Monday, February 26, 2024

The Cadgers' Chorus

I’m starting to experience a degree of miffedness with all this moaning about the Sunday visiting vehicle moratorium during Lent.

First up, it’s just Sunday. And only a handful of such Sundays during the whole year.

Secondly, the majority of the people doing all this griping are doing it from within sectors of the local economy which are almost ludicrously over-saturated (beer, pizza, coffee etc.) and which almost anywhere else would be subject to superior year-round regulation.

Frankly, if your business cannot cope with a reduced footfall for half a dozen days per year, you are in the WRONG business. You are in effect operating at the rather iffy margins, like people who build homes on cheap land close to collapsible hillsides (...or indeed, ancient Mayan civilisation.)

Indeed, and this might be painful to hear, if you are not doing something significantly different (and better) than everyone else in the sector, you are little more than CLUTTER, not a vital ingredient in the lifeblood of the community.

Antigua really ought not — or at least need not — depend so wholeheartedly on tourism, and especially not the over-saturated sort. When I first came here there were relatively few transients present and the city was doing just fine.

This much-mentioned economic dependency today is largely limited to the enterprises which have been drawn in to exploit — and in many cases over-exploit in a notably parasitical manner — what they perceive as the opportunity offered by the host location.

“Antigua is for all” is their deceptively egalitarian mantra, which would in effect put a stop to any attempt at regulation. What they really mean is that "Antigua is a free for all", and that their right to make a living here trumps everyone else’s right to enjoy a reasonable quality of life or indeed occasionally pursue goals which are non-commercial.

We saw much the same petulant outpouring of grievance just a few months ago when the political protests and associated blockades were seemingly reducing inbound traffic, and a near identical mob of over-privileged whingers started up with a sob story they falsely assumed to be all-embracing and ubiquitous.

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