Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gaston Insults Again

Even with members of his own party and the clergy ratcheting up the pressure on him, Gaston Browne just won't stop. This time, he insulted not only the Prime Minister, but, also the clergy. He implied that they are going to go to hell for criticising his out-of-line remarks. If the ALP hopes to win back Government, they are going to need to build bridges and present a positive vision for Antigua's future.

Unfortunately for the ALP, Gaston Browne disagrees.

In today's Observer, Browne once again personally insulted the Prime Minister, and, this time, personally insulted the clergy as well, saying, "a debauched, degenerated, perverted, menial, sick, tyrannical false demon under any guise, prime minister or otherwise, together with sycophantic, false, hypocritical so-called clerical supporters of the UPP must realise that they are totally powerless to hurt me. Their time would be better spent in repentence for their own salvation rather than in covenly gaggles that continuously plot to harm me."

You read that right. Gaston Browne said that members of the clergy are going to hell because they rightfully criticised his remarks. And, he once again made personally insulting statements about the Prime Minister.

Antiguans and Barbudans deserve better than this, and senior ALP officials know it. I'm being told by my sources that the calls for Gaston's resignation are growing louder and louder within the ALP.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

'Deplorable, Detestable, Degrading and Demeaning'


"What Mr. Browne said was deplorable, detestable, degrading and demeaning to say the least. It is sending the wrong message to our youth, children and the entire nation, that it is okay to disrespect those in authority."

Clock Ticking on Gaston Browne

You heard it here first. On Monday, we reported that Gaston Browne was feeling heat from within the ALP. Since then, in a clear sign that our source was correct, Gaston publicly apologised for his comments and sought to save his political skin. But, now, the pressure on Gaston Browne refuses to go away.

It's clear that Gaston Browne is a liability to the ALP. The man is being called "deplorable, detestable, degrading and demeaning" from a very prominent pastor. Everyday, Gaston's position within the ALP becomes more and more threatened. If the ALP really has changed, they'll kick him to the curb. But, if this is the same old corrupt ALP, they'll hold onto him. The actions of the ALP over the next few days will say a lot about what kind of party it is.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008



Government can't solve the crime problem alone. We all need to do more to take back the streets and take back the night.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gaston Feeling the Sun's Heat

As we reported yesterday, Gaston's got some big problems in the ALP. Some are calling for him to resign. Now, we're hearing that those some in the ALP are worried that the charges leveled by PM Baldwin Spencer against Gaston Browne have some truth to them.

It's that pressure that caused this to happen. The long knives of the law and politicians in his own party are out for Gaston. It's only a matter of time before they strike.

Monday, November 24, 2008

EXCLUSIVE! ALP Leader: Gaston Must Go

In response to Gaston Browne's angry and untrue rant at the Big Red House Rally, at least one ALP leader is calling for his resignation.

That leader, who chooses to remain nameless for now, said that Gaston's comments were harmful to the children in the audience and unfairly portrayed the ALP as a deeply angry and hateful party.

He said that Gaston Browne needed to be replaced immediately with an ALP candidate in City West that we can all be proud of and who will conduct themselves in a manner that will represent the ALP well.

Numerous other ALP sources expressed their frustration with Gaston and his comments. One said that this was all about Gaston trying to advance himself at the expense of the party. Another expressed disappointment with Gaston and while not calling for him to go, admitted that Gaston does more harm than good to the ALP.

While there is certainly anger and disappointment with Gaston Browne, all of the sources agreed that Gaston isn't likely to go anywhere. They said that Gaston has been loyal and that he has the support of Lester, Asot and Cutie, who tend to have the final say in these matters even if the people disagree.

Friday, November 21, 2008

All Eyes on the ALP

Reports from our spies on the ground at the Big Blue Wave tell us that there were 4,000 - 5,000 people in attendance. That's bad news for the ALP. It shows that the UPP's core voters are activated.

The ALP has always had an enthusiastic core of support, their problem has been reaching out to undecided voters. And, if headlines about allegations of corruption and crime continue to dominate the headlines, there's no way those undecided voters will cast ALP ballots.

Expect a big turnout for the opening of tomorrow's Big Red House. The question is, will the turnout exceed expectations? Only time will tell, but, the grumbling from ALP brass about the party's publicity and organizational machinery are growing louder. Tomorrow, we'll see if the ALP is ready for battle.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not so Cute

The ALP doesn't need any more headlines like this. The ALP is trying to shake off their corrupt image and having a member of their leadership slapped with two more charges doesn't help their cause and only reinforces their public image is a gang of crooks. If the ALP hopes to win power, they're going to have to convince Antiguans and Barbudans that their thieving days are behind them and that they are a New ALP. But, so long as the charges keep mounting, that case will be impossible to make.

Cutie says that the prosecutions are political, but, that is likely to ring hollow in the ears of voters who grow tired of the long list of charges that have been leveled against ALP members.


How many people will jump aboard the UPP Train and come to the Big Blue Wave tonight? That's the question of the day. Those in the know in the ALP are saying that if 5,000 or more energised UPP supporters show up - it means that their hopes of a depressed UPP electorate are likely just an illusion and they're in trouble. The UPP is saying that they expect a thousand or two supporters to show.

Not to be outdone, the ALP is throwing their own party to open their campaign headquarters, they call "the big red house," this Saturday. The hype around that event seems to be more subdued and some top ALP people are already grumbling that the UPP is already beating them at the promotions game. Will it translate into a disappointing comparison for the ALP? Will the UPP';s Big Blue Wave live up to the hype? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

UPP Set to Call Election?

The Big Blue Wave is coming tomorrow night and today's Observer noted that "all indicators point to an early poll." Does this mean we're like to see an election call - or at least a hint - tomorrow night? It's possible. If the UPP feels that it's ready, an early election call could surprise the ALP who, according to our sources, is still gearing up it's machine.

Regardless of when the poll is called, the UPP is going to have to deal with voter apathy. One disenchanted voter writes, "Your performance, whether it is the ruling administration or the opposition, has been in the least, dismal. I suggest that how I feel today is the way that many of my young peers feel. We are simply not going out to vote. Vote for what? The lesser of two evils?"

I strongly disagree with this sentiment. If you don't vote, you forfeit the right to complain. The ALP and the UPP represent two very different records and very different agendas. And, there are sure to be independent candidates running in a number of constituencies.

You should size up all of the candidates in your constituency. They are not just party labels, they are living, breathing people who want to listen to you and your concerns. If you don't like the direction our country is taking, tell them how you feel. Tell them that you want change. Tell them that you are not satisfied. Closing your door and ignoring them does NOTHING to bring about change. If you want change, you need to fight for it, and part of fighting for it is speaking your mind and letting the people in power know how you feel.

Challenge the candidates to listen to you. Yell at them if you must. Make them EARN your vote. But, don't shut them out. If you shut them out they will shut you out and do nothing to help you or listen to your concerns. If you engage in a discussion with them and study them, only then can you decide who is the best INDIVIDUAL (not party) to represent you.

If you don't participate in the process, you have no right to complain. If you want change, you're going to need to organise your community, speak out to those in power and then hold them accountable for fulfilling the promises they make to you. Tuning out and turning off is a first class ticket to more of the same. Organising, speaking out and fighting is the only way to achieve real change. Just ask Barack Obama. He didn't tune out, he spoke out and he finally changed the United States. We can do the same right here in Antigua and Barbuda. But, inaction won't change nothing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Keeping Our Elections Fair

The 1999 election was condemned across the world for being corrupt and unfair. So, we reformed the election process and the 2004 election was seen as much more fair and representative of the will of the people. Regardless of who wins, it is critical to our democracy that the poll be free, fair and represent the will of the people. To that end, we need people of integrity to serve as election workers.

The Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) is entering a state of readiness for the country’s general elections.

Indications of the national poll on the horizon, constitutionally due in 2009, came recently as Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer addressed members of his party, urging them to rally behind the party as it launches its campaign.

The commission, in a statement, said it is now seeking the assistance of competent individuals to serve as election workers during the next general elections.

The commission is encouraging competent individuals to apply to serve as returning officers, presiding officers and poll clerks.

We don't need political scoundrels holding these positions. Let's hope that fair minded people who put the integrity of our democracy above their political affiliations take these slots. It's up to us, Antigua & Barbuda. Don't let the hotheads and the scoundrels control the political process. Help us protect our democracy by signing up to work the election.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How Has the ALP Changed?

In 2004, the UPP won election on the same idea that won Barack Obama the White House - change. Now, the ALP is the party on the outs and, in order to win the soon to be announced election, it is there job to convince us that they represent the change we need. The challenge for the ALP is to, as the Antigua Sun put it, "convince the electorate that it has fully parted with all that that accounted for its demise after 28 years in office."

Ask yourself, does Lester Bird represent change? Isn't this the same old ALP that we rejected five years ago? Antigua & Barbuda needs a lively opposition that has a chance to win. Unfortunately, the leaders of the ALP are the same cast of characters we rejected in 2004. The UPP isn't perfect, but, the ALP needs to show the people a different side and bring new leaders into the fold. Otherwise, they don't deserve to be in Government.

Friday, November 14, 2008


This Boggy Peak/Mount Obama thing is getting ridiculous. Who cares what that pile of dirt is called? If we can rename it and people can make money off of it, why not do it? Lester Bird says it's part of our "national patrimony" whatever that means. They say we haven't had a debate on it. I say all the blabbering on the radio is debate enough. Then they say that Baldwin Spencer did it on his own. News flash, Antigua: it hasn't been renamed yet and we're having a debate! I for one, could care less what the dirt pile is called. If people want to take pictures of the dirt pile and give Antiguans money for it, great! That's more money than we would otherwise make from Boggy Peak.

All of this Mount Obama/Boggy Peak hot air is distracting us from the real issues that face Antiguans and Barbudans. We need to be talking about the issues and how they impact our lives. We need to be comparing the performance of the ALP to the UPP and decide which of them is best equipped to lead Antigua and Barbuda for the next five years or so. Let's get back to the issues!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Pile of Dirt Becomes a Gold Mine

Instead of focusing on the political fight between the ALP and the UPP - let's focus on whether ANTIGUANS are better off with having the highest point on our island named Boggy Peak or Mount Obama.

Boggy Peak is not a tourist attraction. No one takes pictures of Boggy Peak. Few people travel to it's summit because of the bad road. It's just a pile of dirt that nobody cares about and doesn't make anybody any money. Who cares if it's called Boggy Peak or John's Peak or whatever. The name Boggy Peak doesn't help any Antiguans make a better life for themselves.

On the contrary, it cost Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and the Antiguan taxpayers NOTHING to put money in the pockets of Antiguans. The simple act of changing the name of "Boggy Peak" to "Mount Obama" transforms a pile of dirt into a gold mine. A letter to the editor in yesterday's Antigua Sun explains:

Not one dollar has been made off this mighty mound of dirt until the PM called it “Mount Obama” Now I hear there are tours and talks of T-shirts, paper weights and postcards, maybe even a key chain or two, and I hear the change a jingling in peoples pockets, as soon vendors will probably open up shop at the base. It’s only a matter of time till someone opens the shop at the top. What a nice place for a restaurant, how about an “Obama Burger” with a heavy helping of tolerance. Move over Shirley Heights here come “Mount Obama”. What time does the ski lift open?

Tour operators, taxi drivers, souvenir vendors and many more business minded Antiguans can make good money off of a decision that didn't take any time or cost any taxpayer money to make. That's not the only benefit. This decision, which didn't cost taxpayers a cent, generated millions of dollars in free publicity for our island.

This issue isn't about ALP or UPP. The bottom line is that Boggy Peak didn't make anybody any money. Mount Obama already generated millions of dollars worth of publicity and it turns a pile of dirt into a genuine tourist attraction.

Now, who is going to be the first person to sell me my "I climbed Mount Obama" t-shirt?

The Election is Coming

Election fever is here. Today's Antigua Sun has no less than three articles that suggest that an election is just around the corner. Sources close to Da Garat confirm that an election call is imminent. In fact, a very well placed source has told us that the election could happen before Christmas.

The ALP operation is gearing up and they're ready for a fight. We're hearing reports that they're already active in marginal constituencies moving people around, twisting arms, making promises and passing out goodies. According to Gaston Browne, loyalty pledges have already been signed - and, you can bet that if ALP candidates and supporters cross the leader, punishments WILL be doled out. The bottom line is that the same old ALP runs the party with an iron fist and they are going to run an even more ferocious campaign than what they ran in 2004.

The UPP is also mobilising for action. The Big Blue Wave rally is scheduled for Thursday, November 20th at 7:30 pm at Thwaites Corner. It'll be quite interesting to see how energised their supporters are. If there's a good crowd of blue clad UPP faithful riled up and ready for action, the ALP is in trouble. If there's a paltry turnout, look for the ALP to see an opportunity and step up the old tactics of intimidation and giveaways.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Da Garat Speaks

I decided to start this blog because regular people in Antigua and Barbuda need a voice. The purpose of this blog is to give you a place to air your concerns about the direction that our country takes over the next five years. We are at a critical point in our history and the upcoming months will tell us a lot about who we are as a people and what is to come of our country.

If you're looking for UPP or ALP propaganda, you've come to the wrong place. We tell it like it is here. With the election looming (some are saying that it's going to happen as soon as December) Antiguans deserve a place to get the facts - not party propaganda.

The comments of this blog are open and we encourage debate and discussion. We have a lot to talk about over the next few months. This is your forum. Use it to speak out and have a civil debate over the direction our country chooses to go in the looming election.