The George Brathwaite Column – Regrets, We All Have a Few: From Mediocrity to Failure

George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

“This parliamentary term envisions a Barbados that is socially balanced, economically viable, environmentally sound and characterised by good governance(Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, the Throne Speech March 6, 2013).

It would have been a wonderful thing if the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had come close to achieving any one or all four of the above underlined phrases during the last four years. This is surely not the case! Instead, Barbados has become more socially unbalanced, more economically unstable, more environmentally unprepared, and is badly marked by allegations of malfeasance and shadiness. The combined performances of the Cabinet have left much to be desired and have marred the expectations of the Barbadian people.

One may recall in the 2016 budget presentation that Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler stated that Cabinet members were “combining” their “God-given talents to make wise and timely decisions.” When? Sinckler confessed that “along the way of this journey, there have been times when we might have doubted our abilities to overcome the myriad challenges facing us; and yes, there have been many. But never at any time have we given up and admitted defeat.” No one anticipates that Sinckler or the DLP Cabinet will admit defeat even in the face of mounting evidence indicating massive failures across all the ministerial portfolios.

Do not be surprised, but be disappointed with the extremely poor performance of a DLP administration that flatters to deceive. The thing is, the Prime Minister remains adamant in his posturing. Stuart says that “we have nothing to be ashamed” but fails to comprehend that the fault-line rests squarely on the low standards and the mediocrity that were foisted on Barbados by the DLP. The DLP’s failing grade follows its face in terms of governance. The DLP after promising much has hardly delivered on anything of an inspiring description. The corroborating evidence is manifested in the things seen and heard within and outside of the Cabinet.

Last weekend, Barbados received its umpteenth downgrade from an international rating agency. Standard and Poor’s made the telling comment that: “The high level of central bank financing underscores the challenges associated with timely corrective fiscal policy actions. The government plans to present the 2017-2018 budget in the coming month. While it seemingly aims to rely on increased recourse to asset sales to fund the deficit, in our view, the prospects for deeper expenditure or revenue adjustment are uncertain, underscored by the poor track record of execution.” The use of the word poor, therefore, has become quite synonymous with the beleaguered DLP under PM Stuart’s command.

In response to the downgrade, coming in a week when the economic situation was called ‘grim’, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs noted “with regret the recent downgrade of Barbados’ credit rating.” It is unsure the extent of the nature or actual regret by Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler, because very often, he has failed to accept responsibility for anything that does not allow for some braggadocio. Minister Sinckler is insistent that the blame rests elsewhere than in the failed policy options chosen by him and his counterparts comprising the Freundel Stuart-led regime. The Ministry’s statement went on to say, “the downgrade was expected and largely driven by the decline in our international reserves … the decline in the reserves was largely due to legal and administrative delays in public inflows linked to various projects.”

Indeed, Minister Sinckler deflects and distracts with political aplomb although telling Barbadians “don’t be fooled by the political hypocrites!” One must surmise whether the so-called hypocrites are loitering in George Street whilst secretly extending gratuitous contracts to a person or persons who are kind and willing to favourably fund the DLP’s upcoming political campaign. Nevertheless, and drawing from Prime Minister Stuart, this author shares the view that ‘facts don’t get stale’. That is, unless the public is being given a continuous tide of alternative facts, and the spin and propaganda are designed for a spurious purpose.  We may rightly ask what is the DLP’s purpose?

The answer has come over the past few weeks from PM Stuart and from the lips of several DLP surrogates. This past Saturday, Stuart made it plain that “the march of triumph begins today as we embark on our quest to the next General Election.” The Commerce Minister Donville Inniss who is known to be loquacious with the additional craving set to wrestle the DLP’s leadership, stated that “now is the time for all of us to band together.” Perhaps, as the coined ‘wild boys’ label connotes, Inniss was demanding that the fast-scattering DLP members and worried supporters “get into the trenches and get on the road toward winning the next election – whenever Freundel calls that election.”

Additionally, former Deputy High Commissioner to London, Donville Johnson suggested that the DLP is not in danger of losing the upcoming poll. Johnson vainly tried to pacify those who recognise that Barbadians possess a perception which clearly depicts PM Stuart to be a weak leader. Factually, PM Stuart pales in comparison with all his predecessors. Johnson admitted that “our current Prime Minister dares to be different from previous Prime Ministers, so he is seen as weak.” Yet, it would be fruitless to lampoon PM Stuart while excusing all others in the Cabinet and vice versa. The inglorious bunch all sing discordantly from the same messy hymn sheet. The Stuart-led Cabinet has delivered destructive body blows to the Barbados economy and society.

The confirmation comes from Standard and Poor’s report, stating that: “The various failures to respond in a timely fashion to mitigate fiscal and financial pressures further weigh on our view of Barbados’ institutional and policy effectiveness.” Put differently, the current leadership exhibited by PM Stuart and his Cabinet, is manifestly ineffective and error-ridden; both in terms of policy and institutional practices. This assertion is not a distortion of facts, but an indictment of Stuart’s leadership and the Cabinet’s ineptitude.

Clearly, the key agent that is responsible for managing the financial and economic affairs of Barbados is left to Minister Christopher Sinckler. We also know that the view is widely shared in economic circles that Sinckler is a lower order swiper and not a top order stroker. Stuart as primus inter pares must take blame for the dangerous situation that Barbados now finds itself. Despite Sinckler’s cautioning that Barbadians must “be very wary of people who seem so hell bent on creating confusion in Barbados,” there has been no greater confusion stirred up without adequate explanation than the fall-out from the fiasco and ultimate firing of former Central Bank Governor, Dr Delisle Worrell. Sinckler may be the axeman, but the Cabinet decided.

Therefore, the ‘false argument and scaremongering tactic’ that Sinckler consistently ascribes to others beyond the falling gates of the DLP, is indicative of a diversion away from the real issues. In education, healthcare, and the general provision of social services inclusive of water, public transport, garbage collection and waste management show that there is crisis everywhere. The DLP’s presence and form of governance is badly affecting Barbados and its people. The incompetence is demonstratively evident. The DLP under Prime Minister Stuart will go down in history as the worst performing administration ever in the annals of Barbados’ politics.

As is being communicated by the DLP General Secretary and other spokespersons, focus is set on a fantasy of returning to government for yet another term. The realisation of that giant feat can only spell disaster for a country already lunging backwards while Barbadians continue to be plunged further to the point of no return – devaluation. Minister Sinckler said in June, 2012: “I am infused with a sense of immense confidence that the path we have taken in dealing with our economic challenges is indeed the correct one based on the continued high level of strong support and understanding which the vast majority of average right-thinking Barbadians have quietly reposed in this administration over the past four years.” One knows that such a majority no longer exists in Barbados. Although maintaining the legitimacy to govern for another year, the Prime Minister nor his Cabinet will dare repeat the bold but obviously flawed statement that was made by Sinckler. Many Barbadians are today saying, DEMS, never again!

39 thoughts on “The George Brathwaite Column – Regrets, We All Have a Few: From Mediocrity to Failure

  1. George B,PHD? @ We are dealing with a PONZI system in Barbados and a Massive Land Fraud, Until we correct that none of the above will Happen, These two Parties the BLP and the DLP are the cause and the cover up of it all, A Ponzi Collapses when the eternal money can not keep up anymore or is cut off, The government will have to look inward for all its problems as the rest of the world will keep out and watch, We are now a test tube , Both DBLP government is running this Nation as they did CLICO and we are next to fall, It may be a good things for some people feel my words is the talk and not the true, More PAIN to COME until we deal with Truth,

  2. Violet Beckles CUP Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI on said:

    The Massive Land fraud and PONZI goes on and on , Wake UP Barbados Vote Them All out,

  3. A large chunk of expenditure this year — $1.8 billion — will go towards repayment of principal and interest on Government’s debt accounts .

  4. @ David,

    You come and spoil my fun.

    I was waiting to see if Vincent would let google be his

  5. Estimation (or estimating) is the process of finding an estimate, or approximation, which is a value that is usable for some purpose even if input data may be incomplete, uncertain, or unstable.

    Note. incomplete, uncertain, or unstable….. Barbados.

    • @Hants

      Would it not be wonderful for the debate in the House from Tuesday is a mature one and leave out the rhetoric? Frankly the majority of people tired of it.

  6. Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue…
    Estimates laid in Parliament
    Estimates debate set to begin on…

    Government’s Budget, setting out the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the financial year 2017-2018, was today laid in Parliament.


    It is estimated that Government’s total expenditure for the financial year 2017-2018, on the accrual basis, will be $4 549.5 million.

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    When converted to the cash basis, total expenditure is $4 486.7 million, an increase of $246.0 million or 5.8 per cent over the revised figure for 2016-2017.

    Of the amount approved for the 2017-2018 financial year, $3 091.5 million represents current expenditure, while $1 395.2 million represents capital expenditure and amortisation.

    Expenditure on goods and services is expected to increase by $10.1 million to $421.4 million.

    Current transfers are projected to decrease by $29.3 million or 2.5 per cent to $1 129.4 million.

    The repayment of principal and interest on Government’s debt is expected to account for $1.8 billion compared to the revised projection of $1.7 billion.

    On the accrual basis, current revenue for the next fiscal year is projected at $2 963.2 million.

    On the cash basis, current revenue is projected at $2 938.2 million, an increase of 4.7 per cent over the revised revenue of $2 806.9 million for the financial year ending March 2017.

    When amortisation of $1126.5 million is taken into account, a deficit of $422.0 million on the cash basis is expected, representing 4.4 per cent of GDP.

    On the accrual basis, the deficit is expected to be $191.8 million or 2.0 per cent of GDP. The primary balance is projected to be a surplus of $276.0 million on the cash basis and $83.0 million on the accrual basis.

    The Estimates for the 2017-2018 fiscal year include provision for the following activities:

    (i) A current subvention of $146.3 million is being provided to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;

    (ii) Subventions of $87.7 million and $8.6 million have been provided to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority respectively;

    (iii) Amounts of $25.03 million and $4.96 million have been provided to enable the preservation of investments made in CLICO International Life Insurance Limited and British American Life Insurance Company (Barbados) Limited respectively;

    (iv) $8.0 million and $7.1 million has been provided for the CAF Road Rehabilitation Programme and The IDB Road Rehabilitation Programme respectively;

    (v) Grant funding of $15.0 million is expected to be received as budgetary support and also to assist in carrying out the following programmes:

     Renewable Energy Programme

     Refurbishment of the Gymnasium

     Higher Education Development

    (vi) A current subvention of $26.6 million and a capital subvention of $2.4 million have been provided to the Sanitation Service Authority;

    (vii) An amount of $13.5 million has been provided for the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme;

    (viii) An amount of $12.1 million has been provided to the Barbados Drug Service for the purchase of drugs;

    (ix) A current subvention of $71.3 million has been provided to the University of the West Indies;

    (x) A current subvention of $19.0 million has been provided to the

    Welfare Department;

    (xi) Skills for the Future programme under the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation has been provided with an amount of $11.0 million;

    (xii) $45.9 million has been provided for the redevelopment of Sam Lord’s Castle;

    (xiii) $15.0 million has been provided to bring to account projects of the Barbados Water Authority funded by the IDB, CDB and the Canadian Commercial Corporation. (BGIS)

    See more at:

  7. @ David, ” debate in the House from Tuesday is a mature one ”

    Agreed. Barbados is in crisis. Politicians must recognise this and act accordingly.

  8. The PM has repeatedly stated that we have no crisis and that alls well,downgrades are not a bother.

    So why do you all expect a mature debate?

  9. @ Vincent Haynes wrote “The PM has repeatedly stated that we have no crisis”

    You have a choice Vincent. You can believe the PM or you can believe me.

  10. Vincent bearing mind that free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it, I’d suggest you believe Hants


    Even when black people excell in their chosen fields but are unable to face reality……they are still failures, Ben Carson is now a disgrace.

    “GREENE: Ben Carson’s a disgrace for calling slaves immigrants
    Leonard Greene
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Monday, March 6, 2017, 9:40 PM

    Is that what we’re calling it now?

    Let’s see if I have this straight. When men and women and children were kidnapped from their villages and separated from their families and packed into rickety ships for months at a time to be traded for tobacco and cotton and cloth and grain, that was immigration?

    When people were branded with hot irons like cattle on a ranch so that ownership of one human being by another human being would not be in dispute, that was immigration?

    When women were raped for no other reason than that it was Tuesday, or Friday or whenever a property owner felt the urge to exert his dominance on another man’s wife or mother or daughter or sister, that was immigration?”

  12. As I mentioned before, I am in the possible last few months of my life…i am a proud Arawak Carib, pure blooded Amerindian lineage from the 1600s The Meeting.

    “When you cannot have children, your husband falls into a hole,” is something I remember hearing as a child…I’m on my way to the hole…Morning Glory Pool, Old Faithful Geyser…the rainbow dragon that is both calm and angry…four white horses in a stable…Escalante and the Anasazi Cliffs…

    Bajans are extremely connected to and disconnected from our Amerindian heritage…the way we is isn’t a lot of things…well….

    Kekkei genkai…vital signs…the expression of our lineage to it’s fullest extent….here I go!

    Moquito one, mosquito two…

    I am either The Meeting, Arawak Carib, or I am dead…Morning Glory, the rhododendrons, (The Pride of Barbados)

  13. Violet Beckles CUP Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI on said:

    The EX President of Guyana Just arrested for Land Fraud, Barbados is NEXT all of the DBLP and both Parties lawyers and Judges and Ministers.

  14. @Hants March 7, 2017 at 12:58 PM “Estimates make provision for CLICO and BAICO payments.”

    Since I don’t want any of my tax money to go to CLICO and BAICO policy holders, can I opt out of paying taxes this year?

    After all if those people had made a killing on their CLICO/BAICO investments none of them, including the Prime Minister and his friend Leroy would shared a cent with me.

  15. Hants March 7, 2017 at 2:08 PM #

    All I was saying was in reference to your mature debate because we have a crisis post.

    Now if the PM does not see a crisis out goes your mature debate and they will be as poor rakey as before.


    Chuckle….have no fear I am fully seized of the minute to midnight hour that we are at presently and the causes……we can but await the denouement.

  16. Speaking of mediocrity by the local media,yesterday we heard once again from Stetson Babb of an accident on highway 2a and on CBCTV Lisa Brome telling us how cold it was in Bermuda and giving us the Fahrenheit figure when we are on the Celsius measurement.Effing ignorami.

  17. Lisa Brome gave the temperatures in Bermuda in both the Farenheit and Celsius. I was listening too.

    Unusual weather is news.

    About 2 weeks ago the temperature in Toronto was 18C and that news was all over the news, because a temperature of 18C in February in a northern city is news.

  18. Simple
    On one occasion only did she give the alternate reading.All the others were in F only.I simply am fed up with the mediocrity that has taken over Barbados.No doubt it’s a reflection of the management style of Stuart that even a dyed- in-the-wool- Dee like Keith Simmonds the guy who single handedly got George Hutson elected and who has come to realize that George just ain’t have it,Simmonds is so fed up with Stuart and his non-connecting-to-the-people party,that he has come out publicly and thrashed them.And don’t bother to tell me he vex because he ain’t get a knighthood.He was one of those who handcuffed Sandy.

  19. So Bushie….what advice you have for Bajans living in Barbados given the devaluation doomsday scenario?

  20. @ Hants
    what advice you have for Bajans
    Now that it is clear that any light seen at the end of the tunnel is a fast train,
    We would be best advised to prepare to meet our maker….

    It is actually a blessing when our materialistic distractions fail miserably, since they only serve to distract us from the REALLY important aspects of our (fleeting) life experience…

    Things like love, character growth, social contributions, …material success too (but in its rightful place), and most importantly, an appreciation of the gospel (good news) about the potentiality of human beings to be adopted to a much higher plane…..

    If Bajans could change their focus thusly,
    then the world would be shocked at the positive results….

  21. Please forgive the insertion but it MUST BE NOTED…(plus George’s articles are a load of hogwash anyways so it is fitting that something is done to uplift his 2,000 word dribble)

    In what can certainly be give another “Hats Off”, and standing ovation, the patriotic blog, BARBADOS UNDERGROUND and their support of the campaign against 8 Police Officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force has led to 2 of of the * officers who sought to murder Nazim Blackett, being tried for Police Brutality. this July

    For more of this unstinting campaign by the Blog see the article

    It just goes to support the belief that “a few good men can turn anything around”

    To the Honourable Blogmaster David King and his household thank you for a job well done

  22. Vincent,
    You went to Cawmere’ what do you think “Bumpy” or Gladstone Holder would say if you wrote this. Mature? How old is the debate? Or is it a debate between “mature” persons like Piece and myself? or even bushy, cause he is an old cock now. Expect to be grilled further

  23. Hants,
    You succumbing to this devaluation talk too? Didn’t Justin Trudeau defeat the conservatives on a platform of “Deficit financing?Didn’t he indicate that he would be running deficits for X number of years? The indications (in Barbados) are that there will be increased growth this coming financial year (After March 31st). and a increase in the level of foreign exchange, especially in light of the capital works planed to begin this year? March 15th has not even come yet. Wait until the budget presentation, day after tomorrow and then see what is presented.
    I remember the cussing I got in 2013 just before the election, when these same doom and gloom forecasts were being made. Myself and Miller had it going ding dong, as he was sure there would be a devaluation within a short time. It is over four years now, and it has not happened and the MOF, and the PM, are adamant that it will not haPPEN NOW.

  24. @ David

    …..”you never know how expressing your view may make a difference”….

    I have recently submitted two articles, none thus far have not been posted.
    Do you have some censoring policy?
    Is not the blog the peoples’ blog?


    • Sorry for not getting back to you. Your submissions contained too many error both factual, spelling and required too much time to format. Failed the minimum BU standard.

  25. @ David

    Many administers of blogs tend not to disclose any subject matter that do not conform to their beliefs and standards or simply reject for lack of understanding, false interpretation and blinded by a willingness to be open minded.

    Many submissions and posts here on BU also do at times have some grammatical errors, broken English and Dialect, we should never find ourselves wrapped up in a charade of Political Correctness for want of standard.

    It is of grave concern that submissions are adjudged without trial or jury. The determination of anything factual is the TRUTH and ONLY the TRUTH.

    Much time and research goes into any thought composition (regardless of the subject matter).To be discarded or rather not be disclosed tends to exhibit hindrance, concealment and a sense of gagging.
    The ONLY judge and jury is the truth, the forum and their conviction. I believe that the MANDATE of such a blog as this seeks to make the invisible visible.

    I do concur that the first submission of “FOR THE CLAIM OF DEBT MANAGEMENT vs DEBT LIBERATION” did contain some grammatical errors and unfortunately it was submitted BEFORE EDITTING.


    Also, many here on BU dislike President Donald Trump and his administration largely in part of MSM modus operandi, be that as it may.
    The submission of “TRUMPETERS TRUMPETING TRUMP” ( a quantitative look at Trumps’ incarnates as a prep to presidency and purpose) awaits posting.

    How you play this ball determines the game.

  26. nineofnine,

    A forum is not school. We are not writing essays for examination marks. If you had my old laptop you would be surprised that it works in any readable way.
    Once you have hit the send button that is it. Publishing corrections is boring. The point is what is said, not how it is said. English is aa funny language|: English-English is different to American-English and, often, Australian-English.
    The forum should be one of ideas, of debating our national experience, not pushing party politics.

  27. @ Hal

    I concur….100%, we all are in the process learning, much more when topics are discussed… though a lot of party politics are observed here, I am not affiliated to any party. nor do I wish to be. Ideas I share.

  28. David, and George,
    “An amount of $13.5 million has been provided for the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme;”

    This is a worthwhile investment. I have solar panelling on my roof, connected to the grid, and I can testify to its worthiness. My total electrical payment for the period October 2016-Jan 2017 was $93.94 (the payment for October was $3.90)The total KWH used were 758. The total credited (provided by sunlight and fed back into the grid) was 675, resulting in a difference of 83 kWH, that Light and power provided. This is probably due to the number of days when there was less sunlight, more clouds etc. But overall it results in considerable savings. Multiply this by the number of homes that could be fitted with solar panels, and it will be seen that the government energy policy is viable, and desirable. I recommend its use by all.The investment pays for itself over time.

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