Our Government has the pivotal and compelling role of informing us of the national state of affairs –– no matter how at first discomfiting, and of encouraging us all to do our every bit to make our economy sound; no matter how unpopular the advice might be, or how it might derail our comfort habits, so long as the goal is correction.
Regrettably, we cannot say with any certainty –– after nigh a week of verbal warring à la belligerence and cantankerousness passing for House debate of the Estimates –– that Barbadians have any truer picture of their socioeconomic circumstances and dare foster hope in our political leaders.
As public service job losses have stung us –– and thousands more seem to be staring us in the face, if we would listen to the unions and the Opposition ––
our Government is yet to make some lucid determination on the way forward in actually saving this country from economic collapse, through the sacrifices
we have made and continue to make.
To be fair, there is no easy task ahead for Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and his Cabinet colleagues, and while there will have been some imprudent decisions by them –– or no decisions at all –– our current dilemma will not have been without input from external forces.
We are still at the crossroads, without a doubt; and the direction we take from here could seal our fate, or bring us to a destination of illumination. There is little gain at this stage in our political directors pummelling each other on the head; even less in an intransigent Government that would dismiss sound advice and proposals when they do seep through the other side, or come from a mind that has been there, done that!
It would be more useful and consolatory to us all if our political powers that be could strip themselves of this pontifical disdain of worthy views outside theirs, and constrain themselves to reflect on their ways and thinking –– as is particularly recommended by our spiritual leaders in this season of Lent.
Truth be told, we are at a stage of our socioeconomic development –– or pause of it –– where there is no time for cheap party politicking in Parliament. This acrimonious toing and froing in our Honourable House Barbadians have grown tired of. It should be no wonder then the lack of interest in taking up seating in the Public Gallery of Parliament.
We recall Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, a few years back, suggesting a national committee, constructed from both sides, putting heads together for a consensus forward. Perhaps Ms Mottley was serious. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart surely did not seriously consider it.
The suggestion of the two parties –– even along with a third –– working together for the good of us all is not without credit. Neither political side –– Government nor Opposition –– necessarily or singularly has all the answers to the problems ravaging our economy. A Democratic Labour Party-Barbados Labour Party collective is not without the possibility of being propitious.
Let our political directors together get our economic structure strengthened and our famously acknowledged stability secured. Let them fight for the partisan spoils later.
No matter what, the road ahead will not be without some relinquishment –– until we are out of the woods. The task of saving Barbados rests on the shoulders of our politicians, yes, but we the people too have a part to play. We can press our political representatives towards the state of genuine collaboration.
At the end of it all, it is the electorate of Barbados who from the decisions of our political directors will benefit, or lose out. It seems we have reached
the point of national reconstruction. If not, we just might choke on –– probably croak from –– evasive hope.
We urgently need right now –– if only temporarily –– some political body of national unity: a coming together to rescue our beloved Barbados from all impending doom; and without rancour and void of vanity on either side.
We need –– now more than ever in this 50th year of our Independence –– to wrap ourselves in the National Flag in these times of challenge and threatening adversity. We need to be possessed of the self-belief and resilience, and fortitude in sacrifice of our foreparents, without whom we would not be here.
If indeed we shall boast of being craftsmen of our fate, continually writing our names on history’s page, we will need to set our own seed the example of being judicious, shrewd, cross-party and mutual at this critical moment.
And it would have been done when it mattered most; when sound direction was to be given; when true hope was to be found.