The Rhetoric of Austerity

Screenshot 2019-04-13 at 06.46.58.png

Economic Advisor to DLP Government

ECONOMIST SIR FRANK ALLEYNE says one of the reasons why Barbados was in the current economic mess was the country’s failure to pay workers based on productivity. Sir Frank, one of the Freundel Stuart administration’s trusted advisers, said yesterday that had the various governments followed through on the productivity focus after the 1991 economic crisis, many of the problems the country faced might have been alleviated. […] Sir Frank said the centrepiece of the structural adjustment programme was productivity enhancement.

Prior to May 24, 2018 the constant national refrain was that the economic and social state of the country had deteriorated to an unacceptable level. This position was punished by the electorate in unprecedented manner with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) being inflicted with a 30-0 defeat. The simple tranlation of the result, the people are not happy.

It should be of concern to sensible Barbadians everywhere the vitriolic and uninformed political debate which has emerged in recent years. It is a predictable debate and often sees a predictable response by incumbent governments. The politically aware have stated the primary job of a political party is to find a way to stoke popularity.

In a well meaning democracy the needs of the people should be the prime objective. There are listed as being able to promote unity and tranquillity in the domestic space,  ensure justice for all, defense and safeguard the welfare and liberty of all the people – What is the purpose of government?. The opposite view is that no government is perfect in the vision or execution. How we govern is a man made construct and susceptible to the fallibility of man.

A couple weeks ago the blogmaster was motivated to write about the predictability to what has translated to a worrying crime situation. The same can be transposed to how we have and continue to govern ourselves. This blogmaster has been at the dashboard from 2007 and have been positioned to view the workings of political operatives having reason to interact with prime ministers, senators, ministers in government, surrogates, political talking heads et al. They operate with the same intent. They are driven by greed and an a destructive value system.

Barbados is a tiny island and if well managed with realistic objectives should satisfy the purpose of government. Instead we have allowed behaviours to be greatly influenced by popular culture. This has created the recurring dysfunction of government we have become mired. This week we learned about the many many PSV permits the outgoing government issued before demitting office -on the most profitable routes. A portfolio led by Michael Lashley.  Prior, this blogmaster is aware of  many PSV permits issued by Gline Clarke. We are aware there was financial benefit accrued to decision makers. This is one example of how greed and corruption as eventually led to an insolvent Transport Board taxpayers are left holdoing the bag.

Look in the mirror people!

Sensible Barbadians should have the capacity to view how systems of government are in decline across the globe. If we fail to show the courage to disrupt the current trajectory there is a predictable inevitability to how it will end for us.

In an situation where austerity measures have to be taken, one expects constituents being impacted to voice concern. One also expects the government charged with managaing the process to admoister it as humanely as practicable. As important is for civil society to be resonsible in voicing feedback.

It seems to this blogmaster we are in danger of being subsumed by a destructive rhetoric motivated by egocentric thinking.

Beware the rhetoric of austerity.






351 thoughts on “The Rhetoric of Austerity

  1. Sell LIAT, or at least sell the 49 per cent Barbados share holding. It is not rocket science. People will still travel to Barbados from down the islands.

  2. Hal too many shareholder egos involved
    All them beliving that they have a right to own an airline
    These duffus have sat for years and depended on taxpayers monies to keep that doomed airline from crashing

  3. sell them all. if a case can be made for “subsidised” travel on a plane or bus, then surely govt should own all the supermarkets, shops, gas stations, food importers, restaurants, coconut vendors, fast food outlets, car dealerships. isn’t food more important than travel? give out free bus passes to those that qualify as needy. wave the taxes on tickets for anyone coming in (no matter the airline). govt needs to get out of everything that has cost us billions asap.

    • It is only an idiot would buy a regional airline read LIAT where every island owns and restrict the airspace in a region where exorbitant landing fees/airport taxes are charged. Clearly to support the regional integration effort regional travel must be protected, however the governments are cocking it up as they are with every thing.

  4. The bigger picture unfolding is an airline out of cash like an airline running out of fuel air bound
    Now what does these shareholders continue to do pull the taxpayers financial resources at the behest of saving that doomed airline
    The only thing holding the investor back from buying liat would be cost since Liat is in tremendous debt the overarching problem would be finding a buyer who would be willing to buy an airline with such humongous debt
    Liat is in a no win situation and the fault lies soley with the sharholders who bit off more than they bargain for in liats initial stages

  5. @ BA April 22, 2019 6:57 PM

    Privatization is always good in the Caribbean. WARU always complains about the alleged discrimination of certain people in doing business. Yet they like to hide away in the public sector instead of doing business themselves. That’s how school and Barrow have corrupted them. If you want to search in Barbados for business sense and self-employment, you need an electron microscope.

    I wonder why the LIAT pilots are forced to sacrifice wages, but Barbadian civil servants have received a wage plus. Isn’t it the case that Barbados is bankrupt and that the public servants contributed significantly to the bankruptcy through their excessive pay? If the Barbadian civil servants were treated like the LIAT pilots, according to their productivity, they would now have to give up some % of their salary compared to 2008 and would not receive 5% more. Anyway: 5 % more for what???

  6. Not true at all. Many, many black Bajans are self-employed. They are ALL AROUND ME.

    And what of the politicians? Do they deserve their fat pay and pension?


  7. Enough of the lip service NUPW

    However, this morning Waldron urged creditors to be a little more patient as this group of workers had every right to expect security of tenure.

    “In the first place the Government should not have sent home these types of workers because they had a right to be appointed. They should not have been retrenched. Government should have placed these workers in other areas of the public service,” he said.

    Waldron added, “We are appealing to the creditors of these retrenched workers to bear with them a little longer. It is not their fault and they never anticipated after ten years with the Crown, they would be retrenched. Hopefully very soon they would get a lump sum of money to pay them.”

  8. David BU

    LIAT’s shareholder governments are seeking a loan or the airline from the European Investment Bank.

  9. Murder 21

    Instead of PM Mottley staying at home and getting a handle on this crime wave sweeping Barbados
    She runs off seeking loans for that prop up and all but predictable doomed airline
    What these leaders don’t seem to want to understand that getting in debt with these international loan shark financial institutions is a guarantee for a life of debt

    Also transparency calls for these govt sharholders to tell the country the interest rate of these loans

  10. @ Mariposa,

    You must remember that prime minister Mottley is not a details person. She prefers the big picture. It is her legal training: you get a brief, interview the client, then go in to court and speak as if you were a witness.
    It also does not fit with her ambitions: she has now conquered the heights of Barbadian politics, she is within reach of being the leader of CARICOM, now she wants a global stage. Little matters like crime in Barbados are beneath her.
    And, it is not part of Barbadian political culture. We like people to preach to us from a platform, we cheer and shout, then go home. Nobody interrogates them about their ideas and beliefs. So they get away with murder. If we did Kerrie Symmonds would not be in parliament now. By merit, he should be a bus conductor.
    I will recommend two books to you, but all Barbadian academics and politicians (and BU pundits) should read them: Steven Livitsky et al How Democracies Die; and, Jan-Werner Muller’s What is Populism.
    What prime minister Mottley should do is set up a small policy delivery unit in her department, reporting direct to her, and with a remit to cover every department and state enterprise.
    They will have power to go in to every department and state enterprise, question everyone from ministers to messengers, and report back on the implementation of policy and its effectiveness. But such administrative competence would not fit neatly in our party political culture and inflated egos.

  11. GP it is with certainty that PM Mottley does not need any advice from you
    Just in case u did not get the memo
    On May 24th she hired advisors at the tune of over a million dollars all taken from taxpayers pockets
    Plus she initiated a monkey Survey on the economy of barbados which u would have been free to respond

  12. Since May PM has been flying all over the place with cup in hand begging
    Never knew that a country growth depended on sourcing begging and borrowing
    Most likely her ministers have reached a point of frustration as word on the ground states they are hardly ever available to answer the concerns of their constituients
    Sad but true
    Bus fares gone up
    Retrenched workers losing unemployment benefits at the end of the having to turn to social media
    Ministers and PM no where to be heard to adress their problems
    Unions all but extinct
    God bless Barbados

  13. @ Georgie Porgie,

    I love Dominica. How about making me high commissioner there? But I can’t speak Patwa. By the way, can anyone remember the names of schooners that came in the Careenage in the 1950s?

  14. I visited Dominica once, and was very impressed with its flora, its river scenery and the abundance of food that was grown there. I wish we had similar flora and riperian scenery and the volume of different species of mango and dashenes and bananas

    It was amazing to see 20 different species of fern growing wildly in very short compass. I thought how nature lovers in my own country would have delighted to have such for their gardens.

    On my frequent visits to our contiguous Patois speaking island. St Lucia, I learned that the people there go into a broken French patois speaking when ever they tell a joke because it wss sweeter. I noticed too, that they always used patois when preaching in the open air, and at special church services such as Old Years Night.

    During my studies in Jamaica, I learned to appreciate the colour and beauty in their broken English Patois.I did not scoff at any of these people, knowing that in my native Barbados, in the back Ivy, that our broken English may be considered by others to be “patwa” too.


    RE can anyone remember the names of schooners that came in the Careenage in the 1950s

  15. @ Georgie Porgie,

    Here you go again. A so-called Barbadian, now living in the Southern US, and visiting the island-home of your mother only once. What age were you and how long did you stay? Still waiting for the name of that schooner. By the way, I love Patwa and think more young people should speak it, including young Dominicans. Languages should not be allowed to die. Pity you do not use your birth language.

  16. Can sumbody tell PM Mottley that the people at home needs her listening ear
    Piling debt to cure Liat problem is not the answer
    Creating and pursuing growth growth in a stagnated economy is the correct path to take

  17. Tron April 23, 2019 6:41 PM

    Sorry, Donna,

    Did not know that you live next to the shops at Nursery Drive … 😉

    Two siblings & retired father – small businesses

    Best friend & family – medium -sized business

    Two next door neighbours including the wife of one – small businesses

    Close cousin and entire family – small businesses

    Small businesses along my street

    Two cousins down the hill from me – self-employed

    My two grandfathers were small businessmen

    And my young son’s aim is to be his own boss.

    Barbadians do not all depend on the Civil Service. And many of them even when they do have jobs still do a thing on the side. Why not put your brain into how we can take it to the next level? That would be much better than speaking untruths.

    And…… I am a country girl. I need plenty of space, animals and grass around me.

  18. “Can sumbody tell PM Mottley that the people at home needs her listening ear…..”


    I recall Barbadians BEGGING former PM Freundel Stuart to address the nation on matters concerning the economy, sewage flowing in the streets, increasing levels of crime, the 24 credit rating downgrades, CAHILL, LIAT, former Beautify Barbados employees, etc.

    Except for telling them his ministers were exceptional and quite capable of performing their duties without him micro-managing them…….

    …….. Stuart REMAINED SILENT.

    Heck…… he even referred to himself as the “sleeping giant.”

    When Barbadians began to complain about Stuart’s “silence,” you were the first in this forum to DEFEND his leadership style.

    Now Mottley is doing similarly, you suddenly and conveniently have a problem with “the same type” of leadership style you previously DEFENDED.

    Some may say it’s because you’re a yard-fowl and blinded by politics

    I, on the other hand, am prepared to put it down to the fact that, in those days you were probably blinded by darkness, but now you have seen the light, which has enabled you to determine right from wrong.

    Wait…… you get layoff or wuh?? because I could remember you “saying” you don’t have a “lot of time” to contribute to BU because you’re busy managing a large company………

    ………. and since May 24, 2018, seeing the amount of time you spend in this forum, yuh cud swear blind you en wukking nuh more.

    (Or David BU rent you some office space and you move your operations to the BU household address?)


  19. ARTAX


  20. Amm i also remeber that when PM Stuart did not respond he wss branded as “being asleep
    Hence the same branding categorized as Sleep can be placed right on the forehead of PM Mottley as she sleep walks out and about in her persistent one goal towards growth of begging and borrowing

  21. Yes, “the same branding categorized as Sleep can be placed right on the forehead of PM Mottley”

    …… the only difference is……..

    ………”as she sleep walks out and about in her persistent one goal towards growth of begging and borrowing…..”

    ………..Stuart was likewise “persistent in his one goal of” ignoring the concerns of Barbadians…..

    ………..while “sleep-walking out and about” quoting from Shakespeare and Chaucer, using nuff, nuff “big words” and talking a whole heap uh shiite.

  22. ARTAX


    YOU ARE extremely REDUNDANT WHEN YOU WRITE “talking a whole heap uh shiite”


  23. So when are u going to direct your comments to the questions poised as those to retrenched workers begging for their monies and the entire nation suffering from the austerity measures of this govt
    For what it is worth repeating Stuart nor the dlp is no longer governing the affairs of Barbados
    The people voted for change for the better
    My question to u where is the change for better and when will it occur under this govt
    For starters you can help this govt by creating a growth path coming from your knowledgeable reservoir of economics

  24. Come off it, my friend.

    You are purposely missing the salient points being made.

    In other words, to you…….”retrenched workers begging for their monies and the entire nation suffering from, according to Sinckler, “home grown” austerity measures of your government,” is a GOOD thing and should NOT be criticized. As you often mentioned in those days, “it’s not about self, people should be patriotic and put the country first.”

    Conversely, “retrenched workers begging for their monies and the entire nation suffering from the austerity measures of this government” is a BAD thing and SHOULD be CRITICIZED..

    My point has always been, there aren’t any significant political, ideological and philosophical differences between the BLP and DLP.

    Although members of your fan club may haste to give you the occasional “spot on,” or “you’re correct,” and “keep digging,” when you CRITICIZET this administration for doing something that was similarly done by the previous administration…….

    …………that you WHOLEHEARTEDLY SUPPORTED………..

    ………..your contributions are not about the plight of the people, because if they were you would condemn the policies of BOTH the BLP & DLP…… if those policies adversely affected the poor, rather than support POLICY A if Stuart introduced and criticize POLICY A, if Mottley introduced it.

    Your contributions are proof that the differences between both parties are CREATED by people like you……… the blind, loyal party supporters who would want to CONVINCE us that, under the prevailing economic circumstances, the underlying intentions of the DLP retrenching public sector employees were “for the good of Barbados……. as you “VEHEMENTLY ARGUED” in this forum……….

    ……… but if the BLP engages in a similar activity under similar economic circumstances, the underlying intention of that party is VINDICTIVENESS.

  25. “For what it is worth repeating Stuart nor the dlp is no longer governing the affairs of Barbados……”

    On several occasions, I have seen you made numerous references to issues occurring under the Owen Arthur led BLP administration……… and Arthur was voted out of office since January 2008.

    I hope when you attempt to do such in the future………… you bear your above comment in mind.

  26. Why arent u dealing with what many people points of concerns regarding the austerity direction this govt has placed barbadian households
    Your constant fancy foot work of rehashing past govt performance makes only for good political banter
    Again not to repetitive but to remind you that on May24th 2018 the people voted for change
    Nothing that this govt has done has shown any improvement in the lives of barbadians for better
    As a matter of fact the borrowing cycle of paying debt has been ongoing since this govt took office
    The multiple times of raising taxes has been evident
    Now can you please say or inform what has this govt done for the betterment of the people.
    Not at all interested in your long talk about what ac or whoever might have said
    Now come to table with a plausible agenda or shut to f..k up

  27. Pingback: An Invisible Mottley Cabinet | Barbados Underground

Leave a comment, join the discussion.