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EDITORIAL: Need renewal of pride and industry

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: Need renewal of pride and industry

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The Very Reverend Dr Frank Marshall, dean of the Cathedral of St Michael’s and All Angels, in his invocation at the inter-faith service last Sunday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, practically implored us that we must all pull together to save the nation.
While the dean’s call is well meaning, it may well be too late as Government has spurned every suggestion by Opposition forces so long as it did not coincide with its own thinking. It is a continuation of the false notion that good news or a good idea is always good advice.
This has been Government’s posture since 2010 when it was paralyzed by fear and the global economic crisis started to bite. Self-interest and self-preservation so overpowered it that it failed to do what was necessary to stem the economic slide.
Quite frankly, the only solution would be a coalition Government or Government of national unity, but this would admit to failure, which would be worse than death to this administration.
In the Barbadian context this is a novel idea as we are sure many would prefer, even at this early stage, a fresh mandate from the people in the face of our worsening economic woes. This is wishful thinking, though Marshall urged both sides of the political divide to come together to find solutions.
So what do we have left as the country approaches its 47th anniversary of Independence? Are we more self-reliant? Are we more independent? Are we exhibiting a greater sense of responsibility to ourselves and our country?
For sure we have had our share of political pandering to the populace with promises to achieve power only to leave them more disillusioned and seemingly more helpless. In many respects, we have a mushrooming of religious fanatics feeding on this hopelessness.
Nonetheless, it would be worth pointing out that a downgrade is not about Barbadians as a people whom we are led to believe are God-fearing and industrious, and literate for the most part. It is about our credit rating and says more about the management of our economy.
Though we should be thankful to God for what we have achieved thus far, during the last five years the country has experienced difficult times and has regressed economically. To make matters worse, the social and political discourse has got coarser and we are seemingly giving up hope, if Dean Marshall is correct.
What has been problematic is that a vast bureaucracy has grown devoted to controlling productive activity and is growing ever larger. The solution lies not with greater control but with the preservation and expansion of responsibility and Independence.
However, Independence cannot exist and will not thrive without responsibility. It has become a widespread aspect of our culture, and our political institutions have become a means for shifting blame and compelling others to fix our problems.
Though the tone of the inter-faith service was somewhat depressing, it was paradoxically a harbinger of the urgent need for renewal of this country’s vigour, confidence, pride and industry.