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by D. Goddard
I would hope that by now Bajans have seen the dangers of having a one-party government installed. It was not done by guns, bullets and machetes but by the willing pens and pencils of Barbadians. I do not care one iota about the Democratic Labour Party or the Barbados Labour Party. But I care about Barbados. Reverend Joseph Atherley was ridiculed when he jumped the Mia Mottley ship and formed an Opposition in 2018. But history will record that his was a selfless act which later benefited the Barbadian public.
It is through Mr Atherley, and more specifically, through national hero Caswell Franklyn, that Barbadians were kept abreast of what was going on in Parliament, especially some of the legislation which government tried to spirit into law but had to pull back on.
This current government came into office with promises of accountability and transparency and as usual, we who seem to think the Tooth Fairy and the Loch Ness monster are real, believed this empty rhetoric.
One would have thought that with an overwhelming majority in Parliament, government would be bending over backwards to avail Barbadians of all information that will impact on their lives and to be completely open in the dissemination of information, other than matters of national security.
But we have had the opposite and the disregard for the Barbadian public is being done with such effrontery as to suggest “this is what you voted for; this is what you will get”. How in good conscience could any government that really cares about the people it serves, seek to make amendments to legislation that limits Barbadians the opportunity to search and acquire information on an area as vital as the provision of electricity services in the country.
Barbadians must be in a position to know if family members of politicians are benefiting from the secrecy as a result of laws which limit the ability to access information about all deals being made that involve taxpayers’ money. What is there to hide?
At a time when the media should be acting as a quasi-opposition, they are allowing too many issues to go by without proper examination – for whatever reasons. Strangely, government’s spin network seems to be working better than the traditional media, with public relations people tripping over each other trying to find something to do.
Information in Barbados is so stifled and the practice of controlling every narrative has permeated other agencies to such an extent that a minister of government could have the nerve recently to publicly state that he is not giving out information at this stage on the cost of the Trident ID cards and then I have to read about a major drug bust in Barbados in a Trinidadian newspaper, rather than local officials telling Barbadians up front what is going on.
Things have gone haywire very quickly.