By Patrick Ferrari
First up, I want to make this point clearer than pellucid: “Ralph and company” (R & Co) is allegorical — every time you see it.
In a democracy, the people get the investors the government deserve. Recall: the wily Dave Ames who is still on the lam; William Wise; Gerald Gouveia; Stanley Too.
We all know too well what Ames’ used as bait. William Wise threw parties for the hierarchy in officialdom, fed them imported steaks and Black Label and flew in blonde Scandinavian filles de joie. Gouveia’s role was the reverse; he was imported to bamboozle the people at the Government’s most vulnerable time — when something was sticking, and elections were around the corner. Once he achieved the task, we never heard hide nor hair from the blowhard again. We didn’t see none, not one, of his planes/airlines; nor none, not one, of his planeloads of rich Cuban shoppers. Stanley Too — for whom Rene Baptiste greased the skids — was overbearing and obnoxious. And a racist. He was beyond doubt the most bizarre of flimflammers, he came with a bang and seemed to be everywhere at the same time. His five-car ante was greatly accepted so it was tolerated when he slighted the police brass, but it wasn’t enough when he insulted the Taiwanese, so he was out after that before you can say Jack Robinson. He didn’t have time to play out his ruse. At least, best I know. Praise Jah.
Each had their own MO, but they all had one thing in common: the hyperbole. The hyperbole? That’s why I am here.
Enter another of the same ilk, A&A Capital Inc. (A&A), the Royal Mill people with their US$60 million 10-storey carrot. Their brochure is very revealing and inadvertently spills everything that R&Co wouldn’t want to admit they fear about Royal Mill. And everything we need to know if you are going to work for them. I know now — after the fact, though.
The brochure is the embodiment of embellishment. A photographic tour de force of deception — with intent to mislead. In one pretty page, it places the Ratho Mill property, insufflated into our minds, plumb in Friendship Bay, Bequia, overlooking Petit Nevis and Isle de Quatre; in another, they are in Canouan; and of course, the exotic Tobago Cays tops the beautification. In the 28 pages, I do not see Ratho Mill. It is a con job in pictures. Everything in the brochure leads me to think that these boys are in this thing, whatever it is, for the short haul. I mean, how many cycles, seasons, can they pull off before the likes of TripAdvisor is on to them?
I challenge you to read the devoid of substance, hyperbole-filled drivel. Here’s a short excerpt: “A secluded island fit for royalty, now opens its timeless wonders to create a distinctive private community. Royal Mill is an ambitious project that blends the finest location, modern design and architecture with outstanding attention to detail, delivering a lifestyle rich in service and amenities.” Spare me.
What does Royal Mill’s smug “a distinctive private community” mean? To me that means the resort is particularly not for locals; it is a private party, we are not welcome. Royal Mill is an “ambitious project”. I’d say. Ambitious meaning, “difficult to achieve”. A “modern design and architecture with outstanding attention to detail”. As opposed to what? Starting a new building with an out-dated design and using sloppy construction practices?
As fine a location as Ken Boyea’s property was — for a private residence, that is — I didn’t think it would be “the finest location” for a ten-story, eighty-room luxury monstrosity catering to, more hyperbole, “those who know and appreciate the very best”. That and the crap that permeated the brochure is taffy you hear from snake oil salespeople.
I don’t know nothing about no tourism nor no hotel, nor no resort but I know this: Finished or unfinished (have mercy), the impending ten-story structure would be a grotesque eyesore. It is going to be an environmental and geographical juxtaposition that would never rhyme, close. And not even Frank Lloyd Wright — nor even the fat architect and his tacky designs — can save us from that.
It would have been prudent after the Argyle experience for Ralph and company to have advised A&A against, “Construction is expected to be completed by the end of this year”. That’s in nine months, you know. A whole 10 stories; in nine months. You ever hear more quackery in your life? Any decent politician, and here I mean R&Co, involved at any stage of this project, however academic, should have cautioned them to hold off on that piece of utter, monumental ignorance. They should’ve told them that Vincentians are still black and blue from years-long crap like that.
None of what A&A is selling, pablum with pretty pictures, is going to hurt us — directly. Directly is for the foreign dupes they are going after: the distinctive private community that appreciate the very best — fake news pictures.
I am not done. A&A Capital Inc. is the return of Ames-Buccament pathogen and, tellingly, three of us have been victims of the bacterium already. Only three that I can attest to so far. Alas, it is early days yet. There is little doubt in my mind that this contagion will spread, like it did at Buccament and more than the three of we locals are going to be stung directly.
Next time, I will tell you what it’s like working for the new Ames-Buccament outfit. Fresh as it may seem, I am putting Ralph and company on notice.
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