My column will be quite short today because I’m truly at a loss for words! I don’t even know where to start. So I suppose I’ll begin with the absolute garbage which was released in Parliament last week.
Does Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe seriously expect us to believe the Government decided not to go ahead with the Cahill project because of the protest of Barbadians? Really? When he was so adamant the Government had carefully considered all aspects of the project and felt it was in the best interest of Barbados?
I shake my head at the people who think their voices make a difference. Instead, we should be thanking God the Government is no longer pursing the Cahill project because, to quote the minister, it “had taken into consideration recent events in London and other places, which had revealed that waste-to-energy operations and plasma gasification projects had shown up significant flaws”. Weren’t educated and informed Bajans telling the Government this from the start? Please!
And while I’m on the subject of politicians not listening to the people, I recently heard that after the millions spent by the previous Government on Greenland (in spite of the protests of the people), not one ton of garbage has ever been delivered there; but people still report for work every day and are paid. That must be a rumour; something to render me speechless. Six is really half-dozen.
Another thing that has me speechless is the audacity of the Government to suggest MPs and ministers should have their salary cut restored. I can only assume someone told the Government that Jubilee (the biblical celebration) was a time of restoration, and therefore it thought that since it is our Jubilee it could have this pay cut restored.
I hope our leaders will not press ahead with such an outrageous proposal when many others in this nation are still reeling from pay cuts and terminations, and many people are “scrunting”, as we say in Barbados. If I wasn’t so unfit, I would have joined the walk from Heroes Square to Browne’s Beach; but let the record show my protest here.
Let me get away from politics; but I’m still on Government. I had to go to Immigration for a friend who lives in Jamaica this week. In front of me in the line was an old man, 80 if he was a day, asking for passport forms. The receptionist told him there were no forms, so he would have to go online, download them and print them.
The poor man had no clue what she was talking about. She asked him if he didn’t have anyone with a computer to do it for him, and he said no. She then told him that the Post Office had an Internet café on the ground floor and he could do there and print one. Really? She figured the man would know what an Internet café is and that he could be able to get someone to print them for him?
Another lady and I looked at one another speechless. I’d be surprised if he will bother to get his passport. I guess that is one way to curtail travel and save foreign exchange.
I won’t even touch on the video of the abused elderly person. I could not bring myself to watch it because I am at a loss for words at how basic decency and respect for one another have deteriorated in this nation, and how we have become a nation of spectators. We cannot stand by and either see someone beaten and do nothing, or stand by while the Government treats educated Barbadians like people with no sense.
I’m a believer that the pen is mightier than the sword, so I will continue to wield my pen (keyboard) every time I see something offensive; and we all must be prepared to wield our pens (or is it pencils?) when elections are called again. Granted, we don’t have much to choose from.
If you say A, you have to say B. So I have to tell you that in spite of leaving Immigration after three hours (my friend’s fault to a large extent), I departed with a big smile because the senior immigration officer bent over backwards to help me with the application, which did not have everything in place. We really need to properly read the requirements and make our lives and theirs a lot easier.
While I was waiting in line, I saw so many people without the correct documents, who had to leave and come back. Thankfully, the Lord was on my side and moved on the heart of the officer who was dealing with me.
My goodness! For someone who was at a loss for words, I’ve gone on a bit. Let me end by saying we must not become so overwhelmed by the ridiculous proposals the Government may try to sneak into Parliament that we are rendered speechless and paralysed. We have to be guardians of our fate.
(Donna Every is an author, international speaker and trainer. She is also the Barbados Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and the Barbados facilitator for the InfoDev WINC Acceleration Programme.