Notebook

Shortly before my arrival there had been another police campaign, reportedly of exceptional rigour, against illegal immigrants. The attitudes to immigrants are the same the world over – the stories about West Indians in England (“twenty-four to a room”) are exactly matched by the stories about Grenadians and others in Trinidad – and there was great public enthusiasm as Grenadians scattered all over the island in terror and went into hiding. (Many were harboured by employers who value the cheapness of their labour…)

The calypsonian called Lord Blakie sang:

“Move, lemme get me share.
They beating Grenadians down in the Square.
Lemme pelt a lash, lemme get a share.
They beating Grenadians down in the Square.
Since they hear we have Federation
All of them packing up in this island.”

V.S. Naipaul, “The Middle Passage”.

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