Submitted Bush Tea
It must be a matter of grave concern to the thinking persons among us, how it appears that in almost every possible area of our existence, we continue to realize declining results despite the fact that we now have so much more knowledge, technology, money, and other resources than we have ever had in our entire history.
Has there been ever a time in our history – including during our lowest periods of poverty and academic ignorance- when such large numbers of our young people were so clearly hopelessly lost? After all the progress with education, social development, welfare advances and infrastructural development what explains the explosion of crime among youth just out of school?
Why is our judicial system in such a mess?
Why is the transport system so chaotic?
Why are we unhappy with our water works, our electric company, our traffic management?
On the global scene the situation appears to be even worse. Wars, drugs, crime, high energy prices, wild weather, earthquakes… These all seem to be responding in an inverse relationship to the increasing resources, educational inputs, experience and efforts that are brought to these issues.
WHY IS THIS?
Quite simply, we are doing the wrong things well.
There is a way of doing things, which seems right to us at first glance, but it is the path to chaos.
Case in point.
A minister of government who is usually known for logical and down-to-earth positions, recently threatened to apply the law as it relates to those persons who own lots of land but who allowed these to run into ruin to the discomfort of neighbors.
It appears that the law already makes provision for these lots to be cleaned by government if neglected by the owners, and for the cost to be either borne by owners or for the land to be sold to recover such costs.
The minister has advised that he is ‘prepared’ to enforce this existing law if owners persist in this unreasonable practice.
This may seem like a well thought out position -and a way that ‘seems right’ . But in fact it demonstrates clearly one of our critical FLAWS, and explains the chaos in that, and many other areas of our society. On what basis did the minister (or whoever) take it upon themselves to NOT apply the law before? Is the law of Barbados now an optional choice to be applied when it suits the minister (or judge or policeman or politician).
If our officials can optionally defer laws as they see fit, it is no wonder we have the ridiculous situation with the courts. Perhaps the judges need to confer with politicians to ascertain which laws are being applied and for what period.
If they can optionally defer the application of VALID laws then we can expect nothing to come of the infamous armed confrontation in our parliament! Barack goose cooked! No politician will EVER be prosecuted – no matter how blatant the thieving; and no Bajan with any kind of connections will EVER face justice in this place.
The WHOLE point of having laws is that they be applied equally, fairly and promptly to everyone. What kind of logic could lead us to accept anything else? but the fact that ordinary Bajans can readily accept this arrangement is not surprising, since we all have a culture of calling on favors from our various ‘contacts’ – from our politicians and from our second-cousin- the clerical officer (or the cop) – to bypass the system.
When there can be a national culture of dishonesty and disrespect for law and procedure then it is no wonder we get the kind of things that we have come to see in our society.
We have now reached the stage where our criminals can look and see no real difference between their methods and the common practice; and where most of us cannot truly challenge the crooked politicians because we ourselves differ only in opportunity to steal.
But there is a price to be paid.
A people ALWAYS get exactly what they deserve….or reap what they sow