The Grenville Phillips Column – Violating the Prime Directive

Dr Michael Howard’s many questions were recently answered by the Barbados Economic Recovery Team (BERT) economist, Dr Greenidge.  Hopefully he can answer our single question.

Let me first state that BERT’s austerity-based solution will likely work.  The austerity is supposed to be very severe, for as long as it needs to be until it works, which is expected to be many years.

The severity and duration of the foreseen suffering of the Barbadian public was the only reason why we designed a non-austerity alternative.  When we tried to share it with the last administration, we were promised that the only way it would be heard is if we entered the political trench.  We naively believed the promise, entered the trench, but were never allowed an opportunity to be heard.

To our knowledge, two other entities independently designed non-austerity plans, resulting in three non-austerity plans on the proverbial table.  But Solutions Barbados was the only entity that entered the political trench.

We now have a new administration and a new promise by a new Prime Minister.  Her first directive was that all ideas should contend.  Therefore, our question is: why has BERT not allowed a review of any of the non-austerity plans?  If it was an oversight, then since Dr Greenidge seems to be the BERT spokesperson, can he spare 2 hours to meet with us to assess our plan?  If he is too busy, then can he authorise a non-partisan accountant and/or economist or a panel of them to review our plan?  If it was not an oversight, then why is BERT violating that prime directive?

I am fully aware that Dr Greenidge’s traditional training would not likely have included non-austerity methods, much a surgeon’s would not likely have included alternative natural methods.  Therefore, let me suggest an analogy to hopefully spark his interest in what he may not know.

Let’s say that there are two main approaches to treating cancer.  The traditional more popular surgery, drugs and radiation (chemotherapy) which traumatises the body, and the alternative-health natural remedies mainly consisting of herbs, diet and exercise, which do not traumatise the body.

The traditional medical practitioners have convinced the Government that theirs is the only way to treat cancer, despite the proven success of alternative-health methods.  Therefore, traditional practitioners receive all of the national health budget and prestige, and are viewed as credible.

Traditional medical practitioners are not normally trained in alternative health methods.  However, rather than learn about them to improve patient-care, many use their prestige to irresponsibly ridicule what they do not understand, and dismissively reject alternative-health practitioners as persons on the fringe.

When we were facing economic ruin, the traditionalists recommended the only thing that they understood, namely, traumatic austerity.  Others designed alternative non-austerity non-traumatic solutions.  Dr Greenidge is urged to resist the temptation to be close-minded on this critical matter.

Since I may not get another shot at this, let me try to reason with him.  This may be a hard task since he may still be euphoric that an agreement appears to have been reached with the IMF, and he has the support of the private sector and unions, who are trying to convince us that the austerity that we are about to experience in exchange for an IMF agreement is unavoidable.

He should be aware that IMF personnel also agreed with our non-austerity plan, but they thought that it contained a fatal flaw.  They said that it depended on the unions’ support, and based on the unions’ adversarial relationship with the DLP administration, they thought that the unions would never agree.  However, we met with the NUPW, BWU and CTUSAB, and all three agreed to participate.  Therefore, the IMF’s singular concern was effectively resolved.  Mr Greenidge, please allow both ideas to contend – for the public good.

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

160 thoughts on “The Grenville Phillips Column – Violating the Prime Directive

  1. @ sirfuzzy
    BBFIS…. more precisely…
    Where there is no vision, brass bowls fly into the shiite….

    murdda lollololo i love it

  2. @ Sir Fuzzy at 10 :28 AM

    Should the political class have to ask members of the society for help? Does the society belong to the political class? Like every other citizen they are attempting to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. The citizens have a vested interest in their success.

    @ David at

    Tax incidence relates to putting taxes on the sections of the society that can and will pay taxes. If the sector is already overtaxed the revenue will not flow in. If the sector avoids and evade taxes the imposition fails to yield the expected revenue.
    The outcome depends on the skill of the economist, the efficiency ofthe tax administrator and the integrity of the taxed.

  3. Should the political class have to ask members of the society for help? Does the society belong to the political class? Like every other citizen they are attempting to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. The citizens have a vested interest in their success.

    I am referring the political class; that only seeks advise form Roebuck or George streets. There are many other places in Barbados to get advise but they may not seek it from there or entertain any inputs unless it comes from two aforementioned streets..

  4. Instead of asking ourselves why our leaders are such failures, we should ask, perhaps, why we put such failures into leadership positions.

  5. @ peterlawrencethompson September 14, 2018 1:31 PM

    Yo are so right; we promote condone tolerate the crap coming from our leadership. We are to quick to equate a good leader at the “party level” with a leader at the national level. Unfortunately that maybe the Westminster model.

    Maybe a change of model would allow for other leaders than “political” leaders to be put-in charge of the nations affairs.
    I am all in favour of a change where the cabinet will limited to 3 (MPs)elected members at maximum the other ministers are engaged from outside HOA. The 3 guaranteed to be in the cabinet are PM ; Deputy PM and Min National Security. The other MP will be just that “the peoples rep” to make sure their ppl are properly represented.

    A cabinet pick need to be approved by the HOA and Senate by serve at he pleasure of the GG and HoP in that order.

    The cabinet will be a fixed size unless a special consideration is given by HOPA to increase or decrease it.

    A hydrid system may work. We elect parties but not necessary the party’s leaders becomes president/PM.

    Maybe we can get some better talent to run ministries other than just lawyers moonlighting at …. in cabinet.

  6. I think proportional representation would help make representation more diverse and reduce/eliminate the power of party whips. Barbados is much too tiny to require geographical ridings.

  7. @ Vincent C
    Bush Tea……If you do not stop attacking economists, ….
    Cuddear Boss…
    Can pit bulls stop biting?
    Can maripoka make sense?
    Can mosquitoes stop biting…?

    Whackers must whack.
    …and Bushie is unfortunately allergic to jobby….

    So you do what you have to….
    ….cause Bushie will call a spade a spade
    ….and will call economists, … (whatever the Hell those are…) as he see them

    At least wunna ain’t as bad as politicians, lawyers or church leaders….
    ha ha ha

  8. I think proportional representation would help make representation more diverse
    You can do better than this PLT.

    What will be the difference if we accumulate jobby from ‘diverse’ sources – rather than from within a single political party?
    Jobby is jobby.

    You MUST know that the reason why we put such idiots in leadership that they REPRESENT EXACTLY who we are…
    Sensible leaders would look like complete idiots to brass bowls….and NEVER receive our vote.

    Imagine a potential leader telling Bajans about the need to WORK HARD….
    ….about MERITING their monthly pay check-by putting more INTO their work than they expect out?
    Imagine committing oneself to honestly prosecuting ALL kinds of crime? …irrespective of Lodge, School. Church or family ties…?
    ha ha ha
    We would probably send such a ‘candidate’ to Jenkins…. if we did not crucify his donkey….

    We have all been sold on an albino-centric philosophy which we have imbibed to the max..
    We DEFINE leadership by its conformance to these albino-centric standards…
    Then we complain when the INEVITABLE consequences present themselves….

    UNLESS there is a CHANGE in our hearts – such that we graduate from that albino-centric greedy selfishness, we will continue to reap the fruit of jobby….

  9. LOL
    At least wunna ain’t as bad as politicians, lawyers or church leaders….
    ha ha ha

    are u sure; i was once a member of the flock; before deflocking. lol

  10. “Instead of asking ourselves why our leaders are such failures, we should ask, perhaps, why we put such failures into leadership positions.”


    Because we choose our leaders based on personality not character. Character is nature, it is set, it cannot be changed, it comes from within, it is your core beliefs and guiding principles.

    Personality is whatever you want it to be, it is superficial and politicians are adept at altering and manipulating it for “personal” gain

    Why are we seduced by personality, well Bush Tea has explained this over and over, something about brass bowls

  11. @Bush Tea September 14, 2018 2:40 PM
    There are probably already about 5,000 adults who think that “Bajans about the need to WORK HARD… about MERITING their monthly pay check-by putting more INTO their work than they expect out of it…” but they are widely dispersed among the 160,000 registered Bajan voters. Only 100,000 will vote in an election, so your 5,000 votes will almost certainly get someone like you elected to parliament under a proportional representation system since your votes do not have to be clustered in a single geographic constituency. Most of your campaigning can be right here on BU or on other social media where you use your whacker in your customary style. Bushie for MP!

  12. @ Mariposa

    Compared to the CS loan
    The IMF loan will be saving the government over 26M/yr.

    Then if you add the interest that will be saved from debt restructuring there should be a few more millions more to put back into the economy. To fix thing that was neglected by the former government.

    That is a start in stopping and turning around the economy. Other measure for growth will come after the decline is stabilized. Everything cannot be done in 100 days or even in 6months.

  13. I think proportional representation would help make representation more diverse and reduce/eliminate the power of party whips. Barbados is much too tiny to require geographical ridings.(Quote)

    Nonsense. It will also be the quickest way of diminishing the electoral power of black people.

  14. John u talking numbers on paper but when the reality kicks in
    Those numbers would never add up given the small population of barbados and the many whose income cannot afford their personnel debt along with having enough to pay taxes for govt debt
    The shortfall from this loan is going to be enormous unless govt have other workable plans in place which would help relief some of the burden from the taxpayer
    Take for instance the taxes placed on the hotel industry i would wager to say many rooms would be empty and those that are full would most likely find vacationers cutting there vacation short to save money
    The long and short being that consumers can get very creative with their spending as to killing two birds with one stone
    Sinckler loan would have avoided the heavy handed and uneven approach of govt placing heavy taxation on the poor and foreigners included
    So what does the IMF 1 pecent loan has a provision to ease the pain and debt suffering of the people?

  15. Dear GP,
    “Let me first state that BERT’s austerity-based solution will likely work”.

    Regardless of the success or lack of success of BERT, five year from now those words will be taken as your approval of BERT.

    Many here will reply to you as if they were writing poetry or search for the biggest word that they can find in a thesaurus and then use it in a sentence. My aim is to give you grounding in the art of street fighting; to add the sucker punch, the gouging of eyes and fingers up the nostrils to your arsenal of weapons.. . It appears that you wish to conduct this fight using the Marquis of Queensbury rules but you need to be taught a rougher style of fighting.

    Stop t thinking ‘weekly’ and adopt a five year vision. Your weekly contributions must not be used against you in 2023. .Resist the urge to be complimentary or supportive of other parties. If you agree with what is being done, you must spin in such a way that no one can turn your words back at you.

    It appears that intuitively you sense that you had made a mistake, but your “The austerity is supposed to be very severe, for as long as it needs to be until it works, which is expected to be many years.” was a little too late.

    More neutral text
    It will be interesting to se what follows when BERT is implemented.. Regardless of the outcome, the austerity is supposed to be very severe, for as long as it needs to be until it works, which is expected to be many years. I only hope that my fellow countrymen can survive the numerous policies that will be implemented to reverse the dire situation that we find ourselves in. As a patriot, I wish the very best outcome for the people of Barbados..

    Don’t paralyze yourself with “will I, wont I, will I” run in 2023, Start running today and run hard. You can always drop out later

    A supporter who wants a win.

  16. “What does it take for the private sector to deliver on its mandate besides froth”
    what constitutes “its mandate”

  17. I believe the business community, need consistent predictability (within acceptable ranges)
    This can be seen as “reasonable risk”. Barbados began to exceed this in several areas.

  18. @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    I want you to ban Theophillus Gazerts the Anonymice from Canada.

    You read his post to GPII at 6.02 pm?

    Anarchy and Sedition itself!!

    He has given that dufus the keys to the kingdom Pearls before Swine!!

    GP can neither understand not can he absorb this 5 year plan for such is a bridge too far for him.

    Speaking about a bridge too far I submitted an item here earlier and i noticed that you might have missed it (that is depending on which of the BU Borg you are heheheheheheh)

  19. mariposa

    Sinckler debt cost us AT LEAST 24million in interest alone.

    Who the hell you think gotta pay that?

    If he had gone to the IMF instead that would have been AT LEAST 24 million less burden on the tax payers.

    You don’t know the shite what you are saying just like sinckler didn’t know what he was doing.

  20. John2,

    Please notice that you do not need any qualification to become minister, judge or high bureaucrat under a DLP-admin. All you need is the right allegiance to Barrow and his minions. Like in a feudal system.

  21. John
    Unti u realize the draconian measures on a 49million loan placed on the backs of the people u would not be able to understand the difference of paying interest without back breaking measures
    Plus the amount of money which will be shelled out on the 49million out by those you can not afford

  22. Also John i guess u are not one of those people whose water bill on one month went from 32 dollars to over 100 dollars
    Or you fuel cost double in payments
    Look dude u might be one of the privilege few who see a gain but never feels the pain
    Well for a start think about a family of four living off a meager salary

  23. Like the family of four that was living off a meager salary and had to pull their kids from university . A program that was implemented to get the same family a leg up the ladder?

    CS loan cost us AT LEAST half of that 49 million alone. where are the benefits? Not one bus or sanitation truck or road fixed etc.

    Don’t let me start adding on the debt that was paid to the private haulers because of the lack of trucks. That was coming from the tax payers pockets.

  24. Don’t tax me
    Don’t tax the family of four
    Don’t tax the tourist
    Don’t tax the gas
    Don’t tax you

    Sell the oil company
    Sell Hilton
    Sell all the other non performers: Transport Board; NHC etc.
    We should get about 1 billion when we sell off everything. Is that enough to pay our bills?

    What will happen after we sell everthing? Devalue the dollar?

    • This is the position that was just rejected. The fact the DLPites continue to be locked to the position shows the state of thinking in that Opposition camp.

  25. @John2
    You brought back a saying that was popular years ago

    Russell b, Long “Don’t tax you, Don’t tax me, Tax the man behind the tree”

    Perhaps you could work hard on the “Don’t sell” part and become a Bajan immortal

    John2: “Don’t sell

  26. The total amount to be given would be less than half owed by govt
    My concern does not lie with not wanting change
    But a change which govt can implement without further hardship to the people
    Earlier i stated the challenges of a family of four on minimum wage
    How can then can the measures presented be of any benefit to such a household short term or long even if these measures were meant to stablize the country debt
    Where and how and when does govt measures help to stablize this family household
    In my opinion such measures only add to a depreciation value wherby family living on the lower end of the economic chain eventually end up poor and destitute trying to pull both wagons

  27. Mariposa
    That family of four that you took away the ladder of free university from?
    The family of four that you taxed on everything with NSRL?

    Not wishing anyone should have to go there but for the one that are poor and destitute, welfare was increased.

    Was it increased when you were taxing them with NSRL on everything including shoes and school uniforms for the kids, clothing for the parent and items for the house like a stove or fridge?
    Where was your concern for the poor and destitute family of four then?
    Did you even ask for and increase of welfare to assist them then?
    Or were you talking about how NSRL is good to dampen imports and save Foreign Exchange?
    Now you are coming with false pretense care for the poor to try to prove that the CS loan was better for the country than an IMF loan?

    Your CS 10% loan, don’t tax anybody – yet tax everybody with everything (NRSL), sell off non-preforming SOE, tek way university was totally rejected by the masses FOR A REASON!


  28. John2,

    You cannot convince Mariposa or figures like Sinckler.

    For them neither emancipation nor independence or “free” education worked out.

  29. Convince me that back burden policies on a loan are harsh
    Hell yes you are right that i cant be convince that 1percent loan with day to day burdens on the populace would be enough to please the populace

  30. @ Mariposa September 15, 2018 1:31 PM

    Maripokey, why don’t you following your own mantra; the one you keep repeating many months ago to the then Opposition?
    “Why only negative criticisms of the DLP version of BERT! Bring Solutions, Alternative Solutions!”

    Isn’t Karma a sweet bitch?

    It would make more sense if you were to ask if the IMF loan is to be used to prop up the Balance of Payments (as the Credit Suisse loan was used for) so that Bajans could continue to shop in supermarkets to buy ‘sweet’ corn imported from Florida and bottled water from overseas while the lands in St. John are returned to a state worse than when the ecky-beckies arrived there from New Castle and the good ‘Bowmanstan’ spring water continues to flow right back into the sea.

  31. Mariposa

    You see the report that the British arrivals for next season still remain up?

    I ain’t hear you or stuck and stones make any comments about that

  32. Come on
    Let us hear how that will be a negative for the foreign reserves and will cause further burden in the poor tax payers

  33. What you read was a final analysis before Mia dropped the Tourism bomb.

    If the govt expectations from the taxes does not produce the necessary revenue , Then the taxpayers in some way would have to make up for the shortfall

    • You are right, you are onto to something. The taxpayers will have to come up with the shortfall in foreign exchange.

  34. David why dont u just leave me alone
    Mia saud she found a mess and from my observation she created a bigger mess
    Btw i hear Hyatt does not want any part of a country whose debt portfolio is in default
    The picture of her and Doyle shows her looking like a robot on a threadmill

  35. @Mariposa September 15, 2018 8:48 PM

    Since when can clueless and poor Barbadian taxpayers make up for forex? You sound like Big Sinck, the least gifted man of the whole Caribbean.

    You mix up revenue in trashy Barrow-Dollars and real Dollars. Outside Barbados you can use a Barrow-note to sniff cocaine but nothing else.

    However, the former ministers could make up … telling the Barbadian public everything about foreign bank accounts and foreign villas … The former ministers love the black masses in Barbados so much that they prefer to stay away in Florida and other places of the white North.

  36. Look i done with John Tron you guys see money as the only bargaining chip in transactions hence you belive that a 10 million dollar loan plus interest is not a good deal
    Well take a look at the bargaining chips the IMF used in order for a country to secure a loan
    It is not simple arithmetic that places a number on percentage
    The country has to repay the loan with interest and during negotiations the IMF makes sure they are holding all the cards which would secure the safety and integrity of repayment of the loan whereby the country is locked into many repayment models for years

  37. Btw can anyone provide information as to how much govt is paying to have these ugly vehicles removed from the street
    Also if these vehicles have licensed plate numbers cannot be owners traced and be fined

  38. @ Mariposa September 16, 2018 7:25 AM

    From the CS loan facility:
    “Borrower to provide Lenders with a full copy of the Staff Report for the 2013 IMF Article IV Consultation on
    Barbados as soon as it becomes available, as well as an update on the Borrower’s plans for implementation of any specific recommendations included in the report.”

    Don´t you get it, Mariposa??? The CS loan WAS a hybrid IMF loan!!!

    Barbados is now in the FOURTH IMF-cycle after the THIRD IMF programme failed between 2013 and 2016.

  39. I could have mismanaged an insurance company, become wealthy and have the GoB repay the policyholders

    I could have started a business, bribe civil servants to evade duties, become wealthy and have the GoB increase taxes on the masses to recover revenue

    I could have refused to pay my taxes, become wealthy and get a waiver

    But, foolish me, I did everything that I was supposed to do and they kept coming and taking until they crushed me, until I was no more

    Take it all – Break me – Show me who is the boss – Make me wish I never was

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