LETTER: Antiguans Ain’t Buying “No Pig In Bag”

Hon. Dean Jonas

Dear Editor,

I had intended in this letter to highlight the uselessness of the United progressive Party’s political strategy or lack thereof. However, I have decided to postpone that to deal with two current issues.

Firstly, the bruhaha caused by Dean Jonas MP, at a Town Hall Meeting, attended by the three candidates vying for the St. George’s seat, Algernon Watts of the UPP, DNA candidate Kelton Dalso and Jonas himself. And secondly, to analyze the general elections on St. Kitts/Nevis, the installation of the new government and the appointment of the Cabinet. Further to compare and contrast the quality of those persons who offered themselves to the electorate, and are now forming that Cabinet, with those of the UPP, offering themselves as a viable alternative to the incumbent government of Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

During the various presentations Dean Jonas opined that Watts was neither qualified nor fit to hold high office, in that he had no tertiary education. This criticism “cut the UPP hierarchy. Their activists and supporters to the bone”. Although the truth be told, it has been said publicly multiple times that Watts never completed secondary school – allegations that he has never publicly denied. Supporters of the UPP have taken serious umbrage and have weighed in with many silly comments like the Father of the had no university education; Sir George Ryan chimed in with the inane statement that “studiation beats education”, a saying attributed to the late J.A.N Browne Esq., and borrowed by Sir George, but which as so many of his interventions, make absolutely no sense. Charles Tabor Esq., not to be outdone, averred that honesty, integrity and transparency trumped tertiary education and professional competence, or words to that effect. None of them are apparently living in the fast paced technologically advancing 21st century.

The UPP needs to understand that a large segment of the voting public, other than the party’s base, entertain serious doubts and misgivings, as to whether the UPP’s slate of candidates are of the quality that conform to a viable opposition, let alone, a government. The questions are constantly being asked, apart from the party leader (who is a lawyer with some government experience), how do these candidates match up to the present incumbents; and most of all, which of these new members can one visualize as being able to hold and execute ministerial portfolios.

I say without fear of contradiction that any serious political party, 6 months shy of a general election, would have long ago named its shadow cabinet, which would enable the candidates to face the media, espouse and defends its party’s policies and enable the voting public to assess their ability and competencies. Instead, all we have is the political leader (not the leader of the opposition) in his captain’s corner, ensuring that he keeps the opposition leader in the backroom, criticizing every and anything, looking smart and well dressed and offering no meaningful insight into the party’s policies. To date he has been unable to introduce and flesh out the party’s plans and policies for governance.

The voters will not “cut the UPP any slack”. The UPP must get its act together and “crap or get off the pot”. Finally, on this point, in addition to appointing its shadow cabinet, the party must publish substantial biographies of its prospective candidates and also papers enumerating the policies they intend to adopt if elected; and how they intend to fund these policies and programmes; particularly in light of the many promises to abolish a raft of taxes at a substantial cost to the Treasury plus millions of dollars of payments to Liat and Jolly Beach workers.

Which brings me to my next topic, which is the recent general elections in St. Kitts & Nevis. It has been said that “comparisons are odious”. However, a comparison between the quality, experience and professionalism of the new St. Kitts Cabinet (which was in opposition until the elections) and the “UPP’s dream Team to redeem”, speaks volumes. Dr. Terrance Drew, Prime Minister is a Medical Doctor, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Geoffrey Hanley is a medical doctor and holds portfolios for Education, Youth, Social Development, Gender Affairs, Aging and Disabilities; Dr. Denzil Douglas, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Economic Development, International Trade, Investments, Industry and Commerce, is a Medical Doctor and former Prime Minister; Honourable Garth Wilkin is the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs; he is a highly respected attorney, with university honours and a part of a most prestigious law firm (compare with Charles Tabor & Chaku Symister); Senator the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke PHD in Geography and Geology, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Climate Action and Constituency Empowerment; and the remaining cabinet being known persons of repute in their respective fields of endeavour.

I pose the following questions that so many voters do: which members of this dream team are Ministerial material? Can Antiguans seriously contemplate putting their future and the future of their children and grandchildren in the hands of any of the UPP candidates? Apart from the political noise generated by some of their hopefuls and the self-pronouncements that they will prevail and form the government and the political gimmickry which passes for the party’s campaign strategy, is this a winning formula for the party and is it resonating with voters other than the party’s base? I think not.

Harold Lovell and the UPP must understand that Antiguan voters, whatever our shortcomings, are not stupid. They will vote for the party that they consider to be better able to improve their lives and in doing so, they will measure the accomplishments of the party in power. They will certainly compare the ABLP’s candidates with those of the UPP.

Truth be told, the constant negativity of the UPP, its penchant for opposing any and all policies of the sitting government, even if good for the country, is “grinding the electorates’ gears”.

Finally, these are extremely difficult times. There is Covid still hanging around; monkey pox threatening, the war in Ukraine, causing high fuel prices particularly in Europe, inflation, shortage of goods and services, high prices and pressures on the local economy. The government has no control over any of these factors but has shown that it can manage the economy in difficult times. The ABLP government is a known and proven entity. The UPP, on the other hand, led this country to the precipice of economic disaster and has not to date indicated how it would do things differently. Neither has it presented its plans and policies which will enrich the lives of the population.

These are the reasons why the voters are saying to Harold, “We ain’t buying no pig in bag.”


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    Robin has a PhD
    Molwyn Joseph PhD
    Gaston (DOES NOT HAVE A DEGREE and he’s a known failer)
    Rawdon Turner (DOES NOT HAVE A DEGREE)
    Look at the track record for those degree holders, they have absolutely nothing to show for it.
    Some of the best minds in the world (including the caribbean never had a degree): George Lamming, CLR James, Ronald Reagan, YOUR GOD VC BIrd etc etc……
    With all the degrees you guys have and running this country into the ground, with your incompetence and inability to pay public workers, poor people pension, and government suppliers, I would stick to the dunces that had Antigua poised to be rich prior to the 2014 general elections, according to FORBES MAGAZINE: EAT YOUR HEART OUT.

    • Was Nigel Christian clean. How can a customs officer have over EC 1.0 million in his account.

      By the way Nomad the deputy PM in St Kitts is not a medical doctor.

    • Gaston NOMAD Browne you are at it again. You are really desperate and now resorting to these ridiculous articles to make you and the ABLP relevant. Antiguans will not fall for all your tricks like the 500 homes in 500 days anymore. You are history my boy like Timothy Harris and Keith Mitchell.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “…There are too many idiots in this world. And having said it, I have the burden of proving it.” ― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks!

      Kindly permit me to completely disagree with you comments on persons pursuing Tertiary or Higher Education! This anti-education at the College, Technical Vocational or University levels must be eradicated and not allowed to infect and metastasize the creative thinking of young people of African Descent resident on the Rock! Hence this comment will not focus on the Brouhaha but on the facts of our position in the World!

      It is times like these when the Opposition Parties and particular their Leaders who are all well credentialed, should abandon their partisan or tribalism and as Fanon wrote in The Wretched Of The Earth, “To educate the masses politically does not mean, cannot mean, making a political speech. What it means is to try, relentlessly and passionately, to teach the masses that everything depends on them; that if we stagnate it is their responsibility, and that if we go forward it is due to them too, that there is no such thing as a demiurge, that there is no famous man who will take the responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge is the people themselves and the magic hands are finally only the hands of the people.” Me Gud Fren, this is the International Decade For People Of African Descent 2015 – 2024, The 21st Century, The Age of Technology and Globalization! How do you stay competitive and in the Game if you do not bring the best creative and trained minds to the Competition!

      This mere voice in the wilderness could continue to lament the poor state of the Bourgeoisie and Professional Classes but will once again remind you of the Statement from the UWI Five Islands Campus Principal that A&B lack people with credentials which can only be achieved at the Tertiary Level! Me Gud Fren, That is not only in the English Speaking Caribbean that Credentials are important, its all around the World!

      Here is some information, which if dissonance has not clouded your thinking should point you towards the Value of Higher Education in today’s Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, Technological, Legal and Ecological Time and Space!

      “The core missions of higher education systems (to educate, to train, to undertake research and, in particular, to contribute to the sustainable development and improvement of society as a whole) should be preserved, reinforced and further expanded, namely to educate highly qualified graduates and responsible citizens and to provide opportunities (espaces ouverts) for higher learning and for learning throughout life. Moreover, higher education has acquired an unprecedented role in present-day society, as a vital component of cultural, social, economic and political development and as a pillar of endogenous capacity-building, the consolidation of human rights, sustainable development, democracy and peace, in a context of justice. It is the duty of higher education to ensure that the values and ideals of a culture of peace prevail” –
      UNESCO: Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century Vision and Action!

      “Progressive societies invest in higher education institutions to help them meet their current and anticipated workforce needs, to find innovative solutions to their most pressing development problems, to think deeply and push the frontiers of knowledge and to help craft a better future.”// “A first step to unpacking the discourse around the future of the university is understanding and reflecting on the context in which Caribbean universities operate. The Caribbean education system itself is a product of the region’s history which has been shaped by exploitation, slavery and colonialism for centuries. Thus, the residual structural inequity in Caribbean society also manifests itself in the education system. With the lowest higher education enrolment in the hemisphere, the Caribbean’s tertiary enrolment rate is less than 25% compared with the North American average of near 60% and the Latin America average of 52% (The World Bank 2020). Disparities within the Caribbean sub-region are also quite concerning. Enrolment rates in Eastern Caribbean countries lag behind the rest of the Caribbean with only 15% of secondary school graduates going on to pursue tertiary education and less than 10% of adults having successfully undertaken programmes at the tertiary level (OECS Secretariat 2012). Gender disparities and a lack of opportunity for the most vulnerable add further complexities (OECS Secretariat 2012). This, in turn, hinders the potential of many workers who do not have the necessary skills, competencies and knowledge to function effectively and contribute to building the competitiveness of the sub-region.” Hillary Beckles, Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Accelerating the Future into the Present: Re-imagining Higher Education in the Caribbean!

      JFII Rests! Oh Gad! Hab Merci Pan Arwe!

  2. With all the rubbish that the educated people at the WHO, CDC, FDA,WEF did with COVID and tried to do with monkeypox, do you really think our greatest problem right now is lack of education? What we need is common sense, backbone, honesty, integrity, fear of God and more backbone. There are plenty of smart people that work in all these ministries to advise the ministers. All they have to do is listen to them.

  3. These lengthy BS letter just trying to mask reality. I revert back to the old adage that empty vessels make the most noise. That is all these people are doing… making noise because they don’t have any accomplishments to run on.

    • @jus sayin
      empty vessels for real. There is nothing wrong if hardworking or intelligent people don’t have degrees but apparently it causes some to have an inferiority complex
      I know people who have online degrees whose husbands or wives were the ones completin the assignments

  4. Gaston is the Man. I understand #UPPNEARGA are up in arms because of the rain. They no want the water issue to be solved either ways.

    • Gaston NOMAD Browne you are at it again. You are really desperate and now resorting to these ridiculous articles to make you and the ABLP relevant. Antiguans will not fall for all your tricks like the 500 homes in 500 days anymore. You are history my boy like Timothy Harris and Keith Mitchell.


  6. Mr . Nomad first you are a Kunt and a half a wet one we are talking about investment we have a leader over the years abuse’s many businesses people. Look at what is happening in our neighboring island investment in Hotels and other business what have got. Please look at what we are getting from our leaders as to why we cannot get credible investment. You abuse the IMF remember the comment he said that the reply was that I will come back to the IMF begin on our knees . We can’t even trade bonds on stock market do you think that as a result of what he said . Do think that the comment against Stuart had any effect on our hotel industry as to why we cannot get credible business

  7. Degrees don’t make systems work because the persons who are to provide the ancillary support are the natural dunce elements who either can’t find a file or who always forgetting to do what they are paid for (most are political appointees)
    To add, a lot of medical doctors who earned degrees in Cuba aren’t pedigree

  8. Boy, dem people really feel threatened by Serpent and the rest of the UPP. Look how much time they give to smaddy that they say not capable.

    Something wrong yah. ALP nearga dem a sweat bullets if you ask me. Call de election Mr. Vulgar PM. As de people say GET RID A DEM. Enough ah Gaston an dem.

  9. These UPP operatives can only resort to name calling and very dirty one too. When is the Editor going to do his/her job and not allow this on his/her website. It is bringing down the standard. Or whatever is left of it. You cannot have a decent discussion with these people. They have to go low in the gutter. But don’t worry. When the time comes you will get the -beating you’ve asked for. 17-0

    • Again, @ From The Sideline you are starting to sound worried and desperate.

      You well and know that the game is up for the ABLP. The Antiguan electorate have woken up to all the government’s self-enrichment schemes that has been to the detriment to many not living better lives and struggling after EIGHT long years.

      When you can only resort to UPP name calling and not to the fact that our economy continues to tank, tells me more about your lack of empathy for the plight of fellow Antiguans.


      • Gutter…..can you look in the mirror and honestly say that when the BIGGEST GUTTER SWEEPER IS GASTON, THE NASTIEST MAN IN POLITICS?

      • TENMAN what hole you just crawl out of. I thought Gaston the Top Dawg or better yet Top Pig is the one who is always in the gutter.

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