The Grenville Phillips Column – The Four Horsemen

The Barbados Economic Recovery Team is administering their bitter medicine in small doses.  They appear to have learnt from Guyana’s experience with the IMF, where the Guyanese politicians used a big spoon.  Since the result will be the same, it is less messy and less socially disruptive to slowly boil the frog.

But, why must the frog be boiled at all?  We do not.  But it is the only method that the Barbados Economic Recovery Team (BERT) understands or received their training, so they appear stubbornly unwilling to review any other solution.

There are no boundaries warning of danger that they will not cross, no promises so sacred that they will not break, and no cases deserving of compassion that they will not ignore.  Like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, they are pursuing a singular focus – severe austerity to all who are not at or near the trough.

We should not be surprised since this austerity was foreseen.  For the uninformed, first, they will reduce our salaries with high taxation.  Then they will reduce our savings by ensuring that our salaries cannot pay for our normal monthly expenses, so we will be forced to use our savings.

Then they will reduce our pensions through debt restructuring, which is a method of breaking sacred promises made to investors, including to our pensioners.  Then, they will facilitate the reduction in the asset value of our houses when homeowners are unable to pay their monthly mortgage payments and the banks foreclose, which will over-supply the housing market.

Finally, they will orchestrate the brain-drain of competent professionals from Barbados by exclusively rewarding their most incompetent and most partisan yardfowl supporters, and frustrating the most competent among us.  This makes the country’s local businesses internationally uncompetitive , which is the ultimate aim of international financiers who entice irresponsible short-sighted politicians to get their nations into unsustainable debts.

Our dollar does not need to devalue for us to arrive at the same place – which is the devaluation of our salaries, savings, pensions, assets, professionals, and local businesses.  We are just taking the scenic route down.

There have been several tour-guides employed along the way, to encourage us that our suffering is essential to Barbados’ economic recovery.  They have been dispatched to tell us that we must patriotically bear the pain, while they gorge on spillage as their masters feed.

Let me clarify that if severe austerity was the only path out of our economic problems, then I would join the partisan yardfowls, not at the trough, but in encouraging all Barbadians to bear the suffering for the sake of the next generation.  However, there are at least 4 non-austerity plans on the table.  Yet BERT is on a mission that will make us suffer, and they will neither be dissuaded by us, nor restrained by the BLP administration, from their singular purpose.

The last administration followed the same economic plan.  It was not called BERT, but multiple variations of a medium-term economic strategy that continually failed to meet its targets.  This time the plan is the same, but the actors are different.

Former Prime Minister Stuart gave the former Minister of Finance a long leash to inflict measured austerity.  The current Prime Minister has unleashed what seems like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to inflict severe austerity, and a rodeo clown to keep us distractedly entertained.

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

241 thoughts on “The Grenville Phillips Column – The Four Horsemen

  1. Amm Lorenzo SAVE all of your advice for govt who despite all of their expertize advisors managed woefully to get this calamity wrong
    Sorry if what i say steps on a raw nerve in your body
    But then again the truth hurts

  2. Present govt has shown by the Kirk weather system their incompetence in small issues
    There usual smoke and mirrors approach was unable to deflect or distract attention away from kirk display of reality
    A reality which has been repeated over and over again
    Which begs the question When will they learn

  3. @ Mariposa

    You need to move on from this fingerpointing and ascribing to the Dufus Attorney General the Omnipotence & Omniscience of summoning a cloud and proceeding to deposit 5 feet of water in areas of barbados while being selective to spare Holetown and Speightstown.

    Let the ole man up the volume in a direction that you unfortunately cannot BECAUSE YOU NEITHER KNOW NOR CARE TO READ about these things.

    The Office of the UNDP hold the seat of UN disaster agency preparedness and response in Barbados and the OECS.

    For the last 20 years the modus of operation has been to give specific UN staff members walkie talkies (plural with a charging base) and to have these staff members act as satellite points pre, during and post disasters.

    While such preparedness might have been adequate it would seem like, given the severity of natural disasters nowadays, both locally and globally, the type of responses would mean that there might be a need to provide say “inflatable rafts” for suitably trained personnel.

    You just cannot get in a raft and row it like in the Hollywood movies AND ammmmmm power lines in 5 foot water can put a fellow at serious risk.

    De ole man would only offer one word of caution about these SIDS emergency resources.

    Wunna going need to do an inventory regularly to ensure that the persons tasked with keeping the rafts etc have not sold them to get some money on the side

    And you will have to host drills every quarter? to make sure that the equipment does not dry rot. (Silicone wipes/immersions – Raft Care 101)

  4. @piece
    “have not sold them to get some money on the side”

    and tie them down, so that you will not discover they all floated away.

    🙂 I must point out that the use of tinfoil have greatly increased your cerebral activity. I suspect the duo will not be giving you any more useful tips like that one 🙂

    A happy good morning to you, the tin foil brigade, and other BU bloggers.

  5. David
    You realise I don’t debate issues with the characters? Do you really expect me to debate e.g. climate change adaptation and resilience and how to weave them into legislation with these characters? People who only talk, but don’t listen and can’t think coherently and logically cannot engage in constructive debate. WARU et al are programmed, so my intent is to show them up as what they are: gum bumping bots. I refuse to validate foolishness by trying to debate it, instead I treat it as what it is–comedy. So all I do is point out their folly and the more they respond, the more igrunt they look. Only yday an ASG at the UN was classified as a clerk; and they believe calling me a yardfowl affects me when I point out that something as basic as a candidate vs an MP they struggled to decipher. Murdaaaa🤣🤣

  6. Piece there are things called preventive measures
    The govt giving clear and precise advise to those living in flood zone areas
    Clear and precise saying to move out get to safe haven
    Making transportation available for the elderly and those who does not havevtheir own
    Asking family members to lend a helping hand using their home as refuge or assitance for those who have to leave the flood zones
    Opening hurricane shelters
    Waiiting until areas are flooded to do rescue missions is a lost cause because of a missed opportunity applicable to preplanning
    Just think if these simple measures where usherd at a earlier point before kirk arrival .need i say more
    Small measures such as those mentioned do add up to save lives and govt cost
    The experience for those affected by the flooding was nightmarish
    Not to mention cost to rescue mission which includes hospital cost to govt for those affected by the flooding
    Eventually these cost will be passed on to the taxpayer

  7. 🙂 Seem as if 30-0 also increased the number of brain cells. Now you are claiming to be a braniac.
    You have rejected the title of yardfowl, but admitted you are sitting on the paling surrounding the yard.
    My good friend, is the title of paling cock, appropriate?
    Did you submit my resume?…. nobody called me
    Is your new number 1-246-BLP-COCK… I am not reaching you…

    Beginning to doubt you have any real juice with the party…:-)

  8. A top of the morning to ye Theophillus,

    Yes the tin foil does have its upside and its downside (all prospective Fleur’s and Glennis’s walk very fast to get away and I have been debarred from several federal buildings)

    Theophillus, I want you to do me a favour will you?

    Tell these fellers what it is really like being black, bright and in charge of nuff white people, MANY OF WHOM INGRUNT AS BADWORD but who you have to manage every day.

    Tell the BU audience how dem fellers DO NOT LIKE YOU, WILL SPIT IN YOUR COFFEE if you let them & PEE IN YOUR SHOES if you leave them unattended but they respect your intellect and insight.

    A feller ent going agree with you on everything but dem ent going go all out to destroy you.

    That is the difference in first world countries and this Banana Republic Barbados.

    As soon as a feller say one word about Fumbles (who gratefully will never be seen again on this landscape) or Chairman Mia, immediately, dem does assemble like vultures and start de different attacks (which dem ent know de ole man delighteth in heheheheheheh)

    Look de ole man look at that constitution change foolishness and say wait “Mia you cant be serious!!”

    You mean you got people like Frustrated Businessman as your advisor and you refuse to mek he a senator and de other Businessman and you bring back an unknown and not only mek he a senator but got he selling Mickey Mouse Money as the salvation of the economy?

    Whu even effing I was going to give it a chance to ef up AS SOON AS DAT CLOWN Duh Mollah Jeremy Stephens start to endorse it, de ole man say “dat gots to be a trick” cause Jeremy’s endorsement means dat you selling snake oil.

    For the last week de ole man ent been so well, euphemism for pain. So i started thinking of “Pain Mapping” yes i know that is strange, instead of looking for pain killers, I gone to the abstract. But sometimes when you know what the outcome is, you move towards a higher ground.

    Anyways doan let me get distracted Theophillus.

    As a myope I was thinking that if there were enough “signatures” of pain maps then what might be the potential outcome is a tool that would (a) identify where the pain originates (b) permit more rapid diagnosis and (c) possibly permit “interruption of the pain source”

    Now Theophillus there is nothing new about any of this in fact take a look at

    So there I am reading about things that are already in existence and de ole man said what if the University of the West Indies were to collaborate with UCL to provide baseline samples for said “Pain signatures” so the countries would get some IMRI imaging equipment and some international renown as being the sample population for “Pain Signatures”

    Purpose @ 2108 to create pain profiles using these “unique patterns” that may ultimately feed into exiting coterminous, or emerging, studies that seek to provide solutions to chronic pain.

    IMRI machines cost alot of money for hospitals, money that we ent got, but data is what is critical to these entities so the trade off seems workable.

    But then again Theophillus, maybe I need not to tighten the aluminum foil so hard around my calcified brains…

  9. Hurricane shelters were opened!

    what about the people in St Andrew which is prone to land slippage?
    should they have been evacuated also?

    I will bet you that none of them left their homes, neither did the ones in the flood prone areas.

    all huricanes shelters were opened long before the flooding started.

  10. Sir it was/ govt duty to execute . a clear precise and well thougt out plan advancing every safe measure possible to those living in flood or other susceptible areas
    govt did not! outside executing a plan for people to go to work

  11. Did you open ur house as a shelter to ur neighbours?
    Did you even go out to see if any of your neighbours needed any assistance?
    or is that the responsibility of the government to execute also?

  12. One minute you want the government to evac those living in flood prone areas. When it was pointed out to you that the flood prone areas were ok then you shift you like the winds in a storm

  13. Sir i am not hear trying to make political waves
    I have looked at those international countries who have assessed reasons and use measures to ensure safety and security for there populace living in highly prone areas susceptible to mother nature warmth
    Not hear complaing
    However over the years barbados has gone through these weather related circumstance
    Instead of govt using the politics of resistance and scolding those who dare to say differently
    They should look to what other countries are advocating as alternatives measures..measures which are widely use in stages of pre- planning which has save lives and govt cost
    Do not understand why the political blp operatives are so incensed when present govt has asked and said this govt is opened to alternative suggestions

  14. “WARU et al are programmed, so my intent is to show them up as what they are:”

    ya will see who is programmed when one of ya political masters get grabbed…hope ya in their company when that happens and you get grabbed too….lol..

    ..this time it may not be an ankle bracelet…just remember..Donville said much more than that….so much more than that…

  15. I dare u to.point me in direction where govt had a plan wherby the elderly and handicap could easily avail Transportation at no cost to get out of flood prone areas and taken to shelters

  16. As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly..Donville came on the same social media gushing..”lock them to f…..c…k…up. man lock them up”….

    …a mere week before he too was locked up…so carry on yardfowl..

    ya see how much more he had to say and he too had yardfowls…gotta say had, because am sure none of them are traversing between NYC and Miami with him like a tourist….up and down to court..

    yall know already ya got 15 second attention spans, ya done know.

    Don’t look for me to do much reminding, am enjoying all the drama way too much…free laughs and entertainment..

  17. Theo
    You ain’t gine see me and doan see me?Wasn’t sitting on the paling in reference to the “GWP Land Gate” issue, in other terms–sitting on the fence? No I did not submit your resume, the company made it clear that they were looking for people with critical thinking skills. But the UN paying clerks $US150,000/year, you should apply. Murdaaah. You’re right for once–I am not a party insider; but how many times have I said that to you? Not a brainiac neither, but know igrunce when I see it and know the difference between an MP and a candidate. Rest muh.🤣🖐🏾

  18. Theo…don’t mind always comes out in the wash, then they twist their mouths in new directions…the blighted plight of yardfowls…lol

  19. Here is a synopsis and a bird’s eye view of what Dale the Duffus Marshall meant when he said

    PEOPLE WERE IN THE SAFETY OF THERE HOME when Kirk arrived. bringing with him rising flood waters

    The Elderly
    The Handicapped
    The sick
    People with no means of alternative transportation

    But then again Mia gor this one


  20. If my birds eye view is not clear enough
    Imagine a blind man treading flood waters to escape the rising waters
    Or even imagine a stroke victim
    Or an amputee
    Or does anyone remember what happen to Carew when rising flood waters entered his home

  21. My Dear Enuff,

    Thanks for the feedback on my resume and the suggestion to seek alternative employment at the UN.

    Can I use you as a reference? Can you put in a good word with the Minister who is will ultimately approve my application? That’s what friends are for.

    On critical thinking skills…Let us assume that I can think… and I have been highly critical of your many comments…… the skills part is a bit challenging but as my buddy you can fudge a little,

    Please forward my resume to the UN hiring manager

    Wishing you the very best,.

    Your friend and #1 admirer


  22. RE does anyone remember what happen to Carew when rising flood waters entered his home



  23. BU was tagged on Facebook with the following:

    Douglas Trotman is with Arturo Edward and 49 others.
    28 September at 12:22 ·

    Some extracts from a recent IMF article. Have we defaulted on our premium payments?

    We are entitled to claim for “excessive rainfall” from TS Kirk… this offsets any shutdown and allows for recovery.

    “The CCRIF insures against tropical cyclones, excessive rainfall, and earthquakes. All 17 participating countries can purchase up to $100 million of coverage for each category of risk. The program is designed
    to finance emergency response, over the weeks and months after the disaster, rather than provide comprehensive insurance against asset losses or infrastructure damages. The insurance is parametric—payouts are based on parameterized models for each category of
    insured events: tropical cyclones, excessive rainfall, and earthquakes. ”

    “Predetermined payouts, based
    on publicly observable data, obviate the need for
    time-consuming and costly damage assessments and
    insurance adjustments. A downside of parametric
    insurance in response to the effects of basis risk; that is, calculated payouts might not match the actual damage.”

    “During 2007–15, the CCRIF made 13 payouts to
    eight members in the total amount of $38”

    “Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados,
    Belize, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada,
    Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and
    the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands joined at the inception; Nicaragua joined in 2015. The CCRIF is contemplating expanding beyond the Caribbean.”

    “The payouts ranged from 0.1 to 0.3 percent of GDP for the recipient country. While the payouts do not cover all losses, they offer important support to
    insured countries, including from the rapid disbursement of funds—payouts have been disbursed, at the latest, two weeks after the insured event. In addition, CCRIF members are given complete freedom regarding the use of the funds received.”

  24. We know that from a pay out Barbados got already, the former government got a pay out years ago for Hurricane Tomas I think it was…many people with damaged properties never saw a dime of that money to fix their homes…actions of a corrupt g5ivernment..

    … the newspapers in NYC carried a story of the pay out to government and other islands from the carriers overseeing that fund.

  25. And yes…Marshall should have shut the country down at 3pm…there is no damn excuse, having the image of 3 million dollars stuck in his head was no excuse to keep businesses open and risk the lives of workers.

  26. Kirk has shown that present govt are the following
    And just dont give about people
    The idea of advising people to go to work after a major weather storm which caused flooding power outages and potential hazards to people lives and homes provides enough fuel for though that( is ) derived from a lack of compassion
    Never mind there comments of an insentive nature that compounds and worsen a situation when the duffus Dale Marshall rather than take responsibilty for not having a plan to provide a safe haven for those living in flood prone areas
    Thought it best to exercised more of his ignorance when stating the people where in the safety of their home even when faced with the devastation of the high levels of water that had entered the homes
    This kind of arrogrance is beyond onr’s comprehension and should not be tolerated
    A simple apology to those people highly affected by the flooding while providing a hope for a better plan for similar curcumstances would have suffice
    Unfortunately this govt would continue to use a policy of smoke and mirrors placed on a hopelessness of PR dribble while the country continues to drown in fear and burdensome nightmare policies
    God help us all

Leave a comment, join the discussion.