Barbados Must Stop and BREATHE

Many of us look to Singapore as the benchmark that represents the near perfect society on earth. Some key characteristics driving the behaviour of the average Singaporean  identify hard working, competitive, afraid to fail, self centred all encapsulated by the word kiasu __ a Hokkien word that captures the uniquely Singaporean trait of being afraid to lose out. What is starkly obvious is that the leadership of Singapore is always occupied with executing tactics to develop and support a national identity for its people that feeds the society it wants to sustain.

What is the national identity of Barbados?

Is there a strategy by our political and NGO leaders to create an identity that syncs with who we are as a people?

There is nothing wrong with benchmarking to Singapore but we know a wholesale comparison is not realistic. The cultural diversity between the two countries is too wide.

The other characteristic one discerns from reading the literature about Singapore is the discipline the government in this instance supports. Especially as it relates to enforcing the laws and customs of the country.

As the public prosecutor, the AGC enforces all laws “without fear or favour”. Whether it is charging a high-profile individual for corruption or serving as Singapore’s international lawyer, the AGC has a critical role, Mr Lee said.

“As public prosecutors, you ensure that everyone is accountable for their actions. You enforce all our laws, whether it is against drug abuse, organised crime, unauthorised money lending or terrorism,” he said. “Because our laws are enforced, Singaporeans and foreigners know that here in Singapore, they are safe and secure.”


Have a walk along most streets in Barbados and there is litter everywhere. We have many who have no fear about tossing an empty snack box out a car or bus window. Have a walk through our gullies or off trails to be reminded of the scourge of illegal dumping.

Stand by any junction controlled by traffic lights and observe motorists running red lights.  Not to forget the motor cyclists who hog highways to perform wheelies and other stunts in ‘broad’ daylight.

Everyday the blogmaster wonders if the ban on the use of mobile phones while driving was repealed.

Not too long ago an executive (Leroy Parris) of a leading insurance company (CLICO Insurance) refused to adhere to a stop sell order issued by the regulator.

Every year almost ALL state owned agencies break the law by not laying current financials in parliament to be accessible to the public. No where is the financial indiscipline best seen than at the National Insurance Scheme, arguable the most important state owned agency setup to pay social security benefits to citizens.

Have a read of a decade of Auditor General’s reports or the pages of Barbados Underground if you have been living under a moon rock in recent years to confirm the sorry tale of a country gripped by indiscipline. How often have we heard some leader or the other utter the empty words, “we are a nation of laws’. Barbadians have become numb to the meaning.

The rampant flouting of the laws and rules by officers of the court  has become  folklore. The Barbados Bar Association and Disciplinary Committee have not served the country well.

The ills are not exhaustive.

Mr Lee said emphasising the rule of law is a “vital national interest” for a small country like Singapore, and helped Singapore to distinguish itself from other developing countries and move from third world to first.


There is a heavy focus by the government of Barbados to rebuild the economy. However, we need an equal or greater focus on enforcing our laws in every sphere of life. We (not just the government) have to start holding every citizen accountable from top to bottom; in the private and public sectors. We must exercise a zero tolerance to illegal and unauthorized behaviour starting right now. If we do not arrest the  current situation, borrowing billions to develop the physical infrastructure will be for nothing if the social fabric is not addressed.




  • @John A

    In our system of government thus far we always have to throw ourselves at the mercy of the duopoly/political class (William you happy?) given our passive activist state.


    You are a master of threading comments posted to weave your story. Well done!


  • @ Miller
    Thanks. There is none so blind as he who does not want to see. The struggle continues.

    The Duopoly Rules


  • But Skinner comfortable up in Amurka wey a duopoly rules and he ain’t leffin fuh Canada, so what? All yuh pass me with BS. Too much selective idealism.


  • re Video posted…@1.28 it shows a pre 1900 picture of Pelican Island. Is that sargassum on the beach?


  • @ Northern

    I don’t know but it looks so, a friend sent me it and I forwarded it to David to give the old men a little nostalgia. Lol


  • @David

    Yes You are right we have and when the press and so called opposition fail us where else can we turn?


  • Bajans really got short memories, in retirement Arthur is like a mercenary (perhaps mercenary is too strong) let’s say he is a patriot. Remember when Stuart dangled some offer and then like “Lucy” in Peanuts he pulled away the football?

    Politricks in Buhbadus too sweet.


  • @ Sargeant

    Arthur is on a 100 per cent pension – ie he is getting what he got as prime minister; is he also paid by UWI? Now these freelance jobs? The man is a disgrace.
    I have said before, Arthur can do a spectacular job for Barbados by writing his memoirs.


  • @ Hal

    Remember , the Duopoly has a fatted calf.

    The Duopoly Rules


  • @ William

    In the old days of the church, we had a sense of morality. In a secular age, morality is relative. The people get the governments they vote for.


  • Hal A
    Arthur is on a 100 per cent pension – ie he is getting what he got as prime minister; is he also paid by UWI? Now these freelance jobs? The man is a disgrace

    I don’t know about the UK but double dipping is rampant all over North America in the private and public sector. We can’t let those fertile brains go to mush 😊


  • Ethics, ethics, ethics.


  • GP..something that may interest may be better than these offshore universities who are now moving in to buy up property thanks to a weak government who is only now realizing that they have bitten off a hell of a lot more than they can chew..

    “New internship opportunities may open in Africa for University of the West Indies medical students, Minister of Health Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic has revealed.

    The African internships are being proposed as a solution to the limitation on the numbers of interns who can be accommodated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which began as a teaching hospital in 1967, four years after it opened. The QEH currently limits its annual intake of interns from the Faculty of Medicine to 70.

    The announcement came as the Health Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding to renew the 52-year-old relationship between UWI at Cave Hill, the ministry and the QEH.”


  • @ Piece:

    I agree with the strictures in your last two paragraphs. However, you queried a qualification (not a “non sequitur”, as you argue), in one of my early statements concerning “excesses” in local social media. You asked for an example of such “excesses”.

    By way of example, some sectors of Bajan social media recently featured a clip of a young boy in short pants, may be 10 years old, presumably a Bajan, and not some blonde, blue eyed Dane, wrestling a sheep to the ground, wukking up and f—ping the sheep.

    What is the societal value of such clearly deviant behavior?
    What is the future of such a juvenile, delinquent, miscreant sex beast, acting out like a wild fowl, well publicized by way of your local social media? Shouldn’t such behavior, the participants and enablers at all levels (including those who disseminate) not be amenable to the rigors of the law in any society with a functioning legal system, rather than one parroting empty and pretentious nonsense about adhering to the Rule of Law?

    There is nothing, but nothing socially redeeming in such anti-social behavior and garbage.

    Surely, Piece, you should be familiar with the well known, long running discussions surrounding Singapore and its free speech restrictions including its prohibition of unfettered social media including numerous internet porn sites, including Playboy, Hustler, etc, etc. In addition, you may also recall P.M David Cameron’s efforts to restrict internet porn in the UK market. You may also recall Senators Joe Lieberman, Birch Bayh and others seeking to impose a higher rate of tax in the US – 40%, I think.

    As Lenin might have asked: “What is to be done”?

    Arguably, one purpose of such initiatives is to conserve what is best in society, even if we may well be shoveling shit against a serious, dangerous, overly permissive rip tide.

    It, therefore, seems that the Barbados Government has 3 choices: (1) do nothing, and allow the society to continue to drift aimlessly and decline further; (2) do like Singapore and some other states and ban certain social media sites outright; any reputable IT person(s) should be able to help Government achieve this; or (3) impose a tax or surcharge – a revenue gathering measure – on any access to any and all such sites, say a tax between 40% and 1000%.

    Finally, Piece, as one ole man to another, my “PS” made the point that “All BARBADIANS” must/should be made to read, mark, study the Barbados Constitution. This point seems somehow to have eluded you. If you believe that this humble proposal has any merit, you should push/advocate for the argument and brook no contradiction, especially if it might somehow help cultivate a little knowledge and a small sense of civic responsibility among younger Barbadians.

    @ The Miller

    Re my argument that the Barbados Constitution permits hard labour – Article 14? or better yet, occupational therapy for inmates, you raised a number of issues.

    Kindly note that all political scientists and constitutional lawyers recognize that “sovereignty cannot bind itself.”. Thus, internally, in any Parliamentary democracy, we routinely have repeal of legislation, amended legislation, and so on. Externally, states have made copious reservations and derogations from tons of treaty obligations.

    If any Barbados Government should perhaps believe that it somehow undertook an obligation and there has been a fundamental change of circumstances, what is there to prevent derogation, except for the lack of political will?


  • What Barbados government , Barbados has never had a functioning intelligent government who put the needs and welfare of the Black majority FIRST, they have only ever been SADDLED with a bunch of brainwashed house negros who morphed into self proclaimed slave masters SELLING OUT THEIR OWN PEOPLE TO ENRICH THEMSELVES…

    Maybe in another 25 years a real government and real leaders will emerge but not in this generation…the COLONIAL BLIGHT AND CURSE HAS TO BE REMOVED FIRST..

    the dumbest among the majority population have to leave the earth FIRST…


  • @Caleb Pilgrim

    You cannot condemn a 10 yr old for the rest of his life. Something is definitely wrong, but it is no his fault. What is the age of criminal responsibility in Barbados?


  • When a government is unable to maintain and provide the minimum services for its people then its legitamcy must be questioned. It has been argued by many that a number of parishes have been abandoned by various governments over the years. The link below shows an access road that resembles the surface of a moon crater.

    We need to expand the debate on our two party system and discuss alternative options as to how our political environment can be overhauled and rebooted.
    Switzerland has a canton system rich is more democratic and inclusive.


  • In Switzerland you also need only 1,000 signatures in a petition to remove a toxic, corrupt government…the people don’t play with filthy politicians and lawyers and they are not mentally enslaved nor brainwashed..


  • @ TLSN

    This is how we do it:
    A. One party had Constituency Councils;
    B. The other party does away with that and creates Peoples’ Assemblies
    C. When or if the party changes we will do away with B and come up with something else.
    So there it is :A B C
    Hope you get it my friend.
    It’s called the alphabet system of management. This system will soon be exported in order to earn foreign exchange.

    The Duopoly Rules


  • @ WURA:

    Are you perhaps suggesting that “Little Ghana” follow the example of Lt. Jerry Rawlings some 40 years ago, as he attempted to cure corruption and other societal illnesses in “Big Ghana”? I read somewhere (may be The Nation) that the A.G had declared that corruption was at an end?

    @ Hal: Not always life imprisonment.. I prefer a multidisciplinary approach including treatment (psychiatric, or child psychology, where necessary); re-education;; deterrence, hopefully leading to rehabilitation and social reintegration some day.


    Hoping one of the braniacs can explain this to me.

    Seems as if I can come and squat on your land and I will get my water connected for just $300.00]

    Classic passing of the buck. Instead of clamping down on illegal connections, they now make the connections legal for a measly sum and pass on more problems to land owners. I love it.

    Now we know where the next 700,00 people will go…. on your property.


  • Is this an example of stopping and breathing..

    Wondering what the full ritual was


  • “Are you perhaps suggesting that “Little Ghana” follow the example of Lt. Jerry Rawlings some 40 years ago, as he attempted to cure corruption and other societal illnesses in “Big Ghana”? I read somewhere (may be The Nation) that the A.G had declared that corruption was at an end?”

    we shall see..they think they got everyone fooled, right now the population want to see them all jailed, with the amount of crimes they have commtted against those weary people, it’s just a matter of taking away those diplomatic passports and VOlLA.


  • I am calling on the BLP women to adopt the fashion statement of your PM and Leader.

    The elongated shawl on one shoulder looks pretty good.


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