The Caswell Franklyn Column – Nothing But Empty Promises

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

The next general elections are constitutionally due in approximately two years. Very shortly I expect that candidates, from both major politically parties will be out on the hustings trying to convince the electorate that they deserve the people’s confidence.

In my view both parties have been underperforming in their respective roles and neither has done anything to distinguish themselves in the eyes of the voters. If anything the opposite is true.

Numerically, the Opposition is the strongest ever, and in the Barbados context it could not be any stronger. But instead of taking the fight to the Government, they seem to be lying around waiting for the Government to crash and burn.

I well remember that the Opposition which resulted from the 1986 general elections consisted of three persons; but they gave the Government a torrid time. However, if the current Opposition is remembered, they will go down in history as inflicting some telling blows on themselves leaving the Government relatively unscathed.

The most egregious blow, and the one that showed their inhumanity, was going after one of their own who was seriously ill; and eventually expelling her from the party. Its internecine warfare and failure to oppose are now notorious. They exhibit nothing that would demonstrate to the electorate that they merit elevation to government.

Unfortunately for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), their performance in office has been lacklustre at best. Admittedly, they came into office in the grip of an economic recession but the Government used that reason as an excuse for poor performance, which appears to be bordering on incompetence. They seem to have some sort of reverse Midas effect; everything they touch fails to produce a favourable outcome. They are clearly out of their depth and are tenaciously clinging to power, but certainly not for the good of the country.

Neither of the two parties in the House would fare well if the electorate were to judge them on their performance. This country therefore has a serious problem since, like nature, governance abhors a vacuum. So unless a credible alternative emerges, Barbados’ fate would remain in the hands of people who show only ambition but no aptitude for adequately managing the affairs of this country. If both parties were asking the electorate to return them on their performance alone, the Immigration Department would have to issue work permits to constitute a cabinet.

In my estimation, the Opposition is guilty of failing to keep the Government on it toes.  On the other hand, the Government has been unfaithful to the electorate by failing to carry out its manifesto pledges.

Even if the country continues to let the administration use the world economic challenges as an excuse for its dismal failure to halt the country’s slide into moral and financial bankruptcy, they cannot be excused for not performing in areas that would not require money. The 2008 manifesto is replete with unfulfilled promises that would not require any significant outlay of the country’s scarce resources. It demonstrates to me, if to no one else, that the Democratic Labour Party’s only intention would have been to win the election.

On pages 6 and 34 of their manifesto, the DLP gave a commitment to ensure that at least 40 per cent of all Government’s procurement requests for goods and services would be reserved for small and medium-sized enterprises. So far that promise has been honoured in the breach. Further, at page 42, the DLP promised within 100 days to introduce the Agriculture Protection Act that will require a two-thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament for a change of use of land from agriculture. Also, at page 43, they promised that they would make it mandatory that any change of zoning of land would be approved by Parliament. Along with those went the promises to introduce integrity legislation and a code of conduct for ministers of government.

I can go on but I think that the point has been made. How can the people of this country continue to repose confidence in a party that consistently and historically fails to honour solemn commitments? Rather than do the things that they were elected to do, the Government seeks to distract the country away from its ineptitude by introducing the prospect of Barbados becoming a republic. Maybe they are serious about republicanism and refused to put it in their manifesto since they never seem to implement those pledges.

Caswell Franklyn is the general secretary of Unity Workers’ Union and a social commentator. Email:

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88 Comments on “The Caswell Franklyn Column – Nothing But Empty Promises”

  1. ac March 8, 2016 at 9:25 AM #

    Was Mia channeling the same political rheteoric as Kamla when in her recent mouthings in parliament where a bill to protect the policies holders from another Insurance financial collapse
    Is that the kind of sensitivity to be expected from Mia exuberance.
    Good Lord of all the people Mia should quote should quoteis kalma


  2. Well Well & Consequences March 8, 2016 at 10:29 AM #

    Art…they are all actors.

    AC….D&BLP, are all greedy, all selfish, all corrupt frauds….they should all be arrested.


  3. Artax March 8, 2016 at 10:38 AM #

    Well Well & Consequences March 8, 2016 at 10:29 AM #

    Especially AC….. one can pretend to have intelligence for only a short period of time.



  4. Georgie Porgie March 8, 2016 at 12:44 PM #



  5. ac March 8, 2016 at 1:57 PM #

    What an insulting choice of words by Mia in her exuberance to chastize and criticize govt in their efforts to prevent another insurance collapse which would have invaribly hurt the policy holders and dealt a devastating blow to the economy
    A minister of finance she would never be. Reason being she continues to mount a platform loaded with yardfowlisms pandering to that type of mentality


  6. Vincent Haynes March 8, 2016 at 2:28 PM #

    A new ride any ideas as th where we are going?
    Bigger Budget | Barbados Today
    Bigger Budget
    Based on the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the 2016-2017, which were laid in Parliament by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler earlier today, the Freundel Stuart administration will be spending more this year, including on wages and salaries.
    However, the projected increase in total remuneration costs is not based on the current demands being made by trade unions for an increase in workers’ pay.
    A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs put Government’s estimated total expenditure at $4.3 billion, which amounts to an increase of $92.5 million or 2.2% over the revised figure for 2015-2016. Of the total figure, $4.04 billion represents current expenditure while $1. 2 billion represents capital expenditure and amortisation.
    Current revenue is projected at $2.7 billion.
    “On the accrual basis, when amortization of $821.7 million is ta …
    Barbados Today


  7. ac March 8, 2016 at 8:48 PM #

    the tenacity of Yard fowl politics demonstrated by Mottley


  8. Tron March 8, 2016 at 9:33 PM #

    I predict the following promises for the next two years:

    1) new big hospital for 1 billion BBD – fact check: They even cannot run the old one properly.
    2) new airport – fact check: Where are the many tourists?
    3) free university education – fact check: Where is the money for that?
    4) new tax allowances – fact check: Where is the money for that?
    5) lower food prices – fact check: Since when runs government a supermarket?
    6) transparency laws – fact check: Since when do politicians in the Caribbean care about the common good?


  9. Violet C Beckles March 9, 2016 at 10:37 AM #

    No New Investments without CLEAR TITLE to Land that Banks need to do many business in BIM,




  10. ac March 9, 2016 at 2:04 PM #

    Common sense slso dictates and directs that if the process to pursue by legal avenues is going to be costly to the taxpayers 👛 with plenty legal hurdles to overcome and time consuming then the best way forward is prudence
    Sufficit to say that those who were accused in these high crimes and malfeasances are not longer in charge of the govt/ taxpayers purse.
    The voters heard answered the call of making the necessary changes.


  11. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 9, 2016 at 2:13 PM #

    You ignorant AC pimp, you really believe that the DLP ain’t doing the same thieving shite that the crooks from the BLP did not do. You really think you can paint a squeaky clean picture of these morons when Low Lowe showed clearly how low he will go to get his. You really think that 3-PM can hide behind his silent cloak wanna appear upright after calling a crook friend and telling the speaker of the chair practically you can remain without consequence. I know you are on the take sweet P, but oh shite you do not have to make it so obvious that where the shit go you will follow.


  12. Well Well & Consequences March 9, 2016 at 9:17 PM #

    What commonsense AC…who told you to say that…lol


  13. Tudor March 14, 2016 at 7:25 PM #

    Insanity – doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result each time.


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