In 1966, the Government or Barbados wanted urgent temporary stands at the Garrison to accommodate spectators of our Independence ceremony. Barbadian Engineers designed the prefabricated reinforced concrete stands which were constructed just in time. After our independence, those stands were dismantled and became part of our National Stadium, where they have stood for the past 57 years.
It appears that China has offered to demolish our National Stadium and rebuild another – as a gift to Barbados. That would seem to be a good thing. In underdeveloped and desperate countries, anyone opposing such a gift would likely be publicly criticised, ridiculed and persecuted to appease their Chinese benefactors. But we are not an undeveloped country.
TROJAN HORSES AND SHEEP.
In a developed country like Barbados, the Government should consider whether such gifts are in the national interest before accepting them on our behalf. The question that the Government must ask before accepting any gift is: ‘Is this a Trojan Sheep?’ A Trojan Horse is designed to harm a nation militarily. A Trojan Sheep is designed to harm it economically.
Some Trojan Sheep are obvious. If China gifted any of the following services to Barbados, the Government would immediately find them offensive. Further, local professional associations would kick-up dust at the brazen attempt to trick us with such obvious Trojan Sheep that are clearly designed to starve local industries into bankruptcy.
Last year then Minister of Tourism and International Transport Lisa Cummins shared with the country significant changes (a new Civil Aviation Bill) were in the pipeline to transform the local aviation industry in Barbados.
Off interest from the following Government of Barbados release:
Other works in the pipeline with regards to civil aviation include the Barbados Civil Aviation Department building on the creation of the Civil Aviation Authority and all the regulatory work that would be central to that which will ultimately pave the way for Category One Status for the Grantley Adams International Airport. An international consulting team has been contracted to help with achieving that status – GIS
Despite local talking heads perennially positioning Barbados as a major regional hub for airlines in the southern region with the goal to support flights to major destination, Barbados’ Category 2 “rating puts restrictions on the national airlines of the countries, such as a freeze on the number of aircraft operated and route expansions into the US”. It begs the question why Barbados has never committed to securing a CAT 1 designation to join Trinidad, Suriname and OECS countries. Another example of the OECS sub region – members of Caricom – showing the others the way.
The blogmaster admits this is a highly technical subject but from cursory research two perquisites are – commitment by the government and making adequate resources available. Accepting there is always heavy demand on national resources and allocation must be prioritised, one has to assume given the goal to make Barbados a hub player we continue to struggle with implementation. To quote then Minister of International Transport Cummins,
There is more than meets the eye between Savvy on the Bay (Allan Kinch) and government.
It should be obvious to onlookers there is more than meets the eye concerning Allan Kinch rumble with government and developments at Savvy on Bay on Bay Street. A recent pronouncement on the matter by Attorney General Dale Marshall that two of three tracts of land owned by Kinch will be acquired by the government for car park has only served to trigger questions about why the government has taken a decision to acquire land that was sold to Kinch by a former government. The lack of transparency regarding this transaction AND others adds to a growing distrust by the public of the government.
Here is a summary of events in the matter up to now from one perspective.
The acceptance letter from BTII was in 2015 which means the disputed lands at Bay Street from application until it was approved for sale straddles both DLP and BLP administrations.
Kinch had to forego investment income on 4 million to purchase the property. He was told BTII would help with the planning process and that the plans would add to the Tourism development planned for the area.
We recently had four reported suicides in Barbados, but were told that identifying the cause was complicated. That is an excuse typically used to dissuade persons from investigating an inconvenient link. So, it is time for a difficult conversation.
The most important indicator for predicting suicidal thoughts appears to be low self-esteem. Suicide was “especially common in nations with relatively low levels of self-esteem” regardless of sex, age, or economic affluence . Youth who had negative stress and low self-esteem were found to have more suicidal thoughts . Support from the families and the community was found to help if that support improved self-esteem .
SELF-ESTEEM, STRESS AND GUILT.
Self-esteem may be broadly defined as how you view yourself. It may be positively influenced by: family, friends, teachers and others who encourage your responsible behaviour. It may also be negatively influenced by those who dislike you.
A predictable event has fired up yet again in the DLP.
It was obvious to the greenest political pundit Dr. Ronnie Yearwood would have to face a challenge for the leadership of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) sooner or later. Many subscribe to the management concept leaders emerge and therefore Yearwood must be able to fight off all comers to establish his bona fides. Although true in theory there is a reality that nuances the political landscape of Barbados given the results of the last two general elections and how it has decimated the DLP brand. The DLP may no longer be considered a credible altenative. If the DLP perform as miserable at the next general election, Barbados will have a constitutional crisis on its hands.
The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has been reduced to a comatose state because of two significant defeats by a Mia Mottley led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in 2018 and 2022. Former DLP President Verla De Peiza for her futile effort leading a DLP in shambles post the so called ‘lost decade’ had to resign. There is a reality that the DLP decision makers must accept, little has occurred since 2022 to positively reposition the DLP brand in the minds of a cynical and apathetic public. It does not mean Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the BLP enjoy the best support. What is means is that in the land of the blind, a one eye woman is Queen.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Macron and neoliberal globalisation
By Tee White
Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has emerged on the international scene as one of the most visible supporters of the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, which recently concluded in Paris. The summit, which was hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron, took place from 22-23 June under the twin themes of building a new consensus for a more inclusive international financial system and advancing towards achieving the United Nations Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals.
These goals, set in 2015, were a continuation of the UN’s Millennium Goals, adopted in 2000. Both sets of goals are presented as measures to end global poverty. However, in contrast to the high sounding UN aspirations and conferences, a large part of the world’s population remain trapped in both poverty and inequality.
If I put groceries that I just purchased in the back seat of my car, and then mistakenly drove away with the car’s back door open, I would appreciate it if someone tried to warn me.
I would not care if the person was: Christian, Muslim or Rastafari; male or female; heterosexual or homosexual; employed, unemployed, or unemployable; or well-groomed or unkempt. I would just appreciate that a fellow human being cared enough to warn me.
After the warning, I should investigate whether what they were warning me about was true and act accordingly. But it would be irresponsibly risky for me to simply ignore the warning.
For over 20 years, I have repeatedly published explicit warnings, the foreseen consequences, and practical solutions about: the unsustainable national debt, sub-standard construction practises, mismanagement of public services, corrupting no-bid contracts, the ineffective secondary school teaching methods that only benefit a few, and many other things.
For some time Barbados Underground has been expressing concern about the ‘noise’ emanating from the largest credit union in Barbados. For many Barbadians at home AND in the diaspora the Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union (BPWCCU) is seen as the alternative to the banks. It is therefore of concern to observe the quality of interventions being offered at meetings of the membership.
Unlike the banks members have the opportunity to participate in the affairs of the credit union by offering themselves to be elected to the Board of Directors, Supervisory and Credit Committees and tabling resolutions designed to improve the management of the credit union. The level of ‘filibustering’ routinely occurring at annual general meetings and special meeting called exposes a trend of a minority membership intent on showcasing a high level of ignorance and/or pursuing narrow interest at any cost.
The following notice piqued the interest of the blogmaster. Hopefully the irony of the announcement is not missed by an educated Barbadian citizenry.
Offices in NHC Building closed
The offices of the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, the Treasury Department and the National Housing Corporation (NHC), which are located in the NHC Building on Country Road, St Michael, will be closed on Monday as a result of environmental issues.
It is due to reopen on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
The Treasury Department has advised that those who wish to access the cashier and customer services for pensions may do so at the General Post Office, Cheapside, St Michael.
Our former Prime Minister, Erskine Sandiford, has died.
When our leaders die, we are told of the good things they did. We are also told not to speak ill of the dead. This is understandable because the time for repentance has ended – the Lord will judge them. If we believe that they will rise in glory, we rejoice – otherwise, we weep for the eternal distress they chose for themselves.
We do not truly know the ways of our political leaders. They accuse each other of the most despicable behaviours imaginable, and once imagined, they either invent or recall worse behaviours. If the accusations of our politicians are true, then satan and his demons are like innocent children in comparison.
Late last year Prime Minister Mia Mottley advised the country after one of her jaunts that a deal was in the making with the Rwandan Government to establish a pharmaceutical industry in the region, the first of its kind. Mottley further updated that the Rwandan Food and Drug Administration and the Barbados Drug Service and Ministry of Health and Wellness had started discussions to advance the matter.
A few days ago Chief Medical Officer The Most Honourable Dr Kenneth George was quoted in the media as saying Barbados was, “considering the possibility of establishing local vaccine manufacturing capabilities in response to the challenges brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic”. He explained the Covid 19 pandemic had exposed an inequity with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) unable to access the vaccine therefore compromising the ability of public health authorities to protect vulnerable members of the public.
Men become fathers by choice, accident – or trickery. Regardless of how they got that assignment, they are responsible for completing it. Father’s Day is a time for fathers to be encouraged to ‘stay the course’ until the end. But what is this course and when is the end? The father’s role is two-fold.
Within the home, a father is to: (i) provide for his family so that they are fed, clothed, sheltered and protected without expecting, requesting or demanding anything in return, not even obedience, and (ii) forgive his family without any conditions – as if it never happened, so that they may not be restrained by guilt through being constantly reminded of the offense.
He is also to: (iii) correct his children so that they know right from wrong, (iv) accept his children regardless of their physical or emotional conditions so that they unquestionably know that they belong, (v) train his children in a skill, whether they want to be trained or not, so that they may become good at at-least one thing and feel useful, and (vi) teach his family the ways of God.
The following statement was posted with breast beating bravado by de pedantic word ‘né’ Dee Word to blog A Time to March. It was in reply to an observation the world today is as polarized as it has ever been.
There is quite a lot that’s “new under the sun”, but we have allowed ourselves to get into an absurdity of easy-speak behaviours.
Accept the old saying: “Those who do not learn (or remember) history are doomed to repeat it.”
Is Barbados MORE polarized today than it was in 1962- 65??? Based on the electorate acceptance with the 30-0 victory of one political party – twice – the fundamental answer should be a resounding NO, not so!
Yet on the other hand, we actually have more political parties now than ever …
However, based on an understanding of the historical context of the time then the answer must still be NO, not so.
The US fought a freaking civil war and endured years (still) of grave civil strife due to the rage of involvement with wars, social justice etc … yet because of a megalomaniacal narcissist it’s automatic to speak now of how polarized it is!
No David, I am not dismissive of our massive NEW and fresh challenges I am simply a realist!!!
There are attempts to confuse Barbadians on the contents of the Child Protection Bill (2023). First the facts.
Fact 1: The Child Protection Bill (2023) is designed to punish anyone who abuses children.
Fact 2: The Bill punishes parents, teachers, pastors and anyone who abuses children by making them liable for: (i) fines of $100,000, (ii) imprisonment for 10 years, and (iii) removal of the children if the abuser is a parent.
Every person who cares about children is reasonably expected to support this Bill – and I did. How could anyone morally not support it? How could anyone side with abusers of children – especially if you are a parent? In piloting the Bill through Parliament, the Minister went on an emotional rant and wanted the fine to be one million dollars – his heart seemed to be in the right place.
The following link to the statement was provided by Tee White with the objective of keeping the BU family informed about matters arising from the ongoing Jamaica meeting- Blogmaster
Port-au-Prince on June 6, 2023
Meeting in Jamaica from June 11-13, 2023 of the Caribbean Community/CARICOM on #Haiti: the urgency of a great decolonized Caribbean vision.
Mr. Philip Brave DAVIS
Chairman CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government
Mr. Chairman of the Conference,
We acknowledge receipt of your correspondence and thank you for inviting us to participate in this summit on the Haitian crisis scheduled for June 11-13. We congratulate CARICOM as a community of which Haiti is a member, for having expressed the will to make its contribution in the search for a solution to the serious multidimensional crisis cynically maintained that threatens to collapse or plunge our country into absolute chaos.
Allow us to formulate, under the circumstances, some general observations and certain reservations concerning in particular the minimum conditions to be met to ensure the success of such an initiative, reservations stemming from the observation of a certain inadequacy between the objective and how to proceed. Indeed, this meeting on Haiti in Jamaica raises a number of relevant considerations and reservations.
Let us underline them one by one:
1- THE ADMISSION OF HAITI AS A MEMBER STATE OF CARICOM
CARICOM was created on July 4, 1973 by the Treaty of Chaguaramas and Haiti joined the Caribbean organization as a provisional member on July 4, 1998 and became a full member in 2002, 29 years after its creation. The Treaty attached to the annex creating the common market was ratified by the Haitian Parliament on May 13, 2002.
2- RELATIONS OBSERVED BETWEEN CARICOM AND HAITI SINCE ITS ADMISSION AS A MEMBER STATE
I read the Child Protection Bill (2023) and found that I would certainly be found guilty, and liable for a fine of $100,000 and 10 years in prison for being a normal parent.
Either the bill is extremely poorly written, or there is an agenda to make all Barbadian parents guilty and liable for the same fine and imprisonment.
The Minister claimed that parents’ rights are protected in Article 5. I read Section 5 and I did not find it. However, throughout the Bill, the main rights for parents appear to be the right to be fined, imprisoned, and to have their children taken from them – for being normal parents.
The Minister declared in the House of Assembly that the fine should be one million dollars. Lord have mercy! He also encouraged persons who objected to the Bill to come forward to a Select Committee where they would be heard. But there was a condition – “where they align with what we are trying to do.”
If what they are trying to do is what they have written in the Bill, then I am not in alignment.
My son is now an adult. However, I cannot simply watch other parents in this new jeopardy without doing something. I have written twice about this. It is now time for me to march.
Grenville Phillips II is a Doctor of Engineering and a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
A mountaineer named Tenzi recently shared his disgust at finding hundreds of pounds of garbage at the summit of Mount Everest after a reported ninth climb. It is difficult for sane persons to imagine why human beings would violate basic laws of the environment on the highest mountain in the world, reaching 29,032 feet. Surely humankind has lost its way – see link to story in the New York Post.
Reading the story for whatever reason reminded the blogmaster about the promise by David Simmons and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in the 80s, that Mount Stinkeroo as it has been labelled would be ‘decommissioned’. Nearly 40 years later the putrid odor continues to assail the high end environs of the West Coast, especially at this time of the year with the start of the rainy season. The same feeling of disappointment can be applied to the insuperable PSV problem, inability to enact transparency legislation, reform education, public sector reform and several other initiatives promised by successive governments.
The Barbados Statistical Service has reported that Barbadian households are spending a larger amount of their income on education . Normally this would be good news, but if the education obtained was at tertiary level, it is not good news for modern Barbados.
People who complete tertiary-level education may develop independent thoughts. Independent thinkers tend to think for themselves, rather than blindly accept what others tell them. Most Barbadians who complete their tertiary-level education tend to leave Barbados.
AN EMBARRASSING STATISTIC
The World Bank’s study on emigration  shows that Barbados is one of the few countries on Earth where most of its tertiary educated population left. The consistent figure was over 60%. In 2000, Barbados had the 13th highest brain drain rate (emigration of skilled workers) among 191 nations on Earth at 61.4%. A decade earlier in 1990, it was 63.5%.
The matter covered by Barbados Underground for more than a decade between Sir Richard ‘Johnny’ Cheltenham versus Everton Cumberbatch continues to play on the civic minded among us- see BU Archives. The blogmaster has a problem with a very senior lawyer AND elder of the governing Barbados Labour Party (BLP) continuing to be selected for important national appointments while a serious complaint is pending with the Disciplinary Committee (DC). It is instructive to note the DC is blocked from doing its work- if it had any intention of doing so- because Cheltenham has been granted an injunction pending the completion of an application of a judicial review as reported in the Nation as follows:
It is the start of the hurricane and there has been the usual awareness talk to remind Barbadians to install roof straps, ensure adequate insurance coverage, know where hurricane shelters are located etc.
It was last year a freak storm with the name Elsa wreak havoc on the housing stock in Barbados. The destructions caused the then Minister of Housing William Duguid to order hundreds of steel framed houses from China at a declared cost of 28 million dollars. It is not surprising that one year later only a handful of the houses have been assembled. A national disgrace with nobody held to account by Prime Minister Mottley. We remain ignorant about the role of EWBSB in the procurement of the steel houses. No wonder successive governments have made it a priority to hoodwink the electorate on the enactment of transparency legislation in the form of integrity and freedom of information laws.
I noticed the decline about one year ago. I first had difficulty remembering things that I had routinely needed to recall every month – then every week – then every day. Fortunately, I was functional because while I could not recall the information, I still knew where to find it.
I was not ready for dementia. I tried to determine what I had done wrong to bring it on. Was it the effort of doing a Doctorate in Structural Engineering that permanently exhausted my brain? Was it how I slept that put too much pressure on my brain? Researching the subject did not help – so I accepted my fate and prepared to retire after my contracts were completed.
On 15 December 2022, I read a US Consumer Report article on the high levels of cadmium and lead in dark chocolate . For years I had been habitually eating dark chocolate every night before I went to bed. The cadmium level in the brand that I ate was safe, but the lead level was about 1.7 times the maximum allowed in California.
The launch of Sagicor Bank has been generating interest in the Bajan social media space. Besides the fact that it manages business electronically; a win for GenX and GenY, it has been paying significantly more interest for deposits than its more established counterparts.
Barbadians in recent years have been starved of a decent rate of interest on savings after the government through its agent the Central Bank of Barbados connived to eliminate the minimum savings interest rate requirement. Some suggest it was a not too obvious tactic by the government to attract borrowing through the popular short term government paper savings bonds
The graph of a simple interest rate calculation on three deposit amounts using three different interest rates based on what Sagicor Bank is offering illustrates the ‘tidy’ sums depositors will now benefit. It is better than its counterparts BUT a more sober blogmaster is aware the bank must be offering higher rates because it need to grow deposits to a level before it joins its competitors to lend for the usual consumer items. In other words, it is not offering higher interest rates out of kindness for Bajans. At some point interest rates will settle to what is being offered in the market.
Between 2013 and 2018 the accusation was correctly leveled at the then government that they were not doing enough, not saying enough, not taking decisive action. We felt the impact and the results of the 2018 election sent the message loud and clear.
Fast forward to 2023, with two 30-0’s behind us and what do we have?
Apparently a “walk back” and “kite flying” government instead. Take a moment to look at some of the “bold policies” that had to be put on pause, “walked back” or caused confusion.
1. Breathalyser Test (still outstanding) 2. Child Protection Act (More input now needed according to the Minister) 3. Two Deputy Commissioners of police (law had to be changed) 4. Education reform (nobody knows!) 5. National Republic Day (the people spoke) 6. Integrity Legislation (where is it?) 7. Speightstown traffic changes (common sense prevailed) 8. Public Service Contracts (we now have a Hollywood civil service) 9. Covd-era restrictions
The Child Care Board Act (CAP 381) was intended to be very limited in scope to care for children who clearly needed help. Anyone with common sense could identify such children. Two problems became apparent. The first is the recent poor management in implementing the Act. The second is the abuses of this digital age that the act did not foresee.
The Solutions are obvious. First, manage the implementation in accordance with international standards like the ISO 9001. The second is to amend to act to include the observed abuses of this age. This solution was rejected in favour of abolishing the Child Care Board Act and replacing it with a new Child Protection Act – which is currently in Bill form.
In the name of transparency, integrity & accountability Minister Ryan Straughn should account to the public by answering the question as to where is the public register of all government issued contracts over $1M as mandated by the BERT since December 2021?
To quote from transparency international “Covid-19 was not only a health crisis but a corruption crisis”. I am calling for a full audit of the government of Barbados’ covid-19 expenses.
The issuing of government contracts to respective business players comes under the microscope and luckily the IMF in it’s Article IV consultation & Memorandum of Understanding of Economic & Financial Policies with Barbados, displayed vision in asking the Minister of Finance Ryan Straughn to table a Public procurement Act 2021 in order for crisis related expenditure to be tracked and traced.
The minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn explained that the new legislation was necessary as it was mandated by the BERT austerity programme. BERT was amended In May 2021 and a new line item was supposed to be listed in the 2021/22 budget which required all COVID-19 related government issued contracts in excess of $1M BDS be reported to the Barbadian parliament
According to the agreed IMF MOU of Economic & Financial Policies both the contract and the names of successful bidders of government contracts along with a public register of all government contractors were to be made available in the Barbados corporate registry by the end of 2021.
Today’s Nation newspaper editorial with the title Matters lawyers must address attacks some of the many issues Barbadians have been complaining about for many years. However, a point made in the editorial that “…the immediate answer to the existing problems by the Bar Association and the Law Reform Commission is to reform the Legal Profession Act.” This is incorrect, such a view gives lawmakers a pass.
In a Barbados Underground post on May 11 with the title ‘Johnny Cheltenham Files Injunction Against Disciplinary Committee, Barbadians continue to witness a senior judicial officer in the name of Johnny Cheltenham able to exhaust legal options to the chagrin of the Claimant. To the credit of Claimant Everton Cumberbatch, he has been persistent in his claim that Sir Richard Cheltenham engaged in unethical and unprofessional behaviour in a matter that was the subject of court case 770 of 2008 that was defeated in the Barbados courts. A matter that was slow moving in the Barbados court system for more than a decade.
On a political platform in 2018 the then leader of opposition announced that “Common Entrance must go!” The crowd cheered.
For three years the appointed Minister pronounced ad infinitum that “Common Entrance must go!” The masses bellowed.
For the last two years this Minister (when she actually speaks) joined the choir to lustily sing that “Common Entrance must go!” The audience applauded.
And of course the 66 year old once retired Director of Reform said emphatically and conclusively in the House of Parliament that the new system would be in place by September 2022 and “Common Entrance must go!” The pundits thumped their desks.
Like almost every other Barbadian, I used to be unquestioningly confident about our banking system. But in 2018, Barbados banks voted against depositors’ interests. My bank voted for the Government to confiscate some of my retirement savings, and hold the remainder hostage – not allowing me to access all of it until the year 2033. Therefore, they gave me every reason to distrust them.
This year, Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank that lent us money with unfavourable terms, was failing. Fortunately, their depositors were insured to 100,000 Swiss Francs (BD$225,000). In the UK, the insured amount is 85,000 British pounds (BD$215,000). In Canada, it is CAD$100,000 (BD$150,000). In Europe, it is $100,000 Euros (BD$220,000). In the US, it is US$250,000 (BD$500,000).
think it is high time regional governments intervene in the functioning of the CXC. This email is not designed to point fingers at any particular person in management, but I think it is clear that a thorough shake up of this agency is necessary…
The word today that there has been an exam leak comes on the heels of a headline speaking to the CXC’s concern about the use of AI in the SBA process and the obvious issues this would cause for fairness and distribution of marks for this form of assessment.
But back to today’s leaked exam…I dare say another leaked exam, because I am quite sure that this has happened in the recent past. The rest of the region has accepted that a leak occurred…But the CXC’s rhetoric suggests that it needs verifying in the face of photos posted on social media and imbedded in the story by St. Vincent media and others. I get that you need to be sure, but good God CXC speed up, act businesslike. Yes you will need to prosecute under the law and all that good stuff, but a blind man can see that you need to make changes and substantial ones..
Having failed, so far, to strong-arm enough CARICOM member states to act as a fig leaf behind which it could launch an invasion of Haiti, the US is doubling down on its efforts. In early May, it was reported that Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations had visited Brazil to press the recently elected president, Lula da Silva to agree to Brazil leading the invasion force against Haiti.
The blogmaster is prepared to be dismissed as simplistic but he has been accused of worse through the years. There is man and there is woman. Not too long ago it was not difficult to make the distinction. Today a biological misfire is accepted as normal. A lifestyle undergirded by an abnormality is accepted as normal. The Blogmaster’s perspective is not meant to be homophobic, only a sincere perspective based on commonsense.
The deafening silence of a large segment of the public where national socio-political matters are concerned is concerning.
Politics aside, all uh we have some part to play in the growth of the country and the development of the generation that will pay our pensions. If we don’t well crappo smoke we pipe.
The recent signing of a “mission Barbados” agreement was the latest attempt at using smoke and mirrors to rub cliches and prescribed narratives in our faces at a time when robust national discourse and debate should be revealing true true ideas and real real solutions to our ever pressing and ever looming challenges.
How in heavens name can it be claimed that labour is fully on board with Government, when CTUSAB the umbrella body was not present (Caswell either).
What do these six points mean from a policy perspective, or are we still satisfied rhetoric is a good replacement for reality and good governance?
In my opinion, we should give attention to what people, who have reached the end of their lives, explain what they think that life was all about. One such person is Simon Peter, and the following is a paraphrase of his final letter written shortly before he was executed.
My dear fellow trainees:
Our Employer has graciously given us everything that we need to complete our training, and He has promised us that all the training exercises are achievable once we start with the right attitude.
If you are committed to becoming productive employees, then please read the employee manual so that you may understand the Employer’s standards of work and behaviour. With this knowledge you may begin practising the exercises.
You may find them challenging at first, but please do not become discouraged. They will eventually become easier if you persist with them. Once you have become proficient in the exercises, then please encourage your work colleagues and teach them everything that you have learnt. Your own training will be complete when you have unselfishly helped to train enough of your colleagues.
The Tax Administration Management Information System (TAMIS) was implemented in 2018 for business and individuals filed one year later. From all reports it was implemented at great expense to taxpayers. It should be an easy process to identify the cost of government projects but as we have found out with the Trident ID project as one example, it is not.
TAMIS has caught the interest because of utterances from Commissioner of the Barbados Revenue Authority Louisa Lewis-Ward in May of 2021. She was quoted that discussions had NOT reached an advance stage on if TAMIS had to be replaced.
“…The directors are taking a look at it in earnest to see how far we can go to rectify some of the issues which caused taxpayers discomfort in the system…The system did cost quite a pretty penny and therefore, it’s not an easy decision to make to throw the baby out with the bath water. We’ve just moved from one system to another…and the TAMIS system was supposed to be the technological replacement, so we will take a look at the system in earnest…
There is a recent article in The Economist which highlighted a problem of high demand for housing in London, England. Not unlike Barbados the demand is significantly located at the cheaper end of the price scale.
Britain badly needs more homes. In the past two decades its population has grown by nearly 8m; another 2m people will be added by 2030. Many will be drawn to cities, the engine-rooms of the economy. Yet the supply of new housing is not keeping up. London alone needs an estimated 83,000 new homes each year, according to Savills, an estate agent, but is building only half that. The biggest shortfall is at the cheaper end of the housing market—anything costing less than £450 ($560) per square foot, or £4,840 per square metre, to buy. This segment accounts for nearly three-fifths of demand but less than a third of forecast supply in London (see chart).
Modern historians tend to accept most of what ancient historians (before 100 AD) wrote as an accurate record of human history; but when they wrote about supernatural events, modern historians tend to dismiss those parts as myths. This analysis assumes that they are not myths, but important pieces of the historical puzzle – which I shall attempt to assemble.
God is one, and He created divine beings with different responsibilities. Some of these divine beings had management responsibilities. Given the massive size of the universe, God created humans to become part of His divine family and to be trained to receive management responsibilities. The training would happen on Earth and required about 1,000 years. God told humans to multiply and manage the Earth.
FRUSTRATING GOD’S PLAN.
One of God’s divine beings did not like the idea of humans managing him, so he frustrated the training by tricking the first humans into losing their innocence by prematurely accessing information that they were not mature enough to receive. Thereafter, humans consistently failed, and their training was compromised by guilt and fear of failure.
God assigned a group of divine beings to monitor and help them in their training. But many of the monitors found the women irresistible, took them as wives or raped them, and had immortal offspring. These offspring were much stronger than humans and fought them. Soon, the Earth was filled with violence, so God declared that the divine monitors and their offspring would be judged.
Once upon a time Barbadians held Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) in high regard. The country never experienced outages with the frequency of recent years. Last week the country experienced another countrywide outage which seems to be a ‘BL&P error’ although predictably the monopoly was vague in its explanation of what triggered the nationwide outage.
One does not have to be an electrical engineer to conclude that the BL&P has a power quality challenge. To be clear – the definition of power quality equates to RELIABILITY. The leadership of the growing monkey population is fed up with having to deflect blame every time there is a problem with the power grid.
What is the problem with BL&P being able to deliver on power quality?
Does the current state of play represent a failing of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC)?
It is ironic one of the important Christian festivals on the calendar is being celebrated this weekend against the background of continuing conflict in the Middle East. It is reported Christianity started with a small group of Jewish origin in Judea. Ironic because Judea was located in the space occupied by Israel and Palestine; an area of decades of conflict. Many believers AND non-believers will justifiably ask – why has a region anchored in Christianity been unable to resolve decades of man made conflict that has resulted in the deaths and injury to hundreds of thousand of men, women, children?
As if the Israel/PLO conflicts is not enough, political instability in Israel has not made it easy with years of coalition governments comprised of Conservatives, Liberals, Right-wing, Zionists to name a few feeding a polarizing environment.
For some time I have been hearing a person on social media proclaiming that Barbados does not have a constitution. Normally, I would listen in amusement and take it for the comic relief that it provided but now it is no longer funny. It has potential to become dangerous and reckless as I am now hearing others expressing disrespect for the court system because they are also parroting the nonsense about this country not having a constitution. I am concerned that Government has not attempted to clarify the situation and has allowed this dangerous nonsense to take root.
In September 2021, Government brought a bill to Parliament entitled:
An Act to alter the Constitution in order
(a) to provide for Barbados to become a republic with a President who shall be Head of State of Barbados; and
(b) to provide for related matters.
It might have slipped pass many but one of the related matters was legislating, for the first in the Barbados Parliament, a constitution for this country. The original independence constitution of Barbados was never passed in our parliament, it was merely a schedule to an order in council, the Barbados Independence Order, made by Queen Elizabeth II.
The gap in our system of governance which resulted in the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) winning two consecutive general elections continues to expose inadequacies. More and more important pieces of legislation and information contained in Bills is being discussed in a relevant manner from the Upper Chamber. The latest is Senator Monique Taitt sharing concerns about the plan by government to appoint liaison officers for backbenchers.
The reason for the liaison officers explained by deputy Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw is to address the high demand from constituents – to quote Bradshaw, “It’s necessary because we have 30 MOs and the ministers are entitled to personal assistants and constituency assistants…when you have 16 or 18 seats, the volume of work is not the same, but in an environment with 30 seats, everyone is coming for them and they don’t have any support system. This will allow them to function better”.
In today’s (29/03/2023) Nation newspaper MP Marsha Caddle was allowed a 1-page spread to defend the decision to create the post of liaison officer for backbenchers. It was a very well articulated defense of government’s decision the blogmaster admits and under normal circumstances would command the support of the blogmaster.
Recently, a case was brought against a local medical practitioner for malpractice. The courts ruled against it. Reading the following report, one has caused to wonder what effect this local case had and will continue to have on the parties involved, how it will effect them going forward and the consequences this case will have throughout the local medical profession as it interacts with the public.
Has a time bomb been set in place for patients and professionals alike? Many of the stressors in the article are reported to be present in the local arena.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The late Errol Walton Barrow died in 1987, 36 years later the political party he founded, one of two main parties that have dominated the political landscape- the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), continues the struggle to ‘find’ itself. On the other side of the political fence the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is led by the personage of Mia Mottley whose style has endeared her to the local and international community.
There is the suggestion Prime Minister Mia Mottley will elect not to offer herself as a candidate in the next general election. Political pundits again suggest that were this to occur the BLP will likely find itself in a similar state to compare to the DLP. From where the blogmaster is perched there is no obvious successor to Mottley. Some say Santia Bradshaw is being groomed, others are of the mind leaders emerge, a lazy premise if the blogmaster were to opine.
It is ironic commentators refer to Barbados as an ageing society but we struggle with implementing adequate frameworks to attend to the needs of the elderly. The biggest embarrassment is to read about senior citizens who are abandoned at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and elsewhere by family members.
The blogmaster can list many reasons we should take good care of our elders, however, the one reason that resonates the most is that a it is the humane thing to do.
Increasingly the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease has made it more challenging to care for senior citizens. We need to have a relevant policy and develop a better system to care for the elderly. As they say, you can tell a lot by how any society looks after the elderly and animals.
Last week the blogmaster received an email from a lawyer which had the Barbados Identity Management Act attached. The comment by the lawyer sharing the Act, not Bill, was that the legislation raises concerns that should trouble Barbadians. The fact that it sailed through parliament without the public being aware should expose the shortcomings of our governance model as well as the media and other actors in civil society (including the blogmaster). Regrettably the average Barbadian these days is concerned with other matters and lawmakers take advantage. The few independents in the Upper House can do so much. A pity we never observe the same appetite from lawmakers when integrity laws are being debated.
In a related matter, the issue of the day is the decision by the government to replace the national ID card (NID) with a digital version. All agree the old NID needs to be replaced, the Stuart government tried and unsurprisingly failed to execute after frittering hundreds of thousands of tax dollars.