LOOKA LEW: Children ain’t cheap
And feed them with what Mr Jones?
That was my first question when I heard Minister of Education Ronald Jones saying that Barbados needs a bigger population. Jones is of the belief that if we have more people, then it means more people paying taxes, eating our agricultural produce and using our manufactured goods.
So he is basically, saying to you all, cause I know he ain’t mean me, to make more babies fast, or as he said, if you all ain’t getting it done, “then we must open our doors and invite a careful selection of those who can deliver children and within a certain age range”. This sounds to me like he is saying we should invite people here with children or to breed.
I want Jones to know that raising children nowadays ain’t easy. This might be news to him, but children do not eat grass. Right now dog food in the supermarket cheaper than baby milk. Plus nobody ain’t got time washing cloth diapers, so I gine ask Jones if he want people to wrap them children in old newspapers or let them run ’bout naked, ’cause them disposable diapers don’t be cheap at all.
Then on top of that, as soon as you get a li’l dollar in your pocket, babies does decide them getting sick. No lie. Let us say you just get $150 from somewhere. All of a sudden, that child gine take in sick with fever, belly hurt, diarrhoea, and some other thing that the doctor does only say “hmm” when you describe it, and by the time you leave his office and buy medication, every cent gone – everything come to $150 exact.
Look, I want Jones to know that right now people in Barbados smelling hell and food gine up in the supermarket every minute. You pass a whole chicken in the supermarket for one price, pass back next minute to buy it and meet a fella there changing the price on it.
Right now we got people ’bout here that every time them hear a van pull up outside, them does peep through them window frighten, hoping it ain’t the electric or the water works people coming to cut them off. Still, Jones talking ’bout make more babies.
Wunna know that sending to school a child ain’t nothing easy neither. Buying school clothes and books every term is a headache for nuff people, ’cause as you would know, a lot of men does go missing in action after the baby born, so the mothers and grandparents does got to do everything.
And Jones know full well that Guvment just send home over 3 000 people. Some of these people got mortgages and car loans to pay and children to feed and send to school, but he still telling people ’bout making more babies.
We have a hospital here that bursting at the seams. You go to the Accident & Emergency room today with a brek foot and this time tomorrow you still there sitting down. Sometimes the foot heal and you still in there waiting. Then after all of that you gine hear that they can’t admit you to a ward ’cause them aint got no beds. Still Jones saying we need more people ’bout here.
Yes, I agree we need more people ’bout here. They are called tourists. We don’t have to worry ’bout feeding, clothing or sending them to school, and they does spend money. We call it foreign currency. Now them is who we need nuff of.