Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central James Paul has blasted the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for propagating “adversarial politics” at a time when the country needed a “spirit of nation building”.
Insisting that the Mia Mottley-led side was far too negative and critical of the country’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Paul said it was “ridiculous” and urged the Opposition to clean up its act.
“The building of a nation cannot be the responsibility of any social group, factions or political party, it has to be an effort on the part of every citizen of that nation to espouse positive values that would help to build the character of that nation,” Paul said in his contribution to a parliamentary resolution congratulating Barbados on the attainment of 50 years of Independence.
He insisted that the Opposition message that Barbadians were “living in a land of desperation and hopelessness” was far from the truth.
He acknowledged that Government and the Opposition would not see eye to eye on some issues, but said now was the time for the two sides to agree on those things they could work on together and to abandon the consistent discord which was harmful to the country.
“We don’t want the type of Barbados where people are at each other’s throats on issues. We need to engage in debate in which we try to help people to understand the issues to clarify the issues and to make their choices as to where they want the country to go.”
Insisting that politicians on both sides had a responsibility to move the country forward, he maintained that “hero worship” where either party sought to convince the public that they were the be all and end all would not do.
Paul suggested that politicians had to take greater responsibility for the messages they send to society if they wanted to build a better community.
“On the one hand, we bemoan the fact that we are not our brothers keeper anymore but on the other hand we encourage people to engage in actions that make them not want to be their brother’s keeper.
“This is not the time to talk about messages that do not make us feel good about ourselves. This is time to build up ourselves and see how we can come up with strategies to first of all identify the things in our country that we need to build up and then let us put resources behind those thing to make them better,” he said.
Paul stressed that Independence was about “creating the type of capacity in our country that makes Barbadians feel they can be empowered to do the things that they need to do that makes Barbadians feel that they can look after themselves economically and not be dependent.”