Cahill, what is Cahill? It was an ill-conceived project to use plasma gasification to use local and imported waste to generate electricity. Let me say if my writings offend your sensitivities for the #UnpalatableTruth then read no further. Cahill was ripe with conspiracy and secrecy thanks to apparent weak political governance, low public disclosure and no EIA accountability. Who were the local silent partners and beneficial owners? Were the legal fees and other high fees that were reportedly paid out justified as shown in a leaked document?
In the absence of a Freedom of Information Act some 53 years after independence, the public was served documents which supposedly fell off trucks. Oh my, the contract was so one sided; a sheep could have negotiated better; it bore testimony of apparent ignorance and incompetence in local governance. We would all agree that public utterances must always stand up to the greatest scrutiny, thus no need to be less than open in any such large capital projects.
Cahill was given guarantees that committed many generations into the foreseeable future financially. Large quantities of water were to be tapped from the depleted surrounding aquifers while large quantities of caustic soda were to be used as part of the by products process. Barbados in 2019 cannot even deal with the issue of whisky fungus, indiscriminate burning, vehicle exhaust emissions and uninformed household usage of chemicals. Thus, how would we have policed and monitored this unproven gasification technology still in its infancy? A ridiculous solution offered up by a Cahill principal at a town hall meeting was for self-regulation and policing – another silly self-serving suggestion.
Sadly, many political operatives and mouth giants sought to discredit those who were brave enough to ask the hard questions. Unfortunately, many are so compromised by failing in their duties that they have no choice but to lease, sublet, hire or rent their conscience at the expense of a well-ordered society. Recently, I attended a diplomatic function and during conversation someone suggested that 97 per cent of people in Barbados suffer from unjustified cowardice and three per cent who are brave enough are considered troublemakers which has worked to ensure Barbados’ stability.
Who among elected officials have stood up on a matter of principle against their political leader or party since Harold Rambo Blackman? Zilch, for they don’t make men with such testicular fortitude anymore. Thus, we can expect no transparency or accountability in the absence of strong Integrity Legislation or a Freedom of Information Act. Perhaps, not in the near future, for none of our current politicians have the guts to hold their colleagues present or former, accountable.
I personally think the current Prime Minister knows with her strong majority and mandate that the next election will not only be about economic growth which our economy now shows, but will be about accountability, justice, fairness and transparency.
The chips of Cahill must fall wherever they may, for emotive political grandstanding will not suffice. How do we hold politicians to a higher standard and stop the impunity they now enjoy in a country where 97 per cent are whimpering cowards, always afraid of their shadows?
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