Thursday, April 18, 2024

Wild Coot – We like it so!


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THIS TIME my friend woke me up at 4:30 in the morning. “Man, Harry, I can’t sleep, and I don’t see why you should either. Eternal vigilance, man! “I know that there are many allegations going around about me, but let me tell you something, according to a famous man, I know who the alligators are. “Chalkdust would have an easy time winning all the Crop-Over titles this year if he were eligible to sing. He would sing about 30 gentlemen and ladies playing the tuba.“I mean we elect people to run the country but instead of running forward, they appear to be backing back. Two years into election and both parties appear more concerned about winning the next election than fixing the blatant cracks in the society and the economy. “Central Bank makes a loss and no bird sings. Are not interest rates an important factor? And the banks ‘perlix’! In spite of the government spiking the economy, is the money not going back to government through the Treasury Bills because the banks are not offering better rates? “Who is suffering, the people or the banks? “Are we not going around in circles? All the while the foreign exchange is haemorrhaging as the primal cost of food, for whatever reason, skyrockets. Lack of productive projects and no foreign exchange, no Barbados Development Bank to help hotels, fishermen and small businesses with soft loans. “People come here and fool us about how lovely we are, but the locals stew and these same people take away foreign exchange in dividends and profits.  “Meanwhile the government preens about free bus rides, camps, community councils, bailing out Clico good and bad customers and employees at the expense of all the taxpayers. Peter paying for Paul. “Both parties can promise money to vendors as well as purchasers of ‘an you it ease’ but not of High Court orders. “Read dah fellow name What Matters Most last Friday called Baico is Clico. If it is true, it is frightening.“If a man 32 years old lick a woman 64 years old who stop to fix a tyre cross her head with a ‘two-by-four’, out her lights permanently, you think we should choose joining the International Court of Human Rights over abandoning the mandatory death penalty and carrying it out? Is the nebulous hope of preferential rates a fair swap?“We are in deep doodoo and instead of facing up to the issues we are squabbling about weaponry and lesbianism. We catch a few fellows smoking weed instead of cigarettes and court time is taken. On the other hand, people, guilty or innocent, languish for years in prison without trial. “The people are confused. They are crying out about the high cost of living but still can find money to pack the parking lot of the Globe Drive-in, to fill to overflowing Farley Hill, to provide a sell-out crowd at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex. They can hardly walk, so laden are they with ‘bling’ and the latest garb; and the US dollars just sail away. “Never mind, we can borrow US$200 million more after borrowing $150 million to repay $100 million. That is worse than the HMP Dodds’ lease, it represents a 250 per cent increase in the loan of $100 million!“The police on the other hand are snaring dope peddlars every day as the speedboats line up like cruise ships to enter port. As fast as we catch them we lock them up, meanwhile we consider, like Bermuda, allowing gambling on ships so as to ‘prolong’ ship sojourn. Why not go the whole hog and permit gambling in the struggling hotels?”And he ‘hang’ up!At seven o’clock when I woke up, I rewound the tape and listened to the diatribe. He did not know that I was taping him, listening for “lese-majeste”. I had gone back to sleep. I obviously disagree with everything he said. I am not so foolish as to lose precious sleep listening to drivel.Harry Russell,


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