EDITORIAL: Way too long our economic crucifixion
It is not unknown for our politicians to complain that Barbadians want to go to Heaven but they don’t want to die. Today, perhaps more so than on any other day on the Christian calendar, the connection between this analogy and the very essence of Christianity becomes most significant.
Today, Good Friday, Christians across the island – and the world – will reflect on the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and they will do so not stuck in a mood characterised by the sadness of death, but in the belief that just as Christ rose from the dead three days later, they too shall one day rise to meet Him.
The pain of Good Friday held the key to the hope of Easter.
In similar vein, many Barbadians, while maintaining a clear vision of the promise that is synonymous with Easter, no doubt feel justified in concluding that their economic crucifixion has gone on for way too long and that their realisation of a brighter day remains far off.
It is our fervent hope that our leaders, political and otherwise, would become far more sensitive to the plight of those they supposedly lead and conduct their affairs in a manner that does not give lie to their often stated position that “we are all in this together”.
We certainly agree that as Barbadians we are in it together, but for too many it appears they are “more in” than some whose words and conduct do not inspire a sense of togetherness in the general population.
We would never suggest that the 60-odd Portvale Sugar Factory workers who have been on strike since two Thursdays ago should not get everything to which they are entitled – and even more if the country can bear it – but we seem to have missed the mark in recognising how much more the suffering
will be for us all as a result of not resolving this matter early.
In similar vein, we do not suggest that the elected Government should cede any of its responsibility to any other group or individual, but by now it should have occurred to our decision-makers that there is much merit in frequent meetings of the full Social Partnership as has been suggested so often in recent months.
How can you repeatedly proclaim that the country is going through its worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and then for over a year not convene a full meeting of all the stakeholders?
Metaphorically, we are no doubt prolonging our own “Good Friday”, in the process depriving our most vulnerable of the “Easter” that they should be seeing by now. Worst yet is the clear evidence that across the country too many people are slipping from a position of relative economic comfort into the category of “vulnerable”. Perhaps they are seeing progress in reverse – moving from Easter to Good Friday, from hope to despair.
We wish sincerely therefore that the spirit of this Easter season would envelope us all and that we would be gripped by a renewed purpose – a fresh hope engendered by a genuine undertaking to accept all as true stakeholders. Anything less will confine us to the proverbial cross for longer than we can bear.