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AL GILKES: Now the recession gone, elections ahead


AL GILKES: Now the recession gone, elections ahead

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HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all!

And it should be a very happy year, the first in a very long time, now that the Barbados economy is apparently no longer in recession.

I know that neither the Prime Minister, nor the Minister of Finance, nor any of the other ministers, nor the Governor of the Central Bank, nor the spokesperson for the IMF, nor anybody of similar ilk, has made an announcement to that effect, but that is how it appears to be to me. The recession done.

So who told me so?

It’s you the people of Barbados who have told me so because, if it were possible to tally, you all spent more money during the past few weeks of pre-Christmas, Christmas and post-Christmas shopping than during any other similar period of the past eight years and perhaps any similar period in the history of the country.

I have been hearing from very reliable sources of many businesses that raked in more than one million dollars in sales per day for several days as we released ourselves from the shackles of recession-driven austerity to let money talk and tell the world that we free at last, free at last again at to spend as we please.

And now that the recession gone, Christmas gone, the old year gone and the new year come, it’s general elections time.

That’s right, and again I know that neither the Prime Minister, nor any of his ministers, nor the Governor General has made the announcement but take it from me it has been decided.

And since nobody but me seems to be aware of that development then let me let you know that come this Wednesday night, January 6, 2015, the first public meeting of the forthcoming general elections will be held in Independence Square under the guise of the launch of the 50th anniversary of Independence, which was already launched on November 30 just gone.

Like all big general elections meetings of recent times, this one features entertainment can’t done and I intend to be right up front and centre to enjoy people like Emile Straker of the Merrymen fame, Gabby, Ram, Arturo Tappin, Colin Spencer and the St Leonard’s School Choir among the host of other acts. I also want to see the lighted flotilla parade and the fireworks.

But what I am going most of all to see and hear will be the speakers on the platform of the first of many pre-general elections election meetings throughout the course of this year. So far, the promotions on TV and radio and in the newspapers have not included a word about who will be among the line-up. But I believe that’s deliberately done to keep people like you and me in suspense.

I know I am going to get called out for labelling Barbados We Come From a pre-general elections election meeting and I will be more than willing to use this very medium and any other to publicly apologise for so doing, but only if, as the whole page advertisements suggest, the only people taking the microphone and the stage during the entire event, from 5 p.m. until it doesn’t say when, are the sea of entertainers.

I will also apologise if political figures also do take the stage and make speeches as I know will happen. However, for me to apologise the compositions will have to be truly representative of the Barbados from which all of us have past 50 years by comprising speakers of every political persuasion, from Freundel Stuart to Mia Mottley to Owen Arthur to Bobby Clarke to Ras whoever and whoever else.

And may all your New Year wishes come true.

Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm. Email [email protected]