Is Barbados Experiencing Social Decay Under DLP Rule? by Henderson Bovell – Social Commentator

No one asked the DLP anything. But shortly after it was elected – it stated publicly that it was ‘concentrating on the social side’ and alleged that it was good at fixing social problems. It was at the point that Barbadians became suspicious and wanted to know what type of society the DLP could be manufacturing and exactly how committed is it to national development and sovereignty, given that it seems so willing to leave the management of the Barbados economy, to Washington.

Social Commentator & Geriatric Researcher: Henderson N. Bovell

In its 2008 Manifesto, the DLP gave a commitment that “under a new DLP Government, health will once again be at the top of the national priorities list.” But given the horror stories Barbadians have been reading about the QEH under DLP rule, one wonders.

Education too was not spared. Imagine! The DLP brought the Barbados economy to its knees as a result of its neglect to take timely and wise action – which was compounded by its dangerous mismanagement. And to add insult to injury, it then tried to retreat from educating Barbadians at the tertiary level by trying to create the impression that university students (and not the DLP) are the ones responsible for the mess the economy is now in.

Were it not for the fact that young people and the country expressed outrage, the UWI too would have been under severe threat from this uncaring DLP Government. But when it cut the vote to the Welfare Department and the National Assistance Board, Barbadians held their heads in disbelief. In fact, by increasing bus fares to $2.00 – without also increasing the $15 bus fare allowance Home Care Workers at the National Assistance Board (NAB) receive – the DLP has put senior citizens at risk by making it an expense to NAB worker (already under pressure from being taxed to the man) to now provide care to the elderly.

At government institutions, we are hearing about an outbreak of gastro; chink infestations and an outbreak of other things and yet the DLP spreads the rumour about itself, that it is good at fixing social problems. Perhaps to hide its inability to manage the economy, the DLP said that Barbados is a society and not just an economy. That was very strange because absolutely “nobody” in this country, disagree. It is why the country is now outraged that having alleged that it is good at fixing social problems – every morning the newspapers could still report yet another crime or act of lawlessness.

Because the DLP spread the rumour about itself – that it is good at fixing social problems – Barbadians are also outraged that the NHC (which once built homes to satisfy need) built a number of house at places like Greens and Foursquare, over a year ago, that are still empty today.

It is, also – no laughing matter when on ‘Good Morning Barbados,’ Officers from the Salvation Army stated that while they cannot say that the level of poverty has increased or is increasing – they can confirm that an increasing number of people are coming to it for assistance. Imagine! The level of poverty in Barbados is on the increase and yet we have a DLP Government that alleges that it is good at fixing social problems.

The Construction Sector, Mining and Quarrying are now soft, so to tourism arrivals and spend, which has implications for taxi-drivers, who (for the most part) are men. Men not working have implications for tension within homes and pose the serious threat of domestic violence and dysfunctional families. Yet the DLP says it is good at fixing social problems but downplays the management of the economy, as not being important or a national priority.

Almost every day now, we read about yet another suicide. Stress, fear, poverty, crime and anomie have gripped our nation. The Police now report that there is an increase in the consumption of illegal drugs. Could it be that people are turning to such for relief from pain, especially if they have no confidence in the DLP’s ability to make things better? The DLP has placed the Barbadian family under pressure. The unemployment line is getting longer but the DLP cannot help because it too is in poverty. For the first time since Independence, we have a Government that cannot give its people hope or comfort because it neglected the economy and is now broke. There is the real possibility that under DLP rule – Barbadians will now be subjected to a reduced standard of living and quality of life.

The DLP has no answers for Barbadians, as regards – how it can help them ‘keep body and soul together.’ The one area where the DLP alleged that it is strong, it is even performing poorly in, and yet, if somehow feels that it deserves to be re-elected. The DLP has, in fact – become a Government Barbados can no longer afford and Barbados is experiencing social decay, under DLP rule.

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