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The changing fortunes
Column of the Democratic Labour Party of Barbados
WHAT A TELLING SIGN of the growing panic within the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) over its changing political fortunes!

Who would've believed, given the great lengths to which the BLP has gone to use the media to manipulate public opinion during the past 12 years, that they would be complaining today of being denied access to the influential call-in programmes.

The cry of despair is coming, interestingly enough, straight from the seat of power – the Prime Minister's Office – through the pen of Press Secretary Sylvan Greenidge.

What is particularly interesting is the course of action being recommended to supposedly aggrieved BLP supporters who can't get on the airwaves to peddle their propaganda: " . . . Simply just forget the call-in programmes since they do not win elections anyhow," Mr Greenidge tells them.

What an amazing and convenient about-turn in BLP thinking! Why doesn't the Economist heed Mr Greenidge's advice and rid the airwaves of his nauseating claptrap which increasingly is rubbing Barbadians the wrong way? Frankly speaking, Bajans are sick of hearing him.

Not so long ago, when everything was going well politically, the call-in programmes were the toast of the BLP. The "How Great Thou Art" choir, which has apparently lost its enthusiasm, was then lustily singing the praises of the self-styled "Saviour of Barbados".

Pro-BLP voices, then dominant, were also hammering away at the credibility of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) on a daily basis. Today, the tables are turned. There is a groundswell of discontent with this hopeless BLP bunch which finds itself at the receiving end of public criticism for failing to meaningfully improve the life of the average Barbadian.

Life is getting tougher every day and the tune has changed from "We goin' with Owen" to "Owen is owing". In attacking the call-in programmes, the BLP is merely looking for a new scapegoat. The failure of the BLP really shows up when one considers the fact that the BLP has been in Government for 22 of the last 30 years.

For the past 12 years, the DLP served as the BLP's convenient whipping boy for everything that went wrong in this country. The ploy is no longer working. Barbadians believe in fairness and have reasoned that since the BLP has been in power for 22 of the last 30 years, they cannot escape responsibility, as they have tried to do, for the major problems facing this country.

The call-in programmes are doing nothing more than they have always done. They are mirroring the mood in the country which the BLP cannot now deal with. Ironically, Greenidge's recommendation is tantamount to a declaration of surrender. It is an acknowledgment that the BLP no longer enjoys a strategic advantage in the run-up to the next general election.

Since Mr Greenidge conveniently suggests that public opinion no longer influences the outcome of elections in Barbados, he should explain if the BLP has hatched a plan to frustrate Barbadians from expressing their will at the next general election.

Barbadians are determined to take back Barbados from the BLP but they must be vigilant because the BLP is a party of tricks. Barbados deserves better!

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