How Much More Suffering When Barbados’s Pain is Real? – Henderson Bovell offers a different viewpoint…

"...the DLP continues to cling to old models of development that assumes Government’s only role is to tax and spend..."

The Democratic Labour Party is feeding Barbadians a diet of ‘pure crap’ and far too many people are falling for it. It seems to bother the DLP little – that what is it feeding the people is not totally accurate: alarming behaviour from a party that promised “good governance.” Take the global financial crisis as an example. The present Government wants the people of Barbados to believe that the global recession was all bad, in circumstances where the DLP is reaping tremendous benefits from that crisis, having been presented with a new horse to flog, as well as something to blame and to use as a distraction tactic, especially given that people were already growing tired of it trying to blaming the BLP for its ongoing blunders.

In short, the Global Financial Crisis gave the DLP an unfair political advantage. The DLP can do nothing and hope that thing will get better; it can ‘wait and see’ and if thing actually do get better – it could then alleged that it is the best thing since slice-bread because it managed in the worse recession ever. What Barbadian must never forget is that when the Global Financial crisis started in October 2008 (under DLP rule) the Barbados Economy had already recorded two consecutive quarters of decline and was heading towards a third or full-steam into recession. The local recession was
therefore manufactured by the DLP.

Here is something else to remember! The DLP promised an impressive legislative framework but has not delivered much even after four years. And so, a significant part of this Government’s problem today – the chief reason why this country’s fiscal position is so precarious and unsustainable – is because (despite promising change) the DLP continues to cling to old models of development that assumes Government’s only role is to tax and spend.

Creative thinkers are aware that a Government (one that knows what it is doing) also has the option to: legislate in order to influence behaviour, regulate rather than to own; facilitate and coordinate activities that would not otherwise happen and that it can also empower our people through a myriad of ways, which are more effective and beneficial tools in managing a modern economy – than taxing and spending (in the case of the DLP) a lot more than it has. But that is how the DLP is. Its idea of reducing is to tax, spend and borrow more.

Having looked at the DLP dangerous economic mis-management, let’s look at three other areas: tourism; food and other commodities, including oil and of course – foreign direct investment (FDI). On all counts you will see that it is not “ANY” global financial crisis but the poor judgment; flawed policies and bad decisions of the DLP that are responsible for the sordid mess Barbados is now in. You must also remember that the National Newspaper conducted a poll within the first 100-days the DLP was in office and 77% of the respondents gave the DLP a failing grade, unheard of for any party during a first-term. But even then, more than half of the population realised that the DLP was merely a bluffer and
that (not yet half-way into its first and only term) it was in fact – a Government Barbados cannot afford. Certainly not in these times!

The Caribbean is Barbados’ thirds best tourism market, accounting for one in every five visitor to our shore, yet it is “NO” global crisis that is a serious threat to that reality – but an inhumane, hard-line DLP immigration policy towards people from the region. As regards food and oil, these prices dropped significantly after October 2008 when global demand fell, resulting in less pressure on the balance of payments. Oil prices were down from about October 2008 until perhaps February this year when the tension in the Middle East started and the speculator took command. FDI for the DLP is a non-issue because it was the DLP that sent a stern signal to the international community that Barbados is for Barbadians. It was the DLP that accused the BLP of selling land to pay bills and of selling our land to foreigners. There you have it! It is “NO” global crisis but the flawed polices, bad decision and poor judgements of the DLP that are to blame for the mess our country is now in. The same argument that some now advance, as an excuse for the DLP, as regards high oil and food prices, are the same argument those same people said that the BLP could not use. Where is the consistency? In any event, the people do not want blame and excuses but solutions and answers, which the DLP clearly does not have.

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