Saturday, April 20, 2024

Congrats Minister Lashley

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CLARKE: SPEED IT UP! The comments to this headline were carried in a middle page spread of the MIDWEEK NATION of January 9. The public of Barbados ought to take the context within which the former Minister, Gline Clarke, has spoken and examine it carefully. In the story, Barbadians will find all the reasons why the Barbados Labour Party is incapable of governing Barbados in the near future and why it should NOT be given an opportunity to revisit the offices of the Ministry of Housing and Lands in particular.
The Barbados Labour Party’s posture in the recent debate reinforces the politics of the opposition. There can be no doubt the public of Barbados has picked up a trend in how the Barbados Labour Party frames its issues. The content of the debate surrounding the recent Bill to allow the renters of housing units to own them after paying rent for 20 years has thrown another set of cold water on their re-election grab. The Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, has been on the job and continues to deliver on the housing solutions necessary for an improved quality of life for thousands of Barbadians.
The focus by the Stuart-led DLP Government continues to reorder a society that was constructed on the premise that everything has a cost and that the market place should be central in our lives. The mantra of the last Arthur regime was that land must fetch its highest economic value.
This mantra, while in opposition, has not changed. We have recently heard coming from the Opposition the need to sell off our ports of entry. They have also championed the need to privatise the CBC and Transport Board, along with other social services.
The policy of the BLP to sell units to renters contributed in big way to creating the working poor that emerged under the Arthur regime. The empowerment of Barbadians to owe a piece of the rock was never a consideration for the policy agenda of the BLP. We had a steady stream of low income retirees heading off to the banks and credit unions seeking loans.
They took all the money, as a government, from these low income home owners on the condition that they would get to be a new home owner. Instead they joined a class of working poor. This promise was never delivered and now we have delivered these units, the BLP heaps on our doorsteps a ton of criticisms for creating a new class of property owners.
Barbadians must begin to connect the dots. The Barbados Labour Party was adamant that we should not introduce Constituency Councils and empower people by deepening governance. This was opposed from day one, despite the recommendation coming from the Opposition to restructure them if ever given the opportunity. They were also vicious in the attacks on the provision of meals during the Summer Camp Programme and found fault with small suppliers and caterers accessing opportunities. Of course, that was not enough; the capacity for children to travel to school free on buses outraged the BLP.  
The three policy examples all have one thing in common – people. Any policy initiative that is driven by a desire to move people closer to an improved quality of life cannot find favour with the BLP’s philosophy. They continue to fuel an election machine of the high octane petrol called greed.
Greed is what will emerge after Barbadians have connected the dots. Barbados, you have 14 years of hard evidence and 5 years of performance driven activity to make a decision. Think Barbados. Vote Dems! 
• Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party.

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