Shut up and listen
. . Discussing your ideas with ordinary people before rushing out with fait accompli edicts makes sense.
“Grandad is the best! The homework bad! Bad! Bad! Bad! Not me. Homework is bad!”
Found this old heartfelt note by seven-year-old Dominic in the kitchen. Stuck it on the fridge. In a house where compliments almost never flow in my direction, it’s great that someone thinks I’m the best. And has put it in writing. By the way, I share his views on homework.
Ernesto Sirolli tells how American Peace Corps volunteers were working in a village in Guatemala which grew fantastic crops but couldn’t get the produce over a raging river to sell to their neighbours.
“We’ll build you a bridge,” they told the natives.
“But you can’t build a bridge here,” they were told. “We’re Americans,” bragged the Yankees, “just watch!”
So after months of bulldozing a road through the jungle, they constructed massive ramps on either bank to support the bridge.
Then the rains came. The river’s course shifted one mile away, leaving their structures with nothing in between. Shades of Greenland landfill. When there’s local opinion around Ernesto advises: “Shut up and listen!”
I wouldn’t put it that bluntly, but discussing your ideas with ordinary people before rushing out with fait accompli edicts makes sense. The dream team has attracted comments like “fumblemania” and “bungling”. Michael Rudder advises them to “take your time. Get it right first time”.
Like those C licence plates. As pointed out elsewhere, East Indian traders, sno cone vendors, several others use vehicles for commercial purposes without any commercial designation. It can’t be fair to target some and not others.
Besides, Bajans love their vehicle numbers. A69 rocks! One prominent media person didn’t so much mind losing his wife in a divorce as losing his 69 number. Why not just put a C in front? Hopefully the girls will think “CA69” means “Call anytime – 69”.
A minister mentioned prosecuting owners whose dogs killed domestic livestock. Trust me, as one who had yet another doe savaged by five hounds last week, waste of time. Baiting stray dogs in problem areas is the only answer.
The goat milk and cheese industry has potential for export. Not long ago we were apparently ahead of our neighbours. Now I hear the Trinis plan to sell goat’s milk here. Why has our industry stagnated? Simply because Government insists on selling milk below a commercial price. Other players who tried have dropped out. We survive by using unpaid family labour.
A minister wants to make home insurance compulsory. After three bad experiences with insurance companies, I am wary of such compulsion. The raw anger one feels on such occasions is far worse than the actual damage sustained.
So much for the dream team. Bishop Atherley is telling us “illegal squatting is really a cry for help by those with little capacity to afford housing”. Has the bishop seen the houses squatters can afford? I lost my job with a new, soon-to-be-pregnant wife, nowhere to live. We spent a year in a little tent, later moving to an old bus. We didn’t squat. Don’t excuse it.
To the union bosses: Even the lowliest workers are saying it, “Send home those who do little or nothing”. “Last in, first out” makes no sense if we hope to improve the public service. Don’t penalise the productive to reward non-performers.
Finally, a word to West Indians about to vote on the Caribbean Court of Justice. Check the documentary on the Dole Chadee execution. Chadee built a massive drug empire, brutally eliminating competition. Virtually untouchable by the law, he “owned” senior policemen, three magistrates, even a soldier willing to kill a witness for a million dollars. He lost his final appeal at the Privy Council and was hanged. We have Dole Chadees to deal with.
Is it not far better that such decisions be left to faceless, remote personnel at the Privy Council?