The Sinckler-Worrell Phenomenon -Sacrifice Can Be Maniacal or Suicidal

Submitted by George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

“Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune.”- (Hamlet – Act 3 Scene 4; William Shakespeare)

The turbulence surrounding the Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler and the Governor of the Central Bank Dr Delisle Worrell should come as no surprise to those Barbadians, long concerned about the sadomasochistic relationship existing between the two. Sadomasochism, is broadly, “the deliberate pursuit of manifestly aggressive, destructive and self-destructive behaviour.” Between Sinckler and Worrell, it often appeared that mutual respect was at best superficial although there was a seething exchange of pleasure and consent to drown out the actual fear and discomfort when countering local economists, the Leader of the Opposition, a former Prime Minister, and anyone else bold enough to rubbish the multiple bad strategies for curbing fiscal imprudence or affecting economic stabilisation and recovery in Barbados.

Clearly, the field of Psychology (i.e. Social and Political) offers Barbadians this unique opportunity to delve into the thought patterns of this inglorious pair of Christopher Sinckler and Delisle Worrell; they spent more than five years moonlighting together without bringing about substantial gains for Barbados. In these the dying days of this Sinckler-Worrell knot, Barbadians are existentially reflecting on the “combination of something pleasurable with something unpleasant” as was evident in the frolicking of government’s lead macroeconomic policymaker and its chief financial and economic advisor. Barbados’ survival depends on the polity being conscious of the lowly place to which Sinckler and Worrell have brought the country, even as devaluation threatens.

Sinckler and Worrell’s pursuits of good economic returns were mostly conjured in fantasy; their unrealistic approaches to structural adjustment and economic growth never really brought the excitement or satisfaction that the public desired. Instead, there was almost a constant trail of pain, humiliation, austerity, unemployment, and increased poverty. The linguistic masking of statistical details almost always led to contentious debate, with the Governor removing himself from the naked glare of an inquiring media.

Hence, the relationship between Sinckler and Worrell, may best be characterised in terms of portraying many of the traits, symptoms, and behaviours referred to as sadism and masochism. This wide spectrum of phenomena includes political self-injury, stubborn fantasies that Barbados is emerging from economic disaster, and unconsciously presenting as fact that things such as credit rating downgrades are apparently contrived by agencies wanting to see Barbados’ demise. Oh, what a string of ‘bad luck’, especially when oppositional forces were said to be bad-mouthing Barbados!

Evaluations of the Barbados economy by Finance Minister Sinckler and Governor Worrell have often been perceived as being comical and far-fetched. If as Sigmund Freud suggested that ‘humour is a release for anxiety,’ surely, Barbados has been witnessing for more than five years the tendency for both Sinckler and Worrell to laugh at their own self-determined tragedy. Sinckler has become the proverbial sacrificial lamb for the embattled Democratic Labour Party (DLP), and Worrell is now the definite scapegoat for the troubled Freundel Stuart-led Cabinet.

Poor economic returns and nonsensical financial decisions directly made by Barbados’ Minister of Finance, were ably supported by the Governor of the Central Bank. This is concerning and equally disconcerting for Barbadians and those observing the demise of a national economy. Dr Brian Francis notes several of the key issues hurting Barbados: namely, the “growing incidence of poverty, shrinking middle classes, lack of any real and sustained rates of economic growth, huge public debt and massive fiscal deficits even on the current account.” As many as 17 downgrades by credit rating agencies have occurred against Barbados without abatement. These, as Prime Minister Stuart persists with dogged reluctance to dismiss or reshuffle Minister Sinckler. What is hilariously ridiculous is Worrell’s recognition that “steps to bring inflation under control and to maintain currency values often compete with other social and political pressures.” It is precisely around this type of reality that urgency grows.

Instructively, both Hegel and Marx contended that the dialectical processes of society were insatiable and relentless in calling forth the negation and transcendence of existing social relations. The view holds that relationships such as the Sinckler-Worrell phenomenon may be ‘ostensibly, iron-fisted subjugation’. Hegel argued: “Just as lordship showed that its essential nature is the reverse of what it wants to be, so too servitude in its consummation will really turn into the opposite of what it immediately is; as a consciousness forced back into itself, it will withdraw into itself and be transformed into a truly independent consciousness.” Arguably, this description may account for Worrell’s conversion on the road to Damascus.

This past January, Dr Worrell insisted that Barbados had repeatedly failed to achieve the balance between its foreign exchange outflows and inflows which is necessary for a stable economy. The Central Bank Governor recommended further restriction on spending to protect the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Worrell emphasised that “the reserves are what protect us against the devaluation of our currency,” and although the future is ‘exceptionally promising’, maintaining the peg of the Barbados currency to the USA Dollar “will not happen unless we make it happen.” Thus, he contended that “realising the vision will not be painless.”

Worrell’s caution appears oppositional to the DLP’s narrow-minded quest for greening the electorate’s pastures. Barbados is within 15 months of a general election. Worrell’s warning does not appear to have had the blessing of the Finance Minister or the shoddy Cabinet. Therefore, subsequent written correspondence dated January 31, 2017 to the Minister of Finance was necessary. It is reported that the letter contained a self-condemnatory but not surprising statement saying that “action is needed on project implementation and expenditure reduction to achieve announced fiscal targets, if the Government’s credibility is to be restored.”

There can be no doubt that the Freundel Stuart-led administration is imperilled with credibility issues. Additionally, PM Stuart is known to exist in a fantasy world; this claim is bolstered after Stuart predicted that despite the economic trauma affecting Barbados, he is confident of a third term in Government. In the realm of Psychology, “fantasy formation is an important and complex function that both contributes to and is dependent on ego integration,” which at least partially accounts for the self-pitying jargon of a ‘sleeping giant’.

Furthermore, the inept Cabinet, faces crisis after crisis. The DLP administration noticeably continues to be hard-pressed to maintain decent social services. High government spending and incurring higher debt have not meshed with the situation of insufficient earned revenues from tourism, international business, or even taxes. On that premise, facilitation by the Central Bank to help government’s monthly salaries and wages bill goes against the stern warning highlighted by Dr Worrell.

Allegedly, given a choice by Minister Sinckler to resign or be fired, Governor Worrell sought and found temporary refuge in the Supreme Court. Arguably, the attempt to force the exit of Dr Worrell was fuelled by a Minister of Finance also egotistically desperate to hold on to his job, and backed by a fanatically distressed Cabinet very eager to repair a damaged political image. This ruse by the Ministerial architecture indicates that Dr Delisle Worrell is ready to be slaughtered by a calculating Finance Minister and butchered by an incompetent DLP Cabinet. Yes, under the full knowledge of a dilly-dallying Prime Minister.

On the evidence of the developing psychosomatic structure, political guile coupled with abrasive authoritarianism (i.e. this latter trait is similarly exhibited by the current culture within the Freundel Stuart-led Cabinet) becomes Sinckler’s strongest card. Contrastingly, Worrell’s intellect but less than inspiring capacity to maintain ‘independence’ or functional order at the Central Bank, and his blatant refusal to communicate fairly with the public through the media, are all leading to his pending downfall. The abuse is visibly grave as the public peers into the Sinckler-Worrell fiasco.

Both Sinckler and Worrell should heed the English author, Samuel Johnson positing that “integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” Barbadians have come to the realisation that Minister Sinckler is struggling to retain his authority amidst glaring shortcomings. For Worrell, there is a strong sense that ‘learning is not common sense’ and he savoured the pain notwithstanding, criticisms from others akin to his professional field. The burden of the DLP’s bad economic choices, coupled with the Minister of Finance’s braggadocio, has rendered Dr Worrell dispensable in the constructed sadomasochistic relationship.

Minister Sinckler’s tendency to use distraction and the weapon of ultimatum, is possibly to make up for his lack of depth on macroeconomic management. In that context, the Minister may well believe that elected officials are hierarchical and can arbitrarily wave the sword of Damocles over the heads of other public servants such as Dr Worrell. Maybe, the Governor was expected to respond affirmatively to the Minister’s demands, even when such requests are obviously painful and averse to the broader national interests. The combination of Minister Sinckler and Dr Worrell has embarrassingly failed Barbados for more than five years.

The Minister of Finance, and by extension the Prime Minister of Barbados, are direct contributors to the macroeconomic mayhem impacting negatively on Barbados’ development. No doubt, it is alarming for Barbadians that the main bone of contention stems from the printing of money to facilitate government’s fiscal and monetary disorder. By sidestepping the real economic issues that throw the Barbados economy into prolonged uncertainty and dangerous turmoil, further entertains possibilities of devaluation. But why should Barbadians be concerned and demand urgency in resolving the fiasco?

In September 2016, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr Warren Smith warned Barbados that “front end adjustments” were urgently needed to correct the economic slide. Returning in February 2017, his repeated warning has grown more acute stating that: “the challenge we [Barbadians] are now faced with, has been made more difficult” because of the “accumulation of the problem,” and “it is also important to appreciate that we need action now. … There is no painless way out of this problem.” In addition, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur describes the Sinckler-Worrell fiasco as ‘a matter of the utmost seriousness’ compounded by the Barbados economy being on the edge of disaster.

Shouldn’t Finance Minister Sinckler take responsibility for the economic and social dislocation in Barbados? Why should the Finance Minister consider routing Dr Worrell from his post, when he was nothing but praises for the Governor’s advice all along, and as late as last motnh? If Sinckler had his way, maybe he would also try to silence Arthur, Smith, and every economist making statements on the Barbados economy.

The Finance Minister’s ultimatum to Dr Worrell is bogus given that the Governor consistently gave Sinckler the kiss of cooperation and obliged the inept Government. It is often said that ‘people are initially helpful and cooperative, even at some personal expense, but they are hypersensitive to the possibility that someone might take advantage of their generosity’. Who recalls when biting austerity was hidden in words suggesting the Barbados economy was making a turn for the better? The fact is, both Sinckler and Worrell deserve no sympathy because they ought to have had their exits since 2013/2014.

Prime Minister Stuart is not an innocent bystander in the created madness. The Prime Minister must now self-cleanse and agree with a growing majority of Barbadians that the death knell of the DLP is at hand. Sinckler’s political suicide is imminent and Worrell’s demise is a foregone conclusion. The Sinckler-Worrell fiasco clearly demonstrates that Barbadians were duped into accepting ambivalence and incoherence as norms, while being closed to the idea that the wrong medicine was being prescribed and taken. PM Stuart must do the honourable thing, and immediately replace both Sinckler and Worrell – legally; and stand ready to calm the economy and the electorate with an election date.

Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email:


  • fortyacresandamule

    A few years a major blunder like this happened in Grenada to the embarrassment of PM Mithchell. At a ceremonial function with China the band mistakenly played the Taiwan national anthem.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    I remember that one…lol

    But this is worse, the book plainly says JAPAN…on the front…lol we are talking about an online newspaper, they are supposed to have top of the line editors who cannot miss these things.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Piece…I dont know what they want Fruendel to stay in Barbados to do, did you not see Fruendel hugged up tight, tight, tight…look like somewhere in NYC…with 2 beautiful young ladies on a post last Sunday…..Fruendel aint local.


  • During the late 1970s Errol Barrow called FJS a coward

    Forty years later his cowardice is still coming to the fore

    That we could have a crisis between the two most senior financial officials and this man could say that he is not interfering is a quintessential lack of that element needed to endure dangerous or unpleasant things for one’s country.

    Indeed, it is the equivalent of surrendering one’s country to an invading army which is raping women and murdering children.

    In those circumstances, a court martial is required to re-establish courage as the right ethos within the ranks.


  • @ Pachamama

    Court marshal, summary conviction and the guillotine at dawn?

    Why Pachamama what you are speaking of bespeaks a Banana Republic and not of a cuntry punching above its weight…


  • @Pacha

    This is how the warts of our socalled governance system are laid bare. We are now at the mercy of the DLP parliamentary group because Barbadians have ceded people power to the political class.


    Liked by 1 person

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Pacha. ..from the US and beyond, the weakest links in the black race have the slave mentality lying just beneath the surface of their psyches. …and are thisclose to being triggered, it already happened in the US to many highly educated blacks…by an illiterate trump…the trigger is there, it’s just a matter of time.

    Just watch how Fruendel and the weakest leaders in the Caribbean will be handled.


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ ac February 22, 2017 at 3:35 PM
    “Mia problem is that she is sooo predictable only a couple of weeks ago ac/s predicted that the usual regurgitation of noise and marches by Mia would be top of the “to do”list of the blp.
    A failed formulate which has outlived its usefulness as the rallying voices asked and are looking for solutions..”

    It seems the effects of climate change on the vernal equinox might be causing an early arrival of the Ides of March.

    Ac, would the people be “privy” to any plans to make Soothsayer Jones a ministerial prophet with dishonourable acclaim in his upcoming banana republic?

    The time to crack heads and shoot fleeing’ people in the back is just around the corner to take place on day devoted to Saturnalia just before the ides of March.

    Would your party be so brave as to carry out the threats thereby providing thepo0litcally perfect storm of an opportunity to declare a state of emergency and introduce Mugabe type governance in the land of your dear loving party?

    Just remember though, Little England (where everybody knows or is related to one another from both political tribes) is not multi-tribal multi-lingual Zimbabwe of over 150,000 sq. miles with 13 million black jackasses over lorded by a 93 old geriatric dictator, the real Mugabe and his young ambitious pussycat.


  • what an embarrassment for the leadership of the blp at a moment at a time when there was a golden opportunity for Mia to drive a nail right into the heart of present govt propelled by growing concerns for the barbados economy that she would let such an opportunity go to waste by pursuing foolish policies of midday marches rather than unfolding policies of remedy which would have mostly likely to be appreciated by an electorate wanting change


  • @ac
    lol…it seems you are slowly coming around to the realization both leaders are useless. One pushing marches, the other on a fundraising trip to NY….neither offering alternatives or addressing issues related to management, only political showboating.


  • but Mia pursue the dumbest solution of them all MARCHES , akin to putting old wine in new bottles and believing that no one would detect the taste is the same as the old wine
    Today was an organic moment when Mia could have rolled out at least one policy to encourage to build confidence and receive confidence from the electorate but what she does is that similar to giving a drunken sailor a truck loud of cash and he waste it all on prostitution


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ ac February 22, 2017 at 7:55 PM

    What that jackass for your boss has done especially in relation to the MoF vs Guvenor of the CB fiasco is concerned is to make himself look like a yard-boy fit only to clean up fowl crap and MIA the de facto PM in waiting to become the de jure.

    Imagine the Magoo man has the gumption to say he does not know what is going on in his own front house and who is s(h)itting on his political table.

    Bajans are really a bunch of educated fools to allow such disrespect to their sense of morals and self-acclaimed intelligence.

    What is playing out is even worse than an analogous situation where the Director of Finance at a board meeting to discuss the finances of the corporation tells the chairman of the Board of Directors he has no idea how much money the business or corporation has at the bank neither does he know where to go to find out.

    The stupid man of a misfit can do you all a favour and just leave the scene before he is unceremoniously fired unless he is planning to behave like a true-blooded African dictator and declare his ambitious intent to rule for a billion years.


  • This is the exact reaction one would expect the ac’s to take. You morons want the Bees to keep quiet while you all wait and see (as the dead king said) as this economy goes off the cliff.

    I backing MAM, stir it up….the dems on slippery ground, you dont know what the governor is going to do if he loses tomorrow. Who know if he would be so pissed that he appears at the rally and do a Harold Blackman.

    You dems always implode when the people of Barbados give the government to “wunnah”. Monkeys handling gun!


  • Tek it easy Prodigal the PM has a message for wunna just mek sure yuh knickers are in place when the message is delivered


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ ac February 22, 2017 at 8:58 PM

    There is only one of two messages the Bajan public should be expecting from that man.
    Either a reshuffle of his discredited cabinet to save his sorry ass or an announcement of the date of elections which he has been carrying around (like his schoolboy pen) in his shirt pocket since 2016.

    All we can say that the garrulous schoolboy Eastweak would really be a nuksie of a neutered pit-bull to allow himself to be turned into a political jackass to be ridden by a dumb gorilla.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    ACs……….All Fruendel has to offer Bajans are more of his delusional lies…as Estwick said…yall failed. ..those 2 words resound very clearly.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

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