A recipe for disaster by: Ashton Bradley

By anguillian February 1, 2013 10:21

A  recipe for disaster by: Ashton Bradley


You could not write a better recipe for disaster even if you tried. The disaster now facing Anguilla comes out of ignorance, stupidity and inability to learn.The ingredients are: –
Continue to oppose HMG.
Continue to alienate would-be investors.
Continue to interfere with established operating hotels.
Continue to blame AUF.
Continue to offer diatribe as solutions to problems.
Continue to tell lies to the people about why things are the way they are.
This is stupidity when it comes from Government — but it is a disaster when people accept it. They will in the long run suffer because of it. If you look or listen carefully to what is going on you will notice that we are already suffering. The never ending attack waged by Hughes on HMG has not brought any gains so far — and could in fact be one of the reasons why investors are staying away. Image is important. And contrary to Hughes’ interpretation of the situation — his attitude and behavior are not attractive. Investors prefer the stability of the presence of the British rather than the erratic style of Hughes. This place will remain starved of investment as long as he is power. And once investors begin to turn their backs, it will make it hard for any brand of government to bring them back.When the results of what has happened over the last three years is assessed it becomes abundantly clear that the longer Hughes remains in power the worse things will get.
Frankly speaking, under these circumstances it would be foolhardy to hang on to this type of leadership any longer. It is wasting the present and diminishing future potential.
Not too far from here there is evidence of the impact of a “tarnished image.” Take the once bustling island of St Croix in the U.S.Virgin Islands. The bottom fell out of its tourism industry when its image got ruined. Nearly thirty years later neither tourism nor tourism investment has yet returned to the original levels. That cannot be allowed to happen here. That is why there is a need for a Government that would change course.
What the St. Croix example reveals is the importance of local conditions. Because although the island is politically attached to the USA, even that status could not repair the local damage. Similarly the ruined image that is causing investors to stay away from Anguilla cannot be changed by blaming the British as “blockers”. So for the Chief to continue to repeat that, is in fact utter silly and dishonest propaganda. To really progress, that reality must be pointed out and our image cleaned up. For cleansing to take place here, some other leader would have to do it. Hughes’ tenure in office so far clearly demonstrates that he cannot be a part of the cleansing process.
So Hughes should not give the impression to the world of investors that he wants to micro-manage the hotel business/industry, but should concentrate on how he can bring in new business. Perhaps Hughes’ biggest drawback is the time spent blaming the AUF and the Governor. He should have realized by now that Governors come and Governors go. Hughes’ failure to grow, as he governs, is a function of his obsession with blaming the AUF for everything he cannot get done. This began with the election campaign. The things he said during that campaign are there to haunt him. So he has to find a devil to get them off his back. The opposite to everything that he promised has happened. From this it is fair to infer that a right thinking electorate would have no further use for him. The things he said compared to the things he has done amount to lessons in lies, ignorance and stupidity.
Hughes on the campaign trail said that the return of AUF would bring an insurmountable tax burden. What has happened is that his administration has imposed the most sudden and new set of taxes ever brought in a single budget anywhere in the Caribbean. He said that he had investors just waiting for his victory at the polls to come in and bring positive things for Anguilla. Yet closing in on three years he has not even been able to get the “Obeah man” from Guadeloupe to build a “killiban”. He continues to point fingers at AUF forgetting that they constructed ninety percent of asphalted roads in Anguilla; expanded the airport; upgraded both Blowing Point and Road Bay facilities. And, added to this, during the economic boom when artisans of all levels were attracting high incomes, the AUF made sure not to leave civil servants behind in the income levels. Some of that income was clawed back by his Government. The AUF is proud of its road construction program.That effort brought great benefits to every vehicle owner. Because now there is a lower frequency of purchasing of new tires, shocks and batteries. One would, speaking in the vernacular, have to be blind; deaf; dumb; and ungrateful to raise the question of poor spending. To fulfill the transformation that Anguilla needed in so many areas with so limited financial resources required that we establish priorities. Different people place emphasis on different projects at different times. And hindsight is always better than foresight.
HUGHES said he could do better and even invoked God’s name on his platform in support of this claim. But of course God’s name was taken in vain. Hughes’ success list is very short. It comprises only a drought of investors and no growth in jobs. With a record like that, no government whether in PARGO or TIMBUKTU could be elected. People should have more sense than that and would not put up with the nonsense that he preaches. They should in fact be embarrassed. But the NON-ANGUILLIAN onlooker probably thinks that Hughes believes that the rest of the population is dumb. Because he continues to offer the same diatribe as the solution to the problem. When in fact he is the problem! When HUGHES is gone the problem will also be gone! So let us decide to get rid of the problem now.
The leadership of AUF pledges that no part of Hughes’ recipe items would be on its menu. The party adheres to the old idea of building a new ANGUILLA that is a truly forward-looking society based on collective responsibility. We have all learned that the Hughes model is not the way to go. BECAUSE so far all we have seen is stagnation. It is his political style that has brought no new investment and no jobs. We are in fact, “up the proverbial creek without a paddle”. It is obvious, then, that a new government will have to be more politically sophisticated. The aim of a new AUF Government would be to put a higher portion of human resources to promote the island as a most desirable place for investment, and to work hard at finding ways and means for diversification. Most recently, Hughes has recognized the accelerated pace of tourism development in St. Kitts and compared it to the slowdown in Anguilla. The comparison does not support his argument. What it reveals is Prime Minister Douglas’ ability to attract investors to St Kitts and Hughes inability to do the same for Anguilla. It has nothing to do with “deliberate blocking” by external forces — that is being propagandized by him. Fellow Anguillians, the time is now for you to analyze and think on what you are seeing — so that when the time comes you could make the right decision.

By anguillian February 1, 2013 10:21


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