David Thompson – THE FINAL CHAPTER

Eulogy Delivered by Hartley Henry – Personal Friend and Principal Political Advisor

The Late Prime Minister David John Howard Thompson - December 25th, 1961 to October 23rd, 2010

On this solemn morning, we meet to memorialize the short but illustrious life of a man who became our beacon in every storm; a friend when a helping hand was needed; a sure head in the midst of uncertainty.

I am grateful to Mara, widow of our beloved, now lamented Prime Minister, for inviting me to give this funeral oration.  I feel both the hand of history and the humbling honour associated with closing the final chapter of David Thompson’s short but impressive life.

He was cut down before he could accomplish the agenda he had set himself in government.  In that sense, his full promise was unfulfilled.

But oh, how much he had done in so short a space of time; how many lives he had touched for the better; how greatly loved and admired he was; as much by the boys on the block as the captains of industry.

He was known by those of us close to him as “The Chief”, not because he demanded it, but because he inspired it. He would have been just as content to be called simply “David”, as the majority of people of Barbados did; not with disrespect but with affection.

The fondest memories of this eminent son of Barbados have been etched in the hearts of tens of thousands of us, because he was a leader who raised the level of our ambition and gave us confidence that our aspirations, both as individuals and as a nation, could be achieved, in triumph.

David Thompson knew the loneliness of a Prime Minister, on whose shoulders alone lay the burden of making final decisions that would affect the nation. It was a burden that he carried with quiet dignity, even as he contemplated deeply, on the consequences of his decisions. But he was strengthened in the isolation of his position by one overriding factor – every decision he made had ultimately to serve the people of Barbados – all of them!  There could be no more noble, or more worthy a basis for a Prime Minister to make decisions!

He bore all things with equanimity. And so at the start of his illness, I recall him inviting me to his study on three separate occasions in two days; clearly wishing to say something, but not knowing how. It was only after he made the personal decision that the people of Barbados should be prepared for the worst that he said to me: “Hartley, I do not want you getting all bent out of shape, but the doctor’s report is not good.”

His preoccupation thereafter was with how we could share this deeply tragic information without causing alarm and affecting the smooth governance of Barbados and the conduct of its business.

He insisted he wanted to explore any and all avenues of possible recovery, while preparing the nation, gradually, for the worst.  In the end, his judgment proved to be wise.

For even though the news of his death, when it came, was numbing and hurtful, even among those who expected it, he had put in place all the arrangements for the smooth conduct of government and of the nation’s business.

The Chief was a homegrown Prime Minister. Although his navel string was buried in England, this compatriot was nurtured in our uniquely Bajan manner.

Tutored exclusively in the Caribbean, he brought an Antilles focus, a regional perspective to all his endeavours.

Mentored by the late Right Excellent Errol Barrow, David Thompson subscribed to the view that our nation could be friend to all without being a satellite of any.

His Bajan anecdotes resonated with ordinary folk; his unpretentious lifestyle impressed even casual observers; his ideas created great admirers, accumulating loyalty during his 23 years as a Member of Parliament.

No wonder we saw such an outpouring of grief everywhere on that sad morning of Saturday, October 23.

This transformative leader was the essence of Bajan symbolism.

David Thompson’s life story is the finest example that youthfulness need not be a barrier to accomplishment. His success is a potent symbol to every young person within our Barbadian shores and beyond, that any of them, from whatever circumstances, who is prepared to work hard and focus, can impact national governance and serve their country with distinction. He has been and always will be an excellent role model for our youth.

His public service started as a teenager, who one evening removed evidence of his school identity, so that he could go to the headquarters of the Democratic Labour Party, as an individual – not as a pupil of Combermere.

But these two identities never faded in his heart, and were intertwined in all that he did in his efforts to advance Barbados. He was a Combermerian and a Dem.

All of us love and cherish our alma mater, but I am yet to meet a more sentimental alumnus than David Thompson. Combermere School influenced almost every facet of his life. Persons who knew him well discovered that the secret to uplifting and cheering him in moments of anxiety and depression was to relive nostalgic moments of his school life at Combermere.

In my capacity as Principal Political Advisor, I had my fair share of Combermere bombardment.

For example, in discussing the composition of boards of management of several statutory corporations and other para statal agencies, he and I would meet late into the night so we could settle a list of persons for recommendation to Cabinet. Next morning, I would receive an email with respect to the said board, but a name would be changed. On several occasions I would ask “why?”, and with his legendary half-smile and chuckle, he would say “you don’t worry about that…I can vouch for the person.” After careful examination of these unexplained, phantom substitutions, I realized that in 99 per cent of the cases, a Combermerian was inserted. So thereafter, to avoid this clash, whenever a recommendation was sought, I would write in bold at the bottom of the list “a Cawmerian”. Let’s just say that on that score PM Thompson and I lived happily ever after.

Nothing depressed, while at the same time passionately motivated David Thompson more than an international study done a few years ago which touted his rural constituency of St. John, as not necessarily the most affluent in Barbados.

While in Opposition, all The Chief would say to me is “my day will come.” On becoming Prime Minister, The Chief would make a point after his every tour of projects underway in St. John, to call and declare at the top of his voice “tell them to do their study now! Tell them to go up to Pool Land; tell them to go down Bath; let them tour Gall Hill Pavilion. Wait ‘til they see what we are going to do at Venture, College Savannah and Martins Bay”.

David Thompson was emotional about the development of St. John and took the welfare of its inhabitants very seriously…some may even say – personally. He was determined that under his watch, St. John’s time had come!

So what is the legacy of he whom we mourn and honour this morning?

He will not be recalled for erecting monuments or for being the longest serving this or that. He was not afforded the time for either.  In any event, it was not within his character to acclaim David Thompson; it was more in his character to glorify Barbados.

His mantra is summed up in one of his memorable statements: “I hope my legacy will be how I was able to bring the parts together in such a way as to create a safe, harmonious, inspirational, economically-sound, fair, just, democratic and compassionate nation.”

For his efforts and accomplishments in this regard, he receives – Full marks!

His view that Barbados is more than an economy – it is a society, dictated his DLP government’s priorities – empowerment of ordinary people.

The Chief believed that by building relationships in communities and giving them the authority to look after each other through constituency councils, we could create a more aware people, a more caring, more effective society.

This was reinforced through the emphasis he paid to families and family life.

It was he who introduced the concept of Families First… and it was he who placed in a Cabinet of Barbados, for the first time, a Minister of Family.

And our Prime Minister lived family! His own conduct as son, husband and father was exemplary. He was known as a provider and he offered to his daughters – an arm on which to lean, an ear with which to listen, and a voice with which to reason.

In a society where male symbols are missing from the household, he was determined to promote the value of the father and the husband; hoping that as an object of imitation, others would follow. He was often seen with his own children in public and took every opportunity to encourage young people to get involved in – among other wholesome things – music, sport and scholarship. Therefore by both precept and example, The Chief paved the way for Barbados to be a kinder, gentler place to live, work and enjoy.

When our school children came under threat of the minibus culture, it was he who said they must be protected even if it meant that they should travel free of cost on public transport.

In his Budget speech after the 2008 election, he immediately adjusted the rate of national assistance payable to the more than 3,000 children dependent on the state.

It was he who said that the long summer holidays could put our children at risk, with far too much spare time; and that while privileged children could afford to pay for summer camps, all children needed to be given an opportunity to access the skills training and sports activities which these camps offered.

It was he who would spontaneously drop in on institutions which cared for the marginalized of society – be it the physically challenged, the addicted or the aged.

He wasted no time, after election, in reviewing grants made to the disabled; increasing them both for the minimum disabled as well as the severely disabled.

He made certain that the social safety net was sufficiently strong and flexible to ensure that our people, especially the most vulnerable among us, did not slide back into poverty.

He introduced the concept of philanthropy capital, announcing the formation of the Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, providing a regime for members of the Diaspora and wealthy friends of Barbados to invest in a tangible way in the enhancement of communities, the development of named charities and improvement of health facilities.

It was he who would appear unannounced at football, cricket or basketball encounters as far as Checker Hall, St Lucy, St. Christopher, Christ Church or Bayfield, St Philip, but particularly in his beloved St John, showing personal interest in the pursuits of the young by enquiring after their welfare.

He was the number one fan of St John Sonnets, paying close attention to the growth of individual players, and looking after their families.

His first ministerial portfolio in the nineties was Culture and he seemed never to have abandoned it. He recognized the potential for the cultural industries to be money-spinners for Barbados and sought to foster them. He was one never to miss calypso tents; and judged lyrics; not for their support or opposition to his government, but by the use of language and double entendre.

An issue very near and dear to the heart of David Thompson, but which he did not live to realize, was that of full integration of the Diaspora into everyday Barbadian society. He was highly disappointed that ill health prevented him from attending and outlining his vision to the Inaugural Barbados Diaspora Network Conference in August this year.

The Chief anticipated creating a Barbadian experience in which resident and non-resident Barbadians would truly embrace each other and value their respective contributions to the growth and success of this country.

Our late Prime Minister sought to be a unifying force, and promoted the need for all Barbadians to see themselves as Barbadians first, whether they lived here or not; whether they were Dems or not.

Proof of his commitment to reaching across the political divide was his willingness to nominate the Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate for a top post at the United Nations, and to throw the full weight of Government support behind the campaign to have her elected.

Also, his invitation to his principal political adversary, a former Prime Minister and still sitting Opposition Parliamentarian, to serve on a panel of Eminent Persons, to advise him, personally, on the options confronting him in the throes of the worst economic recession known to modern man.

David Thompson saw value in using all the resources available to his government to propel the country and its citizens. Indeed, last year he argued: “This is the time to put Barbados first. Our position is that any and all ideas advanced for grappling with and surmounting current challenges will be embraced and pursued, no matter the source.”

But David Thompson was also a politician in the way we define politicians. His platform oratory was a drawing card at DLP mass meetings. He was aware that invective was part of political armory…

Yet he would use private moments to temper criticisms and attacks on opponents; always mindful of the impact of words on the relatives and friends of those he criticized. In response to my recommended onslaught on a person, PM Thompson would say “There is no need to destroy individuals…remember, they have families too. Let us just clip a wing or two”.

David Thompson was also a Caribbean man. A Caribbean leader!  He had many friends in both governing and opposition parties throughout the region. He made many of these friends during the 14 year stint he spent in opposition.

As part of his preparation for the office of Prime Minister, The Chief, though already a parliamentarian, with eight years ministerial experience – including that of Minister of Finance – adopted the posture of a student of politics.  On his own recognizance, he journeyed across the Caribbean, observing election campaigns and other political developments. Whether it was Sandy Point in St. Kitts, Over the Dry River in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, East End in Grand Cayman, Anse La Raye in St. Lucia, Road Town in Tortola or New Providence Island in the Bahamas, David Thompson could be seen on the campaign trail in all these islands, clad in jeans and tee shirt, and taking copious notes of the right and wrong of election campaign strategy.

On such outings, he would make appointments with both government and opposition parliamentarians and assure them of his party’s readiness to assume the reins of office and its unswerving commitment to the cause of regionalism.

Little wonder therefore that on the morning of January 16th , 2008 David Thompson was able to hit the road running, as it were, being on a first-name basis with every sitting Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the Caribbean, and also being up to date on issues of interest and concern to the Standing Committee of Heads.

Little wonder, too, that so many political leaders from all sides of the political fence in their own countries are gathered here this morning, as one collective, to honour a fallen brother.

David Thompson had very clear ideas about the value of the Caribbean Single Market to the people of the region; he was also convinced of the importance of inter-regional transportation, which is why he kept Barbados involved in LIAT even as others who needed it more were abandoning it. He never regarded smallness as a barrier to intellectual debate, but he recognized that in dealing with the wider international community, the Caribbean served itself best by pulling together its greatest talents in its service – and that was as true for West Indian Cricket and the University of the West Indies as it was for bargaining on matters of trade with bigger countries.

I recall his decision to fly into Guyana to calm the then raging Guyana-Barbados immigration debate. He said to me: “We can’t let emotional outbursts and misunderstandings destroy 100 years of unparalleled friendship and cooperation”.

On another occasion he opined, that in dealing with differences of opinion among regional leaders, he would not be found guilty of shouting across the waters of the Caribbean Sea to a colleague.

I recall his insisting that the Trinidad-Barbados fishing accord could ideally be handled, through the strengthening of friendships rather than the signing of treaties!

As a product himself of the University of the West Indies, on whose campus, he made many West Indian friends and exchanged ideas, dreams and visions, Mr. Thompson was deeply committed to the preservation of the University and its continuing capacity to produce alumni, who would help the Caribbean to compete successfully with the best in the world.

It was this insightfulness and a clear vision of needed enhancements to regional integration that garnered for David Thompson, in two and a half short years, immense admiration and respect from colleague Prime Ministers and Heads of Government in CARICOM, Central, Latin and North America, Europe and Asia. Whether it was the issue of regional air transportation, coordination of meaningful relief to the people of Haiti or US-Caribbean relations, the views of David Thompson as Prime Minister of Barbados were eagerly sought and became germane to the quest for solutions. I well recall earlier this year, when Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson, cancelled meetings in Asia and flew back to London to meet with Thompson; saying, in his correspondence “it is an opportunity not to be missed”.

We, in Barbados, like many other countries in the world, are experiencing difficult times, due in part to the global financial fall-out which impacted our major trading partners, beginning in late 2007.

It is a measure of David Thompson’s transparent approach to governance and the extent to which he provided a listening ear at home and abroad, that he enjoyed the confidence of business leaders in Barbados.

They rallied to his call not to resort to layoffs as their first course of action. Saving jobs, he coaxed, should be part of national commitment. The effect has been that unemployment levels have risen in Barbados only marginally, compared to other countries.

He enjoyed, in the tradition of leaders of the DLP, an exemplary relationship with trade unions. Indeed, both the business sector and the trade union movement credit him for his role in establishing the first Social Partnership when he was a fledgling Minister of Finance in the very difficult early nineties.

Over the last few days, as all sections of our nation poured out their heartfelt sentiments about David Thompson, it became abundantly clear that they knew that his principal characteristic is that he was a humanitarian.

His time and interest were extended to both the great and small of our society. He lost no opportunity to attend the humblest of functions if he thought his presence would serve as encouragement to others.

Indeed, this public accessibility, which David Thompson afforded, helped him considerably in coming to grips with the everyday needs of all. In his just over 1,000 days in office he attended more private functions and events than any predecessor did in a full five year term.

It was as if he knew he had a short time…and lots of people to meet, inspire, and motivate.

David Thompson worked at a frenetic pace! Had his journey not been cut short, he would undoubtedly have inspired more…motivated more…and promoted more to join in the fashioning of a new Barbados – one in which there is one society, one people, one nation, all looking out for the other.

It is for these reasons that Barbadians became possessive of David Thompson. In tributes paid to him these past 11 days, he was not referred to as the Prime Minister; not even as our Prime Minister. We all said:  he was “my Prime Minister.” Barbadians proudly owned him.

David Thompson knew where he wanted to take Barbados: A dream unfilled, a vision postponed. All he really wanted was a little more time.

But what he did not get in tenure, he got in affection. Thus he became a leader who was FIRST in the hearts of the citizens of Barbados. David Thompson: – Adulated by the youth, acknowledged by the aged, affirmed by Combermerians, acclaimed by Dems, adored by St. John, admired by all.

The Chief once said he would give Barbados all that he had until the day he died.  And, he did!

Throughout his seven-month encounter with this unremitting tumor, The Chief was continuously worried about the effect of the news on his countrymen; he seemed to care less about his own challenge. He never worried about losing the battle…his preoccupation was with fighting the disease.

His periods abroad became more and more restless, not as a result of inadequate health care and attention – for, thanks to Dr. Richard Ishmael, he got the very best, – but because he was away from his family, his friends and his files; unable to impart knowledge and guidance to some of his fledgling Ministers.

His vigil during the long nights of ill health comported with the whole tenor of his life – although in extreme pain, not a sigh, not a groan escaped him.

Indeed, he drew his strength from talking about and promoting Barbados; at a time when it was clear to all that his grip on life, was weakening.

Here’s what Dr. Ira Jacobson, the Gastroenterologist at New York Presbetarian Hospital, wrote in a letter to Dr. Ishmael, after learning of the death of Mr. Thompson:

“Richard, I did not know much about his politics, but it was readily apparent to me that he was a good man, a wonderful husband and father, and a great leader who loved his people and they loved him back.

We need more leaders like him on the international stage and his tragic passing is a loss for the world”.

In the end, with a smile of undisturbed serenity, David Thompson closed his short, but well spent life.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the divinity which shapes our ends has determined that our late Prime Minister’s labours would be no more; and for us this appears to be a moment of unbearable loss and uncertainty.

Yet the Chief would not have us despair. As heirs of the great heritage of Barbados he would want us all to toil towards that bright future he knew we could create for ourselves.

In his last letter sent to the constituents of St John he reminded them that “I am yours and you are mine”. No wonder that on this day all of us are holding on to piece of him.

When we repair to the yard of St John’s Parish Church, we will inter his body. With his burial a bit of every Barbadian will be committed to that cemetery yard. He will take 270,000 bits of us with him. Not 50,000 bits of us; not just 100,000 pieces; even more than 200,000: 270,000 pieces of us will be buried with David John Howard…later today.

But his soul, his vision, and the admiration we all feel for him will not be interred.  These will live on and flourish amongst us all.

The greatest tribute that every one of us can pay to his memory is to pursue and realize that vision of a Better Barbados for ALL!

Therefore, be comforted, my fellow citizens and friends. For to know sorrow is to acknowledge love.

To seek the face of God, is to recognize our limitations.

To carry on with hearts full of memories is to be wholly human.

To heal, day-by-day, as we must, is to build a bridge of love that will reach far beyond time, into forever!

May our dear, late Prime Minister find all the comfort we collectively wish for him, and may his soul enjoy the peace he deserves…beyond the river!

Goodbye, my friend, Goodbye!!

167 comments

  • @Hood

    Since you are a student of the bible and takes it literally! Does the bible say that Jesus was also plantedwhen he died!The word “buried” is a term used to show repect or reverence to the deceased person.

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  • @ Yardbroom

    Thanks for your kind words. However, my wife does not know to which unit he belonged. She just remembers that he served in Egypt, Middle East, Greece etc. Will do some checking and see what turns up.

    @ac

    If you check the relevant passages in the Gospels you would see that Jesus Christ was NOT planted. He was NOT put in a hole dug in the earth and then covered. He was placed in a tomb which was above ground. So, in essence one could not say that he was PLANTED in the true sense of the word. Does that help?

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  • Have we not had this discussion about planted? Is anyone willing to move from their positions? No!

    Sometimes you shake hands and move on if we don’t want to be mired in the mud.

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  • @ ac

    Ok, So what “reverence” and/or “respect” is indicated when a body is cremated or blown to bits by a bomb. I would suggest that folk dismount from the “emotional train” that they embark on when the words “death’ or ”dying’ are mentioned. If folk would draw closer to Jesus Christ and believe Him just as they believe IN Him, they would receive all the comfort they need at such times. No offence meant.

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  • @ The Scout
    It is possible that PM Stuart decides NOT to reshuffle, but manage his ministers. As PM just mananging cabinet and trying to get decisions implemented is a full time job. I know that traditionally PMs have had finance and or economic affairs in their portfolio, but who knows this PM might make his first “change”.
    Furthermore, if he decides to call elections sooner rather than later he might want to focus on campaigning. I think that having early elections would be his best choice.

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  • For those interested in the funeral program which guided the recent state funeral, have a LOOK.

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  • Hi, de hood
    Thanks for your response; your wife’s Dad being a “Sapper” as Royal Engineers are called, known for being first in and last out, they certainly have done their bit in various campaigns.

    First to clear mines, a very dangerous occupation, to set explosives charges as required, and then to build bridges for tanks, heavy equipment and troops, often at night..of course there is then the little matter of fighting and staying alive.

    They certainly were always in the vanguard and even today are doing the same. Well done to each and every one of them.

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  • Did anyone tell Virgil that he could not use mons = mountain to describe the sea or sal = salt or altus = high or aqua = water?
    Well I have used my poetic license to use PLANT, AND WHO DONT LIKE UM CAN LUMP UM —SO CUSS ON

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  • @GP
    So I see that you have changed careers………. from MD to poet! 🙂
    Why you stirring up de folk here with all your “PLANTING” talk though? 🙂

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  • @Dr.GP you seem hell bent on proving your superiority over the less educated people on this blog.
    You are a medical doctor and you have a degree in Theology.That is an awesome achievement.

    Hants ent even got 1 degree so compared to me, and in the words of Tom Clarke,you are a defacto an infacto genius,compared to me.

    GP I accept you are the Muhammed Ali of the BU blog. You are the greatest.You sink like big rock in de sea an sting like a manowar.
    You are the greatest GP you are the greatest and we won’t forget it.
    So rise up GP and try to be nice once in a little while.You are not as evil as you pretend.

    Fellow bloggers I apologise for writing this krap but GP got my inferior intellect kafuffle an I hey laffin at he jus like he does laff at he but I en really know why.

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  • @ Hants

    Allyuh ain’t realise yet that GP just playing wid allyuh tail. De more allyuh cuss he out de more he gine rile allyuh tail. He got Bonny and ac (among others) in a real tizzy and all he doing is sitting back and laughing he head off at DEM. He mussee born in August like me, causin’ I would do de very same ting he doin wid allyuh. 🙂

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  • Hants
    Wherefore decidest thou that I am evil or pretendest thus?
    Kafaffle not thine intelect my leige but pour thou some acqueous matter on to thine rocks of acqueous matter and thy very processed juice of the cane and relax thyself DURING THE IMBIBITION THEREOF.

    Georgius Porgius has commited no infraction of leges barbadiense, nor of leges Dominus in Sacra Biblia.

    Consequently, Georgius Porgius would prefer that thou utter not high praises in great pretence and deceit and mockery. It will not work any better than the true intent at criticism by the frivolous few who think that declaring their intense hatred of me will deter me from engaging fervently and furtively in fresh frivolities as allowed by free speech on BU. LOL

    @ tHE hOOD
    TELLEST NOT THOU TO THE HERD THE TRUE TALE OF MY ACTIONS.lol
    LANGUAGE TOO SWEET MAN

    AND WHEN GP SAY “PLANT” HE MEAN “PLANT” LOL

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  • @de hood,

    At least I get off easy so far. GP aint light into me yet.

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  • @ David

    When all is said and done, what David Thompson managed to accomplish in just over two years was to begin to change the national agenda from one driven by pure economics, to having a much more rounded perspective.

    Barbadians were almost at the point of seeing ourselves more as a ‘society’, than just an economy.
    Indeed families first, free bus fares, constituency empowerment allowing BLP appointees to largely complete their contract terms politely….. these all were leading to a concept of a society where relationships and tolerance is more important than wealth.

    Brilliant.

    Will the DLP continue that (BARROW) focus? or will they allow themselves to be distracted by short-sighted fools into the nonsense of defining success by dollars?

    The reality is that the world economy is busted and on the way down. Redefining the purpose of our society as Mr Thompson started to do was therefore a top class strategy… as we can have an excellent and successful SOCIETY even with a busted economy, while even with a wildly bristling economy, it is very possible to have a failed society….. ask Kamla…

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  • Hants
    Fear thee not Oh fellow Knight of the Sandbox tree and jumper of Weymouth drain a ka the “dippy”. Why shoudest I lite into a fellow drinker of “mud” at John or eater of Mary pone?

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  • The tribalistic nature of our politics make any initiative such as the one Thompson was pushing very difficult to accomplish. Nowadays to be branded a socialist is taboo!

    Did you have a read of Mascoll’s column. Trying to follow what is his recommended approach, with great difficulty!

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  • @ BT

    You asked, quote :-“Will the DLP continue that (BARROW) focus?”
    *****************************************************************
    But Bushman, I was thinking that you were a progressive thinker, man. I din know you want us going back to prehistoric times with a “Barrow focus”. What “Barrow focus” what? De man dun ded all dese long years and although he din get PLANT he get scatter all over de Caribbean Sea. So why yuh doan leh de man rest in peace and leh we move forward nah? Wuh is dis ting Bajans got wid trying to dig up de dead. Is time to leh de man go in peace. Doan tell mih ah going be hearing bout Thompy fuh de next 50 years (if ah livin’) and how “great” he did after 2 short, short years. Great what? Effin yuh want ta see “great” den look at J.M.G.M (Tom). Dat man leff a legacy dat going be real hard to emulate!

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  • @ GP

    Your quote:-
    “Hants
    Fear thee not Oh fellow Knight of the Sandbox tree and jumper of Weymouth drain a ka the “dippy”. Why shoudest I lite into a fellow drinker of “mud” at John or eater of Mary pone?”
    ********************************************************************
    So GP, yuh meaning ta say dat de 2 a wunna did Harsun Kolij ole rats?

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  • Yes Hoodie
    De fellas let Hants and I into the likkle academy at Crumpton Street.

    Hoodie you ever listened to the Hour of Decision on Rediffusion in the 60’s. You ever hear George Beverley Shea sing the song HOW GREAT THOU ART . Well get out the score and sing it for the people’s idol. I will sing it for the KING of KINGS.

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  • @ GP

    Doc, let me assure you if I had been at de oval last Wensduh de whole place wudda empty out quick time if I did open dis mout o’ mine ta say I singing! So wuh you trying to do now telling me ’bout singing such a fantastic song. BTW, that was one of my Mom’s favourites, may her bones rest in peace where dem planted.

    Good to hear you attended Harsun unibersity. I only went ta Brumley unibersity in de August time. So wuh I is tryin ta say is dat dere ain’t nutten much upstairs. I was once asked if muh brain was just there to keep muh ears apart! :-

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  • @de hood,
    you is a lawyer?

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  • @ Hants
    Sir,
    May I kindly refer you to my post immediately preceding yours of 7:17pm above.

    Note, now if my brain was only used as a spacer between my ears where do you think there would be room for a law degree? 🙂

    Mind you, if that were the case I would be most content now since all this litigation flying all around. I might even have decided to go into politics and run for the vacant seat in St. John and, for sure, I would have it made for the duration of my limited time left in this phase of existence. Thanks for the “compliment”, anyhow. 🙂

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  • @ Hants
    You wrote, quote:- “So rise up GP and try to be nice once in a little while.You are not as evil as you pretend.”
    ********************************************************************
    It seems that you have analysed GP to a “T”. What I have gathered is that GP is a man with a big heart who cannot or will not let nonsense (bovine excrement) pass as fact by folk who THINK they know it all. You see, some folk who do not know would like to try to tell GP crap and expect GP, who is well versed in his field, to let it pass. Can you really blame GP for the attitude that he displays? He tries to disseminate the Word here hoping that he would reach as many people as possible. He does this simply because he cares for his fellowman. If he didn’t he would not bother even to try to warn them. I know he sometimes displays little patience for those who who try to push some fallacy here as fact. But hey, we are not perfect. If we were we would not need the Lord Jesus Christ nor His saving Grace. And as the Desiderata claims, we all have some contribution to make whether big or small, rich or poor. Capiche?

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  • Oh Shoot!today i planted some tomatoe seeds and cucumber . Even planted some callalou. Something that i am looking forward to putting on my table to eat when time to harvest

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  • @ac,
    tomatoe? which toe is dat?lol

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  • De american Toe!

    Like

  • de hood
    if you really believe all dat crab-lice dat you talkin in GP defense, you could also believe that Santa Claus is real. GP is a cold ,callous, uncaring, inhuman, self-centred, egotistic heathen. His chances of meeting my saviour are 0%. I hate to be the one to deflate your bubble hood. but truth must be told so stop fooling he. he is heartless. his every word defiles his so-called christian teachings. so you need to stop propping up dis klown.

    Like

  • @de hood | November 6, 2010 at 7:30 PM . “Note, now if my brain was only used as a spacer between my ears where do you think there would be room for a law degree?” In some cases a law degree is VERY small. So the answer is YES!

    Like

  • @ Bonny Peppa

    de hood, anon, maggie, GP ……. same body.

    Like

  • @ Bush Tea

    ‘Barbadians were almost at the point of seeing ourselves more as a ‘society’, than just an economy. Indeed families first, free bus fares, constituency empowerment allowing BLP appointees to largely complete their contract terms politely….. these all were leading to a concept of a society where relationships and tolerance is more important than wealth.’

    Utter rubbish, wheel and come again.

    Like

  • @ Enuff

    Please accept Bush Tea’s sincere apologies.
    Don’t know what came over the bushman……

    …should have been
    “‘INTELLIGENT Barbadians were almost at the point of seeing ourselves more as a ‘society’, than just an economy…….”

    BT stands corrected.

    Like

  • @Bonny Peppa | November 7, 2010 at 1:16 AM |

    de hood
    if you really believe all dat crab-lice dat you talkin in GP defense, you could also believe that Santa Claus is real.
    **********************************************************************
    So, Bon, wuh dah you tryin’ ta tell meh? Yuh is tryin’ ta say dat dere is no Santa?! So who dah I did see all dese years evah December sneaking in meh house quiet, quiet??

    Like

  • @ BT

    I guess after two chances, I can conclude that your guts busting with the kool aid.

    Like

  • Bush Tea | November 7, 2010 at 7:03 PM |
    LOL only you BT only you!

    Like

  • @Bush Tea | November 6, 2010 at 3:35 PM |

    @ David

    “When all is said and done, what David Thompson managed to accomplish in just over two years was to begin to change the national agenda from one driven by pure economics, to having a much more rounded perspective.

    Barbadians were almost at the point of seeing ourselves more as a ‘society’, than just an economy.
    Indeed families first, free bus fares, constituency empowerment allowing BLP appointees to largely complete their contract terms politely….. these all were leading to a concept of a society where relationships and tolerance is more important than wealth.

    Brilliant.

    Will the DLP continue that (BARROW) focus? or will they allow themselves to be distracted by short-sighted fools into the nonsense of defining success by dollars?

    The reality is that the world economy is busted and on the way down. Redefining the purpose of our society as Mr Thompson started to do was therefore a top class strategy… as we can have an excellent and successful SOCIETY even with a busted economy, while even with a wildly bristling economy, it is very possible to have a failed society….. ask Kamla…”

    Interesting observations! My internet came back up about an hour ago, so rather than reading blogs over the past ten days and trying to think of something clever to say, I have been continuing to reflect on what I learned over the past 45 years of my life in public service. Hence your comment that “we can have an excellent and successful SOCIETY even with a busted economy, while even with a wildly bristling economy, it is very possible to have a failed society” recalls similar observations that can be found in the Barbados Development Plan 1973-77.

    Here are a few brief excerpts:

    “the very small countries of the Caribbean which have highly open socio-economic systemswill tend to be heavily influenced by prevailing North American standards in the formulation of their norms of development. One consequence of this is that the small states of the Caribbean MAY SET THEMSELVES GOALS OF DEVELOPMENT WHICH ARE BEYOND THE CAPACITY OF THEIR DOMESTIC RESOURCES” (BDP 1-2, emphasis mine!).

    And
    “Finally, in formulating a development strategy we should remind ourselves of the ultimate goal of development itself – the continuing improvement of human welfare. Looked at in this way, a development strategy is not simply a strategy for the development of ECONOMIES, but of HUMAN BEINGS. Equally, it is not only a strategy about the improvement of the human condition in the present or immediate future, but in the longer term.” (BDP 2-1).

    An important discovery that emerged from a review in the early 1970s of the period of post World War II “development” was that GDP growth had taken place without a commensurate improvement in underlying social indicators. This led to the recognition that the requisite remedial interventions would have to be specifically targeted and implemented, and that initiatives for societal improvement could not justifiably be delayed until the economy boomed.

    I feel that one result of implementing a people-focused development strategy has been the continuing improvement in the “quality of life” in Barbados, noted in the most recent UN Human Development Report , despite the significant decline in our economic fundamentals. However, Barbadians should reflect on the fact that this, essentially, involves a process of REDISTRIBUTION, and while it can be sustained if there is sufficient underlying growth,(WHERE EVERYBODY GETS A LITTLE SOMETHING, AND WE DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT WHO GETS MORE THAN THEIR “FAIR SHARE”) it cannot be continued for any appreciable time, when there is not. THIS, THEN, IS THE SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE TO STIMULATE A RESUMPTION OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THAT CONFRONTS OUR AUTHORITIES AT THIS PRESENT TIME!!

    Like

  • To supplement Dr Reid’s submission, if I may be forgiven that presumptiousness, while it is commendable to aim for the lofty ideal of human development as opposed to economic development as the Thompson strategy is lauded to have been, it is appropriate to point proponents of that policy firmly in the direction of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

    When an economy deteriorates to the point where citizens’ physiological and safety needs are adversely affected, and Barbados has been sinking slowly but steadily into this state, the citizen is far less concerned and tolerant of talk of human development and it is time to take one’s head out of the clouds.

    Instead of “families first”, the cry becomes “food first”.

    Bottom line, the Barbados economy needs to be rescued first to satisfy basic needs before we can seriously think of loving, belonging, esteem and self actualization. The upper levels of the hierarchy cannot substitute for the lower.

    Therein lies the challenge for any government of Barbados.

    Like

  • @Inkwell | November 9, 2010 at 10:11 AM |

    “To supplement Dr Reid’s submission, if I may be forgiven that presumptiousness, while it is commendable to aim for the lofty ideal of human development as opposed to economic development as the Thompson strategy is lauded to have been, it is appropriate to point proponents of that policy firmly in the direction of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

    When an economy deteriorates to the point where citizens’ physiological and safety needs are adversely affected, and Barbados has been sinking slowly but steadily into this state, the citizen is far less concerned and tolerant of talk of human development and it is time to take one’s head out of the clouds.

    Instead of “families first”, the cry becomes “food first”.

    Bottom line, the Barbados economy needs to be rescued first to satisfy basic needs before we can seriously think of loving, belonging, esteem and self actualization. The upper levels of the hierarchy cannot substitute for the lower.

    Therein lies the challenge for any government of Barbados.”

    Inkwell, to suggest that your submission supplements mine, other than in a strict chronological sense of following on (I’m afraid that your test match first fell more than 200 runs short of mine) is to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of its import.

    In quoting from the Barbados Development Plan 1973-77 (BDP 73-77), I sought to confirm Bush Tea’s assertion that DJHT’s people-centered focus on “development” was indeed a consistent furtherance of the EWB social and economic transformation (SET) paradigm. [While writing this, I am listening to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart making the same point]. It is interesting to note that the strategy expressed in BDP 73-77 came to be articulated one decade after EWB and the DLP came to political power. In my article “What kind of Development?” I draw attention to the successes of that first decade. Incidentally, the Plan was prepared in the margins of the first oil shock of the 1970s.

    Where inkwell has got it wrong is when he asserts:
    “When an economy deteriorates to the point where citizens’ physiological and safety needs are adversely affected, and Barbados has been sinking slowly but steadily into this state, the citizen is far less concerned and tolerant of talk of human development and it is time to take one’s head out of the clouds.”

    I think that Inkwell in referring to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs fails to recognise that there are cogent criticisms of his analysis and conclusions, which raise doubts on its usefulness as a basis for planning political strategy and action. What is more, is that to attempt to segregate economic development from human development is to fail to understand the intricate relationship between society, economics and politics. I do not think, however, that it would be useful to attempt to explain these relationships in the context of this submission.

    None of this is intended to suggest that there are no problems confronting the economy of Barbados which do not require urgent, deliberative, and well-formulated and well-implemented responses.

    Like

  • @George Reid

    “What is more, is that to attempt to segregate economic development from human development is to fail to understand the intricate relationship between society, economics and politics. I do not think, however, that it would be useful to attempt to explain these relationships in the context of this submission.”

    “However, Barbadians should reflect on the fact that this, essentially, involves a process of REDISTRIBUTION, and while it can be sustained if there is sufficient underlying growth,(WHERE EVERYBODY GETS A LITTLE SOMETHING, AND WE DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT WHO GETS MORE THAN THEIR “FAIR SHARE”) it cannot be continued for any appreciable time, when there is not. THIS, THEN, IS THE SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE TO STIMULATE A RESUMPTION OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THAT CONFRONTS OUR AUTHORITIES AT THIS PRESENT TIME!!”

    My only question is, “What do you mean by human(!) development ?” If you are talking about civil/political relations in the context of a capitalist economy, then the development that emerges from the “intricate relationship” is capitalist development replete with its individualism and egoistic, greedy profiteering on the one hand and consumerism on the other. This is not “human” development.

    The attempt to broaden “human” horizons within the strait-jacket of contemporary production relations is pie in the sky. The concepts of “Family First” and more or less egalitarian social relations while the rich continue to plunder the poor lead us to the cul-de-sac of blaming the victim: the poor people are responsible for their plight – they won’t put family first, they won’t trust their neighbour, their youth are involved in gangs. In short, they are the problem. It is in fact this orientation that fails to capture the true intricacy of the relationship between civil society and economy.
    Sir, with respect, may I suggest that when you speak of the real relationships in the community of humans you do not confuse them with the academic disciplines that seek to understand them. That is, you might think that there is a determinative equality among sociology, economics and politics. There is, however, no real determinative equality among civil society, economic productive means, and political organisation. Here, economic productive means are PARAMOUNT!

    Like

  • Where you have got it wrong, Dr Reid, is your contention that I am attempting to conflate Mazlow’s hierarchy with a basis for planning political strategy and action.

    My statement, “When an economy deteriorates to the point where citizens’ physiological and safety needs are adversely affected, and Barbados has been sinking slowly but steadily into this state, the citizen is far less concerned and tolerant of talk of human development and it is time to take one’s head out of the clouds.” to any objective reader, is a truism that cannot rationally be argued against and no amount of political angst change.

    Like

  • Persnicka_t | November 9, 2010 at 1:30 PM |
    Once again, I have to agree almost totally with your analysis. Many many years ago I was taught about the law of limiting factors. I think that Barbados’ development is definitely now, and most likely was also over the past 4 or 5 years, at a stage where David Thompson’s “Families First” and “Economy and Society” prescriptions had little chance of success in a vastly changed Barbados. Those policies would also have been heavily informed by the Family Values strategy utilized in Bush’s two successful campaigns in America that were enunciated by several GOP candidates and strategists who subsequently were shown to have absolutely no family values. Indeed, I wonder if the high rhetoric on family values in Barbados might not have been enunciated by some persons with similar feet of clay.

    The new Barbados would have benefitted from the developmental strategies of all the Governments following Barrow. Thompson’s new prescriptions were actually old wine in old bottles left over from Barrow’s wine cellar.

    Like

  • @Persnicka_t:
    “Sir, with respect, may I suggest that when you speak of the real relationships in the community of humans you do not confuse them with the academic disciplines that seek to understand them. That is, you might think that there is a determinative equality among sociology, economics and politics. There is, however, no real determinative equality among civil society, economic productive means, and political organisation. Here, economic productive means are PARAMOUNT!”

    I think that you have lost me, and I have lost you on this one.

    I must say, however. that I find checkit-out’s pesimistic assertions about the limits of the Barbadian socio-political system to respond to transformative change to be depressing. Is this what 14 years of Rhosarian “development” has accomplished?

    Like

  • @George Reid
    ” … pesimistic assertions about the limits of the Barbadian socio-political system to respond to transformative change to be depressing.”

    Sorry, my good man. All I intended to suggest was that in the real world the limits of the socio-political system are defined by the economy. This is not so in the “independent disciplines” of sociology, economics, politics. Any depression you experience would have to flow from the dismal performance of the economy and the real inability to bring about transformative change while maintaining structural, production-based, inequalities. Got me now?

    Like

  • @checkit-out
    “Those policies would also have been heavily informed by the Family Values strategy utilized in Bush’s two successful campaigns in America that were enunciated by several GOP candidates and strategists who subsequently were shown to have absolutely no family values.”

    That contribution is incredibly insightful. As a matter of research, it would be interesting to compare the political slogans of Bajan political parties with those of parties in England and the U.S. in the campaigns immediately preceding the local ones. “Putting People First” comes immediately to mind as a borrowed slogan. It’s just like the laziness that results in our Family and other social Laws being mere copies of legislation enacted for people and interaction foreign to the Bajan context. So it goes!

    Like

  • An while wanna hear talkin quasi sofisticated hite bajans puttin food an water pun 7 fishin boats dat gine to help we nighbers in St.Lucia.
    Thanks to the generous bajans and especially the fishermen who gine down dey.
    Wanna mek me proud to be a Bajan.

    Like

  • Hants
    I’ll drink to dat. hick-upppppppppp. And I’ll have one for de road? I going Six Roads, so I’ll have six fa de road. hiccuppppp.

    Like

  • @Hants
    Ever heard of the proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime?”

    It’s always “sofisticated hite” to those who WILL not see, nor hear, nor read. By the way, I too am extremely proud of our Bajan generosity. All of our Classics scholars also make me proud to be a Bajan.

    Like

  • Sometime I wonder if some of you have loss your “Bajan” comprehension of how we make statements.
    I respect the well educated like George Reid Phd, GP and Jeff Cumberbatch.

    The phrase “quasi sofisticated hite” was a bajan instigatory expression to emphasise the magnanimous actions by Bajans,especially my fishermen brethren,( I went flying fishing for 6 months in 1981).

    So Persnicka_t, I hope all of our Classics scholars make me proud by donating some “help” to we Lucian nighbers.

    Like

  • @Hants

    Sorry, mate. Can’t I misunderstand sometimes too? And yes, I agree with the sentiment as I mentioned earlier. One love!

    Like

  • @Persnicka_t,
    as a scholar you are not allowed to pretend you misunderstand. You and dr.GP are too bright for that.lol

    Like

  • @ Dr George
    You seem to conclude your analysis with “THIS, THEN, IS THE SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE TO STIMULATE A RESUMPTION OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THAT CONFRONTS OUR AUTHORITIES AT THIS PRESENT TIME!!”
    **************************************************
    Now it is with not insignificant temerity, that the Bushman would like to differ.
    What economic growth what??!!
    …and what Maslow is Inkwell on about?

    Why is it that the pyramid concept of continual growth in material assets must be so intrinsically linked to societal well-being and development?
    Surely a man of your intellect and experience must have come to recognize that this is but an illusion.

    Obviously one needs to eat and provide basic human and societal needs, but as a society we have long passed the collective ability to meet such needs – if we could be sold on a collective vision of sharing and caring as one big family we will have much more than enough.

    The next challenge for such an enlightened society then becomes how we could educate and mold our youth to buy into such a sharing and caring philosophy. …. building a brand, so to speak.

    The final and real challenge then becomes the spiritual quest to mass produce citizens whose CHARACTERS reflects the real wealth that can be accumulated in this world of ours….. The ONLY thing of lasting value and worth.

    The illusion of a link between “success and happiness” and “economic development and first world status” is one of the greatest deceptions for mankind.

    The Bushman is therefore adamant that it is very possible to develop a vision of s society whose strategic objectives are so defined, that success is essentially independent of economic fortunes.
    Indeed, such a society, even in the face of death, collapse, and terror could be experiencing great successes and character development of increasing levels of magnitude.

    ….of course the Bushie was only trying to use some big words to try and impress the bright folks here on this blog (like my fan Jack the Bowman LOL). Jesus said the same identical thing, but since he spoke in parables it may be easier to follow the bushman on this issue.

    Like

  • Persnicka_t say “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

    Hants say Give a man a vegetables and you feed him for a day; teach him to farm and you feed him for a lifetime and reduce the import bill.

    The phd’s and the economists say, “we have to study the relationship between the macro effects of the recession as it relates to the micronisation of economies of scale due to the inconsequential nature of strategically influenced market forces.”

    Like

  • @ Hants

    Man, leff ma alone, nuh! You ain see dat uh oney tryin’ a ting heah? I ain no intalexchual, yuh know! lol

    Like

  • BT,

    We are not really in disagreement… your view is idealistic whereas mine is pragmatic. Sure, if the available resources were spread and as you say, “we could be sold on a collective vision of sharing and caring as one big family we will have much more than enough.” But you and I know that’s not going to happen. Having one’s head in the clouds in this case is the same as burying one’s head in the sand. You are divorcing yourself from reality.

    My point in referring to Maslow is to bring home the reality that when a man is hungry, unsheltered or insecure or there is even the threat of these conditions, he is less inclined towards the concepts of higher human development, not to suggest that continual growth in material assets is linked to societal well-being and human development?

    And admit it or not the decline in the Barbados economy over the past few years and the seemingly uncontrollable increasing cost of living and job insecurity are affecting Bajans at the lowest, the physiological level. And if the Government does not think that efforts need to be made to improve this situation… and precious little has been done to date, then I have to question its competence and motivation

    Like

  • @Bush Tea | November 9, 2010 at 10:50 PM | |

    “@ Dr George
    You seem to conclude your analysis with “THIS, THEN, IS THE SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE TO STIMULATE A RESUMPTION OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THAT CONFRONTS OUR AUTHORITIES AT THIS PRESENT TIME!!”
    **************************************************
    Now it is with not insignificant temerity, that the Bushman would like to differ.
    What economic growth what??!!
    …and what Maslow is Inkwell on about?

    Why is it that the pyramid concept of continual growth in material assets must be so intrinsically linked to societal well-being and development?
    Surely a man of your intellect and experience must have come to recognize that this is but an illusion.

    Obviously one needs to eat and provide basic human and societal needs, but as a society we have long passed the collective ability to meet such needs – if we could be sold on a collective vision of sharing and caring as one big family we will have much more than enough.

    The next challenge for such an enlightened society then becomes how we could educate and mold our youth to buy into such a sharing and caring philosophy. …. building a brand, so to speak.

    The final and real challenge then becomes the spiritual quest to mass produce citizens whose CHARACTERS reflects the real wealth that can be accumulated in this world of ours….. The ONLY thing of lasting value and worth.

    The illusion of a link between “success and happiness” and “economic development and first world status” is one of the greatest deceptions for mankind.

    The Bushman is therefore adamant that it is very possible to develop a vision of s society whose strategic objectives are so defined, that success is essentially independent of economic fortunes.
    Indeed, such a society, even in the face of death, collapse, and terror could be experiencing great successes and character development of increasing levels of magnitude.

    ….of course the Bushie was only trying to use some big words to try and impress the bright folks here on this blog (like my fan Jack the Bowman LOL). Jesus said the same identical thing, but since he spoke in parables it may be easier to follow the bushman on this issue.”

    and:

    “Inkwell | November 10, 2010 at 10:36 AM |

    BT,

    We are not really in disagreement… your view is idealistic whereas mine is pragmatic. Sure, if the available resources were spread and as you say, “we could be sold on a collective vision of sharing and caring as one big family we will have much more than enough.” But you and I know that’s not going to happen. Having one’s head in the clouds in this case is the same as burying one’s head in the sand. You are divorcing yourself from reality.

    My point in referring to Maslow is to bring home the reality that when a man is hungry, unsheltered or insecure or there is even the threat of these conditions, he is less inclined towards the concepts of higher human development, not to suggest that continual growth in material assets is linked to societal well-being and human development?

    And admit it or not the decline in the Barbados economy over the past few years and the seemingly uncontrollable increasing cost of living and job insecurity are affecting Bajans at the lowest, the physiological level. And if the Government does not think that efforts need to be made to improve this situation… and precious little has been done to date, then I have to question its competence and motivation”

    I suspect that you and I have no real disagreement over your analysis and conclusion. Nor do I disagree with Inkwell’s assertion that the present economic situation that confronts Barbados poses serious risks to societal cohesion. However, I do not accept that Inkwell had to invoke Maslow to make that point.

    Bushie’s comment that he:

    “is therefore adamant that it is very possible to develop a vision of s society whose strategic objectives are so defined, that success is essentially independent of economic fortunes. Indeed, such a society, even in the face of death, collapse, and terror could be experiencing great successes and character development of increasing levels of magnitude.” has me puzzled.

    I have always been agnostic about the compatibility between the “values” imbedded in the capitalist mode of development and the “higher” values implied in the mode of societal transformation to which BT adverts. Indeed, this contradiction may be a fundamental flaw in the development strategies that have been pursued by both political parties in Barbados, to date. It seems to me, however, that the efforts of the RHOSA to secure ever increasing increments of measurable national income and output during the years of his administrations by an even higher buy-in to the capitalist mode of development has made this dilemma even more acute!

    Let me admit, however, that it is very difficult (and probably highly boring to many readers) to attempt to develop this argument successfully within the confines of a blog.

    Like

  • @ George Reid
    “Indeed, this contradiction may be a fundamental flaw in the development strategies that have been pursued by both political parties in Barbados, to date. It seems to me, however, that the efforts of the RHOSA to secure ever increasing increments of measurable national income and output during the years of his administrations by an even higher buy-in to the capitalist mode of development has made this dilemma even more acute!”

    I got it ! and YOU got it!

    But, “… it is very difficult (and probably highly boring to many readers) to attempt to develop this argument successfully within the confines of a blog.”

    Like

  • It was in the last 24 hours Arthur was quoted stressing the need for Barbados to increase revenue. Forgive BU if we struggle to understand how our externally driven economy can be managed to achieve such on a sustained basis given current fundamentals.

    Indeed one could smile recently at the comment by newly appointed Senator Symmonds that Barbados can be encouraged by growth in the Guyana economy.

    Like

  • @ Dr George, Inkwell et al

    There can be no question of the fundamental flaw that lies in practically every type of political philosophy…. because the results speak clearly for themselves. They have all failed to establish any long term developmental successes.

    Like the pyramid arrangements that they all essentially are; they use greed to divide us into haves and have-nots – with the inevitable conflicts and stagnation.

    Like all good research, we must first establish the ontological and epistemological basis for the constructs that we would wish to build.

    Almost universally, we have all decided on the flawed ‘reality’ that the purpose of life is the accumulation of material goods.
    Although this is clearly a stupid, pointless, counter-productive ontological thesis – it is widely accepted by practically each of us.
    WE LIVE OUR LIVES ESSENTIALLY TO ACCUMULATE MATERIAL THINGS WHICH WE THEN DIE AND LEAVE.

    Now it is equally obvious that the need for material goods is not even as great as the need for air to breath – yet we do not accumulate air.

    If our ontology and epistemology are flawed, then there can be no doubt that our systems will be flawed …. and will fail. (in other words, if we start wrong we ‘blise’ to end wrong)

    The bushman’s point here is this.
    BEFORE we can decide on the best type of political philosophy for our society, we MUST develop a sound understanding of what the high level strategic objectives are.

    You may not believe in any supernatural purpose in life Dr. G, but you are intelligent enough to know that such disbelief, in itself, does not affect actual reality.

    The FACT is that life on earth is actually a critical process in the plans of real life supernatural beings, and that there is a grand purpose and plan that is being worked.

    While you are free to believe or not, this does not affect the epistemology.

    Life on earth is configured and designed to create an environment that is ideal for the development of righteous character. Temporary mortal bodies, containing a special characteristic called ‘life’ is given a 70 year time span in the crucible of earth to develop this special character.
    Righteous character is the natural tendency to choose to do the right thing in every circumstance.
    You have to agree that our world is absolutely excellently designed to accomplish such a mission.

    Let us assume that the above is close to being the reason for the whole experience of life on earth. Does it make ANY sense at all for us to seek to accumulate great wealth?
    ….to measure success in terms of GDP?
    …to strive for first world status?
    Ontology and epistemology Dr George…..

    Like

  • “The FACT is that life on earth is actually a critical process in the plans of real life supernatural beings, and that there is a grand purpose and plan that is being worked.”

    Now, now BT, you really have to stop parading BELIEFS as FACTS if you are not going to cite any supporting evidence.

    This ain’t no Harsun College boy you talking to, I went to Lodge, so I have some sense.

    Like

  • Here is a website created to receive tributes:

    http://www.tributestodavidthompson.com

    Like

  • @Bush Tea | November 10, 2010 at 10:28 PM |

    I am not going to quote your rather lengthy polemic, but I must admit that you have succeeded in getting me to respond in a manner that contravenes my earlier suggestion the the issues to which you advert cannot be profitably explored within the confines of a blog. And you sent me back to my Companion to Epistemology (Dancy and Sosa: Blackwell, 1998).

    Since the operative concepts of your argument turn on the meaning of two words that you emphasise, I think that I should attempt to define them.

    Ontology can be defined as.the branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as such. Wikipedia, which seems to be a favourite BU source, more expansively offers: “Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning whether entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.

    Epistemology, Bush Tea’s other code word can be defined as the theory of knowledge is, according to Wikipedia “the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge.[1] It addresses the questions:
    What is knowledge?
    How is knowledge acquired?
    How do we know what we know?
    Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification”.

    Now, having presented these two definitions, I seem to smell a decaying rodent! Where will this philosophical detour take us? Let us, however, accept BT’s assertion that “Like all good research, we must first establish the ontological and epistemological basis for the constructs that we would wish to build.
    Almost universally, we have all decided on the flawed ‘reality’ that the purpose of life is the accumulation of material goods.
    Although this is clearly a stupid, pointless, counter-productive ontological thesis – it is widely accepted by practically each of us.
    WE LIVE OUR LIVES ESSENTIALLY TO ACCUMULATE MATERIAL THINGS WHICH WE THEN DIE AND LEAVE”
    Here, BT seems to be suggesting that the prevailing and accepted analysis of economic behaviour in the capitalist mode fails to properly capture the philosophical basis of the “meaning of life”. But it would be a reductio ad absurdum, of Monty Pythonesque proportions to suggest that “pragmatic” political strategy (in its non-philosophical sense [and here, Owen Arthur got it absolutely wrong when he stated in his “to boot” that DJHT’s politics was “pragmatic” and uncomplicated by any philosophical justification]) that uses the acquisitive desires of human beings as a fundamental driving force, recognises ONLY that source as a call to action.

    I do not see how from a pragmatic perspective (again in the non-philosophical sense) we can create a development strategy of general appeal that ignores the reality of acquisition! After all, the wise rich young ruler was told that to inherit eternal life he should sell all his goods and distribute the proceeds to the poor. BUT SINCE HE HAD TO ACQUIRE THEM BEFORE HE COULD SELL THEM, I MAY HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD YOU, BUSH TEA!!

    Like

  • A prayer for Mercy

    The Book of Psalms

    Chapter 51
    1 Have mercy upon David Thompson, O Elohim, according to thy lovingkindness: According to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out his transgressions.
    2 Wash David thoroughly from his iniquity, And cleanse him from his sin.
    3 For he knows his transgressions; And his sin is ever before him.
    4 Against thee, thee only, have David sinned, And done that which is evil in thy sight; That thou mayest be justified when thou speakest, And be clear when thou judgest.
    5 Behold, David was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did his mother conceive him.
    6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; And in the hidden part thou wilt make him to know wisdom.
    7 Purify David with hyssop, and he shall be clean: Wash David, and he shall be whiter than snow.
    8 Make David to hear joy and gladness, That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
    9 Hide thy face from David’s sins, And blot out all his iniquities.
    10 Create in him a clean heart, O Elohim; And renew a right spirit within him.
    11 Cast him not away from thy presence; And take not thy holy Spirit from him.
    12 Restore unto him the joy of thy salvation; And uphold him with a willing spirit.
    13 Then will he teach transgressors thy ways; And sinners shall be converted unto thee.
    14 Deliver David from bloodguiltiness, O Elohim, thou Elohim of his salvation; And his tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
    15 O Yahweh, open thou his lips; And his mouth shall show forth thy praise.
    16 For thou delightest not in sacrifice; else would he give it: Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering.
    17 The sacrifices of Elohim are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O Elohim, thou wilt not despise.
    18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: Build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
    19 Then will thou delight in the sacrifices of righteousness, In burnt-offering and in whole burnt-offering: Then will they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

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  • Pingback: Барбадос: Последно збогување · Global Voices

  • I will try to publish more posts like these on my own site.

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  • Hey! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying
    to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve
    this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

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  • “Let us assume that the above is close to being the reason for the whole experience of life on earth.”

    No, let’s not assume that. Let’s not assume it. Let’s wait to see it proven.

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  • Bush Tea, November 9, 2010 at 10:50 PM:

    “Now it is with not insignificant temerity, that the Bushman would like to differ.
    What economic growth what??!! … and what Maslow is Inkwell on about?

    Why is it that the pyramid concept of continual growth in material assets must be so intrinsically linked to societal well-being and development?”

    Does anyone know, without Googling it, what “societal” means? Does it mean anything?

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