Lead kindly Light

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Opinion - Richard Hoad is a farmer and so­cial com­men­ta­tor. Email porkhoad@gmail.com.

You see how things does hap­pen? Ms. Mot­t­ley broad­cast on the ra­dio that: “I know we like to say that God is a Ba­jan, and I do be­lieve that God is a Ba­jan…” Next thing we know, a big-up priest ups and tells the Bees that in the last elec­tion: “It was God’s vote. God chose you. God picked you. God elected you.”

I never hear about God vot­ing in elec­tions here be­fore. And Verla may want to bring a case to the CCJ for out­side in­ter­fer­ence in­flu­enc­ing the re­sult. Of course, if, as Mia says, He is a Ba­jan, then He had ev­ery right to vote.

I am not get­ting into that. But if Ms. Mot­t­ley is a God-ap­pointed leader, she will need help in­ter­pret­ing even her own words as Daniel did for King Bels­haz­zar or Joseph for Pharaoh. And those Cave Hill Chaldeans and po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tists should’ve ex­plained cer­tain in­con­sis­ten­cies long be­fore now.

For in­stance, Ms Mot­t­ley has oft said: “Many hands make light work”. Yet she is send­ing home work­ers. On the face of it, that makes no sense, so what else could it mean?

In my in­ter­pre­ta­tion, “light” here refers to the prover­bial “light at the end of the tun­nel” which we are hop­ing to see. The “hands” are the econ­o­mists who are sup­posed to make the light work. So how many econ­o­mists do you need to make a light work? I don’t know. Ac­cord­ing to one quote: “Given 1 000 econ­o­mists, there will be ten the­o­ret­i­cal econ­o­mists with dif­fer­ent the­o­ries on how to change the light bulb and 990 em­pir­i­cal econ­o­mists labour­ing to de­ter­mine which the­ory is the “cor­rect” one, and ev­ery­one will still be in the dark”.

So don’t ex­pect too much too soon. Owen Arthur and Dr. Delisle Wor­rell seem to be mak­ing sense but Bert has other ideas. Maybe we should add God as a con­sul­tant. He’s good at lights: A word on hap­pi­ness. “The Gallup or­gan­i­sa­tion”, quotes au­thor Bill Bryson, “[says] 1957 was the hap­pi­est year ever recorded in the United States of Amer­ica”.

Sur­pris­ingly, in the boom years that fol­lowed, hap­pi­ness took a down­ward turn.

“Peo­ple were wealth­ier than be­fore, but life some­how didn’t seem as much fun… what had once been ut­terly de­light­ful was now be­com­ing very slightly, rather strangely un­ful­fill­ing. Peo­ple were be­gin­ning to dis­cover that joy­ous con­sumerism is a world of di­min­ish­ing re­turns”.

There was now noth­ing much to do with their wealth but buy more and big­ger ver­sions of things they didn’t truly re­quire . . . . “Work and buy” be­came the mantra for liv­ing.

Alas, we too, have fallen into the ma­te­rial con­sumerism trap. Cell phones, elec­tron­ics, brand name clothes, the works. Can we res­cue Bar­ba­dos back from this stress­ful, high pres­sure, dog-eat-dog life­style to one where we rely more on our own re­sources, avoid spend­ing so much for­eign ex­change and maybe even be hap­pier? I don’t know.

But if In­de­pen­dence means any­thing at all, we have to break free of the for­eign ma­nip­u­la­tors who have sucked us into a life­style we can’t af­ford and don’t need to af­ford.

Fi­nally, this colum­nist has fought a lonely, one-man bat­tle against CCJ mem­ber­ship. Swim­ming against the tide is no fun, but see­ing how the EU bul­lies are pun­ish­ing Bri­tain for sim­ply want­ing to leave, he ob­jects to hav­ing Bar­ba­dian af­fairs dic­tated by an ex­ter­nal body from which there is no easy exit. For the record, he has con­sis­tently pointed out that coun­tries way smaller than our­selves, like Monaco, have their own fi­nal ap­peals court.

He en­joins other West In­di­ans to co­op­er­ate fully in trade and tourism, to help each other in times of dis­as­ter, but never to sur­ren­der their sovereignty. The peo­ples of Gre­nada, An­tigua and Bar­buda have spo­ken loud and clear. Nor were they alone in his opin­ion: God too, voted, No. For ver­ily it is writ­ten: the voice of the peo­ple is the voice of God.

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