Mia Amor Mottley

(flashback)‘Try harder ‘: Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley speaks during yesterday’s opening ceremony of the COP26 UN Climate Summit, in Glasgow, Scotland.

—Photo: AP

I have never been a supporter of the People’s National Movement and I am certainly no fan of our Prime Minister. But fair is fair and facts are facts. Trinidad and Tobago is in a much better position economically than Barbados is.

Those who were gushing over Mia Mottley’s speech at the UN summit on climate change have shown blithe disregard for Barbados’s startling debt to GDP ratio which is around 144 per cent. They were too busy being impressed with her smoothness to notice such things.

Whether the people in Barbados were equally impressed is another question. Those who are worried about her recent US$115m loan from China may be more concerned with “IMF” than “Code Red”.

Images of Rowley addressing an empty room may amuse shallow people, but no one can say Rowley tried to bully the developed world out of their money.

Just imagine what the people of the developed world must be thinking! Well, the sensible ones at least.

Since when does the developed world have a collective responsibility for the Third World?

One of the most damning signs of our time is the contempt we have for personal responsibility. Collective irresponsibility seems to be in vogue and Mottley received a standing ovation for blaming others for her problems.

When Keith Rowley went looking for vaccine donations, “Vaccine Vagrant” became the running gag. If any of those people had an honest bone in their body, or any sense of self-awareness, they’d be equally quick to call Mottley a beggar. But Mia Mottley has that special slickness about her to convince people that her lecture on climate change really isn’t just an appeal for donations.

When she’s not distracting people from the disastrous state of the economy with glib talk about the environment, she’s dazzling impressionable minds with sanctimonious talk about how the banking sector ought to work.

Dr Terrence Farrell has already deconstructed the theatrical absurdity of this speech. But in the era of “trust the experts”, it’s amazing how many people are unwilling to listen to the banking experts. They’d much rather listen to the smooth-talking politician who promises to deliver them to the land of milk and honey.

At least banks can say they provide security. What are people getting when they invest in Mia Mottley’s promises?

For those of us not living in Barbados, it costs us nothing to ooh and aah in amazement.

It’s only a matter of time until it all hits the fan in Barbados under the Mottley administration. By then, we would find someone else to gush over. The people in Barbados won’t have the fortune of wilful ignorance on their side to blank out the grim reality.


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