THE LOWDOWN: Never again?Really?
PROFESSOR LESLIE Moseley sent me an article by an unnamed Jamaican who is calling for reparations, an end to the monarchy and embedding with the CCJ. Interestingly enough, the writer wants the traditional “Throne Speech” to be renamed “The Marcus Garvey Policy Statement”. Isn’t this but substituting a local monarch for an overseas one? So why not go the whole hog, as I keep recommending, and have a local king or queen instead of a republic?
That is by the way. Prof Moseley prefaces with the usual “The Jews say: ‘Never again – we shall never forget!’ ” and “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”. I hope that in the true spirit of a university, something we almost never see from Cave Hill, he will entertain a different perspective, albeit from a goat farmer.
I was somewhat surprised recently to hear Reverend John Rogers telling his congregation: “David Cameron would not go to Jerusalem and tell the Jews to forget the Holocaust. He would not go to Jerusalem and tell the Jews to forget Masada of AD70”.
I admire the Jews for their industry, cooperation, innovation, agriculture. When it comes to illegally occupying land, to glamourising their persecution throughout history, to their fixation with taking revenge on anyone who has ever offended a Jew, even if this involves flouting international law, leave me out.
I want no part of Shylock’s pound of flesh.
That may be their way. We Christians are held to a much higher standard – forgiveness. The Lord’s Prayer makes it a condition: we will be forgiven “even as we forgive them that trespass against us”. Jesus asked for forgiveness for the very Jews who crucified Him. I trust Rev. Rogers wasn’t suggesting Bajans should emulate the Jews in this respect.
That, too, is by the way. My contention is with the notion that by not forgetting history, we won’t be doomed to repeat it. Nicholas Clairmont of Big Think and I of Morgan Lewis disagree. The record shows that they who do know history are often also doomed to repeat it.
Casualties in World War I: 38 million. World War II, 21 years later: an estimated 80 million plus. The Americans profited not from the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. Despite Bush and Blair’s disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cameron sent troops to Libya to enact an equally impressive catastrophe. Who learnt anything?
Closer home, our justice system is in “shambles”. Such is the lack of respect for the law that a ZR driver, 150 convictions, banned for nine months, was caught driving the next day. Yet we repeat our futile methods over and over.
What about government? Legally trained individuals seemingly can’t get our judicial system to work. Yet, unbelievably, we elect a majority of lawyers to run the whole country! And seem surprised when they make a total mess of things!
We know the historical consequences of narcotic use, of obese lifestyle. How many does that deter? Have we not escaped traditional slavery only to jump head-first into slavery to imported materialism?
History repeats itself. In the 70s I leased the Farm Plantation in St Peter. At least the lease was drawn up, verbally agreed. But not signed. Suddenly the owner decided to open a pig farm. To hell with agreement and lease, he told me. I ended up running his pig farm.
I’ve never met Tim Walsh. He thought he had an agreement to buy the same Farm. The court agreed. The appeals courts didn’t.
He is one of Barbados’ most innovative and successful farmers. He’s invested heavily: greenhouses, fish farming, range fowls, aquaponics. Now stands to lose everything.
Tim Walsh is a proven entity. I hope Government will do everything to relocate his enterprise and keep him in Barbados.
By the way, the Farm was originally bought for a tourism project. Because of major water wells in the area, the developers promised a state-of-the-art design: no household water would enter the earth.
They were turned down. The risk to our mains supply was simply too great. Will history repeat itself if a similar project is envisaged by the new owner?
We shall see.
Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]