Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shock me to reality

Over the years I have been exposed to and possibly been a part of the the "blame game theory" - where we find ourselves in precarious, troubling situations and we summon from within ourselves the ability to point fingers and identify the systems, government officials, and entities that are responsible for our untimely demise - yet unable to determine our own role in the saga.

But I was rather disappointed when I read a letter to the editor by Ms. Vynette Frederick, my fellow GHS colleague and the energetic youthful face of the NDP about the plight of the residents of 'Poleyard' - a community that has found itself on the upsurge within recent years. She called it a 'bustling community' of over 200 residents. But what bewildered me was the cry that she made for them to be provided with water because such amenities had not been yet provided to the area. Isn't this an area that houses VINLEC poles and therefore electricity in larger numbers than usual? Should they not be relocated - especially since the government always seems to have lands to give away within recent times?

But I am guessing that numerous politicians have threaded their way through the area and made possibly genuine promises that faltered in the shadows of the reality of the location. I am not an electrical expert (I scream at the slightest spark from a outlet and I am tempted to shut down the fuse box of my house at the hint of lightning) nor am I a community housing expert but I consider myself to be reasonably minded female with a growing notion of what is commonsensical in this day and age. Why would CWSA run pipes in the area to provide them with water - since the chances of it becoming an established community are low to nil? Their continued occupation of that location, while probably founded on the basic need to find somewhere to live cannot be reasonably seen as having any sustainable future.

And giving water to the residents of Poleyard is not even logical in the imagination of the most revolutionary of political directorates - electric poles and water don't mix favourably the last time I wikied that topic. So despite the noble garb of the passion expressed by Vynnie V., it still reeks of unreasonable political hype

What also struck me was her reference to water as an amenity, rather than the basic need that it is. Have our politicians become so sullied by the thrust for power that WATER has become a "pleasant feature of a place" {the definition of amenity in the Oxford}? Usually, I hear the term being used on HGTV, when describing the golf course and the swimming pool access that comes along with a condo being shown to a young couple looking for their first home. I would not readily apply it to anyone in the world that does not have the ability to use clean water for cooking, cleaning, washing, drinking not to mention the automatic absence of sanitary toilet facilities.

And not to mention the fact that Poleyard is located in the vicinity of the airport. I know all the talk about the development of Arnos Vale into a new city and the transformation of the airport into a commercial wonderland - all dependent on the completion of the Argyle International Airport (and we all know what thin strings that balances upon). Why would anyone be interested in improving the well-being of the residents of a community that is so unfortunately positioned?

Would it not be more feasible, both on a political strategy point and national interest point to move them completely? When is someone going to hand these people reality rather than impassioned newspaper coverage? When are we going to be shocked for once and for all and hear someone in authority make an executive decision, disregarding the social upset it may cause and focus on the long-term solutions?

But this is one of many situations that our politicians have allowed to fester, while promising outcomes of grandeur, dismissing the poverty that has driven people to that point and somehow justifying their claim to destitute lives.
Like the Long Wall and Quarry situation, or the houses on the beach in the Georgetown community, or the squatters perched on the hillsides in my own community whose constant clearing of the forest has caused at least two landslides within the last two weeks and damage to the property of a family who would have worked hard to build their home and hearth.


  1. Colour me cynical but I didn't get a sense of caring about Poleyard. She said on FB it wasn't a political issue but lo and behold we had to hear in detail what the residents thought of the political representation. Naturally, someone was going to respond and further politicize the waters. Ni agree with you that they should just be relocated

  2. I love the fact that someone responded to V. Frederick, especially since that person comes from the area itself. It gave light to the fact that this was no more than a net thrown out to see how much fish could be swept in.

    But then unfortunately, here comes this week a letter from the Villa-Arnos Vale Development Committee (since when?), talking about all they have done - BUT NO ONE HANDS OUT THE REALITY THAT THEY NEED TO BE MOVED

  3. People in Poleyard have to be moved sooner or later. And the longer they stay, the harder it's gonna be to move them. The are squatting, and squatting in a most inconvenient place at that.
    That being said, I'm sure its not easy to pick up people, families, possessions etc and drop them somewhere else -- especially since they've been putting down roots for years now... not unless you wanna make the state take care of them for the next decade.
    As for Vynette's comments- that was political opportunism at its most transparent. Quickly does the young Jedi learn.


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