Mia Mottley Government and the Goose

Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Group

The Mahogany Coconut Group (MCG), joins with all Barbadians in wishing the newly elected Barbados Labour Party government, all the best as it takes over from the badly beaten Democratic Labour Party, whose ten years stay at the wicket, is best described as anemic and unsuccessful. The former prime minister, Mr. Freundel Stuart displayed not only poor leadership skills but bad manners by scarcely having any meaningful dialogue with the public. He chose mainly to address constituency branches of his party.

The public therefore gave Stuart and his miserable group the severe beating it deserved by giving the then opposition Barbados Labour Party under the leadership of Ms. Mia Mottley, all thirty parliamentary seats. The Democratic Labour Party will have to find a way to make itself once again relevant to the political process.

We also congratulate, Ms. Mia Mottley on becoming the first female prime minister of Barbados. We know Ms. Mottley as a seasoned politician. She has gone through the hottest fires and has emerged as one made of the finest steel; we will now await her performance as a leader

The MCG having closely followed the election of May 24th, 2018, must sadly conclude, that both parties have determined that the real cure of the country’s economic ailments are to be found in the IMF’s medicine chest. Hence as expected the country will be heading straight to the International Monetary Fund, for some very bitter medicine. Fifty years after Independence, and with literally thousands of University of the West Indies (UWI) graduates occupying our Caribbean landscape, we still cannot get our economies functioning at any progressive level.

Barbados, to all intents and purposes, is a one sector economy, depending almost exclusively on the tourism industry to keep its growth in any proper shape. Over the last ten years the government of the Democratic Labour Party failed to devise any sustainable economic policy.

Ms. Mottley has been given a warm welcome by all the major players, including the Social Partnership, which includes trade unions, business organizations and other interest groups. While we wish the new Barbados government all the best, we fear that once the IMF gets its predatory claws into the affairs of the country, escape may prove difficult, if not impossible.

Ms. Mottley has already delivered a mini-budget, which was nothing more than an instrument to raise taxes and deliver some promises made by her party during the elections. These included reinstating payment for university education and an increase to old age pensioners.

However, citizens are waiting to see what kind of restructuring program the country will enter under the IMF. Any underperformance of the tourism industry will be disastrous to the island’s economy. The great irony of Ms. Mottley’s mini budget, is the fact that it attempts to extract money from the very tourists, who it is inviting to assist with the country’s current predicament.

We can only hope that she does not kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – General Election 2018: A Postscript II

In the first part of this essay last week, we sought to isolate some of the factors contributory to the unprecedented result of the recent general election. While we advanced the thesis that it was owed to a multiplicity of factors, including a loss of national pride that would have irked more than a few; the dire economic circumstances irritated by the ostentatious lifestyles of some officials; and the woeful failure of the government to engage in dialogue with the citizenry, thereby inducing a lack of, the necessary trust and confidence between the governed and the governors, the electoral obliteration of the governing Democratic Labour Party [DLP] administration may also be attributed to those elements of classic Greek tragedy that appears to befall all political parties after a decade or so in authority.

Administrations, over time, tend to become hubristic in spite of themselves and this is inevitably followed by Nemesis or retribution. According to one writer, “Hubris encompasses words and phrases like the following —overweening pride; self-glorification; arrogance, overconfidence in one’s ability and right to do whatever one wants, to the point of disdaining the cardinal virtues of life; ignoring other people’s feelings; overstepping boundaries; and impiously defying all who stand in the way. The term Nemesis denotes the ancient Greek goddess of retribution and the retributions attributed to her. The term nemesis is used to refer to the dynamics of retribution in general…Acts of hubris aroused envy among the gods on Mt. Olympus and angered them to restore justice and equilibrium. Nemesis, the goddess of divine vengeance and retribution, might then descend to destroy the vainglorious pretender, to cut man down to size and restore equilibrium”.

This Hellenic worldview of retribution, so brilliantly expounded in their works by dramatists such as Sophocles and Aeschylus, might explain the phenomenon of periodic administration change by the popular vote, although I have also read of a less lofty, more earthy ascription of this changing to the eerie comparison between politicians in general and dirty diapers.

Today, I should wish to focus less on the reasons for the electoral rout and more on the sequelae to its occurrence. Indeed, it might not be incorrect to assert that the past eight or nine days since May 25 have been the most politically and constitutionally intriguing in this nation since Independence and probably in my lifetime.

The result of the election would have meant that there was no readily apparent Leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly, a reality that also impacted the constitution of the Upper House since it was not made clear by the unhappily drafted section 75 of our constitution whether the remit of appointing Opposition senator fell, as averred by some, to the Governor General, or whether the matter required constitutional amendment in light of the provision’s lack of clarity. The latter is a view that I espoused last week in a column entitled An unforeseen event and was one seemingly shared by the government, even if only ex abundanti cautela (out of an abundance of caution).

The proposal to amend the Constitution has now been overtaken by another unforeseen event, the Thursday late-night announcement that His Grace Bishop Joseph Atherley, the elected member for St Michael West [BLP], had resigned from the BLP parliamentary group and would no longer support the government in Parliament. While he did not state this in so many words, this is precisely the legal consequence of his move, hence he became the lone member in opposition to the government in the Lower House and thus entitled to be Leader of the Opposition. He was duly sworn in on Friday.

Wags and political commentators will have a field day hereafter analyzing the rationale for this development, but it could possibly mean that for the first time since Independence, the DLP will be bereft of a parliamentary voice, unless Bishop Atherley who has the unfettered discretion of selecting the two Senators allotted to the parliamentary Opposition chooses one such.

Even before that, however, a less politically engaging, though much more constitutionally intriguing, event occurred. It was discovered that of the twelve Senators nominated to that Chamber by the Government, two could not be sworn in as scheduled, because they had failed to satisfy the criterion mandated in section 37 that requires as being qualified to be a Senator, “any person who has been ordinarily resident in Barbados for the immediately preceding twelve months…” provided he or she is not otherwise disqualified by section 38.

The governing Mottley administration has naturally proposed a constitutional amendment to treat this hiccup and while there would be few who would seek to deny the government this facility, it is not as simple as it would appear at first blush.

It so happens that this section has been entrenched in the Constitution and, by section 49 (2)(d), “a Bill for an Act of Parliament under this section that alters that section…shall not be passed in either House unless at the final voting thereon in the House it is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the House. [Emphasis added]

What this entails is that both Houses must be fully constituted and there will therefore be the need to replace the two outliers, Ms Mc Conney and Mr Adams, with two other Senators pro tempore [for the time being] in order to ensure a full Senate. I do not imagine that volunteers for this purpose would be few in number, however.

I am not aware of the draftsman’s purpose for imposing the residency requirement in our Constitution, but the other Constitution to which I frequently refer for comparative purposes, The Trinidad & Tobago Constitution 1976, imposes no such restriction. According to section 41-

Subject to section 42, a person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator if, and shall not be qualified to be so appointed unless, he is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago of the age of twenty-five years or upwards.

I imagine that our amendment will be in similar, though not identical form.

Bishop Joseph Atherley Saves the Day!

Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends [country]” (John 15:13) – Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

The unprecedented 30-0 victory by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) at the polls on 24 May 2018 created a Constitutional crisis UNTIL St. Michael West M.P. solved the problem by agreeing to be Leader of the Opposition.

Events to date confirm that the decimation of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) caught even the BLP leadership by surprise- tinkering with the Constitution – always a messy business – with a basket of pressing issues to confront from Day 1 is not what Prime Minister Mia Mottley has the appetite for at this time.

In the short term Atherley has made the sacrifice to cross the floor to assume the Leader of the Opposition role. His monthly salary will jump from 60K to 129K per annum but this is the smaller issue. He has averted the need for Mia to tangle with the issue of making deep amendments to the Constitution of Barbados at an early stage in her administration. Ask yourself, which member of parliament crosses the floor after one week of being elected without first declaring his grievances to his constituents and the wider public as a matter of courtesy?

Atherley’s decision to assume the Opposition role is obviously strategic. A ‘sympathetic’ leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly opens up a pathway for Prime Minister Mia Mottley to attack governance issues, more importantly it removes the nettlesome issue of making significant amendments to the Constitution at an early period in her tenure.

The blogmaster is pleased that the citizens of Barbados have a front row seat to observe the fragility of the democracy we practice exposed. It should be a learning opportunity we grasp with both hands. A past US President Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying that “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom”.  Now more than ever in our history if the democracy we practice is to work as envisaged by the framers of the Constitution, people and stakeholder participation will be critical. The level of apathy and disaffection by citizens is well documented on BU’s pages.

We need to participate in our government in ways we have not done up to now.  We hope Bishop Joseph will live up to the biblical meaning of his name.

A Heather Cole Column – Historic 30-0 Win for BLP: Constitutional Constraint or Opportunity?

There has been much discussion over the past 5 days about the 30 – 0 victory of the Barbados Labour Party over the for Democratic Labour Party government and other newer political parties at the General Elections which were held on May 24, 2018. It was a historic and resounding victory for the Barbados Labour Party as they not only received the mandate to govern unopposed but the first female Prime Minister of Barbados, Ms. Mia Amor Mottley was elected.

With the decimation of the main opposition, most persons resorted to the Constitution for guidance. The founding fathers clearly did not anticipate that such a situation would occur. Hence, the Constitution does not provide any guidance on this issue. It only states that the democratic process to produce a government would consist of the winning party which obtains most seats and an Opposition which won the remaining seats and that both would constitute the government. No exceptions are mentioned. There being no opposition, only members of Parliament of the current Administration can sit in the lower House of Parliament.

Some may be of the view that this 30-0 win is a constraint on the democratic system as there are no longer any checks and balances on the system or transparency and that the Constitution should be amended to make provision for some semblance of an opposition as the new government will do as it pleases without oversight. Most importantly there is a worry about the preservation of democracy if the island is a 2-party system.

The Constitution does not advocate the use of Senators in lieu of there being no Opposition elected as part of government. The Prime Minister was therefore very gracious to seek to amend the Constitution to allow Members from the Democratic Labour Party which polled the second highest percentage of votes to be appointed to the Senate. Another alternative that could have been pursued was to simply increase the pool of independent senators. Whether one likes it or not, this may end up being the case because for the majority of the population the credibility of the Democratic Labour ceases to exist and the majority of the people may not even want them to walk up the steps of Parliament again.

One can be of a different view that a unique opportunity has presented itself making the 30-0 victory a blessing in disguise. With over 50 years of self-governance behind us and going as far as we can with a 2-party system, the time as come to go to the next level in democracy. That is to empower the people to fully participate in the governance of Barbados.

It was indeed heartening when for the first time in history of electoral politics in Barbados that a draft Manifesto was presented to the people by the Barbados Labor Party for their thoughts, discussion, comment and input. One wonders why this never occurred before. Perhaps at the beginning of our independence when the majority were only educated to 7th standard they needed the government alone to decide their needs and what was best for the country. However, after 50 years of independence and the majority having obtained secondary education and a thousands of university graduates, one wonders why a Manifesto coming from the people was not on the table until this election.

It would be a waste given the heightened political discussions that emanated throughout the island since the dissolution of Parliament on March 6th, 2018 for most people to revert to lives void of politician participation. Without an Opposition, the responsibility also falls on the electorate to maintain the democracy. It is for the good of the country as we seek to rebuild Barbados not only economically and socially but politically as well.

A 30-0 majority further provides the opportunity for greater input of Barbadians in the process of governance; whether it be in oversight, checks and balances, in decision making and by referendum and constituency councils. Members were selected for the constituency councils under the previous Administration, but they have failed to perform.

To this end the Government Information Service can be used as a tool to provide a body of knowledge to educate all citizens and residents, preparing them for active participation by providing the training for the empowerment of the people. The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and the Internet can be used as the medium to ensure that this becomes a reality.

One hopes that this 30-0 historic victory will signal the end of an era when the people only participated politically by casting ballots every five years and heralds the commencement of revolutionary changes as part of the rebuilding process making Barbados a participatory democracy. One can argue that with active continuous participation that not only will the people have a greater interest in their governance, participate more in the polls and reduce the numbers who do not vote but more importantly that we all can truly sing the part of the national anthem which states that we are “strict guardians of our heritage, firm craftsmen of our fate.”

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – General Election 2018: A postscript

In hindsight, retrospect, or what some in the US refer to as “Monday-morning-quarterbacking”, it is now quite clear to see why the Barbadian electorate so categorically rejected the Democratic Labour Party [DLP], the party that comprised the governing administration for the past decade, in the recent general election on Thursday last.

For a gallimaufry of factors, none of which may be decisive, but all undeniably relevant, some; perhaps because of unfortunate happenstance, others; caused by culpable conduct on the part of the administration, the electorate almost vengefully swept the government and party from power with an unprecedented defeat that, in one swoop, gave the island its first female Prime Minister in Ms Mia Mottley; created a looming constitutional crisis; and, possibly, thereby effected the demise of the losing party, at least under its current leadership.

The degree of the rejection also serves to provide some insight into the Barbadian cultural-political ethos. There were many who wondered at the restraint shown by the populace in the face of some of the happenings to be highlighted, ascribing it to an innate Bajan conservative docility or, even more mistakenly, to acceptance. But, as Mary, the mother of Jesus, is reported to have done in Luke 2:19, the citizenry simply kept these things in their heart and pondered them unto the day when they could signal their true feelings under the cover, not of darkness, but in the relative secrecy of the ballot booth.

I propose first to describe these factors by category and then to give some suggestion as to their elements. It bears reminder that these arise from my personal and uninitiated observation and are not intended to provide a learned analysis of last Thursday’s outcome.

Pride –A principal factor, in my view, would have been the affront that many Barbadians felt to their individual pride in their country. It is not for nothing that our national motto emphasizes “Pride and Industry” and our achievements over the years have apparently imbued the national character with an arguably justifiable sense of pride. Hence, for more than a few, for this island to be relegated from “punching above its weight” to the doldrums of a degree of an economic growth measurement below that of some of our less developed neigbours, must have cut the national sense of value like a knife. Into this category we might place too, the plurality of downgrades to our international credit rating under the last administration. While it may be true, as we were assured, that these did not downgrade Barbados (the country) itself, this would have provided cold comfort to a people thitherto proud of their international creditworthiness but now reduced to a dangerous level of mendicancy in the eyes of the world. “How dat go look?” some must have queried.

Legalism- In my years of dalliance with the law and legal principles, I have come to recognize that these do not resonate with the uninitiated listener if they do not comport with that individual’s long-held beliefs of what is instinctively right. Thus, if you will forgive the digression, I encounter much difficulty in trying to persuade my students in defamation law that it is no less a defamation to repeat a defamatory imputation, even if it is prefaced by such phrases as “it is rumoured that “ or “it is alleged that”. The citation of the applicable authority does not serve to convince them either until after most have read it for themselves.

In this regard, for the former Prime Minister to have clung tenaciously to what many regarded as “crass constitutionalism” in his insistence that his administration was entitled to and desirous of serving the full term of its constitutional tenure resonated scarcely with an electorate anxious to be afforded its own constitutional entitlement of franchise to assess the government’s performance Given this popular sentiment, partisan assertions that no law was being broken in the process naturally rang hollow. The action thus appeared dictatorial especially given the substantial period of parliamentary interregnum when the Cabinet would function without collective responsibility to any body.

And the fact that nary a peep of objection came from within the administration, perhaps owed to the “…and not a damn dog bark” theory of leadership as asserted by Dr. Eric Williams of Trinidad & Tobago, merely marked them as complicit and thus equally guilty. Undue legalism in a different sense would have also played a role when, in the latter days of the campaign, Mr Stuart made the ostensibly unilateral decision to withdraw from the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice, not on any cogently argued constitutional ground, but merely in a fit of pique over some report of disrespect to Barbados by a single justice of the Court during a refreshment break. A few only would have been in agreement that so momentous a decision should be unilateral and even fewer that it should be based on such a slender thread. Again, the absence of comment from his fellow Cabinet members would have been instructive and Mr. Stuart would have seemed dictatorial in his decision.

Economy- The dire state of the local economy was always going to be a relevant factor in the ultimate decision of the electorate, and not simply for reasons of pride or feelings of induced mendicancy, but more so that, at a personal level, it was becoming increasingly difficult for the so-called “average Barbadian” to keep money in his or her pocket, wallet or purse. When allied to the ostentation displayed by some Cabinet members, the inadequately justified reversion of their voluntary ten percent abatement in salary and the dog’s breakfast made of the individual taxation system as concerned refunds, the popular sentiment became one of “them against us”. That these fiscal efforts were made in order, as it has been put, “to keep the [buses] running” might have satisfied the electorate, had it been persuasively explained to them, but alas, communication was never one of the fortes of the last administration, a fact that became eminent in its latter days. Even so, by some quirk of fate, the expression used above –“to keep the buses running”- became more of a cruel joke what with the public disgust at the national transportation service and the woes with household garbage collection.

When we add to the equation the consequent deterioration in social services, the thorny industrial relations with the unions and private sector, its electoral platform strategy and the painful disappointment endured by some UWI students, the result seems less of a surprise.

POSTCRIPT -I must stop here for today and continue this at a later date, God willing. Unfortunately, I was unable to broach today the issue of the looming constitutional crisis. The essay appears so far to pinpoint solely the reasons for the emphatic rejection of the last administration and to minimize the role the incoming one played. This is not my intention. I believe that the Barbados Labour Party’s campaign was a brilliant admixture of the exploitation of the national disgust with the DLP’s missteps, the excitement of making local history with a female leader, and the crying need for an attempt at trying fresh ideas. I should wish to offer my sincere congratulations to the party and to our new Prime Minister, Ms Mottley. I wish you well.

A Grenville Phillips Column – Hurricane Force Winds

Solutions Barbados congratulates Ms Mottley and all other BLP candidates for their resounding victory. The people of Barbados have given Ms Mottley and the BLP a clear mandate by a wide majority, and Solutions Barbados respects the will of the people.

We were all privileged to witness a wind of change of Category 5 hurricane proportions. It registered the public’s utter rejection of the DLP administration. The wind’s magnitude was so overwhelming that it removed all but the DLP’s most secured leaves. The approximately 26% swing away from the DLP revealed the true base of that and all other parties, except the final beneficiary.

Clearly, the public did not want to risk having the DLP re-elected, and decided to select the alternative party that it knew better. The BLP must be congratulated for strategically positioning itself downwind of the catastrophe to be the most likely beneficiary of the public’s disgust.

This BLP administration will face unprecedented economic challenges over this new 5-year term. While we were offering the only non-austerity solution and the BLP an austerity-based one, this choice appeared less important to voters than ensuring that the DLP were voted out. However, once the jubilation has ended, all of us must face the stark reality that we are actually on the brink of economic ruin.

Everyone, including the supporters of all political parties, must give of their best during this BLP administration. We must be more efficient, productive, and innovative. Since most elected BLP candidates are new, they will inevitably make mistakes, and we should extend grace to them as they learn. Since we all live here, it is in all of our interests to see that Barbados’ economy does not fail.

The BLP administration can be assured that Solutions Barbados will offer the BLP administration our best unsolicited advice, something that I have been doing with all political administrations for the past 2 decades. We will offer workable solutions and assist with their implementation wherever we can. The BLP can rest assured that we will not be engaging in any partisan criticism of their stewardship between elections, since it is in all of our interests that they succeed.

Is there a silver lining for Solutions Barbados? We think that there is. Most Solutions Barbados candidates were publicly revealed less than one year ago, and two of them were revealed to the public on Nomination Day. Yet, we were able to secure approximately 4,000 votes because of our policies. While this is comparatively small, it is significantly higher than just friends and family. To have kept approximately 4,000 leaves on a tree during a Category 5 hurricane is a silver lining.

Elections Results 2018: Democracy Alive, Opposition Dead!

Submitted by Doc Martin

Congratulations to Ms. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister and to the BLP on their victory in the 2018 elections. As other commentators elsewhere have stated, democracy is alive and well in Barbados.

Well, the operation to remove the Freundel Stuart led DLP government has been successful but the patient has suffered complications and so an amputation was necessary to remove opposition to the flow of blood. At least that is the imagery that came to mind when CBC showed us for a few fleeting seconds, a red Barbados, after it was clear that the BLP has made a clean sweep of the election.

A much subdued Freundel Stuart, in the wee hours of Friday morning, conceded defeat but, as some commentators observed, was not gracious enough to mention the incoming PM by name.

Ms. Mottley is credited with saying that she was going to make history but I doubt even she had more than winning the election and being the first female Prime Minister of Barbados in mind when she said that. She certainly may not have had in mind a clean sweep of all thirty seats, including the St. John constituency, which for the first time in about 60 years, has fallen into BLP hands.

For weeks and months to come, pundits and analysts will ponder the complete “redwash” of the DLP and many hours will be spent analyzing the mistakes made and the lessons to be learned. While the dust is still settling, I wish to offer summary comments on three matters: [1] the defeat of the DEMS, [2] the absence of an opposition and [3] the need for a system of PR (proportional representation) to replace the current system of FPTP (first-past-the-post).

Defeat of the Dems
The defeat of the DEMS can be attributed to several forces, one positive, several negative.

On the one hand, the BLP must be credited for executing a very cleverly integrated marketing campaign that addressed the strategic marketing issues of stakeholder research need analysis, product configuration, positioning, segmentation, promotion and messaging. I have explained how some of these apply to political marketing elsewhere in this blog. As a marketing professional myself, I must also complement the BLP for sheer brilliance in using both traditional and digital media.

The “negative” force is threefold:

  1. The failure of the DLP to do as well on marketing as the BLP. Too much of their manifesto, for example, focused on philosophy and the distant past. I have long ago said that Barrow and Tom Adams are no longer relevant to everyday life in Barbados. But the presence of at least two historians in the DLP just will not let the ghost of Barrow rest. Presumably the people of St. John have now exorcised his ghost!
  2. Their failure to recognize the hazards of the ‘martyr complex’ which they induced in the electorate on behalf of Ms. Mottely through their communications strategy. Ms. Mottely cemented the martyr complex when she declared, “I have a broad back”. Elsewhere it is known as turning the other cheek, something Mr. Stuart should have done himself. It is a pity that he is not half as good at psychology as he is at history! The DLP started their campaign with the obvious goal of demonizing MAM, presumably in retaliation for her demonizing of the PM. This and their bad timing of the Mottley “tax waiver” bombshell, did not do them much good. When it was dropped, I remarked that the “tax waiver” bombshell was dropped too early. Had the DLP dropped the bombshell say, on the Tuesday before the election, they might have had a more lasting impact on the electorate and pressured the Mottley-BLP campaign. So another of their errors is that they forgot that most Bajans have short memories!
  3. Finally, the association of the DLP brand with the spent and vindictive force of Owen Arthur served to cement Ms. Mottely’s victimhood and seal the DLPs fate. So, even though defending their policies was going to be a hard sell, the DLP, in fact, committed political suicide, although they had been holding the noose around their necks long before the election.

Opposition Dead
The second issue that has emerged from this election is the “death” of the parliamentary opposition. This means that the BLP, with an absolute majority can theoretically “do anything it wants”. As if in recognition of this, Ms. Mottley promised, in her acceptance speech early this morning, to consult all stakeholders and even hold referenda on crucial topics.

Notwithstanding her promises, the Barbadian population, in its overreaction to the DLP malfeasances, has unwittingly robbed the parliament of a lawful opposition to prosecute the business of those who did not endorse the BLP and, who are, therefore, in the minority. This means that the third parties which have not won a seat (as well as the population as a whole), must now be the surrogate opposition. So that far from being demolished, these third parties now have a responsibility to be the best extra-parliamentary opposition they can be.

Proportional Representation
In her concession speech, the leader of the UPP has suggested a system of proportional representation (PR), something I have been trumpeting on this blog since the start of this election. As should be now clear, had there been such a system in place, the DLP would have gotten some of the seats and we would have a formal opposition. Without the benefit of the final overall distribution of votes, I cannot say whether any of the third parties might have secured any of the seats because, in most PR systems, there is a minimum threshold of votes a party must obtain to be eligible for seats in parliament.

The first order of business then is for the “extra-parliamentary” opposition and all right-thinking members of society, to call, sooner rather than later, for a referendum (if that is the appropriate mechanism) on a change from the FPTP system to one of proportional representation. Ms. Mottley certainly has the votes to make such a constitutional change and therefore, her handling of such a request would tell us her true intentions for the Barbados which she claims she will be putting first.

In the meantime, all I can say is: “Barbados, looka wuh yuh gone and do!”

Mottley and BLP Create History 30-0

Update: 6:50 AM – They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The BU household points visitors to the traditional media sites to gather details about the final counts. The only  number that is important in the 2018 Barbados General Election is a 30-0 result in favour of the Barbados Labour Party led by Mia Mottley.

Cometh the hour, cometh the woman!

Update: 2:50 AM – more details to come soon to describe an historic win by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

On behalf of the BU household we extend congratulations to Mottley and team.

David – blogmaster

As midnight approaches on the day a General Election was held in Barbados, not a single box has been declared by a Returning Officer. There are disturbing reports starting to emerge, the blogmaster will hold his tongue for the moment- with great difficulty. At this point the reason being circulated is that the special boxes were delivered late to the counting centres. It begs the question why have these boxes were delivered late!


The Grenville Phillips Column – Ready To Serve Barbados

This should be my final article before the General Election and it has been an interesting 3 years.  We formed on 1 July 2015 and published our complete manifesto on that same day.  We have assembled a group of highly competent individuals who are innovators in their fields.  They have an average of 20 years of management experience which has adequately prepared them to properly manage Barbados’ economy.

Our candidates have not assembled to simply sit as opposition parliamentarians and watch Barbados fail – a certain outcome if the economy is managed by any of the established political parties.  Many economists have arrived at the consensus position that neither the BLP nor the BLP have the discipline to properly manage Barbados’ economy, and that the IMF would do a superior job.

We need to be reminded that both established parties have finally brought us to where Guyana and Jamaica were before their currency was devalued.  They have both brought Barbados to the brink of economic ruin, but now have the gall to promise us the most severe austerity for their gross mismanagement.

The independent economist and former UWI lecturer, Michael Howard, has reportedly rubbished the BLP’s manifesto as theoretically unsound and designed only to get votes.  That is his professional opinion.  The DLP’s various plans have been tried for the past decade and have simply not worked to improve our economy.

The only plan that has come through rigorous public scrutiny and favourable independent critical review is Solutions Barbados non-austerity plan.  We run a surplus in our first year, something that our government has only managed to achieve once in our 52 years of independence.

We can verifiably run a surplus while also abolishing VAT, and not laying off any public workers or reducing their salaries.  The typical question is, where are we going to find the additional money to replace VAT.  This is a good question.  However, a better question has been asked by the Opposition – what has the Government done with all of the revenues it has collected?

That we can run a surplus while abolishing VAT and avoiding austerity, simply demonstrates the amount of wastage and mismanagement that the established parties have perfected over the past 40 years.  We do not need to squeeze additional money out of the almost empty pockets of Barbadians.  We will have enough to provide well managed public services and to meet our debt obligations, without austerity.

Some think that Solutions Barbados is some type of third party.  Let me declare that Solutions Barbados is not a third or even a second party, but a first party.  Solutions Barbados is the first political party where all of its candidates are born-again Christians from many different church backgrounds but are not divided because of theology.

We are the first party to have 13 women, and 3 married couples as candidates in a general election.  We are the first party to propose an anti-corruption policy that can actually stop corruption, and to publish our manifesto for public scrutiny approximately 3 years before a general election.  We are the first political party with a chartered structural engineer as a candidate or leader.

We are also the first political party whose candidates have committed themselves to the electorate, to be faithful to the policies to which they are seeking election, by agreeing to sign a contract with a severe financial penalty for each and every breach.

Solutions Barbados Candidates are all innovators.  They are all are ready, willing and competent to effectively serve the people, properly manage the economy of Barbados, and be held accountable.  We have done our best.  Now Barbados, the choice is yours.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Mia Promises Jail time to CLICO Offenders

The cut and thrust of the 2018 Barbados Election campaign has tossed up many issues which confirm the political party that wins the election will have to hit the ground running to rescue and restore the country to the pedestal it once occupied in the region and the world.

There is one issue which has not received the airplay it deserves in the opinion of the blogmaster.

On more than one occasion the leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) – delivering on the 2018 election campaign platform – hinted at the fact should her party win the government, there will be an effort made to hold certain actors involved in the CLICO mess accountable. The blogmaster is aware promises made in the heat of a political campaign must be taken with some salt. However, given the black eye the CLICO collapse has given to Barbados, AND, the potential it poses to continue to deliver given its impact across the region, the blogmaster will continue to invite discussion on the matter in future blogs.

What the CLICO debacle exposed was that there was a catastrophic failure of the regulatory system- of which the political class and other key actors were complicit- to more efficiently manage the downside risk of the local insurance sector. An IMF report leaked in December 2017 identified the systemic risk posed by Sagicor – the dominant insurance player in the region – and the challenge posed to the local regulator (Financial Services Commission (FSC)) to effectively regulate given the complexity of Sagicor’s business model.

The IMF report found that the FSC, which was established in 2011 and is assumed to be the group supervisor of Sagicor, has neither developed, not implemented group-wide supervision processes and practices since its establishment.

It should be noted that to its credit the FSC was responsible for commissioning the report.

What has intrigued the blogmaster is the recent announcement that Sagicor acquired Harmony General insurance company. Harmony General was a small player in the sector, however, if the size and complexity of Sagicor was identified before the acquisition as a source of concern in the IMF report- the acquisition will serve to add a few more questions.

The blogmaster has no interest in the sale directly, it is more a quiet concern about how the sector is being regulated to militate against a recurrence of a CLICO.  The NEW leadership of Barbados must demonstrate firm leadership to implement learnings arising from the collapse of CLICO. We must punish those who failed to honour fiduciary responsibilities.  In this regard we have taken careful note of the lead role being played by Leslie Haynes Q.C. in BLP affairs. You may recall Haynes was very close to Leroy Parris and CLICO before its demise.

The blogmaster has also observed – lost in the din of the 2018 general election – general insurance companies have been disclosing end of year financial statements as required by law. A perusal of ALL of the finacials published so far list companies under financial stress. What is not clear to the blogmaster is how a sector that is under ‘financial pressure’ has not seen the urgency to significantly raise premiums to bolster the profit and loss. What is the blogmaster missing?

It is the expectation of sensible Barbadians the incoming government will demonstrate the leadership required to make available adequate resources to the FSC to do its job effectively. The other expectation is that players responsible for the CLICO collapse will do the ‘time’.

See the Financials of CGI, Brydens and Sagicor General insurance companies:-

Sale of the Barbados Hilton and the Parallel Universe Phenomenon

Submitted by Doc Martin

Once again, the occasion of a general election has surfaced the abysmal ignorance of the electorate about the workings of government. Indeed, if one stands back far enough, one will see that practical government and the perceptions and aspirations of the so-called “masses” operate in parallel universes, the two colliding every five years, for five minutes, in a polling booth. From this perspective, I submit, once again, that the first-level answer to the problems facing Barbados is a change in the character of the incoming government as I argued elsewhere.

DLP Failings
The DLP administration can justifiably be chastised for being slow off the bat to make so-called structural changes to the economy. Most of their first five years were spent apparently “relearning” the inner workings of the “modern” Barbados economy having been away from the seat of power for fifteen years. In their play for time, they were aided by their constant references to the truckload of debt left by the BLP and the worldwide, manmade recession which began around 2007.

In the last three years or so the Government did come up with embryonic plans (predicated on free IMF advice) to stabilize the economy but, as the IMF itself has well documented, lack of timely implementation has stymied the efforts and put the economy in further jeopardy. Perhaps, one of the greatest shortcomings of the DLP administration has been its inability to communicate with the population in terms that can be understood. There was also the ever-present temptation of nepotism, cronyism and sheer corruption which the administration could not resist. Of course, they do not have any monopoly on these sins, as the BLP would have us believe!

Parallel Universes
On page 61 of the 2015 budget, Chris Sinckler, the DLP’s Minister of Finance, made a very serious statement which, because of its importance and relevance, I reproduce here.

Mr. Speaker at present we seem to be caught in a vortex where we have a “Scandinavian” approach to the delivery of social services, where they generally are provided free at the point of delivery to all (universal access), while on the other hand, we appear to desire an Anglo-American approach to the issue of taxation where taxes are relatively low, and citizens clamour for ever lower taxes and tax exemptions.

It is in that dialectic: the aspirations of the masses vs. the penchant for unlimited freeness; the quest for benefits without bearing the fiscal costs; the clamour for rights vs. the willingness to bear the attendant responsibilities, that we find the parallel universe phenomenon which is at the root of the problems in Barbados and perhaps similar countries. And it is against this parallel universe concept that we should examine the sale of the Barbados Hilton.

Hilton on the Block
The BLP has made an election issue out of the sale and claimed that its plan to protest right outside the hotel has caused a halt to the negotiations on the sale. It claims this is a victory for the party; the naïve and the yard fowls will easily concur.

Successive Barbadian governments have failed to make the populace understand that the economic and financial principles of running a government are fundamentally the same as running a household. If a household’s earnings are less than what it spends it will have a “deficit” and have to borrow and if it over-extends itself in borrowing, it is only a short time before the debt collectors are knocking on its door! The fact that this is not understood is partly responsible for the parallel universe phenomenon.

A household can find financial ease if it has assets that can be used to generate income or sold to bring cash or, less preferably, used as collateral to obtain further credit. The sale of the Hilton should be viewed from this perspective.

Government is not, and should not be, in the business of running hotels per se. The Hilton is an asset held by government for the purpose of earning revenue; it is not a family heirloom that is inviolable. Given the dire straits in which it finds itself, the Government has chosen to sell the Hilton to bring much needed cash and possibly foreign exchange. At least this is the prima facie situation.

We can speculate or form conspiracy theories as to what else is going on. However, the objective fact is that the government needs the money. We might object to the price or even the terms of sale. If this is Ms. Mottley’s position, then we can support it. But there is always more in the mortar than the pestle! In this case, we suspect that Ms. Mottley is trying to earn political points and retaliate for the tax expose wrought upon her family by the DLP-Owen Arthur consortium; even that is understandable…to a point.

But, if the prima facie situation is what it is, then Ms. Mottley is being hypocritical because Bajan memories are not so short as not to remember the sale of the BNB (Barbados National Bank) to Trinidad by the last BLP administration of which she was a member.

Sale of government assets, when done for the right reason and in the right manner, is no more unethical or financially unsound than a household going about the sale of family assets, even heirlooms, to avoid bankruptcy or financial ruin. It is principled financial management and plain common sense!

Standby to Transport Aliens
It is time the masses started behaving like citizens rather than aliens, learn how government works and stop letting political parties exploit them because they are so naïve as to expect that government works any differently, fundamentally, from how they run (or should run!) their households. Then they will be in a position to critically evaluate the promises being made in this and any future election. But alas, this appears to be asking too much of a highly certificated but “uneducated” and alienated electorate. In that case the beam up is aborted!

Towards Proportional Representation
The foregoing should not be construed as an attempt to apologize for the DLP. On the contrary! In fact, I am not at all comfortable with a government made up solely of members of any one party be it BLP or DLP.

The moment is right in history for a government by coalition. To this end, the best thing the Barbados electorate can do at this time, is to ensure, in the absence of a system of proportional representation, that no one party makes up the incoming government of 2018. This it can do if a substantial portion of the electorate votes for members of a third party they feel have something worthwhile to contribute and at the same time, reject those of the major parties who have demonstrated incompetence, corruption or other malfeasances. I can think of at least three or four individuals across the current DLP administration and the BLP whom the electorate should sanction for these reasons.

Finally, if the electorate is so unhappy with how the older parties have been managing the people’s business in recent times, once this election is over, it needs to demand, by referendum, a change in the electoral system from the current first-past-the-post method to one based on proportional representation (with the added feature of recall!) which, all other things being equal, will always yield a coalition government.

Benedict Peters, Hugo Chavez, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur, and Hartley Henry

Submitted by Mark Jones

Who are the common denominators in these matters of meetings set up to meet with Benedict Peters to secure campaign funding and so to the setting up of the meeting with Hugo Chavez to secure campaign funding that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur had the good patriotic sense to refuse to attend?

Well if you heard Owen Arthur’s press conference last week he confirmed that both Mottley and Hartley Henry were the persons who wanted him to visit Dominica to meet with Hugo Chavez to mortgage out our foreign policy for campaign funding which he bluntly refused to be part of and now this more recent confirmation by Benedict Peters lawyer Haynes that confirmed the meeting tòok place with Benedict Peters and Mottley, could campaign funding which most likely is common to both meetings, is this grab for campaign funding so vital that Mottley was prepared to sell out our island’s foreign policy for campaign funding ?

And we are still not sure what Benedict Peters was looking to secure in exchange for his Nigerian money but what ever it was he expected it came at a significant cost to him and nearly at a cost to we Barbadians.

We await a full explanation from Mottley on this and also on the Wire tapping and eavesdropping and a file named POLITICAL, as we await further information as to where she qualified as a Lawyer if she did indeed qualify as it is a known fact that she does not own a Legal Education Certificate therefore we need to know if she did the year of Pupiliage in the UK to become a Registered Barrister who qualified in the UK, we also await her response to the waiver of $ 87 mil tax giveaway to Barclays Bank and her half a million dollars waiver and tax give away to her father,  we also await her response to the matter of Four Seasons.

According to the EFCC, an investigation that began in 2016 showed that Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former petroleum minister; Bernard Otti; Aiteo Energy Ltd; Northern Belt Oil and Gas Company Ltd and others were involved in conspiracy, stealing and money laundering amounting to $300 million.

Mr. Peters is the chairman of both companies, according to the EFCC.


This man Benedict Peters seems to have a mindset to try to affect political outcomes see an extract from a newspaper article.

Mr Benedict Peters is wanted by the agency for allegedly giving $60m to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, as a part of the $23bn bribe in the last polls.



“Ellangowan”, Strathclyde Drive,

Strathclyde, St. Michael

Tel: (246) 437-8924 Fax: (246) 426-2049

email: lhaynes@leslieslaw.net

13th May, 2018

The Honourable Mr. Chris Sinckler BY EMAIL AND HAND

mailto: sinks202@gmail.com


Dear Sir

Re: Benedict Peters

I act for Mr. Benedict Peters, a Nigerian international businessman of the highest

repute. My client is a Christian and a major financier of the Gospel of Christ. He has

nothing to do with Islamic radicalism and actively combats Islamic terrorism globally. My

client is the Executive Vice Chairman of Aieto Group and complains that, on Sunday, 6

May 2018, at the launch of the Democratic Labour Party’s election campaign at the Netball Stadium, you defamed him to the assembled audience and persons watching the event on the Internet. My client has seen and heard your speech on the Internet and he is outraged by your allegations, insinuations and innuendos.

In particular, you alleged that my client met with “the leadership of the Barbados Labour Party at the Hilton Hotel” and the said leadership was seeking to get money from my client. You further suggested that my client was “funneling money into the Barbados elections just like the Russians were putting money in the American elections”. You categorically stated that “Nigerian money is trying to influence the outcome of the election” clearly suggesting that my client is the source of such money.

Most egregiously, you made references to Boko Haram, a notoriously renowned

Islamic terrorist organisation, and so interspersed references to my client by name as to suggest that he is involved with that organisation.

In their natural, ordinary and innuendo meanings, your words mean and were understood to mean that –

(a) my client is seeking improperly to influence the outcome of the 2018

general elections;

(b) he is providing large sums of money to the Barbados Labour Party for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the said elections;

(c) he is associated with a terrorist organisation;

(d) he is a criminal or has criminal propensities and/or is associated with Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organisation that kidnaps school girls;

(e) he is anti-democracy and is prepared to use his money for the improper purpose of influencing the outcome of elections.

The words used by you are completely false, baseless and malicious. They constitute a serious and grave defamation of my client personally and professionally.

They have caused my client great hurt, distress and international embarrassment. My client has never contributed or offered to contribute money to the Barbados Labour

Party, its leader Ms. Mia Mottley or any political or other organisation in Barbados.

He instructs me that he met with Ms. Mottley while on a family vacation in

Barbados and the two discussed global affairs and investment opportunities in Barbados and the wider Caribbean. Furthermore, that since that meeting, back in September of 2016, he has not met with or had any contact with Ms. Mottley or any member of the

Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Indeed, he does not today have a phone number, email address nor other direct contact information for Ms. Mottley or any member of the leadership of the BLP, and, has definitely not contributed, in cash or kind, to the campaign of the BLP, neither before nor since that meeting in September 2016.

I call upon you on or before 15 May 2018, to withdraw and retract the defamatory statements and their imputations made by you and apologise to my client in terms to be

approved by me, for your defamation of him.

If you do not comply with the demands in the preceding paragraph, please be advised that my client will forthwith take such action against you as he may be advised including commencing proceedings in the High Court of Barbados for damages, an injunction and legal costs. In the meantime, my client reserves all

his rights in this matter.

Yours faithfully

Leslie F. Haynes Q.C.

Thursday’s Vote

Five days to go to the 2018 General Election in Barbados and the speculation is rife who will win and the margin of the victory. The platform discussion has not ignited hope in the blogmaster that there will be significant change to how a new government will improve the lot of the people. What is certain is that the state of the economy will possibly get worse before it improves, IF it improves.

What factors will influence how the blogmaster cast his X on Thursday?

How have the key economic indicators moved since 2013?

  • international reserves
  • domestic borrowing
  • foreign borrowing
  • amount of fossil imports
  • unemployment
  • deficit
  • exports
  • imports
  • inflation
  • food bill*
  • greater sector integration

What about the crime situation since 2013?

  • murder rate
  • violence crime
  • drug related

Has the infrastructure improved since 2013?

  • state of the highways and byways
  • stadia
  • public buildings (health and safety)

Small island developing states because of the size must have an efficient waste management and policies attuned to a maintaining a pristine environment. Have we seen advancement in this space since 2013?

  • adequate number of garbage trucks
  • frequent garbage collection
  • effective public education about waste disposal
  • effective policing
  • management of sewage

  Have we observed change in the Governance model since 2013?

  • effectiveness of the working committees of parliament
  • adherence to financial rules
  • delivering justice to all citizens
  • holding public officials accountable
  • term limits
  • republican system
  • etc

Last but as important is whether the confidence of a people is higher (or lower) compared to 2013.

How can we create a more relevant regional and international outreach to sustain quality of life for citizens?

There are many other issues the blogmaster could have listed to point to the fact- if one is honest- that there has been a deterioration in the Barbados space since 2013. We can debate if the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the 3rd parties are ready to led the country if elected. Clearly based on performance the DLP has fallen short by the simple measure if the questions posed are answered honestly.

The electorate will have to decide if despite a poor performance by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) whether it merits a third term when compared to the alternatives. Does the electorate have the capacity to logically weight the issues to inform the vote?

Analyzing Barbados’ Predicament and Looking to the Future

Submitted by David Comissiong
THE  FIRST  QUESTION we must confront is this :-   if an economic crisis exists in Barbados, as it undoubtedly does, who and what is responsible for it ?
Let us start with the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) governmental administration! After the DLP came to power in 2008, the international economic recession caused the opening up of a 500 Million dollar deficit in Government’s finances. And to their everlasting shame, the DLP Administration sat idly by for nine long years and did nothing of substance to correct the fiscal imbalance.
Indeed, rather than take meaningful steps to correct the fiscal imbalance, they initially pretended that it was no big deal and would automatically correct itself in the near future. And when this facile pie-in-the-sky approach to governance came to nothing, they commenced upon the irresponsible and unsustainable practice of borrowing money from the National Insurance Scheme to pay  monthly salaries. They also blissfully and irresponsibly indulged  in reckless spending that further exacerbated  the situation!
Furthermore, not only did they permit the fiscal rot to gradually worsen year after year, but they also failed to devise any new ideas or measures for promoting growth and diversification in our economy.
Indeed, Stuart and company spent ten long lazy years telling the Barbadian people that our nation is a small and helpless nation and that there is nothing of consequence that we could do about our predicament of economic malaise other than to wait for improvements in the international economy ! And while they were feeding our people this diet of “learned helplessness” so many other countries (many of them with less resources than Barbados) were positively forging ahead. 
You see, having failed to take effective measures to restore the soundness of Government’s finances, they ended up saddling our country with a thoroughly dysfunctional and crisis-ridden governmental administration that was in no position to take up the critical Mission of leading a national effort to extricate our country from recession and to restore the economy to an upward trajectory. 
Almost alone among the CARICOM countries Barbados continued to suffer economic decline year after year, and to have its international credit rating down graded time and time again 
The sad truth is that Messers Stuart and company exhibited little or no energy, imagination, intelligence, initiative or leadership in tackling the festering fiscal and economic cancer, and thereby became the chief authors and manufacturers of the current, extremely dangerous foreign exchange, debt and economic crisis that our country is facing.
Truly, the combined David Thompson / Freundel Stuart Administration has been a “know nothing, do nothing– except fatten themselves” Administration!
Yet, in spite of the fact that they are the one who bear fundamental responsibility for the sad state that Barbados is currently in, their shameful attitude is not only to greedily reinstate their 10 per cent increase in salary, but to also callously settle upon the scapegoating and savaging of public servants and statutory corporation employees as “their” solution to the crisis.
As far as these political miscreants are concerned, they need their 10 per cent salary restoration in order to live, but it is okay to throw thousands of low level public servants on the dump-heap of unemployment without a concern as to how they and their dependents are to survive.
But the truly critical point I would like all Barbadians to appreciate is that when the DLP political directorate tells you that the way forward is to divest and privatize state enterprises, abandon social welfare programmes, and retrench public sector workers, it is in effect informing you that it is ABANDONING  any aspiration that the future of our country will be based upon the educated and trained masses of our people owning and controlling the major institutions of our nation.
And if the future of the nation and its economy is not to be based upon the empowerment of the masses of people, then the plan must be to base it upon a continued and enhanced empowerment of the traditional white Barbadian economic elite and the predominantly North American, European and French Creole (Trinidadian) “foreign investor” entities that they are wont to align themselves with.
But none of this should come as a surprise to any of us! We already possess stark and painful evidence of the shameful way in which the current Governmental Administration has prostrated itself before the likes of Mark Maloney, Bjorn Bjerkham, Bizzy Williams and the Da Silvas, and has conferred a series of outrageously privileged governmental contracts on these and other members of the traditional business class.
There is no doubt that Barbados is in a state of serious economic ctisis, but the way to solve that crisis is NOT to treat trade unions as “the enemy” or to savage public sector workers and their jobs. Nor is it to dismantle the critical educational, health and social welfare mechanisms that are required to produce a mass of trained and empowered citizens who are capable of appropriating and undertaking responsibility for the development of their nation.
The way forward for Barbados CANNOT be to go backward to an era in which ownership and control of our nation’s economy was firmly and squarely in the hands of a traditional white oligarchy !
On the contrary, we must continue to hold on to the notion that the economic and social development of Barbados has to be based on the foundation of a highly educated, cultured, healthy, employed and empowered mass population.
The economic situation that faces Barbados is severe but it is not insoluble. The first order of business is to re-establish the soundness of the finances and credit of our Government, and this can be achieved, but only if the public sector trade unions are treated with respect by the Government and are permitted to use their extensive and intimate knowledge of the Public Service to craft appropriate strategies. Nobody knows better than the public servants  and their  trade unions where the waste, duplication and inefficiency resides in the system . They are therefore much better equipped to craft sensible and humane strategies of change and improvement than clueless Government Ministers!
We all need to remember that when the “Movement” for the upliftment of the Barbadian masses started in earnest in the 1940’s, it was a “Labour Movement”, with the political party (the Barbados Labour Party) and trade union (the Barbados Workers Union) working together, hand in hand. The spirit of this Movement needs to be revived, but this can only happen if the trade unions are given the respect that they are entitled to.
The other major item on the national agenda has to be the devising of economic strategies to grow and develop the economy. And here again, this is not beyond us! But first of all we need to jettison the self-negating idea that either the traditional white Barbadian businessman or the so-called foreign investor is required to be our saviour. (There is a place and a role for the traditional elite Barbadian businessman and the foreign investor but it CANNOT be a place and a role of primacy!).
Secondly, we must commit ourselves to the notion that we — the tens of thousands of Bajans –will assume the primary responsibility for establishing and developing productive enterprises in our own country, and that we will do so on the basis of elevated standards of education and training for our people in general and our youth in particular.
In other words, our nation’s economic development must arise from our people’s human development, and vice versa. These two spheres of development must therefore be symbiotic and must mutually propel each other. And none of this will be possible if we demolish the “human development” of tens of thousands of our citizens by throwing thousands of public sector workers into unemployment, or if we dismantle or disable the critical human development programmes and structures that public servants man.
Indeed, the Clement Payne Movement and its sister organization, the Peoples Empowerment Party, long ago outlined the parameters of such a developmental strategy :- the development of the Education sector as a foreign exchange earning industry; the construction of a Manufacturing industry comprised of a  cooperative, centralized domestic sector and a high technology export sector; Cultural, heritage, health and sports tourism; cultural or Arts-based industries; the development of a cooperative or people’s sector of the economy; a public / private sector partnership in the development and commercialization of unique, indigenous national assets; and the list goes on.
The ideas are numerous and powerful, but their validity and potency will only become clear if one is philosophically committed to the construction of a truly democratic and egalitarian Barbados that is owned by the masses of the Barbadian people.
This was the original vision and mission of the Labour Movement. And this must be the vision and mission that we fight for when we line up behind the new , presumably Barbados Labour Party, government and our trade unions in the  months and years ahead.

BLP Launches DLP Manifesto

We had the leaked BLP manifesto and last night we witnessed the political theatrics crescendoed with leader of the Barbados Labour Party Mia Mottley pulling the DLP Manifesto from a red bag- a bag that is gaining popularity on the campaign trail. A quick scan of the manifesto promises to revolutionize agriculture under the theme building a digital economy.

Click image to read DLP Manifesto