It is official, four candidates vying to lead the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) have been announced. The BU Voting Booth will be open for 24 hours to accept voting from the BU family.
An interesting conversation point that will attract interest is the impact David Estwick, Michael Lashley, Denis Lowe and Richard Sealy will have on the 2022 general election. The four were members of the Freundel Stuart cabinet and the previous government soundly rejected by the electorate in 2018.
There is nothing unusual about defeated political candidates offering themselves to the public. To do so they must have successfully negotiated won the party requirements to win selection. Political parties are private entities after all and the membership free to select candidates of choice.
Notwithstanding the preamble a look at the four members of the old guard and what it means for the DLP’s chances on the 19 January 2022 AND beyond is a constructive discussion to have. Although decisions taken by political parties are private – obviously there is the national import.
The involvement of the four forces the ‘new’ DLP to defend old issues ventilated in the 2018 political campaign. Issues that arguably contributed to the DLP’s unprecedented defeat. Denis Lowe had the Cahill issue and the blogmaster expressed concerns about him being a Peter Allard stooge of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary fame, David Estwick’s public disagreements with former minister of finance Chris Sinckler, Michael Lashley’s questionable association with Trans-Tech etc. The big question for the political pundits – is the risk reward ratio calculated in favour of the Verla De Peiza led DLP?
Onlookers must surmise that the DLP conducted private polling to test the water in the four constituencies and the DLP executive was satisfied with the results. The unknown is whether the involvement of the four will negatively impact the national swing percentage. The size of the swing margins in the majority of constituencies the 2018 general election were large and the DLP will not want to make decisions to compromise the swing pendulum away from the BLP this time around. Another unknown is the extent the pandemic will have on voter turnout as it relates to the respective bases. Disillusioned DLP members opted out from voting in 2018, some may have voted BLP. Then there are the independents many who may decide to avoid the risk of standing in gatherings for reason of health safety. A cohobblopot of issues which the usual talking heads will try to make simple for a susceptible electorate.
The reality is that Barbadians are comfortable with the 2-party system that exists as it is in many countries. It should be obviously if we want the transformative changes in the economy, education, energy and water generation, waste management and others, like minded Barbadias will have to infiltrate the two main political parties to help with accelerating change in the national interest.
The blogmaster is of the opinion returning the four to the fold is a mistake not for the reasons mentioned but the threat to De Peiza’s fragile leadership hold on the ‘new’ DLP.
At 1:05AM EST the blogmaster had the uncontrollable urge to lookup the definition of ‘stupidity’. One of many definitions a trusty Google search brought back was – behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment. The reason to refresh the memory of a a well used word in the every day lexicon of John Public surprisingly had nothing to do with having to read the daily comments posted by certain BU characters. It happened after watching the following video.
The three former ministers and a Senator in the last general election have the right to share views. What is surprising though is that we have a political party decimated at the polls not feeling any urgency to come to the pubic to make ‘peace’. The majority of the public – we estimate 70% – sent a loud message that it has no confidence in the Democratic Labour Party as it relates to managing the affairs of state. What we want to know is how does the DLP plan to organize itself to be relevant in a period strong opposition will be required to safeguard the interest of Barbadians.
What many of us do not want to hear is a fragmented DLP lot coming to an expectant public looking for change to spout rejected narratives. Where is the credibly to be found in the four soundly defeated candidates pontificating about concerns they were found guilty of on the 24 May 2018?
The first job of the DLP is to organize itself to demonstrate to the public it understands where it has failed as a party, AND, here is what we have done to correct. As a party it has not taken any positive decisions to assuage recent public opinion it is a credible political party to be considered the government in waiting. Especially given the frenetic pace the Barbados Labour Party has embarked since taking the reins of government
After ten years in government what is the enduring memories of the four by the blogmaster you ask? Donville, hot air. Estwick, puppy and Jesus Christ, Stephen Lashley, $2.00 stadium and Verla, always pun CBC.
How disespectful is it for four rejected c
Early in 2017 the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) introduced changes to the management team. Acting General Manager John Mwansa was replaced by Keithroy Halliday, Charles Leslie assumed the role of Director of Engineering, Wayne Richards was appointed to the post of Project Director, Patricia Inniss took over the Wastewater Division and Joy-Ann Haigh retained her corporate and communications role with additional responsibility for the rapid response unit. BU cannot confirm if the appointment of a Director of Finance was filled as announced.
Why have we highlighted the changes in the management team?
One year after the management shakeup the challenges the country has subsequently experienced with the South Coast Sewage plant leak exposes a level of incompetence on many fronts. In particular the decision by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to NOT replace two pumps required to ensure extraneous matter is screened and prevented from infiltrating the sewage lines is very serious and those responsible must be held accountable. The result of the mismanagement is that blockage has occurred in the sewage system. Ironically the Board had no problem paying an invoice to Hal Gollop QC for 1.5 millions dollars in legal fees – see link to the invoice.
It is not a case of being unfair to BWA employees, however, given the threat to the health of residents and visitors, millions of tax dollars already spent to remedy the problem and to remain true to an effective performance management system heads must roll as a result of the South Coast mess. We should add that the lack of routine maintenance of the plant appears to be the cause of the equipment failure.
To date most of the commentary has been wrapped in the political. The reality is that we have very qualified professionals employed at the BWA who are charged with making decisions in the interest of the country. The public must be told if the Board was advised to replace the two pumps and if it ignored the decision. Was it a case of the Board not being informed about the failed pumps because of a flawed internal reporting process? In any event the buck stops with the Board of the BWA which reports to Minister David Estwick. To date the Atlee Brathwiate Board and David Estwick have not been asked to resign neither are we aware their resignations have been tendered.
Clearly any decision to dismiss personnel at the BWA at this time will have political implication with a general election around the corner. In a private sector organization the personnel responsible for a foul up of such magnitude would have been dismissed for incompetence a long time ago. In a meritocracy this must be the routine. Regrettably our system is one where political expediency takes pride of pace.
A lot has been written and said about the South Coast sewage leak. BU adds to the commentary by calling for the resignation of David Estwick and the Atlee Brathwaite board of directors with immediate effect.
In January 2014 Minister of Agriculture David Estwick in a surprising move submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart urging the Cabinet to refinance and restructure the public debt by sourcing 4 billion USD from the UAE. In what is described as the UAE proposal Estwick advised there was interest by the UAE to lend Barbados the huge sum at an interest rate of between 2 and 4% with a term of 30 years.
Fast forward to 2017: the fiscal position of Barbados has deteriorated and has fueled national discussion about going to the IMF for balance of payment and other support, devaluation, low investor confidence and so on. What is surprising is that Estwick having had his UAE proposal rebuffed by the Cabinet voted YES at the second reading of the Appropriations Bill last night (15/03/2016).
As a public service BU shares the letter Minister David Estwick sent to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in 2014.
According to media reports Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick has scheduled a press conference for later today (07.10.2016). Estwick has been the target of severe criticism because of the inability of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to achieve its mandate to deliver potable water to ALL Barbadians.
One hopes that Estwick will treat Barbadians with respect AND assume an empathetic posture later today by leaving his usual blustery and bombastic approach at Hoodies’ door. BU agrees with Dr. George Belle that the ongoing water crisis will have political implications for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) when the bell is rung for the next general election. It does not take evidence-based analysis to determine how long suffering residents in the areas of Barbados affected by water shortages will place their X.
One has to wonder what motivated Estwick to state recently, he intends to treat the water issue as a national problem in response to the question why he has not reached out to residents of the most affected areas. He is technically correct to say his mandate must be national in focus, BUT, the reality is that there is an area in the North of Barbados that is being affected. Any sensible politician should appreciate the need to establish an ’empathetic connection’ with the affected residents.
Human beings cannot survive without water – the infrequent supply to areas of Barbados has served to increase the level of stress of residents in the affected areas. This is an important observation in the context of a Barbados gripped in a protracted economic crisis for the the last eight years. And there is no light at the end of the tunnel!
BU and others have written voluminously about the water problems afflicting Barbados. The poor management; communication, planning etc. Residents in the affected areas must be grateful in 2016 to be receiving the many gifts of water. The many acts of kindness must be commended BUT it does not absolve the BWA and David Estwick from the responsibility of ensuring ALL Barbadians receive water at the tap. One wonders why the simple task of maintaining supplies to the community water tanks is not being achieved. Why rapid response teams are not being satisfactorily mobilized to fix burst pipes. Why we cannot manage efficient customer contact centre operations to respond to dissatisfied subscribers. Proactive communication alerts via ALL channels. The website of the BWA is wholly inadequate in 2016, there is no visible Facebook and Twitter presence to efficiently exploit the digital platform in a country with deep Internet penetration.
The BU household will join many concerned Barbadians later today to listen to Minister David Estwick. Our expectation is that he will leave the political rhetoric for the political platform and deal with how his ministry plans to relieve the suffering of Barbadians in the North of the island.
Minister of Water David Estwick recently advised that he will be updating the country very soon on the dire state of water management. We hope when he eventually breaks his silence he will address a few concerns raised by BU’s Colonel Buggy.
– Barbados Underground
What is the true status of Castle Grant Reservoir which feeds residents far beyond St Joseph?
Given that the Castle Grant reservoir’s tank was last cleaned 64 years ago in 1952, when will be the next scheduled inspection and cleaning of the tank take place?
When will the building above the tank be refurbished and the surrounding area de-forested?
When will adequate security be put in place at reservoirs starting with Castle Grant?
Does the Ministry have any plans of requisitioning water dams from private owners fed by streams in the Scotland district to supply water to human beings?
What is the status of Joe’s River/St Elizabeth above ground water tank?
Is the sub pumping station on the Cattlewash side of the East Coast Road still functional?
Can ordinary residents in villages and other communities be treated with the Trenchless Technology ,as was accorded the residents of Cattlewash in St Joseph?
Were some residents in some upscale communities in St Joseph such as Andrews Round Hill given preferential treatment in relation to their water supply?
Why were those residents hooked up to Castle Grant Reservoir over four months ago and were given the impression that the supply from Sweet Vale to Castle Grant was at the testing stage they would have an abundance of water in two weeks, when at that time two miles of the pipe line had yet to be installed?
Are there any plans to deliver non-potable water drawn from the streams in the immediate area, primarily for the use of flushing toilets etc?
What is the status of the enquiry into the alleged massive water leak from the Vineyard Reservoir?
Which reservoirs and communities are fed from the relatively recent installed water wells at Groves/Six Roads ,St Philip.
Is there a Preventive Maintenance plan in place to :-
(a) Inspect, service and clean the metal water tanks on the fleet of tanker trucks .
(b) Inspect,service and repair the tanker truck chassis.
(b) Inspect , service and clean community plastic water tanks, and the immediate area surrounding them.
What health awareness/water handling training has been given to the drivers of these tanker trucks?.
What is the real status of Andrews old sugar factory?
Does the Court Order now in force also prevent any further dismantling of the old sugar factory?
Does your Ministry/Government have any plans of conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment exercise to ensure that the construction of the new Andrews Super Factory is not unnecessarily or unfairly held up?
How many tonnes of sugar are we expecting to produce in 2017?
What is the status of the cultivated fields of Wild River Tamarind project?
What type of machinery will be used to harvest these Wild River Tamarinds trees?
Why are we supposedly using an imported variety of Wild River Tamarind when we have an adequate supply of Wild River Tamarind all over the island?
Has any thought been given to the fact that if these Wild River Tamarinds are planted too closely together they may not achieve the desired size?
What has become of the Fuel Cane Project,started some time ago?
Have farmers who were persuaded to grow a number of acres of fuel canes, been adequately compensated after much of these canes were left in the field unreaped for a number of years or trashed backed into the ground?
Are you aware that there is a scarcity in Barbados of Honey Bees, Humming Birds, Yellow Breasts birds, Brown and Black Cow Bees. All very vital in the pollination of plants?
The above was posted to a popular Facebook page Barbados Wall of Shame. In light of water outages especially in St. Thomas, St. John and St. Joseph and the refusal of Minister of Water David Estwick to resign the obvious management inefficiencies at the Barbados Water Authority bears severe scrutiny. BU was asked to share this story.
There is enough evidence (documents) in the public space about Clare Cowan, Cahill Energy and Barbados connections to move the conversation in Barbados to one of accountability. In the documents attached Bizzy’s name is mentioned which explains why Voice of Barbados will not want to offend a major advertiser.
[…] Continue reading
On June 16, 2013 BU highlighted a presentation by Minister David Estwick – Sugar Cane Production: A Race Against the Clock – in which he laid out government’s strategic plan for restructuring the sugar cane industry. Part of the plan (at the time) was to diversify the sugar cane to generate power and reduce the fuel bill by 150 million dollars. Continue reading
This gallery contains 7 photos.
So far Barbadians have not been given the answers required by a government lacking in transparency. We ask AGAIN!
It is difficult to feel cheerful in the Yuletide season when so many things in Barbados seem to be deteriorating. It is difficult to feel confident if a minister of cabinet publicly expresses his lack of confidence in how the Cabinet is managing “process and procedure’’. He is on the inside isn’t he? It is ridiculous a cabinet minister who should be guided by the code of collective responsibility of cabinet feels compelled to come public with his concerns and remain a part of Cabinet. All it does is to undermine the confidence of fatigued Barbadians to engage as citizens. It is laughable minister Donville Inniss instead of responding to Estwick’s concerns prefers to engage in the same palavering he recently criticised to explained the decision by government to issue a ministerial statement a few days before Christmas. It is the height of ignorance Prime Minister Freundel Stuart appears to be married to a policy of non intervention when it comes to managing a large and dysfunctional Cabinet.
The news in the last 24 hours that Standard & Poor’s has lowered its long-term sovereign credit ratings on Barbados to ‘B’ from ‘BB-’ explains the government’s rush to deliver a Ministerial Statement devoid of discrete actions to be taken to infuse confidence in civil society players and other external parties. It is so obvious that it is not funny any longer. Barbados has become the laughing stock around the region made so by the unwillingness of private sector entities to speak out about the lack of credibility of the government. We have two recent examples – Minister of Education Ronald Jones, supported by Parliamentary Secretary Harry Husbands promising (committed to) 3,000 UWI, Cave Hill bursaries six months ago and not feeling obligated – in our system of democracy – to update Barbadians on the matter. According to a recent press report when asked about it he said he had nothing to say.
Submitted by Jason Beckles
Can’t even pay NIS contributions. Sinckler walking bout telling big people big lies.
Unpaid National Insurance Certificate between National Insurance Board (Claimant) and Barbados Agricultural Management Co (Defendant)
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler says urgent financial help is on the way for the dying sugar industry. LIAR
Delivering the feature address at the annual general assembly of the Barbados Agricultural Society at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, Sinckler announced that the Ministry of Agriculture, which is led by Dr David Estwick, and the Barbados Agricultural Management Company, the BAMC, were in an “advance stage” of concluding a facility through the Ansa Merchant Bank of Trinidad and Tobago for an injection of $60 million. LIAR
BU understands the Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler will play hardball with the sugar industry deal unless Minister of Agriculture David Estwick appoints BNB Capital Corporation to provide the financing for the new sugar factory. It is being discussed in certain circles that the minister of finance arranged for BNB Capital Corporation to handle the financing for the new sugar factory but Minister Estwick is not going with the flow.
Directors of BNB Capital Corporation incorporated on 17 September 2014 are:-
BU highlighted faulty forecasting by the Governor of the Central Bank Delisle Worrell in the blog Governor Delisle Worrell Repeats Himself. We allow public officials to make statements without challenge. Governor Worrell recently had his contract renewed.
On the weekend we suffered the re-emergence of Minister of Agriculture David Estwick at a constituency branch meeting in St. Lucy. One wonders if there is a strategic alliance in the making between old friends from the anti-Thompson era. To make the political landscape more interesting we had to listen to an aggressive Mara Thompson in parliament last sitting. It must concern the enigmatic Minister of Agriculture David Estwick that his credibility with the public has dipped considerably in recent years. The reason he offered to explain his silence is another example of faulty leadership. He has good ideas but appear to be stymied when he attempts to execute.
To his credit he has been able to command exhaustive coverage from the traditional media. What is missing from the coverage however is the unwillingness of the traditional media to hold him accountable for past public statements. BU takes the opportunity to reflect on David Estwick’s public offering on the political platform leading into the last general election on 15 February 2013.