Corruption, mess and immorality are some of the words that currently describe the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP), says Member of Parliament for St George South Dwight Sutherland.
Levelling the charges over the weekend as he addressed a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) constituency branch meeting at the St George Community Centre, Sutherland said unless the BLP was made to “deliver” the country, it would continue to “go from crisis to crisis”.
“They [DLP] don’t have anything to bring to the people, they don’t have a track record over the past eight years of good governance, so they can’t bring anything else. So [Minister of Finance] Chris Sinckler started the talk about morality,” Sutherland said in reference to comments by Sinckler at a recent meeting of the DLP that the next general election should really be won or lost on moral grounds, and that it was really up to DLP supporters to protect “the moral heart of the country”.
Sutherland told BLP supporters the ruling party should be the last to talk about morality and should instead present its track record.
Pointing to ongoing labour tensions, unemployment, as well as Government’s 2014 retrenchment exercise, Sutherland accused the administration of being nothing short of corrupt.
“You had promised them [Grantley Adams International Airport workers] an increase, then you came back and say you did not promise them. That is dishonesty first. Now you said after the budget you will engage in negotiations for the wage increase, and now you are telling them they have to wait. That is why Grantley Adams workers have begun to demonstrate,” said Sutherland, referring to the recent industrial action at the airport.
“They have had enough of the dishonest and the fallen from grace behaviour – immorality. That is part of immorality. We can talk about the Cahill project, all these issues we can talk about. So let them bring the morality issue on the table for the next election.”
He accused Member of Parliament for St John Mara Thompson of doing nothing for the people of her constituency, and charged that Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo was doing nothing good and bungling “every single initiative that was handed to her”.
“And that is what is happening with this Government. These people are very dishonorable and they want to talk about morality issues. That is pure dishonesty,” he charged.
Still upset that the BLP did not play a significant role in the planning of the recently concluded 50th anniversary celebrations, Sutherland charged that the DLP had used the celebrations to “try to gain some political mileage”, and accused the ruling party of excluding entertainer John King, the BLP candidate for St Philip West, from the line up for the free mega concert.
He charged that public servants had lost confidence in Government and that some members were doing all they could to undermine Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
“What is happening is that he has a Cabinet that undermines him, he has ministers and members of parliament who dislike him, so he is caught between a rock and a hard place,” he told supporters.
“So the reason why he keeps quiet as well he doesn’t know much about anything . . . he cannot provide us with a comprehensive solution to anything that is going on in this country. . . . So we move from crisis to crisis not only because of an uncaring Government but they were not prepared to take on the management and leadership of this country,” Sutherland said.