Another Heather Cole Column – Social Justice for the Working Class

A reckoning for social justice is unfolding in Barbados. Unlike the USA earlier this year where it was prompted by police brutality and death, in Barbados the reckoning has been prompted by labour unrest.

Working Class Inclusion in the Social Partnership

In an address on World Day of Social Justice on February 20th 2020, the Minister of Labour Colin Jordan spoke on the topic “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice”. In that address he stated, “social justice connotes an environment where there is equity and fairness, no one is marginalized, exploited or discriminated against, there is no poverty, there are equal gender opportunities, and there is no infringement of human rights” and “social justice will be achieved through a variety of means including education, awareness-building and legislation.” Sad to say, the minimum wage was overlooked and not included. A few months later, in June 2020 the Minister brought legislation to discriminate against the already exploited working class of Barbados.

On December 14, 2020 after months of social unrest, the Minister stated that the Government will revisit the changes made to the Severance Pay Act which reduced the length of time persons can apply for severance and revisit employers’ refusal to pay severance. However, also at the heart of this serious matter is the fact that the government and a ‘social’ partnership made a bad decision against one class in society which could have plunged the island into its worst labour relations crisis since the 1930’s Riots. Until it is changed, the BEST Program is an epic failure which will affect the entire labour force not only Tourism workers. The idea that such a decision was accepted by government and the social partnership is a matter of grave concern. It is a clear indication that the social partnership is a limited interest group serving its own interest and that it has the propensity to make its self-interest government policy.

In order for there to be meaningful change in terms of labour legislation going forward, the social partnership must be a broad based interest group which includes representation from the working class. Co-operatives and NGO’s must also be represented.

Historical Origins of the Minimum Wage

To have any discussion on wages in Barbados, one must start with three things which are the distribution of land and capital and the labour force that supplies labour. All three have been determined historically during slavery when the white upper class owned the land and the capital and the black working class were the source of labour. The black working class went from no wages to extremely low wages as the planters had an abundance of labour to choose from. The disparities between the profits of the planter class and wages of the labourers came to a head in 1937 and riots erupted. A low wage of about 30 cents a day was being paid.

Today ownership of the means of production (land and capital) has basically remained unchanged in Barbados. Even with the advent of credit unions little has changed for the working class. Constrained by the lack of Capital and land, the working class has been unable to impact the wages that they earn even with the support of the labour unions.

The minimum wage is a wage at the subsistence level. At present, the minimum wage is $6.25 per hour in Barbados. It is the demarcation of poverty line when compared to the high cost of living. In essence, the minimum wage has kept the working class in poverty.

The Living Wage

A living wage is a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living. It takes into consideration the cost of food, transportation, rents, mortgages, utilities, clothing, self- maintenance, healthcare, education and the payment of taxes.

According to Oxfam the introduction of living wage is beneficial to a society when:

1. Increases in wages are long overdue.

2. It is used to address long standing issues in class/race inequalities.

3. It is used to reduce poverty.

4. It is used to fuel economic growth.

Government maintains a basket of goods that are under price controls. For decades that basket has remained unchanged even though taste has changed in the population due to a large consumption of imported goods. Control of what the working class eats has shifted from the planters to government if it determines what your wages can buy.

Government New Minimum Wage by Sector

Government has stated that it will introduce a new minimum wage structure by sector as opposed to an across the board minimum wage. For this to make an impact on the livelihoods of the working class, the following must occur:

1. There must be a best practice used to determine the valuable of types of labour. This may also negatively impact labour relations.

2. Government must invest in agriculture to increase locally grown crops to substitute for imports.

3. Government must provide subsidies to agriculture.

4. There must be an across the board price freeze to combat inflation.

5. Rents for the working class must be fixed or subsidized.

6. Food for the working class must be subsidized i.e. there must be 2 different price structures in the supermarket, one for the working class and another for everyone else.

7. There is a special interest rate for the working class.

8. Access to capital for the working class.

9. Subsidized transportation for the working class.

10. Land purchase and building materials are subsidized for the working class.


Getting back to the Minister’s address on February 20th, 2020, he failed to include the minimum wage of $6.25 an hour as part of the social justice environment that he described. Perhaps it was an oversight on the Minister’s part but that minimum wage has been responsible for the exploitation and discrimination of the working class of Barbados.

The government of Barbados has a choice, either subsidize the working class or provide a living wage. The question that government needs to determine is if it really wants to positively impact the lives of the working class in Barbados by taking the measures outlined above when it introduces the new minimum rate structure or if it will not be easier to provide the working class with a living wage which reduces government’s effort and cost. The new minimum rates structures on their own will not work unless they equate to a living wage.

Going forward it is hoped that the government comes to terms with the fact that representation from the working class is included in the social partnership and that there is acknowledgement that a minimum wage has failed largest class of the population and that a living wage must be legislated as it is in the best interest of all Barbadians.

180 thoughts on “Another Heather Cole Column – Social Justice for the Working Class

  1. “Slowed poor people to squat , turned a blind eye toward it, in order to get votes.”

    Does this not suggest that those party supporters who “perhaps” were not on the list were not poor or the undeserving poor? By the way, a month or so ago, a person I know who is on the list and not affiliated to any party got a call.

  2. WS

    Why are you pretending you don’t know what letting someone “bray” means?

    Cackle refers to a hen
    Braying refers to a donkey or more likely an ass

    You are not ignorant to the term it is used here on BU a plenty .

  3. @ John2
    No pretending here.
    I dont know why or how others use it. What I do know is that from high school, in a heated argument, one of us would say let him bray. I am quite aware of the sounds made by some animals. So, I just used the term, I am going to let them to bray. I don’t find it offensive at all. Braying is also thought to be a loud noise. He ‘roared like a lion-does that mean you are calling him a lion ? She clawed her way through the cave-are you calling her a cat ? so suddenly now saying let somebody bray means you are calling them a donkey or ass – gimme me a break. Another thing, for all the years on BU, I can’t remeber the word bray being popular but I know that others delight in calling people JA and RH. Guess you are more comforatble with those. Gimme a break.

  4. @ Enuff
    You have me baffled. If you’re reading “Slowed”. I said that was a typo and I meant “Allowed”. Seriously,I honestly can’t follow what you are saying. I know of similar cases. It’s all corruption. That’s my point. You note the backlash from the squatters. We encourage that type of behaviour because it’s politically convenient. All we are doing is reaping what we sowed. That’s my point. Ask the Auditor General about these things. Over thirty years and some departments still not in compliance.
    There’s a hole in the bucket. Fix it

  5. Random thoughts
    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The friend of my enemy is my enemy.

    I remember once making a next name to attack on a blogger. I cannot remember why. I have regrets.

    Sometimes, I thought of unmasking, is but I fear my writing style would link the real and pseudo me. And of course we have a few who run your phrases through analyzers 98% Theo.

    Just a gazer..friend of all and ally of none

  6. WS

    Roar like a lion – is powerful

    Bray like a donkey?????

    Which one would you like someone to say about you?

    Don’t tell me you know the meaning about “butterflies” and ignorant about braying

    As for JA / RH.
    I comfortable with anything. I hear cussing plenty everyday and will dish some if I have the feeling to – including braying

    No need to hide it and pretend.
    This is not church and the kids nowadays ain’t stupid and curse just as bad as adults when they are in their own company

  7. @ Mr. Skinner

    Yes, Mr. Skinner, it’s always a pleasure to engage you and I’ve learnt ‘a lot’ from your contributions over the years. But, if something occurred that bothers me, I believe I should, with all due respect, draw it to your attention.

    Perhaps it’s the way I ‘constructed’ my sentences. I specifically wrote, “RATHER THAN JOIN other individuals……….” It was not my intention to suggest YOU “referred to people in derogatory terms,” but to suggest you shouldn’t JOIN others and ‘go down that line.’

    RE: “…..or, some idiotic pseudo psychiatrist ‘diagnosing’ them, just by reading their contributions,” is self explanatory and NOT a reference to you.
    A few months ago, I read several contributions in response to your comments, in which I realised it was becoming a common practice for the author to continually ‘diagnosed’ other contributors. They’re either bullies, passive-aggressive, learnt by rote, savages, wild beasts, buffoons, and I could go on and on.
    Unfortunately, however, I’ve never read at anytime where you expressed disapproval of that behaviour. You would either ignore or find some excuse to defend it.

    RE: “Where have I participated in any daily “you versus them” activity that is becoming “sick and boring.” Please forward such evidence to the blog.”

    I did not use the word “you” to address YOU, Mr. Skinner, directly. It was used to refer to any person in general. However, I’ll give you two examples:

    [1]: YOU, the GROUP that post contributors under your real names versus THEM that use pseudonyms.

    In your December 19, 2020 7:30 AM contribution, you seemed to be implying that, because “The majority of contributions to BU are under pseudonyms,” David BU has essentially “planted hysteria and has been reaping hysteria.”
    And, in your December 19, 2020 9:56 AM contribution you “figured that BU, would benefit and become more recognized,” if people post using their real names.

    Supposed someone posted contributions under the name ‘Sonia Grant.’ How would you know if that’s the contributor’s ‘real name,’ or if they are actually a female? What methods are you going to use to determine if the person is actually Sonia Grant? Would you Google the name or contact all the Sonia Grants in Barbados to find out which one contributes to BU?

    What are the FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES between BU bloggers William Skinner and ‘Tron’ both saying Barbados is 166 square miles or 2 x 4 = 8? Does Tron’s comments LACK CREDIBILITY because he used a pseudonym?

    “Who I am is irrelevant to the blog … take my ideas and comments for what they are. Those who confirm their identity should be held to same standard: we care less about your antecedents and want to focus on your current and consequent ideas posted.” [de pedantic Dribbler December 19, 2020 9:33 AM]

    “So, how exactly does an alias user offends blog sensibilities that a flaming throwing NAMED blogger doesn’t?” [de pedantic Dribbler December 19, 2020 9:33 AM]

    [2]: YOU, the GROUP that is always saying you’ve been in the struggle for years versus THEM you accuse of trying to “convince people that have been in the struggle for donkey years.”

    RE: “In my last submission I just told @Hal, that I have decided to just let people “bray.” I don’t understand how that can be offensive.”

    I did not ‘say’ your use of the word ‘bray’ was offensive.

  8. @ Mr. Skinner

    I should’ve given three (3) examples, so, I’ll add one more.

    [3]: YOU the ‘overseas Bajans’ versus THEM the ‘stay at home Bajans.’

  9. I see the feel sorry for me woman and the block limer are both 🏃 running their derriere.

    @ WS and @ HAL continue being who you are.

  10. @ Artax
    Thanks for the clarification.
    “In your December 19, 2020 7:30 AM contribution, you seemed to be implying that, because “The majority of contributions to BU are under pseudonyms,” David BU has essentially “planted hysteria and has been reaping hysteria.”
    And, in your December 19, 2020 9:56 AM contribution you “figured that BU, would benefit and become more recognized,” if people post using their real names.”
    You are centered where the majority on the blog tend to be. I should not be held responsible for what others write. However, after my last submission regarding the use of pseudonyms, I have decided to let that go. While I am still of the opnion that “false names” enourage and actually give people license to abuse and literally “cuss” each other at will, it is not my blog.
    As far as being in the struggle for donkey years, I remain steadfast , in my conviction, that Barbados seem to have been only discovered by some people last week. Regardless of how they try to dress it up, they know very little of the soico political/economic development of the island. That too I am letting go of because that really should not be my problem.
    As far as @ David is concerned, he deliberately allowed people to do as they like on BU because at that time it was convenient to his political leanings. That too I have let go of. It’s the truth.
    Well, it’s quite a few months that I have ignored the overseas” us and them thing” , that was also encouraged by the Blogmaster. I know where my navel string is buried.
    You said; “Unfortunately, however, I’ve never read at anytime where you expressed disapproval of that behaviour. You would either ignore or find some excuse to defend it.” I have never defended that behaviour. As recently as two or so weeks ago on BU, I told @Hal to desist from going that route. He will tell you it’s not the first time. I have also continuously disagreed withe him that Barbados is a failed state.
    So, there we have it , it’s not my blog and I am grateful for the opportunity to let my views be heard. However, I deeply appreciate your setting the record straight. Your suggestions and or advice are taken in the manner which they were given and I respect you for that. I am a known believer in good manners and you are blessed with an abundance.
    Keep up the good work
    The Real struggle continues

  11. “WS

    Roar like a lion – is powerful

    Bray like a donkey?????

    Which one would you like someone to say about you?”

    “As for JA / RH.
    I comfortable with anything. I hear cussing plenty everyday and will dish some if I have the feeling to – including braying

    No need to hide it and pretend.
    This is not church and the kids nowadays ain’t stupid and curse just as bad as adults when they are in their own company”

    Quite frankly I have been called a JA , RH and liar on BU so sometimes I kind of figure I am all of those things and more. They can call me whatever they feel like. You have your standards and I have mine.
    I don’t have to pretend. My friends know that I am very far left of center politically. However when it comes to proper decorum , I am unapologetically extremely conservative. So you and I will have to co-exist but my culture is not based on vulgarity and who don’t like um could lump um.
    I read where somebody on this same BU , try to defend people cussing out each other. I would like to be there , when one of their children call them a RH front of a house full of friends. I guess they will reply: FU or Foff.
    Pure nonsense and gallery. Like i said before I know what cussing is and what pure vulgarity and improper decorum to impress others is. Let them cuss me.

  12. The “feel sorry for me woman”?

    Feel sorry for me for what?????
    As I have said before, I have everything I need and most of what I want! I am the one who thinks Barbados is not as bad as it is being portrayed compared to the rest of the world. I am the one being castigated for being too positive. I am the one who believes that we black people have the power to pool our resources and overcome. I am the one being called delusional for daring to be happy in Barbados. I am the one being told to step outside of my comfortable life to consider that my experience is not the average experience of life in Barbados. Funny thing is that it is not that I have not experienced problems. I could write a book. It is simply that I have finally come to understand that problems will always be a part of life. EVERY DAY, EVERY WHERE there is a mountain to climb. We need to stop whining and get to it.

    My only regret in life is that I wasted too much time in my younger days expecting a perfect life to fall into my lap. I was constantly baffled because I could not understand why people behaved so illogically. I spent too much time worrying about that and too little trying to find ways around them. I think we are making the same mistake here. There is much that we can do together to get around those who place obstacles in our path.

    You are a very stupid man if that translates to wanting somebody to feel sorry for me.

    If it is one thing I thought I had demonstrated here it is that I can stand my ground against ten of the best of you men. I have stood up against you all my life in every sphere. IN BLOODY PERSON. Most of my problems came from kicking against the pricks. I never accepted the admittedly mild sexism or racism I experienced when I recognized it as such. Not at home, not at school, not at work. Not anywhere! Never looked behind me for back up. Often fought alone. Instinctly and without compromise.

    I repeat for all those observing with one eye – Barbados, like every other country in the world has problems. We continue to fight through them. We will not ever be a perfect society but we must never stop striving to do better for all of our countrymen and women.

    And oh, I too shall continue to be who I am! I don’t need your permission. I have NEVER asked permission. That is how I earned the title – THE MAD WOMAN!

    So please, don’t feel sorry for me! I do appreciate empathy, and in some cases even sympathy but pity would get my goat!

  13. I have never once called William Skinner any names because you have never once called me a name. Furthermore, you and I want the same things but we have different ideas about the severity of the problem when compared to other countries. This is our only disagreement. But you seem to interpret this as my being not sufficiently aware of or concerned for the plight of the average Barbadian.

    You are wrong on both counts.

    Now, I have called Hal Austin many names because he is in the habit of calling Bajans who live here names.

    Who the hell does Hal Austin think he is? When it is not name calling it is snide remarks . Just last week he said that the tourists come here for the weather but certainly not the people. I let that pass at the time.

    But think about what that says, William Skinner!

    Was that directed at the powers that be, the politicians the white people, the Indians, all but the average Bajan as TheO once claimed?

    No, it was directed at the average Bajan whom he has often reminded us that his friend from England tries to avoid, and according to him, undertandably so!

    So… we are a people to be avoided – ALL of us. And I’ll tell you why. It is simply because we don’t hang on every word Hal Austin utters as though they are pearls of wisdom and we don’t hurry to follow his every suggestion.

    But every day I meet wonderful people on the streets of Barbados. Only last week a plastic bag of mine burst as I was leaving the supermarket and twelve bottles of Enterex hit the floor. Now, I am in my fifties, not too old to bend down but each time I tried to pick up one a lady in her twenties beat me to it.

    A few weeks ago I hopped out of a car in traffic with unbuckled shoes. Picked my way to safety on the pavement to buy a breadfruit. The two vendors, young men also in their twenties, chided me for the dangerous unbuckled shoes and bent down to buckle them before I could.

    These are the little things that make me smile whenever I venture out in Barbados. There is the occasional unpleasant encounter but the good outweighs the bad, several times over.

    But we are a people the tourists would not come to see and the returnees understandably avoid!

    Hal Austin has nothing good to say about ninety per cent of Barbadians who live on this rock. Those whom he considers worthy can be counted using fingers and toes.

  14. Now, with respect to “cussing” – you do you and we will do us. Nobody berates you for not cussing. My question is who declared these words to be cusswords? What is an asshole? What is a rasshole? What makes a word a cussword? What is the difference between calling somebody an idiot, a jackass, a wild beast, a savage etc. etc. etc.?

    And what is the difference between calling a person a jackass and saying that a person is braying?

    People do not bray. Jackasses bray. To bray one must first be a jackass.

    Six is still half dozen.

  15. And one last thing – your butterflies comment only emerged since you took issue with what you see as my rose spectacled view of Barbados. It is a response to my daily mention of the butterflies in my Garden of Peace.

    It is definitely a snide comment directed at somebody who has, and I paraphrase, now discovered Barbados, knows nothing about the socio-economic conditions and is trying to convince people who have been in the struggle for years.


  16. @ William

    I am sorry, but a couple weeks ago you asked me to desist from going ‘that route’. What route? Plse clarify.

  17. Told yall they will get these uppity Barbados governments on Black human rights abuses on day, they are vicious, anti-black and can’t help themselves, the believe that because it’s black people they rob, terrorize and abuse that no one anywhere clear, the nasty niga mind and they’ll never be held accountable, give the negros a colonial title, keys to the treasury, pension fund and access to the smiling faces of thieving criminal minorities…and they immediately sell out and off and running to violate black rights….they are going to be famous Enuff..

    the not too bright are yet to figure put that these social blights are a major problem and contributed significantly to the degradation of the whole slave society structure.

  18. Told yall they will get these uppity Barbados governments on Black human rights abuses ONE DAY, they are vicious, anti-black and can’t help themselves, they believe that because it’s black people they rob, terrorize and abuse that no one anywhere CARES, the nasty niga mind works like that and think that they’ll never be held accountable…dream on.

  19. Continue inviting in a bunch of infected diseased people from UK while everyone else is banning them…

    This excerpt is from another article.

    “Netherlands will ban flights carrying passengers from the United Kingdom from Sunday as Britain detected a new coronavirus strain.

    A travel ban will remain in place until January 1, the government said in a statement early Sunday, adding that it is monitoring developments and is considering additional measures regarding other modes of transport.

    Netherlands added that in early December, sampling of a case in the country had revealed the same virus strain as that found in the UK.

    In measures to control the spread of virus, government issued a “do not travel” advisory, unless it is absolutely essential.

    The ban came after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and scientists announced on Saturday that the new strain of coronavirus identified in the country is up to 70 per cent more infectious.”

  20. Would never trust parliament negros with mine or my family’s lives.

    “London – European nations have begun to apply travel bans with the United Kingdom (UK) after it reported a more infectious and “out of control” coronavirus variant.

    Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium are all halting flights and travel. The measures vary and are initially generally short-term.

    A meeting of European Union countries will be held on Monday morning to discuss a more coordinated response.

    The new variant has spread quickly in London and south-east England.”

  21. Barbadians see govt as heroes
    What they dont see are the underlying cost of fighting thr virus which would soon bite them in the arse
    In my humble opinion all borders should have been closed for a year with the exception of cargo flights done by the military transporting food and medical supplies to poor countries
    These closure would have given govt a free hand to fight the virus without having all this overloaded cost and in meanwhile force to build on homegrown policies to keep their economies moving

  22. Moore: Return to CTUSAB possible
    THE DOOR has not been closed on an eventual reunion of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) and the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB).
    The BWU seceded CTUSAB in 2013, with then general secretary Sir Roy Trotman outlining several reasons why the decision was made, one notably being what he said was a move to prevent the BWU from representing Barbados at the International Labour Organisation session in Geneva, Switzerland.
    Moore said she did not want to rehash the “ugly stuff” of the past but acknowledged unions were at their strongest as one.
    “Unity is strength, therefore any opportunity to explore strength in unity is always welcome,” she said on Starcom Network’s Sunday Brass Tacks yesterday.
    “I believe the time will come where it will be possible to regain that strength. I believe with the change in focus of the leadership in the respective organisations to a true commitment to workers and to rekindle unity and draw from the strength in that unity, we will get there. I’m optimistic.”
    Moore cautioned that things were not always as they appeared, and there should be no assumption that a divergence of viewpoints was a sign of discomfort.
    “From time to time, views will diverge but that is a passing thing,” she said.
    Moore added she was seeing trends among unions which she did not approve of.
    “As unions, we need to meet and combine our energies. Unions in our system seem to be diverging from how unions in other places operate and are expected to operate.
    “Unions don’t tear each other down publicly but that is something emerging here and that will continue to make it a lot harder for the kind of unity we want to pursue,” she said. ( CA)

    Source: Nation

  23. @ Donna

    There’s an ‘old saying’ that ghosts usually come out at 12 midnight. So, understandably, at 12:10 AM in the morning, when I saw the name “Observer” on BU, I became a bit scared because I thought another contributor held a séance in the forum and raised the late calypsonian ‘Observer’ from the dead.

    I made a ‘sign of the Cross’ and he immediately disappeared.

  24. David & Artax

    Indeed I thought it was strange that Observing would appear just to make such a nasty comment. We do have a real Observing, don’t we? Never saw him attack in such a nasty manner. Our interactions have always been pleasant.

    What did he call you – a block limer? Somebody said that recently but I cannot remember who. My “feel sorry for me” label was also used some months ago. I have an idea who said it but I don’t want to call the wrong name or he will come out blazing in ALL CAPS.

    Also the “continue to be who you are” was this same person’s words to Hal not long ago.

    Miss Marple’s nose did smell that rat!

    My, my, my! A sneaky rat! But not sneaky enough!

  25. @ Donna

    There is only one individual who keeps making references to me ‘liming on the block’ and my ‘block friends.’ He also always uses terms such as “the feel sorry for me woman” to describe you. It’s all that ‘he came out of character’ on this occasion to attack us.

    He is a known ass kisser of one the guys he mentioned. Obviously, emotion would cause him to instinctively emphasize that ‘respect’ by using his trademark choice of lettering to write the guy’s name.

  26. WS
    I did interpret it as allowed from your very first post and my point remains–party supporters are also poor and deserving of public housing too. The fact is that demand for government-assisted housing/land outstrips supply and will continue to be the case for many reasons including, most notably, the lack of any substantial private sector involvement in providing low-income housing. Who calls who or who is “perhaps” not on a list is primary school reasoning. From what I have read, the current government has started to address this through indirect contributions by the private sector. Instead of grandstanding on BU, maybe you (Mahogany Court) and Hal Austin should establish a company to do just that–provide low-income housing so poor people wouldn’t be allowed to squat for votes. By the way are you accusing your dear friend Comrade Prescod of encouraging/allowing squatting for votes? What a ting!!

  27. WW

    The kids know what is a cuss word and when to and when not to use them

    I repeat. They mostly use them amoung their peers.

    There are exposed to cursing all over
    The tv, rumshop, streets, cricket, basketball etc

    RH and JA are mild. The older kids got their own codes for their own brand of cursing that some adults don’t even understand

  28. @ Enuff
    I can’t answer for @ Hal but I have no personal business interest in construction. As for Comrade Prescod, he has been politically neutered. It’s the path he chose. I chose mine and you know I got slaughtered. He is his own man.
    I am happy to learn that your party and government are no longer corrupt. Please tell them , when entering deals with housing and the private sector to build proper size houses and complete the interiors with basic things such as cupboards.
    @ Donna
    I gave a very clear reason why I use the term chasing butterflies. I can’t respond to that any further.
    I no longer care about who use colorful language. I don’t own BU.
    Philosophically you are in line with how most Bajans see development. I think that works for most of us.
    Quite frankly, Barbados is not my major focus. I am still trying to assist in creating a true One Caribbean Nation State.
    I see no tremendous hope under the BLPDLP. They don’t have the talent nor the collective leadership to do anymore or any less of what they have been doing for nearly sixty years.
    The lack of creative and innovative policy has been embarrassingly exposed in the last Throne Speech and before that the endless blundering of Stuart and company. That’s my personal view.

    The real struggle continues

  29. WS
    “As for Comrade Prescod, he has been politically neutered.

    So the squatters in the Belle, as you mentioned, appeared post Comrade Prescod’s removal from Cabinet?🤣🤣🤣 PS your comrade hates the word squatters so don’t use it. You need to update your facts and analysis of many social and economic issues in Bdos, including the erection of houses on land without the land owners’ permission aka squatting.

  30. 3-degree busy waiting on his stimulus cheque, trying to find the large number of extrajudicial killings he claims have occurred in Barbados and telling people that if you’re not getting at least US$8/hour in Bim it is peanuts because that’s the minimum in Florida. #imaginehelecturedpeoplechildren🤣

  31. @ Enuff
    I merely said the Comrade was politically neutered. I think he said in Parliament that it was because of the “ white shadows”.
    I don’t know much these days at all. But I did see some government units that were a bit tight. I also read about some houses being built with no cupboards etc.
    Man , even the squatters complaining that the houses offered to them by Duguid are too small .
    Going forward ,I will wait on you before venturing into any discussion about housing policy. Happy to learn that all corruption in this department has been cleaned up. Good job !

  32. @ Enuff





  33. William,

    One Caribbean would indeed be lovely. I do love Caribbean people, each with their own strengths that would complement each other. It would be a tremendous accomplishment. We would have been much further along in self-sufficiency if the Federation had stuck, I believe.

    Unfortunately, we no longer have a revered Windies cricket team to help you. I think the bond is more tenuous since its demise.

    I fear this time that YOU are chasing butterflies.

    But I hope you catch them!

  34. 3-degree aka 2-pseudonym
    I don’t work in marketing. You’re so bright, you changed your whole name but repeated the same language and phrases used under your other “name” to insult Donna and Artax. You find de extrajudicial killings yet? Shiiiite imagine if you had 4 degrees?🤣🤣🤣

  35. @ Donna
    “I fear this time that YOU are chasing butterflies.“
    That certainly brought a smile to my face. I have been told that now almost every day for forty Five years. It remains the only solution. It’s the only struggle worth my dedication.

  36. @Pachamama December 19, 2020 2:46 PM “You can easily spend 700 in a supermarket for 3 or 4 bags.”

    This has not been my experience.

    i don’t think that i have ever spent $700 in one go.

    But typically I buy no alcohol nor tobacco nor preserved meats. Typically no canned fruits nor vegetables either.

  37. @enuff
    So the GoB agreed to compulsory acquisition of lands from marriott at Harrismith (Sam Lords?), and then decide to abandon that acquisition, and we are told
    “The Resolution……….published in the Official Gazette as Resolution No. 4/2020 on the 13th day
    of February, 2020”
    Only problem is the last Gazette published for the public to view on the Barbados parliament website is Jan 30, 2020.
    WTF is going on with the publishing of the Official Gazette???

  38. We have a few hypocrites on this blog who like to quote Professor Howard when it suits them.

    Minimum wage has serious implications
    CERTAIN OFFICIALS in the Barbados government, as well as the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), seem to think that a “national minimum wage” is a simple economic concept. They are wrong.
    On the contrary, a national minimum wage or sectoral minimum wage has serious micro as well as macro-economic implications.
    I repeat my view that a national minimum wage, though socially desirable, requires in-depth research, particularly into the structure of wages and job classification, productivity issues, and the nature of the present and continuing threats to the survival of certain businesses in Barbados. Research must also take into account the hiring practices of employers.
    My argument here is that a national minimum wage, or national sectoral minimal wages, should not be implemented in the context of our continuing deep economic crisis and uncertainty, which will continue into 2021. Further, in our present crisis, a national minimum wage makes no sense when government officials cannot reveal what the “true” unemployment rate is.
    My “uncertainty” analysis is supported by a view of the IMF’s Louise Levonian, executive director for Barbados, that risks are high and tilted to the downside, implying an uncertain economic outlook. I share the view that Barbados will take another two or more years to return to positive economic growth. This is not an environment for minimum wage legislation.
    Meanwhile, in the context of uncertainty, rather than focusing on a politically sanctioned national minimum wage, Government’s economic policy should be devoted to making sure that severance payments are paid, and that the country increases economic output wherever possible. Generating output is necessary to decrease this “unknown” very high unemployment rate in Barbados.

    Source: Nation

  39. Now we have the official privatisation of our beaches. With accretion, ownership goes right up to the edge of the water and remains fluid(pardon the un) with the movement of the flow of the waves. Is this how it it interpreted in Barbados?
    Was this one of the controversies that led to the removal of Comrade Prescod?

  40. @ Hal
    You had asked me when I suggested to you that you refrain from from some actions. I thought I had replied but in reviewing my posts from yesterday, I realized I didn’t.
    It was in relation to responding to the anti/overseas Bajan posts. I had also suggested that you refrain from using some language and terms that are pretty rough.
    I lightly said you were hard ears because I had expressed such to you before. You responded that your mother likened you to your father and that you were considered hard ears.
    In a later blog , I said that your mother at least did not call you hard headed.
    That was about it- if my memory serves me correctly.

  41. @ William

    I thought that was what you meant, but did not want to anticipate it. You may notice, I am not part of the overseas versus stay at home argument. I think it is silly. I talk about Barbadians (Caribbeans people) as one, no matter where they live or were born.
    In fact, one of my arguments regarding athletics, my favourite sport, is to sing the praises of Jamaica; no matter which Western country you find outstanding athletes, usually you find people of Jamaican descent – Canada, the UK or US.
    The only times this overseas/stay at home argument has any legitimacy is in the interpretation of experience, what I call Plato’s Allegory. For example, when I refer to the possibilities of journalism, I am speaking from a totally different experience to the readers and staff of Barbados Today or the Nation.
    For example, in the UK journalism has produced a prime minister, a leader of the Labour party, at least one chancellor, a number of junior finance ministers, fund managers, analysts, professors, a leading constitutional expert, etc. Every year there is a survey of the top jobs for graduates and the BBC comes top every year.
    But this is not really an overseas/stay at home argument, it is equally inter-generational. I left Barbados a long time ago and sometimes find it difficult understanding the precise meaning of some words used on BU.
    For example, cussing, or terms such as have the last word, etc. But I have the same difficulty with understanding the youths in the UK, often young men and women who grew up in your home. But that is what a dynamic language is all about.
    In London we have a new English, called estuary English (after the Thames); cockney is now a minority language in London. When I was a little boy in Barbados people from St Philip and St Lucy had distinct accents and colloquialisms. That is how language develops.
    Finally, as I have said before, I refuse to let anonymous cyber bullies intimidate me. It did not happen when I was a youth, and it will not happen now. Of course, I am prepared to have a civilised debate. What I do is ignore the mentally challenged and try to debate with the rational.
    My main concern now is that I am keen to sign up for a new course, but CoVid-19 and 20 are seriously restricting my opportunity. BU is the equivalent of reading one of the free newspapers we get at the tube station; you read them then chuck them in the bin. Totally meaningless. It is the ordinary people I am interested in.


  42. @ Hal
    You are more than correct re the different language patterns in Bim. As you know,the Modern High had hundreds of students from rural areas. I was fortunate enough to develop several long standing friendships from student days. The differences in their language patterns excited me to no end and I can actually tell which parish a person is from with some accuracy by just listening to them.
    Have you ever looked at social patterns in Christ Church. I think it’s our most diverse parish: fisher folk, hotels, whites, farmers, the airport, industrial parks , oldest government units outside of the Pine, I think.,Absolutely fascinating.
    As for BU, I still welcome it as an asset to public discourse but I have finally accepted that it’s not my blog and I really have no further intention of making suggestions as to its direction. However, I will continue to engage the best way I can.
    Sometimes less is more.
    Don’t forget it’s Christmas and when you fire , fire one for me. Make it quick and stiff. These days I am only trying to reach contentment before capacity.
    If I had been told fifty years ago ,that my people will be in the papers with dilapidated housing, complaining about water supply , jumping up and down when their garbage is collected Or a few buses are bought, I would have ignored such a prediction. If I had been told that they would be in the papers begging for their own NIS and severance benefits , I would have ignored the soothsayer. If I had been told that my people in 2020, would’ve been earning less than 300 dollars per week, I would have thought it a joke . But all of these things are happening and it is very shameful that thirty black men and women , sit every Tuesday in a Parliament pretending they are representing the poor and down trodden. But that’s who we are .
    Be vigilant.

  43. But…..only the stay-at-home Bajans are suffering from the Bajan Condition and are understandably avoided by your returnee friend.

    You talk a roll of jobby! (That still means human solid waste.)

    You are fooling no-one, certainly not this “cyberbully” who will call you out whenever she seeds fit.

    You think you can slide insults past us every damn day and we are to say nothing.

    Good luck with that!

    William Skinner thinks you are the same man you were years ago and that blinds him to your nasty attitude. But your butt kissing Baje/Fake Observing has been exposed as a fraud.

    But…. enough of your misery for the day! Drop as many nasty remarks as you like until tomorrow!

  44. @ William

    Your first two paragraphs were brilliant. It is a part of our cultural history only Elombe Mottley is working on. There were lots of historical sociological reasons for those developments, including the fact that we did not travel from our districts, far less from the country in those days. We only travelled out when we went to excursions.
    My family came originally from St Philip and I remember teasing a cousin of mine just to hear him speak Philipian. I have a friend in London from Marchfield I still tease to get him to speak it now, even though he has forgotten most of it. In those days you could almost tell the streets individuals came from from their accents and use of words.
    As to Christ Church, in my youth that was part of the country, we only met them when they came to town at the end of the crop to spend their bonuses. Always in white pumps. We only knew it by driving through to the airport. Now I am more familiar with parts of the parish.
    As you say, it is the most metropolitan part of the country, outside St Michael. That is because they had the big sugar plantations to build on as the sugar industry failed.
    What I also notice about the built up part of Christ Church is that there is no sense of community; people are polite enough, but not over friendly. It is rather strange.
    The older communities, such as the Pine, Waterford, Deacons, were developed after 1944 with the clearing of the Bridgetown slums, which developed after the abolition of slavery and the freed slaves rushed to the City. It was Grantley Adams’ most outstanding social policy initiative.
    Funnily enough, after the abolition, the Garrison became the major prostitution district; how history repeats itself. In those days Nelson Street was upmarket, with families such as the La Touches, Fernandes, Cobhams, Duncans, et al living there.
    In fact, when I call for the bulldozing of the City slums, I am in fact just calling for our politicians to face the challenge that Adams and his colleagues did in the early 1950s. They fail hugely. Apart from the ABC highway, every major infrastructural project in Barbados was carried out pre-independence.
    By the way, do you remember stick licking, goat racing, the bum drum, etc. Another reason why I called for Elombe Mottley to be hired as a cultural policy consultant. He is brilliant.
    @ William, this can be a very interesting conversation.

  45. Hal’s post are the same in terms of content, whether long (constipated) or short (diarrheal). He is describing people on BU who call out his BS “mentally challenged”. Ask him to expand more on why journalism has produced a PM etc? Or how many are black.

  46. @Hal
    Brittons Hill, Burke’s Road to be exact was the Mecca of goat racing. The goats were named after race horses. One of the most popular race horse owners promised me a goat , when I was about eight years old, which I never got!
    I have an older brother who was legendary in Brittons Hill , as a “ jockey” he was like lightning.
    Goat racing was an exciting local product that was never developed ; it could have raised millions in foreign exchange. Could have been on the level of dog racing.
    Read recently that in the “ new cultural” thrust, government will be looking seriously at Road Tennis. I suggested this on BU about two months or so ago.
    Barbados’ real charm is its quaintness and the idiosyncrasies of our people. It was built on hard work and basic decency toward each other. The primary school, not the university or high school , is the bedrock of its success.
    Only yesterday , I read of a Barbadian, who had achieved greatness. He mentioned his primary school teacher Ms. Riley, from St.Giles. I had a professional relationship with that fabulous lady.
    When I say I know my culture,I am not trying to impress. I had a poor but fun filled boyhood. I remain steadfast that while I welcome development, I cannot forget the poor honest black folks who raised and condition my thinking to this day.
    We are now culturally going backwards; we need to be careful or our country will become nothing more than a cultural wasteland , for the enjoyment of those , who want a tropical break from their own cement jungled societies.
    I welcome night racing. I used to be able to name and identify every race horse in the paddock. However ,I have been privileged to see a beautiful race horse named Blueprint and an equally beautiful race goat named Blue Sales. I also saw a great race horse named Blue Sails.

  47. @ William

    I too remember Ms Riley. I think she taught me in class one and class two. Teachers make an impact on people that they often only realise in their later years. I treasure those St Giles days more than I treasure any other educational institution I have ever attended.
    As to goat racing, I remember the Armstrong family from the PIne, a father and two sons; they (the sons) were as fast as lighting. Every bank holiday we had goat racing. It is only by looking back on our childhood that we realise how rich in terms of culture they were and at the risk of boring people, one reason why I enjoy Elombe’s labour of love.
    I always say it is not romantic to look back on those days with excitement and joy. Lilliputian cricket, cricket with young breadfruit, knitted balls, tennis (hopping) balls, anything that was round, even gar balls.
    As to road tennis, we have been playing that Bajan game for over 60 years and it still has not even progressed in Barbados. I raised this once on BU and someone came on talking about the two opposing organisations etc. Somehow we always seem to miss the key points.
    To talk of your culture is not to impress, only silly people will think that. It is to share the wonderful life you lived as a youngster, in those pre-TV days. Now all young people do is play dominoes.
    @William, you are a good man. Pity you drink rum and went to Bay Street. Growing up I had a fond relationship with Villa Road, but part of the cultural memories of being an Ivy boy is our fun with the boys from the Pine. Next time you meet our mutual friend ask him about the Pine.

  48. @Heather
    Just a few days in the past, we were talking of pooling our money.
    I was searching for a post where you were trying to organize funding for land
    Unable to find it here

  49. ‘No meeting’ with NIS and Cliff workers
    By Michelle M. Russell
    Last week, I discussed, among other things, the strike action taken by 60 former employees of the Cliff Restaurant which they staged at the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) headquarters on Monday, December 14, 2020. I implored NIS to act in good faith and make good on the assurances for severance payment it made to these workers. I have since received written communication from the acting Director of NIS, Mrs Jennifer Hunte, regarding the allegations made by the former Cliff workers. With permission, I have reproduced some of her comments below: “Please be informed that . . . an internal check revealed that there had been no meeting with management of the NIS and workers of the Cliff, and that no such commitments had been given as appeared in the . . . media.
    Attempts by NIS to contact the spokesperson for the Cliff workers who appeared in the (media) proved futile, as he could not be reached at either the contact number or the email address on file at the NIS. This gentleman should be asked to provide the date, time and the names of the members of management with whom he spoke. I also attempted to contact the two other employees pictured with Mr Farley in the media article.
    They were copied on the email to Mr Farley at the email addresses provided on their severance claims.
    Steps to be followed
    “The application for severance payments is governed by a legal process and the NIS Severance Section provides advice and assistance to eligible employees so that they may fully comply with respect to the required communications to their respective employers and the steps to be followed.
    The response of the employer further influences the process. The submission of an application form by the employee does not determine his payment date. A payment cannot be made if the required prior steps have not yet been completed.
    “Contrary to your assertion, the management of the NIS did not give any assurances to former Cliff workers.”
    I inquired why NIS had not commented publicly on the matter following the media reports. Hunte responded, among other things, as follows: “The NIS unfortunately finds itself in a climate where the stakes are heavily stacked against it due to the uncertainty and the hardships being experienced by workers.
    We really don’t want the matter to continue to be portrayed as an “us versus them scenario”.
    We are sensitive to their situation and cognizant of our role as the nation’s lifeline . . . .
    At the time rather than seek to clear our own name, we sought to focus on the continued processing of claims as we too want these workers paid as speedily as possible.”
    Hunte did not advise whether she or any other member of management attempted to speak to the Cliff workers or their spokesperson on the day of the protest, since his presence on the premises made for ease of contact having failed to reach him before. She did, however, state that it is unusual for protesters to be met by heads of department and CEOs.
    Based on the information provided by Hunte, it seems that the Cliff workers and the NIS failed to speak directly with each other and instead were communicating in the media. This was not the best course and I believe the industrial unrest could have been avoided had there been direct communication between the NIS and the former workers, whether or not communication with a head of department is usual.
    The former Cliff workers had previously asserted in the media an expectation of receiving severance payment by Christmas. Hunte has advised that the severance cheques were mailed last week to the eligible former employees of the Cliff, some of whom confirmed to her that they received their cheques. As the saying goes, “all’s well that ends well”.
    Next week, I will deal with the issue of retirement, following the recent ERT decision in Grant v Barbados Beach Club.
    Michelle M. Russell is an attorney-at-law with a passion for Employment law and labour matters. Email: mrussell.ja
    “Contrary to your assertion, the management of the NIS did not give any assurances to former Cliff workers.”

    Source: Nation

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