Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pompey's Opinion of the LIAT situation

If Sally hadn't been caught in the middle I might not have followed this so closely..................

The Things That Are LIAT's Pilots - Part I

This commentary seeks only to present a professional and managerial perspective and not necessarily to refer to the “…MERITS or DEMERITS” of circumstances, bringing about the “…FATE” of former Senior LIAT’S PILOT, CAPTAIN MICHAEL BLACKBURN.

The seemingly “…CALCULATED INEVITABILITY” such as that the resulted from alleged egregious actions of “…LIAT’S SHAREHOLDERS” through its apparent “…RUBBER STAMPED BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND/OR MANAGERS.” Such appeared to have been concluded by the travelling public and peoples around the region. Except in alluding to “…CAPTAIN BLACKBURN” and his “…PILOT BAND OF WARRIORS” (coined for this commentary only), who should know “…where to gamble; …when to count money; and …when and where to run,” this commentary was neither intended as reflections of their thoughts, nor are its contents representative of their individual and/or collective views, but a representation of most of the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.

Mankind has been taught many “…VALUABLE LESSONS” and many “…GOLDEN RULES had been established. Frequently, however, man has become “…AN ISLAND” unto himself; behaving erratic and/or taking irrational decisions, seemingly provoked or prompted by “…EMOTIONALISM, VICTIMIZATION AND/OR FEAR.” Invariably, it was the latter of man’s greatest concerns - “…FEAR,” “…REAL OR IMAGINARY.” Since the full facts were not known, readers who may be “…SEIZED OF THE FACTS” may draw their own conclusions. In doing otherwise, these may be mere speculations and/or insinuations.

According to the Gospel it has been repeatedly taught to “…Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” Then there is the “…GOLDEN RULE” to “…Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Consequently, some nations, and there was no doubt that the people of “…ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA AND ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES” in their collective wisdom, with some degree of solemnity and deep convictions, have not only proclaimed, but have also acknowledged the “…SUPREMACY OF GOD.”

Since this appeared to be so, then LIAT’S policy-makers might wish to be seen as being so guided; …that such might be reflected in their “…DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES.” Thus, being guided by the“…BIBLICAL TEACHINGS” and the “…GOLDEN RULE,” may help to inspire confidence in leaders, their judgment, integrity and decisions made and ultimately, in realizing what many leaders appeared not to appreciate, “…REGIONAL INTEGRATION, UNITY, COOPERATION.” In short, they may wish to follow the precepts and “…RENDER UNTO THE PILOTS, THE THINGS THAT ARE THE PILOTS.”  

The tendency to speculate on sensitive issues, such as “…marriage and divorce; …dismissal and reasons; …opulent and promiscuous lifestyles; …and politics and religion, without “…IRREFUTABLE FACTS,” has often led people to conflicts and fights. Man, since his creation, has been known to be mischievous, unruly, and disobedient. Some, whether or not in leadership positions, have been known to be “…BRUTAL, RECKLESS, and RUTHLESS.” These qualities usually occur in mankind’s dealings with, and/or treatment of his fellowmen. These manifestations have not only been many in scope, size, and effects, but their seemingly repetitive occurrences have often been seen as “…militating against good managerial skills and competence; …good human relations; and …counter-productive to organisational and/or institutional goals and/or objectives.

Thus, the resultant effects of these have often proved “…DETRIMENTAL” either to the “…COMMON GOOD” and that of “…NATIONAL INTERESTS" - for instance, movement of people, Trade, Finance and the Economy. As these affect the region, they impact on “…CARIBBEAN IDENTITY, INTEGRATION, UNITY, DESTINY AND PROSPERITY.” There was no doubt, that developments within the regional airline LIAT, may have the potential for further “…RIFTS” between regional countries and peoples and governments that follow “…DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES” with respect for the “…RULE OF LAW".

History has shown that those seemingly obsessed with “…AUTOCRATIC GRANDEUR” have a propensity to rule by “…OPPRESSIVE MEASURES," thereby inducing fear in minds of peace-loving, responsible and law abiding people. The fact that people may resort to actions to achieve their freedoms and liberties do not necessarily mean they are danger to society. For if it were so, then the KING COURTS, URIAH "Buzz” BUTLERS, MARCUS GARVEYS, MARTIN LUTHER KINGS JR, ROSA PARKS, MAURICE BISHOPS and the NELSON MANDELLAS, EBENEZER JOSHUAS, ROBERT BRADSHAWS, and the VERE CORNWALL BIRDS would have all made vain sacrifices. They had experienced oppression, subjugation, humiliation, and frustration, yet they showed resilience and perseverance and have left “…LEGACIES,” not necessarily of substance, but a “…WILL AND A SPIRIT TO FIGHT FOR THAT WHICH IS RIGHT.” CAPTAIN BLACKBURN, though singularly, may not be triumphant against an army of apparent desperate warriors themselves, seemed to have been left with such LEGACY.

It was obvious that some regional Leaders and peoples appeared not to have appreciated the essentiality of the “…ROLE OF REGIONAL PILOTS.” Additionally, and except for ST.KITT/NEVIS and GRENADA that have already “…CRIED FOUL,” that their economic survival was heavily dependent upon Regional Air Services, “…CRAPAUD IS LIKELY TO SMOKE THEIR PIPES” not only of their peoples, but collectively, those of the wider OECS - “…Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.” The region’s more prosperous countries have their own airlines and now BARBADOS with RED JET. Without capital and/or financial resources to own and operate air services, cash-strapped governments and OECS peoples, are likely to be  placed in a position likened like to a “…fish away from their natural habit.”

LIAT, now being regarded as a regional “AIR CARRIER,” was said to have been established by a private astute entrepreneur, now deceased, CAPTAIN FRANK DELISLE.” An experienced pilot, he became a visionary and seemingly adept, he used his entrepreneurial skills and boldly embarked upon this commercial venture with some measure of success... Seemingly in maintaining its viability and/or sustainability, it may have become a financially burden-some entity for a single individual to operate and to source the requisite capital in ensuring an adequacy of flights and route in servicing the region, with a passenger and air cargo services. It was said that regional governments in their collective wisdom, sought in 1974, with limited liability operations, and funded its operations. Such services were spread throughout the region from Guyana to Trinidad and Tobago to Jamaica, the British and US Virgin Islands and French and Dutch Territories. Hence, LIAT was transformed not only into a regional carrier, but was accorded the prestigious status of “…REGIONAL

It is irrefutable that “…LIAT’S TURBULENT PAST” had not only caused regional peoples some degree of anxiety, but more importantly in appreciating its services in spite of being accused of “…LEAVING ISLAND AT ANY TIME” (LIAT). Although such had caused some travelers to remain in places they had not planned for or missed flights to ultimate destinations, such was their expectations that they could “…CATCH A FLIGHT AT ANY TIME”. Hence, a passenger arriving late at regional airports to complete departure formalities can be sure to catch one of “…LIAT’S DELAYED FLIGHTS.”

The connotation, nonetheless, may not be taken away from its registered Company name “…LEEWARD ISLANDS AIR TRANSPORTATION” (LIAT) 1974 LIMITED.” The very name showed “…where LIAT had started; …where it was, and still headquartered; …where its administrative and operational activities are conducted.” Now forced into a “…competitive environment” by the advent of the concept called “…GLOBALIZATION,” the regional Air Carrier’s future seemed to be only in the hands of PRIME MINISTERS DR RALPH GONSALVES and DR BALDWIN SPENCER. Both primary shareholders may either “…MAKE IT or BREAK IT” and if there may be any signs of such disposition, then it may be seen from the “…UNEXPECTED TERMINATION” of the professional services of one of the region’s most skilled and experienced pilots, CAPTAIN MICHAEL BLACKBURN, and the seemingly “…VEXED ROLE OF THE CHAIRMAN OF LIALPA - Leeward Islands Pilots Association.

There was little doubt that the struggling air carrier LIAT had faced many challenges and had to overcome hurdle after hurdle and obstacles after obstacles. Seemingly, when it was not a case of “…FINANCIAL CHALLENGES, it was one of “…COMPETITIVE CHALLENGES” with the fiercest of battles being waged against “…LIAT’S SHAREHOLDERS” forcing LIAT’S Chairman DR. RALPH GONSALVES to cry foul for what he had passionately described as “…PREDATORY PRICING.” Lest We Forget, “…IRONICALLY” the battle had begun not in on American soil, but at LIAT’S HEADQUARTERS. The SHAREHOLDERS had seen some seemingly “…AVARICIOUS AND/OR OPPORTUNISTS    PILOTS” being wooed away for among other things; “…ENHANCED” working conditions; …higher remuneration and better privileged.

Such was clearly not the doing of CAPTAIN MICHAEL BLACKBURN and his “…FAITHFUL PILOT BAND OF WARRIORS,” who remained loyal and faithful to LIAT, until his recent sudden demise. Instead such was the doing of “…FINANCIAL AND INFLUENTIAL EXPLOITS” of former Texan Financier and Billionaire, alleged Ponzi Schemer, the depraved R ALLEN STANFORD with his “…CARIBBEAN STAR AIRLINES,” reportedly, introduced to the region at the expense of unsuspecting investors. Notwithstanding LIAT’S mounting financial, managerial and/or “…PILOT TROUBLES, “…regional peoples are in hope and expectation” that even with the advent of “…RED JET, LIAT may survive even among its fiercest competitors.”

There was no doubt of the invaluable services being rendered by LIAT. However placed into its true perspective “…LIAT IS ONLY BUT AN ENTITY WITH FLYING MACHINES.” Removing its pilots, that entity is as helpless as a soldier losing both hands and feet in a vicious battle. There is also no doubt that the SHAREHOLDERS of LIAT have been engaged in a vicious battle that could see LIAT’S PILOTS becoming victors and that the entity also becoming a “…NONENTITY” if a “…TRUCE” is not sooner declared and the troubling issues were not “…AMICABLY RESOLVED.”

Clearly, only the PILOTS and LIAT could find solutions to end what may now been seen as their “…PROTRACTED AND UNRESOLVED EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE WORK-RELATED ISSUES.” Everyone knows that when “…DIRECTORS: and/or SHAREHOLDERS” desirous of “…RUNNING ORGANIZATIONAL AFFAIRS BY REMOTE CONTROLS,” weak Managers usually become “…IMPOTENT and INEFFECTIVE” as they might be disposed to securing their tenure. Consequently, most Managers have subjected themselves, either to “…SUBSERVIENCE” or “...AVOIDABLE EXPLOITATION.” This is so, irrespective of whether or not the “…PRICE IS RIGHT” and more particularly, when employers consider whether or not the “… ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS.”

Thus, while Managers responsibility is to EMPLOYERS, managers must address managerial/employees; …employees/employees; or …employees/customers problems.” Invariably, most are usually found “…WOEFULLY WANTING” and may be seen more of “…LIABILITY” than “…ASSET.” Frequently, some are placed as “…SATELLITE or FIGURE-HEADS.” Such are a danger to peace and stability within an entity. Management functions are said to be “…manipulating resources” to achieve organizational goals and/or objective. Therefore, effective Managers resolve issues expeditiously and amicably and/or as circumstances dictate or allow; …Managers reconcile differences. Thus, “…Managers do not antagonize, humiliate, agitate or frustrate employees. They create environments that are conducive to the entity’s success and employee’s enthusiasm and feeling of being a stakeholder in such entity.

Seemingly, from reasonable inferences that may have been drawn from “…public disclosures” and media reports, many may have perceived that “…AN UNHAPPY STATE OF AFFAIRS” existed within the regional airlines known as “…LIAT.” Such had been described as a combination of “…FINANCIAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES.” From Staff grumblings, such appears to b affecting both LIAT as the EMPLOYER and its COMMITTED EMPLOYEES.” It has been touted by clearly disaffected employees, that there may have been some untenable situations existing within the LIAT’S ENTITY.

There are usually serious consequences either for “…ACTS” or “…OMISSIONS.”  These are COMPOUNDED, (reference points), particularly when conceived women/and girls were waiting “…URGENT MEDICAL ATTENTION” or when Medical Practitioners appeared to have “…OVERWHELMED WITH CASES OR OVER PRESCRIBED FOR PATIENTS.” Frequently, these appeared to have been occasioned and frequently for some reason, culprits walked free. Such was not the case of DR. CONRAD MURRAY, Physician for the late and internationally renowned Pop Super Star, MICHAEL JACKSON and now a convicted felon. The Court had suggested that the accused’ eyes appeared to have been fixed upon his “…MEDICAL FEES” than on the “…HEALTH” of one of the world’s most singing and performing art sensations.

There was no doubt that the “…PARENT/PATIENT/BABY SCENARIO” along with TenMan’s “…PERSISTENT ADVOCACY” appeared to have played out with “…DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES” in the current LIAT FIASCO and the apparent questionable termination of;Firstly, a seemingly highly, professional, efficient, competent, skilled, experienced PILOT; …Secondly, a deeply committed, devoted and conscientious “…EMPLOYEE; Thirdly, seemingly as CHAIRMAN OF “…LEEWARD ISLANDS PILOTS ASSOCIATION-LIALPA,” he appeared highly influential over the Pilots he represented. There appeared to have been a certain amount of charisma and personality traits, evidenced by a resolute and forceful disposition.

He appeared very passionate about his dual-role of “…LIAT’S EMPLOYEE” and CHAIRMAN OF THE PILOTS ASSOCIATION,” a role that may have ran counter of the policies and visions of Shareholding Governments. Such an unenviable position, necessarily involved “…SHARED LOYALTY” between both Employer/Employees.” As an individual, he owed it to himself to fight for what is right, fair and just for his well-being. Collectively, he must lead the charge for those he represented. All Employers, Shareholders, Directors and Managers are aware of this position. Yet in a seemingly “...TWIST OF FATE,” he had become a victim, not as a result of his inability to discharge his responsibilities, but of circumstances, either concocted and/or orchestrated against his forthrightness and his resolve in serving the pilots he represented and the safety of passengers they have been entrusted to fly across the region’s airspace.

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