Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Beware the ides – Part 1


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Wild Coot, are you sure? That is really the date? They finish sleeping? Will we have a divided country, just as the Americans had nearly 150 years ago, and which they may now have? When the battle is enjoined, will the instruments of war be irrelevant piffle or learned obfuscation? Will the platforms be respectable or shall we prepare for naming and shaming?
The attempt by the National Democratic Party (NDP) to intrude in the prevailing two-party system met with hardly any success. People gave answers to the proponents of this party with “I is a B”, or “I is a D”, as if this were a gender- or thought-defining answer. Today the NDP would really be a viable alternative.
It is felt that the country is divided along party lines except for a ten or 15 per cent “uncommitted” that will make a decisive input on the coming elections. These elections are anxiously awaited, because most people in the country are suffering since the maths do not add up.
When we compare expenses with income, there is a gap the wrong way. People are waiting to see who will be willing to bell the cat. Belling the cat involves easing the adverse gap. Closing the adverse gap requires thinking outside of the box in our case, not doing ‘’nothing”.
If Errol Barrow Day passes without incident, then beware the Ides of March. The Ides of March is an auspicious date concerned with when a famous leader – Caesar, – was assassinated, taken down viciously. He got 21 stabs not 11, and the most hurtful one was from Brutus, his key man. Caesar, in astonishment, could not “overstand” this act of betrayal.
There have been other acts of betrayal in history. The most famous of those we remember took place a few years later, a betrayal that we commemorate every Sunday.
But Wild Coot, what is the way forward? Que sera? Shall we have rainbows day after day, what have you to say?
It will be hard to kick against the pricks in light of the crushing problems facing the country. We must be prepared to fight our way out of this morass, since we are between a rock and a hard place. The fact that the present Government has faced these circumstances for the past four years, only exaggerating and exasperating the problems as it stumbles from pillar to post, seems to disqualify it. It is unlikely that any new thinking is in the mortar except the pestle with which to beat the populace.
The Ides of March therefore must be a watershed in the island of Bim; an important historical date for adult suffrage.
This suffrage was no marker for any political party. In the light of our educational reputation boast, it is logically contradictory to place our suffrage marker purely on past sentiment. Not all countries are caught up in the proffered catchwords that the world is in recession. Many down south, where we live, are showing positive growth.
Except for our elephantine response to doing business on account of our bureaucratic tardiness, we are not so badly off that we cannot recover.
• Harry Russell is a banker. Email


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