“Abaco Agricultural Project Officially Opened,” stop me if you’ve heard this one before. How many grand gestures have been made to our farmers? How many speeches? How many “big ideas” which are just “around the corner?” Well, you can’t reach past a corner when everything is circular, and that is all we get: the same things over and over, round and around.
On March 27 BAIC held a groundbreaking ceremony for new plots of land they have to lease to farmers. A grand gesture. But countries aren’t built by grand gestures. Countries are built by those who toil after all the noise and theater. Countries don’t feed themselves with grand gestures. Countries feed themselves with seeds, collaboration and agricultural policies that make sense.
If BAIC is simply interested in grand gestures then our soil will be left as empty as so many words. Ask any local farmer whose pleas have fallen on deaf ears for decades and for government after government. Land leases are wonderful, but when our tax policy is incomprehensible and seemingly malicious to the very industry we are trying to raise up, then no amount of promises will cut our food import bill.
Our country is broke. Decades of politicians spending money politically. So we are presented a grand gesture: a new tax that will solve our woes. But it is all one sided. We give more. They continue to live and spend your children’s money the way they always have.
Our country is violent. Crime is a reality that our government seems unwilling to fully address. We get the grand gestures and talking points: bringing back capital punishment, restricting bail, over-timing the police force. But they never address the deeper issue. Our prison literally cannot handle the prisoners we have let alone add more. Fox Hill is a national embarrassment. Fix it.
Our country is sick. And here we have the grandest gesture of all. The new National Health Insurance is set to roll out in nine months. In fact, this is a gesture so grand our government can’t even look us in the eyes and talk to us straight about it. Will we have access to private health insurance come January or won’t we? Will it be a completely centralized system or will we be broken into autonomous regions? Important questions, but I don’t think we’re allowed to ask questions. Questions get in the way of the agenda.
Look at our local clinic. You’re telling me the same corrupt, government system that runs our own dirty, disgraceful Marsh Harbour Clinic, which is clearly underfunded, overworked and overlooked, will be given the reigns to the entire healthcare kingdom (public AND private) by year’s end?
Ask yourself if you’re willing to let that happen. Ask yourself if you’re happy with grand gestures.