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FLYING FISH & COU COU: Courting the church vote


BARBADOS NATION

FLYING FISH & COU COU: Courting the church vote

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CHRISTIANS AND CHURCH-GOERS will play a major role in deciding who wins the next general election.

The strategists in one of the major political parties have already started courting congregations in some constituencies.

According to what Cou Cou was told, the churches are being targeted because they provide ready-made inexpensive audiences, with different political perspectives, who have to sit and listen even if they don’t want to.

One congregant in a rural constituency told Cou Cou that if he was not aware of the statements and tactics of the person who addressed his church, he would have fallen for his passionate presentation.

The avid church-goer said the politico started by asking the church to pray for him and his family. He said a close relative had recently died, so it was an emotional and stressful time for them. He then said that because of his stressful schedule he keeps getting ill and asked for special prayers to help him so he can continue the Lord’s work for the people of Barbados.

With the congregation commiserating with him, the well-known personality revealed there was a move afoot to introduce noise abatement legislation to silence the church. But he promised he would fight any such measure with every fibre of his being.                     

And then, with passions running high, he played a highly emotive card by saying his opponents are planning to introduce same-sex marriage. To shouts of “no”, the politico assured the audience that as long as he has a say in anything, that would never happen in Barbados.

“He was on a roll . . . . I had to listen to him even though I knew he was trying to create [distrust],” our informant said.

For sure the politico is making significant inroads with this strategy. It’s left to be seen what his major opponents will come with.

Upset over shifting goalposts

PUBLIC SERVANTS in a certain ministry are lambasting the new qualification requirements for Government employees.

Their beef is that in their area it is working against experienced but unqualified public servants.

In a case related to Cou Cou, an officer with nearly a decade of experience working on projects within their ministry cannot now work with an upcoming project because he needs one more certificate to qualify. However, two other people – one who has never worked on a project – qualifies because they
have five certificates.

The public servants told Cou Cou this emphasis on paper qualifications should not necessarily be applied in all ministries, as on-the-job experience is sometimes more critical in some activities.

“All the experience that he would have gained in those years and the knowledge he would have gained from workshops are not enough. And we talk about productivity?” said one disillusioned public servant.         

The Public Service (Qualifications) Order 2016, which was published last December, has implemented changes to the educational requirements for senior public officers as well as those at the bottom of the scale, such as cleaners, drivers, security guards and traffic wardens. For example, the holders of some top jobs will now require a postgraduate degree like a master’s, rather than a minimum undergraduate degree as under the previous order.

It is only the third time since Independence that there had been a major revision of qualifications.

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