Social Partnership Meeting | Come Together and Make it Work…
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” – Shakespeare
The headline in one of the newspapers blazed Eye to Eye on violence supported with a picture of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley. The immediate thought by the BU blogmaster was that the leaders of the two main political parties had joined forces in the national interest to serve as a calming influence on the country days after the Kadooment Shootings. After perusing the opening paragraph of the newspaper article such a lofty expectation was dashed. It was the usual political palaver full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!
In 1978 the great Bob Marley staged the One Love Concert that will be etched in history when he called for Michael Manley and Edward Seaga who represented the two main political parties operating in a fractious political environment at the time to shake hands. One senses that the Barbados landscape has become fractious- not to the same degree as Jamaica but trending- and there is the opportunity for a signal act by relevant parties to send a message to the population that we are Bajans first and must come together to make it work.
The contentious meeting of the Social Partnership will be held within the next 24 hours to address the call by the unions and private sector for government to engage in greater dialogue. On the agenda is the request by the unions for government to implement a coping subsidy to soften the impact of the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) on public workers. The decision by the government to publicise the event (we wait to see if it happens) is a clear indication that there is distrust of the partnership by a key member. Many fear it will an opportunity for grandstanding by political participants with a few months to go until the next general election. BU is of the view there is the opportunity for the heads of the various stakeholders of the Social Partnership to publicly demonstrate to the country that despite the contentious issues on the agenda, it is ONE LOVE. Why not invite Mia Mottley and a couple leaders from the religious community to participate at tomorrow’s meeting, it would be unprecedented but viewed favorably as being in the national interest. Will NEVER happen!
Whether by accident or not, the Acting Governor of the Central bank Cleviston Haynes has scheduled a press briefing for Friday 11, 2017 at 11AM to review the performance of the Barbados economy for the first six months. It promises to be an interesting 24 hours.