The Moral Equivalence of Treason
Submitted by Pachamama
For some time, there has a been a protracted ‘disagreement’ between the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados (CBoB), Delisle Worrell and the Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler. It represents a deepening political-economy crisis.
In trying to flesh out this phenomenon, we will sometimes directly address the prime minister, himself, as we urge urgent action.
Worrell and Sinckler have been the two main principals in the management of the Barbados economy, for the last 7 to 8 years. During this time, we have had many failures. Failures that both, men and institutions, might arguably to adjudged as equally responsible.
Rumours, gossip, some reporting and fake news on this matter, currently ‘sub judice’, have served to further weaken the political culture. That culture, with all its in-built frailties, has already delivered us circumstances where the distribution of forces in Parliament are nearly even, notwithstanding minor leakages on one side.
Since the last general election, there has been a close-quarter tug-o-war between the main belligerents that was engendered by a ‘misinterpretation’ of the results. The DLP incumbent government believed that a nearly-tied election was a win instead of representative of a public demand for a national unity government.
At the same time, there was no evidence that the opposition BLP, under a MAM, would have been interested in that kind of political formation. Therein lies another weakness of the system. There must be ‘a winner takes all’ mentality. Not only for the elites of both parties but the rank and file on either side, the yard fowls. In Westminster, we have had many coalition governments but Barbados, being more British that the British, this can never be. Talk of such is sacrilege.
The prime minister is therefore hemmed-in. Largely by the political culture but also by his socialization as a man who has long exhibited a lack of courage. What kind of a prime minister, within the Westminster system, can show that he has neither bark nor bite?
So what we have is a badly failing economy, a weak government, an international political-economic order in ‘transition’ and a prime minister whose cowardice is getting the better of him.
We are surprised that in these circumstances Stuart would want to travel, ignoring what is a deep crisis at home. Leaving it to fix itself. For in these difficult times the country needs its two principal economic managers working together to prevent the beginning of a never-ending cycle of devaluations, or worse.
It needs a strong prime minister even more. Strong for the country’s sake! And if these two economic ‘experts’ cannot bury their hatchets, the interests of Barbados must immediately be shown to be paramount, above personality cultism, regardless to whom they maybe.
In addition, Stuart displays a false temerity, mere word play, to suggest, from New York, that he will not interfere in a matter, in terms of Barbados, this is akin to issues of war and peace. Can there be any other crisis facing a prime minister of Barbados, within these dire contexts, more severe in peace time? Facing a near economic collapse with political disorder to high heaven.
Does this prime minister not know that his failure to address this matter has implications for Barbados’ image in the international financial markets? Why would Stuart, by his refusal to act, outsource the prerogative of the office of the prime minister to the judges in Coleridge Street, given the notorious delays which can be expected? And are these damages to Barbados not incalculable? Where is the economy in that or the economic brains driving this national fiasco?
We have argued elsewhere that there needs to be an intervention, preferably by the prime minister. But in these unusual circumstances, the Governor General may consider it in the Queen’s interests to suggest a speedy resolution, since the prime lacks the will, courage.
Prime Minister, the announced demonstration/s by the BLP will only serve to deepen the crisis, increase the harm to our country, increase the level of instability, but it in your power to take such actions to at least partially repair the damage caused.
That resolution could include the firing of the minister of finance. The sending of the governor of the Central Banks on pre-retirement leave or its equivalent. The removal of the litigious matter seeking the attentions of the Courts. And the adequate compensation of warring parties for prompt compliance.
Prime minister, we are not unaware of the complex relationships with the governor and the minister of finance. We are not unaware of the role of Sinckler for future party leadership, even if your party loses the next election. We know that you are seeking to avoid a defeat, come next election. And that the perception of a rising economy is central thereto. However prime minister, hard decisions can no longer be avoided.
Look at the bright side, these are the times which try men souls, a writer said. For they present you with an opportunity to avoid your fate. They present you, circumstances to defy the odds, escape history and become the greatest prime minister the country would have known.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to shoot a ‘general’, or two, in a public place to restore order amongst the ranks. Prime minister that time has come. Should you continue to choose to fail in your solemn duty you will go down as the worst prime minister this country has had. At the same time, the price of your failure is the moral equivalent of treason.