Salaam Sahib


“WILD COOT, why don’t you leave the people students alone?
Because you did not have to depend on the free education process, you cursing the student for their little demonstration in front of the oracle.”
Lord, look how my pen is misinterpreted after some 28 years. Look how I am being maligned left, right and centre. In addition, people writing to me saying that I am against the little tralya that they could get from reparations, even from the many black countries that fully participated in the slave trade. 
The point is that no matter how much we demonstrate, the Government is full of double-speak.
It is confronted by fiscal and debt problems. That is the real issue.  It has little to do with education. Measures have been taken to correct these in a crude manner. To adhere to the students’ request would be to reverse what has been contrived by the Government and its advisers, and to admit that it has come up against a stone wall.
Their posture that they were not aware of what the left hand was doing is pure “bull” of the lowest kind foisted on a population of supposedly highly “educated people”. (Not according to Erica Cusang in Barbados The Terrible – a short history – word misused – of a deviant society.) Isn’t some of what she says libellous, especially about the professionals? But isn’t some true? We need introspection!
The Opposition’s promise to repay the cost of university education incurred through Government measures is pie in the sky. After all, if the Government stays in power for the full term (this will allow more than eight years to certain politicians and an assurance of pension, besides four and a half more years of salary and perks), then a new student studying for an arts or science degree for three years will have expended more than twenty thousand dollars of debt without the assurance of a job at the end of the course – a bad banking proposition, since interest, like that on Government bonds, will be a defeating factor. Do not talk about a new medical student!
If I were the lender facing a student with this proposition, he would have to answer these questions: what assurance will there be that the BLP will win the next election? Will aspiring politicians be able or willing to pay then (you know politicians – remember Barrack)? Is the Opposition Government prepared to give a written guarantee signed by prominent members (with security)? Will the arrangement be subject to time?
The BLP cannot just assume that Government’s failure will propel it into power unless it shows that it has answers to the country’s problems. This has already been seen. If it has the answers, it may be saying that promulgating them would be giving Government a chance to copy and possibly remedy the situation. But listen to what Mr Ralph Jemmott is saying.
“Those who want regime change, and it must be by the ballot, must answer the overriding question: how would a BLP Government alter our present circumstances? How can we get out of the present debacle? The answers must be specific, not some vague platitude about ‘growing the economy’.”
You know cockfights are illegal except when authorized by consent. It will be difficult to get consent among political parties. That is the nature of the beast. This is so even if opposite sexes are involved.
This leaves the citizens in no man’s land and a whole heap of rhetoric. Meanwhile, “we spinning top in mud”!
Why would a minister resurrect Errol Barrow and interpret his thoughts on the middle class (not the poor) in justifying that times are so hard that even university students have to sacrifice? When a mother did not have supper to give to her children, the old fable tells us that she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed. In common parlance, drastic measures are the order of business. Don’t try to justify them or perpetuate what seems like a red herring [in] the Budget that seems to be a farrago of contradiction. Shalom alekhem.
• Harry Russell is a banker; email


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