The politicians have done it again, 300 thousand limey pounds of OPM blown into the air as the French say and they are experts in knowing how government can waste Other People’s Money. For the last 50 years I have tried to find a place, a country, where there is no government, where ‘authorities’ are unknown. A number of years ago I thought that I had found this Eldorado in the shape of the mid atlantic island of St Helena. However, when I suggested to my dear wifey that we go and live there, she refused, absolutely…. One Frenchman in the shape of that bloody Napoleon had been quite enough for that island and my French wife was certainly not going there. Bon, basta, but today I learn that she was quite right not wanting to live there although for different reasons. This mountainous islands has about 4000 inhabitants who like to call themselves ‘Saints’ and these saints are no better of than any other people in the world because they have a government also. Authority is firmly established in the island of the ‘Saints’. And with it: Idiocy.

For some reason the saints want to become rich. They have plenty of fish, parts of the island have good soil to produce all the food needed but that is not enough. Riches through tourism has to be the answer. The small vessel that services the island from Cape Town can only take a few dozens of money-loaded tourists, not at all enough for the saints and so the idea was born of an aerodrome where thousands could be welcomed. It all took time but in the end the idiot government of England and the innocent saints paid for the construction of an aerodrome next to a 1000feet rocky precipice, control tower, passenger reception and offices, a lovely little aeroport built on an ancient volcano. Hundreds of saints were invited by the St Helena government to try out the offices like future tourists. The offices were fine, however, the first plane that tried to land on the brand new runway had difficulty to land because of the trade winds. Trade winds do not stop blowing on a wee island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean and because of the mountainess shape of the island these winds are the cause of phenomena called wind shear or turbulence which have caused many plane accidents during landing. Pilot’s comments have been hidden, one was heard, ‘devastating to land there’.

Before anything was built, planes could have come from nearby Ascension Island to estimate the meteorological conditions or an helicopter to assess the difficulties. Certainly an experienced pilot was needed but the government had not thought of that. It is said that further research will address the landing difficulties. Yes, like changing the shape of the island or stopping the trade winds.


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One Response to St Helena’s Follies.

  1. Ingrid Dekker says:

    Well there is a good news in your story : the island will not be invaded by tourists ! and so maybe it will remain a paradise even if it has a government.

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