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Barbados’ landslide message

Published: 
Saturday, May 26, 2018

The landslide and historic electoral victory of the Barbados Labour Party and appointment of Mia Amor Mottley should send shockwaves across the regional political landscape.

The trouncing that the Democratic Labour Party received must also be a wake-up call for political leaders who fail to communicate with their electorate.

Ousted Freundel Stuart spoke more often to long-term visitors to Barbados than he did to his populace, and when he did, he failed to rally a nation getting deeper and deeper into economic crisis.

Stuart and colleagues succeeded in inflicting severe wounds on the Barbadian psyche and hurt the image of a country that was highly regarded by other Caribbean nations.

It is that damage that Mottley must now address immediately since voters rejected out of hand Stuart’s threat to leave the Caribbean Court of Justice.

They also rejected his failure to work at deepening the regional integration movement for which he was lead prime minister for the CSME.

His failure is now Mottley’s lot to fix, and she can do so if we are to judge from her stewardship of the regional security apparatus for the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

Mottley has valuable cabinet and ministerial experience, and she comes to the post of Prime Minister with a slate of experienced colleagues who are committed to fixing Barbados.

The Caribbean community has had the highest admiration for Barbados and Mottley will learn that she can count on support for her efforts to restore her country’s pride and industry.

Deliver or walk Minister Dillon

The time has come for Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon to deliver on Government’s platform promises of returning this country to a level safety from the criminal element.

The latest round of murders this week continue to traumatise a society already under deep socio-economic distress and quite frankly, Dillon’s empty promises to this stage are doing very little to assuage John Public’s fears about the rising crime levels.

Now well into the People’s National Movement rule, Dillon has little to show despite being given the biggest chunks of annual budgets to work with. In fact, it now appears the criminal element, who the minister often tries to convince us are in the minority, have a stranglehold of fear on law-abiding citizens.

Interestingly, a question on the status of the highly-touted Anti-Gang Bill at Thursday’s post-Cabinet briefing suggests it is yet to be forwarded to the President for action. The question must now, therefore, be asked about just how serious Mr Dillon, and by extension Government, are about eradicating the crime scourge. This bill was touted as the panacea for dealing with gangs, but more than a month after its passage in Parliament the TTPS is still a toothless bulldog against the major crime lords.

So as the country speeds towards another 500-plus murder toll at the current pace, please Mr Dillon, the time has come to deliver or walk – the country is tired of the empty rhetoric and broken promises.

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