Notes From a Native Son: A Bit of Fragrance Clings to the Hand that Gives Flowers (An Old Chinese saying)

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Recently a senior minister in the DLP government went on record praising the Chinese government for a paltry loan of Bds$16m – about US48m, or about £5.5m. She praised the Chinese for this ‘generous’ government to government loan and, quite clearly, from her genuflection, would have done anything the Chinese asked to get her hand on the money. It is not the first time this government and this particular minister have set about embarrassing the people of Barbados with their cap in hand approach to the Chinese.

Sometime ago they also went, this time an entourage of over a dozen people, on a begging trip to China and on their wish list was the refurbishment of the former Empire Cinema as a cultural centre. As per their bilateral policies, the Chinese indeed promised to fund a cultural centre, but on virgin land; they were not prepared to refurbish an existing building. Of course, we all knew this from the way they vandalised the Eyrie when building the community college, leaving the Eyrie grand house to collapse, while they embarked on savaging the paddocks. The Chinese also have form in these so-called deals, part of which is an estimated cost of the project (similar to the US and British giving ‘grants’), then rounding up the total as the sum total of the so-called account grant. Chinese deals do not include creating jobs for local people; they bring workers 10,000 miles to work in the Caribbean, often they bring their own materials and tools, with the workers camping on the sites with very little interaction with local people.

In Grenada in 2007, they offered to build the new cricket pavilion in time for the Cricket World Cup, but on condition that the 250 workers were granted permission to stay on and settle in Grenada. This is a problem that future generations of Grenadians will have to deal with. The big question now is what exactly is in the fine print of the so-called government to government deal that Barbados has struck with the Chinese? Does it include allowing more Chinese workers to settle in Barbados?

Economic Miracle:
For the last two decades or so the world has been astounded by the rapid pace of Chinese economic growth. In 1980, China was the 13th largest economy in the world. It is now, in 2013, the second largest and is set to be the largest by 2015, according to some projections. Consumption represents 40 per cent of its GDP, compared with 70 per cent for the US and 55 per cent for India. China’s share of the global economy grew from about four per cent in 1980 to 18 per cent in 2013 and is expected to reach 20 per cent by 2015. The Chinese economic miracle is absolutely outstanding; it is now arguably already the leading global economy, at least US politicians and the Federal Reserve think so since it is the premise on which policy is now based. But this is not just the story of a once dirt-poor nation climbing its way to the top, as many people like to pretend. China is still a communist country, controlled by the politburo and backed by a 500,000-strong Red Army. Its financial institutions, and in particular the four biggest banks, are controlled by the state; it is a nation notorious for publishing bogus statistics, none more so than at the local provincial level. There is a good reason why, despite the avalanche of statistics coming out of China, we never see unemployment figures, why the central government controls the movement of people from rural areas to urban centres.

The first stage of China’s rapid growth was based on the Asian export-led model, producing low-cost consumer goods for foreign markets, mainly North America and Europe, undercutting other economies in Asia, Latin America and in its main export markets. In real terms, China became rich by setting itself up as the manufacturing factory of the world.
It was a model that attracted a lot of attention from Wall Street, at the expense of US jobs in Detroit and the Southern states. The US is still paying a heavy price for this. But it was not only the US, in micro states such as Barbados it was not unusual to find simple commodities, such as socks and flags bearing the ‘made in China’ tag.

Transition Phase:
China has now gone through the export-driven phase of its development and is now in a transition phase on its way to a consumer-driven or investment-based economy. With an official clampdown on corruption, and the move towards the much needed regularising of its property law, the new president is setting his mark on the future development of the nation. In theory this should not be hard; China has a rising middle class of about 300m, the size of the entire US population, who are nearly all in a frantic consuming mood. They need the things we in the West take for granted: cars, white goods, foreign holidays, etc. It is to meet this burning need that the Chinese government is now expending lots of energy, hoping at the same time to keep its vast ethnic minority communities, including one of the largest Muslims groups in the world, from running riot.

China’s hidden agenda:
China’s ambitions are not only economic; it is a nation in a hurry to reverse the last 200 years of history, to make the West pay for the humiliation of the Boxer Rebellion and the other perceived indignities it has suffered since the rise of mercantilism. We know that one of the many deals that China imposes on little and impoverished nations is that they cannot recognise Taiwan; whatever we may think of Taiwan it is not China’s call but the democratically elected governments of those African and Caribbean nations to decide who to recognise and who not to. So, we pay a high price to let China tickle our bellies for small sums of money.

We also know that China has territorial ambitions; just ask the Japanese and Philippine governments, American paranoia aside. As David Gosset wrote of the rise of Confucius Institutes (the Chinese version of the British Council and the US Peace Corps): “The development of the Confucius Institutes should not be interpreted as a mere linguistic phenomenon,; it reveals six of the main features defining the Chinese renaissance: economic re-emergence, speed of change, socio-political transformation, civilisational revival, China’s outward projection and the entry, through a cognitive shift, into what could be called an era of a new Sinology.” There is also a crucial seventh: a determination to face down the US, and any other Western nation or combination of nations, militarily. If Barbadians think that European slavery and colonialism were humiliating and terrible, just wait and see what the Chinese will do.

Analysis and Conclusion:
Despite the fog of misinformation and ignorance surrounding China’s rapid growth, the reality is that the US, once supreme as the world’s only economic superpower, is slowly declining, although it will remain for the rest of the century the biggest economy. The early 21st century is China’s time and it is making the most of it, but it is also walking a tight rope. Since the 1997/8 Asian financial crisis, Asia’s central banks have been holding collectively US$7trn in currency reserves, with China alone holding US$1.3trn and Japan a further US$1.1trn, mostly in US gilts. This means that, at least for the time being, the Greenback is safe since the last thing Asian central banks want is to undermine the US dollar – they have too much to lose. What was meant to be a post 1997/8 hedge against currency crisis is now a great liability, since Asian central banks are now the biggest lenders to the consumer-driven US economy – this is an unintended consequence. In other words, the Asians are lending the US households and corporates the money to buy their low-cost products. If either China or Japan try unloading US dollars on the markets their currencies will appreciate, which is exactly what they do not want.

The Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, came to power in December 2012 with a promise to reinvigorate the yen by depreciating it. So, Asian economies are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea: by holding down their currencies, they keep their exports competitive, but at the same time they are piling up US debt. The end result is that the US dollar’s share of global foreign exchange reserves was 62 per cent by the end of the first quarter of this year, compared with a low of 60 per cent in June 2011. And with S&P predicting US debt rising to 84 per cent of GDP by 2015, an increase on a previous prediction of 79 per cent, and up 11 per cent since the downgrade, according to the US Dollar Index. The global economy is still in crisis.

Then there is the so-called China Paradox, an economy with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 70 per cent, compared with the UK’s 37 per cent, yet does not have the rule of law as it is understood in the West, an independent judiciary or property rights, all the institutions that are associated with prosperity and democracy. The other thing to remember is that China was industrialised before it opened its society in 1979, although much of the machinery was aged and worn out.

Knowledge transfer was also important post-1979, with the Chinese industrialists effective stealing the know-how and intellectual property rights from Western partner firms. Further, as is typical in the Confucian societies, China’s household savings have been at 10 per cent of GDP in 1979, although this has grown substantially since then. There are a lot of uncertainties – known unknowns and unknown unknowns – about China’s monetary policy as it rolls out under the new president. Until recently, China was prepared to make market-to-market losses on its currency reserves caused by keeping its exports at cheap prices, which no doubt provide lessons for the minister of finance and the central bank governor in Barbados.

What is clear, however, is that both the previous regime and the new one saw a common interest in pushing back supply side developments. The biggest single uncertainty, however, is the threat to open its capital account markets to the rest of the world. The great fear is a rapid outflow of illicit capital as the emerging middle class try to diversify their wealth portfolios. The accompanying fears of a serious financial disaster, such as the much talked about housing bubble, can be over-exaggerated. One thing this view seems to ignore is that the four top banks in China are all owned by the state and the Politburo has the power to turn off the credit tap as and when it wants. It is fiscal capacity which poses the greatest threat – can the state guarantee the loan books of those banks in a real crisis? This is the elephant in the room as China experiments with liberalisation, but politicians and the financial sector fully understand these risks.

Another imbalance is that the Chinese corporate sector is subsidised by the household sector, similar to the Japan model. Chinese authorities have realised that an export-led economy depends on demand in other economies, and investment-led growth will mean an interest-rate based monetary policy and the macro-prudential reforms that will entail. Under the new post-export-led model of development, China is now focusing on a consumer-driven growth-led monetary policy, also with the option of using interest rate rules, expansion of broad money, and other such devices to achieve this growth – now targeted at 7.5 per cent although some officials are predicting as low as 6.5 per cent.

We had a glimpse of this in 2008/9 when the money supply rose by 25 per cent and for a time the authorities lost control of monetary policy. The main reason for policy going in to a tailspin is the decision to split financial regulation between different authorities for political reasons, ignoring that a centralised regulatory control is far more efficient. One manifestation of this new policy is the appropriation of people’s land by the local state, selling it at exorbitantly high prices and keeping the money, in order to help deleverage. We have already seen some of this thinking in the Caribbean and Africa with Chinese settlers grabbing land, often violently chasing the traditional owners off, and claiming it for themselves.

The other feature of the China Experiment decision to open the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, a futures market, which will become the home for Qualified Foreign Investors, shadow banks and insurance companies. In the final analysis, it must be remembered that China has a number of marginalised ethnic minorities, including one of the biggest Muslim communities in the world. If it is to keep all these disparate groups quiet it must keep them preoccupied with the belief that they too are sharing in Chinese prosperity. To sustain this, China must travel the world like Marco Polo looking for new markets. But to believe mistakenly that we have a special relationship with China is a delusion. Going cap in hand to China begging for crumbs off its table is not only humiliating to Barbadian people may look a smart move, but it fossilises the creative imagination and turns us in to a nation of bell hops and servants, that is what we mean by service economy.

80 thoughts on “Notes From a Native Son: A Bit of Fragrance Clings to the Hand that Gives Flowers (An Old Chinese saying)

  1. I look forward to equally scathing and condescending cut and paste synopsis of US European economic model next week … no?.

    By and way writer look of dark skin, maybe writer criticize African and Caribbean economic model too … huh ..! Writer sound European but not look European … Flower in hand or maybe hand not smelling velly good …

  2. Maybe Barbados not pay so much Administrator and Consultant with tax dollar … no? … Maybe Barbados pay builder and artisan as public servant instead …no? Maybe if tax dollar pay for hand on work maybe no need for Chinese import … Local builder cost local money … Chinese builder cost US money … This be serious boner … mistake, downer …. no?

  3. Do you really think it is the buying power of the Barbados economy, is it your natural resources. hardly For those crumbs I think it is easy entry into Barbados

    • Interesting to hear Minister Donvile Inniss in the news this morning indicating that Barbados has signed the FATCA agreement. Minister it is not like you have options. Barbados is a pigmy jurisdiction that relies on offshore business to survive.

  4. Interesting information Hal. Need time to digest although we all know that something is sinister with China becoming our big brother. We must also be clear that every dollar China loans Barbados, we still got to repay. We were talking about the infiltration of Guyanese, but have you realised that nuff Chinese all ’bout the place. We soon will be called Chinbajan

  5. If you want to see what the future of Barbados will look like in terms of Chinese, go to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and any part of East Africa.
    Also look at the 20000 Africans operating out of mainland China and Hong Kong. The scholarships they give us is to sell their culture. So, when you start speaking in Mandarin at Cave Hill you know you have been bought.
    That little island is under enormous pressure. Where are our leaders when we need them most?

  6. Tell me Why | September 20, 2013 at 9:02 AM |
    Interesting information Hal. Need time to digest although we all know that something is sinister with China becoming our big brother.

    The China/Barbados relationship is NOT a big brother/little brother relationship, it is an elephant/mouse relationship.

  7. Hal said
    In Grenada in 2007, they offered to build the new cricket pavilion in time for the Cricket World Cup, but on condition that the 250 workers were granted permission to stay on and settle in Grenada. This is a problem that future generations of Grenadians will have to deal with.

    From September 19 Nation article “Grenada to adopt IMF agreement”

    “It is now time for Grenada to confront the fact that it cannot continue to pay its debts on current terms, and that the restoration of growth requires the debt overhang to be resolved. We need a fresh start, and it is therefore imperative that we approach our creditors promptly to discuss an orderly restructuring of our liabilities,’ Mitchell said when the group was appointed.
    Presumably the “debt overhang” includes the financing (soft loan?) Chinese provided to pay for the new cricket pavilion.


    Will Chinese now forgive the Grenada Loan- or was it a grant in the first place?

  8. I like Grenada, and it is the place, Barbados apart, that I could easily live in the Caribbean. But like the other English-speaking nations, its leaders have failed it.
    It has abandoned manufacturing, agriculture and other industries for the nonsense of tourism.
    A few years ago I was there on a tour and they were about to sign a deal with a big UK supermarket. I told them not to, but the moment they found out I was born in Barbados they just ignored me. I think the deal has now collapsed.
    The danger was that the supermarket would have told them what they wanted to hear and as soon as they had them depending on them then screwed them for every penny.
    Why can’t they explore their fauna and flora? How about citrus juice factories, and using the remains to make jams and marmalades. How about research of the medical properties of the produce?
    The list is endless.
    By the way, Mitchell is (was) an all right spinner.

  9. Tell me Why

    Comrade … not velly fair comment atol atol …

    Comrade not fear Canada land invasion, or Britain land invasion, or Trinidadian Buy up invasion, or American weapon and culture invasion but few amount of Chinese cause name change to Chinbajan …

    Tell me how … no?

  10. By and Way

    Britain reduce corporation tax to British company in foreign domicile to 5% … now British Minister say Britain compete with tax haven places so all British company go back to Britain … (not working yet as loop hole still available …) Only time before Barbados model dry up and fly away …

    Man that not look European but speak European should leave Chinese model alone and stick with home model …! Chinese government find work for Chinese people all over world… no? Man that not look European but speak European have problem with that ….

  11. Africa must get real about Chinese ties
    By Lamido Sanusi
    The relationship carries with it a whiff of colonialism, writes Lamido Sanusi
    It is time for Africans to wake up to the realities of their romance with China.
    Nigeria, a country with a large domestic market of more than 160m people, spends huge resources importing consumer goods from China that should be produced locally. We buy textiles, fabric, leather goods, tomato paste, starch, furniture, electronics, building materials and plastic goods. I could go on.
    The Chinese, on the other hand, buy Nigeria’s crude oil. In much of Africa, they have set up huge mining operations. They have also built infrastructure. But, with exceptions, they have done so using equipment and labour imported from home, without transferring skills to local communities.
    So China takes our primary goods and sells us manufactured ones. This was also the essence of colonialism. The British went to Africa and India to secure raw materials and markets. Africa is now willingly opening itself up to a new form of imperialism.
    The days of the Non-Aligned Movement that united us after colonialism are gone. China is no longer a fellow under-developed economy – it is the world’s second-biggest, capable of the same forms of exploitation as the west. It is a significant contributor to Africa’s deindustrialisation and underdevelopment.
    My father was Nigeria’s ambassador to Beijing in the early 1970s. He adored Chairman Mao Zedong’s China, which for him was one in which the black African – seen everywhere else at the time as inferior – was worthy of respect.
    His experience was not unique. A romantic view of China is quite common among African imaginations – including mine. Before his sojourn in Beijing, he was the typical Europhile, committed to a vision of African “progress” defined by replicating western ways of doing things. Afterwards, when he became permanent secretary in the external affairs ministry, the influence of China’s anti-colonial stance was written all over the foreign policy he crafted, backing liberation movements in Portuguese colonies and challenging South Africa’s apartheid regime.
    This African love of China is founded on a vision of the country as a saviour, a partner, a model. But working as governor of Nigeria’s central bank has given me pause for thought. We cannot blame the Chinese, or any other foreign power, for our country’s problems. We must blame ourselves for our fuel subsidy scams, for oil theft in the Niger Delta, for our neglect of agriculture and education, and for our limitless tolerance of incompetence. That said, it is a critical precondition for development in Nigeria and the rest of Africa that we remove the rose-tinted glasses through which we view China.
    Three decades ago, China had a significant advantage over Africa in its cheap labour costs. It is losing that advantage as its economy grows and prosperity spreads. Africa must seize the moment. We must encourage a shift from consuming Chinese-made goods to making and consuming our own. We must add value to our own agricultural products. Nigeria and other oil producers need to refine crude; build petrochemical industries and use gas reserves – at present often squandered in flaring at oil wells – for power generation and gas-based industries such as fertiliser production.
    For Africa to realise its economic potential, we need to build first-class infrastructure. This should service an afro-centric vision of economic policies. African nations will not develop by selling commodities to Europe, America and China. We may not be able to compete immediately in selling manufactured goods to Europe. But in the short term, with the right infrastructure, we have a huge domestic market. Here, we must see China for what it is: a competitor.
    We must not only produce locally goods in which we can build comparative advantage, but also actively fight off Chinese imports promoted by predatory policies. Finally, while African labour may be cheaper than China’s, productivity remains very low. Investment in technical and vocational education is critical.
    Africa must recognise that China – like the US, Russia, Britain, Brazil and the rest – is in Africa not for African interests but its own. The romance must be replaced by hard-nosed economic thinking. Engagement must be on terms that allow the Chinese to make money while developing the continent, such as incentives to set up manufacturing on African soil and policies to ensure employment of Africans.
    Being my father’s son, I cannot recommend a divorce. However, a review of the exploitative elements in this marital contract is long overdue. Every romance begins with partners blind to each other’s flaws before the scales fall away and we see the partner, warts and all. We may remain together – but at least there are no illusions.
    The writer has been governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2009. The views expressed in this article are his own

  12. And like so many 3world Cantral Bank Governor … all fart and no stink … no?

    Old Chinese proverb … even fart accomplish purpose ….

    • On FB last night Senator Depieza indicated that the strategy of this government is to develop new exciting relationships with China and Latin America.

  13. Very few govts or if any trust the Chinese however the alternative for these little islands drowning in high debt is equal to that of “economic armagedon . Too much to lose in the name of progress.

  14. See the Advocate today.

    The first three pages are dedicated to Barbados/China stuff – yes THREE pages

    Page 1 – ON TRACK “The People’s Republic of China and Barbados are currently exchanging notes on a number of projects the two countries are planning to pursue”. So Says China’s Ambassador to Barbados at an event to mark the 64th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

    It sounds like these deals are partnership of equals, not elephant and mouse

    The article is truly terrifying.

    A Confucius Institute at UWI Cave Hill as a platform for academic, cultural and scientific exchange.
    Exchange – what exchange?

    This is brain-washing, which according to Wikipedia refers to a process in which a group or individual “systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated”. The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as subverting an individual’s sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making.

    Page 2 – “PM: B’dos remains committed to China”. The PM’s comments take your breath away. What can you say about those remarks?

    Page 3 – “Relations between China and Barbados very productive” It gets even scarier.

    And look at the group photo. The GG, the PM, the Chief Justice (CBB Governor missing from group photo) together with a delegation of 21 Chinese. A country of 1.4 billion with a 21 representatives in a tiny speck of coral in the ocean with 270,000 people. I guess that is 21 less people going hungry in the motherland.

    When the Ambassador’s bosses in Bejing read these reports he should receive a big bonus.
    Can somebody tell us when The Barbados Advocate became an organ of the Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the PRC, the largest news agency in China, and a subordinate of the State Council and reports to the Communist Party of China’s Propoganda and Public Information Departments. (read mind control).

    If people think things were bad under the British colonial masters; they ain’t seen nothin yet.

    And what of the foreign investors form North America and Europe? Will they want to invest in a satellite of China?

    BAFBFP – What say you?

  15. The real alternative for these little governments is competence. Because you live in a big house, and I in a small house it does not mean your home is better than mine.
    But if I am envious of your home, then it becomes a burden.

  16. Off topic; BUT

    Article on page 4 of Advocate says, the Minister of Tourism, under whose watch the tourism in Barbados is in a downward spiral, will act as Prime Minister, while PM Stuart leaves the island for a one-week “private” visit to Barbados.

  17. DD promises this will be his last post today

    Based on an article on page 7 in the 19/09/2013 in the Advocate, one has to believe that Paul Altman is drinking the same Chinese Kool-Aid that those running the country are drinking..

    His latest thought, to remove traffic congestion, is for government (not private sector) to build a 7 mile monorail system from Bridgetown up to Warrens, and loop around down Cave Hill, Spring Garden, Harbour Road and rejoin the starting point at Constitution River.,

    Why not include a couple of spurs up to Pickering Village and to Limegrove so the people of St. Lucy have easy access to do their back-to-school shopping at Limegrove.

    He does acknowledge that he worries about where the money will come from, suggesting government access “soft” loans. I guess that would be interest free loans from, say, China. Government could then award the contact to build the system to a Chinese contractor, who would employ hundreds/thousands of Chinese workers to do the work cheaply, and buy the monorail trains from a supplier in Hong Kong.

    If the scheme is financially viable and sustainable, a private sector joint venture of Altman, Kiffen, COW, Bizzy, Bjorn et al should jump at the opportunity to fund, build and operate the system.

    Since China only does government to government deals, Barbados government could get a “soft” loan from China and on-loan it to the joint venture to fund the project.

    In another article in the same newspaper, Altman is jumping on the Business Facilitation Unit to ease the painful process to bring investors to Barbados; so they can buy some real estate from him. A little self-serving maybe?

    But then, who will want to buy property in Chinados?

  18. I have been calling for a monorail for years, but going east from the airport to Culpepper island in the first stage, eventual encircle the island.
    But is this the same Paul Altman the estate agent who is also the ‘investment adviser’ for the Fortress Property fund?
    Maybe this hopeless government should make him minister of finance if the investment advice he is giving Fortress is so dynamic..
    What is that saying: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

  19. From the news making the rounds in North America, Limegrove is just sitting there, no business because everything is overpriced and the rich it seems cannot afford to shop there nor, according to one i know, would they care to shop at Limegrove, was this built as a washing machine?

    Altman now believes he has a right to dictate to these ‘intelligent’ DLP leaders on how the taxpayers money should be spent, what’s next? nothing will surprise me anymore

    • We discussed on BU that user fees are coming for the QEH to compensate for the budget cut. It is official if we go by the MoH in the news today.

  20. The Chinese see Barbados as an enigma……they cant figure out how an island so small can be buying all those coral necklaces

  21. A users fee at QEH!!! What we paying taxes for, fuh dem tuh kill we?!
    These mongrels for politicians have run the thing into the ground and now want more money from us. To prove what?! The more money they tax from us the more foolishly they spend it!!

    • What is sad is that the government has an idea where it intend to grab income but there must be great public discussion in anticipation. In the mean time it does nothing to promote confidence in the public space.

  22. Ah! Now I really understand their plan. No lay offs, no salary cuts, no cuts to allowances. No getting rid of politcical gimmicks like free busfare for school children but young gals still givin it tuh de van men. Keep de constituency councils as a tool to help win elections even though they serve no real empowering functions. They will cut temporary staff, they will tax us more. Cuz dammit they gotta live big, they gotta keep the public service happy so they can win elections. Who poor or unemployed deserve to be poor or unemployed, in their warped mindset and should go and dead.

    They will tax, fee and vat us to death!! Only the ministers and public workers and indian and white businesses must thrive. The common man must suck salt, till he turn bitter.

  23. Something is really wrong with this inept incompetent government.

    I have been studying the way this so called MOF has been running this country from the figures provided in another thread in light of the fact that this DLP government has not paid the UWI since it came to office and that is why the UWI debt has mounted up to 200 million dollars! If he does not know about public finance, why the hell did he take the ministry? Why did the sleeping giant again re-appoint him to be finance minister?

    In 2008/9 this government collected 2.6 billion dollars and still overspend 256 million dollars
    In 2009/10, this government collected 2.3 billion dollars and still overspend 557 million dollars
    In 2010/11, this government collected 2.3 billion dollars yet overspend 647 million dollars
    In 2011/12, this government collected 2.5 billion dollars and still overspend 284 million dollars
    In 2012/13, this government collected 1.8 billion dollars and yet overspend 260 million dollars

    You mean to tell me that out of all this money, this incompetent minister of finance could not find money for the UWI and now he and the crack some heads minister now play they saying that they have had sleepless nights over asking students to pay…………..bunch of hypocrites. …………..but could find more money $850,000 to spend on football to honour a dead king who never played football in his lifetime.

    miller, do you know why this money was increased from $600,000 to $850,000 this year? What could account for such a huge increase??? Fatted calf syndrome??

  24. How much money is brought into the local economy from this event, in Ottawa for our winterlude festival 150 million is generated for the region from this one event Which makes it very worthwhile for any costs incurred.

  25. Look myopic and phobia struck Hal Barbadian diplomats and foreign service agents are of top rated intelligence and respected operators. This is not to be compared to those corrupt, mal ad ministered and war torn countries mentioned in Africa. In terms of development, articulation and charting of courses we are top rated. What the hell you think it is comparing Barbados to those countries. You must be mad as shite. We have had and continue to have locals in top places in international organisations such as PAHO. Barbados is mature and intelligent enough to enter world relationships and manage them well . You appear to have no confidence in your land of birth. What is constantly wrong with you? Can you find nothing positive to say about your homeland? Cheesh!! You Bajans do not know how good it is here but foreigners have realized and are flocking to adopt here as home in droves. The place is stable, friendly, high standard of living, good salaries compared to others of its size and local, relatively low crime, free social services, low bus fares, clean potable water, high standard of health care and education. more sixth form schools, good housing stock, top international airport, highly respected in academic arenas, highly skilled workforce, popular world attracting festivals and I can go on some more. I am sure you got the picture. Like other families we disagree every five years and then make up. We do not even have election violence. This is a blessed country. Please find something positive to say sometimes. The world is following my brother.

  26. Now now … such anti-China sentiment. Maybe I get it … no? But now China not drop nuclear bomb on other country and beg excuse for saving many White lives by killing civilians in sleep … no? China not arm opposition to overthrow government in Haiti, Libya and Syria … no? China not bomb farmers and police stations and newspaper head quarters and milk plants and pharmaceutical plants and turn helicopter gunship on people in street and children in van … no? China not use drone to kill friends at birthday party or kill family members of leaders by bombing residential districts … no? China not spend more money on weapons than on education and health care …no? China never use chemical weapons or depleted uranium or lie to public about why they bomb other country like Panama or Iraq … China never blow up three building in major town square with multinational occupants and tell world that people cave be responsible …no?

    Hate China … no problem, but what about other country that you embrace …no? Old Chinese proverb … Sleep with wolf maybe wake up with wolf, but sleep with snake, no wake up atol atol atol …!

  27. @lighthouse
    Yup I think this Hal Austin guy is overdoing it in his attempts to criticize everything in this country. What I notice is that he seems to think that the Chinese are worse than the Western hegemons when it comes to this game called colonialism. In my view, the arrangements the Chinese make with the developing nations are no worse than what developing countries have received or would negotiate with the traditional Western imperialists. HAL NEEDS TO TAKE A CHILL PILL!

  28. Lawson said:

    lawson | September 20, 2013 at 4:29 PM |

    Don’t let the Chinese come to Barbados, …….. they will bring clocks

    Too late, incompetent government does not know how to generate money, conduct business, create jobs, nor do they know what to do about agriculture, they need paper (money) to pretend they are actually managing the country, the Chinese got trillions of paper (money), it’s a done deal.

  29. @Well Well
    Completely agree, these fifth rate fool politicians masquerading as statesmen and stateswomen are neither. They know not how to generate money nor put their populace to work. Thats what they were elected to help accomplish, not spend money foolishly and then tax the hell out of citizens when they cant make up for it in their payments.

    Many here fail to see that. The fact that This DLP can’t manage it’s finances well, barely slipping year to year. Buying votes and using fear to win an election. Commissioner of police covering up crimes committed by his kin, wiretapping the phones of private citizens along with the help of a sitting MP. Al Barrack not payed, but the interest keep rising.

    “Leroy Paris is my friend, he is not a leper!” says the Prime Minister. All now the CLICO shareholders can’t get justice, but Leroy Paris will be protected. Forensic Audit report gone missing, so that’s the end of that.
    This makes me confident, so confident I will put my hard earned money elsewhere, but not bout hey.

    So now this government goes loitering at the colonial doorsteps begging for money. I remember when Japan was booming, same thing they did with Japan, they doing with China. Who got the money they go and beg. The fact that they would rather this than think of innovative ways to generate foreign exchange scares me. It tells me we have ninnies for a government or they can do no better or a sad mix of both.

  30. @Hal Austin “In Grenada in 2007, they offered to build the new cricket pavilion in time for the Cricket World Cup, but on condition that the 250 workers were granted permission to stay on and settle in Grenada.”

    The traditional Chinese desire for sons, coupled with the one child policy has resulted in a surplus (that is tens of millions of unmarried young men) of young Chinese men who wish to marry and have children but can’t find a Chinese wife. China is quite sensibly exporting these men. Because a young man who cannot find a wife (or even some good pokey) is dangerous to have around.

    Traditionally a lot of black Caribbean men are reluctant to marry black working class Caribbean women. (Ah lie?)

    If I was a young Grenadian woman, I would grab me one of these hard working Chinese men, and become his good wife and the mother of our children.


  31. Hal

    This morning I was going to post a comment to the effect that this article contains the required amount of bashing of the Democratic Labour Party to pull the Barbados Labour Party crowd out of the woodwork. I felt sure that you would get far more than the four comments you received at about the same time as last week.

    Now I am back tonight and lo and behold fifty comments from the usual suspects. Last week’s article was too fair and balance thus making it not up to their taste.

    I guess that you realized that and you have returned to your usual DOOM AND GLOOM self much to the delight of the BLP Jokers on this blog.

    50 comments and growing steadily.


  32. @Hal Austin “So, when you start speaking in Mandarin at Cave Hill you know you have been bought.”

    Speaking Mandarin at Cave Hill is no different from speaking English at Cave Hill.

    English is the language of the superpowers of 1700 to 2000.

    Mandarin is the language of the superpower of 2000 to 2300.

    Since Barbados because of its small geographic size can never be a superpower; it is good that our children and grandchildren can speak the language of the current and future superpower.

    Would Hal Austin be a big shot in England if he did not speak English, but instead spoke only Papiamento or Greek or Latin?


    The future belongs to those people who can speak Mandarin with native fluency.

    My grandchildren will be among those with native fluency.

  33. @Due Diligance “If people think things were bad under the British colonial masters; they ain’t seen nothin yet.”

    The British colonial master’s were bad. The British colonial masters were VERY, VERY. VERY BAD.

    The British colonial masters practised forced migration

    The British colonial masters practised multiple generational slavery.

    The British colonial masters practised torture, including hangings, rapes, beatings, brandings, amputations, and sticking bottles of boiling water into women’s vaginas.

    The British colonial masters deprived people of their languages

    The British colonial masters deprived people of their religion. The British colonial masters made it illegal for people to practise their own religion. The British colonial masters tortured and killed people for practising their traditional religions.

    The British colonial masters told colonized people that they were not human, that they were outside of God’s love.

    The British colonial stole, and stole and stole again. They stole people, labour, food, minerals, they stole historic artifacts. The British colonial masters were/are without a doubt the biggest thieves that ever walked the face of the earth.

    The British colonial masters sold chemical weapons to the Syrians.

    What is is again that you say the Chinese plan to do?

  34. @Due Diligence “Paul Altman is drinking the same Chinese Kool-Aid…His latest thought, to remove traffic congestion, is for government (not private sector) to build a 7 mile monorail system from Bridgetown up to Warrens, and loop around down Cave Hill, Spring Garden, Harbour Road and rejoin the starting point at Constitution River…If the scheme is financially viable and sustainable, a private sector joint venture of Altman, Kiffen, COW, Bizzy, Bjorn et al should jump at the opportunity to fund, build and operate the system.”

    All we need to solve traffic congestion is for Paul Altman, Kiffen, COW, Bizzy, Bjorn and those who imitate them to sell their cars and get on the buses.

    If we return 40,000 cars to Japan and bought 400 buses I think we could have a public transport system that Paul Altman, Kiffen, COW, Bizzy, Bjorn and those who imitate them would be proud of, and the boys would all get to work on time. Because there would be no traffic congestion, because those 40,000 cars would be back with their Japanese manufacturers instead of clogging up our traffic.

    And this would not require a cheap loan from anybody.. In fact we could make some money offa a deal like this.

  35. Simple Simon said:

    The British colonial masters sold chemical weapons to the Syrians.

    What is is again that you say the Chinese plan to do?

    All we need to solve traffic congestion is for Paul Altman, Kiffen, COW, Bizzy, Bjorn and those who imitate them to sell their cars and get on the buses.

    If we return 40,000 cars to Japan and bought 400 buses I think we could have a public transport system that Paul Altman, Kiffen, COW, Bizzy, Bjorn and those who imitate them would be proud of, and the boys would all get to work on time. Because there would be no traffic congestion, because those 40,000 cars would be back with their Japanese manufacturers instead of clogging up our traffic.

    And this would not require a cheap loan from anybody.. In fact we could make some money offa a deal like this.

    That says it all.

  36. @Simple Simon

    “What is is again that you say the Chinese plan to do?”

    A little xenophobia is a sign that you are proud of your culture and one must be weary of those who come bearing gifts, everything in this world even what we have free comes at a price even if not measured in monetary standards.

    What have the Chinese done? What do they plan to do? I can answer the former and only give my prediction of the latter.

    China has had almost two thousand, five hundred years of civilization, it is the prime hegemon in that area of the world called asia. The first man to unite a large state of china was Qin shi Huang. A brilliant ruler in his earlier years he deteriorated into one of china’s worst tyrants. You see, China has had many dynasties, ei ruling families. Almost all got to the top by coups or harem plots, overthrowing the one before or concubines placing illigitimate sons on the throne or even concubines or eunachs placing themselves on the throne. Thus Qin Shi Huang was a paranoid ruler.

    Surviving many assassination attempts, he would execute anyone even rumored to be plotting against him. A burner of books and silencer of scholars through death. By finishing the great wall to act as a defence against invaders(foreigners), it became a tomb for the thousands who labored there and died of starvation or severe whippings.

    China has had colonies and sought to be a colonial power. They had armies fighting in vietnam when the crossbow was used instead of the USA’s M16 assault rifle. Many times they exercised contempt for Tibetan sovereignty until today Tibet is theirs. Korea was a satelite state of theirs for many centuries. When they could they exerted control over japan in the past, a strong china will always crush even a strong Japan.

  37. BAFBFB

    Hate China? No

    But, just a reminder that China did crack some heads and shoot some people in 1989 at Tiananmen Square when University students voiced grievances against inflation, limited career prospects, and corruption of the party elite, and called for government accountability, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the restoration of workers’ control over industry.

    Minister Jones is quoted as saying

    “There are persons who have no respect for democracy, they have a right to talk, but when they believe that right spreads to the creation of a groundswell to breed insurrection Mr. Speaker you will be calling on the military forces of Barbados, the Royal Barbados Police Force to bring back law and order,”.
    “Who will be the Complaints Authority then? There will be thousands of complaints because by necessity in order to restore order you have to crack some heads, you have to shoot some people, let’s understand this reality.”

    In another Democracy, if a Minister made such inflammatory statements he would be removed from Cabinet and forced to resign his seat.

  38. Continuing;

    The modern things I can point at today with China, is that china is still red although it has adopted a bit of capitalism. The communism Lenin promised is not he communism the world has today. Stalin and Mao corrupted communism and mutated communism to fit their personalities.

    The Sino-India war of 1962-
    China after assuring India there were no contests over a piece if land the size of Trinidad, a drop in the bucket compared to the vastness of china and it’s population.Situated in mountainous terrains in the himalayas where the indian prime minister at that time said “Not even a blade of grass grows” and was of no resource value but was as china said “traditional territory”. This came right after china annexed Tibet militarily. So China was hot and ready.

    After assuring India all was well china turned an about face and invaded Indian territory catching the indians off guard, who had up to that time had peaceful relations with china. India did it’s best to fend of the better equiped chinese army but lost, but not after limiting china’s gains in the disputed area.

    Human atrocities-
    Mao Zedung initiated a famine which killed millions of chinese. The Great Leap Forward of 1958 took farmers away from their farms and put them to work in factories and steel mills. This resulted in drops in grain resulting in a famine for many. Any party member who criticised Mao’s policy was sent to camps labeled as traitors, where they subsequently died. Mao did know however his plan was a failure, but continued to take a third of whatever farmers produced. Here he is quoted as saying “When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.” 100 million chinese are said to have died from starvation or being sent to labor camps.

    This leads to;

    The Cultural Revolution- 1966
    By now Mao was a hated man but he held much power still. Even his own part members wanted him gone and for gods sake if he did care an ounce about his chinese people he shoulda leff. But no he gotta “eat his fill”. He retained his mandate of Chairmanship of the party by only narrow margins.
    After winning the chairmanship he went on a rampage against the elite who were against him. He would initiate a “continuous revolution” so there could be no upper class and to purge all in the party who voted against him.

  39. Continuing;

    Mao created a personal paramilitary group called the Red Guards. He personally controlled them. Basically they were to beat or kill any one who did not fall in line with Mao’s views they had power over the army and police force. They were like the Gestapo of Nazi Germany, Brown Shirts of Mousolini and KGB of Russia.

    The intellectuals of china were sent to the countryside to work in farms and their possessions looted by the state, many works of art and literature were lost during this period. Thousands of years of culture gone, only what Mao wanted to remain or what the people could hide survived. Museums were raided too by the Red Guards, only the image of what Mao wanted his china to reflect would remain. All records that did not suit his world view were destroyed. This was re-education on a massive scale.

    The intellectuals and wealthy who were sent to work in the rural areas of china, were broken and mistreated by the peasant farmers who now saw an opportunity for revenge. Many of The Red Guard were peasant farmers who had starved during Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Many of these displaced men and women committed suicide. The Red Guard themselves were then double crossed by Mao who after using their misguided rage at the middle class wealthy, cracked down on them to restore stability, to his now pure china, a clean slate.

    Disregard of Sovereignty of an Independent Sovereign Nation-
    The one China policy that calls Governments to view The peoples Republic of China And the Democratic Peoples Republic Of China as one is the biggest betrayal, prostitution and pimpology I have ever seen. All I can say is shame on all who support it Taiwan is for it’s people not Red China.

    The End.(For now)

    • @Riots in the land

      For all its bloody history Mao and all it has managed to become the economic power house of he world. Its economy is tightly interwoven with the rest of the world. Deal wit it.

  40. Almost forgot;

    China’s One child policy-
    The systematic abortion and killing of infants if their parents have more than one child. Boys were favored as china needed an army, the humiliation Japan did to china would never happen again. But wait, who will all these army boys have to love them and give them children to take care of them when they grow old. Just recently I remember on the news a new law in china passed forcing children to visit their elderly parents. That’s another thing too, there are now more old people in china than young. Who will look after the elderly?

    And to dump Surplus horney chinese men on poor caribbean states is just what a chinese would do.

    As for my prediction of what is the big picture for china, it’s world conquest.
    They are awaiting the USA to exhaust itself in every sphere, then they will pick up the reigns. They are buying up land in africa from the same fools that sell our ancestors into slavery to the europeans. They;black puppet rulers, never could delay gratification or plan ten years ahead, much less a hundred. So they will continue to be colonized, I only feel sorry for the populations they will lead into over a cliff.

  41. @David

    China’s economic ascendancy has nothing to do with Mao. In fact Mao is responsible for completely phucking china up the posterior, had China not gone through this psychopath’s rule china may have came to the fore earlier,

    It was Deng Xiaoping one of Mao’s critics, is the masterminfd of china’s ascendance. And Mao purged the man twice, ya ayn see mao was an arrogant fool who couldn’t admit he was wrong.

    After mao’s chosen successor, the one who kissed his ass the most, and parroted his policies, betrayed him in an attempted coup, Mao’s health took a nosedive and soon after he died. During this time Deng returned to the party as it’s leader. They knew all along he was the more better leader, not ruler of the two, Mao was a thug like Stalin who couldn’t lead a cow to eat grass, he’d probably beat it to death first.

    China however is not a bed of roses. It has to artificially supress the renminbi to have a favorable trade balance, has a higher than reported unemployment figure, is probably the highest polluter on the planet. It is sitting on trillions in USA debt bonds which are being watered down by the FED’s Quantitative Easing. When the dollar collapses and it will one of these fine days with all those trillions the US government is in debt all bond holders are screwed. That’s why China is using that money to buy up tangible assets that will not collapse or devalue, like land in africa and south america.

    • @Riots in de land

      Are you sure China measures economic success in the same way the West does i.e. unemployment, debt to GDP etc?

  42. @David

    Everyone measures success differently as everyone has different goals, so success has different meaning to different people and cultures.

    But unemployment rates show how many able bodies persons of working age are not working. If a high percentage is unemployed or underemployed you will have a stagnant economy as a smaller amount of persons will be able to purchase goods and services.

    Recently with the bad job market for job seekers many have given up searching and have become basement or attic children moving back home, to mum and dad who may be employed or receiving pension to live off them. Others who don’t have this safety net fall through the cracks resorting to crime or drugs or both. These usually end up dead or in prison. Some outright commit suicide.

    Debt to GDP displays the distribution of household/public debt(theoretically). This is one measure ive always had a problem with as wealth and debt is divided with the poor having less, middle class having more, and wealthy having the most and it is all relative. There is no across the board uniformity in it, just a rough average

    But as I said, to me China would measure it’s success by using those US bonds to buy up tangible assets before they become junk bonds.

  43. Dear Riots in de land

    The world has ALWAYS had byers and sellers.

    A few months after my parents died some Chinese passed and saw me working the land. They asked to buy it.

    I said no.

    I haven’t seen then since.

    I still work the land.

    The Chinese cannot buy unless I sell.

  44. chines coming in. let the army in next OK.?
    fried rice and negro fingers is good dim sum.
    fools. china will make a mess of barbados.
    keep taking their money and their economic hit-men will be looking for that pay back.i think they are already there.
    let us try not to forget NOTHING IS FREE.!!!
    how much for the whole of barbados by the way in us currency ???????
    they may buy you all ! oh such foolish people.
    but wait the USA running out of money in a few days so then they just make up some more bills and carry on.
    this world is is too late.
    trying to change things now is a waste of time
    it is done………………..!
    man has killed himself all by himself for money the root of all evil……..!
    may the lord have mercy on the wicked /.
    you wanted it, you got it!!!!!!!!!!

  45. Iabingy said:

    “how much for the whole of barbados by the way in us currency ???????”

    You are late, it was sold recently, not by the black leaders, they are too stupid to understand what goes on around them worldwide, plus they are small potatoes (small money mentality), they would not be able to understand the plane loads of money concept like what happened in Greece

  46. This is from a profile of Dr. Chelston Brathwiate.

    “He is a team player who achieves success by building consensus. His satisfaction comes from a job done well, on time and under budget. He is able to motivate others to excellence and to get the job done despite obstacles. He thrives on challenges and tough assignments and believes that work should be fulfilling and rewarding”

    DD recommends that Dr. Brathwaite be made Minister of Finance, instead of being appointed Ambassador for the mouse to the elephant.

  47. I guess local food expert, Dr. Brathwaite, is going to Beijing to cultivate a deeper relationship..

    Learn to replace the cane fields with rice paddies.

  48. Why isn’t Caricom opening an embassy in China, instead of poor individual member states? Are we so brain dead that we cannot think strategically?

  49. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this
    website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to
    find out where u got this from. appreciate it

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