Read Full Speech (PDF) – Dr. Ronnie Yearwood’s lunch time lecture at Barbados Yacht Club
The following documents shared with the BU family by Dr. Ronnie Yearwood
I believe that at no point in a country’s history, should a single generation be faced with the decisions my generation will have to take to restore the fortunes of Barbados, but there can be no hiding. We are at a point in our history where the next generation to come may have less than the one before. That should simply never be, but again there can be no hiding. There is something resoundingly sobering – and frightening – about this as I speak this evening. Equally, sobering is that I am speaking of governance and truth. Truth is, they should be one and the same. But in Barbados today, elsewhere too, in both developed and developing countries, there has been a vicious divorce of the two principles.
The political temperature in the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) neck of the woods is starting to rise as it identifies candidates to run in the next general elections constitutionally due in 2018. It is not unusual for political parties to engage in tussles while negotiating the candidate selection process. Who can forget the dogfight that took place to replace then Henry Ford in Christ Church West and of recent the Maria Agard catfight that has seen the return of former representative William Duguid.
In the news recently veteran BLP candidate David Gill was defeated by rookie Marsha Caddle in St. Michael South Central. The result forced him to admit ”I done wid Mia”. In St. James South new comer Ronnie Yearwood appears to be the Mia anointed at the expense of BLP foot soldier Sandra Husbands. And there is St. Michael North West…
Clearly there is a BLP purge on the way and who can blame Mia? Why would she want Arthur’s disciples at her back?
The downside to the party system is that the democratic ideals to which its members aspire are often compromised in the interest of the leader of the party. Across the globe the party system has been failing. There is no better example than in the United States where the presidential race has been reduced to a reality show staring the greatest of them all Donald Trump and co star Hillary Clinton. The party system is located at the foundation of our democracy. It is scary to observe how those with influence are able to easily influence many who offer to serve.
The BU household is of the view the best representative of a constituency should be a person with an enviable track record of public service. And it should be considered an asset if said person was born and or raised in the constituency they have offered to represent. How do we ring-fence the representative from those who are able to command limitless resources. Denis Lowe and billionaire Peter Allard comes to mind.
An example of influence is the ease with which political aspirants have been able to secure contracts to propagate their agenda in the print and broadcast media.
The following was circulated to the Barbados Media by Peter Boos, Chairman of Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation
On the afternoon of Friday 18 November the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation is hosting its first Innovation Think Tank at the conclusion of the National Entrepreneurship Summit. A paper will be presented by Dr.Ronnie Yearwood entitled “Barbados-A New Governance Model” before a select group of about 60 people chosen from across all sectors of Barbados. The discussion will be moderated by Dr.Jeannine Comma and and we will have a panel of distinguished Barbadians. After the debate we plan to publish a summary.
In the lead up to this discussion Dr.Yearwood has written the attached very compelling and passionate article which I believe you will find very powerful. Although about 3,000 words, Dr.Yearwood is inviting you to publish it in its entirety.
Barbados badly needs this type of debate at this time and I hope you will see it fit for publication, coming as it does from a new generation of Barbadians at a time of national uncertainty.
We are also writing to other print and electronic media to ask them to do the same.