“The fundamental feature of every genuine system of local government is that ownership and control of the system resides with the people of the local communities, and that the local councils enjoy an acceptable level of independence from the central government. However, the defining feature of the DLP’s proposed system of constituency councils is that the “minister responsible for constituency councils” (that is, the Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development) will be “the person” who personally selects and appoints the 450 councillors who will serve on the 30 constituency councils.”
DLP Has Merely Formalised The BLP Corruption Technique
During the 14 year reign of King Arthur from his palace in Bridgetown, the Barbados Labour Party perfected a method of transferring public funds to its supporters and political organisation that gave the BLP enough resources to run roughshod over any political or media opposition. Government projects and millions of dollars were handed out to BLP friends to keep the political machine well-greased. All this ensured that if a Minister had a speech to give on a Wednesday afternoon in, say, Grape Hall, the event would be packed to overflowing with happy, cheering citizens.
All of whom understood their obligations and the “special relationship” that they had with the BLP government.
In opposition, the DLP rightly criticised the government for the cozy bisquits and corned-beef corruption, but now that the DLP has been elected – well… its the DLP’s turn to hand out the bully-beef.
Through the new “Constituency Councils”, the DLP has formalised and even quasi-legitimized the arbitrary patronage handouts that they once so strongly criticised.
Who chooses the recipients of this government money? Why, none other than the Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development.
Or as we should we say, “the DLP Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development”.
The People’s Empowerment Party has some worthy comments in The Nation column: Bogus Constituency Councils!