Another three weeks to finish 2022 and the murder on the weekend pushes the year to date recorded number of murders to 41 which equals 2020. The state of violent crime in Barbados in recent years brings the 48 murders recorded in 2019 into play. Of deep concern to the blogmaster is the inability of the leadership in the country to effectively address the problem.
Last week the blogmaster read about 140 murders recorded by The Bahamas and it is no secret Jamaica has been declaring state of emergencies as a measure to arrest the murder rate for over 50 years. The outlook does not look good for Barbados that we will be able to reduce the murder rate using regional trending as the basis of conclusion.
The scourge of drugs is generally accepted as feeding criminal activity in Barbados – specifically gun crime. Further, we have the untouchables operating in the shadows of society who pass as upright citizens responsible for financing the importation of drugs and guns. The blogmaster is sure, very sure there is collusion between various actors in the first, second and third sectors of Barbados. For some reason a video of then Opposition Leader Mia Mottley posing with certain characters come to mind. What are we doing?
Barbados on December 7th will be heading into another IMF program named BERT 2.0. The PM of Barbados said in a recent press conference that next 2023 will be hard for all of us.
Barbadians are in a serious economic pit as the global economy is set to run into turmoil and price inflation will push the cost of living /goods& services to higher as the festive holiday season kicks in.
Minister of Industry Davidson Ishmael recently recommended Bajan consumers to buy local as , as far back at October 2018, government placed VAT on online transactions to encourage local shopping. With NSRL removed local prices were supposed to drop instead they increased. While patriotic by Minister Ishmael the high cost of living in Barbados has been eroding paychecks and savings as people are shopping according to what’s affordable to their pockets.
It is no secret Barbadians are addicted to the conspicuous consumption lifestyle. We can debate why educated Barbadians – successive governments included – continue to ignore the the consequences of having champagne taste and mauby pockets – wantonly running budget deficits in the post Errol Barrow era is with us. We can no longer support ourselves UNLESS we borrow as a creative approach to ‘reprofiling debt’ or lobby to access concessionary and grant funding. The question we must ask is if such an approach is sustainable. At some point the country must reengineer the economic model to organically grow GDP to effectively earn enough to pay our bills (support our conspicuous consumption habit). In other words running budget surpluses must not be jettisoned for the lazy and fashionable budget deficit approach to managing our financial affairs.
There is significant road remediation currently being undertaken in Barbados, when completed it is expected traffic congestion will ease on the highways and byways of Barbados. Add activity associated with celebrating Independence Day (Barbados National Day) and Christmas Day rapidly approaching, it explains the organized chaos on the roads every hour of the day.
If national productivity is defined as gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked i.e. the use of labour inputs better than just output per employee (www.oecd.org) one does not have to be Joseph Stiglitz to conclude there is a big national problem to be solved. Former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart once described the inconvenience caused by the poor state of local roads as a ‘transitory inconvenience’. Another one of those quotes that rival former Attorney General Maurice King’s ‘no gangs’ in Barbados. Ordinary people were thought at high school an efficient transportation system is an integral component to a performing economy.
On behalf of the BU household the blogmaster extends sincere congratulations to Dr. Grenville Phillips. In this space we have had our differences of opinion but through it all there is nobody who doubts that you are a well being Barbadian.
I am pleased to announce that I have been awarded a Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Hertfordshire, after 5 years of doctoral research in structural engineering.
The Scout motto is “BE PREPARED”. That means a Scout is to be in a state of readiness in mind and body to do their duty. Simple but so very profound indeed. A fictional character created by Lee Child also has a message of importance that we all need to hear today. That is simply “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst”. Wisdom offered to us by bright minds.
If we apply these two gifts of advice to politics, whether in the past, present or future, and we look at how our elected officials have performed, we can see none of them have been Scouts, Girl Guides or readers of the author Lee Child.
For example, let’s look at how they responded to the pandemic shall we? Warnings of such a pandemic have been historically recorded for many decades. Proof was in the pudding in fact. There was talk of a mass death event caused by influenza like illnesses over a hundred years ago. It is not like these politicians did not have historical examples to base their preparation upon. The Spanish Death killed over a hundred million globally. Historical fact. Influenza itself kills millions across the globe annually. America, Russia, China and other military establishments have been experimenting upon making such illnesses into weapons for decades. What did our elected officials do? Not much.
The Blogmaster does NOT support hate speech or hate crime and abhors bigotry and prejudice wherever and whenever it shows. However, there is the obligation by democratic societies to protect the right of citizens to practice freedom of speech. How societies evolve to be inclusive will have to be managed sensibly by today’s leaders. There is no room for the usual rhetoric.
Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law.
— United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, May 2019
Submitted by Concerned Citizen. If there is relevant information anyone is willing to share about this matter please forward to the blogmaster @confidentialmessage.
For some time now I have minded my business but I do not think that what is happening is at all fair to persons deserving of houses. So I have decided to speak out.
There are two houses being built in Savannah Road, Shorey Village, St. Andrew, side by side, and it is believed that they are being constructed through the Government’s initiative for the houses destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Elsa. At this point, the houses are near completion.
I am writing because these persons deceived the Government in order to obtain these homes. Prior to the construction of the two houses, Mr. Thomas alias Catman resided in a wooden house, which was fairly old. However, his lifestyle contributed to the dilapidation of the house as he is a very heavy drinker of alcohol, is old and his surroundings were unkempt. He has a number of adult children who are able bodied and could’ve contributed in the upkeep of the premises. However, they do not live with him. He has one daughter, “Angie”, who visited and took food for him on occasions and tidied up the house. He lived with his girlfriend, Mavis and his son, “Fred”. “Fred” is not all there mentally and would sleep at “Catman” occasionally, if he’s not in The City, Bridgetown.
There was an old unoccupied structure, similar to a shed, which was located to the front of the house. NO ONE OCCUPIED THIS SHED. “Catman” stored bottles to sell and other old items inside of it and it was literally nearly falling apart.
The BU Murder Tracker confirms violent; gun crime has become endemic in our tiny society. The 40th murder occurred last Friday and it is possible with about 6 weeks to go in 2022 two more murders to surpass the 2020 number of 41 maybe reached. It is a stretch to suggest Barbados will ‘challenge’ the 48 murders recorded in 2019, the highest recorded in our history.
There is a resignation by the blogmaster that the Barbados leadership at the policy making AND non governmental level lack the nous to successfully implement effective monitoring, enforcement and social approaches to revert to a norm where a murder was big news on the island. One only has to reflect on our helplessness to stop the minibus culture that has taken root since the 80s, our inability to address concerns repeatedly raised by the Auditor General, a contentment to maintain landfills instead of executing an effective waste to management program, growing traffic congestion and lawlessness on the roads, the sloth to wean the country from fossil fuel consumption AND last but not least our burgeoning court system.
Yesterday evening the blogmaster was fortunate to tune in to the Voice of Barbados radio station afternoon program hosted by superior radio personality Larry Mayers. He is one of a bare few, Maurice Norville another, who makes a serious attempt to program a message that connects to old Barbados.
Believe it or not his program yesterday featured hills to be found in Barbados with listeners sharing tales about the challenges of driving over Horse Hill in St. Joseph, Baxters Hill in St. Andrew, Bowling Alley Hill which connects St. Joseph to St. John, Sutherland in St. Lucy and a few others back in the day. To anticipate those who will jump in to say Barbados is flat, of course the discussions about hills is in a Barbados context.
Prime Minister Mottley on her return from overseas after taking a few days off as well as attending COP27 in Egypt, Rwanda and South Africa called a press conference on her return to Barbados to brief the nation. There is criticism Mottley’s time could have been better spend on island given the precarious state of the economy and rising crime situation. DLP spokesman Paul Gibson has been scathing in criticism levelled at Mottley, questioning cost of trips overseas and size of delegations.
The blogmaster has cautioned many times in this space that managing the optics in any situation is important, however, Mottley has demonstrated with the appointment of a bloated Cabinet she intends to do it her – she has an aggressive style – even if it is obvious the configuration of the Cabinet is about political considerations and not about many hands making light of the work. Some of us are not fools although we understand the games politicians play at the expense of the masses.
The historic violence Haitians are experiencing today can find its foundation in various groups trying to control essential commodities such as oil, gas, kerosene and diesel. When a national or economic crisis happens, those who control the means of energy and food sources control the population. Haiti has never been able to escape its exhaustion caused by continual natural and climatic disasters over the years. Unable to nationally and economically heal, Haiti had looked to the world for help, realising that assistance from outsiders has a cost. Haiti’s natural resources and production fall into that category.
The population reeled at the assassination of Haiti’s President about one year ago. There is no well-established government to name or rely upon. The Gangs of Haiti are many, allied to certain governmental and political parties, these gangs are fighting over gas stations, production facilities of anything energy focused, all in an effort to gain control and profit from Haiti’s on-going bad luck.
With the ongoing Constitution Review Commission meetings going on why are these two groups not saying anything on behalf of fathers?
I would hate to believe that these groups are intimidated into silence by the very strong vocally active women movement in Barbados.
Again, I posit that men are the greatest traitors to themselves and it seems women are always the ones to save men from their own destruction. Perhaps, just another complex paradox of manhood in Barbados.
THE BELOW IS MY SUBMISSION TO THE CONSTITUTION REVIEW COMMISSION
1) Support In Kind should be added to the Maintenance Act
Reason: Its Barbaric for an unemployed parent to be stigmatised as criminal due to falling in contempt of a Court Ordered Maintenance Order.