After studying the IMF reports for Barbados and realizing that the country was facing economic ruin, a careful in-depth analysis of Barbados’ economy was carried out. A workable economic plan was then designed, which did not include any external borrowing or austerity (public suffering) measures.
After repeated attempts to share it with the last administration, the then Prime Minister indicated to Peter Boos, another person trying to offer advice on the economy, that only those who chose to enter the political trench had standing to offer such advice to the government.
In response, Solutions Barbados was formed, and the economic plan was published on July 1, 2015 for rigorous public scrutiny. For the next three years, it was explained to whoever would listen.
One group who we tried in vain to engage was the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). Since business persons would be most affected by Solutions Barbados’ plan, a meeting was repeatedly requested with its members in order to obtain their feedback. However, their leadership would block every attempt.
Eventually the BCCI issued a ridiculous order that only Members of Parliament could speak to BCCI members about the economy. They will likely regret that short-sighted decision, for in inventing such a desperate measure to disqualify Solutions Barbados from speaking to BCCI members, they also disqualified many other persons.
Under the BCCI’s new rule, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is disqualified, so are economists Jeremy Stephen, Shane Lowe and Marla Dukharan. Then, there are the former governors of the Central Bank, DeLisle Worrell, Marion Williams and Winston Cox, and the current governor Cleviston Haynes.
Even union leaders like Sir Roy Trotman, Toni Moore, Cedric Murrell, Dennis De Peiza, and Akanni McDowall are disqualified. Not only have they disqualified all prime ministers of CARICOM states, but leaders of all other countries like Justin Trudeau of Canada, Emmanuel Macron of France, Theresa May of the UK, and Donald Trump of the USA. Actually, they have also disqualified Christine Lagarde of the IMF. Oh dear.
The collateral-damage list of persons is truly extensive. The BCCI has excluded every single person inside and outside of Barbados who was never a Member of Barbados’ Parliament from speaking to their members about our economy. As of the writing of this article that would be 7,641,321,903 individuals.
The BCCI members can rest assured that the BCCI leadership does not have the temerity to do any such thing. They will certainly find a way around their new regulation. Like in South Africa under the apartheid system, those favoured persons who the BCCI wants to invite, but are disqualified under their new system, may be granted some honorary status in order for the BCCI to maintain their unconstitutional political discrimination against Solutions Barbados.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at [email protected]