So often we hear people rail against the placement of the statue of Lord Horatio Nelson in Bridgetown. The argument is that the people of Barbados did not know enough about the man and his embrace of things antithetical to the development of the majority of Barbadians, namely, slavery.
Was it a lack of information or lack of communication? In February, 2013, Barbadians were invited to go to the polls to select enough representatives who would form the next Government. The majority of voters selected a majority of Democratic Labour Party representatives. Was it a lack of information or lack of communication?
We celebrate the Treaty Of Oistins as signed in 1652 at the Mermaid Tavern in Oistins, Barbados. Who were these people whose “wisdom” is said to have had a direct influence upon the American Declaration Of Independence? Were they slave owners? Do we celebrate their heroic stand because of lack of information or lack of communication?
We recall the August 2013 Budget and the many confusions that have followed the announcement of the imposition of a so-called Municipal Solid Waste Tax of 0.7 per cent. First off was Minister Donville Inniss who asserted that it should have been 0.07 per cent; not so rejoined Minister Christopher Sinckler: “I was correct.”
Well, it has now devolved to be a tax on land at 0.3 percent and not a land tax, says semantically speaking Minister Sinckler. Meanwhile Minister Maxine McClean has said in the Senate, according to Press reports, that there will be no tax on land on which there are no buildings.
What then will be the rate to be paid on a plantation where the buildings are on a parcel of that land? Will it be on the whole property or part thereof? Which agency will be billing landowners? Will it be the Land Tax Department or the new Barbados Revenue Authority?
On this tax matter we have been smothered with misinformation and miscommunication . . . . What next?
Always, in retrospect, we tend to adjudicate matters based on our own comprehension. History that is centuries old cannot be evaluated with today’s current information and or communication, or indeed the lack of either thereof.
We have to trust that leadership today or yesteryear neither does not, nor did then depend primarily on the text-pert or expert, sometimes referred to as ex-spurt –– a former drip under pressure –– but on common sense.
Wait a minute, commonsense is not so common!
–– MICHAEL RUDDER
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