Latest political grouping vows to present solutions
Another political party has emerged to challenge the two leading parties here, the governing Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). However, anyone planning to contest the next election on a Solutions Barbados (SB) ticket must be prepared to lose, or for a short stay in office in the event the party is successful.
“Prospective candidates must not view politics as a career, but as a brief time of exemplary national service,” the party has posted on its website in a call for candidates, adding that anyone who wished to represent SB must expect “long working hours, vicious personal criticisms, no pay, a slim chance of being elected, and an exciting journey”.
SB is the brainchild of Grenville Phillips ll, a veteran project management and engineering Caribbean professional. However, it was not immediately clear who else might have committed to be part of the movement, and Phillips refused to divulge any information about his prospective team.
The party’s website did not provide any clues either, except to state that while there were “some potential candidates, we need more”.
SB has presented itself as “a group of men and women who love Barbados, treasure our reputations, and plan to offer ourselves as candidates in the next general elections” as a “competent alternative” to the main parties. Phillips said the members would “reluctantly descend into the murky political trench”.
The SB leader appeared to have no illusion about his party’s prospects, suggesting that it was a short term project whose interest was in finding solutions to Barbados’ problems.
“We would much prefer to have the existing elected officials govern responsibly. If our reluctant entry can serve to shock them into governing properly, then for us to remain in politics would be redundant. The goal is to have all Barbadians benefit from having effective solutions implemented. Our formation, and continued existence, is only possible because of their gross failure to govern responsibly. Whether we continue as an organisation is entirely up to them,” Phillips said in response to questions emailed to him by Barbados TODAY.
In a preview of its manifesto, the party listed a number of “policy solutions” that include improvements to health care, education, transportation, governance, regulatory systems and the criminal justice system.
Phillips shared his party’s position on several current issues, including the dispute between the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC); the Cahill Energy controversy and the border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela. However, he reserved his harshest comments for the Government’s handling of the economy.
“We believe that the current fiscal agenda is the best that the current administration is capable of doing. We believe that we can do a lot better,” the neophyte politician boasted.
“Barbados needs investment opportunities, but who wants to invest in a poorly managed country? Actually, those that do should undergo more than normal scrutiny,” the SB leader added.
Declaring that the DLP and BLP seem committed to overspending and leaving a debt legacy to the island’s children and grandchildren, the political leader said the party’s establishment and continued existence would be motivated only by “the gross failure” of both parties to govern responsibly.