Barbados, OUR Country

debtbytypeThere is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat…

Julius Caesar, Act-IV, Scene-III

This Blogmaster found himself this week casting his eyes to the sky. The motivation for doing so was not because there was an overpowering inclination to lift up my eyes unto the hills, from which comes my help – Psalm 121:1. Although the discomfiting news the Barbadian public has had to suffer in the week would not fault the Barbadian from seeking solace in the divine.

The reason for looking skyward was to observe the wires on the poles which line our dense road network. At every turn one can detect different types of wires strung between the poles satisfying some purpose we presume. There was the high tension electric wire, telecommunications wires from FLOW and Digicel. One suspects if we were inclined to search it out wires that supported Barbados Rediffusion before it became obsolete would have been discovered as well.

The other nugget of news which gave BU reason to ponder was the continuing discussion about if the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) will rubber stamp the transaction to sell the BNTCL to SOL. No disrespect to the FTC Commissioners but we say rubber stamp because the government has already counted the USD100 million in the forex inflows required as a lifeline by the government to escape of the clutches of an IMF loan program.

Barbados is classified as a small island developing state. Barbados use to wear the label as a small country fighting above its weight class. Barbados was regarded in the 80s and early 90s as the model small Black led country. Is it unreasonable to question why our leaders would not have rolled out a plan to eliminate overhead wires by 2030?  The reasons for doing so are obvious. The same observation can be made for properly trenching the roads to more efficiently accommodate the services like water and gas and the others. More importantly, why a population which has been the beneficiary of billions invested in education would be reluctant to demand the highest standards from our leadership? Perhaps the more pertinent question is why would we cede the awesome responsibility of leadership to those who are not worthy. It is a reflection on us the people and not the leaders we like to vilify.

Imagine a simple observation of the mass of overhead wires that afflict our eyeline on a daily basis would provoke such an avalanche of thought by the BU Blogmaster. This is one example how we should measure our achievement as a people in the post Independence period.

To reinforce the point where we needed to be as a country in 2017 based on our high per capita investment in education in the last 50 years: last month the Irish parliament voted 90 to 53 to pass the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill. The objective is to enable Ireland to divest its sovereign wealth fund, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), worth €8.5 billion, from coal, gas and oil and would see a ban on any further fossil fuels investment going forward. The question we need to answer honestly is whether government is attempting to divest itself of the BNTCL because of a commitment to the renewable sector or is it a money grab. It is interesting to note the myopic analysis offered by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce (BCCI) to support the sale paints a vivid picture of where we are as a country.

In 2008 the government of which Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was a member commissioned a Special Working Group on the Economy to identify measures to lead Barbados out of the economic crisis it continues to find itself. The document titled Barbados Short and Medium Term Action Plan is available to the public. Go to page 23 of the  28 page document linked in the line above and be the judge of whether we are a people who deserve the government we elect.

You be the judge!

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117 Comments on “Barbados, OUR Country”

  1. Vincent Haynes February 26, 2017 at 1:36 PM #

    David

    Every dark cloud has a silver lining……Trumps ascendancy has forced the Americans to wake up and start thinking again and they have been awakened to a scary reality.

    Estwick did not participate and Sealy made a brief comment at the beginning.

    What was interesting were the contrasting views on the same way forward for Ag, between McClean and Paul members of the same party…….McClean is blaming “whites” and govt, whilst Paul is blaming the lack of money for the state of Ag. as no one is lending to farmers.

    In essence we have a useless govt because they could stop listening to the “whites” and the MoF by a stroke of the pen could open an avenue for funding.

    Like

  2. Simple Simon February 26, 2017 at 1:38 PM #

    @Vincent Haynes February 26, 2017 at 8:00 AM “We need a Trump for Bim.”

    Lolll!!!

    Like

  3. David February 26, 2017 at 1:58 PM #

    “Vincent

    If these are the people we have leading our policy making in agriculture it explains so much. If we cannot jump start with Paul, Benn who absconded to Canada, the McCleans et al then the god dead as far as the future state of agriculture

    Like

  4. David February 26, 2017 at 2:21 PM #

    Here is CIBC First Caribbean overview report of the economies of the Caribbean. Note the benchmark scores for Barbados Bonds on pages 10, 11 …

    https://barbadosunderground.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/cibc-caribbean-market-overview.pdf

    Like

  5. Vincent Haynes February 26, 2017 at 2:26 PM #

    David

    You are correct as agriculture had its best shot for survival under this administration with all those goodly gentlemen knowing what should be done when in opposition but then could only find excuses when in govt.

    The facts are that successive govts have allowed the merchant class to hold the ascendancy by acts of omission or commission against the manufacturing and Ag. sectors thus allowing the majority of the private sector to be merchant led, the same private sector that this govt now wants to help from….merchants are their to make money for themselves and investors and if Bim collapses they will still be here.

    Like

  6. David February 26, 2017 at 2:29 PM #

    James Paul appears to be preoccupied with being too defensive of the sector.

    Why did minister Estwick not participate on the talk show program this morning? Was a reason given?

    Like

  7. enuff February 26, 2017 at 2:36 PM #

    A real circus! Paul and McClean should be asking the PM and his party how they could approve a solar farm on 70 acres of public land to be operated by a foreign company, with local expertise available and the roofs of so many government buildings free of solar panels. Not forgetting that organic farming in greenhouses on that 70 acres would fit right into linking tourism and agriculture.

    Like

  8. Bush Tea February 26, 2017 at 3:08 PM #

    @ enuff
    Seriously now Boss…. you are not playing fair…

    Shiite man!!! Bushie agrees with you yet AGAIN….
    ….Is this some kind of reverse psychology move to rattle the bushman…?

    Keep this up and a formal complaint will be going to David(BU) related to pre-emptive plagiarism on your part….

    Consider yourself duly warned.
    Gregory Nicholls is on Bushie’s go-to lists yuh!!!

    Like

  9. Bush Tea February 26, 2017 at 3:11 PM #

    …on the other hand, McClean and Paul dropped some warm lashes in Wickham’s donkey…. Although Bushie has to say that he took them in stride…
    Ha ha ha
    shiiRt!!! 🙂

    Like

  10. Simple Simon February 26, 2017 at 3:13 PM #

    Wunna know very well that back benchers unfortunately don’t have much influence on government policy making.

    And this is true whether the BLP or the DLP is in office.

    I commend James Paul for his good work with the farmers. You can fault the DLP but you can’t fault the Barbados Agricultural Society (the farmers) nor James Paul.

    Like

  11. David February 26, 2017 at 3:14 PM #

    @Bush Tea

    Your bias aside as far as PW is concerned his position is valid. He remains to be persuaded if a valid position is put on the table by the technocrats. In other words he has an open mind.

    Like

  12. David February 26, 2017 at 3:18 PM #

    Nonsense!

    In the present configuration of a narrow margin held by government backbenchers should be able to exert heavy influence on the frontbench. If not use the opportunity of sitting in parliament to speak out.

    Like

  13. Simple Simon February 26, 2017 at 3:19 PM #

    I love Peter (you too James, so don’t feel no way) but I prefer to hear Peter on politics, not so much on agriculture, but he did have some good provocative questions, and James had well informed answers. I enjoyed the discussion. I think that Peter has moved a little bit in the right direction, that is pro-agriculture, and he took his lashes like a man. You can’t fault him there.

    Like

  14. Vincent Haynes February 26, 2017 at 3:23 PM #

    Simple

    I need you in simple point form to list all the good things the BAS has done over the last 8 years.

    Totally agree with Davids ….nonsense….above

    Like

  15. David February 26, 2017 at 3:25 PM #

    @Simple Simon

    How else should a man take lashes except like a man?

    Like

  16. Simple Simon February 26, 2017 at 3:28 PM #

    David sometimes big men (and women) cry and whine and ask for their mommies like they are little children, when the lashes start to share.

    Lolll!!!

    Like

  17. millertheanunnaki February 26, 2017 at 3:55 PM #

    @ Vincent Haynes February 26, 2017 at 2:26 PM
    “You are correct as agriculture had its best shot for survival under this administration with all those goodly gentlemen knowing what should be done when in opposition but then could only find excuses when in govt.”

    Those politically tainted agricultural experts sitting in academic armchairs rocked by their own dlp government behave as if they are still in opposition after these nine years of holding office.

    Who or what are they going to blame for the outrageously escalating food import bill and the debilitating and costly spread of NCDs during their tenure in ‘power” to deal with these known forex leaking solvable problems?

    Everybody of a trained expert knows what “needs to be done” but is totally comatose as to its execution.

    Is it true that the Ministry of Agriculture has more play-play experts with the title ‘PhD’ behind their doctoral name than there are real doctors at the QEH?

    There is only one thing which would bring Bajans to Christian Agricultural understanding and that is the challenge of starvation brought to them by the dark angel of Devaluation when the forex fairy godmother flies through the conspicuous consumption window and the devil will certainly take the hindmost in a trip back in time to those once arable but now overgrown with cow-itch agricultural fields to grow potatoes and yams full of healthy carbohydrates.

    We are what we eat.

    Eat too much processed imported food and your body becomes another larder in the hospital for lazy constipated bastards.

    Like

  18. Simple Simon February 26, 2017 at 3:59 PM #

    @Vincent Haynes February 26, 2017 at 3:23 PM “Simple I need you in simple point form to list all the good things the BAS has done over the last 8 years.”

    Unlike you Vincent I am not a BLP partisan, neither am I a DLP partisan, so I don’t deal in 8 or 10 year cycles.

    So let us look over the last 50 years of the BAS’ liife, and when I say the BAS I am not referring specifically to James Paul. I am referring to the administation of the Society and I am referring to the farmers.

    You remember Vincent when the only milk available for most people in Barbados was canned evaporated or condensed milk? Do you remember when mothers fed their babies watered down condensed milk, and 20% of our babies died of marassmus/protein calorie malnutrition?

    I remember when my own toddler brother was so malnourished, that his uncle the carpenter built a coffin for him.

    I remember.

    I am glad that Barbados’ farmers are producing enough milk that any mother can buy litre of good milk from the corner shop, so that they can wean their babies on to good stuff.

    I am glad that Barbados’ farmers produce [nearly] enough cooking eggs, so that eggs are readily available at every supermarket, corner and village shop

    And as for proper pork. Enough I salute the pork producers.

    I salute those men who go out to the sea in ships to ensure that even poor people can eat cheap good quality protein (not sure if they are members of the Ag Society though)

    I salute the sheep and goat farmers, a special shout out to Pork Hoad, no, no, make that Goat Hoad.

    I salute those who are producing ground provisions, fruit and vegetables.

    I commend the BAS.

    I commend the farmers.

    I commend the farm labourers.

    Can they do better? Sure.

    Can you do better? Sure.

    Can I do better. Sure?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Simple Simon February 26, 2017 at 4:01 PM #

    Maybe you Vincent don’t have a sibling who almost died of hunger in this country.

    But I have.

    Like

  20. Vincent Haynes February 26, 2017 at 4:10 PM #

    Simple

    Sorry to disillusion you but the only party I have ever joined was the now defunct NDP over the years I have voted for both parties including the DT govt,which I have lived to regret….but we digress.

    I said the above to show you it was not meant to coincide with the change of governance but with Benn and Paul at the helm of the body for those years and at the same time having the ear of the govt.

    I would like you tell me in point form what was achieved by them who prior to that knew what was to be done and I speak from personal knowledge as having spent 40 odd years associated with it.

    Like

  21. David February 26, 2017 at 5:14 PM #

    What experience does Doug ‘’’strike up the band’ Hoyte have of managing a financially troubled company? Can he read a balance sheet even?

    #jesustakethewheel

    #wherethereisnovision

    CBC $115m in debt

    Like

  22. Hants February 26, 2017 at 5:37 PM #

    @ David,

    “Hoyte is an Emmy Award winning journalist and was a former news anchor on CBC TV. He is also a former director of communications at the Almond Resorts and director of news at an American media house.”

    Like

  23. David February 26, 2017 at 5:40 PM #

    @Hants

    You just sealed it!

    Like

  24. Hants February 26, 2017 at 5:56 PM #

    @ David,

    I had shares in Almond which turned to toilet paper. lol

    Like

  25. Bush Tea February 26, 2017 at 7:41 PM #

    @ David
    Can he read a balance sheet even
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Very likely….
    If it is put up on a tele prompter …he should be able to… 🙂
    …and provided this happens BEFORE he fires a few grogs… from the looks of it…

    BTW
    Surely there is a mistake there…
    What the hell would 250 people be employed at CBC to do…?
    This must be an error….
    NO WAY they can have more than 50 people …max!!!

    Like

  26. Tron February 26, 2017 at 8:10 PM #

    250 people! BBC has approx 20,000! UK is 236 bigger than Bim. If you upscale the number for CBC to British size, you get approx. 60,000. In other words, CBC is only 1/3 as efficient as BBC.

    You can look at every public institution in Bim. It is always the same disease. Bloated public service everywhere.

    Like

  27. Bush Tea February 26, 2017 at 9:08 PM #

    @ Tron
    BBC produces programmes for worldwide distribution via multiple channels ..in many languages, including world news coverage – making millions in revenue.

    CBC don’t do squat!!!

    All they do is rebroadcast other peoples’s work and show nightly shiite news consisting of what the DLP mis-government said for the day.

    CBC don’t need more than 30 people.
    Steupsss …no wonder it is over $100M in debt.

    Like

  28. Hants February 26, 2017 at 9:16 PM #

    A real real CBC.lol

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/marketplace-chicken-fast-food-1.3993967

    Like

  29. Colonel Buggy February 26, 2017 at 10:53 PM #

    CBC TV is just a big convenient Video Shop, while CBC Radio is an audio billboard for the likes of Mrs Ram et al, running long winded “informercials” which no one hardly listens to.
    Its hard to believe that CBC once was the responsibility of the Minister of Education, not that it would make a difference with this present lot.

    Like

  30. David February 26, 2017 at 10:57 PM #

    Can we agree that the CBC is taken advantage of by both DLP and BLP?

    Like

  31. Simple Simon February 26, 2017 at 11:12 PM #

    Agreed

    Like

  32. Simple Simon February 26, 2017 at 11:18 PM #

    $116,000,000 debt divided by 250 employees.that is $464,000 debt for every employee.

    If CBC owes the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited which manages their employee’s pension fund $15.2 million, how does CBC expect ICBL to pay CBC’s retired employees their pensions as they become due?

    Like

  33. David February 26, 2017 at 11:31 PM #

    > One wonders why the union is not negotiating for the pension deficit to > paid by government instead of a salary increase. Unless it was not made > public? > >

    Like

  34. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger February 27, 2017 at 7:07 AM #

    “What the hell would 250 people be employed at CBC to do…?”

    Yardfowls for 5 year voting stretches, term limits for governments needs to be reduced to 2 or 1 year to eliminate this crap….it’s an unnecessary drain on taxpayers and would instead force the government ministers to use their brains to create jobs, they will have to work for and earn each and every vote.

    Like

  35. Vincent Haynes February 27, 2017 at 9:39 AM #

    David

    One wonder what the MoF will have to say at this afternoons press conference?

    Like

  36. CanadianBajan February 27, 2017 at 9:52 AM #

    Hants say dat de Minister should beg we banks fuh help.

    “Royal Bank of Canada reported earnings of $3 BILLION for the first quarter.

    Like

  37. David February 27, 2017 at 9:57 AM #

    Who cares?

    His credibility is shot!

    Like

  38. Hants February 27, 2017 at 9:59 AM #

    BLP or SB or PEP or CUP or BIM .

    Which of these parties will win the next election ?

    Like

  39. Colonel Buggy February 27, 2017 at 1:35 PM #

    “What the hell would 250 people be employed at CBC to do…?”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………..
    CBC , like the Transport Board, MTW, Ministry of the Environment, and others, is a landfill where those who supported the successful political party at a general election , are dumped. They are not bound to do any work, or answer to any of the managers, unless to state, ” You know who send me here?”
    Perhaps we need to sell off CBC to EMERA.

    Like

  40. Hal Austin February 27, 2017 at 1:50 PM #

    Be careful what you hope for. One Media has its eyes on CBC. So are we prepared to let the Trinidadians dominate our media in such a comprehensive way – print, online, read and TV?

    Like

  41. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger February 27, 2017 at 3:09 PM #

    Hal……why cant Trinidad own CBC, they own everything else because most bajans sit on their tails or use up their last ounce of energy to stop each other from acquiring anything….and the government ministers and lawyers sell out every opportunity that should go to their own people.

    Blame the crablike mentality of bajans, the transport board will soon be up for grabs too.

    Talk to your people about their destructive ways, see if it helps the next 3 or 4 generations going forward. …they cannot continue with the same destructive mentality and expect different results.

    Like

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