The Grenville Phillips Column – Politicians Cannot Grade Themselves

Photo left to right: Leighton Greenidge, Daniel Chalbaud, Cherie Pounder, Grenville Phillips, Kenneth Lewis

Every 5 years, Barbadians get an opportunity to look at their politicians’ report card and decide whether to allow them to continue to manage the national economy, or turn over management to a more competent group.  Over the past 50 years, we chose not to look at their report cards, but instead simply listened to our politicians declare that they were doing a good job, and the opposition declare that they could do a better job.

Those of us who do not worship politicians normally made our voting decisions based on whomever was the most persuasive.  I am an Engineer.  How could I have been so gullible, naïve and lazy?  Politicians cannot grade themselves. What was I thinking?

Like many others, I simply wanted to trust that our politicians knew what they were doing.  I just wanted to participate in Barbados economy and leave the management up to what they told me was an experienced and competent political class.  Our dollar appeared stable, the transition of power between BLP and DLP was non-violent, and we were not a dictatorship.  So while everything was not perfect, I was convinced that they knew what they were doing.  Oh, how wrong I was.

It was in 2015 that I just happened to see our politicians’ report cards by accident.  I read the IMF reports for Barbados and I was shocked to learn that we had been failing as a country for the past 20 years.  The IMF informed Barbados and other developing countries that we could use debt to finance our development, but they warned us that our debt should never, under any circumstances, exceed 40% of what we as a country made in one year, which is called the Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

Twenty years ago, the BLP took Barbados past this maximum ceiling that should never have been crossed.  However, rather than quickly return to the safety of under 40% GDP before anyone found out, they recklessly and arrogantly took Barbados’ debt to an irresponsible 90% GDP.  Why on earth and in heaven did the BLP do this?  If they thought that it was necessary for us to cross the 40% maximum limit, then why not ask our permission, or at the very least, inform us.  They had no right to plunge all of is into an unsustainable debt and almost ensure that our children will lose this country – no right whatsoever!

Clyde Mascoll recently challenged my figures on ‘Down to Brasstacks’ and shockingly declared that the BLP debt was good debt.  I responded that my figures came from the IMF, the same source that he used when he was criticising the BLP for their reckless borrowing when he was leading the DLP.  Further, the only good debt was any debt below the safety of the 40% GDP ceiling.  Anything over that ceiling was irresponsible and reckless debt.  I challenged him to discuss this issue with me at any time.  He has yet to respond.

The DLP took the debt baton from the BLP and appear to have simply given up.  They have allowed the debt to rise to about 150% GDP, which has taken us to the brink of economic ruin.  In this upcoming election, the DLP will claim that they are doing a good job, but the IMF report card shows that they are failing miserably.  The BLP will claim that they could do a better job, but the IMF and Moody’s report cards show that they were the ones who actually placed us in this financial mess.

After I read the report cards, I set about publishing solutions to the various problems hindering Barbados’ development, but neither established party appeared to be listening.  Peter Boos subsequently offered similar advice, and he was informed that unless he was in the political trenches and got his hands dirty, that he basically had no standing to offer any advice.  Since the DLP explained that the only way that they would listen to advice is if I got into the political trench, then into the trench I went.

Solutions Barbados was established in 1 July 2015, primarily to offer good advice to both political parties.  However, despite being in the political trench with them, they still would not listen.  Therefore, we will assemble 30 responsible persons in order to finally give Barbados voters a competent alternative to the two established parties.  We are pleased to announce the following additional candidates: Kenneth Lewis, Leighton Greenidge, Daniel Chalbaud, Cherie Pounder and Betty Howell.

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


  • Why are we here discussing how to solve our debt problem?

    My understanding from reading the many financial gurus on Bim is that only two roads exist with both roads having potholes and slip roads and Bim will not be in the driving seat whoever forms/heads the govt.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Nice to see Grenville expanding his

    Have the ministers told the electorate yet….how they are going to move forward…re adopting EC or IMF or whatever…or is that still a stupid secret.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Not only cant politicians grade themselves, but the cannit control themselves and their stupid actions either….lol

    “CARICOM stands behind Maduro
    Added by Marlon Madden on May 19, 2017.
    Saved under CARICOM
    Outgoing Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) Sir Louis Straker of St Vincent and the Grenadines is confident CARICOM will stand behind the embattled Nicolas Maduro government in Venezuela, despite concerns raised by his own prime minister that the regional grouping was divided over the issue.

    Speaking with reporters Thursday on the sidelines of COFCOR’s 20th meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Sir Louis gave the assurance that CARICOM would not abandon Venezuela in its time of need, adding that the South American nation had been “very good” to the Caribbean over the years.

    It was the same assurance that the head of the Venezuelan embassy here Francisco Manuel Perez Santana said Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had given to Maduro, while assuring the Venezuelan leader he “will never act against the Venezuelan people”.

    Chair of COFCOR, Barbados’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean (right), in conversation with Venezuelan Ambassador Francisco Manuel Perez Santana at Thursday’s meeting.
    It was not clear if Stuart had given these assurances before or after Barbados, along with the Bahamas, Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia, had broken ranks with the remainder of CARICOM and voted with the big countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) that want to kick Caracas out of the hemispheric body.”


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    “How ironic that barbadostoday is the newspaper highlighting the abuse of injured claimants by an insurance company, Sun General.

    Does this mean that CGI Insurance will stop misusing the supreme court to abuse injured claimants for 8, 9, 10 years.

    And what is Grenville’s plan for addressing these abuses on black bajans by insurance companies, if he is elected.”

    It is diwnright cruel and evil that after being injured, one year later you are still suffering and can be made to suffer up to 10 years, all of this should be exposed daily.

    Cruel Sun’
    Insurance company accused of giving claimant the run around

    Added by Marlon Madden on May 20, 2017.
    Saved under Local News
    A Fitts Village, St James man who was involved in an accident a year ago is pleading with insurance company Sun General to settle his claim so he and the remaining accident victims can get on with their lives.

    Thirty-year-old Romar Morris was travelling in his car with two passengers along a section of the Greame Hall road in Christ Church in May last year when he was involved in an accident, that left him with a punctured lung, while one passengers lost a leg.

    The second passenger did not suffer physical injury “but was shaken up mentally”, he said.

    Morris told Barbados TODAY it has since been a traumatizing experience getting the insurance company to settle his claim.

    How ironic that barbadostoday is the newspaper highlighting the abuse of injured claimants by an insurance company, Sun General.

    Does this mean that CGI Insurance will stop misusing the supreme court to abuse injured claimants for 8, 9, 10 years.

    And whay is Grenville’s plan for addressing these abuses and injustices on black bajans carried out by insurance companies, if he is elected.”


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    In his new bid to be all inclusive re having married couple as teams of candidates to be potential ministers, has Grenville taken into consideration the fickleness of married couples, a commitment to the people is a long term endeavour, many marriages dont even last 5 years.

    In saying that…..I alluded to the 2 monsters Bernard and Phyllis in Grenada yesterday, that is a reality not worth repeating….

    …Grenville might want to check the Constitution regarding those situations before giving out broad based invitations now that he realizes he should have alerted the electorate to the Chaubalds….before introducing the married couple separately.

    While he is at it.., Netflix has a movie called House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. I invite him to have a look at the 5 or 6 seasons when he has time.

    This is not a game.


  • Was Bernard Coard a monster? My experience was totally different. Coard was the founder of what we called Saturday Schools in the UK, created to compensate for the lack of proper education for young black people (See his publication on the subject). They are now very much missed.
    Saturday schools in the UK are now dominated by the Muslims and there are flourishing. The New Jewel Movement was an attempt by a number of bright Grenadians to take control of their country which was sabotaged by the US Southern Command, led by Colin Powell and Ronald Regan on the flimsy excuse of rescuing US medical students.
    It is funny how history repeats itself, with the mushrooming of so-called offshore US universities throughout the region.
    It led to the birth of the RSS, which is now being primed to intervene in internal affairs of other Caribbean nations.
    Sometimes our stupidity is such that we are as prepared to a murder the reputations of people who are rightly our heroes and heroines.
    Those black Londoners who returned to their homeland to give sound political leadership to their island-homes are still remembered in London for their contributions.


  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @David May 19 re “…What are you smoking?”

    As things stand at the moment I wish I had some of the Jamaican or Vincy about which Artax spoke…


  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Hal Austin at 6:09 AM …you said “Was Bernard Coard a monster? My experience was totally different. ”

    Was Eric Gairy a monster? What of Forbes Burham etc etc.

    They too were all worthy ‘progressives’ of their day who returned to their nations and implemented wonderful ideas and plans which then morphed into one form or other of autocratic governance.

    Bernard Coard and Maurice Bishop et al were absolutely awesome and intelligent progressives arguably with even greater gravitas and determination than those mentioned…

    Yet their popular coup very quickly spiraled out of control with the type of ex-judicial actions of judge, jury and executioner that were for this part of the region a grave affront – despite the actions of Gairy’s henchmen for many years.

    We have no idea what modern eastern Caribbean life would be had there been no US intervention.

    What we do know is that following Bishop’s death that the HOGs in EC, Trinidad and BIM were besides themselves of their own long term political future.

    This present with the RSS etc you apparently find very troubling…one can only surmise what troubling circumstances there might be otherwise!

    What we really have to worry about are the ISIS former fighters massing in Trinidad…not ‘big brother’.

    That is a far greater worry of ‘spontaneous’ eruption than any RSS intrusion on internal island affairs.


  • de pedantic,

    You are right about the Isis sympathisers and activists living in the Caribbean, not just Trinidad. But we would like to pretend that the infiltrationists we have among us are not like the others. Just you wait and see.
    But we have serious social problems: the daily abuse of the courts and wider criminal justice system by magistrates and police; the anarchy in our schools; the failure of parliamentary democracy; the list goes on.


  • @Hal

    Agree with this comment in the main.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Hal Austin….monsters are known to be great philanthropists, presidents, kings, queens and self oriclaimed humanitarians, educators, law enforcers. ..they come in all stripes.

    Maurice Bishop, Jacqueline Creft who was many months pregnant with their child and the 15 or 16 others who were MURDERED BY BERNARD AND PHYLLIS COARD…who were both convicted for those crimes, who should have bith been hung with the others involved….who caused the US to havevto go into Grenada and straighten out that mess in their own way…..are MONSTERS.

    Do nit get me started on Maurice….he was a friend of mine.

    So in your role as the greatest journalist in the world Ha Ha Austin…please define the word monster fir me…because what do I know.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    ………and PARTICULARLY self proclaimed humanitarians come in monster form….and obviously from today, self proclaimed journalists.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Maurice Bishop trusted Bernard Coard and his monster wife Phyllis Coard, they betrayed and murdered him and his pregnant partner and his other people…….all to gain power and be the heads of government…even after the jackass that was Eric Gairy they could not agree to work with Maurice for the good of the country…it was all about the power for themselves….people of Grenada be damned.

    You too need to watch the Netflix series…..House of Cards….. Ha Ha Austin…..all 8 I believe episodes, it will not only give you a certain perspective……..into human nature which you obvious missed going through life.

    …then you also need to google the whole Bernard and Phyllis Coard case to get yourself a journey into reality.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    And of course being the great journalist that ya are..HA HA…ya missed the whole point.

    Dont know if ya have ever been married…if ya have, take a trip into ya memories.

    If ya haven’t. …take a trip into ya friend and families marriages.

    And when you do…would you like to wish any of that into the people’s house of parliament……as a taxpayer.


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

    Jewel Brathwaite your questions and answers are all tied up in the Massive Land Fraud and PONZI /CLICO going on and ran by the Barbados government. Without ” Clear Land Title” no one will invest in Barbados, Four Season”BLACK ROCK PLANTATION” where there is no Public record of that Plantation at all, Sir C.O Williams and Bizzy William company failed for they can’t show the investors the” Clear title “deed. Also, check the updates of the Probate of the Estate of Violet Beckles Queen landowner of Barbados defrauded in 1986 by the Sir Richard L. Cheltenham QC, Ph.D., and Sir CO Williams, With help in 1995 from Sir EX-CJ David Simmons, Prime Minister2009as AG. BrathwaiteAG 2010, and 2009Ex-COP Dottin, check the land records for Sandals and see why they received so mush free and now I hear it’s up for sale? Vote for the Bajan Free Party/CUP in the 2018 elections to make all things Clear Title and Clear in Barbados, Banks stuck with reported $24 Billion in the Banks and the money can’t move, no home loans, interest rates at .01%. NHC/UDC from1997 Ex-PM Owen and Ex-AG Mia NHC lawyer Samantha Cummins, Commissioner of land tax Wayne Forde, laundering fraud Mark Cummins at Town & Country, Commissioner laundering of funds and land by the lawyer of UDC Keith Mayers and lets not forget Richard Byer, Ralph Thorne who made QC while sitting before the BAR for being a crook, let not for forget Kieth Simmons another crook,Barbados on every level. Crooks, Liars, and Scumbags running the government everyone of both the DLP and BLP and the DBLP government Must be removed, Bajan Free Party will get Barbados moving again. The next building boom in Barbados is housing that will bring jobs, for the People we need not build one Hotel at each election time at the cost of all Bajans, for that is nothing more than early vote buying as they had in the 2013 elections. No Rule of Law in Barbados.

    , 8 min marker of
    Jewel Brathwaite


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    All the know-it-alls trying to distract with the ISIS in the Caribbean drama…I said this a few years ago and I will say it again…the Caribbean does not have the resources to deal with these sophisticated, well armed, well funded organizations who are funded by wealthy countries in the middle east and the west…..that fight is best left to the US and other countries who have the resources, technology, funding to take on those groups and win…because the Caribbean is in their backyards.

    …the halfassed journalists cant even get a news story right, the local authorities and government cannot fix their court system, the schools or anything else……the ministers who lack critical thinking and other skills will more likely try to borrow money from the terrorists.., read David Estwick and a 4 billion dollar UAE loan… watch them take on a fight with ISIS and win….yall better keep ya asses quiet…and let the big boys handle that group.

    Deal with the urgent matters infront of you.

    Ha, Ha Austin….dont you have a fulfilled life.


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    This would be excellent for Barbados and the Caribbean, cut out all the greedy middlemen and monopolies. ..make solar cheaper to access.

    1 DAY AGO
    Despite places like Australia being bathed in sun, the cost of traditional silicon-based solar cells hasn’t inspired people to buy, buy, buy.

    But what if you could make the technology cheaper and produce it at a higher scale? Some believe that printed solar is the way forward.

    SEE ALSO: Meet the company vying to take on Tesla in clean energy

    Leading the charge is Paul Dastoor from the University of Newcastle in Australia and his team of researchers, who are in the final stage of testing his printed solar solution.

    The University of Newcastle is one of only three sites in the world testing printed solar, which uses electronic inks to conduct electricity. These can be printed at “massive scale” by machines, meaning they could be used for speedy rollout across large areas. Handy, especially in times of disaster.

    “It’s completely different from a traditional solar cell. They tend to be large, heavy, encased in glass — tens of millimetres thick,” Dastoor explained. “We’re printing them on plastic film that’s less than 0.1 of a millimetre thick.”

    Dastoor said the printed solar panels outperform solar photovoltaics panels in low light, and could prove to be more cost-efficient than fossil fuels.

    “One of the advantages of these materials is they generate more electricity at low light levels than conventional PVs [photovoltaics], so that means I don’t really care where the roof is pointing, I just put it on there,” he said.

    “And what we’ve shown through a series of economic models is that we can get these devices printing such that they’re readily comparable with PV devices. In fact, we expect in a short period of time the energy we generate will be cheaper than that generated via coal-based fire stations.”

    “We expect in a short period of time the energy we generate will be cheaper than that generated via coal-based fire stations.”
    Dastoor hopes the tiles will eventually be printed at less than A$10 (US$7.42) per square metre, considerably less than Tesla’s PV Solar Roof at A$315 (US$235). But before you rush out with your money in hand, the tiles’ performance and durability is still being tested.

    “We’ve put in the first 100 square metres of printed solar cells up on roofs, and now we’re testing that durability in real weather conditions,” he said.

    These printed solar panels are primarily made out of “extraordinarily robust” PET, the same material used for Coke bottles. Importantly, they’re recyclable. “All you do is melt it up and reform it,” he said.

    The printed solar panels will be demonstrated in Melbourne next week at a printing convention called Pacprint, the first public display of the technology, then Dastoor will work with a number of industrial partners to make it reality.

    Soon enough, you’ll have a cheaper choice when it comes to putting solar panels on your roof.”


  • Keep at it Grenville.Dont get discouraged.


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

    After a full Audit, Barbados DLP and BLP and the DBLP government will be next.


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

    David May 18, 2017 at 6:22 AM #


    Is there any room in the conversation to congratulate Grenville and SB for encouraging non traditional players to participate in the process?@@

    For what David? for what, What he needed to do from the start? The BajanFree Party/CUP.KGB.PDC never started out with putting limits on anyone, So you and SB are very late in waking up to the Right of the People, We are the right Party for all for we started out right and will stay right no need to change, Now coming down to the wire the change to get more people,

    SB is a back up party for the crooks, Even Sandals running out of Barbados for they can see the DLP is out and now have to wonder if the BLP will be in, But the Backup Party SB is in the running and will fool many by Numbers only, If SB gets in he better look at the books and what’s hidden for we will come at them also, The coverup have to end or he also will be next in line for the courts, This is no game this is the time for Barbados reset…We have to help ourself to fix ourself.


  • Private Sector claiming to have answers? Answers to what? The private sector is the problem. Why not check such people as Richard “Rastas’ Edghill, Tony DaSilva, Gordon Seale, Angus Edghill, Kyffin Simpson, COW and Bizzy Williams and Peter Defreitas, eight of the biggest, their interlocking businesses and business plans and their political minions and ask about insider trading. The next big on is for St. Lucy.

    Angela Cole.


  • Forgot! The private sector is white supremacy, has no head but are a conglomerate All interlocked with the Closed Brethren/Illuminate and the Emtage Family Fund


  • What has Solutions Barbados got to say about criminal justice, apart from making the guilty pay, now that Britain has experienced one of the most medieval, savage, barbaric attacks in recent history?
    Or, are we pretending that our Islamic militants are not mass murderers and are nice men and women?
    While we are at it, what about the two main parties, or do they prefer the soft corruption of party support?


  • Vincent Haynes


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