The things we ought to do without
Forget for the moment that the Opposition Barbados Labour Party is not remotely impressed with the performance of the Democratic Labour Party Government, and would happily take down the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister, so it might take office itself. And set aside that Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is waiting patiently –– and seemingly cunningly –– to deal once and for all with his nemesis apparent Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.
We really can do without the political theatrics.
And forget too for the moment Opposition Member of Parliament Santia Bradshaw’s Sunday night call at the Chadderton Road and Quaker’s Road junction to take to the streets “peacefully”, and the St Michael South-East representative’s deep yearning to have “a placard in my hand and tell them they can’t silence me” –– whether the Barbados Labour Party is ready to hit the road or not.
We actually can do without the rhetoric.
Forget as well for the moment the street protests in Venezuela where President Nicolás Maduro is facing pressure from the “right wing” oppositionists and standing over a seeming crack in the strong support base the embattled leader inherited from Hugo Chávez –– the street marching that is seeing escalating violence as Barbadian Friend Of Venezuela David Denny laments Maduro’s struggle to defend “the poor” from the rich.
We thankfully can do without the oddity.
The ugly truth is the days of the peace protests are over –– not including union strike action, of course. Since the 2010 Arab Spring, marching and public protesting have taken on a whole new form and spirit. In the end street democracy and justice sought invariably turn to anarchy and lifelessness not bargained for. It will be attested to by the rebels of Tunisia, Eygpt, Libya, Yemen, Syria et al. And our “friends”
We surely can do without the turmoil –– and any chance of cracked heads.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Government’s handling of our national affairs, traipsing up and down the streets of Barbados will make us sleep no better at night, and the Opposition’s declared wish for a betterment of our circumstances will hardly bear fruit through mayhem, unwittingly constructed by unbridled exuberance and foggy thinking.
It was so refreshing hearing former Prime Minister Owen Arthur –– based on administrative experience –– advising the Government in Parliament on keeping its word with the International Monetary Fund and the possible fallout from not doing so in measured and statesman-like tone befitting that august chamber.
The partisan spoils might be in sight, but it serves little good in not sharing knowledge that will ensure our basic economic structure remains grounded, our present leaders forewarned and cautioned without the vitriol, and our famously acknowledged stability reasonably secured.
At the end of the day, we must all live here.
No matter what, any clear road ahead will not be without some compromise and self-denial –– until we are well out of the woods. The task of saving Barbados rests not only on the shoulders of the Government (though mostly), but, as well, on a discerning and prodding Opposition not seeking to micromanage. And the people too must play a part –– exacting reasonableness, whatever preferences, from both sides.
There are lessons always: put our case with all our passion, but with love –– love for fellow man and for country. Barbados is the best thing we collectively have. We must preserve it, not remotely risking wrecking it. As we have said before, we need not lumber about in sack cloth and ashes, as things are. We need only be prudent in the things we would wish for as against those we truly need, giving priority to things Bajan.
And with it let us give thought to more national cost management as we would that which is personal.
We must never stray from our ancestors’ teaching that better is possible and within our reach, but with the right attitude –– and with God’s help.