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Barbados Uncensored

Beyond the News, Inside the Issues

Barbadians Screwed Again: Final Wake Up Call?

Dec 18, 2021

Before you could say: “Mr. Harding”, the BLP Barbados government ruled by Mia Amor Mottley had passed yet another piece of legislation that screws the people. “Literally”, as she would say.

Thanks to the passing of the Debt Settlement (Arrears) Bill, 2021 any money which the government owed us is now going to be screwed tightly into J series bonds.

It was not enough that people lost their jobs because of the covid-19 pandemic and that unemployment is averaging around 18%.  It was not enough that these people must now dig deeply into their savings- if they have any left. 

What more was needed- or so it seems- was for some of our elected parliamentarians, a few of them professing Christians, to pass another piece of legislation that gives us what ducks do not like, according to RPB.

A couple years ago, this same government screwed mostly elderly Barbadians by adjusting the terms of their holdings in Barbados Central Bank issued bonds. Protests were made and some changes were effected.

Enter Diversion

But all of that was before covid-19!  The pandemic has driven fear into the hearts of many and left many holding on to dear life. Then came the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent in April 2021 showering us with ash for several weeks. If that was not enough distraction, hurricane Elsa hit the island in 02 July, 2021  leaving properties shattered and lives dislocated. 

Fast forward to November this year and yet another distraction was put before the people. The inauguration of the Republic of Barbados.

Barbadians have been traumatized and one can see why they have missed so many pieces of legislation. This government made the most of the distractions by hustling through legislation that has far-reaching and long-term consequences.

Artful Dodger

We would be lying if we said that the government did not make provision for all Barbadians to scrutinize the pieces of legislation before they were passed. They were placed in the official Gazette; on the parliament website and on the GIS website. 

However, even their own ministers, notably George Payne, complained of the time pressure to read legislation.  Similar sentiments were expressed by the leader of the opposition, Joseph Atherley and Grenville Phillips in relation to the matter of the passage of the Constitution Revision Amendment Act (2021).

But this government well knows that Barbadians are not a reading public. Anything beyond three lines gets truncated or worse, ignored. Thence, appropriately edified, the reader emerges onto the social media landscape, a veritable “expert”.   

Enter Brutus

Two unconnected elderly members of our extended family, now deceased, dreamt that Mia Mottley had shot them in their back.  A rather strange dream which my wife and I found quite funny for a while.

Today it is not so funny.  We now understand what they were seeing: the betrayal of Barbadians.  Barbadians have been betrayed into the hands of the IMF. All because its leader cannot see any solution to Barbados’ economic problems beyond constant borrowing. 

Republicize or Decolonize?

Now that the afterglow of Republic Day has gone many are slowly becoming attuned to the fact that our net sovereignty has not increased but declined due primarily to the burden of external debt citizens are carrying. 

The Biblical observation that “the borrower is servant to the lender” is now sinking in.   In many cases all we do is trade one “massa” for another, be that “massa” local or foreign.

The real shackles of colonialism were not the manacles that bound our hands and feet or the British flag or God Save the Queen or a foreign head of state. We have now jettisoned all of those realia, emblems, symbols and insignia.

The real shackles are to be found deep in the recesses of our post-colonial minds that still reek of unconscious “massaism”, perverse self-depreciation that passes as respect and the surrender of individual and collective sovereignty to politicians who ought to be our servants instead of our master.

It is the monarchy inside us that is the problem. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt but would soon find out that they had Egypt buried deep inside them.

If we are to get past even the mesmerizing atmosphere of the “miapublic” we have to get up like Samson – before his hair was shaved – and shake off the mental fuzz that has settled on our grey matter. 

Every citizen must now jettison hero worship, resist the halo effect and add a fourth “R” to his or her education, namely  REASON, thereby rejecting anti-intellectualism.  As noted science fiction Writer Isaac Asimov once said of America:

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

What all of the foregoing means is that we now have to walk, chew gum and THINK (above all else) all at the same time.

New Political Order

A new political order is required. It is clear that the old one with its two look-alike parties (a.k.a the duopoly)  and first-past-the-post (FPP) electoral system has outlived its usefulness.

New political parties steeped in the Judeo-Christian faith of our forefathers, that eschew party paramountcy and value conscience above all else must arise.

Every citizen must understand that there is nothing dirty about politics. God made politics because he made authority. Politics is about the use of authority. Therefore, there are only clean politicians or dirty politicians.  

In every nook and cranny, in every single constituency, people must take a keen interest in what goes on in parliament, organize to influence their representatives and demand accountability.  To keep a tight grip on their political sovereignty they must agitate for  the right to recall elected representatives and the abolition of non-elected ministers.    

Now more than ever, democracy must cease to be, “five minutes every five years in a polling booth”

[WPPV-TOTAL-VIEWS] VIEWS

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Dr. Aldon Tull, the author, is a retired educator who holds a Master of Science in International Marketing and the Doctor of Education. 

He can be reached at editor@barbadosuncensored.com at 246-228-3720 or on Whatsapp at 246-846-3191

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