Notes From a Native Son – Sir Roy’s Faux Pas or a Conversation With Ourselves: An Open Letter

Hal Austin

Dear Sir Roy,

We have not met and I am not in the habit of writing to total strangers. But on this occasion I think it is pertinent, since the subject- matter is of crucial interest to those of us of our generation and, more so, future generations. Further, I believe its contents should be shared with the country we both love as it is about the battle for the soul of the nation.

Recently, you had cause to describe a New Barbadian as an “Egyptian Jew”, or were reported as such, following an industrial relations dispute. It was an unfortunate turn of phrase which can rightly be interpreted as having racist undertones. You deny this and I am prepared to accept your word as an honourable man. Needless to say, I felt your pain from 3000 miles away, since the self-imposed restrictions we put on ourselves corrupt the grammar of our public discussions. I can tell from a distance that you are a proud man and will not suggest that you apologise unless you want to. An apology, if it is sincere, must come from within. But, if you are so inclined, do so unequivocally and move on.

The row over the alleged remarks is far too important to be personalised since it is but the tip of a ticking ethnic, religious and cultural time-bomb that will, in time, if it continues to go unchecked, will tear Barbados apart.
In a show of typical arrogance and chutzpah, the Barbadian ruling class has a firm belief that, despite the evidence all over the world, that that tiny island can be a successful multi-ethnically, multi-culturally and multi-religiously.

But, living in London, which prides itself on being the most multi-ethnic and multi-cultural City in the world, I can say that the evidence on the ground does not support this boast. In fact, London is a collection of ethnic, social and religious pockets that when they meet at work or in public spaces, there are hostile, aggressive and sometimes even violent against each other. And, if anything, London is more divided at present than it has been at anytime since the 1960s. I speak as one who has worked, even if for a short time, at the Commission for Racial Equality, the state-sponsored Quango tasked to make us love one another. So, I have some form when it comes to multiculturalism.

But Barbados is sleep-walking to an uncertain future and you are one of the public faces with the authority and influence to change that course. You are an independent Senator, a leading trade unionist and a leader and former of public opinion.

It is unfortunate that this debate has descended in to one of political morality, your calling the businessman an Egyptian Jew, even if you are right about his nationality, ethnicity and religion, has touched a raw nerve.
The real issue is one that the Barbadian political and professional classes are playing a game of monkey with: they cannot see anything wrong with this social drift which is tearing the nation apart; they cannot hear the pain of the traditional Barbadians as they are squeezed more and more by these newcomers; and cannot see how the best parts of the island are occupied by Norwegians, Irish-Canadians, semi-literate British footballers, and the others from the developed world, as long as they have fat wallets. That is the real issue, and not specifically Diamond International, Merricks, or any of the other major developments taking place.

When these people arrive in our island they do not just come with their wallets and packed suitcases. The most important of their luggage is their cultural baggage, and it is this we want to talk about. How does this cultural baggage impact on our national values? How does it change us as an island people?

In London, we have seen whole communities transformed, and not necessarily for the better. You got this coming. At some point we must discuss the nature of our nationality identity, who has a right to own our 100000 odd acres, and who has the right to call themselves a Barbadian.

Sir Roy, I have long believed that in the absence of a progressive political class the trade union movement should have taken a leading part in the defining of the new Barbados, post independence. You have failed as that person and as that leader. The BWU, a union that I have had a great affection for from the days of Walcott and Blunt when the union was at the corner of Fairchild and Nelson Street – my paternal grandfather owned a rum shop and bakery on Nelson Street called the Olde Grogge Shoppe, but that is an aside. Most importantly, as a trade unionist you have failed to draw up a roadmap to the future for ordinary Barbadian workers. Where is the BWU think-tank tasked with debunking some of the mythologising of the New Barbados?

Sir Roy, let me relate one of the myths to you, one that has seeped in to the sub-conscious of almost every Barbadian. We now boast of our place on the Human Developement Index, a bogus measurement of progress created by the UNDP since everyone and his mother agrees that per capita GDP measurement is inadequate. But the HDI, which combines GDP, life expectancy at birth and literacy is not it. It is based on the myth that Barbados has a 99 per cent literacy, when in reality the majority of Barbadians, including many of the professionals, are functionally illiterate for a modern, technological world; on health, in a society with one of the highest HIV infectivity rates for under 25s in the world, and, what is more, when obesity has reached epidemic proportions so much so that this generation of young people run the real risk of dying before their parents’ generation, reversing everything we have experienced in terms of life expectancy for over 11000 years. Most of all, it is based on the myth of Barbadian economic prosperity when most of it is based on debt.

Sir Roy, this is the reality of modern Barbados, a society closed to new ideas (just look at the way this incompetent government is dealing with the financial crisis) in a world in which ideas rule – Apple, Google, Facebook.

Sir Roy, I do not want to put it all on your shoulder, but you are in a pole position to lead. More importantly, you have failed your members and the wider trade union movement – shouting loud, but shouting rubbish. Where is the skill, literacy and technological training for your members and their offspring? What about protection – medical, income and investment?

Sir Roy, your faked militancy is based on your frustrations, your consciousness of having failed your members and the wider Barbadian working class. You have relied on strike action and the threat of strike action to cover your failure to devise a menu of benefits for your members, from nationwide occupational pensions, to decent health benefits, up-to-date training and apprenticeships, and your lack of good negotiating skills.

Sir Roy, you have failed as a honourable citizen, a member of the senior chamber of our parliament, as a senior trade union leader, as an elder of Barbadian society. You have also failed as a host through your lack of good manners and courtesy towards our guests: you do not invite someone in to your home and then insult him? But you can make amends. Just launch a redemption campaign, lead the national debate about who we call Barbadians, raise national awareness about the overshoot of the New Barbadians.

Sir Roy, I hope you can take these few words with the spirit with which they are intended as there is no negative intent on my part. But, in case you are unclear, when you are wrong, admit it; when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

In Solidarity,

Hal Austin

207 thoughts on “Notes From a Native Son – Sir Roy’s Faux Pas or a Conversation With Ourselves: An Open Letter

  1. The nationnews May 4th edition reported that Jacob Hassid said Roy Trotman’s comment could lead to racial fear.

    My response:

    In our modern world the effects of racism occurs to one set of people base solely on their skin colour. The darker you are the more likelihood it is for you to be confined to the bottom strata of society. This is evident in practically all societies. Why even the last place of earth where racism although outlawed is still practice –Mauritania – demonstrates that those who are the masters look like this Guy, and those who are classified as the slave look like us. This is by design not accident. Less we forget or have not been correctly taught about the era of the Atlantic slave trade and slavery in general; It was abolish in the West; it died down in the East.

    But the immediate issue here is the cultural norms of some of our Foreign born business people mixed with the known cold hardheartedness that business activity occasionally calls for; this mix leaves too many working class Barbadians expose to behaviors and actions that cannot be of benefit to us all; added to this is the insult of Black bajan business people, managers and supervisors who take on the attitudes of these people, further perpetrating these workplace assaults on others.

    Comments of about inciting racial fear is a red herring; it has been use every time these people are bothered to the point of issuing the indignant retort “Do you know who I am?” and to follow it up with actions to demonstrate their overblown importance. Does anyone really believe the firing of the seven coincidentally occur immediately after a meeting to Unionize?

    Several past incidents base on race in Barbados where the provocateur were all non- black and the sufferer was a black Barbadian has not lead to any uncivil back-lash, yet this idiot and his equally idiotic black Barbadian followers are gleefully predicting this outcome. Don’t let them fool you.

  2. I don’t know Jacob Hassid nationality or from what other country he holds citizenship; However if he is from anywhere in the MiddleEast, and were I to attemp to substantiate Roy’s opinions by focusing on the fact that all humanbeings are likely to be shaped/influence by the cultural norms and practices of their birthplace and the envoirnment in which they grew up; and further to this, understanding that migrants do not suddenly stop exhibiting those learnt cultural norms and practice by entering a foreign society, then I could -if I wanted too- Substantiate Roy’s comments, fears, anger, and contextualizing of Hassid’s firing of the seven workers.

    One can easily find publish documents to substantiate the existance of institutional aparthied like systems base on race, religion, and ethnicity in practically every country, and group in that region.

    However I prefer to think and believe that Roy Trotman use of “they all” were specific to his dealings with “other” like business people in Barbados who to his mind may have engaged in the same kind of alleged union busting tactics.

    Inspite of all that has been said; are they now any unionize workers empolyed at Diamonds International? Does any of the remaining workers want too -but now fear- joining a union? Will Diamonds International communicate to these employees that they have nothing to fear?

  3. I find some on this blog unable to comprehend and reason logically.

    When David make the comment that it is alleged that Hassid treats his workers like crap, it is not about fueling racism, it is about revealing a fact.
    Ask any ordinary worker that work with Diamonds Int. and they will tell you how badly they are treated and must work on weekends, and bank holidays when cruise ships dock and are paid flat pay and other bad treatment they must endure.

    We defend him readily but what about our own.

    • @Adrian & Fran

      We seem to be blurring several issues driven by the emotive nature of the issue. Was the verbal blast by Sir Roy racial and therefore does that make him racist. The quotes Adrian posted took care of people calling Sir Roy racist. Then there is the issue of the appropriateness based on place delivered. By his own admission the inflammatory language caused the focus on the plight of the workers to become a secondary issue. His job as a representative and judgement is open to question.

      The perspective which nobody has dealt with is why the focus on Hassid ONLY and not DI. DI is an international organization is it not? If this is the case Hassid must have been executing the policy of the company. Why have we not held the COMPANY to the fire?

  4. @ Fran
    The racism comes in because from THIS MAN’S PERSPECTIVE, he is being very generous and fair. Where he comes from, these ‘ungrateful’ bajan workers would consider themselves blessed to be paid and treated as they are.
    Are you aware of how workers in some other cultures are treated?
    Have you observed the Chinese workers who operate in Barbados? Do they complain? Do they not compete for the opportunity to come and work under such conditions?

    The problem is this importation of cultures. It is a recipe for trouble.

    As far as the bushman is concerned, ANYONE who opts to come here to live SHOULD BE DOING SO because the want to adopt to OUR culture…. Not to adapt us to theirs…. else, as the Australians are quick to point out, they should go to where their desired culture is practiced.

    We are lucky that there are still a few Bajans such as Sir Roy who are not blind….

  5. Sir Roy was wrong to call the man an Egyptian Jew.

    Roy should make a concerted effort to find out if the Egyptian Jew broke any of Barbados labour laws and find out if any of the workers are ill treated.

    I suggest some of you go into some of the stores in Swan street and tell me if Bajan workers are treated with respect by their bosses.
    Unlike Sir Roy I will not refer to the bosses by their country of Origin.

    With regards to importing cultures ask Bajan Canadians what has happened to the major cities in Canada in the last 20 years.

  6. Man Hants you could really hush do!!

    Unlike what Sir Roy what?!?!

    You could ever be like Sir Roy…? He stayed here and sacrificed for thousands of bajan workers all his life…. You went to our best school and then up and run off to Canada trying to emulate the colonial masters…
    …we don’t expect you to think like Sir Roy….

    The man did want cussing. Simple as that.
    …a lot more people want cussing too…. Including you and Georgie Porgie who don’t even have the time to blog with us anymore…far less contribute like Sir Roy…

    …and of course Old Onions ALWAYS want a good bwusing…. 🙂

  7. It doesn’t take this long to tell Sir Roy he is wrong and move on to the reason for his name calling. Everyone knows not to do so; we tell our young ones not to name-call and chastize them when they do; so why are some seemingly stall on chastizing Sir Roy and have not moved on to deal with the industrial relations, the negative best practices of our foreign born so called business people? Why?

    No David inflammatory remarks did not cause this prolong discussion of Sir Roy’s remarks; We humans tend to ignore that which we do not want to discuss, lie to protect our interest, and use smoke-screens, “fly kites”, or serve red-herring rather than deal with real issues, and so it is this very case before us.

    David Sir Roy does not have to deal with DI corporate, his focus and that of us Bajans is DI local Barbados division headed by this Joker Hassid and their treatment of our Brothers and sisters.

  8. -Egyptian Jews are real
    -To be called an Egyptian Jew is not a known racial slur.
    -Te be called an Egyptian Jew when you are not one is not racist, derogatory, or demeaning; Amusing?!!!! YES!!
    -It takes more than deceptively contrived perception or fake personal sensitivity to an incorrectly applied name-call, for it to be truly offensive, so much so, that it could ever warrant a national apology.

    Sir Roy stand firm, and leh Hassid carr he ass; he would have been a nobody back in his homeland; He certainly cannot be a prophet, saviour, or God in ours.

    Who Hassid think he is? Who Hassid think…..
    fuh fearmongering, he now deserves a good cussing,
    Who Hassid think he is! LOL!

  9. Bush Tea “don’t even have the time to blog with us anymore”.

    Bu doesn’t need me blogging when they have you who knows almost everything.

    “David make the comment that it is alleged that Hassid treats his workers like crap”
    If so what can be done to help the workers and make the Hassid pay.

  10. Sir Roy has never been a favourite of mine having disappointed on a number of occasions, but I think he need to call those unscruplous employers who some among us believe ,that they are doing barbados a favour by investing here.

    Those of you who dont understand the relationsip between labour and capital should do some reading on it. Businessmen will try to pay as little wage or salary, especailly where there is high unemployment or countries are going trrough rough times. The union is to ensure that workers receive a just wage for their efforts and increases based on the performance of the business. Capitalists need labour to realize a return on their investment. And labour need to obtain an adequate return on investment as well..

    The fact that the egyptian jew treats barbadian workers with scant respect, has diffential pay for workers doing the same job, and want to prevent barbadians from increasing the poulation, while he produces three egytian barbadian jews are not of concern to people like hant, sargeant to mention a few, but want to castigate sir roy for his statement.

    Lord have mercy, we believe that foreigners have rights, and those with the ligher pigmentation seem to have more rights that the average barbadian. Sometimes i marvel at caswell franklyn who use inflamatory language on this site, but want to condenm sir roy for his remarks. as bushie tell he and the others he can never be like sir roy.

    The next person i want the bwu to deal with is miss ram and that fire hazard she got with one door

  11. People who keep there ears to the ground vare aware of how Hassid treats his workers and even some here on BU knows of the long history of unfair practices Hassid perpetrated on them However many of them out of resentment or deep seated hatred against Roy and wanting to see him suffer sacrificed the employees grievances to justify ther own selfishness, many of them ought to be ashamed of themselves

  12. Blogger2012 I did not castigate Sir Roy for anything other than calling the Assid a descriptive name in public.

    Most of you choose not to read between the lines I write so let me spell it out.

    Having seen verbal and psychological abuse meted out to store workers particularly in Swan street, I suggest that Union leaders and people like you Blogger2012 (if you have the political influence you project) should help those workers.

    All I hearing from wunna is a lotta long talk but how many of you are doing anything tangible to support the abused store workers.

    According to David Sir Roy got Severance pay for 7 at DI so he has done his job.

  13. Hey hants had not for Sir roy ‘ Calling out hassid” he would have totally ignored the workers He is that kind of person that if you go to the bathroom he would dock yuh pay.

  14. @ac: “People who keep there ears to the ground vare aware of how Hassid treats his workers and even some here on BU knows of the long history of unfair practices Hassid perpetrated on them

    No need to comment. Quoting accurately is job done.

    • If we accept Sir Roy’s approach, he should call out the Indian Hindu at Royal Shop and the Irish Caucasian at Sandy Lane.

  15. @Hants

    I put my money where my mouth is, when the Royal Shop fired the workers i spent a saturday demonstrating with them and encouraging barbadians not to shop. You dont know me i have a value system, i dont just believe in the all mighty dollar like u, i never run away from barbados except to study and promply returned home to make a contribution,

    I am on the ground ad know what goes on about here, do U?

  16. @David

    sir roy will craft his message as he sees fit, just like u respond to bllogers in your own way.

  17. @BU.David: “If we accept Sir Roy’s approach, he should call out the Indian Indian Hindu at Royal Shop and the Irish Caucasian at Sandy Lane.

    That would be entertaining…

    We all know what happened the last time someone called someone else out here on BU…. (Smile.)

  18. @ Hants and David
    What more wanna want now…?
    As men, – admit that wanna was wrong to castigate Sir Roy for his language.
    Indeed, it now appears as though the Duke read the situation exactly right, allowed the Egypt man to know which god he serving, and with a few choice words 🙂 , put the fear of that god in his behind….

    MATTER FIXED ……..except for a few bruised egos on BU….
    …When will David learn to listen to the bushman nuh??? 🙂

  19. Bush Tea | May 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM admit that wanna was wrong to castigate Sir Roy for his language.

    I was wrong Bush Tea. I hope you and Sir Roy will forgive me.

    @Blogger2012 | May 12, 2012 at 9:27 PM |I am on the ground and know what goes on about here, do U?

    No I don’t except for what I read on BU, the Nationnews, BarbadosToday and The Advocate.but as long as BushTea blogging I will know everything on the ground and in de bush an de gully.

    Now I done writing shiite tonite and gine get back to mekkin de mighty canadian loonie.

  20. sir roy’s purported victory in supposedly securing severance pay for 7 to my understanding non-unionised members is a pyrrhic victory since severance pay is a right under the laws of barbados provided the necessary criteria required by law are metand there is legal recourse should to employer refuse to comply so rather than gloat about this non-issue to take off the lard which he stupidly put on his face playing to the gallery on may day sir ro yshould refocus his energies on obtaining justice for the unionised workers of royal shop and sandy lane who are stil fuming over the mismanagement of their issues by the union..

    • Well said Balance! The problem here is that Barbadians as a whole are to easily impressed. Additionally, the media merely report the news without any analysis. It would have been a victory if the media were able to report that Sir Roy was able to negotiate significantly enhanced separation packages for the displaced workers. Instead, they are reporting that he was able to negotiate for the workers that which the law has already mandated. No matter how you dress up this so called victory, it will still look like a pig wearing lipstick: it will not be pretty.

  21. “Comparing the way Mr Hasdsad treat his employees Roy was kind in his description by using Mr Hassad ethnicity and nationality to describe him for there are more aggressive words to describe him for Mr hassas was indeed a “modern day slave driver driven by greed and lack of concern and welfare for the employees. if any potential investor agrees with Mr; Hasasad management style they should take note and realise that this would not be permitted in our country”
    ac- since in your book sir roy becomes a champion of the employees by unecessarily refers to mr hassid’s ethnicity in public, how would you respond to the allegations that sir roy is less than kind to his own employees as well. recently, there were dusturbing reports of sir roy’s abusive threats to members of UCAL( a business arm of the BWU) who were threatening to withdraw from the BWU because of dissatifaction.?

  22. @Bushie
    I love ur consistentency. We need to always look at the whole picture. Wait i see onions did not keep his words and is back.

  23. @balance

    here we go trying to pick cotton off orange trees! what are we trying to say here balance that Sir Roy should ignore the employees concern because Roy might have had past issues with a business associate. afterall as a leaderof the Trade Union isn’t it is duty to do what is right for the employee when called upon trying to highlight Roys imperfections and bringing it as part and partial in the ongoing saga is NON-Negotiable. it is like trying to pick cotton from trees

  24. @CASWELL

    Your agenda is obvious ! listening to your demand for SIR ROY having his knighthood revoked is laughable! are you serious! and by the way can you state a one valid reason why that should happen.

  25. in my last comment to balance the last paragraph should be ” it is like trying to pick cotton from an orange tree

  26. @ ac
    Don’t mind Caswell and balance, dem just shame.
    Nobody is calling this any victory…. Simply saying that it looks like Sir Roy was JUSTIFIED in his robust approach on May Day.
    ….now Caswell talking about “enhanced” packages should have been negotiated. Initially the people were FIRED!! That would have meant NOTHING paid to them.

    THE WORKERS ARE NOT EVEN IN THE UNION!!! ….more praise to Trottie for standing up for POTENTIAL members who never paid a union due…. Why did UNITY not stand up for these workers…?

    David is also being disingenuous in dismissing the matter by saying that Trottie should now go and cuss the Royal Shop and Sandy Lane People…. There are any ways to skin a cat David. A good cat skinner knows which method to use and when…

    Why wanna folks don’t do like Hants and apologies for jumping the gun to abuse our homeboy against the egyptian Jew?

    …Did the Bushman not advise to await the facts….?

  27. @Bush Tea

    BWU stood up for the workers instead of Unity because the 7 and not 20 went to the BWU for representation. Secondly the BWU was told to go and fly a kite by Sandy Lane and Royal Shop. In fact the principals did not even turn up for many of the meetings called.

    How do you know a meeting with management would not have achieved the same goal? We are teaching our children well.

  28. BTW Bushie as a man who knows everything it is a good bet DI received instructions from parent to pay the SEVEN employees the 2 weeks for every year worked which is chicken feed compared to the reputational damage being landed on their brand.

    BU goes back to our point which we think is solid, could Trottie have handled the matter differently instead of the sledgehammer and the nail strategy?

    Did he win by getting a couple thousand dollars for the fired workers?

    The fact that Hassid like many employers both foreign and local treat workers badly is another issue not to be confused with the lousy IR approach the BWU used here.

  29. @micah
    How dare you come here and make sense ? this is for those who “demonstrated” (to what end ?) at the Royal, who knows everything ,who is a “disgrace” etc ,etc . Please know your place.

  30. @ bush TEA

    those who are trying to demonise SIR ROY now that the “egyptian jew ” comments has failed to bear fruit in their continual effort will look into every phase of his leadership life. there is more to come headed by another UNION leader who should be praising what has happen to the benefit of the workers but is so diligently seeking revenge that his mouthings have been quoted in the media talk about “striking” while the iron is hot.

  31. @ David
    The basic principle here is one of freedom of association and the law of Barbados. There is no good reason why Caswell could not, as a progressive union leader, intervene to seek a ‘meeting’ as you suggest, to resolve the matter.
    Bushie invite you to speculate as to the type of reception he was likely to meet…

    You know, it is almost funny to hear a man like you talk about resolving these matters by nice and decent means. Surely you understand the predicament in which we find ourselves…. The union is increasingly finding itself at loggerheads with these foreign owners/managers who are given the impression that they are doing us all a big favour by coming here to ‘give us work.’

    Some of these people come from DEPRIVED countries. What do you want Sir Roy to do about Sandy Lane? Get some vagabonds to to physically fight them? Call a meeting and go down there on his knees? Put the billionaire owner in court – to have the nasty local lawyers grab the opportunity to tie him up in the shitty court for decades? ….and at millions in legal fees?

    Sandy Lane is a problem because LACKY politicians sold out to monied foreign interest who have now imposed their slavery type mentality on poor Bajans.
    How is that Sir Roy’s problem to solve…?
    ….you think anything so could happen in Trinidad?
    You go down there and try to buy a little hotel…. And even if you did, see how the WHOLE country would be down on your behind if you brought any foreign nonsense to the staff…

    Bajans are a bunch of mendicant, LACKY, prostitutes.
    We have sold our very souls to the devil for bling, and now we expect Sir Roy to protect us – and to do it without offending any white people.

    We deserve exactly what we getting…where there is no vision….

  32. Brother Caswell is quoted prominently in today’s press calling for Sir Roy’s knighthood to be stripped and he be tossed out of the Senate, O boy!

    In contrast when Rosylyn Smith of the NUPW was asked if Immigration Officers will strike because they are being screened at the airport, she stated she believed in dialogue. Things that0make observers go hmmm.

  33. @ ac
    LOL actually the most frightening thing about this whole Sir Roy saga is that you on the same side as Bushie…
    To be honest, this has caused Bushie to look for any possibility that the bushman could have erred in this instance (and Bushie has been known to err in the past. contrary to Hants and David’s snide remarks 🙂 about Bushie knowing everything – of course that was back in 1979)
    But you are on the ball here ac.
    This must mean that you have taken Bushie’s advice and checked with MR ac before posting 🙂

    We are on our way back to slavery precisely because most of us expect that the world owes us an easy living and that God has provided special peoples around the world to come here and provide all of our wants and needs – while we attend block parties, reggae on the hill and wuk up at Kadooment.

    This is why David vex with Sir Roy for daring to upset our precious benefactors by referring to their background in public.

  34. @ David
    Bushie could have told you long ago that Caswell’s head is slightly off…. No surprise at all about his call in today’s Sun newspaper…lol

    This is exactly why Bushie has earmarked him for the job of chairman o the national supervisory committee. Caswell is the only man Bushie knows that would look straight in the Queen’s face and accuse her of illegally acquiring her crown – and quote some obscure law that only he knew about….. LOL. He was ALWAYS SO!!!

    That is what is needed to keep crooked politicians in line. Could you imagine Caswell and Leigh Trotman working together to supervise the ethical performance of out politicians…? THAT WOULD BE SWEET!

    …..but in terms of understanding complex management issues, outlining a vision for the future, and dissecting complex personnel relations issues…. It is best to stick with BT 🙂

  35. Caswell is a joke; he is steep in the art of making loud audacious comments to grab attention; a mere form of cheap publicity and advertising.
    The facts are that we need more Union representation in the Barbados private sector and less in the public sector.

  36. Caswell’s Unity Union is joke, after all he is a joke himself; any person who thinks that they can get proper workers representation from an alleged former BLP hack should think twice. Caswell’s attack on Sir Roy is in keeping with the institutional dislike the BLP and its hacks -current and the allegedly sperated – have for Unions, BWU and Sir Roy. Dont let them fool you.

  37. @Bushie

    Leave Caswell alone. he is such a joker that he only has seven person from gaic inc and asj the chief labour officer to recognize his mock union as the barganing agent for that institution, can u imagine that./

    When owen referred to the barbadian indian writer at the nation in what some people called derogatory term what did caswell ad to say?

  38. David wrote “The fact that Hassid like many employers both foreign and local treat workers badly is another issue.”

    What are you maguffees living in Barbados going to do about it other than write shiite on BU.

    Bushie I don’t make snide remarks about you. I have high expectations of you given your track record on

  39. @Bushie

    You and I like we are progressive . Lord I find it strange that ac and i also on the same side, she lije she taking night school with you. lol.

    ac haappy mother’s day dont pay caswell no mind, i am now convinved that he mad or losing he mind or he like a lot of attention.

    • Why are you guys attacking Caswell?

      He is doing something which is more the fat cats in the middleclass is doing.


      Wasn’t Leroy Trotman a DLP MP while heading the BWU?

  40. @David
    So does this justify this over-the-top attack on Sir Roy in 2012? Uh mean it is obvious to me this is the only reason.
    Former BLP public relations officer Raquel Gilkes went from defining “Egyptian Jew” as a known slur, to saying it was such in Barbados apparently nowhere else? Why? When questioned why her views of Liz Thompson use of “Caucasian” to define Richard Goddard “differs” from Sir Roy’s use of Egyptian Jew, to define Jacob Hassid, her response was Liz’s comment was not, but Sir Roy’s was.

    • @Adrian

      BU does not agree with Caswell that Sir Roy should be stripped. One misdeed or error in judgement thought by some does not justify it. It is interesting that in his interview with VOB to be aired later today he has markedly toned down the rhetoric.

  41. @Hants

    the maguffy that write shoite support trotie in calling a spade. Thats why someone with a ton of intelligethe like you oppose him for calling the egygtian jew to account. the workers went to him. People are allowed freedom of association, to join or not to join a trade union, the trade union will speak for its members, and those who are being treated badly should join the movement, which i have joined within six months of commencing work, But again, people lie u can only see the dollar and believe that perons with money are doing us a favour by coming to our shores. They are pull factores why they come here as
    apposed to goinng somewhere else.


    • @Blogger

      There will always be tension between labour and capital especially during the prevailing harsh economic times. Nothing new there.

  42. @Ac

    I have to find a blog that u and i dont see eye to eye. That ax issue sharpen you, you like u want to outshine the bushman. You african bajan or caucasian bajan. you remember Owen called Terry Alli hope i got his name cprrectly an indentured servant or am i imagaing that.

  43. @Blogger2012 don’t waste your time attacking me. Why don’t you address the issues.

    Why do you think I wrote this?

    Hants | May 12, 2012 at 9:04 PM
    “Having seen verbal and psychological abuse meted out to store workers particularly in Swan street, I suggest that Union leaders and people like you Blogger2012 (if you have the political influence you project) should help those workers.”

    I have already apologized to Sir Roy and Bush Tea.

    @Blogger2012 “But again, people lie u can only see the dollar and believe that perons with money are doing us a favour by coming to our shores.”

    When you, Bush Tea Caswell, BU David and all the Leaders in Barbados can come up with a viable alternative then you can stop the predatory Investors from coming to the profit centre that is Barbados.

    Read “The Trini Connection” in Nationnews.

    • Interesting to note according to press reports that the BUT and NUPW declined comment on this matter. Of course there did no such thing in the AX matter.

    • @Adrian

      Those who know Caswell like Bush Tea would attest to Caswell has always been a straight shooter.

      Expressing his views forcefully is nothing new with Caswell.

      You may agree or disagree with him but his consistency cannot be questioned.

      On 13 May 2012 15:26, David wrote:

      > Interesting to note according to press reports that the BUT and NUPW > declined comment on this matter. Of course there did no such thing in the > AX matter. > >

  44. @David
    So it is more likely to be a desperate grab for Union member market share than his BLP ties as the rationale for his attack on Sir Roy?

  45. @David

    Thats why the trade union movement should be ever so vigilent to ensure that persons coming to our shores understand that our constituion affords freedom of assocaition, and the union must ensure that employers respect workers right. Caswell should be looking to unionise people in the private sector insead of poaching from the union he used to work for.

    By the way, u all take caswell as gospel, quite recently i met this lady who worked with a board and he advisied that she coud work until 66 forgetting that some baords have their own legisaltion stipulating the retiremen age, while some embrace what ever governmet does, that means as government change the retirement age, they benefit.

    • @Blogger

      There seem to be some confusion with pension eligibility based on the recent Auditor’s General’s report.

  46. @Davud

    but and nupw chose what they want to comment on. just like u chose to highlight that it was interesting.

  47. @Hants
    bajan redman, i read the paper every day.

    african-barbadian, and not redman canadaian-barbadian

  48. TIME to take Trottie OFF THE cross….
    Blacks White and Mid Rangers…..and who don’t know who In hay is who’s…this Sh# being going ON 4 days….now ! Eva hear about over KKKill

    Just Thinking

  49. @David
    At the end of the day, Caswell the trade Unionist is also Caswell the business man looking to increase market share of his union. Caswell’s position/ call for Sir Roy’s removal is driven by the same greed that led to the DI’s union busting tactic. One wants no dealing with the BWU, the other less influence of the BWU; all for personal benefit.

    • @Adrian

      True but accept that Sir Roy is defending workers and at the same time running a business as well.

  50. @David
    I also know Caswell by sight and plenty sound, and agree that he has been consistent; consistently brackish, boastful, and loud. Anything for a laugh and self aggrandizement. All traits he has brought to bare on his strategy to gain union membership market share. Typical crab-n-barrel behavior.

  51. @David
    Indeed Sir Roy is; I am also mindful that the seven DI’s workers haven’t paid a cent in union due as yet. Barbados private sector needs more union policing not less, and therefore Caswell silly call for Sir Roy’s head is counter productive.

  52. BU family likes to blog…..guess this a reason…..
    Thought this moot was put asleep by Commissiong a couple days ago..
    I Should be practicing my poetry ……

    Tea coffee or read to me
    Oh whatever,.. how great to be free..
    We crass as much as we like….cuss too
    Trini poking around we liberties….
    One eye shut…some wanna p#ss on Trottie
    Take care ya…soon may need eva hand for fight for Jonnie

  53. @Old onion bags
    “they” don’t want to take Trottie of de cross.
    The BLP needs to make amends for Glyne Clarke “white boy” comment to ensure there is no election campaign contribution withdrawal.

    The DLP -by having two MP’s and not the PM make statements – are trying to ensure the same while attempting to maintain the view of being the political party for working bajans.

    Caswell is simply being opportunistic – it’s just business. Really Sir Roy is a good man but Caswell got tuh make a living too.

    • @Adrian

      The challenge for Caswell is to espouse his views and appear credible as he seeks to build the brand of his union.

  54. Yo Adrian …which one you din like most the Crosses or my poetry.?
    If it were the poetry…Onions loves to poetry….if it is the other..go n get the water hose….wet Caswell n Bro Bush while you at it…..forget Onions ..they spoil when wet.. easily….PEACE

  55. @David
    “The challenge for Caswell is to espouse his views and appear credible

    A paradox if there ever was one.

    Also, the BUT has been mum consistently. Constantly silent Best.

    If unionism is indeed a business then the “managers” need to act a little more “business like.” Just saying.

  56. I don’t know if I’m interested in hearing what the BUT has to say on this particular matter. I don’t know that any of the public sector unions would be as “successfull” in the private sector as they are in their main domain. Different ball-game. Business people are MP, political parties and government departments.

    Their “silence” in the AX matter I interpret as having an opposing view to the BSTU actions.

  57. “There seem to be some confusion with pension eligibility based on the recent Auditor’s General’s report”
    there should be no confusion wit5h this issue. the policy is clear that all persons and not onlyemployed by statutory boards coming into the service after september 1975 would have their pensions reduced by the amount of pension payable by the national insurance office when this pension becomes payable.the auditor is flogging a horse which has already been flogged. if he were on the ball, he would have highlighed the error before it became public otherwise.The auditor-general needs to tell me if there is any refund due to me as a reult of the impllementation of the increase in vehicle registration fees in 2008.
    i would continue to state that statutory boards because of their blatant politicisation are like damocles swords on the backs of taxpayers and the majority of the staff are political implants who do not know their jobs but are untouchable.
    attorneys-at-law worth their salt should have a field day if any attempt is made to recoup pension payments made in error. over to you bro caswell.

  58. non-issue says prime minister stuart. perhaps the ministers of health and tourism should have consulted him before fulminating against sir roy. while we are all entitled to our own personal opinions, i would have preferred to see a togetherness approach from cabinet on this volatile issue.

  59. Stuart ”“The comments complained of, I am still trying to find out where to locate the offence,” he said.”.

    Not to worry, in roughly nine months he will have ample time to ‘find out where the offense’ occurred/

    Not surprising thougjh, he has not found out much about Four Seasons, Clico (has he found the report yet …and read it?, Alexandra or anything else.

    Maybe Trottie is ‘his friend’ too? Gosh, aBsolutely abysmal as a PM.

    • Even if Stuart agrees with Sir Roy which conflicts with his deputy and minister of health what the uproar has brought to the surface is the latent issue of how the Black host population feels about the ethnic groups in Barbados; how they coexist. It is a matter which BU raised when there was a large influx of indo Guyanese. It reared its head then too. It is the bigger point Hal is making here.

  60. @Chris

    Now another thing to add to the list of non-issues the BLP paling cocks have been kicking up and down on BU street!

  61. Errol Barrow ‘Friend of ALL, satellite of none’ Errol Barrow worked with all nationalities and had a world view. Different category completely.

    He would have been ashamed that this idiot was supported by a DLP PM.

    And a non-issue??? That is equally a ridiculous statement. I also have lived and worked with all, overseas and can tlell you that the international Jewsish community will not let this lie. As they should not.

    Ignorant, absolutely foolhard, to treat this way.

    However, the two who seem already to know where the general eclection is headed made sure they stood on the right side of the fence with this one.

    Sealy and Inniss will be two of those who retain the few seats the DLP come back with in 2013.

    Rememebr, Inniss aint no fool, he lived and worked in New York and worked with international companies. He knows how this will go down.

    As for those who state thet Trottie should lse the knighthood, dont worry, that may not be done locally anyway, that may come from when it came, with no local input.

  62. “Touch Down ! PM Stuart! Non-issue indeed ! well said! Caswell are you listening !”
    you really believe that all bajans are jackasses. For Mr stuart who attended the may day rally to now belatedly decide that the issue is a non-issue is nothing short of frothing at the bit since he sat in the house of assembly and by holding his silence, tacitly agreed with the anti-trotman comments by his ministers. that was the time when he should have made his views known.

  63. @Bruddah Bim and others. Luxembourg, Malta. I know them well. How many non-citizens do you think are working there to help make their economies work? Nuff!! As for Trottie’s comment, it was purely the delivery that made it offensive and racist, because there was no need to use the phrase. The implication was that “this is an Egyptian Jew, so what do you expect?” That is racist. He could have said” I understand that this man is from somewhere in the Middle East – well he should know that this is not Egypt or Libya or Iran, and that if such practices are common there, they are illegal in Barbados”, or words to that effect. I am no Israel lover, but by the use of the word “Jew”, Trottie showed his true credentials.

  64. Peltdown man thank you…I agree with all that you have stated and that Bruddah Bim was just spouting nonsense about Iceland, Luxembourg and Malta. The only thing Malta has in common with Barbados is Limestone. Malta is smaller than Barbados and has twice the amount of people the rest are many many time larger and has larger populations. And to boot it all many here worship a Jew as their God.

  65. It appears if one is to read between the lines that PM Stuart has put a gag on the Cabinet on this matter. Minister Inniss declined the opportunity to pursue the matter last night when prompted by the press.

    The damage is done!

  66. Correction…Malta is smaller than Barbados and has twice the amount of people the rest are many many times larger and have larger populations.

  67. @ Peltdown

    “Luxembourg, Malta. I know them well. How many non-citizens do you think are working there to help make their economies work?”


    MOUNT GAY AND MALIBU ARE OWNED BY EUROPEAN HOLDING FIRMS, WHEREAS MALTA AD LUXEMBOURG BOTH HAVE A PLETHORA OF DOMESTIC COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS THAT CONTRIBUTE HEAVILY TO THEIR “REAL” GDP growth through their productive sectors. Compared to Barbados (in order to maintain relevancy), the majority of Malta’s service companies are DOMESTICALLY OWNED with strategic government accommodations and provisions.

    Whereas Barbados owns very little reputable and/or competitive domestic companies that contribute to our economic growth through neither production nor services. Do the math, the reason why those countries have SO MUCH FOREIGNERS is because the foreigners have incentives to seek employment in their domestic markets and have an already well established administration that would effectively facilitate a stable ground for conducting business and setting up shop.


    @ Islandgal246

    You’re still very much so irrelevant. Your lack of critical analysis clearly impedes your ability and capacity to be perceptive. I can only laugh at your condition.


  68. @ Island246

    Okay. I’m such a huge copy cat, then PROVE IT. I challenge you. What principles have I pumped out that isn’t original? Go on…
    Try to make a posit. You would turn out to be nothing but a sad case anyways. Your ideas aren’t sustainable whereas mine HAS THE NATION in mind. Face it, You’re as lost as Mary’s little lamb, and it frustrates you that someone else sees the bullshit for how it is and is brutally calling you out and painting you as the tool you are. Don’t get mad at me for your lack of insight. Its just a matter of your shotty capacity for perception..

    Its okay though. You’re forgiven little girl. Take a few more years of macroeconomics and I’m sure that you’ll be ready for a College dissertation at some back-drop “university” (that is if you can cut it). So for now, I can accept your weak charge of me being a “Copy Cat”. But it still doesn’t change the fact that you are virtually illiterate in the realm of economics. and I do mean that in every sense of the term.

    Pity, your resilience and adamant stride could have made a proper intellect, but stubborness alone does not redeem one if there is no substance. And you my dear Islandgal246, lack in substance all together….

    (-_-) ….. |You have a good day now!|


  69. @ Islandgal246

    Classic case of the pot calling the kettle’s bottom black.


  70. Hal is certainly right about the London situation. Seems unfortunate, to say the least, that he doesn’t make such pronouncement locally, but 4000 miles away. Bajans must decide to what extent they’re prepared to be swamped by foreigners, who will probably be more succesful than they and, human nature being as it is, will invariably view you with contempt.

  71. My advice to Bajans would be to install yourselves in an unassailable position in all the vital infrstructure of the country, to at least give you a lead. Injection of new blood is all very well, depending on whose blood it is – some peoople I would absolutely BAN from Bim – but not at the total cost of your national heritage.

  72. The ‘funny thing’ is that these foreigners, never seem to invite US to their countries – I wonder why that is?!!! I’m still trying to see a black man in India, in all the documentaries I’ve seen on that country, and then they claim not to be rabid-racists – but force themselves into every black country in the world to exploit it and its people, because of their inability to stop reproducing!

  73. Pingback: Racism or Anti-immigrant Sentiment, It Is All The Same! | Barbados Underground

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