The Grenville Phillips Column – Power Can Corrupt Very Good People
Solutions Barbados recently held their Annual General Meeting. All Executive positions are for one-year terms, and Grenville Phillips II was re-elected to serve another term as President.
Politicians in all of the political parties, who participated in the last general election, know that politics is not only a very dirty game, but a cesspool of some of the worst types of behaviour. The public gets a glimpse of how vile politics truly is, by the constant accusations of gross corruption that our Members of Parliament regularly accuse each other in our House of Assembly.
All politicians constantly face two main temptations, and the public always pays a very high price if politicians surrender to them. Solutions Barbados Candidates are also aware of the significant harm to their professional reputations and their families if they fail in this manner. Therefore, we have taken drastic steps to protect the public and our families, by willingly restraining ourselves.
The first temptation is accepting bribes, and politicians facing severe financial challenges are most vulnerable. Politicians who cannot afford their mortgage payments are extremely vulnerable to accepting bribes.
To address the bribery temptation, all Solutions Barbados Candidates willingly sign a binding contract, to go bankrupt if they accept bribes. Each Candidate’s contract is terminated at the end of each election cycle if the Candidate is not elected. Once terminated, the contract may be renewed.
Of the 28 Solutions Barbados Candidates in the 2018 General Election, 17 chose to protect the public by renewing their contracts. Of those who chose not to, approximately half found the cesspool of politics to dirty to continue, while the remainder chose to continue their quest with other parties, but unrestrained by our contract.
The second temptation is far more sinister – and permanent. It is the corrupting influence of power. British politician, Lord Acton, observably wrote over a century ago, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
From our last general election experience, it appears to be the craving for power that can corrupt previously decent people very quickly and very easily. It also corrupts them stealthily, so that persons are unaware of how far they have fallen. It is this craving for power that led Judas to deceptively betray Jesus. Deception and betrayal are the two obvious symptoms of persons corrupted by craving power.
To address the corrupting influence of craving power, Solutions Barbados Candidates have deliberately chosen not to become career politicians. We offer ourselves to the public for two simple reasons. The first is to bring relief to Barbadians who have had enough of the gross mismanagement and political corruption that both established parties regularly accuse the other. The second is to actively help all Barbadians to prosper.
If voters have had enough of what they have been forced to tolerate from both established parties, and want prosperity for their households, then they are welcome to support Solutions Barbados candidates – for their own benefit. Our economic growth plan, which was independently favourably assessed, and which the Prime Minister promised would be allowed to contend (a broken promise), can still be used to bring prosperity to Barbadian households without austerity.
We are committed to offering ourselves to properly manage the public affairs of Barbados, whenever the next general election is called. Unlike the last election when voters felt that they needed to vote against the DLP, this time, they can choose to actually vote for something good.
If voters have not yet had enough of the dirty political game by then, then we will accept their decision as final for us. To continue to offer ourselves to an unwilling public after the next general election, is for us, to crave power.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com