Lashley slams Opposition over 50th celebrations

Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth, Stephen Lashley has taken some members of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to task for suggesting there’s little to celebrate in this jubilee year of independence.

“I heard that in Parliament only this week that as a nation we don’t have much to celebrate. I thought this was unfortunate,” said Lashley, who argued strongly that not withstanding the current challenges the island has with water, garbage collection and unemployment, its accomplishments over the past five decades outweigh the problems.

Delivering the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) lunchtime lecture at the party’s George Street headquarters, he also argued that now was the time for politicians to unite in the national interest, pointing out that “in many countries the celebration of a milestone of 50 years is met by a very bi-partisan response.

“Both Opposition and Government come together as a nation. As a matter of fact there was a gigantic celebration in Singapore [for their 50th Independence celebrations] because of the notion of what independence meant,” Lashley said.

His comments came against the backdrop of last month’s declaration by Opposition Member of Parliament for St Joseph Dale Marshall that he planned to boycott the activities for the climax of the 50th anniversary of Independence.

Marshall stated that until the water woes in his constituency were resolved, the garbage collected and roads fixed, “the country had nothing to celebrate”. He also charged that the feeling of nationalism among Barbadians had been eroded and was being replaced by “an act of despair and desperation” because people were losing faith in their country.

However, Lashley told DLP members that from the get go, the Opposition has been against Government’s 50th anniversary plans.

“Of course you would reflect on the fact that even at the time that the Democratic Labour Party pursued the Independence celebrations, there was resistance coming from within the bosom of the Barbados Labour Party,” he said.

“I think that nationalism requires even them [BLP] to put aside the trivial display of partisanship and join Barbados, not the Government, in acknowledging the significance of 50 years of political independence,” Lashley stressed.

The minister of culture said the 50-year milestone serves as an opportunity to reflect on the challenges which Barbados has had to overcome through the decades.

“It is a giant step for us to stop, pause, reflect on where we have come from, the challenges that we have met but the fact is that in all of that, Barbados can still boast of being a stable democracy with many services, which countries bigger and mightier than us are now struggling to achieve,” he added. 

15 Responses to Lashley slams Opposition over 50th celebrations

  1. Johnathan November 5, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Wok little Hitler we will celebrate the terrible condition of our roads,along with the high university cost and poor conditions at the hospital since we cannot celebrate the water crisis ,garbage nor unemployment. Wunnah full of crap fuh real..

    • Coralita November 5, 2016 at 10:32 am

      People like you need help. I would wish to bet that you are just repeating all the crap your kind keeps repeating and most of it is politically driven. Partisan politics is destroying this small country. If your party was in power we would be having issues too and you would be celebrating whatever they plan for the 50th anniversary.

      No one has denied that Barbados is experiencing challenges in some key sectors but should those challenges eclipse what the country has achieved overall over the last 50 years??? I say no. I think sometimes we bajans are too ungrateful and do no appreciate the blessing we have. I live in one of the parishes with water challenges even though not as bad as St. Joseph and my heart goes out to all who have faced and continue to face these issues. Even though my parish is getting water it is too salty to drink. Truth is, I am not a complainer I like to think solutions. Hence, I found a solution.

      I think it was either 2014 or 2015 the results of an international survey said that Barbadians were some of most miserable people in the world and it seems as though we continue to give credence to those results. We need to realise that people listen to us complain daily sometimes for no good reason.

      We behave as though Barbados belongs to other people and not us. Most of us think that because we pay taxes that we are not responsible to physically do anything to help advance this country. So we litter indiscriminately, we don’t bother to keep our surrounding and communities clean like years ago. We do not look out for each other. We throw away food that others need. etc, etc, etc.

      I do not care about political parties, I care about my country Barbados. I love Barbados and will celebrate her 50th Anniversary of Independence. If the BLP was in power, I would be celebrating too. I have an intellect and a mind of my own, no politician can’t think for me or influence whether or not I celebrate this country’s achievements.

      • Sunshine Sunny Shine November 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        When you are in a very difficult situation economically, with many of your social services skat spraddled, you do not committ to spending lots of money on a celebration for one year, you simply spend some money to celebrate it for the entire month.Then you do not tell Barbadians that we have a crisis of garbage with no money to buy trucks and commit to a secretive project that would have cost Barbadians 100 times the cost of a few trucks.

        No one has a problem with the celebration. What people have a problem with is celebrating it for one year with monies many felt could have gone towards dealing with the big stink. The only reason why the government committed themselves to securing a loan, now, and going into an arrangement with waste haulers, now, is because the big celebration commences this month. You really do not want the celebrities coming the island wreaks with garbage now do we.

  2. Phil November 5, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I don’t understand the contradiction. In one breath opposing people, presuming BLP supporters are saying that 7 million dollars is way too much to spend on this our 50th Independence anniversary, and in another breath, Dale Marshall is saying that not enough is being done to mark that important date alongside a planned boycott of the said celebration. Jonathan, I find your remarks full of sarcasm and partisanism. Are you saying that if the BLP were in power there would be no bad roads, hospital issues, water shortage, high education costs et al? I travel around the world and developed countries at that. I have seen and experienced not so nice conditions which surprised me. I close by asking you one question if you are a born Barbadian. Are you proud of yourself and Barbados? Be thankful you’re not Haitian, or live and dwell in the slums of Brazil, India, Venezuela or even the might USA where term it as developments. Jonathan, this little rock is what you call your home. Give it all your love. Please.

    • Coralita November 5, 2016 at 11:31 am

      I would live in Barbados any day with its challenges, than live in those countries you mentioned and others that are far, far, far worst.

      Look at the mass exodus from Syria to Europe already this year. Look at the high numbers of deaths of asylum seekers in the seas and rivers already this year and the figures are higher than last year.

      In the words of Red Plastic Bag, “I ain’t going nowhere, it is here I intend to stay and if it rise or fall, I ain’t leaving this land at all.”

      I would prefer to pay 20% tuition cost at UWI while the government pays 80%, than to have to pay 100% tuition in the USA in US dollars. Government should only pay 100% for those who genuinly need help. I can bet you that we will no longer have loathers up at UWI for 7 years and still not graduating. All who up there now will see the value of education and keep up their grades and graduation on time. No more wasting of tax payers money loathing.

      Cuss me if wunna want. I don’t give a rat

      • Phil November 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

        @coralita If you read my comment carefully, you would not have missed my blatant stance in that it is very neutral. I do NOT practice partisan nor polarized politics in the countries that I am allowed the right to vote. As for Barbados, I look for ways to help promote and develop this island. Amen

        • Coralita November 5, 2016 at 6:03 pm

          Phil I got you the first time.

          I don’t practice partisan politics either. I have voted for both parties before, I am not tied to any of the two. I can tell both when they are doing good and when they are doing nonsense and walk away.

          I will not be a part of any bandwagon that constantly cusses the government whether DLP or BLP. It is not my brand and my energies can be better spent doing something of worth.

  3. harry turnover November 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Why wunna down pun Johnathan fuh ?…de man telling lies ? he only telling it AS IT IS RIGHT NOW.It only happens that the DLP is in power and 90% of BARBADIANS CAN SEE or READ what he is talking about.
    The other 10 % see it too but play dem en see it….DEM yardfowls I would call them.
    Other Countries as wunna say GOT PROBLEMS too and because the man HIGHLIGHTING WE PROBLEMS wunna talking a lot a SH8.

  4. Phil November 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    harry turnover, you’re not referring to me I am highlighting contradiction in Jonathan’s comments. I told you once before I won’t match wits with you. You are NOT prepared. You are literate enough to comprehend my deliverance.

    • harry turnover November 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Phil….First of all most people know you are a well established and documented DEM yardfowl and sometimes a miserable paling cock.Hope PM Stuart and the boys forward your name to be considered for honors during the upcoming Independence Celebrations for your sterling contributions to the art of YARDFOWLISM.
      Secondly if you don’t understand what you wrote,how do you expect someone to know what you had intended to write ?..and where are the contradictions you are talking about ?…and didn’t you contradict YOURSELF in your last two sentences ?
      Of course I am LITERATE enough to comprehend your deliverence…WTF !!
      Big man you know what you just did ?…spit in the air BIG TIME…know what you should now do ? ..go and wash your face because YOU are NOT literate enough to know that is the correct thing to do.

  5. mac November 5, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Just make a list of our achievements since independence
    Take a look at our present situation and our setbacks( Forget the partisan politics)

  6. Bobo November 6, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I am Sorry, Africa, Caribbean, and America Governments and many more, ”True Democracy’ has not arrive in these countries.-True Democracy defines– ”A country for the people with the people” each person is on a responsible journey.

  7. chris hill November 6, 2016 at 8:06 am

    the bottom line is that the 7 million plus spent on lavish parties for the party in power are not for the public. has anyone been invited to the many champaine fetes and big food. no wee havent. listen people these are not times to spend money in the wrong direction, need truck for the garbage, need water for the northern parishes, need better union relations. dont get me wrong i am all for the 50th but the money spent was not for the masses.

  8. Smiley November 6, 2016 at 8:41 am


  9. Smiley November 6, 2016 at 8:44 am

    HELP line one correction typo


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