37th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture – Politeness in Polarity

Earlier this year when the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) hosted Paul Volcker I was both fascinated and entertained, this time around Professor William “Sandy” Darity (look him up on Youtube with a curly Afro, a sight you’ll never forget) just left a bitter taste in my mental mouth – overstaying your welcome at one end (not the Duke University Lecturer, a Cabinet Minister for the Prelude) while reheated borscht with sycophancy for your Host who’s paying the tab at the other (Now Sandy’s guilty!)…

The Governor, unlike Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, was succinct in his Opening Remarks and he he did not abuse his station as it was lengthy schedule that night…

Having trained with Dale Carnegie’s leadership course in Human Relations, I know an Introduction to a speaker should be a minute at best or three at worst, try TWELVE minutes? Was the Labour minister of Barbados waxing poetic on the accomplishments of Dr Darity? Barely, more like listing a quasi-Manifesto of what the Democratic Labour Party would like seen as Laws fait accompli in the House, but it’s all still in Draft, or Tabled or “before” Parliament – so why bother mentioning it? Just tell the audience about the man and get off the stage!

Most of the questions from the audience fell along the lines of how would Prof. Darity’s proposal get funding? Is it Socialism or Communism? The rich would be taxed more? The Duke University lecturer actually says he wishes everyone is rich and taxation would be levelled out…

It was very poor form, when the BLP at their 74th Annual General Conference gave a verbal Manifesto with the Diplomatic community present, you expect them to campaign and schmooze a lot, but not when you have an audience waiting with baited breath on a matter which has most of Barbados on tenterhooks? Can’t you just soapbox on your own time and not on someone else’s dime? I chopped the lead-in to under three minutes, you can groan through it here;-

Dr Byer-Suckoo began to remind me of the film based on playwright Alexander Woolcott – “The Man Who Came To Dinner” where a guest broke their leg at the host and insisted on staying in lieu of settlement, he got better but didn’t want to leave; rather like the Labour Minister that night…

As for the Duke University lecturer, while he listed Unemployment figures which would have the Government Ministers present cringing as fuel for the Opposition’s growing fire nevertheless, Professor Darity offered a major sop where he sees Government as providing jobs in each parish – can anyone say Constituency Council (in theorem, not reality)? The wages and posts as Private/Public Sector initiative, maintenance of parks and other major infrastructures – again, can you see Civil Service willingly cooperating with the Private Sector especially for Accounting methods?

When I was at Yess Ten-Four, a Starcom subsidiary now Love 104.1, Vic Fernandes would moan and groan about ratings – how CBC is beating Rediffusion (now VOB) and I would point out how CBC paid for the survey… Next Ratings sweep, Fernandes is gloating how 790 AM (now 92.9 FM) beat Liberty (98.1 FM) but again I’d remind him this time? HE paid for the opinion Poll… Boy, he’d give me a dirty look, but I calmly stated I will believe any survey once it is conducted independently of ANY radio station paying for results!

The CBB even had a special e-mail made that night for questions via Smartphones, just like when Paul Volcker was here earlier this year…

What does this Interlude have to do with Darity? I am sure most, if not all, of his room and board for himself and his wife were handled by either CBB or Government or both, therefore is his lecture going to be truly insightful and impartial?

The only time the Professor got truly pithy was in revealing a survey he helped to create showed how well-adjusted folk became clinically depressed after six months of Unemployment (In other words, you go crazy after a whileno, really? Wow!) plus the lecturer also gave a zing at Barack Obama and his stance on poverty;-

Honestly, for me the better part came afterwards where there was much networking with many prominent Bajans and sampling their fully stocked bar with plentiful hors d’oeuvres of Pork & Plantain kebabs, Shrimp dredged in Coconut batter, Samosas, baby Ham cutters and mini-cheesecakes!

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