Our early politicians who lived through World War 2, appeared to recognise two important things about politicians. The first is that they crave unrestrained power, which tends to oppress citizens. The second is that they crave a politicised public service, which is the first sign of a nation’s decline.
In 1966, the DLP under Errol Barrow drafted our Constitution. That did so in a manner that protected Barbadians from the cravings of their elected representatives. It was passed in the house and senate before we became independent.
To prevent their successors from politicising our public services, the DLP administration gave the constitutional authority to hire, fire and discipline public workers, to our Governor General. Our politicians would later find creative ways to frustrate the Governor General from performing this critical task.
GOVERNOR GENERAL’S MAIN RESPONSIBILITY.
Our Governor General has one main responsibility. That is, to protect Barbadians from the power cravings of our elected politicians. Our politicians tell us how much they care, to get our vote. Then they seem unable to restrain themselves from oppressing us.
The Governor General allows our politicians to oppress us to a limit, but no further. She has recently allowed our politicians to do the following, without intervening.
1. Politicise our public service.
2. Send home thousands of public workers, and replace them with political supporters.
3. Corrupt the procurement process with corrupting no-bid contracts.
4. Mismanage Government services.
5. Confiscate part of our pensions and retirement savings.
6. Change the laws of Barbados to make theft and other abominations legal.
7. Default on our foreign loans.
8. Subject us to a punishing IMF austerity program.
9. Impose excessively high taxes.
The Governor General allows us to experience the bearable terrible consequences of our voting choices. If we are unhappy with their oppression, then we get to vote them out after five years.
SO FAR, AND NO FURTHER.
Our politicians know that there is a limit to the harm that they can do to us. Some appreciate that restraint, as they go as close to the permitted boundary as possible. However, others hate that restraint. History has many examples of political leaders, who found pleasure in oppressing others.
Leaders who hate restraint and accountability normally use activists. The activists’ singular role is to convince an uninformed public, that removing the only thing restraining politicians from causing them irreparable harm, is in their best interests. It is a politically abused people, that would remove their only protection against unbearable oppression.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer, and the President of Solutions Barbados offering to represent St George North. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com