BLP’s hope

Opposition launches covenant

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), its gaze clearly fixed on returning to Government, Thursday night launched a Covenant of Hope, committing itself to standards to which it will aim, and a contract on what it has pledged to deliver.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley (left) presents a copy of the Covenant to former speaker of Parliament Lindsay Holder.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley (left) presents a copy of the Covenant to former speaker of Parliament Lindsay Bolden.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley (right) presents a copy of the covenant to Cheryl Lady Forde, wife of former party leader Sir Henry Forde.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley (right) presents a copy of the covenant to Cheryl Lady Forde, wife of former party leader Sir Henry Forde.

Speaking to a packed Hugh Springer Auditorium at the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) headquarters, party leader Mia Mottley said she saw this contract with Barbadians as the commitment which will transition the BLP from Opposition to Government.

“We are of that Joshua generation, ready to take you forward. For this Covenant of Hope, with your will and your participation, can become a Government of Hope,” she said of the 22-page document listing five ‘visions’ and 10 ‘supporting principles’.

Wrapping up a three-hour long session in which former and current BLP Members of Parliament, Senators and candidates took turns reading out the pledges, visions and principles as a solemn oath to the country, Mottley said the Covenant represented “who we are and what we will fight for . . . It requires us going beyond the normal commitments and pledges to each other”.

She said the covenant was presented now “because the country is restless and some are beginning to believe that hope is not possible, and therefore the timing is opportune”.

“It has become necessary for us to let you know what we stand for and to give you the confidence of how we shall act in your name as Government,” she added.

Mottley spoke of committing to a standard in Government, “that no longer should people wonder where people come from to determine whether they should have a job, or who they know.

“This country must chart a bold new course that gives every Barbadian the opportunity to be successful,” she said. “This does not mean a politics of old. It means that instead of a politics of personality, we must have a politics of hope and prosperity.”

“We must build trust, and we must not feel as though we are hampered and held down by things of old but prepared to break new ground,” she said.

Presentation of the document through readings of excerpts by various members was preceded by a recollection of the party’s beginnings and early struggle by former Cabinet minister, Sir Louis Tull; and a recount of the BLP’s best years in Government under Owen Arthur, by Liz Thompson, who served in the Arthur Cabinet.

Former BLP cabinet Minister Sir Louis Tull recalled the early days of struggle of the BLP.
Former BLP cabinet Minister Sir Louis Tull recalled the early days of struggle of the BLP.
Former BLP cabinet minister Liz Thompson recounted the party’s years of governance from 1994 to 2008.
Former BLP cabinet minister Liz Thompson recounted the party’s years of governance from 1994 to 2008.

The content of the Covenant’s visions evoked memories of similar statements being made during political campaigns. However, Member of Parliament for St Joseph Dale Marshall made it clear that the Covenant was not a manifesto but an enduring pledge, a document for the electorate to hold against the party’s performance at any time.

St Joseph MP Dale Marshall reads a vision and supporting principles of the Covenant.
St Joseph MP Dale Marshall reads a vision and supporting principles of the Covenant.

“In the history of a political party it will produce many manifestos. This is because manifestos reflect the policies and priorities of a Government in waiting, and must change, adapt, metamorphose as the times and circumstances require,” Marshall said.

“A new manifesto is expected for every election,” he explained, drawing a contrast between such election promises and the new Covenant that the BLP sees as a lifetime commitment.

“In the life of a political party, it is expected that it will have only one covenant. A single solemn pledge to the people,” Marshall said.

“This is because the covenant gives expression to the principles which will guide [the party]. While policies change, principles will not. Manifestos change, and a covenant will not.

“Our party is not too timid to be willing to commit today, and for all times to internationally recognized principles of good governance,” Marshall said.

The former Attorney General explained the Covenant reflected opinions gathered from the people of Barbados. “We hold those opinions dearly and pledge to honour them,” he said.

As read out by various party representatives, the five visions of the Covenant of Hope are for:

1) ‘New national consciousness’ supported by principles of  ‘strengthening the spiritual and cultural psyche of Barbadians’ and ‘fostering civility, inclusiveness and respect for diversity’.

2) ‘Vision for good governance’, supported by the principle that, the BLP, ‘stands for good and transparent governance’.

3) ‘Vision for a better society’, supported by principles of standing for an acceptable quality of life for all’; ‘the empowerment of the people’; ‘universal access to quality health care’; and ‘fostering civility, inclusiveness and respect for diversity’.

4) ‘Vision for a new economy’, supported by principles ‘for improving the livelihoods of all of our people’; ‘for fair treatment and just reward for all’; and ‘for development in a sustainable manner’.

5) ‘Vision for engaging the world’, supported by the principle ‘for achieving and maintaining global excellence in all of our endeavours’.

13 Responses to BLP’s hope

  1. Steven Layne
    Steven Layne May 8, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Looking good

  2. owen Phillips May 8, 2016 at 9:17 am

    still a bunch of nonsense don’t believe them there are desperate for power. Nothing will change. No vision whatsoever.

  3. dave May 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    You are too cynical Owen Phillips

    The BLP has always rescue Barbados and they should be given the chance to rescue the country again. I have seen it over and over again .

    We cannot continue with the DLP and that is a given. The DLP just does not have it: they have no creative ideas ; no creative persons who they listen to; and they have always have a this fatted calf approach.

    It is the DLP and nothing or nobody else. They can not save the Country but as long as certain Party members can still enjoy life, no problem.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine May 9, 2016 at 3:18 am

      You are right and yet not so right. First, the DLP have at every turn in their tenure failed in their policies to stabilize our few economic fall outs preferring to lean towards a programme of severe austerity and its ensuing hardships as the only alternative plan for economic recovery.

      The worst execution of poor management is being exhibited by a Stuart led government, whose only real successes are increased taxation, job losses and unrealistically large sums of monies for dubious projects that have caused immense controversies to arise.

      The BLP have shown their mantle during their tenure and return to power by orchestrating borrowing and spending to improve the state of the economy and to keep its wheels rolling no matter how much debt was racked up in the process of doing so. Where they have been found wanting and unwilling was to systematically neglect important sectors such as health care and social services when the going was good and the economy was in reasonably good standing.

      They did nothing to diversify the economy at a time when greater emphasis could have been placed on cost cutting measures such as increase agriculture to reduce the dependency on certain imports; looking at viable alternatives for energy use when money was available for us to explore greatly in these technologies, and explore a comprehensive programme for our sanitation problem that could have seen bajans heavily involved in a governmental mandate for 3Rs use through a comprehensive programme that could have involved government and the private sector working in hand and foot.

      Instead, they were busy with Edutech, busy with GEMs, busy with Greenland, busy with Hardwood Housing, busy with Flyovers, busy with building a state of the art prison like if that was a good investment that could bring money back into the economy.

      They neglected the water woes and increase problems associated with burst mains all over the island that was already begging for change, changes that they all knew was reported concerning the 100-year-old rusted mains that were about to cause major problems if a decision to start changing them was not phased over several years to stop the leaks and sudden bursts responsible for wasting thousands of litres of water back into the earth.

      They might be far better than the Democratic Labour Party, but on the side of doing wrong things and committing to a whole load of nonsense, they are practically on par with their rivals.

      They might have saved Barbados on two occasions under DLP foolish management but they certainly cannot be exempted from the slide responsible for where Barbados is today.

  4. David May 8, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Owen I concur The Barbados Labour Party is lost and hopeless

  5. Sherlock Holmes. May 8, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Dave,Dave,you sound so silly as usual and here you are begging to give them a chance,you call this covenant thing creative?Another version of rubbing shoulders? The quest for power really comes to the fore in all of these lame attempts to win public support no wonder you have to beg for a chance,what next? Let me see it was the rubbing shoulders,the vote of no confidence again’st the Minister of finance,the march,the ousting of Maria Agard,another no confidence motion and now a covenant,what will be next Dave? Be creative and inform us or do you lack creativity?

  6. Frank Gilkes May 8, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    We the people of Barbados will speak loudly this time, those who have taken us to the precipice of economic and social decline can not be trusted to bring us back to that stage where we were punching beyond our weight in the international ring. It is with great pride that I, along with thousands of patriotic Barbadians now embrace this covenant of hope and thank The Barbados Labour Party and it’s leadership for making this covenant with the people.

  7. Ralph W Talma May 9, 2016 at 2:27 am

    1. I am grateful to the BLP and especially Ms Mia Mottley for presenting such a hopeful document to the populace. Yes, the five visions’ are most pertinent to the Nations’ future well-being, but unless No 4 is achieved first, it will not be totally successful, and the people will continue to suffer.
    2. If the BLP is successful next time, some very hard decisions/choices will have to be made, and I hope the Leadership will have the strength/foresight to make them.
    3. Good luck. Tell the people the painful truth and they will give you all their trust.

  8. Sherlock Holmes. May 9, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Very objective as usual SSS,by the way Talma where is the truth in politics? Politicians tell you what is necessary to achieve their personal goals and ambitions,do not be fooled.

  9. dave May 10, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I would sound silly to you but I do not see why the DLP should be given a third term. How silly is that ?

  10. dave May 10, 2016 at 2:23 am

    There is no way the DLP SHOULD BE GIVEN A THIRD TERM

    The DLP sank Barbados in
    1971 -76; 1986- 1991; 1991-1994; 2008-2013;2013- 2016

    DLP sympathizers want to praise Sandiford for what he supposedly did in not devaluing the dollar by cutting Salaries by 8 % but they never tell you that SANDIFORD CAUSED THE PROBLEM in the first place by = giving away 33 million dollars in an inefficient regrading exercise and boasting 3 weeks before he went to the IMF at Eastmond Corner that the Economy was batting like Sir Garfield Sobers –that is why his own voted against him–

    Sherlock Homo and a SSS -Talk Nah !!

    Sandiford and the DLP dug a hole 30 feet deep and gave Barbados a 15 feet ladder to climb out . The DLP will never gfet it right , they should Disband and stop humbugging Barbados period .

  11. BaJan boy May 10, 2016 at 7:34 am

    @Owen Phillips you are so not intelligent and blind that you do not even understand that the document itself outlines a vision for our country Barbados. Tell us exactly what you envisage for Barbados if you want something personal or the failure of the #dumbdems…

  12. Ras Milke May 13, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Mia is a Prophet now , she seeing visions now , how about morality. Maria Agard thinks differently, Owen Arthur thinks differently, I pray Jah wud never let Mia lead this country, I want Barbados remain a christian country, remember Jah is a bajan. Heavenly father protect us, do hear our prays.


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