The Grenville Phillips Column–Mr. Prime Minister, We Still Have Options

Submitted by Grenville Phillips, founder of Solutions Barbados

Dear Prime Minister:  Recently, there have been a chorus of calls from prominent Barbadians, insisting that you call an early general election.  Allow me to offer some unsolicited unbiased advice on this matter.

As our Prime Minister, you are responsible for projecting calm during turbulent times, and you are doing this remarkably well.  You are also responsible for holding your Ministers accountable for how they are managing the Ministries which you have entrusted to their care.  Your Ministers typically receive feedback from the public in the form of complaints.  Therefore, you can measure their performance by how effectively those complaints are addressed.

The recent repeated complaints about: pot holes, water shortages, long queues, delayed responses, late payments, etc, suggests that these Ministries are not properly managed.  The ISO 9001 Quality Management System is designed to permanently address complaints to the satisfaction of the public.  Allow me to suggest that you direct your Ministers to implement this quality management system with dispatch.  Please note that implementing this system will not cost the Government any additional money and requires no enabling legislation; therefore, your Ministers should have no excuses.

Mr Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance is different from the other ministries.  The Ministry of Finance’ performance is objectively assessed by the International Monetary Fund and external rating agencies.  Unlike the other Ministries, the performance of the Ministry of Finance can send most of us into a level of poverty, where we would long for the days when all we had to complain about were potholes and long waits.
It is tragic to see the Ministry of Finance floundering despite their best efforts.  They have explained the economic context and have developed careful strategies to address Barbados’ economic problems.  Regrettably, their strategies contain fatal flaws which limit their effectiveness.

There are currently three published strategies for addressing Barbados’ economic problems.  The first is the Government’s ‘Medium-term Growth and Development Strategy, 2013-2020’, which is not working.  Therefore, the Social Partnership has been tasked with defining a new economic strategy.

The second is Minister Estwick’s strategy which the Cabinet has reportedly rejected.  This strategy has not been made available for public scrutiny; therefore, we can only speculate about its contents.  The third is Solutions Barbados’ strategy, which has been available for rigorous public scrutiny for the past 2 years on  It is based on proven solutions, and does not attract the austerity that former Prime Minister Arthur predicts will be in his plan.

Mr Prime Minister, we still have options, but Barbados’ success depends on how well you manage your Cabinet.  Developers of ideas tend to become so emotionally attached to their ideas that they find it challenging to let them go when their idea’s ‘past-due date’ has long expired.  This is how it seems with the Ministry of Finance in developing fiscal strategies with fatal flaws.

A useful analogy is to consider a person making a pitcher of Mauby and mistakenly adding salt instead of sugar.  After the person has used so much Mauby bark, and has included so many diverse spices, he is then unwilling to waste the final product.  So he serves it in hope, while explaining its medicinal properties as justification.  The public samples the salty product and voices its displeasure.  However, rather than wasting the product down the drain and starting a new batch using sugar, he insists on tweaking the salty product, believing that someday, in the not too distant future, he will get it to taste better.

Mr Prime Minister, we have sucked salt for too long enough.  It is time to tell the Ministry of Finance to let it go and consider another plan.  The Ministry will doubtless request another tweaking iteration, but you must refuse them.  If the Ministry of Finance adopts the Solutions Barbados strategy, then you will certainly save the economy from the foreseen ruin of continuing along the current path.

If the Ministry is unable to let go of their plan, then you need to shuffle cabinet responsibilities while you still have options, and place a Minister in the Ministry of Finance who is willing to properly examine alternative strategies, otherwise we are all sunk.

Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at


  • Barbados used to import lots of beef from South America. A friend told me that when it boils up, it frothes a lot and smells bad. She wanted to know if the beef we get in Canada was like that. I told her to stop eating beef that it was either horse meat or bad beef.


  • Grenville,

    Please drop this idiotic ISO9000 implementation talk. The fact that you continue to peddle this nonsense as a saviour of Barbados’s problems shows you are total out of touch with reality and definitely not able to manage this island.

    Barbados’s problem are largely cultural and developed over years under a colonial system which still scars us today. Any solution must address this and ISO 9000 certainly does not. It is only a tool.

    PLEASE STOP THE IDIOTIC ISO9000 talk and put forward other practical solutions we can discuss


  • Violet Beckles CUP Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI

    independent voice March 16, 2017 at 6:19 PM #

    Truth is a powerful tool that cannot be shaken or swept away . Truth has destroyed many govts and at it nucleus is a stealth called integrity@@@@@

    If you dont know how true that is, Wait till We get going, ,The NNEWS in Barbados dont come the CUP, To much truth for them and Most of BU,

    Even when they talking about elections they skip over 2013 and go right to 2008,Just to Avoid the CUP, We know they drink from CUPs everyday and it must kill them to see it so close to their face and nose,

    CUP of Blessing coming just Now, We will see if it will also be NEWS Block on BU,

    So mantyy snakes in the media but we still going after the PM as top snake,

    Did you hear or see how much in the Banks in Barbados and no loans can be had..

    Just remember two words in All Banking, “Clear Title” Yes we got that, CLICO dead dead dead, Many need to be in jail, But they there shaking the PM hand talking 5 more years well them years passing and near done, Elections this time will make more History than 2013,

    Free Press, Free Speech, Freedom of Information will keep many out of the DLP and BLP for a long time,Those two coverup PATRIES WILL DIE A SLOW DEATH NEVER TO RETURN , WE HOPE,


  • @ David,

    We had a first in the UK parliament last week.


  • @Exclaimer

    No better place to demonstrate an all inclusive approach than in the parliament. What happened in the UK contrasts sharply this week with an MP in Barbados the parliament disparaging women who have not conceived children.


  • @ David,

    It pains me to make direct comparisons between the two countries as Barbados is not a progressive country. I presume you are talking about the discredited Mara Thompson. Ironically, the same accusation was made by a UK female MP (Andrea Leadsom) against the soon to be crowned Theresa May during the most recent Conservative leadership contest after Cameron had decided to step down! The silly women stated that she would be able to run the country better for the simple reason that she was a mother of three in complete contrast to the childless Mrs May. I believed that she removed herself from the leadership contest as soon as she realised the folly of her statement.

    I would welcome it if our beloved Mara were to take note.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    The dummies for government ministers will allow any nasty crap from anywhere to be imported for the people’s consumption.

    Grenville is cursed with the colonial slave mentality, that is all he can see, well scarred and damaged.


  • Stand up Bajans, stand up for what is right. Young political leader in the making. I am impressed.


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