Tuesday, 03 April 2012 02:31
By Colin Sampson
Leonard “Tim” Hector died a sad and disappointed man.
Many have questioned why, at the end of his life, the man everyone knew as “Tim” (a shortened form of “Marshal Timoshenko” the famed World War II Russian military commander) made the shocking decision to achieve accommodation with his former schoolmate and lifelong protagonist, Lester Bird.
All sorts of rationales and explanations have been proposed, most of them hampered by a cultural preference for “lower order” thinking. Decades of brainwashing imposed by that pernicious body of thought that Tim named “Birdism” have ingrained in Antiguans and Barbudans an automatic resort to the negative view, the self-denigrating conviction that all men are petty, deceitful, dishonorable, materialistic and motivated primarily by economic self-interest.
It was during the Lester Bird era that one of our local calypsonians blessed Antigua & Barbuda with the ringing line: “All man ah darg”. Those persons capable of some measure of “higher order” thinking will recognise in that acid statement the very core and center of the Birdite world view.
Clearly, if a community is to be corrupted into a state of abject dependency, the best way to prepare the ground for seeding is to brainwash the majority of people into the conviction that they are essentially worthless. From there, by skillful manipulation of the weak and the gullible, it is but a small step to achieve the total moral breakdown that facilitates the imposition of dictatorship by “democratic” means.
Those Antiguans and Barbudans who can remember our country’s recent history will recall that it was Tim Hector who advised the nation that the United Progressive Party (UPP) was nothing more than a set of “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.
That bitter judgment was delivered after the attempt to merge Hector’s Antigua-Caribbean Liberation Movement (ACLM) with the UPP ended in the unceremonious ejection of many ACLM members prominently including Tim Hector.
The clash of ideals and ambitions that characterized that period is widely deemed to have opened Hector's eyes (if few others) to the truly rapacious nature of the then struggling opposition party.
Shortly thereafter, and to the astonishment of many, Tim Hector led the remnants of the ACLM into a close embrace with Lester Bird’s Antigua Labour Party. In the end, Tim achieved the status of an ALP folk hero: celebrated after his passing, honoured in the end by those against whom he had struggled all his life.
Quite naturally, following the national tendency to attribute all behaviours to base and self-serving motives, the general conclusion was that Tim had simply “followed the money”. The pickings, ran the conventional wisdom, were obviously richer on the ALP side.
Few Antiguans and Barbudans were able to comprehend the vast disillusionment that must have assailed Tim Hector when he understood (finally) that his dream of a liberated and truly democratic Antigua & Barbuda would never be achieved. The dream was aborted, stillborn: doomed by the fatal lack of vision that has since clearly come to characterize the now governing UPP.
There are those who believe that Leonard “Tim” Hector ultimately died of a broken heart notwithstanding a history of cardiac weakness.
Through it all, Wilmoth Daniel was there: one of the stalwart faces and voices of determined opposition to the political hegemony engineered by the ALP. Daniel was there at the beginning and now, as the dream of good governance dissolves into a nightmare of corruption and deceit, Daniel in his turn is experiencing the same sort of rejection suffered by Tim Hector.
Daniel’s bewilderment is palpable, his psychic pain intense. In his often naïve, sometimes stumbling, frequently buffoonish journey through the quick-sands of political power, Daniel has never let go of those beliefs that led him to enter the political arena in the first place and in so doing he now finds himself in alien territory, isolated from the people he once imagined were his friends.
Already, the fateful decision has been made. His successor in St Philips South has been identified. The word is out: Wilmoth Daniel is no longer wanted by the UPP.
As he reminds us in his latest letter to the man who was once his closest associate, time and time again Daniel has suffered denial, rejection and public humiliation at the hands of his leader.
Time and time again his prime minister has thrown Daniel to the wolves at the behest of moneyed interests. Time and time again Daniel has found himself cast in the unwilling role of bewildered political sacrifice, spread-eagled for all to see on the altar of political expediency.
Should anyone be surprised if, at last, the worm has decided to turn?
This is not to say that Daniel is innocent. A political innocent he may well be, but innocent of the failings of the UPP Daniel is not. Perhaps more than anyone else in that visionless collection of political opportunists Daniel represents the link between the culture shared by the UPP and its model, the ALP.
Guilty or innocent, Wilmoth Daniel has now drawn the proverbial line in the sand. Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and his latest moneyed sidekick Ambassador David Shoul may do their best to ignore Daniel’s public challenge. Whatever line the daring duo choose to take, Daniel now stands in the lion’s den, awaiting his date with destiny.
Why? Because after all is said and done, Daniel still believes – in something, even if he does not quite know what that something is.
Leonard “Tim” Hector, the deep intellectual thinker, finally lost his belief. The UPP has finally thrown Daniel to the lions. The UPP has lost Daniel – and with Daniel, may have lost St Philips South.
See related stories:
Daniel Demands Investigation into Chinese Power Plant
Money Talks - Power Plant Walks
MP Joseph Exposes Critical APUA Reports
PM Blasts Molwyn Over Power Plant
Power Plant Issue Goes To Parliament
An Inside Look at APC
Power Plant Companies Relationship Explained
Govt Promises Chinese Power Plant Answers
Another Unsettling Discovery at Power Plant
Bird To Seek Outside Advice on Power Plant
MP Joseph Accuses Government of Breaking Laws
Antigua Power Plant - No Straight Answers
Chinese Power Plant or Antigua's White Elephant
Power Plant Production Costs Explained
PM Says ALP Distorted Power Plant Info
No Plan Behind the Power Plant
Yearwood Presents Figures on Chinese Power Plant