Independence Message – League of Young Socialists: President, Kevon Henry

Kevon E. Henry - President: League of Young Socialists, Barbados Labour Party

As all Barbadians celebrate the 44th Anniversary of Independence, most will look with pride to the accomplishments that this fair land has sprung over the period. For sure, as an independent country, more specifically, an island state; our accomplishments have been numerous and we should take great pride in them.

These successes have seen us as a people, craft creative and effective ways to distinguish what being Barbadian is. The development, that a United Nations body recently credited Barbados as a developed state saw us establish pillars that we now see as pivotal to being a Barbadian.

Pillars such as, stable political traditions, a consciousness as a people to be respectful, caring, and community minded. Pillars that have economic improvement, universal health care service and universal education access up to tertiary level for all Barbadians.

These pillars, particularly the last two are NO LONGER privileges, but to be rights of a Barbadian, just as much as it’s a right of Barbadians to expect good governance.

However, these accomplishments have not been without challenge, challenges as the financial crisis that we have been gripped with over the last two years. Barbados has charted its way, by doing things a Barbadian way, and our fear would be for the youth of our country. At 44 years of independent development, the youth are subject to those who have passed before them, attacking universal education and universal health care as a means of going forward after this current crisis.

These attitudes from certain prominent places in society illustrate to us that we are in a crisis. This was best shown last week in the budget debate wrap up, when the Minister of Finance, who himself was prescribing a neo-liberal budget, accused the Opposition Leader as being a neo-liberal. At heart, a senseless argument and one that highlights the crisis, that if not arrested can cripple our development over the next 44 years.

With little imagination coming from those in charge to protect the Barbadian way of life during these times the next few years of our independence struggle must see us, the young people come to the fore with INNOVATIVE IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS to the problems that will affect our future and our Barbadian way of life and the expectations of it.

On this the 44th year of Independence, the League of Young Socialists of the Barbados Labour Party, challenge all young people to see it as critical, come forward to contribute. Secondly we ask all those who have benefited from our way of life to utilize it to find solutions that keeps the Barbadian way of life as an example for all to emulate.

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