Saturday, March 2, 2024

WILD COOT: Is the die cast?


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“Wild Coot, I vex, vex, vex with you. When I came to your office in Jamaica and told you that I was heading for Barbados some 40 years ago, I asked you certain questions. I asked you who to talk to and what kind of palm greasing I would have to do. I distinctly remember your words: ‘Boy, don’t try that foolishness in Barbados. It is not like Jamaica now, where money talks’.”

I took your advice. Now today whatever I am doing, whatever I need, I have to grease somebody’s palm. I don’t like that. What happen to your country? What has caused the change? Why are the people behaving so? In every sphere.

“While many of that fellow David’s actions may be disliked by certain groups of people, I am beginning to feel that his outspokenness and defence of certain actions such as objecting to calling people squatters, have merit and like in Jamaica, the society is becoming confrontational. It is beginning to unravel at the seams. Right now I feel like I have run from the frying pan into the fire, swapped black dog for monkey. People in authority stretching out their hand as if we are in Nigeria. The other day I wanted something done. I was told that if I produce 20 000 Grantleys in the right place, no bureaucracy would be necessary.

“I notice that there are certain people who straddle the fence and support each party. That is why I believe that they were vex with Sir Richie for standing on principle, because when principle is lost, you have nothing left.

“I came to Barbados and loved it because it had principle, but those principles are all gone now. More and more I see people, mainly black people, breaking down the church as their last refuge of hope. The church cannot control the politicians. They are not afraid of nor believe in after-life fire and brimstone. Note that our politicians do not realise that when they succumb to bribery and corruption, the ‘briberyer’ and the ‘corruptioner’ consider them as garbage after. You know, Wild Coot, you cannot buy dignity. The youth among us realise that. They have been changing towards their own interpretation of mores and morals as they see corruption among big and small people. 

“Wild Coot, that separation village near Queen’s College could not come about just so. Here in Barbados they bend over backward to accommodate Sam Couch and the Duppy from all parts of the world in an open society. People who come here should conform to what they see here, not walk about like they dress for a coffin with only their eyes showing so that one does not know if it is a man, a woman, a beast, a duppy or even a ‘soukouyan’. The article Right Of Muslim Women by Sumaiyyah Khan appearing in the Daily Nation is a [case] of cultural indoctrination. Let’s be glad that she does not live in Syria and falls in love with the wrong guy. So many rock stones would fly.

“Perhaps having come to Barbados and seeing our habits, they do not want to have any truck with us. They want to do their own thing, as separation may be a form of contempt. You come to a society, extract profit from it, enjoy its hospitality and scorn its ways. Those in authority that facilitate these happenings are letting down the society. One asks why?

“Wild Coot, look what is happening in the north of England. Given an inch, taken a mile and now Sharia laws threaten to take over, fanned by the flames of one Izzadeen. The sworn vow is to make the United Kingdom an Islamic state. I know that it only takes one extremist here among the bunch; Sharia law takes over, goodbye to Bush Hill and Nelson Street relief points, and the proliferation of rum shops and most of all, pudding and souse, don’t mention LGBT practitioners. Women should be the last to support this group as it regards them as second-class people. Introducing polygamy here would be nothing new as we already have it both for the men and women.

“But Wild Coot, have you not been shot down by vicious personal attacks in the newspaper for daring to raise the subject in articles? – Culture At Risk 19/6/10, Wrong Man 26/6/10. No doubt your man will be on you again.”

I refuse to answer him or get involved. But the gall! To want to wake up the neighbourhood at 4 o’clock in the morning.

• Harry Russell is a banker.


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