“Barbados? Giant debating society? Is action too late?” By Fmr. Sen. Lynette Eastmond
Some describe it as embarrassing. Barbados has been described as a giant debating society where the only satisfaction required is in the very debate of the issues. Individuals are rewarded and respected for their ability to debate not implement. The first person who drew this to my attention was a USA negotiator who I met when we were negotiating the FTAA.
He noted that he had always been highly impressed with the rhetoric (my words) from Caribbean representatives but at the next meeting there was hardly ever any progress. Barbados has also been described as a place where there is a severe LACK OF TRUST between and among every class of people.
Thus the ability to collaborate or enter into joint ventures is almost impossible. For small states collaborations are necessary. BARBADOS by now has been recognised as a place where we are limited in our knowledge as to how to participate in a democracy. Many believe strongly that their only contribution is to vote every five years (if at all) and then if they feel moved to do so for the rest of the time participate in the giant debating society of which we first spoke.
Since Barbados has already started on the path to its inevitable demise, as witnessed by the many frustrated people who believe this to be a hostile environment where there is little equality in accessing just about anything, urgent action needs to be taken in educating people how to make change possible.
Barbadians including the brightest and the best continue to hold on to systems which everyone else in the world has jettisoned including those from whom they inherited them. Why? Just can not be bothered?
Everyone has a leadership role at every level. It would be wonderful if Barbadians would assert their leadership responsibility and begin to address these issues – not by just talking but by taking some action. THE REQUEST IS URGENT.