The Caswell Franklyn Column – DEMS Now: DEMS NOT Again!

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

The Right Honourable former Prime Minister, Sir Lloyd Sandiford, was heard to ask, how this country got back to this point. Even though I do not consider myself to be a political scientist or analyst, I would like to offer my perspective.

Ten years ago, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) led by the now deceased David Thompson came to office promising heaven and earth. However, on the eve of the 2018 general elections, it would appear that they have delivered purgatory instead. Mind you, I do not believe for one minute that they intended to impoverish this country as they have obviously done. I believe that they have done their best; it is just that their best is not good enough and has fallen way short of what Barbadians have come to expect.

Government’s failures are so notorious that it would serve no useful purpose to detail the litany of woes that is this administration’s achievements. Rather, it would be more beneficial to examine, as Sir Lloyd pondered: How did the country get back to this point? Such an examination would reveal the pitfalls to avoid, in order to prevent any group, that is as unprepared as the present regime to govern, from ever achieving political office again.

Any right-thinking person would readily admit that the current administration is a dismal failure, but it did not happen over night. This second-eleven team, to borrow a cricketing expression, that now manages the affairs of this country resulted from Owen Arthur’s brain-draining Politics of Inclusion.

When Arthur became the Prime Minister, he set about unwittingly or otherwise to denude the DLP of much of its talent. They were easy pickings because the DLP that emerged after the death of the Rt. Excellent Errol Barrow was a fractious party. Sandiford was somewhat able to keep his dissenters in check because he wielded the power of the Prime Minister and could dispense patronage.

Unfortunately, Thompson took over the party that when it was going into opposition. He had no patronage to dispense to force his lieutenants to pretend as though they were loyal and many defected to the Barbados Labour Party to benefit from the spoils of victory that Arthur was lavishing on key DLP people who switched sides.

Shortsightedly, Thompson was happy to see them go because it meant that his party would be able to settle down without those dissenters. He failed to appreciate or did not care that Arthur was taking away the cream of the crop. All that appeared to matter to him was that he was leader and would most likely emerge, as Prime Minister, as he did, when the DLP retook the government. The people that Thompson had available to him as candidates were the most dyed in the wool Dems or persons that Arthur did not want. Sadly, as it turned out, he did not have enough talent to form a competent government but he was forced to use what he had available to him. That was apparent since he found it necessary to co-opt persons from outside his party to shore up his cabinet.

Regrettably, two years into his premiership, Thompson, the brains of his Government, passed to the great beyond. Those that remained floundered about from pillar to post but everything that they did seemed to have come to nought. The country, in their hands, appears to be hurtling out of control from one crisis to another.

It is painfully obvious to all but the purblind that the current administration had the skills to win the elections but are totally devoid of any of the skills to successfully manage the affairs of this country. They know it but are too stubborn to admit their failings and have the unmitigated gall to seek to foist themselves on the people of this country again.

If this administration were a worker, the employer would be entitled to dismiss that worker for any reason related to the capability of the employee to perform any work, provided the employer went through the appropriate procedure.

The elected members of parliament are the employees of the people of this country. They have demonstrated that they are incapable of performing the work that they were hired to do. The appropriate procedure to effect a fair dismissal, in the form of elections, will soon be upon us. Take it from a practising industrial relations person, a dismissal in these circumstances would be fair to all concerned.

Daily Grind Under Dems

Submitted by Beresford
Embattled Leroy Parris flanked by Chis Sinckler, minister of finance and Hal Gollop QC, Parris' lawyer on the campaign trail in 2013

Embattled Leroy Parris flanked by Chis Sinckler, minister of finance and Hal Gollop QC, Parris’ lawyer on the campaign trail in 2013

The warnings of the institutional breakdown, social dislocation and impact at a very personal level of the DLP disastrous economic failures are becoming more vivid and citizens more frustrated and desperate.

Further, the laziness of thought and lack of action that is the standard […] Continue reading

DLP Blames REVENUE for its Fiscal Indiscipline

Henderson Bovell

Henderson Bovell

These shameless people engaged an undisclosed and secret number of thousands of people in the Public Service of Barbados (all during a recession) and since 2008 (as part of their ‘oppressive’ fatted calf doctrine) and based on what Barbadians are saying – also found every conceivable way to funnel state-funds to dems, through their flawed, “political entitlement programme” and now that their fiscal recklessness has caused a stench – they are telling the country some crap that Barbados’ economic woes can be tied to some global crisis. But it gets worse!

Within days of Cabinet Minister, Dr. Estwick telling the country that the DLP’s economic policies are flawed and the country is on the wrong path, the Chairman of the same Cabinet (which did not willingly allow Dr. Estwick to prove his thesis, through a power-point presentation, as requested) announced to the world – that Barbados’ economic woes can be tied to some global financial crisis that ended years ago.

Now! Something is not making sense, here! How can there be two conflicting views from the same Cabinet on Barbados economic circumstances and reality?

Continue reading

DLP Fatted Calf at Work: Taxpayers Scrambling to Find One Million Annually to Pay Dems Electorate Rejected

Henderson Bovell

Henderson Bovell

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

It seems rather obvious that this failed DLP Government has  betrayed Barbados and is now waging was against the citizens of this country through its flawed and oppressive policies. The DLP has so weakened the power of Barbados that this country is now unattractive to investors and tourist, as confirmed by Donville Inniss’s recent ‘begging-bowl-expedition’ to T&T.

This is a time for serious politics, serious policies and serious people, but in what can only be described as, a desperation for confidence, the Prime Minister tells the country that his Cabinet are all “eminent” persons. I suppose no one will object that they are indeed a bunch of people who have distinguished themselves in causing, Barbados to be downgraded to junk, unprecedented human suffering, the deficit to spiral out-of-control, an alarming increase in the rate of poverty and unemployment, enterprises to collapse and investors to flee Barbados.  It is only when the DLP is in office that this country ever really hears about placing thousands on the bread-line. Perhaps that makes the DLP and its Ministers feel special.


Continue reading

On With the People’s Business

Submitted by Douglas
Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)

The recent report by the Governor of the Central Bank on the current economic performance indicates that the bottom has not fallen out of the economy as the leader of the opposition would have hoped. Yes, the economy did contract in 2013 by a mere 0.2%. A government which was able to control the decline in the economy after our foreign reserves dropped from an average of 19 weeks of import cover to the lowest of 13.4 weeks of import cover deserves some credit for appropriately managing the situation. At the end of the year we were able to restore the foreign reserves to 15 weeks of imports.

This DLP administration deserves credit for sound financial and economic management of the economy of Barbados during the economic recession. We have done an effective job to stabilize the economy and minimize the decline in growth. When compared to previous economic recessions which the country has faced over the years, there is no precedence for such challenges in the Barbados Economy.

We did not adopt a mentality like “Chicken Little” (we leave you to decide who is Barbados’ “Chicken Little”) preaching doom and gloom and warning friends about economic peril. Instead we moved with great haste to develop and implement measures to correct the situation and place the Barbados economy on a sustainable growth path.

We in the Democratic Labour Party firmly believe that, “Cocky Locky”, “Henny Penny” and “Turkey Lurkey” have all lost confidence and faith in “Chicken Little”as well.

To read the full article:

Notes From a Native Son: Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls, it Tolls for Thee

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Barbados is going through one of the messiest political maelstroms in living memory, if not in our post-war experience. It is now on an economic life-support machine. The DLP government is running around like a headless chicken, with its leader Freundel Stuart, arguably the worst premier/prime minister in our history struck dumb and unable to address the nation and incapable of sacking Chris Sinckler, the equally bad minister of finance. And at a time when the BLP Opposition, under its new leader, Mia Mottley, should be mercilessly hammering the government, the party is imploding in one of the most vicious and bitter internecine wars any political party in Barbados has ever seen.

In terms of damage, it is worse than the walk-out by Errol Barrow and his Young Turks to form the DLP, or of Richie Haynes and his supporters from the DLP to form the National Democratic Party. But I believe all these are symptoms of historic change. As most people will understand, history is not linear; it ebbs and flows, is volatile and calm, it can erupt like a volcano and be as reassuring as a moonlit night. The problem with adversarial politics is that it brings out the nasty side of people, the premium is to show the opponent is incapable, rather than to show that one on the contrary is more than capable. It is a feature of our hostile discursive culture, rubbishing opposing ideas, asking the adversary to justify his/her views, rather than putting forward positive alternatives and justifying one’s own recommendations. It is not unknown for opponents to resort to foul-mouthed, vulgar abuse as part of the process.

Continue reading

Laughing Stock: DLP Subjects Its Lover – The NUPW – To Public Humiliation

Henderson Bovell

Henderson Bovell

All during 2013, the country was force to conclude that Donville Inniss might have been assigned a roll by Cabinet and the DLP – as “Mascot and political bully” and given a ‘free-reign’ to pick fights and launch unproved political-attacks, even on the BHTA, as a deliberate distraction tactic. Unfortunately, he and the DLP might have over-played his and their hand, when he purported to have a message for the very persons engaged in the Public Service, who the DLP “tricked” and “betrayed” into thinking that there would be no layoffs from the Public Service and that their jobs and employment would be safe, once they voted for the DLP in the February 2013 general Election.

In a previous article, I made the comment that: “it did not bother the DLP and it sure did not seem to have interest trade unions, the social partnership nor civil society – that it is an offence under section 6 of the Election Offences and Controversies Act to offer or accept employment in exchange for a vote.” It is now shocking that what appear to be general elections employment letters, with a “trademark DLP-shelf-life:” 31st December, expiry date -are beginning to surface. The country must now assume that at that date, there would be no more bush; drainage issues or dengue to be concerned about, in Barbados.

Continue reading

2014 – Barbados’ Year of Faith

Submitted by Douglas
A call for Barbadians to work together.

A call for Barbadians to work together.

Happy New Year to all of Barbados!

Most Barbadians have enjoyed yet another festive holiday season, refusing to let the naysayers and predictors of doom and gloom try to spoil their mood. As we reflect, Barbadians were reliably informed about the challenges the economy has been facing due to predominately external factors.

The Democratic Labour Party would admit that it is indeed a weary road we have trod, because as a consumer based, import

economy, which has for decades been dependent on tourism, the international economic climate has affected us heavily due to increase in fuel prices, which directly affects the cost of transport and food costs; an unfortunate reduction in domestic exports; and reduced spending power of individuals locally and abroad.

International governments, such as the US, Canada and the United Kingdom have implemented measures which then have a devastating effect on our main sectors. The Air Passenger Duty Tax by the United Kingdom has had a devastating effect on tourism arrivals from that market, although we have seen an increase in arrivals which makes things a lot better than previously projected.

The United States and Canada have come down hard on Caribbean islands trying to tax their individuals who invest in accounts in our countries, attempting to incorrectly label some of us as tax havens. Whilst that suits their objectives politically at home, it sends out a bad message to other investors across the world and affects our reputation and market.

Continue reading

Election Paraphernalia in the Post-General Election Period

Submitted by Flag Watcher (formerly Check-That-Out)
Attorney General's Constituency Office in St. Philip South

Attorney General’s Constituency Office in St. Philip South

Not being a Bajan I am not familiar with laws governing the removal of or election posters and other paraphernalia after the big event; but from what I have read they must be removed when it is over.

In a drive through St. Philip South on March 7, I came across a sign at a Constituency Branch Office the Attorney General. I am sure signs identifying constituency offices are quite legitimate; but expect the “Dems Now – Dems Again” flags/banners would be considered election material.

While a specialist in corporate and international law, it seems Chief Law Officer of the Executive Council may not be familiar with Barbados election laws, or may not have visited his Constituency Office since February 21.

I think that now dat Dems in again, someone shud tell he (in the words of Ronald Reagan) tek dat flag down.

Beast of Ephesus rises again….

Submitted by Old Onions Bag
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart known for his figurative language

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart known for his figurative language

Goodness gracious me. It’s happening all over again. DEMS’s worse nightmare as the beasts of Ephesus have once more risen to torment and torture the presumptuous. Wickham’s  latest ‘second poll’ we mean. With it, many DLP hacks’ hopes stampeded and diminished after yesterday’s rekindle of sparks.  PM Stuart’s nemesis too, as his popularity has once more plummeted back to behind that of Opposition Leader Owen Arthur’s. What does this mean? Ask  BU’s Hammy, who yesterday had most ceremoniously went to the pulpit and said a prayer to his Gods, after hearing the now premature good news. On thy breast plate, Freundel, once more unsheaf thy sword … whether the mother of all battles or the slaughter at Little Bow, definitely a wash pan a licks promised and wounds of a gushing kind galore.

But Wickham dear Wickham why the hair raising turn? You certainly caused many Bees to sit up from their honey making churns. Have you not heard that such thrift is not good for the feint and weak hearted turks? Or is this some new kind of  preamble to reactivate the indifferent to arise and lurk? Which ever way is up, it certainly has worked, for never in another General Election in Barbados has there been this much ephemeral. Could this be a permanent fixture of how things will be done from here on? Polling with a difference, a last minute thrill.

Continue reading

Take Back Barbados ‘DEMS’ Belong to We

Submitted by Yardbroom
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

For too long we have been denied a REAL VOICE, we have sung in the choir but were not members of the Church.  The time is now right under new leadership for Barbados to start on a new path of honesty, decency and INTEGRITY in politics, as in recent times we have lost our compass.  The best way to lead is by example and we expect that from those we have entrusted with leadership.

We have had the BLP, who in fifteen long years could not restructure our economy in times of plenty; now they come again with the same faces, singing the same song, but the people have wised up and will have none of it.  For the old men/women, young women/men, the middle classes and those of whatever hue, who have the interest of Barbados at heart, should come out in a burst of yellow as bright as that in the Pride of Barbados flower and vote for a better tomorrow.

Continue reading

Arthur Master Tactician My Foot!

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Someone wrote, “Many Barbadians believe in the world of local politics Opposition Leader Owen Arthur stands head and shoulders above the rest as the master tactician”.

I have heard that before but I am yet to hear that comment from someone other than a BLP adherent. Where is the evidence to support this hypothesis? Other than BLP members who spout this propaganda, who are these many Barbadians that believe that Arthur is this master tactician?

Arthur became leader of the BLP after Henry Forde came to the realization that he would never be able to lead the BLP to victory, which made him sick, and he demitted office as Political Leader of the BLP and Leader of the Opposition. At that time, Arthur was the only member of the BLP parliamentary group that was not gainfully employed outside of holding a seat in the House. He was then managed and his every step choreographed by David Simmons and a few others to make him Political Leader and Opposition Leader in order to give him a decent salary.

You should recall that the death of Errol Barrow caused a fracture in the DLP in such a way that the party became unmanageable with the Dems descending into turmoil. That instability coupled with a recession in the early 1990’s made the DLP extremely unattractive to the electorate. Arthur’s victory in 1994 came as no surprise and was like taking candy from a baby. So far up to 1994, there is no evidence of any master tactician emerging.

Continue reading