Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has conceded that the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has been fighting as losing battle against the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) when it comes to public relations.
However, he believes his party has nothing to prove in terms of its handling of the country’s water problems.
“I think, as a party, we have a lot to do in terms of our PR work. We have allowed over the last couple of years, the Barbados Labour Party, its PR machinery, to make the ascendency in much of what they do, even in terms of much of what we do and then we spend lots of time just playing catch up on a simplistic basis,” he told constituents at his first branch meeting for the year.
Highlighting recent water outages which have affected mainly residents in the north and east of the island, Brathwaite said there was no reason for the party to be on the back foot on this issue.
However, he accused the Opposition, in particular St Joseph representative Dale Marshall, of seeking to politicize the matter.
“So when the people in St Lucy crying out and in St Joseph crying out [and] the Member for St Joseph keeping noise creating the impression that this is political, that the people of St Joseph are being undermined because they voted for him, it is untrue and they [the Opposition] should be honest.
“If he is honest he should say to the people in St Joseph that there were leakages all across Barbados and all in the gullies of St Joseph for at least 20 years . . . the natural gas has the same issues all across Barbados and in particular the terrains like St Joseph, St Andrew, old infrastructure that needs replacing,” Brathwaite explained.
He said the truth of the matter was that the DLP had started work on rectifying the situation, which should have been done over a decade before it assumed office.
“[However], if you listen to and read what you see in the media you will believe that this Government mismanaged the whole situation, don’t know what it is doing in terms of the water situation, [is] being vindictive, that there are only certain areas that they shut off. [This is both] wicked and untrue.
“We should not have, if we are serious about our PR, to come almost on the back foot and have to explain as I am trying to do now to Barbadians, what is happening at the Barbados Water Authority, when the facts are there, when the conditions are self evident.
“Our PR has been wanting,” Brathwaite declared.