The Grenville Phillips Column – The Way of the One Trough

Grenville Phillips II, leader of Solutions Barbados

History can be studied from an infinite number of perspectives, and no historian can study them all.  I study history from several different perspectives, one being seeking patterns among nations.  There seems to be a model that former colonies do not appear to deviate from once they have been granted independence.  It currently comprises seven phases.

Phase 1 is the period of competitive elections, where politicians tend to compete by enticing voters with promises of free government services.  Two dominant political parties typically emerge, each with its own philosophy of financing the country’s development.  Typical financing methods include: taxation, borrowing, nationalising productive industries, or combinations of these.

Since politicians rarely have any relevant management experience, the country soon finds itself in debt.  Once the debts exceed a maximum limit (40% of GDP), the debt becomes unsustainable.

Phase 2 is the period of the debt spiral.  An economy in a debt spiral cannot recover unless the established political parties drastically change their development philosophies.   However neither of them do and the debt accumulates until the country is on the brink of economic ruin.

Phase 3 is the period of the final election.  Normally, the party who promised to place the country more in debt wins the elections.  However, there comes an election when both established parties are fully aware that they cannot keep their election promises.  But they make them anyway, since that is the only way that they know how to compete.  Thus, they guarantee the economic ruin of the country.

Phase 4 is the period of military intervention.  With a ruined economy, severe austerity and poverty becomes the people’s daily experience.  Social unrest follows and it is directed towards the politicians.  The people realise too late that the politicians have economically ruined a once prosperous country with reckless promises and corrupt practises.  Concerned for their safety, the politicians seek protection from the military.

Phase 5 is the period of military take-over.  With limited revenues, the government is unable to pay public workers, and the military starts to manage an increasing number of government services.  Eventually, the military leadership grows tired of sharing power with the incompetent and corrupt civilian leadership, stages a coup and takes over.

Phase 6 is the period of military control.  The military leadership have no experience in managing productive sectors of the economy, and are shunned by the international community.  So they tend to develop alliances with ruthless dictators who teach them how to maintain control by intimidating citizens.

Outspoken speakers, writers and singers are persecuted.  However, soon the paranoid leaders resort to the torture and murder of anyone suspected of being a threat to their rule.  Needless to say, all women, except the very young and the very old, become targets of rape.

Phase 7 is the period of tolerated deception.  After looting all that can be looted from the country, the military appears to submit to international pressure and agrees to hold a general election in order to select a civilian government.  The military leader resigns, leads a political party and wins the general election, thus maintaining control.
Every former colony that became independent after World War 2 can find itself in one of the periods; although, surrendering a country to the IMF can prolong Phase 4.  Barbados is currently in Phase 3.  However, we have a unique opportunity to create an entirely new path.

By electing any established party, we would have selected the way of the one trough.  It will be a Barbados where the political trough is the only one that will be filled.  Politically favoured individuals will be allowed near the trough where they can only hope for spillage when the politicians feed.  The rest of us can only hope that those near the trough will be kind.

In a Solutions Barbados administration, there will be no political trough.  The rain will fall on all of us, and we will each contribute a small portion (10%) to look after our most vulnerable.

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

38 thoughts on “The Grenville Phillips Column – The Way of the One Trough

  1. Why would you announce a major refurbishment when Minister Sinckler is talking about an imminent sale as reported in Barbados Today (today)?

    Hilton Barbados Resort Unveils Property And Service Upgrades

    Beachfront resort completes guest room redesign and introduces upscale butler program

    BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – WEBWIRE – Wednesday, November 8, 2017

    Hilton Barbados Resort today unveils a renovation campaign featuring completely revamped guestrooms and a newly announced butler program. Led by world-renowned design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), the makeover includes all of the eight-story property’s 350 guest rooms and suites. Trained by the American Butler School – a division of White Glove Services LLC, the resort’s 24/7 butler service was conceptualized to be one of the most impressive butler programs in the region.

    “The debut of our butler program and new room design allows us to offer guests an elevated experience, ensuring we remain the premier upscale resort on the island,” said George Stanfield, general manager, Hilton Barbados Resort. “The unique, relaxed approach to the design will provide our guests with a superior room product complete with innovative flourishes and abundant luxurious touch points.”

    Hirsch Bedner Associates transformed the resort’s guest rooms into inviting, sleek and contemporary beach hideaways inspired by the island’s natural elements, with warm earth and Caribbean ocean tones. Rooms feature whitewashed and wood furnishings, organic driftwood accent décor, rugs with pops of vibrant colors and an oversized oceanic abstract painting. Executive rooms also boast windows above the bathtub providing direct views of the ocean. The rooms’ flooring is a blonde wood grain tile pattern leading into the corridors where the design reflects the texture of undulating sand. The new design also boasts technology upgrades, including charging stations at each bedside and desk.

    As part of the property’s upgrades, Hilton Barbados Resort debuts a 24/7 butler program tailored to guests’ individual needs. Certified by the American Butler School – a division of White Glove Services LLC, the butlers selected for Hilton Barbados Resort’s program attended a training course detailing the five-diamond standards, expectations and procedures including management skills, housekeeping and fine dining. From orchestrating wedding proposals to organizing personalized trip itineraries, the butlers act as trusted personal assistants for business and leisure trips.

    Prior to arriving, guests can request transportation from and to the airport, curate the ambiance in their room with aromatherapy and music, arrange tours and coordinate on-site activities. Known for providing personalized service for each guest, the highly certified butlers can also assist in booking dinner reservations, arranging dry cleaning and unpacking and packing luggage.

    Situated on a tropical peninsula on Needham’s Point, Hilton Barbados Resort is surrounded by two white sand beaches and pristine blue waters. Guests can enjoy a variety of amenities and activities including a pristine infinity pool complex, 2,400-square-foot eforea spa, and fitness center with Precor ® equipment. The resort also features an on-site SCUBA diving center, three tennis courts, watersports and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space – the largest on the island.

    Located at Needham’s Point St. Michael, BB 11000, the hotel is 20 minutes from Grantley Adams International Airport and just five minutes from Bridgetown – the capital and largest city in Barbados. Guests can visit George Washington’s island summer house, Harrison’s Cave – the most popular attraction in Barbados and Fort Garrison – a 17th century historic landmark located at Hilton Barbados Resort part of the historic Barbados UNESCO heritage list.

    Hilton Barbados Resort is also a part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app.

    For more information on Hilton Barbados Resort or reservations, please visit or call 1-800-HILTONS. For more information on Hilton Hotels & Resorts, please visit

  2. As part of the property’s upgrades, Hilton Barbados Resort debuts a 24/7 butler program tailored to guests’ individual needs. Certified by the American Butler School – a division of White Glove Services LLC

    After 55 years as a major tourist destination, and having turned the Marine Hotel in to a hot el training school, we are still depending on the US to validate our tourism brand. We are a nation in decline.

  3. More importantly, who is paying for these very expensive upgrades.

    2 years ago they were doing work on Hilton, some areas.

    • @Grenville

      It boggles the mind a little why you do not see the utility in questioning the Hilton upgrade given the debate around the property.

  4. Ya said yaself..

    “Since politicians rarely have any relevant management experience, the country soon finds itself in debt. Once the debts exceed a maximum limit (40% of GDP), the debt becomes unsustainable.”

  5. Some politicians might not have relevant management experience but the many successful ones have a cadre of high performing civil servants,highly qualified personal advisers and further can rely on institutional advice utilizing expertise avaialable in the tertiary institutions of a country.Not one damn seat for allyuh clowns talking crap like that.Check the record of Adams,Crawford,Ward,Manley,Burnham,Williams,Bird,Bradshaw,Osborne to name a few..
    Just forced myself to listen to the super clown Stuart.He stumbled and almost choked when he tried to speak on the achievements of his government in housing,labour and tourism.All like now Grenville should be hitting the ground with meetings all over Barbados to introduce candidates to the people.Instead the man writing baloney.Not one damn seat for allyuh.

  6. I think GP forgot to mention the Phase of selling PROFITABLE public assets to generate much needed funds, preferably in Fx. After all, who wants to buy the unprofitable ones, will onerous over staffed burdens.

  7. The Canadoan convict Del Mastro and his entourage got some nerve though, how bout paying the 4 million dollars in duties currently owed….and in 5 years get an exemption for duties and taxes on imports for one year when the island has actually benefitted from the company’s presence…

    …..the island cannot continue to operate on decades of concessions and import duty breaks for a few business people based only on the promises of a few jobs on the island and in Canada which may never materialize.

    Did Dumbville take a million dollar bribe from this company, to exempt Del Mastro from paying 4 million dollars in import duties to the treasury…robbing the people and island from much needed income……it is popular knowledge. ..that is bad management and useless to taxpayers contracting, not to mention corruption from a minister of internation business.

    “That project, which is to be operated and maintained by Union Electrica de Cuba (UNE) and tied to the national grid, is expected to begin in January 2018.

    It was back in February that Deltro officials had announced that planning permission had finally been granted for the construction of its ten-megawatt solar farm and solar panel manufacturing facility in Kendall Hill, Christ Church.

    However, the company’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Dean Del Mastro had told journalists that $4 million in import duties was standing in the way of the Barbados development.

    “We still have some i’s to dot and t’s to cross, but the fact that our plan has been signed off on by the Chief Town Planner is a significant achievement,” Del Mastro said at the time, while promising that once the tax exemption was granted, construction of the manufacturing facility would begin, creating about 500 jobs.”

  8. @ nextparty246 November 15, 2017 at 6:41 PM
    “Was the Hilton upgrade concern supposed to be on a separate thread?”

    What the electorate is expecting of “Solutions Barbados” before you are given the reins of governance is your ‘philosophical’ position on ‘Privatization’.

    Does your ‘nextparty246’ intend to carry on with the privatization programme of the current administration or do you think that the implementation of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ ISO 9000 plus 1 is the solution to all of Barbados’s fiscal and financial management problems?

    We know you are totally for the Hyatt erection but do you think that alone would satisfy the burning desire for foreign exchange as so ‘timely’ brought to the public’s attention by your Rip Van Winkle Post Meridian leader?

    Foreign exchange has always been the lifeblood of the Bajan economy; from the days when Sugar was both King & Queen to the present one-stroke engine called Tourism.

    Why is he now waking up to the obvious fact that the’ Champagne and Mercedes’ taste buds of materialistic Bajans can only be satiated by hard-earned forex and not borrowings from ‘Mauby’ pocketbooks?

    What is SB’s position on the ‘Divestment’ of the ‘pigs-in-the-bag’ called Transport Board and CBC and the forex-fatted ‘flying’ goose called GAIA that lays the golden eggs to feed and fuel conspicuous consumption?

    • Grenville is on record supporting the construction of Hyatt, the question for him- what about the sewage management on the South Coast? How does it impact?

  9. millertheanunnaki November 16, 2017 at 8:27 AM #

    “What the electorate is expecting of “Solutions Barbados” before you are given the reins of governance is your ‘philosophical’ position on ‘Privatization’.”

    @ millertheanunnaki

    I have read only one aspect of Solutions Barbados’ ‘philosophical’ position on ‘Privatization,’ and it relates to transport.

    Improving Transportation:
    To address the high cost of public transportation, the public transportation system will be privatised and fairly and well regulated. Permit owners will be charged 10 times the value of each offence, and they will forfeit their permit if their vehicle has attracted more than 3 dangerous offences in one year (letting someone on or off between bus stops is not a dangerous offence, but speeding, overloading, reckless driving, etc are).
    The existing public transportation system will be limited to transporting school children in uniform and will be available for charter.
    Pensioners will be allowed to travel without cost on the privatised system.

  10. So who does Grenville plan to privatize Transport Board to, that they will agree to a contract to buy the entity….stating senior citizens will still travel without paying and so too will school kids. ..

    You cannot sell a state entity to a private interest and then dictate how they manage that entity…unless you still have a stake or voice in its day to day management. ..

    So tell us Grenville….how will that work.

    The population on the island remains a constant for now….that must also be taken into consideration.

  11. David

    That is of no consequence, the answer, even Grenville himself.

    We have forecasted that all these third parties combined would not be able to save even one deposit.

    We could never understand how this man could expect to overthrow a regime and can’t get a critical mass to defeat this DLP machinery of maladministration for even a day.

  12. @ Grenville

    Politics 101: All politics is local. Militarization etc holds no resonance ; deal directly with local issues: public transport; health; housing; sanitation; education…no need for excursions such as the above column.

  13. It amazes me how people dismiss and accept opinions from the same source, based on their particular agenda at the time.

    On one hand, Solutions Barbados is on record as being unsupportive of government seeking financial assistance from the IMF or undergoing an IMF structural program.

    But on the other hand, the party has whole heartedly ACCEPTED as gospel, the IMF’s suggestion that a country’s debt to GDP ratio should not be above 40%, ………. especially in the absence of a debt sustainability analysis……….. and without taking into consideration:

    ………..debt dynamics in an open economy;

    ………..that such a ratio is not applicable to all countries despite each country’s economic circumstances may have certain similarities;

    ……….that there are significant differences between debt for productive purposes and debt for unproductive purposes;

    The IMF’s staff, in conjunction with the country’s government, projects a public debt sustainability framework, taking into consideration debt-to-GDP ratio and the variables on which those ratios depend. These projections are usually based on the assumption that a country will fully implement all the financial and structural measures announced in the “budget,” in addition to exchange rate and monetary policy.

    Then there are certain difficulties associated with arriving at a realistic projection of public debt and debt service, such as “contingent liabilities.”

  14. “Was the Hilton upgrade concern supposed to be on a separate thread?”

    No words!! I keep telling wunna the gentleman is arrogant and deluded. Only a setta of prosperity gospel adherents would think GP is sent by the blue-eyed, blond hair man. I have no time for anyone who benefited from the borrowed money he/she now criticises.

  15. Dear All:

    We plan to properly manage all Government services (including statutory corporations) in accordance with the ISO 9001.

    The ISO 9001 is a quality management system that is designed to delight the customer by continually improving the management of how products are developed and distributed. It relies on customers making complaints, but those complaints are permanently addressed so that they are not repeated.

    We plan to hold a public town hall meeting on Wednesday 29 November 2017 at 6:00 pm at Combermere School where we plan to explain how the system is planned to work, how it will positively affect public workers, and how it will benefit those who use government services.

    Well Well: We do not intend to privatise industries currently run by Government, but rather, properly manage them. The Transport Board is a separate entity because it manages public transportation and regulates its competitors. The Government should not be in the business of competing with the private sector unless the private sector cannot provide a proper service. That is why the transport board is an exception. We plan to properly manage the transport board before pursuing privatisation.

    David: I support the construction of the Hyatt, once it has been properly approved for development.

    Artax: On the IMF’s 40% GDP debt limit. Please note that it is an empirical observation. You enter the debt spiral at 40% GDP. If there are no intentional serious measures to get out, your currency devalues.

    Best regards,

  16. “We plan to properly manage the transport board before pursuing privatisation.”

    Can’t sell it in its current state any way, it has too many liabilities in the form of numerous deliberately unresolved personal injury claims stuck in the supreme court……

    ……and no equity due to those liabilities and bad management of the company.. will take years to build enough equity to sell…long haul.

  17. nextparty246 November 16, 2017 at 6:34 PM #

    “On the IMF’s 40% GDP debt limit. Please note that it is an empirical observation. You enter the debt spiral at 40% GDP. If there are no intentional serious measures to get out, your currency devalues.”

    @ nextparty246

    Some contributors in this forum do not take the discussion of economic issues and theories seriously, while others believe economic model used by Barbados and other countries is outdated, (although they have not presented enough evidence to substantiate this claim, other than trading in currency derivatives). And it is mainly for those reasons, I am usually hesitant to delve in these issues.

    However, your above comment can be successfully challenged……….. and I have previously outlined, though not in detail, why you are incorrect.

    Productive debt is resultant of government borrowing to finance, for example, education, health care and infrastructural development, which provide a foundation for long-term economic growth (endogenous growth theory)…….. and a means of paying off the debt incurred……………as long as long-term debt sustainability is maintained. Hence, under these circumstances, the 40% debt to GDP ratio is flawed.

    Debt sustainability analysis explores the possibility of a country’s ability to service its debt repayment obligations, over the medium and long-term, without defaulting on or renegotiating repayments, or without having to undertake any adjustments in fiscal, monetary or other macroeconomic policies, which may be politically or economically implausible.

    The analysis also gives policymakers an insight into macroeconomic policies that may realize short-term benefits, but contribute to the creation of unsustainable debts in the future.

    Perhaps it would be in the best interest of Solutions Barbados to conduct more research on this issue.

  18. @Granville Phillips “Needless to say, all women, except the very young and the very old, become targets of rape.”

    If you believe that military men do not rape very young children or very old women then clearly you have spent far, far too much time in Sunday school. Why just yesterday I read of a military man who raped a one year old—his own one year old.

    Imagine what he would do to your one year old or mine, or to our elderly mothers.

    I have no faith in militaries.

    Armed tax funded bullies.

  19. @Grenville,
    “History can be studied from an infinite number of perspectives” is true, but if the perspective starts with phase 1 being the end of centuries of traumatic colonial exploitation then that perspective is so comically short sighted that it cannot hope to see patterns of much relevance. The sunset of the formal colonial experience is phase 1,001 at the very minimum… you cannot hope to understand anything of importance if you ignore that history.

    “There seems to be a model that former colonies do not appear to deviate from once they have been granted independence.” Well except for Singapore, Estonia, South Korea, China, etc…. you forgot that all of those nations survived colonial experiences didn’t you? So clearly we need to examine the precise nature and character of the colonial experience if we are to be able to learn anything more useful than cartoonish clichés.

  20. Exactly, this runs so much deeper since UK and Europe want to cleanse their fithy guilty conscience by having Caribbean descendants of slaves, in particular….forget their enslavement history, forget Black and African history…..wipe it out of their memories to benefit UK…

    ……while UK and Europe continue to still honor and glorify their criminal ancestors who perpetrated the many brutal crimes for centuries againg Black people…….oh hell no.

    Caribbean people have to start thinking differently and dont be brainwashed into thinking about “a shared heritage”…it was never a shared heritage if your ancestors were the victims and you are still being victimized..

    .time to open your eyes….and use ya damn brain cells.

  21. Particularly the politicians…they are inherently stupid and I make no apologies for saying this, they just follow the old colonial template without question and with no deviation….idiots.

  22. Bushtea
    Tug at what tail what!! The only PM Grenville gine be is Project Manager pon a government project funded with borrowed money. Artax is doing a fine job exposing the weaknesses of Solutions’ “policies”.

  23. Steupsss @ enuff why are you so hot and bothered by Grenville’s comments if you are so sure that he has no political future? Seems that you doth protest a tad too much then…

    As to Artax exposing his weaknesses – Artax is talking shiite…. You forget he is one of those things called an economist (whatever the hell that is..)

    A little common sense tells us that being in debt EXPOSES your donkey to being exploited without vaseline….

    40% exposure, (or owing 40% of your annual earnings) sound even HIGH to Bushie as an upper limit of SENSIBLE exposure.
    That the IMF and Grenville agrees on this point seems to be no big deal –

    Shiite boss, Bushie would have said 25% is a more SENSIBLE upper limit – especially if your ass is black ….and you done KNOW that the damn lenders have a history of exploiting black donkeys…..

    But then Artax tends to jostle with angela Skeete…. and you KNOW about birds of a feather….

  24. Bushie

    Because GP should be doing better. A man with so many letters behind he name and can’t think laterally or strategically, just a lotta RH. #notaseat#depositslost

  25. On page 6A in toady’s Sunday Sun minister of Transport Michael Lashley is pictured with a group on tour in Broward County, Miami, USA. Hope this silences the commenters who have been posting about him not able to travel to the USA.

  26. David

    A tour….what for….you know how many papers are on record for the Bim transit system….that was a waste of tax payers money.

    • @Vincent

      According to your favourite newspaper the tour was organized by the Counsel General Colin Mayers with an objective to use Broward County Transit as a model.

  27. David

    As I said a waste….even if the previous studies needed updating one could do that on the net and/or bring the consultant down……can someone tell me what a lawyer knows about a bus system…….if they were serious and had a start date they could send some personel to aclimatise themselves to the system…..the days of physically going to places should long be over……Bimmers cannot still be so foolish as to swallow that nonsense.

    • @Vincent

      A reasonable concern. The government has no money and is in no position to implement any significant initiative.

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