Mark Pickering, meet Mark Atkinson… and bring some Certified Angus Beef

What do American cowboys think of Barbados?

What do Bajans think about Kansas beef?

Beef and Barbados, but our story is about much more than that subject…

Congratulations to Mark Atkinson who is the new executive chef at Tamarind Cove. I read about him in Barbados Today’s article Tamarind Cove gets new top chef where we also stole borrowed the above photo.

Mark Pickering is in charge of sales for Hotel Food Supplies in Bridgetown and although I don’t know him, I know about his work because I chanced upon a very interesting article in Drovers Cattle Network magazine: Five Minutes with Mark Pickering, hotel food supplies in Barbados.

The two Marks probably already know each other. I surmised that after reading a US cattleman’s magazine article about selling beef to Barbados. Thanks to the internet, I now have a better appreciation about how Bajans and their guests like their beef and how that differs from the South American markets and suppliers.

But that’s not the real message of this post.

The real message is that the world is getting smaller every day, and with the internet everything seems to be interconnected – including Kansas cowboys and British tourists sitting down to a meal at Tamarind Cove. That interconnection cuts two ways depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re a dictator in Egypt or the Prime Minister of a small island nation called Barbados and you want to control information and the message: you are out of luck.

But if you’re an American cowboy looking to sell beef – or an ordinary Bajan trying to form a new political party – the internet is your friend and the means of communicating your message to Barbados and the world.

The information genie is out of the bottle and the Bajan elites no longer control information in the way they could in the past – but is that the reason why we’re hearing more about intimidation and outright threats associated with politics? Are we seeing the frustration of the elites like Owen Arthur who used to be able to control the information by squeezing the local news media? The elites can still control the local media, but that won’t prevent the public from seeing a copy of the “political donation” cheque that Owen Arthur deposited into his personal bank account.

Faced with this inability to control the spread of information, the old timers might be resorting to cruder methods against the writers of the information.

Something to think about as the calls increase for a new political party to break the cycle of corruption and elitism in Barbados politics and government.

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