Infected by Political Opportunism

… Powah [power] is a funny thing. Persons we may otherwise have seen as rational and students of sound governance suddenly do the oddest of things. Isn’t this the ongoing crux of the NIS? And it happens frequently in the private sector too. Despite all the protestations, did ICBL get contracts which were facilitated? What else did they get? The fourth estate has never seen fit to publicly question the Board of CBL? I know of situations where a subsidiary may begin sinking, and the Board changes like rats off a sinking ship. The big ups from the parent don’t want association with a failure. But that doesn’t stop the same persons who bailed from forcing their decisions upon the Board, sometimes even at the complete exclusion of the Board. Powah is a funny thing…


The blogmaster has been observing the strident views expressed by citizens of Barbados about whether to vaccinate. A few thousand were motivated to march during the pandemic. People have the right to behave as they like provided no laws are being broken. Local newsfeeds both traditional and and social media continue to be choked daily with news about Covid 19. There is so much information being shared that it is thought to be contributing to Covid 19 fatigue globally.

The environment is perfect for opposition forces to put ‘licks’ in the government to win favour with a general election due in 2023, the latest. It is the idealist who believes political forces in any country will ever see the benefit of working together in the interest of the public if there is political capital to be gained.

Does it make intelligent Barbadians ponder why political parties and agents are motivated to be ’vocal’ about selected issues? In recent months there has been some noise made about the decision by the Mia Mottley government to replace the Queen of England (soon to be King) with a local daughter of the soil. The anecdotal feedback from a cross section of locals continues to expose a lack of understanding about the workings of the government. One suspects it will take a generation of educating the general public to meet the civic awareness gap.

If there is a lack of understanding about the basic workings of government is it reasonable to expect Barbadians to be motivated to march in thousands or flood daily talk shows about governance related matters? For years the National Insurance Fund has been managed like Babsie rum shop. Under successive government the embarrassing situation exist where our most important fund is unable to produce up to date audited financial statements. Through it all the Barbados public continues to be unaware of the accurate state of the fund.

Why has the public, including the Fourth Estate not vigorously pursued the Four Seasons transaction to hold political actors accountable? This is a transaction that exposes mismanagement and corrupt behaviour of both political parties when in government supported by senior public servants. We have Mia Mottley who was contracted to do legal work for Four Seasons now prime minister and one of her Mercedes driving financial consultants Avinash Persaud, former executive chairman. Not to forget a former dead Prime Minister David Thompson who hired both of them.

The political outrage directed at Mark Maloney for failing to deliver Covid 19 vaccine is interesting if seen in the context of a player who was heavily engaged by the former DLP government. The blogmaster does not condone the obvious lack of transparency surrounding the procurement of Covid 19 vaccine. What is being asked of our gullible Fourth Estate and Public Servants whose role is to serve the public for good of country – why have you vacated your responsibility? Some of us will not be fooled by those who seek to manipulate public opinion to satisfy narrow interest.

For more than a decade no audited financial statements of the National Insurance Fund, for more than a decade the Auditor General has been highlighting issues without redress by successive governments, for more than four decades successive governments have turned a blind eye to private transportation woes in Barbados, to the point it has developed a sub culture, for decades successive governments have pursued the lazy path to managing the economy by dumping our eggs in one tourism basket, for years we have asked successive governments to revamp the education system to ensure our people are adequately equipped to sustain our competitiveness in a fast moving world, for years we have asked for a fit for purpose waste to energy solution, a judicial system promising for years to crash under its weight …

Barbadians are some of the issues mentioned not worthy of your outrage? Are you willing to march if asked for any one of the issues mentioned? We know the answer therefore do not expect anything to change.

In 2023 the blogmaster will ask Donville Inniss to start a new political party to lead us to a different place. A suggested slogan sure to win favour with the public is ”The Return of the Don”.

Barbados – More About Pig-food Than Paideia

Submitted by Pachamama

The Black-African trained, philosopher, Plato concluded that Greek education was only ‘fit for pigs’. Another Greek, Socrates, also educated in Kemet, considered paideia, or deep education, as singularly worthwhile. Both Plato and Socrates were educated for decades at the feet of Black-African scholars. From the Pre-Dynastic Period to the 30th Dynasty, these were the inventors of the foundations of all knowledge. For example, the first script known to man, the Medu Netcher.

Modern Barbados represents the pigpen of a Greek miseducation as circuitously routed through the Sumerians, Phoenicians, Romans and Anglo-Saxons, with diversions. So Greek education has become Western education and the stench emanating from its pigpen is now making it impossible for average people to survive, throughout the world.

Any independent observer of world affairs cannot avoid certain fundamental conclusions. These must include the reality that western civilization, if it ever was, is at its nadir. There is indeed an emerging ‘consensus’ that any development beyond this point could only be in the areas of inter-planetary industrialization, 5-G technologies, cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI) etc. All undergird by a vicious, rapacious, financialization of economy as manifested recently by Courts Barbados Ltd establishing a financial arm. Most corporations of any substance now have either a bank, a shadow bank, a hedge fund and/or a finance company to engage in what Sambbo, Ptah, deemed to be ungodly – making money from money. Up to 95% of corporate profits are now coming from investments in financial instruments. Bricks and mortar entities are now, more and more, used in mobilization. Mottley should be aware that crypto-currencies represent a bubble which will be the first to see deep reversals, as has happened already, and they should be avoided at all cost. Also, we see no measurement in her BERT of the galloping de-dollarization movement throughout the world. Since MAM seems to believe herself as the darling of the IMF maybe she should demand to repay them in Barbados dollars.

But for Owen Seymour Arthur (OSA) to suggest a development model of the kind he misled this country with for 14 years borders on treason. For Hilary McDonald Beckles and the UWI, which is the preeminent industrial producer of pig food, according to Plato, to sanctify Arthur’s work with a professorship is worthy of the ultimate fate. Nobody, including OSA or anybody else at the UWI, can explain to the peoples of this region the workings of a financialized economy, yet professorships can be awarded. The elites of our region have never failed to find the flimsiest justifications for their useless existences. Who is not a professor, is a doctor, a legend, a knight, a dame, a QC, a blog master, or some pig shiite! Titles and entitlements are the names of their games; all are useless claims to fame for elite forces on all sides.

And Plato’s pig food has not seeped, it has flooded, the new Barbados Labour Party government of Mia Amor Mottley (MAM), with its, all-powerful, one-party, statist regime, masquerading as democracy. On a point of full disclosure, we must admit that Mottley has brought a distinctively different texture of ‘leadership’ to government. We are afraid however that the early signs seem to indicate that there was no real ‘Mottley revolution’ as Hilary McDonald Beckles self-servingly mouthed days after her resounding electoral victory. What we witnessed was no more than the pig food of political marketing as made infamous by Edward Bernays, Lippmann and their Joseph Goebbels. More worrying is Mottley’s insistence that a team of ‘economic advisors’ led by a Kevin Greenidge, an agent of the Atlanticists, Clyde Mascoll, a man too well-rooted in theories which have delivered antidevelopment to the South and Avinash Persaud, a real-real false ‘professor’, are to be the ‘corporate undertakers’ for Barbados. It is a team which has not a clue about the workings of a degenerative capitalist system or the financialization of economy as an end-stage manifestation. A team which has the temerity to advise the hapless people of Barbados that a BERT plan could bring deliverance, in the medium-term, while failing to adequately measure the impending deep corrections within leading economies which will be worse than 2008 by orders of magnitude, as we have long predicted, and as others are only now starting to say will occur before the end of 2019. Why has a guillotine not been appropriately erected, as an instrument for radical transformation? For the “T’ in BERT is for tinkering! How is it possible to have transformation without the long-denied land appropriation? How could the merchants of pig food, with a straight face, continue to insist that the debt owed our ancestors is to be put at their (his) disposal but never is there a demand for land appropriation? The elites in Barbados are all kef and kin. There are no differences between Beckles, Arthur, Cow Williams, Bizzy Williams, Charles Herbert and Joseph Atherley. They are all the same swine seeking pig food from the public’s purse.

The so-called Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Atherley, is a mature idiot who has tricked the people of Barbados for a higher level of pig food. He obviously sees nothing improper with him being a politically gluttonous pig. But it seems to give his typology of Bajan a kind of perverse self-importance in wanting to pass a law that could limit bloggers from saying that he is a complete ass (whole). It tells you about the eminence of ignorance pervading the parliament of Barbados, a poor-rakey parliament still, according to OSA. Does he not know that it is impossible to so exert pressure on speech in an Internet age, unless you are Google? What could be more disgraceful than he pretending to lead an opposition to a regime to which he is a long-standing member? Indeed, the Mottley victory may well hasten the end of duopoly politics in Barbados. Bajans might have well leaped from the frying pan into the fire. Joseph Atherley provides the quintessential proof of deep crisis within elite forces in Barbados and elsewhere. We should all work to hasten their total demise, by any means necessary. Let’s carry these pigs to market!

Bloggers Warned to Connect the …

Long time BU blogger Observing submitted the following links with the plea for the BU family to connect the dots. The blogmaster has added the assist by snipping excerpts from the links submitted to start the ball rolling

BU blogmaster

Still observing and connecting dots as a hobby.

The essence of all of these known rhythms is that they link us to a past of chattel servitude where there was little choice for self fulfillment. In time these rhythms. isolated as they were in tenantries and yards and the dancehall, fortified our resolve towards freedom and independence.

INTERFERENCES in the domestic affairs, and election politics in particular, by foreigners in North America and Europe have been an old problem for some Caribbean countries ever since their independence from Britain. Best known victims of such interferences with money and so-called “experts”, are known to have been Jamaica and Guyana; Grenada, Dominica, St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda


KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) has become embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal as the opposition on Tuesday (March 20) questioned Prime Minister Najib Razak’s role in using the big data firm to score wins in the country’s 2013 polls.

But the administration has denied employing the firm, and said any services were provided personally to former BN leader turned opposition politician Mukhriz Mahathir.

Update on March 17, 2018, 9:50 AM PT: The claim that this is a data breach is completely false. Aleksandr Kogan requested and gained access to information from users who chose to sign up to his app, and everyone involved gave their consent. People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked.

Interesting election ahead indeed. All the trial balloons have been flown, let’s see where they land.

My regards to the fellow bloggers


A Classless Political Class | Tis the Season for Yardfowls

Governor General Dame Sandra Mason appointed weeks before a general election is constitutionally due.

For some of us forced to observe AND participate in the politics of Barbados AND the region – the Machiavellian flavour our politics has elevated/descended does not fit with the personable disposition that has defined us as a people up until the 70s and 80s. The blogmaster subscribes to the view we must be who we want to be and avoid following the multitude. We must thrive to inculcate those values which are forged from the unique struggles of our forefathers. How can we boast of emancipating ourselves from mental slavery yet by our decisions remain hipped locked to the attitudes and aspirations of others?

In recent years members of the BU household have been overwhelmed by the precipitous degree our standards have fallen in every sphere of life’s endeavour. Our moral and ethical behaviour, the rot of our physical infrastructure, waning of a Bajan brand, even our position on the top of the rung occupied by King cricket.

Director of Public Prosecutions Donna Babb appointed a few weeks before a general election is constitutionally due.

What tugs at the heartstrings of the blogmaster is the obvious contempt and lack of respect displayed by politicians of the region for their Bajan counterparts. The BU household was weaned on the politics of a period influenced greatly by Errol Barrow, Tom Adams, Bernard St. John, Henry Forde, Owen Arthur, Brandford Taitt, Billie Miller and others who stood tall and commanded the respect of their peers.  This was reflected in the positions they were elected to represent the region and on international bodies. Bajan pride and and the confidence it instilled was a commodity easily sliced with a knife.  It is no surprise we were a people that felt confident and good about itself and was able to  reasonably negotiate the prevailing economic and social challenges of the time.

In recent times we have witnessed a dismantling of gains achieved since 1966. Our politicians and technocrats- by extension Barbadians- appear to be clueless as to what is required to retool Barbados to enable it to sustain the level of development others have worked selflessly to attain. The deer in headlights approach by the current lot has had the effect of ‘emasculating’ a once proud people.  We have reached a point where it does not matter the type or number of polices implemented by this government there is the resignation they will all fail. It is what is referred to in the world of economics as the law of diminishing returns. The obvious result is ‘political utility’ declines and leads to a ‘steady state equilibrium’, what a wonderful turn of phrase prime minister Fruendel Stuart, so cited.

David Comissiong, President of the Clement Payne Movement recently highlighted the classless of the government to rush amendment to the Police Act (click image to read)

It therefore harrows the minds of the political sane among us why this government continues to move full steam ahead by making important appointments and implementing policy changes with a general election a few weeks away. It is a politically ethical corrupt behaviour and one that exposes this political class for what it is, classless. And before the yardfowls chime it to state the obvious, we agree that the government has the legal standing to continue to make appointments and policy until parliament is dissolved. Very much in the same way the sitting minister of transport has traditionally sold PSV and Taxi permits in the last days of tenure.

What a betrayal of our own by our own for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver. This comes after dumping billions into education by successive governments.

Barbadians Must See Beyond the Sophistry

Submitted by William Skinner

Emboldened by a now decadent and decaying two party system, we have apparently opted to embrace a society bereft of regulatory might. The citizens have been, in some cases, willing accomplices to the cowardly abandonment of their historical mission by the political managerial class. In every area of civic responsibility, we have allowed the devolution of duty whether it entails the mismanagement of the sewage systems or failure to control the destructive mini bus culture. To some degree, we are all accomplices to the current plight of our circumstance.

From blatant political party favouritism at state agencies such as the national housing, transport board and welfare departments to the obvious corporate political gymnastics of the CLICO corruption, we have been caught with blood on our hands. We allow inconsiderate vendors to dump their coconut shells any where they choose and turn a blind eye to political nepotism and underlying corporate racism and greed. Therefore, the results of our collective ineptitude have now been ruthlessly exposed.

This is not a condition peculiar to our society but one endemic of many societies in the region, emerging from a slave/colonialist past. Our plight is synonymous with those who gleefully declare the race over and the victory won long before reaching the finishing line. It is almost an embarrassment to suggest that we have been governed mainly by delusion.

These statements are not intended to be blistering and do not suggest that we cannot change the course for the betterment of our society. The question that will inevitably be posed is: How do we move on from here? The first step that must be taken is the difficult realization that independence does not mean the raising of a flag, a national anthem and too many public holidays. The elevation of outstanding citizens to that of National Hero, is indeed a worthwhile exercise but its usefulness to the national psyche is diluted if our children have no knowledge of the reason for such elevation.

However, without hesitation, we must note that the embodiment of the excellence we seek, can be found in at least one of those heroes, who with talent, fearlessness and exciting mastery, clearly demonstrated what it takes to beat a man at his own game. That same creativity and the ability to make rather than copy; to be the engineer and not the engineered, is what we ought to seek at this time of national socio-economic bewilderment.

The workshop of sustainable national pride and progress requires tools of: national energy, innovation and creativity. Having survived physical degradation, it is imperative that we believe that mental victory is now the only worthwhile goal. Against this background, the citizen must see beyond the sophistry of those whose only ambition is to enhance only themselves and should no longer allow political sycophants and corporate parasites to guide them toward their own destruction.

The Grenville Phillips Column – A Bunch of Hypocrites

Grenville Phillips II, Leader of SB

As I engage the younger generation, who we are training to manage Barbados after we have gone to the great beyond, I am normally impressed with their general boldness and ability to articulate their concerns.

I recently saw a young fellow who appeared to have just graduated from secondary school selling newspapers.  I bought one and then gave him a $10 tip as I explained to him that I wanted to encourage him to keep doing the right thing.  He politely accepted the gift, and I was impressed by his politeness.  He should do well in business, because he was selling a high-demand product in a high-trafficked location, and he was polite – which is a valuable asset.

I also encountered persons selling mangoes.  Some had no fear about explaining that they had picked them from a neighbour’s yard.  They felt justified since they did not pick all, but left some, that were harder to reach, for their neighbour.  They also felt entitled to the mangoes since they previously chased the monkeys from stealing the fruit.

They asked me what I will do about police coming into their community and taking bribes for looking the other way.  They laughed when I informed them about the Police Complaints Authority, saying that it is a joke.  I asked them whether they had ever made a complaint, and they admitted that they had not because it is a joke.  I explained that they should first make a complaint, and then observe the response before they conclude that it is joke.

They agreed that this was a rational approach, but then countered by stating that they were tired of all of the hypocrisy in Barbados.  Why is everyone preaching “do as I say but not as I do”?  They then asked some pertinent questions.

Why are obese health officials preaching that the public should not enjoy the unhealthy foods that they seem to be enjoying in abundance?  Why are people with high salaries telling those who are barely getting by to tighten their belts?  Why are people who are always drinking preaching that others should drink responsibly?
When I asked about their choice of job, they tried to justify their choice of employer.  What is the difference between having an employer who tells you to use substandard materials and methods, and having a gang lord who tells you to sell drugs?  In both cases, the employers are doing wrong, customers get hurt, and if they get caught, you will be out of a job.  So what is the real difference?

Why do the police leave the men who pay and receives bribes, and the restaurants that dilute drinks, and contractors who do bad work, and shops that sell defective products, and supermarkets that sell expired food alone, but want to arrest the fellows who are selling drugs?  How is that right?  I agreed that it was not right, and that in a Solutions Barbados administration, they would all be treated equitably.

This brings us to the political poster issue.  The Barbados Light and Power formally requested all political parties not to place posters on their poles.  One reason given is that they can seriously injure workers.  Respect for private property is a basic human right in Barbados, and is protected by our constitution.  Politicians who want to write our nation’s laws, but unashamedly violate constitutional property rights in full public view, are extremely poor examples for our youth.

Fortunately for all of us, there is an upcoming general election and an opportunity for us to select better political models for our nation’s justifiably cynical youth.  Your responsibility in this regard is to simply note every political candidate on a utility pole, and do not vote for them.

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

The March to Déjà vu


The Act will require every person who is a ‘person in public life’ when the Act comes into force to make an initial disclosure to the Commission within three (3) months of the date of commencement of the Act. In the case of a person who becomes a ‘person in public life’ after the commencement of the Act, it will provide for the initial disclosure to be made within three (3) months of the date of his becoming a ‘person in public life’ – Extracted from a Speech delivered by the late David Thompson in January 8, 2008.

Even if a small number of marchers than expected turn up on Monday the government finds itself in a lose lose situation. The big picture that must remain painted in the minds of all Barbadians is the economy stupid. With less than a year to go before the next general election, it is unlikely even to the proverbial optimist this government will be able to infuse sufficient confidence in the marketplace to fuel a greater level of productivity. In summary, if the private sector through its executive fails to demonstrate that it has the support of workers on Monday it will retreat to other means, flight of capital is one example. A trip down memory lane to the period 1991 to 1993 is a reminder that a government that fails to enjoy the confidence of its private sector is doomed to fail.

On the other side of the equation is the Union in a fight some say it cannot afford to lose. With the private sector showing the Union support and about to execute the phalanx maneuver -the Barbados climate, not industrial, is about to become more elevated. How does one determine if the Union ‘loses’? Is it based on the hundreds, no thousands of man-hours wasted because of absenteeism, go slows, employees on the job who have disengaged, how about those who see no wrong in misusing government owned assets?

The right to demonstrate once done peacefully and the rule of law respected is the inalienable right of a citizen or group under the democratic system practiced in Barbados.  The government operatives have pulled the race card which exposes a level of desperation and panic in the camp. Bear in mind this is a government whose political campaign was bankrolled by a White Bjerkham and company in 2007/2008, and to boot,  rewarded him with a seat on the board of the Central Bank of Barbados.

The Stuart led government finds itself in an unenviable position in the political history of Barbados. It explains why the usually studied public utterances of Comrade Bobby Morris have of recent descended into a pit of defamatory bile.  In the 90s the DLP Sandiford administration fell as a result of a public AND internal withdrawal of confidence in his government. Are we about to witness lightning striking twice on the same party? Are the political historians waiting with pen in hand to ink events as they are about to unfold that will include DLP déjà vu in the table of contents?

Part of the problem Barbados is experiencing is that the message of change promised to Barbados first by Thompson and then Stuart who won because the BLP got it wrong has not materialized. We have had more of the same from this DLP government with continuing rumours of corruption supported by Auditor General reports, ineffective Public Accounts Committee sessions, dissenting positions from within the bowels of Cabinet, questionable NIS management read Four Seasons and EMERA, defacing of the Central Bank’s reputation, Cahill etc, etc, etc. All of the forgoing has been compounded by a prime minister who refuses to use the power of speech to communicate to those he leads. It is at election time the sleeping giant feels emboldened to shout from Mount Olympus to the sheeple.

To the topical issue of march or not to march AND the motive of those  who support the march. First a disclosure: Charles Herbert is known to the BU household and the attempt to smear a man who has lived his life so far to build a solid reputation in Barbados as a professional and citizen is to be regretted. It is a clear example why quality Barbadians resist getting involved in ‘giving back’ to society. He should have remained  in his lucrative practice, make his millions and forget about the plebs. Members of the BU household have observed him sitting at town hall meetings quietly taking notes, asking questions when many of the BLACK yardfowls attacking his character today stayed at home watching TV or at Chefette purchasing takeaway dinner. One of the reasons the citizenry has to resort to disruptive methods to demonstrate against a government unwilling to listen is because our governance system is flawed. There is no avenue to recall the government in a structured and less disruptive manner, for example, support in the Constitution to cede the POWER to RECALL to  the people.

At the root of our problem is the lack of integrity and transparency in public office.

The George Brathwaite Column – DLP’s Dodge

George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

“The least we can expect from our leaders is to deal with the ‘issues of real life’, [and] provide at the very least … shelter, healthcare, education, sanitation, and transport” – Senator Dr. Jerome X. Walcott, 2016).

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) performed sufficiently impressive to put Barbados as the number one developing country in the world by the end of 2007. The BLP team comprised of persons devoted to service such as Mia Mottley, George Payne, Dale Marshall, Glyne Clarke, Ronald Toppin, Kerrie Symmonds, Trevor Prescod and others inclusive of Lynette Eastmond who now chairs the unknown United Progressive Party (UPP). Between 1994 and 2008, the BLP managed to bring unemployment down from a very scary 26.5 % to as low as 6.5 %. The BLP as a team serious about governing and running the affairs of Barbados met numerous challenges, scaled many hurdles, and maximized the opportunities that would boost Barbados’ socio-economic fortunes.

Owen Arthur remains the longest serving Prime Minister and, arguably, the most adept Minister of Finance in post-independence Barbados. Throughout his tenure as prime minister, Arthur stood tall on the democratic socialism of Sir Grantley Adams. He was emboldened by the embrace of JMGM ‘Tom’ Adams, and encouraged ‘only the best’ for Barbados. Even Errol Barrow’s thrust for ‘friends of all, satellites of none’ helped Arthur to carve a developmental niche for Barbados that was compatible with the needs of the country and satisfying for the expectations of the people, regardless of their social status. The BLP’s public policies and programs offered increased socio-economic prospects and, the scope of much legislation was captured in the cloth of higher earnings and distributive justice. By global indicators, the BLP had in three election cycles placed Barbados on the verge of stepping up to a higher status of economic and social development.

Then came 2008 and a politics of uncertainty that seemed lopsidedly incestuous. Divisiveness replaced the politics of inclusion and determined leadership. Thousands of Barbadians presumed that they would have been better off with the re-entry of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) to the governance arena. The politics of innuendo, was emotively practiced by David Thompson, and won the day over the diminutive leader. Some commentators speculated and unjustly followed the DLP’s fabrication that Arthur’s politics had become arrogant and emitted intimations of malfeasance. For almost a decade under the spectacle that ‘Barbados is more than an economy, it is a society’, the DLP has been a beleaguered government. During this DLP sojourn, Barbados has not become a failed state; nor has every implemented measure of social or democratic development showed regress. Rather, the DLP has dodged and wobbled regarding Barbados’ development.

The signs have pointed to an economic shallowness that is compounded by policies which induce societal backwardness. The DLP’s choices and policy preferences superficially appear paternalistic, but have more regularly been dismissive of critics. Cabinet Ministers attempt to control everything from the national discourse to who gains access to tertiary education. In effect, the DLP government under its current leadership, has largely denied and dampened the expectations of Barbadians through inertia, threat and control mechanisms. The result is that Barbadians are poorer and worse off in mid-2017 than in January 2008.

The abject disappointment for the Barbadian population regarding the DLP’s approach and actual performances in public policy can be realistically set against a series of unending tax-grabs, and the several botched fiscal initiatives which have become characteristic of the DLP’s return to government. Failure abounds in many places, and the DLP has created multiple ways to pursue a blinkered focus of development in which unsound judgements have made progress a pitiful lament. Social services have become appalling and under-financed by the DLP. Access to basic social services appears more difficult and disconcerting for Barbadians.

For example, the provision of basic services under the DLP regime, such as providing clean water and proper sanitation, has been acutely problematic and prolonged. The troubling experiences of residents in St. Joseph and other northern parishes, cannot be hosed away by any momentary gush of water. The fact is that for too long, these rustic folks were unable to consistently access clean water in their homes. On the issue of sanitation, workers of the Sanitation Services Authority (SSA) deserve medals of commendation for their work despite the atrocious approach of Minister Denis Lowe. Since 2013, Barbadians saw nasty evidence of the terrible dereliction of duty emerging from the DLP Cabinet. On several occasions and sometimes over months, the garbage build-up in Barbados became unbearable in terms of size and stench. It was disgusting that Barbadians were forced to accept the SSA’s plight of operating with a regular working fleet of five or six trucks due to the negligence of the substantive Minister, while the garbage unhealthily swelled – thereby becoming eyesores for the nation and our tourists.

Today, Barbadians are fighting to escape the clutches of intergenerational poverty. Young men and women are doing their best to cope with the vagaries of underemployment, and the exploitation that has become commonplace in badly skewed power relations. Low and middle-income families are trying to adapt to lifestyles which negate the terrible effects of non-communicable diseases. Yet, these same people are forced to live through depressed earning capacities and lesser disposable incomes, while being kept at the periphery of tertiary education. Bright young minds hang on through bursary but they simply cannot keep abreast of the inflationary DLP policies that pushed the prices of food, medicines, and daily maintenance through the ceiling.

Shamelessly, DLP Ministers and the parliamentary group continue to shout down those who disagree with their antics or are critical of their long lists of shortcomings. Just recently, Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett instead of utilizing his energy to address hunger, homelessness, and joblessness which are all affecting his constituents and thousands of Barbadians throughout the urban corridor, preferred to pitch his tent on the party mound. Blackett accompanied by several DLP surrogates, mocked the reality that is suffocating the masses. Blackett carried his charade ‘into the constituency to distribute the FACTS’ according to the DLP’s propaganda team. Boasting that the DLP has a ‘stellar record’, the Minister has had little or nothing to show that has improved the lot for the aged, the poor, hurting parents or the many childless women who lack anyone to come to their welfare assistance. DLP supporters are themselves finding it difficult to remain silent on public policies that have brought about more pain than gain for Barbadians under the Stuart-Sinckler combination.

In another display of castigation from the DLP, it was Senator Jeptor Ince’s turn to demonstrate the type of behaviour that can occur when ignorance conflicts with haughtiness. Ince, insulted the private sector in Barbados when he short-sightedly ranted that the sector is “an extension of the public service and a parasitic plant in the bosom of Government.” Senator Ince made no apology or even worthy qualification, although he felt it necessary to say that entities comprising the local private sector “have no grounds for complaining.” Ince implied that the private sector and Barbadians in general should simplistically accept whatever is offered by the Minister of Finance and the DLP Government. If Ince’s remarks were signs of a pyrrhic victory, then it is more worrisome that Barbadians are fed-up with the current socio-economic situation about to be unleashed in Barbados after July 1st.

Indeed, things are becoming harder and unbearable under the austere vice-grip of Finance Minister Sinckler. The DLP’s severe strangulation and/or reduction in the provision of social services to the citizens and residents are alarming. The seemingly uncaring or badly incompetent DLP government continues to make a deplorable mess in public transport, on top of the deficiencies seen in sanitation, education, healthcare, and other needed services. Even with the heavily subsidized public transportation system, bus-shortages and inadequate designation of routes, are like daily slaps in the faces of the poor masses who depend on public transportation for maintaining their livelihoods. Who can forget the moving and deceptive DLP advertisement in the lead up to the last general elections? It ultimately floored Arthur and a realistic approach to discussing privatization and people empowerment.

The DLP must realise that the adequate provision of basic social services is an input into aggregate economic activity and national productivity. Prime Minister Stuart is Barbados’ National Productivity Champion for 2017. It was Stuart that asserted productivity is “the pivot on which the entire society spins,” and consequentially, Barbadians young and old, will struggle daily to stave off the punitive and counter-productive measures of Finance Minister Sinckler. Doubtlessly, conceit, vanity, and failure have become synonymous with the post-2008 DLP Cabinets. The DLP’s dodge ought to bring its demise in the next general elections.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email:

The French in Bajan Politics

Mia Mottley and Freundel Stuart represent the duopoly

Those of us who refuse to navel gaze by maintaining a keen interest in global affairs would have followed the the Brexit referendum and all that ensued in the United Kingdom, followed by the elevation of Donald Trump to the presidency of the USA. Both outcomes represent outcomes not predicted by many talking heads who represent the establishment. Both events exposed rising concerns by citizens about unfettered immigration; unprotected borders as well as the need to have greater focus on the domestic economy.

The French presidential election has taken on global interest in light of Brexit and the rise of Trumpism. As we scribe this blog Marine Le Pen from the far-right and Emmanuel Macron labelled a centrist have been projected to move to the second round of voting to determine who will be president of France on the 07 May 2017.

The BU household does not boast of any intimate knowledge of the political landscape of France, however, even from our arms distance there is enough to observe to provoke a comparison and critique of the Barbados political space.  One of the observations by French political commentators has been that the French people will have the opportunity to vote for the kind of France they want. In Macron they have a man who does not believe in left or right political ideologies but prefers the pragmatic approach to confronting the issues that confront France. He has taken the view for example that a strong France will have its foundation in the European Union.  On the other side of the presidential race there is Le Pen whose nationalist bent is about pursuing an anti European Union, anti immigration agenda and to reinstate the Franc as the currency of choice.

Unlike France there is no marked difference in the political ideology of the two main political parties that have governed Barbados since Independence in 1966. The homogeneity of the duopoly Barbadians have had to chose has led to a stasis state and a creep in voter lethargy.  BU is hopeful the platform agenda of all the political parties in Barbados will be about selling a vision for a new Barbados for the next 50 years. What messaging we have been exposed to so far is much of the same and akin to band-aiding serious injuries. Our governance model is seriously broken and bold leadership is required. To make the concern acute is the absence to date of charismatic leaders.

It has not escaped BU that Theresa May has returned to the people to seek a stronger mandate to pursue a hard-Brexit AND the rise of Donald Trump the rank outsider who fought against the so called establishment to win. Again in the French presidential election we have two individuals who have never run for public office. Across the globe there is the rise of populism. In Barbados in contrast we detect that although there is an annoyance by many directed at the two main political parties the third parties have not been able to gain traction to this point. We remain optimistic!


Political Birds of a Feather Flock Together!

Submitted by David Comissiong, President, Clement Payne Movement

It does not surprise me that Owen Arthur has chosen to join forces with the Freundel Stuart Administration. The sad truth is that Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart, Chris Sinckler, Ronald Jones, Donville Inniss and all the other members of this dismal DLP Administration really do belong together.

The vast majority of Barbadians are convinced– and rightly so– that the current DLP Governmental Administration is easily the worst political administration that Barbados has had since the attainment of universal adult suffrage in 1951. But we must remember that our national woes did not start with the coming to power of the DLP in 2008!

The truth is that in Owen Arthur’s last 5 year term in government he plunged this country into a crisis of economic, social and cultural decline — a crisis that led the Barbadian people to massively reject him and his Administration in the 2008 General Elections.

The sad truth is that the DLP Administrations of David Thompson and Freundel Stuart have really been a continuation of that last disastrous Owen Arthur Administration !

Where, for example, Owen Arthur started the process of privatizing our country’s one and only indigenous and state owned bank— the Barbados National Bank (BNB)– the DLP Administration completed the process of selling off our bank to Trinidadian capitalists.

In addition, where Owen Arthur presided over an economically and socially cancerous process of conferring outrageously privileged governmental contracts on a small group of elite businessmen— such as the ridiculous contract that was granted to Mr Bizzy Williams’ Ionics Freshwater Ltd— the Stuart Administration has exacerbated this  economic and social cancer with the outrageously privileged contracts that they have conferred on companies associated with Mark Maloney and his cohorts.

So Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart and Chris Sinckler really belong together. They all share in common the belief that our Barbadian state-owned assets must be sold off to elite private sector capitalists; that our free education must be dismantled; that our people must be made to pay for public health services; and that the foreign investor rather than native Barbadians must constitute the lynch-pin of our national economic development strategy.

But as much as Owen Arthur is determined to hurt Ms Mia Mottley and his former political party, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Mr Arthur has actually done Ms Mottley and the BLP an enormous favour by his linking of arms with the current DLP Administration!

You see, with Mr Arthur throwing in his lot with the DLP, it would now become extremely clear to every single BLP member that there is no “going back to Owen”! Thus whatever lingering divisions or doubts there might have existed in the BLP over the “Owen Arthur issue” should now be completely put to rest.

The political history of Barbados tells us that the BLP have always been at their best when they organized themselves around the concept of a “Great Combination” of leaders and statesmen rather than when they opted for the opposite ploy of adopting a “Going with Owen” maximum leader dominating the party, its image and its policy. The BLP therefore now has a golden opportunity to get back to the best of its tradition!

The fundamental reality however is that an extremely interesting and ideologically meaningful political battle is shaping up in Barbados.

We have now had a consolidation of the right wing, anti-social democracy, pro-privatization, pro- local  and foreign elite forces in the form of the Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart, Chris Sinckler, Ronald Jones, Donville Inniss political axis.

And I am confident that there will be — on the other side — a similar consolidation of the patriotic, people centred, mixed economy, social democratic forces, in order to take on these advocates of political, economic and social backwardness..

It looks like we are now in for some real politics  that will provide Barbadians with real and meaningful choices on the preferred way ahead!

The “Party of Parties”

Grenville Phillips II leads Solutions Barbados, one of the many third parties in Barbados

Grenville Phillips II leads Solutions Barbados, one of the many third parties in Barbados

Today’s Barbados Advocate makes for interesting reading. It deals with the prospect of a Third Party taking root in Barbados and potentially influencing the next general election.

Barbados Underground

When the late Lloyd Best, the noted Trinbagonian intellectual, first used the parenthesized phrase in the caption in 1982, it was clear that he was referring to an alliance of Opposition groupings formed to unseat the then governing administration. As he intoned then; “when the bell rings, and when we are summoned once more into the lists of history for battle with the enemy for an alternative future for Trinidad, Tobago and the West Indies, we of the Party of parties will be in a position to offer the electorate one united, effective, solid and indeed impregnable Government”. He meant a party comprising separate parties.

We purport to use the phrase in a different sense today. Given the number of parties claiming to be willing to contest the upcoming general elections, the national poll could conceivably also be termed a party of parties. Whether emboldened by the closeness of the result in the 2013 version, or jaded by the alternation over the last six decades of the two major parties, many people have clamoured for a “third” party, an expression that speaks locally not to the mere ordinal, but to a viable alternative grouping.

It is not that there has been no prior effort in this direction. The National Democratic Party, a splinter group from the Democratic Labour Party and led by the late Dr Richard Haynes (as he then was) presented a platform in the 1990’s that resonated significantly with the electorate but managed to secure a single seat only in two campaigns. History will record that even prior to this there were efforts by other groups at the hustings, although none appeared to possess the sustainability or stomach for the long fight.

Such efforts would have included, in the last general election, a grouping that would fit precisely Mr Best’s usage of the term, but again success of any sort was negligible; with most candidates forfeiting their deposits to the state treasury.

For the forthcoming poll, there are no fewer than three parties vying for the approval of the electorate. Each is so far at varying stages of readiness but we are prepared to concede that these are relatively early days yet. Neither has there been any indication that these three are prepared to become a “party of parties” in the original sense of that term.

What is at least remarkable is that none of them appears to present an ideological alternative to the present duopoly, seemingly content to appeal to current popular disenchantment with the major parties.

Their chances must also be assessed in light of the modern electoral culture in Barbados, where trade in the franchise is an existing reality, even though, admittedly, both regrettable and criminal. Are these parties prepared to buck this trend and be beyond reproach or will they simply be sucked into the vortex of illegality?

Another relevant consideration is the absence hitherto of any hint of constituency organization by any of the newcomers. It is accepted that elections are won by the party with the greatest number of seats. At the same time, however, that number is achieved in thirty constituency contests and not in a single national plebiscite.

Most difficult to overcome however, will be the innate Barbadian resistance to change. A people that has instinctively voted for one or other of the major parties for at least two generations is not likely to alter that mindset on a mere whim.

We may conclude therefore that the new parties, third , fourth or otherwise, will have their work cut out for them if they are to make any impact at all on the various ballots.

There will thus be a party of parties in our sense of the term. Not everyone is likely to leave smiling however.

Notes From a Native Son: If They Come for Me in the Morning, They will Come for You in the Night

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

We are all agreed that the economic arguments which have engulfed Barbados for the last six years have now been fully exhausted and most people have taken sides. Those who believe that the government is on the right track are firm in their belief, and those of us, the vast majority, who believe that the government has no clear strategy for rescuing the economy are convinced we are right. But there is also another gap in our national conversation, and that in many ways is even more fundamental than the short-term one about the current account deficit or, in many ways, the debt to GDP ratio. To my mind, what is dangerously lacking is a vision: how we see ourselves in a fast-moving globalising world which, paradoxically, is also at the same time witnessing the growth of a countervailing inward-looking nationalism. Future

One of the huge failures of this national conversation are our academics at Cave Hill whose role it is to explain the nation to itself. It is almost embarrassing to witness their silence, or for the brave ones who do speak, the clipped, short, one sentence outbursts that, in real terms, mean very little. Apart from ‘Professor’ Frank Alleyne,  whose views on modern economics to my mind are totally irrelevant, all we are getting are statements, such as that the Barbados dollar should not be devalued. But the advocates of this position are not saying why it should not be devalued or what benefits the nation gets from continuing to peg to the Greenback, despite the global currency volatility. Sadly, the journalists whose job it is to interrogate these people are intellectually ill-equipped to do so, or are intimidated by the reputations of these economic conservatives. However, even economic professors can be wrong, and the great defenders of the Bajan/Greenback peg in the current economic climate are dead wrong. I shall return to this argument in the near future.

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No Gimmicks

Submitted by Douglas

Sugar Point Cruise Facility

Sugar Point Cruise Facility

The DLP is on the right track to restore growth to the Barbados economy. We are having constructive dialogue with stakeholders to implement the tough measures and minimise the impact on those affected. We have started that consultation long ago with stakeholders to identify strategies to restructure the Barbados Economy. We have introduced our home grown policies such as the recently passed Electric Light & Power Bill and income tax amendments which will grow the alternative energy sector in Barbados.

As we go through the necessary process to reduce the public sector, we are aware of hope on the horizon to grow the private sector to take up the slack. Government has signed off on the proposed financing arrangement for the new Sandals Beaches Hotel at Almond with the Chinese Government. The coastal work in preparation for the new cruise terminal at the port has already begun. Both the IADB and the Chinese Government have expressed interest in financing the Pier Head Marina. Cabinet will take a final decision on the financing in a few days. The construction of the waste-to-energy facility at Vaucluse will bring in US$300 million in investment. These and other projects will contribute significantly to grow the Barbados economy in 2014 and beyond.

The Barbados economy will turn around, – not through political gimmicks, but hard work and dedication.

To read the full article:

Time to Usher in an Era of Political Maturity

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group

Owen Arthur, Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley MP, Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Owen Arthur, Former Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley Leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Good Evening,

Fellow Barbadians, let me say how pleased I am, that our recently held general election was incident free and fair. Let me congratulate all the candidates for maintaining the democratic process and thanks to all those hard working citizens, who ensured that the highest standards of conduct prevailed.

Let me specially congratulate our main opposition, the Barbados Labour Party, on its success although the party of which I currently have the honor of leading, the Democratic Labour Party was victorious on this occasion. As you know, the result was very close and while the Democratic Labour Party was returned to office, the voters clearly showed that they are looking to both parties to solve our problems. In other words, while we are buoyed by the victory, we realize that these are challenging times and both parties have put the health of our economy, as their main priority.

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What's In a Name

Submitted by Old Onion Bags

The Boardwalk

Has anyone else noticed the sudden impulse to rename buildings, boardwalks and schools nowadays? Wonder why? What is really the subliminal message being sent out here? Soon time? All is mine?

Could it be… those were our charges and deserve more mention? Which ever way is up, it seems facetious and self serving for the placement of a new frets oninto old guitars, that have become legacies in their own right, when remembered as they were….true hallowed institutions. A new boardwalk maybe, but to rename a school like Harrison’s College  to something else, seems extenuating even disingenuous. A Queens College renamed to a new fame or other dame is an exercise in farrago.

Why distort history and challenge past remembrance?

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