About David

Blogmaster, Barbados Underground

We are being poisoned with our processed, high sugar, nutrient poor foods

Submitted by Green Monkey

In this recent video Russel Brand explores with US food activist Calley Means the disastrous declining state of US citizens’ health which Calley relates to a diet that is increasingly taken over by highly processed food devoid of nutritional value and high in sugar while both children and adults both get less physical activity in their daily lives than their ancestors did.  Calley explains that the declining health of its citizenry is making the US a nation in decline with an increasingly uncompetitive, out of shape workforce suffering an overabundance of non-communicable, degenerative diseases, and falling fertility rates along with increasing psychological and psychiatric problems and skyrocketing medical costs. 

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Blaze it I!

Increasingly as the blogmaster traverses the streets of Barbados or drive for that matter, there is the pungent smell of ‘weed’ that assaults the nostrils at every turn. Is it farfetched to conclude the increase in deviant behaviour, including vehicular accidents, is the result? Law makers should move quickly using an evidence based approach to eliminate individuals blazing while driving as the cause of some of the mayhem being experienced.

Social commentator Kammie Holder is of the view politicians throughout the Caribbean make political decisions of decriminalizing the use of marijuana for recreational purpose, however, he suggests it is a decision that is myopic and lacks deep thought.

The question begs, how many vehicular accidents or violent crimes were carried out while persons were under the influence of dope? Given our modus operandi in Barbados we will probably never know, BUT, we know the price of building another prison a la VECO, and another Jenkins but never the true social cost of bad political decisions.

See link sent by Kammie Holder.

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Just beyond your imagination?

Submitted by Paula Sealy

In his column in the 14 April 2017 edition of the Daily Nation column, Clyde Mascoll begins paragraph 6 as follows: “The tax policy of the Government is a perfect example of arbitrariness.”

The fiscal policy decision to raise VAT from 15% to 17.5% has been maintained despite the BLP 2018 manifesto ‘pledge’ on page to return VAT to 15% within 18 months. The 25% withholding tax on Registered Retirement Saving Plans (RRSP) has been retained and Mascoll has also been retained in a prominent role as an economic advisor in the Mottley administration.

See Related: VAT Online Transactions

Now Barbadians feel the weight of the fuel tax at the pump, the Garbage and Sewage Contribution (GSC) whether or not their homes are connected to the sewage system, the Amazon tax and the online tax on foreign currency transactions. Is there any difference between being assaulted by thugs in red or thugs in blue?

Assault is assault even if you are colour blind.

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Donville Inniss Victim or Criminal?

Former Minister Donville Inniss

The blogmaster couldn’t avoid the noise generated in the local newsfeed covering the return of former member of parliament Donville Inniss. Inniss was incarcerated in the United States for breaking money laundering laws and suffered the embarrassment of being deported last weekend.

Inniss served his time and is free to continue with his endeavours in idyllic Barbados, UNLESS, local authorities intend to prosecute a matter that originated in Barbados. There is a good chance local authorities will allow the Inniss matter to die in the spirit of a few protecting the many which is the mantra of the political directorate.

The blogmaster will not judge the Don except to say many are not as convinced of his innocence as he is.. It would be in the interest of local authorities to give Donville his day in a local court so that he can expose the lies of the ‘pale face people and house niggas’ he referred to in his home coming media orchestrating. 

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Barbados watch out, another global financial crisis on the horizon

Another global financial crisis seems set to engulf the world with the collapse of banks in the United States and Europe, two of the major financial markets in the world. Attempts by regulators and big banks to intervene by bail ins and other means have failed to calm unease in the markets. Banking and other financial stocks have seen declines which reflects a lack of confidence by investors.

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Haunted by a poor backbench and ‘poorakey’ parliament

The backbencher (backbench) in the parliamentary system of governance practiced in Barbados has an important role to play. Backbenchers are available to sit on the important working committees of parliament or add to the bench strength of the government if the prime minister is dissatisfied with the performance of members of Cabinet. In an ideal situation backbenchers are free to speak unencumbered by the convention of collective ministerial responsibility.

The quality of the backbench under a Mottley tenure has raised its head again during the just concluded Estimates Debate. The lack of elected members of parliament to form an opposition has created a farcical situation of the government having to manufacturer opportunities to question and probe policies. 

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Reform a MUST to survive in this world

Source: Nation Newspaper

The  Science and Technology Festival is currently taking place on the grounds of UWI, Cave Hill under the Graduation tent, it ends today (18th March 2023). The festival is being organized by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Smart Technology and the Faculty of Science and Technology at Cave Hill.

It is a good idea for parents and guardians to expose children to the event anticipating where global demands for skills is headed. For details of the event see the Ministry’s Facebook Page. The event is showcasing the innovation and inventions of Barbadian students up to University level’

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A Conflicted Dale Marshall

In recent days Attorney General Dale Marshall has been in the news relating to several matters. Two items piqued the blogmaster’s interest.

In summary he said he had been following the issue concerning the wall at Joe’s River in St. Joseph, the constituency he represents. And that he was forced to decline public comment on the matter because future developments may involve aspects of his ministry.

See relevant extract of Attorney General Marshall commenting on the issue.

The other issue was Marshall commenting on the lack of complaints raised by the Barbados Bar Association against judges who have been persistently late handing down written decisions. 

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2023 Budget Talk

The Honourable Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Mia Mottley delivered a budget yesterday anchored to a transformation theme. The blogmaster agrees with Professor Justin Robinson’s summary of the budget with one addition. There was no serious mention of the plan to address the recapitalization of NIS.

See summary of Robinson’s budget review.

Robinson: Domestic market the target 

GOVERNMENT IS SEEKING to woo the confidence of domestic investors once again, five years after the country underwent its debt restructuring exercise.

This was the takeaway of economics professor Dr Justin Robinson in his analysis of the 2023 Financial Statement And Budgetary Proposals delivered by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in the House of Assembly yesterday.

Robinson, who was a panellist on the NATION’s State Of Our Nation’s post-Budget analysis, said Government’s announced $74.8 million partial repayment to 5 407 holders of Series B bonds, was in an effort to restore confidence in the domestic investment market.

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Caswell Franklyn Shares with Barbadians: Public Sector Salary Revision 2023 at a Glance

The following note was received from the Head of Unity Workers Union and former Senator Caswell Franklyn – Blogmaster.


Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

David the attached document is a spreadsheet showing the increase in salaries in the Public Service. Please note that the 10% increase in allowances for the politicians must be added to the column showing “Total Increase”. For example the actual increase for the Prime Minister $1,082.67 plus $456.99 increase in entertainment allowance for a total of $1,539.66 per month. Persons at the bottom of the scale would only receive $123.85 increase.

Caswell Franklyn

See PDF of the spreadsheet:

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The Changing Dynamics

The author’s name withheld at the discretion of the Blogmaster – David

Man makes plans not knowing the plans God has already made or how he will bring his plans to pass. Six things have occurred recently in Barbados that may change the path of our trajectory.

With the deadline for the Trident ID being April 1st there has been an increase in anxiety in the general population.

With a background in gun violence during the past decade, suddenly, the gangs have made a truce and all the deaths by gun fire have stopped.

Then a week ago, some of the former wards of the Girl’s Industrial School won their case and the wandering laws under which they were institutionalized were deemed unconstitutional and struck off the law books.

The very next day, the country learnt that the government had passed the Barbados Identification Act two years earlier in 2021 to restrict freedoms and the ability to vote by citizens. In essence, it appears as though the wandering laws had been replaced by a plantation pass (Trident ID card) proving that plantation slavery is alive and well in Barbados.

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Confused!

Central Bank of Barbados

It was announced earlier this week that public workers represented by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Barbados Worker’s Union (BWU), Barbados Secondary Teacher’s Union (BSTU) and the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) finalized five months of wage negotiations. The deal reached as reported is 3% increase for the next two years and a lump sum payment of $1,500.00 in the first year. There was also agreement to some non financial terms.

Since the announcement social and traditional media and other voices have been strident in condemning the paltry sums employees at the low end of the scale will be receiving. The blogmaster will always be sympathetic to the plight of workers, however, in this case the question must be asked – was processed followed by the unions involved before agreement with government was finalized?

As far as the blogmaster is aware actors sitting at the negotiating table with government had to take direction from the respective membership bodies before agreeing to close negotiations. The blogmaster would be interested to know if the traditional process of negotiating the wage increase was followed. 

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