Another Perspective on Barbados Becoming a Republic

Submitted by Amused

QueenElizabethIn circa AD100, the Roman poet Juvenal in his Satires bemoaned the descent into dictatorship of Rome and explained how the dictators operated to gain political power with the phrase, “Give them bread and circuses.” And we know what happened to the Roman Empire as a result. Yet, a little less than two millennia later, Bajans are falling for the same thing. It is not that we haven’t seen the tactic before, it IS that, apparently, we as a nation choose to don blinkers and ignore it – after all, “That couldn’t happen in Barbados, we are too bright – the best in the world.”

Why should we not celebrate our independence? After all, the Americans do. The French have Bastille Day to celebrate theirs etc.

The Americans fought a war of independence and the French had their revolution. Barbados got its independence simply because it (and other colonies) instead of enriching the motherland, had become a drain on its resources and the motherland was ecstatic to let us go. Our only struggle lay in the terms on which independence would be agreed and in this we had the advantage of a team of intelligent, experienced and INTERNATIONAL Bajan minds, under the leadership and direction of the Rt Excellent Errol Barrow, negotiating. It is THEY we should be celebrating – all of them of whatever colour or creed or sexual preference. We should not, at this time, be fooled into celebrating how far we have come/descended as a country. Rather, we should be ashamed of ourselves over the brass bowls we have elected to rule us once they ad gone. And using this time to promote giving these idiots even more power is suicidal. So, what we got was not a celebration, but the precursor to a wake.

Realising that an independent Barbados, absent the reassurance of British support would not be viable in an international sense, Mr Barrow implemented a number of measures, the most visible of which was recourse at the highest appeal level to Her Majesty in council (the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council).

So Britain got its wish to cut back on its outgoings and Barbados got its wish to be autonomous, but under leaders of truly global stature. Unfortunately, these leaders were, over time, replaced by yard fowls aka Brass Bowls, whose means of survival was and continues to be reducing everything to the level of their own incompetence and in doing so, reducing Bajans to a state where they can only exist in Barbados, unless they get the hell out and embrace internationalism. But of course once they do that, most do not return and those that do find that a prophet is of no merit in his own country.

Take education as an example. Back in the day, pre and immediately post independence, all exams and exam papers for schools were directed from the UK. This meant that Bajans had the same qualifications as anyone in the UK and these qualifications were accepted almost worldwide. Now, in most professions, if a Bajan leaves Barbados, they have to re-sit exams before they can practice in their chosen profession.

We have eschewed the Privy Council as our final court of appeal, in favour of the CCJ which, with an alarming record of questionable judgements, is becoming the laughing stock of the international judicial world, resulting in the disappearance of our foreign investments, a situation enabled by the idiot we have as chief justice and a Bar Association that is a standing joke, except to Bajans who file complaints about specific attorneys and have to wait for 10 years and more and attend hearings of the “disciplinary” committee that are adjourned because of a lack of a quorum, which is not a joke. On that alone, one incident springs to mind.

During the tenure of David Simmons, the disciplinary committee found against a now-deceased attorney and referred the matter to the Court of Appeal where Simmons advised the complainant and the lawyer to SETTLE. This was not a litigation, but a disciplinary matter seeking the disbarment of the attorney for the embezzlement of client funds. Counsel for the Complainant, two eminent queens counsel, had taken the case pro bono and were disgusted when the chief justice offered to pay their costs out of legal aid, in other words, out of the public purse and they are on record as having indignantly refused. They did not expect to and were not paid ANYTHING AT ALL!! They saw (and wee) it as their duty as members of the Inner Bar. And to this day, 6 years later, the matter remains unresolved and likely unresolvable as the attorney is now deceased and likely his estate settled and disbursed. But why did Chief Justice Simmons do as he did? I do not accuse, but merely reflect that the attorney in question was one of his most ardent supporters and campaigners when he (Simmons) ran for office in St Thomas. In other words, a friend – a close friend. Which, in a PROPER and FUNCTIONAL justice system, would have been grounds for the CJ to recuse himself. It ought to have also elicited a payment of some sort to the complainant from the BA’s Compensation Fund that has never made any payments to any aggrieved party, despite the millions of dollars in the fund. One has to wonder of the Fund will be tapped to pay the likely awards and costs to Mr Vernon Smith QC and Mr Michael Springer QC in their actions against the BA. We shall see – and we shall also see what Government does should such a misappropriation of statutory funds occur.

And how does all this tie into the author’s views, with which I completely agree? If we become a republic, apart from the extraordinary expense already highlighted by the author, the already parlous state of our country will diminish even further into dictatorship. We will become a pariah state like Venezuela or even like North Korea with its “beloved leader” or Feuhrer (ring any bells?). We are already in crisis state, but what the hell – let us embrace the idiocy of people like @ac, as long as the dictators give us bread and circuses whenever they are touting for votes and support. And I also agree that one party is as bad as the other.

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88 Comments on “Another Perspective on Barbados Becoming a Republic”

  1. caribbeantradelaw January 12, 2016 at 8:04 AM #

    The Banks have reason to smile because Bajans have been taking advantage of the “low” interest rates and taking out loans like hot cakes. Since the Banks no longer have to follow a CBB mandated minimum interest rate for savings deposit, they can afford to offer lower interest rates for loans for mostly consumption purposes. In regards to the stated projects, many of those had been in the pipeline for years. Until those projects start, I see no reason to celebrate. We’ll get some money trickling in from purchasers who buy off-plan but even so, the same happened with Four Seasons and look how that turned out….


  2. Bush Tea January 12, 2016 at 8:10 AM #

    @ balance
    Skippa, we fell off the cliff a while ago. the fact that things “would continue to go merrily along as AC has been arguing” just says that AC is a mindless yardfowl….

    You know the story of the fellow who fell off the roof …and was heard to say – while passing the 20th floor …. “so far so good…”

    AC’s big brother…. 🙂


  3. David January 12, 2016 at 9:21 AM #

    There is the saying you never let a crisis go to waste. What structural changes have we made to the economy and OUR individual behaviours to learn from historical.


  4. Gabriel January 12, 2016 at 9:30 AM #

    The more things change the more they remain the same.Mencea Cox is on record in 1937 lamenting the state of water delivery to Bajans living in the “country”.Grantley Adams called a select few who broke away to form the DLP a ‘pack ‘o wild boys’.
    Eric St John passed on and we hearing the voice of one braddie criticiising OSA when the same braddie ran off to Antigua when a crucial vote was before the House and the said OSA tried to reason with the loutish man to no avail….braddie,where is your integrity?


  5. Artaxerxes January 12, 2016 at 9:44 AM #

    balance January 12, 2016 at 6:13 AM #

    “Must admit that despite the downgrades and gloomy forecasts for over seven years; the economy has not collapsed and the reality of the situation up to now does not lend credence to that prediction but rather that things would continue to go merrily along as AC has been arguing.”

    Perhaps you can inform me where in my contributions or the contributions of anyone who commented on the state of the economy, wrote anything to SUGGEST or PREDICT the ECONOMY will COLLAPSE.

    My friend, the ACs’ comments on the economy are not based on an understanding of economics, but are driven by their desire to defend the DLP’s economic policies, which is usually emphasized by political rhetoric.

    There are stark differences between an economy going through a recession and an economy collapsing. An economic collapse may occur in situations where an economy is experiencing a severe economic recession, which could prevail for a number of years. It can be caused by “crashes” in the financial market, stagnation or hyperinflation and may be accompanied by high increases in the level of poverty, civil unrest and severe economic depression. The “Great Depression” is a perfect example of an economic collapse.

    Under the prevailing economic environment, the Barbados economy is still experiencing the effects of the 2007 global recession. You must also take the economic cycle into consideration, which clearly illustrates an economy experiences fluctuations between periods of expansion and contraction.


  6. Prodigal Son January 12, 2016 at 2:31 PM #


    The dems should thank the good Lord for the continuing fall in the price of oil. This is what saved the morons.

    Had the price of oil not fallen significantly, Barbados’ economy would have collapsed. With reduced revenue and high oil prices and with the morons continually spending more money that it receives, what do you think would be the state of this country’s economy?

    You would notice that they do not talk about blaming OSA now or “we inherited a mess”, they cannot play those cards any longer……………they have made such a mess that they have to take some responsibility for their mess.

    The governor was saying over the Christmas celebrations that Barbadians are better off today than in 2008………..yea, governor…………things are much, much better off for the likes of you , your driver, Froon, Stinkliar, Michael Lashley, Michael Carrington, Dennis Lowe, Steve Blackett, Stephen Lashley, Donville Inniss, Adriel Brathwaite, Darcy Boyce, Ronald Jones, Esther Byer Suckoo, Mara Thompson, Physical Deficit Ince, Todd, Harry Husbands, Maxine McClean, Irene Sandiford-Garner…………..the Sandals group, Mark Maloney, the Jada group Innotech group and all the dlp yardfowls who cater and get all the rest of the contracts …………….but not for the rest of us!


  7. balance January 13, 2016 at 1:00 AM #

    Thanks very much Arta for your enlightened response at 9.44 am ; so am I understand from your response then that our current state of affairs has nothing to do with mismanagement of the economy or bad governance but with the recession. Just want to be clear.


  8. balance January 13, 2016 at 1:16 AM #

    …………….”but not for the rest of us!”

    I do not agree with the Governor that things are better off now than in 2008 at least for me for I have been made to pay much more for goods and services with no concomitant increases in pension and though there has been no devaluation of the dollar in form there has been in substance since my dollar is worth much less than in 2008. Maybe I am naïve Mr Prodigal but like you I expected the economy to collapse based on the revelations of those who should know like for example Wild coot , Ryan Straughan, Dr David Estwick, Owen Arthur and the desperation measures employed by the Government which mostly affected those at the lower end of the social strata in more ways than one but honestly rather than the untold suffering I was expecting all I see is people feting more and more whether it is for free or payment.


  9. Artaxerxes January 13, 2016 at 1:40 AM #


    How can DESCRIBING the difference between an economic collapse and a recession be INTERPRETED as “…….so am I understand from your response then that our current state of affairs has nothing to do with mismanagement of the economy or bad governance but with the recession?”

    Sheesh, COMPREHENSION is a bitch.


  10. balance January 13, 2016 at 3:18 AM #

    “Sheesh, COMPREHENSION is a bitch.”

    It is, you know Arta, it is and I must admit it was not one of my strong points so I suppose that is why it is difficult for me to get you to comprehend that I am not questioning your erudite explanation of the difference between economic collapse and recession but is merely asking if in your view charges of mismanagement of the economy are no longer valid but rather the recession to blame. That is all. I respect your views because they are usually well researched and free of speculation.


  11. ac January 13, 2016 at 6:16 AM #

    Sir i am not an economist ! Neither I am not a Pessimist! my views are drawn from experiences of life entrenched with a philosophy ” no matter how high the tide one must keep swimming there is always a shore line on the other side “


  12. Artaxerxes January 13, 2016 at 11:12 AM #

    I respect your views as well, since your comments are always, as your name suggests, balanced.

    No, I have not changed my views that this DLP administration’s economic policies are responsible for “our current state of affairs.”

    The government’s response to and their macroeconomic policies during the global economic crisis, made effects of the recession. Their “home grown” IMF policies were highly pro-cyclical and included measures such as tax increases and large cuts in public expenditure. With the economy remaining weak, such fiscal reduction could affect any prospect for economic recovery as well exacerbating the problem of public debt.

    The DLP’s own Dr. David Estwick publically admitted this fact and offered alternative solutions. His solutions were rejected by his own party, which is unfortunate, since the DEMS are always saying rather than being critical, we should “bring solutions.”

    Surely you have noticed a trend with this administration, especially when matters of the economy come to the fore. They distract many of us by holding some sort of celebration or highlighting issues such as Barbados becoming a republic.

    Could you imagine, Moody’s Investor Services gave an opinion about Barbados’ economy, which has not been made public as yet, we have learnt from other sources that our foreign reserves have declined, and we don’t find this much more important than discussing the republic nonsense. Okay, Barbados becomes a republic, buy the economy is in shambles, would the island be “better off?”


  13. balance January 13, 2016 at 11:39 AM #

    ac January 13, 2016 at 6:16 AM # Sir i am not an economist ! Neither I am not a Pessimist! my views are drawn from experiences of life entrenched with a philosophy ” no matter how high the tide one must keep swimming there is always a shore line on the other side “

    Wish you were fair enough to employ that philosophical approach when the BLP was in power. Your comments would carry more weight.


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