“House-poor” by Grenville Phillips II
We have consistently received the same criticism over the past 2 years – we are running too many candidates. We were then advised that if we wanted to build a political party, then we should focus on 3 to 6 constituencies where one of the established parties had marginal victories. We were also told that we had to get supporters in each constituency who would demonstrate their commitment by paying membership dues.
We were supposed to attend every community event in the constituency, especially funerals, and out-perform the other candidates. “Out-perform them? How do I do that?” I queried. “If the other candidates attend the church, then you go to the gravesite. If they do not sing the hymns, then you sing the hymns. If they sing, then you sing louder. If they sing loud, then you shed a tear. If they shed a tear, then you bawl. If they bawl, then you jump into the grave and hug the coffin.” I rejected this advice.
I recently attended a funeral of a relative. While I was escorted to the front of the church with my family, I acknowledged the Parliamentary representative who was seated at the rear of the church. I bowed my head while prayers were being said. When I looked up, the Parliamentary representative was seated in the front row. Perhaps he received similar advice. However, I already decided that we were not going to play that game.
All of Solutions Barbados’ candidates are aware that we cannot compete with the BLP’s and DLP’s political machinery. They have been in the communities for decades. They have attended their constituents’ parties and funerals. They have provided assistance during tragedies, and guidance to access Government services. Many of these politicians are loved by voters. Their photos prominently adorn the voters’ walls, and they are treated as sons and daughters. We know that we cannot compete against that method of campaigning, and so we will not.
When I appeared on Down to Brasstacks two years ago with Peter Wickham and Hartley Henry, I was asked where we would get the millions needed to mount a political campaign? “Millions?” I asked. “What will we do with millions?” No one responded.
If any of our candidates give any voter any money, pay any of their bills, make any promises of employment, or do anything that can be construed as attempting to buy their vote, then that candidate will be expelled from Solutions Barbados forthwith. What we can promise voters is that they will be finally allowed to prosper if they want to, because our policies are specifically designed for that purpose.
Both the BLP’s and DLP’s tax policies are intended to limit consumption. What this means is that you are taxed so high that you are forced to spend what you earn on what you need, not on what you want. Therefore, you are kept in a state of perpetual poverty, where you can always barely make it.
Their tax policies are designed to give you an illusion of prosperity because you have a job and accommodation, but their policies are designed to keep you house-poor. You are to make just enough to pay your rent or mortgage, utility bills and food. However, you are to struggle to pay for anything else, so that you do not purchase unnecessary imported products which will negatively affect our foreign currency reserves. Their policies work perfectly if you are living pay-cheque to pay-cheque.
There is a small difference in their policies. The DLP tended to increase taxes on your income leaving you with less money to spend. The BLP tended to increase taxes on products, leaving you with less money after spending on your now expensive necessities. The intended end result was the same, you were to remain in poverty regardless of whether you were renting or paying a mortgage.
The DLP is fast running out of options and has decided to increase taxes on both incomes and products. There will be weeping and sucking of salt. However, if voters decide to vote for the BLP’s or the DLP’s policies in the next General Election, then they should prepare their children to suck whatever is left after the salt that they have voted to suck has run out. It has been described as bitter medicine.
- Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com