Our new year’s hopes

Recently, we began contemplating our new year’s resolutions with the intention of sharing them with you. It soon became obvious that our new year’s resolutions were pretty much the same as last year, and the year before, and … well, you get the picture. In a nutshell, we will endeavour to do the things that we do well even better and to better the things that we do not do so well.

After 20-plus years, we thought that it would have been a more exciting exercise but fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your view, our business is the kind that is driven by a rigid philosophy. We know what we have to do in order to keep our promise to the people and all we need to do every day is to get better at it. That journey never ends.

That shifted our thoughts to doing a “Year In Review”. 2014 was a very eventful year in our bit of paradise and there was a lot of big news which always makes for good editorial fodder. That said, a few hundred words would not be enough to do a proper review of the year’s events, plus, OBSERVER Radio will do far more justice to the topic in its programming.

With brain cells working overtime, it was a simple comment that focused our thoughts and was the genesis of our last editorial for 2014. Someone stated sarcastically, “Well, I hope dat I doh need a visa to go Barbuda next year!”.

The immediate retort was, “Doh worry! Yuh nah travel anywhere ‘cause tief probably gorn wid yuh passport!”

It was a humourous exchange but within it was a single four-letter word that we believe underpins the general feelings of many as we say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015: HOPE!

“Hope” was Obama’s platform of the 2008 United States presidential campaign and we will shamelessly borrow it to use as our platform for 2015.

In 2015, we hope for a better Antigua & Barbuda. We hope for a better economy that will provide employment for all those that struggle from day to day to make ends meet. Everyone who wants a job should have a job and in having a job they can be more productive members of society that contribute to the overall social good.

Employment is key to establishing and maintaining self-worth and happiness. It is said that “idle hands make for the devil’s work,” so we need to ensure that the hands of our nation are busy at work.

We hope that crime will subside and that the terrorists that strike fear in our community will be brought to justice – a swift, harsh justice that will serve as deterrents to anyone thinking of committing similar crimes.

We hope that the police are given the resources they need, and utilise the resources they have, to effectively protect and serve everyone who calls Antigua & Barbuda home or visits our bit of paradise. Everyone realises that this will require a shake-up of the force and a new way of thinking, but with that realisation comes support. There is a very willing public that will support any tangible measure taken to address the dreadful crime situation.

We hope that our country will become more united and that petty politics will become a thing of the past. Unless we are united as a people, we will continue to decay from within. We must dispense of the “two crab in a bucket” mentality that permeates our society. As so accurately described in Wikipedia, “this term is broadly associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a unified, long-term, constructive mentality.” We are sure that you can quickly identify more than a few people that fall in the category of “short-sighted, non-constructive thinkers”.

We hope for a truly transparent government that is accountable to the people. The politicians are our employees and not our lords and masters. We cannot accept any type of dictatorial characteristics in our government where questions are brushed aside and the interest of a few outweigh the interest of the many.

To facilitate better communication between the public and our elected officials, OBSERVER media would like to offer the government, once again, access to OBSERVER Radio on a regular basis. Our only condition is that the person representing the government must be willing and able to answer questions from the public in an open line format. We continue to represent that voice of the people and will not allow that voice to be censored in any way (save for possible cases of libel and slander).

Overall, we hope for better prosperity, peace, health and happiness for everyone in our twin-island state. We believe that if we unite and work towards common, positive purposes we can heal the ills of our society and our hopes will become realities.

From everyone at the OBSERVER family, we hope that you have a blessed and happy new year.