He has vowed to take the fight to Minister of Agriculture and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick in St Philip West.
However, this did not stop Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate John King from offering Estwick some advice.
King said it was high time Estwick showed some courage and backed up his scathing criticisms of his own Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration’s economic policies with action.
Estwick, who has been accused of coveting the finance portfolio, has openly disagreed with Government’s handling of the economy and has even proposed alternative measures, which were rejected by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
On Tuesday, Estwick told Barbados TODAY Government’s economic programme was a failure – his way of saying, “I had told them so”, after he had warned his Cabinet colleagues on numerous occasions that the Central Bank’s printing of money to support Government’s current expenditure, posed a real risk to its declining reserves.
King said the minister’s lack of action in support of his complaints was baffling.
“This is not the first time that [Dr] Estwick has come out and showed his disappointment or disapproval with the way things have been going with the party that he is a member of. In the past he has indicated in some instances that he would rather not be a part of these things. But these outbursts one after the other, what is it going to do? It has had no impact on the party in the past. What is really about? I’m totally confused,” King said.
The former calypso monarch wondered why Estwick remained a member of the DLP administration if he felt his opinions were not being taken seriously or he was being disrespected.
“How long would it take for you to make a decision that you don’t want to be a part of something where your views are not being taken into consideration? You don’t like the direction in which things are going, then why are you still there?
“What is it that would keep you in such a position? Obviously you can’t make the kind of contribution that you would want to make. My advice to him is very simple: if you are in any situation where you feel that people would want to disrespect you or have not the same interest as you, then leave,” King recommended.
He cautioned that the longer Estwick holds on to his Cabinet post, “the more you are saying to people, ‘well things may be going wrong but at least my interests are being served. I got a job, I’m getting paid and everything good for me’.
“That’s not the message that you want to send,” he told his political opponent.
“If your interest is to see Barbados thrive and prosper and you believe the party you are in is not doing that, then you need to spare yourself from that. As a concerned citizen and a right thinking Barbadian, I, John King, certainly would not stick around anything where I believe that people are disrespecting me or they are not going in a direction that I want to go or in a direction I know is profitable or beneficial to the populace of the country. I certainly will not come out with outburst after outburst and then nothing,” the former calypsonian stressed.
Additionally, King advised the minister that whether or not he agreed with his party’s position on a particular issue, Estwick could not separate himself from the party.
“Coming out and saying you wanted to do this and that, for me, sends a strange message because what are you saying then? That you are not a part of the party at all? If this is not the case, then Barbados is in more trouble that we actually think because what you are saying is that everybody doing what they like. That’s a very dangerous message,” King added.
However, the fledgling politician would not discuss whether or not Estwick should cross the floor, insisting this was a decision the minister would have to make of his own accord.
Looking at the overall picture, including the firing of Dr DeLisle Worrell as Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, King said the country needed patriotic people who were genuinely concerned about its development.
He added it was not the time for finger-pointing; rather all hands must be on deck to get Barbados on the right track.
“I think all these outbursts, the case with the Governor of the Central Bank and so on, we all need to take a deep breath and sit down and look at the picture truthfully regardless of who might get upset, who are going to point fingers, but decide we need different people or we need to join heads and see where to go from where. Wherever the people decide to go is fine with me, but we can’t be in a situation where all we are doing is talking, talking and there’s no action. To me what is paramount is the direction that Barbados is going, not our own self-interests. It’s bigger than that,” King said.
It was only on Wednesday that political scientist Dr George Belle called on Estwick to quit the administration and join with the Opposition to bring down the Stuart Government.