Barbados at the Crossroads

Submitted by William Skinner
Peter Wickham political scientist ‘...gets almost all his polls right and has only missed one big one here...’

Peter Wickham ‘…gets almost all his polls right and has only missed one big one here…’

At some point, an individual has to look at life and determine whether it is going the direction he or she would want it to. Countries must do the same. As I survey the political scene and pay rapt attention to the rapidly decaying socio – political environment, I am forced to ask myself if Barbadians are really serious about the direction the country is taking.

It is obvious to all objective citizens that the country is in turmoil as it transitions from the quaint little village to the world stage. A stage for which it failed to prepare. Hal Austin, a regular contributor to this blog, got it right sometime ago, when he opined, that we were perhaps fooled by the praise that we constantly heaped upon ourselves and that which others gave us. We were told by the world’s top diplomat that we were “punching above our weight”. We bestowed the title great economist on former Prime Minister Owen Arthur. We declared Errol Barrow the father of the nation. We have thrown about the word brilliant with great carelessness. For example, Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley has been accused of being brilliant! We are a people who declared we had the best of everything: the best education system; the best roads; the best hospital; the best schools and of course a literacy rate of 97% percent.

The irony of the situation is that all of the above is very true when we look at other Caribbean islands. Anybody visiting our sister islands would have to agree that Barbados does have the best schools in terms of construction; the best roads although ours are in a state of disrepair in many cases; the best hospital of any that is used by the entire public, never mind we cannot get the accident and emergency department to function properly and of course we are rather literate. We have Cave Hill producing graduates on par with any of our neighbours; never mind employers say that some of our graduates cannot understand basic arithmetic and English. So what am I complaining or criticizing? Well, we have all these positives and yet we seem very determined to turn them all into negatives. Almost forgot, we have the best public transportation system although we can never make it profitable and our rolling stock is hitting the road with bumpers and fenders missing. Of course the failure to maintain the buses ensures that about 30 or 40per cent are either parked waiting for parts or have been forced to early vehicle graves by bad driving habits.

I now come to our incredible democracy. Every five or so years, we enjoy three weeks of hectic campaigning. And yes, once again, we can brag that it is probably the most incident free elections anywhere in the world. Nobody gets killed. I think a few decades back, Muhammad Nasser got cut with a bottle throwing thing but I don’t think that it ever made court. No problem. Gone are the days of the half bottle of rum and a few soda/eclipse biscuits with our treasured corn beef. We have transitioned to giving the voters: lap tops, iPods, top end cell phones and Sir Grantley’s image looms large in hands and pockets. According to our dithering, Charlie Chaplin (Silent Movies) Prime Minister, Mr. Freundel Stewart, he actually saw money passing during the last elections. Imagine the Prime Minister witnessing crimes in broad daylight and not one report to the police. Not one arrest. What a crime free democracy!

No more under forties debating the pros and cons of independence; no more exceptional grass roots politicians such as: Lionel Weeks, and Lloyd Smith. Not a Mencea Cox or Ronald Map. No Neville Boxills in site. Oh no, those guys use to throw the occasional jab but talk about policies and were close to their constituents. Even a very well educated fellow like Frederick “sleepy “Smith was down to earth. And according to a young man, whom I have great respect for, Mr.Peter Wickham, that particular breed has no place in his modern Barbados political make up. As far as he is concerned Hamilton Lashley was the last of that ilk. Sad thing, Wickham may be right!

Well, Wickham represents the new breed, armed with a university education and a profession grounded in political science and polling. He is a highly sought after political scientist. He gets almost all his polls right and has only missed one big one here- the very last one when Charlie Chaplin overcame all the fancy sound effects! Maybe if there were more of the above mentioned grassroots politicians, his polls would be more accurate because people back then were a bit more genuine.Oops…

Allow me to close with our esteemed labor movement. In the current debacle regarding the severing of 3000 according to the DLP or soon to be at least 10,000 workers according to the BLP, the unions find themselves out to sea. They are suggesting policies after the so-called Minister of Finance; Mr. Chris Sinkler has enunciated the policy on the floor of the house. I say so –called because Mr. David Estwick is apparently acting as Minister of Finance today (Thursday 12th. Feb 2014) when he presents his own personal views to cabinet to rescue the economy. Just like the unions, he is presenting policies to stop retrenchment of workers AFTER the retrenchment has commenced. Brilliant!

So the workers are left to another regular contributor of this blog, Caswell Franklyn, to defend them while their president runs up cell phone bills in the thousands. Now I don’t know much about wages in our public sector but I seriously believe that $6000 could have kept one of those workers on the pay roll for quite a few weeks or even six months. But the NUPW does not have that kind of strike fund. Modern unions have: Excessive Use of Cell Phones by Presidents Funds! I digress. The workers voice is now Caswell. Now I have quoted, to support my little contribution, two regular contributors to this blog: Caswell Franklyn and Hal Austin. Note I have not attempted to big up anybody from the mainstream press because the problem we have, is that mainstream Barbados, has crashed like mainstream Wall Street and that caused all the confusion.

Stay way from mainstream Barbados thinking and we may just survive this crisis. And a great shout out to Pachamama. Thanks for BU. Sometimes a nation (newspaper) has to take a look at itself.

247 thoughts on “Barbados at the Crossroads

  1. @ Bush Tea,

    Generally Brother BT as long as Mark Fenty says it, I tend to consider it a moot exercise in babble but I would wish to give a perspective on this which is based on the GOOD BOOK, The Bible.


    John 10:16 King James version states as speech of the Son of God “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

    If i, least of the apostles, and foremost backslider at the Hall of those Blessed in the Blood of the Lamb, were to take some interpretive license I might be correct to say the following

    If Jesus the Christ is saying that there are people of other nations? climes? races? religions? who are His and that He will also gather them
    That these other folds may perforce include peoples like Bush Men of the Kalahari who may never have heard of GOD but have lived lives using a moral compass such that HE would gather them into HIS Harvest?
    And if such a posit as item one and two presented above have some modicum of truth, does this not suggest that while these men and women lived in systems which “were not made nor did not have sanction by higher authority” then what MY CHRIST says negates Fenty’s point about them not have any moral law, does it not?

    I just think of things simply though and my rationale was birthed in something quite simple i.e. if Henderson Bovine, Alternating Current or Fenty propose it then something gots to be wrong with it.

    Now mind you Brother BT, I believe in GOD, who i have like the Wind, not seen, but m convinced exists. But such belief is based on my personal experience which CANNOT be conveyed to any other soul by proxy.

    But i understand a little bit about the logic behind the Venn diagrams that the granchildren does be talking bout and exclusive and mutually exclusive sets, and such is embodied in the Living Word.

    In a sentence, it is possible to be a man of principles and morals and be either lacking in the knowledge of GOD, or someone who claims not to believe in GOD.

    Now Brother BT if, if David[BU] let slip this info bout who dis blogger is to the Washed in the Blood Crew, it all over and all dis highfalluting talk heah bout “sanction and morals’ I gine get place right in de back pews for de sinners. Cyan get read out causing de madam she is one uh de saints and elders so dat deah is me “you may pass go and collect 200 pounds”

  2. @ Pieceuhderock

    LOL @ your position on Fenty, ac et al…..however one needs to be careful, even a broken clock is correct twice a day…. 🙂

    On the matter of the moot of “moral laws”….meaning guidelines that can be universally taken of what is right and what is wrong for human beings…. The ONLY point that Bushie was making to those juniors, was that there is NO WAY that human beings – as we know them – can be depended on to establish any such laws that can be meaningful.

    Quite simply, human beings are generally brass bowls….and it is beyond brass bowls to conceptualize universally morality. The “stand your ground” license to kill blacks in Florida is a good case in point…

    Now on to your further position on “…people of other nations, climes, races, religions, who are His and that He will also gather them”
    This is a totally unrelated issue.

    Basically, as the BBE project called “Human life on earth” goes, the experience of the Jews would be what modern day consultants would call a PILOT PROJECT.
    All the quotation that you used is saying is, whereas the initial project was focused on these Jews, the intent is actually for the project to be universal in coverage.

    The facts are that NO SOCIETY, and probably PARTICULARLY the Jews- have lived lives “using a moral compass”…. Indeed, by Bushie’s measure, the Jews are some of the biggest brass bowls in existence…..imagine after experiencing their Nazi experience, they are able to inflict EVEN worse treatment on Palestinians….?

    So even a lost jungle tribe who eat their own children would probably be standing in the same “moral compass” as these pilot project brass bowls….

    Since you are a man that actually understand things, Bushie will also give you a hint of the ACTUAL moral Laws that have been prescribed by the higher authority of BBE, for mankind….

    There are three basic guidelines…..
    1 – Love and respect yourself and learn to appreciate your TRUE potential value as a human being.

    2 – Love your neighbor equally as you love yourself…and also appreciate their true potential value as a human being

    3 – Love and appreciate the Supreme Beings, intelligence and love (BBE) that conceptualized and created the whole project called “Human life on Earth”

    ……and by far the most important of these is number 3, …..but you should note that number 3 is IMPOSSIBLE without number 2, (how can you claim to love a Being you cannot see, when you clearly do not love your neighbor?) …and number 2 is impossible without number 1.(how do you love your neighbor if you do not love yourself?)

    Shiite man Pieceuhderock…., we can’t even balance our little shiite budget here on this rock after 60 years of high level education….you think brass bowls could come up with moral laws of such calibre..? 🙂

    • @Bushie

      You are saying that the intelligence we associate with the design of the universe must extend to moral law making?

  3. Have these “MORALS LAWS been inclusive of other Nations and RELIGIONS or only applicable to christian dogma and belives,,, ,,,, it is almost an exercise in futility to use ChRISTIAN THEOLOGY AND TEACHINGS to be guidelines for universal moral laws, further more there is no such thing as “universal Moral LAWS ……foolishness..

  4. @ Bush Tea

    I do not believe that man can or will come up with anything of that calibre what i am saying is that, in the billions of us that have represented the human race (to quote Fenty) that some must have (i) Loved and respected self and appreciated the value of sentience (ii) Loved and respected neighbour and fellow sentient being as they respected self and (iii) mindful that there may not have been a category of Supreme Being en vogue for such (i) an individual (ii) village/tribe/other collective at that time, can we not extrapolate that they might still be entitled to the Benevolence of Such Supreme Being since, consistent with” ignorance of the Law not being an excuse, having achieved 2 out of the 3 basic guidelines, in the absence of the 3rd, would they not be entitled to the redemption that Jesus the Christ speaks of?

    It would seem punitive that, for lack of knowledge of, like the inhabitants of Tasmania, or the Red Indians of North America, that if their Manitou was not the Real BBE, that the BBE would, cognisant of said persons observing all things spiritual, reward them justly

  5. @ man Pieceuhderock….try not to fall into the trap of the likes of ac and Fenty please… This in no little petty game of count the sheeple, ….simple minds tend to think of BBE in human terms….. LOL what a joke… Tantamount to one of Lowdown’s old goats (and here Bushie is NOT pinpointing ac 🙂 ) questioning Lowdown’s right to do as he wish with his herd…..
    LOL hear “old goat” …..’who the hell Lowdown think he is to put me on this pasture instead of the one by the hill?’
    ‘ it cannot be fair for Lowdown to decide to select my cousin for goat stew last Sunday….’

    Goats are goats and shepherds are shepherds…..

    WRT your tribe dweller who satisfies the three conditions outlined….they DO exists….and the conditions under which they do – ARE universal……(Which, by the way, is THE REASON why the ability to grasp this particular message is completely independent of traditional intellect- BY DESIGN- otherwise, brainiacs like Miller, Zoe and Ross would enjoy an unfair advantage over bushmen 🙂 )

    @ ac
    Pray tell us what is uniquely “Christain” about the three laws outlined….and where would they not be appropriately applicable?

    @ David
    It requires SOME intelligence – at a level that have not yet been demonstrated by mankind….

    • @Bushie

      And this is the point, what is unknown or cannot be understood will be repelled by those who only want to see what is before them as reality.

  6. The upcoming celebrations for 375 th anniversary of our parliament,should be deferred until the year, 2020, as the last six years, and counting, should be deemed null and void.

  7. first u have to define morality built on universal law equitably among people and races.for e;g love,,,,,,,,,,,,,love in its purest form can be defined as being unselfishness not necessarily of benefit to one self but should be beneficial for instance to those who have done you harm forgiving the guy who murder your love by extension of mercy in casess where a death sentence is reduced to time serve or maybe getting him out of jail ….but is morality use in that instance no,,,why not,,,is it moral to love then why can’t loved be the catalyst for such a redemption.. is it not built on morality.. so you used love as a reference as a moral law but can it not be used to justify injustices which transfers to forgiveness for your fellowman or is there a built in moral code or limit to how much love should be given and to whom ,,,,,when it comes to morality setting a trap bet wen what is real and factual can be an uphill climb as it all relates to whose ox is being gourde ,… where and how do we as a people have the right or authority to put a stamp on morality and call it law and by whose standards. any way.

  8. @ David
    “….what is unknown or cannot be understood will be repelled by those who only want to see what is before them as reality.”
    ……exactly….to their own destruction.
    ….Case in point ac above…. Lol …Ha Ha …oh shirt!!!

  9. where have i rejected love as a moral duty note i did not say moral law..furthermore by extension. u bush tea have set up society for failure by using love as a moral law a law with built in principles not even u can adhere to. laws are there to protect and guide ,which are different from coded laws built on morality which can infringed on the rights of others,,,,.

  10. uh think BT going to rebutt ..DON’T THINK SO case closed,,,,,,,have a nice day bushie,,,,,be careful which direction u swing the bush whacker next time,,cause you might whacked BBE that wouldn’t be good ,

  11. To be honest with you ac, Bushie cannot make head or tail of that lotta shiite that you just write…. So Bushie will take his own advice…
    …..and HUSH.

  12. BT…..
    I presume that BBE in his code that only you understand,outlined these “moral”laws.
    Every society from time immemorial has fashioned codes of behaviour in order for the continued existence of the tribe for a given point of time.Where we have always gone off course is when we attempt to apply what was intended to deal with a situation 5000yrs ago to todays situation which cannot be the same.

  13. o/k/ bt u are dismissed ….but in summary u or no one have a right to dictate morality formed on christian ideology or theologies ,,,

  14. Vincent
    Who said that only Bushie understands? ANYONE who can read – can grasp this in the bible – and in practically all existing religious manuals….
    Perhaps you can suggest which of these LAWS are any less relevant now – than they were 2000 years ago…

    Codes of behavior fashioned by societies cannot be considered to be moral laws. Such codes are just that….apartheid was such a code, as was the plantocracies that fashioned our slave history….you think that those felons were unaware that they were breaking MORAL LAWS?

    Bushie told you already Vincent….because YOU don’t understand or agree with something does NOT make it wrong …or nonsense… LOL

  15. wait bush tea wuh happened the cat cut u tongue or did the missis bush whacked u ,, ur lack of tolerance can make a sane person mad like u ..imagine having roles and regulations enforced on everyliving human being under the guise of morality,,,wuh even bbe got more tolerance than u,,,,,,,god let king solomon do as he god dam please………for a short period,,,wuh de man could party,,,,,but U the bush whacker always ready to attack,,u one miserable sob,,,,,,,dont forget to take uh med…opps i forget it is pass u bedtime,,,,then remember to put u depends on,,,, law no 1,,,,,,it is against the law of bbe to piss on ones wife,,,,,,,,

  16. BT…
    Your reference of the Bible and other religious manuals substantiates my point…..a number of clueless individuals like yourself decided to unravel the mysteries of the the world and the universe by using the tools that were at hand(like tea leaves) and came up with such nonsense as the earth being flat,human sacrifices,enslavement&mutilation of women,homo-phobia,etc,etc…..the list is quite extensive and you are living example of that warped thinking….enjoy….lol

  17. @William Skinner

    You have made reference to the fact that the black entrepreneur in Barbados is being marginalized by corporate greed and the instruments of government that allows it to flourished. Question: have you taken this message to your representative on behalf of the black entrepreneurs? Or have you already organized a movement in the public to bring awareness to this unfortunate injustice? When people are suffering there is a pressing need for real solutions to their problems and not the haft- baked rhetoric that comes across this blog like hot cake. William you ought to be an active participant and not the customary armed chair warrior. Now,this situation has obviously reached crisis point (if we’re to believe what you’re telling us) because people livelihood are being threaten, so therefore, the time has come where there is a pressing need for real solutions and not the daily rhetoric which infused this blog continually.

  18. William, I have already established the Armed Chair Warrior Club. And would you believe that David have gotten the high honors of being it first member? Your membership is pending review William.

  19. Will David be sitting comfortably in that chair, or will be be strapped down ,blindfolded and waiting on a 10,000 volt shot.

  20. @ Vincent
    “….and you are living example of that warped thinking….enjoy….lol”
    Boss…you are so clueless that there may well be some commercial value in you after all…
    Wuh…If Bushie is a living example as you suggest….then perhaps everyone should follow the bushman quickly…..LOL….cause all of the “things” that wunna fellows seem to be aspiring after….Bushie have….

    You sure it was people like Bushie who called the world to be flat…?

    …..or those who jump to illogical conclusions?… For example, in response to your assertion that BUSHIE ALONE has these “strange ideas” about universal moral laws, you were referenced to some commonly available books where the EXACT SAME thing is detailed….
    …and you conclude that this led clueless people like BT to ‘unravelling mysteries’, “tea leaves”, “enslavement” and “flat worlds…..”
    …you was at school with Alvin or wuh….?

  21. BT….BT…Cudear….yuh could have come better than that….what

    Try and mek up yuh mine yuh is a Cawmerian or not???….and as one I totally disagree with everything that Alvin promulgates,as do the Central boys….lol…..but I will defend his right to do it..

  22. LOL @ Vincent
    “..piffle”? …touché..
    ….we see that you have no defense …LOL Ha Ha
    Ya could have just said so…

  23. I is now an ole man an when I rite on de bu blog i is it are dat almos knowbody can unnerstan me ennymore becoz is is a ole man an de elderz in my day orl rote like dis so you shud tekma seeryus coz dis are how we did rote in de olden daze.

    I is standin behyn baffy an de fambly with miller wuholoss nuh dat miller wid he kkk

  24. “Bushie merely explained that, unless such a higher authority exists, AND established such laws, then ANY. OTHER so-called moral laws are of no more worth than Miller, Ross and Jack Donkey combined…i.e… can’t buy a sweet bread in Baxters Road…”

    Wow. Just how stupid does a person have to be?

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