BLABBERMOUT’ BABSIE: A blue Chris’mas widout cash
Girlfrien’, de news I got fuh yuh en good.
Fuh mos’ Bajans, it gine be a blue, ef not black, Chris’mas. After nuff “maybes” an’ “not trues”, guvment en had no ethuh choice but to come out an’ finally tell Bajans how bad de situation really is, an’ how duh gine try to fix it. Evah sence de Budget, all sorts o’ rumours been goin’ roun’ ’bout cuts an’ layoffs. An’ all dis time, neithuh de Finance Minister nor de Prime Minister would onpick duh teef ’bout anyt’ing, excep’ to say layoffs, ef duh happen, would only be a last resort.
Couple weeks ago, rumours ’bout 3 000 layoffs comin’ had Bajans jumpy enough, but it din official, so all anybody could do was to hope fuh de bes’. Not Philomena, de “V’ice o’ Doom”. She say “wait an’ see”. Mebbee she did lookin’ t’rough de same crystal ball as de Finance Minister.
Las’ Friduh, de 13th, really turn out to be “Black Friduh”. De IMF leh guvment know duh en happy wid de situation, so de Finance Minister had to decide to finally come out an’ gi’e Bajans de true picture an’ admit dat dem layoffs we did hearin’ ’bout, would start to happen in de new year. Salary increments to get freeze an’ no hirin’ o’ staff fuh de nex’ five years as well. What a “lovely” Chris’mas present fuh Bajans. Is de li’l trildrun I sorry fuh. Lookin’ forward to Santa bringin’ all de tablets, an’ ipads an’ ipods. I wonder how de union gine re-ack, neh? Now tell muh, who gine be able to eat, drink an’ be merry, when all de time duh onder a cloud o’ doubt an’ fear as to who gine home in January an’ when nex’ duh gine wuk.
T’ings mussee really bad ef de ministers gine finally get a ten per cent salary cut – somet’ing Bajans been wonderin’ ’bout fuh de longes’ time. It en impress Philomena one bit, doh. She say ef guvment really serious, duh also got to start dealin’ wid de size o’ dat overblown Cabinet. Pay cuts comin’ too, fuh ethuh guvment MPs, parliamentary secretaries an’ personal assistants.
I remember de PM was always sayin’ – even up to October – dat layoffs could only create hardships fuh Bajans, an’ we could res’ easy as it would happen – only as a las’ resort. Wuh went wrong?
Dis news should hit stores hard. Sence de start o’ dis monf – even befo’ – de temptin’ gi’e-’ways an’ “offers” to tek ’way people few coppers, been comin’ fas’ an’ furious. I en know how successful dese “offers” gine now be, as anybody wid sense should now call a halt to onnecessary spendin’. Las’ week I went in a certain shop an’ yuh coulda run a rat t’rough de place. It remin’ muh o’ dah Chris’mas poem when “not a creature was stirrin’, not even a mouse”.
De onlies’ sign o’ life was two women proppin’ up de counter flappin’ duh moufs. Up to when I lef’ dat store, vex as hell, dem two c’n cay less ef I was dey or not. Now you really feel I would got much sympat’y fuh people like dem ef I was to hear duh get sen’ home? Wid de axe ’bout to fall, all dem “uppity” shop assistants might soon be glad enough to serve somebody.
De outlook bleak. I hope de two parties realize dis en no time fuh squabblin’. Jes’ j’in togedduh an’ wuk to try an’ get we outta dis mess. Wuhevah de alphabet letter, we’s all Bajans.
Tek care o’ yuhself.
Yuh frien’, Babsie.