Hope is an emotion rising up in Barbados today. Hope has the meaning of wishing for something nice, but The Free Dictionary had also an archaic definition of the verb hope. The old meaning was “To have confidence; trust” as opposed to the present meaning of wishing. I hope for a government that will enact integrity legislation, and I also hope for government ministers in whom I can have confidence and trust.

Many Barbadians are hoping for change, but many don’t know what is going on and are satisfied with the status quo. This is because it is very difficult for Bajans to find out what is actually happening.

Why Barbados should hope for a press free from Government control

As far as hope is concerned, I think we should focus on this small item. Actually it is huge. For years the news media in Barbados has apparently been under the tight control of the Government. Very few people have an inside knowledge of Government dealings, and it appears that the Government would like to keep it that way. People are told that all is well, and that our Government is doing a wonderful job. But is it? Without a free press, the public is unable to hold the government accountable.

Has the Arthur Government done a good job?

Here is Mr. Arthur’s report card:

  • Tourism - Check this list: GEMS,¬† hotel rooms lost, hotels converted to condos, police not dealing with threats to hotel guests.
  • Crime - Barbados has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, according to published figures. Yet I have heard many reports of crimes not being reported. The murder rate in Barbados seems to be about 50% higher than the US. It is difficult not to report a murder, and I believe that the crime rate in Barbados is much higher than is being reported. Lets look at a recent case, the apparent assassination of former chief immigration officer, Mr. Kenrick Hutson. How is this investigation by the Bajan police coming along? With the RBPF web site in mind, are you surprised? GRADE D
  • Manufacturing - BLP has ignored this issue. Here are two quotes from the Barbados Manufacturing Association chief: “The perception that there is no future in manufacturing is hurting the sector.” and “… the manufacturing sector has been starved of financial resources”. Despite the recent promise of new jobs, manufacturing is in poor shape.
  • Agriculture - Almost entire island run away in grass and bush or covered in concrete. No incentives to grow own food. Police not able to cope with praedial larceny, thus dissuading land owners, large and small, from cultivating kitchen gardens.
  • Offshore banking - some associate offshore banking with money laundering, corruption, drug-trafficking and corporate tax avoidance, but apparently it may be legitimate. Under Mr. Arthur’s government this questionable sector of banking has thrived in Barbados.
  • Environment - Arthur’s Government literally stinks on this issue. Few Barbadians are aware of the degradation of the environment, and it seems that the BLP has more planned. Under the clear tropical sea, the sickly coral reefs are dying. The demise of 60% of reef ecosystems is an urgent warning to us on the surface. Just a word to the wise. Barbadians live on top of the water that they drink. The spectre of terminal cancer forcibly reminds us that money is no substitute for health.
  • Integrity - BLP has avoided dealing with this issue. Extensive evidence in multiple cases suggests:

Hope and the BLP

Some might place hope in the BLP. Some mothers might have hope if their child
is earning F’s that next term the report card will be all A’s. It is not likely.

Hope and the DLP

I believe that Mr. Thompson is a decent family man. Adding the fact that the DLP have proposed integrity legislation, my hope resides with the formation of a new government.

Hope and the Blogs

This article would not be complete without mention of the blogs that have breathed hope into the hearts of many. The most influential of these are: Barbados Free Press (BFP), Barbados Underground (BU) and Barbados Free Press Exposed (BFPE).

BFP and BU have tirelessly ferreted out the information that was hidden to most Bajans. Their record speaks for itself. But BFP owes a debt of gratitude to BFPE. BFPE is a site apparently designed with the sole intent of depriving BFP of its rights to free speech. Doubting Thomases who thought that all was well, were persuaded otherwise by the BFPE’s vulgar, offensive rhetoric. Bajans thought: “Why would BFPE hysterically attack both BFP and BU? BFPE must feel that this blog information (often critical of the government) is seriously damaging.”

Hope and the Bible

The Bible sums it up succinctly: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” - John 8:32

In the end hope resides in God.