$800 million lost to the Bahraini economy – an opposition success?Posted on Mar 13, 2012 in Articles | 0 comments
Ali Salman, Nabeel Rajab and Ibrahim Sharif must be rubbing their hands in glee at this new set of statistics. This is proof of the success of their sit-ins, road blocking and disruptive activity. They have succeeded in sending the Bahraini economy down the toilet.
For all of us who care about Bahrain, on the other hand, this is a tragedy. Particularly as according to the statistics $600m of this is indirect losses; meaning the revenue accruing to small businesses and flowing through the veins of the wider economy benefitting us all. $800m could provide generous salaries for 10,000 Bahrainis; it could build better roads, schools, hospitals. Instead, not only has that money been lost to us, but an unimaginably large amount of money will have also been spent by our leaders in countering the demonstrations, instead of putting this money to good use.
To those who they are seeking to brainwash, the opposition are promising jobs, opportunities, justice and a better future. What they don’t tell those who they are recruiting is that the very methods they are using will set back the Bahraini economy by maybe a decade, and many investors may never return to our shores, preferring somewhere more stable. So even if they succeeded in making our society fairer, they will be cutting slices from a tiny economic cake and we can all enjoy poverty together.
What is it that has always made Bahrain an attractive place to do business? It used to be a haven of economic stability, with relatively open business practices, good incentives for investors and a refreshingly tolerant and open society to come and trade with. The opposition are enthusiastically putting an end to all of this. They are doing everything they can to portray our country to the outside world as a third world basket case and their systematic disruption of the state is making business difficult if not impossible in certain sectors.
If our intellectually threadbare opposition had read a few more books and weren’t wedded to the ideals of the Islamic Republic, they would probably have been communists. The desire to capture the state, a hatred of the private sector and an obsession with equality meant that wherever communism took root the entire society, except for a tiny cabal of rulers, survived in absolute poverty.
In reality, the opposition’s economic vision for Bahrain is no more than this; although all indications are that Bahrain would be worse because this would come combined with a Khomeiniist ideology of Wilayat Al Faqih and repression of all non-compatible religious and social practices.
In Bahrain we are too tolerant. How long will the rest of us sit back and passively allow the opposition to continue bringing things to a halt? We shouldn’t humour them, they are impoverishing us. For the sake of our society, let’s stand up for ourselves and tell those people calling for yet another “Day of Rage” that you do not speak for Bahrain; you are not acting in our name and you are ruining this country for us all.