The month of October 2016 will be remembered by the BU household for many reasons. Our friend -or shall we say nemesis- Carl Moore reminded Barbadians who read the Nation newspaper letters to the editors section were reminded about The Hunt for Red October, a must watch for the espionage and Sean Connery fans.
October was an action-packed month in no particular chronology.
There was the twitter generated as a result of the ‘order’ issued by the DEM for a national shutdown and ignored by several companies in Barbados during the passing of Hurricane Matthew. The twitter reached a crescendo when the public learned two high profile companies numbered among those who ‘disobeyed’ the ‘order’, namely Emerald City and Carlton supermarkets AND Moontown, an entity located in St Lucy owned by Minister Denis Kellman. The chatter has abated and there is consensus from the various sector players that there is room to tweak the protocol used by the DEM to inform a national shutdown. Congratulations to all those who participated in fundraising activity to help Haiti affected by yet another natural disaster.
Minister David Estwick’s staged another meaningless press conference to update citizens on the water crisis his ministry has been battling. Barbadians have become numb and embarrassed at the state of water management in Barbados. What we are witnessing is an unprecedented state of affairs. We give kudos to Estwick and his team at the Barbados Water Authority for completing the construction of the spanking 60 million dollar headquarters on the hill. However, the frequent water outages experienced across Barbados in the last 12 months populated the daily news especially in St. Joseph and the surrounding parishes .
“We have to wash these blocks. We can’t be reactive; we have to [be] proactive. If two people are sitting together, break it up … if three people are together, break it up. Before it becomes a big colossal giant that we can’t kill. It becomes a place of growing crime and criminal behaviour.” Who told Reverend Lucille Baird to say that! Her indictment of the blocks sparked the usual 9-day deluge of commentary. BU’s unscientific measure of public sentiment appears to be anti Baird, however, the problem of the youth dropping out the social system remains a thorny issue for civil society.
A biggie in October was the revelation government had agreed to outsource several garbage routes to private waste haulers –including Cherry and the Jose y Jose outfit. The arrangement was stated to be a 6-month arrangement, however, minister Denis Lowe has since clawed back from the 6 month arrangement. Some attribute the government revised position to threatened legal action by citizen advocate David Comissiong who questioned the high fees agreed to by government. Congratulations David C, you are making a difference!
The Rastafari Lashley family charged with home schooling their two children without following due process spelt out under the Education Act struck a nerve with Barbadians. Thankfully Magistrate Douglas Frederick tossed the matter out of his court. A second matter brought by the Child Card Board to make the children wards of the court is all that remains to be dispensed with –with haste.
Not to be accused of focussing on local issues there was a presidential candidate boasting about his prowess with the ladies and feeling emboldened after downing a tic tic to grab them by the p**k*y. There is a huge interest in the reality show playing out in the USA. For some of us we will be happy come Wednesday morning. What a contrast to what occurred in the last election cycle when global citizens were infused with hope after enjoying the political rhetoric delivered by the charismatic Obama.
One of the most popular news items was the sacking of the iMart employee Tammy Edwards aka the ibrow girl. The idiocy revealed by this story does not merit significant blog space. We hope she learned from the experience i.e, that postings on social media must be guided by exercising a modicum of commonsense.
The other story to rival the ibrow girl was the kicking of Akanni McDowall to the kerb to borrow Caswell Franklyn’s description of the ongoing saga. Why would the government engage in such a visible partisan act on the eve of the 50th anniversary celebration is the height of stupidity. Why disturb the industrial climate at this time when a sensible read of the situation would have shown a wait of 6-weeks would have avoided what is playing out today. All it has done is to force a few of the major unions to adopt the mantra ‘touch one touch all’.
The January to September 2016 Central Bank Economic Review was a rehash of earlier ones delivered in robotic style by Governor Worrell. Nothing was hinted at to inspire Barbadians who have been beaten into submission by the protracted depressed economic performance to coincide with the coming to office by this DLP government. Barbadians appear to be waiting for the next general election to jettison this lot to continue the mulberry bush cycle.
Some have noticed BU did not blog about the BLP Conference. Simply explained, promises are comfort for fools. So far we have not been able to hold political parties accountable for promises made in manifestos or in the case of the BLP, Covenant of Hope. We will wait to observe what Mia is able to achieve in the coming weeks and months.
What piqued BU’s interest in October was the boldfaced prediction by general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party Mia would have had to deal with THREE persons challenging for the leadership at the just concluded BLP conference. Subsequent events have confirmed there was not a single challenge and sadly Pilgrim has not been held to account by his party, the fourth estate, or the citizenry.
This is how we roll!