Daily Archives: January 19, 2008
Some New Tongue-in-Cheek Words For Our National Anthem
Congratulations to Prime Minister and his DLP Team. We went out and voted. Many good things have been promised – the eyes of the nation are on you! Today I felt free again as a Bajan, and I could sing my national anthem all day. I even took some liberty changing the words. Hope your readers enjoy. God bless our nation!
In plenty and in time of greed
When some Bees not so young
Ripped off our great forefathers’ seed
And decimate de Crown
With pride dem wantons get and boast
“It never was so good”
They sell we out from coast to coast
And grind we nationhood
We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
This kind of thievery got to done
Thompson better come good
We write DEMs name pon history’s page
We expectations great
Better safeguard we heritage
Or suffer de same fate
The Lord has been the people’s guide
He never lets us down
With Him still on the people’s side
This nation will move on
Uprwards and onwards we shall go
Inspired, exalted, free
We pray that our nation will grow
In strength and unity
We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills, what left of them
Should stay our very own
Bajans, look back on de Bees reign
And what was done to we
Morals and values always count
This very well done photo layout at the CBC website brought home to us something that we already knew, but didn’t realise the full impact of until we saw it visually. There’s only one girl in government.
It is one thing to say it, but quite another to face it visually for the next however many years.
Whether it was bad planning or just the way things turned out, it is too bad that more women were not nominated and elected into the DLP government. The DLP only ran four female candidates – but the BLP shouldn’t feel smug because they only ran four, too.
Last time I looked about half the population were women, so what’s going on here? We thought that things were changing for the better and that we would see increased representation of women in the Barbados government as time marched on.
With a little luck, the DLP government could have had a few more women MPs – but that’s saying “woulda, shoulda, coulda” with the benefit of hindsight into the election results.
Nonetheless, it is true that the DLP government could have had two or three more women elected. A very capable Irene Sandiford-Garner lost by a lousy 56 votes or so to George Payne. Undene Whittaker came within less than two hundred votes of beating Hamilton Lashley. Patricia Inniss was admittedly put into a “no-win” situation against Mia Mottley who is a powerhouse in St. Michael North East. That’s a shame because she probably could have been elected in another area. Perhaps the DLP should have run Inniss against a less-formidable opponent. Mia has a huge support group within the party and her parish and that’s a fact.
Esther Byer-Suckoo did a smashing job in beating Ian Gill by around a thousand votes but she is now arguably the sole representative in government for half the population – and it just shouldn’t be that way anymore.
The David Thompson government is going to have to work very hard in the coming years to make sure they retain the support of women voters. Yes, the government can appoint some women as senators and give them a role in Cabinet as was done by the previous administration, but appointees lack the natural credibility that comes with being elected.
Whatever the government decides, the BOYS had better listen closely when Esther Byer-Suckoo speaks – because if they don’t they will be missing the feminine perspective and if they do it consistently they will alienate women, who happen to be 50% of voters. You can bet that the BLP will be focusing on women’s concerns and perspectives as a strategy for winning next time around.
Ignore Esther at your peril, BOYS.
Article by Shona with Cliverton
“Listen to the voice of the people, for many times the voice of the people is the voice of God!” Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
“The King is dead, long live the King”
This traditional proclamation, made following the accession of a new monarch, is apt for our recent General Elections for it signifies the continuity of government. The stability of governance has been a hallmark of our mature democracy and we expect Prime Minister Thompson and his new government, holding to the moral high ground, to now get on with the people’s business.
However to bring closure to the elections there are a few matters germane to our democracy that need to be addressed. One is the matter of the church and politics.
On 3 January 2007, I preached on the epiphanies in our political history.
This sermon followed the previous weeks address which spoke to the excellent points made in the Anglican newspaper by retired Bishop Wilfred Wood on the church and politics. His is a must read for progressive Christians. My sermon highlighted the epiphanies in our political landscape which brought about social and political change in Barbados. In it I noted that a “new wind” seemed to be blowing across Barbados. That wind, I suggested, was being driven by three factors:
- the worsening social reality which included increasing poverty, the high cost of living, deteriorating services including poor medical care, community disintegration, perceived rampant corruption, and a general disconnect between the leaders and citizens of this nation;
- a stance in favour of democracy which, echoing the comments made by the Rev. Lucille Baird in her must read article, was diametrically opposed “to any government being given a fourth term of office”;
- and the need for a new beginning in the politics of Barbados which does not rely on politicians or political parties but on each and every citizen acting to ensure the continued freedom and prosperity for this country by electing a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
For this I was admonished but I stood my ground.
Winston Churchill one wrote, “the truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is.” While the affirmations for my sermon were reassuring, the nature of some of those dissenting was nonetheless disturbing.
I was not worried about the complaints to the Rector of Christ Church.
I had confidence in his understanding of his parish. I was not particularly troubled by the calls to the Bishop. That was their right but more importantly I trust in his judgment. Nor was I overly concerned by the calls to the Christ Church campaign headquarters of their political party which in turn had the audacity to call me in an attempt to direct my preaching. While misguided, that too was their right.
What caused outrage was the involvement of the media in this matter.
Under the heading “Pulpit is not the place” an editorial on 13 January 2008 argued that “secular societies such as Barbados permit any number of religions to practice their faith. They also hold fast to the custom of not allowing undue intrusion of religion into politics… (emphasis mine)”
If ever there was appropriateness to the caution against judging others as told in Matthew 7:1-6, it is in this situation. The Bible tells us “Judge not, that ye be not judged….Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?”
Before any media house in Barbados seeks to stand in judgement of a minister of religion or the church or any other stakeholders in this society on matters of political partisanship they need to collectively do some serious soul searching.
In this General Election the media in general failed in its responsibility to the public to be informative and impartial.
While the spin-off action of the public’s use of the internet to air concerns was a positive outcome, never again should our democracy be manipulated or put at risk through any part of the media appearing to tow a party line. Nor is the appeal to the real or perceived power of any political party an excuse. This situation was as dangerous to our democracy as was the allegations of vote buying. I hope that measures are put in place to ensure that neither happens again.