The George Brathwaite Column – DLP FACTS and Failed Leadership

George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

Given the manifested ineptitude of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) over the past decade, Barbadians are hoping for change with the next general elections in sight. Barbadians are ready to overcome the DLP’s wreckage of economy and society. They have become excited about the prospects of different leadership and political agency. New political entities without showing their faces, coupled with a unified opposition in Parliament, are sounding their voices if not totally revealing policy alternatives.

But why be critical or dent aspirations of the Freundel Stuart-led administration seeking a third term? The answer is straightforward. The current DLP administration has failed to meet most expectations of the Barbadian people – both young and old for nearly 10 years. On hindsight, this ill-directed route taken by the DLP was erroneously self-labelled – ‘Pathways to Progress’. Barbadians witnessed a daily and unending trek towards macroeconomic degradation and societal disorder, despite DLP supporters remaining staunch in support. Moreover, the DLP has been at pains to suggest that the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) operated in ‘times of plenty’ with no profound transformations occurring under Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

The DLP claims that the inherited social institutions were unable to improve the welfare of the Barbados nation. Unfortunately, the DLP’s rejection of everything touched by Arthur, hastened the eventual failures of the DLP’s two terms in office. The sullied approach of overly separating economic practicalities from societal order became the DLP’s way of telling Barbadians that Arthur’s BLP was so focussed on economy, that a clear majority of the nation’s people and society were neglected. The distortions, untruths, and DLP propaganda have been since exposed.

Driving the first term of the DLP’s return to power since the dark days of exile in the early 1990s, the DLP chose a mantra that ‘Barbados is not only an economy; it is a society’. This easy turn of phrase managed to set a lingual framework of optimism and empowering expectations throughout the nation. Initially, Barbadians were captured by the DLP’s messaging that suggested the David Thompson Cabinet was interested in building a sound Barbadian society and transforming the lives of many persons left on the margins. However, persons more knowledgeable than the DLP’s escape artists realised that the DLP was somewhat bereft in terms of economic thought. To suggest that the DLP was capable of moving Barbados beyond the bifurcated and disjointed gaze of messieurs Thompson, Stuart, Sinckler and elders in the background, was politically enthralling but realistically empty.

The fact is, the DLP since 2008 refused to accept from the outset that ‘‘progress’’ implies the combination of social progress alongside the pursuit of economic growth. With a burdensome 2008 budget that has since been followed with fiscal indiscipline, there are challenges coping with more taxation and austerity. The DLP has not been successful creating incentives and prosperity, nor is the course set to direct the economy to meet and maximise on those benefits for meeting human needs, improving efficiency, creating jobs, and building wealth among the Barbadian people. Several experts outside the scope of the DLP warned of the potential dangers associated with oddly separating economy and society beyond analytical practicality.

From Thompson to Sinckler, and from Thompson to Stuart, Barbados was presented with good-sounding empty vessels as if societal concerns could be addressed without the apt supporting economic inputs of fiscal and monetary policies. One ought not to lay all the blame on Stuart after the passing of David Thompson. It is true that in 2009, Thompson constantly was lamenting that the DLP inherited a ‘bad hand’, with the same chorus being sung by his Ministers. This weak posturing by the DLP continues to date, and is clearly self-defeating. The DLP’s protruding leadership ineptness – discounting those constraints produced by recession – made it impossible to safeguard a society without the necessary supports that flow from a viable economy.

Clearly, Thompson’s first budget began a taxation binge. Afterwards, with Christopher Sinckler as the current pilot, taxation has practically become a runaway and non-stop train. Sinckler’s economic/financial shortcomings are part of the mix now ruining Barbados, and if there is any doubt, Minister Dr David Estwick has admitted that Barbados’ “debt metrics have deteriorated significantly since 2010,” and this timeline coincides with Sinckler’s elevation to be the Minister of Finance. Still today, many persons may prefer to overlook a predictive statement made by David Thompson in August 2009. Thompson, perhaps for the first time, conceded that: “We are navigating an uncharted path. No one knows what lies beyond the bend. In fact, we have not yet even seen the bend.” Arguably, Thompson was aware of the lack of acumen to draw on exclusively from within the DLP.

Since then, back-peddling has become synonymous with the DLP regarding the Barbados economy, and have been cause for Barbadians’ frustration and demand for change. Months ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stereotypically mentioned that a ‘corner’ was within reach; Barbadians have not yet seen the bend mentioned by Thompson or the IMF. Barbadians are still waiting given that 2 % economic growth during the height of the 2016/17 tourism season, is nothing to inspire confidence in the economy. Furthermore, the printing of money continues while several advisors are indicating that depleted foreign reserves are a constant threat. Certainly, the DLP’s ‘Continuing on the Pathways to Progress’ of 2013 is conclusively disastrous. The DLP, with every limp attempt, has missed opportunities to effectively transform the Barbados nation ‘to meet the needs of the people’.

By 2014 for instance, working Barbadians were faced with ‘surprising’ job cuts and being kicked to the unemployment curb by the DLP. At the same time, young Barbadians were facing shrinking opportunities for equal access to tertiary education while having to fork out thousands of dollars to meet their tuition costs at the University of the West Indies. Other public services like sanitation, health, water, and transportation all suffered immensely. Indeed, by 2015 and despite all the ‘corrective measures’ introduced by the two Ministers of Finance since 2008, Christopher Sinckler was stating that “there is now a serious structural decline in our revenue base which we can no longer afford to ignore.” The evidence tells that Stuart/Sinckler’s repeated answer to problems impacting on Barbados, and carried on from Thompson, promoted political theatrics and imposed greater forms of taxation and hardships on the backs of Barbadians.

Under Stuart’s stewardship, near total silence has become the norm, and his supposed decency is upended by instinctive procrastination. The characteristics further demonstrate a stubborn inclination to be indecisive with important affairs. Wait and see approaches, cluttered by historical retrieval of the archaic and mundane, have been the main features of PM Stuart’s serendipitous stewardship. These factors also reveal the DLP’s paralysis in government. The DLP continues wading from one crisis to another without any clear signs of success with the constant borrowing to support government’s ineffective programmes. The verdict is that the collective expectations of Barbadians have not drawn satisfactory attention from Stuart’s uninspiring Cabinet, despite the current and penultimate desperation to spread DLP FACTS. The DLP’s verbiage is no more than half-hearted fictional pieces. Whether one focusses on the economy or the society, the pretty talk of shaping a budding society has lost its potency with all the mishaps and omissions to act by Freundel Stuart’s DLP and his struggling Cabinet.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com)

116 comments

  • chuckle berry Finn doo doo bird we did not need HH last election and guess what chuckle berry Finn heee eee

    Like

  • @ Vincent

    The political rhetoric from Angela Skeete (Cox??), formerly known as the AC consortium of yard-fowls, and Carson C. Cadogan cannot convince Reudon Eversley or Hartley Henry to vote for the DLP.

    Like

  • Bad mouthing barbados is whats going to whip the Mottley crew into oblivion u can bet on that chuckle berry Finn

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Yall will get stale pee thrown on ya you go knocking on people’s doors with ya mouth filled with lies and useless promises.

    Like

  • CANADA IS ENCOURAGING BARBADOS to change its stance on the criminalisation of same-sex relations and to engender greater tolerance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/96897/-follow-canada#sthash.J46LUOR7.dpuf

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Dont know why these ministers who live in glass houses dont keep their hypocritical, backward opinions….to themselves,

    Like

  • Carson C. Cadogan

    Morning BLP people

    Look what I have live to see.

    The Barbados Labour Party hiding behind the Canadian High commissioner ‘s love of sexually confused people to help them to win an election.

    Hoping that if the Lesbian at the top of the BLP is not given a chance to be PM they can cry sexual harassment and then the Barbados – Canada tax treaty can be squashed.

    Debauchery now being used by the crooked Barbados Labour Party as a campaign tool.

    Grantley Adams must be turning in his grave.

    Like

  • Carson C. Cadogan

    The long dark night of the BLP has come to an end. May Barbados never see the likes of it again. By the way, I want to encourage other Barbadians who were similarly targetted by the BLP because they were Dems or were otherwise affiliated, to tell their story. Barbadians must get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It must no longer be kept under the carpet. So Mia Mottley is calling for justice for BLP supporters. Why didn’t she call for justice for me, when I was editor of the Advocate and was being persecuted almost on a daily basis by the BLP?

    REUDON EVERSLEY

    https://barbadosunderground.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/barbados-politics-2/

    Like

  • Carson C. Cadogan

    Like the young Calypsonian Sheldon Hope, who penned a beauty in this year’s calypso competition, many Barbadians can sing loudly, “My Character Intact”. Can Hartley Henry aka WIV say the same in light of the attached letter sent by Jennifer Laszlo to Prime Minister Bird of Antigua & Barbuda?

    The attached letter gives a heart wrenching account of what Hartley did when he was denied the thing for which he begged Jennifer Laszlo. It must have been a frightening experience for Ms. Laszlo who apparently is accustomed to conducting herself and her business in a professional manner to have found herself for the first time face-to-face with a sex maniac and moral degenerate.

    https://barbadosunderground.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/political-strategist-hartley-henry-under-the-microscope/

    ONCE AGAIN WE SEE MORAL DEGENERATECY being condemned by Barbados Labour Party supporters.

    THIS IS NOW BEING EMBRACED by the same crooked Barbados Labour Party. HARTLEY HENRY is now firmly in the camp of the BLP!!!!

    What a difference a few years make.

    Like

  • Carson C. Cadogan

    What does the Crooked Barbados Labour Party really stand for?

    Power at any cost?

    Like

  • Carson. You are one sick partisan character who takes Barbadian for granted. Back in 2007/2008 you spend days and nights degrading Owen when he was leader. The same HH was your sparring partner and you was on a role. However, you are bitter now HH using his democratic rights to align with another party. Now, you are angry. Come on CCC, you cannot control anyone. It is HH power of Choice.

    Like

  • Carson C. Cadogan

    Tell me why

    It looks like you all have to take up DLP throwoffs to even have a ghost of a chance to win elections. Which you will not. You all curse HH black is white, now you are hoping that he, and the Canadian High Commissioner, will be your saviours.

    Try to find out why HH was dumped by the DLP.

    Also remember he predicted that the DLP would loose the 2013 elections.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    “The Barbados Labour Party hiding behind the Canadian High commissioner ‘s love of sexually confused people to help them to win an election”

    I can assure you this had nothing to do with the BLP. I am pleased to see the Canadian Government wasted no time, in responding. A joint diplomatic response was an excellent idea.

    The next target is financial contributions from major corporations. That is well underway.

    If you cannot successfully appeal to the moral decency, hit the financial funding.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    In the meantime.

    Like

  • Can anyone imagine we have these JAs who cannot afford to buy toilet paper for the QEH up and down social media posting stuff that does more harm than the owners of the social media sites they often accuse of defaming Barbados?

    JAs

    Like

  • William Skinner

    The Everseleys, Henrys , Dees on BU, Bees on BU all have one thing in common. They are singing lustily for their supper.

    Like

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