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THE LOWDOWN: Born again Bim

Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Born again Bim

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Let me begin with this important declaration: in last week’s column I made certain statements and references which I have been advised, and now accept, were and are capable of bearing meanings defamatory of somebody or bodies.

No such imputations were intended and I unreservedly apologise to all concerned and hereby withdraw any such imputations which may have suggested I had inside information quid pro quo iudicibus dicat a fortiori, a priori or a posteriori. Especially the latter.

Lord have mercy! Public comment is serious business nowadays. Columnists have resorted to reading and re-reading columns for which the author has had to apologise, trying in vain to find wherein he might have defamed anyone. And to swapping columns beforehand with the anxious query: “You see anything here to offend anyone?”

I figured last week’s effort was harmless as could be. Not so! The following missive from a Mr R. Straughn envisaged law and suits, hence my pre-emptive apology: “Mr Hoad, I am alleging that your article today must have created even more annoyance, distress and anxiety. It proved to be particularly menacing in character”.

What? Where? Why? Could it be my mention that Government might apply Veoma’s suggestion of a tax of $100 an inch over a stipulated size to male body parts? Would Mr Straughn, like myself, be thereby embarrassed? I don’t know.

But I know who wouldn’t be: my cousin Jack. It was Man Rat, his aunt’s cook, who observed when he was 11 that Jackie was “a white man above the waist, a black man below”. He has been standard-bearer for the Hoads ever since. “Oh my God!” has been the invariable exclamation of females.

We were therefore dumbfounded to learn that his recent Independence award was not for this upstanding attribute, but for sailing. All except one lady who observed: “If they were honouring him for that, it would have to be at least a knighthood.” Congratulations, Jack!

Okay, I recently passed another milestone. There can’t be many more. It’s time to come clean, to bare all, to diss the hypocrisy. And I urge those Bajans in similar situations to do likewise. First, over the years I have got licks, from my wife of all people. Secondly, I am gay.

Fifty years from now, anyone researching the media of these times will conclude we were in an era of utter despair. A hopeless government, a shattered economy, a people living disaster. That has not been my experience.

True, many may not now be able to avail themselves of meaningless university degrees. True, some 3 000 government workers were sent home. But are we not buying Ezekiel 4:9 bread at $25 a loaf? Children’s backpacks for over $100 each? Are there not Government workers getting full pay for a few hours’ work?

Let’s face it: Republic Bank’s Ronald Harford got it right. Since Independence our politicians have concentrated on “appeasing the electorate”. It has been give, give, give to the masses as the UWI socialists would have us do. We gave more than we had with little emphasis on local production. Then we borrowed to the limit from overseas.

“The model is broken”, says Harford. It cannot be fixed in my opinion. Not by local politicians. We have to go to ground zero and rebuild.

The old white managers looked out for themselves. But they practised thrift, operated within our means. The latterday white managers caved in to the politicians and unions. Failed us and sold out to the Trini saviours.

Apart from banking I haven’t seen any salvation. Not in agriculture, tourism, insurance or business despite local managers being replaced by Trinis. The worst is still to come.

Yet am I gay. Gay because we have a golden opportunity to rebuild and once again get it right. We can take our licks but rise above adversity. There are Amazon tribes living happy, 100 per cent sustainable lifestyles. Never had contact with “civilisation”. We need to copy.

Not everything, though. They don’t wear clothes. Cousin Jack would trip up. Mr Straughn and I would face ridicule.

Last one. We’ve come to associate Cave Hill with depressants. What a joy therefore to read in the last SUNDAY SUN, The Power Of Positive Thinking by Dwayne Devonish. A pox on the negativity of his comrades. Way to go, Devo!

Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]

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