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EDITORIAL: Our colours and our conduct


EDITORIAL: Our colours and our conduct

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TWO STATEMENTS made by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart last week surrounding the impending celebration of the 50th anniversary of Independence gave reason for national introspection.

In one of them, he suggested: “It is not the time for us to get distracted by trying to inject poison in the nation’s bloodstream. This is the time for positive efforts, positive engagement. This is our country and we have to make sure that we make it the best that it can be.”

Right on, sir.

There is much about which the citizens of this fair country can reasonably and legitimately complain at this time, but no loyal son or daughter should seek to sully the commemoration of this historic milestone by indulging in negative and distracting comportment. Neither malodorous nor venomous disgorging should be used to overshadow this unique occasion of festivity.

There is the temptation by some to lament the horrible state of our roads and the slow pace of improvements, the unavailability of water to people in half the parishes of the island for most of this year, the three-week wait for the collection of garbage in many districts, the overgrowth of bush in the rural areas and so on. Then there is a great deal at the macro economic level along with the creeping increase in the cost of living about which we could all complain with full validity.

But the merriment surrounding our historic attainment should be spared odious intrusion.

We suspect there will be time aplenty to return to berating all that is wrong around us, particularly since the next general election cannot be prolonged beyond the next 15 or so months.

So let’s pause and celebrate.

In his second remark of note Stuart said: “I am urging all homes and businesses in Barbados to literally light up in the national colours so that during the month of November, Barbados will be a sea of ultramarine and gold as we approach the 50th anniversary of Independence.”

We wish the Prime Minister had gone further. The citizens of this country should not only boast our national colours, but we should so conduct ourselves as to honour and uphold the ultramarine and gold. For example, persons driving vehicles bearing the national flag have been seen dispensing garbage along the highway. That is a contradiction of national pride.

Let us bedeck ourselves in the colours of our country, but also, by our conduct let us acclaim our nation.

“I pledge allegiance to my country Barbados and to my flag,

To uphold and defend their honour,

And by my living to do credit

To my nation wherever I go.”

– The National Pledge of Barbados.