Submitted by Mahogany Coconut Think tank and Watchdog Group
As we approach the middle of 2013, it is obvious that throughout the Caribbean, the collective political managerial class has been reduced to acting like chickens without heads. We are not going to dwell on the party based political arguments, which are relentlessly fuelled by two groups: those who want their party to remain in power and those who want their party to regain power. The situation in Barbados has now reached dangerously comical levels. Both the Democratic Labour party and the Barbados Labour Party continue to appear useless when it comes to managing our island state.
We however cannot be only critical of the DLP/BLP. It is equally dismal on the private sector side, that is now complaining about everything and embarking on the most alarming and bold faced economic blackmail imaginable. The private sector is saying to the government, it will breathe new life into the economy under the condition that we can privatize everything: the hospital, the ports of entry, the sanitation service and public transportation. It is saying to the government: send home the public workers and unleash massive suffering on the populace while we become the sole reapers of all the economic gain.
They want to keep their cake and eat it too. This is the very same private sector that: wrecked the agricultural industry; abandoned manufacturing; cannot get tourism moving and have been totally inept at adjusting to the changing world economy. The same private sector that can find money to invest in all manner of luxurious projects are now trying to convince us that they are technically broke. The sad and nauseating feature is that we have intellectuals and political opportunists, who are prepared to assist in the economic collapse of the nation in order to feather their beds. They are acting as if we have a level playing field. They are refusing to accept that there are still workers in this country earning wages of $200.00 per week.
We are convinced that unless we have political and corporate leaders who are beyond paying lip service to the national good, this crisis will drag on for at least three more years. We call on both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party to seriously abandon the cosmetics and deal with the historical truths of the economy. Since the attainment of independence billions upon billions of dollars have passed through both the coffers of the public and private sectors. They both failed to transform the economy. The private sector, by and large remained in archaic retail mode while the DLP/BLP continued to promote failed or failing economic policies.
We are all in this together. It is time for the whole truth to be put before the public. The majority of Barbadians have to grind this period out. In two weeks, we understand there will be a national consultation on the economy and we can only hope it will not be another talk shop but a serious resolution on how we carry the nation forward.
We said, at the end of the last elections, that the close results were an excellent opportunity for the DLP/BLP to abandon petty party politics and move forward with a coalition government of national reconstruction. Political public relations have landed us in this predicament. Political public Relations will not get us out. We smell the stench from both the public and private sectors and we are now finding it difficult to breathe. The collective political managerial class will continue to fail unless a new direction is taken. This is true for Barbados and the entire Caribbean.