Bees bring pain
The Barbados Labour Party is on a track of privatising some of the essential services and will do so if re-elected.
That was the message sent to a small gathering in Bathsheba Park, St. Joseph last night, by Democratic Labour Party member, Guyson Mayers.
Mayers told the audience that health care, Transport Board, education, even the Port Authority, were just a few of the services that the BLP was likely to privatise and to avoid that the residents of the parish had to ensure they put DLP hopeful, Dennis Holder, in the seat.
The St. Joseph Hospital in the north had gone defunct under the BLP, the attorney-at-law charged, leaving the north with few options for health care, and instead were focusing on health tourism where people paid for services.
Likewise in education, he noted that there were families, some with more than one child in school that would not be able to afford to educate their children under a BLP-led government; and those who travel now for free on buses would find that a thing of the past.
“When they sell off the Transport Board what will happen? It is nothing short of unbelievable that anybody in their right minds could propose the privatisation of transport in Barbados. We already have a hybrid system where we have private people running minibuses alongside the public Transport Board system, and that is fortunate. Why is that good? It gives us a good idea of what a completely private transport system will look like,” he stated, telling residents that with such a system those who live in places like St. Joseph are likely to pay higher rates because of the distance from the City.
“It is not financially feasible and if a private owner cannot make money he or she will not do it. We will go back to the days when the last bus was 7 o’clock … then crapaud smoke ya pipe. What will happen to the pensioners and school children that travel free?” he queried.
He said too that the port represented one of the strongholds in labour and unionism in the country, arguing that if privatised workers would be sent home and the Barbados Workers Union would lose the largest part of its workers base.
“When they sell of the port, what will happen? Workers gone home but it will go further. If privatised, the BWU is dead and if unions die the workers in this country are in trouble… The workers union’s trump card has always been the port. When private enterprise takes over and sends home half the staff, and we no longer have power of the port what happens to workers. It weakens the infrastructure of our industrial relations… Labour is struggling, if it is weakened what happens?” he asked.
“This election is not about who you like and don’t like. It is about choosing between a Government that will hold your hand or cut you loose to fend for yourself. We need to be our brother’s keeper,” he said. “If Dale [Marshall] gets back his seat; if you make the mistake and don’t hold on to Holder you have to blame yourself for the hardship that is going to come upon you.”
Former three-time candidate for the constituency, Randall Rouse, also told the gathering they would do well to “hold on to Holder”.
The parish had a history of electing BLP candidates to Parliament, he noted, begging residents to choose wiser this year and select Holder, whom he termed an honest and God-fearing man.
“Dale Marshall has not represented this constituency in any way in the last 10 years,” he said, charging the even the clinic that was planned as part of the Eric Holder facility was abandoned under Marshall, who now decried the fact that there was no health care institution in the parish. (LB)