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Give fair chance

Opposition MP and cultural activist, Mia Mottley has expressed fears of an exodus of talented Barbadians, if the practice of favouritism is allowed to continue unchecked.

Mottley, who is also a senior attorney-at-law, made her feelings known while delivering the keynote address this morning at the First Caribbean and Latin American Conference on Talent Management at the Savannah Hotel, Hastings.

Speaking on the topic The Linkage Between Meritocracy and Socio-Economic Development in Caribbean and Latin American Societies, she called for the opening up of the “windows of opportunity” for all.

“There are times in the life of an organism or a country, where you need to open up your system. We have had the benefit of almost 50 years of independence, yet we find ourselves hearing this refrain more and more and more, largely in the context of difficult economic times, that people feel that they cannot get a fair chance, a break, that they can’t get through without somebody calling a shot, without somebody doing something to ease the way,” Mottley declared.

She said it was of concern, because the natural consequences of that, “if not stemmed, would be an exodus of persons, either physically, which is not to our credit, because we already start with a limited resource base of a quarter million, even though we believe we can box higher than our weight, or a mental exodus where mental apathy sets in, and there is no greater emotion to fight than apathy.”

The attorney acknowledged that she was particularly concerned, because the mission of those who came in the years after independence, was essentially one of not just building a nation, but raising a people.”

“And what is raising a people. Raising a people, essentially, is making sure that we are capable of giving people everything that they need, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth, irrespective of their family support, irrespective even of their educational opportunities in their early years; because the one thing we have learnt, is that people mature at different levels,” asserted Mottley.

She suggested that it was this recognition of that universal principle, that led the country in 1995 to bring the white paper on education with the theme Each One Matters, but conceding that learning and development are essentially a life long process.

The former Attorney-General also suggested that one needed to go beyond recognition and practice and implement the Each One Matters mantra for every single citizen.

Mottley noted that while it was politically expedient to shout about what was being done for the poor, “we don’t seem to get it for the people in between the extremes who have been trying to pull up their boot straps, but who do not have the environment that allows them the best that they can be and get the access to opportunities that are further needed to improve themselves.”

She suggested that Barbados may have to bring in people from other Caribbean countries to raise the current population to what she believed would be its optimum number of about 400,000. Her reason for this position, was that Barbados could not continue to support a country with a quarter million people. (EJ)

4 Responses to Give fair chance

  1. Tony Webster September 26, 2012 at 6:15 am

    “Capable of giving people everything they need”. This is , perhaps the very ROOT of the problem! When my adoplted daughter completed secondary education, her natural father indicated that he already had spoken with his M.P., who he said, would “get her something”. I discussed this with her, and we agreed that to go begging for job in the civil service, was about the poorest choice she could make. She took another road, got a satisfying job on her own merits and on her own efforts, and is now a confident, self-assured woman. Having already provided free education up to tertiary level, the state must not molly-coddle individuals, but allow them to exercise thier natural abilities to compete for available jobs. Available jobs come from a vibrant economy. Work on making our economy vibrant please, and leave out such talk in the coming weeks and months!

  2. CheeseONBread September 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Tony Webster, there’s a difference between “need” and “want”. Needs include delivery of services you would expect from revenue gained via your taxpayer dollars. Such needs are-

    -access to quality healthcare
    -access to quality education: “quality” simply means a System of Education able to nurture and develop young minds, no matter their talents. Indeed, training in areas such as plumbing, masonry, carpentry, welding ,that do not require advanced academic qualifications such as degrees.

    I could go on but you get the drift. For all of this to happen you need a strong economy. That goes without saying.

    -adequate housing

  3. CheeseONBread September 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

    MPs are put there to see to our needs, not our wants.

  4. Tony Webster September 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the comments, tho I am passing familar with the difference mentioned. I suppose that you categorise a job from your friendly M.P., as a “need”, right? And we “Need” water, but do you need a 60% increase, while all the pipes leak? Who pays?You get MY drift? Nuff said on this one, but stay tuned for lots more similar gobbley-gook from both east and west in the coming times!

    The inescapable national priority is to reign-in Goverment’s role, (and spending) and to really empower the private sector and the role of individuals. It’s coming, because it has to.


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