Submitted by Bajan Yankee
1. Accountability: Bajans have to start using the power of the vote to elect leaders at all political levels who by virtue of their experience, education and talent can bring about significant reforms to restructure the economy of our nation. The current short sighted emphasis of electing “talking heads” who can’t execute meaningful reforms is killing us slowly. The Westminster form of governance in it’s native form is not working for Caribbean nations as a whole with major reform needed to encourage problem solving vs ridiculous academic and often endless debates the product nothing.
2. Leveraging our strengths: With one of the highest literacy rates in the world the people of Barbados need to be viewed as an underutilized commodity. Government must and can market our masses of educated people to demonstrate why Barbados is the best place for that next call centre or manufacturing facility, which is not occurring today at any meaningful level. They are great Bajan products that can be taken to a global stage, the import export business has been dominated by a few companies who are not doing the nation as a whole much, there is a role for government to play in assisting Bajan products in getting to the world market.
3. Education: Education should inspire innovation, which is the practical use of knowledge. We have an extremely rigid view of education which hinders true innovation. Because a person has a wall full of degrees does not in itself mean they can transform that knowledge effectively in the real world.
4. Solution seeking: Whenever we in the region have a problem supported my the IMF or world bank we think that a bunch of euro consultants can solve it, not the case. We have to start looking inward to consultants that understand our culture and norms. Euro thinking to the exclusion of US and Caribbean thinking in solving matters is and has not worked.
5. Our minds: We have a broad concept of thinking that says “white is right”… Not the case, we have to find outcomes to our thinking that is Carib-centric in all we do politically and economically.
6. Culture: We have to recognize that we are a special people, whenever I speak to folks that have visited Bim they often comment on how nice the people are, yes we are chill people which is a marketable commodity the tourism industry had missed and continue to ignore it’s more than filling empty hotel rooms.
7. Race: A unique form of racism still exist in Barbados, fact. We need to have open and honest discussion on why the colour of ones skin still today, directly parallels what access to financial resources one can obtain. This is one of our more difficult issues to solve as it is so deep rooted.
8. So smart we fail: Having participated in this blog for a while and being in Bim yearly, it is clear to me that local Bajans still have a plantation house slave mentality. They will take you to the mat on academic formalities but have little by way of actionable contributions to problem solving many local view points on this blog completely demonstrate that fact.
9. Redistribution of wealth: This point will totally scare the upper classes of Barbados. White people both local and international control too much of the wealth in Bim, fact. Deep rooted economic racism is why this reality exist. It is time for government to attempt to balance this reality by incubating and supporting black entrepreneurs in an effective wealth building manner….Fair is fair, instead of always giving in to those with deep pockets.
In conclusion, I love Barbados and I’m very proud of my island home, these observations are made with my grandmother who raised me in silver sands in mind. She was the first entrepreneur I know as I watched her sell ice having the only refrigerator in our gap.. She had been gone a while now but what she represented at a local gap level what can be achieve on the global stage in these troubling times.
Barbados wil never attract low paying call center and manufacturing jobs. Cheap labour is dime a dozen in this region in countries like Mexico, Dominica Republic, Hiati, Honduras etc and not to mention all those surplus of labour in the far east.Our competitve advantage lie not in cheap labour but rather in our small educated work force.We must attract knowedge-intensive industries ( High finance, Medical, pharmaceuticl, IT etc) or better as you rightly pointed out , use our knoweldege resource to do research and development.I agree we need to foster a culture of innovation ….our food and beverage sector comes to mind in this endeavour. It makes no sense announcing to the world about our literacy rate .and free education
but have nothing substantial to show for it.
What did we learn growing :have a good education; Get “A”Levels or O”level certificates. Then become a teacher, a Nursepreferably go to England. No !we were not taught to be entrepreneurs we were taught to slave for others. That is why the country is in the position it is in now ,having to get outsiders to come in and help build the bajan brand.!!
The main problem is that we stopped being Bajan and started being more Bajan Yankee! Anyone that studied the “real” history of Barbados would realise that ironically Barbados was more resourceful, more innovative, more entrepreneurial, more resilient and more independent during colonialism than we are today.
Start your protests. (b.t.w. I never said that life was good for most Barbadians or that racism and inequality were not the foundation of past Barbadian society.)
Bajans are enslaved in their minds/culture, made worse by the people who represents them.
We are perhaps 97% literate but is not easily detected through communication.
We are trained ‘parrot fashion’; to obey, not to ask questions but accept what is told.
When most young people go to a place of employment, they often have difficulty adjusting; they must decide for themselves and this is responsibility never dealt with before.
We have already been brainwashed into thinking in a particular way.The slave mentality is being forced upon us by our own people.
You must think and behave in a particular way. Don’t question authority, whether it is your teacher, police, or parent!
Our politicians have now become our slave masters to some degree, fuelled by greed.; the “I am alright now mentality”.
Will there be change? I can’t see it in the near future, except some strong foresighted person sees where we are heading and come to our aid.
Wil it happen? the answer is up to the readers!
ac wrote on // April 9, 2010 at 9:53 PM …”What did we learn growing :have a good education; Get “A”Levels or O”level certificates. Then become a teacher, a Nursepreferably go to England. No !we were not taught to be entrepreneurs we were taught to slave for others.”
Please explain to me how being a teacher or a nurse=being a slave. And can you tell me if white teachers and nurses are also slaves? Or is it only a lack people thing? And can you also explain why you believe that being an entrepreneur is the highest good? And is it indeed the highest good?
Instead of criticising we ought to find ways of supporting each other. Bajan Yankee has made a lot valued comments what I would like to see happening is more mentoring by entrepreneurial people to the younger generation encouraging them to start up their own businesses,if food and accommodation can be made more affordable people would have the courage to do what some may say or call the impossible .What is always at the back of ones mind,when one thinks of doing some thing adventurous is can i feed my self tomorrow what will happen if things go wrong.And yes all of those certificates don’t mean any thing when you can’t put into practice what knowledge you gained in those years of formal education,being surrounded by so much ocean can we use it to our advantage,one idea can we have a mariners school collage where people can come and learn to navigate and learn to sail ships,dive schools scuba and like,another thing we need to stop doing is exporting money, yes exporting money we inviting tourist in get their money and then going up to Florida and importing beef and the like to feed them i call it exporting money
My point being that we give our knowledge to foreign countries where we worked very hard for others and get very little back in return.
There is no one solution to the issue of what path Barbados should follow to to sustain itself. For example foreign exchange inflows from Barbadians living and working abroad is significant for us. We have always exported labour because on a little rock opportunities are limited. We therefore can’t knock the idea that we export nurses, policemen, doctors, hospitality workers and the like. We have to make sure we plan in such a way the domestic market is well served. We have discussed our education system and the need to place it under the microscope regarding relevance. We have discussed the need to reform our civil service which is critical given the government is a critical cog in the wheel to Barbados becoming a world class competitive jurisdiction.
It is heart warming to read the comments and contributions coming from Barbadians at home and particularly overseas. We are all in this together. Barbadians it seems always want to contribute to the little rock from wherever they are located. Let us keep the dialogue reading because we know people in positions of leadership are reading.
I do believe that if barbadians were given a chance to own their business in past years. They would have been more Bajan owned Stores in places like Swan Street.
I have to agree with you that the only thing wrong with our society is that we have not given ourselves the chance to grow. Bajan Yankee is just another interference. While ours is not a perfect society, show me one?
Furthermore, with all the advice and fingering of what is wrong in our society, just try fingering what is wrong in Yankee society.
We have a culture. We have a way and we can only but grow out of our roots. Bajan Yankee has gone and adopted a different root. It is not our root and what works for them in the main does not work for us.
The power of the vote is a good one. We have been doing it for years. We graduated from corned beef and biscuits to Grantleys.
Neither the Westminster system or the Republic system is any good for us. We have tried to incorporate democracy in both systems but have failed. We don’t understand democracy. We think that it means you can do as you like and that once you follow the rules all is well, but even the rules in themselves are not democratic in nature.
We live in a system that was set up so that certain people can get what they want. Others will get through the door too but on the whole, not many will be able to squeeze through and when they do, you change the goal post.
The only thing we need to do is shed the colonial mentality as America shed theirs and grew into what they consider to be the most powerful country, but what we have to be careful of is that we don’t replace the colonial mentality with a neocolonial (American) mentality. If our society is to develop, it ought to do so without interference, otherwise we are doomed to start again when that interference withers or dies.
There is nothing democratic about America. That country alone calls the shots in the OAS, in the UN and is keeping an unreasonable embargo against Cuba in place. Furthermore, they have created an imaginary terror in this world all on their own. Then think about New Orleans and then landing troops in Haiti as priority over humanitarian aid. Yet if there is one country in this world that can be declared bankrupt, it has to be USA. Are these the things we are to emulate? What society what? USA don’t have a thing for us. Not a single solution. I find this very hypocritical; maybe even the same “Bajan colonial mentality” that we here need to get rid of, but in a different skin.
Let us accept that Bajan Yankee is a Barbadian who although living off-rock is entitled to share his experiences and perspective about how we can work to keep our society productive and wholesome. The fact that many of us have concerns about the direct Barbados is taking does NOT mean that Barbados is not a good place to be. What it means is we recognize the need for constant dialogue, it’s the nature of the beast.
Do you accept that although Barbados is a successful nation relatively so, by our own standard we have to remain vigilant to ensure we can sustain our level of success hence the current national dialogue about rebalancing the economy, perceived moral degradation, public sector reform, enabling an entrepreneurial class etc. Let us all discuss because we all care about the rock.
“My point being that we give our knowledge to foreign countries where we worked very hard for others and get very little back in return.”
To put it more correctly, we keep getting set up to be raped. It is a 400 year old crime being perpetrated upon us. We have become like robots, supplying the labour for ….
We is often want to say that Barbados lacks in different ways. But do we?
I mean i wouldn’t call Barbados a poor nation, because we don’t have any ‘ghettos’ in the true sense of the word. Poor in Barbados usually mean that you live by your uncle and you don’t have more than 3 pairs of shoes.
Poor in other most other nations means you live on the edge of a land fill and spend most of your time digging for some sort of sustenance. I really think Barbados has done a remarkable job at maintaining a very high ‘minimum’ standard of living.
Where we are wrong is that we have the wrong definition of what being developed is. The ‘first world’ says they are developed, but still the leaders are desperately pushing there nations to be ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ i suggest we try to leap frog the ‘first world’ in our quest to be develop and be green and sustainable as well.
“Let us accept that Bajan Yankee is a Barbadian who although living off-rock is entitled to share…”
So share, I have no problem with that, but you know, one can look at an attractive person and still point out flaws… but the flaws are part of the beauty…
I think that the stage we are at, with all the discussion and dialogue, we are seeking the means that will help us deal with turbulent times. The problem is that we are seeking solutions that lie within the system not realising that the system is the problem in the first place.
I would therefore like to discuss the system. To start with, what is money? Where does it get its value? Start with the rudiments, how can we produce value? What is value and wealth? Then let us deal with our health and after that, justice.
You can be as esoteric as you want but by your own admission we are IN a system. The more relevant or pragmatic view is how can we optimally survive IN the system. We can’t change the rules of the system can we?
“The more relevant or pragmatic view is how can we optimally survive IN the system. We can’t change the rules of the system can we?”
You are wrong here, of course we can change the system. It is a question of perspective. The DLP made bus fare for school children free. The DLP established a system of Constituency Councils, which, if allowed to work can bring about a serious change in the governance structure of Barbados.
The three most important changes, however, must be in education, banking and justice systems.
“I have to agree with you that the only thing wrong with our society is that we have not given ourselves the chance to grow. Bajan Yankee is just another interference. While ours is not a perfect society, show me one?”
This statement is filled with bile,along with the whole thing that you have written,if you have had a bad night last night i would suggest that you go back to bed with an ice pack on your head and please don’t kick the the cat or dog on way back to bed
david can you remove my e mail address
@ Anonymous who wrote “Anyone that studied the “real” history of Barbados would realise that ironically Barbados was more resourceful, more innovative, more entrepreneurial, more resilient and more independent during colonialism than we are today.”
Bajans have dove very well with limited resources and finances.
No matter how good an idea is, you always need start up cash especially if you manufacture a product for export.
There is also the difficulty of getting Bajans to Invest in Business ventures. Bajans making $10,000 or more per month are more likely to spend on a mansion and a bimmer than a startup business venture.
Future prosperity in Barbados is likely to depend on Financial services and online business.
The Tourism business will continue to do well in the future because people who live in the cold will vacation in the heat.
Just remember that it was Bajans who built Barbados into what it is today.
Hardworking Bajans did back breaking work in canefields,quarries and on the wharf etc. Sent their children to school where most got a better education that their parents and became Civil servants,accountants,Doctors, Engineers Lawyers…
Now we need good ideas to sustain the progress made over the years and prehaps make Barbados even better.
I live in Canada and I have visited and worked in a few cities in the USA.
IMHO Barbados is still one of the best places in the world to live and work.
David many thanks to you
ROK you are a good person and michael i feel you are also but please am not Bajan Yankee but I am feeling like he problem is right now never wants to contribute as a Bajan living off the rock in the US because we always think we know it all. Now you all have to just accept peoples opinion. I was some what shock ROK did not write what he wrote in a different manner.
“I was some what shock ROK did not write what he wrote in a different manner.”
What would be the different manner. All I am saying is that it is a well known fact that societies develop their potential when there is no interference by people who don’t live in it, but think they have all the answers and I am not simply referring to Bajan Yankee, I mean cultural interference.
There are many Bajan Yankees and Limeys who would tell you that Barbados is their heart but they can’t live here; different life altogether.
You see, outsiders (people living outside) can talk as they like, the bottom line are those who are living in that society; the decisions they make and the life they choose to live. Now I would have no problem if Bajan Yankee came home to live and was battling it in the trenches, then he/she can spout, but to take a few pot shots and run is just not cutting it.
In the end and as David said, everybody is entitled to their opinion. What matters are the minds of the people living and working together.
Maybe we are saying the same thing.
The system referenced in earlier comment cannot be viewed in a domestic context only. The world which Barbados has to operate in e.g EPAs, cultural penetration all kinds of treaties and protocols makes changing the system in which we operate not a simple process. Any society which we plan for ourselves is heavily influenced by the interconnectivity of the world in which we live now.
“Any society which we plan for ourselves is heavily influenced by the interconnectivity of the world in which we live now.”
I know that we are saying the same thing and seeing the same problems but the approach to a solution is slightly different. While you are thinking that the rest of the world impacts us, I am saying that we are sitting and allowing it to happen as a matter of dependency rather than interdependency.
Let us not discuss size. How big was Rome when it ruled the world? What about Britain?
OFF TOPIC but very important to me
MY PARTNER IS SOMEONE WHO ANSWERS A QUESTION WITH A QUESTION–DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE THAT PROBLEM
The answer brings the noise or more like the response brings the noise because there is harly an answer
You know, one of the mechanisms that helped black people in England was the creation of allotments where people could go and grow their food. Let us face it, we cannot do without agriculture. Everything comes from it; food, clothing and shelter.
We are said to have some of the most potent aloes but we import refined bottles of poor quality aloes as hand cream, etc. and feel comfortable doing it. It is the thing to do because we don’t make hand cream, right? Nor can we make any, right?
We import soap, yet we have all the scents and many know how to make soap. White flour is giving us diabetes but yet we get there with the Canadians to build a flour mill that makes us sick. Meanwhile, we have turned our minds against the cassava and yam that we should be eating.
We are surrounded by sea water and sea salt is the best, but we allow foreign investment to come here and pollute our waters and never a fella tried making sea salt because salt on the market is so cheap. BTW they should tell you that the salt is full of chemicals.
We have all the sun you could want and all the sand too, yet we have not done anything with solar technology. This thing seems so hard, but others are producing who don’t get half the sun we do or have the sand.
With all the GM foods that we are ingesting and the chemicals we using, we are getting sick. Our health and food bills are astronomical and this can be avoided. We have come to realise that the job that paying us the money to live don’t give us the exercise we need to be healthy; so what are we following?
I refuse to be stuck in the mindset of comparative advantage at all stages. Whether or not it is done cheaper elsewhere, we should be doing ours here because then we are sure about what we are producing for our own consumption.
Of course, there are many more examples, from sweets to fuel to clothing to shelter. So while I am all for interconnectivity, I think we need to be stakeholders and not mere consumers. At a meeting of Internet Governance, I made the statement, “we trying to control what is not ours, we have no stake in it but we want say.” I was looked at as if to say, this man knows nothing about internet governance. Realising what I was up against, I simply retreated.
The simple fact remains that we don’t have to rely on the USA for internet, only for interconnectivity with them to complete the grid and every country should have their own internet and then interconnect. Before there was internet, we had our BBS which quickly disappeared when the internet monopolist came.
It is my opinion that we have been pushed into dependency and we are accepting the brainwashing that would maintain it. We need to understand what it is to maintain a family; certainly not going out to work so you have the money; to buy poor quality food that makes you and your family sick and then have to turn around and break yourself at the doctor. What are you working for then? Only to pay bills?
Some good points ROK, we have become trapped in the mindset which our politicians have bought into i.e. we need services, tourism, offshore etc to drive the Barbados economy. While this is true to some extent we need to understand that we have to manage risk. We need services yes but we also need to leverage home-grown strategies, thinking, resources to maximize how our country can perform to the optimum. Currently because of the thinking which says we have to direct significant of our resources at tourism and the offshore sectors we have seen a cluster of activity which is influenced by it. No doubt this skewed approach has led to a mendicant/lazy mindset which has resulted in some social ills. We have become a lazy society in the last decade choosing to take the path of least resistant.
Your point about the Internet and being able to use it to support local enterprise is an interesting one. A look at this at work can be seen in South America. They use the Internet in the same way North Americans use for commerce. However we should note the big difference. Using the Internet to spur commerce can only happen if the financial institutions are on board. We need the banks or some government sponsored proxy to drive the support for business on the Internet. So far we have heard only lip service. It is one reason BU has always supported a large bank or financial institution owned by Barbadians. We currently have international banks in Barbados who offer these services elsewhere but the smallness of the Barbados market seems to be a turnoff to introducing here. Our political parties have become so use to making every issue politically partisan that constructive engagement appears to be an elusive exercise. Unfortunately we live in a Barbados which is led by the politicians. Until they get their heads out of their asses and recognize the old model has done well to get us this far but we have to change gears we will year by year head to the poor house. Perhaps this is what Bajan Yankee is talking about when he wrote “. Accountability: Bajans have to start using the power of the vote to elect leaders at all political levels who by virtue of their experience, education and talent can bring about significant reforms to restructure the economy of our nation.”
re:comment April 10 9.34 am
Exactly! couldn’t have said it anybetter. I can never understand why people would go to build another country when they an use the knoweldge to do the same for their country. The irony of it all is that when they get too old to contribute any thing of real value
to that countrythey are pushed aside and in the meantime theyhave gained very little of anything of real valuein the years they spent living there.
How about your birthday !Hope I haven’t miss it.In any case HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Can find very little with what you wrote.
Sorry about that, you are correct.
I think Caleale makes more sense. He’s a Bajan Yankee, but he doesn’t think like “Bajan Yankee”. More like Bajan disgrace. Caleale offers some thoughtful insight and promotes Bajans to become more concerned about their economy, even when they’re abroad. So I wouldn’t say that Bajan Yankee’s mentality is a Yankee mentality. There are Yankees that are truly concerned about their country’s development.
BTW ROK forgot to mention that although Bajans on the rock have to be the ones to shape Barbados it does not mean we can’t listen to feedback from all quarters.
Accountability in the Barbadian political context cannot be limited to the use of a vote at election time. The DLP skewered the BLP last election campaign with charge upon charge of corruption and malfeasance and used lack of accountability very effectively to bring down the Government through the exercise of the vote.
In order to achieve this, though, the DLP promised that it, if elected would be accountable to the people. It promised an end to corruption. It promised a declaration of the assets of its members. It promised integrity legislation. It promised freedom of information. It promised us ACCOUNTABILITY. And the people, with hope in their breasts, answered their call.
We have been treacherously betrayed. The DLP lied and knew that it was lying and what do we do…nothing. We talk about holding them accountable at the next election. And re elect who? the last lot, who we have good reason to believe were in fact corrupt? Don’t even mention the PDC. And most of the people who were complaining bitterly about the lack of accountability in the last lot have gone silent. Damn hypocrites.
How long are we going to continue allowing ourselves to be victims of politicians’ lying and greed and hunger for power? We need to be more pro-active in holding our elected officials accountable, because it is the nature of the Barbadian politician to sneer at the principle of accountability once in office.
They are not going to submit to higher standards of accountability unless forced to do so. And only the people can do it. All that’s lacking is the will. And the politicians know it.
@Rok, who wrote”I can never understand why people would go to build another country when they an use the knoweldge to do the same for their country.
I respectfully suggest that the majority of Overseas Bajans left Barbados with no more than Primary school or Secondary school education and continued their self improvement in their “new” home.
It appears most have contributed to the betterment of Barbados by remittances and building homes in Barbados thereby providing employment for Bajans.
“Overseas Bajans” are a profit centre for Barbados.
Hopefully we will see more Bajans returning at a younger age when they an use the knoweldge they acquired Overseas to do the same for the country of their birth.
“@Rok, who wrote”I can never understand why people would go to build another country when they an use the knoweldge to do the same for their country….”
Sorry, but I did not write that.
Thanks for the birthday wishes, you were only 9 days too early.
@Rok and people with his point of view
“There are many Bajan Yankees and Limeys who would tell you that Barbados is their heart but they can’t live here; different life altogether.
You see, outsiders (people living outside) can talk as they like, the bottom line are those who are living in that society; the decisions they make and the life they choose to live. Now I would have no problem if Bajan Yankee came home to live and was battling it in the trenches, then he/she can spout, but to take a few pot shots and run is just not cutting it.”
i don’t know who you speak with or who you have spoken to but let me say this every thing a person tell you is not always the truth and when a person tell you some thing in what context are they making the statement,paragraph one in the above statement
that is such a loaded statement,are they talking about the slow pace of life,are they talking about the attitude of service they get in some shops,are they talking about how they are being treated by some family members,are they talking about the driving standards,some time people say things for the sake of saying them
The outsiders as you call them did not choose to live out side it was a matter of circumstances,you should give thanks that you have an academic ability not all of us have that,so what would you like the ones who have not got your ability to do sit on the block for six months of the year waiting for a job that may not come, when a person live out side of bim life does not stop people start families and families have to be fed, so people find them self trapped in circumstances they have no control over what would you like them to do?bring a family home that they can’t feed if bajans did not like bim they would not send money home the amount of money sent back by bajans living abroad is substantial they don’t vote yet you want to condemn them for voicing an opinion you should be picking your fights with mp’s that were in power for the 18 years and now that they are out of power they family come first so now they are off to Canada,most bajans living abroad promise them self when circumstances permit they would love to return and is what they try to do most bajans love their place of birth even with all its faults.as for pot shots you should go and check with central bank how much pot shots were deposited with them over the years from from bajans living abroad
“…it does not mean we can’t listen to feedback…”
I thought I made my position clear on that. Anybody can make their comments, I have no problem with that. All I am saying is that the answers do not lie in imposing a foreign system as we see from our colonial experience. No amount of correction will reduce the problems unless as you say, we resort to home grown measures.
One thing though, it seems that the USA have more power on us than they have over its own states. California has already decriminalise marijuana and is getting ready to legalise it, yet the same USA is pushing us into spending millions in the fight against marijuana. Would Barbados dare?
Now this is what I mean by self determination. If we had self determination instead of interference we would not be in this state of dependency. Why then are we looking to the same nation for answers? The only answers we will get from them is to fall further into the dependency.
It was ac who wrote
”I can never understand why people would go to build another country when they an use the knoweldge to do the same for their country….”
I don’t know that I condemned anybody for having an opinion. I am simply saying that we are looking in the wrong direction for answers.
Funny you should ask, “…so what would you like the ones who have not got your ability to do sit on the block for six months of the year waiting for a job that may not come…” because you will hear many better-offs talking about the fellas on the block don’t want no work, implying that work is available. Let me say that with all the ability you bestow on me, I too am unemployed but I ain’t going nowhere. I suppose that strengthens your point.
I do not envy or wish to deny anybody an opportunity which they perceive they have, that is their choice, but I choose to lie down where I made up my bed. I am not going to the USA to tell Bajan Yankees what they should do to solve their problems. You notice how development is pulling us down by making us spend what we don’t have? I am therefore not for development as spouted by the developed world, we must make our own way; socially, politically, economically and otherwise. I would suggest that Bajans at home are doing their best under the circumstances.
As for the pot shots in the Central Bank, I suppose you here now using your economic power to make a telling point. Wow! So typical, well I never get none of those pot shots.
Don’t even mention the PDC
HOW YOU MEAN –DONT MENTION PDC
ARE YOU CRAZY
PDC must be mentioned
PDC aint come from MARS
PDC, I believe, is made up of individuals who have rights and they have aspirations. Whats wrong with that.
Yuh see this attitude of not accepting people as people and likened certain other people to supreme beings—it is what is going to do we in –Trust me
There are people like you who think that only people like David Thompson and Mia Mottley and others of that ilk can manage BARBADOS or should have all the say -the only say.
Down with thinking like that
I am supporting PDC
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I have no pints that need strengthen, the boys on the block have not got jobs, those people who say that are lying and fooling themselves, as to what can be had out there, what these people want is for the so called boys on the block to work for them for nothing, the big ups, politicians and the land owners have the money, they are paying them self large sums, and true Barbados need new political leaders where they are going to come from I have no idea,i see mia motley singing the praise of tom Adams grand son a white man and i ask my self is this how she is working for the ordinary bajan i have no pleasure in knowing that you have not a job i wished every young man/woman in bim had a job or can be given the opportunity to get one i was there last year when young guy told me of the hard time he was having though he was employed,a lot of what you said at
April 10, 2010 at 6:30 PM, is true but how are you going to get there i have not clue,let me say this, we that live abroad are not seen as nationals of the countries we reside in we are still seen bajans we dont have the best jobs and some people do the most menial jobs out there
The Modern Sociology Of Barbados: Nothing Changes Unless The Underlying Structures Change
This is what the research shows:-
In Barbados, the economic elite is predominately white, either local or foreign born, and the political elite is comprised mainly of people of African descent. Upon receiving independence from England in 1966, the state was taken over by the black middle class. According to Marshall (2001), the new leaders of Barbados were faced with a series of problems, such as high unemployment and social expectations, a militant trade union, limited modern technology, and a savings gap. The new state faced two options: either adopt a developmentalist framework where it would have to force merchant capital to transform itself, or adopt a populist agenda that would allow some social mobility for the masses of people while also allowing the economic elite to retain their hegemonic position. Because the white merchant capital would have threatened to leave the country should they be compelled to transform themselves, the state adopted a populist agenda.
The Barbados economic class grew out of their control over commercial agriculture and commerce. Historically, their major source of power was control over the distributive trades and agricultural production (mainly sugar). In the post-independence period they consolidated their position in low risk commercial enterprises such as real estate, insurance, finance, import trades, transportation, communication and tourism. According to Marshall, the populist state and merchant capital “eventually became united by the lowest common denominator interest: that is, to reap and extend the benefits of the status quo. Business as usual thus became a simple solution grounded in the need to placate the fears of the elite, while providing the government with income to provide infrastructure and to distribute patronage” (Marshall 2001: 279).
In a similar fashion, Lewis argues that in Barbados “the dominant class is prepared to make concessions to the dominated classes, provided that the long term interest of the former are not challenged or undermined” (Lewis 2001: 153). The state used revenue from taxes to provide social services for the masses, managed by a state bureaucracy. A new white-collar class emerged based on an expanded state bureaucracy, and a petit bourgeois class of independent professionals. Also, some skills and trades developed that depended on the corporate sector for their success (Marshall 2001). The economic elite were given a protected local market based on the principles of import substitution rather than on export-oriented industry. The hallmark of import substitution is the use of duties and taxes to protect local markets from foreign competition thereby ensuring continued accumulation by local economic elites. This scheme was completed by incorporating labor elites into a formal social pact between the state and capital. Labor unions were co-opted into arrangements between economic elites and political elites by the promise of income redistribution. This means that, in general, Barbados enjoys a relatively peaceful relationship between labor and capital.
There have been few successful challenges made by the Black Bajan middle class, or organizations such as trade unions that represent working Bajans, against the power of the white economic elite. Lewis (2001) notes how the Black Power Movement, which challenged white hegemony in the 1960s and early 1970s throughout the Caribbean, was stifled in Barbados by the state and the trade union movement. The Government, with the support of the unions, introduced the Public Order Act, the aim of which was to “prohibit individuals from engaging in any serious discourse on race from fear of inciting racial conflict and tension” (Lewis 2001: 158). Another challenge to white economic hegemony came in the 1980s when a group of Black middle and lower class policyholders in the Barbados Mutual Life Insurance Society, controlled by the white elite, sought to have Black directors on the Board. Despite these challenges, the white merchant/commercial elite in Barbados have remained the hegemonic class (Marshall 2001). Following structural adjustment policies in the early 1990s, the Government of Barbados entered into agreements with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) aimed at trade liberalization and attracting direct foreign investment. The plan was to have a phased reduction in the tariffs on manufactured goods, agricultural products, textiles, and clothing. The direct implication of such policies is that the protected market enjoyed by the merchant capitalist class would be lost.
The power base of the local economic elites in Barbados is observable when looking at the contribution of each sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The data presented below is for the period 1980 to 2000. The power of local elites is based on their control over the distribution, financial, and tourism sectors. The wholesale and retail sector continues to be the single largest contributor to GDP, consistently contributing between 17% and 22% of GDP annually. The importance of financial services to GDP has increased over the years. In 1980, financial services contributed approximately 12% to GDP; by 1999 it had increased to a little over 18%. Tourism, the largest foreign exchange earner for the Barbados economy, contributed between 9% and 14% of GDP per annum over the period. The contribution of manufacturing to GDP, however, has declined from just over 11% in 1980 to less than 6% in 1999. The populist agenda of the state and its accommodation with economic elites to tax and spend on infrastructure and distribute patronage is evident as the state continues to be the largest employer and the single largest contributor to GDP. During the period under review, the government’s contribution to GDP has been increasing and in 1999 it was over 17% (all figures taken from The Central Bank of Barbados 2000).
In Barbados, the economic elites are more merchant elites: their power is rooted in control over the distributive trades with state protection. Protected markets allow economic elites to make their profit, and allow the state to tax in order to raise revenues for spending on social programs and employment creation. The social pact with labor makes for a fairly peaceful industrial relations climate as wage increases have been given to keep the working people happy.
Globalization, however, involves trade liberalization, financial liberalization, and competition and, thus, would put the Bajan economic elite at a serious disadvantage. In such a situation the state is likely to delay the process of trade liberalization as long as possible.
Barbados’ policy of adjustment, however, did not completely embrace globalization… The social pact between economic, political, and labor elites allowed all parties to be happy and get what they wanted. Business elites got a protected market, the state got revenues from taxes to distribute patronage, and labor was given increased wages. Moreover, the state sought to provide an environment in which the local economic elites could make profits, thereby reinforcing their economic position. This is evident in the policies practiced by the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) in the late 1980s…Something that is still representative of both political parties today…
TOURISM* remains a protected market under elite control…
SEE the link below to see the government’s move to help prop up an industry under siege:
This is a documentary about a teacher’s experiments that divided a white class of children about 7 years old, by EYE color and shows how in 15 mins friends became enemies. It proves that racism is a learned behavior and has no belonging in any society.
A must see for everyone that notice the problem of racism prevalent around us.
It is interesting that in recent years we have had Knighthoods dished out to Sir David and Sir Alan who have made their millions from distribution and then there was Sir Roy. It kind of reinforces the point ROK and now TB have made.
Tell THEM. TRUE ! TRUE TRUE!
I am convince that the same vigor and determination
that Bajans used in building other countries would have been well served in building Barbados.
Unless you can refute Michael’s earlier position that many Barbadians leave to better themselves i.e.improve skills and education and in the process have remitted money which has helped to build Barbados then you need to back up your argument. In fact what you are attributing to ROK is not what he wrote.
Thank you Sir!
It’ll be interesting to see what changes are afoot at the end of this Parliamentary round…
For anything to really change – the entrenched historical structures must change but this won’t happen if our politicians, trade unions and elites are in bed in a dubiously complicit Ménage à Trois which only benefits them – all for the sake of keeping the peace!!!
“I am convince that the same vigor and determination that Bajans used in building other countries would have been well served in building Barbados.”
You see, it comes back down to what is valuable to a person. To stay in Barbados and eat yam and sweet peppers or live somewhere else, earn more money and eat preserved foods and fast foods to your detriment.
David is correct, you could not attribute that statement to me, but yet, I know what you are saying. The question is, what does Barbados have to offer as michael pointed out so well. We do not and have not valued our own but what we have is very valuable when you evaluate it against the trends.
BTW, ac, I know of a software expert (Bajan) whom I told once that we need a GreenMonkey or MuddaSally like how USA have Yahoo! When I heard the story… it was like, anything he put his hands on he has to declare as intellectual property for the company. They own him, so he don’t want to get into anything with anybody and next thing the company owns it. Well! Well! Well!
So then, what is the Bajan dream? How can one achieve this without selling his/her soul? We live our entire lives trying to own a house, a car, wear fancy clothes, etc. What should be a two to five year quest is a life-long struggle. Then we say we living? For whom? If you think it done there, you wrong, because when you achieve the house at 40, by the time you reach 60 – 70 it is time for repairs which, by then, the little pension can’t handle; even with savings.
All that is provided you don’t get sick from the food. Another ball game. We who will never have nothing, if we do not seek “something” (that is ours).
Home Drum beat first.That is my opinion.The grass is not always greener on the other side.
Many people do leave their country for “A Better Life” only to find that the life they envision is not the one they had dreamed of. They are lots of stories told by immigrants who have plenty of regret for leaving their country. The reality is that most of them dont make it even with a good education.
According to the attached factsheet remittances accounted for 140 million in 2009. You be the judge.
140million sounds impressive. However that pales in comparison as to what the immigrant took to the country in the form of education and skills etc.That is 476dollars US per person. Taking those very Skills and education a person can build a quality life in barbados whileat the same time investing it is country and its people.The government that truly believes in it’s people can make it happen.
Could u tell me the full names of the titles to which u refer? ie.Marshall (2001) & Lewis (2001). I would like to have a look at these myself.
Most Bajans emigrated with no more than a secondary education and very little cash.
tell dem and say it loud
True True True
Lewis, Linden.(2001) “The Contestation of Race in Barbadian Society and the Camouflage of Conservatism.” In New Caribbean Thought: A Reader, edited by Brian Meeks & Folke Lindahl. Jamaica: U.W.I Press.
Marshall, Don D. (2001) “Gathering Forces: Barbados and the Viability of the National Option.” In The Empowering Impulse: The Nationalist Tradition of Barbados, edited by Glenford D. Howe and Don D. Marshall. Barbados: Canoe Press.
@ ROK // April 10, 2010 at 6:30 PM
You’ve made some salient points.
There is one point that has been missed. It is the strength of the family that makes a country great. Imagine if families in Barbados pooled their resources and money together? In that way they could buy land, set up businesses and more. Technically speaking they could become self-sufficient.
The role of government and private organisations would shrink, as people cater for their own requirements. This is what I call organic development.
This western model where the nuclear family is seen as been superior to the extended family does not function well for Barbados. Barbados still has a large afro-population with a large extended family base. I’m convinced that this base has been overlooked.
This model would exclude other ethnic groups and would ensure that monies spent within the community, remained within it.
Here is what Barbados’ most incompetent Prime Minister ever–who does not know what to do or what he is doing – is telling the country:
Previous wastage hurting economy
If not for the wastage of hundreds of millions of dollars spent in projects like EduTech, Gems, Greenland and Hardwood Housing, Barbados would be in a better financial position to ride out the current economic crisis.
This is a man who prefer to wait and see. This reminds me of : Alice in Wonderland,” who asked Chesire cat for direction in circumstance where she did not know where she wanted to go.
Here is what I mean:
`Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it’s pleased so far,’ thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
`I don’t much care where–‘ said Alice.
`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
`–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.’
Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. `What sort of people live about here?’
`In THAT direction,’ the Cat said, waving its right paw round, `lives a Hatter: and in THAT direction,’ waving the other paw, `lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.’
@ BU FAM*
A brief look at how BARBADOS could take a few pages out of the SINGAPORE* developmental BIOTECH model….
The Singapore model for Biotech….by Derrick Z. Jackson
ANDRE WAN and Sheo Rai smiled simultaneously, with a wry sense of victory. Wan is deputy executive director of the Biomedical Research Council of Singapore. Rai is communications director for biomedical sciences for the Economic Development Board of Singapore. I had just told them how Singapore was highlighted as one of the top “competitor states and foreign nations” at Governor Deval Patrick’s announcement of his $1 billion life sciences initiative at BIO 2007.
The administration says one of the top “challenges” for the initiative is that “the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, and Singapore have developed coordinated strategies to attract researchers and companies.”
“It’s flattering because in reality we’ve been trying to emulate the United States,” Wan said. “We get questions at this conference of how did we do it. People ask us, `What’s your business model?’
The thing is, we’re not a business model. We’ve looked to Boston and the Bay Area for the innovation. You have a much longer history in achievement. We can only hope to acquire the knowledge.
“It’s flattering for us to hear the Governor of Massachusetts say these things about us. Five years ago, no one heard of us for biotech. We are one tiny dot on the planet.”
The tiny dot is now a model.
Singapore, a nation of 4.5 million people and about the square-mile equivalent of the Fitchburg- Leominster area, is a global technology powerhouse. In just seven years, it has exploded from its birth in biotech infrastructure to global influence in the biomedical sciences. Stem-cell researchers, Genentech, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis all have announced expansions or plant openings in Singapore in recent months.
According to the newsletter Fierce Biotech, Singapore has for two years running been one of the world’s top five regions for industry growth, right there with California. Patrick said Massachusetts would invest $1 billion over 10 years into the life sciences. That important step was almost universally welcomed by scientists and business leaders this week. But a year ago, Singapore announced a fresh $8 billion investment over five years.
“A lot of places plan their research and development in five-year blocks,” Wan said. “Singapore plans for 10 to 15 years out.”
With such energy, Singapore is the top-ranked nation in the Foreign Policy Globalization Index and second to the United States in the World Competitiveness Yearbook of the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development. The CIA World Factbook says Singapore’s investments in the life sciences and medical industry “will continue efforts to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia’s financial and high-tech hub.”
Wan and Rai pointed out that one reason Singapore is so attractive is because of its emphasis on math and science and investments in public education at the earliest ages.
In the 2003 Trends in International Math and Science Study of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, Singapore was number one in the world in fourth-grade and eighth-grade math and fourth- grade and eighth-grade science.
While the Bush administration flatlines or slashes budgets for health research in the United States and cuts student loans, the Singapore government is in the middle of a program to fully fund 1,000 scientists to achieve their doctorates in Singapore and around the world by 2010. Rai said the average cost per student is about $660,000 in US dollars. About 700 students have been enrolled since 2001.
“You have to have a comprehensive education system,” said Wan, a physician by training. “Yes, it is true that we were able to play on our strengths we already had in math. We had a good education system. But even with this comprehensive system, we realized that not a lot of students were choosing to do PhD’s. They needed a boost. The credit goes to the government for realizing that to be competitive at the next level and to encourage bright minds to stay here, they had to provide the boost.”
In announcing Massachusetts’ $1 billion investment in life sciences, Patrick said he hopes the money will help close the federal funding gap and “bypass” the Bush administration’s limits on stem- cell research. But the state-by-state approach supporting the science and industry that could save millions of lives seems pale in the face of Singapore.
Article from the Boston Globe, May 12th 2007…
“Singapore is a nation with no mineral resources, no agriculture to speak of,” Rai said. “We realized that our natural resource was our people. To be in the global economy, we had to invest in people.”
@ BU FAM*
” IN the 1950’s Chairman Mao declared: “The Soviet Union’s today is China’s tomorrow.” Now it would be a counter-revolutionary offense to say that in public. But in searching for a country to emulate, Deng Xiaoping, China’s 87-year-old Senior Leader, has come up with a partial model, one that in many respects runs counter to China’s original revolutionary principles.
That model is Singapore.
Read the following from the NEW YORK TIMES:
SO WHAT IS BARBADOS’ EXCUSE???
PRIME MINISTER DAVID THOMPSON et al is free to avail themselves of 500 pages of research work on how a revised SINGAPORE MODEL* could be effectively utilized within the BARBADIAN context over the next 5/10 years pushing us to the penultimate summit (where the 7000+ offshore entities) which have done precious little to grow Barbados for the average Black BAJAN* who account for more than 95% of the population – would see a revamped educational system (not led by the arses* like HILARY BECKLES who are MERE* bureaucrats) but by entrepreneurial visionaries in cahoots with “BRAVE* politicians willing to step out on the knife’s edge to engender a brave new world for an island state “jampacked” with talent, ability and prowess…
HOWEVER, destroying the historical legacy of European meritocracy which has layered itself in subterranean political and socioeconomic plate tectonics MUST* be seismologically uprooted and discarded so “FREE ENTERPRISE”and the operational vistas of globalization can play out its part for all BAJAN peoples – lock, stock and pantyhose!!!
HILARY BECKLES IS A GOOD MAN .
I have been pleased to sit back and read the contribution of thoughts on how we make a better Barbados in these troubling times. Based on the responses I would however like to make a few observations.
1. Because I am a bajan that live abroad does not mean that my voice is any less valuable on matters related to barbados. The economic contributions of Bajan Yankees like myself and others goes without saying and we have seeked no special recognition for it.
2. The time to stand up a “new system” as you called it has passed. At this stage of the game what is needed is bajancentric reforms to the existing system we have, and not waste time on impractical answers to the problems we face. There however is significant value in understanding the underlaying forces in play politically, socially, and economically that keep us stuck in the mud with wheels turning.
3. We at times appear to be a victim of our owe so called progress. The instant critical observations are made on the state of the bajan union, bajan elites of all forms decend like mangos falling from a tree, ripe with sincere ignorance the most dangerous form of ignorant there is. Leveraging bajan experiences world wide can play a constructive role in finding pratical answers to our challenges with much due respect to locals who face these challenges daily.
4. White and economic elites in Barbados have no interest in any globalization that can help the masses. Additionally government has incubated them from any long reaching economic reforms that could impact their grip on a range of industries. Black elites likewise only care about black elites and operate like a kink in the hose of progress against the bajan middle and lower classes.
5. Those that are doing well in barbados are “quite” for good reason, so let’s not waste time on academic formalities which lack bajancentric thinking. The house slave mentality has run it’s course it’s time to do what is hard and right and fix our inherited misguided thinking, on what our nation needs now.
The Political, Economic & Sociological Factors Which Undermine Globalization In Barbados
In 1994, the Barbados Government signed a W.T.O agreement obliging it to embrace free trade by replacing its licensing arrangement with a tariff system. This was supposed to be part of a broader strategy to reduce trade barriers throughout CARICOM. To manage the new system and to allow the local business sector to adjust to foreign competition, a 60% surtax on non-regional goods was implemented.
Barbados’ reaction to the process of globalization is heavily influenced by the nature of the economic elites and how the major groups in the society are incorporated into the development process. Reaction to the three major dimensions in the process: trade liberalization, financial market deregulation, and reduction in the role of government in the economy, can be observed by how they are covered in the newspapers. Barbados has been slow to embrace these three processes.
Financial markets are still highly regulated with exchange controls and limitations. In 2002, the government announced “the time is ripe for greater financial innovation and further managed liberalization” (The Nation Newspaper 2002c). The intention was to increase the role that financial institutions now play in financing corporate development. Their major role in the past has been to finance working capital and household expenditures. However, Cox, a columnist, notes:
When all is said and done, liberalization of the Barbados” financial sector might not be a policy choice as it is a response to powerful forces within the global economy that impel states to dismantle existing barriers to all manner of trade in services, and Barbados’ obligation under international treaties (Cox 2002).
For Barbados, the amount of net direct foreign investment in the decade of the 1990s has been minimal. It went from U.S.$5million in 1985 to U.S.$18 million in 1997 (figures taken from The Caribbean Development Bank 2000).
The area where the government has been most forced into globalization is in trade liberalization. By 2000, “the government (had) removed all the qualitative restrictions on imports, and replaced the previous licensing regime with a system of tariffs under the auspices of the WTO.
In addition, the 1994 surtax on extra regional imports was removed” (Caribbean Development Bank 2000:37).
It was replaced by a 60% tariff with a timetable for removal. This means that the economic elite in Barbados have now begun to face some external competition.
By 2002, there were some disturbing signs. The Governor of the Central Bank noted for the first time since 1993 that there were three consecutive quarters of decline in real economic activity: the export sector declined by 12%, tourism declined by 8.4%, and there was a 66.4% decline in sugar output (The Nation Newspaper 2002a).
Much of the reaction to the process of globalization in Barbados has been framed in nationalist terms. Professor HILLARY BECKLES, one of the very influential voices in Barbados, suggested in an address to the Barbados Public Workers Co-operative Credit Union that Barbados would have to decide whether it could keep its political space when its economic space is being globalized. He argued: “while our markets are being globalized we have to defend our sovereignty, our independence, our cultural identity” (The Nation Newspaper May 8, 2002). He suggested that the country was experiencing a second phase of globalization; the first being the spread of capital out of Europe during slavery. He went further to indicate that there was a bias in this process and cautioned the audience “not to believe for one moment that someone other than an American would be the head of General Motors or IBM” (The Nation Newspaper August 5, 2002).
In response to the increased competition from foreign goods, the Barbados Manufacturing Association, with support from the government, launched a campaign entitled “100% Bajan.” Their aim was to market local produce in nationalist terms. Local products were to be advertised prominently in stores. It was felt that greater visibility, coupled with the idea of patriotic duty, would influence the buying public to purchase locally produced goods, despite being more expensive. By all indications, the Bajan public responded by doing their patriotic duty and purchased the more expensive local products.
Manufacturers declared the campaign a success and argued that its success had less to do with price and more to do with quality (The Nation Newspaper 2002f). It is noteworthy, however, that not everyone accepted the program as a positive development. The General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers complained that the “‘100% Bajan” campaign was crippling small earners because it encouraged them to divert their limited income to high cost products (The Nation Newspaper 2002f).
In another interesting response Vancourt Rouse notes:
“A curious observation has emerged from the bowels of this campaign. It seems that the younger entrepreneurs who have brought new products to maturity are mostly from the traditional merchant-owning class. Very few black entrepreneurs were visible with exciting new products (Rouse 2002).
A second issue that was discussed in the public forum and had a direct relationship with how the deregulation process was being internalized was the battle to take control of Life of Barbados. Life of Barbados – an insurance company whose shares were up for sale. A Trinidad and Tobago-owned company, Guardian Holdings, made a bid to buy out controlling interest in the company. Its competitor in the fight to gain control of Life of Barbados was a company called Barbados Mutual. Irene Sandiford Gardner, another columnist, argued, in very nationalistic tetras, against any such takeover by a Trinidad owned company:
As far as I see it, this takeover bit is not just about LOB trying to get top dollar for its shares, or about the Mutual wanting more of the insurance pie, I am seeing it as a situation where Trinidad will be getting more of Barbados (Gardner 2002).
She went further, arguing the takeover was symptomatic of a much broader problem with foreign Trinidadian products dominating the Bajan market.
The Bajans who “hail up” one another in the supermarket to exchange news have shopping carts loaded with goods, 80 percent of which are made in Trinidad and Tobago … So I am not representing the Mutual, I am representing 100% Bajan (Gardner 2002).
In the end, patriotism triumphed and Guardian Holdings withdrew its bid.
Another issue was that of Kmart setting up shop in Barbados, which also raised nationalist arguments. A large department store such as Kmart, with its cheap Asian produced goods, would undercut the hold that the merchant elite enjoy in the distribution sector. Some letters to the press suggest that Barbados should keep these mega stores out of the country. They note that even in the United States, communities were opposing such stores because they do more harm than good:
The entry of Kmart and other mega stores will do more harm economically and culturally in this community than good. This conclusion is based on the examination of these stores in their home country, where, in recent times, communities have succeeded in keeping them out of their neighborhoods (The Nation Newspaper 2002c).
The author of this letter noted that such stores masquerade as economic development. They result in inefficient land use, they cause disinvestments away from established commercial areas, and they use public funds to develop and degrade the visual aesthetic character of local communities:
In Barbados, they will destroy many local businesses. One store of 180,000 sq. ft. (approximately four acres of which nearly one acre would be a supermarket) will cause nearly 2500 people to lose their jobs. Consider the multiplier effect. There would be many homes without their usual level of income. As for cheap prices, when competition has been wiped out prices would increase even more. I am afraid there are some among us who are shouting “Give us Barabbas.” As for me, I am staunchly against Kmart (The Nation Newspaper 2002c).
So Barbados continue to drag its feet on the issue of liberalism. The argument put forward is that state reaction to globalization is dependent on the types of economic elites found within the social formation and on the extent to which they can benefit from the process. This is framed in a cultural format that is specific to the local situation. In Barbados, because of the presence of the merchant elite and because they are more likely to lose out in the process of globalization, the economic elites support the state in delaying and resisting the process of globalization. Opposition to globalization is then articulated in nationalist terms. Actions taken by the state to defend the interests of the masses is really a situation where the interests of the economic elites are being defended. There is a tendency for many to interpret the state’s opposition to globalization as an effort to protect the interests of the people that voted them into power. The case of Barbados suggests that the ability of the state to protect “the national interest” is closely tied to the extent to which economic elites buy into such a defense strategy.
I am not a believer in this system of free enterprise, because it comes loaded. While it sounds good and ideally should benefit everybody, the rules of the game are rather one sided to the benefit of a few.
Free enterprise is based on usury and profit, rather than value added. That is why a person can buy a piece of land from you for pennies while they are negotiating to sell it for millions. It is based on the opportunity of who has the upper-hand and not on fairness or even equity. If, therefore I can steal from you and get away with it, then it happens.
It is a dog-eat-dog world. No amount of reform can re-balance the equation.
“1. Because I am a bajan that live abroad does not mean that my voice is any less valuable on matters related to barbados. The economic contributions of Bajan Yankees like myself and others goes without saying and we have seeked no special recognition for it.”
You see sir, you are caught up in a world that is our problem in the first place. The value in your voice will lie in the experience and the time you have taken to study the micro rather than the macro of Barbadian society. Of course, contrary to what you think, Bajans overseas (everywhere) have sought, not just recognition, but the monetary contribution that you make is played as a card.
Just a few days ago, I was thinking about the contributions Bajans themselves make to the Treasury in taxes to see how this compares with the $140M.
“2. The time to stand up a “new system” as you called it has passed.”
This sentence in itself is clear proof that you are really caught up. Let me say that there is nothing that you have (I mean no systems or mechanisms, whether political or economic) that can provide any true answers for us as a people. Some first aid kits that will patch a few holes, but nothing more.
Contrary to you, I would say that the time to stand up is now. If we let it go any further, we will become caught up in the fall of the great western empire and we will suffer even more. If this continues, it will only be a matter of time before all Caribbean societies erupt. I wonder what will happen then?
Let us look at a few things. First, for all intents and purposes, the USA is bankrupt. Second, there is a new emerging world power, that will not let the USA run rough-shod over it. As a matter of fact, you will wake up one day and find your children or grand-children speaking Chinese.
Third, this fiasco about a global economic crisis, is somewhat like the war on terror. Actually it is a “war of terror” being waged as a “war on terror”. It is clear and obvious that the global crisis was an exercise designed to maintain the power of the USA and make countries like ours even more dependent. If there is one lesson the USA must have learned is that a global financial crisis will not bring the world to its knees, as people will find ways to survive.
We are being fed by the USA. We give you all our raw materials and they are refined and sold back to us. Our farmers buy GM seeds and if you understand the implications, it means that who controls your food controls you. Animal trainers will tell you that. GM plants wipe out your local stock and the seeds from GM plants (if they seed) are useless. So farmers have to go and buy seeds every time they want to plant; unlike sugar cane, there is no second or third crop. It is therefore funny (yet significant) that our sugar industry just fold up like that.
Just take a look at what is happening with our bananas; another crop that simply regenerates. The pawpaws you may have left here are all but completely wiped out. They blamed it on a bacteria that came in a biology “A” Level exam.
Right now, with all the evils that come from the West, the best advice is to run from it. There is nothing there for us. We had better look inward.
Your position on this matter is understood but you have to understand the acculturation of our people was started a long time ago and in the view of BU is now irreversible. The TV, foreign universities, move to multicultural society, dependence of tourism etc. While we will have pockets of resistance there is no hope for mainstream adoption unless there is some catastrophic intervention. Gloom and Doom yes, realistic yes.
“3. We at times appear to be a victim of our owe so called progress.”
I think that we may very well be wary of what we are getting into under the guise of globalisation. I really can’t even imagine going to my next door neighbour to tell him/her what is wrong with their household. It is just not the prudent thing to do… but most worrisome, is that we allow ourselves to be defined, allow our progress to be defined and allow our dreams to be defined. Under these circumstances, it would seem that we are not even ourselves.
While you may say that you have a right to speak and you do, is it everything that one will speak? Your rights stop when they start to offend others. In a lot of cases, it is not so much what you do but how you do it.
“4. White and economic elites in Barbados have no interest in any globalization that can help the masses.”
That is a laugh. First, globalisation does not help the masses and it surely will not help the elites. So while we trying to embrace globalisation, those who are conscious of the effects of globalisation will surely not embrace it. See how Venezuela is going about it… and you say the time to stand up has passed? Joke.
See what globalisation did to our sugar and bananas. See how globalization is preventing us from seeking alternative energy solutions? We have to buy the oil.
Let us therefore deal with the realities and not the peripherals. We are caught up in a system which, BTW, you think is too late for us to stand up to, but yet you talk about bajan-centric. That is a mixed message.
Did you take the time to watch that documentary which Ready Done put up? Note the effects of discrimination and then the effects of not being discriminated against. The same students who got a good mark, did badly when it was their time to be discriminated against and those who were formerly discriminated against did well when the discrimination ended. There is a lesson for you. Let the discrimination end and see the difference. Only thing is, left to the forces that be, it will never end.
I hope that you will understand that the plight of a people can only be in their hands; those living and working together. You do what you can in your society. We do it differently here but we do the same. If you want us to do what you are doing in your society, then it means that our society will become the same as yours. It is not.
All the education for innovation and marketing of Caribbean life is not the road for us to pursue. We have virtually lost our coral reefs because of this kind of thing. We really don’t need it. Once upon a time, you could go to the sea and get sea water that you could be confident to ingest, not now. We used to use it as a medicine, you remember? Not now.
We need to focus on health and fight off (ban) the GM and artificial foods. We need to focus on exercise because what we have become is killing us early. Young people with strokes, heart attacks and diabetes. We are becoming an aging society; the older folk are living and the young ones are dying. When it comes to health care we are all but guinea pigs down here. The over the counter drugs, the bad advice from doctors who rely on these drugs to effect cures. The number of chemicals in process foods as preservatives, sweeteners and colour.
These are the problems we need to address. Simply put, an unhealthy body is an unhealthy mind and vice versa; they go hand in hand. Does this not tell you that we need to seek alternatives that are as far away from these things as possible and the system that perpetrates them?
It is easy to sit and make comments and send money if you have it. Now why don’t come live inBarbados and “DO what is hard and Right”,
@Terrence M Blackett
When George H Bush was running to be the Republican candidate for President against Ronald Reagan he termed Reagan’s economic proposals as “voodoo economics”. I can only label your wanting Barbados to like Singapore as illogical thinking or voodoo thinking. The only thing that Barbados has in common with Singapore is land mass of a similar size; in all other areas they are as alike as chalk and cheese.
First get a map and look at the location of Singapore Vis a Vis its neighbours- what did you see? It is uniquely located because of its proximity to major countries in Asia to take advantage of trading opportunities. Does Barbados have the same advantages?
In some of your threads you have been preaching that Barbados should retain its overwhelmingly Black majority. I read that 36% of the population of Singapore is foreign born and foreigners make up 50% of the service sector. If that happened in Barbados you (and a few others) would probably have succumbed to myocardial coronary infarctions ( I don’t want to get into GP territory). The country has one of the highest percentages of foreigners in the world. Population of Singapore 4.1 million; Population of Barbados 275,000.
When Singapore became independent from Britain it was already one of the richest states in that part of the world whereas when Barbados relinquished its hold on Britain’s apron strings there were agreements in place to protect it from the rapidly falling sugar price.
There are many other areas where Singapore is unlike Barbados such as the application of laws, if this blog was published in Singapore it would have been shut down a long time ago and its operator would probably be languishing in jail due to the laws against freedom of speech or laws against acts that will cause disharmony among the various ethnicities or religious factions. In fact Blackett would have received a good caning by now and any condemned murderers on Death row would not be waiting they would have gone to meet their maker along time ago What privy Council?.
In the interests of brevity I won’t go on but there is a saying “Bull$hit baffles brains” and I urge everyone not to necessarily believe anything I write but to do their own research on Singapore when any BS artist posts an article about Barbados adopting the Singapore model.
I dont think that you read TMB accounts of the situation and under stood them or even tried to understand you are filled with hate and until you wake up and under stand what TMB is talking about your mind will never improve
just look at this quote from you “They blamed it on a bacteria that came in a biology “A” Level exam” which tell me that you are young and with out Experience because if you had any knowledge of the real world you would not be writing what you have written
It was quite amazing to read the similarities that exist in the various writings of the many bloggers, whether they hailed from Barbados, the States or the UK.
ROK mentioned the possibilities of revolution erupting sometime in Barbados. In the event of this happening the whites and foreigners would flee, we know this. However what of the elite afro-bajan, who have done well these past 20 years. What of those politicians who may raid the coffers before departing, leaving Barbados depleted of its savings.
Prepare for this eventuality; as I believe it is a distinct possibility.
Inkwell, you are a real armchair spouter. I thought the Dems had been in for two and a half years. Is their term about to end?
DeGaulle the French president did not stay in France to fight the German forces never the less every one knew he was french and if you all care to check world history you will find most leaders or people who came prominence did so from outside there of their native lands i guest you all know what is meant by small minded ness
I have to ask you if you reading right. That response was not to TMB.
“but you have to understand the acculturation of our people was started a long time ago and in the view of BU is now irreversible…”
Nothing is irreversible. The day we get up and decide that none of those things have value or find value in something else, you will see.
Theoretically you are correct of course but the reality says otherwise. Hope you are correct brother!
ROK mentioned the possibilities of revolution erupting sometime in Barbados. In the event of this happening the whites and foreigners would flee, we know this. However what of the elite afro-bajan, who have done well these past 20 years. What of those politicians who may raid the coffers before departing, leaving Barbados depleted of its savings.
What revolution what?
And after all the whites and foreigners and corrupt politicians have fled what then?
with all due respect to you as an experienced man and I as an inexperienced one. All that TMB is spouting in his last two posts are the very things we need to run away from. What Singapore model what? We are trying to emulate those we think of as successful rather than create our own success with what is ours. We looking for better somewhere else but I say, we can only do better with what we have and not with what we do not have.
Which part of my face betrays me as young and inexperience? Because I say that it came in a Biology Exam? You know how it get here? That was one in many of the explanations I have heard. I also heard that it came in the clouds. I suppose that by saying that I am inexperienced too. Which one would you have chosen if none of the above? The tourist one?
I never mentioned any revolution. That will be more like unrest and turmoil.
I know I am correct David and it is not theory, it is fact. If you think there is anything such as free will, you will know that I am correct. It is the same free will that has caused us to choose the path we on. You say the reality says otherwise. Is it the reality or the effects of shortsightedness that is saying otherwise? Meaning that someday we will wake up, especially if the pressure gets hot. By no means is this a permanent state.
Check a history of how powerful nations have risen “from underdogs to world power.”
Before I bemoan your lack of understanding pertaining to what I am espousing in regards to the SINGAPORE MODEL ( and clearly you have not been reading within context) – I will grant you the right to go off on your solitary peregrinations in the hope you will be able to offer something of substance at a time when our economy is sluggish; the tax burden is falling into the abyss; loss of jobs and productivity; and a contracting public purse which will mean less and less public services…In other words – if something don’t happen soon, devaluation and it precursors will come knocking…
AGAIN FOR THE RECORD – TO ALL THOSE WHO WANT TO CRITICIZE WITH HAVING ANY REAL FACTS:
The Singapore Model is NOT* a political manifesto…
It is NOT a social calender for revolutionary change…
It is NOT* is a document which seeks a revamp of our jurisprudence….
IT IS A FINANCIAL, ECONOMIC MODEL WHICH CAN BE USED TO DEVELOP EVERY FACET OF OUR COUNTRY WITH TRIED AND TESTED METHODOLOGIES WHICH ARE EASILY IMPLEMENTABLE WITHIN THE BARBADIAN CONTEXT…
I agree wholeheartedly with your arguments on the issue of unrestrained “GLOBALIZATION”…
However, as a small nation state – if our LEADERS were men of vision, acumen and understanding and were NOT* working tooth ‘n’ nail to prop up an ageold European institution which is now a transmogrified version of an outlawed, illegal, antiquated system called the PLANTOCRACY* – Barbados with all its abilities, genius and men of wisdom & renown would have been able to build on the “VISION” of the Highly Esteemed & Revered Errol Walton “Dipper The Skipper” Barrow…
44 years after Independence – we ought to have been a “BEACON” of superior light not just within the Caribbean but across the world…
If we have failed in our mission – it is because we STILL* refuse to look inward (forgetting the most important factor – “that we are all in this together)…
“Of course, contrary to what you think, Bajans overseas (everywhere) have sought, not just recognition, but the monetary contribution that you make is played as a card.
Just a few days ago, I was thinking about the contributions Bajans themselves make to the Treasury in taxes to see how this compares with the $140M.
“2. The time to stand up a “new system” as you called it has passed.”
This sentence in itself is clear proof that you are really caught up. Let me say that there is nothing that you have (I mean no systems or mechanisms, whether political or economic) that can provide any true answers for us as a people. Some first aid kits that will patch a few holes, but nothing more.”
Do you not want us to send money home, or do you want us not to come home i think your whole statement here is a little condescending,is it our fault that the contribution we make is played as a card,(most bajans want to put some thing back in their country of birth what is wrong with that )again you talking about bajans that live abroad as to say that they are not citizens of Barbados what’s up
“We had better look inward”
is this not a sickness that Americans suffer with
here is your statment to TMB “I am not a believer in this system of free enterprise, because it comes loaded. While it sounds good and ideally should benefit everybody, the rules of the game are rather one sided to the benefit of a few.” yes this may be true but when one buys a ready maid pants one has to have it tailored to fit they requirements and what would you relpace it with?let us start living in the real world
“Barbados with all its abilities, genius and men of wisdom & renown would have been able to build on the “VISION” of the Highly Esteemed & Revered Errol Walton “Dipper The Skipper” Barrow… 44 years after Independence – we ought to have been a “BEACON” of superior light not just within the Caribbean but across the world… If we have failed in our mission – it is because we STILL* refuse to look inward (forgetting the most important factor – “that we are all in this together)…”
I will drink to that.
“Do you not want us to send money home, or do you want us not to come home i think your whole statement here is a little condescending,is it our fault that the contribution we make is played as a card,(most bajans want to put some thing back in their country of birth what is wrong with that )”
You have this thing very topsy-turvey. When you left Barbados you left roots. The people that raised you and cared for you and some of you left children. What you really telling me is that once you leave Barbados your responsibilities to your family and children done? No appreciation for those who nurtured you. I think the contributions are coming as of right in most cases.
It is not a question of us wanting you to send money home. As a matter of fact you playing the card right here by saying that, so don’t tell me about it not being your fault when you doing it. Like we going to die or be that worse off if you don’t and as if we are depending on your “kind” philanthropic heart. Like you doing the whole of Barbados a favour when you send to your family that is your responsibility and duty in the first place as a Barbadian, whether you see it so or not…. and you talking about condescending? You dishing it but can’t take it?
“yes this may be true but when one buys a ready maid pants one has to have it tailored to fit…”
True, especially when it is made to the dimensions of a particular race. No hips, no ass. Like the man say, why don’t black people stay out of my designer clothes? You see that nowadays our women’s asses are at the door? You seeing the split. Problem is that there are no alternatives, so what you want them to wear? We don’t make our own. So effectively, they have been turned into walking spectacles. Just an example of how what we have come to accept can be turned against us.
I know that bajans will not die if we dont send money home but we are not the prime ministers of a great nation where we can sign documents and make Barbados most favored nation when it come to trading and trade agreements the most we can do is remember those we left behind as i said before some of us that left bim do some of the most menial jobs just to get by when we have manage to save a little for a vacation we come home do you begrudge us that little pleasure in life,you mention seeing that video on racism we live it every day and you are here denying us our identity
I sound like I begrudging you something? That is how you would like to put it? Right now you are a vexation to the spirit the way you carrying on. If you do the most menial jobs, it does not come across to us that way. Like you went to USA so you have arrived; better off.
One thing I must say for the USA is that our people are not going into the mental when they don’t succeed or get any of the pie, as we saw with UK in the past.
I am not denying you your identity. You choose to leave it and if you feel denied, then you know why… but that is only your feeling. When you leave a place you simply drift away, further and further as time goes by. Why should we at home be standing there holding out my hat that one day you will return? Furthermore, it would be unreasonable of you to be out there and dictate what happens here.
I agree that if you were born Bajan, you are Bajan but not the Bajan that you left behind; that is all changing and fast too. Hence the Bajan that you would want to be is not the Bajan that we are. Even some Bajans at home are out of touch, far less those who live outside, so while you are free to do whatever you think makes you Bajan, the reality is that at home, we live it.
The only problem we have is that we are not a nation practicing self-determination… and I guarantee you that if we were, you would be here.
“…you mention seeing that video on racism we live it every day…”
I think you misunderstood me. We live it everyday too, but it is masked in our thinking. We perceive it as normal. So when we get denied we just walk away. Been doing it for years.
However, the point I was making is that a people deprived will not function properly. Hope you understand that.
With respect sir…. You are a super idealist in a time when we need “realistic” and “actionable” solutions to the problems we face as a nation.
While I can agree and find logic in some of your view points, many more appear to be from the Land of OZ, and pure rubbish.
Your “let us reformat and reboot the system” approach is too risky at the worst possible time, as “the system” may not come back up, which would NOT be good for anyone you included.
Furthermore your views on bajans abroad is sad, wrong, and too short sighted to even comment on.
My views on Bajans abroad is far from harsh. I think people don’t like to face the truth. There was a time when any friend or even family of mine leaving Barbados to emigrate was struck off my memory list, why? Because we hardly heard back from 99.9% of them. They would even come into Bim and don’t give you a shout. They graduated.
I saw so many broken hearts and shattered emotions when partners left and never looked back… but now all of a sudden it is to be overlooked. While you may be among the 1% that looked back, does that absolve the rest?
There was a time when Bajans openly resented (and widespread) those who returned telling them what to do. Even up to now, many returning nationals speak of how they are made to feel in their community. Are you saying that such feelings grew out of unwarranted situations? I doubt it… but yeah, maybe the small-mindedness of Bajans… but also maybe the inability of returning nationals to reach (communicate with) “their own”, since they have become accustomed to a different way of life.
So tell me, how can these people offer solutions? It has never happened and will never happen. It would be a sociological and political inconsistency. There are many ways that Bajans overseas can contribute. Enterprise, trade, etc. but they don’t. The first thing they want to do is meet with a Minister or Prime Minister and it is a power move.
That will not do if you want to work with the people. What is stopping you from starting a project all on your own working with community leaders? How is Government going to help? I can tell you of the many approaches I have made, not only to Bajans but to other Caribbean Nationals abroad and none of them made the initiative, why? because they had to speak to a Minister. All we get from you is a lot of talk and no action whatsoever; except for the political parties. Wonder why?
Clearly there is an emotion dimension to your views on bajans abroad, minus that dimension we may have more common ground on the matters at hand. Grey hair like mine and yours should represent maturity and wisdom, let’s show it.
Your passion for economic and social justice should be aimed at the white and black elites in Barbados who are aligned with politicians, and refuse to release there grip on an unproportional amount of our nations wealth and opportunity, not bajans abroad.
There is something to be said for worldly experiences which is why the government continues to seek outside consultants to solve local problems. Folks that live in BIM with views like yours make it easy for government to continue this trend, vs capitilizing on bajans abroad that have the skills to expand the national knowledge base.
For example the bajan work force could learn lots from international norms in doing business for example: 1. in business time is money; answer emails and return calls, 2. Leave the attitude home, 3. Never sell more than a client is willing to buy, 4. Work until the job is done: reggae lounge is not going anywhere, just to mention a few.
To your point of “what is stoppping one from starting a project..” etc, I will tell you who the elites mentioned. As an example the publishing of tenders for all to see is an international norm, but not in Barbados, why is that – elitist control. The Cow Williams whites boys and the harbor lights crew got that entire scene on lock in their respective industries, aided by bajans that think like you.
Sent from my iPhone
I share your sentiments…
Barbados is at the crossroads!!!
The mantra of the season is – “WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER” – must be more than just lip service…while the political winds of change howl and blow all around us…
For there to be any decisive change – that change must come from a united front!!!
The target of our energies must be those who have long held sway without any real checks and balances – allowed to do as they please without any clear accountability or openness.
My firm belief is that fairness and an equal, level playing field ought to be the starting point in any liberal democracy… Sadly, this is NOT* the case in Barbados!!!
Some have tried to accomplish this at the end of a gun – others through the ballot box… However you spin it – those in power continue to resist change or to yield an inch in giving up their privileges…
“The Cow Williams whites boys and the harbor lights crew got that entire scene on lock in their respective industries, aided by bajans that think like you.”
You know nothing about me and that pot shot really speaks to the wisdom of your age. Wow! I can tell you a lot of things that I don’t like about my brother, but that does not mean that I will put a stranger above him. Stupse.
Your analysis is completely wrong here. It is not that the COW williams white boys got it sown up, it is that they have the money to line certain people’s pockets. Where were you when I was all over the AGs office hopping mad about a contract under an IADB loan awarded to an Italian company to train Bajans that then had to come down here to find Bajan English interpreters to subcontract to teach the courses?
They said that they published the tender once in a single newspaper but it went all over the world. None of the competent trainers in Barbados knew when the tender was issued. No! No! No! Not folks that think like me at all. Your beef is with the politicians who cover up and make these decisions. These matters go directly to them first and they decide how to proceed. Continue to have meetings with them.
BTW, what do you think the Freedom of Information is about? Just see how Government is dragging its feet on it. You really think they want that to see the light of day?
“The mantra of the season is – “WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER” – must be more than just lip service…”
I hope you understand why it is still a mantra. It was meant to be a mantra. The credibility of the forked tongue.
will grant you the right to go off on your solitary peregrinations in the hope you will be able to offer something of substance
Personally I prefer my evening perambulations especially at this time of year in early Spring.
So what have you offered that is of substance other than writing that Barbados should adopt the Singapore model without examining the unique characteristics that makes Singapore what it is.
Does its system of Gov’t, laws or the make up of its people have anything to do with its success? Is the history of entrepreneurship of its people a factor? Is its location relevant? Is its culture important? What about how its people are educated?
I could go on but I just remembered that you predicted the collapse of Bank of Montreal last year, how is that prediction going?
I notice everybody else shut up, but I have to agree with Sargeant. We will find it impossible to construct the Singapore model here because the main building blocks are missing. Absent are the necessary work ethic, the commitment to law and order, an intolerance of corruption, an efficient and accountable civil service and a strong willed leadership with vision.
What does it say about a political system where an opposition can accuse a government of corruption, win the government mainly on the success of those accusations and then proceed to do nothing (1) about the alleged corruption and (2) to change the conditions that facilitate corruption, neither at the Civil Service level nor at the political level.
They like it so, so that business can continue as usual. And only a few sheeple bleat.
@Inkwell: “We will find it impossible to construct the Singapore model here because the main building blocks are missing. Absent are the necessary work ethic, the commitment to law and order, an intolerance of corruption, an efficient and accountable civil service and a strong willed leadership with vision.
I personally think you’ve hit the nail very firmly on the head.
So then the question becomes: *why* can we not (or choose not to) do as the Asians have and are doing?
Do we erroneously believe it is now “our turn” at the “trough”?
This doesn’t scale (read: is not sustainable), and is *very* inefficient.
Again I reiterate my previous point – “Barbados is at the crossroad”…
“Where there is ‘NO VISION’ people perish!!!”
It is fascinating to watch people like yourself criticize from the sidelines without offering anything of substantative value – ideas that would be open to constructive or destructive criticism.
Either way, doing something is better than standing in the headlights for fear of moving suddenly because getting railroaded by complacency, immotivational syndromes and a form of moral and social intransigence will mean those least able will perish… while the LAW OF THE JUNGLE is survival of the big “DOGS” and “FAT-CATS”….
As for BOM*…
You and the rest of soothsayers knew how things looked on the ground as far back as 2008 – 2009…Yet all the pundits could not agree on a “PISS UP IN BANKS BREWERY”…
Read the facts for yourself:
You guys throw too many cheap shots and sling a weird kind of M.U.D.
In response to yours of April 14, 2010 at 2:18 PM, I think that we as a people have been lulled by Barbados’ relatively good progress over the past decades into complacency, into the feeling that we have arrived, into the acceptance of mediocrity as good performance in too many spheres of our society.
We have allowed ourselves to lulled by the 98% literacy rate our educational system has claimed to have achieved and we do not recognize that it is a myth. We have the great majority of current school children of working class parents who can speak only Bajan. We have many school leavers who do not have the ability to think analytically, to speak standard English with proficiency. We have the sad fact that a significant percentage of our university graduates is afflicted with the same deficiencies, if the word of our employers is to be taken.
We must conclude that our educational system is not geared for meeting the requirements of competing in a globalized world and that we are falling further and further behind.
Our establishment does not appear to see or recognize anything wrong with this picture and we exemplify this deficiency by having a Minister of Education who mangles the English language to set the example. And we see nothing wrong with that. There clearly is no vision at the top.
Our middle class is satisfied with having acquired a two storey house in the heights and a hundred thousand dollar SUV, never mind that the monthly payments between the two are consuming in excess of 75% of its income. We are not hungry any more. We have nothing left to achieve.
Our media and journalists have for years been using superlatives to elevate the mundane and mediocre to excellence (listen to Andy Thornhill describe the joke that is Barbadian football). We have lost our competitive edge as a people and recent generations see no need for hard work or innovation… we already have everything.
And I see nothing that persuades me that there will be any change.
“We have nothing left to achieve.”
This is a depressing letter. Has it really come to this?
Where is your drive? Barbados can and should be doing better. However all hands are needed at the deck; that includes you my friend.
We have to believe that things will get better. As a people we have come through much adversity. We are the great survivors. Allez-y! Vivre le Barbade.
Inkwell are you speaking for yourself?
I always try to excel and I make my children know that nothing should be taken for granted!! Nothing…
However, I must admit that some of your analysis is spot on!
My hands were on deck since I came into this world!
However, they can’t really work if a sledgehammer has been slamming down on them constantly!
So forgive me if I must take my hands to a place where they can be healed…