The Deputy As Leader

The Deputies

One of the many problems which afflict our political system is the overwhelming focus on the ‘maximum’ leaders of the two main political parties, case in point Fruendel Stuart and Owen Arthur. The talk shows, newspapers and of course ‘the blogs’ you name it, the majority of the conversation is always about Arthur and Stuart. No wonder when our leaders depart – Tom Adams, Errol Barrow and David Thompson – there is a void which the parties have struggled to fill.

It seems like a long time since Mia Mottley was removed as leader of the Opposition. Of interest is that Dale Marshall  continued in his role as deputy opposition leader if there is such a position. Marshall has never attained a national profile which placed him in the conversation to be considered prime minister material. It is clear his role as deputy was to placate the Payne faction and also to recognize his facile political persona.

As gearing for the next election intensifies Arthur has recognized (very quickly) that a role must be defined for Motley given her relatively high national profile. He has had no choice but to let her assume the role of party whip used here to mean amplifying party views. We have seen her replying as lead spokesman of the opposition to the most important debates for the year; the Estimates and the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals. As Motley has regained prominence Dale Marshall has had to revert to a role which he seems comfortable. A recent press conference by the opposition to respond to the S&P downgrade exposed the batting order if one judges from the speaking order – Arthur, Motley and Mascoll. A throwback to the last election maybe when some had concerns about whether Mascoll or Mottley was the deputy?

Over the divide in the wake of the E11 saga which has interacted with the Alexandra fiasco to Jones’ disadvantage, Barbadians have witnessed the quiet dissatisfaction of Prime Minister Stuart with his long standing ‘Acting Prime Minister’. Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy has received a call up to act as deputy on the occasions Prime Minister Stuart has had to leave the country. Sealy obviously has been rewarded for his loyalty; at the time. What has not worked for Stuart in the eyes of an enquiring public is the Marshall-like personality which Sealy possesses. Given Stuart’s own taciturn nature, one would have thought a more boisterous appointment as his deputy would have been more politically astute.

If we look pass the two political leaders to plot a matchup with a general election on the horizon, Arthur and the BLP has the clear advantage if we stop at the deputy position.  The recent CADRES poll has given Arthur the big lead over Stuart in assessing the leadership position. To win the next general election Stuart will have to communicate to a demanding public in a way he has been unable to do since he assumed office. To many, like BU, who will sit on the fence for this election it will be interesting to observe the strategy of the DLP who has enjoyed making a hash of it of late. Arthur has his people singing from the same hymn sheet, Stuart and the DLP can learn a thing or two by doing the same.

At this late stage in the game it is hard to fathom what will be the DLP strategy to win the next election.

0 thoughts on “The Deputy As Leader


  1. Prodigal Son wrote “Some people say over 6000 persons were added.”

    How many young people leave school every year in Barbados?

    How many are added to the civil service?

    Private business in Barbados does not expand very much in Barbados so Government has to continually employ some of the young school/University leavers”

    Additions would have to be at the blue collar level since govt’s policy in recent times of raising the age of retirement from 60 to 65 to 67 and soon to 70 has systematically served to limit the pool of government posts available at white collar level and Govt is therefore unable to offer high levels of employment to young school/university leavers as in times past. This policy needs to be re- addressed.


    • Shouldn’t the growth in the public sector by positively correlated to growth in the economy? We seem to have this unshakeable view that as a country we can be competitive by growing the public service simply to give jobs to people. A backward thinking with respect.


  2. @ David | August 4, 2012 at 8:32 AM |
    “We seem to have this unshakeable view that as a country we can be competitive by growing the public service simply to give jobs to people”

    Next year 2013 (or in Chinese Zodiac- the year of the Snake) is the start of serious decision-making and massive reorganization of the economy. It would witness the widespread releasing of the entrepreneurial spirit of the people as they seek to survive and eek out a living- not as before by foreign borrowings and depending on others to support their opulent lifestyle but through sheer hard work and ingenuity created by circumstances.
    We will witness a massive slimming down of the public sector thereby releasing thousands into the market place to fend for themselves instead of a mendicant dependence on Auntie Government and Cousin Politician. Let us see if Hants’ thesis of Bajans being bright and educated holds true when they are thrown in at the deep end of the emerging new economic market pool. Let us see the returns from those billions of dollars of investment in free education not enjoyed by our Jamaican brethren.

    And the trigger to all of this unparalleled change and paradigm shit in economic activity is the coming significant drop in foreign reserves by first quarter 2013.


  3. @ millertheanunnak,

    Bajans are bright and educated but they are not magicians.

    Barbados has no raw materials so we need “bright” manufacturers creating high value products for export.

    Let us see if some of the “educated” will dirty their hands a little start Agri businesses producing food for local consumption thus saving forex.

    Let us see if the “bright and educated” Minister of Tourism will stop wasting money buying and renting Trade show exhibits outside of Barbados and let “bright” Bajans design and build UPS/FeDex shippable exhibits.

    Let the overseas Consulates and missions stop hiring caterers to serve european delicacies. Bajan sweet bread, turnovers and other Bajan delicacies are just as good as croissants and crepes.

    Let us see if the bright cow will get bizzy and invest in new wealth building businesses.

    Wunna cuh start cussing muh now but I doan k.


  4. @miller good leadership skills produce long term positive and sustainable results/and the abilty foran economy which would have been mo sustainable the fact is that as a result what we had under OSA is proof positive that his leadership skills have failed to stand the test of time and the hardships of the economic enviroment the country is enduring


  5. @ Hants | August 4, 2012 at 9:35 AM |

    You are now making sense in your recommendations to exploit the potential brightness and educational investment in Bajans. It is the implementation of these kinds of proposals that would establish if Bajans really worth their ‘academic’ salt and not just a lot of hot air and bragging about their paper qualifications with most of them not worth or mean a hill of beans in Metropolitan societies, as you should know.


  6. @ ac | August 4, 2012 at 9:45 AM |

    Then don’t blame OSA! Blame the people who kept him in power for 14 long suffering years.

    OSA has already pleaded: “MEA CULPA”. Why continue the trial of a person who pleads GUILTY? You have already charged, prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced the man OSA.
    Let us hear from you how should the DLP administration go about restructuring the economy in order to “fix” the mess left by that monkey on your back Bugbear OSA.


  7. @ millertheanunnaki wrote “You are now making sense in your recommendations>”

    I would like to issue a challenge to all the BU “bright and Educated” to put some ideas on the table that could create new businesses and Industries.

    The one thing we do well on BU is talk political shiite. e can continue to do that but,,,,,,How can we save Barbados from regressing.


  8. @ Hants | August 4, 2012 at 10:12 AM |
    “I would like to issue a challenge to all the BU “bright and Educated” to put some ideas on the table that could create new businesses and Industries.”

    I have already made numerous suggestions and proposals. You want me to repeat a few to jog your memory?
    Decriminalize marijuana and the growing of this plant into a niche or cottage industry.

    Do major research and experiments into the use of indigenous and regional plants for the production of pharmaceutical, food, health and beauty products.

    Use the overgrown unproductive plantation lands own by CLICO and BADMC to grow corn, fruit trees and other plants like river tamarind to use for local feedstock.

    Grant licences to hotels to operate casinos but only foreign money can be used.

    Impose a fat tax on fast food establishments to help pay for the battle against obesity and give the existing bottle collectors money for collecting all the styrofoam and plastic containers dumped by nasty Bajans after overfilling their big guts from these takeaways.

    You want more about restructuring the public sector, education and transportation?

    But first we have to get rid of the present leader whose indecisiveness, vacillation, inertia and non-business approach are leadership qualities anathema to change and development.


  9. @ Miller
    How about planting aloe and making it an export prod……later a finish prod.
    The making of solar panels…..plenty silica and base prod. around.
    On land intensive fish farming…..off shore fish farming…
    Min of Agriculture make a real effort to plant food crops….5 tractors where are they?
    Many ideas, but the Jokers not interested.


  10. @ old onion bags | August 4, 2012 at 10:57 AM |

    Excellent additional ideas and workable proposals requiring little forex input.
    We earlier addressed the Aloe Vera business in a previous thread. This would just be a revival or revitalization of an old business that once earned Barbados some good money thus resulting in the establishment of a well known international brand name for the product “Aloe Vera barbadensis”; and once on par with our rum bullion in international branding.

    Your proposal of fish farming has been on the cards for so long now it’s really a crying shame and more ridiculous and embarrassing that our government’s inability to finalize a fishing agreement with T&T to prevent our fisher folks from being disgraced and locked up for pursuing a worthwhile avenue of earning a living instead of smuggling ganga.

    This administration even announced in one of its early budgetary presentations (when DT was King) a proposal to develop a fish farm (aquaculture) in the Oistins Bay. This was a good proposal given to the Ministry of Agriculture and nothing has come of it not even a little Chinese expertise and money to borrow to help finance the worthwhile venture.
    Denis Kellman must learn to shut his mouth sometimes and put on his thinking cap. Instead of asking for a second airport at this time he should consider to what productive and commercial uses could be put those massive excavations by the Arawak cement plant in his neck of the electoral woods. Can they be used as natural bays or inlets to cultivate fish farms?


    • A condition of the Pickering Project in St. Lucy was a fish farm. Surely with the flying fish problem we have had with T&T developing fresh water farms would be a proactive thing to do.


  11. AC

    You really don’t get it do you? It does not matter what skills Owen Arthur has: it is the perception that matters. The people believe that he possess the necessary skills to manage this economy well because they were better off when he was in office. Whether that is true or not that is the perception that the DLP has to overcome. They are seen as complete failures, blaming everything but their own inadequacies for the state of the economy. The people do not want to hear excuses while they are suffering and seeing only the party faithful prosper.

    AC don’t blame me: I am only the messenger.


  12. caswell
    @ACYou really don’t get it do you? It does not matter what skills Owen Arthur has: it is the perception that matters.

    ac @caswell

    what i do get is that there are a vocal majority of BLP yardflows who are sigining from the same hymn book while the silent majority would let their voices be heard at the voting booth something that should not be underestimated.


    • AC

      I am not singing from anybody’s hymn sheet: if you have read and understood anything that I have written, you would have observed that I write and sing my own hymns.

      Stop deluding yourself and stop telling the DEMS what they want to hear: it is doing them no good. It is people like you that is causing the electorate to clamour for Owen Arthur. WAKE UP!!


  13. ac | August 5, 2012 at 7:34 AM |

    So you are dismissing the Wickham or cadres polls? And conveniently so!
    The same polls that you ardently embraced in 2007 /2008.

    Speak up, ac, do you accept the results of the Wickham polls even with a dose of skeptic reservations?


  14. what i do know is that a good day in politics can be short lived . however that poll is as controversial as the those who conducted the poll . Here is a poll which gives Chris Sinckler standing marks in an economy that he is in charge of yet one should believe that economy is not doing well however the public discounts all that and gives chris sinckler a high rating. what kinda convoluted argument is that


  15. Dear Caswell:

    Last week when you said on VOB’s Brass Tacks program that Cabinet Ministers live high on the hog (or words to that effect) then Minister Steve Blackett vigoursly defended the salaries of Bajan Cabinet Ministers. He if I recall correctly said that Cabinet Ministers earn “ONLY” $17,000 Barbados per month. For convenience let us call that the equivalent of $8,500 USD per month or $102,000 USD per year. And let us check an authoritative U.S. source the “Occupational Outlook Handbook” to see how professional American salaries compare with the salaries of Bajan Cabinet Ministers.

    http://www.bls.gov/ooh/occupation-finder.htm?pay=%2455%2C000+to+%2474%2C999&education=&training=&newjobs=&growth=&submit=GO

    All of these occupation groups earn median salaries between $55,000 and $75,000 USD per year, that is these American professionals earn significantly LESS than Bajan Cabinet Ministers:

    Accountants and auditors
    Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
    Agricultural Engineers
    Animal Scientists
    Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
    Architects, Except Landscape and Naval
    Artists and Related Workers, All Other
    Audiologists
    Budget Analysts
    Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels
    Chemists
    Chiropractors
    Claims Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators
    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists
    Commercial and Industrial Designers
    Commercial Pilots
    Computer Programmers
    Conservation Scientists
    Cost Estimators
    Database Administrators
    Dental Hygienists
    Detectives and Criminal Investigators
    Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
    Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians
    Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay
    Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers
    Elevator Installers and Repairers
    Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
    Epidemiologists
    Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
    Fashion Designers
    Financial Analysts
    Financial Examiners
    Food Scientists and Technologists
    Gaming Managers
    Geographers
    Instructional Coordinators
    Insurance Appraisers, Auto Damage
    Insurance Underwriters
    Landscape Architects
    Loan Officers
    Logisticians
    Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
    Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
    Microbiologists
    Multimedia Artists and Animators
    Network and Computer Systems Administrators
    Nuclear Medicine Technologists
    Nuclear Technicians
    Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
    Occupational Therapists
    Operations Research Analysts
    Orthotists and Prosthetists
    Personal Financial Advisors
    Postsecondary Teachers
    Power Distributors and Dispatchers
    Power Plant Operators
    Producers and Directors
    Retail, and Farm Products
    Radiation Therapists
    Registered Nurses
    Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products
    Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
    Ship Engineers
    Social and Community Service Managers
    Sociologists
    Soil and Plant Scientists
    Speech-Language Pathologists
    Statisticians
    Subway and Streetcar Operators
    Technical Writers
    Urban and Regional Planners
    Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

    Now can we honestly say that the salaries of Bajan Cabinet Ministers are low on the hog, that is that Bajan Cabinet Ministers must subsist on pig’s trotters and tails?

    Maybe Caswell can answer, or maybe a current,former or prospective Cabinet Minister can answer.

    Miller etc????


  16. I listed the occupations Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians, Architects, Except Landscape and Naval,Nuclear Technicians, Urban and Regional Planners etc. didn’t I?


  17. “And unlike in the Middle East where the unrest was because of political and dictatorial oppression, in Barbados it will be due to hunger.”

    Starve? He envisions a drought?


  18. Actually Hants the scenario mentioned by Gerald Taylor “The population is and will be increasing and will be a further burden on the Government financially” in the Nation article is highly unlikely as Barbados has an extremely low birth rate – way, way below replacement level – and a rapidly aging (and dying) population


  19. @ Enuff | August 5, 2012 at 5:55 PM |
    “Starve? He envisions a drought?”

    YES! A drought of foreign exchange; a reality that will be facing us in a few months. Are you forgetting that Barbados has a very high food import bill? How you think this is settled? In Bajan Grantley Adams? Many people foolishly don’t eat locally grown produce and prefer processed or canned foods. These would be the first to suffer hunger pangs.
    If you know what’s good for the country you would not dismiss the possibility of a drought or some other weather occurrence that can threaten the local production of food and animals for meat.

    “The population is and will be increasing and will be a further burden on the Government financially”

    Both you and Simple Simon are missing the gist of Taylor’s argument.
    Although Barbados has experienced over the last 10-15 years a negative population “growth” among the indigenous racial groups the net movement has remained stable or close to zero as a result of immigration and higher than average reproduction among certain groups mainly those from the Eastern part of the World whose religious and cultural practices prevent them from practicing family planning and birth control using ‘artificial’ means. Most young Barbadians from its main racial group have children outside the traditional marital framework and as a result there is a high number of “single-parent” households or family arrangements. Now with the threat of HIV/AIDS and the concerted efforts to get sexually active people to use condoms (barriers against the spread of HIV and by extension unwanted pregnancies) there would be further diminution of the rate of sexual reproduction among that main stream population segment.

    The point made by Taylor about future heavy burdens on Government finances is most apt if you were to consider the local demographic profile. With a fast growing aging population and a reducing young segment but which is characterized by too many being unproductive and not formally contributing to the NIS Ponzi scheme we will soon witness a “reversed funnel” shaping of the NI funding flows.
    Government’s social and welfare responsibilities would also be financially skewed towards an aging and economically more consuming and little producing population.


  20. Barbados did not deserve David Thompson and don’t deserve Owen Arthur; it could do better than Stuart but without Arthur; it should not tolerate a drunk, incompetence and or corruption. Barbados, likewise could do without Dale Marshall. Marshall alike Owen Arthur and Mia Mottley is linked to the Arch Cot Land mess, Al Barrack and VECO. David Thompson did not have clean hands, neither does Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley or Dale Marshall.


  21. @ Look
    What are you talking about?
    A country ALWAYS get the leaders it deserves. Barbados will deserve whoever we elect next time too…..


    • Let us face it, the current system breeds mediocrity. Our people have relinquished their right to participate and our law/policymakers don’t know how to lead.

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