The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has described as a sad commentary that “speaks to the decay of our country”, a scathing report in the British newspaper, the Telegraph, on the vexing sewage crisis.
Headlined, ‘The stench of economic decay is overwhelming Barbados’, the Telegraph’s business editor, Julia Bradshaw, warned that “Barbados stinks. It really does”, as she reported on the vexing sewage mess, which has so far resulted in the closure of several establishments and hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses to hoteliers.
The writer claimed that because of the stench tourists were leaving and many who had not yet arrived were cancelling flights.
Among other issues the article addressed what it described as a “toxic mix of incompetence and economic mismanagement’, and violence in schools.
Addressing a rally at Four Roads, St John last night, BLP leader Mia Mottley said the report was “a commentary on Barbados that is so sad that we feel shame”.
She expressed a wish to be able to challenge the Telegraph for accuracy, but said, “We can’t tell them that when we know it is true. Far from telling them that, we have now to recommit to make sure that nobody can ever write that kind of story about Barbados or Bajans again”.
“When they can talk about the foul stench, it wasn’t only the stench on the south coast they were talking about. They were talking about the foul economic stench, corruption in Government, indiscipline in our society, the decline of a society and a nation.”
Contrasting the article against the Barbados motto of Pride and Industry, Mottley invoked the names of past national leaders and said, “the one thing about Barbados, whether it is Grantly Adams, Tom Adams or Errol Barrow, we stood for something proud”.
She heaped blame for the current situation on the Freundel Stuart administration.
“The Democratic Labour Party in 2018 has devalued and diminished us, downgraded us as a country to the point where everyone who read that article today shook their head in shame and said, ‘Lord, have mercy on our people, our country,’” she said adding, “while we know that better can be done, a Prime Minister loiters so that he can go and get a picture with the Queen next month”.
According to the BLP’s Kerrie Symmonds, “they said about Barbados, as they said about Haiti before, that Barbados is a place that you would better be served to avoid”.
“We are in this position because the Prime Minister of Barbados has decided that he is too don’t-carish to intervene in some of these issues that have been plaguing Barbados for over two years.”
Noting that the Telegraph has a worldwide audience and the story was being picked up across the globe, Symmonds said: “They have identified to the whole world the issues of children being knifed in the belly in the classrooms and on school buses.
“They’ve identified to the whole world the fact that garbage is not being collected in some parts of Barbados for months, that sewage flows in the streets of the south coast for two years; that 21 people got shot on Kadooment Day.”
He complained that whatever the emergency the Prime Minister has failed to address the nation or intervened “and used the authority vested in him as leader of this land to bring rescue to Barbados’ circumstance”.
Former Attorney Genearal Dale Marshall said that the report “speaks to the decay of our country, but the Prime Minister is busy talking about making history. That is history too.
“Could you imagine that a week after people say that Barbados is the finest tourism destination in the world they also say that we are the filthiest?” Marshall asked, “The two things do not add up.”
Charging that Government “has long stopped caring about the day to day needs of Barbadians”, he said in a comment directed to Stuart: “If you reach a stage where as a Government you do not care, then you are at a point where you should no longer occupy the halls of power in our country.”