The National Council of Barbadian Associations UK hosts Educational Discussion by Tyrone Roach

On a wintry evening in South London members of the Barbadian Community braved the elements to hear presentations based on the topic “Barbados and the UK in an age of Austerity.” Three eminent UK based Barbadians; Historian and Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at Kings College London Professor Richard Drayton; Financial Times Journalist Hal Austin; and Global Head of Risk of Risk Strategy for HSBC Bank Alan Smith – all gave entertaining and informative deliveries to an enthralled and appreciative audience which included Barbados High Commissioner to the UK His Excellency Hugh Anthony Arthur and Deputy High Commissioner Donville Johnson.

The audience were welcomed first by Maureen Stewart Chairperson for the evening and Secretary of the Barbados Overseas Community and Friends Association (BOCFA) and then addressed by High Commissioner Arthur.

{L to R: Mr Hal Austin - Financial Journalist; Mr. Donville Johnson - Deputy High Commissioner; Prof. Richard Drayton - Rhodes Imperial Historian; Ms.Maureen Stewart - Chairperson; H.E. Hugh Anthony Arthur, OBE - High Commissioner; Mr Alan Smith - Banker & Mr.Tyrone Roach - NCBA Executive Officer}

First speaker to the podium was Profess or Richard Drayton who addressed the theme from an historical perspective citing 1948, 1966 and 2010 as probably the most significant years in Barbados’ development . Among his arguments was one that Barbados’ high taxation, high social provision, high debt model is under significant strain as it on rests on the slender foundations of tourism and the service industry.

Hal Austin gave a provocative delivery laced with statistics and personal opinion. He attacked the economic record of our post- independence governments and argued that Barbados should reposition its economy away from its dependence on US and UK tourism towards the rapid growth economies of China, Brazil and Africa for example.

Alan Smith talked about the challenge of the current economic climate (and the kinds of efforts at self sufficiency it is imposing on us) He spoke about education and the its relevance and preparedness for making and or dealing with a new world economy.

The thoroughly enjoyable evening was a first for any Barbados overseas community and The National Council of Barbadian Associations UK should be congratulated .It has been promised that subsequent events will be streamed live for cyber Barbadians anywhere to enjoy.

One Response

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  1. I think Tyrone’s summary here did not do justice to the positive bit of my message: this is that Barbados has created an enormously successful social model which is worth extending. That Barbados represents one of the greatest welfare states created in an underdeveloped capitalist country– clean water, good sanitation, public housing, free education from primary school to university including public assistance with school uniforms and school books, free health care including drugs, state controls on the price of transport and food essentials — and we have our reward for them in the remarkable life expectancy, infant mortality, and human development progress in Barbados over the last 50 years. This must be fought for and defended.


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