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WILD COOT: Plan à la Wild Coot


Harry Russell

WILD COOT: Plan à la Wild Coot

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Wild Coot, you are a man of letters, some say; we down to the baller! Don’t you feel that those who profited from the Government’s bounty should be asked to stand the $400 million deficit as the first step to redress.
After all, they got more than $400 million and if the economy goes bust, they stand to lose more in contracts unless they are planning to migrate with their money. I mean that they got the blessings and the sweetness; they were up front in crying for and supporting a return of the regime (for whatever reason). They should be asked to foot the bill instead of the poor and middle class.
“And another thing, you think that the Port Authority should have been asked to pay, with our money, the port workers who did not work the other day or the people who substituted for the port workers? In any case, why was it necessary to use the unusual method? Wasn’t that a presumptuous precedence? Couldn’t the port workers have solved the urgency? Father, give me strength!,
“Man, Wild Coot, too much foolishness going on, and all that we thinking about is feting. All sorts of people are now accusing workers, who used to have a reputation for working hard, of being lazy. You think they are feeling the pinch? New building methods have eliminated the need for masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters, steel benders and labourers, and that is a good thing. Now my man can stay home and do his duty.
That woman the other day in the newspapers boldly called on Barbadians to stop the fancy importations, especially from Trinidad, and to concentrate on feeding ourselves; to be prepared to work in the sun and absorb some vitamin D; we could give credit to import substitution until we catch our hand. All of those things that we import and still plan to import, and full up the supermarkets and have to pay in American dollars should be cut back. I like what the woman suggested.
“Wild Coot, you agree with me?
“Well, don’t get me into that, although I have been making some suggestions from day one. However I like your suggestion that some people should stand the bill.
“And another thing, Wild Coot, you think that $20 million for the Gap could do what they say they will do? They started with half a million, did they finish the first job? What makes them think that $20 million could do the whole thing? You know that the Gap used to be licking cork when we had After Dark, but some people complain about the noise that they used to hear even in Oistins. Now After Dark gone and the Gap is as quiet as a mouse.”
I was anxious to get the woman off the phone before she got me in trouble, but I had to ask her one question.
Lady, you think that the people in Government and their known and unknown advisers can do the job? What you suggest that Bajans should do after jumping for Crop Over? It may be their last mas.
“And another thing, if National Insurance received $11 million in contributions and paid out $14 million in unemployment benefits, wouldn’t you say that the slope is downward, especially if more people will be laid off or out of work? The speed would accelerate worse than a minibus.
“Well, I don’t know about minibus because I drive a BMW. All I know is that if they do not stop this practice of stopping, stretching out their hand, letting off passengers, especially women and children, letting the passengers cross in front of the minibus, somebody will get killed. Let off the passengers, go on your way, let the vehicle behind them decide whether or not to let passengers cross. Vehicles behind have the clearest view of the passengers.
“And another thing, Wild Coot, you see how the nice people of China willing to help we out with Almond? You think that they will refurbish the hotel with all those nice things from China, get the nice Chinese workmen to do the reconditioning (’cause you know that they can work faster than Bajans and can put in long hours) and in no time we could be ready for the 2014 tourist season. I wonder if the union would give its blessing.” 
• Harry Russell is a banker.

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