The George Brathwaite Column – Ready for BERT

Hardly anyone inside or outside of Barbados would underestimate the gravity of the socio-economic situation confronting the Mia Mottley-led administration. The current circumstances challenging Barbados, inclusive of: the threat of devaluation, the insufficiency of investments and earned revenue, the high incidence of taxation, the need to exercise fiscal discipline while attending to several infrastructural problems, restructuring the public sector knowing that there will be definite job losses, and the return of quality services-provision to the nation, are foremost in the minds of Barbadians. In fact, these economic issues are stirring anxiety and are laced with the peril of inflicting more dislocation than already existing in the society, even if only in the short to medium term.

Undoubtedly, the national discourse has been for more than five years running, attempting to find ways around every obstacle and limitation. While the results obtained by the last government are far from inspiring, there is increased hope and confidence in the Mia Mottley-led administration. Barbadians are once again seeing the signs of innovation and development. These are interrelated concepts, with the former related to developing new ways of doing things by mixing up ideas and/or combining technologies; and the latter about implementing appropriate policies and mechanisms to change and improve people’s conditions by removing various types of socio-economic, political and natural constraints. The problems will not vanish overnight nor is it likely that every effort would be lauded a success, but the Government must have the confidence and political will to do what is in the best interest of the nation.

Indeed, attaining quality standards of life and happiness are still the expressed goals of the governing and the governed in Barbados, regardless of partisan persuasion. Perhaps, now is as good a time as ever to allow a space for cross-party forums to engage some of the topical issues affecting ordinary Barbadians. Even under the current debacle and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral institutions, it is reasonable to state that ‘pride and industry’ remain symbols of Barbadians’ quests to be firm craftsmen and women of the national fate. It is to the point of creating and shaping a national strategy that there ought to be a willingness to at least give critical support to the proposed the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Programme.

Becoming ‘fiscally fit and fit for purpose’ are by no means easy tasks given the current diagnosis and the medicine to be delivered. Barbadians are also mindful that the torment of job losses will not immediately evaporate. Indeed, it is refreshing to hear the Minister of Labour Colin Jordan encourage greater dialogue with the unions’ representatives and by extension the social partnership. However, several persons would be ambivalent to the General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) whose comment indicated that 1,000 workers losing the security of their jobs “as is being suggested would be a reasonable conclusion.” It is a conciliatory tone that is supportive of the new administration performing in the national interest at this time, but it may incur some probity from those not quite grasping the sacrifice to be made.

Nevertheless, Economist Dr. Kevin Greenidge outlined that a significant part of the BERT Programme is to proceed based on a transformation through the processes of retooling, retraining and enfranchisement. The intent is to rationalise several of the ‘State Owned Enterprises’ (SOEs), thus avoiding duplication and wastage in terms of financial costs and personnel resources. For example, in the case of the Transport Board, Greenidge disclosed that the Government would be aiming “to reduce its $123 million bill by at least $30 million, which could be done through an increase in bus fares and moving to mobile payments to reduce accounting needs.” Of significance, is the utilisation of technologies as would be done across the public sector. Going beyond traditional forms of mergers and consolidations, the key is to cut costs while ensuring that there is an empowering of individuals and groups. Again, with the Transport Board as an example, it was suggested that “the process involves having drivers and their teams to own buses” and similarly with the Sanitation Services, for the workers “to own their trucks and commit to some minimal standard of public service.”

Clearly, the attitude of the society becomes crucial as the country strives towards changes which hopefully would net the desired results. One would expect that the communicative actions of the Government continue, and the participation of the public is not short-lived. The Mottley-led administration has an overwhelming mandate to build trust between the governing and governed. As Francis Fukuyama argues in ‘The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity’ “trust is an efficient means for lowering transaction costs in any social, economic and political relationship.” If the credibility of the last administration was badly wanting, it cannot be in the national interest for the current administration to revert to ways that conflict with the expectations of the people nor the self-stated means for redressing the issues. Not only can Barbados rebound economically, but politics and public administration can reclaim some of the lost ideals.

The public officials must deliver for the country while being aware of the continuous demands for new skill-sets to match the anticipated reach of job creation. Surely, Barbados must be able to acquire and deploy the requisite tools and resources for making the public workforce flourish with pride and industry, and global competitiveness. As suggested, there will be the built-in disadvantage – namely, the short-term threat to jobs due to a bulging set of bureaucratic duplications and wastage across SOEs. Still, entrepreneurship and empowerment must be given the encouragement so that the country attains the desired results.

Lastly, readers are encouraged to give support and feedback to the administration and to those who will guide the BERT and other transformational programmes. There are designed to make Barbados the best even under the difficult circumstances. All voices should contend because it is out of chaos that we can find harmony, and out of conflict that we can find consensus. Opportunities will be opening but we must have the hopeful mindset to greet every chance to make things better. Our emerging entrepreneurs must be able to operate in an economy that is ‘fit for purpose’. Barbados can achieve the optimal workforce that can add vibrant dimensions so that job creation is a definite by-product of the national sacrifices. Barbados needs this transformation to advance the prospects and prosperity for all our people.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant and former lecturer in Political Science. Email:

52 thoughts on “The George Brathwaite Column – Ready for BERT

  1. Hollow phrases like “processes of retooling, retraining and enfranchisement” do not help. Barbados has councils and commissions for productivity sine the stone age and nothing ever changed.

    Streamlining the many SOEs is the only positive outlook. However, a mere “recommendation” so far – and we all know what happens to promises in the Caribbean political opera. We had too many “recommendations” before … Didn´t the old gov also “consider” to streamline the SOEs???

    Barbados needs some leader to make hard decisions, not special-special ambassadors, tsars, consultants and other quacks in suits who only “recommend” but never implement.

    Also: The whole Bert-plan lacks any sincere and workable suggestion how to improve the inflow of forex signifcantly. What a waste of time.

  2. George is always producing propaganda, which s disappointing. Honest, dispassionate analysis will serve the nation better.

  3. @ Tron
    Check above…
    Dr George is “a political consultant and former lecturer in Political Science.”

    In short….a career shiite talker, who has never accomplished one shiite in his life so far….
    What exactly makes you think it reasonable that this will change now…?

    Give the fella a break nuh….
    George probably thinks that completing these articles represents meaningful accomplishments that should be valued…

    If we wanted to make SERIOUS changes in Barbados we would look to those who have a HISTORY of getting things DONE; a RECORD of successful accomplishments; and a clear commitment to community and country.

    Instead, we value political yardfowls and the shiitehounds who study them – ‘political scientists’ – who are even less relevant than are ‘economists’ (whatever the Hell THOSE are…’)
    So Dr George, George Belle, and Peter Wiki are the ‘thought-leaders bout here….’
    ha ha ha
    Devaluation in we tail….

  4. Blogmaster why do you continually accommodate this author’s pseudo intellectual tripe?

    Surely you can’t be that desperate for content?

  5. @ Tron September 4, 2018 9:20 AM
    “Also: The whole Bert-plan lacks any sincere and workable suggestion how to improve the inflow of forex signifcantly. What a waste of time.”

    Tron, you are the highly-rated king of the BU ring where no holds are barred and no punches pulled.

    Where in the BERT are there proposals to earn and save forex (significantly)?

    What’s the position on the Hyatt behemoth and the All Seasons fiasco?
    Weren’t these once touted as the game-changers for the Bajan economy?

    What’s in the BERT’s head regarding the revitalization of agriculture seeing that the world is heading towards a food crisis and as global warming takes its toll on places like Australia?

    Has BERT dropped plans to drill for oil offshore now that Trinidad is becoming a net importer of finished petroleum products? Who would be refining that heavy crude full of so much sulphur as to destroy the vulnerable tourism industry?

  6. @ Brother in Arms Bush Tea
    @ Tron
    @ A. Dullard
    @ Wily Coyote
    @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    Steupseeeee….de man ent get no pick and is working assiduously for one….effing Come Sing a Song get one for opposing Fumbles he figures he can get one too by this sanctimonious poock licking


    Looka dis “…Undoubtedly, the national discourse has been for more than five years running, attempting to find ways around every obstacle and limitation. While the results obtained by the last government are far from inspiring, there is increased hope and confidence in the Mia Mottley-led administration…”

    There is increasing hope…???

    Where de badword, really badword he living?

    Den Ggeorge de Cuntsultant says “…the latter about implementing appropriate policies and mechanisms to change and improve people’s conditions by removing various types of socio-economic, political and natural constraints…”

    Which natural constraints Chairman Mia Mao “removing”?

    De man understands what “natural” means?

    But I jes wants to know what he means when he says “natural constraints” den


    1.existing in or formed by nature (opposed to artificial): a natural bridge.
    2.based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process.
    3.of or relating to nature or the universe: natural beauty.

    So is it that Chairman Mao, in anticipation of her “Long March with breakfast for Bajans” going remove the unnatural bridges over the constitution and build natural bridges from the Careenage to St Lucia across the Atlantic.

    Or is he referring to the “natural relationship” between a man and a woman and its imminent removal for a more natural Steve to Steven? and Eve to Eve-Lynne?

    Steupseee… looka leh me go heah and see whu Enuff of Lorenzo duo saying bout PAIN fictional Law degree and he practice in Wales and Scotland

  7. No forward movement can be obtained, proceed or SUCCEED until Mia recognizes that she cannot manage a government with scandal after scandal, or with a NONFUNCTIONAL supreme court or with a corrupt business community…unless she addresses these issues, concisely, effectively and with surgical precision…it is all a waste of time.

    ….unless she concedes these are the blights dogging and haunting her administration. ..and asks for the relevant help to clean up, all we will hear is talk..

  8. @ millertheanunnaki September 4, 2018 10:08 AM


    Your point “offshore oil” is what really matters. Hyatt et al. are peanuts in comparison to the geostrategical importance of such natural resources. The IMF discussed the point “offshore oil” multiple times before with BB gov.

    As we all know the important items are always hidden – like Christmas gifts or Easter eggs 😉

    … so far I have not seen any additional American engineers on the island …

  9. @Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right September 4, 2018 10:15 AM “De man understands what “natural” means?
    But I jes wants to know what he means when he says “natural constraints” den.”

    Actually governments and people routinely remove natural constraints. For example aliteracy is a natural constraint. We teach our children to read. Reading is completely unnatural.

    Not being immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis chicken pox, small pox is completely natural. Immunizing children is completely unnatural.

    Living in caves natural. Living in houses completely unnatural.

    Bush in the fields is completely natural. plouging the fields and planting food crops in neat rows is completely unnatural

    Etc. etc.

    Ya didn’t ask me, but you know that I simply like to jump in where angles fear to tread.

    I wish however that the good professor would write in clear simple English.

  10. Go Caswell..Mia can dance around as much as she wants but as long as she refuses to address the burning, glaring, nagging problems that are plaguing and chipping away at her government…the F will stay in place for 5 years.

    “Failing grade
    Article by
    Colville Mounsey Published on
    September 3, 2018
    The governing Barbados Labour Party (BLP) deserves no better than an emphatic ‘F’ for its performance during its first 100 days in office, according to an Opposition spokesman.

    Controversial trade unionist Caswell Franklyn has delivered a scathing critique of the ruling BLP, which captured all 30 seats at stake in the May 24 general election before Member of Parliament for St Michael West Joseph Atherley crossed the floor one week later and was appointed Opposition Leader.

    It was Atherley who selected Franklyn as one of his two senators, and the trade unionist did not mince words today as he accused the Mia Mottley Government of heaping even more hardship on Barbadians than its predecessor, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).

    “This Government has failed so bad that it isn’t funny,” he told Barbados TODAY.

    Hardly anyone of note has escaped Franklyn’s sharp tongue since his appointment to the Senate.”

  11. Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant and former lecturer in Political Science

    Could you add “BLP lap dog” to that description?

    Since the DLP went through de eddoes de man is unable to locate a foil for his criticism and has revealed that he is unable to provide any subjective analysis. He even had you blushing when you read that bit a few weeks ago about your “flamboyant smile” ah mean there is fawning but that is abject bootlicking.

    Yuh mean that he can’t even get one of dem diplomatic plums that even the bombastic Morris got? Surely de could be a deputy something somewhere but please don’t send him to Canada, we got enough crap to deal wid already.

    Cudddear Mia give de man a pick and put we out of we misery.

  12. Bushie, if you want to get someone who knows how to get things done, and has a long history of so doing, yuh need to ask Sir Kyff if he would get involved. Yuh KNOW the talkers are a waste of oxygen.

  13. @William,

    The BLP government was elected comprehensively to replace s dysfunctional DLP government. It had been in Opposition (14 seats for the ten previous years, which suggest to me it would have had an understanding of the extent of the crisis, and would have had alternative policies) and before that had been in power for 14 years.
    Neither the mini-Budget, nor the so-called BERT has given any indication that the BLP administration fully understands the crisis in Barbados, and even more, the full extent of global economic struggle.
    Economically, nothing in BERT stands up, but to have a debate on the macroeconomics of the proposals will, in time, drift in to pro-party shouting. I try to avoid that.
    I know that you do not agree with me when I say that Barbados is a failed state. But let us look at the functioning of the three key institutions of government: the judiciary, the legislative and the executive. The government’s 29:1 majority has neutralised the legislative as the leading debating chamber in the nation, this is even more so when we consider the size of the executive This is then supplemented by a number of unelected, highly paid consultants (who no on is sure what they do). The judiciary is crippled, as is generally agreed.
    So, our key democratic institutions are dysfunctional. This, I submit, is the definition of a failed state. @William, school boy Latin would not save us, but may give people an inflated memory of their school days.

  14. “yuh need to ask Sir Kyff if he would get involved.”

    Really…one of the heads of the Cattlewash Crooks, the same parasites the Bajan population, the majority… wants to see gone out of their lives, their children’s lives and the lives of their future generations…really.??

  15. Actually, 45G, Kyff would be easily among Bushie’s top 10 list of persons selected to turn this shiite place around….
    This is a no-brainer, never mind WARU – in her emotional feminine mode…

    Herbert would have been there too – and pending a good explanation as to why he was on a boat with illegal drugs – could still be in that top ten…. along with Caswell and Jeff C.. the latter two bringing EVEN MORE VALUABLE assets to the table – uncompromising honesty and uncompromising PROFESSIONALISM respectively.

    If Bushie was in wunna shoes – he would find people WHO HAVE ACHIEVED (legally and in the open market) and seek THEIR guidance and leadership in charting a path for Barbados…. not shiite hound PS’s political operatives, yardfowls and public servants who don’t have two dimes to rub together during the week before payday…
    fortunately, Bushie already HAVE a StepFather…. 🙂

    Only BB Bajans would look to persons whose OWN lives and families are COMPLETE failures… to lead the whole damn country to economic salvation…..

    Shiite man .. that is like putting a chicken feed maker to supervise insurances like CLICO….
    Oh Wait!!! we DID that !!!!
    Grass in our donkey….

  16. “This is a no-brainer, never mind WARU – in her emotional feminine mode.”

    Ya setting up ya own people to get robbed for another 50 years by the Cattlewash Crooks, if only you knew what I know, but ya don’t…or ya would never say that…


    “Herbert would have been there too ”

    Ya compounded it when I specifically warned yall about Herbert in that hot sun cockup for a march…look see how well that one turned

    but don’t mind me…lol

  17. The More things change the More they remain the same.

    Old stoves, fridges, fans, mattresses, galvanised sheets and plastic containers are some of the contents of the waste accumulated across the country.

    The Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) also is a victim of the abuse as garbage was seen resting not far from its Wildey, St Michael complex where No Dumping signs indicate that under the Health Services Amendment Act (1975), people caught dumping in that area could be fined from $100 to $5 000.

    A DAILY NATION team spotted heaps of trash along the road from Lower Dayrells Road to Rockley, Christ Church

  18. There was an interesting new’s story on the BBC this morning. It spoke of a Ugandan man who lives in London and is a “legitimate” black cab taxi driver who has passed the “knowledge” and has has just received international recognition………….wait for it…………..for white rum production.

    Barbadians sit by, idly, waiting for Mia and her gang of fools to breath life into the economy. They need to take on individual responsibility for themselves rather then defer to a clueless government which has ran out of steam.

    What’s stopping Barbadians from emulating what this man from Uganda has achieved in such a short period?

  19. I know LowIQ45…I know…

    Ah also know yall looking for any way back in to control the house negros of parliament AGAIN in order to rip off the majority population their tax dollars and pension money AGAIN…because that is all yall KNOW..

  20. The UK REALLY, REALLY needs to take responsibility and REMOVE those sir CROOKS and QC Thieves titles out of the lives if the majority population on the island, they have been misused and wreaked enough havoc and caused enough thefts of people properties, inheritances, thefts of taxpayer funded contracts, bribery, cprruption, theft of the NIS money, destruction of the Supreme Court…, committed by all the crooks who carry those titles, the lawyers, government ministers and their co-conspirators who all collude and commit real crmes against the people on the island..

    Unless UK is enjoying the destruction in Barbados…they need to remove their blighted titles out of the lives of the majority population and from around the names of the criminal Cartels who carry those titles.

  21. Ah forgot one…lowIQ45

    Ah also know yall looking for any way back in to control the house negros of parliament AGAIN in order to rip off the majority population their TAXPAYER FUNDED CONTRACTS, tax dollars and pension money AGAIN…because that is all yall KNOW..

  22. I see that WARU aka Wot A Witless Racist Loser I Is has returned to sully this blog with her race hatred. Pity she has nothing else to brighten her sad existence. Rotting from the inside like the cancer she is.

  23. LowIQ45…yall aint getting in that parliament to tief no more of anything from the majority population..without massive exposure…….go to the UK, Canada and US and try tiefing from their taxpayers and pensioners there and see what will happen, just try it..

    Ah know most of the “lawyers” who were allowed by the Bar Association decades ago to practice law at the Supreme Court without ever qualifying as real lawyers are mostly all dead and gone….but for christ sakes Mia get the one(s) ya currently have remaining who never qualified properly as real lawyers but who are still practicing law and are now in positions of power in your government…out of the lives of the people who elected you, there may be only one left…but that is one too many..

  24. Mia has once again fooled the people with them cooked up numbers of 1000 . numbers that only the Unions would agreed on during the social partnership meetings
    Numbers that in the final negotiations with the IMF would look and ask govt “are u crazy” if you guys serious about getting a loan you have to come better debt got to be paid
    Anyhow all that is on this govt mind is having an appeasement program to fool the guillble

  25. I am here trying to confirm if those QC titles are created and given out in Barbados…if they are, this presents an even bigger damn problem…you will never be rid of those thieves unless they are taken off the island in handciffs.

  26. @ Maripoka
    After ten years of Froon, Stinkliar …and particularly of ac on BU…
    The miracle is that ANYONEin Bim still has as damn job….

    Just keeping Barbados AFLOAT – after the DLP carnage, will be a great feat for Mia.

    The fact that you still have the gall to come here talking shiite only REINFORCES the point Bushie continues to make…
    namely that the Devil and his demons are in almost TOTAL control of this world….

    Note… Devil, Demons, Dlp, Dunces…..

    @ David
    How about you spread a bit of garlic, lime and salt on the main BU Computer keyboard…
    Do you think Maripoka would go away then…?
    ha ha ha

  27. Ok…I got the information I need…ya work with what ya got.

    Unfortunately for the criminal Cartels of sir Crooks, QC Thieves, bribe taking Judges and dirty lawyers on the island. ….there is always a way.

  28. For those who are not aware, only because the information is so important..the PM has no power to remove the GG…the GG has supreme powers on the island, the only one with such powers and can remove the PM, a tedious process, am sure quite drawn out but doable..

    …how both governments have been getting away over the they appoint their yardfowls as GG and that immediately takes away their powers, but the former government over calculated in their arrogance and now the present GG is not a yardfowl or creature of the present government….the electorate saw to that..

  29. Pleeeaaaassseee. David (BU) I am not a supporter of censorship, but can we remove this mad person from clogging up the blog with crap?

  30. Ha, Ha…go and start ya own blog…we been telling you this for years…start ya own blog..ya want me tell ya in different languages…oh ah forgot, ya can barely speak English..

  31. Wait a minute is this the same bush tea that wants to get rid of the crooks in the blp
    Speaking of the devil u sure know how to impersonate Lucifer
    He also speaks with double 😝

  32. Now any one listening to Tonu Moore diatribe would belive she is doing the sherp to be laud iff a favour
    Reason for calling them sheep is their foolish response to the advocacy of mid day marches beliving that Mia had better intentions than past govt
    Hooray fuh 3percent and for good measure a shove out the backdoor
    Heee heeee

  33. Now hearing the business people crying because everything has become bitter
    Households feeling the pain of waterbills and taximen crying about the fuel cost
    Barbados is the mirror image of Jamaica
    Next would be all social programs

  34. What happen..they can’t get in the drugs and guns or what, normally they are always flushed with cash while everyone else is broke.

  35. @ Hal I see no need to remove the crazy person, you should pity her.

    It is quite obvious from her posts that she is obsessed with lawyers. She likely worked in a lawyer’s office as a receptionist but had dreams of becoming a lawyer.

    Seeing and interacting with lawyers she considered inferior has made her bitter and resentful of the profession and successful people in general (Peter Harris for example).

    The anonymity the internet and the blog allows her to exact revenge on this cruel world because in the real world she is lonely, has achieved nothing and lusts after Peter Harris (LOL)

    She is a joke, no one takes her seriously on the blog or in real life, so why should you

  36. Redguard,

    I agree. s/he/it has a serious psychological problem. I was just concerned about the rubbish about legal training in the UK.

  37. Lol..lo, hahaha….really..yall are looking for allies…ya think that will make some kinda difference or

    only LOSERS look for allies, look I don’t need any allies and still post relevant info.

    Ya see, I already know it’s a male dominated blog with some like Ha, Ha who love to act like little women.

    Besides, Peter Harris has so much on his plate and is about to get more, that I am the least of his worries, although I may be one of the ones got the ball rolling….AND ask him how many lawyers have abandoned him lately…

    AND ask the lawyers how afraid they are..not because of me, but because of their own nasty actions.

    I actually know lawyers who have nothing to fear.

    So dream about me, it does not cost me a dime…if only you knew..

    I take it many now feel very unsettled, ya should, for what is about to come down next.

  38. What’s wrong with many of you…ya don’t know half of what is going on and you CANNOT be trusted to tell, especially those like that little woman/shim..Hal, Ha, Ha, Austin..

  39. Wot A Racist Ungulate, we pity you, but even more your daughter as I am sure your ‘husband’ voted with his running shoes ever since.

  40. I had to laugh after reading the story “Deep Cuts” on BB Today. So it took two reports from the IMF and EU to figure out that the bus fares are by far too low and that everything is rotten in public transport. Even a five year old child will tell you that in a second when it looks at the rusty buses.

    It is more than obvious that the underlings from the DLP were neither able to manage sewage nor bus. They always need a foreign massa to tell what to do – and this despite all so-called local education. How should we expect them to manage more complicated things if even the easy tasks were rocket science for them?

    We will see if the new management is able to cut down the costs for public transport – given the Barbadian population´s reluctance for change and their unwillingness and unpreparedness to service technical devices like buses.

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