Prime Minister Freundel Stuart appears to have succumbed to a public outcry for him to be seen and heard more, particularly in these challenging economic times.
During a tour of Ocean Two Resort & Residences at Dover, Christ Church this morning, Prime Minister Stuart gave the assurance that “during this very difficult period, Barbadians will need to hear from me from time to time; and I am prepared to do that”.
The Government leader said he was prepared to push the “politics of explanation”.
“I am prepared to make sure that the politics of explanation catches some root here in this country and replaces the politics of harangue and bombast,” Stuart added.
“It will be necessary for me from time to time to have a chat with the country, to make myself more visible in terms of ensuring that nerves are kept calm and that heads are kept cool.
“[Because] I learnt as a school boy, that when the going gets rough, or when the going is at its roughest, remember, always to keep a cool head; and that is what I do and what I counsel other people to do as well.”
Prime Minister Stuart also put commercial banks in the island on notice, regarding their willingness to take investment in the critical hotel sector seriously.
“It really can’t continue to make a lot of sense for banks to find lending people money to buy motor cars a more serious investment than investment in a sector that leads the Barbadian economy and that earns us most of the foreign exchange which we need to sustain our standard of living and quality of life,” he declared.
He was of the view that there had to be a change in the thinking of the commercial banks.
“Conspicuous consumption is not the creed for this time. What we want is serious investment in things that have a long-term significance for the economy of Barbados.
“And therefore, we are going to have to have some conversations with our banking institutions, with out financial institutions, so that they take a more long-term view of their presence here in Barbados. Barbados has been good to them, and we want to see them digging in more seriously here in Barbados in terms of being willing to invest in this lead sector,” suggested the political leader of the ruling Democratic Labour Party.
Stuart said tourism was the business in town now and all hands must be on deck, “and this includes, of course, our banking institutions”.
Coming out of his tour this morning, he praised the management and owners of Ocean Two Resorts & Residences for the “high” quality and standard of their product and services.
Stuart suggested that the maintenance of the property and quality of rooms reflected “serious” investment, something which he felt was the key to restoring the industry at large. He said it was no surprise that the occupancy was as high as it was, having had a good summer and expected a promising winter.
“Ocean Two does disclose some of the secrets to getting the industry back on its feet. This hotel is an example of serious investment in the infrastructure,” concluded the Prime Minister. (EJ)