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THE PEP COLUMN: Useless cockfight politics


marciadottin, [email protected]

THE PEP COLUMN: Useless cockfight politics

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Evidence abounds in Barbados that the traditional BLP/DLP two-party political system has outlived its usefulness, and is currently doing nothing more than confusing this society and taking it round and round in circles!
Take, for example, the recent heated clash in Parliament between the BLP’s Owen Arthur and the DLP’s Christopher Sinckler over the issue of the correct economic policy for Barbados during this period of recession.
According to the media reports, Arthur took Sinckler to task and declared to a “packed and hushed house” that the only way to combat the recession  is to strengthen domestic demand and to stimulate domestic spending.
Sinckler, for his part, dismissed Arthur as “yesterday’s man”, rejected his prescription of stimulation of the domestic economy, and declared that the only way forward is for Government to exercise restraint in relation to placing demands on the foreign reserves and to take action to consolidate Government’s fiscal position.
Any sensible and reasonable person listening to both Arthur and Sinckler would wonder what all the heat, emotion and denunciation is all about!
Clearly, their positions are not mutually exclusive, and the only reason Arthur and Sinckler are behaving as though their positions are mutually exclusive is because they are captive to a divisive system of partisan politics that requires them to compete against each other rather than to search for genuine solutions to the country’s problems.
The truth is that the way forward for Barbados requires that we strengthen domestic demand and stimulate domestic spending, while at the same time exercising restraint in relation to our foreign reserves and reforming Government’s finances. Thus, both Arthur and Sinckler are possessed of a portion of the truth, but instead of recognizing this and putting their heads and their positions together in order to work out a comprehensive solution to the country’s problems, they resort to “cussing” each other!
Permit us to state for the record that just about three years ago, the Peoples Empowerment Party (PEP) outlined a comprehensive “blueprint” for extricating Barbados from the current recession, and we made it very clear that the six fundamental policies that we were proposing had to be carried out simultaneously.
(i) re-establish the soundness of the finances and credit of our Government;
(ii) restore the purchasing power of the masses of the Barbadian people;
(iii) secure and shore up welfare services and programmes that prevent or alleviate human distress;
(iv) provide employment through essential environmental public works programmes (based on sources of grant and project funding);
(v) re-energize production in Barbados’ agriculture, construction, manufacturing, financial services and tourism sectors; and
(vi) engineer a new social contract based on a greater degree of equality and sharing of resources, inclusive of a national “Employee Share Ownership Programme” designed to give workers an ownership stake in the businesses that they help to develop.
The PEP column represents the views of the People’s Empowerment Party.
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