The George Brathwaite Column – Hard Ears You Wouldn’t Hear!

George Brathwaite (Ph.D)

Barbados has its colloquialisms, traditions, and high expectations regarding the provision of quality services and public goods. Barbadians expect focus on the key areas of: health, housing, transportation, education and poverty. These areas speak to national development.

National development refers to the ability of a nation to improve the lives of its citizens and residents. Measures of improvement may be material, such as an increase in the gross domestic product, or social, such as literacy rates and availability of healthcare. Also entailing national development, is the notion of having adequate economic infrastructure as a means towards an acceptable standard of living and quality of life. Broadly, economic infrastructure refers to all the permanent engineering structures, equipment and physical facilities that are the basis for providing energy, transport, telecommunications, water and sanitation services to productive sectors and households.

Over the last decade, several policies, events, and practices by the Barbados Government have been called into question by citizens and residents on and off island. There are alarming concerns regarding Barbados’ fractured infrastructure and the apparent lack of efficient and timely provision of services. These two factors, seen as being instrumental to national development, have had a very negative impact on the psyche of the nation.

Furthermore, most of the available statistical data indicate that Barbados has been unable to gain any sustained traction in its economy. Indeed, the results under the Freundel Stuart-led Cabinet have been impoverishing to the Barbados nation. For example, the ‘real’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for Barbados averaged between 1997 and 2007, a commendable 2.42 %. Since 2008, Barbados has consistently failed to reach or even get near the average growth rate of the preceding decade.

Worst is that several months ago, the nation held on to some optimism that Barbados would reach a target of 2 % economic growth. However, in comes October and another downgrade from Standard & Poors, and Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler brings back in the melancholy that had already been exacerbated with the steep 400% increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) from 2 to 10 % in his last draconian budget. Sinckler stated that Barbados “wouldn’t get 2 % growth as was originally predicted at the beginning of the year,” and he was now predicting for 2017, that the growth rate “will be about 0.5 to 0.7 %.

Against the 20th, and the likelihood that Barbados would further capitulate to its 21st consecutive downgrade by international rating agencies, these cannot be inspiring. The repeated downgrades, taken together with perspectives and outlooks emerging from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are sufficient reasons that the DLP ought to be less concerned about the qualifications or rights of an individual to practice law in Barbados.

The IMF stated at the end of June that: “Growth in 2017 is projected to slow to less than 1 percent, reflecting the fiscal consolidation efforts introduced in the FY2017/18 Budget. Inflation is expected to continue to accelerate to 6.7 percent by year end.” The RBC Caribbean Economic Report additionally raised concerns about Barbados’ seemingly unstoppable and depressed drop in foreign reserves which, by now, may be as critically low as only giving six weeks cover.

It is almost certain that the increase in the NSRL and other taxes and fees introduced by Chris Sinckler would remain indefinitely once the DLP continues to mismanage the Barbados economy. For more than five years, Prime Minister Stuart and the DLP have failed to listen to the masses in terms of the countless pleas for an ease, and a return to being able to have quality services. Inflation will likely surpass the IMF’s prediction, and will continue to wreak havoc on Barbadian businesses and households.

Put into factual context, there are very strong signals that Barbados is in crisis and suffering from a DLP-imposed paralysis. Barbadians are being forced to endure, for many years longer than they should have, the misfortune of keeping their heads above water while the prime minister is in another phase of slumber and procrastination. It is reprehensible that with credibility badly shaken, the country must cope with Finance Minister Sinckler and the negative effects of stagnant infrastructural and services provision.

Economic and social growth in Barbados have been severely neglected by the DLP. The Cabinet and DLP spokespersons continue to run away from the topical ‘bread and butter’ issues and prefer to engage the Attorney General with frivolous complaints and queries. Barbadians are being distracted by a DLP General Secretary whose clear intent is to spin top-in-mud on matters of divestment instead of demanding that his party invests in the provision of services nation-wide. The widespread deterioration has certainly hampered the quality of life and standard of living for Barbadians. The nation had become accustomed the ‘good life’ on entering the 21st century.

Why is it that the Stuart-led Cabinet cannot prioritise and be prudent with policy, public expenditure, and fiscal discipline that Barbados can realise accelerated and sustained economic growth? Clearly, while the DLP sings a tune about saving jobs in the public sector, it is as if the Cabinet does not care what happens in the private sector for promoting employment opportunities.

The myopia that has affected the DLP has also served to stop individual citizens and businesses from enjoying the services of properly run institutions and agencies such as the: Sanitation Services Authority (SSA), Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Transport Board, Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), National Housing Corporation (NHC), and the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Garbage collection has become unimaginably poor even with the contractual assistance of private enterprise. The water woes persist in much of rural Barbados. The Transport Board is now an enigma utilising a fleet that is far smaller today than at January 2008. The QEH is wrestling to have basic supplies while ministers are lashing out at doctors who continue to showcase their skills by saving lives. There are still hundreds of houses inhabiting bush and vermin, rather than the low and middle-income earners for whom they were intended. The mounting debt owed to the UWI grows while numerous youth have abandoned the hope of earning a degree.

These are just a few things that Barbadians are demanding answers. Barbadians require a better way from the government – perhaps it is too late for the DLP. Yet, it is in the collective pursuit of happiness that Barbadians recognise that they are being ignored by a hard-ears and stubborn DLP. For instance, the Urban Development Corporation can no longer assists with the building and repair needs of the urban poor because the director himself prefers forging a discourse of gutter-politics.

Sitting at the altar of immorality, the president of the DLP and arguably, several of its candidates contesting the next general election are keen to discuss persons’ sexual preferences, but abandon the need to fix the issues of services provision. How will bigoted conversations help in the reduction of an increasing population of poverty and underemployment? How will the fall from the middle-class be stopped when the Government facilitates the growing forms of inequalities regarding income distribution and business procurement? Hard ears you wouldn’t hear!

Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com

108 comments

  • Artax October 25, 2017 at 10:20 PM #
    Heather Cole also has a number of questions that require answers as well. And in addition to my questions, “would remain a political hot potatoe for the (DLP) win or lose.”
    However, let me put it to you as simply as I could…….
    I DO NOT CARE if Mia Mottley has a LEC or not………. nor do I care if she can practice law in Barbados.
    To me these are non-issues, especially when compared to the myriad of problems confronting Barbadians, mainly caused by this inept DLP administration.
    However, as it relates to the LEC issue, the Attorney General is the Leader of the Bar of Barbados, Parliament’s and Government’s principal legal advisor and moves the admission of attorneys to practice in Barbados.
    I’m sure you are aware Mottley was admitted to the Utter Bar of England in 1987. Additionally, she was also admitted the Utter Bar of Barbados in 1987, under a previous DLP administration. By demanding Mottley to present her qualifications, this current DLP administration is essentially questioning the legality of her practicing law.
    Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume the then AG, Maurice King, would have invariably moved the admission of Mottley to practice law in this island, under circumstances where she was not in possession of the requisite LLB and LEC qualifications.
    Surely if Mottley cannot present her LEC in 2017……. then it is also reasonable to assume she could not have presented it in 1987 either.
    Bearing this in mind, what you and George Pilgrim should do, is to ask Adriel Brathwaite to also investigate whether or not there was a conspiracy by Mottley, the then AG, DLP et al, which paved the way for Mottley to practice law under.

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    Artax

    Your comments above shows the depth of the skullduggery that you and the BLPites are seeking to foist on Barbadians with this LEC matter .

    Barbadians and indeed persons across the globe 🌎 would be given the facts on Sunday October 29 , 2017 at Deighton .

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  • U just wont give up .No fretting on my part. Seems to me you are the one doing the fretting and most likely visibly shaken.No apologies from me. Just enjoying mashing your toes

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  • Far from it, yard-fowl……….you do not have the ability to mention anything that would “mash my corns” or leave me “visibly shaken.” Unless, of course, you truly believe that by mentioning Mottley and a LEC you succeeded in that venture.

    As I mentioned in a previous contribution…….. I DO NOT CARE whether or not Mia Mottley has an LEC or LLB, (which you and the “Power Puff” girls George and Denis are yet to prove) because those are non-issues to me.

    The courts and the electorate are there to deal with her and that……… not me.

    You and everyone else know the DLP is UNABLE to defend 9 years of abysmal failure and has decided to play politics by attempting to shift the focus on some LEC shiite, which Adriel Brathwaite promised to investigate TWO YEARS AGO, in June 2015.

    While the BLP refuses to expound a powerful argument relative to their “Covenant of Hope”…………………

    …………… the DLP is playing politics by talking about a LEC, wire tapping and morality, rather than discussing what social and economic policy initiatives they have for the future development of Barbados.

    How can you come to the electorate to discuss “morality,” when the Speaker, Michael Carrington, took advantage of a wheel chair bound senior citizen, by with-holding his money for several years, causing the gentleman to seek recourse through the law courts. And Barbadians have to address this dishonourable, dishonest individual as “His Honour.”

    You have also decided to focus on homosexuality, when you know that life style is not confined to the BLP, because they are individuals in your party who are members of that “fraternity” as well. After all, George and Jerome are general secretaries of their respective parties.

    These are FACTS that you cannot refute, but instead prefer to defend, while mentioning people are “attacking” and “spreading BLP propaganda.”

    And you believe that mentioning Mottley & a LEC would suddenly negate the shiite and corruption you caused to rein on Barbados?

    I am more concerned with the blatant “conflict of interest” and corruption issues plaguing your DLP that you stoutly defend in this forum…… and I’m hoping that one day “some uh wunna could get locked to ‘F’ up.”

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  • MY oh My ! as if you pissing in your pants bro, really enjoying myself watching you “out” yourself

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  • It’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s George Orwellian…
    After repeated claims that no white person is ever jailed in Barbados, they just jailed one.
    This was one they should have deported and not jailed..

    From BarbadosToday
    “A 56-year-old British man, charged with deception, will spend the next 28 days on remand at HMP Dodds.

    Gerald Michael Buckley, who was staying at the Apartment Hotel at Dover, Christ Church, is accused of dishonestly obtaining accommodation and meals from Ocean 15 Inc. with intent to permanently deprive the establishment by falsely stating that he would pay an outstanding amount of $12, 212.

    He was not required to plead to the indictable charge when he appeared before Magistrate”

    (No race of the offender is given, but I am assuming our legal jokers wanted to refute the claim)

    It’s a comedy..

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  • Artax

    As I expected , you are getting hot around the collar as the LEC noose tightens !!!

    As you posted above ….,. ” suddenly ” you don’t care bout DLP or BLP !!

    Imagine a two mouth Town Rat like you !!!!

    You need to get to Deighton Griffith school this Sunday .

    LEC………LEC ……

    Prepare the tapes & screen 📺……Hal Gollpp. !!!

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  • I know Ryan Straughn gine have to lead the BEES
    Into the general election.

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  • Artax

    Until the public of Barbados 🇧🇧 can hear George Payne and Dale Marshall address this LEC matter favorably in defense of MIA MOTTLEY……then we will ignore your mouse 🐭 squeaking !!

    Your waffling on this matter has done irreparable damage to the BEES !

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  • Artax

    You 48 hours before the amnesty expires !

    Produce MAM LEC before Sunday October 29 , 2017 @ 4:30 !!!

    Or else you be shamed into oblivion at Deighton Griffith school !

    Wunnah pull the sleeping giant tail…….tek dat !!!!!!!

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Can the yardfowls say who or what Cow exposed on brasstacks.

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  • Well well

    What did expect from a COW 🐮 ?

    A cow only knows grass…..so that is what they will expose!

    But Sunday at Deighton Griffith school the Dems going to expose…….MAM !!!!!

    Barbados’ 🇧🇧 ………Most Atrocious Menace = MAM !

    Be there with your …….COW 🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮 !!!!!!!!

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  • what did you expect !!!!!!

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  • Hear Mascoll the economic advisor for the BLP advoctaing IMF solutions for the economy. The BLP solution basket is beginning to leak first straughan and now de teet Mascoll. I guess the pressure is beginning to mount on the blp as public ask Mia and crew to show their economic plans for barbados

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  • The whole election is being hijacked.
    “Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results”.

    Don’t be insane. Since these heterosexual males with LECs couldn’t get the job done, perhaps we should turn the wheel in a different direction..

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Fractured BLP October 28, 2017 at 6:01 AM

    We here on BU will be waiting with ‘ba(i)ted’ breath to see what happens after this Sunday’s exposé confirming what is already well known that MAM does NOT possess the LEC qualification.

    Will this scandalous revelation be just another re-screening of the much publicized Pegasus Hotel tapes or the Haggatt Hall wide-screen kickback-cheque presentation?

    Or will we hear that at the next sitting of the Lower House a resolution is placed on the order table to have MAM censured for gross misrepresentation and dishonesty under section 45 of the Constitution and the DPP ‘requested’ to file charges accordingly.

    Wouldn’t such military move of removing the head of your political opponents to make their army of followers fall like ninepins according to the famous fable of Cortés’ conquest of the Aztec Empire?

    Wouldn’t such a politically savvy strategy make the FJS Prince from St. Philip the greatest royal graduate from the Machiavellian college on George Street renamed in memory of the Kingmaker Cammie T the revered rearguard admiral of the deceitful lying party made up of a navy of ‘boy-girls’ in yellow and blue uniforms with their bell ‘bottoms’ exposed?

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Vincent Haynes October 28, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    While the grand ole USA is falling the top dog global position the red dragon is rising with the dying eagle in its mouth to seek revenge for their humiliation during WW2 at the hands of their more easterly ‘regimented’ cousins.

    We wonder what the local anti-communists like “ac” aka angela Skeete would have to say about the pending world domination by her country’s biggest alms provider carrying a sickle of economic exploitation in one hand and a hammer of rigid control in the other?

    Would angela Skeete-Cox now see the local commie Com(m)issiong as her new poster boy for Chinese investment and supply of phallic aid(s) to buy the Hilton and provide the Viagra for the Hyatt?

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  • David

    Breaking News

    Hours before her address to her loyal BLP supporters at 4:30 p.m today……..Mia Mottley has produced the coveted LEC !!!

    She said……..

    Here is it ……….Leave Elliott Child 👶 = LEC

    Haha 😂 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

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  • Miller why are u yelling. Instead tell BU what plans the blp leader has in mind for turning around the economy. After alll Mascoll has said what he belives as economic advisor to Mam and so has Straughan although he was thrown under the bus.
    Mystery or just a grand ploy of selling the public a pig in a bag one similiar to that of MaM LEC

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  • Miller

    Remember we have the “Confucius Center” here at UWI and some students in China…….so it would appear the ACs are on that ball and waiting for the bail out cheque.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ angela Skeete October 28, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Why not make another convincing ad as to why the ‘LEC’-less MAM & the BLP must NOT be elected because of their stated intentions to take Barbados to the IMF just like what Sandiford did?
    It worked for you against OSA with your privatization bogeyman.

    Tell the public sector workers the BLP plans to fire them and cut those remaining on the payroll not by any 8 % but by 25% by way of another in a series of downgrades and devaluations.

    Tell the people that the BLP plans to use the proceeds from the sale of the BNTCL and Hilton hotel to dump in Greenland and to payoff their CLICO policyholder supporters instead of building a Cahill WTE or to resuscitate the sugarcane industry or even to fix the overflowing and broken sewage cesspool on the South Coast.

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    “What did expect from a COW 🐮 ?

    A cow only knows grass…..so that is what they will expose!”

    That Cow only knows the grass that is the NIS Pensioners fund…and he knows how to get yall to tief it with him.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    “The National Social Responsibility Levy will be a thing of the past; an integrity commission rooting out corruption is in; children will learn to swim and speak a second language and education at the University of the West Indies will be free again.”

    Well a guess since Fruendel and his fools screwed up all ah that…lol

    They can’t possibly use those same promises to be reelected, cause the electorate is rightly pissed….for their 10 years of lies and doing nothing but tax, tax, tax and give away the people’s money and import crooks and criminals.

    And let’s not even get started on clico.,..and this, that and the other screw ups…lol

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  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Cousin_Vinny

    Well well

    The woman you trumping your hopes on just like the lawyer ‘ My cousin Vinny ‘ in the story above.

    By the end of this evening , you would better understand why the BLP will remain perpetually ……..FRACTURED !!!!

    By the way ……did MAM get clearance from Colonel Bostic and Dr. Walcott to make those promises ?????

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  • millertheanunnaki October 28, 2017 at 10:18 AM #

    “We here on BU will be waiting with ‘ba(i)ted’ breath to see what happens after this Sunday’s exposé confirming what is already well known that MAM does NOT possess the LEC qualification.”

    @ Miller

    If it’s known fact that Mottley does not possess the LEC, but through some special arrangement facilitated by a DLP administration and Attorney General Maurice King she was admitted to the Utter Bar of Barbados………….

    …………… tell me what all the “hullaballoo” the two ladies, Angela Cox-Skeete and Fcuktured BLP, are raising on BU?

    Why should all and sundry venture to Deighton Griffith Secondary School on Sunday to witness the DEMS politically grandstanding to tell us what we already know?

    I hope the DEMS use this occasion to inform their yard-fowls and supporters if the rumours relative to Sinckler, Michael Lashley and Denis Lowe are true or false.

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  • Well Well @ Consequences Observing Blogger

    Fractured….i am waiting with bated breath, today is Sunday, ..ah got beer, brandy, wine and Belgian champagne filled chocolates just to hear the fallout from all of that….

    ….and the other things going on yall aint saying nothing about…

    ah making it an event…lol

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  • The DLP combining the meetings of two constituency branches and the low turn-out for the annual conference, are clear indications that Barbadians seem to be no longer interested in attending any forum held “under the auspices” of the DLP.

    Clearly, “Fcuktured BLP’s” continuous advertisement of the her party’s meeting at Deighton Griffith school is a childish ploy to solicit a crowd. She should ask George Pilgrim…………….. he has information on how to “rent crowds.”

    However, similarly to WW&C, I’m going to make it an event and will be there with a “long neck” Hennessy VSOP cognac, a Moët & Chandon champagne and a Glenfiddich 1937 single malt Scotch whiskey, waiting for the DEMS to tell us in grand style what Barbadians already know…………….

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  • All of sudden the Bees are deeply interested in attending the Dems meeting at Deighton Griffith school !!!!

    A clear jittery reaction on their part !

    They allowed MAM to trick them into believing she is …….BONAFIDE ????

    MAM is the same person that Owen Arthur wrote a note to PM Stuart begging him to take MAM..,,….’ off he hand ‘

    Well come out and see on the big screen 📺 tonight what other things ….. Owen wrote about MAM……when he discovered the missing … LEC !!!

    Alright…,,,,,I am off to set up the big screen 📺 ……,..to let the tapes…,,,fly !!!!!

    Miller.,,,,, bring yuh Miller beer 🍻 too ..,…!!!!!

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Lol….one for the history books.

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  • Artax,
    I am not being boring, but the Scots spell their product as whisky, not whiskey. No other country can spell their whisky similarly. It is what we should do with Barbadian (Bajan) rum.

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  • This inept Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration has been in office for nine (9) years and eight (8) months now.

    Rather than trying to defend their abysmal tenure, 21 consecutive credit rating downgrades, failed economic policies, high levels of taxation, lack of transparency and accountability or addressing the financial infelicities as revealed by the Auditor General’s reports (as promised in their 2008 manifesto)…………….

    ……………in 2017, Jeptar “Jester Physical Deficit” Ince prefers to BLAME the BLP for the country’s dwindling foreign reserves position……..

    ………….. and has resurrected the tired, old DLP mantra of:

    (1) the Right Excellent Errol Barrow said his party would give the children hot school meals at ten cents;

    (2) the establishment of the National Insurance Scheme in 1967;

    (3) the introduction of free education (a DLP myth);

    (4) the establishment of a hotel school;

    Yuh mean wunna can’t do better than this?

    Like

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