By Wise Fool
I am frustrated. This is mainly due to the fact that many things about my country of birth are perplexing to me. Unlike many Vincentians, I dare to write about these things, not because I am in any way more aware or more knowledgeable but rather, because I believe that our nuanced way of undercover whisperings about our issues, has very little place in a transparent and democratic society. Moreover, this hidden whispering of dissent allows for the open practices that are hurtful and damaging to individuals and the country on a whole. Please bear with me while I expound on this conclusion.
It was a hard decision to choose where to start. I am peeved about the way the cable company finds an excuse every year to attach another $10 to the price. All of this is done under the nose of the NTRC and the Minister of ____________, the same people who indicated to the public that this would not happen if we supported the merger of Carib Cable with Flow. However, I will leave this for another day.
I cannot understand why our electricity company does not choose to invest more in the research and development of alternative power sources instead choosing to continue to follow a business model which, while good for Vinlec, is bad for St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a country and the citizens of this country in the short and long term. This, too, I will leave for another time.
I do not understand why we talk about tourism and economic prosperity and health and cannot see the link between how we address these things. The commonality between all of the other issues I am unable to fathom — seems to be oversight. In my mind, all the ministers of government sit around a big table ever so often, and look for ways to improve their own ministries while looking for intersections between them all. In my mind, this sort of planning is aimed at the long-term improvement of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and not just how to win the next elections.
Currently, many persons are finding innovative ways to attribute the increase in cruise ship tourists to themselves and sell this hook, line and sinker to a population in economic crises. In my mind, this increase in cruise passengers had more to do with the fact that Barbuda, Dominica and some of the other more favourable destinations had been so badly hit by hurricanes. If you read into this that I am saying that we have nothing to offer, well…
Kingstown is a mess. In the entire capital, as a tourist or national, to use a bathroom you either have to go back to the ship or buy KFC. This only makes economic sense to KFC. People leave their concrete jungles to come to the Caribbean to enjoy nature. Where are all the green spaces? How are we supposed to be encouraging financial transactions when we lack the facilities which encourage shopping, strolling, browsing? Kingstown is a health hazard, a flood hazard and a fire hazard. I dare say, that a lack of a long-term vision and commitment to this vision, is the reason why we are in this mess. Clean up Kingstown. Put in bathrooms. Make it more amenable to shopping and relaxing and maybe, just maybe, we will manage to keep some of the tourists who come here and attract some more. This will be beneficial to all of us in the long run.
I did start this piece by stating that there is a lot that I do not understand. I am willing to admit my ignorance in hopes that a conversation will be started in which others do the same. Maybe, just maybe, our solutions will surface from an open discussion among us wise fools. This is better than the inaction of our many foolish wise men.
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