Submitted by William Skinner
Our Prime Minister, Mr.Freundel Stuart has now determined that technology is partially to blame for declining standards. Many of the issues we now confront began to surface in the mid-seventies. When the gangs first appeared, they were dismissed as “wayward youth”; after we ignored the agriculture sector for nearly forty years, we were then advised to make kitchen gardens and when the cracks started to manifest themselves in the school system, we opened so-called “Centers” with little or no format or known purpose.
When it was obvious that the drug culture was taking root and a drastic well planned approach was needed, the then top law enforcement officer announced his hands were tied. This led to a mammoth Crop Over hit by the Red Plastic bag. Problems at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, we blame nurses; problems at the school plant we blame teachers and problems with garbage disposal we blame sanitation workers.
Of course all the problems related to productivity are blamed on the workers. We never critique the corporate culture that is set by management. We complain daily about our youth but ignore those who are gallantly setting up businesses, involved in the arts and are trying their best to find themselves in a society that offers little or no assistance to our young entrepreneurs.
What we are failing to admit is the woeful lack of any visionary national policy and our perpetual belief that we can complain and hope for the return of a Barbados that is really gone forever. We look around and are convinced that all the changes in the entire world are temporary. We believe that one of these mornings, we will wake up and be put in a time capsule that will land us in an idyllic Barbados with quaint little villages, where the poor are expected only to be: poor, peaceful and polite.
It is not technology, it is a deepening poverty that can no longer be ignored; it is a stagnant political culture inherent in our two major political parties and an education system that to all intents and purposes, can no longer produce the kind of citizen needed to carry us for another fifty years.
Mr. Prime Minister, technology is not the problem. We can throw all the computers, cell phones and other gadgets in the Careenage and such an act will not solve any of our problems. It is not that simple, Sir.