The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has suggested that there is only one way that the current legal battle between Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr DeLisle Worrell and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler should end — that is in the firing of both men.
Addressing a BLP political meeting at the weekend, Bishop Joseph Atherley, the party’s representative for St Michael West, suggested that Worrell and Sinckler should both take the fall because together they had implemented the wrong economic policies.
“The Minister of Finance, Governor of the Central Bank, one was the voice, the other was the echo, both saying the same thing,” Atherley cautioned, amid the bitter squabble between the two men, which broke out two weekends ago and has so far led Worrell to the domestic law courts to obtain an injunction preventing the Minister from dismissing him.
And with the court due to hear the Governor’s appeal on Thursday, Atherley called for urgent settlement of the public impasse saying, “The saga before us is a sorry one, and it portends dark days for Barbados if it is not quickly checked.”
He also argued that the dispute came as a result of Worrell’s refusal to continue printing money, while telling party supporters: “Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the narrative which is being sold to us that the Central Bank Governor must go because he can’t get along with the board [of the Central Bank], and the board members don’t want him.
“That is a narrative designed to serve political ends,” the Opposition spokesman told the gathering of BLP supporters at the George Lamming Primary School on Sunday evening.
He suggested that the “true narrative” was that Worrell had refused to provide money from the bank to support Government’s spending on the basis that its policies were failing.
“ ‘We can’t do that no more. I am no longer with you in that. We need to stop printing money, we’re courting disaster,’” is what Atherley said he understood Worrell to be saying.
He was strongly supported by the BLP’s St Michael Central candidate Arthur Holder, who said it was easy to understand what had happened. In fact, Holder termed it a “simple scenario”.
“Your employer for the past eight years has been telling you as an employee, ‘print this money or be fired’. You went along and did it all the time, and it is now reached a stage where you say, ‘enough is enough, done with that’.
“You can’t blame the Governor because he now has seen the light. Your conscience has now got to you, and you are saying, ‘look I have been doing foolishness for too long, I can’t sleep at night, my country in trouble, partner fire muh. I am not doing anything anymore,’” Holder sought to explain.
The BLP’s St Michael South Central candidate Marsha Caddle also suggested that “things just don’t work in Barbados anymore”, adding that “this new fight between the Governor of the Central Bank and the Minister of Finance is just the final straw”.
She pointed out that the fallout came against the backdrop of the country suffering 17 international downgrades of its sovereign financial rating in recent years.
“And now you see the heads of its two most important financial institutions locked in a bitter fight,” said Caddle, warning that “there is no investor anywhere who will look at what is happening in Barbados, and want to bring his or her money here”.