THE LOWDOWN: Belly gone soft


WHAT GLORIOUS EASTER WEATHER, Barbados putting on her finest to hail the risen Christ. Hope springing eternal despite politicians doing their worst. Kites flying everywhere.

Some Shorey yutes were trying to launch a giant specimen. “That has as much chance of getting up as you,” observed my sarky wife. The kite rose majestically and was still up last time I checked. She may have to eat those words.

Ridley Greene’s 70th at the Bush Bar last Sunday night. Either he’s immensely popular or, more likely, hundreds turned out for Bush Bar food. Bajans, Trinis, Ecuadorians, all breeds. Ridders should be a politician. He can fool all the people all the time. Or at least for the last 23 times he’s told me we’d be playing music.

Long talk with a Trini about corrupt, inept Caribbean politics. Only Dominica got a passing grade. Our countries’ bellies have gone soft. No one with the guts to do the right thing. We have competent people, they say, who could put things right. But none willing to be mired in politics.

Know what I like about the Bush? No eminents. Me, Harold Hoyte, Patrick Maxwell, Bobby Pitcher, Jeff Broomes, a judge – all at the same level.

I ’fraid eminents. Take a look. Some suggest we should no longer be a monarchy. We were promised a referendum, the only way to judge majority national consensus, so ordinary Bajans could choose. A question was drafted.

Enter recently in silk bath robes eminent retirees Sir Steve Emtage, Sir Woodville Marshall, Ian Archer, Patrick Frost and ex-ambassador Peter Laurie. They are writing to the PM and Leader of the Opposition stating they no longer want the Queen.

What’s that all about? Do their opinions carry more weight than, say, Oistins fish vendors? Once they say so, should we no longer care how ordinary Bajans feel?

Eminence can lead to warped thinking. Google the global elites who want to reduce world population by 95 per cent. Some opposed using mosquito sprays because malaria is such an effective people killer.

I am 73. I work every day. I love my goats and am proud that babies are raised on their milk. For some it’s the only choice. I feel good to be still contributing to my country. Peter Laurie doesn’t agree. In Barbados Today (October 21, 2015), he extolls the joys of retirement (presumably on an ex-diplomat’s pension). But he goes further: “Of course, if absolutely nothing other than work turns you on, then you deserve to die, or worse still, continue working till you drop dead.”

Wuhloss! I mean, I feel murderers deserve to die. And I advise Government to execute them. Will Laurie someday reach the next logical step? And do his fellow eminent retirees share the view that we older working people (and there are many of us) “deserve to die”?

Talking about that, you remember when the death penalty opposers’ strong point was: “Instead of death, convicted murderers will be jailed for life with no possibility ever of parole. The victims’ families will never again chance to face those who killed their loved ones?”

Of course we knew they were lying. And recent events have confirmed our worst fears. Murder now seems no more than a big-breed misdemeanour. Spend some years, come back out to a hero’s welcome looking fit and well. No doubt our young gun-slingers are taking note.

Belly gone soft. We no longer have the guts to send a strong message that taking a life is unacceptable. By the way, we hear no court can question the Mercy Committee who, like God, moves in mysterious ways its miracles to perform. Fair enough. But could we at least see their names and pictures so we know whom to thank if they judged wrong?

One last thing. A young husband makes an innocent comment that his wife’s new hairstyle makes her look like a poodle. That night she will close down the country gardens and he will learn all about nookie power. Hell hath no fury like it.

Commenting on the union march of 1949, Gladstone Holder wrote: “On that morning I saw naked power for the first time . . . No human being should have so much control over his fellows.”

Holder was talking about a man. The power of a naked woman . . . more deadly than the male!

Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email


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