The Politics Of Spin

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance (l) David Estwick, Minister of Agriculture (r)

One does not have to be an Einstein to observe that we are living in troubling times. We have seen ordinary people topple Mubarak who has held power for thirty years  in a  monarchical style government in Egypt. As we type this blog news services are reporting  demonstrations in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria to name a few places.  Volatility in the Arab world is always a concern to the rest of the world, especially small open economies like Barbados reliant on fossil imports. Forecast for Brent Crude closed at USD102.52 effective 18 February 2011.   There is even the possibility of a US government shutdown because of a budget standoff between Republicans and  Democrats. The foregoing makes the business of economic forecasting a crystal ball affair for local economists who sit in the Tom Adams Financial Centre.

Last week Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced with fanfare that the Barbados economy grew by 0.3 per cent at the end of last year and had not contracted by 0.4 per cent as earlier projected. The revelation appears to have precipitated a spasm of enthusiasm among local Central Bankers who were reported to be busy revising first quarter projection from 2% to 2.5%.  The news could not have come at a more opportune time for Barbados with  the embattled credit rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s reported to be visiting Barbados soon. Barbados currently has a rating a notch above junk status.

BU is pleased the government has been able to reverse several months of GDP decline but refuses to jump over the moon until the growth is sustained over at least three quarters. The longer term objective is to see  some strategies implemented to guide transformation in the productive sectors of the economy. A recent loan for USD40 million from the IADB to be used to develop the alternative energy sector is good news.

Minister Chris Sinckler who was appointed by late Prime Minster David Thompson to manage the influential finance ministry maybe feeling some pressure from aspirant David Estwick.  It is an open secret that Estwick views the finance ministry as belonging to him. Now that Stuart is at the helm there is a suggestion which has been gaining traction that Estwick maybe the finance minister in waiting. Stuart has rewarded Kellman with a ministry and Estwick must think his chance is around the corner. How can Stuart forget how they fought, albeit a losing battle, together to keep Thompson out and Mascoll in. Perhaps the scheduling of a press conference on a Saturday morning was more about political spin to make Sinckler look good and less about pre-empting the Arthur led opposition press conference held on the same Saturday.

Let it not go about that BU does not have a healthy appreciation for political gamesmanship between the parties, however,  this time around we believe both the BLP and DLP have missed the plot. The turbulence in the world economy demands that political parties in Barbados put country first. and operate in a bipartisan manner. The inclination to practice the same old politics might impress the decaffeinated one of the Sanka variety but not many others.

We agree with Minister Sinckler that if the government does not plan to borrow on the world market then we should not worry about credit rating downgrades. What he conveniently neglected to tell us is that local companies operating internationally are being affected by the downgrade, ask Sagicor.

By the way, has the gun incident which involved Estwick and Dale Marshall reported to be resting with the Committee of Privileges in our parliament been resolved?

0 thoughts on “The Politics Of Spin

  1. The economy, Barbadians & the interest of the country has been put on the back burner. We are NOW forced to watch the Owen & Mia show, which is being acted out in public, so we are given no choice to decline viewing.
    We wait with baited breath, while the PM & his Ministers ponder their next move. The cost of living continue to rise, workers are made redundant, while business are either closing their doors or down sizing.
    All the forecasting, statistics & speeches will not make Barbadians feel at ease , neither will they gain the confidence of either parties.
    Both political parties are going through leadership changes & power struggles, this has affected their performance & how the general public view them. For the first time Barbadians can clearly identify those politicians who have the country & it’s people’s interest at heart & those who seek to gain power & position, so to look after their own personal interests.
    We continue to wait with baited breath.

  2. The world could be thrown back into recession if the conflicts in the middle east drive the price of oil up.

    We have seen food prices rising steadily in Canada and the USA.

    It is not fear mongering to suggest that Barbados could be heading for a deeper recession.

  3. David wunna gine to de 7 p.m. Nation Talkback Town hall meeting at St George Secondary School wensdee?

    Duh is to got some big ups talkin bout de cost a living.

  4. Freudel Stuart will make the biggest mistake of his political career if he moves Chris Sinclair from finance and replace him with David Estwick.
    I will not be surprise because most of these politicians are stubborn.
    Chris Sinclair did not tell Barbadians to make him the most popular DLP member besides David Thompson.
    The people saw him as a person to lead Barbados. If Freudel feels threatened then he must remember that he gave the late PM stress even putting it in writing when he wanted to return to lead the DLP.
    The same person made him his deputy I suppose for a show of unity and now today he is PM. He should remember that and keep the unity of the party in his thoughts as he contemplates any reshuffle.

  5. For as good as an improvement by .5 % may seem ,it may all go for naught , if the middle east turbulence does not end soon. Much less has been used to drive up the price of oil in the past , so it is just a matter of time till Bim feels the ripple effect of a conflict in which it had no part. One can only hope that in this period of politics of opportunism , a genuine love for our land will drive all to a neutral ground where common sense may prevail . Where the only B that matters is Barbados , and Determination can guide us through these perilous times. One can hope and one can also dream , as I am doing, for I am sure that before the next sitting that half of a percentage point will be embraced by at best ,half of the opposition party. Will it be Mia’s half ? Or will it be the other half ? Either way we lose.

  6. @Dawn Rollins

    Unfortunately or fortunately, there is no Owen-Mia show that is being played out in public. Wrong! Indeed, no one has heard Mia saying anything. What I must say is that perception is key in politics; many persons are perceiving that all is not well with the DEMS. By the way, is Kellman a threat to anyone? I note Dr. Lowe, after speaking on what he describes as a near death experience, wants to challenge the credibility of doctors in giving him an extended leave in order to recuperate fully. Is Lowe willing to risk health to safeguard his political position and fortunes? If I was not naive, I would think that the loquacious Donville has been speaking ahead of substantive ministers on matters where silence was the norm. Is he beginning to think that he may be a compromise should Stuart, Sinckler, and Estwick get it wrong?
    Nevertheless Dawn, you did get it right that “both political parties are going through leadership changes & power struggles, this has affected their performance & how the general public view them.” I concur with you to a large extent. My reservation comes in the wake that the BLP is still presenting an alternative voice, but the DLP through their less than proactive leader seems contented to await his fate.
    I accept that the current administration’s policies may have been achieved at through consensus with the ranks, but after being a practicing Prime Minister for at least 9 months and based upon the socio-economic returns and unemployment trends in Barbados, would he say that another man’s best team continues to be his best team? What is he afraid of? “Don’t rock the boat?” Perception, perception, perception. The BLP is far from being out of the race. People will not tolerate ineffective, lack-lustre leadership especially when they are ambitious younger persons jostling for positions. People will not endorse a Prime Minister that is more tentative than caution itself.
    I have had reason to be critical of some of the things happening in and with the BLP; but I do not underestimate the surge that the BLP can bring to bear on a Prime Minister whose very shadow appears to be now haunting him. Perception would be the key to the DEMS self-inflicted defeat.

  7. Instead of speaking to the countrymen that he “leads” about the challenges that face Barbados and how he plans to deal with them, Fumble Stroke has headed to New York to be with Lennox and the other blind faithfuls, where he will hide out while revelling in shallow questioning that will not stretch him for sensible answers.

    He will also be spouting latin phrases, and wrongly using Bible verses just as a convenience. The so-called eloquent Stuart, (eloquent but in fear, still calls his main opponent a rat) clearly is out of his depth and does not wish to face the local press all by his lonesome.

    Look out for a Tony Best report from New York early this week, which will be just another ad hominem attack on Owen Arthur, but NOTHING of substance regarding the management of the Barbados economy. Wanna bet?

  8. And once again Rihanna has reached higher heights.

    I am here watching her perform with an orchestra at the NBA All Stars Half Time.


  9. All I read is constant and relentless criticism of the Government and some is justified.
    Praedial larceny should become a crime with a minimum sentence of 5 years with hard labour in Dodds.

    Where are the suggestions to improve the Barbados economy?
    The intelligensia on BU could surely offer some suggestions.

    Bico chairman says Bajans should buy local. Great idea Chairman so how about dropping the price of your wonderful product?

    There is a simple equation that makes sense to me. The more food you produce locally the less USA dollars you have to spend on imported food.

    Import substitution should extend to manufacturing. The more raw materials you import to produce goods the less USA dollars you spend on “pretty packaging”.

    Government should rethink how they spend money overseas especially as it relates to conferences and events. More on that later.

    Manufacturing. What can Barbados make that other countries are willing to buy during a recession ?

    There are no easy answers and solutions but tose of you who criticise should show how bright you are and come to the BU table with ideas.

    Let us start the BU think tank right now!

  10. @ Truthman Burton

    Are you Owen’s bodyguard? Every time someone mention’s Owen’s name whether here or on BFP you spring up like a political pit-bull to defend him. He has not even the topic of discussion but you anticipate an attack via Tony Best.

    Owen has been around long enough to withstand the slings and arrows of his political opponents but every critical remark in his direction draws a response from you. The other bloggers who lean to the BLP seem to put Party first but it appears that you always seem to put Owen first.

    I can’t remember you displaying the same loyalty to Mia in this forum so I will surmise that your political fortune is tied to Owen’s.

  11. Just saw a really good TV commercial for the “Breakfast in Barbados promotion” on prime time Toronto TV.

    Very effective advertising. imho.

  12. @ George C Brathwaite.
    Who said there is no Owen & Mia Show? Did you hear me say that I “Heard Mia saying anything”?
    No, no.
    Remember Charlie Chaplin? Do you watch Tom & Jerry & The Road Runner? Plenty of action & no talking, but we got the message.
    The whole of Barbados & Barbadians living abroad are observing closely to see how this battle will play out. It is sad, but a reality.
    Why talk when you have others to do it for you??????
    Actions speak louder than words Mate.
    I rest my case.

  13. @Dawn

    You are on the right track.

    Who can forget Estwick wearing a red shirt the morning after Thompson’s death?

    How can Arthur head an effective opposition with Mia sidelined?

  14. Hants,

    Please see if you can persuade the BTA’s Toronto office to put it on YouTube or the BTA website so we can all see it.
    I asked the London office to do this with the new UK ‘ads’ and they were kind enough to do so.
    Its makes us all feel more involved.

  15. @ George Brathwaite
    With Stuart rumblings to reshuffle, you really think it is fair to criticise Lowe for going back to work. When cuts come, Ministers without portfolio will get cut first. Lowe has bills to pay, and if they get another term, he wants a pension. Kellman alright, he is not a man relying on politics he knows he has no permanent friends, so he sticks with his permanent interests Moontown. I hear he promotes Moontown allover the social media all hours of the day, so while he doing Ministerial work he working de shopeeper pick. So his bills gine get pay whatever happens. Wait till March 1.

    Death of a soldier crab (DT) is the promotion of a wilk (Stuart). what can wilks do?

    Cost of living, cost of living, cost of living.What have they said so far vs what they have done so far. Oh says Sinckler we bringing fruits from Dominica they growing in abundance there.We ain get one stinking manga to feed a hog yet. We bringing CostUless says HH they will bring down prices. I wonder if he getting a kickback? Ain see a brick yet. Silencccceeeee. WE assigning this task to Estwick. Silllleeeennnnnccccceeeee. Estwick ain even spit pon it. St. John by-election we can hear price gouging, price gouging BY MERCHANTS. Ministers went shopping, shopping yuh hear to hold up a bag of peas to let us know that it went up by six dollars. Dem check the price of gasolene? Gimmee a break, every man jack in B’dos knows how high things get. WHAT DE @#$&@%@ WUNNA DOING BOUT IT?

    Three years, three years to do something about it. Not a damn thing. This price escalation was already on the cards before DLP got in, and the financial crisis tamped it down for a while. You mean you ain sprain your brain to come up with a strategy to deal with it. You did not anticipate its resurgence after the recession ended? You checking this unrest and cost of fuel to us. Bunch of jokers. At least Arthur had a strategy for cost of fuel; he and Ms. Mottley had a strategy for Guyana. These jokers only talking bout evah so welcome wait for a call.

    I wonder if Sinckler and Donville think the media pronouncements is equivalent to governing? I wonder if the daily fanfare that does not address vital issues is a substitue for good policy and execution. I read this morning that BLP accusing them of bringing more fees at the hospital, and the Minister say he knows nothing about it. he and Irene don’t talk. He can pronounce upon everything what concern he and what don’t. And he does not know about this plan. if he kows about drug user fees, it is in the same damn document. I fed up with the ignorance and arrogance these people feel they can pass cross my eyes like they think we are idiots.

  16. @Sargeant | February 21, 2011 at 12:03 AM |
    @ Truthman Burton
    “Are you Owen’s bodyguard? Every time someone mention’s Owen’s name whether here or on BFP you spring up like a political pit-bull to defend him.”

    Hi Sargeant, I feel humbled by the fact that my contributions are being monitored by such a notable blogger as yourself. You appear to have been badly “Bee stung” by my contention that Fumble Stroke, at a time when both his presence and his productive leadership (if he can provide it) are sorely needed at home, has gone to New York to hide out with those in whose comfort he can bask.

    As you suggested Owen is more than able to defend himself; he doesn’t need me as a bodyguard. My simple observations cannot be described as pit-bull-behaviour, and your obvious anger at my right to destroy lies, ennuendo and deception, perpetrated from time to time by the DLP, exposes who IS the real vicious pit bull. You recognise the real pit bull Sargeant?

    P.S. Don’t forget to listen out for Tony Best from New York

  17. Mr. Loveridge, sorry about the tardy response …… I was not monitoring BFP for a few days ……. but I have posted my FINAL comments on that issue you, your wife, Emanuel Joseph and I had about “The Oistins Event”

    As I said , I have made my point and you can have the last word. Stay well.

  18. @Sargeant | February 21, 2011 at 12:03 AM |
    “I can’t remember you displaying the same loyalty to Mia in this forum so I will surmise that your political fortune is tied to Owen’s.”
    Incidentally, Sargeant, I do not have , nor do I aspire to any “political fortune” I am just a simple ordinary Barbadian, proud of my country, no matter which party is in office, but very interested in how it is governed.

  19. David wrote, “Equally as important is the task of kicking our politicians in the ass.”
    I agree but we also need our own kicked too especially those of us who will not get $100,000 a year pension at age 50.

    Let us start filling the think tank with real real money earning ideas.

  20. @Truthman Burton

    My simple observations cannot be described as pit-bull-behaviour, and your obvious anger at my right to destroy lies, ennuendo and deception, perpetrated from time to time by the DLP, exposes who IS the real vicious pit bull. You recognise the real pit bull Sargeant?
    Obvious anger? Surely you delude yourself; your political ruminations cause more mirth than ire (at least from where I sit). Lies, deception, untruths, mistruths, innuendo are the characteristics of both Parties and their supporters; none of them can claim any moral high ground. This includes supporters who include the word “truth” in their sobriquet as if that label conveys the impression of authenticity.

    As for monitoring of any posts, I leave that to the Party apparatchiks such as yourself who spring to the defense of Owen either here or on BFP rather than provide any vindication for your Party.

  21. @Truthman Burton

    Incidentally, Sargeant, I do not have , nor do I aspire to any “political fortune” I am just a simple ordinary Barbadian, proud of my country, no matter which party is in office, but very interested in how it is governed.
    Well pardon me for being sceptical, even the adoption of your pen name tells me a lot about your politics. “Ordinary” Bajans are entitled to their opinions but do not readily jump on any criticism of a leader who was recently shown the exit by the electorate. While they may have a version of the “truth” they listen and watch and leave the daily infighting to the politicians. When the time comes they will throw their lot behind the leader they have the most confidence in, for an “ordinary” bajan you seem to have a lot riding on the political legacy of the leader of the BLP.

  22. @hants

    The problem with most of our industries are they are expensive to run. As such the operating cost is expensive to make money. Without the protecting of duties most of the local manufacturing sectors would collapse as everything is cheaper on the international markets. So how do we address this problem. We can be underpriced in every sector from furniture to garments to meats to fruit and veg. Why is it so expensive to do it here? one of the reason is high labour cost. we can’t compete on that level. we could try but in market where good are treated equally we lose big time.

    So Maybe we should invest in finished products. Finish product always have a good ROI and as such there no need for anyone else in manufacturing line earning on your products. So how do make use of way of thinking? This require participation of few countries to get finish products to market. Make use of spice/cocoa in Grenada + sugar here to make chocolates, teas, sweets. Make use of bananas make banana chips and other finished products. Sell all our sugar not in bulk form as muscvado brand to wholesalers. Expand our solar heater industry to the rest of the world in tropic belt. Cotton prices have double in last few year. What ever happen to the sea island cotton industry ? they could supply cotton for our own local designers.

    Now even with finish products on the market we can be underpriced by almost anyone. So how do we combat that? We can’t. We have to always aim for the highend market. we have to make the barbados name imply highend when ever they hear it attached to product. Whether is be furniture, chips , clothes, sugar, chocolate, sweets,solar heaters anything we make here it must be highend quality. As such with the highend brand people with pay extra for the quality and that the only way any of industries survive on the international markets.

    Now of course demand for luxury good decrease drastically in any depression and as such i don’t think there anything we can make currently other than luxury good that other countries would demand that someone else can’t do cheaper. As such they are the only way I see any of local industries competing on the international market with a chance of surviving.

  23. I sometimes work for a manufacturer in Canada.

    The lowest payed employee makes $10.50cad ($21bds) per hour.
    Mid level employees ( Designers, Project managers, production supervisors) range between $25cad($50bds) and $35cad($70) per hour.

    All products are designed and prototyped in Canada and 60% of the products are manufactured in China and the remainder in Canada.
    Most of the raw materials are imported from China.

    Whether this business model can work for Barbados I do not know.

    I hope more of our bloggers will contribute ideas or case scenarios that may contribute to the BU THINK TANK.

  24. Sargeant, you clearly are an exponent on WORDS, WORDS, OH SUCH SWEET WORDS , WORDS, WORDS! They role off your tongue in a manner that to you, is mightily self-pleasuring.

    But, address the real point I made; I have no desire to engage you in useless sweet-sounding talk.

    Is not Mr. Stuart in New York today, ostensibly to inform Barbadians in New York about current situations in Barbados, but making this his politically safe method of addressing Barbadians at home?

    Should not he be here at home, arranging an imminent press conference with the leading representatives of the LOCAL MEDIA, being on the ground exposed to tough questioning, and principally, bringing Barbadians AT HOME, up to date on the challenges we face on economic, social and other issues?

    I have read your post twice, and no where do I see you addressing those questions.

  25. Truth?man Burton wrote “Is not Mr. Stuart in New York today, ostensibly to inform Barbadians in New York about current situations in Barbados,”

    Yes he probably is.

    Because we love our family and or country so much that we does send back to BARBADOS money and barrels worth more than $260 million million dollars a year.

    So we are pleased to hear from the PM and as usual we will show our care and concern by sending more money back home even though people like you think that we don’t deserve a visit from the PM.

    Uh cahn wait fuh he to come to Toronta.

    Duh got nuff Bajans up hey who sennin money home instead a drivin Bimmers or Benzes.

  26. @Truthman Burton

    What Stuart is doing is no different from what other Bajan leaders and even Opposition leaders of recent vintage have done i.e. reach out to the one of the most influential Bajan communities abroad.

    A housebound PM giving Press conferences will not make the issues facing Bajans disappear overnight. The economic issues are deep and long standing; that your Party managed to paper them over for a period of time is impressive. I am yet to be convinced that the present Gov’t can repair the damage without making the necessary sacrifices but they seem to have been spooked by the ghost of the Sandiford Gov’t. When they tried to curb some allowances everyone cried foul, people want to have their cake and eat it too.

    What was Owen’s strategy with fuel prices that you referenced? The one where you subsidize over the backs of taxpayers and then saddle them with the bill in future? Don’t pay now but feel the pain later.

    Since there is a ban on camouflage clothing, there should be a ban on camouflage economic strategies, e.g. the strategy on fuel prices.

  27. @Anonus

    The system of government in Egypt operated with a constitutional monarchy until the military take over recently. Instead of 25 it should have been 30 because Mubarak took office in 1981.

    Is this your concern?

  28. Did Stuart travel to New York only to meet Bajan New Yorkers?

    Sargeant your last comment is telling, we had ‘issues with BWA, Transport Board, BNOC, SSA etc in times of plenty with little effort to deal with the underlying causes. To Truthman’s point Stuart at some point will have to take on a proper communications/PR strategy. It was a contributing factor to Sandiford’s demise.

  29. @ Truthman Burton …. While I sit here enjoying the banter between yourself and Sargeant ,I am compeled to bring to your attention the fact that all leaders (and I do mean all ) of both sides travel to North America and Britain to appease the groups stationed there. Mia headed a delegation that was accepted here in New York just before she was ……… well you get to choose the verb. She spoke and eloquently so ,albeit to a group of fifteen people that Saturday evening in Brooklyn . Nazereth Hall was packed last evening and dare I say all accepted and enjoyed De Most Fumbled Stroke that there ever was. Can you tell me on what this claim of infighting in the DEMS camp is based ? Speculation ,or is it a source that remains unnamed ? Boy….. misery sure loves company.

  30. A packed Nazareth Hall with NON-VOTERS. But I am not vex with PM Stuart, if a man and his ‘kingmaker’ had left me with a plethora of flawed policies, unclear programmes and civil lawsuits I would keep a low profile too.

  31. David & HH

    Truthman Burton’s umbilical cord is tied to the BLP so he is unable to see the forest for the trees.

    To his way of thinking if the BLP forms the Gov’t we will all be singing “Everything’s coming up roses”.

    Of course the political leaders travel to New York and London to fraternize with Bajans in those locations, if Mia was only able to attract a small crowd speaks to the power of the Office of PM vs that of Opposition leader.

    David on Feb.19 on another post I wrote that we have few leaders but many followers, now the local press quotes the Director of Public Service Reform as saying we have too many “weak leaders”

    Perhaps too many followers are in leadership positions.

    Like you, I was enjoying the spat wid Truthman n Sargeant. I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange. The both put forward a good case for their ‘wordy’ opponent with Sargeant coming out on top, nonetheless. You Hamilton represent yourself eloquently too. I ‘enjoy’ you.


    It is with profound sadness dat I say ‘SO LONG FOR NOW’ as I take leave from BU to prepare myself for eye surgery shortly. Hopefully all will go well and I will be back in ‘fine’ form. I will miss wunna-all (my Supa fav’rit word) but be of good cheer and keep de BU light illuminated above n beyond all others.

    Bye for now.
    (sniff, sniff)

  33. @ David ……….. to speak to your post at 4.12pm , surely you would agree that those are two separate issues . No one can deny that the P M needs to be seen at the fore , as any leader should be , but a visit to a subsidiary base does not , or should not relieve him of the responsibility the office entails .

  34. BP

    I hope that everything goes well with your surgery and you are back soon with your usual inimitable wit.

    Bonne chance!

  35. @ Bonny Peppa —–God’s guidance to those who perform your surgery, and good luck to you in your time of recovery. If it were up to me your new vision would focus upon a new leader of ……… Just joking , be well and again good luck.

    • BU has also observed Minister Donville Inniss speaking to issues outside of his purview. Some might say he is demonstrating leadership other a breach of protocol.

      We shall see.

  36. Bonny

    Mash up & family wish you God’s blessings, good health and successful surgery.

    Looking forward to you coming back hot and spicy soon.

  37. The DLP government under P.M Stuart will reshuffle the cabinet soon as I’ve stated in another blog and Dr David Estwick will be the NEW Min.of Finance and Deputy P.M. Like it or lump it.

  38. @The Scout,

    What is there not to like?

    They are all intelligent reasonably educated men.

    to besides duh can always get guidance from the BU intelligensia an Hants.

    Tell dum to check in on de BU Think Tank often.

  39. Pepps

    Take care now. These days such operations are quite routine. Look forward to your being back here in a short while, and in peppery health …!

  40. WRT the Middle East, be aware that the United States of America and other Western interests dedicate significant resources to the destabilizing of perceived enemy states. The news as taken from the traditional wire forms a large part of this campaign … Believe NOTHING that you read! What I see here is opportunism and significant mischief, as it was in the beginning, it now and shall ever will be, world without end …

  41. Now for a sorry truth that is being avoided… the elephant that is standing in the middle of the room … with no cloths on …

    The US Dollar is plummeting … The end of fiat currency being the preferred medium of international exchange, the reserve currency is coming to a grinding halt. This will happen within TWO years … What will happen to your savings? Commodity prices are shooting up I feel because they have become default investment options…!

  42. The PM (Fumble Stroke) can afford to lie to the DLP’s faithful in New York telling them that there will be no lay offs in the public sector. That is not what is the reality on the ground back here. Word is that right now there is an “inventory” going on of every department looking at every employee, their position, length of service etc, I wonder why.

    Government is not paying its bills just to be able to meet payroll at month end. Every month they are borrowing heavily from the NIS funds and are not putting back in a penny. So instead of dealing with these issues, you have a PM going off on a first class ride to New York to address party faithfuls. When he is finished being wined and dined, he still has to return to reality.

    So no amount of spinning that the BLP papered over things will spin anymore. We had 14 years when we did not have to worry of the way the economy was being handled, we had prosperity.

    So speaking to a packed hall means nothing in terms of local problems. I watched CBC filmed a Christmas party Mrs Byer Sukoo gave for her constituents’ children, there were SIX children there when CBC was filming the event, do you know the next night when I saw DLPTV news that CBC only showed Mrs Byer Sukoo and no footage of any children. So what’s the point that he spoke to a packed hall and Mia spoke to six??? AG Adriel Brathwaite spoke to a DLP branch a few days ago and there were very few persons there! What’s the point in numbers???

    Eventually, Fumble will have to honour the promise made to Mr”Pit bull”Estwick when he got Mr Estwick to cancel his press conference after Mr David Thompson’s death bed cabinet reshuffle. All hell will then break loose. Remember Mr Estwick’s words, time longer than twine.

  43. Do we keep forgetting that a re-shuffle of government ministers was made when the then PM was as at his lowest point? A few weeks’ after he died – probably even the next week.
    We are we believing that it was in the best interest of Barbados and not a friend trying to set up friends.
    Shouldn’t the then PM left it open for his successor to make a re-shuffle? Was it prudent to cause another (man) to assess and evaluate a reshuffle which again left the PM Ag (current PM) who was not ill, and who did not have to reduce his portfolio due to illness, without a portfolio?
    The PM should do his re-shuffle at his pleasure under the advisement of his political and spiritual advisors. Whatever he does will be assessed and evaluated by the living and by the the dead.

  44. @ Hants

    Your requests are well-placed and timely, but unfortunately we have a government and opposition that are not familiar or accustomed to LEADING INNOVATION. They are simply bureaucrats who can only administrate what already exists. They minds simply do not know about creating industries and fostering entrepreneurship. How many HC or QC scholars have gone on to become Barbadian entrepreneurs using those brains to create new products or process foods for import substitution. Or created software like facebook.

    Until we understand how to manage innovation, we are doomed!!

    Solution – Identify the creative ones via an annual “Barbados Idol” type entrepreneur show, and then utilise our minimal resources on the “few” who have a real product or service to deliver. Laser shot as opposed to scatter shot. This formula works on American Idol, where they match talent (Across 300 million people) with the music industry resources(This is where BIDC and Invest B’dos etc come in). Don’t have to re-invent the wheel, only put bajan rubber on it!

    Cheez man! What we waiting for…..Let we learn from Richard Stoute teen talent, Rihanna and American Idol nah man!

  45. Duopoly-monopoly two that are really one, report cards are in and both parties deserve an F.

    Now on to serious business.

    We the people of Barbados need to prepare for what is coming. It is unprecedented but not insurmountable. In the coming days, weeks and months things will happen at an ever accelerated rate. The pace will make predicting the future an extremely difficult task…..but here goes.

    Prediction/Challenge #1
    Political parties will provide entertainment but no real solutions, having engaged in a quasi parasitic existence for so long they are short on creativity, innovation and courage. As the local economy continues to contract and with few solutions at hand, both sides will engaged in theater and distraction. Charlatans and jesters. It is not that they do not care, but simply do not understand what is coming.

    A Solution to Challenge #1

    Ignore them and the games, they will do little to improve conditions for you. The stress, anger, frustration etc…. is not good for you physically, mentally or spiritually. The silly games serve only to distract you from the truth: they have both failed and will continue to fail. Devoid of a substantial moral and philosophical foundation to stand on they will build nothing of value. Look at your neighbors and see them for who they truly are not B or D or Colour of skin or Religion. Strip away the superficiality, realize we all bleed red, we all have dreams, hopes, and grief feels exactly the same regardless of race, we are all connected. The old mode of thinking is no longer useful. Our world is not the aggregate of limitless opposites, it is the expression of a growing and developing consciousness. Many of you will feel lost, when so much is taken from you, but do not despair. Most of the jobs as you know them – will be gone and money as you understand it – gone

    You will be able to do little about your job, or the money but you can do something for your health.

    Get healthy now, medicine costs money, and even if you have money, medicine may not be available. Those who have lost their way with family, friends and neighbors reconnect now for we will need togetherness and community to weather what is coming. Remember excess individuality and selfishness will seal our fate.

    So…….What else is coming? I will disclose more soon if there is interest.

    Barbados is Home

  46. How much more pathetic can the DLP get? I heard Minister Jones on radio this morning lambasting the BLP on the decisions made nearly 40 years ago. Can you imagine this? Get real man, the DLP gave out over 500 new permits since they came to power in 2008. Instead of dealing with the charge that Minister Boyce has not brought any accounts to parliament since he was minister, that there have boght no new buses, that the Transport Board is in chaos, Jones is grand standing. But the clown of parliament Minister Inniss is off to Mexico, so he was the stand in clown yesterday.

    Deal with the issues, deal with the fact that staff morale is at an all time low, deal with the fact that once John Boyce thinks that a worker supports the BLP, he blocks any promotion even when the person is qualified and has acted in the position for a while, deal with the issue that many of the political yardfowls he hired are not working.

    It is high time for the PM to shake up this cabinet, these Thompson faithfuls need to get up and do the people’s work. But there again, John Boyce is not known to be an achiever!

  47. Prediction/Challenge #2 ( or turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones)

    The economy of the USA will slide into depression, greater than 1931 (it did not truly begin in 1929). Paralyzed by excessive debt, the futile attempts by their federal reserve to monetize this debt will fail. The US economy will begin to “circle the bowl” each round of quantitative easing ( adding money to the system and making it available to banks to make loans…but the banks then don’t lend it, but instead use it to cover the mountain of debt from the housing/securities ponzi scheme) Each round is less successful than the previous and is place solely on the tax payers backs. This is mathematically impossible to escape and requires double digit GDP growth for 14 years consecutively to clear the current debt out of the system.

    Therefore the dollar will be destroyed, all currencies pegged to it will be the means by which those countries import massive amounts of inflation as the dollar continues to lose value against world currencies then commodities. It is in the best interest of the US that the E.U detonates first (the seed of the greatest war) , for that scenario buys the US sometime, but unless the fundamental problems of lost real jobs (where an actual product is produced), and dying industry are addressed there will be no recovery.

    Devaluation only works when you are a producer.

    So for Barbados, remaining pegged to the US dollar, just as we rose with them we will fall, and suffer the exact fate…. or far worse, unless we make drastic changes soon.

    Barbados does not have food security and is in a climate of increasing fuel and food prices. If the devaluation of the US dollar over the last decade was the first stage for skyrocketing food and fuel prices the Middle East liberation is certainly the second. This turmoil will literally and figuratively place food and fuel prices into orbit, out of reach for many.
    What little economic recovery there is will be snuffed out cold.

    Fuel is linked to water and it is a matter of national security. We will need reserves in place to facilitate the distribution of water for survival for at least 2years. Wind driven pumps will become precious as fuel becomes scarce. Reducing energy wastage will go from being a “nice thing for the environment” to a matter of necessity.

    Outside of our direct controlled is the development of some incredible energy technologies, which will finally be revealed as the era of oil comes to an end. It will take some years for these technologies to achieve mass distribution… so in the interim energy frugality will be necessary. This energy revolution will officially launch the 21st century standard of living. What masquerades today as 21st century living is an extreme caricature of the 20th century. Not a single product is unique to this century but merely extreme refinement of 20th century technology.

    Until then Barbados has advantages.

    We have more than enough water reserves to meet our NEEDS but we need to secure its distribution.

    We have an abundance of solar radiation and no winter requiring heating oil/ high energy use.

    Using fuel to produce heat is a most wasteful process thus avoiding this negative is a huge positive for us.

    Barbados is small, densely populated and relatively, culturally stable. Working together, and with no real barriers to the transport of goods and services within the nation we can ride out the global storm.

    Think tanks are a great idea but must be married to action groups, like the brain connected to the hand, which makes all invention possible.

    Through modern techniques in agriculture that utilize small self sustaining units to produce yields many times that of the methods of old we will be able to feed ourselves. Brilliance and excellence in agriculture will take on heroic significance. A time to survive, a time of reassessing our values, morals, and a return to core strengths. It will be a time of purifying ourselves from decades of post WWII decadence, and the slow poisoning of a terminally ill western civilization. Purging ourselves of the toxicity, awakened from the drug induced coma. We will be healthier, stronger, more creative, more cohesive, ethically, morally and spiritually renewed. Until then…

    Our first duty is preparation. Grasshopper time is over, it is time to be an ant. For a time we played a jolly tune, but the prelude to the 21st century is over.

    Barbados is Home

  48. AOD
    A great presentation.
    It is full of truths and your solutions are spot on.
    Maybe you should email all of the MPs your thoughts. Sometimes I wonder if they can see that far.
    We can conquer as a small nation but the people must recognize that there are no more free lunches available. Too many people are being made to believe that we are going to get back to those days of spending ponzi schemes money.
    Ii is going to be the survival of the fittest that is those who make adaptations.

  49. My problem with AOD and Charlie is that apart from being extreme and pessimistic, I see no analysis. I see hunches based upon general statements of which the sources are more likely than not to be dubious in content or malicious in intent.
    I do agree that trends suggest that the US economy is in decline (since the mid eighties) and that there are other economies growing at paces that far outstretch that of the US. However, it is premature, foolhardy, and very risky for Barbados to abandon its peg with the US currency at this time without having concrete data that suggest such action is absolutely necessary.
    Moreover, who do we tie our currency to or should it be allowed to float? What are the implications and repercussions? Some persons read the anti-capitalist rhetoric with blinkers on; hence they err in the same way as frenzied capitalists who reject any and all criticisms. Rather than rush to scenarios that if made to become widespread can wreak more havoc in the short-term than the long-term significance of a US$ devaluation, these persons need to inject themselves into more rigorous reading and research, let’s see your models, and let us decide if your analyses bear any merit. A country cannot determine its policies on speculative fodder. They must act on hard probabilities which are supported by facts and empirical data (even with measures of caution and practicality).

  50. Note that there is no mention of DLP or BLP by me. This is a position that takes national requisites as priority. In this vein, successive governments in Barbados have done darn well. I hope they continue to do such.

  51. George besides the point about the US dollar
    What other point would you consider pessimistic?
    Is it true that the US dollar is on the slide? What effects would it have on us?
    How can the recommendations about greening our country be pessimistic?
    How can food security be pessimistic?
    How can the effective harnessing of our water be considered pessimistic?
    As Doctoral student why don’t you write an analysis of where you see the Barbados economy in the next twenty years with oil selling at $200.00 a barrel? We may see who the pessimist is.
    The long and short
    Stop attacking the messenger deal with the message

  52. David;

    I agree with Charlie. AOD’s post is a most valuable one and demands a separate thread. His individual insights are not new but are packaged in a most understandable way that forcibly brings the serious problems we and the world faces into sharp focus.

    It seems to be the new age of revolution. Let ours be rational and proactive, to the extent now possible. The things that need changing soonest is the mindset of our political class; the work ethic of the Public Service; ensuring that the workers unions display a vision and thrust in consonance with the changing paradigms; and fostering true innovation in our private sector.

  53. Want evidence that the dollar will almost certainly collapse? Has it is moved out of the realm of if into when? Some answers coming soon 🙂

    Remember the advantage of being small is the ability to make swift course corrections, often elephants can take their time. Mice have to be quick, alert, observant and intelligent. What will starve an elephant is a feast for a mouse. I call the predictions challenges, thats why #2 is subtitled “turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones” optimism and never say die is coded in my DNA.

    N.B With the vast resources of the inter-net available to all posters I try to be succinct and on point, trying to avoid redundancy and provide food for thought.

    Barbados is Home

  54. @Charlie

    I did not attack the messenger but I asked the messenger to be more anlytically and to provide detailed information. Is that an attack?

  55. @ Prodigal Son

    You know what is really pathetic, a MINISTER OF EDUCATION speaking in University and international forums, making statements without pronouncing the “TH” at the beginning or ending of words. He is always sounding posh, but using word like: deeze for these; doze for those; wif for with. The man cannot pronounce a TH, he needs to do better than this.
    Prodigal, he need to tell the public about the Transport Board being significantly over-staffed, many drivers, few buses; and they are guilty of rewarding friends as well, how about Patrick Gollop, what does he do at the Transport Board and is his job (or reward) necessary at this time.

  56. @ George C. Brathwaite

    Ummm…how much ANALYSIS do you want?

    It seems you like to bury your head in the paper mountain that is statistics, rather than dealing with the issues and SOLVING them!

    The time has passed for “detailed information”…that is fancy talk for MADE-UP INFO! What we need are ANSWERS, SOLUTIONS, AND POSITIVE ACTION!

    Getting paid well at the political pigpen, are ya? Hope you getting paid in euros, then!

  57. Paralysis by analysis is a common problem. If these were the boom times we could have a long philosophical discourse on the matter. Ironically boom times for most are spent indulging the “ID” but I digress. “Malicious in intent” is actually funny in a weird redundant kind of way. On reasons for the prediction of a collapse I’ll deal with a brief history of this mess, a more technical discussion of trade imbalance, deficits and reserve currency status, and end with the petrodollar/military superpower issue. Posting under “Are We Witnessing The Fall Of The US Dollar?”

    Note I have not suggested abandoning the peg as we are in too weak a position to bail at this point. The impact of continued dollar decline must be mitigated and contingency for a collapse put in place. Remember we are the little guys.

    Barbados is Home

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