Submitted by DAVID COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement
As the new Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration and its inspirational leader — Prime Minister Mia Mottley — commence our country’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the role and duty of every patriotic citizen is to stand in solidarity with our Government and to present a strong seamlessly united Government / Private Sector / Trade Union / Civil Society front to the IMF.
Our new government has made it clear that its approach to the IMF will be centred around the fundamental “Barbadian principle” that our country’s development MUST be based on nurturing and fostering the educational talents and accomplishments of our people , and on maintaining a sound, efficient and civilized system of social services and amenities for the benefit of tourists, would-be foreign investors, and the Barbadian citizenry alike.
Prime Minister Mottley has made it clear that Barbados will be approaching the IMF NOT as a helpless supplicant, but as a respected member of that international financial institution — a member that has over the years consistently demonstrated that its basic national developmental model is sound and sensible.
We Barbadians therefore need to uniformly assure the IMF that, having freed ourselves of an uncharacteristically dysfunctional Barbadian governmental administration, we are now more than capable of restoring local and foreign investor confidence in our economy, and in undertaking firm and measured reforms to update and strengthen our economic model, and to upgrade the productivity of our population.
Thus, what Barbados needs from the IMF at this time is some temporary financial relief to ease the burden of our international debt obligations and to shore up our stock of foreign reserves, while we (Government and people together) forge ahead with urgency and a new sense of mission to carry out the necessary national repairs and reforms.
The last thing that we need at this time — on the eve of the visit of the IMF team — is the divisive and potentially demoralizing public mouthings of the Delisle Worrells of Barbados!
Dr Delisle Worrell — the man who fought tooth and nail to save HIS job: the former Central Bank Governor who facilitated the DLP government’s economically destructive printing of money for several years — has come out of the proverbial woodwork to publicly oppose the fundamentals of our new Government’s approach to the IMF and to suggest that our Government should immediately fire 1,500 public sector workers and virtually eliminate all financial support for our statutory corporations.
(Clearly, Dr Worrell’s job was of supreme value and importance to him, but he seemingly cannot appreciate why the jobs of thousands of other Barbadian citizens who work in the public service and in the statutory corporations are of value and importance to THEM and their families !)
With all due respect to my Barbadian elder, I would like to inform Dr Worrell that he and the dysfunctional DLP Government that he served have already done enough damage to our country, and that he should just shut up and allow Ms Mottley and her team to engage with the IMF against a background of unified national support.
On behalf of the officers and members of the Clement Payne Movement I hereby call upon all Barbadian citizens and all of the civil society and private sector organizations of our country to stand united in solidarity with our Government as it embarks upon these important and sensitive negotiations with the IMF.
Let us —by our words and deeds — bring home to the officials of the IMF that Barbados is indeed a special country — a sturdy little nation that possesses such invaluable resources as a compact and well organized society, a literate and well educated population, an impressive communications infrastructure, a cohesive and distinctive national culture, a relatively large stock of domestic savings, a strategic geographical location, an admirable political stability and maturity, a population steeped in the instincts and practices of democracy, and an appreciable number of national economic resources imbued with the potential for future development.
There is nothing that is wrong with Barbados that we — the Barbadian people — cannot put right !