Nothing like the Bees

blp all about figures, while dlp focusses on human welfare,

says pm

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart last night told a massive crowd at Passage Road, St. Michael that there were fundamental differences between the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party that would always set them apart and make the DLP the party of choice for most Barbadians.

He said for ten years between 1976 and 1986 and for 14 years between 1994 and 2008, Barbadians were fed a steady, unrelenting diet of figures. He said citizens were taught arithmetic and percentages because the BLP believed it could “dazzle people” by throwing figures around.

“The result of that is a kind of statistical worship which says that as long as the arithmetic is right, as long as the figures are saying the right things, it does not matter what becomes of human-beings,” Stuart stated.

He said late Prime Minister Tom Adams had employed a similar strategy being used by Owen Arthur and those around him that once you provided favourable figures and statistics on growth of economy and employment, whether they were accurate or not, that that was all to enlightened political leadership. Stuart added the DLP took exception to that type of politics.

“Let the Barbados Labour Party concentrate on statistical worship, while the Democratic Labour Party concentrates on the promotion of human welfare. That is why over the years the focus of our policy has been on the elevation and enlightenment of human-beings, people with flesh and blood, people who laugh and cry, people who feel pain and experience pleasure.

“That is why the DLP under Errol Barrow promoted education in the way it which it did,” he said, adding that was the reason the rule of the DLP was always marked by an emphasis on social policy and steered clear of worshipping statistics.

He said the Barbados Community College, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the majority of secondary and primary schools, focus on the elderly, having a youth policy, promoting a healthy environment, ensuring Barbadians had access to public transport, were all part of the DLP’s focus on people.

He said the Republicans in the United States were similar to the BLP, noting that like Arthur and his colleagues, they talked arithmetic throughout the US elections while President Obama spoke to human welfare. He said the Americans rejected the Republicans and their arithmetic worship and he was confident that on February 21 Barbadians would do the same thing to the BLP.

He said while the BLP spoke about growth, the DLP concentrated on development. He explained that while his administration respected the importance of growth and wanted to promote growth at all cost, he was aware that there could be economic growth without development and similarly development without economic growth based on the redistribution of available resources to the least fortunate in society.

He said growth answered the question: “By how much or how many?” He suggested that the DLP was also interested in the question: “For whose benefit [is this growth]?” He noted this was why DLP policy always focused on the most vulnerable and marginalised in the society in any situation. He stated that the youth, aged, the disabled and women had always benefited from the focus of the DLP on development.

Stuart said the BLP related the standard of living to people having cellular phones, iPods, motorcars and the like. He said the DLP had no problem with people having these things, but he explained that eminently more important was the quality of life which Barbadians experienced.

He said irrespective of how many cars, cellular phones, jewellery or iPods people had, and they could not feel safe in their country, then their quality of life would be undermined. He said the DLP had done much to improve the standard of life of Barbadians, but had also concentrated on solidifying and enhancing the quality of their lives.

Stuart concluded by stating that both Arthur and Mia Mottley had adopted the mantra that they needed to put more money in people’s pockets. He added there was nothing wrong in having more money in one’s pocket, that could not be the ultimate ideal of a Government. He explained that Government had responsibilities that surpassed that narrow perspective, adding that if that was Arthur’s only vision, then something was wrong.

He recalled late Prime Minister David Thompson producing cheques in Parliament that were given to Arthur for the BLP which ended up in his own personal bank account and suggested that based on history and Arthur’s stated focus, he was not only interested in putting money in Barbadians’ pockets, but mostly putting money in his own pockets.

He said notwithstanding the need to enhance the spending power of Barbadians, Government had a responsibility to build the character and integrity of a nation to enable it to withstand the challenges that situations such as the global recession brought. (WG)

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