BLP COLUMN: Desperate DLP
Stunned by the increasingly strong likelihood of losing the coming general elections, a near dysfunctional Democratic Labour Party Government whose members are already “brekking for themselves”, is now in deepening desperation lashing out at more and more people and institutions and blaming them for its shameful record of being the worst administration in Barbados’ history.
The targets of these onslaughts include the World Bank, the International Monetary?Fund, and the Barbados Labour Party and its leader Owen Arthur, all of whose expertise, professionalism, integrity and credibility have been severely assaulted and questioned.
Invariably, the source of these attacks has been Minister of Finance Chris “Unclear” Sinckler, who seemingly thinks that verbal loudness and aggression are acceptable substitutes for his obvious lack of strong economics training and experience. But the public clearly remembers the serial batterings his personal credibility, an indispensable characteristic for any respected holder of such a lofty and influential office, has repeatedly taken as a result of his very own utterances.
For example, Barbadians still talk with disbelief of the unprecedented embarrassment heaped upon our nation’s prestige, when two Caribbean prime ministers, Dominica’s Roosevelt Skerrit and St Vincent’s Ralph Gonsalves, had to publicly contradict Sinckler’s declaration that their National Insurance schemes were strongly considering investing in the long-stalled Four Seasons project upon whose restart the anxious DLP has been heavily dependent as an economics propulsion.
Now, Sinckler has perhaps gone to his most extreme with an outrageous and unbelievable accusation that “without fear of contradiction” the BLP is hatching a “secret plan” to send home “10 000 public servants” should it win the next general elections, frantically pleading that only a DLP victory could help them hold onto their jobs.
Sinckler’s accusations brought back memories of the sordid political record of David Thompson, who as DLP leader in 1994, went through the campaign charging that the Opposition BLP had entered into a “secret agreement” with the IMF, going to his grave 16 years later without producing evidence of the “secret agreement”.
Sinckler therefore owes it to the electorate to publicly produce hard and credible evidence supporting his claim, or stand condemned and disgraced, especially given the DLP’s record in the early 1990s of laying off thousands of public servants and notoriously cutting their pay by eight per cent, a catastrophe that the BLP reversed as the Government in 1994.
And while since 2010 they have not had pay increases, between 2003 and 2007 they enjoyed 18 per cent cumulative increases, higher travelling, upkeep, on-call, telephone and plainclothes allowances, increased interest-free vehicle loans and higher flexibility allowances for police, fire, nursing and air traffic control officers.
Such dastardly DLP moves betray a party and Government frustrated as they repeatedly exhibit chronic incapacity for the calibre of leadership and decision making that would restore economic well-being and rekindle hope about Barbados’ future, by a decisive tackling of issues such as CLICO and the rapidly deteriorating governance level as seen in the turbulence in the police force and growing corruption at the Barbados Water Authority and elsewhere.
• Beresford Leon Padmore is a pseudonym for the Barbados Labour Party.