The PEP’s New Year’s message


THE YEAR 2013 has a very special significance for Barbadians. It will be the year in which our country goes through another general election. And, significantly, this general election will be in the 47th year of our Independence, in the sixth year of the current international capitalist recession and in the 51st year since the collapse of our West Indian Federation.
Of equal significance for us is that 2013 will be the 60th anniversary of the publication of George Lamming’s great novel, In The Castle Of My Skin — a towering artistic achievement that, as long ago as 1953, pointed us the way forward to the consolidation of a genuinely sovereign nation and national culture.
In addition, the year 2013 bears special significance for us as the eighth year of the existence of the “Bolivarian Alternative For Latin America and The Caribbean” (ALBA) — the dynamic and visionary developmental association that Barbados has so far refused to join — and the commencement year of the United Nations-designated Decade For People Of African Descent.
And so, 2013 will definitely be the year in which we Barbadian people face the fundamental question as to how seriously we take ourselves as a people and a nation.
Will we, for example, in the general election of 2013, permit our Barbadian “political class” to treat us with the same contempt and indifference that they treated us to in the general election of 2008? Remember, back then, the two traditional political parties – the BLP and DLP – conspired to go through an entire general elections without holding even one national debate! Indeed, their callous and vulgar modus operandi was to simply focus on wooing voters with popular entertainment and monetary “gifts”, financed by unidentified “donors”.
Regrettably, this behaviour is but one component of a wider schema of disrespect for us as citizens of Barbados, and of our own lack of respect for ourselves.
But we have only ourselves to blame for this lack of respect! The root of this phenomenon is our own failure to believe that we possess something of outstanding value. And, of course, we do possess something of inestimable value.
Let us, therefore, resolve to use this new year of 2013 to take ourselves seriously as a people and a nation. Let us refuse to be an unconscious people, buffeted by “political masters” who take us for granted. Let us also refuse to continue wallowing helplessly in the throes of this capitalist recession, shamefully and passively looking towards North America and Europe for our salvation, but taking no initiatives of our own.
Instead, let us recognize our unique beauty and valuableness, and the worth of our indigenous resources. Let us seek to consolidate our national sovereignty, and to build of our own Caribbean nation and economy. Let us take a “fresh guard” in 2013!
• The PEP column represents the views of the People’s Empowerment Party. Email


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