Former PM Spencer says ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ to PM Browne’s offer of knighthood

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Crusader Radio has reported that former Prime Minister Dr. W. Baldwin Spencer will not be accepting the Government’s offer of a knighthood in this year’s Independence Honours.

This week’s Notes say that Prime Minister Gaston Browne introduced the matter during the August 26 meeting of the Cabinet. And at today’s press briefing, Information Minister Melford Nicholas said discussions are currently being held with Spencer.

Meanwhile, Dr. Spencer tells REAL News that Attorney-General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin broached the matter with him and he had requested some time to think about the offer.

He has since decided that – although the honour might very well have been earned – for personal reasons, he simply cannot accept it.

At the time he spoke with our Newsroom, Dr. Spencer said he was in the middle of putting his decision in writing for delivery to PM Browne.

Spencer, a trade unionist by profession, was the first political leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP). He was Parliamentary representative of the St. John’s Rural West constituency, having been elected five consecutive times, from 1989 until 2014.

Dr. Spencer became the country’s third prime minister after the UPP was swept into office in 2004, and served in that capacity for two consecutive terms.

He retired from elective politics in 2018 but is still an active member of the Party he helped to establish.

Had he accepted the knighthood, Dr. Spencer would have joined a slate of former and active politicians to hold the prestigious title. These include former Prime Ministers Sir Vere C. Bird Snr., Sir George H. Walter, Sir Lester Bird, and Sir Robin Yearwood.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Browne is said to be giving consideration to knighting Health Minister Molwyn Joseph. This has already been highly criticized by members of the public, who see Joseph as undeserving, especially in light of what they consider his incompetent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, pundits tell REAL News that Browne’s offer to Dr. Spencer is nothing more than an attempt to reduce the pushback against a knighthood for Joseph.

“Tell Gaston nah mix up Baldwin in Molwyn subbem,” is the advice one citizen is extending to the Prime Minister.

A resident of City South, meanwhile, says she is deeply offended by the offer by PM Browne.

She says Browne deprived Dr. Spencer of having his name attached to the Five Islands Secondary School, first, then from the Knuckleblock Basketball Court and Community Centre, and therefore, he ought to accept nothing from the ALP Administration “in compensation.”

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50 COMMENTS

  1. Now there is a man with morals and conviction. Dr. Spencer, you are an exemplar, a true role model. Well done Sir!

    • @Melchesidec – when the “time” arrives, will he refuse a State Funeral too, if ABLP is the Ruling Arm of the Government?

  2. “Arise Sir Baldwin”

    I’m at a lost. Is PM Spencer saying he disagrees with the honor system, he’s not deserving, or he and Browne nah ‘gree? I sincerely hope it’s not the latter. PM Spencer is most deserving based on his work with the trade union and along with Tim Hector for preserving democracy on this island.

  3. Do not accept anything from evil doers.Do not let them used you as a pawn in their filthy Politics.Good move Mr.Baldwin Spencer.A real decent person from deep in The MUD.

    • @ KNIGHT in Shining Armour
      Knight…. Why you against everything that is happening to Antigua in Positive way ? Hon. Gaston Browne and His Cabinet are honouring Dr. Baldwin Spencer…This is a PRESTIGIOUS honour which should be accepted. I am at a loss why Knight will bring POLITICS into this issue.

  4. I disagree with this move. If your nation wants to honour you, why would you reject it. It is a most dishonorable thing to do. I think that few persons would question the merit of giving Hon Baldwin Spencer a knighthood. Really wish the day would come when we can look beyond party politics. Please Mr. Spencer…a grateful nation wants to salute and honour you……accept it!

    • @Audley. Dont worry my friend, a grateful nation will offer it to him in time, minus the ‘smartness’ and the hatchet hidden behind the back.

    • If he were a real states man he would have accepted it and looked beyond party politics and pettiness. But it was expected since he didn’t even accepted to have his name associated with the Chinese donation of the community center on what is called Knockle Block. A project that he spearheaded when he was in office. Spencer is a vindictive man if you once cross him he will hold a grudge against you until his death. You saw the vengeance he went after Labour Party politicians. Spending millions of our tax payers’ dollars to lock up persons. And the victimization was rampant under his tenure. When he cross path with Sir Gerald he made sure he went to Parliament to settle a personal score with him. That is like using state power for personal gain. And he even said to hell with the court when they ruled to have Sir Gerald reinstated at ABEC. For these and many other reason I do not think this man deserves a knighthood. Not while an investigation by the USA showed his involvement in money laundering by accepting monies from a Chinese business man and woman. We all know the John Ash saga. And not to mention the economic miss-management of the country during that time. Bitterness is a UPP trademark. Those like the teachers’ strike that was put out by Papa Bird. People like Lovell and Juno Samuel and others have hold that bitterness against the Labour Party for decades and will go to their grave with it. They don’t realize that forgiveness cures the heart. And frees ones soul. Tenman has been telling them that for years.

      • @Sideline. I can see the misinformation given to you when you came to Antigua have seriously affected your thoughts. It is unfortunate that you never tried to find out the real truth behind those things you assert. Anyway enough of that.
        I would like to hear from you why you believe that Molwyn Joseph should be knighted. Don’t forget to tell us about that report that says, he should never hold public office again, and why.

        • Since you ask me about knighting Mr. Joseph, i can tel you I’m not for that either. But please enlighten me which misinformation was given to me. Cause just saying that without bringing the proof is to me just talk once again. I have no problem apologizing when I am wrong. But you have to support it like I did. I name several instances which shows Baldwin is not a states man. And I have shown how vindictive he is and was. And I have called out the names of those that hold a grudge against the labour party all the way back to the teachers’ strike and Juno Samuel admitted that on the radio. I have showed you where Baldwin said to hell with the court and went to parliament to change the law that would have made Sir Gerald to old to serve on ABEC. So me the misinformation please.

  5. Advised by fools and encouraged by illiterates. Failure and irrelevance will be your legacy if you continue to listen to jokers. You are now stuck.

    • If this is really Max Hurst, your ALP party is proposing to honour Spencer with a knighthood for his service to the country and the best you can do is to call him a “failure and irrelevant”. You should be ashamed.

        • @ZACKIE
          ZACKIE..You are an EDUCATED ..DUNCE. Very ONESIDED Person. ZACKIE cannot see the FOREST from the TREES. Zackie criticize everything ABLP.

    • Max Hurst, gwarn go nyam yuh shoes. Memba you said if Lovell bang you, yoy go nyam yuh shoes. Look who is calling someone a failure.

    • Lionel Hurst if the above comment can be attributed to you, it would be rather unfortunate for a person of your intelligence. Partisan politics really blinds us and dulls our objectivity. We end up in a situation where the best of us lacks conviction and the worst full of passionate intensity. Even if you disagreed with Baldwin Spencer’s decision, your reaction is demeaning and infradig.

      • @ CHARLES TABOR
        Why would you Tabor be telling Person how to address an issue ? Mr. Hurst is an Inteligent Person and He is quite aware of the words to use . Tabor ..You cannot tell Mr. Hurst anything. You are out of Place Tabor.

      • I would swear you were looking in the mirror when you wrote that. And pretend you were talking to Max.

    • Max Hurst you have the nerve to talk?You are a gutless,spineless,man of straw.You were never a smart and or bright person.I knew you since our school days.You are nothing more than an opportunist.You were born to a Labor Party Minister of the VC Bird regime.Hence your political appointments by the Labor Party.You have never gotten any employments of your own accord.Look at your work History from school to now.ALL LABOR PARTY POLITICAL WORK.YOU HAVE NEVER SWEAT TO EAT BREAD LIKE MOST NATIONALS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA.Always a shoe in some where for Labor.And you have the nerve to talk about others.

    • Chupz….a deck of cards with boZos….I don’t care who accept or refuse, but if that man from south get knighted, knighthood would have officially gone to the DOGS. No No No!

    • Stuck how?

      Only principled few will understand. The vast majority once they are getting something seemingly good, they turn a blind eye as to who is giving it, why and under what circumstances.

      Why was Mr. Spencer even considered if failure and irrelevance are being used in same sentence?

      Like PICK a narrative and stick with it. Is he FOS OR is he deserving of a high honour?

  6. I stand to be corrected.. The naming of the new Knuckle Block community centre located in Gray’s Farm was turn down by Mr. Spencer. That was a dark day for the Gray’s Green Community. He was well deserving of that…. He was very much respected and his name was a name in every household within the community….. He was also very much involved community projects in the sectors of culture, sports, education & politics within the community.. Hence the naming of the Community Centre would have been most appropriate & fitting to have it named after him…..

    • @Bloody Bloke. Which was a darker day? That or the huffing of the children’s school? When this govt start to show political maturity, such things can be looked at as positive but you better believe that there is some ulterior motive behind them wanting to bestow such on PM Spencer.

  7. He doesn’t deserve it so I am happy he declined. We also need to stop referring to him as “Doctor” when it’s only an honourable title. He had never graced the halls of an institution of higher education so do not trump up his accolades. Also, while Molwyn sat at many a failed press conference, the low infection rates and fatalities do not point to a poor handling of the crisis. Look at The Bahamas and other parts of the world that are paying for missteps that our government mitigated. Let’s be grateful and stop acting almost upset things aren’t worse.

  8. The article said that he is still an ACTIVE MEMBER of the upp. How can he sit by and allow Gisele to plunder into the pithole the party that he helped to form??

  9. @ LIONEL HURST
    Totally in agreement with Mr. Hurst……Dr. Baldwin Spencer is listening to Persons such as Knight and others. This is a BIG mistake. Turning down an HONOUR of this magnitube. Not very nice Dr. Spencer.

  10. I totally agree with Mr Spencer. As a matter of fact, that award, and national hero, should not be offered to anyone for another 10 years. When it returns, the selection criteria should be changed to broaden the pool and make it almost non dependent on the ruling politicians. If we cannot do this, we may as well change its name to the ‘Rolls Royce’ award, or something like that.

  11. Hon. Spencer, for once you have something honest by declining the allegedly offered knighthood. I know that even you felt uncomfortable with your useless titles that earned him the right Hon. Dr. Dr. Baldwin Spencer. Pure B. S. But then he knows only too well the worthlessness of such titles. Wasn’t he the one who declared the likes of de jezzebel and the croaking Hazelyn worthy to receive similar titles???? Even he must realize the uselessness of the national award! The man is no fool!!!

  12. He’s right. He did his job and did the will of the people unlike the “creative enrichment” administration currently in office.

  13. No sah!😭

    Imagine you offer somebody something. They say no thanks and before they even expound you done BUSE them off publicly for not taking it. 🤦🏽‍♀️
    WHO do you think you are??? How dare you?

    Either a) is it just performative and you all do not truly think him deserving of the RESPECT such an honour would deserve.

    Or b) egos are at work again?
    Your little bitty feelings are hurt, so you are lashing out at the man you JUST wanted to award?

  14. Why is there this great need to be honoured by a symbolism of the racist,unjust slave system? Why isn’t the monarchy being called out for enriching itself on the blacks of the black man? Let us understand the symbolism of kneeling when being knighted. We need to let go of all things tied to our colonial oppression.

    • These house slaves clinging to the symbolic remnants of the British empire and the monarchy,even as the black man is still fighting today on the planet against racism and white supremacy.we suppose to be rather
      uniting to shed the last vestige of slavery and colonialism.

  15. He doesn’t wanna accept the knighthood under ABLP. God spare life he is hoping they will loose next elections and his preferred party of choice will be in power so he can accept being knighted then…There is nothing more to it jus old Antiguan blue and red bullcrap…Sickening

    • Offering PM Spencer this award is just to soften the fact that they want to award someone else, who would be considered controversial; like been ruled “Should never hold public office again”. Why do you people always let ABLP pull wool over your eyes? One would have thought that repeated actions would lead to lessons learnt!

  16. Politricks, at it’s best!

    Will he refuse a State Funeral, in advance too, if the UPP is not the Ruling Arm, of the Government?

    Gaston Browne – PM is making political moves like a Chess Master, and these opposition parties appears dumbfounded with little to no answer, to his moves…

    A…hints of an Early Election(Election Campaigning stimulates the Economy)! And, in the meantime, the opposition’s are spending monies, left-right-center. Yet, still they’re in a quandry.

    B…PM Browne at times, behaves more like a Coach for a Professional Sports team, that knows how to win, and plays to win.
    C…sticks to his game plan, yet, ever so often he’ll sneak in a Trick Play sending the opposition back to the drawing board.

  17. It really amazes me.That title “Sir” was give by England to Pirates and Scoundrels.Many of you on this Medium are Anti-Colonialists.So how it is you want Spencer to accept that Colonial thing.Antigua has more “SIRS AND DAMES” than any other island I know of in the Caribbean.More than sands on a beach.

  18. @BSC Young Boys of Bern…and, the ‘hypocrisy’ goes even further, since, one version of the Medal which they receive has an Emblem with a distinctive RACIAL meaning! The no-color angel George, riding a horse while trampling, an angel of Color.
    Check out the story in the Jamacia Gleanor, and the petition which it took, to have their Governor General STOP wearing, the Medal of St. George!

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