AWRIGHT DEN! Who will walk?
I HAVE NEVER WRITTEN an article like this before where I have no idea what will occur between the time of writing (Monday) and the time of publishing. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if any of my suggestions or observations materialise today.
I am not in a position to give a fair analysis of the Opposition Leader’s motion of no confidence that she laid before the House of Assembly, nor the Government’s reply to the charges because I heard less than two hours of the proposers and three members of the Government side’s response.
That being said, the Opposition Leader seemed well prepared and was true to form as she delivered her points with passion.
When she spoke, the country listened and many were shocked and outraged by what she said. But as the days went by and the Government MPs had their turn to speak and defend themselves, it seemed as if the public had forgotten about the Opposition Leader’s contribution, lost interest in the debate and as a result, the momentum from Day 1 of the motion significantly decelerated.
As I browsed social media the day the Opposition Leader spoke, many people were discussing the charges made by her. However, days following the motion, I didn’t see much discussion about it or the Government’s reply. Neither did I get a sense of urgency or strong desire from the general public in supporting the Walk For Justice scheduled for today, where participants have been asked to wear white.
If the Opposition is to garner the support it needs (in people numbers) to send a strong message to the Government that the country is indeed fed up with its leadership and management, the public needs to be reminded of the charges against the Government and if there are any discrepancies in their defence.
Buying air time on CBC isn’t an option and there is only so much radio time available at such a short time. What then is left at their disposal? Print media and the very influential social media. Unless there is a deliberate reminder of those charges via short videos, memes, pictures and posts which can be shared easily, then I don’t believe there will be a large enough crowd to send the desired message to the Government.
Alternatively, there is one way the Opposition can get the numbers it needs and that is if it can convince the unions to join them. The Barbados Union of Teachers and Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union, due to their grievances with the Minister of Education, whether justified or not, may have reasons to support the walk. What is then needed is for the Barbados Workers’ Union and the National Union of Public Workers to be persuaded that they should support the walk.
This is just my opinion and it could be wrong, but if the Opposition can get the unions to support it and also remind the public of those charges against the Government, I believe today will be a significant and historic one in Barbados.
If it flops and is poorly supported, I believe it will be a significant blow to the Leader of the Opposition and her party; one that I don’t believe they can take at this time. I don’t know if the question was answered: Who is running this country? Maybe it was, but we know who M.A.M. hopes to.
Subsequent to writing the above, I was able to visit Parliament’s website, where I began to listen to the Government’s replies and was able to hear Dr David Estwick’s. He was his usual passionate and well-prepared self and seemed to have done well in defending the charges against his portfolio. I am hoping for the duration of the week to listen to all the MPs’ contributions to the motion so I can fairly assess for myself what was fact, fiction or misleading.
It would be good if CBC could have a reality check programme, similar to that on CNN or through an analytical programme including those in print media. The plaintiff’s and defendant’s contributions in the motion of no confidence could then be dissected and scrutinised to reveal what is true, false or misleading for the benefit of the public.
• Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org