Cowell shells out £100 extra duty on Sapporo beer
The Sun says that Simon Cowell was “a bit miffed” that Barbados Customs made him pay duty on ten cases of Sapporo beer last Tuesday. Mr. Cowell enjoys yeast-free Sapporo beer and it’s not available in Barbados so he brought some with him on his executive jet.
Fair enough. We can see Mr. Cowell’s side of things. He spends a small fortune every time he visits the island and he helps keep many folks employed, so he sees £100 as nit-picky. His jet will fill up with thousands of dollars of fuel and he’ll pay far more than £100 in fuel taxes and service fees alone and that’s just his airplane arriving. Mr. Cowell thinks, “Why are you bothering me with this?”
We at Barbados Free Press understand Mr. Cowell’s point of view. For truth most Bajans wouldn’t be too unhappy (or surprised) if the Customs people had of looked the other way for Mr. Cowell. For truth it has probably happened before with him, but we never hear about those times.
Bajans want Mr. Cowell to know that we appreciate his business and his love of Barbados. Folks are aware that he does many good works in Barbados – most of the time very quietly. People ’bout hey know that side of Mr. Cowell, and we respect him for helping others for no reason other than the goodness of his heart.
Here is the problem with Mr. Cowell complaining about having to pay £100 duty on his beer.
We have this little problem with Rule of Law in Barbados: we generally don’t have it. In practically every area of our society we have two laws: one for the rich and/or connected, and another law for the rest of us.
Bajans see this from the time they can walk and it has held back our society in many ways. When the law is applied differentially according to class (which used to be “race” but is now more about money and connections) it breeds disrespect for the law and animosity between communities.
Can you imagine in this moment in history that uniformed officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force would be afraid to enter a gated community to answer a wife-beating call – because the community is primarily rich and white? It happens.
That kind of nonsense is programmed right into our culture and it’s so difficult to break when rich folks demand one law for themselves and another for everyone else.
There’s not a person on this island who would expect to arrive in the United Kingdom with ten cases of beer and not have to pay duty, so why should it be any different for Mr. Cowell when he arrives in Barbados? Of course, it might be that Mr. Cowell wasn’t “miffed” at all and the Sun is just making something out of a normal duty payment.
We’re rather proud of the Customs Officers who nicked Simon Cowell for the proper duty because it gives us hope that someday in the future – maybe, just maybe – there might be one law for all on this rock.
And if Mr. Cowell wants to meet us tomorrow night (Friday) at Marcia’s Place in Oistins, we’ll buy him dinner and all the beer he wants. We’ll be there at 7pm. Fuh true!
Thanks to The Sun for the photo of Simon Cowell and his Sapporo Light (Light? uggghhhhh!)