Thursday, April 18, 2024

BLP COLUMN: BLP is encouraged


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BLP legacy (2003-2007): major plant refurbishment works completed at 22 primary, ten secondary and four private schools; major works in progress at two primary and two secondary schools; and major upgrade undertaken at Grantley Adams Secondary School to facilitate introduction of Information Technology programme.
Two recent separate events over 24 hours vividly demonstrated to Barbadians the stark contrast between the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in their readiness and suitability for managing our nation back to prosperity and good governance.
One day, the DLP was in the House of Assembly desperately trying to convince us that its sneaky introduction of the much reviled casino gambling on cruise ships was its latest ill-considered solution to economic difficulties. The very next day, BLP political leader Owen Arthur presented the commercial and industrial sector with exciting proposals for restoring badly needed growth to the long-struggling economy.
For without any prior notification of, and consultation with, the public, this DLP that had incessantly promised transparency and accountability to win the Government in 2008, sought to get around Barbadians’ strident and solid traditional opposition to dreaded casino gambling by cloaking its plan in seemingly harmless legislation (Cruise Ships Opening Of Facilities Bill) allowing such vessels to operate casinos while docked in Barbados’ territorial waters.
But thanks to their sharpness of mind and eye, BLP parliamentarians were able to expose what Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy dubbed “dichotomization” for what it truly is, another DLP attempt to impose casino gambling on Barbadians. The DLP’s previous attempt involved a proposed development for Bushy Park that died with its 1994 loss of the Government, and revives memories of the illegal “one-armed bandits” gambling machines it permitted before losing the 1976 general elections, as well as having earlier allowed operations of the infamous West Indies Hospital Sweepstakes that tarnished Barbados’ good name.
However, former long-serving Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Arthur was next day able to offer hope of better economic and social conditions to Barbadians repulsed by the horrific implications of DLP casino gambling.
The Leader of the Opposition was able to show why his already proven economic management skills are still so overwhelmingly trusted and requested by unfurling to the leaders of commerce and industry, a series of legal and respectable remedial proposals, acknowledging “that the country is caught up in a dangerous downward spiral whose adverse dynamics need to be checked, broken and reversed urgently”.
 Arthur’s presentation visibly and audibly energized the business decision makers longing to hear how a new BLP Government would make it possible for them to play their part in operationalizing a credible and “coherent national strategy” that would return our shrinking economy to “robust growth” and “sustained and sustainable development”.
The business sector’s confidence in Arthur’s and the BLP’s economic and other capabilities is clearly part of the wider national faith reflected in the recent public opinion poll whose findings are encouraging to the BLP, prepared for the hard work accompanying our determination to be, as he put it, “part of a cause that is larger than ourselves; to change Barbados forever for the better”.
• Beresford Leon Padmore is a pseudonym for the Barbados Labour Party.


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