The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – General Election 2018: A postscript

In hindsight, retrospect, or what some in the US refer to as “Monday-morning-quarterbacking”, it is now quite clear to see why the Barbadian electorate so categorically rejected the Democratic Labour Party [DLP], the party that comprised the governing administration for the past decade, in the recent general election on Thursday last.

For a gallimaufry of factors, none of which may be decisive, but all undeniably relevant, some; perhaps because of unfortunate happenstance, others; caused by culpable conduct on the part of the administration, the electorate almost vengefully swept the government and party from power with an unprecedented defeat that, in one swoop, gave the island its first female Prime Minister in Ms Mia Mottley; created a looming constitutional crisis; and, possibly, thereby effected the demise of the losing party, at least under its current leadership.

The degree of the rejection also serves to provide some insight into the Barbadian cultural-political ethos. There were many who wondered at the restraint shown by the populace in the face of some of the happenings to be highlighted, ascribing it to an innate Bajan conservative docility or, even more mistakenly, to acceptance. But, as Mary, the mother of Jesus, is reported to have done in Luke 2:19, the citizenry simply kept these things in their heart and pondered them unto the day when they could signal their true feelings under the cover, not of darkness, but in the relative secrecy of the ballot booth.

I propose first to describe these factors by category and then to give some suggestion as to their elements. It bears reminder that these arise from my personal and uninitiated observation and are not intended to provide a learned analysis of last Thursday’s outcome.

Pride –A principal factor, in my view, would have been the affront that many Barbadians felt to their individual pride in their country. It is not for nothing that our national motto emphasizes “Pride and Industry” and our achievements over the years have apparently imbued the national character with an arguably justifiable sense of pride. Hence, for more than a few, for this island to be relegated from “punching above its weight” to the doldrums of a degree of an economic growth measurement below that of some of our less developed neigbours, must have cut the national sense of value like a knife. Into this category we might place too, the plurality of downgrades to our international credit rating under the last administration. While it may be true, as we were assured, that these did not downgrade Barbados (the country) itself, this would have provided cold comfort to a people thitherto proud of their international creditworthiness but now reduced to a dangerous level of mendicancy in the eyes of the world. “How dat go look?” some must have queried.

Legalism- In my years of dalliance with the law and legal principles, I have come to recognize that these do not resonate with the uninitiated listener if they do not comport with that individual’s long-held beliefs of what is instinctively right. Thus, if you will forgive the digression, I encounter much difficulty in trying to persuade my students in defamation law that it is no less a defamation to repeat a defamatory imputation, even if it is prefaced by such phrases as “it is rumoured that “ or “it is alleged that”. The citation of the applicable authority does not serve to convince them either until after most have read it for themselves.

In this regard, for the former Prime Minister to have clung tenaciously to what many regarded as “crass constitutionalism” in his insistence that his administration was entitled to and desirous of serving the full term of its constitutional tenure resonated scarcely with an electorate anxious to be afforded its own constitutional entitlement of franchise to assess the government’s performance Given this popular sentiment, partisan assertions that no law was being broken in the process naturally rang hollow. The action thus appeared dictatorial especially given the substantial period of parliamentary interregnum when the Cabinet would function without collective responsibility to any body.

And the fact that nary a peep of objection came from within the administration, perhaps owed to the “…and not a damn dog bark” theory of leadership as asserted by Dr. Eric Williams of Trinidad & Tobago, merely marked them as complicit and thus equally guilty. Undue legalism in a different sense would have also played a role when, in the latter days of the campaign, Mr Stuart made the ostensibly unilateral decision to withdraw from the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice, not on any cogently argued constitutional ground, but merely in a fit of pique over some report of disrespect to Barbados by a single justice of the Court during a refreshment break. A few only would have been in agreement that so momentous a decision should be unilateral and even fewer that it should be based on such a slender thread. Again, the absence of comment from his fellow Cabinet members would have been instructive and Mr. Stuart would have seemed dictatorial in his decision.

Economy- The dire state of the local economy was always going to be a relevant factor in the ultimate decision of the electorate, and not simply for reasons of pride or feelings of induced mendicancy, but more so that, at a personal level, it was becoming increasingly difficult for the so-called “average Barbadian” to keep money in his or her pocket, wallet or purse. When allied to the ostentation displayed by some Cabinet members, the inadequately justified reversion of their voluntary ten percent abatement in salary and the dog’s breakfast made of the individual taxation system as concerned refunds, the popular sentiment became one of “them against us”. That these fiscal efforts were made in order, as it has been put, “to keep the [buses] running” might have satisfied the electorate, had it been persuasively explained to them, but alas, communication was never one of the fortes of the last administration, a fact that became eminent in its latter days. Even so, by some quirk of fate, the expression used above –“to keep the buses running”- became more of a cruel joke what with the public disgust at the national transportation service and the woes with household garbage collection.

When we add to the equation the consequent deterioration in social services, the thorny industrial relations with the unions and private sector, its electoral platform strategy and the painful disappointment endured by some UWI students, the result seems less of a surprise.

POSTCRIPT -I must stop here for today and continue this at a later date, God willing. Unfortunately, I was unable to broach today the issue of the looming constitutional crisis. The essay appears so far to pinpoint solely the reasons for the emphatic rejection of the last administration and to minimize the role the incoming one played. This is not my intention. I believe that the Barbados Labour Party’s campaign was a brilliant admixture of the exploitation of the national disgust with the DLP’s missteps, the excitement of making local history with a female leader, and the crying need for an attempt at trying fresh ideas. I should wish to offer my sincere congratulations to the party and to our new Prime Minister, Ms Mottley. I wish you well.

78 comments

  • Dentistry Whisperer (M. Pharm. D) LinkedIN

    When will some one have the guts to allow Barbadians to know there is no “free press” in Barbados with the exception of your blog BU and the Advocate. Free press should be just that … free and apolitical. 90 percent of news is controlled by the NationNews which owns VOB radio. Thank god for BU (Blog) and the Advocate. Trevor and Ian Gale must be turning in their graves. 

    Like

  • Will watch and see how forth right and engaging Mia will be with the media and the public
    Sitting from my vantage point i have noticed on many occasions that when hard questions have been asked of Mia Mottley by the media she has preference her lawyers to do damage control working as legal apparatus to close their mouths which in my mind a glancing blow of things to come.

    Like

  • @Jeff

    An interesting intervention as usual.

    After you move to the Constitutional crisis, it will be a useful exercise to share a view on 1). the politics of inclusion practised by Owen Arthur and 2). the elevation of a weak deputy to PM in a situation where the others were too timid or incompetent to challenge for leadership or confident enough to breakaway. The practice of politics of inclusion and the party machinery ‘setup’ have commingled to bring the country to its knees.

    Why is this conversation important for the citizenry to engage you ask?

    The popularity of Arthur and the BLP lured others from across the divide and in the process adversely affected our system of democracy. Political parties are managed like private clubs/dictatorships although the PR emanating gives the appearance of a democratic entity.

    Here are a link to act as a reminder to MAM:

    https://barbadosunderground.net/2011/09/21/mia-mottley-accuses-the-barbados-labour-party-of-reducing-the-rights-of-women-and-young-people-and-announces-her-withdrawal-from-the-race-to-contest-chairmanship/

    Like

  • The truth is, we don’t need DLP yardfowls to ‘watch’. Here is what we know for sure- she cannot do worse than Stuart who interacted sparingly with the media AND the people. Listen again to the voice-note circulated yesterday which sums it up nicely why the DLP enjoyed the worst defeat (BLP 70% plus) of the vote)in the history of Barbados at the polls.

    [audio src="https://barbadosunderground.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/audio-2018-05-26-11-27-30.mp3" /]

    Like

  • With the BLP getting all 30 parliamentary seats, what is the looming constitutional issue? That is not made clear.

    Like

  • Dems will never learn, David.

    Irene Sandiford Garner is in another sector of the news complaining about MAM’s cabinet and calculating the cost of salaries.

    She is being lambasted. People asking if she doesn’t know that the same salaries would have to be paid if Dems were in as MP’s.

    What a loser!

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    After you move to the Constitutional crisis, it will be a useful exercise to share a view on 1). the politics of inclusion practised by Owen Arthur and 2). the elevation of a weak deputy to PM in a situation where the others were too timid or incompetent to challenge for leadership or confident enough to breakaway. The practice of politics of inclusion and the party machinery ‘setup’ have commingled to bring the country to its knees.

    @ David, The constitutional crisis will be resolved by the proposed constitutional amendment as MAM suggested yesterday, although I thought that one might also have used the intendment of section 75 of the Constitution to place the authority of appointment in the hands of the GG even though the literal interpretation of that section is inapplicable to the current situation. By the proposed amendment, the new administration comes off as looking gracious in victory, a definite political asset.

    (1)The politics of inclusion could be interpreted as either a sinister move to destroy the opposition or as a gracious inclusionary move by a shrewd leader. The jury may still be out on that.

    (2) Your other query engages what I referred to in the column as the “not a damn dog bark theory of leadership”. The PM of Barbados is nearly as powerful as a King or Queen of ancient times and thus few would be willing to engage him or her publicly, especially when one is dependent on him or her for a Cabinet position or even the ability to be a future candidate for Parliament. A sad reality that leads to an absence of critical political governance.

    We can engage further later.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Prodigal Son

    Criticism will come, it is the nature of adversarial politics- what the blogmaster has a problem with is that we need to give the government some space to rollout a plan. It seems some have condemned the BLP to fail from the get-go.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    With the BLP getting all 30 parliamentary seats, what is the looming constitutional issue? That is not made clear…

    @Hal, ours is a parliamentary democracy that constitutionally presumes and makes provision for the existence of an Opposition and its Leader
    .
    Section 74 of the Constitution-

    “There shall be a Leader of the Opposition, who shall be appointed by the Governor-General by instrument under the Public Seal”,

    Like

  • @David May 27, 2018 7:56 AM

    A plan is not enough. We need to see some initial interaction with the international financial community and the effect for the local banks first. We have to wait until the end of 2019 for a full preliminary assessment … after the IMF started and devaluation took place.

    I am willing to give the new gov this space 🙂

    Like

  • … provided the Barbados Dollar devalues not to 1:5 but to 1:11.

    Like

  • @Tron

    If the government will be sworn in this evening you expected to see the plan when?

    Like

  • Youth ain't all bad.

    @Mr cumberbatch I’m sorry but want to ask a question unrelated to the main point of your blog. You state somewhere in the article that a defamatory statement is still considered defamatory even if it is alleged etc is said before making the statement. My question is in relation to any possible me too movement here in Barbados given the small size of the island. Specifically the naming of powerful individuals in the media and subsequent loss of jobs etc would this happen given what you said about defamation? Again I know this is more suitable for a sexual harassment blog but I see you responding here so I’m hoping David will let me ask the question.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    You state somewhere in the article that a defamatory statement is still considered defamatory even if it is alleged etc is said before making the statement. My question is in relation to any possible me too movement here in Barbados given the small size of the island. Specifically the naming of powerful individuals in the media and subsequent loss of jobs etc would this happen given what you said about defamation?

    @Yaab, Truth or justification is a complete defense…if the accuser can ex establish the truth of the imputation in a court of law when sued, then he or she has a complete defense to any action for defamation…

    I am out for 15 minutes now…

    Like

  • @David May 27, 2018 8:08 AM

    First the new gov needs a realistic picture about the finances, including all the state agencies. This will take some time, given the chaos in the Barbadian admin. Then they need to submit their plan to the IMF and coordinate with the IMF.

    The final gov/IMF plan could be issued at the end of the year. We need to wait then at least 12 months for first results.

    It makes no sense for gov to issue their own plan without the IMF, since the foreign reserves are depleted. Their is no space for any wage hike or whatsoever.

    Like

  • My oh my .attack . hear the blog master has become the blog dictator telling all and sundry that say nay in opposition to Mia plans are told to keep mouth shut. No wonder pachaman used the “F” expletive to dismiss u David
    It is indeed a sad day when opposing views on this blog are being shut out
    David you out to be ashamed of your self
    Very interesting times ahead

    Like

  • @Tron

    Agree if the government takes a decision to enter an IMF program it will take 9 to 12 months. However, short term measures must come given where we are?

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Jeff, I concur with the Blogmaster. Excellent essay or to use your lingo style : a tasty potpourri; the other dish (main course, maybe) is awaited.

    So to Mr Blogmaster…. I am a bit at sixes and nines that you interpret Arthur’s lure of “others from across the divide” as having “adversely affected our system of democracy”.

    On the six, I ask ‘why is an attempt at real bipartisanship a threat to democracy”? You automatically see that as his upside-down nine attempt (it apears) to destabilize and you literally stretch this current debacle to some original act back then!

    First up, parties have lost strong leaders before and others have come through to fill the void…some well. ..others badly. That our situation is the latter (due to special circumstances) in itself can’t be an alpha an omega for the DLP’s current state.

    Second, in politics the term ‘weak is too often defined in strict terms of political achievement as a leader. Thus when you say elevation of a ‘weak deputy to PM’ most will surely agree that Stuart was such….but as a political fighter was he really so weak? The broad evidence of his ascending through the party ranks (however long it took or whatever happenstance) suggests not.

    Was Sandiford weak? As a PM he ‘failed’ most would also say, but can we just label his entire political tenure as that of a weak leader. I think not.

    Jimmy Carter as US President is seen as terribly weak based primarily on the Iran hostage crisis. Overall as a politician he was anything but that.

    No one I believe ever uses the term ‘weak to describe Churchill but the Brits dismissed his leadership so quickly after the war successes that such a term can realistically be used…’what weakness did they perceive?’

    All that prolix to put the politics into perspective. Was Arthur being disingenuous when he courted DLP members….well of course…. but can that be linked to the party’s unravelling, bad economic measures and claims of assault to democracy ….No senor, No way!

    Very deep insight or lots of sixes and nines, bro!

    Like

  • May 27, 2018 7:58 AM

    There is clearly a problem with the drafting. If the constitution provides for an Opposition and Leader, then the electoral system, through the constitution or custom, should provide for that. In the UK, for example, no one opposes the Speaker of the House, no matter which party s/he comes from.
    One of the principles of legal drafting is “what if”? What if the electorate returns 100 per cent of any single party, as it has done? The architects of the constitution have made a big mistake.
    The only constitutional threat is that the governing party has enough MPs to change the constitution without proper debate, but that is one of the risks of a parliamentary democracy. The people have spoken, so if the ruling party wants to change the constitution then they have been given the power to do so. That is no crisis.
    The real crisis, again is in the constitutional drafting, allowing a ruling party to dominate the appointment of Senators. This negates the role of the Upper House – reviewing, expertly challenge, etc, not rubber stamping. But what we have seen since Friday does not give us any reason to believe there will be principles governing any of these appointments.
    Pigs and troughs come t mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  • This poppycock about new govt needs to knowthe state of the economy is a form of window dressing .
    This new govt knows what it had to confront.
    This new govt knows everything about the debt.
    The newly released IMF report is only a continuation of all said before
    Yet this new govt under the leadership sold the people a bag of freegiveaways
    There is no international financial institution looking at barbados debt profile that would be willing to take on barbados debt without holding the country to ransom and that includes the IMF
    I am willing to bet that when all is said and done the blp would launch and extensive media blitz to buy people into accepting privatization as barbados saving grace
    She was given a mandate to save barbados and Mia has the power to do so. all in the name of People Goverence

    Like

  • “accepting privatization”

    How wonderful. Let us close or privatize all state agencies including the most hated NHC.

    Altman can provide the necessary services for renting and housing. There is no need to employ 100 Souls at NHC.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    So that is what Fruendolittle and the gang were planning to do, take the taxpayer funded, government ministers corrupted NHC and give it over to a known shady real estate developer….to create more disenfranchisement of the majority population..

    30-0 was quite appropriate, yall should not get even one seat in the senate either, bunch of sell outs and yard boys,

    Liked by 1 person

  • Have the gg appoint the leaders of the dlp upp and sb to the senate

    Like

  • Mariposa

    You are right. What a competent civil service does in the lead up to a general election is that every department prepares an up-to-date report, including finances, bilateral meetings, etc, for the incoming government.
    Within minutes of being elected the head of civil service would hand over his/her report, and when ministers are appointed the permanent secretaries will hand over theirs.
    All this weekend the prime minister and her ministers and senior civil servants will be reading up in preparation for the first working day.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    That is what should be done, none of those clueless, emptyheaded clowns for exministers have any right to be sitting in the people’s parliament ever again

    …fresh blood, less slave minded, with fresher ideas outside the sell out to the first minority they think about…. is needed.

    Like

  • TheophiliusGazerts

    Not a constitutional scholar so I will not put on my constitutional hat or use legal terms. …

    Seem like the constitution was a bad cut and paste job.
    Somebody left out something.
    At least we have the chance to google and get a good ammendment
    Murdah
    Wuhloss
    Help muh Jesus
    I does kill myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Jeff

    Have you read Cris Blackman’s view in the other newspaper titled ‘No crisis because GG has power to act‘?

    Like

  • I will make a prediction!!

    If the Bees proceed to screw up as they have repeatedly done in the past, just like the Dees, not only will Mia Mottley be the first female prime minister but she will also be the first prime minister to preside over a one term government,

    Parliament will become populated by independents and third parties.

    Bajans are fed up and will speak unequivocally again!!

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    The new Ministers and Ministers of State have been identified … but has sufficient thought being given to the recruitment and placement of new Permanent Secretaries and Officers of that grade who will be the ones to direct and oversee the implementation of new policies? These people, even moreso than the Ministers, will have to be the best talent available with the innate drive, capacity, knowledge, abilities and skills to strategically put in the time and thought required for success with the intelligence, single mindedness and relevant breadth of experience to do the absolutely right things to dig the Country out of the hole in which we now find ourselves. There are minimal margins for error in this regard.

    Can the new Government be certain that the old wine will not significantly contaminate the new wineskins? How will the current incumbents navigate the possible minefields? I would have had absolute faith that senior Bajan Public servants would generally operate in a non-partisan manner in a situation such as obtains now if such had arisen anytime prior to 10 years ago. I am not so certain in 2018 that the current Public Service leadership is up to the required job. But, I suspect that I am too pessimistic. Perhaps the apocalyptic vigour of the 30-0 drubbing might concentrate the minds and efforts of the current Senior Public servants and therefore myself and others who might have such fears will find them unnecessary.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    @Jeff

    Have you read Cris Blackman’s view in the other newspaper titled ‘No crisis because GG has power to act‘?

    Have not yet had the time, David. May you provide a link here?

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    John, re. your 9:56 am post;

    Perhaps now is a good time for you to form a new party that will make no mistakes. Of course membership in that party will be limited to Bajan Whites.

    Pshaw!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Jeff

    Unfortunately there is not an online link. In a nutshell he is saying the Constitution provides for the GG to act in place where the Opposition leader is required.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    Ok…the Sun, right?

    Like

  • The blp read the mind of the electorate correct . Throw them a bone and they will react positively.
    The only part of the plan the bees was unprepared was a reaction seen as a refrendum to full goverence
    In Mia first day of governance most have seen that a partial page of the manifesto has been rendered not necessary to fufill any promise of tackling barbados debt which all but now open the floodgates of all waiting on line to ask what what about our share of the pie
    This is the same Mia who castigate the past govt for a return of their 10% now with full gusto and a peoples referendum in hand gives geneously a 8 million pkg to ministers who does not even have a justifiable portfolio which documents they are up to the task of doing the job.
    But then again they are no voices to oppose

    Like

  • Since a Constitutional amendment is in the offing, will the Gov’t take the opportunity to amend other parts of the Constitution as it sees fit? It is an opportune time for amendments; no Opposition to rile the people up as the principal Opposition party is rudderless – led by a lame duck leader and no obvious successor in sight.

    Like

  • This below sounds similar to what have been alleged against George Payne QC of George Walton Payne and Co as to what has happened with a top Jamaican Lawyer who has defrauded a client by trying to sell 2 of their properties illegally and fraudulently in Jamaica similar as alleged fraud in Barbados with the Stewart family.

    At least in Jamaica they not playing around.

    Top Jamaica real estate attorney slapped with new fraud charges

    Jamaica Gleaner) Top real estate attorney Jennifer Messado is facing new fraud-related charges.

    The Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime division (C-TOC) says Messado, 67, was arrested and charged on Friday with forgery, uttering forged documents and attempting to obtain money by means of forged documents.

    She was granted bail in the sum of $100,000 and is to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on June 1.

    According to C-TOC, Messado’s latest arrest comes one month after she allegedly visited a prominent financial institution in the Corporate Area and tendered a signed letter to the manager with the signatures of two persons.

    C-TOC, in a statement on Friday, said the letter “had certain instructions allowing her to conduct business on behalf of the (2) complainants.”

    However, C-TOC says checks were made and it was discovered that neither persons gave the prominent attorney permission to conduct business on their behalf.

    Messado was arrested earlier this month and charged with forgery, uttering forged documents, conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and causing money to be paid out by forged document.

    She was arrested along with real estate broker Beverly Barakat, in connection with the “sale” of a property valued at $232 million.

    Barakat has been charged with conspiracy to defraud, forgery and operating a real estate brokerage firm without a licence.

    Investigators alleged that on December 20 last year, Messado prepared a sales agreement for two parcels of land without the knowledge and consent of the owner.

    It’s alleged that she collected US$270,000 as down payment from the prospective purchaser.

    https://www.stabroeknews.com/2018/news/regional/05/27/top-jamaica-real-estate-attorney-slapped-with-new-fraud-charges/

    Like

  • @ Are-we-there-yet May 27, 2018 9:57 AM

    From my knowlegde of the public service, most officers S1-S3 are members of the DLP now.

    Would you like to indicate that the gov should appoint more officers in the civil service to compensate for that? Barbados has already the biggest civil service in the whole Caribbean and the bloated size is the cause for the present malaise.

    And bear in mind that the most talented Barbadians already left the island and work in NYC, London and Zurich. They won´t come back to face devaluation.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Hal Austin

    What sort of pup are you recommending?

    Listen to you though

    “…What a competent civil service does in the lead up to a general election is that every department prepares an up-to-date report, including finances, bilateral meetings, etc, for the incoming government…”

    Now we done know the former administration was teifing

    So how does that work then?

    Which set of records do they use?

    You is a strange UK bajan though…

    Like

  • @ Hal Austin
    What sort of pup are you recommending?(Quote)

    It is called administrative competence. Have you ever heard of it?

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    Tron;

    You said at 12:30 pm: “From my knowledge of the public service, most officers S1-S3 are members of the DLP now. Would you like to indicate that the gov should appoint more officers in the civil service to compensate for that?”

    First, how do you know that? I suspect that many of the people you think are members of the DLP are not so, but, in chameleon fashion, might have been strategically blending in with with the current lot. In any case I think it is unlikely that a significant number of new posts will be necessary since much of the work that is now needed will follow sequential critical paths, not parallel ones.

    Secondly, I expect that you know the tested procedure of transferring seniors to posts of low sensitivity and replacing them, sometimes on promotion, with others who the policy makers judge would more effectively carry out urgent policy.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Are-we-there-yet

    Hal;

    I don’t know about the term “Administrative Competence” but my imperfect memory suggests that the essential portions of the process you described were standard practice immediately after Administrations changed in the past in Barbados even though they might not have been codified into Procedures Manuals. There was little need for such procedures prior to a change in Government since the Party which was likely to take over was an imponderable and a successful incumbent Government would have been aware of much of the information in the dossiers as, on average, the Ministers generally survived the change. A new Government would have been fully briefed by a competent PS, who was on top of his work, with relevant inputs from Senior Technical staff and line officers shortly after the change. In addition there were the numerous departmental familiarization visits and meetings with Staff that took place over a few weeks after the new Ministers, and usually new top administrative staff also, were in place.

    I have little doubt that those practices survived the DLP regime but then what do I know about the standards of the last 10 years?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Are-we-there-yet May 27, 2018 3:35 PM

    Thank you very much for letting me know how to fill up the ranks of the Supreme Court and the embassies abroad.

    However, to promote all these losers and lazy laggards, you need to extent the Supreme Court by 500 % and need to found at least 20 new embassies 😉

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    Tron;

    The connection you suggest between those entities and the general public service is tenuous at best and stupid at worst. You and several others on BU have a totally incorrect view of the Bajan Public workers. The public service might be somewhat bloated and needs to be reduced but it does have a cadre of workers who have no equal in the Private Sector if one uses metrics of knowledge, skills, hard work and abilities. Indeed, much of the bloat which you speak of has been engendered by the policies of successive administrations seeking votes.

    Hopefully, at the end of PM Mottley’s first term, you will see some significant movement downwards in the bloat, mostly engendered by strategic policies that will hopefully be implemented in the near future. Those policies will not involve increasing the ranks of the Supreme court by 500% nor the establishment of 20 new embassies, nor anywhere near those ridiculous numbers.

    Like

  • @Are-we-there-yet May 27, 2018 9:57 AM

    “The new Ministers and Ministers of State have been identified … but has sufficient thought being given to the recruitment and placement of new Permanent Secretaries and Officers of that grade who will be the ones to direct and oversee the implementation of new policies
    ………………………………………………………

    Great observation………all of the Permanent Secretaries will have to be reassigned as many of the ministries are reclassified………….

    Like

  • Prodigal
    I foresee a personnel problem in the Public Service immediately.There will be an immediate need for increases at all grades starting at S1.They might have to consider PS ‘s on a contract basis as is done in Guyana especially since the PM is hinting at a temporary fix to a crisis situation.I have no idea of the number of full time PS’s and deputy PS’s etc but some retirees might be available on a contractual basis.Or hire private sector management graduates and give them the required shotgun training.I foresee a hiccup in getting the staff component up and running.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Gabriel

    Only a dog returns to its vomit

    She must not return to those failed Permanent Secretaries

    Madamoiselle Prime Minister would be well advised to continue with her “second tier of czars” strategy and “specially engaged” consultants

    The “balancing trick ” is to keep all the sycophants in a perpetual state of measurable output and cognizant that WHEN THEY FAIL as will many of them ( cause it is not in their nature to deliver constantly,) replace them

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    Gabriel, re. your 9:04 pm post. You said:

    “I foresee a personnel problem in the Public Service immediately.There will be an immediate need for increases at all grades starting at S1.They might have to consider PS ‘s on a contract basis as is done in Guyana especially since the PM is hinting at a temporary fix to a crisis situation.”

    I don’t foresee an immediate need for increases at all grades. Indeed, properly and strategically thought out, there may not be a need for increases, or at least significant increases, at all. There is a long culture of people being moved from one ministry or department on a fairly regular basis. Much of such movement has been somewhat aimless or even born of spiteful intentions in the past. At this time there will have to be very strategic transfers, starting almost immediately. Thus a proper Human Resource Department, which would probably be under the PM, would identify those Ministries which would have to be provided with the most competent PS’s etc. over the whole term of the new Government. Then there would be the Ministries which would need initially good staffing over a relatively short implementation period to ensure that the urgent priorities of the new administration are met. Then there would be the agencies that could hold some strain in the early days.

    The competent PS’s and their senior staff would be apportioned based on their skills and the urgency of immediate implementation. Much of the staff could be by transfers from ministries / departments where urgent transformation is deemed to be not necessary at this time but could come later. The Ministries / Departments that would be tackled with urgency could also be provided with a very few temporary contract officers.

    A detailed plan or roadmap for all the changes necessary to support the new Government’s strategic plan would have to be developed with utmost urgency. Existing staff could do it and the policy makers should not throw out competent trained existing staff on the basis that they suspect that they might have sympathies towards the DLP as I think that, irrespective of perceived leanings, the majority of public servants in Barbados would have to live in Barbados and would do nothing to hurt the Island and thereby themselves and their families in support of a perceived need to support a failed Political Party, especially at a time like this .

    One caveat on the above is that my experience in the public service is dated to nearly 2 decades ago.

    Like

  • The past BLP administrations have always used the expertise available on the Hill and I am sure that PM Mottley is very au fait with those arrangements.It was good to see PM’s from the EC States present at short notice in attendance at the swearing in ceremony this afternoon.Any good PM must be able to work the phones and reach out to key people 24/7.Barbados must remain a voice for unity in the Region.

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    PUDRYR

    I did not see your piece above before I posted my intervening one.

    The Consultant’s main worth is in the speeding up of the investigatory and reporting phases of a project or programme and providing roadmaps or strategic plans for activities. In many cases the consultant has to depend almost totally on existing staff for the data he/she uses in developing plans and programmes and actually regurgitates the conclusions given him / her by staff members.

    I suspect that it would be appropriate to use a mix of consultants and local staff, appropriately remunerated and given adequate time, to come up with sensible detailed plans. If the Government is getting quick expedited non-reimbursible funding for consultancies from funding agencies then the best bet would be the consultancy route. If money is a problem, as it appears to be, a mix of local and consultancy services would be best.

    It should be recognized that very few PS’s are specialists in any field. They are generalist Administrative officers. Most Ministries have well trained Technical specialists. These are the officers who implement and there are usually adequate numbers of them in the various ministries. They are not Barbados’ enemies. They would be shooting themselves in the foot if they sabotaged activities that sought to bring Barbados back from the brink.

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    Gabriel;

    Yes! There is significant expertise available from experts on Cave Hill. These can be used in various fields to quickly assist the Government to make required sensible decisions in many areas via the consultancy or joint project routes.

    Yes! It was very good to see, on my TV, the EC PMs attending and enjoying the swearing -in ceremony. Mia can tap a reserve of goodwill towards Barbados that was drying up. One other thing about the Ceremony is that it was super well managed and planned and executed with precision in record time and it was DIFFERENT from all that went before. I think it presages the high quality of innovation that Mia and her team will bring to the management of Barbados and screams:

    “THE ROT HAS STOPPED, BARBADOS IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AGAIN”

    I think she has the drive and foresight to actually surmount the huge challenges we have ahead.

    Like

  • You may recall that Owen Arthur resorted to a stable of consultants as a workaround to the bureaucratic civil service. Is Mia going the same route? Was the approach successful?

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ The Honourable Blogmaster

    I am not too knowledgeable about Owen’s consultants nor their success

    All I know is “do you have any skin in the game”

    This model of hourly compensation or salaried positions and even lowest bid carries the day for services to be rendered hs been unsuccessful for many moons

    It is time for deliverables based compensation

    Simply put

    You come to me claiming that you can do the impossible e.g. get Paradise Beach properties sold

    I tell you my sale price and We agree on your fee IF YOU GET IT SOLD. End of speculation.

    You don’t get one cent until the place is sold unless I am getting a kickback from your prepaid fees.

    Soooooo for all these new ministries and ministers and senators who ent prove themselves yet mek dem sign a performances and deliverables contract for 6 months

    Dem and the cuntsultants who are waiting in the offing

    And I hope dat an eye is kept on dem two non performing leeches the one is a minister and de next one a senator.

    If dem is left unattended at the chicken coop this is definitely going to be a one term government

    A word to the wise is sufficient…

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    I see that the PM has already taken the step of requiring her Ministers to agree to a 10% cut in salary. That is a huge step in the right direction and will give Mia and her ministers some political cover to effect other more substantive but unpalatable changes . The next step might be for her to use her constitution-proof majority to temporarily roll back the situation re. agreed deductions in salaries in the public service to the conditions of the Sandiford era when the 8% cut that saved Barbados was made. Such a cut will likely have to be made again since it will be necessary to significantly reduce the wages bill and that methodology is tried and tested and is the most palatable of the means that could be used to effect the required reductions. A 9-10% or so universal wages cut in the Public sector is infinitesimally preferable to cutting a large number of posts. Such a policy could be attended by one of attenuation of the wages bill by scrupulously leaving posts unfilled which might have become vacant for a variety of natural reasons. Such a policy would have been (albiet passively) carried out. by the Stuart regime, but by itself would have been inadequate to significantly address the problem..

    Like

  • The garish looking Westbury Cemetery wall should now be restored to a more sober colour.It is the height of the arrogance displayed by a drunk-with-power DLP administration that authored the change of the colour just before the 2013 General Election.It’s in matters such as this that brings out the low life,bag blind culture of that party’s appeal to the lowest of the low in what they think is a popularity contest for the vote at any price to the psyche of the nation.

    Like

  • “One other thing about the Ceremony is that it was super well managed and planned and executed with precision in record time and it was DIFFERENT from all that went before. I think it presages the high quality of innovation that Mia and her team will bring to the management of Barbados and screams:

    “THE ROT HAS STOPPED, BARBADOS IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AGAIN””

    I think you need to get out more. Even a partisan like youself must see that this is a bit of a stretch.

    Like

  • According to Sir Ronald Sanders in his most recent column in which he took to task the comments of Freundel Stuart regarding the CCJ,he suggested that the statement that the Court delivered 2 judgements only in 2018 is far from the truth. Sanders says the Court delivered 13 judgements so far in 2018,has another 9 cases heard, with judgements pending and another 8 cases to be heard before its current term ends on July 31st.That by all standards is a decent record for a Supreme Court of the Caricom Caribbean.

    Like

  • @Are-we-there-yet May 28, 2018 8:42 AM

    Go on like this and we are soon very best friends … 🙂 I like deregulation, flexibilization, privatization, global trade and free markets.

    The next step should be the abolishment of all duties on imports so Barbadians can buy more cars to make up the announced 25% duty in the US 😉

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Are We There Yet

    You post at 8.42 a.m was an excellent idea

    I must admit I was grappling with how she has to lay off thousands of public service workers

    Let me set the stage for Lucille MoE minister of information broadcasting and public affairs

    After you fire all of the DLP Reporting Lies management committees and disband all their under the cover contracts you need to get a few videos prepared that outline The State of The Nation

    I can get the grandson storyboard it for you

    But what you have to do is create a series o 4 15 mjnute storylines about what you have found in the various ministries

    Snippets of the dire state of affairs in the most critical of the ministries

    And in each case have a lower thirds banner show a ticker tape of the monies involved

    Run these for about a week and have 45 second excerpts sent to all whatsapp and sms recipients

    Then have Madamoiselle Prime Minister come on t.v. and bring the determination to the 15 second attention span bajan people

    Game over… sorry if I am so crass about this but…

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @The Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please…

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    PUDRYR

    Sounds good to me.

    Like

  • “Such a policy could be attended by one of attenuation of the wages bill by scrupulously leaving posts unfilled which might have become vacant for a variety of natural reasons.”

    We need some Ebola in Barbados.

    Like

  • It was reported by David Ellis today that two DLP politicians walked out of a meeting held at George Street today, pray tell who were these politicians?

    Like

  • It is my fervent wish they all keep walking.For the past 10 years Barbados has regressed and we are back to about 1960’s in our stage of development.We have lost hugely.These latter day Dems know zilch about responsibility and accountability.With corruption and deal making even by those in professions among them.Greed and robbery best describe these morons.Good riddance you sums-beeches.May you never more be seen in any public office in Barbados.Gaul bline wunna,one and all.Chop sutters and bag bline hoes.

    Like

  • @Gabriel

    Happy with the faces that appeared in CBC TV news tonight?

    Like

  • Lots of work and an awesome responsibility defines the decisiveness of the PM and the team.We look forward to better management of the country as promised.

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    Tron;
    You live in the First world and have acclimatized yourself to that ethos, Yes?

    Like

  • If you call Barbados first world, yes.

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    OK, You live here!

    So either you are a furriner or a self hating Upper Class Bajan. In any case you must be a Masochist. How could you wish Ebola on us, even in jest, after we’ve gone through the slow lava-like depredations of the Stuart regime?

    I take it dat Yuh know Ebola has reared its ugly head again, along with a new similar epidemic disease in India.

    Like

  • Trim loves to pump a lot of bile on the blog. We are Barbadians first!

    Like

  • @ Are-we-there-yet May 29, 2018 6:34 AM

    Sorry!!! “slow lava-like depredations of the Stuart regime” agree 1000 % ! No more English jokes :(( How could I even equate Stuart and Ebola … no way to cover up the reign of economic terror … no way …

    However, you owe me something immaterial for campaigning for you for years 😉 I spent many days constructing and coining names and phrases which were all over the media/island plus plotting narratives.

    Like

  • Are-we-there-yet

    Tron;

    OK. You do have some good instincts.

    But that immaterial debt is not to me but to the BLP politicos. I am not a member or even follower of any Political Party.

    Like

  • Same here.

    All I want is Barbados BACK AS IT WAS IN 2007.

    Like

  • There is clearly a problem with the drafting. If the constitution provides for an Opposition and Leader, then the electoral system, through the constitution or custom, should provide for that. In the UK, for example, no one opposes the Speaker of the House, no matter which party s/he comes from.
    One of the principles of legal drafting is “what if”? What if the electorate returns 100 per cent of any single party, as it has done? The architects of the constitution have made a big mistake.
    The only constitutional threat is that the governing party has enough MPs to change the constitution without proper debate, but that is one of the risks of a parliamentary democracy. The people have spoken, so if the ruling party wants to change the constitution then they have been given the power to do so. That is no crisis.
    The real crisis, again is in the constitutional drafting, allowing a ruling party to dominate the appointment of Senators. This negates the role of the Upper House – reviewing, expertly challenge, etc, not rubber stamping. But what we have seen since Friday does not give us any reason to believe there will be principles governing any of these appointments.
    Pigs and troughs come to mind.(Repeat)

    Like

  • David @9.58am
    Yes and yes and yes..all present and correct.This is so nice to see after the electorate dealt with the riff raff. Barbados and the Region will be the beneficiary of this kind of inter governmental relationship.Lo and behold!

    Like

  • @ David
    Yours @8.58am May 29

    The photo reminded me of the first meeting with the members of the “Social Partnership”, there was so much hugging and kissing that I was tempted to sing “Love is in the air”.

    Like

  • @Sargeant

    True, then David Thompson died and Stuart entered stage left.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s