Minister Gline “wuk fuh wuk” Clarke, the battled hardened Minister and Owen Arthur loyalist has boldly stated that:-
“We do not envisage an increase in bus fares either” he added, “because it is this Government’s belief that public transportation is important; it is this Government’s belief that there is no need to increase fares, and we believe that the Government should provide a subsidy since transport is one of the leading sectors in order to keep the country viable.”
Over the years the Barbados Labour Party has sent mixed signals on whether there is a plan to increase bus fares in the face of increasing petroleum prices. Barbadians remember when the then Minister of Transport Anthony “Too Silent” Wood indicated in a bold pronouncement that he would propose that bus fares be increased. Little did he know that he was being set-up by his boss, Prime Minister Arthur, to test “the waters”. The hue and cry which ensued put paid to that proposal and prompted this response from Democratic Labour Party strategist Hartley Henry in his recent Nation Newspaper piece: “Anthony Wood’s “moment in time” was the stillbirth he gave to an increase in bus fares”.
With a General Election on the horizon the announcement by Gline Clarke should be labeled nothing more than political rhetoric. The fact that political correspondent Albert Brandford would give it such high prominence is indicative of the lack of political savvy and the ease with which our politicians manipulate the press in Barbados. May God help us in the aftermath of the Roy Morris “suicide” at the Nation Publishing House.
We want to hear from our Minister Clarke, who seems intent on breaking the record for spending on capital works at MTW, when will the country get a comprehensive transportation policy. For so long the issues of integrating private and public transportation has been discussed as a way to improve public transport and eliminate negative cultures which now exist. Barbadians are tired of rehashing the same old issues time after time. Let Barbados as it was under Errol Barrow and Tom Adams lead the way by implementing ground breaking policies. Our leaders seem devoid of philosophies and consequently their actions seem predictable.
Minister Clarke your rhetoric does not fool us like it did the Nation newspaper and Albert Brandford. We also note that you who is similar to your boss, and that you worship, and to whom you have been rewarded with the Ministry of Transport (wink) have succeeded in contradicting and embarrassing Minister “Too Silent” Wood as well.