Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.







**You may contact me by e-mail at livinginbarbados[at]gmail[dot]com**

Friday, August 28, 2009

Inclusion, In Reverse, Or Any Way. A Pukka Idea.

I have been surprised since the Crop Over finals with the number of people who have told me that they thought Colin Spencer's song, Inclusion in Reverse, was the best song. I loved it the first time I heard it, driving along the ABC Highway one Sunday morning. But, as an RPB fan-cum-one-time-MP told me recently, the people did not want to hear about any issues; they wanted happy songs. So, the winner was RPB. But, more and more, I think that there needs to be a recount, or at least a decision to put Spencer's 10th place as meaning best and dealing with how to agree on the other placings.

The song starts off like a radio call-in program hosted by Peter Wickham, and implies that his time at VOB being 'suddenly' ended after the change of government, and his moving to CBC, showed that his true party colours are DLP. That seems to point to a way of dealing with issues that is about only hearing the 'converted'. If you listen carefully, you will hear the 'sound' sound advice being offered, eg, getting some Indians and Syrians to help look into business policy, and some Chinese to help sort out housing issues. Such ideas are suggestive of a need to bring in persons who are now being cast as 'outsiders' and possibly irrelevant to national interests.

The more I listen to the song, the more I realise that it was too close to the truth for some people, in that being open to different and diverse ideas is not a given.
When I listened to the radio on the Internet this morning, I heard a report that C.O. Williams was touting polo as key to Barbados' future investment and foreign exchange earning potential. He is developing a high-end estate at Apes Hill. His argument is that the polo-playing crowd represent hign net worth investors who will also bring in substantial revenues. As an assertion, this may well have elements of truth. But, I wonder what it is really saying. One interpretation is that Barbados' fortunes are tied to its being perceived as rich boys' playground. I will let that idea percolate a little. Something in my gut makes me uneasy when I hear this idea.

COW was reminding Barbados last week that he picks 'winners', meaning that he aligns himself with proven successes. In that sense, what he and his polo team have achieved is consistent with that notion. But, I balk because he has now aligned himself to the new World Champion for 110 hurdles--Barbados's Ryan Brathwaite (pronounced 'Braffit'). COW is now up to the task to help RB, and search though I have, I could not find any prior desire to help the fella. But, now that he has shown how well he can cross the hurdles and has brought much pride and pleasure to Barbados, up steps a man to pucker up to him and offer some pukka support. I have never seen or played polo, but I always associate it with Prince Charles. It is not about ordinary Barbadians, whereas the track and field success is. Does this mark a new drive to position the country as not driven by local talent but by the fortunes of the fortunes of the fortunate? My mind is not yet made up.


BarbadosInFocus said...

This is simply the ever changing Barbados. It is the land of opportunity for the rich in the eyes of many. To others it is just is the land of inopportunity or missed opportunity.

Just drive around Barbados, condos like…well you get the idea. There are many large and small developments that the poor folk cannot afford. Really, to the poor man, what does Apes Hill really mean to him? It means absolutely nothing.

COW, what can I say, he has been around before I was born. I remember the big, almost gigantic sorts of equipment at the bottom of Carrington Village as a boy. Hey, he builds roads and other things; let us see where this one takes us.

Living in Barbados said...

Ever since arriving in Barbados I have wondered at the tension on the west coast especially between the existing onwers and new development. It's an odd juxtaposition to see chattels beside mansions and condos. But I have rationalised that people want to hold onto their patrimony.

I think that tourism in general bypasses most people in our region and I really do not like it for that and other reasons. Real estate development by/for foreigners is to me a mere extension of that sector.

What COW is doing is pure business, with sport as its pivot--and quite exclusive sport, too. I want to see sponsoring for things like football and tennis and...

Bambi said...

Interesting ad (?) at the bottom of one of your posts above says, "Meet and date rich white men in Barbados!"

Double standards? Irony? Error?

Dennis Jones said...

Bambi, the ads are not static but change. You just got lucky! I had included this feature a long time ago, and maybe it's time for it to go. It was meant to be a source of income but it works in a bizarre (non paying) fashion.