12 January, 2010


ALHCS Debates.  The student and staff members of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School Literary and Debating Society have organized a series of debates among the political candidates in the upcoming general elections in Anguilla.  The exercise is not only meant as a contribution to the discourse leading up to the elections, it is also a praise-worthy effort to raise much-needed funds for the members of the Society to pay their airfares and hotel expenses in attending the next Leeward Islands Debating Competition for High Schools.  The timetable for the debates among the political candidates has been published for some time.  The Anguillian Newspaper published a story on the topic in its issue of 29 December 2009.

The first debate was held yesterday.  It was intended for the three candidates from the West End constituency to show what stuff they are made of.  The participants were to be Wilmoth Hodge for the APP, Walcott Richardson for the AUM, and Kenswick Richardson for the now discredited AUF.  Only Wilmoth Hodge turned up.  The cowardly candidates of the other two parties failed to show up, leaving Wilmoth alone to field all the questions.  He answered valiantly the multitude of issues put to him by the young members of the Debating Society.  By all accounts, he acquitted himself well. 
When our young people fail to meet our expectations, we are quick to jump all over them, none more so than me.  When they do something worthwhile and creditable, they deserve all our encouragement and congratulations.  Shame on you both, Walcott and Kenswick Richardson.
Other competing and contrasting views can be read here, and here.


  1. Don, with all due respect, no one is obliged to participate in these debates. The Debating Club does not have any Sovereign Rights to compel candidates to attend their fund-raising debates. That is cheap. Exploitative.
    As well, these "debates", if they follow the formats which the Debating Club follow, are NOT debates. They are " who writes the best essay, and memorizes it better".

    Do not try to create an issue where none is existing.

  2. And a third competing and contrasting view, this one extremely interesting, may be found here:

  3. Judging from the AUF press release on radio this morning explaining why they are not cooperating with the debates, the AUF seem to believe that they have the right to dictate to the Debating Society the time and other parameters of the debate. They seem offended that their demands were not met.

    My impression is that they were invited, like everyone else, to participate. If they really had any respect for the effort of the young people, they would have jumped to meet the challenge and the opportunity to participate.

    Their arrogant press release demonstrates further how far removed from public concerns they are.


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