BLP DLP Same Party – NTSH

Duopoly

The blogmaster checked the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) website and the list of candidates to run in the upcoming general election is not current. The same observation for the DLP with a general election on the horizon only 16 candidates are listed. Needless to say manifestos are also a work in progress with the DLP website offering a ‘Coming Soon’ disclosure. Given the perilous state of the social and economic affairs in the country, should we be satisfied with the lack of urgency shown by the major political parties to ready its ‘political machinery’? Should the electorate be satisfied by the lack of urgency?

One expects after the Michaelmas break political parties AND operatives will ramp up activities. Unfortunately barring a divine intervention the next general election contest will be between the two major political parties pejoratively dubbed the Duopoly. Like many countries across the globe Barbadians have shown little appetite for third parties who for the most part have been unable to attract quality candidates and craft a compelling alternative message.

The next general election will be interesting for many reasons. At the top of list of political pundits is how the DLP will bounce back from the unprecedented 30 to zero drubbing in 2018. On the flip side there is a BLP managing a sick economy made worse by the ongoing panic resulting in a conservative 17% unemployment number. It is a scenario ready made for a political opposition to make good progress. Then again there is the political adage oppositions don’t win elections. Governments lose them. The Mottley government must be aware the pandemic has given rise to an anti-government sentiment with several losing general elections in the last year.

Will the central theme of the next general election be about which political party has the superior inferior leadership? How about the economy stupid. What we know is that tired narratives of old should not apply. We have a more enlightened electorate and active social media. The blogmaster is the eternal optimist. Then again what are the political options that spell a departure from the tired policies of the Duopoly? Credit to the government it has been promoting increase use of technology to improve efficiency to manage our affairs and forging linkages to non traditional markets BUT the same old issues remain. Have a read of post 2018 Auditor General reports, the state of the National Insurance Scheme, public debt accumulation, irrelevant education system to enable Barbados to compete in a global market, over-reliance on tourism, passive private sector; entrepreneurial class, declining social behavioral, increase lawlessness etc etc. Although the government is not solely to blame for everything ailing the country, it sets the tone.

Where do we go from here?

What should citizens demand from political parties given the signs of the times. What role must traditional media play to assist in the the transformation to ensure relevance. Recently the blogmaster viewed asocial media posting of a young female journalist who appeared to be besotted with Prime Minister Mottley because she was handed the opportunity of an interview. How does it contrast with trade unionists of yore who refused on principle to drink and break bread with those on the other side of the table?

A read of the tea leaves indicates NTSH.

104 comments

  • “Catchphrases, buzz-words, platitudes, happy-talk and bad analogies abound. We are told that we need to adopt a “holistic” approach and “build out” a “platform” as a “mechanism” for change. As Gladstone Holder used to say: “These are fine words, but what do they really mean?” What exactly are you planning to do to move object A from position B to position C to achieve objective D? Too often, what is obviously a very complex issue often involving competing legitimacies is reduced to simplicity. This is particularly true of issues relating to race, class and gender where the discourse quickly becomes emotive, where it is hardly ever thought out with a regard to finding a workable solution. Instead, a battle ensues, fought to the death as each side defends its constituency “to the death”.
    Ralph Jemmott, Barbados Today
    Tuesday, December 14th 2021

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  • William…this is the WRAP…

    the DOWNFALL of those who hate everything Black Afrikan….there can only be a brighter day AHEAD because of it…

    AND…they better be NO PUSH BACK from the slave minded who are too comfortable to understand what’s been happening , still is and now EVOLVING..into a NEW DAWN around them….upside is they HAVE NO POWER ANYWAY….the only danger comes from the holes in their faces…which are about to be SEWED SHUT…

    let’s see if those in the parliament can see what’s unfolding…not that they can stop it either….but let’s see the reaction..

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  • To a cross section of the population’s credit, they have been actively seeking and getting help on how to WEAN THEMSELVES from the destructive colonial system…no one who is awake wants to pass that crime scene on to the next generation

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  • Dems now, Dems again

    by PETER WICKHAM

    ONE MATRIMONIAL TRADITION recommends the importance of reflecting the foregoing components that were also manifested in the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP’s) candidate launch.
    A candid review of this launch speaks volumes about the state of affairs in the DLP and is a public demonstration of the extent to which this party will have to rely on sympathy and the hope that Barbadians will vote to strengthen the Opposition. The preferable alternative of a more “politically attractive” DLP sadly continues to be elusive.
    The timing of the event was odd as Barbadians were preoccupied with the euphoria of our first days as a republic and while the DLP is yet to acknowledge this achievement, matters pertaining to the new republic have denied the DLP our undivided attention.
    The lack of finality regarding the DLP’s team is an old conversation which the party’s leadership has repeatedly argued is not “pressing”. They have been revealing their team in batches, so the rush to present made little sense, especially as the team is still technically incomplete.
    The party list acknowledged four “undeclared candidates” and ignored reference to St Philip West, confirming that the team was incomplete, so they basically reintroduced candidates, dulling the impact of the event.
    General observations aside, the team can be examined within the rubric outlined above, starting with the reference to “something old”. This matter continues to be controversial and therefore the DLP’s decision to return three – and possibly four – of the people from the Freundel Stuart administration demonstrates their conviction that Stuart’s team was not beyond redemption.
    Offer insight
    Naturally, quite a few of us would disagree, and the stage is therefore set for a continuation of the distracting debate regarding the “lost decade”, which the DLP cannot win. The specific “oldsters” are also interesting as they have called back Richard Sealy, who was the presumptive Deputy Prime Minister for several years. Sealy is not known for his high energy levels but might yet offer us an insight into the logic behind some decisions made by the Stuart administration.
    The others are no less interesting, with Denis Lowe, who is best known for his misogynistic and homophobic comments during the campaign, which lowered the bar of political discourse to a point where Madame Yvette would have had challenges.
    It has been rumoured that David Estwick is set to join the team as the “30th Man” and if so, it would mean that the DLP’s 2018 gutter-politics team would be reunited, which would make for an entertaining campaign, and we wait anxiously to see how Verla De Peiza will relate to their messages. The new candidates are for me the most exciting and, in fairness, the DLP does have quite a few new faces. A candidate like Ryan Walters, who is completely new, joins others such as Damien Griffith and Andre Worrell, who are known to the DLP family but did not offer themselves in 2018. Walters stands out among new candidates because he appears to understand the need to introduce himself to the constituency and has been working in that vineyard since June of 2018. Sadly, many of the others are not well known and will face an uphill battle in the short time remaining. It would be presumptuous to say that any candidates have been “borrowed” since that carries the presumption that they will leave the DLP again, which would be unfair to suggest. However, we have an array of politicians who converted from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), the United Progressive Party and the People’s Party for Democracy and Development.
    Noteworthy among these are Ronnie Yearwood, Paul Gibson, Randall Rouse and Kemar Stuart and not one of them has attempted to explain his philosophical conversion/reconversion to the DLP. Certainly, DLP membership was open to all of them in 2018 when they took up arms against the Dems, and it would be interesting to understand the basis of their current attraction.
    It is easy to identify the “blue” factor since the DLP trades on the blue colour and several of the candidates are identifiable as long-standing Dems, with several being “Barrow’s children”. In this regard, the point needs to be made that this blue team is dominated by men.
    Yes, the DLP is being led by a woman for the first time; however, that party needs to address the perception that it has little interest in women. Certainly, the BLP is miles ahead in this regard; however, the Dems identification of two out of 29 candidates suggests that they are not even making an effort to catch up.

    Peter W. Wickham (peter.w.wickham@gmail.com) is a political consultant and a director of Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES).

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