Difficult Conversations – Amazing Barbadians
Jesus said that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. He advised us to identify the type of tree by its fruit.
Our political parties invest in public relations for one purpose – to convince the public that their trees are good. Evidently, they are very convincing.
The Barbados Constitution protects one post from political interference. That post is the Auditor General. The Auditor General’s singular role is to examine the fruit of a political administration. He then publishes a report every year, so that we may not be deceived by political public relations agents.
Every year, the Auditor General informs Barbadians that new cookies are missing from the cookie jar. He describes the trail of crumbs in a manner that allows the police to easily investigate, and prosecutors to easily prosecute, those with crumbs on their fingers and around their mouths.
Every year, the public looks to our police and prosecutors to validate the Auditor General’s report. Every year, our police and prosecutors, by their non-action, inform the public that the Auditor General should not be trusted, and his annual report is a work of bad fiction that should not be read.
When I first read an Auditor General’s report, I felt sick. The implicit message was that the trees were rotten to the core. However, our police and prosecutors signalled that it was all fake news – not worthy of any investigation.
The next year, the report revealed that more cookies were missing, and the trail of crumbs seemed credible. Yet, our police and prosecutors signalled that we should move on – there was nothing to see there.
Eventually, the evidence seemed so overwhelming that the question just had to be asked. Were our police and prosecutors cooperating with the public relations agents of the established political parties, or was it all an amazing coincidence? Whatever the answer, something had to be done.
On 1 July 2015, I planted Solutions Barbados so that Barbadians may enjoy good fruit. We assembled 28 candidates who offered themselves to the public as a competent alternative. As the 2018 General Election approached, the established parties did what they do best.
Every election, both established parties claim to have seen the light, and be miraculously converted to good trees. Men and women of the cloth pronounce them clean and good in our Churches. Amazingly, the public believes them every time, but are later disappointed when the advertised fruit is found to be fake.
POLITICIANS WILL BE POLITICIANS.
The recent Auditor General’s reports reveal that both established political parties’ public relations is an illusion – both trees are bad. Our police and prosecutors predictably played their role of discounting the reports to perfection. But it is the public’s general response that was amazing.
Supporters of the government claimed that the Auditor General is a D who is trying to embarrass the Government. They claim that the police never investigating is proof that the Auditor General is lying. They claim that politicians work hard to help us, so they deserve a little something – we should not muzzle the ox while it treads the corn – politicians will be politicians.
Barbadians only believe the Auditor General, when he is investigating the activities of their political opponents. They do not acknowledge that the missing cookies are their children’s inheritance. They do not make the connection that the only reason why they pay VAT, land tax, and several other taxes, is to pay to replace some of the missing cookies.
It is this public acceptance and embracement of bad fruit, and the promotion of it as some kind of Robin Hood type virtue, that convinced me that I cannot give the people what they want.
By this time, the public should have benefitted from at least: the abolition of VAT and land tax; no-interest mortgage loans from a new development bank; no taxes on non-processed whole foods; a new business in each willing household; upgraded houses to resist earthquakes and hurricanes; productive and efficient public services; PV units on each roof; and a rearranged secondary school curriculum to benefit all students.
After twice offering prosperity to the people, I retired from elective politics. But I remained President of Solutions Barbados until our Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held last week.
At our AGM, several of our members planned to offer themselves as Solutions Barbados candidates in the next general election. This is highly commendable. Solutions Barbados’ independently reviewed policies, were designed to allow Barbadians to escape the pay-check to pay-check poverty to which they have grown accustomed. However, twice Barbadians rejected their prosperity in favour of the poverty they knew.
Unexpectedly, I was unanimously re-elected as President. Mr Kenneth Lewis was elected as Vice President. I do not plan to be a Candidate again. However, as the one who invited the members to join Solutions Barbados, I am duty-bound to support them.
Let it be known that I support Solutions Barbados Candidates willingly and enthusiastically, because they want Barbadians to enjoy good fruit from a good tree. These competent and honourable persons have consistently demonstrated that their motives for serving Barbados are good.
In the next General Election, the public should have another opportunity to vote for Solutions Barbados Candidates – in every constituency.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com