The Grenville Phillips Column – Fake News

After three years of being in the political trench, I am now accustomed to an apparent politically partisan news media.  During the brief election period, many voters claimed to have never heard of Solutions Barbados, and were shocked to learn that we had been active for the past 3 years and had 28 candidates.  They were even more surprised to learn that we had published our manifesto on-line when we formed, on 1 July 2015.

When we announced 9 candidates, we were told that it was not newsworthy.  When we announced 16, we were told that it was not newsworthy.  When we had 20 and held a press conference, we were told that it was still not newsworthy, but we got a critical editorial and no mention of our candidates.

The news media’s attempts to keep Solutions Barbados out of the public’s view was very successful.  When we were covered, it was normally very critical and condescending when contrasted with the fawning coverage given to others.  While this was a challenge for us, none of that could be categorised as fake news.

There is currently an attempt to redefine us as being adversarial to the Prime Minister.  We are supposed to play the role of a bitter loser, and being complimentary in any way to the current administration is not playing their game, so they have decided to play it for us.

This is unfortunate since I have consistently been complimentary towards the Prime Minister since our first meeting some 2 decades ago.  During the election campaign, I was critical of her party’s unnecessary austerity policies, and their intent to surrender the people of Barbados to the IMF.  Her economic advisors promised the public that the IMF was not their first option, but we were surrendered within their first week in government and are now awaiting terms of this surrender.

The media thinks that having a different economic solution is being adversarial, but it is not.  The media asked me to provide a response to the Prime Minister’s first budget.  Our response was very complimentary to the Prime Minister, because once she decided to pursue the unnecessary austerity path, then she is doing the best that anyone could have expected.  However, the media had a story to tell and my complimentary response did not fit their narrative.

The first order of business was to remove every complimentary sentence that I made towards the Prime Minister’s efforts.  However, the result was still a fair, non-partisan analysis.  My main conclusion follows. “In the current economic circumstances, the Prime Minister must be congratulated for a responsible effort.  It is not a sustainable solution, but it does carve out enough of a breathing space to enter binding negotiations with the IMF – which is their plan.”

Here is what was published.

Phillips said the Mini-Budget was not a sustainable solution for the woes of the Barbados economy, nor did it “carve out enough of a breathing space to enter binding negotiations with the IMF.

This should qualify as an exemplar of media malpractice, and I cannot blame the Prime Minister if she thinks that we are trying to be adversarial.  But she can rest assured that if she is reading anything negative about Solutions Barbados in the established media, then it is likely fake news.

The news media are also attempting to utterly confuse the public with a campaign that we are trying to “curry favour” with the Prime Minister.  We are expected to be as rude to our Prime Minister as opposing politicians and political operatives tend to be.  They are simply not accustomed to honest, non-partisan analysis, so they write their own fake narratives.

What is not fake news is the dangerous void that has now been created when a partisan media leaves the public with no voice to warn them of what is to come, and no advice to properly prepare themselves.  That is an intolerable position for the citizens of any country to be in.

I have tolerated the media’s partisan behaviour for the past 3 years and have done my best to encourage them not to compromise their integrity, but to no avail.  With the evident plan to keep Solutions Barbados suppressed once again until the next general election is called, they have gravely miscalculated.

With only one life to live, I decided over 40 years ago to try to do my best regardless of the consequences.  If I am to be criticised, then let it be for doing what is right, not what is wrong.  For the media to change facts to fit their partisan narrative is unjustifiably wrong.  A responsible solution to a corrupt political system was to start a political party to give the people a competent alternative.  That I have done.  With a politically compromised media, the solution is similar.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

24 comments

  • Good to listening to Grenville on VoB this evening, he has taken an offensive position early in the game. Interesting given the vacuum of the the dissenting voice at this time given the silence of the DLP AND the news that old faces maybe the face of the post 24 May DLP. An opportunity to be the Opposition voice is there for the picking.

    #solutionsbarbados

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  • Stephen Lashley’s response complete with documentation contradicting Mottley claim of contracts renewed years before the due date – is very instructive.In this case he was dealing with Cranston Browne.However Donville Inniss also dealt with that of the QEH Ceo – Dexter James’ contract.

    I have always felt that if this government was pushing lies and half truths about these claims of misdoings by the former administration on the matter of renewal of contracts – to give the image of massive corruption – then the former Dlp ministers needed to defend themselves.

    The BLP is known for going out there and pushing lies – knowing that by the time the DLP or whoever the other defending party is – responds – then the damage is already done.

    A lie would have made its way around once while truth was putting on its pants to get ready.

    Of course they always have certain media houses to assist them in their agenda.

    The DLP, as is always the case waits until the narrative is set to answer the charge.

    Hopefully the provision of documentation would work in their favour.I see even Gregory Nichols – chairman of the Transport Board – had to refute the lies pushed through Social media and the Nation – that Sandra Forde – former G.M of the Transport Board – was given a letter from the Permanent Secretary – Mark Cummins.

    Gregory Nichols had to then come in and back up Sandra Forde – who had denied ever receiving that letter.

    Is this the sort of foundation this government wants to build on?

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  • T. Inniss you are absolutely correct in your assessment of this govt. A barrage of lies which would come back to haunt them in their five year goverence of this country.
    All the PR stunts which seems to have dissipated in these two weeks since the fall of grace of their friend associate and bosom buddy Charles Herbert and has been replaced by a feverish attempt by the blp BU gang of a need for distance from Herbert only time would tell why
    However reading the tea leaves says his association would give the blp supporters much belly ache and sleepless nites as probing eyes tell not so nice stories of Herbert association with the blp
    On another note heard Senator Caswell lambasting govt for the water taxes referring as punishing and worst than the NSRl
    Who would have thought
    Utterances as Those stated via the senator would never get the light of day on BU
    BU has now become the right arm of filtering news that does not relay positively on this govt

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  • the DLP must come out and defend their record. it is only then that we will get a better understanding of what went on.

    i must caution that some records are easier defended than others.

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  • de pedantic Dribbler

    “The BLP is known for going out there and pushing lies – knowing that by the time the DLP or whoever the other defending party is – responds – then the damage is already done….A lie would have made its way around once while truth was putting on its pants to get ready…….Of course they always have certain media houses to assist them in their agenda….The DLP, as is always the case waits until the narrative is set to answer the charge.”

    This type of political hubris is astoundingly annoying if one identifies as ‘independent rather than B or D…in Bajan parlance it is utter RH BS!

    By all means defend your party and spin to assert your ‘valid’ point but to accuse one party of lying when your own party just ending the most egregious period of continuous obfuscation, misdirection and outright, blatant lies (I never saw a Cahill contract, then to discover a Cahil doc with denier’s signature on same) is not spin…

    …it is just another round of obfuscating BS.

    If Mia is stretching the truth re the contract extension then by all means get the facts out to defend and provide accuracy…HOWEVER, that defense cannot be that the BLP did the same or that the contracts were up for renewal soon.

    In all jurisdictions politically appointed post are expected to turn over with a change in admin even sometimes in roles hardly considered as beholding to a political master like a Commissioner of Police or an FBI Director or an NIS Chairman.

    So how on earth would the top posts at a UDC or the Transport Board, which have always been considered deeply political statutory corps not be expected to be changed after a change in government. On what legitimate, ethical and PRACTICAL grounds were extensions given for multi year periods well beyond the norm rather than a rolling one year or some other practical procedure to allow the new bosses to select their own talent!!

    Based on some of the defenses offered by DLP acolytes there is every reason to understand and accept why the utter disdain you guys showed in the last year certainly was rewarded with that thumping defeat.

    Raise your game for crying out loud…your team was caught in lies, corruption and pure adulterated sewerage flowing incompetence .Period.

    Hold the BLP feet to the fire surely but as the recently released fraud convict do not PREACH to me about sanctity on lying and falsehoods.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @James

    Isn’t that what the blogmaster and others have been calling? To Mia’s credit, when Duguid refused to walk back from the road tax fiasco she owned it and dealt with it. The blogmaster expects her to do same if the talk about contracts is proved to be inaccurate. Apologize and move forward. Let us stop the political snarking and snarling. The country can ill-afford it at this time.

    It is reflected in this forum every day where we see mature, qualified, some of prominent standing in Barbados, engaged in the most silly of behaviours.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Pedantic

    Are always so full of it.

    Read carefully the paragraph you picked out and then look again at the extrapolation you sought to make thereafter.Steupes.

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  • The blp govt cannot defend its lies after ten years of criticising govt for taxing the people to death and offering better what was tge giovt response
    To offer more if the same taxation in largesse to the people
    Isnt that a lie
    Cries of transparency was always heard coming from Mia mouth
    What she did was to hire unknown foreign advisers and commuinication mouthpieces wihout seeing fit to be transparent in any shape form or fashion
    Unfortunately for the people corruption would span across this administration as the windows are closed and eyes that are necessary to see and object have been removed and replaced with a govt precision of using the optics of PR stunts upon which the public would have to rely

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  • de pedantic Dribbler

    Of course someone is full of it…if I were a DLP acoylyte I would be pissed also to be reminded of the utter disdain shown by my party to the citizens of Barbados.

    Your paragraph was pellucid…you led with the assertion that the BLP is reknowened for pushing lies and your party then playing catch up. OK….soooo….

    David Thompson did not subsume the office of PM into a morass of lies and obfuscation with that CLICO million $$cheque; Stuart didn’t the same with the Cahill continually lying.

    Look I get your adoration…I simply am past my own adoration of Errol Barrow etc etc…and particularly Mr Thompson…I have close buds that I presume still worship the brother to this day…so don’t interpret my broadside as some DLP hate filled diatribe…it’s more a pain that I cant yet properly understand what caused such a self implosion and surely BS artist like you will do the party NO GOOD with the self serving nonsense.

    The DLP needs a full flowing Augean stables cleanse…you sir need to be a solution provider not a point finger across the aisle appeaser…the BLP did NOT get your party to this precipice…your party bosses did!

    So somebody is full of it…not moi!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Now that comment of BU above @ 8:15 a.m. I can associate myself with – Mia should in the same public space where she made the claims – she should return and apologise where it is proven that she misled the public.

    Alas by that time – if she ever demonstrates the integrity to do so once warranted – the damage to people’s reputation in this small society would have been done.And since we are operating in a Global village – the impact could even be more far reaching.

    I believe however this was a deliberate and sinister plot of Mottley,that is,to throw out these charges without the accompanying evidence – therefore riling up and inciting the public – to behave like sheep and parrot her mantra of corruption,corruption.

    This of course was expected to buttress her subsequent lament – that her hands are tied – and she has no money – and therefore -‘Woe Is Me’.

    The wickedness and unfairness of this – lies also in the fact that most of these persons operating in the public sphere cannot come out and defend themselves while still operating in the job.

    Yet we see Mottley turning up with big fat files at these press conferences while she makes these charges – without opening the files and showing supporting documents – subliminal messaging of course – and senior journalists like Ellis falling for that sort of low tricks.
    .
    Very Trumpian of course.
    .

    Yet all the meanwhile she is filling up the public service with her political party campaign man who happens to also be an employee of Dominica,hiring financial consultants,tsars,political advisors and nuff,nuff ministers – while saying look over there people – or ‘many hands make light work’ .

    Strangely however these many hands that are supposed to make light work – have been causing more chaos and added work – which often results in her having to come behind and clean up.

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  • Pendantic

    My comments to you remain – trying to connect dots with squares.Wuhloss.

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  • @Dee Word

    This is why Grenville and his team have an opportunity to make some noise in the Opposition space. On the 24 May the people rejected the DLP in unprecedented manner and as a party it (DLP) has done nothing to demonstrate it has learned or is willing to transform to comply with the expectations of the people from that result. The fact that the party is rumoured to be bringing back some old faces should be good news to the third parties.

    Third parties get your act together. Be advocates on the issues, find ways to have your message resonate with the electorate. Barbadians voted against the DLP but they are still hungry for change.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David who wrote “(DLP) has done nothing to demonstrate it has learned or is willing to transform to comply with the expectations of the people from that result.”

    It is less than 3 months since the DLP lost the election.

    They have the next 2 YEARS to recruit new contestants for the next election 3 to 5 years from now.

    The ” old faces ” can step aside when the time is right.

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  • T or DInniss and Mariposa you two Dems area special breed someone is always lying on you or it is someone else,s fault,give me a break.Tell me you remember the ex Pm claiming he knew nothing of Cahill and when Ms Mottley produced the sign document whose signature was on the document?Therefore who was lying?.How about the many contradictions of Mr Sinckler?What about Mr Thompson talk about Mr Arthur signing on to the IMF,and to reveal all in Queens Park,which never happened,or the St john develpement plan,which no other person apparently knew nothing about?.The dems have a history of lbeing strangers to the truth,so if you T inniss,who suddenly appear to have a conscience after May 25th think you dealing with Bajans with short memories go do some reseach on your party,s history,before talking B/S.

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  • @Lorenzo

    Are you saying that it is ok for the new BLP government to perpetuate the same?

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  • Wunna talking like this govt who had to sat in the wilderness for ten years are the best option this country has for good goverence
    How quickly all the blp yardfowls forget the 14 years of corruption and mismagement that attributed to the blp lost in 2008
    Now pursuing on a defeatist campagain strategy to ruin the reputations of the dlp ministers which will eventually back fire in their faces

    watchmenow

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  • But the contract clearly states 22 April 2016 and states effective the 22 April 2018. Ain’t nobody fault but the people who drafted and signed the contract. Dead!!

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  • All public servants getying from govt after weeks of monies fue in wages are letters stating further delays in receiving monies
    This govt lies to win the election are beginning to bear rotten fruit
    But who really cares
    Nobody watching

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  • Woman you got a good job. The decline in the economy for the first 6 months of 2018 is a lie too?🤣🤣

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  • As expected nothing new here
    However what was new is that Mia stating she can fix the woes

    #####watch me now

    Still watching

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  • LOL @ MARIPOSA …you remind me of all those dictators who had heads of propaganda ministries, better yet, you remind me of Mark Adamson or Denis Kellman…Those who choose to entertain you in discussion do so at the risk of being labelled as ignorant as you. The kettle shouldnt pay the pot anymind, but i suspect it takes less effort to clean the kettle than the pot..

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  • As for Mr Grenville Phillips, my suggestion is that he humbles himself first, keep his ear to the ground and pay attention to the IMMEDIATE concerns of Barbadians that are within his control. His job, should he choose to accept it, is to put fire to the administrations efforts with regards to the corruption allegations and impress upon the public that he to shares the public’s hunger for justice… It is all about who will we label corrupt vs who do we label liars… He takes that approach and stay relevant in this pursuit and i guarantee he will have something to bargain with the public in 2023

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  • Cut out the wining and complaining or quit politics…its downright sickening

    Like

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