The George Brathwaite Column – DLP’s Bus Conked-out

George Brathwaite (Ph.D)

Last Wednesday night, a discerning audience got to hear from one of the sober minds emanating from within the bosom of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Ryan Straughn delivered an insightful, comprehensive, and forward-looking presentation that hailed the intellect, vision, and leadership of arguably Barbados’ best prime minister – JMGM ‘Tom’ Adams. Straughn’s presentation was timely, and it reached across the exacerbated political divide which is already hampering real progress in the island. Straughn delved into the glory days of governance in Barbados, to indicate that there are realistic pathways for returning economic growth to the island.

The Christ Church East Central BLP candidate, whose economic background, perhaps does not say sufficient about him as a rational intellect and progressive thinker, certainly got the message across that it cannot be business as usual in Barbados. Verbally, graphically, and at times with a wit demonstrating his connectedness to Barbadian culture, the maturing Ryan Straughn painted a picture of the sad state that Barbados finds itself due to bad measures and unsustainable practices undertaken by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Indeed, Straughn used the vision and sagacity of Tom Adams to reveal the ineffective policies and damaging practices courted by Prime Minister Stuart and his inept Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler.

In the audience, there was rivetted interest set against the canvas that was erected by Straughn’s insight. His brush was appropriately textured and wetted with the colour and substance for anyone willing to rescue the floundering Barbados economy. Whether one prefers to hide from the facts that Barbados has seriously struggled under the DLP since 2008, or if one chooses to reflect on the fact that Straughn’s frankness also put possible solutions to the problems, were significant. The shallowness of the DLP’s posturing became a takeaway because the erstwhile economist exposed the DLP’s lack of creativity and competence when it comes to the management and growth of the Barbados economy.

Certainly, a decade ago Barbadians had more money in their pockets. The promise of prosperity for all Barbadians was ever-present; and numerous jobs were created while foreign investments and revenues from international business grew bountifully. Additionally, debt was kept under control. Not today! Barbadians cannot leave the terminal because the driver is asleep, and the co-pilot does not know how to navigate the people’s business.

Regrettably, the Stuart-led DLP has virtually smashed most things that would be important for rebuilding the economy and returning significant growth to the Barbados economy. The constant and systematic downgrades have come with such regularity that the recent CCC rating – with a negative outlook – may bypass the scrutiny of Barbadians suffering from their other setbacks. The very socio-economic stepping stones that would normally be used to trigger hope and encourage positive responses such as in tertiary education, have been dislodged by a myopic and sell-out DLP Cabinet.

Painfully though funny, the current Finance Minister still has difficulty understanding basic economic formulae of supply, demand, and price. Minister Sinckler does not understand the basis of taxation policy in a small developing economy, and displays an incomprehension of savings, investment, and spending. How can Barbados attract investors, or gain credit worthiness in the international system when at home, Barbadians do not have confidence in the Finance Minister to do a reasonable job?

Moreover, how does a prime minister fail to talk with the public and refuse to shuffle his Cabinet when all tried outcomes have been disastrous for Barbadians? Surely, the DLP has run its course and its bus is going nowhere forward, and backward is not the population’s destination. Barbados is ready to make a definitive statement on the DLP’s failures and broken promises.

On the matter of busses and transportation, it was shocking that the General Secretary of the beleaguered DLP would resort to another unimpressive piece of spin. Distorting Ryan Straughn’s well-received Tom Adams Memorial Lecture, Pilgrim went down the road with a superficial statement. George Pilgrim stated that Straughn “sought to link” the number of cars on the road to a “reduced need for access to public transportation.” Pilgrim wanted to impart maximum political damage by desperately wishing that Barbadians would forget the chaotic mess happening under the DLP since 2013, and refocus on the emotive advertisement with the ‘old lady’ on the bus.

Pilgrim contended that “the logic” of Straughn’s reference to the need to transform the poor service which Barbadians currently receive from the Transport Board was an affront to the nation. Unashamedly, and appearing more distressed than usual, Pilgrim mockingly lamented Straughn’s capacity to deliver a comprehensive package to enhance services for Barbadians. Arguably, Pilgrim may have been the only person in Barbados interpreting Straughn to mean that since “more Barbadians now own cars, it is legitimate to privatize public transportation and put hundreds of hard working public sector workers on the breadline.” This is the debased thinking that characterises today’s DLP.

Indeed, over a year ago, it was reported that Ryan Straughn agreed with Finance Minister Sinckler that while “not rushing ahead to just go picking this and picking that and privatize this and privatize that … we are going to [take] a judicious approach.” Is the DLP’s misleading statement suggesting that its spokespersons are willing to avoid a relevant conversation with the public on the worsening ills of public transport? Why did Pilgrim not see it fit to say how the DLP administration will address matters of efficiency? Straughn offered an alternative to fix efficiency issues; and he reinforced the need for the appropriate regulatory framework.

It is known by the employers and employees that the Transport Board has become a broken system. Under the DLP, public transport creates perilous job insecurity for thousands of Barbadians having to commute daily. Getting to work for the little pay is a horror! Perhaps, employers are more empathetic than the Prime Minister and the substantive Minister. Hundreds more could have lost their jobs due to repeated lateness and absence, given the poor bus service. Every day, numerous persons are stranded in the terminals or at stops along the potholed-road network. Never is there certainty of a bus although hours of waiting. Can the Stuart-led Cabinet and surrogates speaking on behalf of the DLP be so willing to whip the tails of Bajans into submission?

Ryan Straughn knows that privatisation, restructuring, or any permutation of operational adjustment ought to reflect practicality and the national interest. On public transportation service, it is deep failure and crisis that make the Transport Board “an area that is obviously ripe for some revisiting.” However, Straughn has cautioned that Barbados “can’t afford to lag much longer.” The Minister’s constant promises remain fruitless. Barbadians know that crocodile tears will not work going into the next elections. Workers and students cannot continue to rely on a worsening transport system. Who is being fooled when the DLP’s bus has conked-out before the passengers managed to get on board?

Ryan Straughn is not about top-down politics and beefed up econometrics. Rather, Straughn is about participatory democracy. Barbadians must have a say regarding those issues affecting them at personal and community levels. Straughn has consistently asserted that a review of how the state’s resources are spent must be part of the solution. Furthermore, he has indicated that attempts to correct matters of inefficiency must unfold from “a national consultation before any action is taken.” Ryan Straughn, thank you for a clear and futuristic articulation of the undisputed facts. The thoughtlessness and laziness of the Cabinet shows that the DLP’s bus is conked-out. The DLP’s obsession with propaganda blocks pathways to progress.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email:


  • The BLP has no answer to the nations economic woes Mouth opens Truth Comes Out Straughan said what he has heard said by party members


  • As usual you are a dishonest yard-fowl.

    Albert Branford analyzes BLP policies every week in a column entitled “Promises, Promises, Promises in the Sunday Sun. But I excuse you because you may prefer to read the shiite Guyson Mayers writes in the Advocate.

    However, since you always bother to concern yourself with BLP matters, perhaps you could tell BU why CBC’s General Manager Doug Hoyte (a former DLP candidate for St. George South); CBC’s Chairman Peter Earle (a DLP operative) and this inept DLP administration have REFUSED to RUN several BLP paid advertisements on the STATE OWNED CORPORATION.

    According to Jerome Walcott, “On March 8, 2017, the BLP requested and paid $2,277.50 for 3 ads to be broadcast on CBC on the nights of March 8, 9, 10. CBC did not air the ads as agreed to in the booking contract. The ad was not shown after the first night and CBC subsequently refunded the BLP the sum of $1,518.84.”

    Yet CBC broadcasted Freundel Stuart’s speech at the DLP’s 62nd annual conference.

    Angela Skeete…… did the DLP pay for that and ALL other broadcasts or did the tax payers of Barbados “foot the bill?”

    If the DLP did not pay……….. perhaps you should inform Fruendel Stuart and the DLP that CBC BELONGS to the TAX PAYERS of Barbados and is not owned by the DLP or any other political party.

    Is it fair for the DLP or any other political party in Barbados to use state owned corporations as though they belong to them and not tax-payers?

    Was it fair for the DLP to sell Blue Horizon hotel (a state-owned asset) for a price under market value and under circumstances where transparency and accountability has been found lacking?

    I await your response.


  • Shoot it is not about angela skeete but the obvious disconnect between the party faithful and what the blp has stored in mind to solve the economic woes of barbados
    Ryan Straughan is not a fool to make a statement openly without full knoweldge of the blp party
    The truth being that the blp feels embarassed that therev well kept secret of Privatisation was thrown out in the public domain.Straughan statement can not be reversed umless Mia and party members tell the public there plans for the economy
    Therefore the statement stands as a “tell” tale plan for what the blp has in mind
    The genie is now out of the bottle for all to see
    Buyer beware


  • @Artax

    A broken clock is correct twice in the day.

    You are correct that Straughn shared his personal views BUT on the eve of a general election it would have been naive given what transpired last election with the P-word and him being a key spokesman on economic affairs. It is all about optics and impressions at this point in the silly season.


  • @ David

    Your point is well made ………..I made a similar comment in a previous contribution.

    “Artax October 17, 2017 at 10:40 AM #: However, one must take into consideration that the general election is a few months away, and the privatization issue, especially as it relates to the Transport Board, was something of an “Achilles heel” for the BLP during the 2013 election campaign.”

    @ Angela Skeete

    The BLP will have to respond accordingly.

    However, do you believe it is fair for this inept DLP administration refusing to allow CBC, (a STATE OWNED corporation), to broadcast BLP ads, but can broadcast Freundel Stuart talking shiite at a DLP annual conference?

    I am still awaiting your response.


  • If Straighan shared his personnel views then his views and the parties views are at odds. However most would find that type of contradiction hard to believe since the blp has shared the very idea with public sincev2008.
    Now seeing the economy is still under stress it is bluntly clear that the blp has “used”Straughan to float the Privistation idea most likely seeking another result but as all can clearly see the idea temaibs a begativevin the minds if barbadians
    Ryan straughan was used as a ginuea pig and then thrown under the bus by the blp what a shame


  • “can clearly see the idea temaibs a begativevin the minds”….you can’t find a machine with spell check? what is clear about that…lol


  • Last time i check there was a difference between a conference where the PM made a speech and campaigan ads


  • You are such a yard-fowl jackass!!!!

    The last time I checked CBC is OWNED by the Barbadian tax payers and NOT the Democratic Labour Party.

    Therefore, the DLP does not have any right to prevent CBC from broadcasting campaign ads or a speech made by the Leader of the Opposition at the BLP’s annual conference.


  • Northern Observer

    When one considers the likes of Denis Kellman, Reggie Hunte and Jester Ince, what else do you expect from “Angela Skeete.”

    Sometimes whin I read some of the shiite “Angela “ac” Skeete” writes, I am inclined to believe that Denis Kellman and Jeptar Ince often assumes that identity………..

    ……………. because it is impossible for ONE individual to consistently write so much shiite.


  • Well I am now convinced that Dr. Jerome Walcott will lead the BLP into the upcoming general elections.

    MAM was the front runner for that esteemed position. But 3 letters ( LEC ) scuttled that opportunity for her .

    Given the documentation that I have just seen -, it is a real pity that George Brathwaite, Miller , Artax , Prodigirl & Enuff did not save MAM from such…….odious MISFORTUNE !!!!

    By the way why is MAM so silent in face of the LEC PROBE ?????


  • Fcuktured BLP

    is a bluffer………. if that yard-fowl had actually seen a “document,” she would not have hesitated to present its contents to BU.

    However, Fcuktured, I moved to area where Tony Marshall lived and heard the “school children” talking…….. and “given the documentation I was shown,” which fell of the back of a truck substantiated the reason why MAM is so silent.

    According to the school children and the documents, MAM has been silently conducting her own probe of a certain abysmal failure who, on a minister’s salary, was able to purchase a Range Rover, yacht and a plantation………

    ……….. what caused another fellow’s mother to suddenly became rich over night and she had not won the “Super Lotto.”

    ……….. how many other helpless senior citizens another guy was able to dupe and, because of his position, they were afraid to take him to court.


  • Hi Artax

    I am here at Parliament all day

    How come MAM is conspicuously absent from this crucial debate on sexual harassment in the workplace ???

    Oh MAM ……where are you now that your backers are waiting to hear your views on this very important subject matter in this debate ???

    Artax…….where is your sister ?????


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Fractured BLP October 20, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    It seems as if MAM’s failure to show her LEC is like a fishbone in you constricted throat.
    So why don’t you and your AG (QC) ‘strip’ her of her QC’s designation?

    Come on man, the AG gave an undertaking over 2 years ago to Parliament to investigate the same LEC thingie.

    Why is he taking so long after promising to report on his investigation in the next sitting of Parliament?

    Why is he continually in contempt of court?

    Why is Lord Fumble lowering his already low-class self by debasing his professional integrity by not putting a stop to this arrant nonsense? Isn’t he a fellow QC?

    We are certain that even you too, Fcuktured DLP, are aware of the Constitutionally-enshrined right of being considered “Innocent” until proven ‘guilty’.

    Where is the evidence to show that Mia Amor Mottley is NOT eligible to ‘practise’ Law at the Bar in Barbados?

    Either produce the proof of her ineligibility or henceforth shut ‘wunna’ low(e)down big black mouths!


  • Alright Miller

    Sit back & watch the show ?

    Edmund Hinkson threw gasoline on the LEC issue , by declaring MAM has no LEC !!!!

    Miller, connect the dots ,.,,,,🏡


  • Northern Observer spell this A>>SS HOLE


  • OH by the way i received word that the dog eat MAM LEC that is why she cant find them HA HA HA


  • After the blp body blows on Straughan public would not be hearing much more of his opinion on the economy. Shut up straughan nobody wants to hear your opinion anyway. The blp shove you under the bus and it is best you stay there

    So lowe called out Mottley for her dismal attendance in not looking out for the concern of those issues that are at the heart of the nation social enviroment
    One can bet that if a called by Unions to march Mam would be out front and centre
    Can some one say Publicity Hog


  • Angela

    You call out Mia Mottley and her cohorts very good.

    The BLP campers must have realised by now that the lead up to the next general election in Barbados 🇧🇧 would a Winter ❄️ season that will be a ………Long Exceptional Cold …..(LEC)……one !!!!!!!!


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Fractured BLP October 21, 2017 at 12:38 AM

    Broken record stuck in the same groove of nonsense, MAM never purported to have an LEC.
    She never received such certification from any of the two legal training colleges in T&T and Jca.

    What she claims is to be ‘a’ holder of the LLB from the University of London with an adequate period of apprenticeship at one of the leading Inns of Court in England along with ‘valid’ (not forged like Lowedown’s bogus paper doctorate) glowing testimonials on her suitability from two of the leading legal luminaries at the time of her acceptance at the bar in Barbados.

    She has no different legal standing like many of the ‘old-school’ ‘solicitors’ still practising law in Barbados and who also benefited from similar ‘transitional’ arrangements.

    To cut a long story short and help yourself to remove the fishbone stuck in your craw, why not ask your Boss who is a fellow QC to confirm whether MAM is a genuine barrister or a fraud pretending to be lawyer just like Kenny B or even the same AB man charged with the AG responsibility to expose the ‘demon dressed in white’?


  • Hi Miller

    You ” appear ” to be a researcher.

    Research this – there was a Statutory Instrument ( SI ) No. 23 effective from 1st January 1985 in Barbados signed by Louis Tull as Legal Affairs Minister in December 1984

    Get a copy of it and read it – along with your last posting above .

    Then come back on BU and ANSWER the following questions:

    How come MAM – in 1987 came back to Barbados with a ” Law Degree ” from the U.K. – and did NOT go to one of the Law Schools in the Caribbean to do at least – 6 months training to get her LEC to practice in the Caribbean …….as the SI No. 23 of 1985 mandated by law ?
    Who could have assisted her in committing such an EGREGIOUS act ?
    Why MAM in 1987 …..ignored the SI No. 23 that was Law since 1st January 1985 ?

    Research these things , Miller

    I agree with you, it is a FISHY…….situation !!!!

    To help you with your assignment..,,,read the Nation news Saturday Sun for October 21, 2017 on Page 10

    We on BU await your……USUAL quick…… response !!!!!!



    I giving you more help Miller

    Read the entire case report above


    Don’t you agree that an Attorney at Law with a Legal Education Certificate ( LEC) ought to know what is the meaning of an Expert Witness ??

    But NO….. not MAM !!!!!

    Funny don’t you think….. Researcher…. Miller ????


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Fractured BLP October 21, 2017 at 3:39 PM #
    “Who could have assisted her in committing such an EGREGIOUS act ?
    Why MAM in 1987 …..ignored the SI No. 23 that was Law since 1st January 1985 ?”

    Look how the stuck record has gone and turned into the broken needle on the turntable of abject folly!

    It certainly can’t be Henry de B who would have done a similar ‘service’ to the same woman who did the honour of describing MAM as the white witch of Bush Hall?

    So MAM ignored the Statutory Instrument proclaimed under the Barrow/Sandiford administrations?

    No wonder MAM likes to refer to EWB as her “sweet adorable Uncle Errol”!

    It appears (on the face of it) as if Greenverbs Parris has greater “bosom-pal” protection from the long-arm of the Law than MAM was able to extract from her sweet daddy ‘avuncular’ relationship with the Skipper the Augustine Father of Independence.

    And to make fraudulent matters even worse it has taken a period of almost 10 years (January 2008 to October 2017) to make right what went wrong since 1987!

    There you have it, the government handed back to you guys on a ‘black and white’ platter!

    Just ask your nitwit AG to use his ‘excellent’ training as proven by his LEC to instruct the CoP and DPP to arrest and charge MAM for fraud and as a sitting member of Parliament would clearly be in violation of the Constitution which would automatically force the ‘demon in white’ to vacate her seat thereby taking a massively long thorn from the side of your dangerous and deceitful lying party.

    Now that would help the real Lowedown black-mout fraud and thief to escape what’s awaiting him by bribing his way out.

    Do you want to bet that most of that $5 million conveniently ‘escrowed’ in his poor dead mother’s bank account would be unfrozen to settle not only the potential legal bills but also allow his estate to pay for the cost of his imminent funeral arising from death due to complications of unknown STDs?

    End of the research! Now the ball(s) have been put back into your court of shifting sand.



    Saving and Transitional Provisions

    The Government of each of the participating territories agrees that the
    following persons shall be recognised as professionally qualified for admission to
    practise in its territory, namely-

    (a) any national who is on 1st October, 1972 qualified to be admitted to
    practise as a solicitor or a barrister in that territory;

    (b) any national who, prior to 1st January, 1985, had undergone or is
    undergoing or has been accepted for a course of legal training leading to a qualification
    such as is referred to in paragraph 2(b)(i) of Article 4 of this Agreement and obtains that


  • *[Formerly Cap. 366, now repealed by this Act.]
    Notwithstanding paragraph 1, no person who has joined any of the
    Inns of Court of the United Kingdom after the 31st December, 1984, shall be
    deemed to be qualified, by virtue of his having been called to the Bar of England,
    to practise law.


  • A feeble response from you Miller.

    Enuff your pieces of legislation referred to is a non starter on this matter


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