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WILD COOT – Airing dirty linen


Harry Russell

WILD COOT – Airing dirty linen

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Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. – Spoken by Marcellus in Hamlet. 
A BAJAN reproducing Shakespeare would say: “Sumt’in’ stink as . . . in Bubados” – and he would have used a scatological metaphor here.
The pace is accelerating as issue after issue is found in every nook and cranny or cavity. They reflect negatively on Barbados. Barbados depends on a pristine, virgin reputation. 
Anyone coming here to do business expects that he will not be dealing with a banana republic. He would expect law and order. He would expect respect for the justice system. 
After all, we are an international jurisdiction where foreigners come to do business.
However, I do not agree with Mr Al Barrack in his latest action. Although he has seemingly run out of options, his latest moves have the potential of harming the average Barbadian. 
But he should be paid. The order of the court should be obeyed. If the courts would require representatives of the Government to be held on remand until the debt is paid, that could be a different kettle of fish. 
The most embarrassing thing is that the head of Government maintains a tight-lipped silence although reputed to be a respected man of thespian and Rhadamanthine bombast.
The Barrack issue is malignant. I have suggested several ways of dealing with the issue but, as usual, I have been ignored. You know the saying, “Ever so welcome, wait for a call”. 
Perhaps I am known as a maverick, one who does not blindingly toe the line.
Mr Barrack, you are not the only one. A prophet can be ignored in a foreign country. Not like I am complaining, because I have survived, thanks to aviation.
A female admirer said to me: “You should be ’nointed Sir Wild Coot, being one of the few Fellows of the Institute of Bankers with experience all over the world in this sphere. You should be chairman of the new Finance Commission. You might not even scorn being named deputy.”
Why should there be allegations of rape by our police and so many women looking for a man? Indeed, why should there be allegation of abuse in our detention or correctional centres? 
Why should an international journalist be thrown out of Dodds post-haste after she was seeking the truth about abuse and rape? Cover up? Spoiling the once “good” name of Barbados!
Do we not realize that we have few manufacturing raw materials to sell to the world? All we have is a name. 
Soon Barbados stands to lose the name. Instead of being able to pay ten cents to make a telephone call in church to Heaven, like other countries, we will have to pay US$10 000.
In the age of the cyberspace, the word will spread like bushfire. We shall be known for “piece” and injustice. 
Our politicians will be regarded as corrupt and lazy. Our government will be regarded as spiteful. Our people will be regarded as xenophobic. 
The 98 per cent literacy will disappear in smoke. Our graduates will languish at home. Our First World status aspiration will rise to the stratosphere. O ye stiff-necked, hearken to a plea of one of your own. 
“What is your mirror image?” I was there, right in Independence Square, where the Father of our nation posed the question.
The spirit led me to read the PEP Column in last Friday’s WEEKEND NATION. I agreed with most of it and would like to add to it. 
The late Dr Kurleigh King and Sir Wild Coot, two eminent Barbadians, were instrumental in the birth of the now vaunted Caribbean Indigenous Banks in 1981 in St Lucia. 
Mr Barrack, talk yuh talk and write yuh letters. Somebody should speak out. But it may backfire on all of us.        
 
Harry Russell is a banker.

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