Submitted by Steven Williams
I just heard a news extract of comments by Opposition Leader, Owen Arthur, saying that he is not averse to the Government seeking foreign investment into the redevelopment of the closed St. Joseph Hospital. Well, my first reaction to that news item was: The BLP has no moral authority or legitimacy to speak about the St. Joseph Hospital. They Are Shameless! Truthfully, they ought to hang their heads in disgrace.
How things have changed with the passage of time! Can you really take this man and the BLP seriously? They were responsible for closing down the St. Peter based health institution as soon as they got in 1994. They went after the previous Health Minister, Branford Taitt, and hounded him out of politics with INNUENDOES, LIES and ACCUSATIONS OF MISMANAGEMENT AND CORRURPTION. All of this culminated in a Commission of Inquiry.
That commission thoroughly investigated the hospital, and the report which exculpated and vindicated Sir Branford, never saw the light of day. The BLP Government NEVER made it public, simply because the document exonerated Sir Branford, after he was held up to public scorn and ridicule. They did not even have the common decency to apologise to the honourable gentleman.
The Report was deliberately ‘hidden’. It had to wait until a change of administration after 2008 for the findings to be made public. Remember the BLP went the length and breadth of this country saying the worst possible things about Sir Branford and the DLP. These ran the gamut from innuendoes and unsubtle lyrics in calypsos like ‘Steel in There’, and charges of nepotism and mismanagement, to the illegal recruitment of Barbadian nurses from Britain and immorality, and who was responsible for the fire that destroyed his constituency office.
ALL OF THE ABOVE ACCUSATIONS WERE PROVEN WRONG. Yet, the report was concealed by an administration hell-bent on politically damaging the DLP and permanently scarring Sir Branford’s character and public image, thereby leaving a repulsive impression of these persons in the minds of Barbadians. BUT, IT DID NOT WORK!
Now, a reincarnated Owen Arthur has the temerity to speak about the St, Joseph Hospital. I feel he should be made to repay the Treasury every cent spent on that Inquiry. Shame on you Owen Seymour Arthur, Shame on you! We have not forgotten. You robbed Barbadians living in the north of the country of access to health care that the DEMS were providing.
Moving to another salient matter. Recently, there was an unfounded allegation made at a BLP branch meeting that this administration had increased the numbers in the public service with its supporters, while axing some with BLP connections. Please furnish the evidence. NONE EXISTS!
I wonder if that person making the claim remembers that three top executives at the QEH – Millington, Springer and McAllister, as well as Gloria Broome, the first and only female Superintendent at Glendairy Prison, and a host of other public servants, were unceremoniously fired for doing their jobs. Their replacements performed poorly.
This administration did not pad the public service like its predecessor. In fact, it had no elbow room, even if it wanted to, since the VAT $$ used by the previous administration to inflate departments dried up; it was stuck with offices and agencies set up to employ BLP lackeys and supporters – e.g. RDC, UDC, NAB and the Pan African Commission – which are all a burden and a drain on the economy.
So, far from padding the civil service, the DLP kept the numbers (BLP partisans) that it found. The upshot is: these are now undermining the administration at every turn; from leaking documents, to passing confidential information to the opposition to the detriment of the Government.
If Owen Arthur is so keen to trim the fiscal deficit and privatise agencies, let him identify these and others, and be honest with Barbadians that he will retrench thousands from CBC and NCC to the Transport Board, the BWA and the Airport and Sea Port, putting them on the breadline. Please give us the specifics Mr. Arthur.
By the way, in the same news item, Mr. Arthur scolded the DLP for not developing the Scotland District (1/7 of Barbados, he says) after more than four years in office IN A RECSSSION; when they had 14 years IN A PERIOD OF PLENTY and ENDEMIC WASTAGE. I say no more. You be the judge.
Barbadians beware of the second coming of Arthur and the BLP!