BLP COLUMN: Happy Independence Day
The leaders, officers, members and supporters of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) wish to extend to fellow Barbadians and lovers of Barbados at home and abroad, heartiest wishes for a happy Independence Day 2012.
In doing so, the BLP wholeheartedly joins all other well-wishers in saluting our nation on its 46th birthday today, and, of course, looks forward to Barbados’ continued growth, development, progress and prosperity in a national community cemented by equality, tolerance and acceptance of all others, no matter what the superficial differences might be perceived to be.
There is no doubt that by all accounts Barbados has since 1966 collectively made a great success of nationhood, even outstripping many other nations of comparable and greater size, populations and resources and in the process has established a much admired and envied national report card. We as a people still have a lot for which to be thankful and fervently hope that our past success will again be used as the foundation for ongoing and never ending advancement for generations beyond counting.
But candour and honesty demand acknowledgement that Barbadians will be marking this Independence Day feeling far less self-assured about their future than they have ever been. As a result, the national mood for this celebratory high point is to an unprecedented degree palpably more subdued and anxious, primarily because of a felt and noticed decline in their quality of life brought on by the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) embarrassing failure of leadership at all levels of the economic, social and governance sectors.
Having given up any hope of improvement at the hands of the Dems six weeks short of five years since their January 15, 2008 election victory, Barbadians have become far more taken up with seeing the realization of their long-standing and much expressed wish for a general election, than celebrating our Barbadianness. This attitude does not mean that we have grown to love our native land less, but rather that the practicalities of the daily struggle for survival as individuals, families and businesses have understandably become our major preoccupation.
There is every probability that this same outlook will pervade the coming Christmas season.
For instead of being able to point to a year of solid life-improving actions by the DLP Government, struggling Barbadians have had to look on in great bewilderment at an administration obsessed with renaming school buildings, in the desperate hope that public attention to such would at least temporarily conceal the fact that under David Thompson and Freundel Stuart, the DLP has compiled a meagre to almost non-existent list of solid accomplishments that marks it as undoubtedly the poorest performing Government since (Sir) Grantley Adams won the right for all to vote in 1951.
Barbadians are firmly focused on a new beginning and a brighter future they expect to enjoy in the New Year that will bring them the general election for which they have long yearned as they have been forced to endure the daily grind of life under the DLP.
In the same way Owen Arthur and the BLP in 1995 brought new meaning to nationhood through Community Independence Celebrations, people are confident they will again bring about outstanding economic and social rebirth, fondly remembering 1994 to early 2008.
• Beresford Leon Padmore is a pseudonym for the Barbados Labour Party.