The George Brathwaite Column – Playing ‘The Last Post’

George Brathwaite

This coming weekend will mark the 62nd annual conference of the beleaguered Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Beneath the propaganda machine and the spinning on contrived FACTS that have little or no assimilation with the truth, there will be deep concerns of political survival. The DLP appears desperate to ward off the threat of banishment to the political wilderness due to its worst set of governmental performances in the party’s history since formation. How does one explain an agenda that includes of all things, allegations of phone tapping from a decade ago? How does one connect with an agenda that will discuss the legality of having a legal certificate to practise law but trivialise the high incidence of firearm related crimes in a social climate that has caused Barbadians to feel terrorised in their country by acts of lawlessness and violent behaviour? Clearly, a drowning party will clutch at straws!

Thus far, DLP supporters have been disgusted and frustrated by the Stuartian culture of procrastination and postponement at both national and party levels. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s constant stalling on decision-making has literally and figuratively commandeered the mortally wounded DLP. Stuart’s bouts of prolonged silence on matters requiring national urgency, have rendered the full slate of DLP Cabinet members and the ‘new’ political candidates impotent. With the possible exceptions of Dr David Estwick, Donville Inniss, Steven Lashley, Dr Leroy McClean, and the many that have actually walked away from the DLP, most card-carrying DLP members remain slavishly reluctant to expose the insouciance of the DLP leader. Freundel Stuart’s shortcomings stand out like a sore thumb and his mere presence nowadays, hurt like a stumped toe.

Prime Minister Stuart’s failure to prioritise in the national interest has bemused more than the flippant attempts to inspire. Overall, the DLP parliamentarians and Stuart-led Cabinet have been dismal in mapping out progressive policies that can advance the social and economic fortunes of Barbadians. While persons like Social Care Minister Steve Blackett would attempt to invent means to punish parents who give full support to their children’s involvement in the civics of Barbados, the same Minister is stupendously quiet on the young people that are being gunned down by other youth. Talk about caring! The representative for St. John is perhaps still reeling after her inferential and horrible sentiments regarding childless women. Yet, like her political leader, solutions for the many women battling social crises of parenting, and the abilities to feed, clothe, and school their children take on enormous and detrimental proportions.

DLP members ought to have much to discuss at the annual conference, but somehow, progressive ideas and practical solutions have eluded their thoughts. In a very alarming sense, the DLP’s annual conference is nothing more than a last-ditch effort to get out as many die-hard members as possible. More critical members and supporters that are willing to listen to the DLP’s charade one more time, remain curious and doubtful. In an election year, the lack of confidence being manifested by sitting members of the DLP has infiltrated a broad spectrum of the national landscape. Despite there will be a likely attempt to fully disclose the several hidden faces of those hoping to attract a few votes at the next general election, the DLP is hard-pressed to make viable a political party that has typically refused to take responsibility for its woeful measures and omissions to act when circumstances demanded such. Surely, it is a false perception to accept as true that the DLP can turn around things for the better in Barbados.

Undoubtedly, several favoured persons from the business community will attend the DLP’s conference for reasons other than being specially invited guests. Given the furtive operations of the Cabinet when it comes to important national issues, and the fact that most Ministers have demonstrated an obvious resistance to transparency and accountability, one cannot dismiss questions of who and how will the DLP’s election campaign be financed. Yet another deal has been made in which it appears that national assets have been practically gifted to favoured business entities when it was possible that double revenues could have been earned for the country. Sweetheart deals are not new, although it is high time that sales which do not reflect a fair value of Barbados’ assets ought to be discontinued.

In a modernising Barbados, it cannot be business as usual with the Prime Minister and his Ministers refusing to provide adequate information to the public, especially when there are larger proportions of local businesses and citizens reeling at the ramifications of their decisions. Several consecutive reports of the Auditor General have raised very distressing situations regarding the continuity of non-reporting and failure to be above board. In the 2015 report for instance, the Auditor General noted that ‘there are approximately 50 state agencies whose accounts are not included in the financial statements of the Government’. This assessment was pointed out to ‘confirm how the absence of consolidated financial statements could result in the Government, the public and other stakeholders not having a comprehensive view of the situation facing the public finances which … is vital for decision making purposes’.

Moreover, the Auditor General report addressed the problematic and sometimes shady arena of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) noting that ‘the lack of documentation in some of the projects to confirm that the risks were analysed, and a determination made as to which party to allocate the particular risk to, is a shortcoming.’ This is disturbing although not as much as the perceived tenor surrounding widespread wastage and alleged corruption in government. Under this current administration and discounting the efforts of the Leader of the Opposition to have the Public Accounts Committee meet and be functional, Barbados is witnessing significant failures of the traditional parliamentary checks and balance system. Are these not things of governance, along with the social decline that is internationally hurting Barbados’ reputation, the things that the 2017 DLP Annual Conference should seriously consider for discussion and hope to find practical solutions?

Clearly, democracy cannot be sustained without competing political parties and there is no wonder that with the unrelenting failures of the DLP, Barbadians are seeing a proliferation of emergent political parties following on the heels of a robust and united Barbados Labour Party (BLP). If it is reasonable to assume that a political party’s performance in governance is a good indicator of its capacity to be re-elected and general institutional survival, then one can daresay conclude, that the bugler’s rendition of ‘The Last Post’ brings finality for the DLP. The DLP’s paltry performances are more than enough reasons to kick Stuart and his band of inglorious Ministers to the curb. Nine years of forlorn and after numerous sacrifices by the nation’s people without any encouraging results, the electorate is ready to vote the DEMS out! The last gasps of a dying DLP, held under the stranglehold of a Stuartian doctrine and culture of procrastination, will see the membership grapple with the possibility of political termination. Barbadians, certainly, will be exposed to the DLP’s desperate drive for survival this weekend. The Barbados nation will yet see other twists and possible internal brinkmanship, alongside the crude production of very contestable FACTS.

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

25 comments

  • A very good critique of mal-administration, in the case of this DLP government.

    Next time it maybe worthwhile to explain how any of this has been, or will be, any different at any other time in the history of modern Barbados.

    Like

  • Of course, there some misleading notions

    Not based in political science but its replacement, propaganda!

    For example, that ‘democracy’ needs competing political parties.

    This is patently false. Indeed, we can make a more forthright case that political parties rob us all of democracy.

    Like

  • Here is a quote from a column in the Sun newspaper written by Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister, Sarah Champion. It’s entitled “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls… and it’s time we faced up to it.” She goes on: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?”

    Like

  • Bajan Free Party/CUP/.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI

    All of the DLP and BLP are crooks, how can you even pick or talk of one without the other?
    All need to go , We can do better just by going by Numbers and not long talking and adjust as needed, Both sides got us here, You have to be living in your own head living and seeing only what is pumped into your head by the DBLP Media then you react,

    Let us all see YOU write about the Massive land grab fraud, Laundering of land and Money by the Banks aka First Caribbean/CIBC, CLICO and how this wash with the economy, How and Why Barbados can not meet the test to get these FUNDS from the IDB, How they need to PASS the TEST of an Audit, How records are missing from the Archives, Land Registry and Land Tax records,How Barbados History Books written By the National Trust is She-it,and how Columbus has returned. Slavey 2.0
    Whats Blocking the $40 Million from Canada
    Whats Blocking the $160 million for the FOUR SEASONS
    Whats Blocking the $60 million for the City
    Whats Blocking the $400 million ar 2.5% interest
    What Block all major projects that were to start from 2013? now we are in 2017 Aug 15th
    Why is a $1.5 Billion Dollar investment by China now a $1.5 Billion Dollar loan and what the rate of pay back?
    491 Plantations to make up all of Barbados? only 396 listed by Government, Yet you expect people to invest into what is not there? But yet we walk on them ?where are the 95 missing plantations? Massive Land Fraud and PONZI, GUILTY PARTIES DLP/BLP

    ASK YOUR PRIME MINISTER OR MIA , OWEN FOR THE DEEDS OF ST.MICHAEL SOUTH, BAY PLANTATION, BRITTONS HILL OR BLACK ROCK PLANTATION,

    Vote Bajan Free Party/CUP PCP

    Like

  • Thats the question on the mouths of the electorate in Bim today.

    ….how can we be assured that whoever forms the next govt will put the people and country first after having seen 4 terms,2 from each party not doing so?

    …..we will have two new leaders next year, a PM and an opposition leader, and they will have to show the electorate by their actions and not talk how they will carry the country forward in a manner that no way follows the pattern of their previous leaders.

    …..one will hope that now the unions and the bpsa understand how to flex their muscles,that they will continue to deal with this govt as an example to all that follow.

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington.

    @ Vincent at 12:16 PM

    Should not the onus be on the electorate to elect politicians or a political party that they think are capable of carrying the country forward?

    The electorate must also be sophisticated enough to recognize what is politically possible. All stakeholders (labour,GOB and capital ) must also take their responsibilities seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bernard Codrington. August 15, 2017 at 1:06 PM #

    One of these days that miracle will occur…..has not happened in Trumpland or Brexit country as yet and they are viewed as being more intelligent than us.

    In the absence of that miracle my posit was for the next best thing……QED

    Like

  • If The Last Post has to be played it should be for thee.

    These parties have never gone to war for the people of Barbados

    They have fought for their own account, only pyrrhic victories.

    Indeed, the last post you are hearing may be the recognition of the death of the political-economy model so loved by both side

    Be careful what you hope for

    The bells of the last post may indeed be for thee ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Like

  • @Bernard

    Yours is an idealistic position. There is sufficient evidence to show that this is not always posible and is a wart to be found on any democracy you may be able to point to.

    Like

  • Chuckle……..I am looking forward to reminding George of some of the points he has raised during the final days of this inept regime,when his party forms the next govt.

    The sad thing about it, was that it did not take long for the previous opposition to change its shoes and start speaking from the other side of its mouth……with the favourite refrain from any new govt……we never knew it was this bad.

    George…..promise us that you will spare us that refrain.

    Like

  • The DLP needs a well educated articulate person to represent the party on BU.

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington.

    @ Vincent at 1 :32 PM

    ” they are viewed as being more intelligent than us”

    Viewed by whom? By you and whom else ? That kind of thinking is what is keeping Barbados back.

    @ David at 2 :14 PM

    A nation with aspirations aim for the Ideal.

    @ Vincent a 4 :17 PM

    Should George’s alleged party win the next election there will be information that were not previously disclosed. That is a datum . To expect otherwise would be disingenuous.

    Like

  • Bernard

    Chuckle……you can do better than that…..did I say viewed by me……..but you enjoyed the red herring and strayed from the substantive point……the miracle has not occured.

    Come on now…….when taking over any operation you start from a worst case scenario position…..in your case I have no doubt that the civil servants partial to both of you’s party would have divulged the true state of affairs for you to start planning…….unles you intend to offer more of the same……we await with baited breath.

    Like

  • This coming weekend will mark the 62nd annual conference of the beleaguered Democratic Labour Party (DLP). How does one explain an agenda that includes of all things, allegations of phone tapping from a decade ago? How does one connect with an agenda that will discuss the legality of having a legal certificate to practise law but trivialise the high incidence of firearm related crimes in a social climate that has caused Barbadians to feel terrorised in their country by acts of lawlessness and violent behaviour? Clearly, a drowning party will clutch at straws!

    George you want to Know HOW ,
    By not allowing YOU and the BLP yardfowls to set the dlp agenda , The DLP would be mashing nuff corns this weekend so you better stock up plenty on corn badges and plenty medication

    BTW GEORGE How come when you speak of crime and violence you did not Mention Charles Herbert intentions to Guy Fawkes Barbados man are you one of those self serving one eyed
    two faced patriots who sees nothing good about barbados and think it is deserving to be blown to pieces by one of your own liking . Yet to hear one blp supporter condemn Charles Herbert intentions hope you would be the first

    OH and while you are out and about writing pablum . MeMo Mia a reminder to shpw barbados ger legal qualifications to practice law ,

    George it beehooves me that a man of your so called intelligence and higher learning can put pen to paper and write such gibberish every time elections draw nighs

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington.

    @ Vincent at 7:22 PM

    ” Miracles ” do occur. In the Christian schematics it requires that Man make a contribution: filling stone troughs with water, contributing a few barley loaves,being at the pool at the right time etc. We await your contribution to the the miracle of turning around the fortunes of Barbados instead of waiting for the worse to happen.

    You are required to do much better than “waiting with baited breath”.

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington. August 15, 2017 at 7:48 PM #

    Chuckle…..what else but with baited breath……its a given that your lot will win…….after that we will see what happens……stop picking up the red herrings I drop……deal with substantive points and both of us know that christian schematics are based on myths.

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington.

    Vincent at 7: 55 Pm

    When you make a substantive point I will react to it.
    Another red herring.
    Myths are not untruths. They represent metaphors through which we all cope with life. Your ideas about community self rule is just another myth. If no one except you believe in them they will never see the light of day. Christianity works for me and millions around the world.

    Like

  • @Vincent Haynes August 15, 2017 at 12:16 PM #
    Thats the question on the mouths of the electorate in Bim today.

    ….how can we be assured that whoever forms the next govt will put the people and country first after having seen 4 terms,2 from each party not doing so?

    Bushtea’s view of the last march not being against the present government, but a warning to the incoming government, after the upcoming election, must be made a reality, by the peeps staging a bigger march at the first sign of it being business as usual.

    Like

  • @ Bajan in NY 2.46 AM
    Bushtea’s view of the last march not being against the present government, but a warning to the incoming government, after the upcoming election, must be made a reality,
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Boss yuh gotta forgive the bushman for talking shiite from time to time…

    We all know that such a position would require the ‘de-brassbowlification’ of nearly 300,000 souls on an island where ignorance is bliss …. and where it is folly to be wise….

    It was just wishful thinking….. 🙂

    Like

  • Against the background of escalating crime, failed economic policies, cost over-runs, evidence of corruption, evidence of nepotism, an inadequate transport system, an administration that prefers to address its party faithful rather than the entire populace…………

    Surely all sensible Barbadians would have expected the DLP to use its annual conference to discuss the island’s socio-economic problems, policies to be developed to solve these issues and the “way forward,” in an attempt to reassure Barbadians…………

    Instead, the DLP decides to play politics……………

    “How does one explain an agenda that includes of all things, allegations of phone tapping from a decade ago?”

    “How does one connect with an agenda that will discuss the legality of having a legal certificate to practise law but trivialise the high incidence of firearm related crimes in a social climate that has caused Barbadians to feel terrorised in their country by acts of lawlessness and violent behaviour?”

    Surely, under the above circumstances, Angela Skeete (or the original author of this contribution) is absolutely correct…………….

    ……………the Democratic Labour Party………………. “Clearly, a drowning party will clutch at straws!”

    Like

  • @ Artax

    The Angela Skeet’s of this world will frown at you and fail to acknowledge that Barbados is bigger than any political party or other narrow interests.

    As the author of the article and recognising the stance of Angela Skeete, I believe that you rightly understand the problems but wrongly give credit to one who would rather distort the FACTS.

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington. August 15, 2017 at 9:02 PM #

    Chuckle…..I thought you only dealt with individuals making substantive points…..yet you found time to respond to my ingrained foolishness……I wonder why.

    Community groups will emerge and coalesce into action groups with the necessary stimulus…..you all just have to make sure that you do not provide the stimulus.

    To each their own belief or non-belief system……enjoy yours as I do mine.

    We will see around this time next year how you and George are responding to whatever situations your party has met……hopefully in a progressive upbeat mood based on positive performances.

    Like

  • Unions are bad for Barbados.

    The unions representing civil servants and teachers — the laziest, most overpaid, and least deserving segments of the labour force — will probably get the most attention from the new government, and that will aggravate the problem of inequality.

    Are there any Barbadians serving in the UK or US military who can be persuaded to organize an overthrow of the Westminster system?

    Like

  • George Brathwaite still not understanding why you are sooo concerned about DLP conference agenda
    Did not MIA Mottley oulined some farce called the Covenant of Hope at one of the BLP conferences which to many was a long drawn article of illusions that even before the ink was dried all but fell on deaf years . Now pray tell if Mia cannot get the most of barbados to believe in Covenants and Hopes how in the world is she going to energize a nation without giving ready solutions to the economy

    Like

  • As predicted a few weeks ago, with all the nonsense and signs of social decay in the country, PM Stuart prefers to put his gaze on Mia Mottley than on the gun-slingers, and human butchers who are on our streets. The sleeping giant does not cease to amaze.

    Like

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