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Of cuts and of criminals

Richard Hoad

Of cuts  and of  criminals

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IT’S NOT OFTEN that one gets to tackle both David and Goliath together. Nor is it a task for the timid. But we Galahads or Galoots, take your pick, feel that our strength is as the strength of ten because our hearts are pure.
We must then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; so en garde, David and Goliath, Lowdown has risen to your bait.
Sir Roy Trotman is no Philistine. He is a Goliath more because of his giant stature in this country. And even more so because he doesn’t abuse his powerful position.
I like the man. Yet must I take issue with his recent comment that Andrew Bynoe’s proposed ten per cent wage cut would mean that only “people like Andrew Bynoe or possibly myself might be able, with a squeeze, to manage . . .”.
If true, that is sad. I have often contended that if we practised the thrift of old-time Bajans, we would be a nation of millionaires. We farmers periodically sustain losses of income way more than ten per cent and cope with ease.
Sir Trottie’s objection does have merit in that such a cut would affect the junk economy – beauty products, fast food, fashion clothes, iPads, Kindles and such like. But to ride out these tough times we Bajans must return to a more spartan, and satisfying, lifestyle.
Mr Bynoe’s suggestion may need fine-tuning.
But better to face up to reality now while we still have room to manoeuvre.
Sir Trottie goes further: “If you send home 6 000 public servants . . . they would be in the jails.”
I disagree. The notion that poverty leads to crime has been debunked in articles like James Q.
Wilson’s Crime And The Great Recession: “Jobs have fled, lawbreaking hasn’t risen – and criminologists are scratching their heads.”
Indeed, it is the well heeled lawyers, politicians, businessmen, insurance agents and bankers who turn out to be the biggest crooks; not the poor.
Besides, there are jobs aplenty out there. Employers are desperately searching for workers. Only four attributes required: no cellphones, no drugs, no wearing pants which have to be manually held up, moderate attendance and output. Note that 98.3 per cent of Bajan jobs could be done by people with 11-Plus education. Politics requires none at all.
But if poverty doesn’t make one steal, drug addiction does.
And I have no sympathy for those who bring illegal drugs into this country. Left to me, they would be tried and hanged at point of entry.
The drug culture has ruined our youth. We hear of schoolgirls selling themselves for a $5 fix.
I gave an old man in the country a lift recently.
As we neared his home he told me: “Skipper, the young people aren’t looking for any work. All they want is drugs. Let me show you them.”
And there squatting in a huddle was a group of zombies.
Raul T. Garcia brought drugs into this country.
He obviously cared nothing for the lives he was wrecking. He got 15 years in jail. Most drug victims get life sentences of addiction. Some, like Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston, got the death penalty.
No country wants Garcia back; so he has been left, fed and cared for in our prison. And now he resorts to the “the worst of crimes” – he has gone on hunger strike to embarrass the little country that he wronged, knowing full well that “human rights” activists like David Commissiong will have a field day condemning us.
Some even want to give him Barbadian citizenship. I know foreigners who have made sterling contributions to our country for 20 years and are still struggling to get citizenship.
Yet we must give it to a criminal!
Mr Garcia wants to be moved to a “non-punitive” facility. Meaning what? And who is to say that once out of prison he won’t again use a hunger strike unless he is given citizenship?
No way, David!
I have sympathy and admiration for Cuba in how they have coped with American suppression. But they are wrong on this one and should take back their criminal citizen just as any other country has to.
• Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]    

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