International Trade Minister of Barbados seems unsure of his stance? Help Bajan Jobs at REDjet or buy LIAT new planes?

When was the last time anyone read Aesop’s Fables? There are a lot more to the stories than most folk realise, and one that stood out for me as a child was when the Birds and Animals were at war (this is appropriate since this matter concerns Flight) and both sides were approached by the Bat… The bat was fickle since it flew and yet it was a Mammal. It kept changing sides worse than a newspaper who favours a ruling Party and this angered both the birds and the creatures, Aesop’s conclusion was this was how the Bat became solitary and flew nocturnally as neither side was interested in its final fate.

Niccolo Machiavelli also made a similar observation millennia later, he carried it further, the Realpolitik envoy felt even if one selects a losing side in a dispute then when their “star” is on the rise again they will reward you for your consistency. What does this have to do with aviation? Well if you saw the print edition of the Nation’s Business Authority recently, you may have noticed George Hutson helping Jean Holder and a LIAT official in a photo on the Front Page, help pick out new craft for the beleaguered regional carrier.

Hang on, an International Trade Minister who’s supposed to help Barbados get jobs like how REDjet employs Bajans, yet here he is helping a competitor choose new wings to cut our own throats? I saw Hutson recently at the Museum and decided to see if I could set up a preliminary interview…

{FILE IMAGE: CLICK FOR BIGGER, 3Rrd FROM LEFT} Hutson while in conversation with guests at the museum the other night, more than likely wondering of to go back to the trough, uh, tray to get fourths, um, more shrimp?

I asked point blank how some Bajans view his directing REDjet to look for alternative routes as a Conflict of Interest when he helped LIAT look for new planes, my wife dragged me away as she says he was getting visibly angry and he was more interested in eating his shrimp, perhaps he should become Minister of Seafood? Or Digestion Minister? I still slipped him a card for a possible interview later on, but I won’t be waiting with bated breath (probably to his disappointment)…

Addressing the media at Grantley Adams International Airport Friday, Hutson said he would encourage all airlines coming into the market to work with governments on the matter of flying into new markets.

That is what Hutson recently told the Caribbean’s Low Fares carrier, so does that sound like a man who’s interested in helping a local business keep jobs for Bajans?

{FILE IMAGE - CLICK FOR BIGGER} Thanks to Bridgetown's current inertia, Georgetown is now appearing to advance even further and roles are reversing for Barbados as the more primitive country while Guyana - with its plentiful resources and astute prescient infrastructure - is now starting to flourish like a plant nurtured to capacity.

Guyana is far more interested in seeing REDjet thrive as was shown in their President’s comments recently, while he is making a call for action, it is clearly a slap at the protectionist stance of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago who were also the destroyers of the West Indies Federation in the late 50’s;-

The only way we can change the perception of CARICOM is not that it is vibrant and relevant, it is not just to do a public relations job, but the more ordinary people can feel regional initiative impacting on their lives…then they will start to say CARICOM is working,

So we agreed to that and there is that sense of urgency that we need to create the mechanism for that new approach. A change in mind set, we have had a report from the consultants on the restructuring of the Secretariat and everyone who spoke said that it has to be results oriented, everything in the Secretariat had to surround results.”

This approval in the form of action not suggestion may well occur without Port Of Spain and/or Kingston, since more than one island has practically screamed for REDjet to come set their wings on these CARICOM members’ tarmacs;-

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas has revealed that his Government is looking at an application from the low-budget carrier to operate on the Barbados-St. Kitts-St. Maarten route, and to another Caribbean island which he did not disclose.

And although no final decision has been made as yet, Prime Minister Douglas has already declared that the Barbados-based carrier will be welcomed to operate into and out of the twin-island federation. It has already flown into St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on charter with the West Indies and cricket Indian cricket teams.

REDjet itself has also hinted at more routes to come soon…

Meanwhile, the Twin Island Republic’s current leader already in hot water for telling the rest of the region that Trinidad is not the ATM of the Caribbean, hinted they have no remorse at their jingoistic and even chauvinistic POV when regarding their Caribbean Airlines status as playground bully coming to an end sooner rather than later;-

I firmly believe that there is need for revolutionary thinking in that regard, because we live in a knowledge century and operate in an interconnected global community … Whilst introspection is good, we must not be hindered by the past and from where we have come and what we have and have not achieved, but concentrate more on a future that is coming at us at the speed of light,” Persad-Bissessar said.

She said Caribbean people must be part of this process, as part of the journey would include the reality that they would be expected to take care of themselves, and must make the transition from seeing themselves as dependents and underdeveloped to being independent and behaving with a developed status mentality.

To this end, Persad-Bissessar said it was imperative that young people particularly be invited to be part of the future, as there was an increasing level of youth restlessness throughout the world and the region.

This appears to be a clarion call not to expect the Caribbean to save the Caribbean, but to spread outside their normal confines and rely on other territories to boost one’s prosperity. With such an attitude couched behind seemingly cleverly crouched postures, how can Barbados truly expect a regional carrier with competitive pricing?

More than likely what is scaring CAL & LIAT is the massive groundswell of support from People all over the caribbean, REDjet has done more to unite the folk of this island chain more securely than CARICOM itself! How many airlines you know have a Fan Club here in Bim?

The once Gem of the Caribbean sea is now assaulted not only from the South with Port of Spain, and Northerly from Kingston, but also its own bosom – as Barbados’ own International Trade Minister is more concerned in what craft LIAT has to fly or has he scoffed down enough crustaceans for the night?

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