Having dealt with the perception of Sir Roy based on his controversial May Day 2012 comments and historical vantage points in my last blog I now continue this topic with the toughie, which is the public’s perception of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. I have found Prime Minister Stuart to be one Barbados’ most honest and thoughtful Prime Ministers. The public however perceives his biggest strengths as his biggest weaknesses. For instance persons were horrified (including me) when he called Leroy Parris his friend (the former Chairman of Clico Holdings Barbados and certainly the most unpopular person on the island because of the CLICO collapse and the many policies and pensions left in jeopardy including one belonging to yours truly). Minister Stuart made no apology about calling Parris his friend. And I am sure that most of the politicians on both sides can lay claim to a friendship of sorts with Parris, because in this small island people of similar stature operate in the same circles. Of course everyone else is wiping his or her hands clean of Mr. Parris.
And then there was the Alexandra School saga. PM Stuart did not rush in and fire anyone thank God, because history has shown that when this had been done in the past tax payers had to pay for some legal settlement in the future that was most times ‘hushed up.’ While his political “rookies” were bashing Sir Roy, the man who knows his history said he did not see anything in Sir Roy’s statement to fuss about. This is because our Prime Minister knows his history and his political position is not for sale. The recent CADRES polls said that the Prime Minister is too slow in dealing with matters, not surprisingly since we have become a fast food, instant gratification/messaging generation. A people who no longer cook on Sundays because it is too long a process, but rather go stand in lines at fast food restaurants and other establishments. We no longer carry on conversations but responding to each other in characters (lol, :), np etc.)
The irony is that Freundel Stuart is really what Barbados needs at this very trying juncture - a person who understands where this country has come from and has the tenacity to see it continue to advance steadily. It is time Barbadians see through the smoke screen of perception and start to understand our role as a people. Based on our history of not loving ourselves it does not help that our Prime Minister is truly a black man and not ‘light skin’ (same of Sir Roy). Black is beautiful, just ask the tanning companies and the millions of tourists that lay on our beaches in the hot blazing sun. It is time we see ourselves as we are – “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” It is time that we recognize this so that we are not brained washed into a life of perception but instead live our best life, a life based on reality.
(Note to readers: This piece may be perceived as political, a topic I have deliberately stayed away from since I am neither fish nor foul but prefer to cast my vote for who I think will do the best job for the country).