left no doubt that the Prime Minister was angry. Some may argue that with many Antiguan jobs at stake, his criticism had some merit.

Browne wrote: “It is also troubling to my Government that shareholder governments in LIAT 1974 Ltd would decide by majority vote to liquidate the airline without putting in place any arrangements for meeting obligations to creditors and employees.”

Shareholder governments, of which Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines together constituted majority shareholding, said the airline had losses of $12 million in 2019 and they were not prepared to continue financial support of the entity under the current arrangements.

The Antigua Government knew the magnitude of the problems facing LIAT when it decided to go solo and carry LIAT on its back.  The airline has substantial debt obligations to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and reportedly needed more than US$60 million to keep flying.

Browne has argued that the decision to liquidate LIAT was tantamount to sabotage and has trained his anger mainly on Barbados even though other shareholder governments supported the decision. And in a case of follow the leader, his Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance, Lennox Weston parroted Browne during an address to Parliament earlier this year, in what could only be described as highly offensive comments about Barbadians and Prime Minister Mottley.

We know Miss Mottley is very capable of defending herself, but her silence is concerning. The good name of Barbados and its people are being besmirched, so the country including the pilots of LIAT, require her support in publicly addressing and combating the accusations and insinuations coming from St John’s. To be described as “rotten elements” and accused of being the cause of LIAT’S problems, is ridiculous and represents a bridge too far.

It is also noteworthy, the deafening silence of noted activist, regionalist, and attorney-at-law David Comissiong, on the treatment of Barbadian pilots and the divisive comments coming out of St John’s. Why are there no words of support for the LIAT pilots who are facing such deplorable assaults and forced to accept donations of food because they have not been paid their due?

Were the roles reversed and a Barbadian public official had conducted himself in this manner, we are certain that tropes such as xenophobia, and insularity would have been plastered on the headlines.

We commend the decision announced this week by Attorney General Dale Marshall, that the administration will make ex-gratia payments to the former Bajan LIAT staff and all the carriers’ employees resident here, whether Barbadian or otherwise.

Barbadians have a reputation for being the last to join a dispute and the least likely to respond with aggression, even when we have been targeted by others. But enough is enough. It is time for Prime Minister Mottley and her administration to defend the honour of our country.

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages. Your content is delivered instantly to thousands of users in Antigua and abroad!
Contact us at [email protected]

32 COMMENTS

  1. Hon. Prime Minister Gaston Browne is a man of INTEGRITY, TRUSTWORTHINESS, INTELLIGENCE and not an EASY PUSHOVER. Hon.Gaston Browne stand your ground.Show strength as always. No One can push you around. Proud of you. Hon.Gaston Browne…You are doing a FANTASTIC JOB.

  2. Wadadli PM is the most forthright, visionary and forward thinking Leader in the Caribbean at this time. Bajans are used to bully others in this region. But this leader speaks his mind openly and you all vex bad with your Diatribes. You guys were silent when they wanted to close LIAT. Frankly, a bunch of good Fu nothing..

  3. Oh please this guy is a Bully and a little more he could easily be a Dictator . His diplomatic skills is that of a TWO BIT DICTATOR !

    • Do you understand the words Dictator? Wow… You are much freeier to criticize now than under the UPP governance. using Diatribes will not elevate your the discourse. Hatred and envy due to foolish Political gamesmanship will not make Wadadli better.

    • Obviously you dont know meaning of what a bully or a dictator is… your just a brainwashed blue koolaid drinking (FOOL)

  4. @ C.HUNTE ( BAJAN )

    Thanks for supporting our Prime Minister. Hon.Gaston Browne is all for empowering Persons. He does NOT like People taking advantage of a situation. I listened to Hon.Gaston Browne on Pointe FM yesterday and after I heard what these BAJANS Pilots have done to LIAT , Hon. Gaston Browne is correct with His description (ROTTEN EGGS). I know our Prime Minister is NOT an easy PUSHOVER.

  5. @******
    Why don’t you put your real name instead of *****.? It shows that you’re COWARD and a LOW LIFE hiding behind nothing. You’re typical a UPP Supporter with no vision like your LEADER HAROLD LOVELL. Hon. Gaston Browne is a man of VISION.

    • @Eric
      Gaston says he will stop bashing the opposition but he seems to have difficulties doing so. Maybe you can do better by finding something other than the opposition to write about. You sound like a cocoo clock. Cocoo, Cocoo.

  6. We in Antigua must stand with Hon.Gaston Browne and DO NOT let these BAJANS PILOTS try to BULLY our Prime Ministet.

    • Is something wrong with you? Over 95% of the Antiguan people are standing with Comrade Gaston on this one He is a Natural Leader, a man of integrity and vision.

  7. Browne wrote: “It is also troubling to my Government that shareholder governments in LIAT 1974 Ltd would decide by majority vote to liquidate the airline without putting in place any arrangements for meeting obligations to creditors and employees.”

    BAJANS, THE KEYWORDS ARE ‘LIQUIDATE THE AIRLINE WITHOUT PUTTING IN PLACE ANY ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEETING OBLIGATIONS TO CREDITORS AND EMPLOYEES’.

    I want to STRESS ‘EMPLOYEES’.

    Give us Antiguans (the majority of us) a break.

    Our Prime Minister (Gaston Browne) is not intimidated by the likes of Mia and Ralph.

    Our Prime Minister (Gaston Browne) is WAY DIFFERENT to our last Prime Minister.

    Our Prime Minister have put forth the ‘ways’ forward.

    It is for the ‘EMPLOYEES’ to decide what they want.

    If the majority of employees want some ‘Bajan Pilots’ to make it bad for all, then GO AHEAD.

    We Antiguans (the majority of us) are NOT afraid of the Courts.

    WE FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS ANY PLACE AND IN ANY FORUM.

    Bring it on!!!

    • Well said Beef
      From the time Mia and Ralph realize that Gsaton Browne was not going to allow LIAT to relocate to Barbados, they decided to withdraw their support of LIAT. This eventually lead to its liquidation and Antigua had to go it alone to re monetize the airline. Then they had the nerves to initially block the new LIAT from landing in their countries, trying to thwart the airline’s ability to survive.
      After they have benefitted for decades, especially Barbodos, from LIAT, they still expect Antigua solely bear the strain to pay off all the workers. In what court is that morally or legally right?
      We support CWI, and gave it the concessions that the Bajan gov refused. This enabled it to stay viable. We pay to the CCJ even though it is not our final appellant court. A sizable tranche of our budget goes to UWI to enhance tertiary education in the OECS. But it seems the rest, except for DA, think that Antigua is benefiting too much from LIAT.
      Tourism will return, now is the time for LIAT to form an association with airlines such as COPA and make Antigua COPA’s East Caribbean hub. Get a learner LIAT and get it moving again.

  8. @ AUDLEY JOSEPH ( BEEF)

    My Brother Beef ….You. are correct. Move to the HEAD of the class. Beef is the BEST mind in Antigua when it comes to LABOUR MATTERS. I hope ANDERSON Carty is taking notes of a sound PROFESSIONAL BEEF

    Anderson Carty goes on Observer Radio every Thursday night and Promote His Candidacy instead of taking sense .Anderson Carty would not get back His deposit.

  9. Senator Collin Browne , first of all let me commend you on an excellent interview on POINTE FM yesterday ( Saturday 27th.March 2021 ) with the Prime Miniser and the EXECUTIVES from West Indies Oil. Senator Collin Browne you are a true Professional .Hope to meet you when I visit Antigua after COVID-19.Hope you get a chace to see / read this message.

    • Is this the same man that once call Gaston lany bozo? Is this the same man that once threatened to mash up the ceremony is Lester Bird was given a knighthood? Just asking, school children want to know.

    • Senator Browne is professional and you want to meet him ? Lol All them Fatherless kids that he have all over the place and then some want to meet him too . Wife abuser and 30 kids and never a dime in child support for most of them ? Alot of them could probably inbreed with each other because they don’t know the connection .

  10. @ CORDEL FELIX

    Totally in agreement with you.Senator COLLIN is a true Professional. I wish KNIGHT and others from Observer will take note.

  11. Alot of butt kissing and brown nosing will be done under the guise of defending antigua but in realty are just cult members singing for their supper sucking up to the maximum leader.
    Let the singing and butt kissing begin.

    • So ruler you all for the BDS walking over us? Then again you supported the UPP, whose leadership always tended to carry water for BDS. Its under them BDS got the most shares and started putting in place its plans to move LIAT from A&B. Its the same pilots who have pointed this fact out, yet watch some of them run back to the very fire they used to cry about. Guy its just a pity that people like you can’t put A&B first but always allow your grudges to blind you.

  12. Thsi article holdd no water. They seem to make it sound as if the PM is after Barbadian people en masse.. it snit true.. He identified the rotten eggs… This is the same PM who just a few days ago stood up publicly for the Vice Chancellor Beckles a real bajan and Caribbean man.. He pointed out the injustice in that circumstance… So its not all Bajans.. Rotten eggs in Antigua and Barbuda too…and they to get pointed out..

  13. After reading all these postings it would appear that Gaston Browne can walk on water. I wish We ( UPP ) have these DIE HARD ABLP supporters. If I was outside Antigua I would believe Gaston Browne is the second coming.

    UPP ..our supporters need to wake up and start to sell our programme. We are far too DORMANT. I have been all over SOCIA MEDIA. So I am doing my part

    • Supporters or ALP haters? Guy there is nothing in the UPP message which calls for real comradery. This is why you guys are so savage to each other. Hate can’t built a thing, let ALP tell you about the love

  14. @HATERS
    Our Members in the UPP are devoted to the CAUSE. I still hold my ground that Mr. Harold Lovell should handover the Leadership to one of the Young MEMBERS. Apart from that… We still believe that We can gain a couple more seats in 2023.

  15. browne is just a windbag Antiguans better start learning Chinese and fast because by the end of the year China is going to own Antigua lock stock and barrel even liat too they already own browne and his Lackeys remember $$$ does make the mare fly stop worrying about Barbados and Mia and take care of the people of Antigua and Barbuda when anything happen in Antigua Barbados is be the first one to help out in a couple of months hurricane season begins stop putting islands against each other I wouldn’t give a plug nickel for a politician.

  16. So Barbadians now feel the need to open their lazy partisan mouths to stoke the fire, or rather to enable their former LIAT pilots who, only now, seem to have come to the full realization of their largely self-inflicted, mortal wounds.
    Where was your unholy indignation when LIAT was tossed on the chopping block by your very own esteemed leader for total and permanent dismemberment? How did your level-headed, circumspect leader come to your aid then. Along with another so-called CARICOM leader, the Barbadian head of government gleefully announced the death of LIAT – no official funeral, no respectful period of mourning. So why now try to raise the truly dead by invoking the name of CARICOM in your laughable attempt to settle a personal score with a TRUE LEADER who dares to call things as they are.
    When your pilots, during their regular temper tantrum fits chose to simply and arbitrarily down LIAT’S fleet of aircraft, usually because their already bulging salaries were not being topped up in such a time and manner as the dictated. Did any one ever give a damn about the millions of dollars lost daily during such tantrums, not to mention the inconsiderate inconvenience visited upon our CARICOM traveling public?
    No Sir/Madam, your esteemed leader is silent for good reason. When one goes to court, or even tries to court public sympathy for self-serving causes, one must do so with clean hands. This is not 1962 when big-islands’ farts caused smaller islands to hold their noses and die from suffocation. Antigua and Barbuda did NOT do it then and we WILL NOT do it now!!!

    • You don’t think it’s time to stop blaming other people for your own problems how could a company like Liat sustain a workforce of over 600 in Antigua it was only a matter of time before what occur, using liat like a welfare system was just one of the main problems so just keep blaming others for your problems and see how soon they will be fixed.

Comments are closed.