The sentiments expressed on the placards carried by participants in the two marches organised by political activist, Robert Bobby Clarke, reflect what is going on across the country.
In addition, Clarke’s action has effectively filled a vacuum created by the lack of forceful political action taken by the two major political parties and the trade union movement that has “an image issue”.
Political strategist Reudon Eversley made these observations today during an interview with Barbados TODAY in which he examined the impact of the recent political action taken by Clarke.
Arguing that the sentiments expressed by the participants reflect what is going on on the ground, Eversley said: “ Both political parties are bankrupt and it has to do with the fact that they were formed in the last century and they continue to see this world, which is in the first quarter of the 21st century, through the eyes of the 20th century.
“So there is a disconnect. The trade union movement itself now has a credibility issue. It has an image issue. I cannot even say that if the unions were to lead a march they would get the kind of response expected. A lot of people are saying that the trade unions have beens selling out the workers.
“I would say the marches have sent a statement that there are Barbadians out there that are not happy with what is happening and they are prepared to make a public statement.
I would say that their position reflects what I have been hearing on the ground as I move across this country.
“People are not happy in this country and it is being reflected in their behaviour. On the road people are now ready to use abusive language for the slightest thing. They are taking out their frustration in various ways,” he added.
Eversley, who played a major role in the Democratic Labour Party’s successful campaign in the 2008 general elections, which brought the late David Thompson’s administration to office, stressed the importance of communication in politics.
Addressing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s reticence at a time when the country is facing major economic issues, Eversley said: “ Speaking is not communicating, but unless you connect at an emotional level with people you are wasting your time. Then the essence of politics is communication. Almost every single political activity involves communication whether it is going out there and canvassing voters, whether it is running a government, holding public meetings, issuing statements; communication is at the heart of politics.
“This is especially so in the age in which we are living. No politician today, can reap success without engaging his constituency in a meaningful way. In Barbados we tend to associate big words with erudition. An effective communicator has a way of connecting with the masses and the way to connect with the masses is through simple language,” Eversley contended.
Arguing that even though the turnout at the recent marches was modest, they continue to make a statement and fill a vacuum, the political strategist said: “Clarke is receiving a positive response from the established media houses because he is filling a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum. From the time this crisis started to deepen, there have been calls across the country for either the BLP, as the official opposition, or the trade union leaders to take the lead in bringing the people out in a peaceful demonstration that complies with the law to register their disatisfaction in the direction that the country is taking. The BLP has not responded and a union official said demonstrations are a waste of time. The people want to march but they have not been provided with the leadership.
I am sure that if someone from the mainstream steps forward, public response will be greater,” he said.