The Grenville Phillips Column – When They Fail, We Suffer

Grenville Phillips II, leader of Solutions Barbados

Our elected politicians are supposed to represent us.  When they fail in that primary duty, then the rest of us must suffer – grievously.  However, we do not simply suffer the damaging consequences.  We must also be over-taxed, not to pay to permanently fix the problems that were created by their failures, or to only maintain the high-maintenance environment created by their incompetence, but rather, to try to slow the slide into eventual ruin.

In the mid 1980’s, many boys were leaving secondary school with no evidence of having attended.  They had no legitimate marketable skills and started forming gangs.  Our politicians were warned about the emerging gang activity and were asked to do something about it.  Their response was to publicly announce that there were no gangs in Barbados.

The obvious solution was to modify the secondary school curriculum to allow all of our students to leave school with at least one marketable skill, so that they would have an alternative to trading in illegal drugs.  However, neither the BLP nor DLP administrations were willing to make the necessary changes.  Over 30 years later, the school curriculum still does not allow all of our students to leave school with marketable skills.  Therefore, gangs have a ready supply of new recruits.

In the early 1990’s, guns started flowing in to support the illegal drug trade, and shootings were becoming frequent.  Our politicians were warned about the increasing gun violence and Barbadians pleaded with them to do something about it.  The callous response was that it was simply criminals shooting each-other, or gang-on-gang violence.

The obvious solution was to charge all persons involved in the illegal distribution of a gun with the same offense as the final user.  Therefore, the importer, distributor, seller, and renter should all be charged with: murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, rape, theft, threats, illegal possession, or whatever the final user was charged with.  Neither the BLP nor DLP administrations would implement this effective deterrent. Instead, the guns flowed in, gun violence increased dramatically, and the innocent are being killed.

Near the late 1990’s, the problems with residential construction quality were getting out of control.  The Government was warned about the wave of substandard houses being constructed that were unlikely to survive an earthquake.  Fortuitously, the easy-to-understand Barbados National Building Code was published in 1993.  The obvious solution was to make compliance with the structural requirements of the Building Code a condition of Planning approval.

Both BLP and DLP administrations chose not to protect homeowners in this manner.  Thousands of substandard houses have subsequently been constructed in Barbados.  Inexcusably, the Government decided to withdraw the only building standard for residential construction, resulting in Barbados being perhaps the only nation on Earth that does not provide any sort of structural building guidance to residential contractors.  Thus, the Government is ensuring that most residential contractors unintentionally build only high-maintenance tombs for unsuspecting homeowners.

By the mid 1990’s, we were approaching the 40% of GDP debt limit.  The IMF warned us that this limit should never be crossed, otherwise a most harsh austerity would be required.  Yet, the BLP crossed this limit and plunged Barbados into an unsustainable debt.  The BLP took Barbados’ national debt to an irresponsible and unsustainable 90% GDP.  The DLP provided perhaps the worst possible response to our debt situation, allowing it to balloon to an irresponsible and unsustainable 150% GDP.

The obvious solution would be to simply respect the debt limit or bring the national debt back to the safety of below 40% GDP as soon as possible.  Instead, both the BLP and DLP administrations allowed the national debt to balloon out of control.

Over the past 5 years, in a moment of sheer lunacy, many Barbadians provided children with tablets and smart phones with Internet access, where they can watch other children being repeatedly raped.

Our elected representatives are preparing to allow cell phones in our schools, which will allow widespread distribution of pornography among our children.  The increase in abortions, STDs, rapes, kidnappings, murders, low productivity, etc are foreseen.  The obvious solution is to block pornography as a default.  As expected, this solution is being ignored by our representatives – so, once again, we will have to pay a most heavy price for the foreseen consequences.

At this time in our history, we should be more mature in our approach to solving problems.  Our elected politicians tend to ignore problems until they are completely unmanageable.  When the harmful consequences are plainly obvious and are publicised, then they tend to blame parents, the private sector, the Church, and even God, for not doing enough, but they never blame themselves.

Watching the country being run this way is very frustrating – but it is the system that we must accept.  The only hope for Barbados is for voters to finally realise that both established parties have no actual solutions by the time the next general election is called, and to look for a competent alternative.  Solutions Barbados is that competent alternative.

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

50 thoughts on “The Grenville Phillips Column – When They Fail, We Suffer

  1. Grenville,

    Social pathologies rarely have simple causes or simple solutions.

    To say, for example, that adjustments to the school curriculum would have prevented the formation of youth gangs is abracadabra thinking. The drug dealer can make a lot of money quickly and with very little effort. Welding or plumbing or whatever is hard work and cannot compete.

  2. Grenville

    Your political equation is ill conceived.

    For it is an algebra of slaves and their masters

    When you must come to know the true geometry of politics a new equation can be constructed.

    And that new political equation MUST, at its centre, have people power. A power which cannot be taken, for any length of time, under any pretense, by any elected official. Elected officials as clear servants not masters.

    This is the only political power relationship that now makes sense to thinking people.

    So no well-intention would be dictator like yourself will do. Those days are dead.

    • Chad99999 isn’t there downside risk associated with any system? Which do you have a preference?

  3. Chad:

    Perhaps you are too young, or you were not paying attention, but you are clearly uninformed. Barbadians used to leave school with marketable skills. Please do some research before automatically opposing.

    Best regards,

  4. Pach:

    What political equation? I just identified the consequences of ignoring problems. Please do not be so quick to automatically oppose everything.


    • Grenville we all agree that we have a duopoly. To make meaningful penetration it requires the ‘pretenders’ to be disruptive in their strategies. This is what Pacha is saying. In marketing A similar tactic is guerilla marketing. The fear in the society caused by the Kadooment shootings is a case in point. Opportunity!

  5. Your best piece to date. You are finally realizing this is politics, and the key is winning…it is SB vs the rest. Get them squarely in your sights and attack them as equal enemies.

  6. @nextparty246

    It would be nigh on impossible for the political gadfly, SB, to make any impact on the political system.

    We have shown you how regimes can be overthrown, OSA words not ours, yet you continue with a political silliness while pretending to assume some informed position in these matters.

    All based on an idle promise that you could maintain the current system if only descent, honest, people like yourselves were taken seriously and somehow elected.

    If you can’t follow a proven model. Can’t overcome our biting criticisms. Not willing to put your life on the line. How could you ever defeat the entrenched BLP/DLP regime?

    And please, you are to never expect any generosity from us based on some misguided notion that you will be less unfaithful to Bajans.

    Our attitude is to be more critical of SB than the regime. Once bitten twice ……….

  7. All those years ago Maurice King said no gangs. Now we have the current attorney general comparing Barbados’ crime rate to Trinidad. The PM uses the wordRwords ‘underworld justice’, no doubt this is deliberate. minister Denis Kellman using the analogy of if a boy gets 95% in an exam if the parent should be critical of the 5%. Stupidity abounds among our leaders.

  8. @Northern, interesting perspective that this is ‘…best to date’.

    For some this simply reinforces the political conundrum: the desire for change is so strong that it’s necessary to disregard the grievous deficiencies of a candidate and support him/her nonetheless.

    SB cited five issues and two only had practical (competent, in their words) solutions.

    The gun issue solution is completely irrational n legally almost impossible as a remedy.

    The debt limit is much more nuanced as has been ventilated here extensively and so too the issue of electronics used by minors.

    To make any type of retort to the idealistic and simplistic arguments proposed by SB is to lambasted as a naysayerl or opposition troll….

    But the other candidates are horrible so we can overlook the irrational and idealistic and those unable to properly manage criticism…Surely.

  9. “In the mid 1980’s, many boys were leaving secondary school with no evidence of having attended. They had no legitimate marketable skills and started forming gangs.”

    @ Solutions Barbados

    Is Grenville Phillips II suggesting that many boys who did not attain CXC or GCE O level certificates automatically joined gangs?

    Perhaps Phillips II could present the statistical evidence to substantiate his above comment.

    Several institutions, such as The Barbados “O” Level Institute, have over the years provided school leavers with an OPPORTUNITY to CONTINUE their education and gain GCE “O” and “A” and CXC certificates. Some secondary schools, such as Springer Memorial, Queens College, St. James Secondary and Metropolitan High School also hold evening classes (and to this day) teaching GCE and CXC subjects.

    I left school in the 1980s and also recalled many students who did not attain an adequate number of certificates attended these institutions, before or after gaining employment. Some of them went on to UWI and other regional and international universities.

    I also remember during the 1980s the Samuel Jackman Prescott Polytechnic was located in Belmont Road, on the site where the BPW Co-op Credit Union is now located. SSJP proved to be too small to accommodate all those school leavers who opt to learn a trade and a new, larger polytechnic was constructed in Wildey.

    Young men forming or joining gangs cannot be blamed specifically on them having left school with “no legitimate marketable skills.” This is a simplistic view, which is void of any sociological reasoning, especially when one takes into consideration that “bright boys” have also formed or joined gangs.

    Whereas boys leaving schools with “no legitimate marketable skills” is an educational problem, forming or joining gangs is more so a sociological problem. Hence, forcing boys to learn a trade is not the answer to discouraging them from gangs.

    You must approach this issue from two perspectives: (1) educational and (2) sociological. You have to ascertain the reasons why young men are not performing well in school and then understand the reasons why they may form gangs. Then you can combine the results to formulate strategies to solve both problems.

    In this regard, Solutions Barbados should perhaps consider formulating holistic programs, such as community development, school-based social skills training combined with parent training for at risk students and classroom behaviour management.

  10. @ Pacha
    We have shown you how regimes can be overthrown
    You are badly misguided here.

    Barbados is not a case where a regime needs to be ‘overthrown’ by an incumbent party. Such imagery is applicable to situations where a people are held hostage, vi et armis, and by despots acting against the collective will of those people.

    Barbados is a case of entrenched brassbowlery …AMONG THE PEOPLE….
    Over the past 20 years, this has reached the situation where the ONLY choices for leadership have been reduced to Hobson’s choice of shiite and jobby…

    What a third party SHOULD offer is a rational choice of sound, intelligent leadership.

    IT WILL BE REJECTED…… Brass bowls do not take well to common sense.

    However, what it does, is remove any excuses from the bowls that they were caught between a rock and a hard place…. having soundly crucified the saviour…..

    The idea that Grenville should take a cut-throat approach, with ‘winning’ as the goal, is also badly flawed.
    In order to ‘win’ over brass bowls, he would need to invest in ‘piss- like bribes, white financiers, secret deals, and kowtowing to gang leaders and other idiots with votes.
    In short, he would have to BECOME the B/DLP.

    The problem is NOT SB.
    The problem is brass bowl Bajans – who like it JUST the way it is right now. ….namely, free money from wherever; nuff nuff wuk-up and jump-up; as little ‘work’ as possible…. and some idiot politician to call when things get rough…

    SB is only erring in that they are delving into ‘solutions’ that attempt to mimic the existing brassbowlery …but by using some kind of ‘superior intellect’.
    That will NOT work when dealing with BBBBBBBs (Bunch of Black Bajan Bewitched Brass Bowl Block-headed Bums) ….as Grenville would find out in short order even if he DID win….

    What Grenville SHOULD do is take a RIGHTEOUS and PRINCIPLED approach to governance – built on adherence to the LAW, the RULES and to ethical behaviours. He should commit to looking into the illegal behaviours over the past 20 years and applying the LAW as required by our existing constitution…

    Trying to convince a bunch of sick brass bowls that you can somehow get them back to a financially healthy situation- without pain and suffering – is shiite….

  11. de pedantic Dribbler August 10, 2017 at 6:16 AM #

    “For some this simply reinforces the political conundrum: the desire for change is so strong that it’s necessary to disregard the grievous deficiencies of a candidate and support him/her.”

    @ de pedantic Dribbler

    Your above comment is “spot on.”

    I realized Grenville Phillips II has been using his personal experience as a basis to formulating SB’s socio-economic policies.

    For example, a business owner who experiences problems with 2% of his customers may introduce policies to deal SPECIFICALLY with that 2%, rather than force the other 98% to comply.

    Changing plans as a result of personal experiences may work in a business. However, applying this “technique” to managing the “complexities” of a country and its economy may present some difficulties.

    As a business owner, your business becomes your personal dictatorship…… you call the shots. If that business owner becomes leader of a country………. the electorate calls the shots.

    And knowing that Grenville Phillips II does not react favourably to criticisms, it would be very interesting to see how he reacts if he becomes PM of Barbados.

  12. @ Bushie & David

    We are all singing in the same choir. We agree with David’s two comments. He has so adroitly put in a few sentences what we meant.

    Bushie, the BU professor emeritus, has adumbrated many of the points arising, points we generally also agree with.

    We all take governance in Barbados as serious business, matters not to be trifled with.

  13. “The obvious solution was to modify the secondary school curriculum to allow all of our students to leave school with at least one marketable skill, so that they would have an alternative to trading in illegal drugs. However, neither the BLP nor DLP administrations were willing to make the necessary changes.”

    Grenville should ask himself why many in the society who left school with marketable skills, even from his era, even his fellow business people, from his old school, even government ministers and other officials are known to be trafficking in illegal drugs and other products and are known to own gangs themselves……despite having decent taxpayer funded salaries….with perks….or the business people own medium size companies and still traffic drugs and commit every imaginable crime for access to millions more dollars….. on the side.

    What does Grenville plan to do about his former cawmere school mates some of whom are the leading gun traffickers, drug dealers, money launderers and human traffickers on the island, even owning strip clubs…and pretending to be successful businessmen, their illegal, criminal activities will not immediately end if Grenville is elected, they have no reason to be afraid of Grenville and end their criminal activities, they are more likely to become more emboldened and create even more havoc on the island….what will a PM Grenville do then..

    The problems with the misguided youth from the depressed areas on the island are miseducation and their toxic environment, they are unable to cope with both. …a lot of social work is needed to reverse that damage…

    ….the lowlife politicians and government ministers with their greedy vote seeking dont help either, when they slither into these communities and create havoc among the drug dealers, the little gun toting youths they all control and the already disadvantaged population..,,,with their mouths filled with political lies, worthless, empty promises and bribes for votes, some of those bribes being drugs…, which ultimately translates to hopelessness, more poverty and endless police raids, until the next election cycle.

    The very ministers and politicians are part of the problem and have been for decades…enabling gang and drug and gun activities, then pretending to come up with some useless, empty, unworkable solution to do something about it……..instead of requesting outside help….as Adriel Nitwit is pretending to be able to fix it now….without requesting outside help.

    Although the electorate is at it’s wits end…Grenville is not offering any solid solutions and the population will see this…

  14. He can get vex with me today….but unless he tells the electorate and mean it, that he will lock up all the criminals from the top…in government, in the business community and everywhere in between…, Grenville will be ignored by the voters who have for decades been putting up with the decades of criminal activities of and disenfranchisement from these titled criminals.

  15. I’d like someone to research how many Dodds inmates in various age groups have live-at-home fathers.

    The old saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ intimates that we are all looking out for each other and our offspring but social behaviours, including employment aspirations, are nurtured at home.

    Boy children generally manipulate their mothers but respect and emulate their fathers.

    As I’ve typed several times before, this is the 3rd generation of fatherless unemployables we are now dealing with as a society.

    As far as my research can tell, they officially do not exist. Not on unemployment, NIS, school, payroll etc. lists. Birth certificates and, often not long after, death certificates only.

    Mandatory National Conscription is our only hope.

  16. “The obvious solution was to modify the secondary school curriculum to allow all of our students to leave school with at least one marketable skill.”

    Who says they all aren’t already? Where’s the evidencce? It seems as though the view of what is marketable is consistent with SB’s narrow minded approach to complex issues. Absence of certificates does not equate to lack of marketable skills!! The problem, however, seems to lie with a Barbadian mindset that only sees certain certificates and jobs as valuable. Once there’s an absence of the alphabet after your name, you are not considered marketable. The same obsolescent thinking leads us to the conclusion that certain degrees are useless to our development and should be fully self-funded by the student. All the chatter about secondary school curriculum is a gross misunderstanding of the real problem. It is post-secondary school stupid!! The lack of opportunities post-secondary (and post-tertiary too) is the crux of the problem. The acquisition of these marketable skills but no opportunities is a contributing factor to our current gangs, which are populated with youngsters with certificates and skills. We need to first respect everyone regardless of their “marketable skills” and provide opportunities for young people to utilise the array of these marketable skills they have including an overhaul of the Skills Training programme, but more importantly providing spaces through various mechanisms (there are many ways to do this) to facilitate entrepreneurship whether for creative, technological, innovative, automotive, barbering/cosmetology etc. #sbisnotready

  17. Frustrated,

    You are on the right path. Not only how many inmates have live t home fathers, but the level of education, qualification, employment status, skills. @Frustrated, crime causation in Barbados is no different to that in the rest of the Western world, although Barbadians like to think they are different.
    What we need is a prison education programme, skills training. No one sentenced to more than there years in prison should be discharged without having earned some qualifications and a trade.
    Violent crime and burglary are largely a young person’s (men) thing, fraud is a middle class crime; we need more non-custodial sentences so as not to created career criminals.
    Barbados is too small an island to pretend to be tough on crime. Everybody knows where everyone lives. We are playing a dangerous game. The next person knocking on your door may not be a friendly face.

  18. How many jobs in Barbados go unfilled each year because there are not enough workers to fill them ?

    Barbados needs to diversify the economy and create jobs.

  19. The problems with the misguided youth from the depressed areas on the island are miseducation and their toxic environment, they are unable to cope with both. …a lot of social work is needed to reverse that damage……AND not enough jobs to go around.

    There are not enough big, black owned businesses on the island…period.

    Again the fault of the dumb, narrow minded black governments who continue to take bribes from minority business people, to marginalize small black business owners and retard and stagnate their growth into medium and large sized businesses.

  20. I understand Hal but consider my case for National Conscription.

    Prevention is better than cure; by the time these lads are in the system, it is too late for them and us.

    Our BDF fulfils no military role other than pandering to our Yankee masters once per year and intimidating revellers on SGH once per year; look how that worked out last weekend.

    Further, they are occupying valuable heritage-tourism space at St. Anns Fort.

    My case is simple: anyone at school-leaving age who is not going into a job or school immediately should be a BDF cadet for 2 years.

    No firearm or combat training, just taught to speak to superiors and colleagues respectfully, show up for parade on time and dress properly. These are all are skills that the vast number of young Bajans don’t have and employers are looking for. Skills that old people like us take for granted were taught by parents.

    Most employers will tell you: hire attitude, teach skills.

    If after this they end up in our other learning institutions they would be well ahead of the game.

    Well spent taxpayer money.

    I see no other way to deal with the current problem.

  21. I forgot to add; just giving these young people somewhere to live other than their current environment, in barracks among others from better backgrounds, might be enough incentive for them to consider an alternate way of life.

  22. Frustrated,
    You are right. I am a big supporter of national service (not conscription), whereby young people can do six months to two years of community service. It must be voluntary, but for those who volunteer they will get their university fees paid and will be given preference when it comes to jobs in both the public and private sectors and public sector housing.
    Once young people have a stake in society they change their behaviours. Take the average teenager boy; once he gets a partner, he starts to shower daily, changes his clothes, behave himself and uses more deodorant; he also becomes more ambitions. The most powerful influence on a teenage boy is a girlfriend telling him to behave himself if not she will leave him. Simple, but effective.

  23. Artax

    You must approach this issue from two perspectives: (1) educational and (2) sociological. You have to ascertain the reasons why young men are not performing well in school and then understand the reasons why they may form gangs. Then you can combine the results to formulate strategies to solve both problems.

    In this regard, Solutions Barbados should perhaps consider formulating holistic programs, such as community development, school-based social skills training combined with parent training for at risk students and classroom behaviour management.

    Spot on.

    Nothing intrinsically wrong with gangs as they have been with us from time immemorial.

    Over the decades,as a youngster in St.Andrew I heard in rumshops about the many bad John gangs and just yesterday as an oldster I heard a young girl telling her mates in a rumshop which gang she belonged to and the number of gangs she knew and which were dread or good.

    We need learn how to convert those who operate outside the accepted norms of our society.

    Having community police outposts in troubled areas and police sponsored/assisted youth clubs will also be of a great help in nipping deviants in the bud.

    We may talk about the gangs of the 80s&90s but few are aware that it could have been worse were it not for some police outpost personnel interacting with community groups e.g. Belleplaine and Deacons.

  24. The big joke about Barbados eludes even wunna bright sparks on BU…

    The ‘solution’ to our problem has nothing to do with ‘conscription’, ‘national service’, or ‘good gangs’ – (whatever the hell THAT can possibly be….)

    The solution to our problem has existed …AND WORKED…. for well over a hundred years. It is one of the things that defined Barbados and differentiated us from other jurisdictions….

    It was NOT a reactive conscription program. It largely made the prison option redundant and there was absolutely NO stigma associated with being ‘fathered’ by this program….

    It is called the Barbados Cadet corps. The Boy’s scouts, The Girl Guides…and school sports programs.
    Many, many of the bright sparks coming out of our education system in the middle of the last century were products of the cadets, scouts and guides. The problem with the Youth Service is that it waits to respond to deviance and has a stigma attached…. while the cadets /scouts /guides took a proactive approach … and worked like a charm.

    For some reason, this school cadet/ scout /guides philosophy has been discarded by the likes of Jones, Froon, Stinkliar and the other DLP lowlifes – who CLEARLY were not beneficiaries of the characteristics associated with membership of such groups…..

    Brass bowls are typically people who have the ability to piss into a bucket of clean clear water – while dying of thirst.
    We do it with the credit unions – despite their long history of success in Barbados
    We do it with cadets, scouts, girl guides and other positive youth groups
    We do it with sports – where clear global talents go a-begging for lack of appreciation..
    We do it with food – preferring to buy imported shiite..while dissing local premium food

    Bajans are purely and simply brass bowls….
    …and brass bowls will be brass bowls….. and a people ALWAYS get exactly what they deserve.

    What does a rusty, useless, brazen bowl deserve….?
    Perhaps the answer is B/DLP, …and not ‘solutions’.

  25. Besides the regular morning to school stroll up Constitution Road with the ladies of QC and St M,my memories of the Cadet Corps and the Bdos Regiment are alive and well.Ordinary Bajans would assemble at St Ann’s Fort every Thursday for parade,A Company,B Company and Hdqrt Company as I recall.Everyman spick and span.lots of pride shone through those vestments.Every chest out and waist in.Shoes sparkling.Brass shining bright.At times the parade commander was one one our school teachers.It was a good time to be a 14 year old among these men,all obedient to the orders given.

  26. At least Peter Laurie can see that the pretend colonial shit has become a thing of the past, it’s obsolete and for those new political parties who think they can carry on the same crap as the two old stale political parties…..Laurie does not think ya have a chance in hell of even being elected.

    Of course he could be wrong, seeing as the electorate is so fed up and hate both parties equally.

    “Four things for the next Government
    Added by Barbados Today on August 9, 2017.
    Saved under Column
    We are only a few months away from what will be the most momentous election in Barbados since the first election held in 1951 under universal adult suffrage.

    Momentous, not just because of our present economic plight, but because the next Government will have to take decisions that will put us on a new path of our development towards a prosperous and just society.

    Failure to take this new direction may see Barbados, long celebrated as a model of stable democratic governance and prudent economic management, becoming just another failed post-colonial state.

    Our challenge, therefore, is to elect a government that will not only lead us out of the economic wilderness, but also take the lead in initiating and achieving the radical transformation that is required of how our society is governed and structured if we are to fulfil the inherent promise of a prosperous and just Barbados.

    We must insist that the two principal political parties (the other parties have no chance of forming a government) present in their manifestos a vision of the new Barbados they wish to lead us to, and the mechanisms by which we the citizens will participate in the transformation of our country.

    The discouraging prospect of achieving this transformation is that it will require leadership, strategic vision, mental emancipation, courage, and determination; the encouraging appeal is that it is easy to turn around a small cohesive society like Barbados in five to ten years, if citizens are fully involved.

    Let us be clear: we don’t need to get on a new path of development because the old strategy has failed. It has succeeded, but it has run its course and no longer fits the altered circumstances of Barbados 50 years later. The old path charted at our Independence by Errol Barrow resulted in lifting masses of people out of poverty and creating a broad educated middle class……………….”

  27. Lol….Kellman’s, Fruendel’s, Lowe’s, Bjerkham’s, Clare Cowen’s and Alvin’s Cahill scam.

  28. David August 10, 2017 at 5:27 PM #

    You don’t see the relevance? Think Vincent!

    Chuckle….simple things elude me and my apologies for you having to deal with old duffers like me whose brain is addled…….

  29. The country is in crisis and the PM is still going ahead with entertaining thousands on our dime tonight at Illaro Court.

  30. Prodigal Son August 10, 2017 at 5:56 PM #

    Chuckle…..why do you think we keep mentioning Nero and his fiddle???…….

  31. FB
    In full agreement with your suggested National service , but it must be mandatory for All.
    Hammie La failed to rectify the gang violence via his community programmes; such are but a waste of funds

  32. Something to consider as our politicians and want-to-be politicians put forward their plans to lead us into the promised land of economic revival and well paying jobs for everyone:

    David McWilliams: Great Disaster Looms as Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers

    In the old days the technology that eliminated the Asian, Arab and Ottoman middleman was Portuguese, Dutch and later British naval prowess. Every generation has their technology.

    Today that technology is the Internet.

    The only problem is that today we risk cannibalising ourselves.


    Consider London’s famous black taxis. In the old days the London cabbie had to learn “The Knowledge”.

    This meant that the cabbie had to train for two years to memorise every nook and cranny of London, every backstreet in every area of that vast city. This effort demanded cabbies renting scooters to head out for months on end, committing the city’s streets to memory. Once he had the knowledge in his head, the cabbie did a rigorous exam and got his taxi license. He also had to buy a special black cab, an expensive vehicle, for which London is famous.
    The knowledge was his pricing power; his cab was his unique asset. Because he had the knowledge, he could demand a fare. This was his value added and his price was his margin.
    Now consider what has happened with the arrival of Uber. The new Uber driver doesn’t need the knowledge. He has Google maps. He doesn’t need the expensive black cab either. He has a second-hand Toyota. The value of the knowledge is eliminated and the asset is depreciated. In no time the cabbies’ livelihood dwindles.

    Uber is doing to the cabbie what the Portuguese did to other middlemen: eliminating them.
    Just wait until technology does this to lawyers, accountants, architects and doctors. Whether they like it or not, the skill set of many of these professionals can be replicated accurately by machines. All the above are functional positions and with the exceptions of possibly doctors, few would lose sleep at their passing.

  33. @Bush Tea August 10, 2017 at 7:48 AM #

    The day after the last march by the unions and PSA you made the point that it was not a against the present govt., but a warning to the the incoming govt. after the upcoming general election. I believe it is important for us to drill that into the heads of all the parties planning to contest the election.
    When some contributors highlighted the leader of the opposition’s error in summoning ministers instead of permanent secretaries to appear appear before the Public Accounts Committee, one can only wonder if it was done in ignorance or only to give the general public the impression that meaningful action was being contemplated.
    Items like integrity legislation, freedom of information, etc. which will not burden the treasury are a must, so let us BUers come up with way and means of drumming the fact that we are prepared to hit the streets from day one if the incoming govt. does not attempt to chart a new path by presenting realistic promises and proposals and attempting to keep them.

  34. “one can only wonder if it was done in ignorance or only to give the general public the impression that meaningful action was being contemplated.”

    One always have to wonder with the two tag team governments, their errors and nonaction are ridiculous and can been seen as deliberate, protecting each others wicked actions that crosses the line of the criminal.

  35. CHAUCER August 10, 2017 at 6:29 PM #
    In full agreement with your suggested National service , but it must be mandatory for All.
    Hammie La failed to rectify the gang violence via his community programmes; such are but a waste of funds


    We are past community programmes. boy scouts, cadets and all the other social ‘guidance’ and surrogate parents of the past.

    We must adapt our solutions to suit our problems. Bajans traditionally are very poor at change.

    We must assume that the trouble makers are in the minority. That means that the majority mandatory attendees should pull up the others.

    Mandatory National Conscription is a life reality for millions of people all over the world. As long as those between 16 and 17 who are employed and those enrolled in higher-education are excepted, it can work here.

  36. FB

    I reiterate the concept of community programmes involving police out posts in troubled areas is a tried and trustworthy method.

    Its readily implementable with a guaranteed buy in from the community if done correctly.

    It started to work in the 90s but went off track……

    Do not blame a concept for the lack of proper implementation due to wrong individuals and bureaucracy…….any system,even the one you are touting can suffer from such a situation.

    We have stayed clear of mandatory programmes because we have an innate belief in the soundness of our citizens to come back on track with the proper guidance…..long may that continue.

  37. In reading the comments on this thtead, I’m struck by the PERMISSIVENESS and NAIVETE of so many commentators.

    Do you people have a concept of evil? Why do you excuse ungrateful, predatory behaviour from ” misguided” young men?

    How about tteating them as harshly as they treat others? No more excuses about a failing school system. If you are too stupid to succeed in the CXC system, too lazy to learn and practice a trade, too selfish and inconsiderate to avoid the netherworld of addictive drugs, but cruel enough to use guns against your fellow man, WHY DOES SOCIETY OWE YOU ANYTHING?

  38. Chadster…ya just described ya orange master trump perfectly. …is that why Mueller is about to lock him up….lol

  39. Hammie and his catchphrases-NGO, CBO, Pinelands Creative Workshop, convene………lmao. I wonder if this community centred approach means dispensing largesse through multiple small “business” loans to members of a particular neighbourhood? Perhaps getting government to build a hq with a performance theatre for PCW?

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