“What do we need to apologise for? We are tired of apologising!” – Democratic Labour Party Spokespeople
“In this life, when you deny someone an apology, you will remember it at the time you beg forgiveness.” – Toba Beta
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” – Benjamin Franklin
“If an apology is followed by an excuse or a reason, it means they are going to commit the same mistake again.” – Amit Kalantri
“… for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” – St. Francis of Assisi
The last Barbados Government administration (DLP) was voted out lock, stock and barrel (30:0) by the electorate in 2018 and apparently they do not know why. Few have yet heard an apology for that administration’s poor performance. Our memories are short and we might forget, so for the record here are but a few of the reasons why.
They narrowly won the previous election due to seemingly false and malicious propaganda – remember the “Lady on the Bus”?
They remained in office several months past their “due date” accruing larger pensions while they played politics and the Barbados economy teetered on the brink of disaster with little or no foreign exchange reserves. This “extension” may have been legal, but it was frustrating, painful, immoral and unjust as the people of Barbados deserved better.
They committed the people of Barbados to an expensive and untested technology for waste disposal being offered by foreign interests (CAHIL) with no previous discussion or reasonable, transparent procurement procedures.
As the Government, they spent substantially more money than they were earning from all sources despite a painfully high tax rate. In the process, they saddled the people of Barbados, their children and their children’s children with a massive debt that was the third highest in the World, on a per capita basis, while also destroying large portions of what should be the peoples’ untouchable Social Security (NIS) funds in a futile and unreasonable attempt to plug the financial hole/deficit they had created and were constantly enlarging.
During their tenure, the standard of living in Barbados deteriorated as indicated by: reduced GDP; reduced per capita income; negative debt/assets ratio; and plummeting ratings by the international rating agencies.
During their tenure most, if not all, social services deteriorated in quality and quantity due, among other things, to inadequate funding and lack of maintenance including: roads (potholed); buildings (sick); water (dry taps); health (QEH malfunction); Public Transport (chaos); and sanitation (garbage and sewerage strewn everywhere).
Their response to the people’s concerns was, at times, arrogant and lacking in sensitivity since too many of their activities lacked transparency which imputed the presence of corruption; and
They maliciously, unjustly and relentlessly made personal attacks on the then Leader of the Opposition who was offering the people an alternative to which they were entitled.
The people of Barbados deserve an apology for each of these acts, or lack thereof. Whether or not such an apology is forthcoming will indicate to all Barbadians if the DLP deserve to be forgiven! Round and round we go…!
Peter Webster is a retired Portfolio Manager of the Caribbean Development Bank and a former Senior Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture.