A chilling realisation

Recently there has been an ongoing debate about privatising the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados Transport Board and Barbados Water Authority.

This debate was fuelled by the Barbados Labour Party and promoted daily by Peter Wickham on Down to Brass Tacks.

The debate only subsided when opponents voiced concern that pursuing such a policy would result in significant job losses and also result in the skyrocketing price of food and services even more than they are now.

For me it is always an interesting exercise how issues like these get filtered down to poor countries like Barbados, how information is relayed, by whom, why and what are the benefits.

Then the bigger question surfaces: Was this a brilliant idea by the BLP and Wickham? Or, are we buying into the concepts and designs of rich and powerful nations?

I was astounded a couple of days ago listening to National Public Radio in the United States to learn that privatisation and the acquisition of natural resources was the brain child of Henry Kissinger when he served under Richard Nixon.

In his White Paper on Privatisation he theorised that if you control oil you could control nations and if you control food you could control people. He went on to emphasise that if you control water you could in fact control the supply and scarcity of food. If water along with energy were allowed to be privatised you could make them so prohibitive that poor nations and people would be unable to purchase them.

It is a very chilling realisation that any elected government of Barbados would want to pursue any of these ideas as set out by Henry Kissinger.

— Igal Reece


One Response to A chilling realisation

  1. George Brathwaite January 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

    While I am heartened that the writer is interested and bold enough to delve into important issues, I am concerned about a couple of claims being made.
    There cannot be an ‘ongoing debate’ that has ‘subsided’ regarding the privatisation of the named entities; it has to be one or the other.
    More crucial consternation is the startling claim that Henry Kissinger was “the brain child” of the initiatives for ‘privatisation and the acquisition of natural resources’ as part of the drive for a USA drive for international primacy. Clearly the Kissinger-Nixon comment was less about being factual and more about making a comparitive linkage with Owen Arthur and the BLP. Surely the writer is aware that the concept of privatisation is grounded in classical liberalism and Adam Smith’s ‘The Wealth of Nations’. At the same time, I believe the writer is more than contemptuous to accept unchallenged a claim to ‘the acquisition of natural resources’ without taking up his/her history book and reflecting on the impacts of colonialism and imperialism on the historical development of the world, and in particluar for countries such as Barbados. Hence, it is clear that Igal Reece’s ‘chilling realisation’ is another piece of malice aforethought, and it equally distorts more than it informs. I wonder what was the agenda and real purpose of the commentary?


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