Innovation and Progressive Change is What Barbados Really Needs: Sporting Analysis from Henderson Bovell

{Editor’s Note – Mr Bovell refers to Albert Brandford who presents a weekly pontification in the Sunday Sun, it seems that Brandford has an axe to grind with certain members of the Barbados Labour Party? He is making a media football over a soccer match which is catching on in the community to the point where the ruling DLP is now looking to form a David Thompson Memorial Tournament as a means of latching on to the coat-tails of the wildly popular LIME Pelican Football Challenge Series

{Editor’s Note (cont’d) – However, while Brandford is within his democratic right to spew whatever vitriol he is told to do or decides to lob, nevertheless we have to wonder… WHERE IS MR BRANDFORD? How can he speak of meetings where I do not see him attend? When Bajan Reporter speaks to DLP meetings or sessions from Bees, it is because we attended or were affiliated to a person who contributes and makes their attendance known!

{Editor’s Note (cont’d) – In the meetings I have been covering for a year now, I do not recall Brandford at even one cat-fight or hen-scrawl… Is someone composing his epistles for him? He lists his opinions as if he sat with myself, Wade Gibbons, Mike King, Ryan Gilkes or Ricky Carter – the usual suspects covering such weekend meetings – but I have not seen Brandford at one event, what gives? No accusations – just seeking clarity, is all!}

"...Barbadians like (Mia's) "Team Barbados" 'Bi-partisan Approach.' Mia Mottley is demonstrating effortlessly (even though un-intentionally, it would seem) - what could be possible, even during a horrible recession - if Barbadians work together."

To the best of my knowledge, there was never been a football tournament and some may even agree that players have never received the courtesy now being extended, neither has the game of football (locally) ever been explained as a social development initiative intended to stimulate the economy, while serving as a plan, which demonstrates what the “Sporting Industry” can achieve for communities and Barbados as a society.

The football tournament, in which Mia Motley is involved, is special – precisely because it is different. It is different because it is innovation. It is innovative because it comes after Mia Mottley’s address to the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) on September 29th 2010 where she outlined a new politics and a new development model for Barbados, hence this tournament is also now attracting – even the attention of Political Correspondents, precisely because it has captured everyone’s imagination: “dare to dream” was the title of Mia’s speech last September to the BCCI. All Mia Mottley is doing is demonstrating “effortlessly” and beyond doubt, what can be achieved with innovation and change that makes sense.

But writing in his column: “Purely Political” in the Sunday Sun today (September 25, 2011) my friend Albert Brandford wrote: “So there is an obvious political dimension to the hosting of the semi-professional league, but what about the not-so-obvious political dimension?” Albert too is obviously enthralled at the ‘tremendous and unmatched’ effort at organising, mobilization and the flawless execution of the semi-professional league, but his quote above may only be relevant because Mia Mottley is the Parliamentary Representative for St. Michael North East. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING POLITICAL ABOUT THE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT IN WHICH MIA MOTTLEY IS INVOLVED: Mia Mottley was the Minister at the time the conversation on “Bridgetown and it Historic Garrison Savannah,” being inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, started. Was that political or cultural? She was the Minister who initiated the conversation on the Cultural Industries, is that political or cultural and developmental?

"...Mia Mottley took the high road and has again created history by organising Barbados' first semi-professional Football Tournament, which is a unique display of people and enterprise - working in partnership, in the national interest..."

Since October last year (2010) – a very sterile debate has been raging in Barbados, whether the chicken or the egg comes first – in terms of the society and the economy. It would seem that not wanting to be drawn in that silly debate, which does not put food on anyone’s table, Mia Mottley took the high road and has again created history by organising Barbados’ first semi-professional Football Tournament, which is a unique display of people and enterprise – working in partnership, in the national interest. Her ‘sound; well-coordinated approach,’ seem to be the roll-out of what can only be described as the blue-print for: “A New, Just and Well-Ordered Society and Sustainable Green and moral Economy

What cannot be denied is Mia Mottley’s core-competency: ‘the ability to inspire; motivate; organise, mobilize and execute flawlessly. It is why Barbadians like her “Team Barbados” ‘Bi-partisan Approach.’ Mia Mottley is demonstrating effortlessly (even though un-intentionally, it would seem) – what could be possible, even during a horrible recession – if Barbadians work together.

The football tournament therefore meets all the criteria of a sound social and economic development initiative because it focuses on people and contains elements of poverty prevention and also has the capacity to serve as ‘a crime prevention strategy,’ since it will ‘strengthen relations within and across communities.’ It would seem that Mia’s approach also promotes: ‘good health and wellness; discipline; skills and personal development; trust; mutual respect and team work’ – fundamental core values, which are vital to even Barbados – overcoming many of the challenges it currently faces.

Most impressive is its capacity to spur economic activity, as well as the social development assistance it offers to individuals, which is complemented by monetary incentives to promote self and skills development. The individual benefits, the community benefits and Barbados benefits. And, for that – Mia Mottley must be highly congratulated for ‘staying focused’ and, ‘for putting people first’ and ‘money in their pockets during this bitter recession,’ of course when it really matters.

"...Mia's approach also promotes: ‘good health and wellness; discipline; skills and personal development; trust; mutual respect and team work’ – fundamental core values, which are vital to even Barbados - overcoming many of the challenges it currently faces..."

Economic extremism’ was always a self-serving political ideology masquerading as economic theory. It did not deliver a just or sustainable society and it is being rejected all over the world. Barbados needs a new paradigm in economics. The choice is not between the society and the economy: but a new model which shows the inter-play between: “a just well ordered society and a new green sustainable and moral economy.” That point is being highlighted (unintentionally but effortlessly, it would seem) every single day by Mia Mottley, on this occasion – through the football tournament under discussion.

Team Owners of diverse backgrounds cooperating for a superior football series which is exciting Bajans in the midst of Hard Times! "...Mia Mottley must be highly congratulated for ‘staying focused’ and, ‘for putting people first’ and ‘money in their pockets during this bitter recession,’ of course when it really matters..."

I think what Barbadians want most is the creation of a system that reflects the ethics of most decent people in this country – to use the talents of all, seeing no one is left behind. Mia Mottley must therefore be congratulated highly for charting a new path forward.

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