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BLP COLUMN: Sandi lashes DLP

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

BLP COLUMN: Sandi lashes DLP

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Barbados Labour Party (BLP) legacy: passed legislation protecting the intellectual property rights of artists, musicians, innovators, programmers and other creators of intellectual property capital such as the Copyright, Protection of New Plant Varieties, Patents, Integrated Circuit, Geographical Indications and Trademarks Acts; and created fiscal incentives giving owners of intellectual property a 50 per cent tax deduction of the amount spent in its creation.
The age-old Barbadian saying “You are well bitten when your own dog bites you” came to mind recently when former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford lambasted the Government he represents in China over a number of matters, including its exceedingly slow rate in developing ties with China, the impracticality of direct airlinks with that country and, most tellingly, the danger in its policy of expanding entitlement programmes without accounting for their long-term sustainability.
In doing so, a stalwart and insider like Sir Lloyd broke the great wall of silence with which the Freundel Stuart regime has surrounded itself over most matters of current economic and other importance. Hopefully, he will be luckier in getting responses the Dems have bluntly refused to give to legitimate questions from the rest of the country.
Sir Lloyd’s strong warnings resonated deeply since they came from his hands-on experience as Prime Minister. He is known to have rejected economic advice because he would not allow the DLP to “commit political suicide”.
We still painfully remember the economic hardships that followed, highlighted by the infamous eight per cent cut and layoffs of thousands of public servants and the suffering of many more.
Stuart’s frustrating failure to effectively communicate with the nation at large can best be evaluated when he could find time to speak at length to 120 people awarded Barbadian citizenship, while there is stony silence over the future of 30 000 CLICO sufferers, Al Barack, Alexandra School, Four Seasons, REDjet, Almond Beach Village and tourism in general, international business and the long promised naming of a new Governor General.
Stuart continues to stay silent and to travel widely, making puzzling visits to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank while our vital tourism and international business sectors continue to lurch from crisis to crisis.
Invest Barbados has reported the actual, impending and likely loss of about 36 international business companies and tourism properties continue to go out of business.
That is why former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Owen Arthur, with his many years as a trained and practising economist, was moved to call on Stuart to confront the true state of the economy by declaring an “economic state of emergency”.  
Of course, the BLP leader has for several months been outlining some of the alternative and corrective measures which his past success has taught him can return Barbados to the path of economic growth and prosperity and put money back in people’s pockets.
The party wishes to thank Barbadians for their encouragement, as seen at last Sunday’s successful Founders’ Day church service marking its 74th year of working to better the country.