Submitted by Douglas
Tomorrow our wonderful island celebrates forty seven years as an Independent Nation. This is indeed a cause for great celebration. It is also a time for us to reflect on the circumstances of pre-independent Barbados and especially the thoughts, words and deeds of our forefathers who fought against many odds for our Independence.
Despite what others may wish to say, one can never deny the fact that it was the Democratic Labour Party that took Barbados into independence. One can also not deny the fact that it was the BLP and their supporters who fought against Barbados becoming independent.
A brief review of the many debates and other engagements of that early 1960’s era paints a very graphic picture of the environment within which our founding fathers fought. An environment which some may well argue still exists today. According to Premier Barrow, they were young and not so young ‘humbugs’ who were ‘befouling this night air’; ambitious people of flexible views; people of no political party, men who had never spoken in parliament who had been paid ten thousand pounds to campaign against independence; and, because they were participating in an exercise of ‘trying to pull down what we have built up for Barbados’, posterity should desecrate their names ‘in every sense of the term’!
There is clear evidence that Barrow’s comments fifty years ago is evidenced today as the same BLP members continue to pull down all that we have built up in Barbados.
Premier Barrow, in his eloquent fashion, did observe that impending independence was the time for ‘the soul of the country to be laid bare’, so that ‘we know what we are and where we are going.’
The DLP continues to lay bare the soul of this country so that we know what we are and where we are going. As we continue to battle the remnants of a long and deep global recession and errors of past administrations, the DLP ensures that not only do we keep this island informed of our challenges and opportunities, but also that we are doing to move this economy and society forward in a sustainable way.
Once again we are forced to take a very serious look at ourselves at the individual level and the national level. These are times when we all are being called upon to make sacrifices for the greater good. There is nothing inherently wrong in this call. It was what Errol Barrow and our founding Fathers called for and what we have been able to do time and time again. We are a very resilient people.
We have been and continues to be a very well educated and healthy populace. We have used such attributes in the past to weather all economic storms – the same is being done now.
Our manufacturing sector is already seeing growth. Our agricultural sector is once again beginning to bloom. Law and order remains in place today. Our cultural industry is being revitalized. Our health and education services function effectively. Our tourism sector is being repositioned to weather further storms. We are becoming a greener economy and a healthier environment. We remain very well respected in the global arena.
These and much more are being done by a Government and Cabinet principally led by men and women who may have been babes in 1966 but who fully understand and associate with the philosophy and principles of our founding Fathers. These are men and women who have the fortitude to do what is necessary to restructure this economy and to build a better Barbados.
Our work must also be mindful of the point that this island has another step to go towards full independence – towards full control. A march towards republicanism must be next on our agenda.
As Errol Walton Barrow stated, Independence does not mean that you become disrespectful to anyone provided he respects you; and I know that Barbadians have enough good sense; they have a reputation for being polite and courteous to people, and the fact that we have independence would not mean that we are animals cut loose and running around in circles ……….
Happy 47th. Anniversary Barbados.
The Dems are with you.