Change is coming

In another week or so, the pain and punishment being meted out to Barbadians will increase with the 2017 Budget measures taking full effect. The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has failed to convince Barbadians that today or tomorrow will be any better than the plight Barbadians endured for nearly a decade after that party’s coming to office.

Since 2008, Barbadians passively and repeatedly made many sacrifices for the sake of nation. However, Finance Minister Chris Sinckler’s many economic stumbles, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s hands-off approach, and the general lull in communications between the governing and the governed, have raised several questions across Barbados.

The over-taxed population is wondering if those sacrifices were worth the dutiful efforts of the public and private sectors. What about the concerns of thousands of consumers who have seen inflation and the cost of living force them to raid their piggy-banks of every cent?

Clearly, things are far from the optimum in Barbados. The economy is in shambles and the society is crumbling having paid a price too high for the levels of incompetence witnessed from the DLP under Mr Stuart’s uninspiring leadership. Observers of national politics have long sensed and expressed their views that DLP officials have a serious bout of ill-discipline that is showing up in arrogance and unsympathetic discourse with the public.

The DLP’s main tunes have lambasted, insulted, and dismissed many from the private sector, trade unions, marginalized groups, householders, and the youth. Any suggestion from outside of the DLP attracts disdain from a Cabinet whose underperformances have pushed Barbados backwards by at least 15 years.

Every day, Barbadians are realizing that key DLP spokespersons lack the emotional intelligence and intestinal fortitude to bring about change from within. Perhaps, and partly hidden from view, there is a brewing rivalry within the DLP for that party’s leadership. Certainly, Prime Minister Stuart’s slumber has not been made uncomfortable by those persons who have publicly called for an approach exposing his disconnectedness to the people of Barbados.

Ministers Inniss, Sinckler, Stephen Lashley, and David Estwick have all at one time or another, recognized that Stuart’s silence and non-interventionist styles are incompatible with what is needed in Barbados. Unfortunately, not one of the Cabinet or DLP parliamentarians seems willing to go further and rouse Stuart from his deep forlorn and pitiful posturing. Nor has any one made the crucial step to depart from the ways of malaise and speak out against the ills that are economically bankrupt and socially disempowering the nation.

If anything, Barbadians are witnessing a final burst of desperation from the DLP’s General Secretary and co-chair of the propaganda machinery. The FACTS (i.e. Freundel and Chris Telling Stories) have been unleashed on the public with unapologetic and fanciful claims. Political spectacle and ridiculous accusations have targeted the main media and all opposing entities. Many Barbadians have already been repudiated by the DLP’s rhetoric, including some staunch Barrow’ites. Clumsily and without any care to what is said, DLP spokespersons cut and chop down which is a figurative form of shooting people and cracking heads.

When it is not Jepter Ince calling the private sector parasites, Barbadians have had to endure the acrimony of Steve Blackett blistering a young man’s parents for doing the right thing by allowing the Queen’s College student a voice in the civics of his nation. Also, the childless woman in Barbados has been put under the woeful hatchet of the representative of St. John. Numerous Barbadians would certainly prefer to get insights on her predecessor’s dealings regarding CLICO.

An electorate will, over time, gravitate to the individuals and particularly a leader that the people can trust to get the necessary job done. With a leadership preference standing at 52 per cent and with an increased approval rating, Mia Mottley’s demonstration to date speaks for itself. Comparatively, the weighty burdens placed on Barbadians by an uncompromising Minister of Finance and allowed by a pedantic Prime Minister while supported by DLP parliamentarians, have rendered the DLP government unbearable. In real terms, this assertion extends beyond the recently published results of Nation/CADRES poll.

Barbadians have literally made up their minds that a future DLP government is at best untenable and will not happen after the general elections coming later this year or early next year. Unfortunately, the drudgery of seeing off these final overs of Stuart and company, will mean that Barbadians must go well beyond the latest polls to register their disgust and etch with indelible ink that the DLP is not fit to govern – morally or otherwise. If Barbados is to rise from its present mire and degradation, the ouster of the DLP via free and fair elections must be manifestly delivered.

The exit of the DLP will start the rekindling of hope. Of course, one may relate to Herbert Marcuse’s statement that “free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves.” However, it is the conscious expression of liberty, the hope for better tomorrows, and eventually how we seek to determine our social, economic, and political empowerment that will matter most going forward.

Indeed, it is more vital today than ever before, for the Barbados electorate to regain confidence in our governance systems, and equally so in the capacity of the politicians we elect to office.

Any elected politician must pledge to work committedly to return civility, safety, and a sound economy to our shores. This should be a demand by the electorate to all political candidates and parties seeking to contest the next general elections. It simply cannot be business as usual. Moreover, Barbadians must be given timely and necessary information to make informed and confident decisions. Forums, inclusive of e-platforms and social media, must be set up at multiple levels for much enhanced people participation in the decision-making which ultimately affects their lives and livelihoods.

Representation must mean much more than an elevated status for our elected officials. Edmund Burke once stated that representation “ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his/her constituents.” Barbadians must continue to preserve people power, and the political class must remain grounded or be constrained by this fact.

The eventual winning party and its leadership must decisively create a viable and humane future that is economically sustainable and socially uplifting. The Barbados of tomorrow must be made viable for all citizens and residents regardless of political persuasion, age, gender, race, status, or lifestyles. Change needs to be demonstrated and this demands that the Leader of the Opposition, as the most popular individual leader in local political circles, must be an effective communicator and must continue to provide hope for the many Barbadians that have long given up.

No doubt an enterprising Mia Mottley of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), and her formidable-looking team, will face considerable scrutiny and criticism on the way forward for Barbados. Yet, they must demonstrate their readiness, focus, and competence with a measure of credibility that is seen in their promises and performances in and outside of Parliament. There must be empathy for the most ardent of DLP supporters, while ensuring compassion for all citizens and residents whose suffering for almost 10 years has been unprecedented and unmerited. Barbadians are strongly calling for democratic leadership that is defined by effective representation, and one that is strongly given to trust, accountability, and transparency in the governance of this Barbados nation-state.

Surely, Barbadians can now prepare to dust off the DLP. Change is coming!

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com )

24 Responses to Change is coming

  1. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte June 27, 2017 at 10:39 am

    headline v pic v intro …….. it pays to read the full story to understand the writers thoughts smh

    Reply
  2. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor June 27, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Hmmmmmm…. Barbados Today got telepathic writers now? Barbadians this and Barbadians that… Hmmmm guess I come from Guyana!

    Reply
  3. Jade Michka
    Jade Michka June 27, 2017 at 11:34 am

    You better vote right

    Reply
  4. Zabeeda Alli Abdool
    Zabeeda Alli Abdool June 27, 2017 at 11:34 am

    You coming

    Reply
  5. Jackie Bayne
    Jackie Bayne June 27, 2017 at 11:38 am

    It your time .blp

    Reply
  6. Zabeeda Alli Abdool
    Zabeeda Alli Abdool June 27, 2017 at 11:52 am
    Reply
  7. Zabeeda Alli Abdool
    Zabeeda Alli Abdool June 27, 2017 at 11:52 am

    When you coming

    Reply
  8. David Blenman
    David Blenman June 27, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I like the salute

    Reply
  9. Shana Vanderwolf
    Shana Vanderwolf June 27, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Stupes do. Change my foot

    Reply
  10. John q June 27, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    BIG question is ……. will the BLP be any better. I hope so

    Reply
  11. Hobbs Pauline
    Hobbs Pauline June 27, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    true that. how can i tranfer back to christ church to vote

    Reply
  12. Lionel Gittens
    Lionel Gittens June 27, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Driving this vehicle ain’t easy. Hope Motley and her team can handle it.

    Reply
  13. Dario Greenidge
    Dario Greenidge June 27, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Let’s not jump the gun…Trump is president and Emmanuel Macron is a French president and only made his party last year.

    Reply
  14. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray June 27, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Only change, is that we going to get a new Governor General.

    Reply
  15. Jherri Santana June 27, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    @EDDY…lol boy u aint easy…I must admit that this GG is one of which any Barbadian can be proud ..like his predecessors…dignified and diligent and a man who understands people…I will miss him..happh retirement to our GG

    Concerning change,,I am not tooo sure honestly,,, the DLP & Blp are much of the same…no difference ,,, nothing new

    We Bajans need to pull a Macron or a Trump to shake up the political establishment in Bdos

    Reply
  16. Rubertha Blackman
    Rubertha Blackman June 27, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Really BT did I miss an announcement of some kind?

    Reply
  17. Shawn Pablo
    Shawn Pablo June 27, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    well said wow interesting topic

    Reply
  18. Carson C Cadogan June 27, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    You quoting an already disgraced poll.

    Dale Marshall said, “Forget about it, do not even think about it,” .
    I am sure that you know who DALE MARSHALL is.

    Reply
  19. DE June 27, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    As the old folks would say, six is half ah dozen. Check and see when ever and the opposition gets in to power, what they promote as an opposition they turn and demote. Then all they do after that is get fat ugly

    Reply
  20. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn June 27, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    DLP REMINDS ME OF THE WESTINDIES TEAM.WHICH ONE OF UNA BRAVE ENOUGH TO CHALLENGE THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE PARTNERSHIP OF THE DLP. I THINK THAT THE PRIME MINISTER SHOULD STEP DOWN AND BECOME THE GOVERNOR GENERAL.

    Reply
  21. Patrick June 28, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Promises Promises!! If you don’t raise revenue how are you going to implement these changes, are you going to reverse the taxes from the last budget?

    Reply
  22. chris hill June 28, 2017 at 7:10 am

    i have witnessed the destructive nature of the DLP in the 90s and now, then i saw the BLP bring Barbados back in quick time. it will happen again Mia knows what has to be done. Mr. Stuart if you love Barbados and have the slightest caring for your people please call an election and allow the real leader to get us back on track.

    Reply
  23. Emma phils June 28, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    No way PM Stuart going to call an early election. This going straight to the finish line. Brace yourselves for it. The worst is around the corner.

    Reply

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