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Letter: It is not what we know; it is what we know that ain't so
Published on February 17, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Landing that LIAT at Argyle was pure demagogic contrivance. The fact that he got credit for such an inane, political kitsch is because the ULP has built a certain kind of society – for themselves. The government continues to maintain our well-deserved reputation of Third World country with silly, childish stunts like that. I mean, after eight years and all that money if you cannot do what the E. T. Joshua does, then, brother, you got a problem. For real. The success of the witless pantomime tells me all I need to know about the Education Revolution. He would have been laughed off his soap box if his audience weren’t so unlearned and manipulable. Hint: airport and airstrip are not the same.

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The morality or immorality of lying is not that simple because there is no universally accepted definition of lying. (Just look at how comfortably the prime minister distorted conflict of interest to suit his man Glen.) Plato claimed that rulers of a just society must promulgate “noble” lies to promote social harmony among the masses. But he also condemned the cavalier attitude towards the truth. A just society? That’s a stretch, ya. Are the airport opening dates “noble” lies to promote social harmony? Or a cavalier attitude towards the truth? Neither. This government did not simply lie about airport opening dates – they persisted in maintaining a false belief.

Hot roti and cold Ju-C shops are ancillary services at an airport. Airlines are not. Them is cardinal. Other than Rudy Matthias’s white lie in 2014 that the IADC would soon be inviting tenders for spaces to set up shop, they have not lied about those services. (You ever notice how these people does stretch out “soon”?) But they have lied and lied, persistently, repeatedly and they are lying and lying persistently, repeatedly and my guess is that they will continue to lie and lie persistently and repeatedly until the rope comes to the end. Even then, they go tie a knot and hold on. They do not lie when it is not important: shop space. But they lie through their teeth to fool us on matters of cardinal importance: airlines coming; airport viability. On that matter, they lie with the intent to mislead and deceive.

Lies are statements that the speaker believes to be false and that are intended to cause the person towards whom they are directed to accept them as true. From the start, the government has been fooling us about airlines coming; hiding, avoiding, killing any discourse on the airport’s viability. In 2011 with the prime minister’s oblique references to airlines interested in coming. Then in 2012, Glen Beache was a tad less oblique. He said that he had names of airlines coming and that he would announce them by mid-2013.

Now, the same brass-face Beache is telling us that he was lying. He is admitting that he never knew and so he was deceiving us – since 2012. He is now admitting that we are not going to know which airlines are coming until the airport is finished. And don’t doubt finish means ICAO finished. Not the prime minister’s or the IADC’s operationally finished, substantially finished, for all practical purposes finished, or even just plain finished. The great sleight of hand is that the notion that finished and operational are mutually inclusive. They’re not.

And to make the situation uglier, Beache is telling us that the airlines do not want to waste their time talking to him. They need to talk to a real CEO not a political minnow with a handle that has been gifted. This is how he put it: “The airlines will have to speak to whoever the (airport) CEO is, because all sorts of things (beyond my competence) are coming into these discussions – in terms of landing fees, turn rate, depending on how many times they’re coming per week… a lot of things.” So what was the lying git doing since 2012? Other than bullshitting us.

What Beache and company do not get, well, there is a debate about that, is that Argyle is not going to give the airlines a hard-on the way it gives them. On an average day, American Airlines flies 531,000 passengers; with 6,700 flights. Yo hear? A day. Their 2014 first quarter profit was US$480 million. Profit. A quarter. So, no, they are not going to start masturbating when Beache – or the prime minister – comes a knocking trying to sell an unfinished airport – without a CEO. And when they find one, pray it isn’t the usual incompetent, lying political appointee.

The prime minister’s talk about airlines was more cunning … until Beache let the cat out the bag. Aside from his spurious assertion in 2011 that airlines “indicated their interest”; in 2014 he actually named seven airlines that he was “in touch” with.

Indicated interest is flippant – gift of the gab. It carries no information. Are they two percent interested? Or ninety-eight? Because two percent interested is interest; but you cannot take it to the bank – only to stupid people. Did the airlines say, yes, but come back when you are ready? And what the hell is “in touch”? Artificial construct, that’s what. In touch in 2014 tells me no more than indicated interest did in 2011. What is the prime minister ducking? Listen to this excerpt from Britannica.

“Philosophers contend that we lie when we engage in any communication (verbal or nonverbal) that is intended to induce a false belief in the person toward whom the communication is directed. This more liberal approach allows for lies of omission -- misleading by refraining from asserting something -- and also allows that misleading nonverbal behaviours can count as lies provided that they are deliberately undertaken with the intent to deceive. Removing one’s wedding ring so as to give the impression that one is not married would be an example of such a lie.”

Go figure if we were misled by the refrain from asserting something more meaningful that the slick “indicated their interest”. And misled again by the utter emptiness of “in touch”. Does either – or both – meet the philosophers’ contention of what constitutes a lie?

Telling a small lie like to save face is one thing but telling a big one, one that would fool a nation and telling it with the intent to deceive and mislead is quite another. The prime minister’s position may be arguable, but … Airlines coming is consummately our business – and it is serious business. The airport’s business is not the province of the ULP hierarchy – as the ULP campaign stickers would have you believe. Then, airport viability is more that our business. Even if AIA is going to cost us nothing at the end of construction – which at this point isnext month – when the sale of Arnos Vale “crown jewel” will settle all airport debts.

Man, this Arnos Vale is the five loaves and two fishes – but it is food only to the graduates of the Education Revolution. Arnos Vale going get sell to pay for Argyle and it going become a city. And to think we called Jimmy Brer Nancy?

Patrick Ferrari
 
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Comments:

C. ben-David:

An outstanding contribution to the Argyle airport debate.

My one quibble is that you omit, deliberately or not, the primary question: is there a realist possibility that the spin-off contributions from the airport could someday (3, 5, or 10 years down the road) make a net value-added contribution to our society and economy.

In other words, does SVG need another (we already have one in Canouan) international airport? And can SVG afford to pay for such an airport?

My answer to both questions has always been a loud "no".

Patrick Ferrari:

C. ben,

Thanks for the compliment and it was deliberate. I tried responding yesterday from my new phone but I haven’t got to the west of it yet. I have more to say on Beache’s epiphany.

You know, night does run till day catch it. That truism it why he presented his “we would not know” admission. The time has come, as it was always going to, and not even Goebbels can help them with their propaganda now.

Patrick Ferrari:

C. ben,

Canouan has an international airport, sure. But for whom?

Watch, Ralph say he is prime minister of every square inch of SVG. But not Canouan. No sir. Exclude that out when it comes to airport.

You think then big money boys in Canouan, with their mako investment; with their fabulously exclusive upmarket, high-end resort; with the clientele to match, will let him use THEIR AIRPORT? What? To noise up their head and traffic up the place? And down-market the place?

Them three fire engine machines alone go take up a percentage of space of Canouan. And we ain’t even talking ‘bout the rest stuff like fuel tanks. They might able to hide all of them physical things, but they cannot hide the noise pollution and the ungodly sight of big plane coming in low over rich white people head, basking in the sun.

No, no, no. Not at all. Not one bit of it. He, Ralph, Prime Minister of SVG, go have to build his international airport somewhere else. And he did. Is plenty money them people got, you know.

And you know what else, C. ben? Them cannot argue against what I just say, for them to say, well it go only be a little traffic. Is 250,000 tourists a year you looking at. According to Ralph. Seven hundred common tourist a day coming in through exclusive Canouan. You think them go ‘llow that? Suppose if the lay-over long enough, and it will be, and some of the common tourist folk want to go with their fresh self for a cold Ju-C and to hang out by the pool to voyeur how rich people does live?

Is like I say, night does run till day catch it.

C. ben-David:

Patrick, your reply to me somehow reminded me of some tourist news items you or Peter Binose may have referenced a while ago which are quite relevant to the bull shit coming from all the government Argyle Airport boosters. See the following link which I will comment on in due course, unless you choose to beat me to the punch:

http://www.travelagentcentral.com/content/search?keywords=st.%20vincent%20beache



Vinciman:

Judging from Ben-David and Patrick’s last supposed “meet-up” which incidentally never materialized to the disappointment of ben-David, (I could have told you so ben-David) Patrick and ben-David need now to get a room at one of those posh resorts frequented by Patrick, and cuddle up and fiddle-bout with ben-David pet topic and not here . What is this nonsense you all carrying on with? Ben-David when the word Airport was mentioned, I just knew you couldn’t be far behind, like white on rice. Ben’s favorite topic!

Now Patrick, don’t tell me you willfully misinterpreted the several landings at the AIA airport, just to entice ben-David, by submitting this piece of Airport rubbish as bait ,or as an apology to placate ben-David? A good excuse, for not “meeting up” with him eh? Boy you could “mama guy”!

On the other hand, we all know, including you Patrick, that the Argyle landings was just a ULP campaign stunt, a “master stroke” of a strategy, to prove to all you “doubters” from Arnhim to Haz and Airport haters alike, that things are coming along just fine, and yes small aircrafts can land without any problems, and this crosswind nonsense talk was just that “nonsense talk”. We landed eleven (11) Aircrafts including LIAT, and it gave ULP a bigger win at the polls! What a government! What a Party!

Moreover this lie thing you carrying on with were no lies. In other words if the government was hushed mouth on things, you would have said “see they aint telling we nothing about which Airline coming etc... something wrong”. If we didn’t give any completion dates you would have said “…see they don’t even know when it will be completed…”, and so we gave several completion dates in accordance with setbacks and unsuspecting circumstances beyond our control, and you say “…see they can’t finished what they started, they don’t know what they doing”.

But if all had gone well and according to plan, you would have still criticized; it’s in your NDP nature. Like “…shit! they finished that Airport too quick, it can’t be any good, they should have taken their time, and built a good strong International Airport for us. Take as long as they want and build a good Airport. Why didn’t they leave it up to the NDP? ‘Wey kinda hurry ting Ralph bil fo we’? All in all it’s simply a question of “Damn if you do damn if you don’t”.

Some people you just can’t please, especially the NDP ones like Patrick Ferrari who still living high on the ULP hog. Ben-David boy you aint belong to that “status-doe” sorry. Keep yo broke arse in yo own class!

Patrick Ferrari:

C. ben,

Not I. Must be Peter. First time I am seeing them.

It is beyond me why anyone would so whore themselves out to that extent. Repeatedly. Publicly.

I leave him in your more capable more diplomatic hands.


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