Time to Vote Third Parties NOT BLP and DLP

Submitted by William Skinner

As we prepare for another General Election, it is imperative that we call a spade a spade. Unless there is some unknown, mysterious progressive visionary leader hiding deep in the bowels of the Barbados Labour Party or the Democratic Labour Party, the election would follow the pattern of carnival like exercises of recent election cycles, with mega entertainment and alcohol being distributed to all and sundry including minors.

The major challenge of the fledgling third parties will be to avoid such frolic and deal with the myriad problems facing the country. They should treat the public with the seriousness it deserves and avoid making empty promises like their opponents. Contrary to popular opinion, the so-called political scientists and radio talk show gurus, the people are more prepared to listen to alternatives than at any other time since independence.

Objective observers have already concluded that if the BLP wins, it would more be a vote against the intransigence of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, than any profound belief that Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, has any new and vibrant programs to carry the country forward. On the other hand, should the DLP pull off an unexpected victory, the country could look forward to much of the same. We have now reached the sorry state of measuring levels of mediocrity in both the BLP and DLP; many citizens are going into the voting booth with the feeling that they are simply voting for a change but with no real hope of any improvement in the management of the country.

Both parties have been given adequate time to solve problems in: housing, health services; public transportation; education, public service and judiciary reform, land reform, rural development, agriculture and all other areas of economic activity. It is now clear that outside of very successful party propaganda and window dressing, they have been failing and are now clearly out of ideas. Their daily criticisms of each other are classical examples of the pot calling the kettle black!

Our musical chairs democracy can no longer escape the reality of a new world economic order and the need to quickly adjust to the challenges it presents. The days of serving warmed over cold soup cannot continue. The only group of citizens oblivious to this reality, is the now totally blind die-hard supporters of the entrenched parties.

If current trends continue, and the scenario mentioned above proves true, Barbados would lose this election. It would be a misfortune of considerable proportions and the result would be more socio-economic diarrhoea.


  • Hal Austin January 11, 2018 at 5:02 PM #

    “Are you sure you work in finance? Is it as an economist, accountant, account’s clerk or book keeper? Do you understand financial economics? Or is this just an argument for argument’s sake?”

    You like to throw out “fancy terms and policies,” which are often ACCOMPANIED by VAGUE or BROAD explanations…in an attempt to impress upon some in this forum that you have a vast knowledge of economic and financial issues. And you do this without taking into consideration the different economic variables that may exist between Barbados and the countries you allude to.

    Unfortunately, when challenged, you always behave IMMATURELY by RESORTING to PETTY, CHILDISH INSULTS, as INDICATED by your ABOVE comments……. which are silly. This is the MAIN REASON why I (and many others in this forum) don’t like “debating” with you.
    You have a CHILDISH HABIT of DENIGRATING certain professions and I’m forced to remind you there are bookkeepers and accounts clerks that possess BSc in Accounting & Economics or professional accounting designations.

    However, by mentioning: “The financialisation of the economy is the key engine for growth; instead it triggered our going cap in hand begging – from regional development banks to the Chinese. All that can be laid at the door of Mr. Arthur.”…..

    ………. is just your SHIITE OPINION and does not explain the role of a state-owned bank in facilitating financialisation. And you know that this is just another one of your shiite arguments to INFLAME your DISLIKE of Arthur.

    Essentially you CONVENIENTLY chose to IGNORE the topic re state-owned banks and insurance companies to focus on what you believe to be your “strong point”……. “financialisation.” Since you raise the issue… I will accommodate you.

    Barbados does not need a state-owned bank to facilitate the process of “financializing the economy” as proven by countries that do not own banks or insurance companies.

    You could have explained the fact that some economists and policy makers show some unwillingness to confront the central problems created by “financialization of the economy,” such as speculative and excessively liquid financial flows that create debt-laden balance sheets, short-term perspectives, including exchange rates and unstable economic growth.

    You could have discussed, for example, the spread of financialization to emerging markets and its relationship with economic crises.

    Or discuss the argument expressed by some experts that “financialization in conjunction with neoliberalism and globalization has had a significantly negative impact on the prospects for economic prosperity.” It is a widely held view that a combination of financialization, liberalization and globalization impacted negatively on the Argentine economy.

    This is how MATURE people debate or explain issues………… and they also SHARE IDEAS.

    Instead, you prefer to act IMMATURELY and become very INSULTING when challenged. You need to change this attitude.

    Why do you think people are of the opinion you’re an ARROGANT, SARCASTIC, OBNOXIOUS SNOB?


  • Have you analyzed the pros and cons of Barbados owning a bank? Have you considered the political perspective of government participating in finance with a view of controlling private sector investment for political and not social reasons?

    Imagine BNB using savings and current accounts to lend to Bizzy Williams $17M, as was done with NIS funds, and when the loan becomes due, he asks for more time to repay.

    Similarly to how this administration has been “raping” the NIS fund for their political advantage, a state-owned bank could be similarly used by politicians to acquire control of private sector firms, provide employment or other benefits to yard-fowls, who ultimately return the favour by votes, financing political campaigns or bribes.

    And this example could be a reality because, as you are aware, financial regulation in Barbados is poor, there is enough evidence to suggest state-owned entities are inefficient, then we must consider the underlying political motives behind providing public services……and government does not have to compete with the private sector to source finance.

    Additionally, since Barbados is a small economy, have you thought about the implications of government using money from household and firms to finance capital projects, especially in the current circumstances where the Central Bank relinquished it control of determining interest rates?

    Surely it would be unfair competition for a state-owned bank to pay higher interest rate than competitors.

    There are also other considerations that favour state-owned banks.


  • Bernard Codrington

    @ Artax at at 6 :49 PM and 7 :12 PM

    I concur with the positions you expressed there in. But could dear , you did not have to be so heavy handed. I believe Hal was seeking to change his view of Mr Arthur’s excellent handling of the economy in his fifteen years as minister of finance.


  • @ Bernard

    It should be clear to you and Artax and everyone who visit BU that Hal Austin is a fraud. He may have written a few magazine columns unchallenged by readers.

    However, BU is a different story. There are some very intelligent people here that would question the mighty Hal…..and he hates that.

    Hal Austin is a half baked journalist that lacks basic comprehension skills. After all the talk about financialisation he ran from the discussion.
    What a moron.


  • However, by mentioning: “The financialisation of the economy is the key engine for growth; instead it triggered our going cap in hand begging – from regional development banks to the Chinese. All that can be laid at the door of Mr. Arthur.”…..(Quote)

    Barbados does not need a state-owned bank to facilitate the process of “financializing the economy” as proven by countries that do not own banks or insurance companies. (Quote)

    Dealing with the last first: Barbados does not need a state-controlled bank, but in the absence of alternatives it is imperative that the state steps in to fill the void.
    The role of banks (and shadow banks) in the economy is to provide lending; increasingly in Western liberal economies, most of this lending is to small and medium enterprises, which provide the bulk of job creation.
    People in jobs send money o a variety of things, allowing shops and stores to improve their stock, create jobs and expand. It also increases the tax take, allowing the government to provide more services for the community as a whole.
    In more sophisticated societies, the shadow banks step in, also insurance companies want to invest the vast amounts of premiums collected; venture capitalists want to invest; charities and family funds, occupational pension funds also want to invest.
    In a carefully shaped financial environment there will also be retail investment products which need to invest, etc. This is what a Barbados-domiciled bank can assist in doing.

    You could have discussed, for example, the spread of financialization to emerging markets and its relationship with economic crises.(Quote)

    Financialisation has had its problems, but overall it has been for the good. Barbados has underperformed the global and regional economies since independence, and in particular since 2008. The problem therefore must be the local management of the economy, and not external. How do we explain this?
    On a micro level, just look at the poor investment performance of the NIS; ignore the politics and the poor scheme design.
    But the NIS is reflective of the rest of the economy in its poor management and vision (and the lack of integrity on the art of its leaders).
    Here is another example: the crisis in Barbados is not only jobs, but also housing. Since 1870, the average real return on wealth has been abut 6 per cent annually, compared with the 3 per cent increase in real GDP. Housing, rather than equities, provide the best returns over the long-term.
    I have written about this until I m going blue in the face: the commercial and residential development of Weymouth, for example, the call for an inheritance or death tax; and widespread condemnation of the irresponsible shift of wealth from the poor to the wealthy by the minister of finance, Chris Sinckler.
    Yet, the redistribution of wealth has never formed part of our national political conversation. This is an issue that 14 years of Arthur’s leadership and eight years of a DLP government should have confronted.
    Here is another example: in the build up to the 2007 Cricket World Cup |I wrote a letter to the Nation calling on the government to make the refurbishment of Kensingston Oval our Millennium goal by borrowing in the carry market and using that low-interest money for the project; since Sept 2008, global interest rates plunged, again which Barbados was unable to benefit from because of our bad credit history.
    Borrowing for infrastructural investment over generations is virtuous, which neither the Arthur government nor the DLP has fully understood.
    Just look at the housing in the slums of Bridgetown and a government that is prepared to borrow Bds$250m from the Chinese to refurbish Sam Lord’s Castle. This is bad economic decision-making.
    It is not just a problem with politics, the commercial sector has shown itself to be just as inept. Look at the way the Trinidadians have captured our commercial sector; look at our inability to even hold on to our only brewery.
    It may satisfy certain desire in some of you, but I cannot continue to repeat myself everyday because someone questions a view. I expect people to read and remember.
    It is not my intention wasting my time debating with people who do not even understand the basics, I have more important things to do with what little time I have left. I won’t be rude, it is not my style.
    By the way, the argument that Barbados is a small economy is a nonsense. DeLisle Worrell used to employ that excuse; it is similar to saying we do things our own way. I do not buy it.
    Finally, I do not intend insulting your occupation, but I am aware you have said in the past that you submit tax returns on behalf of clients. I therefore list a number of occupations that are involved in tax returns.


  • Yours was a very detailed response… without the use of vague explanations……..and your usual “diatribe.”

    However, by your comment re: “It may satisfy certain desire in some of you, but I cannot continue to repeat myself everyday because someone questions a view. I expect people to read and remember,”……..

    …………. you are essentially making the ASSUMPTION that many in this forum, INCLUDING me, READ your articles pertaining to the issues raised. I have never read anything written by you other than what you contribute to BU.

    I am of the belief that many articles written by journalists (and advanced by them as being factual) without the necessary research to substantiate their views, are the personal opinions of those journalists. In other words, anyone can write anything believing it to be fact, but when “tested”…… it is just another opinion.


  • Theophilius Gazerts 255

    Just had a moment of sheer brilliance. Here patting myself on the back so hard that I hurt my shoulders…
    1) DLP dog dead
    2) Third party dog dead
    3) BLP dog near dead as large numbers don’t like Mia
    4) Coup d’etat. Mia gets dumped. Rawdon Adams appointed leader. DLP dog get caught by surprise. BLP dog roars across the finish line.


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