BARBADOS/ITALY (Naked Departure) — THE COUNTRY OF ITALY can teach the country of Barbados a thing or two, especially as Barbados reached fifty years of independence. Follow me for a minute before you assassinate my argument.
In Italy, a forty-one year old Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, has called for a referendum on December 4th, 2016 to reduce the size of the Italian parliament and Senate. Renzi, has called on Italians for a 21st century Italian renaissance. Renzi’s contention is that Italy has had sixty-three changes of government in seventy years, which has led to massive governmental mismanagement. Renzi believes that the Italian people have suffered the most, because of massive parliamentary size, and incompetence.
Now Barbados, on the cusp of fifty years of independence, how can Bajans be at or below pre- independence standards of living? Is it that the government of Barbados is to big, to ineffective, or that the people of Barbados have become to complacent, even to lazy? This month celebrates the one year anniversary, since the Bajans residing in the parish of St Joseph, have been without water in their homes. I wonder if in 1966 at pre-independence if Barbadians faced water woes? The independence of a country is just not a saying, a feeling or some kind of style, independence of a people, of a nation goes to the heart beats of its people.
How then can any government claim to understand it’s nation’s heart beat, if it does not feel the pulse of its people? Barbados needs a renaissance of a political, social and an economic nature, that will equip the people of Barbados, for well into the 21St century. Fifty years after being a colony of England, where in the pantheons of history, will Barbados be remembered? Will the national landscape of Barbados be one that offers every Bajan a decent liveable wage, a decent health care system, reduction and/or elimination of crime, a renewal and commitment to an educational system, that will be second to none? Or will Barbados carry on into the second half of the next fifty years, pretty much like the first fifty years, “All style and no substance.”
If Barbadians cannot measurably benefit from the fruits of independence, then independence has only been “All style, and no substance.” Certainly, substance would dictate a Barbados where all Bajans can live comfortably, and where there are no invidious distinctions amongst Bajans. It is fair to surmise, that the government of Barbados is to big, and ineffective, relative to the size of Barbados’ population. I hope and pray for a referendum of effective political leadership in the near future.
A referendum not via the ballot box, but through social consciousness. Barbadians need to hold politicians, and each other, accountable in the second fifty years of independence.
God’s blessings to all Barbadians, on fifty years of independence. Victor Callender