The great feast of the fatted calf
I AM TOLD THAT old habits die hard and the evidence certainly supports that view. Hence the saying: “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Barbadian society has certainly changed over the decades we can count in our lifetime. We have moved from being an underdeveloped country to a developing one with a standard of living many other developing countries might envy (although the last ten years in the political wilderness did set us back somewhat).
But while we have had significant physical changes, we continue to be plagued by old values, prejudices and systems inherited from the colonial period. Nowhere is this more evident than in our public service, which continues to retard the development of the country with its cumbersome, “dinosauric” methods of doing things.
Hand in glove with this development-unfriendly institution is the mentality brought over from the days of strict demarcation between the rulers and the ruled, the latter thankful for the crumbs falling from their masters’ tables, knowing full well they would never get to taste any of the meat from the fatted calf (Oh, how that calf has changed hands).
Attitude to working class
So that today, we have a lingering class of negrocrats – “negroes” who have inherited not just the mantle of power from the old “master”, but his contemptuous attitude towards working class people – in this case their own people.
I have no doubt it was this attitude that discommoded the vendors who have been selling at the Grantley Adams Memorial School for all those years. (Someone) got up one morning and decided that
(for reasons best known to rumour and suspicion), the vendors should be prevented from making their living as they did for decades.
It mattered not how his action would affect them and their families. Whether they ate grass or sucked salt was none of the person’s business in the slightest bit.
To compound the act of injustice, representatives from the Ministry of Education visited the school to investigate the issue, and met with those who manage the school. None of them thought of speaking with the vendors nor the students. Why would they? Which bigups from Government offices does sit down to talk with vendors and students?
Not in direct control
All this is happening in spite of clear signals from Prime Minister Mia Mottley that the old policy of criminalising vending will end.
Ms Mottley is head of the Government, but she’s not in direct control of every facet of it. She is surrounded by any number of tribal minions who view the electoral victory of the tribe as the gateway to the great feast of the fatted calf. And they are not prepared to let lowly vendors from Hortons or Horse Hill get between them and the roast.
Sarge may be large and in charge, but he should be aware that the time always comes when the people will say: “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.”
VENDORS HANDING children food over the fence during the recent impasse at Grantley Adams Memorial School.