As we approach Barbados’ 50th year of Independence, I am calling on all patriotic Barbadians to join together and make a determined effort to uproot and eradicate the destructive remnants of the “Old Colonial System” that still exist in our supposedly independent nation.
And one particularly odious remnant is that aspect of the “Old Colonial System” that traditionally permitted the social and business elite of Barbados to have compliant members of the political directorate grant them outrageously preferential business and commercial arrangements that allowed them to feed on the substance of the Barbadian State and on the mass of predominantly black labourers, consumers, and – in more recent times- taxpayers!
Just take a cursory look at Barbados’ history and you will see exactly what I mean. From the earliest colonial days, the planter/merchant elite utilized a compliant House of Assembly to, inter alia:- supply themselves with cheap labour by legislating the enslavement of Blacks; grant themselves legal title to the lands they had occupied; give themselves a commercial advantage by prohibiting free Blacks and Coloureds from being able to give evidence in Court against them; control Black labour by enacting a Post- Emancipation “Masters and Servants Act”; prohibit the migration of Black labourers from Barbados; transfer the burden of falling international sugar prices unto the backs of the large black labouring class; use legislation and the Court system to ensure that the lands of bankrupt plantations did not fall into the hands of Blacks; use grant money from the British Government exclusively for the elite sugar planter class; and the list goes on and on.
In more recent “Independence times”, this old colonial phenomenon has been manifesting itself in the practice of predominantly black Parliamentarians and Ministers of Government granting amazingly preferential taxpayer- funded or guaranteed contracts to elite white Barbadian and foreign business-people – contracts that they would never dream of conferring upon black Barbadian business-people!
One such contract is the so-called “Take or Pay Contract” that the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration granted to Mr Bizzy Williams’ Sustainable (Barbados) Recycling Centre Inc (SBRC) in June 2009. Under that contract, we, the taxpayers of Barbados, are obliged to underwrite a guaranteed minimum payment of $22.6 Million per year over a 20 year period to SBRC for the processing or managing of so-called municipal solid waste, whether or not the company is actually called upon to carry out work of the requisite minimum quantity! Thus, under this contract alone, we taxpayers are saddled with a minimum payment of $45 Million over the 20 year period. Continue reading