Monday, April 22, 2024

BLP COLUMN: No second chance


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Barbados Labour Party (BLP) legacy: removed the tax on fuel oil and other products used in electricity generation; reduced the tax on gasoline and diesel; removed the tax on kerosene; increased production of oil from onshore wells through an ambitious drilling programme; and increased the number of homes accessing natural gas.
One of the most admirable elements of the Barbadian psyche is its insistence that no matter one’s personal circumstances, everyone whether a group or individual, should be given the time and chance to prove themselves. This traditional latitude had been extended to the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government since January 2008 and to Freundel Stuart since October 2010 when he became Prime Minister.
However, after much time and countless instances of failure, a highly disappointed Barbadian public has determined that no second chance would and should be given this DLP, now nearing the end of its first term, and to Stuart, who has nearly driven them to the end of their tether with his style of grudging and near unfathomable communication, mixed with a constipation of action.  
Barbadians would already have had more than four years of a Government that has proven itself spectacular for its unmatched incapability of successfully keeping its vaunted promises, particularly those relating to reducing the cost of living and generally building, as its 2008 election manifesto boasted, Pathways To Progress that would be Transforming The Nation To Meet The Real Needs of The People.
Long before its first Prime Minister David Thompson died, the Dems had instead set the country on a highway to poverty through stubborn-headed and insensitive tax gouging, business-killing, unemployment-raising and pocket-emptying policies.
But it was Stuart’s near unbelievable act of impotent leadership over the Alexandra School affair that convinced the country at large that DLP management of the country could never improve under any of them. For even though the international environment could not be blamed for the Alexandra crisis as so much in the economy has been by the DLP, Stuart was unable to act decisively 12 weeks after he took responsibility for solving it in “phases”.
The Alexandra School matter was regarded as the final test of leadership for Stuart, who, already written off as dithering and indecisive, had injected so much of the power, prestige and influence of the office of Prime Minister and his perceived intellectual strength into the conflict that Barbadians quite rightly had legitimate expectations of a successful outcome.
However, by opting for a commission of inquiry, Stuart has again showed himself to be constantly cemented in inaction and that after more than four years as Deputy PM and Prime Minister, he has learnt nothing from this Murphy’s law principle: “Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.”
Barbadians can reduce stress by joining Owen Arthur and the BLP tomorrow at the East Coast Road for our picnic of togetherness, marking Grantley Adams’ birthday and National Heroes Day as we work for a better life for all people.


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