CARICOM vs the OECS
Coulda; woulda; shoulda. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
The “output” does not equate to the inputs, but CARICOM surely shines when it comes to providing jobs (and matching room for expanding egos) for politicians; speech writers; professors of all and sundry; conference organizers; limousine rental companies; bugle blowers and guard-of-honour folks; hotelliers; TV news readers; radio stations; media folks of all forms (oops); and . . . uhh . . . historians.
With all CARICOM warts clearly in evidence, how come the OECS outshines us all on a much more slender budget, and can list many areas of efficient, functional cooperation? No wonder Mr Owen Arthur at one time, either perhaps driven by frustration, or perhaps feinting at his fellow heads, suggested publicly that he might join the OECS party.
I suggest we (you!) take a moment, Madam Editor, and enjoy a nice bowl of soup with an impartial arbiter like Sir Christopher Venner, and elicit how the “little islands” do it? One could usefully include Sir Sonny Ramphal, as an interested party, so that the outcome would disclose the secret ingredient in the OECS model.
I suspect that this precious seasoning might be the fact that the OECS had to cooperate in order to survive, whereas those big-island, big-brained other folks, merely deigned gracefully to attach their names to the Grand Plan; they really did not need to be a vital part of the whole, as they had the capacity to do it all very nicely, thank you, by their own good selves.
Good PR/politics. Doubt me? Just look at how all the high-falutin CARICOM talk evaporates . . . when elections come around! And spare a thought for all the “Cinderella” CARICOM organizations that are either not functioning, or are starved for funds.
When you do convene the “soup” meeting, please pass to Sir Sonny that his 1992 “Grenada” speech remains the most telling analysis of the Caribbean/CARICOM conundrum ever. It should be required reading for all our secondary level students, and part of the matriculation for our undergraduates. And also for some of their tutors.
My menu suggestion, madam, is “Crab ’n’ callalooo”. Yes, I am biased to t’ings Grenadian.
–– TONY WEBSTER