Submitted by Old Onions Bag
What is the political climate in Barbados?
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes – Oscar Wilde
Without a doubt, one must admit, Barbados has seen its share of problems during these last four and a half years. Bajans though accustomed, have had it up to here with all these mistakes.
By now, everyone would have felt that seeing this administration is nearing the end of term, surely by now, they should be getting things right. WRONG….Blunder after blunder as of if playing school boy tonk with a village bully, Bajans seem to be getting the shitty end of the stick….not those who are making these mistakes. Take for instance the latest, The Waterman Inquiry…genius at work or another blunder bomber? $598,000 at first draw-down, weeks after we were informed in an unforgiving misery Budget, to cut and contrive.
Why how could this be? Why was there not the King’s Report which from all indicators, travelled the same route, and more likely than not, destined to produce a same conclusion about the school? How do we explain the extravagance, when we have told destitute storm victims of Tomas, who are still without a roof over their heads, to hold strain? Why is it some new game? The re-hiring of a dismissed doctor to that of secretary to the Inquiry only to have a lissom share in the divide? No one even bothered to cover up the extent of the consanguineous fandango.
Today’s announcement that Barbados sovereign credit rating has been downgraded to BB+/B from BBB-/A-3 is unfortunate. There is no consolation that we have been bundled with several European countries who have earned junk bond rating.
Dr. Frank Alleyne made a statement which resonated with the BU household on the weekend. He opined that a major problem driving our public debt is structural. He suggested successive governments have not addressed the problem. They preferred instead to be politically expedient. BU prefers to focus on a reality that in the boom years we did not solidify our economic fundamentals. One clear example was building out an economy with no concern to diversify our energy base. Another, we encouraged rampant consumption expenditure fed in the 1995-2007 period especially.
What is unfortunate is that with a general election on the horizon, the opportunity for serious public discussion and earth moving decisions will not be top of mind for government. What we have though is partisan political chatter now that Barbados has attained junk bond rating. The opportunity for government to distil the arguments has now gotten even more difficult. BU must harp on the point that the government has to be coherent and cohesive in the way it articulates its strategy i.e. what it has achieved to date, in the near term and what it hopes to achieve.