Submitted by Amused
In circa AD100, the Roman poet Juvenal in his Satires bemoaned the descent into dictatorship of Rome and explained how the dictators operated to gain political power with the phrase, “Give them bread and circuses.” And we know what happened to the Roman Empire as a result. Yet, a little less than two millennia later, Bajans are falling for the same thing. It is not that we haven’t seen the tactic before, it IS that, apparently, we as a nation choose to don blinkers and ignore it – after all, “That couldn’t happen in Barbados, we are too bright – the best in the world.”
Why should we not celebrate our independence? After all, the Americans do. The French have Bastille Day to celebrate theirs etc.
The Americans fought a war of independence and the French had their revolution. Barbados got its independence simply because it (and other colonies) instead of enriching the motherland, had become a drain on its resources and the motherland was ecstatic to let us go. Our only struggle lay in the terms on which independence would be agreed and in this we had the advantage of a team of intelligent, experienced and INTERNATIONAL Bajan minds, under the leadership and direction of the Rt Excellent Errol Barrow, negotiating. It is THEY we should be celebrating – all of them of whatever colour or creed or sexual preference. We should not, at this time, be fooled into celebrating how far we have come/descended as a country. Rather, we should be ashamed of ourselves over the brass bowls we have elected to rule us once they ad gone. And using this time to promote giving these idiots even more power is suicidal. So, what we got was not a celebration, but the precursor to a wake.
Realising that an independent Barbados, absent the reassurance of British support would not be viable in an international sense, Mr Barrow implemented a number of measures, the most visible of which was recourse at the highest appeal level to Her Majesty in council (the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council).
So Britain got its wish to cut back on its outgoings and Barbados got its wish to be autonomous, but under leaders of truly global stature. Unfortunately, these leaders were, over time, replaced by yard fowls aka Brass Bowls, whose means of survival was and continues to be reducing everything to the level of their own incompetence and in doing so, reducing Bajans to a state where they can only exist in Barbados, unless they get the hell out and embrace internationalism. But of course once they do that, most do not return and those that do find that a prophet is of no merit in his own country.
Take education as an example. Back in the day, pre and immediately post independence, all exams and exam papers for schools were directed from the UK. This meant that Bajans had the same qualifications as anyone in the UK and these qualifications were accepted almost worldwide. Now, in most professions, if a Bajan leaves Barbados, they have to re-sit exams before they can practice in their chosen profession.
We have eschewed the Privy Council as our final court of appeal, in favour of the CCJ which, with an alarming record of questionable judgements, is becoming the laughing stock of the international judicial world, resulting in the disappearance of our foreign investments, a situation enabled by the idiot we have as chief justice and a Bar Association that is a standing joke, except to Bajans who file complaints about specific attorneys and have to wait for 10 years and more and attend hearings of the “disciplinary” committee that are adjourned because of a lack of a quorum, which is not a joke. On that alone, one incident springs to mind.
During the tenure of David Simmons, the disciplinary committee found against a now-deceased attorney and referred the matter to the Court of Appeal where Simmons advised the complainant and the lawyer to SETTLE. This was not a litigation, but a disciplinary matter seeking the disbarment of the attorney for the embezzlement of client funds. Counsel for the Complainant, two eminent queens counsel, had taken the case pro bono and were disgusted when the chief justice offered to pay their costs out of legal aid, in other words, out of the public purse and they are on record as having indignantly refused. They did not expect to and were not paid ANYTHING AT ALL!! They saw (and wee) it as their duty as members of the Inner Bar. And to this day, 6 years later, the matter remains unresolved and likely unresolvable as the attorney is now deceased and likely his estate settled and disbursed. But why did Chief Justice Simmons do as he did? I do not accuse, but merely reflect that the attorney in question was one of his most ardent supporters and campaigners when he (Simmons) ran for office in St Thomas. In other words, a friend – a close friend. Which, in a PROPER and FUNCTIONAL justice system, would have been grounds for the CJ to recuse himself. It ought to have also elicited a payment of some sort to the complainant from the BA’s Compensation Fund that has never made any payments to any aggrieved party, despite the millions of dollars in the fund. One has to wonder of the Fund will be tapped to pay the likely awards and costs to Mr Vernon Smith QC and Mr Michael Springer QC in their actions against the BA. We shall see – and we shall also see what Government does should such a misappropriation of statutory funds occur.
And how does all this tie into the author’s views, with which I completely agree? If we become a republic, apart from the extraordinary expense already highlighted by the author, the already parlous state of our country will diminish even further into dictatorship. We will become a pariah state like Venezuela or even like North Korea with its “beloved leader” or Feuhrer (ring any bells?). We are already in crisis state, but what the hell – let us embrace the idiocy of people like @ac, as long as the dictators give us bread and circuses whenever they are touting for votes and support. And I also agree that one party is as bad as the other.