DLP shames Barbados
TUESDAY, JULY 17 will go down in history as the bleakest day in Barbados’ history so far. For that was when our country lost its 384 years of renown for fiscal, financial and economic prudence, thriftiness and even wizardry with the gut-wrenching disclosure that the nation’s sovereign debt rating had been reduced to the much scorned junkbond status.
This means that a well deserved and much envied national reputation that had for nearly 400 years successfully withstood the ravages of wars, hurricanes and other manmade and natural tribulations had in less than five years been torn into tatters, desecrated and squandered by the disastrous policies of the DLP under two Prime Ministers (David Thompson and Freundel Stuart) and two Ministers of Finance (Thompson and Chris Sinckler), aided and abetted by Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell.
But that dire announcement of the much dreaded junk bond ranking by Standard & Poor’s, the highly regarded international rating agency, compressed into one event the horrible consequences of the stubborn pursuit of a series of calamitous financial and economic decisions, misdecisions and indecisions by an ill-equipped DLP. This is even in the face of early and persistent warnings from a more experienced and better trained BLP, led by Owen Arthur.
For equally as damaging for Barbadians has been their constant failure to receive from the DLP anything at all near the high quality of confidence building and inspiring political leadership and governance they had for generations grown accustomed to receiving from previous administrations, Prime Ministers and Ministers of Finance.
So that even at a time when Barbadians were experiencing a major crisis in national self-confidence of a depth, scope and type never felt before because of the unprecedented nature of the development, neither Stuart as Prime Minister nor Sinckler as Minister of Finance amazingly did not lead by coming directly to the public to spell out the implications of the ruinous downgrade and seek to give assurance of the DLP’s ability and willingness to take charge. Were they not capable of immediately responding? Instead, we got the performance of Worrell’s unconvincing efforts to downplay the seriousness of the matter which failed miserably to calm national jitters.
In contrast, Opposition Leader Arthur and his leading economics spokespersons Clyde Mascoll and Mia Mottley publicly displayed the BLP’s readiness to be the next Government by presenting an instant, informed and authoritative response to Standard & Poor’s action, and giving the expectant public important insights into what this new era meant for their future and BLP alternative policies and programmes.
Worrell claims Barbados was misunderstood and misclassified by Standard & Poor’s, but Barbadians are further convinced that we have been grossly mismanaged and misled by the DLP. Fortunately, Barbadians are once again with hope and confidence turning to the talented BLP team. Come to Deacons Road and Black Rock Corner on Sunday night, July 22, and learn why like never before, the BLP is needed to Rescue, Rebuild and Restore our lives and well-being.
• Beresford Leon Padmore is a psuedonym for the Barbados Labour Party.