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Sunday 26 January 2020
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Dangerously safe

BC Pires
BC Pires

THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY

YOU DON’T know whether to tap Fat Nixon in the head for possibly starting World War III (and certainly ramping up Islamist terrorist attacks globally) by ordering the killing of that Iranian mofo or to send him a thank-you note for doing something no Trini government could do in nearly 60 years of independence: making TT the eighth safest place in the world to live, ahead of even Barbados (which comes in right behind, at number nine).

Not even Double-G in his first glorious year could pull that off.

According to a study published last October by the UK’s Sun newspaper (which is making the social media rounds this week), in the event of an apocalyptic confrontation between the Great Satan and the Holy Islamic Republic with Nukes, the Bahamas, TT and Barbados are in the top ten best places to flee to. But, of course, the Sun is part of the shameless, fact-denying, truth-bending Rupert Murdoch stable, whose champion horse is Fox News, commonly known, in my house, as Firetruck Facts News.

Assuming you can trust the Sun – which is like saying, assuming the sun doesn’t rise tomorrow – the best chance you have of not being vaporised by a missile from a mullah or a Republican doomsday drone in the next few months is to run to (in this order) Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Malta, Japan, Cape Verde – and then the Caribbean trio of the Bahamas (number seven), TT and Bim. (Cuba comes in at number 11, Jamaica at 18.)

Smoke firetrucking that!

To be considered, countries apparently had to be sovereign nations recognised by the United Nations with populations of at least 250,000 (to facilitate post-apocalyptic renewal), relatively remotely situated, preferably with no land borders. They also had to have high GDPs, be self-sufficient in food and energy and politically stable.

Already including TT and Bim starts to look pretty firetrucking dodgy.

Even the near-national dish of doubles couldn’t be made in Trinidad without imported flour – as well as every grain of firetrucking channa. And the shelf in Barbados’ superbly stocked supermarkets that held only Bajan produce would contain tamarind balls, sugar cakes and conkies. Barbados was never remotely energy-independent (except in solar hot water) and Trinidad, post-Petrotrin, is in actual energy chaos, as any Unipet gas-station proprietor could tell you.

And when you’re exchanging the PNM for the UNC every five years or so, it looks less like political stability and more like political stagnation.

Still, we could lord it over the whole world for a little while, because nowhere in Europe (including the United Kingdom, which is spread over two islands), Africa, Asia or South or North America made the list; not even Ireland got in – though, post-Brexit, when the island of Ireland is reunified, it may become, for the fleeing European Apocalypse Diaspora, what Madeira was for the Portuguese shopkeeper one in the 17th century.

So, for a little while, the Trinidadian who has been racking his brain for years trying to figure out how he can legally enter the USA (so he can remain there illegally forever, or until his chances melt with ICE), can puff up his chest and strut: if the Third World (Final Crusades) War should start, TT is the eighth safest place in the world…

Except, of course, for a number one statistic the Sun overlooked last year and Trinis have been avoiding this week: no country in the Western Hemisphere sent more volunteer jihadis to fight for the I-Sissies than TT!

As a percentage of total population, only England generated more I-Sissy jihadis than Trinidad. You have a greater chance of bumping into a radical Islamist walking around Port of Spain than you do walking around any major western city (bar possibly London). If you left Europe to escape Islamist crackpot jihadis and you came to Trinidad, you’d have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

So we can’t even enjoy the little boast that, in the event of utter madness everywhere else, we’d be cool here.

Indeed, even without a third world war, our chances of becoming a desired destination for worldwide emigration are slim.

Trinidadians wake almost every morning to yet another double, triple or quadruple homicide, another news story of a family who did nothing but own a flatscreen TV to have their throats slit in their own homes.

Utter madness has been the norm here for as long as most of us can remember.

So the only comfort we can take from Trump’s possible Holy World War is that at least we are not beholden to that fat firetruck.

BC Pires is an optimistic pessimist realist

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