Barbados in another phase of Independence struggle, says PM

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, November 30, 2009 – As Barbadians mark their country’s 43rd year of Independence from Britain today, Prime Minister David Thompson has described the current recession as the second phase in the island’s struggle for independence.

And in his Independence Day message he reminded citizens of the country’s ability in the past to overcome many hurdles and encouraged them to summon that spirit once again to get over this one.

“I believe that this recession signals the second phase in our struggle for independence. I believe that the world will be a different place after this recession. I am convinced that several G20 powers will emerge from it with the capacity to produce and deliver consumer goods and services throughout the world. We therefore face the prospect of a global recovery with huge pockets of unemployment and poverty in the less developed countries of the world,” Thompson said.

“The challenge facing small island states like Barbados is to become more enterprising, to spot niches in the market place and to capitalize on them. It is a wake-up call for all of us to make a contribution to one of the last hurdles on the way to winning gold by achieving “developed country” status. It is a call to pursue excellence in the struggle for economic enfranchisement.”

Thompson therefore called on Barbadians at home and abroad to revisit and draw strength from the vision of their forefathers.
“It is a vision of victory, of relentlessly struggling against the odds, of facing each new hurdle with confidence until we win the gold,” he said.

“Let us not consider this current recession as a disaster but as an opportunity. Let us understand our history as a race to overcome the many hurdles placed in our way. Let us honour all 10 of our recognised National Heroes as leaders who have shown us how to overcome the legal, religious, social, political, economic and psychological hurdles that have been erected to retard our progress,” Prime Minister Thompson further urged.

He said that while Barbados “leads the pack” in the quality of life it affords its citizens and residents, has consistently pursued and achieved excellence in a range of human endeavours, and has consistently scored high marks on the indices of human development, the people cannot become complacent and must work to continue and improve these high standards.

In this year’s Independence Day Honours, two lawyers were named the newest recipients of knighthoods.

They are Queen’s Counsels Philip Marlowe Greaves and Maurice Athelstan King, both of whom were ministers in the Cabinet of Barbados’ first prime minister and ‘Father of Independence’, Errol Barrow.