Marching To The Beat Of The Drum

Prime Minister David Thompson

Prime Minister David Thompson

A comment by an anonymous commenter to BU yesterday resonated for most of the day. The relevant excerpt: to date the land use policies of the Thompson administration and the Arthur administration are indistinguishable. I would dare say the immigration policies are also similar but for the amnesty period now in place. The feeble implementation of a physical development plan by the authorities in the last twenty years has seen a haphazard approach to land development in Barbados and sad to say remains a concern two years into the Thompson government. The fact of the matter is there is truth to the comment if interpreted in a dispassionate way.

The land policy of the former administration which has seen the West Coast of Barbados assaulted with all but a few windows to the sea remaining is well documented. The current government during the last election campaign made some noises about adopting a different approach to land development but so far can anyone say there has been a shift?

On the weekend at the official opening of the Sugar Cane Club Minister Richard Sealy was quoted in the nation newspaper as follows, Government has identified the north-west corridor of the island, as an area for greater tourism development. Sealy is confident tourism projects planned for the island’s north coast will increase the economic and tourism activity in that “northern corridor.” Emphasis on the North West corridor is instructive for two reasons 1) the South and West Coast corridors have already been bulldozed in the name of economic development by former governments and 2) Prime Minister David Thompson is on record that the Eastern Seaboard of Barbados is off-limits.

Minister Sealy was further quoted as saying, a number of private/public sector tourism projects on stream in the north, among them a marina at Six Mens Bay, and a major tourism project at Harrison’s Point where Rosewood Hotels and Resorts is scheduled to build a five-star resort on 82 acres.

The mixed-use property will comprise condominiums, a hotel, shops and other resort-related facilities. It is a Government-private sector venture. Though Sealy said that the project was “not moving as fast as we would like” because of the current global economic conditions, he pointed out it was still on stream. In addition,he said the marina at Six Mens Bay was supposed to start later this year. The earlier comment by the anonymous commenter is apt here because we believe the Six Mens and Rosewood developments are legacy projects continued by the current administration.

The need for foreign direct investment is important to a country like Barbados. What is equally important is the need for any land development, especially on the coast to be planned to protect the environment. The environmental concern is important because the damage to our coastline could threaten our tourism product and by extension the economic survival of Barbados and therefore nulls the wholesale FDI argument put forward by the previous government. There is also the valid argument of balancing development with nature to ensure the natural beauty of Barbados is protected.

For those who believe that concerns about the impact on the environment because of the runaway development on our coastland especially is not legitimate, we recommend reading two comments posted by The Oracle (1,2) on the Accra Beach blog.

The Thompson government has taken some positions which have been popular. The reality maybe that when judged in the context of what is fluff or substance physical development planning for Barbados has changed little. Perhaps there is still time for the government to depart from the practices of old.

  • mash up & buy back

    I am very concerned that this government has not introduced legislation to allow non nationals to only lease and not buy barbadian lands.

    I know they have a lot on their plate but this I believe must be given some urgency.

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  • According to this article in the London Review of Books the banking crisis is still at work undermining the UK economy and the full effects are still to be felt.

    Once it all comes out in the wash, the UK economy is going to be in the doldrums, or worse, for a long, long time. It doesn’t look like we will be finding lots of prospective customers from our, up to now, #1 provider of tourists to buy condos and park their yachts at the new Harrison’s Point development.

    It’s Finished
    John Lanchester

    SNIP

    The 30 per cent collapse in the value of sterling over the last months is something which is only just beginning to be noticed by the public at large; but it is unlikely to go away as quickly as it arrived. The reason sterling has crashed is simple: the markets are pricing in the fact that we the taxpayer are on the hook for the losses made by our banks. The markets assume that we can’t or won’t default on our government debts – that would mean we simply can’t afford to pay back the amount we’re currently borrowing. They’re probably right about that. But Alistair Darling’s desperately grim Budget made it clear just how deep in the mire we are. As for how bad it is, and how quickly it’s gone bad, well: in March last year, at the time of the Budget, the projected deficit for 2009-10 was £38 billion. By 24 November, the projected deficit was £118 billion. In the Budget on 22 April, Darling admitted that the real figure is going to be £175 billion. The total projected borrowing for the next four years is £606 billion. National debt will hit 79 per cent of GDP – the highest peacetime figure ever. The economy is going to have its worst year since 1945. The debt is going to cost in the range of £35 to £47 billion a year to service. That’s just the debt alone; we’re going to be spending more on debt than we are on the entire transport budget. Perhaps New Labour might consider changing its motto from ‘Education, education, education’ to ‘Debt, debt, debt’.

    That means tax rises, a near total freeze on government spending, swingeing public-sector job cuts, companies laying off every worker they can to save costs, and a dramatic upward spike in unemployment. The one easy thing the government will be able to do to help itself is to make inflation go up – that helps, because it decreases the real cost of the debt. An inflation rate of 5 per cent means that the debt goes down in cost by 5 per cent every year, magically and just by itself. From the point of view of a heavily indebted government, that’s good news; for other parts of the economy, for borrowers and for anyone holding sterling, it’s less good. To compound this already desperate picture, we also have huge levels of personal debt, directly arising from our credit bubble. The average British household owes 160 per cent of its annual income. That makes us, individually and collectively, a lot like the cartoon character who’s run off the end of a cliff and hasn’t realised it yet. None of this is secret, and investors looking at the prospects for sterling are making up their minds and bailing out. The investor-pundit Jim Rogers, colleague of George Soros, is advising anyone who will listen to ‘sell any sterling you might have. It’s finished. I hate to say it, but I would not put any money in the UK.’ This isn’t nice or polite, but it puts into the public domain what a lot of international money men are saying in private. More to the point, it’s a policy on which they have already acted. This is the reason an auction of government debt held in March failed. The debt was for 40-year bonds paying out at a rate of 4.25 per cent, and the reason it failed to sell everything on offer – the last time that happened was in 2002 – is that the markets thought inflation likely to rise, making the bonds a bad bet.

    And the reason for that is that we in Britain are, to use a technical economic term, screwed. Economies across the whole world are struggling. Because nobody is spending money, even relatively blameless countries such as Germany, with low levels of debt and workforces who actually make things, are having a difficult time. Germany’s economy is predicted to contract by 5.4 per cent this year. A banker explained it like this: ‘When your country’s economy depends on people buying a car every three years, and they decide that they’ll only buy a car every five years, you’re f****d. Off a cliff.’ So the German economy is f****d off a cliff. But it will recover, when people start buying cars again, and when it does, at least their underlying levels of debt are manageable. Something similar goes for Spain, where the ending of the property boom has caused a spike in unemployment to 17.4 per cent, almost doubling in a year, or Ireland, which has contracted by a truly horrendous 8 per cent and where people have gone from owning private helicopters to losing their homes in six months flat. All of these countries are in deep trouble. But there are four things you don’t want to have, going into the current crisis. 1. You don’t want to have had a boom based on a property bubble. 2. You don’t want to have a consumer credit bubble. 3. You don’t want to have an economy based on financial services. 4. You don’t want your government to have just gone on a massive spending spree. We have all four of those things that you don’t want.

    SNIP

    I get the strong impression, talking to people, that the penny hasn’t fully dropped. As the ultra-bleak condition of our finances becomes more and more apparent people are going to ask increasingly angry questions about how we got into this predicament. The drop in sterling, for instance, means that prices for all sorts of goods will go up just as oil and gas prices have spiked downwards. Combined with job losses – a million people are forecast to lose their jobs this year, taking unemployment back to Thatcherite levels – and tax rises, and inflation, and the increasing realisation that the cost of the financial crisis is going to be paid not over a few years but over a generation, we have a perfect formula for a deep and growing anger. Expectations have risen a lot, over the last three decades; that’s going to have a big impact on how furious people feel about the hard years ahead. The level of future public spending cuts implied in Darling’s recent budget – which included the laughably optimistic idea that the economy will grow by 1.25 per cent next year – is greater than the level of cuts implemented by Thatcher. Remember, that’s the optimistic version. If we’re lucky, it won’t be any worse than Thatcherism.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n10/lanc01_.html

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  • I am the anonymous commentator referred to in this blog.

    Government policy (particularly in a political system where electoral contests determine who assumes power) will be made in response to the perceived wishes of the people. The people of Barbados have attained a certain “standard of living” and more critically, a particular lifestyle which forces Government to pursue the policies that it does. Change unfortunately comes only in response to a crisis/catastrophe not from feedback and analysis of problems identified ahead of time.

    It is simpleminded to blame one political party or the other depending on one’s support and ignore the very much bigger forcing function, that is, the demands of the populace.

    BU will serve an important role if instead of demonizing either Mr Thompson or Mr. Arthur and trying to score useless political points, we honestly try to understand what motivates the actions of Government as it tries to meet the demands of the populace for “free” or subsidised health care, education, transport, housing, water, electricity etc.

    The old Bajan adage of “yuh can’t have champagne mouts and mauby pockets” comes to mind. A more perceptive view attributed to Mr E.W.Barrow is that our problem may not be the high cost of living but the cost of high living.

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  • Interesting article by Green Monkey. It only emphasises the vulnerability of small open economies like Barbados. Of more importance is the need for good planning and efficiency in managing our economy. The follow of sustaining development based on FDI and construction has been exposed.

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  • Prime Minister David Thompson is on record that the Eastern Seaboard of Barbados is off-limits.
    _____

    But isn’t this policy alone a major shift? Come on. You are chatting crap.

    As to the rest of your comments, the Opposition BLP spent the entire Budget Debate criticising the government for its shift in land use policy which, the said, is destroying investment. So did pathetic Clyde Mascoll on Starcom. Why?

    Because there has been a shift! They see it, developers see it, but not the writer of this psuedo-intellectual drivel.

    A whole article with a lot of meaningless words to prove what point?

    Are we in to conspiracy theories in Barbados?

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  • There are many complaints about selling our land to foreigners for development, particularly tourism development. This is obviously not the ideal way to earn foreign exchange.

    We have very few good alternatives. Maybe we all should start to discuss alternative development strategies that would provide the resources to pay for the”cost of high living”

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  • What is very clear here re this blog is that any government of Barbados that is led by either the DLP or the BLP is bound to pursue many of the same damn land and tourism development policies in this country. Of course, they wrongly believe in many of those old bankrupt ideologies and principles which are either related to or that give much valorisation and validation to Euro-centrism and Westernism and their relatives, over many others.

    Furthermore, when one looks at how these policies relate to each other in Barbados, what one will primarily eventually see are greater and more exploitative foreign investors becoming more and more involved in Barbados’ tourism, hospitality and ancillary services sectors, and too greater and greater amounts of our land spaces being disgustingly sold to those and other foreigners.

    Therefore, it does and will NOT matter which regions of the country that are for tourism purposes more emphasized than any other regions, if at the end of the day these types of policies are really indicative of this continued chronic sickening dependence by DLP/BLP Governments on esp. the land based tourism segment to so-called assist in the further financial and material development of the country, and if at the end of the day these said policies are truly leading to more and more citizens of Barbados becoming more and more exploited, dispossessed and marginalized in so many ways as a result of this reprehensible overarching policy/strategy of depending so much on tourism.

    Well, as a matter of fact these policies are evidence of this crude dependence on tourism and the consequential exploitation that have evolved out of the DLP/BLP foolishly giving fulsome prominence to, or giving into, Euro-centrism and Westernism a la a host of modernization theories and practices. The late Errol Barrow was said by many to be a votary of the beliefs of the late Arthur Lewis, so-called economist, who believed himself very much in western theories of development. It is NO simple coincidence therefore that tourism really took off in the 60s under Barrow’s stewardship.

    But, anyhow, just remember too that even today these so-called modernization and development theories and practices are having some very negative effects on the state of affairs of countries like Barbados. For it is these same so-called modernization precepts and practices – notwithstanding the later development of those schools of thought in Euro-centrism and Westernism which focus on nature-based tourism and on environmental preservation – that would have helped led to the significant environmental degradation that took place in our pristine Batts Rock area, by the developers of that miserable Four Seasons Project!!!

    Too, what is even far worse than this crude dependence on tourism is that both DLP and BLP Governments continue to think that they can simply harness or maintain existing tourism initiatives, and by extension harness or maintain existing foreign direct investment from wheresoever, while at the same time being very ignorant of or reckless to the fact that some of the fiscal and financial infrastructures of the country (TAXATION, INTEREST RATES etc) are so destructive that they ostensibly prevent or stifle much greater needed local investment in the tourism and other sectors of the country, and which itself must invariably be seen by many people in Barbados as investment that is critically needed to properly provide a balance to those types of foreign investment that undermine the Barbadian way of life, e.g like making sure that more and more Barbadian lands end up in the hands of foreigners and that proportionately fewer and fewer Barbadians are able to access their own lands.

    So, one thing to do to curtail Barbados’ status of being an appendage of Western developmentalism: Get the rid of the DAMNED DLP and BLP from out of the parliament of this country, and support and vote for parties like the PDC that will bring a far better set of integrated well crafted policies “to the table” and that will better help develop this country further.

    PDC

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  • Mark, why don’t you give up? Who is listening?

    Are you trying to prove that the PDC is the best kept secret in the world! Or an empty vessel? A “party” with no members?

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  • David Thompson is on record that the Eastern Seaboard of Barbados is off-limits.

    And the land around the Graham Hall Nature Sanctuary was also “off limits” until Thompy came in and found that didn’t suit his (and/or CLICO’s) plans and at the drop of a hat reversed a previous government’s moves to keep the buffer lands around the nature sanctuary undeveloped, in order to protect the sanctuary.

    Note that I heard nothing in the election campaign about this plan by Thompson to remove the protected status of the Graham Hall buffer lands.

    So what confidence can we place in the platitudes of any politician who promises certain areas of the island will be protected from development and left in their natural state in perpetuity?

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  • Thompson marches to this beat David,no one can tell me different.
    http://www.savethemales.ca/confirmedrockefeller_plan_to_g.html

    click on home and read the other articles,you will be amazed.

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  • And the land around the Graham Hall Nature Sanctuary was also “off limits” until Thompy came in and found that didn’t suit his (and/or CLICO’s) plans and at the drop of a hat reversed a previous government’s moves to keep the buffer lands around the nature sanctuary undeveloped, in order to protect the sanctuary.

    ____

    Please tell me where I can find that policy reversal documented or stated or effected.

    And please tell me what development has been approved in the Graham (according to you) Hall Nature Sanctuary since January 2008.

    Empty words, Green Monkey, and untruthful too because I work in a government department that deals with such matters.

    The Higher Monkey Go?

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  • Very Interesting free willy!

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  • @Freewilly

    Amazing if true. We will have a reread just to digest the import of what has been suggested by the report.

    @Camper

    The BU household’s agenda is to give our view on an issue hopefully not clouded by a political bias. Welcome your view however.

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  • The question still remains: “How does this country earn enough foreign exchange to pay for our life- style?

    PDC or whatever people write like the typical student of politics and sociology who have no idea of how the real world works.

    It does not take the wisdom of Solomon to know that our approach to development is not the best.

    Please give us some alternatives that allow the people to maintain our improve their standard of living.

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  • @ Camper

    Am I to understand then that the claims made on the official Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary’s web site at http://www.graemhall.com are then incorrect and they are misleading the public as to the actual state of affairs re. their allegations that the government has implemented a change of use for the once protected buffer lands?

    Snip below from a letter posted on the GHNS web site sometime after the sanctuary closed its doors on Dec 15, 2008:

    Indeed, the 1988 Physical Development Plan assured us during our due diligence process in acquiring the lands at Graeme Hall that the lands around the Sanctuary would be kept as protective buffers for the sensitive wetland habitat.

    We have invested nearly US$35 million over the past 15 years here for environmental conservation, education and research. But since our original investment in the environment began, land use policies for the original Graeme Hall parklands have changed radically. (my emphasis /GM)

    Regrettably, the Government of Barbados continues to ignore the 6,000 signature petition calling for creation of the 240-acre Graeme Hall National Park, and has instead re-classified most of the lands at Graeme Hall for residential and commercial development. (my emphasis /GM)

    According to the land use plan now advocated by Government, residential and commercial development will be at our doorstep, stopped only by the 100-year floodplain boundary.

    Given that the only protected area is within the 100-year floodplain, it means that the people of Barbados will lose all the high ground originally promised as parkland. (my emphasis /GM)

    http://www.graemehall.com/

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  • Here is an outside perspective:

    Earth, This Realm, This Little England

    by Isabel Fonseca


    Nowadays, the entire west coast, including the Sandy Lane, seems like one long gated celebrity fortress, blocking not only the view of the beach but access to it, too. Beaches in Barbados are public, but some of them can be reached only by boat. In any case, apart from their sunsets, the west coast beaches are overrated—often overburdened, overbuilt, or eroded little coves with no room to walk and mostly rocky, hard-to-enter waters. There are, of course, exceptions, such as Gibbes Beach, or Mullins Beach, just below Speightstown. And it’s from the west coast that you can see the vast cruise ships—transformed each night into spangled barges, or, as I come to think of them, fallen constellations. Chay Davis calls Barbados "an aspirational destination," the equivalent, I think, of buying a Mercedes that you can’t afford. The island is expensive—the restaurants sometimes shockingly so.

    Behind the high walls, there are lovely houses and some very lavish hotels. And sometimes there is nothing. Blocks and blocks of road at Clearwater Bay, the south end of the west coast, are sealed off by beachfront billboards covered with glossy and hopeful images of seemingly stalled resorts and villas under construction there. The whole notion of these overdone, out-of-scale palaces seems increasingly anachronistic.

    The south coast is relaxed and easy—also best for swimming and walking, whether on the beach or along the new and still extending boardwalk. Many pavements on this side of the island are too narrow or crumbled for use, so the boardwalk is an inspired addition, particularly for the bikini-clad kittens who prowl this mile-long raised catwalk. But it’s the wind-lashed east coast that’s looking more and more like real luxury: empty, unspoiled, open to the sea, and with not one fancy hotel. Even though the old Atlantis Hotel has shut down (this retreat of the great Bajan novelist George Lamming—and much-missed supplier of the island’s best ABC, or all-Bajan cuisine—is currently undergoing a thorough renovation), it’s not hard to see why the locals have always chosen to spend their days off on the island’s breezy side. On my own half-day off (a child has lost a sweater and I’ve returned alone to hunt for it), I can’t resist a soak in nature’s hot tub, the rock pool. Submerged up to my neck and—safe from wincing children—freely singing Joni Mitchell’s "the wind is in from Africa . . .," I could sit here forever, watching the surfers skim the mesmerizing white ribbons of foam and admiring the massive, exquisitely eroded boulders that dot the shallows at Bathsheba like a stately sequence of public sculptures. Before I head home, I freshen up at the Sea Side Bar, a nearby rum shop (there is reportedly one of these charming dives per square mile on Barbados), where I hear Australian voices, Americans, and Brits.

    Brits of all shapes, tastes, and pockets feel at home in Barbados. In addition to seaside towns called Hastings and Worthing, just as on England’s own south coast, here you have an entire district called Scotland. The eleven parishes that make up Barbados are Christ Church, St. Andrew, St. George, St. James, (Continued from page 57) St. John, St. Joseph, St. Lucy, St. Michael, St. Peter, St. Philip, and St. Thomas. The port capital of Bridgetown not only has its own Nelson’s Column, opposite the parliament buildings, in what until ten years ago was called Trafalgar Square (now National Heroes Square), but the Bridgetown Nelson has been standing at attention for nearly thirty years longer than his much loftier, or higher-up, twin in London’s Trafalgar Square. Despite the renaming, you can’t get away from it: Even the "native" food here was brought by the British; the bland breadfruit, specially cultivated as a good cheap fuel for slaves, was initially imported by Captain Bligh of the Bounty.

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  • Hopefully she can return in two years wearing the same rosey glasses.

    Was she somewhat disdainful of her Brit neighbours who returned every single year?

    I think she was, and like it or not, they will be our lifesaver in the difficult times ahead.

    Once Obama collapses the offshore and BA, through higher fares, have enough money to actually afford to pay their staff, we will be scratching for foreign exchange.

    Gone will be the SUVs, Toyotas and Plasma TVs, leaving Scout Negroman and the various anons eating their much preferred pure bajan breadfruit and coucou.

    Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

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  • ‘Land use policy’ is just another catch phrase being tossed about by persons who wish to appear to be of superior minds; but as Student X asks none can give an alternative.

    Count and tell us where all the windows to the sea have gone?

    @ Camper

    “Prime Minister David Thompson is on record that the Eastern Seaboard of Barbados is off-limits.”

    Useless approach to the issue at hand!!

    @ Mash up & Buy back

    “I am very concerned that this government has not introduced legislation to allow non nationals to only lease and not buy barbadian lands.”

    Leasing will not address the situation!!!

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  • Both DLP and BLP Governments have over the last 15 years or so been relying on five of about several joke strategies to make some people feel that they are really doing much to help this country survive. But sadly to say these already failed strategies are deepening the financial and productive and distribution problems of the country.

    Anyhow, these strategies are:

    1) The “selling” of land to foreigners to boost the foreign reserves of the country;

    2) The encouraging of as much foreign direct investment as possible in order for a trickle down effect of goods and services to locals – mainly the masses and middle classes – to take place;

    3) The ensuring of a high cost of living and doing business so that the corporate elites and government too would be in positions to benefit financially and otherwise from it (via profit margins/taxation thefts), but mainly at the expense of the broad masses and middle classes who have been hurting from it;

    4) The ensuring that employment levels in Barbados are kept to a maximum by doing all kinds of things, and so that at the end of the day there is enough employment to ensure certain social and political goals in the country are attained; and

    5) To make sure that wages are suppressed to the extent whereby the cost of employing one more person is lowered.

    But the evidence is so clear that the DLP and the BLP have been totally mismanaging the political economic affairs of this country, in the course of pursuing those and other failed strategies.

    Well, just look at, for instance, the first joke strategy above and one realizes that there is no real production taking place when these so-called land sales are being transacted. So that what it is that we – those of us in this country who are really looking at what is happening – are truly actually observing is that the foreign reserves of the country will become higher, yes, from such sales but that real export production will be performing dismally at the present juncture, simply because the country is so-called selling land and NOT more goods to foreign markets. So, in this instance the country does NOT have “ownership” of the lands any more to determine what export commodities should be produced from them nor would it otherwise have goods to export to earn foreign exchange. So, this thrust to “sell’ more of our lands to foreigners has over time largely come through a massive failure on the part of the country to produce goods for the external market. Why is the country failing to export enough, though, has got primarily to do with the essentialist backward nature of the domestic fiscal and financial arrangements of the country!!

    Also, look at the second joke strategy and it will be seen that the country is NOT producing enough again. So the DLP and BLP made many people in Barbados falsely believe that they have had to resort to a lot of foreign direct investment to close this deficit. Even though there will be some jobs for locals and some monies poured into the country from foreign direct investments, there is really no absence of local people, money, know how, etc. enough to prevent greater levels of local production and investment with a view of exportation of goods and services overseas. Furthermore ,the facts are such that it is again the domestic fiscal and financial circumstances which the DLP and BLP preside over that have forced so many local producers to get more established into the business of importing cheaper goods and services into the country to satisfy local demand. And with this massively failed import currency exchange rate system, greater imports mean greater foreign exchange leakage. Already much of the foreign exchange that Barbados has accumulated recently has NOT come through export sectors other than those of the Tourism and International Business Sectors – which now are reeling from the effects of this international recession. However, it is clear that we are spending more foreign exchange that earning it and this clearly is a recipe for disaster if the country continues at the rate that it is spending far more foreign exchange than it is really earning it – NOT borrowing it please!!

    A look at the third joke strategy of the DLP and the BLP shows that the cost of living and doing business in the country is so high primarily because there is so much a massive production and distribution problem in the country, that NOT even cheaper commodities and services brought into the country to compete with dearer locally produced or established goods and services can help to resolve it. So, on this same trajectory the fight between the government and private sector esp. is for more and more money through higher prices and higher costs of goods and services, since much of the real domestic production of the country is stagnating or rapidly declining in certain quantities, which in other circumstances – from a local production or export earning point of view – should have been more to help push down the cost of living and doing business in the country. Indeed, profits and incomes from our people and their businesses and interests abroad are NOT even helping us much either. Too, since real production is falling, then the broad masses and middle classes will be given so much and no more incomes and must be made to increasingly pay for their own retentions in the local labor markets through higher prices and costs, enormous evil taxation, and many opportunities forgone. Arising from this situation of the relevant lower production and distribution incomes and from the relevant higher factor costs there must be the propensity by the government and others to borrow more from primarily local and international sources to settle outstanding bills. So, what we in PDC and some others see is that as the country becomes more indebted than before, its production and distribution and earning capacities become more seriously challenged than before. But as the government and so many others in the country find it increasingly difficult to pay their bills and settle their debts, there are still massive production and distributions problems that adversely impact on the income earning capacity of the country and its various sectors, that are still in need of being resolved.

    Where the fourth strategy is concerned, the DLP’s and BLP’s belief is to simply make sure that the employment levels become or remain so high not for so-called economic and financial purposes but for political and social purposes. So, the social partnership including the government of the day will see greater employment as being a major priority. But as intimated in the last discussion increasing employment of persons will mean that those employed will have to pay through higher prices and costs of goods and services, massive taxation, and many opportunities forgone, mainly with what little disposable incomes they have. But what is the point of having higher employment levels and little disposable income levels in the country when it is clear that national output and distribution is falling? What is the point? For the DLP and BLP, the costs are higher in social and political terms if unemployment becomes higher. But, in reality it would be far better for the country to lay off persons in the short and long term, and at the same time to alternatively structure business and commercial projects and initiatives in the country in ways that would see these projects and initiatives being given the necessary incentives and tools to fully efficiently function and by extension so that can be seen as being important in the process of making sure that those who are laid off/severed would be allowed to get into their own businesses and thus be able to create additional levels of income and output to offset falls in many areas of national income/output. In that way many production and income deficits in the country would be narrowed and the so-called economic stabilization and recovery started and many of those social and political objectives would still be attained. But, no!! Instead, we have two intellectually bankrupt vision-less and myopic parties that are making a mess of so many things in this country and that are repositioning the country backwards towards the dark ages. Really!!

    And finally this strategy of suppressing wages so as to otherwise decrease the costs of businesses and increase their profits, is another foolish strategy. Since the less income wage earners have to spend, the worse off it will be for businesses, commercially and, yes, they are NOT going to have the levels of profits achieved and reinvestment capabilities as they would like in the end. Too, it must be known by many people in Barbados that consumer spending and investment spending sometimes have totally different outcomes some of which seriously conflict on the same trajectory. But, the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados and some others must take the blame for this very unwholesome situation whereby to get another person employed you have to suppress wages to allow businesses enough cost savings to employ another; given that they have long been calling for wage restraint and at same time promoting higher employment levels. Well, they like to talk about the effects such higher wages would have on the balance of payments of the country as if the workers have NOT been earning wages. So if the workers have produced enough to warrant their own wages, their wages and how they spend them really cannot be any problems for the balance of payments of this country. It is nothing short of scandalous that this kind of rationalization – if one can call it that – can be made since the workers are NOT in charge of the decisions relative to the payment and income flows into and out of the country. For, it is the DLP and BLP Government and the monetary authorities who are ultimately to blame for any balance of payments problems of the country, and for NOT coming up with serious solutions to potential balance of payments problems.

    So for now and in the future it must be down with the DAMNED DLP and BLP, and up with the PDC and any others parties that care about this country and its development, if the country is to really get up out of the production and distribution mess that it is in and move forward.

    PDC

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  • Here is what the Trindad and Tobago Newsday reported on June 4, 2009

    ++++++++++++++++++

    “SEVERAL CARICOM countries have turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance to weather the world financial crisis.

    This was the disclosure made by Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams at the opening of a Commonwealth Caribbean Business Media Workshop at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Port-of-Spain. Trinidad and Tobago is not on that list.

    Grenada has been in an IMF poverty reduction programme over the last four years, receiving US$16 million in aid; Jamaica is talking with the IMF to extend its current arrangement with the institution; Guyana has come out of an IMF programme and Barbados is trying to raise between US$100 million and US$150 million on this country’s stock markets to avoid going to the IMF.”

    ++++++++++++++++++

    Remeber I told you that David Thompson never said when he tabled the Resolution in Parliament – that the $150m he will increase the national debt by – is to stop him goin to the IMF -but that it is to allow him to finance projects this FY?

    Well, read hartley henry’s column in today’s Barbados Advocate. He is rolling the wicket.

    Then reflect on the fact that prior to the last Bugdet, Opposition Leader – the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P., -advised Barbadians to brace for yet another assault on thier pocket.

    BRACE YOURSELVES FOR THE BAD NEWS. IT WILL BE JUST LIKE 1991 – slow and painful.

    Mean while, the blame game continues, whereas strong leadership is required.

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  • In spite of what the IMF and others might have said,it is very clear to anyone with an understanding of basic economics, that this country was very poorly run over the last 15 years.

    We simply did not have sensible strategies for the long term development. What we did was to merely keep the international bankers happy by always having enough money to make our repayments and our central bankers happy by having enough reserves.

    No one seemed to care that an economic system based to a large extent on selling property to foreigners, assisting international tax evaders, and borrowing could not survive.

    PDC, please tell us how you would change the obviously idiotic strategies that have been in place for the last 15 years

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  • You obviously were not living in Barbados in the years preceeding 1994. Talk about bad times, ask David Ellis to replay some of the Brass Tacks Tapes during that period. You should ‘hursh yer mout’ ant thank God that prudent management by the OWEN SEYMOUR ARTHUR ADMINISTRATION saved Barbados. Check the reports of the Central Bank of Barbados and check people like Professor Frank Alleyne on the management of the Barbados economy. There was no pain and suffering in 14 yr period that could be equal to what there was in period 1991-1994. Check your facts, ask those who suffered at the hand of the DLP government of the day.

    Even the Arch DEMS admitted what an excellent job OWEN SEYMORE ARTHUR and his team did for Barbados. Barbados was the envy of a lot.
    The facts speak.

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  • Barbados is a slave society
    These things are expected

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  • Shortie Bend stop tell liesOwen Arthur got the government when Sir Lloyd had done the dirty ass work form Tom’s era (remember the japanese loans) and on such a good wicket Owen and crew destroyed US!

    Please spare us your bull shit!

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  • If the economy was so well managed, why are we feeling so uncertain now that we have to face a year or two of economic turmoil brought on by external factors?

    Had this economy been properly run we would have been able to face this hard period without worry.

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  • Repayment of loans contributed in no small measure to the problems of 1991-1993.

    The major problem was Sandiford’s spending leading up to the 1991 election when he knew the reserves were shaky.

    Retaining power was more important to him than the medium and long term health of the economy.

    By the way, the way in which the problem was solved was rather straightforward.

    Reduce demand and imports will decline: outflows of foreign exchange will also decline, and in all probability the foreign reserves will increase.

    The IMF favoured devaluation but I am certain they very well understood that a reduction in salaries and reduction in employment of the magnitude that was visited on the public sector would achieve the objective of building up foreign reserves

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  • Japanese loans the late E.W Barrow lambased his Minister of Finance over the Japanese Bullet Loan which was repaid by Arthur Administration. Ya get de pint. Fact not illusion.

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  • To: Student X,

    While we do NOT know who you are, we must nevertheless acknowledge that from reading many of your blogs on BU that it seems that you have a pretty solid grasp of many of the details of the so-called economic and financial workings of this country.

    Case in point, is your comment in the above blog that raises the question of how could the economy be so properly managed over the last 15 years, when we in Barbados are feeling quite uncertain now that we have to face a year or two of economic turmoil. Well, what a most valid point!!

    As such, we in PDC do look forward to those kinds of forthright, rational and exacting commentaries being continually made by you on here concerning esp. the very unsatisfactory and worsening state of the so-called economy of this country, and concerning the solutions that are needed to help solve many of our social political financial and material problems.

    Finally, you asked in an earlier blog how we would change the obvious idiotic strategies that have been in place for the last 15 years. Well, we simply say to you to go to our website@www.somassfreedem.org, and view many of the proposals we have put forward on this site relative to the types of changes that are absolutely necessary in the structures and functions of the polity, the society and so-called economy of this country, and which when put in place by a future PDC Government would be of significant help in putting Barbados in a better position at the end of the day to growth and develop substantially in the future.

    PS – If you agree or disagree with any of these proposals please email your positions to us at smfdpdc@yahoo.com, for our elucidation.

    PDC

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  • Er, the previous recession was….yes….who has the answer…1991-1994!

    Sandi tek the licks, just like some are trying to pin the blamce on Thompson for this crrent world recession.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    Sandi took over a shaky economy from St.John, then faced a recession.

    Please, those are the facts, no matter what paint you use.

    Peace

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  • Excellent article Green Monkey. Note this extract ”1. You don’t want to have had a boom based on a property bubble. 2. You don’t want to have a consumer credit bubble. 3. You don’t want to have an economy based on financial services. 4. You don’t want your government to have just gone on a massive spending spree”.

    Barbados has 1, 3, 4, of these.

    The only way out IS a significant reduction in living standards, a return to prudence.

    This also, was explained as much as three to four years ago on the BFP blog, for those who care to read, rather than just play political possums.

    The way out has been explained, contrary to what one poster above, clearly with solely political agenda, seeks to assert.

    The land us epolicy, is one of the issues at the crux of the matter, as this affects agriculture, affordability of land, housingas well as having social implications.

    Such cannot be divorced from the economic situation as this is part and parcel of the solution.

    The solution involves retuning Barbados to a simpler lifestyle, reducing foreign exchange expenditures while ensuring local production and ownership are assisted.

    This has been explained as nauseam.

    But, the political ferrets will continue little ignorant potshots, in the midst of a further declining situation, oblivious to the reality.

    Peace

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  • No one should blame Thompson for our present circumstances.

    Every administration has to repay loans incurred by previous administrations.

    If you have to repay loans in foreign currency and facing difficult economic circumstances, would you go and spend money knowing very well that your foreign reserves will be wiped out?

    This is precisely what Sandiford did leading up to the the 1991 election. He should not have engaged in the pre-election spending in the circumstances he found himself in

    Sandiford made a very bad situation, even worse and unmanageable. We had to go to try to borrow a meagre $14 million from Belize to help prop up our empty foreign reserves.

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  • There is a new reality. We have been boasting that we have a superior lifestyle but like some commenters have alluded it comes at a price. We have been building our economic model driven by engines which make our high consumption of foreign exchange unsustainable e.g.selling land under the guise of foreign direct investment.

    Barbadians will have to chart a new path going forward, a great burden is on the incumbent government to do so. Agree with Rumpelstiltskin 100%

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  • “The only way out IS a significant reduction in living standards, a return to prudence.” – Rumplestilskin @ 9:03 am

    Finally he is beginning to “get it”. Now all he has to accept is that the politicians are beholding to the electorate and so the policies of the past and the present. (remember the fate of Mr Sandiford)

    Like

  • Of course I would argue that what is a “reduction in the standard of living” is subjective. The changes required may actually result in a more healthy, peaceful, sustainable and self-actualised society. But which political party or leader is engaging its supporters and the wider population in this kind of debate?

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  • You make a good point and politicians and other leaders will have to start engaging the people on that level ie the price we have to pay if we want to continue on the current economic path. Do we encourage this kind of politician? More importantly do we have citizens who operate at this level of expectation?

    Like

  • @Camper

    You said (upthread):

    Please tell me where I can find that policy reversal documented or stated or effected.

    And please tell me what development has been approved in the Graham (according to you) Hall Nature Sanctuary since January 2008.

    Empty words, Green Monkey, and untruthful too because I work in a government department that deals with such matters.

    Camper, I suggest you check with the latest amended Physical Development Plan (AKA Physical Development Plan Amended 2003) which was passed into law by the Thompson administration early in 2008.

    Admittedly the changes that the amended plan put forward were being worked on and put together under the previous Owen Arthur administration (which only reinforces my point of view that you have to be a complete idiot to take anything promised by any politician at face value). However, this amended plan which involved opening up previously protected lands around Graeme Hall for development was put into effect under the Thompson administration.

    I would like to be able to refer you to the Town and Country Planning web site at http://townplanning.gov.bb to download a copy of the latest PDP, but they like they frighten for too many Bajans to have easy access to the plan, so although they provide what looks like a link to the plan on their home page under “Downloads” , if you click that link you will only get the table of contents to the plan and not the plan itself.

    However, the good news is, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has done the government’s job for them and provided a link to download the full plan from their own web site.

    See here:
    http://www.graemehall.com/reference.htm

    If you download the plan and go to the page immediately following page 3-2 you will see a map of Barbados with different color codes designating the allowable uses for the different areas of the island.

    If you check the area immediately surrounding the protected Graeme Hall swamp itself, it is now all in yellow indicating, according to the accompanying legend, that it can now be used for residential development. Under the original 1988 plan this was not the case and it was to have remain undeveloped. BTW, it helps for a more legible view if you go to the Adobe toolbar and blow up the page to 400% or even 800%.

    The Graeme Hall people also have on their web site a Google Earth picture showing in greater detail the previously protected area and what has been left as protected under the present PDP passed by the Thompson administration.

    The link is here:
    http://www.graemehall.com/press/papers/ThenNowMap1.pdf

    I hope this has answered your question. I should point out also that I never claimed there was any plan to develop anywhere “in the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary” as you put it in your challenge to me (quoted above).

    The government has left intact the protection of the lands within the sanctuary, but it is the surrounding lands that were supposed to have also remained protected from development as per the 1988 plan that are causing the headaches for the GHNS management today.

    The GHNS believes that any future development in these surrounding lands will eventually have an impact on the GHNS and cause the environmental destruction of the swamp. They are protesting that when they spent many millions of dollars to set up the sanctuary, they did it on the understanding that the government of Barbados had agreed with them that the land around the sanctuary had to remain undeveloped for the sanctuary to be a viable long term enterprise. This view was officially endorsed by the government of Barbados in the original 1988 PDP.

    The government has since gone back on its word and is now putting the sanctuary in jeopardy and hanging it out to dry (literally and figuratively you might say).

    As a side note, I hear that Thompy has said how the government is hoping to encourage overseas philanthropists to spend more money on charitable work in Barbados. What a joke.

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  • If what I am reading about Graeme Hall is true, I will never ever vote for the DLP again. If they can continue the mash-up of Barbados that drunken Owing started, then they deserve to be mashed up too. I feel thoroughly disgusted and betrayed, just when I was giving them kudos for the immigration issue. I heard PM Thompson state emphatically that no more agricultural land would be cut up for development, yet we see what has happened at St. David’s, and now, worse still, an arrogant Limey man has used words to the effect that he doesn’t care what the Government says or does, he is going ahead with plans to build a golf course at Lancaster, St. James. Again, PRIME agricultural land. And to add fuel to the fire, we are hearing that plans for a marina to be built at Six Mens are going through.
    I DUN WID DEM.

    Like

  • Nation News – “High water a hurdle to beach walk” – http://shar.es/uuUJ – #Barbados #environment

    Save Mullins Bay

    Like

  • “I’m On The Groynes” – http://shar.es/G08W – #Barbados #environment

    Save Mullins Bay

    Like

  • BajanPrince/PrinceOfBarbados Post by WORRIED 15 year-old BajanAmerican Living in NY

    The BLP or the DLP have NO RESPECT for the environment of Barbaods or the people they’re only in it for the BIG BUCKS!!!!!!! Point blank is as long as Bajans have their present mentality the Barbados environment will be in the path of destruction!!! Maybe if we had Dominicans to run our country then we wouldn’t have these issues.

    Like

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