Submitted by Debra Ifill (also sent to Barbados Today and the Nation newspapers)
So again the mainstream press is eating out of Donville Inniss’ hands. It appears that he has been providing them with tidbits to disseminate, designed to position him as separate from, and now a victim of, the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of his government. The press has a tremendous responsibility to the people; to provide them with actual news, while highlighting the issues that they should be concerned with within society. Unfortunately, sometimes the press is culpable in helping to create leaders out of individuals less than suitable to lead, Trump being a more recent example. It is obvious to those discerning, that Inniss seeks to use the press in a similar way, to aid him in the execution of his malevolent project to eliminate his teammates, towards leadership of the DLP at any and all cost.
His present pothole dilemma appears to be a carefully designed plot, a part of an ongoing and conspicuous campaign to convince the majority of Barbadians that he, Inniss, stands apart from his failing government. It is so obvious that it begs the questions, does he think himself so much smarter than the rest of us, that he believes we would not be able to see through the charade? How is it that the press just happened to be in the same locale as the minister, as his car unceremoniously drops into a pothole, the day after his team leader, referred to the potholes as ‘transitory inconveniences’, in another one of his out-of-touch responses to the issues facing the country?
I think it is safe to assume that in reality, Inniss, seeing the outpour of public disgust to the PM’s comment, sought to capitalise on the incident by presenting himself as just as affected as the ordinary man. The problem is that in this situation, he is not an ordinary man. He is an elected minister in the DLP, and we rightfully assume that this places him in a position to make recommendations to the Prime Minister, the minister responsible for the roads, or the minister with responsibility for the dispersion of funds to remedy road repairs. The point that I am making here, is that from the common man’s reality, there is no such access and therefore no opportunity to effect change at that level. Because the minister is in reality disingenuous he opted for the low road, and instead, again sought to disassociate himself from his team members ahead of the upcoming election. The minister should be consulting his team, instead of seeking to use a pothole to save his own political life.
There is nothing wrong with ambition, but there is everything wrong with ambition predicated on the assumed ignorance of others, especially when one seeks to lead those others. Inniss remains part and parcel of the Democratic Labour Party, and has stood with them on every single vote for the implementation of every single policy that has negatively affected the Barbadian public. There is no record of Inniss emphatically standing in opposition to the implementation of UWI fees, or against the rise in the cost of road tax, or against the effective removal of travel and entertainment allowances, or the removal of the allowance on expenditure for home maintenance, or the supposed temporary increase in VAT, or against the CAHILL attempt, the FLOW/LIME merger, the Cost You Less or Sandals concessions, or against the myriad of other decisions taken by the DLP government. I am confused then as to why we should believe now that he is separate and distinct from the group.
His latest stunt seeks to prove that even he is affected by the inaction of his government. “Even Me!” Yes! but NOT in the same way that it affects the rest of the nation. Simply because the monetary concern is of no consequence to him! He has proven once again that even though he came from among us, that he has so elevated himself above us, that he now acts in a manner that is absolutely out of touch with the reality of the ordinary man.
The cry that he has had to pay some three thousand dollars to fix a wheel damaged by a pothole for instance. Most of us have never even driven a vehicle in a value range to warrant such a cost for a wheel repair or replacement, AND were we to incur such a cost, we would without a doubt be subjected to the unreliable and capricious bus service until such time that we could raise funds for repairs. To be honest three thousand dollars is representative of the total value of many vehicles owned by persons in neighbourhoods, that Inniss seeks to continue to pretend that he represents.
We the public sees through you Mr Inniss. We are ashamed that our press has chosen to support this campaign, and to aid in labelling you as a straight talking, shooter from the hip, when your every action so obviously depicts a different picture. Instead, you have succeeded in presenting to us a divided DLP. This grand production, and the others on erstwhile occasions, has failed to separate you from the failures of your government. While you insinuate that your boss lacks the skill-set to effectively lead, you demonstrate that you lack the skill-set to effectively follow, and neither is a trait of a competent leader. Have several seats, or potholes if you will, Mr Minister.