There comes a time when we must stand up to the challenges and fight. We need to show when enough is enough, speak boldly about our expectations, and act accordingly in order to remedy the situations. As far as I am concerned, this is the advice that can be best offered to Barbadians from all walks of life, inclusive of the Prime Minister of Barbados, and the many unemployed mothers and fathers that cry out for immediate help in the midst of our beloved Barbados. The current socio-economic climate indicates two puzzling themes, one seemingly daunting, and the other begging for a little hope to hold on to as rough times become even more difficult.
On the one hand, the Prime Minister of Barbados is repeatedly saying that “we [the DLP and its props] have faced challenges over the last four years. We came into government at a very difficult time – the most difficult time in the last 100 years – and the situation is now even more perilous.” Members of his Cabinet have said the same thing in various ways inclusive of ‘blowing hot air’ over the ‘bad hand’ that the DLP is supposed to have inherited from a BLP administration. According to Christopher Sinckler, there is some underlying penchant by the BLP that exhibits itself in a “hunger for office to waste another fourteen years” and to “squander opportunity after opportunity.” Is this a similar deception by the DLP that preceded the January 2008 general elections in Barbados? Many Barbadians have determined that the burgeoning quest of ‘time for a change’ was nothing more than a plan hatched in the orchestra George Street to gain the seat of political power in Barbados but without serious consideration for the citizens of the country given the ridiculous nature of outlandish promises thrown to an electorate eager for even better socioeconomic circumstances.
On the other hand, many persons in Barbados are now saying that they “are worse off” since the departure of the BLP in 2008. They are screaming each day about the “soaring prices in the supermarkets, that bottle gas is going up beyond the capacity to pay, the cost of living is going through the roof, and the little money one is getting if you still have a job, comes in and goes out with the high charges placed on water and electric bills.” In other words, what is being said by the people and by Prime Minister Stuart are discordant with each other. One position citing the international recession may have some merit, but its constant repetition by the executive leader of the country is not a solution, nor are attempts to hush criticisms of the DLP’s flailing regime representative of a pacifier for soothing the discomforts being endured by suffering Bajans during these harsh times.
In Barbados, many people from all walks of life, and the private companies and businesses still need to keep their heads above the water. These frustrated groups are bawling at the current administration hoping to grab its attention long enough so that the distracted, if not deafened, DLP-headed government would hear their combined plight that things have reached a stage in Barbados where and when enough is enough.
In that regard, an old lady reminded me to go back to this year’s budget presentation, and I would realise the emptiness that coming from those persons who are supposed to be managing the country, and those boasting of Barbados being a steady ship guided by a pilot whose phase of operation has long surpassed those phases for which a majority of Barbadians unfortunately find themselves.
The current self-adulatory Minister of Finance, strictly judging by his demeanour in and outside of Parliament, is charged with the economic affairs of this country Barbados. Indeed, one is awestruck by Christopher Sinckler telling Barbadians that the Stuart-led DLP administration is creating “a platform that prioritizes economic stability and growth, social advancement and security, and human, cultural and psychological development” for the people of Barbados. Nice sounding words and overall the statement reflects an ideal that calls for a sea change in the population’s attitude and it necessitates expansive resources. Yet, are not these things difficult to achieve even in the best of social and economic times?
It is regrettable therefore, that Chris Sinckler would proceed to make the very inopportune – rather than deliberately deceptive statement – assuring that “it is to these lofty but imminently achievable objectives that this Democratic Labour Party administration commits itself.” Barbadians have to be resolute and ask whether Mr. Sinckler and all those who supported the budgetary proposals are residing in Barbados or some far away planet. How can these things be achieved imminently, meaning short-term and about to happen, when the first order of the day was to devise an ineffective Medium Term Fiscal Strategy that since had to be revised due to inherent failures, and that did not and could not achieve the ‘grand’ things it set out to do?
to be continued…