One Year For A Government Means They Own The Situation – Can’t Blame The BLP Anymore!
With his government approaching almost a year in office, Prime Minister David Thompson shuffled his Cabinet. While he probably would have liked to fire a couple of people, politics meant he couldn’t hurt anyone too badly – at least not in public.
The leaks to the press tried to convince the public that Thompson was merely realigning the Cabinet to take advantage of the talent shown by his people in various positions. Sure. And if you believe that one we have some run-down GEMS hotels that would make a fine investment for your portfolio!
Let’s face it: after being out of government for 14 years, the DLP and Thompson probably made a few errors in their original Cabinet appointments. This is not to say that Thompson can’t lead or has bad judgment, it is a simple statement of truth to say that the true capabilities of many of Thompson’s people were unknown or untested when the DLP first formed the government.
Now those capabilites (or lack of) are known and the Prime Minister has put his best people where they can do the most good – and his weak sisters where they will do the least damage. Thompson also knows that the current line-up has to be it. After a year in government even the most ardent DLP voters expect SOMETHING to happen in their respective areas of interest.
Words Do Not Equal Action Or Results!
After a year, if the Thompson government can’t start to show some headlines that don’t begin with “so and so made a speech” the public’s tolerance will soon fade. (Note to Barbados politicians… the public has caught on to the fact that photo ops, speeches and promises do not equal action and results.)
Some of Thompson’s choices we don’t understand – like the “non-demotion” of Chris Sinckler who we thought was doing a reasonably good job as our international voice. We say “good luck” to Sinckler who is now in charge of the rat’s nest of corruption known as Urban Development. The place is infested with long-term BLP appointees who are desperately covering their own and the BLP’s tracks at the same time as they sabotage the efforts of the current government.
Is The Environment About To Get The Attention It Deserves… Or Is It All Smoke & Mirrors?
We are most pleased about the creation of the position of Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage as it suggests that the Thompson Government might now be giving these important areas the attention they deserve. Mind you, it might all be smoke and mirrors but that will soon become evident when the budget is announced. (No money = not important to the government.)
As to Denis Lowe as Minister of the Environment, we don’t know what to think. We admired his anti-corruption stance in the years prior to this election, but like many DLPers, he seems to have gone quiet on this issue once he was elected. Also, during his time at Urban Development he hardly set the world on fire. That may be an impossible situation at UDC, but the same cannot be said for the Environment portfolio. It will soon become apparent whether Dr. Lowe can get anything done or not.
Here is what we expect and demand from Dr. Lowe in the next year. We think the list is reasonable and achievable – but only IF Prime Minister Thompson provides the Environment Ministry with the resources (read “money and personnel”) and high profile that it deserves.
We demand the following of Environment Minister Dr. Lowe and the DLP Government in the next year…
– New legislation to set handling and disposal standards for toxic chemicals like those that resulted in the closing of Louis Lynch school.
– Petroleum and chemical pipeline and storage tank standards that would require companies to measure transmission or capacity losses on a daily basis to detect pipeline and tank leaks – to prevent another pipeline leak from going undetected for months as happened with Shell.
– Targeting of the Top 10 polluters on Barbados to document, educate, notify and then charge.
– Major educational and enforcement efforts introduced to stop the island-wide littering that is destroying our value as a tourist destination.
– Establish a serious Barbados Environmental Enforcement Squad as detailed in our June 29, 2006 article Enforcing Environmental Laws In Barbados – Forget The Police, We Need Specialists.
That is all possible within the next six months, Dr. Lowe – but we’ll give you a year as long as you provide some milestones, results and transparency along the way.
The New Barbados Government Cabinet
Hon. David Thompson,PM – Minister of Finance & Investment, Labour, Civil Service & Energy
Hon. Fruendel Stuart, MP – Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney General, Minister of Home Affairs
Hon. George Hutson, MP – Minister of International Transport & International Business
Hon. David Estwick, MP – Minister of Economic Affairs & Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry & Commerce
Hon. Dennis Lowe, MP – Minister of the Environment, Water Resources & Drainage
Hon. Donville Inniss, MP – Minister of Health
Hon. Christopher Sinkler, MP – Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Rural & Urban Development
Hon. Esther Byer Suckoo, MP – Minister of Family, Youth Affairs & Sport
Hon. Ronald Jones, MP – Minister of Education & Human Resource Development
Hon. Michael Lashley, MP – Minister of Housing & Lands
Hon. Richard Sealy, MP – Minister of Tourism
Hon. Steve Blackett, MP – Community Development & Culture
Hon. John Boyce, MP – Minister of Transport & Works
Sen. Hon. Haynesly Benn – Minister of Agriculture
Sen. Hon. Maxine McClean – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Hon. Patrick Todd, MP – Minister of State: Education & Human Resource Development
Sen. Hon. Darcy Boyce – Minister of State: Finance, Investment, Telecommunications & Energy
Sen. Hon. Arnie Walters – Minster of State: Labour & Immigration
Sen. Irene Sandiford Garner – Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office