A Heather Cole Column – Governance by Confusion, Who Gains?

About 20 years ago as we crossed the street to get on to East Street there was a group of people ahead of us and one of the women was lugging a suitcase. We were going to the East Street Vendors Market in London. My son who was five then was with me and when we reached the market, we started to browse. Suddenly raised voices were heard above the normal chatter. Two women on the other side of the street were arguing loudly and it was escalating. Next, they seemed to be on the verge of exchanging blows and all eyes were focused on them; no one was focused on the items on display. From my distance across the street, I was trying to figure out what was happening and if to leave when my son said, “mummy look! that woman is putting the people’s things in her suitcase.” He could not see what was happening across the street only what was happening on our side at his eye level.

It was then that I realized that the distraction had been planned. The group had created a distraction and shifted everyone’s focus and in the ensuing confusion, made the vendors goods easy prey to theft.

Is this what has been happening in Barbados? Think about it, the prorogation of Parliament for no reason that has been made public to this day and the Throne Speech from hell with its mandate for a Republic, the buying out of the leadership of the Barbados Workers Union, the largest trade union in Barbados and the by-election in St. George North. Even the pandemic played into the government’s hand as they used it to change the terms of the Severance Pay Act.

The above distractions have caused confusion and shifted the attention of the people of Barbados away from the performance of the economy, unemployment, the fact that this Administration is not providing any solutions, a refusal to diversify the economy, increasing debt and the Chinese invasion of Barbados.

The Prime Minister does not deliver clear messages. There is more information in the foreign press than from the Government of Barbados about its relationship with China. It looks good and sounds great to hear that the Prime Minister had a telephone call with President Xi but ask any Barbadian what was discussed. They will not have a clue. One wonders if ever there was a time since independence that an Administration in Barbados has acted in such a deliberately shady manner but again it is meant to cause confusion.

What is significant to note is that the Private Sector too is confused. However, what occurred over the last weekend in which the government’s move of political expediency not to make vaccines mandatory should be a wake- up call for those businessmen in that sector. They have a clear case of nearsightedness; they can only see what is right in front of their noses.

In particular, the voice of the private sector has not been heard in the debate about the Republic so no one knows what they envision but it cannot be business as usual.

In the scope of things, unvaccinated workers do not pose as great a threat as China. Perhaps if the Private Sector can envision a scenario in which Barbados is unable to repay China, that China takes over the ports and then raise duties on all imports except from China, it would remove the biblical beam from their eyes.

If there is another move of political expediency that involves China, its products or government contracts, the private Sector, will be on the losing end as China does not hand out debt to settle for scraps.

With only 166 square miles and limited manufacturing, one does not envision the survival of local manufacturing as Chinese investments begin to roll out. Those lucrative government contracts will become a thing of the past. Ultimately with billions of Chinese yens at their disposal the present Administration will not need the private sector to fund their election campaigns.

The ordinary people in Barbados do not have anything to lose but that is not so with the private sector.

The private sector has a choice to make. It is either:

  1. Stand idly by as the fire breathing dragon approaches and watch Rome burn. Or,
  2. Act like they are concerned citizens of Barbados and press for transparency and involvement for all the people of Barbados in the process to becoming a Republic which ultimately benefits them.

One kept hearing for weeks on end that the government had been doing an assessment of the housing stock that had been damaged or destroyed in the freak storm, to the point where one really had to wonder what was going on, only to find out in the newspaper a few days ago that the government is purchasing emergency housing from China. Surely this is a sign of things to come. Especially with unemployment so high in Barbados, this should never happen.

There is a connection between the method that the current Administration has chosen to become a Republic and China. As this unfolds, it appears that neither the public nor the private sector will benefit when Barbados becomes a Republic if all of this has been devised to hide China’s impending control over Barbados by placing it in its debt trap. The Chinese debt trap is a pattern that is being rolled out across the globe. They loan countries billions of dollars that they know they will never be able to repay. When the debt is called the Chinese exhibit their love for ports and utility companies.

In confusion, planned or unplanned, the brain does not think clearly, and someone always benefits. Should Barbadians continue to blindly accept what is going on with the pending Republic?

182 thoughts on “A Heather Cole Column – Governance by Confusion, Who Gains?

  1. Artax,

    Very inhumane indeed! Unacceptable! Totally pulled the rug out from under the people.


  2. Murdaaaaaaaah! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  3. @ Donna

    What made me laugh was when I heard Ryan Straughn said a decision was made to stop paying the pensions and Cynthia Forde said she wasn’t aware of the situation.

    And, committing such an act against ELDERLY people…………. people in their 70s and 80s…….the SAME elderly people Forde’s Ministry is MANDATED to PROTECT.
    There is a 82 year old lady named Evangeline Cave, who said she was receiving pension for the past EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS. For the past two (2) months they have been voicing their concerns in the media and call-in-programs. And, NAB’s director was ALWAYS BUSY each time they called her.

    They could’ve used a strategy similar to what was done with the non-contributory NIS pensions. Stop paying the pensions, but allow those pensioners currently receiving it, continue to do so.

    Mia Mottley could FIND hundreds of thousands of dollars to, for example:

    (1): REWARD ILLEGAL NON-NATIONALS that were ILLEGALLY OCCUPYING land at Rock Hall, St. Philip, with ‘HOUSING GRANTS’ or RELOCATE them.

    (2): PAY Charles Jong as ‘Director of Communications Designate’ and ESTABLISH a new state owned enterprise named the Department of Public Affairs…….. when CBC and BGIS are ALREADY in EXISTENCE.

    (3): PAY costume band-leaders in lieu of the ONE (1) DAY, ANNUAL EVENT……….. ‘Kadooment Day;’

    (4): PURCHASE prefabricated houses from China, that could’ve otherwise been BUILT by UNEMPLOYED Barbadian artisans.

    But, has DECIDED to ‘pull the financial rug’ from under a ‘hand full’ of ELDERLY pensioners.

  4. Artax,

    And don’t forget the generous pension terms for the MPs. People who are mostly still working in well-paying professions.

    Can we afford that still?

  5. @ Donna

    I forgot the politicians are entitled to a pension after serving two consecutive terms.

    Do you know if there’s a politicians’ pension fund to which they contribute?

    Instead politicians should be paid at least 6 months’ salary on demitting office and not receive a pension.

  6. Artax,

    Eligible at the age of fifty, I believe. I smile when I think of the long list of relatively young professionals from our last disastrous administration who are receiving pensions whilst still raking in the dough!


    • After eight years’ service an M.P. is entitled half the highest salary ever paid to the M.P. over a three month period.

      After 12 years’ service an M.P. is entitled to two-thirds of the highest salary paid over a three month period.

  7. The curse of corruption, nepotism and cronyism…still bringing down governments, still ongoing. Barbados is a poster child for all three, it has brought the island to its knees as it does everywhere else, and still backward corrupt leaders learn nothing.

    The people HAVE TO TAKE A STAND to rid this TRAITOR LED scourge out of their lives…btw, people everywhere are now STANDING UP TO IT, the lies and fraud that governments are dishing out, the mainstream media is just not covering the massive protests…..but European populations are HOLDING their wicked governments accountable. Nothing can work well for the people because of the same NASTY TEMPLATE of corruption….everyone is fed up…the people have suffered for 55 years because of it and it’s still ongoing with the THEFTS of people’s land and properties..using the taxpayer paid system and Covid as a cover..


    “The Taliban victory is the product of the corruption and cronyism of elites – especially senior US military personnel and Afghan politicians.

    Corruption in Afghanistan has long been an open secret among international observers and its own citizens. In 2020, Transparency International ranked Afghanistan among the top 20 most corrupt countries in the world. Reports of US government funds flowing into the pockets of warlords and criminal syndicates were common, while nepotism marred public trust in successive administrations.”

  8. @William

    Tell all on prefab deal
    SEPTEMBER IS UPON US and we should not forget that Hurricane Janet struck the island in 1955 and left a trail of death and destruction.
    If a hurricane were to hit us, God forbid, in the coming month or indeed before the season officially ends on November 30, we would be in serious trouble.
    This is a reasonable assumption based on the damage caused by the short-lived Hurricane Elsa, which left hundreds of houses either destroyed or severely damaged.
    We are in the shocking situation of being unable to quickly repair or completely rebuild all those properties, using local artisans, unskilled labourers and modern building techniques. This is embarrassing and it is a stinging rebuke of who we are.
    A bad situation is made all the worse to hear Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance Dr William Duguid say the country will be importing 150 prefab housing units from China to help meet the housing needs. His ministry’s workshops are unable to produce the various prefabricated pieces at the required speed to get affected families quickly back into their homes.
    This situation highlights weaknesses in the construction sector, an apparent shortage of skilled workmen and outdated systems to build quality housing structures. It also raises questions about the number and technical competence of construction workers being turned out by both the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology and the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s Skills Training programme.
    Dr Duguid needs to enlighten the public about this China initiative, including whether the housing systems are being used in other Caribbean islands and if the product has been examined by Barbados Association of Professional Engineers and the contractors’ organisation and meets their approval.
    We would also want to know if Chinese workers will be coming as part of this project.
    Importantly, the Housing Minister needs to be specific about the financing arrangements, including whether Government will have to pay the Chinese in foreign currency or if the deal falls under some special arrangement with Beijing. It must also be made clear whether this is a public-private partnership arrangement and Government should disclose the name of the private company and its principals.
    Small business
    Given the high unemployment Barbados is experiencing, the Government should be aiming to direct state funds into employment opportunities with a focus on contracts to competent small businesses. We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to give economic opportunities to fellow Barbadians to bring about some resilience into struggling communities.
    Such an approach would include embracing those unique cultural and social nuances along with economic and environmental sustainability in the rebuilding and renovation exercises.
    The houses being rebuilt and repaired must be homes and not just units even as the effort requires that new trends in construction are utilised.
    So, we must be true craftsmen of our fate regardless of the season of the year. The words in the National Anthem must not be lost on us.
    We would also want to know if
    Chinese workers will be coming as part of this project.

    Source: Nation Editorial (30/08/2021)

  9. Good editorial express most of what I have said
    The only thing which should have said and asked of the Minister if he met with the small business community and the Professional engineers to get their opinion about his concerns relevant to time period for building houses
    As I said previously after Hurricane Janet local skilled craftsman were involved in a community effort to build houses
    There are many such people in Barbados and across the Carribbean Caricom Community who if asked would have given time and effort in accommodating the Ministers concerns
    Ministers concerns points out a glaring thought amongst barbadians that govt doesn’t have faith and trust in its people
    So sad

  10. “Given the high unemployment Barbados is experiencing, the Government should be aiming to direct state funds into employment opportunities with a focus on contracts to competent small businesses. We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to give economic opportunities to fellow Barbadians to bring about some resilience into struggling communities”

    disgraceful and disrespectful AS USUAL to the people who elected them…..no room for upward mobility for the majority population that’s all parliament TRAITORS KNOW for the last 55 years..the people have to decide if they want more of the same for another 55 years, or kick these beasts to the curb and make another prime example of judases…

  11. David
    This article demonstrates just another marker in cultural collapse.

    We have been opining for years about the absence of any capability to rebuild or repair tens of thousands of dwellings should a category 5 hurricane strike Barbados.

    Such a hurricane is infinitely more likely as climate change continues to deliver extreme weather events.

    It has always been misguided to assume that some God somewhere is or was a Bajan. Nobody will save us but ourselves.

  12. Hope all takes notice of how govt serves up the best for outside interest while the most vulnerable is left to ask questions whilst sitting and waiting for the crumbs to fall off got table

  13. @ Pacha
    ” Nobody will save us but ourselves.”
    One of these days you will learn that’s the only solution. Try harder to make it a part of your broader perspective about how you see
    the world. No tutorials given ;none expected or wanted.

    • @Willam

      To expand on your point, decisions to secure/safeguard an acceptable quality of life for Barbadians must be initiated by our people BUT we cannot ignore given the open nature of our economy I.e. the interconnectivity of the global world much of what happens is outside our control.

  14. @ David,
    I do not know. However, it is safe to say, it will probably be one of those hundreds of Chinese manufacturers advertised on Alibaba.
    Ironically, one of our newspapers, recently interviewed a Barbadian builder who builds houses using light gauge steel, commonly know as LGS. This form of building has become increasingly common placed as it is a rapid method of building as opposed to stone and brick.
    The secret is to adapt these buildings to suit a tropical climate. The problem with a lot of our buildings is that they are not build to shield the occupants from the intensity of our climate. Historically, we built our houses with thick coral stone and included cross ventilation or stacked ventilation in its design. These concepts have largely disappeared. A well designed house does not need air conditioning.

    • @TLSN

      You understand why the blogmaster and others have put out a call for the minister to be more forthcoming with information about the transaction?

  15. BT
    “On Tuesday, Minister of Housing Dr William Duguid announced that Government would buy 150 light gauge steel “emergency” houses to replaces those damaged by Hurricane Elsa. He said it would require some $50 million to complete the rebuilds and repairs and to buy houses from China, and pointed out that estimates put the damage by the hurricane and the freak storm that occurred two weeks earlier in the region of $74 million.”

    Six questions Mr Nugood has to answer–

    He pointed out the initial estimate was $74M, but as we are now getting houses from China and we may have lowered the bill to $50M. But ​there is so much information missing we may be witnessing the greatest theft from the public purse?

    Questions that needs to be asked are:
    1.What is the average cost of one of these houses?

    2.Looking at the data from TLSN, these 150 houses should cost $50.00 😀where is the other $49M going?

    3.I have seen an easy switch between BDS and US $. As there is a foreign country involved in this deal, what dollars are we speaking of here?

    4.What is the average size of each house?
    5.As these are ’emergency’ houses, should we consider these as part of a permanent fix or a temporary solution?

    6.Hurricanes are a yearly occurrence. Will we see this raid on the public purse repeated next year?

  16. He pointed out the initial estimate was $74M. We are now getting houses from China and the bill has been lowered to $50M. But there is so much information missing we may be witnessing the greatest theft from the public purse.

  17. @ David
    I have never ignored global politics or economic machinations. We can counter most of the challenges by a better use and appreciation of our regional resources. Thinkers such as Eric Williams and Lloyd Best have long recognised that we cannot survive without a carefully planned response to exogenous developments. That has been our major failure. Such matters and challenges cannot and will not be solved by parading how well we understand them but by how well we respond to them. Intellectualising can only go so far. Knowledge without creating solutions is a waste of time and humanity.

  18. William is correct. And if we co-operated as a region, we could respond even better.


    All good questions that need clarification.

  19. @ Donna @ David
    Case in point:
    Here we are appalled that houses are being imported from China.
    Guyana has some of the best quality hardwood in the world. What have we done in the last fifty years to integrate this in our collective housing strategy?
    Case in point 2
    Our horse racing industry has suffered from the traditional corporate malaise. Our jockeys’ response was : Let us ride where you can make a living. They are now riding all over the globe. That’s how you respond to challenges.
    Be it housing or sports ; it’s the response that matters whether it is internal or external.

  20. “But there is so much information missing we may be witnessing the greatest theft from the public purse.

    that’s all les parlement rats de DBLP are good at, and have ever MASTERED with the attached corruption…nothing else, everything else has to be STOLEN from some hapless creative…or land and property owners and their beneficiaries, it’s a trend that’s over 55 years old.

    notice that parliament in French is parle-ment….they should be called talking rats..

  21. @TheO
    You must know vagueness while seemingly giving ‘specifics’ is a politician’s best friend.
    Never forget to ask about ownership. The Chinese are known for doing projects with generous terms, but they retain ownership until paid in full. Are the local person’s to occupy the dwellings paying anything? Rent?
    Who owns the land?

  22. I don’t know why people write long articles without facts. It is annoying and embarrassing. Could the expert columnists indicate how many houses need repairing and how many need rebuilding? Could the expert columnists tell us how many small contractors are there in Bdos and what is the quickest time the type of houses being proposed (hurricane resilient, AE etc) can be built? Could any of the expert columnists confirm whether the Minister said the government is importing the houses in conjunction with a BARBADIAN company? Could any of the expert columnists confirm whether there is a Barbadian company already providing light guage housing to Bajans? Could the same experts confirm whether the Minister said government was purchasing the houses?

  23. “Who owns the land?”

    we know they have been tiefing Black/African people’s land left and right lately as a continuum and pushing down properties with all the possessions still inside using back hoes…so that question is very pertinent…there is video as proof…in their land recycling via THEFT

  24. How can some willing to give a minister with a ministry/department/staff
    a free pass on not providing useful information, but will ask ordinary Joe for tons of information.

    It is annoying, embarrassing and disappointing.

  25. his Gov’t is following in the footsteps of its predecessor, providing information/explanation of Gov’t decisions at Party/constituency meetings but not to the general public.

  26. David
    Have you had the time to look at a post made on this thread, above, yesterday, referencing the work of Jiddu Krisnamurti?

  27. He pointed out the initial estimate was $74M. We are now getting houses from China and the bill has been lowered to $50M. But there is so much information missing we may be witnessing the greatest theft from the public purse.



  28. @enuff
    Rather than being prolix, why don’t you direct the blog to the RFP or tender call for the work Minister Dugid was referencing by his public comments.

  29. Duiguid full uh sh.iit
    He talking all over his mouth
    Hope govt realize the asinine decision in blowing up buildings like the NIS which could have been refurbished and environmentally cleaned and used for temporary housing
    Hope Duiguid also realize that Chinese building standards have been questionable because of the content use to build houses which has been found to contain toxins
    So much for govt long talk about sick buildings

  30. NorthernObserverAugust 30, 2021 3:57 PM

    Why then would the GoB have decided to let them build the new Sam Lord’s?
    Look why are u taking the issue at hand in another direction

  31. Wasn’t there accusations of some kinda missing money from Sam Lord’s Castle belonging to China under DLP rats qui parlent?…70???? million or something like that..it’s been so long, can’t remember exactly and the fowl Slaves were on BU dodging and deflecting around that time…

  32. What “other direction”? Isn’t the issue Chinese standards and your concerns about them?
    Why would the GoB permit the Chinese to build anything if their materials/methods are substandard.
    Didn’t they also build the pool/gymnasium.

  33. NO
    How many people live 24 hrs daily in a pool a gymnasium.or a hotel or use these places for daily access for ongoing habitation

  34. This is what you would get in the UK for 150 prefabricated houses if you were to purchase it from the manufacturer in the link below.

    Perfect 82E 933 ft² (86.67 m²)
    2-bedroom bungalow, open-plan living/dining/kitchen area, bathroom with shower, utility room, large storage cupboard, gabled roof with 22° roof pitch, decking option from living area.

    The Dan-Wood turn-key price includes interior and exterior painting and decorating, choice of fixtures and fittings, choice of flooring, tiling and sanitary ware, and technical installations (gas condensing boiler and heat recovery system).

    Photo shows building with individual changes. * Price available for a house built on the UK Mainland only. Some exclusions apply in the Northern Scotland.

    Price: £130,400 / 54,331,225.20 BBD


  35. So you want to put them in an office building, similarly not designed for 24×7 habitation? And with a history of being a sick building. Why not pick the GoB structure in St.Thomas that has never been occupied, with no sick building syndrome history.
    And hotels so you know ARE designed for 24×7 habitation.
    And find a source which isn’t on trade show expositions. The Chinese make SO MANY products these days, we must expect some to be substandard. Same is true with many places, including the USA.
    As you say NEXT.

  36. @ NorthernObserver,
    In the UK due to the high number of shops closing on the High Streets the government has given planning permission to convert these shops into flats/accommodation. It has proven to be a disaster.

    RIP the great Lee Scratch Perry. His passing has been wildly featured in the British media as he was recognised as been a great innovator. He was revered by the English Skinheads and punk followers from way back in the seventies. Jamaican music has brought much fame to that island on an international scale. Even in the closing events of The Japanese Olympic games their was a Japanese group playing ska music!

  37. NorthernObserverAugust 30, 2021 5:56 PM

    So you want to put them in an office building, similarly not designed for 24×7 habitation? And with a history of being a sick building. Why not pick the GoB structure in St.Thomas that has never been occupied, with no sick building syndrome history.
    That question u should poised to govt in reference to where govt presently has determined that the Chinese preassembled buildings are the first choice to the better alternative

  38. @ac
    Cannot pose the question, as I really don’t know exactly what they doing?
    From the duopoly the public is fed a continuing barrage of incomplete information, or worse, no information at all.

    The repurposing of non residential structures to residential is not as simple a task, as it may appear at first glance. It usually requires a major gut and rebuild

  39. I sure the Minister gave a good explanation. The only thing he didn’t mention was the name of the company. If one pretends to be a columnist one should make sure one references numerous sources to ensure accuracy. I made sure I LISTENED to what was said in parliament. Clearly the “columnists” didn’t. How is the pyramid scheme doing? I hope the money ain’t pesos rather than US since yuan is yen. 🤣🤣🤣

  40. The Minister set a deadline and tried to rationale and explain away why the time frame was not possible for local craftsmen and skilled workers to accomplished
    BTW I have not heard the Minister speaking of a tendering process
    Maybe his agenda founded on time periods to accommodate the chinese had to be accomplish

  41. Many who are disappointed in the Ministers decision speaks of his failure to include the economy of Barbados and his failure not to.include barbadians with the skill and craftsmanship to build homes
    The Minister arrogance is only set aside for those who belive that their intellect cannot be matched by others

  42. The only song left is to blame Covid for everything, all the FRAUDS are on their way OUT……..PERMANENTLY…

  43. Frauds can be identified anywhere they go, creatives in Africa have been successfully building low cost housing, these criminals in Barbados are now pretending a connection but looking to China for solutions..


  44. It’s a pity so many of their victims die before seeing them locked up….but that’s always the business plan..


    “Convicted attorney Vonda Pile, already serving a sentence for theft of a client’s money, was committed to the High Court on another theft charge when she appeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court.

    Pile, of Madison Terrace, Deacons Farm, St Michael, and a near 30-year veteran of the legal fraternity, was ordered to stand trial on a charge of stealing $205 481, between January 11, 2007, and March 16, 2011, being the proceeds of a Royal Bank of Canada cheque payable to Patricia Hall.”

  45. Hope they throw the book at these 3 vicious criminals, we can only guess how many years they exported guns to Barbados and caused deaths and injury…


    “SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal- Constitution – Three men, including two from metro Atlanta, have pleaded guilty to smuggling at least 30 guns from the United States to Barbados.

    Rashad Sargeant, 27, of College Park, pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawfully exporting firearms, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Kurt Erskine said in a news release.

    Sargeant’s co-defendant, 31-year-old David Johnson of Belleville, Illinois, pleaded guilty more than a month earlier on July 22, Erskine said. A third man who acted as a “straw purchaser” to buy guns from federally licensed firearms dealers, 28-year-old Shunquez Stephens of Flowery Branch, pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme June 21.

    According to the U.S. Attorney’s case presented in court, Johnson would recruit gun buyers like Stephens to illegally purchase firearms with no intention of keeping the guns for themselves. Sargeant and Johnson would take the guns, remove the serial numbers, then mail them to Barbados using fake identities. They shipped the guns hidden inside false compartments in boxes using common carriers like UPS, FedEx and DHL.

    “Firearms illegally exported from the United States often end up in the wrong hands and are used to commit further criminal acts,” said Ariel Joshua Leinwand, a special agent of the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement in Atlanta.”

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