Difficult Conversations – The Age of Lump
The Fair-Trading Commission’s rate hearings are tragically amusing. Essentially, Emera (BL&P) are telling Barbadians that 1 + 1 = 38.692. Based on the recent pattern, it is foreseen that FTC will find that 1 + 1 is a number higher than 32.
Several intervenors are using evidence and reason to show that it is sheer lunacy to suggest that 1 + 1 = 38.692. However, they seem oblivious to something that Emera and other foreign entities are relying on – Barbados no longer respects evidence-based arguments.
We have moved from the safety of making decisions based on evidence and reasoned arguments, to a dangerous age where decisions are made based on an end-justifies-the-means philosophy.
It is mathematically possible to argue that 1+ 1 equals a number between 1 and 3. Previously, foreign entities would have had too much respect for Barbadians to even suggest that 1 + 1 equals anything greater than three. But we have informed the world that in Barbados, the means of truth and accuracy are no longer important. The end may justify any dishonest, harmful and idiotic means imaginable.
The first domino to fall was the removal of Nelson’s statue based on provable false justifications. As I explained at the time, I was not defending Nelson but truth. We should not be forced to accept that 1 + 1 = 46 to justify removing any statue. I predicted that crossing this line of ignoring credible evidence, and using dishonest means to justify an end, would eventually be used against all of us.
The next domino to fall was our constitutional monarchical system of Government. The same end-justifies-the-dishonest-means philosophy was used in an even more brazen fashion to force Barbadians into a republic. The Government proved that by simply saying things that were clearly untrue, Barbadians will bow down and declare the lie to be the truth – that is who we have now become.
Some of our community leaders want it both ways. They want to force us to accept ends that they want using dishonest and harmful means, and delay ends that they do not want by insisting on evidence-based research. The UWI professors and lecturers, secondary school teachers, religious leaders, politicians, economists, poets, artists, business leaders, community leaders and others irresponsibly led Barbadians to ignore the dishonest means, fall in line and just accept the ends.
Crossing the line of reason was stupidly short sighted and extremely dangerous for citizens. Having sacrificed our personal integrity for a couple of dominoes, we must now accept ends that are definitely not in our best interests. The pattern of other countries who have gone this way before us, is that after the people short sightedly cheered the fall of the first few dominoes, the fall of the remaining dominoes tended to bring oppressive suffering.
I have a lot of respect for the intervenors, especially fellow Engineers Trevor Browne, Ricky Went and Stephen Worme, Attorney Tricia Watson and Accountant David Simpson. I appreciate their persistent evidence-based reasonable arguments. However, they seem not to know that we are in another age that few of us will like – the age of lump it.
- Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and Founder of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com