Speed Dials and Privileges
Submitted by BU Regular
In Barbados speed dialing is usually reserved for your closest friends, your bestest buddy. That person who can get you out of jail or the mud if you need to. It is with passing interest therefore that a reputed “businessman” who was previously charged for trafficking of drugs from an area associated with certain activity was able within seconds to call a leading Minister and Member of Parliament (not his member) when confronted by the Police for what they believed was wrongdoing on Good Friday.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still concerned about the original sin of possibly breaching Covid Protocols on a clearly stated lockdown weekend. I’m also still concerned that this same flagrant breach of protocols occurred last year in the same area by the same persons. I’m similarly concerned that the Police were interrupted in their duty with a speed dial to an aunt. And we should all be concerned about the rumblings and rumours of shadows and benefactors, whether they be from white, black or red seas.
But, the absolute concern is that this “businessman” was so bold enough, so confident and so certain enough of the eventual outcome of his speed dial that he could call an aunt on speakerphone to have the Police retreat and rescind their interpretation of the activities playing out before them. All this in the earshot and view of many many persons.
What is even more farcical is the “official” response from a secretary of the press within 24 hours to spin what happened and raise even more doubts in any right-thinking Barbadian’s mind.
How many other allegations, incidents, rumours and social media posts about aunts and uncles have gone viral without responses or spin? Why is this one so important Roy? Is there fire behind the smoke??
So yes folks, privilege and access here is clear. The reason for it however is not clear (well, at least not to the average bloke). One must now wonder how many “businesspeople” in the BCCI, BPSA, BEC, SBA, shops, villages and even Social Partnership have such a powerful number on speed dial AND are bold and confident enough to use it when confronted by the Police executing their duties.
How many other calls have been made during Covid, or before Covid, or before May 2018 or during the lost decade or even during 1994-2008 that we may never hear about?
I wonder if Hamenauth Sarendranauth had the privilege of a speed dial which would take days and not weekes, if he could have avoided court, prison and now death before being sentenced.
I wonder how many other politicians, ON BOTH SIDES, are comfortable taking speed dials on loudspeaker that lead them to acting CONTRARY to the procedure of the day to the detriment and embarrassment of law-abiding public servants simply trying to do their jobs.
The old girl always said that whenever you see one flying ant by the light bulb there are usually a lot more and to expect some rain over time. In other words, shut de windows.
One thing is for sure. In this 166 square miles privileged speed dials to uncles and aunties who care and who “got this” may not be as rare as we think.
Nay I say. Instead, it should be clear to any observer that despite the talk, the cliches, the speeches and the promises this incident truly shows that This Is Who We Are.