Sunday, March 3, 2024

THE LOWDOWN: Still my Bim


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HEADMASTER J.C. HAMMOND wrote: “He has a clear mind!” History teacher R.V Goodridge commented: “Hoad is simple!” French teacher Mrs. T.J. Gilmore hurled my exercise book at me and exploded: “I don’t care how good it is. I won’t be reading this insulting nonsense!”

Unfortunately a thrown exercise book doesn’t travel far and only succeeded in startling Al Gilkes who was a few rows ahead deep into a glossy magazine on his lap.

I take no credit for my clarity of mind nor simplicity of analysis. The pure St Thomas air at Vaucluse, the wisdom of the rustic plantation people who fashioned me, it was they who turned me into a child progeny.

Life is a commonsense thing. It’s like a game of draughts. You move in one direction to conquer your opponent, he moves in another to mitigate or avoid your attack. Motor-cyclists used to ride around in relatively sedate fashion. Then the law required them to wear helmets.

It didn’t take them long to counter. Now they zoom like madmen, often on the back wheel, showing the law-makers they intend to have the last laugh. The dead last last laugh.

Dig deeper

Before every move, anticipate the consequences thereof. Patrick Hoyos lauds the reduction of duty on imported cement which will probably kill the local industry. Hoyos thinks tariffs encourage inefficiency and should be removed off other items.

Sounds good until you dig a little deeper. Much of the “efficiency” of big foreign firms comes from keeping their workers in virtual slave conditions. Read of the appalling plight of tea-pickers in India working for major brands. Do the world trade bodies care about this?

Or about suspect production methods? A late colleague saw feed lots in Central America where the animals’ manure was raked up and put back in front of them to eat second time around with a little molasses. Cheap, efficient beef, right?

When you kill off local industry, there is another danger. In the absence of local competition, importers can jack prices as high as they like. Too late shall be your cry.

Is a commonsense thing. And we are now paying the price for 49 years of uncommon nonsense. Barbados was built by the little-rewarded, back-breaking efforts of her workers. She gave today’s young people everything – free education, school meals, health care, skills training. And they are repaying her with “Shotta culture” . They care nothing about Barbadian identity, says Adrian Green. Even slightly older ones “feel that Barbadian is a limitation”. No surprise there. Most don’t appreciate what they get for free.

The biggest question facing us, however, is whether the traditional Bajan species will survive another 20 or 50 years. My words that so offended Mrs Gilmore back in 1960 were that women were designed for “le divertissement et la cuisine”, basically, doobie-doobie and cooking.

Of course I was being mischievous. But what happened? Columnist Dave Barry: “For most of history, baby-having was in the hands of women . . . Things changed, though, in the 1970s. The birth rate dropped sharply. Women started going to college, driving bulldozers, carrying briefcases and freely using such words as “debentures”. They just didn’t have time to have babies”.

Worldwide pattern

This became a worldwide pattern. With the notable exception of cultures which seemingly give women no choice but to reproduce ad libitatem. Even if in extreme cases it means denying them education, jobs, or the freedom to leave home.

In Europe it is being called “the forced collective suicide of European nations”. Also, “the great replacement”. “They want our fertility”, claims one of the speakers, “we will give them our fertility. And their daughters will wear the hijab!”

It is a commonsense thing. Numbers are all that count in a democracy. So who breeds most will eventually take over.

Worse yet, like Europe we have let an ill-advised treaty and a CCJ ruling remove our borders. We could be at the mercy of a mass influx at any time. How ironic for our women! To give up their child-bearing role in search of power and position. Only to possibly end up in a Barbados where women live in subserviance to foreign husbands!

Imagine no Crop-Over, no wukkin’-up on man. Imagine no calypso, no GabbyBag or pan. ISIS boys returning, join with them or die . . . you may say I’m a dreamer.

Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email


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