Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados TODAY Inc.
by Patrick Gittens
I have a completely logical observation to make. I work daily with numbers and figures which are rather impersonal and seldom lie. Now, whether one wants to attribute our dire situation to the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented borrowing, government’s ineptness, bad luck or burying our national flag in Ghana, the fact is that our economy is in serious trouble. Our country is in peril.
It is in a worse scenario than it was prior to the 2018 general election. What the present government has managed to do is to utilise public relations so well and influence the mainstream media so significantly, that the full unvarnished facts of our crisis situation are never truly explored and explained by hitherto social and political commentators.
What we often get is akin to a doctor telling a terminally ill patient, “you’re dying but you have lovely teeth” or saying to an attractive, destitute pregnant woman, “you’re going to have a beautiful baby living with you in the hospice.”
But there has been complicity at several levels in trying to bury the truth, twist the facts and just blatantly ignore social realities. Does anyone remember the downgrades which Barbados received on an almost monthly basis because our economy was floundering?
Moody’s and S&P seemed so preoccupied with Barbados that one wondered why would a seemingly insignificant country with a population that could be divided equally between Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan and John F Kennedy International Airport in New York,
merit such scrutiny?
Of course, the ego of most Barbadians might not have allowed them to ponder that question as we actually believe that we punch above our weight in the global scheme of things. Every time I see our leaders at the Grantley Adams International Airport waiting for vaccine handouts, or greeting the arrival of garbage trucks at the Bridgetown Port,
I smile at that punching analogy.
Does it not arouse suspicion that despite our worsening situation the ratings watchdogs have lost their bite and their growl? “Do not mind the amputation of your leg, sir, you are going to save a lot of money on new shoes.”
If I were a politician on the outside wanting to get in, there are certain friends I would want to keep, whether they be in the media, ratings agencies, business community, underworld, universities, wherever.
And I would reward them, keep them on my payroll. The time will obviously come when they will play a pivotal role in making sure that the tale that is spun comforts citizens with the knowledge that when they die, the positive part of that death is that the cost of living significantly drops.