Yesterday I was invited to attend the 81st Annual Conference of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). That was the first time I attended anything in that vein, and it left quite an impression on me.
These few words I now write, is an attempt on my part to share with you some of my thoughts on what transpired yesterday afternoon in Queens Park.
As expected the park was filled with many BLP supporters gathered to hear Prime Minister Mia Mottley deliver the featured address, on the 2nd day of her party’s three day 81st Annual Conference. When I arrived at 3.45pm for a scheduled 4.00pm start, a video presentation was in progress that featured each “Minister” speaking on their ministry and work they had, and are doing since taking office.
Following the video presentation Prime Minister Mottley would make her way to the podium accompanied by music (can’t recall what was playing) and a long train of people that danced in delight and support for their Prime Minister. What came to my mind as this was transpiring, was that it reminded me of a boxer making his way from the dressing room to the ring for a big fight with the entourage that follows them. This for me was quite amusing and I said to self, “if nothing else, Mia really knows how to throw a party to throw people off the real issues”.
Look at 2:04 mins in.
After the dramatic and entertaining entrance by the Prime Minister of Barbados it was time for her to make the address we had all gathered to hear.
While the Prime Minister spoke of the intended investments and business maneuverings of the BLP since taking office, she totally ignored much of the public’s concerns as it pertains to her governance. Although she did make justification for her extensive traveling and told those gathered that her government made a conscious decision not to fly first class on official business for the island. She spoke to staying in modest accommodations on her business trips, in an effort to limit spending in those areas. The Prime Minister spoke to the economic situation of Barbados and the crucial state the previous administration had left the island in financially. It was at this point for me that things started to go south.
My first question to myself was, “all the time the BLP talking about the level of corruption that has been uncovered since they took office, and we the people are still awaiting the first criminal charge of a DLP minister for inappropriate financial conduct (stealing). I said to myself, “it seems that all the people that the Prime Minister said were corrupt and that she was going to deal with in her election campaign if she were to be given the government, are living sweeter than before. An example of this would be Mark Maloney.
The point that the island’s foreign reserves was gaining significant strength made me again tap myself on the shoulder and say “ Am I missing something here. How can one claim economic recovery with borrowed money?” Now, as a fairly unschooled individual, I am of the opinion if I owe $100 to Mary, and I borrow $200 from Susan to pay Mary and other people I owe, I am still in debt. So while all the talk was sounding sweet from the Prime Minister the question of generating revenue to service these debts beyond taxing the people to death, in my mind was weakly addressed.
Of course tourism investment seemed the really only idea for generating significant economic returns for Barbados. It was said that the Four Seasons project which the Prime Minister called “Paradise” would soon be back on stream. The giant Hyatt hotel was mentioned and several other tourism related ventures. Oh by the way the Prime Minister will soon be looking for people who can smile pretty and be totally hospitable to visitors to be more involved in the industry. I have always said, my history and common sense have shown me that we moved from “Servitude to Slavery and we are now neck deep in a Service industry. I remember a white man telling me that he does not understand why the islands treat white people so good when they visit knowing they are being refueled to torment black people where they live. While this is certainly not the case for everyone if we take a minute to examine our history and the position of the black man today, what that man said to me cannot totally be dismissed. It is my further opinion that tourism, as is practiced solidifies the white man’s sense of false race superiority.
The best thing I heard spoken of on the night was the plans for the National Botanical Gardens and the effort being made to address the sewage problem on the coast. It was also said that sugar factories which operate for three to four months and are closed for maintenance the rest of the year, could be better utilized. At this point I thought that someone in the BLP bunch is thinking (maybe drinking cannabis tea lol). I would love to see Hemp, Aloes and Fruit industries created and these underutilized sugar factories used to facilitate this.
I will close this article with what I found most distasteful on the day.
This picture above was featured for a lot of the Prime Ministers presentation. Although it is common for politicians to insult each other at any given public and private opportunity, I think it an immature practice that sets a horrible example for the citizens of Barbados, in particular the youth. While youth empowerment was touted on the afternoon, the Prime Ministers actions leave much to be desired as an example for youth as it pertains to conflict resolution.
Prime Minister Mottley referred to Verla Depiza as a political Water – Lilly just floating all over the political waters. Actually she said she was a political Night Watchman refereeing to the game of cricket, waiting for the real politician to come. Rev. Joe Atherly she said is behaving in the manner he is because she did not offer him a ministry. As for Grenville Phillips III, the Prime Minister asked if anyone remembered how many votes he got. Eenie, Meenie, Miney were the names the Prime Minister gave these three people in the order appearing in the picture, stating adamantly that the government must never fall in the hands of any of these people. Character assignation you say?
“Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo”
The words: “Eenie, meenie, minie mo. Catch ah nigger by the toe. If he hollers, let him go. Eenie, meenie, minie mo.” An alternate version: “Catch a negro by his toe/ If he hollers make him pay/Twenty dollars every day.”
The meaning: The meaning of this rhyme is rooted in the slave trade. There’s an idea that it comes from slave selection or a description of what white slave owners would do if they caught a runaway slave.
What is the Prime Minister really telling the people of Barbados?
As the magician used sleight of hand the politician uses sleight of tongue. Lots of smoke but little fire.
Oh, 42 plus murders in and the Prime Minister is blaming that on the DLP and the lack of scanners at the port. Prime Minister guns don’t kill people. People kill people. With examples from our heads, of totally piss poor conflict resolution can we really expect better. This is the same attitude that causes physical conflicts in many countries. Many a time it is an insulting word thrown in a volatile situation that results in physical fights and murder.
One would think as 2020 approaches the evolution of the new politician would appear. One with moral fortitude and a humanist perspective. One that sets an example for the strengthening of the family unit and that rises above petty name calling and feeling proud to disrespect and degrade their brothers and sisters.
I expected better of the Prime Minister. Some advice from Emperor Haile Selassie I “Today is the day on which we defeated our enemy. Therefore, when we say let us rejoice with our hearts, let not our rejoicing be in any other way but in the spirit of Christ. Do not return evil for evil. Do not indulge in the atrocities which the enemy has been practicing in his usual way, even to the last.” Rise above!
Oh! The Prime Minister said what is now presented in the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Bill 2019 is reflective of much that was presented at the Joint Select Committee Meetings. I beg to differ. The name was changed but little more. As for Rastafari, she said Temple Yard either now has light and water or will soon have. All the smoke had me not hearing well I think. Either way that is little consolation for Rastafari who remain criminals in your society by an unjust law. Police can now see better to raid Temple Yard.
Sometimes it is not what you say, but how you say it. The Prime Minister had many good things to say but for me much got lost in her mud slinging. Totally disappointed.
Simba Simba Cannabis Criminal by Order of the BLP 2019