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Start At Argyle

By Patrick Ferrari

“The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

I see that the current gripe is about airport missing accountability, which made me yawn; until the polymath Steve Joachim made his entrance. If Steve is simply expressing an opinion and venting frustration, then, it is understandable. But if he is expecting some sort of something in the way of action connected in any way to transparency — or anything that can be mistaken for — then all I can do is to shake my head in disbelief and go, “tut-tut.” Steve should look at the official deception, the cover-up to conceal the embezzlement, the corruption and the immorality surrounding “The Star,” because both have the same authoritarian and moral nihilism tendencies. That’s what we face.

“The Star,” the ULP’s political shrine at the Argyle International Airport is one per cent concrete and 99 per cent sleaze and subterfuge. It is the embodiment of hubris, braggadocio and moral scarcity. To discuss the one per cent is to play their hand. This piece, all of it, is about the 99. Avoidance to make public, public accounts, and nothing else, is the reason I am bringing up “The Star”. Let them thief the cement for their campaign billboard. We done accustom.

Let me start with the official premise, from the Prime Minister himself, that “The Star” was irrefutably, patently wrong. He was so appalled and embarrassed by it that he stuttered through condemning it. Ever hear Ralph stutter and stammer? This is how he said it: “I mean … properly … I mean … it was wrong … no question about it … clearly … clearly.” If “The Star” was so indisputably wrong, what followed that bizarre admission raises by many multiples the old axiom, “the cover-up is worse than the crime.” Too true.

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“The Star” is a metaphor; it represents the IADC and the airport project. It is a culture. It is the bypassing of the Tenders Board. It is the ULP getting four million dollars from the treasury to run a political campaign (the referendum “YES” vote.) redux. It is, that, they will only act if only in a legal straightjacket, on one hand. But on the other, if seriously legally bound but it is seriously politically inconvenient then f**k the “revised laws.” Seriously. (The Union Island’s coroner’s inquest).

That’s where the Party derives its power. From, a); the apocryphal that the ULP is the government, b); the stunning ignorance of the sheep to accept the myth as true, and c); their willingness to ignore the signs of corruption. Their unswerving fealty is not to be not considered.

After the Prime Minister’s rare but moral admission of wrongdoing, his “human impulses” cop out was disappointing; but in character. Recall: Glen Beache and conflict of interest; Alan Alexander and insider trading; CIHP; the Union Island coroner’s inquest. Etcetera. Anyway, let’s look at “impulse.”

It is obvious that “The Star” began on an architect’s table. Most likely by the government’s architect de jure, who was, again, most likely accepted a deferred payment plan: a government job down the road for a ULP favour instant. The monument took two days to construct and involved (besides pilfering cement) the expropriation of land. Expropriated in reverse: not the state taking from a private owner for public use, but a private owner taking form the state for private use.

The “impulse” involved a complex plan that depended on timing: the embezzlement of tons of cement; the commandeering of various (IADC) equipment: viz. the cement batching plant, trucks, forklifts; at least the deployment of two gangs of workers, one to load the silos to brew the concrete, and the other to lay the brews for two-tone star. Not to mention supervisors to supervise the misappropriation.

If you borrowed the Hubble Telescope, you couldn’t, will not, find nothing resembling “human impulses” anywhere in that scam. What you’d find instead — without the Hubble — is a premeditated, carefully crafted and professionally executed surreptitious plan. Political profiteering is the shrine’s raison d’état (“a purely political reason for action on the part of a ruler or government [or the deep state], especially where a departure from openness, justice, or honesty is involved” — OED). I am sure, though, somebody would Merlin up an alternative fact. They’re good at it. Then we come to the part where the Prime Minister set fire to the integrity of his office.

Credibility is a leader’s most valuable currency. After the prime minister said that the star project was due to an “impulse”, he said that as much as “he cared to find out who gave instructions for the star to be placed near the control tower,” is that the grievous sin? “there are some things that people don’t find out”. If an unplugged polygraph machine was relaxing in the neighbourhood and heard that, it would have had a conniption. And The Donald bow and concede.

Let me repeat: the insidious project took two days to complete. It was a ULP-lead slow-motion heist in broad daylight, in full view of the public. I was right there, on Feb. 10, when I was asked to move my Jeep because they were “pouring cement.” I did not know what was going on and if they told me, I would not have believed that they had people who could be so boldface conniving. The raid on the IADC (public) stock did not consist of a single sortie. It was many of them; spread over two days of daylight plundering — day one in and out, in and out, day two in and out in and out; IADC workers usurped; trucks barging up and down a two-mile run in between the traffic involved while all levels of management running around seeing to the commissioning of the airport for the opening in four days. All of this was done right under their nose; and they are saying that they do not know who organised that?

Lying is tricky business. It is the short blanket phenomenon: cover your toes but you expose your head; or, cover your head but you expose your toes. And sometimes, dread, um blanket so short, your ass get expose. And guess what? You see, you can fool all the sheep all the time and the next time, all the sheep, ditto. Aye. But not all of us is sheep.

If they couldn’t find that wutless culprit, one of their own, then it explains why they couldn’t find Glen Jackson’s murderer. And perhaps not, but probably, too, why the airport took so long to finish and cost so much over budget. Because sure as ass, somebody do not know what the f**k is going on.

(To be continued…)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

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