My fellow Bajans today Barbados finds itself at a significant historical crossroads as we head towards the next general election … In one direction is the DLP path which in summary gets Barbados back on track economically on the “Backs of Poor and Middle class Bajans by taxing, and nickel and diming them to death, while the wealthy in Barbados sit back quite and watch”. Additionally on the revenue side nothing significantly has come from the DLP making the impact of the global recession worst due to an apparent “DLP Recession of Ideas and Abilities” coupled with “Poor DLP Leadership”. The DLP would like the bajan public to join them in singing “Don’t Worry Be Happy” with sweet talk of building a society while not living up to many of their DLP manifesto promises. In response to the global recession many nations are repositioning and retooling their economies (and people) to meet the demands of a post recession world, however the DLP continues it’s “lets’ just wait and see” strategy on key issues facing Barbados.
The fact is that the tourism industry as we have known it has “changes forever or at least in the near term” as folks in the US, UK and Canada are expected to travel less in the coming years; this means that economics that depend upon tourism need to find innovative ways to get visitor numbers up. We need to change our historical view of tourism in very significant ways, as we have yet to tap the full potential of the U.S market which to me seems to be an obvious approach nothing the size and proximity of the U.S to Barbados. The DLP has not demonstrated an ability to put innovative tourism ideas in the table, for example they opened a new route to one of the poorest country’s in the world (Brazil) and expect it to bear fruit, at the end of the day it will be a total waste of tourism dollars. The same half-baked DLP governance we see with the Ministry of Tourism is the same in the Agriculture and Manufacturing sections to mention a few.
On the BLP side is a proven historical track record of managing Barbados in “both challenging and prosperous times”. Since no government (DLP, BLP, Republican or Democrat etc) can ever claim to be perfect all the time for all the people, to ignore the historical contributions on the BLP in simply not “fair” and “unfortunate”. The BLP believes in taking a proactive “Fair and Balanced Economic Recovery and Stimulus Approach” which focuses on simply “putting money in the pockets of poor and middle class bajan families” to add needed stimulus to the economy. The BLP also believes in leveraging the intellectual capability and spirit of the Bajan people to “Problem Solve”, versus the totally reactionary policy positions of the current DLP administration.
Sadly the near term economic future of Barbados is in the hands of a Minister of Finance and PM who are simply not believable to many decision makers in the private sector, while very intelligent men they do not appear to have the business or economic experience necessary to navigate Barbados into better economic waters. The DLP had years now to stabilize the economy and under PM David Thompson (may God rest his soul) that “may” have been possible as he clearly had “leadership abilities the current PM does NOT”.
Many Bajans share the frustrations recently expressed by DLP Minister of Agriculture in dealing with key issue facing Barbados … the only question is when will other members of the current DLP administration “PUT COUNTRY FIRST” and have their “TRUTH MOMENT” on the lack of leadership coming from the PM which is quite clear to the general public.
The Rt. Honourable Owen Arthur has the Globally recognized political wisdom, leadership, experience and governance abilities needed at this time to get Barbados back on track. The past successes of the BLP happened because Owen Arthur had “confidence in the bajan people to do their part to move Barbados forward” and the public and private sectors responded, and this can happen again.
In closing at this point one thing is certain to many Bajans … another term under the DLP may render Barbados unrecognizable if we continue down the “Let’s Wait and See” path we are on.