Saturday, April 20, 2024

BLP COLUMN: Metal dump deal stinks

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BLP legacy: made it possible for Barbadian individuals and businesses to benefit from lower energy prices by reducing the tax on gasoline from 89 cents in 1994 to 60 cents in December 2007, and on diesel from 74 cents to 22 cents; and by increasing from 10 000 to 16 000 the number of homes and businesses connected to natural gas lines.
It might not be as obvious and readily felt as current economic deprivation, but recent revelations have established that the Dems have unleashed a subtle but even more sinister and deadly political virus which, if not immediately eradicated, will inflict long-lasting damage on two of Barbados’ most crucial national institutions – Parliament and the Police Force.
For having unswervingly worked to have our prestige associated with “junk bond status”, a term customarily attached to much despised “banana republics”, exposure of some other Democratic Labour Party (DLP) actions has further reinforced this never before seen Barbadian image of total disregard for economic, political and legal correctness.
The scandalous disclosures of reports of naked political manoeuvrings, so far not contradicted by the DLP Government, in the shocking botched attempt to hijack the long accepted process for determining promotions within the Police Force, plus charges of a swap of publicly owned land for private property without meeting the legal requirements, including the approval of Parliament, are repugnant in their own right.
However, members of the public are justified in considering these activities particularly sordid when remembering that on Page 49 of the DLP’s 2008 election manifesto, it pledges to the police that its Government would, among other things, “permit the Police Force to function free of political interference” and, most ironic of all, “increase the ranks in the Police Force, creating more promotion opportunities”.
Rather, the DLP has conducted a tawdry squabble over existing opportunities. All the while Home Affairs Minister Adriel Brathwaite has faithfully maintained the Dems’ policy of bluntly and stubbornly refusing to directly and openly address the expectant public on issues of major importance to them.
Given the noticeable failure of Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe to break his stunning silence on the seemingly quiet exchange of a “metal dump for land”, people find it hard to believe that on Page 47 of the same manifesto, this same DLP not only promises to be “accountable” and “take the public into its confidence”, but also vows to publish “details of agreements and contracts involving the Government and its agencies”.
But then again, we are still waiting for Minister Richard of Tourism Sealy to make full disclosure of the “confidential contract” with Rihanna. No wonder Serenader’s 2012 calypso De Promised Land has been so popular.
All of this is taking place when the public sees time running out on the DLP’s promise to “immediately introduce integrity legislation” and the exposure of the deals on the metal dump and police promotions having released torrents of reports of the Dems’ “fatted calf” being cut up and divided through consultancies, contracts and hastily formed companies.  
The BLP’s platform near the Prior Park Roundabout and Redman’s Village, St Thomas, on Sunday will further alert you to the danger this spreading DLP cancer poses to our nation.  
• Beresford Leon Padmore is a pseudonym for the Barbados Labour Party.

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