What is the crime in 375? $100,000

Celebrations for 375 years of Parliament in Barbados Comes Under Fire


Parliament Buildings of Barbados in Bridgetown where the 375th anniversary
celebrations will take place today


There has been much furor made over the estimated $100,000 price tag for the 375th anniversary of Parliament in Barbados. At a time when  the government has imposed unwelcome austerity measures, the public for the most part and the Opposition party have not attempted to hide their disgust. But I ask why?

Many have cited the history of Parliament and its role in slavery and colonialism as the reasons for not acknowledging this landmark. In other words, this institution did for the people of Barbados no less than the slave trade for black people. 

I don't think that this is a fair assessment of the situation. In fact I believe it is not the celebrations that are ticking people off, but really the price tag. We can't imagine, what kind of entertainment or culinary package would amount to $100,000. Of course I am not fully aware of how this money would have been spent for the celebrations, but one can see the legitimacy of my view. 

With that said, I do believe that it should and must be celebrated. As much as the Parliament oversaw painful moments in history such as slavery, it has presided over debates and passed laws to the benefit of Barbados. This would include most notably education. I know, I know. I know. I know! But you get my point. 

Further to that, the Opposition Party should apologise as well. It is the institution of Parliament and its infrastructure that allows for this Party and its representatives to contribute to society and to be recognised and awarded. Why curse the very platform on which you have risen? 
Inside the Barbados Senate

If the recognition of the 375th anniversary of Parliament is too much to bear along with its history, then the representatives of the Party should not have run for public office. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Furthermore, with Bridgetown and its Garrison receiving the World Heritage award, it is certainly common sense that the 375th anniversary, the first major celebration since the award has been given, be deserving of some pomp and pageantry. 

Mind you, I still believe that the furor surrounding this issue is as a direct result of the present government's shameful PR practices. Having an electorate go through austerity measures and sacrifices with no clearly articulated vision or inspirational narrative from the government's leader is unfair, and then to add insult to injury the cavalier, almost arrogant disclosure of the costs for such an "unnecessary" occasion. 

If Barbadians, who right now are very anti-establishment in attitude, could see and feel the benefits of having such a celebration, then this administration would have a better time with the whole thing. 

But there are 'benefits' just not relevant to John Public- the third oldest Parliament in the Commonwealth has been preserved for 375 years; a system of Parliament given by the Colonial mother country and maintained even after Independence. 

Petra Marie…Inspired Be