The editorial of Tuesday, April 25, 2017 is captioned: “Waiting for Dr Estwick to take a stand”. The editorial then went on to suggest that Dr Estwick should resign from his Cabinet position because he is consistently at odds with his colleagues on fundamental policy issues. The editorial specifically mentioned his disagreement with the Government’s handling of the public debt.
Dr David Estwick has taken a stand. He has decided that he will let Barbadians know what his position is on how he thinks the public debt should be managed and he has also decided that he will remain in the Cabinet where he is needed, and continue to influence the decision making process. I have not found two individual Barbadians or entities who agree on the same strategy for reducing Barbados’ public debt.
Therefore, Dr Estwick’s proposed remedies are at odds with every publicly aired pronouncement on this issue. To put it differently, each person and each entity has a separate and distinct view on erasing or reducing Barbados’ deficit.
Managing the Government in these harsh economic times is a herculean task which calls for prudence, because no one knows when the whole world, of which Barbados is but a very tiny piece of the rock, will finally be overcome of this devilish economic hurricane.
I do not believe in conventions. It is a bureaucratic way of retarding progress, and I do not believe that the brilliant Dr Estwick should resign from the Cabinet because he disagrees with Cabinet on any issue. Further, I have no evidence, as suggested, that there are irreconcilable policy differences within the Cabinet on Dr Estwick’s strategies, although the Government may want to approach specific situations with extreme caution and due diligence.
Dr Estwick has an undeniable grasp of economic issues and the Barbados economy. He is one of the brightest brains in Barbados and has much to contribute to this economic and political landscape. He does things his own way and this should be appreciated and accepted.
Whenever minds come together, differences will exist and this is healthy. The Democratic Labour Party is a party of independent thinkers who are allowed to express their views freely and fearlessly. The same cannot be said for all parties in Barbados. Indeed, some political parties were prepared to operate with less parliamentarians than for one single individual to have a contrary view.
And I have a non-conventional view for the overall management of all national affairs. Let us as Barbadians join hearts and hands like a bundle of sticks that cannot be easily broken. From Bridgetown to Moon Town. From Oistins Town to Speights Town. From Hyatt to Wyndham. From Hoodies to every nook and cranny in Barbados.
Let us resolve that each of us; every church, every business, every community group, every trade union, and every one of us as individuals. Let us set aside a time for prayer and fasting and to let the God of our salvation hear our contrite cry. He alone has all the answers and we can turn to Him because He is our present help in time of trouble.
It is in God that this entire nation should put our trust and rest our hope.