LETTER: Time For Hard Politics, UPP


Dear Editor

After watching the UPP Virtual Forum last night, I feel compelled to write this letter.

Yes, there was substance from the candidates, but to what end? All were as animated as a flea. They stood there and they all read their scripts.  In the short time he had, one tried to read an education policy for the nation. One was way short on the ability to think and speak in English. One had a problem speaking English, and one delivered his plans in a dead manner. The best part was the wrap up by the moderators after each speaker. The climax with the political leader was standard and did not add any bright light to the whole presentation.

 In short, one could in fact use the word, boring. Makes one wonder if UPP forgot that it is a political party.

The question is asked, why is the UPP stubbornly going back down this road? Will forums, etc, make much difference to the outcome of the elections? Hell, no. Not in Antigua.

It is like the story of Solomon and the lilies. Not even his adornment could look better than the lilies that just stay there, looking splendid without bursting a sweat. This is the ALP, the lilies. They do not have any constituency branches (though they pretend they do). UPP has a branch in each constituency. They do not do any conventions and forums, etc. Check UPP.  And they say they do polls. So they say. UPP full of them.

Yet they still win, big time.

The question is then asked, doesn’t the UPP understand Antigua politics?

They create all these policies and polls and forums and, God knows, what else, and the idea of doing the POLITICS is second or third most in their minds. Do they think by sounding bright and smart and knowing all the latest international details give them the edge over an alley cat, street smart party like ALP? Is the UPP spending so much time on all these things that they are forgetting to do the politics, or is it that they don’t really know how to do the politics, and there is where they need the help to get ready for the elections?

 Is the Labour party winning because they do the politics better and don’t worry about the niceties like policies because the public is not interested in them? Is the UPP pursuing all these written-down and verbalized policies either because they are pumped full of pride and cockiness in their brilliance and ability to do them, or they can’t do the politics that the common man understands? Or is it that they just don’t understand how to compete in the hedonistic, political environment created by the ALP?

The UPP is wasting their time courting a diaspora consisting of persons who will not come back to vote in any relevant numbers, nor will they fund the UPP campaign in any significant manner. These persons in the diaspora are just happy being relevant and soaking up the importance that the UPP has accorded them.  In the last three losing elections (count in 2009), the UPP spent a lot of money on experts and pundits and consultants who delivered them a string of defeats, each worse than the last.

So the question is, to what end is all this display of forums, etc? Where is it resonating? The UPP has its own radio station and access to Observer and ZDK. This is power. But how is it used? The UPP base deludes itself everyday on their radio station, that is hardly listened to, with grand pronouncements about the Labour Party and their dirty, cheating ways. Everyday they dive into the ALP. For the most part, the ALP ignores them. And not only does the ALP ignore them, but they go on the offensive when attacked. What is the purpose of having all the radio pundits who call the station about 5 times per hour and just talk and talk because they can? Where are the political programmes on the UPP’s radio station dedicated to mounting a political opposition to the ALP? With 3 radio stations available to them, how come the political response is so weak?

Gaston Browne burnt out the UPP early this year and made the party peak too soon and spend a lot of money in the belief that he was going to call an early election. Now the fight is on to find donors and contributors at a time when money is tight. The party is not encouraging donors to give them money. Their output is too docile.

Will the UPP make the same mistakes again by spending scare resources on high-priced consultants, hire as advisors persons who either have divided loyalties or do not understand the ways of poor people politics? Or will the party forget all this time-wasting, money-wasting, not-relevant-to-our-situation-here-in-Antigua foolishness, and instead focus on talking to the people and saying the things that would lead to any chance they have for victory at the polls?

One would think that with Gaston Browne failing as badly, UPP would seize the opportunity to go on the offensive, but it looks like the ALP is doing what it does best, attacking whether they are in or out of government.

The UPP has eleven new candidates on the slate. That is a severe turnover from the last election. More time should be spent with them on the campaign trail, learning the ropes and ramping up the politics; not sitting down in policy meetings, forums and on radio shows. It seems some of them believe by speaking on the radio,  that should make them good at politics.

It is time for the leader to rein his team in and start demanding more hard work out of them, starting with himself. For instance, he can start by doing something useful with that programme he has on Thursday and have it well produced and publicized. He also needs to start speaking politics and stop sounding like a technical officer. He should stop trying to preach to the public on right and wrong issues and turn the information he has and is so good at into political mileage. He seems to forget at times that he is a politician who needs to score political points. His output is too tame and will always come in second to Gaston Browne’s fiery rhetoric which is so often devoid of truth but so full of politics.

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  1. UPP is a waste and should be discarded into the deepest end at Cooks…even the New Pet Bottle that is being advertised for recycling as i typed has more value at $0.20 than the UPP.

  2. Full 100%
    UPP has three candidates of worth
    (Bowen) his baggage is a hindrance.

    I have been saying the same things for a while
    GB tricked the UPP for two consecutive election cycles into selecting poor candidates because they thought the election was eminent.

    UPP is failing to use the ABLP pandemic restrictions to gain political advantage. AND THIS IS A LOW HANGING FRUIT.. Did UPP hear Bruce Goodwin on DNA COVID19 policies? Absolutely brilliant political strategy.

    Lovell doing a PSA for the vaccine is laughable and comical. Politics is not Sunday School. Never support your opponent always find the one fault and hammer it.

    • just wow….how is Lovell doing a PSA for the vaccine is TANTAMOUNT TO HIM SUPPORTING HIS OPPONENT? Is Covid an ALP thing?

      • @Just Saying
        Politics is not Sunday School that gesture gives milage to ABLP. He is doing the work for ABLP.
        Real opposition parties that understand politics would NEVER fall in that trap. GB set the trap baited it on B&B show and Mr Lovell fell for it similarly to how quickly he ratified those poor candidate choice.

        Potter against Matthew really?
        Quinn against Fernandez really?
        Etc etc etc
        Lovell, Marshal, and Lewis are in a good position to win their seats since their opponents are equal to or weaker than they.

    • @Melchesidec…the Parliament must set a permanent Election Date, and not leave it up to those in control of the Parliament. This would make any opposition better prepared, for the Election’s.

      As for Gaston Browne, PM and his use of psychology on the UPP, the pandemic of COVID-19 helped the PM, by him hinting at early Elections, the UPP began campaigning, and of course, campaigning puts money into the economy.

  3. One would think it a good political move (Lovell doing the covid PSA) showing the public that he (the party) truly cares. Fact is they need to do more eg have vaccination drives for atleast their membership. In essence they need to exercise all options to show the public in tangible ways how they can do better. Instead they have embraced any fringe group even those not in the national interest (reminds of their embrace of the former Half Moon Bay owner). Clearly the UPP has no compass. Alas, what the writer misses out the public gets is they are all talk

    • @tenman
      When your opponent is showering you with praises for doing the right thing, YOU KNOW YOU ARE ON THE WRONG PATH.

      Tenman keep showering them with praises, it feeds their ego but destroys their political ambition.

  4. The UPP has a serious problem…poor leadership. It’s time to get rid of the guy at the top. THEN they might be able to get a few seats, but some of the candidates are so sub-par that it’s sad just to read their names. UPP can do better than than. ABLP will surely win big. Lovell with go down in total defeat, both personally and as leader of the party. Perhaps then we’ll see a much needed new beginning. They also must clarify their ideology and philosophy. They are coming off as a centre-right party. The ABLP is looking more and more centre-left all the time, and the people like it so.

  5. Imagine having a child molester and a murderer as spokes person and a candidate should tell you who the upp really are.

  6. The problem with UPP is simple. Lovell is the leader. Get rid of him and his elitest club and you will see the difference. As long as he is the leader UPP is a lost cause🤣🤣🤣🤣

  7. I am a bit confuse as to what the root of you discourse and the logics behind what you are saying.  I am equally confuse as to the comments that bears no relevance to your article but rather seeking to latch on to any cheap gutter politics they can but no real and in depth dialogue.

    You are making the point that the UPP does not know how to play politics and that the Labour Party is all about politics.

    So if we know that and we as citizens still vote for a party that is all about politics and not policy what does that say about us?

    What are we looking for in our representatives,? This issues you raise speaks  more to our failures as citizens than political party and their politics.  if we demand more then they will do more, and if we demand better they will do better.

     Their behaviour is a mirror of our expectations.  However if we let them feel that it’s all about politics then how you think they go behave.

    You lambase and criticize a political party for bringing policies to the electorate and celebrate one that plays politics?

    Something is seriously wrong with that picture.  This is the kind of thinking we must rid our nation of.  We as citizens should demand they  bring policy, bring ideas, bring meaningful plans to better people’s lives.


    If we do that then our politics would change and we would see better and better people getting into politics to serve and not to enrich!!!…

    • Oh shut up Fled. You never made any sense. You say you’re for the wearing of masks, but say you support a “picket” where you acknowledge there will be people picketing against mask-wearing. Do you even understand how masks work? I protect you and you protect me – that’s how masks work. The UPP has latched on to every fringe movement to try to find relevance. This is because the UPP has no values, morals, ethics nor philosophy. Your political leader who cut a PSA to encourage the public to get vaccinated could not even convince his own candidates to GET VACCINATED. This is why one of your prominent candidates, Serpent, said, “I felt that my world was coming to an end,” after he felt the brunt of COVID. He’s still evaluating the pros and cons, he says. UP TO NOW? He take so long to decide he end up with COVID. That’s poor leadership. Guess he doesn’t trust his own “Captain” (the ship is sinking). You politicians are so busy trying to fool the public you are confusing your ownselves.

  8. JUST SAYING I cannot believe you would make a comment that I would agree with. You are absolutely correct that covid is not an ALP thing. We are faced with a national crisis with covid and Harold Lovell’s PSA underscores the patriot and statesman that he is.

    • Charles I have to admit that I am a TOTAL UPP supporter. Blue to the core BUT it hurts me to admit that had UPP been in power when this pandemic hit, Harold wouldn’t know his foot from his ear. I really really feel that it’s time for him to retire from politics.

  9. Hear all dem kool-aid drinkers nuh, well if you people are “satisfied” with how the country running now well talking to you people is just useless.

  10. The writer is not telling us anything new. We know this bunch of charlatans are no match for the ABLP. Actually, it is an insult for some of our candidates to run against these UPP candidates. I mean can you imagine running against a murderer or a rapist. Or someone that has not worked his whole life, just living from handouts. Many of them have no proper higher education whatsoever. It is an insult, but if that’s the only thing what they can come up with, then so be it. We will beat then ALL and take ALL 16 seats in Antigua. I still don’t know about Barbuda. But we may see history repeating itself again, with the only opposition seat being from Barbuda. Walker may take the place of his late father in-law.

  11. UPP SUPPORTER MY FOOT U ARE ALP TO THE BONE THROUGH AND THROUGH. It’s so amazing how you all expect the world from the UPP BUT gaston and his merry men enriching themselves and u have nothing to say. The economy in shambles but you worried about Harold. You dont care what the present administration is doing but ur so concern about opposition. Is like the typical neighbor you know everything about other people’s children but you can’t correct yours. What a shame.

    I done realise many hiding behind screen names but plenty of you being paid by ALP to pretend like ur independent voter. Post your name if your so concern as Antiguans let’s start the dialogue. And while your at it hold the GOVERNMENT IN POWER accountable for the present state and Stop trying to shift blame on Lovell he not in power YET!!!

  12. @ FLED

    Fled your are a LOSER like the UPP. I hope you read this article. UPP / Harold Lovell WASTE of time .
    NO SEATS FOR UPP in election 2023.

  13. One thought or two.
    Here are two insightful comments on the Opposition party politics in A&B after the UPP and DNA defeat in the 2018 general elections.
    Skyewill: “they (UPP) have manpower and the ability to raise money, why not put that energy into building something that will economically benefit real people while they wait until the next election.”
    Ras Smood:…..(DNA) do work by bringing to fruition at least one major project and employ people before the next general election. Focus on agriculture, the arts and entertainment, the environment (in particular the Parks and Recreation and eco-friendly tourism).”
    Was (is) this a clarion call for the Opposition parties in A&B (and the Caribbean region) to make a fundamental change in how Opposition party politics is practiced?
    In our Nation/Village, we must clearly identify our problems and through rational and thoughtful ideas for our economic and resulting social solutions, implement them by tireless actions to solve them.
    It is time to change!
    From the nigger yard of yesterday, I come with my burden.
    To the world of to-morrow I turn with my strength. Martin Carter, Caribbean poet.

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