Barbados Secures Another $100 Million

The borrowing continues with the general Barbados population non the wiser about the economic strategy – Blogmaster

World Bank Approves US$100 Million for Barbados’ Green and Resilient Recovery 


Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2023 

ESG Climate change Clean Energy Transition Financing Multilaterals 

World Bank release

Bridgetown, Barbados, January 11, 2023 — The World Bank approved yesterday $100 million in financing to support Barbados’ low carbon economic development and resilience to climate change.

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Ole time Barbados – king of the hills

Horse Hill, St. Joseph

Yesterday evening the blogmaster was fortunate to tune in to the Voice of Barbados radio station afternoon program hosted by superior radio personality Larry Mayers. He is one of a bare few, Maurice Norville another, who makes a serious attempt to program a message that connects to old Barbados.

Believe it or not his program yesterday featured hills to be found in Barbados with listeners sharing tales about the challenges of driving over Horse Hill in St. Joseph, Baxters Hill in St. Andrew, Bowling Alley Hill which connects St. Joseph to St. John, Sutherland in St. Lucy and a few others back in the day. To anticipate those who will jump in to say Barbados is flat, of course the discussions about hills is in a Barbados context.

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Tell Duguid to wheel and come again

What does Senior Minister William Duguid mean when he declared this week that Barbados “has experienced significant and disconnected suburban growth…combined with the doubling number of cars, has resulted in peak hour gridlock and increasing levels of congestion almost everywhere on the island”. He went on to PROMISE that the government “expect to develop a national transportation mobility plan that will guide future investment. We will propose transportation strategies at the island scale”.

What the hell!

What immediately came to mind after reading was – cart before the horse and the chant Mini Bus Hustle by Winston Farrell.

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Countdown to the end of the IMF program Continues (September 30th 2022)

Submitted by Kemar Stuart

Barbados is still under a state of emergency and the Emergency Management Act holds supreme as law of the land as it was extended for no logical reason by the Ministry of Health yesterday September 13th. AG Dale Marshall in the press conference sought to defend the state of emergency legislation which de facto keeps the country under a prime ministerial dictatorship.  This state of emergency legislation has a clause that gives the PM absolute power over the country as previously stated in my video and in the nation newspaper. 

(4)    When a proclamation of a public health emergency referred to in is in force, it shall be lawful for the Cabinet to make any Orders whatsoever it considers desirable in the public interest. This is a parliamentary dictatorship 

(6)    In an Order made pursuant to subsections (4)  the Cabinet may delegate to the Prime Minister the power to make such directives as may be required in the public interest. Prime Ministerial Dictatorship 

There is no emergency existing in Barbados, there will be no need to tighten protocols as we proceed full steam into the tourist season.  These dictatorship type laws need to be removed to bring democracy back to Barbados’ political system. The WHO and USA President Joe Biden declared the pandemic over however the government still finds a need to hold onto a power grab not because of a non-existent pandemic but the advantage of side stepping traditional processes under the old independence constitution which have some checks and balances in place.

While the Acting PM Santia Bradshaw and AG Dale Marshall were addressing the issue of relaxing covid protocols as recommended in my previous video and publications, a point also made by the Head of the private sector and also the head of the BHTA. The real PM mia mottley was meeting with the IMF to discuss BERT 2.0 as the countdown to the end of this current IMF comes to an end september 30th having divulged that her team are in advanced stages on pension reform . In her press conference previously she told a reporter that pension reform will indeed happen under this current program which is soon at it’s end.

Having feeling both internal and external pressure Barbados recently announced that majority of the covid-19 restrictions are to be dropped from 23rd September the financial losses are becoming too deep and this decision was announced in a press conference by acting PM Santia Bradshaw The loss of money from absent cruise ships and empty airplanes along with the fact most countries have moved past Barbados months ago is high on the list of reasons for the dropping of these restrictions as articulated by the acting PM.

This was long overdue as we had many mishaps, discrimination in how some classes of persons were treated by these covid laws and public events like general elections, crop over, unctad conference , the Afri – caribbean Conference as the public which includes the PM long ago decided that they will live with the presence of covid and lived life accordingly often ignoring the protocols.

However purposely left out the fact that The public should note Barbados has no declared constitution in place since the transition of the country to republic in 2021 and an update on when the new republic constitution should’ve been on the agenda for the acting PM and Ag’

Barbados is still under a state of emergency and the Emergency Management Act holds supreme as law of the land as it was extended for no logical reason by the Ministry of Health yesterday September 13th. AG Dale Marshall in the press conference sought to defend the state of emergency legislation which de facto keeps the country under a prime ministerial dictatorship. This state of emergency legislation has a clause that gives the PM absolute power over the country as previously stated in my video and in the nation newspaper.

(4) When a proclamation of a public health emergency referred to in is in force, it shall be lawful for the Cabinet to make any Orders whatsoever it considers desirable in the public interest. This is a parliamentary dictatorship

(6) In an Order made pursuant to subsections (4) the Cabinet may delegate to the Prime Minister the power to make such directives as may be required in the public interest. Prime Ministerial Dictatorship

There is no emergency existing in Barbados, there will be no need to tighten protocols as we proceed full steam into the tourist season. These dictatorship type laws need to be removed to bring democracy back to Barbados’ political system. The WHO and USA President Joe Biden declared the pandemic over however the government still finds a need to hold onto a power grab not because of a non-existent pandemic but the advantage of side stepping traditional processes under the old independence constitution which have some checks and balances in place.

This act must be discontinued and government should not pursue another IMF deal or pursue pension reform with this act in place.

Barbados is now a country that has no opposition leader , a country without a constitution and a country with directives that gives a PM such absolute power without any checks or balances in repeat is bordering on rouge governmental practice

Therefore committing Barbados to another program spells uncertainty especially for the future of democracy especially if your livelihood is dependent on government payout .

Only Bout Hey

Submitted by Just Observing

Only bout hey, can you rattle off a list of 40 supermarket items, but yet the supermarket total bill remains as high as ever.

Only bout hey, can a utility take money to invest in its operations, and then look to take more money years later to invest in the operations it never invested in.

Only bout hey, can a “consultant” resort to going to court to recover money from a project of which he was the Executive Chairman at the time and whose lawyer now sits in the big Chair.

Only bout hey, can the former MoF who oversaw NIS money going to a failed project become one of the country’s chief advisor on economic matters in Washington.

Only bout hey, can the Auditor General do his job year after year, only to be told year after year, we will not do ours.

Only bout hey, does a GoB claim that the systems are the problem, not the people abusing it day in and day out.

Only bout hey, can we see an increase in Covid cases and deaths, but the CMO remain behind the laptop in his office.

Only bout hey, do we send indigenous sheep to another country, instead of strengthening our own local market first

Only bout hey, can a MoT in thong and feathers say how glorious the season is, only to see the stats and stakeholders saying completely the opposite.

Only bout hey, would we depend on a single industry, watch it get decimated, then resort to depending on that single industry AGAIN

Only bout hey, can a minister not know the real or estimated cost of the largest National Identification Card project in our history.

Only bout hey, can we have three investigations into a juvenile penal institution, only to be told again…..Coming soon.

Only bout hey, can we promise 10,000 houses when we can’t even repair the 100 or so from Elsa over a year ago.

Only bout hey, can a MM vilify a MM, only to give the second MM business and concessions both in Bridge and George Towns.

Only bout hey, can a Minister of Energy lambast ordinary citizens for speaking out about energy on behalf of ordinary citizens while hugging the cloak of Parliament

Only bout hey, can a GoB devalue people’s bond investments, then ask the same people to invest in bonds

Only bout hey, can school be starting in 4 weeks and no one knows how school is starting

Only bout hey, can major education reform be in the works, but no one in education knows anything about it

Only bout hey, do we hail national athletes when they win, yet do nothing about the national stadium to help others to win

Only bout hey do we claim not to have known the NIS was in trouble, then come to the people who will suffer as a result to offer solutions.

Only bout hey, can a non-national be arrested for 3+ million dollars in drugs, and no local person at all be connected to the arrest.

Only bout hey, can “certain” major court cases disappear or be squashed, yet minor first time offences end up on remand.

Look, I gone.

BUSHIE’s Bajan Bible Version

Submitted by Bush Tea

Back in the olden days, this fella called Isaiah was shown a vision of how things would be far into the future. As a result, he issued warnings high and low directly from God who showed him the vision…. Isaiah said, inter alia, Wunna better RH listen and listen good… cause the LORD has spoken as follows: “Imagine I get these children, raised them up through thick and thin, and the brass bowls now completely turn against me? WTH!!

A cow knows who its owner is. A jackass know who feeds it But you could believe that my own BB people do NOT know where they belong? The people behaving like a bunch of idiots. No wonder their ass is grass. They have become a bunch of dishonest, mendicant, greedy, uncaring BBs – overwhelmed with crime and with wicked, unruly, corrupt children. Talking shii… about how they ‘have abandoned the LORD’ – the creator of all that exists, and how they are ‘separating God from the matters of State’ and are being more ‘inclusive’…. Dem serious?!!

How wunna people could be so damn foolish…? Wunna just enjoy suffering and pain and poverty? And yuh mean wunna going on and on and on with the jobby? DESPITE all the suffering and failures?!! Steupsss

Almost all o’ wunna sick with all kinda NCDs, heart problems, headaches, overweight, …and there are no solutions in sight…. The country is up shit street. Foreigners own every shiite – right in front of wunna faces and raping the place day in and day out. Every day wunna in deeper and deeper DEBT… Wuh – wunna worse than people who lost a war and were taken over by the enemy.

Fortunately, God has had mercy, and adopted a few BBs who stand out like beacons in the darkness. Outliers in a country of morons, cause otherwise the damn place would be like Sodom and Gomorrah. This is a WARNING. Hear the LORD’s word, wunna leaders and politicians. Listen to our God’s teaching, wunna people of ‘Gomorrah’! …and don’t come with any lotta shiite talk and mamby pamby… No Easter services, Lent sacrifices and Christmas Mass…. All those shows are just a lotta shiite… Don’t waste time with no lotta praying either – no matter how long or how pretty it sounds. ‘Cause wunna TOO wicked!!!

Clean up wunna act. Stop the lotta shiite – the bribery, the greed, the mendicancy, the spitefulness.

Stop with the albino-centric priorities.


Establish JUSTICE for everyone – big and small.

Look out for the weak – rather than pander to the rich and greedy for bribes.

Although wunna may be fully brass, wunna can become polished like gold…. Conform to the rules set by the God who created everything – and wunna can enjoy the fruits of the land. But the Lord has vowed that if wunna keep up the lotta shiite …., wunna asses for the grass.

Imagine that God’s own people have become no better than prostitutes – offering themselves for sale to foreigners by living off ‘tourism’ and ‘foreign direct investments’…

Imagine that justice is DEAD among God’s people?. Imagine that wunna leaders are just bribe-takers for the highest bidders.

But hear this. The Lord will exact a serious house-cleaning. There will be no mercy for the merciless. God’s peoples WILL be restored to righteousness after the BB ‘chaff’ is removed and burnt. From the remnants will arise a GREAT country, comprised of those who change their lives by righteousness. The lotta BBs will be disposed of …with no one able to extinguish the fire. A 2022 Bajan translation of Isaiah Chapter 1

Strike Action During a Pandemic!

The ongoing dispute between Unity Workers Union (UWU) and government exposes the boast we are an uneducated people. It seems the height of ignorance actors on both sides are unable to resolve a dispute involving healthcare workers during a pandemic. This has occurred in a country with a social partnership established with a mandate to prioritize a space to facilitate consultation, dialogue and collaboration. It must be stated Caswell has written in this space his lack of confidence in the social partnership. 

The blogmaster has no bone in the fight EXCEPT to acknowledge the life of a human being is priceless. If it is the grievances fueling the dispute for whatever reasons cannot be quickly resolved because of weighty imponderables – the raging pandemic has created the opportunity for reasonableness between the parties to be exercised. To maintain intractable positions with omicron starting to spike our rate of infections is an admission of idiocy. Bear in mind Barbados’ heavy dependence on tourism and the negative impact an elevated positivity rate will have on the country’s ability to earn precious foreign exchange. There is the possibility government’s finances may collapse and compromise its ability to service public sector payroll.

According to reports strike action about 100 strong is expected to take place this morning, a clear indication the chasm which exists between the two sides. If UWU backs down it may be interpreted as a defeat especially for the peppy head of UWU Caswell Franklyn who is fighting to increase his share of membership. If the government gives in, it opens the door for the industrial relations climate to become active at the worse time for government managing tanking revenues. 

Of concern to the blogmaster is the role Most Honourable Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic has been reported to have played so far. It was reported the former schoolmates Bostic and Franklyn had agreed to a third party mediator to move the dispute along. According to Caswell Prime Minister Mottley vetoed the meeting after her request for striking workers to return to work was rejected. This slammed the door shut on possibly resolving the matter or at minimum depositing it in the abeyance bucket. The call of a snap general election eighteen months from when it is constitutionally due ensures the door remains closed. This is the second time Bostic has found himself in a pickle in recent months. His surprising admission he knew nothing about an arrangement between a Mark Maloney led initiative and government to procure AstraZeneca Covid 19 vaccine from a non traditional procurement source continues to tug at sensible minds. It surprised many including the blogmaster that Bostic and the permanent secretary- who signed off on the strange arrangement- were conferred high national honour. Through it all the phlegmatic Bostic has been serving out his final days having given notice of retirement from politics in October 2021.

In the system of government we practice all ‘big works’ related matters continue to lead to the first among equals in Cabinet. Hopefully in the debate to come about reforming the Barbados Constitution, whichever party wins the upcoming election, Barbados will seize the opportunity to create relevant constitutional clauses to ensure decision making by the executive becomes more decentralized from the prime minister led approach synonymous with a dictatorship.

19-11 for BLP after Jettisoning Dead-weight?

Submitted by Observing

With only three weeks to guesstimate, a dispassionate analysis of the ruling party both at the constituency and Government level clearly shows that coattails washed in some dead weight in 2018. To be fair, the other lot had to go, but, 3 and a half years gives enough time to see who we were working with.

Disclaimer: These views do not take the opposing candidate into account unless there is a glaring reason to.

Who must and should go

Peter Philips – Did little to nothing for St. Lucy even after being planted in the Ministry of Housing.

Colin Jordan – Has done even less for labour than Esther Byer-Suckoo, go figure. A known name in St. Peter but little to no representation where it matters most.

Dale Marshall – Wins the award for being contradicted the most by the PM, for paying out the most taxpayers money SECRETLY even after winning a case twice and the most bungled rollout and retraction of recent laws. St. Joseph has sucked salt (without water) for too long

Sandra Husbands – Sandra who?

Neil Rowe – Coattails worked in 2018. Neil’s abundant and extraordinary weakness as an MP and a candidate are profound. The alternative is better by far.

William Duguid – For selfishly refusing to pass the baton and for being the worst Transport Minister ever. Didn’t do much better in housing either except for giving away contracts to Mark Maloney and money to the Chinese.

Indar Weir – Big talk, little action. St. Philip South hasn’t been this neglected since a certain former PM.

Ryan Straughn – Has done little to nothing for Christ Church East Central. Admittedly he was working with the 5 other Ministers of Finance, 4 consultants and reps from White Oak to increase debt and shaft voters with bonds every chance they get. Who has time to serve lowly constituents in all of that!

Sonia Browne – Nice lady. Should stick to the medical profession. Politics and politicking clearly didn’t work out for her.

Who can go back home
Kay McConney – No amount of unilateral Constitutional changes can gloss over her being dead weight at the constituency level.

Rommel Springer – Just like the DLP’s Harry Husbands Dr. R only warmed a seat and did nothing in the education ministry for just over $180,000 a year

Who could go but won’t

Edmund Hinkson – Backbencher extraordinaire aided and abetted by George. St. James North will no longer have a voice

Toni Moore – for pure betrayal of workers and shameless capitulation to capital and political expediency.

Charles Griffith – Nice fella, but you can only do so much after so many big promises.

Wilfred Abrahams – Waste of time, but the alternative is far worse. Far far far worse.

Ralph Thorne – Was never really a Bee but if the train is moving then roll with it!

Kirk Humphrey – For only showing up when a camera is around or too much noise is kept. Not to mention totally neglecting “certain specific” parts of his constituency

Who should stay due to good national appeal, constituency work, general competence or all the above

  • Mia Mottley
  • Adrian Forde
  • Marsha Caddle
  • Ian Gooding-Edghill
  • Santia Bradshaw
  • Arthur Holder
  • Trevor Prescod – Even though he now has to hold his nose and support his leader
  • Dwight Sutherland
  • Kerrie Symmonds
  • Cynthia Forde

New toss ups with nothing on which to assess

  • Corey Lane
  • Davison Ishmael
  • Christopher Gibbs

There you have it. An objective 19-11 or 18-12 government come January 20, 2022 with the power to change Constitution no longer in the hands of one person or party.

Long live the Republic!!!

Gooding Family of Southern California Extends Best Wishes to the People of Barbados, World’s Newest Republic

The Gooding Family – Matriarch Shirley Gooding (left front) April (centre) back row left to right Omar, Cuba Sr, Cuba Jr and Thomas

In honor of my late husband, Cuba Gooding Sr. – who was a dual citizen of America and Barbados – I,
Shirley Gooding and family, send this congratulatory message to the country and people of Barbados for
becoming the world’s newest Republic. My husband passed in 2017. However, there’s no doubt that if
he were living, he would have attended the recent regal ceremony to witness Barbados’ removal of the
British monarch as its Head of State after almost 400 years.

As the matriarch of the Gooding family, which includes sons and actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Omar
Gooding, daughter and actress April Gooding, and stepson and musician Thomas Ware Gooding, we
share in your joy and vision of becoming a prosperous Republic.

The Gooding family has a long history in Barbados. My husband’s ancestors were brought to the country
as slaves in the late 1700s into the early 1800s. His father, Dudley MacDonald Gooding, was born in
Bridgetown in the late 1800s. Dudley’s parents, William Gooding and Edith Augusta Walcott Gooding,
had and raised many children in Barbados. Dudley ultimately lived in Cuba before migrating to Harlem,
New York but always had a true love for his home country of Barbados.

Gooding Sr

Cuba Sr. and I first visited the lovely country of Barbados in 1998. My husband, who was the lead singer
of the legendary R&B-soul group The Main Ingredient for 47 years, was humbled and mesmerized to
walk on the same soil that his father and ancestors once walked. The visit inspired my husband to seek
Barbados citizenship, which was granted in 2001. It was perhaps his proudest honor. Over the years, he
often visited Barbados to meet relatives or perform with The Main Ingredient or as a solo artist.

As Barbados begins a new and exciting chapter as a new Republic and with a new Head of State, my
family congratulates President Sandra Mason, the country’s first-ever president, who has now replaced
Queen Elizabeth II as the country’s Head of State. We commend Prime Minister Mia Mottley and her
role in Barbados’ forward movements. In addition, we congratulate R&B and pop icon Rihanna for
Barbados honoring her as its “National Hero.” My husband greatly admired Rihanna for her unwavering
love for Barbados and saw her as a gifted and phenomenal singing star, recording artist, and performer.

In addition, we send our love to all the people of Barbados. May God bless you in your new era as a
thriving Republic. Please know that our family is proud to have deep Barbadian roots and rich Bajan
blood in our proud lineage. You will always be in our prayers and an intricate part of our future. We
look forward to visiting again.

Mrs. Shirley Gooding and Family

Long Live the Republic!

For many the decision to replace Queen Elizabeth II with former Governor General Sandra Mason will mean very little to many Barbadians. Hopefully after the government delivers on the promise to engage with the public next year about what is contained in the Barbados Constitution as a prerequisite to reform, civic awareness will be heightened. 

The time must come soon when the Constitution is regarded as a living breathing document to reflect the will and aspirations of Barbadians. One suspects it is only when such a connection is made will apathy and cynicism of Barbadians at the ‘establishment’ be replaced with trust.

The blogmaster is sympathetic to the argument there was enough time for this government to have reengaged the public to deflate a narrative which suggest switching out the head of state is about naked political opportunism or laziness on the part of the Mottley government. The old people have a saying that every thing happens for a reason. The irreversible process creates the opportunity for Barbadians to be craftsmen of our fate has started, let us make the most of it.

The first step to usher in an era of citizen engagement by formalizing to a republican system will see the consciousness of Barbadians raised to fight the good fight to sustain a quality way of life for generations to come.

Key points from the blogmaster’s toast to the nation reflecting realistic expectations:

  • Relevant transparency laws are proclaimed and operationalized
  • Auditor General reports and recommendations are not ignored
  • NIS and other important SOEs are ring-fenced from political interference 
  • Meaningful reform to the education system i.e. academic, technical
  • Vetoing lip service by respecting the environment i.e. waste management, educating citizens etc
  • Honouring the adage justice delayed is justice denied by improving delivery by Barbados Courts
  • Understanding the Bajan identity and implementing relevant strategies to nurture and grow pride and industry; retaining and repurchasing strategic assets for example
  • Reallocate tourism dollars to support agriculture and entrepreneurship; cottage industries to respond to a market place that prioritizes contractual arrangements above tenure for example 
  • Transform to a model for Renewable Energy in the world by banning the use of fossil fuel to a negligible number to fuel a new economy
  • Democratize the political party system with an objective of luring citizens of integrity to the political arena. Those willing to serve country first
  • Improve public transportation to a standard when vehicular traffic is banish from selected locations
  • Oversee a system of meritocracy (nuture a performance based culture) in Barbados

Members of the BU family are invited to share thoughts on the type of Barbados we must create for our children.

People Waking Up

Barbados has officially joined the ranks of politically polarized societies. Like the fly on the wall the blogmaster has been observing the quality of debate on a myriad of issues and as a commenter on BU would describe it, the signal noise is deafening and the divisiveness is real.

Permit the blogmaster be clear, citizens of a country giving vent to issues is expected in a working democracy. It is better than throwing rock stones at those you disagree with or worse, engaging in violent criminal acts by resorting to guns, knives and other weapons. Although Barbados has been experiencing an increase in gun play, it is mainly associated with the ‘underworld’ and has not yet permeated mainstream affairs. Again allow the blogmaster be clear, increase criminal activity in any country is linked to underlying societal issues. A subject for another day.

The challenge beginning to emerge for Barbadians is the inability of stakeholders to robustly debate issues to reach consensus or what is popularly referred to as a win win position. One may argue significant investment in education over the years should have steered us away from the current trajectory. A path that is leading to nowhere fast. Is it we are failing in the area of informal education?

All those years ago Gabby penned the popular ‘One Day Coming Soon’ banned by the Tom Adams government. Prophetically the people are waking up and we are witnessing a spiking in the lack of trust directed at the establishment – the political directorate, media, police, justice system; LAWYERS to name a few. What is creating the problem for the establishment: as it continues to sleep more citizens are waking up from various states of ignorance adding to the increase in signal noise.

Unfortunately until the political directorate makes the adjustment to align with the expectations of an ‘awoke’ people, fallout from the signal noise will continue to be a drag on any effort to move the country forward.

We have the current situation of the Mottley government forcing through the transition to a Republic. Although there is anecdotal acceptance the time has come and gone to replace the foreign ceremonial head of state with a local, there is concern enough was not done to engage Barbadians to gain buy in to the process AND if this was the plan from reading the 2018 BLP manifesto, there was enough time to have updated the Constitution in order to avoid criticism in some quarters that the piecemeal implementation does not fit an educated country well. What we see playing out as Walter Blackman accurately observed is a Barbados Labour Party government concluding it has the political capital to do as it wishes largely because of a weak political opposition.

The message in the clip never grows old and fits Barbados like a glove. Unfortunately the current predicament we find ourselves cannot be solved in weeks, months or even a few years. Good governance and concomitant success does not happen by accident, it has to be led and planned.

Watch the from 4m:50s of the video.

Join Hands Barbados – Connecting the …

Some on the blog remind us ad nauseam the influence global events have on Barbados. Such a global perspective will fail to resonate with people locked to promoting narrow agendas. It is human nature to retreat to a comfort level thinking, a high level of self awareness is required to be situationally aware at all times as it relates to making the correct decisions in thought, word and deed to realize the best outcomes. Unfortunately external factors often conspire to muddle what is theoretically a good thought process.

With the dismantling of national boundaries made possible with the ease of travel, Internet, tourism and other ‘channels’ that permit DNS like attacks on local culture- the burning question is how are small developing states like Barbados with open economies able to execute countermeasures for the good of country.

Dismantling racist tendencies in the world – join the debate if classism more accurately describes Barbados’ challenge – can be dispassionately viewed against the rise of the #blacklivesmatter movement, #windrush revelations, and of recent the #azeemrafiq affair. The world continues to treat with racism and prejudices, it is endemic in all societies. The struggle is real and must continue until humankind ceases to exist…

Barbados is a country overly dependent on tourism and its nexus international business. There was a time the Caribbean was an easy sell to markets across the pond because of our virgin like appeal and other attributes. Today there is fierce competition from non traditional players who promote offers that titillate imaginations of travellers in ways one dimensional Caribbean destinations cannot now compete. A story about the collapse of tourism costing five Asian nations 1.6 million jobs in the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Mongolia due to the pandemic emphasizes what we, including policymakers should know. In order to sustain a quality of life for our children, to rely on a fickle tourism product is analogous to building on sand, although possible, fraught with high risk.

What is a lowly blogmaster living on a 2×3 rock saying? It may be too late but our survival depends on Barbadians coming together with the common aim that positions the interest of BARBADOS front and centre. Down with the divisiveness that continues to have a deleterious effect on our society. There is a reason education receives a large junk of the national budget.

In Defence of OUR Prime Minister

The blogmaster has been a long time admirer of what is perceived as a higher level of expression of love of country expressed by Jamaicans, Bahamians, Trinidadians and a few others compared to Barbadians. A visit to the USA, UK and Canada to name three destinations Caribbean people have emigrated in numbers, you are sure to find ‘spots’ where food and other activities nurture the culture of the countries mentioned. Barbadians on the other hand are known to be more laid back and less visible to compare. 

November is the month we celebrate the lowering of the Union Jack in 1966 – in 2021 there will be the added celebration of the seminal moment we shift to a Republic. We will jettison the Queen of England and install a local, current Governor General Dame Sandra Mason. In theory this SHOULD be a moment that infuses Barbadians everywhere with pride. 

Barbadians have recently been subjected to several critiques of Prime Minister Mia Mottley from the Trinidad space. These so called social commentators have the same MO, first they register admiration of her oratory and other skills, the quick growth of her personal brand on the global stage, then proceed to attack the government of Barbados for its weak economy often citing our debt to GDP which has reverted to north of 140. True to form, Barbadians are quick to share these messages on social media platforms to bolster personal and political agendas.

There should be no argument that on the 24th of May 2018, key economic indicators confirmed the poor state of our economy. In a short three years the condition was made acute because of the ongoing pandemic, ashfall from La Soufrière volcano and hurricane Elsa did not help the cause. The blogmaster will accept the counter-argument that policies of successive governments which Mottley was a member significantly contributed to our current state. We get the political argumentation. 

In the opinion of the blogmaster, these messages being crafted by so called social commentators from neighbouring countries are designed with the purpose to make Barbadians “know their place”. How dare a person from a 2×3 island with an economy in the dumps be perceived as the leader of the Caribbean. In this space Mottley and her government will continue to feel political blows as warranted, however, Barbadians must know when to defend our good name and bare teeth by separating the wheat from the chaff.

Earlier this month Dr. Terrence Farrell a former Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and current director of Republic Bank sought to publicly school Prime Minister Mottley on the rudiments of asset liability management in banking after her “off-the-cuff and quip laden” remarks at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce luncheon. It seems Mr. Terrence’s palaver was to deliver a message to Prime Minister Mottley [quoted below]. It is not hidden from some the head of the local banker’s association is headed by the managing director of Republic Bank, Trinidadian.

It certainly doesn’t help when regional governments get economic policy wrong, and then have to restructure their domestic debt, including taking the unprecedented step of restructuring Treasury Bills which banks rely on for short-term liquidity management.

Mia Mottley and the banks

Those attending the BCCI understood Mottley was engaged in what politicians do when a general election is on the horizon with an enraged public up in arms about banks and credit unions charging Barbadians a $6.00 fee for withdrawals at ATMs. The blogmaster is disappointed Barbadians at large – including the traditional media – have not seized the opportunity to defend these veil attacks against the office of prime minister and by extension BARBADIANS notwithstanding political affiliations.

We are Barbadians first!

Difficult Conversations – Of the Highest Order

Returning to my parked car, I noticed a broken licence plate on my windshield. It looked oddly familiar. Viewing the front of my car confirmed that it was mine.

Every collision I had with that car was while it was parked in a parking lot. The damage was always minor, so I never called my insurance company. Actually, in my 30 years of driving, I have never made a claim – so why continue to pay for car insurance?


I asked that question to provoke you to think. You would be reckless to knowingly be a passenger in an uninsured bus. You would be depraved to encourage others to join you. Only an idiot of the highest order would drive one after cancelling the insurance.

You should insure against likely risks that you cannot afford to pay if they occurred. Regardless of how careful a driver you may be, if you drop in a pothole, you can lose control of your vehicle. You may be able to afford the repair costs of your vehicle, but not the medical expenses of your injured passengers.


An insurance policy is a contract that states what both parties are obligated to do. If you want the insurance, then drivers must agree to the restrictions that are designed to protect passengers. For example, all new drivers must be approved by the insurance company. Minors will not be approved regardless of how competent they are, or how much you want them added to the policy.

If you think that the insurance company’s conditions are infringing on your rights, then you may cancel the insurance policy at any time. But you must still humble yourself and get insured with another company, that may have more onerous requirements. What is not an option is to drive passengers while your vehicle is uninsured.


Every 5 years, we elect drivers to drive our national bus. When our bus needs maintenance, we pay additional taxes to buy the parts, so that all passengers may remain safe. A driver who suggests that we could save money by cancelling our insurance, should not be trusted to drive our bus.

One of the insurance conditions that our drivers hate, is the independent audits. Every year, an independent auditor must tell passengers the actual cost of the bus parts, that our drivers claimed were needed. Every year, the auditor tells us that we were overcharged for the bus parts. But we are so politically divided that we no longer care.


Barbados has changed much since our Independence. We are no longer guardians of our heritage for our children. Once we can afford to pay the excessive taxes to pay for the overcharged parts, we do not care about the suffering of our neighbours who cannot afford to pay.

We defend and encourage the corruption of our drivers, and willingly wear their red and yellow shirts every 5 years to get them elected. Once we have taken what we can from this country, we are willing to recklessly damage it for our children. How did we become so heartless?


Barbados is insured against torrential rainfall, hurricanes and earthquakes, through the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Financing Facility (CCRIF). Despite not being impacted by a major hurricane or earthquake since our Independence, only enemies of Barbados would encourage our leaders to cancel that insurance.

Barbados is also insured against aggressor nations – our enemies. Commercial insurance is paid out in money. Defence insurance is paid out in blood and military equipment, as soldiers, whom we do not know, will be ordered to defend us. We have taken for granted the deterrent effect of our defence insurance.


Our defence insurance costs Barbadians very little. The Queen commands the British Military, so we simply need to maintain a Governor-General. The Governor-General protects our armed forced from being politicised, and ensures that the annual independent audits are done. Our drivers hate that accountability, and have devised a way to get rid of it.

Our drivers retell the myth that they have told since our Independence – that we need to throw off the remnants of colonialism to be free. We are already Independent and free, but we have chosen to maintain insurance against natural disasters and foreign aggressors. We also want to know when we have overpaid eight times for bus parts.


To get their own way, our drivers plan to cancel our defence insurance, without our consent, on 30 November 2021. On 1 December 2021, we will be forced to be uninsured passengers, and they will become drivers – of the highest order.

The BLP, DLP and other political parties, want uninsured passengers – for their own purposes. Our established media do not allow any balanced discussion on the Republic issue. Our drivers’ actions appear unlawful, but not one of the over 900 lawyers on this bus has challenged it in the Courts. Solutions Barbados stands alone.


Our drivers have no mandate, from us, to cancel our insurance. The Bs and Ds are out canvassing, so it seems that they will call an early General Election. It seems that they believe that passengers are so politically abused and economically desperate, that they will vote for their own destruction in exchange for a few trinkets.

Solutions Barbados stands alone in advocating for passengers to remain insured, until they choose not to be. We have 15 Candidates, but Barbadians in every constituency should be given a choice. If you love and fear God, hate corruption, and feel a burning desire to give the people of Barbados a competent alternative, then you may contact us.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at

Difficult Conversations – Giving Away Your Birth-right

Every human being, regardless of nationality or economic situation, has the same birth-right. It is their right to be true to themselves. This may be called personal integrity – a consistent and uncompromising adherence to truth, regardless of the beneficial or harmful consequences of doing so. This right is for a lifetime.

Knowing what is true of a specific issue may not always be known, but it may be found through honest evidence-based (or scientific) discussion of that issue.

Adherence to truth is an invaluable possession. Like any other possession, it can be traded. Since it is invaluable, it cannot be purchased, because there is nothing of comparable value. It can only be exchanged. Exchanging truth for truth is a meaningless exchange. Truth can only be exchanged for a lie.


There are two types of leaders – those who serve, and those who are served. All of us are born entirely dependent on others for our survival. As we grow into adulthood, we desire to be both independent, and all that we can be. Servant-leaders implement policies that facilitate that personal growth, so that people can reach their potential.

For various reasons, some people prefer to be dependent as adults. Whether because of trauma or mis-education, some people have no real aspirations and are fearful of being independent. They prefer to serve parent-leaders, and are content with symbolic declarations of illusory aspirations.


Leaders who are forced to lead a dependent people are doing something unnatural. Responsible parenting prepares the next generation to become independent. A generation that prefers to serve a parent-type leader, rather than soaring, needs additional training to prepare them for adulthood.

Leaders are not supposed to parent adults. When they take on that role, despite their best intentions, they can only turn that loving natural act into something tragically grotesque. For example, a servant leader will aim to provide an economic environment where parents can easily care for their elderly parents. Parent-leaders will aim to force the elderly in institutions, where they can be efficiently attended to.

Paradoxically, the deeper the care that motivates parent-leader policies, the more the implementation of those policies tends to retard and suffocate the led.


Those most retarded in their development, tend to initially view increasing Government forced control as a comforting motherly embrace. Those who desire to soar will feel the tightening yoke of oppression. If the public rebels against the suffocating policies, the nation may enter an age of tyranny as leaders forcibly try to maintain control.

Every nation has its extreme radical activists with unpopular radical agendas. Extreme radical activists continually invite leaders to force their radical agendas on the public. Wise leaders decline those invitation. Unwise leaders do not.

Parent-leaders who attempt to force radical agendas, that are not supported by truth, on a country, cause the people to confront their true selves. Those citizens are presented with the clear choice of either sacrificing their personal integrity to support their leader’s adopted agenda, or standing for truth. Barbados was recently tested in this manner.


In an age where almost all white persons were: racists, white supremacists, and/or enslavers, Horatio Nelson was the rare anomaly. He went against the racist cultural norms of his time, and employed and promoted black persons the same as whites on his ships. He hated slavery – with a passion, and likely freed more slaved outside of North America than any other person during his lifetime.

Nelson demonstrated excellence in the pursuit of truth. Following his death, several statues of him, of varying quality, were erected. The statue of perhaps the finest quality, was erected in Barbados over 200 years ago.


Recently, some of our extreme radical activists wanted Nelson’s statue destroyed. To achieve their agenda, they promoted Nelson as a: racist, white supremacist, enslaver, and mass murderer of Barbadians – without evidence.

More contemporary books were likely written about Nelson than any other person. Those books were written, during the racist slavery era that he lived, by his: colleagues, enemies, and independent historians. Those books contained the good, the bad, and a lot of ugly about Nelson. But none of them accuse him of being a: racist, white supremacist, enslaver, or mass murderer of Barbadians. That is a recent invention.


I wrote five evidence-based cited research-articles to investigate the truth. Our radical activists responded with racial slurs. They also ignored thousands of documents in the historical record, and point to a single unauthenticated letter, published in an obscure slavery-supporting newspaper, years after Nelson’s death, that did not justify their claims. Further, the likely forged letter is not part of the recipient’s formal collection of letters received.

I was asked why I was defending that white enslaver of our ancestors. I repeatedly explained that I was defending truth, not Nelson. I further explained that once we crossed the boundary of deliberately accepting lies over truth, just to support an agenda that we may support, that we would damn the next generation to a life of tyranny.

The credible historical record of Barbados contains persons who are provably: racist, white supremacist enslavers, and mass murderers of black Barbadians. Our extreme radical activists do not target them, for the apparent reason that it does not tempt Barbadians to exchange their birth-right for a lie.


Some of our activists are opposing the Government’s foreseen military-managed forced mandatory vaccination program. Others are opposing being forced into Republicanism. However, this is only the beginning. Despite being manipulated into opposing camps, every camp will eventually feel the pressure.

Barbadians should rightfully protest against the pressure. However, like Sampson not knowing that his hair was cut, our activists and their supporters seem oblivious to the fact that they have already given away their personal integrity – and have none left.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at

Sometimes the Right Path is Not the Easiest One

It is during times we are currently the blogmaster misses the contributions of late Pat Hoyos from the media space. The lack of financial literacy by the local fourth estate- especially at a time the economy is experiencing unprecedented stress- should be a concern to Barbadians. For more than two decades using the popular metric debt-to-gdp, it has been trending in the wrong direction made worse by the global recession of 2006.

Successive governments have taken decisions that will impact households for generations. It seems a no-brainer a country vested in educating its people with annual budgets north of $500,000.00 should be experiencing a greater return evidence by our ability to engage in more insightful debate about the financial affairs of state.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Attributed to Albert Einstein

What will it take to explain to the average educated Barbadian the bad outcomes that will result if we remain locked to consumption behaviours which translates to spending more than we are earning? Listen any day of the week to the usual ‘educated’ talking heads regurgitating tired narratives which confirms zero return on ROE (Return on Education). 

It was refreshing to listen recently to local talk show host Dr. Kristina Hinds pushing back on the tired narratives by offering the correct view that the pandemic is a game changer. The controversial fiscal policies implemented by the Mottley administration- at continuing great sacrifice to Barbadians- to chart a new path for the economy has been eroded. We need a new plan. Even IF the developed world agrees to some debt forgiveness or moratorium on loans, if we do not change our consumption patterns, we will be at this point down the road – unless we create opportunities to earn our way in the world that are sustainable.

The global recession of 2006 is known to have destroyed individual wealth and levelled havoc on the social landscape of Barbados. The pandemic has added weight to our problems. Local talking heads tossing about sterile unemployment numbers, offering glib commentary about the need to grow the economy, although relevant falls short of projecting a holistic view to reset the misplaced priorities of citizens. These expectations must be disrupted and recalibrated to current align with current reality.

The local economy was in distress long before the pandemic. It seems the Mottley administration with an eye on 2023 maybe doing the country a disservice by delaying the implementation of necessary policy measures in order to shore up popularity. Unfortunately this is the dysfunction caused by our culture of adversarial politics. We are in a dark place when the paramountcy of political parties take priority above national concerns.

For leaders in the country to be pushing pre Covid 19 talking points given the current state of affairs exposes a level of ignorance, incompetence, ‘indolence’ and dishonesty. On the present trajectory there is an inevitability to the outcome.

The time has come for the good of country for our leadership to take the people onboard by dispassionately distilling the issues at hand to inform the path with the highest probability of survival in the near term. The blogmaster appreciates there is no play book to select a best practice given the unprecedented nature of where we find ourselves. If we are to find the right path out of this mess, we will have to do it together.

Excellent News BUT …!

An approach to creating new pathways to generate economic activity by the Mottley administration has been to discover new and deepen existing relationships with African countries. It is axiomatic that an island built on slave labour should prefer to nurture a wholesome relationship with the Mother Country. Despite the political noise created when Prime Minister Mottley toured African countries early in her tenure, it seems a no-brainer if one considers that commercial trade with traditional markets has increasingly been adversely affected by the geopolitics of the More Developed Countries (MDCs).

Unfortunately in the last 20 years, to pick the period of worse social and economic decline, Barbados has experienced a falloff in thought leadership among key stakeholders – government; public sector, private sector, non governmental organizations; trade unions. The easy path to exploit a service/tourism based economy popularized by the Owen Arthur AND vigorously pursued by his successors has landed the gem of the Caribbean in the spot of bother we find ourselves.

The news that two Barbadian Fintech companies GIFTS and IPAY have signed an agreement with a major Nigerian service provider to allow entry to the Nigerian and potentially to the wider African market represent baby steps but encouraging nevertheless. The Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC) must continue with this kind of trade penetration facilitated by our Embassy/High Commissions. Appointments to these outposts are perceived by the public as a sweet deal with the opportunity to acquire ‘perks’ to feast on return from the overseas assignment.

Barbadians have developed a level of entitlement given our passage in a pre-globalized world. To compete in the present AND future marketplace, strategies to facilitate and sustain a good number on the Human Development Index (HDI) demands urgent change. No ifs or buts. Many years of debate in this space (search BU Archives using tag ‘governance’) and elsewhere point to radical changes that must occur if Barbados is to disrupt the trajectory the social and economic free-fall direction the country continues to be locked. It must begin with key changes to how we educate our people. It must begin with key changes to the governance structure. It must start …

The blogmaster has observed the attempt by the government to fast track digital transformation in the public sector and be a lead influencer in the Barbados space. In October of 2018 the Mottley administration set up a regulatory sandbox administered by the Central Bank of Barbados to allow fintech companies the space to innovate. There was the introduction of robotics at the teaching college. All of this is commendable but the pace must quicken to achieve meaningful outcomes in a world that is on the move. The last administration started on a similar journey to significantly increase penetration to domestic energy supply with renewables, over a decade later we have fallen short at where we should have been. Given the current state of affairs in the country mixed with our obligation to give the next generation a fighting chance to build and protect a quality life, WE must not continue with the vacuous and lethargic approach to leading our affairs.

A favourite quote of the blogmaster is ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’, many think they know but in actuality they know not. The upside is that this is the scenario that gives rise to good leaders. There is a lot the country needs to do and it is good to see a few reforms have started. Let’s hope that more can be completed to quicken the pace of transformation to lead to diversification of our economy and the knock-on benefit to the social landscape of Barbados.

Barbados in a Wobble

Barbados is currently being affected by significant ash fall from the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent. Dust in the air, dust everywhere. There is the consolation view Barbadians should be thankful because we do not have it as bad as Vincentians on the ground- many who have seen priceless possessions destroyed or damaged. Thousands have had to be evacuated to shelters in the South or neighbouring islands to stay with relatives and friends.

We have had reports of damage to properties in Barbados- water damage from blocked drainpipes, guttering ripped from houses due to the weight of the ash, clogged guttering but nothing to compare with the depressing pictures coming out of St. Vincent. There is the saying he who feels it knows it.

It still has been a lousy last 15 years for Barbadians. Some hate the term the lost decade but we have to admit the island has been in a spiral since the global recession of 2007. The Thompson/Stuart period of government tried to right the economy and failed spectacularly. The electorate voted for a change in government in 2018 and created history by returning the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to office with a 30-0 victory. Some will argue we are not falling as fast but …

Immediately on taking the reins of government a premeditated decision was taken by the Mottley led government with her battery of financial advisors to aggressively restructure domestic and foreign debt. The result is that a generation of middleclass Barbadians having prepared well for retirement have suffered a significant dent in financial fortune. The social and economic effect is still to be measured because of the decision. Some will argue it had to be done to slow the descent into the economic pit we find ourselves, others will ask- who brought us here, why are we here after the experiences of the 70s and early 90s. What cannot be refuted is that for the first time since 1966 Barbadians have been suffering from economic fatigue of the unprecedented kind. Not to forget the pandemic Covid 19. Not to forget the 2021 hurricane season is rapidly approaching.

What is the point of cobbling these thoughts?

If Barbados were a human being urgent counselling and phycological care would be urgently recommended.

Unlike some here the blogmaster does not have the answers to our problems nicely gift wrapped. Solutions no doubt are to be found in adopting the best leadership approaches that will influence all facets how we prefer to live our life. As a people we tend to look to politicians to provide answers to our problems often times forgetting they are mere mortals who sat next to us in school and come from among us. This type of laissez-faire thinking must be ignored and significantly more Barbadians must become more strident advocates to support the cause for advancement of the country. The whole of Barbados is the sum of all of us. Thought leadership must come to the fore before it is too late.

Truth be told we will continue to box these issues into the political and therefore have to live with the results. Should the blogmaster go with the flow and ask with 2023 approaching what are the options? Is the DLP ready? Unfortunately we see no other options available for the electorate. We will always get the government we deserve.

Rebuilding Barbados

Submitted by Peter Lawrence Thompson

The pandemic is a paradox; on one hand it has destroyed our major industry, but on the other it is giving us a once in a lifetime opportunity to rebuild a much more resilient economy around services that we provide digitally to the global marketplace.

Our economic future is under a dark cloud because the COVID-19 pandemic has had a particularly devastating effect on Barbados. It has triggered an 18% annual slump in economic activity, raised unemployment to levels not seen for generations, slashed tax revenue, and ballooned the national debt. This harms all Barbadians, but it is particularly damaging to the life prospects of young people, not only because they have a disproportionately high unemployment rate but also because they will have to shoulder the burden of the expanded national debt over the coming decades.

The economic shock has been this severe because of our dependence on the tourism industry.  Tourism used to earn Barbados well over a billion USD each year, much more than the offshore financial sector, rum exports, and every other export put together… but the tourism industry collapsed by more than 90% in the last three quarters of 2020.

But this threatening cloud does have a silver lining. Last year a member of the Barbados Jobs & investment Council asked me to write a memo to Cabinet outlining my proposal to create a one year visa for remote workers. They announced the 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp nine weeks later and it’s been the only good economic news we’ve had all year, pumping tens of millions of US dollars into the local economy. 

This programme has seen strong growth because it is in alignment with emerging opportunities exposed by the ways COVID-19 is changing global economies. Many millions of people, particularly technology professionals, in Europe and North America now work remotely from home; the Welcome Stamp programme has proved to be an effective way to motivate some of them to move to Barbados and work remotely from here.

Some of these new long term visitors are experienced digital nomads who have been travelling all over the world for years and are familiar with established digital nomad hotspots like Bali, Playa del Carmen, or Chiang Mai. However, for the majority of Welcome Stamp arrivals this is the first time they have worked remotely outside of their home jurisdiction, so most of them are better described as digital expats rather than digital nomads.

The Welcome Stamp is already more important to the Barbados economy than cruise ship tourism. Caribbean economist Marla Dukharan has estimated that the median annual spend per household is well over $50k USD. At this rate, the 2,000+ Welcome Stamp visitors that have already been approved will contribute more than $100 million USD to the Barbados economy on an annual basis, which is twice as much as our entire cruise ship tourism sector ever did in its most profitable year. Given that our inventory of available accommodation among villas, Airbnb apartments, and apartment hotels can accommodate many thousands of households, the potential exists to scale this sector to many hundreds of millions of USD in annual economic impact within a short time frame.

However, our ambitions go very far beyond simply becoming another digital nomad hot spot. The major distinction between Barbados and digital nomad hotspots is the issue of who has agency… who is setting the agenda… who is calling the shots. 

Traditional digital nomads style themselves ‘citizens of the world’ as they seek out new exotic locations and descend upon them en masse without any prior permission or consent of the local populations. They seek benign climatic environments and the most affordable costs of living. They often stay in one location for only two or three months before either jetting off to the next hot spot, or dashing across a nearby international border only to re-enter soon afterward as a way of getting around visa restrictions. Because the local populations are not in primary decision making roles, this can have adverse effects on local socioeconomic conditions, with digital nomads clustered in ghettos that do not optimally support local economic development or cultural integration.

In Barbados we have done things differently, with local decision makers in the driver’s seat. We have set a US$50k minimum annual income so that Welcome Stamp visitors have the capacity to contribute significantly to our local economy, we have priced the new visa at a level which discourages those who lack commitment,  and we have made the visa 12 months long with the possibility of renewal so that these visitors also have the time to build meaningful relationships with Barbados and Barbadians. We are not simply attracting visitors, we are inviting potential long term neighbours.

The Welcome Stamp programme gives us the opportunity to leverage this influx of highly skilled knowledge workers and entrepreneurs by building formal structures for knowledge transfer to Barbadian society. This is knowledge that Barbadian society needs to assimilate in order to prosper in the 21st century, and the influx of Welcome Stamp visitors presents us with an unparalleled strategic opportunity for doing so.

Although the explosive growth of remote work has been catalyzed by the COVID pandemic, many large technology companies like Coinbase, Dropbox, Spotify, Twitter, and VMware have adopted it as a permanent feature of their organizations with all employees being able to work from anywhere they choose from here on.

This is the leading edge of a global economic transformation that will be parallel to the migration of blue collar manufacturing jobs from North America and Europe to places like China. China used this job migration to evolve from impoverishment to a top global power in only a few decades. Over the next few decades there will be a similar huge migration of white collar jobs (most of which use digital technologies to provide services) away from North America and Europe. Barbados can be very well positioned to be the beneficiary of this historic migration.  This evolution will shift tens of millions of well paid jobs… we only need to capture tens of thousands of them, a mere 0.1%, in order to revolutionize our economy.

The overwhelming majority of  Welcome Stamp visitors are either employees of businesses that use digital technologies to provide services to a global marketplace, or they are entrepreneurs who have founded such businesses themselves. In order for Barbados to prosper in the 21st century, we need to master these digital technologies that power the global economy. Both as employees and as entrepreneurs, we need to be selling our services directly into a global marketplace. 

The emphasis needs to be on digitally provided services because our local market is very tiny and we are thousands of kilometres away from most people in global marketplaces; shipping any material object over these thousands of kilometres incurs transportation costs which often make the item uncompetitive. Barbadians need to imitate the Welcome Stamp visitors by working remotely, selling either skilled labour or entrepreneurial services directly to the global marketplace.

The real value for Barbados is not so much for a few thousand visitors from some global metropolis to live here each earning a minimum US$50k/year salary.  The real value is for tens of thousands of Barbadians to be living here and working remotely for the same companies that these visitors do, or working for entrepreneurial ventures that sell services globally, and also be earning a minimum US$50k/year salary. 

This is the strategy which will enable us to rebuild Barbados: these are the jobs that will sustain a prosperous new Bajan middle class in the coming decades. 

Remote Work Barbados is collaborating with others in both the private and public sectors to make sure that Barbados is able to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity… because Bajans deserve to be earning $50k USD/year too.

Message to Barbadians

The climate developing countries have to manage affairs of state appears to be very challenging at this time. Barbados the former colony can no longer expect to hide or be protected by England. There was a time we benefited from preferential trade treatment which seemed fair in a dog eat dog world where the ‘strongest’ always has the best chance to navigate challenges.

In a post 54th independence period sensible Barbadians are forced to reflect and to ask – where do we go from here?

Some debate whether the decline of the Barbados economy (and society) started in the 70s, what is for certain is that the decline accelerated after the 2008 global recession. The structure of our economy with an over reliance on services made us extremely vulnerable to significant slowdown in the world economy. Unfortunately we have been unable to patch the vulnerability which has been exposed again by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Reading many comments on BU and listening to commentary elsewhere, it has become painfully obvious despite the dark challenges facing Barbados there are unrealistic expectations the leadership of the country has not address. Barbadians for many years have enjoyed a reasonable standard of living supported by deficit financing in the post Barrow period. There is nothing wrong with spending more than you earn but it is a practice which cannot be sustained. Successive governments in the last four decades have borrowed heavily to pursue national budget objects. We can continue to quibble about who to blame and see where that get us.

The blogmaster is palpably aware from walking among Barbadians on a daily basis that many are suffering from a form of ‘Alice in Wonderland Syndrome’. At a household level commonsense would dictate that supporting a lifestyle of spending more than one earns will lead eventually to a problem. Why do Barbadians expect a different outcome if successive governments continue to engage in reckless financial management? We have spent billions on education, should citizens possess the awareness to translate it to a strident lobby against the establishment to ensure realistic policy decisions are implemented? What about other key stakeholders in civil society like media houses/practitioners and NGO groups?

In the 54 Not Out blog there is a cursory discussion about local media. We have a David Ellis who has been the standout media person in Barbados over the years but a single journalist will not do it. Also we do not have the columnists of the past who provoked deep thought in the population the likes of Oliver Jackman, Gladstone Holder, Leonard Shorey to name only three. Active NGO groups are important as well because interest can be more forcefully represented in numbers. We are at a place in Barbados all problems must be solved by the government. To move forward we must implement a fit for purpose governance model. The reactionary approach to managing our affairs will not deliver meaningful long term results. We fail to plan, we plan to fail.

This morning as the blogmaster sips from a cup of peppermint tea alone with his thoughts, it is clear the country is suffering from a ‘fatigue’, especially wrought by the post 2008 period. This was compounded by a severe policy prescription that has decimated the hopes and dreams of the middleclass forced to witness a manhandling of nest eggs in the most unprecedented way. Finally came Covid 19.

The unprecedented times in which we live demands a degree of planning and collaboration between stakeholders in civil society never envisaged. The blogmaster is unable to reconcile conversations emanating from the mouths of key actors given what the national imperatives should be. Propping up a lifestyle fuelled by conspicuous consumption must be addressed. Calibrating our educations system to produce citizens who can compete to support themselves. Dismantling sub cultures and replace with initiatives to nurture national pride. The forgoing should positively impact crime. Last but not least the environment. We have to care about the space in which we have to exist.

No more tea…

Discuss for 15 marks.

Becoming the SINGAPORE of the Caribbean

The pace at which Singapore has achieved so-called first world status- in a generation- has ensured mention in case studies to be found in any management volume of standing. By every account it is a well managed country directed by a relevant strategic plan, disciplined society, adequate workforce with required skill sets to execute plans, routine enforcement of laws etc. You get the picture. It is a country serious about effectively and efficiently directing its resources.

One cannot recognize Singapore’s success without the mention of the benevolent dictator Lee Kuan Yew whose approach to governing is labelled authoritarian pragmatism. Whether a benevolent or malevolent dictator Lee Kuan Yew was able to operate above the strictures of a democracy therefore charting a course for Singapore from a personal vision. What we are seeing today is the legacy effect of his tenure from 1959 to 1990.

The preamble serves to introduce Rwanda which has been dubbed the Singapore of Africa. The average person will remember Rwanda for the genocide that occurred against the Tutsi group a short 25 years ago. It is reported that 800, 000 million were killed. The question that immediately springs to mind is how in a relatively short time Rwanda was able to undergo a transformation to be the Singapore of Africa.

“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘you are not a painter’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

– Vincent Van Gogh

Enter former military leader Paul Kasgame. What is common is that both Singapore and Rwanda have been led by ‘dictators’. Both countries have scarified on civil liberties in order to advance the country on the economic prosperity index. The observation one can make is the key role transportation has played in the transformation to support being a significant business hub player.

Watch the following video to appreciate why we have to lift our game. The facile approach to policy formulation and execution will not significantly move the needle to achieve a model for success necessary to sustain our people by being competitive in a muy competitive world. The 65k question – what should be Barbados’ model for success.

The video is a short 13 minutes which aligns with the attention span of many on the blog.

A Case for Less Intrusive Government

Submitted by Ziggy Greene

I have submitted many times that we in Bim need a new if not different political philosophy of governance. Both our main parties are social democrats or a variant thereof. There is really no daylight between the two in terms of political ideology. Both support social programmes and the only differential is the degree to which they do so. Whilst that gets them bragging rights every five years or so it has resulted in a mendicant Bim. One that sees bajans dependent on central government and if the government does not act we seem clueless as how to proceed. For example, grass would spring up in the road in front our house and unless the government come and weed it, it would dawn upon only a few of us that we could get a hoe, weed the said grass and dispose of it. Instead we would get a newspaper to take a photo of the grass and us protesting and imploring government to act. “That is their job” we would admonish, “ that is what I pay taxes for. “ This must stop.

I was very pleased by the St George North by election candidate, Grenville Phillips the Second’s plan, “ to make St George North the most prosperous constituency in Barbados” by people coming together to work for the betterment of themselves and their community. I implore every bajan to have a read and digest it carefully.

It has always been my contention that all political philosophies must change after 10 years if not sooner or they become a problem unto themselves. Whilst social democracy was in my opinion necessary at the beginning of independence when Barrow sought to expand free secondary and implement free university education, free health care etc. to assist the largely poor and disenfranchised black population, it is my position that that has ran way past its usefulness. In those days black parents would make sure that their children do their homework and pressure them to do well in school to avoid a life time of toil for the white man on the plantation for decent work in government. Not so today.

After 50 plus years of such point of service freeness, so to speak, we have become complacent. We rely too much on government. We expect to be employed by government after we get our big degrees. And if we are not or if government can’t pay us the wage we demand, we march, we protest, we bring down the government. This must stop. When we depend upon government to such an extent, the government owns us. We are their pawns to be used and abused every election cycle with gimmicks like de-bushing and building a playing pavilion whilst it employs sycophants as high paying consultants. Again this must stop.

I am a liberal in the traditional sense of the word not the American version. I want to see a smaller government, a less intrusive government but a caring and effective government; one that works for all its people. Power should be in the hands of the bajan majority, and by power I mean, economic power, from which every other power stems.

In that regard I am a sort of Garveyite. I want to see Blacks in Bim pool together and own businesses where they won’t be dependent on government and the white private sector for jobs. Where when they set out to study they would be thinking of how they would employ the theory learnt to advance business pursuits, how they could tap into the black diaspora and opportunities throughout the world especially on the African continent to build and share wealth among immediate family and wider Bim.

Equally government should not be involved in business directly but should make sure that the playing field for doing business is level, ensure that a business could be started easily all things being equal, that certain sectors of the community can’t gang together to squeeze out another section, that regulations for business to business, and people to business interface are in place and applied across the board.

All state owned enterprises and government sectors except those enforcing such regulations above and other services to be mentioned, should be sold off to employees acting collectively, trade unions or credit unions as a matter of policy. And an agreement signed to say that should there be cause for a resale of the business, government will have a majority say. This would serve to ensure that such enterprises are not sold off to certain sectors.

It this way the civil service will be reduced and economic power will redound to the majority in a collective style of ownership. That is not to say that government will have no power. Government will still have to provide security, health, and education for citizens. It goes without saying that the police will have to be independently run by an oversight body free of government interference. Education would be placed in the hands of board of governors with each school setting its own agenda according to the overall education mandate of government after broad consultation with employers and other segment of the society. The running of the QEH and polyclinics will be passed off to an authority independent of government authority but with government setting out priorities after broad consultation as to the health of the society and remediation.

The larger and more overarching role government should play is to encourage civic expectation from each citizen and show how this function is crucial to a well-functioning society. A society that is free to practice any religion or non religion, freedom of speech and expression, free to travel and interact among itself as long as such freedoms do not interfere with the freedoms of other bajans. Civic expectation also would include keeping our surroundings clean, not littering, no discrimination and a focus on making Bim livable for all bajans.

I know this sounds a bit pie in the sky but remember without vision people perish.

This piece does not address government’s right to tax for services provided and re pay outstanding debts etc.. That is another matter for discussion. It must also be remembered that government taxes derive from businesses and without such businesses government can’t provide services. So, the more businesses the more broad based and less encumbering taxes are.

BERT to the Rescue

The government has announced its decision to lead the country into an IMF program. Soon the citizenry will brace for the roll out of phase two, three and the several others that will be required – given the stasis state of recent – to kick start the economy and the social benefits that must be be sustained and improved.

The blogmaster shares the following video to support the job of continuing to create awareness about our current state, the plan and …

Corruption Dry Talk

The blogmaster has participated in three general elections in the decade since Barbados Underground (BU) was established. There was the memorable 2008 general election when a young David Thompson wrestled the government from a tired Owen Arthur. In 2013 Freundel Stuart was given a second chance to be his own man after taking over from David Thompson who died in office on 23 October 2010. And in 2018 Barbados recorded its first female prime minister. Mia Mottley’s Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won 30-0 on the 24 May 2018.

The blogmaster supported the David Thompson campaign in 2008, disliked the slothful leadership of Stuart in 2013 and by default was left with limited options after a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) vandalized the Barbados brand in 2018.

A recurring message has been peddled by the duopoly in the three general elections. That of alleged corruption by elected officials.

In 2008:-

  • VECO and the Dodds prison
  • CLICO $75,000 cheque paid to Owen Arthur
  • 3S and Operation Freeflow flyover project
  • Hardwood Housing Factory Inc
  • etc

In 2013:-

  • CLICO Forensic report
  • CAHILL Scam
  • Pierhead Marina Project
  • Cost=U-Less
  • etc

In 2018:

  • CLICO (again)
  • Corruption by Members of Parliament
  • National Housing PAC report
  • Maloney (Rock Hard Cement)
  • etc

Both political parties have been successful in bamboozling a gullible public in the three election cycles mentioned by promising that on winning the government corruptors will be ‘hanged, drawn and quartered’. The inability of the duopoly to deliver on the promise exposes the message from the duopoly for what it is, an electioneering scam.

A disappointment for many – and a significant contributor to the current state – has been the extent to which the traditional media has contributed to the hoodwinking of the public.  By usurping its role as a guardian of our democracy to deliver on its mandate to fairly and accurately report the news- the democracy we aspire to have remains elusive. As a consequence of the vacuum created, we have seen the rise of citizen journalism taking advantage of the emergence of social media platforms in a technological driven world. The blogmaster’s observation contrasts starkly with a recent Barbados Today Editorial summarized in the following extract:

The role of the media, whether print, electronic or broadcast is to educate and inform and to present factual news and balanced opinions without the suggestion of partisanship or personal bias. The media sometimes fail on this score because mortal men and women are the media, and subject to personal foibles, corporate dictates and political linkages. They can – by their deliberate spin – influence public opinion to a significant degree.



But, thankfully, in most instances and in the case of Barbados specifically, the media operate within the realm of an educated public which easily discerns where unvarnished news starts and stops and where spin begins. We hold absolutely no brief for anyone, inclusive of politicians or political parties. But as a member of the media fraternity who, too, can be accused rightfully or wrongfully of not always carrying out that which it now trumpets, we feel it incumbent upon us to call a spade a spade and to address a particularly troubling scenario.



Barbados Today 27 August 2018

Although early in tenure the Mia Mottley government has been following the corruption script albeit with greater stridency, or so it seems.  The recent arrest by US authorities of a former high profile minister has dovetailed government’s public consultation by the Committee on Integrity In Public Life Bill.  The two events have magically served to pump up the corruption talk volume in the public domain. The blogmaster remains cynical that Barbados will be able to implement a transparency framework to efficiently hold officials ‘feet to the fire’. Our inability to manage key functions in the country like public transportation, NIS fund, waste management to name three support the view.

One of the reasons first offered by the former government for not implementing Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation promised in 2008 was the cost to operationalize. It has not gone unnoticed by the blogmaster that Sir David Simmons in his recent contribution to the Committee on the Integrity in Public Life Bill matter-of-factly indicated that the Bill as proposed will be ineffective unless related laws are enacted. He cited the need for a code of conduct to manage breaches, proper regulation of campaign financing and a few others.

The blogmaster is of the view Barbadians do not have the capacity to fairly assess the mirror image late Errol Barrow prophetically shared in 1986. The fact we have sunk billions of dollars in education since he delivered the Mirror Image speech serves as an indictment on our leadership and people.

Where do we go from here amidst the chaos and the lack of a realization by the majority of citizens that we need to achieve a new normal? The jury remains out 104 days into the Mia Mottley government.

A mantra of Prime Minister Mia Mottley is that many hands make light work. Unfortunately Barbados at this critical juncture in history – despite crumbling economic and social structures – is at its most politically polarized state ever. A condition that will make the task of rebuilding all the more challenging.

We live in hope!




Barbados Improvements Part 4: Looking Forward

Submitted by Freedom Crier




If you want to look forward you first must know our past, where we are, what we are doing and the choices we are making, then we can see what the future may hold for we have seen the direction we are on. The future is easy to predict/extrapolate based on the above where it gets complicated is when people change their mind that hits the normal projections/predictions for a six. (Sometimes a good thing)

Everything decays all Organisations, Governments, Systems, and Ideas. The vision of the original crafters gets corrupted, the original vision is still great but the corruption starts from within by one small idea at a time being believed and instituted, at the end the entity is far removed from the original vision. Ask anyone who belongs to or have belonged to any type of organisation and they can tell you of the changes and sometimes they cannot point to when these changes had even started, they just know that everything is different now and not as good/comfortable/happy as compared to when things were hard.

Change may not always be good but we change and do new things hoping for the better but the consequences that follow show us if it is better or not. If it is better keep it, if it is not dump it, why would you want to keep it if it is bad or have shown itself to be bad. The scriptures talk of a method of change for the better not only for yourself but for everyone who is in society or any organisation that can improve our lives.

Man is a fallen creature we are all given to many embarrassing/stupid/wrong/evil thoughts, actions and ideas. Our haste to implement our ideas above listening to others first, most times leads us in the wrong direction. We may be correct but it is still good to hear others that if there are any flaws in our thinking/actions we can and should correct them before continuing.

As all the previous articles submitted by freedom crier have shown I am not only talking about curing a person with cancer using medical marijuana, I am talking about curing a nation of its ills and asking the body to take the right medicine. We as a nation have grown oversized and the surgeon (IMF) is at the door and he is proposing radical surgery. Cut this, cut that, after he is done you would have lost weight and the recovery will be long and painful, hoping we do not die before we recover.

Now when we have recovered we will face the same temptations we faced as before, the call to freeness is great. Who does not want something for free and the politicians will start the process again carrying us to the same result by saying we deserve it whatever it is to bring us to being overweight, bloated and unhealthy. We need to learn why we are heading there and how to stop it we need to teach everyone that oversized Government keeps a man in chains he cannot move as good as he used to, prone to disease, and if he gets diabetes he can lose a limb or his sight. Guyana lost nearly half of its population because of Forbes and Jagan. How many people from Barbados have we lost to England, to Canada, the USA and we educate the brightest (island scholars) to go to the best schools in the world and they hardly ever come back. Now you may begin to understand why we need Immigration by investments with benefits trying to reduce this trend of the best leaving and attracting those who have succeeded to help propel Barbados forward.

“When one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone”

Kahlil Gibran

Let us look at the freeness that has allowed us to get oversized

  1. Free bus fare for school children and retired persons
  2. Free school lunches
  3. Free primary & secondary education
  4. Free university education
  5. Free health care. Once you check into the hospital the government has to deal with you including sending you overseas to have treatment. I know of persons who went to Cuba & Venezuela for operations
  6. People expect free housing and some get it
  7. Free sports facilities. Stadium, gymnasium
  8. Free sports centre in every community
  9. Free welfare services, food, housing, garments
  10. Free abortions
  11. Income tax credits $750-$1,500 to persons who do not pay income tax
  12. Government agencies whose name we do not know that should not exist
  13. Add your own as I do not know all









Let’s look at the things that have put us in ducks guts (stifling growth)

  1. Highest corporate taxes in the Caribbean
  2. High  gasoline rates
  3. High personal tax rates and no deductibles
  4. High electricity rates
  5. Low mortgage deductibles slowing housing growth
  6. High prices for automobiles >200% duty
  7. Vat at 17.5% and 22%
  8. NIS rates keeps going up
  9. Retirement age keeps going up
  10. Government borrowing that we have to repay with interest on a schedule we cannot live with.
  11. The sheer size of government and its attendant  taxes to keep it alive
  12. Government reach into people life’s with its regulations
  13. All statutory corps that charge fees and lose money e.g.: CBC
  14. Sky high rates of duty that makes everything cost more than they should
  15. Duty free subsidies that exacerbate the situation
  16. A undersize police force with not enough equipment E.g.: patrol cars, individual guns
  17. A bloated bureaucracy that needs modernising and streamlining
  18. What do the teachers teach the children in government schools (is it self reliance?)
  19. What do the Profs teach at UWI other than socialism? Methinks that is all!
  20. You add the rest my fingers are tired of typing










The monster we now face is us, we have allowed this to happen it is how we have grown, it is what we as a nation have been led to believe. The ideology that have been fostered on us by beguiling politicians to get our vote we have been taught to ask what the country can do for me instead of what can I do for my country not realising that for the government to give anything it first must take from another with a big cut for itself. We have to change how we think. Government is and has been and should be “by the people for the people” it was made/created to serve us not we serve it, the government is supposed to be the peoples servant not its master. Remember we used to say civil servants, when last you felt in a government office that they were there to serve/help you or are you there to jump when they say jump.

I am not advocating we change the Westminster model although there is better a model out there.  We need to change our beliefs (Christians call it repentance), all life is filled with choices what do we choose, that which leads to life/freedom/righteousness or that which leads to bondage/servitude/sin? We are faced with this everyday of our lives, each man via our personal choices as individuals and as a nation when we choose the path as a government. It is as simple as that. The quote from Kahlil Gibran is applicable. That Stone is Socialism, it is the legacy of Marxism everyone who have tried it has suffered/bondage/servitude some are on the way still.

We have felt it and more castor oil is coming open your mouth wide. Remember phase 2. The patient must take the castor oil as many doses as the PM sees fit I pray we get better soon. The surgery cutting, pain and the castor oil dreadful, I do not want to see socialism again ever for Barbados and so should you, we should turn our back on it as we have turned our backs on the DLP, a clean sweep. Tell your children, we lost more of us than who are left here now, we have lost much, our dignity, our pride and our industry to the likes of “dead men’s bones” (the ideologies of Marx’s)

Choose: life/freedom/prosperity/civility/individuality/freedom of religion not freedom from religion/goodness: shun evil/self-governance/respect for each other/free speech/teach, encourage never force.

Emancipation was enacted in 1834/1838










Now we have a statue in its remembrance paid for by the Government who treats us as serfs to pay its debt via taxes.

Isn’t it Ironic that we celebrate at the Emancipation Statue paid for by Government and they are the ones who Tax Barbadians into being serfs. People received their Freedom and it was Heralded as something Great they even Erected a Statue to Celebrate Emancipation paid for by the Government, and then they proceeded to make us Serfs. We have thrown off the Colonial Masters and now we have another one, Government and they are Celebrating Freedom with us while making us Slaves to the State!…That is the Ultimate Deception!! That is Socialism on Steroids!

The Alinsky Model Steps to Socialism “How to Create a Communist State by Saul Alinsky …

“There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a communist state.”

1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people

2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)

6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools

8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.


Does Any of the above sound Familiar? Socialism is Communism with patience!









People have been told that when the Government acts in given more freeness it is acting like a Christian and we as a Christian nation should not object we should welcome it. This is untrue, a lie fostered on us and by those who know that it is not true. How many God fearing politicians you know? How do they know what the scripture teach, they do not read it, their thoughts are as a little child remembering something they were taught as a 4year old with their reasoning to match. It would take a long discussion to show how much of a lie this is. Let me point you in a proper direction, read the parable of the talents.


Freedom is an easy concept to imagine when you are talking physical freedom but harder to imagine when talking spiritual freedom, after the Israelites’ were freed from Egypt physically it took them 40 years wandering in the desert to learn what spiritual freedom was and only then they entered the promise land. Real freedom is hard to live because so many of us try to force others to do what they want done done. It takes time and education of the rightness of the way and when it is won we then have to teach it to the next generation hence the saying “freedom only lasts a generation”. Freedom is not free it take our lifetimes if we want to pass it on to the next. The verse prefacing the ten commandments reads as follows: I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.(Exodus 20:2). The house of bondage was the system that held them back not just physical bondage as they were already freed physically but they wanted to go back for the “melons & leaks” they had to be schooled what freedom was and will be, but they needed to follow the following ten commandments. I do not expect us to completely switch, I wish we could but that would be asking the not practical. We need to be schooled as the Israelites’  were to want it, to “repent and choose whom ye will serve, Freedom or Socialism”

What Percentage of Your Income Equates To Serfdom 90%? 80%? 50%?


In history that some people cite after the slaves were free in America they continued to work the fields of cotton as free men but had to pay a tax of 10%-20% to their former masters for the use of the land and we called that exploitive but now we pay over 50% of our income in taxes hidden and unhidden what would you call it?










Do not while you are carrying your personal compass let a person stand next to you carrying a magnet and hugs you like a friend as in offering freeness. Your compass will cease pointing in the right direction because of the magnet’s influence and you will be led astray.

It is near the end of life for me, the windscreen has less road ahead than the rearward, I can no longer offer my strength as my bones are weary and the muscle mass is going but my spirit is strong and I can only offer my thoughts/insight/understanding/wisdom as these offer direction. I can only appeal for us to do the right thing and put it as simply as I can. The choice is always up to us chose life and live or choose wrong and suffer.









God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. He has not forgotten us he has always cared for us, we need only pay attention and listen. This PM has been given a free hand a clean sweep to do as she sees fit by His hand and blessing, she should use it prayfully and wisely for the people and the nation’s benefit. He does not only choose the righteous but sometime chooses flawed men or women who are equal to the job. The PM have been given this task/job/calling. He has demonstrated His care for Barbados by this act and choosing you Prime Minister, it now falls on you to do the job. He will not be far as it is Him who has chosen you; He will bear you up and hear your pleas and will answer your prayers/concerns/tribulations. Do not fear to ask, the responsibility was given yes, but that also implied His guidance will be always available to you as long as you do what’s right.










See also:

Merit Based Immigration & Citizenship by Investment:

Barbados Improvements Part 1: Bridgetown

Barbados Improvements Part 2: Thoughts & Ideas

Barbados Improvements Part 3: Agriculture

Politician a Cog in the Process

After 10 years of economic hardship there is the reasonable view held by intelligent Barbadians that at the top of the pile of campaign issues should be a full ventilation of economic plans by contesting political parties during the 2018 General Election. Given the flat trendline on the national productivity graph for the last 10 years and beyond- is it reasonable for sensible Barbadians to prefer a campaign message that will engage voters on this subject?

During the last 10 years we have not significantly changed the supply or demand side of the food consumption equation. Is it a sensible for Barbadians to DEMAND a conversation about food security and how existing food consumption habits are negatively impacting foreign reserves AND the health of the nation e.g. non communicable diseases and obesity?

Given our status as a Small Island Developing State located a hop, skip and a jump from the Equator, should we not be more advanced in the production of energy from alternative sources?

Both political parties in the post Independence period have allocated billions of dollars to  education. Are we satisfied with the output from the investment i.e. profile of our industries, conditioning a relevant work ethic and psychology of our people, developing the physical  infrastructure of the country that is fit for purpose, protecting the environment, managing waste and waste to energy …

Have we focused enough on ensuring there is a relevant governance framework to deliver the people’s business? Surely the performance of key working committees of parliament like the Public Accounts Committee and Committee of Privileges to name two have plummeted to an embarrassing level. The lack of fiscal discipline to managing public finances and an indifference shown by all and sundry to government financial rules; inability to produce audited financial statement etc, exposes a level of unprofessionalism, incompetence that a sensible electorate should want to demand action from OURSELVES to address?

Theses are a few of the issues that are always top of the mind for the blogmaster. These are issues that should be of concern to all Barbadians. Given the unprecedented economic and other experiences of the last ten years the country has had to endure, there is reason for ALL Barbadians to change how we manage conversations with politicians when they come aknocking at our doors and in other interactions when presented with the opportunity. Change must start with the person reflected in the mirror, WE must be the change. WE must demand the change. Continuing to cede OUR civic responsibilities to members of the political class is lazy, ignorant, dangerous and assures that it will be business as usual.

The style of the blogmaster is never to be ‘longwinded’ on the issues. We live in the microwave age where the attention span of the audience rivals that of the bird, priorities and information are shaped by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other computer generated algorithms. The upside is that by being a small island there is the opportunity to create and coalesce behind a plan of action. By holding elected officials accountable this is an opportunity to begin the change process. We have to change the indifference to how matters that directly affect our lives are managed.

Every election cycle we have these kinds of conversations that are analogous to the ones we have about the 11+ or the minibus culture. Some positions need to be taken NOW to steer Barbados away from being a failed state. The politician is just a cog in the process, We create the process.


Waiting for the Bell to be Rung

Protecting our democracy…

Every where one turns in Barbados the discussion is about when will the prime minister ring the bell. Is is unethical for the prime minister to have extended the traditional 5 year term to the 90 days allowed by the Constitution for what many believe was meant by the framers to address an extraordinary event? There is a view that the prime minister has no moral authority to lead the country given his thirst to create history by any means necessary.

In another blog BU outlined that any government preparing to contest a general election is regarded as lameduck where key decisions are delayed to await the mandate of the citizenry  -see Barbados a Country in Abeyance.

In the current situation Barbadians have not only had to wrestle with the unprecedented decision of a prime minister prepared to dilute our way of democracy that has earned our little island a global reputation.  One remembers Dame Billie Miller, the late Dame Nita Barrow et al asked to participate in international fora with a focus on electoral matters.

Given the anemic performance of the economy since the global crisis of 2008 one would have anticipated that the government would have taken the moral high ground to seek a mandate from the people they were elected to serve. One gets the impression these days that the people- where the power is meant to reside-  have allowed the political class to hijack the intent of the Westminster system of democracy inherited.

While the focus is on the decision by the prime minister to extend the tenure of his government. There is the discussion waiting to be had on the campaign trail highlighted in an earlier blog -see  Voting Checklist to Assist With Placing Your X.  One can take the position that if we have waited 5 years what is a another 90 days. BU subscribes to the view that important to how our system of democracy is meant to work must be a high level of citizen advocacy. A self critique in this regard exposes a passive approach by Barbadians since the 30 November 1966.

Clearly the decision by the prime minister – perhaps advised by Hal Gollop- to invoke the 90 day period allowed by the Constitution of Barbados to extend his government serves to be another distraction at a time when the country needs to rally behind a plan that should be marshalling our scarce resources to succeed. How do we tweak our governance model to ensure our Parliament provides oversight as intended by the Constitution. The Public Accounts Committee and Committee of Privileges come to mind. The inability to respond to the perennial concerns of the Auditor General reports that reveals an unacceptable level of financial indiscipline and malfeasance. We could mention a crumbling infrastructure- the sewage problem on the South Coast, a stressed waste management system and pothole ridden road ways come to mind.

Given where Barbados finds itself Barbadians must begin to question what we will demand of our representatives when they come knocking very soon. It will not be enough to take their accustomed rhetoric. In extraordinary circumstances, extraordinary measures have to be taken. What are we as an intelligent people prepared to do this time around.




Flashback to Old Barbados

It is important for Barbadians to remember our history. The pictures in the BU gallery were captured from the Facebook Timeline of Dolores Grandison. The pictures vividly demonstrate the progress we have made on many fronts. The struggle is how do we continue to advance change in our little country that is positive and respect the struggle of our forefathers.

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Governor DeLisle Worrell Warns Foreign Reserves Continue to Fall

The Barbados private sector agency has raised the alarm that their members have had to wait for foreign exchange to be released from commercial banks to honour purchase requests. This is not good news for Barbadians who have had to tighten their belts for eight long years. Have we not been boasting of record arrivals for the last two years? What is happening!

The Governor of the Central Bank warned Barbadians in a document posted to the Central Bank website last week that the country has failed to manage the balance in foreign exchange inflows and outflows since 2013. Based on the Governor’s concern it is safe to assume that our international reserves have fallen from 900.3 million or 14 weeks of imports at the end of the 3rd quarter -to what?

With tourism booming by all account YET foreign reserves falling the solution is to increase tourist arrivals, foreign direct investment AND decrease demand for imports. If the reserves continue to fall we will not be able to defend our peg to the US dollar. The price of oil which has started to increase will not help our cause. Wait a minute -why do we pontificate about tourist arrivals? Should we not heed the advice of the official from Singapore who indicated at a conference in Barbados a couple years ago we must measure the success of tourism by revenue receipts and NOT number of tourists.

With sinking foreign reserves so too will investor confidence on the local and international markets. Several huge investment projects like Sam Lord’s Hotel, Hyatt Hotel, Beaches Hotel, Four Seasons, Marina and others have not started as promised by the government. Whether we agree if the projects should be implemented or not, the inability of the government to mobilize them has affected the plan to inject activity in the economy.

The obvious question is -what next? With a year to go before the next general election one thing we know for sure -the Democratic Labour Party will not have a strong economy to support a campaign message to win votes. BU’s prediction is that this will be one of the ‘nastiness’ general elections since Independence.

This Government Needs to ‘Retire’

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Months ago leader of the Opposition -in guarded language- hinted that all was not well with the South Coast Sewage plant. Barbadians on the ground who have interacted with the workers would have been aware of the unavailability of parts and tools to perform required maintenance on the plant. As expected the government remained loyal to its tried and trusted MO -to be silent. The few times it broke silence was to issue denials.

Successive governments have struggled with implementing effective maintenance programs. What is unraveling on the South Coast should therefore comes as no surprise. The latest report is that a part that is required to fix the sewage problem will take about three months to be installed.

Enough is enough!

Blaming the BLP will not resonate with Barbadians. This government through its agent the Barbados Water Authority found the resources to construct a 60 million dollar edifice on St. Barnabas Hill, the Sanitation Service Authority is currently constructing its headquarters at Vaucluse, YET, a few parts to fix the sewage plant on the South Coast and to make the Sluice Gate at Graeme Hall operational remains undone. How many blogs have been posted on BU to highlight the ramshackle sluice gate? The very gate the government refused assistance to make operational?

The BU household will continue to pray that the players charged with correcting the problem on the South Coast are able to move with haste. Already there are reports of cancellations by tourists and locals who traverse the area have has to tolerate the putrid smells emanating from one of our main tourist resort areas. All the gains accrued from the 50th anniversary have dissipated.

We now turn to the matter of accountability.

The PR stunt undertaken by Minsters Richard Sealy and John Boyce although understood given the threat to our tourist product trivialized the seriousness of the matter. Whether there is fecal matter leaking into public spaces or stagnant water and decaying matter from Graeme Hall swamp the average Barbadian and tourist who travel the area know there is a problem. There is the very bad smell AND the ‘weeping’ manholes. Then there is the video posted by the owner of a property on the South Coast.

The problem on the South Coast is indicative of how as a country we have managed several others. There is Combermere Secondary School now closed for 1 month because someone sabotaged the sewer covers IF we are to believe the principal. There is the Barrack transaction that has costed the taxpayers over 100 million dollars. What about the NCC and Employment Rights Tribunal matter? Alexandra Waterman Commission and CAHILL???

Against the forgoing shouldn’t Barbadians be calling for the immediate retirement of this government? At worse a few heads should roll. 

Today’s Nation newspaper is recommended reading -here is an extract:

Abracadabra connotes a sense that by mere pronouncements, great things take place. For instance, in this year’s budgetary presentation, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler told Barbadians that “with a concentrated effort by all parties we can at least have the City of Bridgetown ready for this type of business (duty-free shopping) before Christmas”. Just eight days shopping left, sir. Sinckler is particularly prone to over-promising in his Budget speeches as we can see in four extracts taken from presentations in 2010, 2011 and 2013 in addition to this year’s.

2010: “Reductions (of fees for public service vehicles) will be performance-based as operators will only be able to access these benefits if they have demonstrated proper standards on the public roads. Some of these will include the wearing of uniforms by employees while on the job; a drastic reduction in traffic violations; the elimination of the playing of loud and offensive music and generally good deportment.” Proper standards? Good deportment?

2011: “…Following months of analysis and consultation, this government has decided to move ahead with the construction of a brand new multi-purpose, state-of-the- art cultural and performing arts centre. It is expected that the centre will be financed and constructed through a grant from the government of the People’s Republic of China and it is proposed that it will be located, once the Town Planner approves, on the land at Spring Garden opposite the Brandon’s Beach facility in the constituency of St Michael North West….” That was over four years ago, sir.

2013: “The National Housing Corporation, along with a private developer, is expected to begin work on the Exmouth Housing Complex in October of 2013. This is expected to inject Bds $33 million in investment in the housing market over the planning period with another 75 jobs to be created.” Not so fast, Mr Minister.

-See more at:

Barbados Ranked as One of the Worst Tax Havens

oxfamThis report [attached] exposes the world’s worst corporate tax havens – extreme examples of a destructive race to the bottom on corporate tax which has seen governments across the globe slash corporate tax bills in an attempt to attract business. It calls on governments to work together to put a stop to this before it is too late – Oxfam Policy Paper

The report released by Oxfam -a large UK charity – ranks Barbados 13th out of 15 as the world’s worst corporate tax havens.  For what it is worth here is a link to the 46 page report. Is this the report Minster Donville Inniss issued an angry retort? Minister Innis please give us an update on the illegal importation by Bhana and company –Continental Foods and Bhana, the Chicken Wings and Expired Labels Affair.

Sewage Alert!

Sewage leaking into the sea on the South coast  Image credit: Barbados Today

Sewage leaking into the sea on the South coast of Barbados

The revelation in recent weeks that sewage (raw) is spewing into the sea on the South coast should be of concern to all Barbadians. Along with the health concern there is the potential to dent the good reputation of Barbados as an idyllic tourist destination.  The members of the BU household are fiercely patriotic and it pains us no end to observe how our infrastructure -built on the backs of our forefathers- is crumbling with a disastrous result.

Of even greater concern is the lack of transparency shown by the government so far. Barbados is a signatory to Rio Principle 10 adopted in 1992 as a part of the Rio Declaration. A relevant  extract from the agreement states:

Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities [BU’s emphasis], and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.

Clearly the Barbados government is in breach!

Welcome, Prince Harry

Today’s Barbados Advocate editorial makes for interesting reading in light of Prince Harry’s visit next week

Barbados Underground

Prince Harry

Prince Harry

We might be justly accused of being churlish hosts were we not to extend a warm Barbadian greeting to His Royal Highness, Prince Henry of Wales, familiarly known as Harry, on his visit to the island to represent Her Majesty in the celebrations for our fiftieth anniversary of Independence. Accordingly, we sincerely extend to the Prince a hearty welcome and a pleasant stay in these parts.

At the same time, however, his presence here reminds us of once more of our incongruent constitutional status; whereby even though we claim to be a sovereign nation and have indeed been so for the past fifty years, we continue to perpetuate the anomaly of retaining a foreign monarchy as the Head of State in the bloodline of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom. It is as if the declaration of Independence were merely a matter of acquiring a flag, a coat of arms and a national anthem and a Governor General [to replace the Governor] while we were content to abide by the former regime of governance.

This is Barbados after all. And it is not in our nature easily to accommodate change. So for the past half-century, apart from the objections of a relatively few, we have been content to permit the pre-Independence arrangements to subsist and to accord the highest constitutional office in our land not to a native but in tail to a foreign family.

It has not helped that the debate on this issue has been generally perceived in partisan political terms. Of course, we concede that such a reality is one of the incidents of our democracy, but it appears to us that whenever a governing administration proposes to alter the status quo, there arises a chorus of voices in partisan opposition, reminding the public of such quaint matters as the importance of UK tourism for the health of our economy, the exemplary graciousness of Her Majesty and our vulnerability to external aggression. To us, these smack rather as the cries of a mewling infant for its mother’s arms, rather than of the language of a mature individual ready to fend its way in the world.

We deduce from this reluctance to embrace a state of affairs whereby a native Barbadian might become Head of State, among other things, a certain Barbadian distaste for the elevation above him- or herself of anyone similarly placed as they are. Our attitude is reflected in the anecdote attributed to former Prime Minister and now national Hero, the Right Excellent Errol Barrow, that an individual could not have possibly written a book or achieved any similar distinction “because he used to live in we gap”.

So while we welcome the young Prince, we regret for more reasons than one that his visit had to be “official” rather than the “playing holiday” as referred to by his ancestor and namesake, Prince Hal, the future Henry V, in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I. Hal nevertheless counseled-

“If all the year were playing holidays,

To sport would be as tedious as to work…”

Indeed, we regret too that his visit as the representative of the British Monarch, his grandmother, should still be necessary at this time. Our socio-constitutional ethos does not admit of the notion that a mere accident of birth should attribute a superior status to any one individual or family.

It is time for a governing administration to “bell the cat” and to ensure that we do not arrive at our Independence centennial under the existing anomalous governance arrangement.

Standard & Poor’s Lowers Barbados Sovereign to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’ (outlook is negative)

worrell-sincklerBarbadians have become fatigue under the the constant negative feedback from armchair pundits and professionals like S&P. Where do we go from here? All the experts have painted a gloomy forecast EXCEPT the minister of finance Chris Sinckler.  Who are the citizens to believe Sinckler or all the other who are experts in the field.

The report from S&P explains the mouthing from Dr. Warren Smith who heads the Caribbean Development Bank who has advised government to privatize the Barbados Port Authority and Grantley Adams Airport. The following extract from S&P report confirms what the BU family has been writing about for a few years.

Who will act to stop the rot or it it too late!

However, usable international reserves, which we consider for assessing external liquidity, are even lower; we subtract the monetary base from international reserves because reserve coverage of the monetary base is critical to maintaining confidence in the exchange-rate regime. Barbados’ usable reserves have been negative since 2013, and the position continues to deteriorate, in part because of the central bank’s deficit financing, which has expanded the monetary base. We expect Barbados’ gross external financing needs to be above 200% of current account receipts (CAR) plus usable reserves. We expect narrow net external debt to average around 40% of CAR during 2016-2018. Our external assessment also considers that net external liabilities of a projected 170% of CAR during 2016-2018 are substantially higher than narrow net external debt. Finally, we note that Barbados’ International Investment Position has inconsistencies and is not timely.

Relevant Link

All Bajans Need to Participate in our Democracy, Including LAWYERS

Poster designed by Pieceuhderockyeahright

For OUR democracy to work effectively ALL stakeholders in civil society must participate, advocate, agitate, support … to become DISENGAGED is not an option.

Join the Poster War – #bajanswantchange



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What is the Status of 7.50% VAT?

Adrian Loveridge - Hotelier

Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier

When Government announced last year that it was passing a bill to allow the lowering of Value Added Tax (VAT) to 7.5 per cent for qualifying hospitality partners my initial thought that it was a wonderful opportunity to at least partially address the frequently quoted high costs of our tourism product. The criteria did not appear too ominous. That the entity had to be registered with or a license from the Barbados Tourism Authority, Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association or Small Hotels of Barbados Inc, it was in compliance with all statutory obligations of the Income Tax, NIS and Social Securities Act and was able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Comptroller and generates at least 75 per cent of total earnings annually in a foreign currency.

In our 26 year experience the vast majority of guests pay via credit card, I would not have thought this was difficult to verify. These imposed conditions would seem quite reasonable and for most attainable.

Why then have so few seemingly eligible tourism partners registered successfully and applied the lower rate of VAT. After all, 10 per cent of the final cost to the consumer is not an insubstantial reduction. Looking at menus posted on the websites of many of our hotels with in-house restaurants or stand alone establishments 17.5 per cent VAT is still shown, which includes some of the big names and unless they have yet to be updated state owned accommodation providers are included in this. Interestingly, this applies even to businesses where their owners or managers sit on the board of the national marketing authority.

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Trade Unions and the Great Conspiracy

Submitted by William Skinner

...Barbados Labour Party has been in the main supported by the traditional corporate sector ...

…Barbados Labour Party has been in the main supported by the traditional corporate sector …

In our midst, there are some very skilful manipulators of public opinion, who would like to give the impression that the trade union movement has only been in bed with the Democratic Labour Party. This is a great lie. The truth is that both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party have enjoyed incestuous relationships with the trade unions. I say unions because a very close and objective observation would reveal that none of the major unions has avoided being hijacked, at some point or the other, by members of the two ruling parties.

Ever since the fall of Grantley Adams, the Barbados Labour Party has been in the main supported by the traditional corporate sector and really had no need for the financing of its politics either in money or kind from the BWU. This left the field wide open for Errol Barrow to inflame the traditional white corporate sector and skilfully create a black rising business/professional class that has supported the Democratic Labour Party. Barrow established a very clever bond of capital and Labour and with great cunning, convinced the masses that the Dems were for them and the Bees for the whites. The Bees equally cunning deliberately started to paint the Dems as anti-employer and the ploy of these two behemoths parties has continued. And it has worked amazingly well.

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An Invisible Auditor General

Auditor General, Leigh Trotman

Auditor General, Leigh Trotman

However, a second driver for the interest in the performance and capacity of PACs has been the global interest in governance and oversight and in the role of parliament in curbing corruption (Stapenhurst et al., 2006).

What is certain about this time every year when the Auditor General releases his report is to expect the same trite remarks to be made by all and sundry led by the politicians. The traditional media takes the opportunity to relieve itself of the responsibility to report on the findings for a few days by sensationalizing an aspect of public sector malfeasance which is bound to manifest itself in the report.  Then business continues as usual until next time around.

Disappointing has been the failure of THIS government to enact transparency legislation. It promised the legislation soon after it was elected in 2008! More disappointing is the change THIS  government championed the repeal to the Public Accounts Committee Act which makes it almost impossible for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to operate with teeth. The feeble excuse given by government that public officers must be protected is lame. Can anyone imagine the National Housing Corporation borrowing from the National Insurance Scheme to pay salaries BUT hiring employees in the lead up to the last general election? Please explain why leader of the Opposition in her capacity as Chair of the PAC was not doing taxpayers business by placing Permanent Secretary Ronald Bascombe under pressure for his role in the affair.

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Notes From a Native Son: Has Mauritius Anything to Teach Little Barbados?

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

In a recent essay on how small economies cope with a volatile world economy, Jeffrey Frankel, professor of economics at Harvard University, referenced Costa Rico, in Central America, and Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, as two nations with interesting growth models. Both nations, he pointed out, had outshone their peers and, noticeably, they had also been innovative and, of some importance, both avoided having a standing army. Those reading these Notes over the years may recall that one of the policy initiatives I have long called for was the return to a volunteer regiment and abandoning the Barbados Defence Force for reasons too long to go in to here. Such a change can be done without any loss of service people’s jobs, with a few gazetted officers remaining in place to run the regiment, and transferring the others to the police and Coastguards.

It is our coastal borders that pose the highest security risk to our nation, which is the responsibility for the Coastguard, and the police, not a standing army, could deal with any internal breakdown in law and order. However, Professor Frankel went on to point out more interesting coincidences between the two nations: “The results in both cases have been a political history devoid of coups, and financial savings that can be used for education, investment, and other good things.” Mauritius gained its constitutional independence from Britain in 1968 and embarked with some difficulty on a process of nation-building. Unlike Barbados, there was no automatic assumption of punching above its weight or of being more British than the British. It was a process of bringing the Muslim, Hindus, Africans, Chinese, creoles, French and British together as a single nation.

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A Tribute to Athelston Winston Best

The following is a tribute to a a great Barbadian compliments of Hal Austin

Athelston Winston Best.

Athelston Winston Best.

It is impossible to speak or write about the British schooling system and its engagement with the post-war Black presence these last 50 years without calling the name, Winston Best, over and over again. Without doubt, Winston stands in the vanguard of the black working class movement in education and schooling as both an educator and an activist.

Winston (pictured right) was born on 15 August 1930 in Sugar Hill, St Joseph, Barbados, the first of six children of Luther and Lillian Best. Luther was a road builder and Lillian a market trader. Winston was big brother to Eulene, Gloria, Moriah, Lloyd and Owen. Gloria in Canada, Moriah in Brooklyn, Owen in Atlanta, Lloyd in Barbados and Eulene in Ipswich, East Anglia. Winston and later Lloyd came to England, Lloyd returning to Barbados after almost 40 years.

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Let Us Discuss Food Imports Minister YESTWICK!

Dr. Chelston Brathwaite with Minister Estwick

Dr. Chelston Brathwaite with Minister Estwick

“It has been reported that Barbados current food import bill is in the region of $800 million dollars annually.  The Minister of Agriculture has also stated that 65 percent of our food is produced locally. This means we import 35 percent of our food.  Our total food bill is therefore almost $2.3 billion dollars annually. This translates to over $20 per day for every man, woman and child.  Note that this is the cost at the point of production (or importation) and not point of sale. The cost at point of sale (supermarket, shop, restaurant etc.) would be higher to account for storage and distribution, profit, spoilage etc.  To get an idea of what this means lets look at a family of 4 shopping for all their food in a supermarket. This amounts to over $600 per week or $2400 per month.

I find this hard to believe.  Either the $800 million dollars per year is incorrect or the 65 percent is incorrect.  I tend to believe the 65 percent is incorrect and the Minister has the percentages reversed.  In other words, we import 65 percent of our food.  If this is correct we have a very long way to go towards food security.”

The above was submitted by Bentley where he raises the issue of food security which should concern all Barbadians. Although many Barbadians are indoctrinated and intoxicated by the benefits of globalization, a man made construct, BU subscribes to the position that a country is responsible for safeguarding its basic needs.

Relevant Link: CARDI Agriculture News

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Anguish in the Land – Who Fooling Who?

Submitted by Beresford

Dennis Clarke, General Secretary (l) Walter Maloney, President (r) ...NUPW praised fulsomely by the Prime Minister ...

Dennis Clarke, NUPW General Secretary (l) Walter Maloney, President (r) …NUPW praised fulsomely by the Prime Minister …

Un-godly. Ungracious. Unfair. Frightening.

Mia Mottley’s unapologetic and piercing summing up of the political anarchy, system disorder and personal degradation engulfing Barbadians, especially in the public sector, as Government continues its job cuts could not be more appropriate.

Not lost was the symbolism of her comments and the stance of the BLP, marking the Party’s 76th anniversary as its founding as Barbados first political organisation, which fell on Monday, the date set for the DLP to conclude its ravishing of the public sector.

History will record that as the DLP razed the economic base and social planks of the country, and betrayal after betrayal led the people to the abyss, and appeasers and DLP cliques forged alliances to excuse the violent abuse of country and citizens, the BLP spoke clearly to the whittling away of economic gains, conventions and laws; exposed Government’s sand-based prescriptions, contradictions and sheer nonsense, and stood unequivocally with those being stripped of their businesses, their jobs, the services and compensation which they are due on the back of massive tax impositions and their dignity.

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DLP: Bajans Not Good Enough – Neither Can They Reach Jamaicans High Standards – Work Permits Therefore Necessary

Henderson Bovell

Henderson Bovell

You can excuse the DLP if it did not care to read the ‘National Strategic Plan 2005-2025. But Goal #6 of that document speaks, in part, to: “Branding Barbados Globally.” When you read it, you begin to understand why the demise of a Barbadian brand like Almond, is a national scandal. I suppose the same can be said about the DLP’ reluctance to spend a puny US$500,000 to save a $80m Rum Industry, which will result in “a-310-year-old-company” leaving Barbadian hands for the first time in its history.

Of all people, the BLP, which is responsible for the “National Strategic Plan Document,” should understand that the issue of “Sandals” – is more than the quantum of concessions or what is contained in some MOU, especially since the same National Strategic Plan sought “to continue consolidating the country’s international image, particularly on account of political stability, educational quality, democratic governance and good leadership.”

I do not know that the present Barbados Cabinet and Government – are showing good leadership on tourism right now” because “Almond” is a Barbadian-home-grown-international-families-brand,” which was on par (in the view of many) with Sandals, which is nothing more than a Jamaican home-grown-international-families-brand. That makes Ralph Taylor, the equivalent of the Jamaican Butch Stewart.

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Sad Times In Barbados Fuh Real: How Much More Can Bajan People Bear?

Submitted by Bajan Patriot

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, How Much More Can Bajan People Bare?

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, How Much More Can Bajan People Bare?

By now it must be clear to all with “common sense” living in our great nation that we have totally lost our way on many key fronts with tourism and the general state of the economy in mind.   After many years of prosperity we have found ourselves in an economic, political, and social hole we just can’t seem to muster the intellectual capacity to dig our way out of.  Instead of a democracy we have found ourselves in an “Idiotcracy” which gets more and more out of control with each passing day.

Like crabs in a barrel we are clawing our way with the weakness crabs out numbering those of us that know better.   Common sense has totally left the stage and has been replaced with selfish disengaged self-serving leadership, poor business performance at all managerial levels, poor customer service on all fronts, and partisan politics that cares nothing about putting country first.

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Notes From a Native Son: Unless We Create an Equal Society We Will Have Serious Social Problems

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Lawyers and public commentators in Barbados have now discovered the concept of human rights, but missing from public political and economic discourse is any reference to inequality, the moral foundation of a fair and just society. The nearest we come to any mention of inequality in public space is the flawed reference to so-called free education, which disciples of the late Errol Barrow hold as the mark of his great contribution to post-war Barbados. But, after dominating public discussions since the Black Power era and the student rebellion of the 1960s, both Left and Right have returned to look at the relevance of equality in modern society. Some people have even intimated that in the post-Obama world the battle over equality has been won and we should move on. It is disingenuous. Even someone as radical as Roberto Mangabeira Unger, the Harvard professor and former minister of strategic affairs in Brazil, has called on progressives to abandon equality and replace it with something called deep freedom.

The posing of equality against freedom and human rights is a false dichotomy. What do we mean by freedom? Freedom from what? What do we mean by human rights? The idea of ‘freedom’ is a vacuous philosophical concept that has no grounding in the day-to-day lives of people living in a liberal democracy, despite its imperfections. A minority in control of an oppressive police force or military can understandably talk of freedoms, but that is a misinterpretation of the illegal behaviour of a powerful institution. A good example of this is the stop-and-frisk in New York or its equivalent stop and search in Britain, which has replaced the old Sus law, under the 1824 Vagrancy Act, introduced to control begging by deformed soldiers who had returned from the Napoleanic Warts. But the concept of equality has a firmer philosophical meaning, since it does not mean equality of outcomes, but of opportunities. It is also superior to the concept of human rights since embodied in equality are all the rights under the portmanteau term human rights.

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Notes From a Native Son: The Time has Come for all True Barbadians to Put Country Before Party

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

After a few days in Barbados, mostly resting, but spending time with friends and acquaintances alike, I have returned with a feeling of deep sadness for a nation for which I have a very deep affection. But, we have a situation in which the national political discourse has been reduced to a leading minister inviting the leader of the official Opposition to strip naked and run down Broad Street, our main thoroughfare, to grab attention. While, at the same time, the governor of the central bank could announce that the economy is in recession and the minister of finance, the captain of the nation’s economy, did not see fit to respond to, the Opposition did not speak out on, our academic economists kept their opinions to themselves nor did our feeble media see it fit to inform their readers.

As I have said before, the nation is in serious crisis, only this time it is much worse than it previously was. Yet, there is an epidemic of denial: a police force that is imploding and cannot properly guard against organised criminality, medieval religious practices and family abuse. We are a nation that has lost faith in itself, when we could appoint a Canadian – repeat the word, Canadian – as head of our football association and every spare bit of land bought by dubious foreigners because our policymakers are addicted to foreign reserves. The New Barbados has also lost its moral purpose, its sense of decency, as is reflected in the obscenities that desecrate the airwaves as a matter of course; of the total national silence when a toddler can make sexual gestures over an apparently drunken woman at Crop Over, our leading cultural event; when our leading news paper thinks that pornographic pictures of juveniles having sex in a class room is newsworthy. Even more, not a single senior executive or director of the publishing firm has made a public statement about the obscenity. If ever there was a case for ordinary Barbadians to show their power as consumers and ban that publication, it is now. This is a long way from the nation I know as a young man, when, in the 1960s it was exporting people to work on London buses, trains and in the national health service, routinely gave them a printed booklet on how to behave in Britain. Those were days when the nation was concerned about its global reputation as reflected in the behaviour of its citizens.

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Notes From a Native Son: A Nation with a Hollow Where Public Morality Ought to be

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

The political and economic failure of Barbados is like a slow motion car crash which onlookers are powerless to do anything about. As we look on, we can see the economy heading for a reinforced wall like a speeding, driverless car; we observe our leading institutions collapsing like a pack of over-used cards, while the high priests and priestesses of society preach about the solidity of these very flawed institutions. It is like Armageddon, we run screaming to the captains of industry, but there is nothing they can do; we plead with our politicians, but they are not listening; we ask our professionals for help, but they are pre-occupied with feathering their own nests. Repeating the growing lists of failings may hurt, but that is not like the pain felt by the marginalised, the disadvantaged, the outcasts. Like the man left on the floor of the hospital for four hours without any attention, then only to have a kind soul throw a sheet over him; like the man who collapsed at the wheel of his vehicle, only to find that calls for an ambulance could not be met – while the so-called Defence Force has an abundance of ambulances. Like a government refusing to pay Mr Barrack, while still pretending that it can engage in big capital projects.

Death of a Dream:
I seem to pinpoint the historical juncture when this rot set in when we started Barbadianising all our top management and public sector positions, regardless of the quality of the talent to fill those positions. This runs from the quality of programming at CBC, the leadership of our secondary schools and the nature of decision-making in the public sector. The only explanation is the rise of a petit-bourgeois nationalism in the years since constitutional independence which, in many ways, is driving the nation back in to the dark days of neo-colonial rule. The dominant belief now is that, no matter which political party one belongs to or support, this Barbadianisation of public sector jobs is a social priority over and above the quality of the service we deliver to the long-suffering public. In many ways, the irony is that this retreat in to a self-protective nationalism is taking place while the island itself is giving way to new forms of Barbadian-ness. This weakness is in most part an outcome of a weak public intellectual movement, as a reflection of the wider ruling elite. It is a small elite which has found it intellectually and politically cosy not challenging each other and accepting a consensus which is not ideologically tested in any way.

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BAJAN, What Happened?

Submitted M.R.Thompson

Flying Fish and Cou Cou

Flying Fish and Cou Cou

How can a prosperous flourishing country which gained it’s independence from mother England in 1966 have fallen into such a Political, Economic, Social and Financial morass in 47 years. Under the leadership of the British the country flourished, economically, financially and socially. It can be argued that this flourish was on the backs of black slaves, indentured white slaves and an aristocratic over bearing British master. The point is that the country did flourish and was looked on as the JEWEL of the Caribbean.

During the initial years of independence the leaders of the country were black and white British educated and schooled in old world ethics. Eventually locally educated and raised individuals assumed the day to day responsibilities, the political entity controlled by the blacks and the economic identity controlled by the whites. Today in 2013 these black/white control distinctions are becoming somewhat less distinct in the economic forum as the non whites are now responsible for the majority of lower/mid level commerce. The non blacks still control the majority of the larger corporate end of the economy which may or may not reside within the country.

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Execute Prime Minister!

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Execution in it’s simplest sense is to: get things done. Period. But it’s more complex than those 3 words might suggest. It’s about getting the right people in place, building a strategy around the resources available, and finally implementing the strategy, linking the strategy with people.

David Lau

It is generally accepted that highly successful organizations achieve stated objectives because they execute with military like precision. And as Lau opines, it is about defining a strategy, accumulate and efficiently deploy resources and assemble people with the correct skillsets.   The theory is easy until we allow indiscipline to intervene.

Barbados like many countries in our region finds itself mired in an economic morass. While there is agreement from all quarters that the environment in which we have to manage is a challenging one, we remain divided as a people the path we should follow. It is a situation which cries out for leadership.

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