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Politics culture not like before


DAVID ‘JOEY’ HARPER

Politics culture not like before

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THREE INTERCONNECTED WORDS words have recently become an integral part of my daily thinking: politics, people and politicians. Together, they play a significant part in relation to each other’s past, present and future. The question going through my mind is: Are these current entities aware of the importance they play in the lives of future Barbadians?

In the past, one’s desire to enter politics was to make change to living conditions or lifting the underprivileged from the controlled condition of poverty, cleverly designed by the architects of class and colour segregation.

The early politician entered the battle after being a part of and listening to the social pain suffered by labouring masses which included parents, grandparents and by extension, themselves.

Personal aggrandisement was not the politician’s goal. Meetings were held with the people in the cane fields, on street corners and under the limited working streetlights, which were lighted by runners with lighted sticks. They listened to the needs of the people, and sought to make change when they entered Parliament. They made improvements and were lauded as deliverers. Working conditions improved, electricity now powered the lights and paved roads became a part of almost all every street.

Times have slowly changed, and politics for the people by the people seems to have been replaced by a new thinking. It is now politics for the politician. it appears that the advancement of the people is no longer the goal to be achieved or the system once fought against. Personal needs seem to take precedence over the challenged masses.

We no longer feel the presence of genuine pressure groups, which kept both politician and ruthless businessmen aware that the people were watching and listening.

Yes, things have changed and today’s opposition is no longer there to present the cases for the masses, but seeks to put forward esoteric, intellectually-filled jargon that not even they themselves always understand.

Contact with the people no longer happens on the street corners but in brand name locations. The people are no longer highlighted – not because numbers are few, but because the speakers, whether competent to bring a message or not, take up major camera/print media space.

There are too many foreign voices, names and colours and cultures dictating to our leaders how to manage from economics, construction, business, health and now education, while the 30-plus people – the people we voted for – ramble on, feeding their individual fatted calves, waiting to see who the golden coin of success will fall upon.

Please, I pray, bring back the men and women who were willing to make sacrifices so that tomorrow would not be a meaningless expression of despair.

– DAVID ‘JOEY’ HARPER

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