Alternate View on Barbados’ Economic Road post Republic:The Independence Economic Order

Kemar J.D Stuart, Economist and Director Business Development , Finance and Investment Stuart & Perkins Caribbean

Barbados national day represents the death of government led socialist values, a transition over to a new economic management style of governance where the trappings of the old independence subsidized social services government begin to diminish and Citizens will be required to each pay more to fund their basic living necessities as government can’t continue to subsidize the cost of providing some goods and services and at the cost asked of Barbadians. International debt service and IMF terms and conditions are already eroding the independence economic model as Barbados now look to China for social investment to fund our new international lifestyle. A lifestyle without God where the innocent are exposed to international banks who violate directives by government ministries.

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A Time to Pause, Reflect, Change

Minister of Home Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams

The majority of Barbadians will awake to the news government paused its asinine plan to rename Independence Day to Barbados National Day. Although some of us understand the sterile rationale for the decision, how can our leaders forget the human considerations to making decisions that involve human beings? It is obvious the budding legacy of Prime Minister Mottley’s government will be the number of initiatives and projects which had to be paused, cancelled or were poorly implemented.

The blogmaster does need to be prolix to articulate the stupidity of the decision to rename Independence Day. It must be an insult for sensible Barbadians to be forced into having this kind of a debate. Perplexing is how the largest Cabinet in our history approved the decision – or did they. How is our government so detached from public sentiment to have mismanaged a simple matter of celebrating two important events on the national calendar?

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A Heather Cole Column – Barbados: Politically Independent Country-Economically Dependent People

barbadosI may have finally understood the concept of independence in Barbados. It is of a country which gained political independence from Great Britain in 1966 but somehow the teetered yoke of dependence remains firmly affixed to the necks of its people. I hope the sociologists and political scientists from the UWI will weigh in on this one.

We have had a long history of dependence. It was shaped by the slave masters who created a dependence for food and shelter during slavery. It was enhanced by the British Government during the colonial era and for the past 52 years that dependence has been enshrined by the successive political administrations which ruled after 1966. So, for the past 52 years politics has shaped our economic dependence.

The Bizzy Williams, Cow Williams, Mark Maloney’s and the lot all depend on each political administration for lucrative contracts and sweet heart deals to become successful. They have benefited from dependence. The poor and the middle class depend on the government for a job which technically ends up as a trap as they deny themselves independence.

The dependence on government jobs is a trap for life but most see it as job that belongs to them until they retire. That job security has instilled the dependency syndrome. They have failed to understand that they are not economically independent.

The two-party system has also been to our detriment. We have developed a penchant for political promises and believe that everything should be provided by government and if is not provided by one administration, the other plays a game of bait and switch. We have allowed successive administrations to prevent us from becoming economically independent.

We have not pressed for a referendum to effect change in any area; we are leaving it up to government to make those changes if they want to; we have not agitated for inclusions to be part of the ballot. Our dependency has put our fate in the hands of each administration. Two good cases that we have at present to press for a referendum on are the decriminalization of marijuana and the creation of a new mortgage legislation. Changes in both areas will alter our economic dependence. However, we are waiting patiently, depending on government to makes these changes that we need in its own time frame.

The retrenchment by the present administration has touched a sore nerve, everyone expecting the worse, pondering what people will go home to do, wondering how they will pay their bills, referring to the fact that they have children to send to school, being over reactionary about last- in first- out scenarios, the union are on high alert and predicting even more job losses. It is as if the skies were falling but all we are hearing are echoes of dependency.

It is the same dependency that has led us to be thinkers and not doers, to make abject criticism of everyone who has a difference of opinion, to discourage new ways to doing old things. We display the apathy of being stuck in rut when we are intelligent enough to do better. We have become so dependent on government that it has taken what has occurred during the past 10 years for some of us to admit that government does not have all the right answers.

Ultimately the one question that must be asked is if the only persons to receive economic freedom on November 30th, 1966 was the political class. Our success or failure should not depend on the political actions of government; we must become economically independent by becoming involved in activities to make us economically independent. We must change our mindset to understand that if ever a national retrenchment occurs, it is viewed as an opportunity for a people to change the course of their history.

What a Charade

Submitted by Bush Tea

If anything represents the hopelessness of Barbados’ current position, it is the annual ‘independence parade’.

What a load of rubbish.

No one with ANY kind of pride could possibly imagine that 51 YEARS after ‘independence’, our main NATIONAL event commemorating this ‘achievement’ would be a stupid parade that seeks to replicate almost exactly what the people from whom we are claiming independence, do.

Ok. For the first five years or so, it was understandable.
For the next ten years or so it may even have been tolerable…
But shiite man… FIFTY YEARS later, the best that our ‘military brass’ could come up with is an EXACT replica of the damn Queen’s birthday parade or some such British format?

Dress like them
March like them
think like them
behave like them…


What independence what?

We are albino-centric SLAVES of the worse possible sort
…slaves of the MIND.
Have we NO pride?
No imagination?
No creativity?

A simple look at (as despotic a place as) North Korea, or as informal as Dominica- shows that citizens can be mobilised in a patriotic display of nationalism. The best we have come up with is lewd, crude, vulgar, wuk-up and brek-up (and now shoot-up) behaviours at our Crap Over.

A mindset that DEFINES itself by what its former MASTERS do, half a century AFTER claiming to be independent is fooling NO one but itself.

Where there is no vision, the brass bowls perish.
Where there is no creativity, the JAs will languish in serfdom
Where there is no productivity, the downgrades will continue….

If Bajans are stupid enough to CONTINUE with the same level of RH ‘leadership’ that we have had over the past fifty years, then we FULLY deserve all that will be coming our way in the coming months and years…

Minister Denis Lowe Resignation MUST be on the Table -Flooding @Clarkes Road. St. James – GOD Bless BIM on Independence Day

Flooding in Clarke's Road

Clarke’s Road

clarkes-road-pMinister of Drainage Denis Lowe needs to go. There has been no improvement in the task to alleviate flooding in Barbados since his appointment. In fact, it has gotten worse. Surely it is time for commonsense to prevail and for the Prime Minister to give the opportunity to another person to bring a fresh approach to the job? Unfortunately we know that he will continue to have the backing of Prime Minister Stuart because he is a loyal foot soldier AND there is an election to be won.

For those whose lifes and properties continue to be threatened by heavy rainfall – what are we to do? Yes, we should be able to celebrate Independence Day (whatever that means) and discuss the attendant issues of the day.

By the way, are the weather radars working?

God bless BIM on Independence day.

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Errol Barrow Refused to be JOSHUA

Extracted from Open Letter to the Prime Minister: The People’s Price Tag on a Republic posted by flyonthewall.

Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow

Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow

Barbadians love their biblical stories and heroes, and they are adept at finding parallels in their own time. The story that resonates most strongly for black Barbadians, as indeed it has done for black Christians everywhere, is the freeing of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. It is not by coincidence that Grantley Adams was called the “Black Moses”.

But as we know, while Moses led his people out of Egypt, it was not his destiny to take them into the Promised Land. That responsibility – that privilege – would fall to Joshua. It would be Joshua whose army defeated the Canaanites; it would be he who would blow his horn to blast the walls of Jericho and, one by one, also bring down the other citadels of Canaan.

In 1966, there were many Barbadians who saw Errol Barrow as Joshua and were eager for the sound of his horn. The citadels would fall and the Canaanites would be routed, and within the context of Barbados at that time it’s not hard to figure out who the “Canaanites” were.

Errol Barrow shunned that role and we should all thank him for it. Had he embraced it, Barbados today would be another bankrupt experiment in democracy, a dysfunctional little rock in the Atlantic. He left the “Canaanites” in place in their citadels (i.e. White-run commercial enterprises) and set out to build a nation that would accommodate them.

I believe he knew that, in time, there would be more Israelites inside the citadels than Canaanites. What is more, they would build their own. Besides, he needed those White-run commercial enterprises – those citadels – to function well to help fund the vision he had for Barbados.

And Barrow was very adept at drawing on the talents and experience of those White business leaders. He knew that these men, despite their colour, would help him build a new Barbados. He asked them to serve and they did. What is more, they did it for free.

As I see it, Barrow chose the path of evolution rather than revolution, even though he knew it would be a far more gradual process than many wished it to be. And he made that path attractive by paving it with education and making it smoother to travel on. Across the Atlantic, in Africa, other leaders in newly independent countries chose differently.

There, a plethora of highly destructive “Joshuas” held Africa back for decades. Fifty years on, there is hardly a country on that continent in which democracy is anything but a thin coat of varnish.

Errol Barrow wanted to build a more equitable society but not by fire. What many people don’t appreciate is that, in the social hierarchy of Barbados – at least the Black hierarchy – he was an aristocrat. And aristocrats tend to value rather than despise order and stability.

He was an international thinker, extremely well educated and with a world view honed by participation in a world war. And on November 30, 1966, he knew EXACTLY how precarious his country’s future was.

Contrary to what some may believe Britain did not resist the idea of Independence for Barbados. What concerned the British Government of the day was that, having helped push the “Good Ship Barbados” out to sea, they would have to come rescue us as we foundered within sight of shore. Errol Barrow must have had the same fear. He knew that if it all went pear-shaped Barbados was well and truly f—-d.

That things did not go pear-shaped is due to his leadership and a vision that went far beyond politics. I have heard it said that he was autocratic, but in the early days of Independence he probably needed to be. (Besides, I have this said of other prime ministers we have had. From all accounts, Tom Adams was no “sweet bread” and neither was Owen Arthur.)

I’m grateful to Errol Barrow, and to the other leaders that Barbados produced since 1966. We may say they were flawed, but which of us isn’t. Fifty years on, I believe many Barbadians would willingly settle for some of that old-fashioned autocracy instead of what currently exists. We are drowning is politicians while starved for statesmen.

The difference between the two is this: a statesman thinks of the next generation; a politician thinks of the next election [BU’s Emphasis].

What Are We Celebrating?

Submitted by Heather Cole (The Barbados Lobby)

Heather Cole

Heather Cole

Barbadians are patriotic to the bone. Not even in the USA is Independence celebrated for a whole month as is done in Barbados. It is pride and industry and those colours of blue, gold and black that holds the threads that bind us all together.

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Remembering Our History – The Truth Newspaper

MindingmybusinessIn is the month of November. It is the month Barbadians celebrate ‘Independence’ from England in 1966. It is the month Barbadians also reflect on the journey travelled in the last 49 years.

BU received the following from a well known student of our history.  The Truth […] Continue reading

When Industry Stifles and Pride Blinds

Submitted by Pachamama

What does the broker trident mean?

What does the broker trident mean?

Barbados is built on the notion of industry. It was, from the beginning, a highly questionable concept. At the atomic level there has been little to undergird it. Maybe it was merely aspirational but serious government could never afford such a luxury. It surely has never been associated with determined, national, long and medium term plans that would make flesh of this ‘industry’. We will look beyond the words to examine the underbelly. We will ask the questions, how could there be any real pride without industry? What is pride anyway?

There are several definitions. In common usage the dominant thinking includes the protection of adverse information Bajans would prefer no one else to discover. It is about showing a good face to the publics and masking reality. It is about maintaining ‘paling’ to hide certain activities. It is about pretending poverty not to exist. It is about assuming that we are smarter than anybody else. Or that our island is more beautiful than anywhere else. That we are highly educated and ours is the best school system in the Caribbean, at least. That racism does not exist. That politicians are elected to serve our interests. Its a false pride!

It is never to be connected to industry, in practical terms, for we would then have to deal with problems nobody wants to. The nexus of pride and industry means we will have to deal with land reform, for example, but pride alone says that one White man (COW Williams) could own 20% of the arable land. Thus, this national mindset which says that our relationship to land must be about house spots, cuts us off from the possibilities of real industrial expansion. There cannot be industrial expansion without a radical land reform. Consolidation stifles the creativity of the many and unduly elevates a perverse distortion in the distribution of wealth. Where is the pride in that?

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The Government And Opposition Party In Cahoots To Keep Transparency Legislation Off The Statute Book

Owen Arthur, Leader of the opposition (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)

The month of November seems appropriate to blog about transparency in government. Thirty plus years ago the Tom Adams led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) attempt to proclaim Integrity Legislation was still born. The incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government – led by the late Prime Minister David Thompson – promised Barbadians within 100 days of being elected Integrity and Freedom of Information Legislation would have been a priority. One wonders how MP Mara Thompson feels when she reflects on the promise made by her late husband to Barbadians.

In fairness to the DLP, a lukewarm attempt was made to read the anti-Corruption Bill but both political parties have cried foul. The bill when last we checked was languishing in a sub committee of parliament. BU is not sure what is the status of the proposed Freedom of Information bill.

That both parties would conspire to mamaguy Barbadians about their intention to introduce transparency legislation is instructive. The fact we are still to mature as a nation by crafting a governance system which holds politicians accountable, contradicts the billions we have invested in education post-Independence. Introducing transparency legislation does not call for any significant demand on the treasury of Barbados. What possibly could be the reason successive governments have delayed enacting Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation?

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Barbados Sold!

Kammie Holder

I am no Messiah or seer, I am no saboteur or maverick, I am but a Barbadian who seeks to exercise his right to free speech and provide feedback to those entrusted with governance. Some scoff at me for challenging the status quo rather than follow the crowd blindly, my honesty is not for hire or rent just to maintain a social invite. It`s better to stand alone like a rough diamond, than stand among hypocrites like autumn leaves to be found everywhere.

We became independent 44 years ago, we felt self rule was better for us rather than governance by our former colonial master, but have we been strict craftsmen of our fate. Sadly, Barbados land mass of 166 sq miles is being lost to foreigners with its population of approximately 300,000 persons. The lost of Barbados land mass and the selling of major Barbadian companies to foreign entities can only ensure financial slavery for those coming after us. The aforementioned transactions can only be shortsighted and an indication of a lack of understanding of the Future Value Concept. Let me reminded you, he who feeds you, controls you. The social scientist on the hill are totally silent on the foreign acquisition of Barbadian companies and loss of arable land, I wonder why.

It hurts immensely, that we have been entrusted with the governance of this country by future Barbadians, yet we are selling it to the highest bidder. The shortsightedness of both the political parties has ensured that we have no alien land ownership laws for a 166 sq mile island. When the whirlwind comes which political party will take blame?

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Looking At Independence Without The Spectacles Of False Nationalism… breaking free of the mis-education that represses the Genie(us)

Submitted by Ras Jahaziel

Click image to learn more

In Barbados, children of The Disinherited celebrating “Independence” day. In the USA, children of The Disinherited and the mis-educated celebrating Thanks-giving day.


The greatest success of The Colonizing Enterprise has been its ability to infuse amongst its subjects, by means of education, a false sense of nationalism, so that each slave would narrow his vision of nationhood to the confines of the plantation.

Such educated ignorance has kept the islands of the Caribbean clinging to midget-budget-oriented politics in the pursuit of sustaining the unsustainable, while nurturing the youth with self-delusionary myths that were bound to produce psychic alienation from any thought of calling to purpose and calling to destiny.

Failure to tell the children the truth is thus the main reason why so many of them have filled their spiritual vacuums with the wines of materialism, anarchy, and self-destruction.

So through all the clouds of celebratory euphoria what is this puzzling phenomenon that we are seeing today? Here on one side we see Slaves thanking the same White God that blessed slavery. And over yonder what else are we seeing? A creature of Colonialism called “a proud Bajan” singing anthems that mock his intelligence and seek to make of him a fool; and he stands at attention loudly proclaiming “these fields and  hills  are now our very  own” and never questioning WHERE ARE OUR FIELDS AND WHERE ARE OUR HILLS?

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Where Are We Headed After Independence?

Kammie Holder

What is your mirror image? Barbados as a sovereign nation became independent from Britain 44 years ago. As an island we have achieved much in the last 44 years, thanks to the foresight of our past leaders. Most Barbadians, enjoy a standard of living which is the envy of many of their neighbors and others. Free bus fare for school children, free lunch for primary school children, free health care and free education.  How much better can it get? A per capital income of $19,300 and a Human Development Index Rating of 42 out of 169 countries. However, have our progress and successes blinded us from being strict guardians of our fate?  Probably a case of complacency and ignorance replacing Pride & Industry! Many man hours lost due to water outages and construction work being carried out on highways during peak traffic. Some may complain about my highlighting of the creeping cracks which threatens our accomplishments over the last 44yrs, but my responsibility is to my son and to Bajans not born yet. Therefore I will never forfeit my right to freedom of speech and expression; too many of us want to win a fight without fighting! Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself who or what am I fighting for.

In 2010 we have the major telecommunications companies being foreign owned. Where are the local black businessmen who brag about how much money they have? The power company is about to be gobbled up by a Canadian Corporate giant whose only motive may be supernormal profits. Will the Barbados Water Authority be next? Why would we consider a Waste to Energy plant in Barbados with the toxic Dioxin being a byproduct, when we can utilize the free sunshine we receive 300 days a year for energy generation.   How much smarter are we in our 44th year of Independence? Where are the investigative journalists in our 44th year of independence or is it a case of media houses putting commercial interests before reporting relevant news?

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