DLP Ready or Not …

On November 11, 2020, Moore received 3154 votes in the by-election. Floyd Reifer of the Democratic Labour Party was the nearest challenger with 1 327.Grenville Phillips of Solutions Barbados earned 95, David Walrond of the opposition People’s Party for Democracy and Development got 80, Ambrose Grosvenor of the United Progressive Party 70 and the Bajan Free Party’s Alex Mitchell received ten.” – Nation Newspaper 12/11/2020

The result of the St. George North by election year exposes reasons to pause for those who worry about the current state of governance in Barbados. Historically we have managed the affairs of state well enough to have earned the label ‘a stable political country’. However, the result of the 2018 general election created an unprecedented situation where for the first time the OPPOSITION in the House of Assembly was not comprised of members of a party who faced the electorate under a different party banner. Instead, Bishop Joseph Atherley saved the day by crossing the floor to be anointed the Leader of the Opposition by the Governor General.

The decision by Atherley to cross the floor averted a constitutional crisis many continue to argue (including this blogmaster) and the rest is history to cite an often used cliché. Despite his best effort to be the dissenting voice inside and outside of parliament Atherley his People’s Party for Democracy has been unable to win measurable support from Barbadians. The result of the St. George North by election validates the position. The other conclusion political pundits are certain is that the third party movement in its current form has been rejected by the electorate.

A general election is constitutionally due in 2023 and surprise surprise the main political parties to contest will be the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and Democratic Labour Party (DLP). In other words the DLP represents the government in waiting. It means therefore the general public is vested in a fit for purpose political opposition whether it is occupying parliamant or on the outside. An irony often discussed when this matter surfaces is to highlight a political party is a private member organization, yet it must be ready to take over the job of managing the weighty affairs of state.

Whether we like it or not the DLP represents the only practical legitimate political opposition voice in the mind of the public- although it failed to win a single seat in the last general election. To compare with other countries the DLP is the entrenched other member of the duopoly like the Democrats and Republicans, Labour and Tories or JLP and PNP to name three.

The inability of the DLP so far to list a full slate of candidates to contest the 2023 general election is a concern.

The inability of party leader to elevate her national profile in an environment screeching for a political alternative is a concern.

The inability of the DLP to speak authoritatively on economic policy is a concern.

These are not exhaustive concerns and the one not mentioned and possibly the biggest is the potential collateral damage from Donville Inniss’ verdict due to be handed down next week in New York.

The Deceased Labour Party – Part Two

Dear Editor,

“Considering that Barbadians live better and Barbados functions better when the DLP is out of office, their time in the wilderness is for the best.”

The Deceased Labour Party – Part One

The above assertion from the first article in this series is perhaps contentious and thus, a point worthy of excavation. 

Firstly, from an economic perspective, in its first period in office, the Democratic Labour Party claimed to ‘accelerate industrialistion and job creation’. However, when they left office in 1976, they left a country with inflation sky-rocketing and unemployment had reached 25% of the ‘true labour force’. Waste and inefficiency had become pervasive in the public sector. In absolute terms, the same number of people were employed in 1976 in light industry as when they came to office in 1961. Acreage available for agricultural production had declined, as well as output. The cost of living was also rising with phenomenal increases in prices and few will forget the mismanagement of the 1973 oil crisis. 

In the DLP’s second period in office, the economic calamity of the 90s is well known to all. Again, this was originally induced by the international economic realities of the 90s, but the situation was handled terribly, resulting in the social upheaval and economic chaos of that period. 

Finally, there are few who can deny the stark economic reality of 2018. There had been a complete erosion of investor confidence, Barbados’ credit rating was on a perpetual track of ‘downgrade’, foreign reserves were through the floor, ‘home-grown plan’ after ‘home-grown plan’ had failed to achieve its objectives, taking us around a roundabout of economic calamity, or what the then government called ‘turning the corner’. Cost of living again was sky-high, and taxation was unevenly distributed, thereby disproportionately affecting the working classes. 

Turning to the social aspect, Barbados has had to confront a chequered colonial past, necessitating a suite of social programmes for the aggrandizement of the working classes. 

Before the DLP came to office in 1961, free education had been introduced at four secondary schools, a basic feeding programme was instituted at primary schools providing children with milk and biscuits, the feasibility study and draft legislation for the NIS was prepared, the first public housing units were constructed, a myriad of legislation to protect workers was introduced and loans were provided for higher education and housing for civil servants. 

One wonders how many of those achievements have been misleadingly attributed to the Democratic Labour Party?

After the DLP was booted from office in 1976, minibus operations were legalized allowing small players into the industry, illegitimacy was removed from the statute books, plantation tenants were given the opportunity to own their land, phenomenal strides were made to make men and women more equal in society delivering a ‘new deal’ to women, electricity was provided to the entire island including rural areas, unemployment benefits were introduced and the NCF and NSC were created. 

In the DLP’s column, they have Mr Sandiford’s work in education in the Barrow years, the School Meals Service started by Mr Barrow, and the expansion of the previously started free education, national insurance and public housing. 

Clearly then, much of the social infrastructure on which this country is founded was not built by the DLP. To a large extent, the Democratic Labour Party has continued and expanded the programmes of others. 

Finally on the political front, Mr Barrow must be credited with leading Barbados into independence and his vision and inspiration and Mr Sandiford for creating the Social Partnership.

However, the DLP did not win universal suffrage and full ministerial government for Barbadians. Their commitment to regional integration has also wavered, particularly in the last dispensation, with scarce interest being shown to CSME, as well as the fanning of xenophobia by Mr Thompson’s administration.

It was the DLP that dismantled local government for short-term political gain, and in the process stripping Barbadians of an important layer of democracy. Few might remember, but the DLP also opposed the creation of the EBC, clearly being more comfortable with an electoral office operating out of the PM’s Office.

Concludingly, when one looks at what has been achieved when the DLP has been out of office as well as the failures when they have been in office, what conclusion can be drawn? Does it not appear that the DLP has not been more successful than their political rivals, in terms of achievement? Does it not appear that, especially since the passing of Mr Barrow, they have been stripped of any vision? Does it not appear that Barbados has done better when the Democratic Labour Party has been kept out of Bay Street? When we answer those questions based on the unimpeachable evidence above, is it not so that we are much better off for their time in the political wilderness?

Finally, next week, an assessment of the 65th Conference itself.

Khaleel Kothdiwala 

The Deceased Labour Party – Part One

As the 65th Annual Conference of the Democratic Labour Party nears, it is appropriate to examine that disastrous political party, which I shall do in a series of articles. 

The Dems have faced an existential challenge since the death of its most beloved leader, E.W. Barrow. That the DLP has failed to build up a sustainable political movement after this tragic event, is perhaps best seen in the fact that the DLP’s list of notable achievements as a government seems to stop in 1976. Let us set aside the fact that the Democratic Labour Party has had two failed administrations since 1986, and that their last dispensation was particularly awful, and that to this day in 2020, they remain bankrupt of ideas and inspiring leadership. Let us look, presently, instead at the DLP’s paltry electoral performance since 1991 to illustrate the deep hole which the Dems have found themselves in, long before their much-deserved rout in 2018. [Note: the analysis which follows does not include the 2018 election, which is clearly a remarkable statistical outlier].

Since 1991, there have been six elections, three of which the DLP have won. However, a closer examination reveals something more interesting. In 1991 (with historically low turnout), a mere 1,075 votes gave the DLP another term in office. Similarly, in 2013, had two seats or 164 votes swung the other way, Barbados might have been saved the peril of the 2013-18 period. The post-1991 period simply has not been the DLP’s “golden era”, to put it mildly. 

While the national picture is bad enough, a microanalysis at the constituency level reveals a party which simply has not created or maintained a solid, winning support base, even though the DLP is said to have more grassroots supporters than the BLP. 

St Michael East is a somewhat marginal seat, however the Dems have done little to translate Joe Tudor’s commanding lead in 1991 and ‘94 into enduring success. 

Where the BLP has been able to pull off substantial margins when they have won St Michael West Central (when you remove 1994), the DLP has not achieved anything more than a 4% margin of victory, since Wes Hall in 1991. 

In reliable constituencies, they fare no better.

In St Michael West, after Branford Taitt, the DLP has not risen above 53% of the vote share at any time.

In St Philip South, since 1991, the Dems have won the seat four times, but have never made it back to 1991 levels, in terms of vote share. 

St Michael South Central is much the same. The BLP has only won the seat once at its highest tide (again excluding 2018). However, since 1991, the DLP has not risen above 54% of the vote share in any election

In St Lucy, apart from 2008, there has been no significant expansion in vote share for the DLP, beginning and ending the period with 53/54%

Not only is the DLP not entrenching themselves in ‘safe’ and DLP leaning seats. They have also failed to make any tangible inroads in areas that are historically unfriendly to them, making it much harder for them to ever hope to turn those seats into DLP seats.

Apart from Byer-Suckoo’s win in 2008 in St George South, the Dems have remained consistently under 44% of the vote share since 1991. 

In St James North between 1991 and 2013, DLP vote share fluctuated but ultimately returned in 2013 to the 1991 level of 45% showing little long-term growth.

The DLP faces a tough road ahead and will almost certainly remain in Opposition for quite a while to come. To get through the rough times, you should have a reserve store to fall back on. A mixture of terrible candidate selection and bad governance since 1991 has made that store remarkably thin, even without considering 2018 and the disastrous mouthings of their members and leadership since then.

Can they survive this time in the wilderness? Probably. It would be politically immature to count them out just yet. But certainly, if not dead, the Democratic Labour Party is, now and for the foreseeable future, comatose. Considering that Barbadians live better and Barbados functions better when the DLP is out of office, their time in the wilderness is for the best. Next, we delve into the quality of their performance, in and out, of government.

STOP Playing Tit for Tat Politics


Submitted by Wayne Cadogan, Retired Garment Manufacturer, Trainer, Consultant

It is very difficult for me and many others to grapple every day with the fact the DLP is referred to as the opposition party when nine others parties contested the elections and not one of them won a single seat with the BLP winning with a clean sweep of the thirty seats contested. 

Why is it that former members of the DLP are speaking out on issues as the opposition when there are eight other parties that are in the same boat as the DLP without a single representative in the house that can consider themselves as opposition members too? 

The  most pressing issue that is currently hurting the country severely is the spate of murders and which has become a very troublesome issue for the government, people and international reputation.

The former Attorney General Mr Adriel Brathwaithe has some nerve to tell the present Attorney General to resign over the current gun violence that is currently bringing this country to one of fear and despair when all of this started under his watch during his spineless reign as Attorney General.

It is about time that the politicians in this country get serious about what is really happening to this country before it gets to a point that it cannot be reverse. This tit for tat tactics that both parties use against each other is not politics but a bunch of immature politicians whose behaviour is similar to that of kids growing up. 


This country is facing serious problems and sailing in dangerous waters that it has never traversed and we all need to put our heads together to turn this ugly situation around before it completely destroys our fragile tourist industry we have to depend on for the only source of foreign exchange.

The politicians in this country need to act more mature and businesslike and realize that running a country is not child’s play, it is serious business to run a country and it needs competent people.  


It would be in the best interest if the members of the DLP if the party is to rise from the grave as a political party in this country again, to stop being so negative and criticizing everything that the government does, praise them occasionally for some of its efforts in trying to get the country back on track that they helped to destroy. 


It is also about the right to dissent in a civilized manner. Genuine political opposition is a necessary attribute of democracy, tolerance, and trust in the ability of citizens to resolve differences by peaceful means. The existence of an opposition, without which politics ceases and administration takes over, is indispensable to the functioning of parliamentary political systems. If these systems are perceived as not working well – as being “seriously overloaded,” to quote a distinguished Canadian Opposition Leader, the Hon. Robert Stanfield – it may be the rights of political oppositions which are immediately and most visibly at stake, but ultimately the threat is to democratic rights and freedoms generally. The following paper is an attempt to come to grips with the challenging nature of the opposition’s role in Parliament, specifically in the Canadian context – THE OPPOSITION IN A PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM

Senator Caswell Franklyn has been scathing in his criticism of a few decisions made by the newly installed Mia Mottley government. He has expressed in the usual caustic manner his disagreement with the appointments of David Comissiong and Charles Jong as Ambassador of CARICOM and Director of Communications respectively. Caswell’s issue with the appointments is why should taxpayers have to fund the two positions. And isn’t the Government Information Service (GIS) equipped to deliver the same support.

Another story caught the eye of the blogmaster this week – a widely promoted DLP lunchtime lecture by former minister Donville Inniss was abruptly cancelled by Freundel Stuart. Although the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was rejected at the polls on the 24 May 2018, the executive of the party with Freudel Stuart as leader remains firmly in position until August when the AGM is scheduled to elect officers of the party.

The two news events reminded the blogmaster to confirm the role of an Opposition in the parliamentary democracy we strive to practice in Barbados. The following summarizes the importance of an Opposition which is to “check and prod, but ultimately to replace the government party“.

In the early life of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government many social commentators will be inclined to be less strident during the traditional “honeymoon period”. That said, it should not include the Leader of the Opposition Bishop Joseph Atherley whom the Constitution of Barbados supports in the role. In the first six weeks of the Mottley government we have had several ‘questionable’ decisions taken that merit fuller explanation. It does not mean the decisions are illegal, it has more to do with the citizenry being eternally vigilant which is the price to be paid to keep a fragile democracy alive.

A few questions have been asked about the process that led to the appointment of Atherley by the Governor General Sandra Mason. Many suspect the 30-0 result at the last poll created a lacuna and the result has given rise to a contrived opposition presence in the House of Assembly. To date Senator Caswell Franklyn in the Upper House has been more vocal in the role as ‘opposition’ compared to the Leader of the Opposition in the Lower House. It is early days but some say first impressions count!

What does all of this have to do with the cancellation of Donville Inniss’ lunch time lecture?

The DLP received the most votes in the last general election from the also-rans. In the minds of many Barbadians it is the de facto opposition voice. In the first past the post system 33, 985 votes were cast for the DLP which created a 30-0 result that will forever  haunt the party. What has piqued the interest of the blogmaster is the lack of urgency by the DLP party to embrace the role of opposition from outside the House of Assembly. A feeble attempt was made by Inniss, Estwick, De Peiza and Lashley to offer critique of the BLP’s mini budget. We understand the party needs to organize itself by having the obligatory retreats and election of officers but is there an opportunity being missed by the party to re-establish itself quickly? The nothingness coming from the party post 2018 General Election is not unlike the period when late David Thompson fell sick in the role as prime minister and Stuart again was guilty of doing nothing.

How long will the DLP continue be Missing In Action? Will another rise up to fill the vacuum?





The Fruendel Stuart Legacy: From Retro Colonialism to Dictatorship

Submitted by Heather Cole
Father forgive him
He knows what he has done.

There was no was world war, no war in the Western hemisphere and the global recession ended in 2010. There was also no natural disaster or mass migration, yet a home-grown recession brought the manifestation of the austerity of war that has defied logic when used to explain what has occurred in Barbados. At a first glance it took the island on a backward path that can only be described as retro colonialism. However, after careful analysis this situation of retro colonialism was used as a camouflage for the creation of an authoritarian dictatorship during the past 8 years under the Fruendel Stuart Administration. The method used to achieve this result was the political, economic and social destruction of the state and its institutions in post- independence Barbados.

Retro Colonialism

From slavery to independence, colonialism was exported by England to Barbados. A strange phenomenon occurred in Barbados where the government of a self- ruling country opted to recreate the austerity of war by other means on its own people. It has destroyed the middleclass leaving the “new planter class” and their protégées at the top and the poor at the bottom.

Laws were changed to suit the structure of the retro colonial society. For example, the attempt to introduce the finger print technology with the absurdity of it requirements and the Amendment to the Police Act so that it could be used as a tool to repress, alienate and segregate the population.

This new form of Colonialism brought with it the destruction of the state. The state or crown and public ownership is being eliminated with wealth, means of production and land ownership consolidated in the hands of a few. We have witnessed this with the attempt of deregulation in the sale of BNOTC, the sale Blue Horizon and Coverley and Paradise.

Corruption has raised its ugly head even in our Parliament. Progressive thought has disappeared from government of the people and blame, accountability, moral shaming and transparency have become extinct. The science of dumbing down of the population has led to less persons with university education, a low skilled workforce, a low wage-earning population where wealth is not passed down but remains concentrated in the hands of a few. It breeds not independence but loyalty and aggression from those who get paid to keep this in place.

The Labour Movement is in limbo. We have witnessed the reversing of the provision of social services and welfare and the use of national insurance funds. We have also seen actions that have unmasked the reality of nepotism, mafias and corrupt family dynasties that we did not know existed. Bearing the overtones of the former colonial nostalgia this retro colonialism imposes its own discipline to erode sovereign power.

Political Destruction

The democratic governance of Barbados rests upon its Constitution which was created at independence in 1966. History will recall that during the period in review that the Constitution of Barbados was undergoing a stress test that it was never created to withstand. One wonders if this test has created fissures that can be mended or if it has created deep fault lines that may destroy the very bedrock upon which our democracy stands.

The stress test on Constitution did not start on March 6, 2018. It started on elections day 2013 when rumors and evidence of vote buying were abounding. It was a fraudulent election and nothing was done to correct it. It emboldened the Ministers of Government to become more openly corrupt. Like a cancer, it spread to all functioning organs in the body making the patient’s prognosis critical. What occurred under Mr. Stuart’s watch is a clear case of abuse and disregard for the Constitution.

From inception, an election date has been announced upon the dissolution of Parliament by successive governments. Fruendel Stuart’s refusal to announce the date of the general election on the dissolution of Parliament created a constitutional crisis, as the Constitution does not allow for such to occur under normal circumstances. The founding fathers and writers of the Constitution never anticipated that a Prime Minister would refuse to call an election and that he and his ministers would remain in office conducting the country’s affairs and making plans as though Parliament had not dissolved.

Mr. Stuart is no gentleman if his party acceded to power because of a fraudulent general election in 2013 when buying and selling of votes occurred. However, even worse than that, was the manifestation of government being openly controlled by a few minority business men, awarding them lucrative contracts and sweetheart deals, breaking the financial rules and there was nothing in the Constitution to prevent this.

One never anticipated that the last act of Mr. Stuart could bloom into a crisis that now leads to the reexamination of the Constitution. Has it surpassed its shelf life? Should another document be created or the old amended? Technically the Constitution does not offer a remedy if this situation presents itself again.

At best Mr. Stuart, has tried to legitimize his act of loitering by claiming a 5-year term and ignoring the dissolution of Parliament resulting in political limbo without accountability. The public and the Opposition are not aware of his actions during that 51-day period. One wonders if no elections had been called within the 90 period if civil disobedience would have occurred as public opinion has branded him as the worst Prime Minister in the history of Barbados. His dismal performance as Prime Minister and his refusal to speak with the Barbadian people has destroyed public confidence in the Democratic Labour Party.

The Constitution must be amended to include a power of recall for Ministers of Government; it must prevent any Minister from sitting in office and exercising power or working on the behalf of Government after the dissolution of Parliament and prior to an election; there must be consequences for breaking the financial rules; a date upon which general elections are to be held; stringent rules, regulations and punishment for the buying and selling of votes and other acts of electoral fraud; and the audited assets of all those seeking political office must be declared, followed with a yearly published audit.

Perhaps, what has manifested itself is proof that the island has surpassed the era of the Westminster System and must clearly adopt a Republican System or a hybrid of both the Westminster and the Republican Systems.

Ultimately, Mr. Stuart’s legacy or lack thereof is testimony to the fact that there must be changes made to the Constitution with regards to the holding of general elections. Without providing a proper excuse his actions of holding on to power can now be seen as quite devious with the recent revelation that the sale of the Hilton hotel was due to be signed off on a mere three days before the general election date of May 24th 2018.

Under Mr. Stuart, government went from crisis to crisis but there was no crisis management. He placed the government on autopilot and looked on while his undisciplined Ministers did as they pleased without admonishment from him. The scandals were many, involvement in the Cahill scam, the four seasons hotel, theft of pensioner’s funds, involvement in a stolen car theft racket, missing funds from the Revenue Authority, the death of an Englishman, the abuse of the Town and County Planning Department and one can go on and on. Only on one of these scandals did the Prime Minster make an address that became publicly known. It was with regards to the Cahill scam. He stated that it could not could happen unless he said so. However, he lied as a few weeks later correspondence was found that he had signed off on this matter 6 months prior.

He may also be remembered for the circus like event that overtook the general election period in 2018. A record number of 8 political parties and several independent candidates announced their intent and were nominated to contest the general elections. It was departure from the norm of the two-party system. Hence, Mr. Stuart destroyed the norm, forcing persons from all walks of life to seek to rescue the island. All the opposing contenders saw a need for the political representation of the people of Barbados that was missing under his tenure as Prime Minister.

If it was not known during the 8 years that his party was in power, it became apparent at the launch of his party’s political campaign that Mr. Stuart had literally killed the 80-old institution named the Democratic Labour Party. It was clearly seen by everyone that the party was no longer the party that was founded by Errol Walton Barrow. The proud party of Errol Walton Barrow was obliterated at the event that unfolded. The bar was set at an all-time low. Mr. Barrow must have come back to life, shuddered and died again. Instead of delivering on his party’s accomplishments, the entire evening used to belittle the Opposition Leader. It was revolting to the stomach. One could not believe that this was a meeting of the highest officers of the land who were exhibiting such vulgar behavior.

Economic Destruction

During this period, the government of Barbados seems to have been on a quest to build an inwardly driven enclave based on high taxation with little exports and a dependence on tourism. However, with a huge import bill this was always a recipe for disaster, as it squandered its foreign reserves. This had started from David Thompson’s short stint as Prime Minister and Fruendel Stuart continued the trend, eventually being unable to cover their deficit, he continuously borrowed money on the external market.

How can one destroy a thriving economy in ten years? Many will never have bragging rights on this but Fuendel Stuart will. We will never hear all the stories of what thousands of Barbadians have done to survive over the past 10 years after losing their jobs, homes and savings but they are testament of the fact that the government who they gave the mandate to govern could not financially support it people.

No one knows where the $ US 16 Billon that was left by the Owen Arthur Administration has disappeared to. Without the oversight on all government departments, the Auditor General has been unable to provide this information. This spendthrift government started a trend to borrow from Peter to Paul. They did not borrow to create any development projects. As they ran more and more into the red on the balance sheet, expanding the deficit, the credit rating which is also a measure of their ability to default or their ability to repay their loans got worse. Then the downgrades started. The 22 Downgrades that have occurred under Mr. Stuart’s watch reduced governments ability to borrow on international markets at favourable terms; that is low interest repayment rates. The island’s credit worthiness has therefore been decimated by the Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance.

22 Downgrades under the same management team is not the environment that attracts foreign investors. With a high foreign debt ratio and not enough funds, the government of Barbados chopped about 3000 jobs in the public sector and then began to tax Barbadians at a rate never before seen in this island. No less than 30 new taxes in the past 5 years. Then there was the printing of money which in itself created inflation. There was the increase in Vat t0 17% and recently the dreaded NSRL. However, the government’s next step was the selling off the Crown’s assets at prices less than their market value.

As the economy started to spin out of control, the foreign exchange cover started to dwindle. Having been taught to avoid a foreign exchange cover of less than 12 weeks, it is unheard of that the island has 4 weeks supply of foreign exchange to buy food. There have been rumors of devaluation and capital flight. This further caused local and foreign investors from investing in projects which can help resuscitate the economy. Mr. Sinckler and by extension Mr. Stuart’s crippling of the economy did not stop there it affected the private sector as well and many in the private sector loss their jobs.

The government of Barbados also broke one of its Manifesto promises. It stated that it would give 40% of its contract to small contractors. It did not instead, it awarded most of it contracts to 5 minority business men. The financial rules were not kept during this process and what occurred seems to have been nothing but quid pro quo.

Under Mr. Stuart’s tenure, his government seem bent on destroying the Brand Barbados. That the sugar Industry could be allowed to wallow in the dust while government refused to pay the farmers is a shame. On the South Coast for the past 3 years, sewage has been flowing freely destroying not only reputation of an entire section of Barbados but the product that we offer to visitors of the island. It also puts the health of Barbadians at risk, destroys the livelihood of restaurant and boutique owners as well as the small hotels. The government did not take this matter seriously as raw sewage constantly fills the street and flows into the sea. It has been a national disgrace.

A good name is better than gold. Barbados’ performance in the international business sector was stellar until it reached the black list and then the grey list under this government. This should never have occurred given the resources that government has. It failed to ensure and maintain its compliance to articles that it signed.

Under Mr. Stuart’s tenure there was financial scandal after financial scandal too. There the Clico scandal which ended with government using tax payers’ money to bail out that entity but to this day tax payers have not been informed on the audit of the former Clico lands. A few days ago Mr. Sinckler remarked that the lands would be going back into agriculture. He never stated who was given this project or if the lands had been sold. The NIS funds have been used in the Four Seasons Project and have not been repaid, over a million dollars was passed from government to unknown persons with regards to the Cahill Plant that never came into existence. Mark Maloney now has the conveyance for 4 Seasons and no money has been found to have been received by government, one person was caught with funds at the airport which appeared to have been obtained from the Barbados Revenue Authority and that person remains on bail. Mark Maloney has been given every government contract that he has dreamt up in the tune of 2 Billion dollars from the public purse and Barbadians have nothing to show for this value. Under Fruendel Stuart’s watch, the disappearance of funds from the public purse have put the livelihood of every Barbadian at risk of not accessing services from the common pool into which all taxpayers contribute.

Social Destruction

Health care in any society is critical to life and its development. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital with a chronic lack of supplies and equipment is operating on an emergency basis. The poor and the middle class simply cannot afford the cost of traveling abroad to obtain medical services. God help us if a natural disaster or an outbreak of some disease occurs.

There is no longer the management of waste, so how can one fulfill our duty to preserve and pass down our environment that is so unique but yet fragile to the next generation? The once a month collection cycle is unsanitary. The stench of garbage should not be the norm that it has become. One wonders if Mr. Stuart decided to punish the island for the outcry that it made against the building of the Cahill Plasma Gasification Plant on the island. The obnoxious idea of building such a plant using untested technology in Barbados would have put the health of every person who lives on this island, flora and fauna and the marine life that surround us at risk to radiation, cancer and deformity.

In December 2018, the government of Barbados had a stockpile of 1500 houses which were unoccupied while many Barbadians who became unemployed needed shelter. To date one is not aware that this situation has changed. While vagrancy in Bridgetown is on the rise. One wonders if the plight of the vagrants in Bridgetown and that of the poor have not been was a merit to provide them with this housing.

It appears that under Mr. Stuart’s leadership that the meaning of national housing seemed to have been forgotten or only viewed through a very narrow focus to encompass only those seeking public housing. There is no other way for one to describe this as the government stood idly by and watched thousands of persons from the middle class lose their homes and did absolutely nothing about it. Unemployment in both the public and private sector was the case but like a gun, government pulled the trigger. Prime Minister and the government of Barbados has therefore been responsible for the decimation of the middleclass. This could have been arrested if the government had carefully considered it actions of sending home about 3,000 from the labour force and putting measures in place to prevent foreclosures. The easiest remedy was to update the archaic mortgage laws.

It was under Mr. Stuart’s tenure that violence put the nation’s school children at risk. Never in the history of Barbados and with such frequency has this occurred. It is unfortunate that the government did not put a single measure in place to resolve this crisis. All that occurred was talk, a lot of long talk.

This violence was just a reflection of what was occurring in the wider society of Barbados. One never thought that they would live to see the day when the young people in Barbados would be afraid to leave their homes at night, to walk alone in certain districts, to sit outside the village shop and in a hurry to get back home before outside gets dark. Some neighborhoods have become ghost towns after dark; not a person to be seen outside. One is not aware that the government is even interested in resolving this situation because there was a remark that gang members were killing each other. One believes that government has not done enough to stop the gun trade and the trade in illegal drugs.

Without a legal system that functions there is no real justice in any society. Over the past 10 year, we have borne witness to a legal system that does not work and is in dire need of overhaul. It is not only evidence that goes missing, witnesses who are conveniently swayed to change their minds, the length of time that it takes for the matter to be heard in the court, it is not only the excessive delays before the matter reaches conclusion, it is not only some lawyers who willfully abuse the system, it is not only some lawyers who themselves are beyond frustration with the system, it is not only who gets prosecuted or who does not get prosecuted; it is not only the magistrates and judges whose decisions leaves us with our mouths opened; but the very buildings are sick contributing to the malady. For 8 long years, Mr. Stuart and his Attorney General have not come up with any solutions or implemented changes or significantly amended any pieces of legislation to offer remedy to Barbadians.

In 8 years, the physical infrastructure of Barbados has deteriorated. The eye appeal of bygone years is not there. Some buildings have become dilapidated, others sick and are no longer in use. From its outskirts, Bridgetown is in dire need of a facelift. The entire roads network needs to be replaced not patched. Public transportation is in crisis. On the government side there are not enough buses for the poor people to get to and from work. The system for privately owned minibuses that are used for public transportation is in dire need of overhaul. No amount of uniforms and policing will resolve the problem that forces the drivers and conductors to hustle for a dollar. Under the Prime Minister’s watch, the Minister of Transport has not bought any buses or brought any remedy to the table to resolve the transportation problems of Barbados. It now appears to also be a case of willful indifference that has caused such neglect.

Water is a necessity and we cannot live without it. Any crisis that involves the management of water should be handled swiftly. Here again the infrastructure needed to be fixed, pumping stations cleared and cleaned. Old pipes replaced not left to rust above ground. Under Mr. Stuart watch, government ignored the need to provide citizens with water until a crisis occurred. The Prime Minister did not see it fit to visit any of the northern or eastern folk to understand their fears.

The Prime Minister renegaded on a campaign promise from his 2013 Manifesto by which he informed that Barbadians who were accepted that the University of the West Indies would do so without having to pay tuition fees. Clearly the Prime Minister lied because this did not occur. The children of the working class had to shelve their plans of attending the University because they could not afford to attend. The impact on his legacy was that he over turned an accomplishment for which Errol Walton Barrow the first Prime Minister of Barbados and the founder of his Democratic Labour Party was renown. Mr. Barrow must have rolled over in his grave.

These acts that would positively affect the lives of the masses seemed not to have been on the governments agenda.


With the breakdown of every functioning part of government, the economy and the society it was as though Barbados had reverted to the colonial era. Barbados began to resemble a failed state. We were all so focused on the failed state with the camouflage in our faces that very few stopped to look behind the camouflage. Six occurrences behind the camouflage should have made us exceedingly angry and perhaps scared. I only heard of the first and most important one a few nights ago when Ralph Thorne spoke of the utterings of the Prime Minister with regards to the media at CBC. It was that the Prime Minister was using the media to control the minds of the citizens of Barbados. It is now make perfect sense why local programing abruptly changed to political propaganda. The second was the purchase of the finger print technology and its intended use to track the movement of the people in the name of national security. The third was amendment of the police act which was an attempt to turn the country into a police state. The fourth was abuse of the Constitution when the Prime Minister refused to call an election until after he has accomplished whatever deeds were outstanding as he loitered on the steps of Parliament. The fifth was the Electoral and boundaries Commission defiance of the law as it tried to prevent Commonwealth citizens from voting in the general elections. The six occurrence was the dumbing down of the population by refusing to offer free university education

Dictatorships do not happen by accident the well-oiled machinery has already been rolled out in Barbados. It starts with the systemic dismantling of the state as it is known, to be replace by whatever supports the agenda of the dictator. Hence Mr. Stuart’s dismantling of the state that has taken us back to pre-independence times in Barbados. Unless halted Mr. Stuart will be well on his way to cementing a dictatorship. This Administration would not openly call itself a dictatorship but its actions state otherwise. As one look into the future there is nothing to prevent the Amendment of the Police Act from being used as a tool to crack down on the opposition if this Administration regains power.

It was not a democratically elected government that regained power in Barbados in 2013. Hence one should not have expected them to perform as a democratic government should. The only governments in the world who have obtained the people’s mandate through fraud or abuse of the electoral process are Dictatorships; both totalitarian, authoritarian regimes. Essentially during the past 8 years under the leadership of Fruendel Stuart, we have all witnessing the death of Democracy in Barbados. Perhaps the general election due to be held on May 24th, 2018 is not a fight between the DLP and the BLP but about Authoritarian rule versus Democracy.

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Anatomy of an Election Campaign II

In the first part of this essay last week, I commented on the positive and negative consequences of the Prime Minister advising the Governor General to issue the writ for a general election to take place on May 24; the likely record number of parties and individuals contesting the elections; the prominent role that the offence of bribery was playing in early popular discourse and the relatively minor part that more substantive issues were occupying in the public domain.

With the launch of the campaigns of the major parties last weekend and the excitement of Nomination Day last Monday, the battle has now been well and truly joined.

What has been noteworthy about the approach of the so-called duopoly is their identical treatment of the launch of the campaign and the introduction of their respective candidates being two distinct events; a strategy available to the better-funded campaigns only, I presume. None of the others has followed a similar course, contenting themselves with traditional spot meetings and social media campaigns.

Having attended none of these four main events thus far, my commentary is based mainly on hearsay and the other secondary sources of media reports. The similarity in strategy between the older parties appears to have ended in the staging of dual meetings however, since the opening gambits appear to be diametrically opposed. For the Democratic Labour Party [DLP], the engagement strategy appears to be the one pursued so successfully by the all-conquering West Indies cricket team of the 80’s and 90’s, -that is, if we can prick the bubble of mystique that surrounds the leader of our opponent, then the battle is already more than half-won. It is a strategy better known in the Barbadian vernacular as indicating the importance of the brain (head) to physical soundness –“When de head gone, the whole body gone…”

While it is, of course, far too early to gauge the effectiveness of this approach, it is one clearly fraught with some degree of risk since the leader of the Barbados Labour Party [BLP] is female and it is not irrational to assume that its supporters might readily conflate what is intended to be a purely partisan political barracking with an attack on the female gender in general… even though a reasoning electorate should be careful to distinguish between the two by virtue of the content. In other words, a broadside against the political acumen and leadership ability of an individual -whether male, female, blackish, whitish, affluent or “scrunting”-, ought not to be melded into an assault on all those identically situated merely by virtue of the identified characteristic.

Nonetheless, to found an election strategy on a plinth that requires the appreciation of such a comparatively fine distinction by an impassioned local electorate appears in hindsight to be unarguably risky. The call is not mine to make, however.

For its part, the BLP appears to have adopted an equally risky strategy for its platform. While it is understandable that the promise of a better economic future for the citizenry would be an attractive sop for a jurisdiction and an electorate in deep economic “doo-doo”, the more cynical voter might be mistrustful and wary of promises of a soonest return to a former prosperity that would entail a revival of formerly available civic entitlements, an increase in a named social security benefit and the concomitant reduction of a much despised imposition.

In light of the actuality that an electioneering promise is not otherwise enforceable except as a matter of propriety, a party should be diligent to persuade an discerning electorate of its bona fides by reasoned argument and not merely by platitudes that require them to trust the word of the promising or representing entity.

I readily accede to any argument that I am not a politician, and it may be too that I am unfamiliar with how a local electorate reasons, if it does so at all. If I had my druthers, though, I would not have advised either of the strategic approaches adopted by the major parties so far as being too electorally risky.

As for the other combatants, I remain hopeful that a creditable platform will emerge from among them, one that is based on practicable policy as well as one that respects the guaranteed fundamental rights of citizens.

Just recently, I received a flier from one “third” party’s candidate in my constituency and I am forced to wonder whether a competent individual was allowed to vet the material therein by before publication. One paragraph speaks to “Charged Persons” and boldly indicates that “only the charges and court cases of those convicted will be published”. And, as if this threat to press freedom were not sufficiently chilling, it is further stated that publishing any such details of innocent and not-convicted persons will attract “defamation fines”. The material proposes to quantify these penalties on the loss of reputation and loss of earnings (suffered by the innocent party, I presume) owed to the publication.

This is surreal. While our neighbours are striving to abolish the offence of criminal defamation, we are attempting to apply it to a wholly inapplicable circumstance -one where there is no defamation- and further to impose monetary penalties therefor where there can be no likelihood of loss of reputation caused by the publication. Lord, put a hand!

12 Days to Go…it is the Governance Model Stupid

Twelve days before E-Day and the blogmaster anticipates the political temperature measuring the nasty will increase.

A noticeable feature of the campaign so far has been an ‘attempt’  by all the political parties to discuss issues. The DLP strategists have a right to determine the approach to win the general election. The plan to attack Mia Mottley we will see how the electorate responds. Overall the quality of debate coming from the political platforms has been poor.

As a keen observer of local affairs, it has become patently obvious the political class has been attracting individuals whose main reason for entering public life is to earn a salary and benefit from the influence and largess the political office will deliver for personal gain.  Listen to the contributions being delivered by many of the candidates on the campaign trail and the intellectual capacity of many comes into question. The observation is not to suggest political candidates aspiring to public life must be MBA trained. What the blogmaster wants to see is a healthy mix of individuals who aspire to political office who are intellectually strong AND driven by by an unswerving desire to serve the public. The quality of wanting to serve the public is important because it will bring integrity to public office and ensure the political class- an important stakeholder in civil society- can lead by example.

Given the declining state of the economy, physical infrastructure, decline in the social fabric and so on the blogmaster anticipated the quality level of the political debate would be off the dial. Instead we have had to listen to a rehash of conversations past. We do not have the maturity to conduct national debates between the political candidates and  parties. It is noticeable that a leading media house has created a forum for the parties to share their message with the electorate, for free, and the DLP has refused to participate. With two weeks to go the DLP has not shared its plans with the people to ensure there is a thorough discussion to inform final selection. The focus is on the politicking to inform strategy at the expense of ventilating the issues affecting the people and what is good to sustain success of a tiny island.

One useful discussion item that has emerged from the 2018 political campaign is the behaviour of political candidates. We have had to listen to David ‘pitbull’ Estwick calling the lord’s name on the platform. Steve Blackett calling Mia musty and so on.  Donville Inniss and Stephen Lashley have been quick to defend the party position as groupthink in local party politics demands. Is this the political theatrics we want to encourage on the Barbados political scene? Do we not anticipate where promoting party colours will land us in the near future?

When the dust settles we have to admit the behaviour of political candidates will ultimate be determined by what the public demands. Auditor General reports, questionable decisions by the Director of Public Prosecutions, dysfunctional working committees of parliament have confirmed the inability of the public to hold the feet of pubic officials to the fire. It stands to reason we have a scenario playing out in Barbados where the tail is wagging the dog if we are to appreciate the workings of how our system of government should work.

We have had public officials refusing to attend sittings of the Public Accounts Committee and those who attended feeling no fear of discipline by giving muddy answers. There has been the case of a member of parliament brandishing a gun within the precinct of parliament, a Speaker of the House ordered by a justice of the High Court to repay a wheelchair bound septuagenarian his funds.  The political class it is safe to conclude by the lack of urgency to advocate against matters mentioned and others are prepared to betray the basic tenets required of a public servant.

Another aspect of the landscape is the access to an abundance of cash by political parties to spread the ‘message’ in the silly season.   It clearly points to what is known and that is all political parties have masters they must serve. We continue to fool ourselves that the bastardized model of the Westminster System inherited from a colonial past is relevant. It bears repeating, several layers within a Westminster System must cohesively function to deliver as originally designed. So far on the campaign trail we have listened to a tinkering of the issues located on the fringe, with 12 days to go who knows what the morrow will bring.

Politics of Vitriol

Hypocrisy rears it’s ugly head again in Barbados. When a DLP leader is spoken about in the worst way none of the sanctimonious hypocrites from the BLP or otherwise have nothing to say in fact they embrace the comments. The DLP launches an attack on the BLP leader who happens to be a woman and these people want to rush back to a moral code. In all of this the question is was the current BLP leader in charge and responsible for the projects that were identified during the presentations?

James Paul (DLP Candidate for St. Michael West Central)

The day after the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) delivered a stinging rebuke of Mia Mottley’s leadership  at their kickoff political meeting, it has been interesting to monitor the feedback. Although anecdotal, the blogmaster senses there are many who were turned off by the torrent of invective hurled at Mia Mottley from the DLP platform on Sunday night.

Why should Barbadians be surprised? Politics is a blood sport some say and clearly the DLP will devise the strategy they determine is best suited to win the upcoming general election. If Mia is able to withstand the assault then it will make her worthy of the position she holds as leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). The blogmaster has no issue with the DLP focussing on the capacity of Mia Mottley to lead or on her record of achievement in public life. Attacking the leader is an established tactic adopted in team sport with good result. The fact that Mottley is a woman will encourage the irrelevant emotional argument.

In a press interview with the Prime Minister after he was nominated to contest the St. Michael South seat, he expressed satisfaction at the  level of response the DLP kickoff meeting has aroused in the population. Clearly a key plank in the DLP’s strategy is to focus the campaign on Mottley.  To state the obvious, it will be up to the voters to decide on the 24th May 2018 its effectiveness.

The blogmaster noted the excuses proffered by campaign manager Bobby Morris at the DLP kickoff meeting on behalf of Denis Lowe and Kim Tudor. Denis Lowe is reported to be recovering from a knee operation AND Tudor was said to ‘under the weather’. Inquiring minds want to know if there is a possibility Tudor – the woman – didn’t have the stomach to be present on the DLP platform during an attack against the woman Mottley.

It will also be interesting to observe how the campaign develops now that the kickoff meetings of the weekend are out of the way. So far the BLP has to be given more points for engaging in a lower level of vitriol. However, for the sensible among us, we will be listening to how Mottley and the BLP plan to stabilize and restore prosperity to Barbados in the coming days, the same for the DLP. The DLP will also have the task of defending its record in office for the 2008-2018 period. An incumbent running for a third term is always challenging. Doing so having presided over an extended period of austerity moreso.

In summary, we will have to determine if the government has managed the affairs of state satisfactorily given the hand it was dealt. It will have to be careful in its explanation why it has not implemented Integrity and FOI laws after ten years in government. The blogmaster notes the BLP has promised to make this a priority on the first working day of parliament should they be elected to government.

What is the state of its waste management program? Although Lowe can boast of a spanking new SSA headquarters located at Vaucluse, the island continues to manage waste collection and disposal in the same way its predecessor did prior to 2008.  When the Cahill Energy deal crashed…. Interestingly, the Barbados Water Authority finds itself in a similar position with a spanking new headquarters, BUT, unable to efficiently distribute water to parts of the island. A situation that gave rise to the ‘water warriors’. This is a ministry which also has responsibility for waste water management. Enough has been recorded about leaking sewage on the South Coast.

Other big ticket items is the inability of government to adequately maintain the infrastructure- roads, buildings, vehicles to name a few. Why has Barbados not been able to earn Cat 1 aviation status for the country given its majority holdings in LIAT. An unhealthy NIS Scheme. An unsatisfactory transportation system.

Of course there is the economy stupid where there has been negligible growth in the economy in last decade supported by plummeting foreign reserves and skyrocketing debt. All the above however are symptoms of the lack of vision the country has not been able to benefit from in the last 20 years by implementing a relevant governance framework.

This is not an exhaustive list.

The Caswell Franklyn Column – Buying Votes with Public Service Appointments

On the day dedicated to workers (May Day) news broke that 660 temporary workers have been appointed to the Public Service, within the past six months, with more than 300 additional appointments expected shortly.

Under normal circumstances, as a trade unionist representing public workers, I would be ecstatic on receipt of that news. But these are not normal circumstances and even though I am happy for the recipients, it is tinged with a bit of anger because of the way many of these workers have been treated over the years leading up to these appointments. As far as I am aware, some of these new appointees were employed as temporary officers before this administration took office in 2008.

From where I stand, this mad rush by the authorities to make these appointments seems to be a crass attempt to curry favour with public workers ahead of the general elections, and also to cement their supporters in secure public service jobs. Somehow, the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) believes that these appointments would translate into votes from grateful workers and their families. While I fully expect that their supporters would blindly support the DLP; I don’t believe that members of the ruling party could be so delusional to expect that uncommitted workers, who in many cases endured upward of ten years as temporary officers, to vote for them now.

By making these appointments and promising more, the DLP should not think that it is doing public workers any favours. Delaying these appointments for years meant that these workers could not get credit, to move on with their lives, because of their temporary status. Also, temporary officers pay two percent more in contributions than appointed officers to National Insurance. In effect, a temporary officer who earns $2,500 per month would pay an additional fifty dollars per month. (That could still have bought two chickens). Over ten years, by not appointing that worker as required by law, Government would have taken an additional $6,000 from his pay packet, while denying him any salary increases over that period.

To make matters worse, even if the appointments were backdated to comply with the law, and they were not, National Insurance would only refund that worker a mere $1,200.

It troubles me immensely to think that politicians would expect to be rewarded for allowing these appointments at this time. It bears repetition, they are not doing workers any favours. Section 13.(11) of the Public Service Act requires the authorities to fill permanent post within 12 months. It states:

No established office in the Public Service shall be allowed to remain vacant for a period of more than one year except

(a) permission to allow the vacancy is granted by the Governor-General on the advice of the Service Commission; or

(b) the office has been frozen by the Minister.

Despite this provision, the authorities continued to allow temporary officers to act in vacant established offices for ten or more years in some cases.

It is apt to point out, to those who think that appointing public officers en masse would redound to the benefit of the ruling party, that just prior to the 2008 elections, the Arthur administration passed legislation to ensure the automatic appointment of over 3,000 temporary officers. They lost.

There is another sinister aspect to these appointments, many of which appear to be done along partisan lines. Long-serving, competent and deserving officers are being overlooked for appointment or promotion is preference for person who identify as supporters of the DLP. In the event of a change of government, the DLP would have its supporters/minions in key areas either to disrupt or spy on any new administration.

DLP and BLP Challenged to National Debate

Submitted by Neil Holder, leader of the BIM

The Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) has issued a challenge to the leaders of the two established political parties Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Opposition leader Mia Mottley to a national debate.

Please Remove the Word "Democratic" from the Name of the DLP!

Submitted by DAVID A. COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement

So, the would-be “Emperor” of Barbados has finally deigned to set a date for General Elections after subjecting our country to a seven and a half week demonstration of utter contempt for our system of governance — the system of Parliamentary Democracy.

Barbados — as Mr Freundel Stuart well knows is a Parliamentary Democracy.

The Constitution of Barbados makes it clear that Parliament (comprised of the House of Assembly and the Senate) is the fundamental institution around which the office of Prime Minister and of every other cabinet Minister revolves.

Section 64 of our Constitution makes this clear when it asserts that “the Cabinet shall be …..charged with the general direction and control of the government of Barbados and shall be collectively responsible therefor to Parliament”.

As does Section 65 of the Constitution which establishes that the very existence  of the Prime Minister is based solely on him being the person who — in the judgment of the Governor General — is best able to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the House of Assembly.

So, in light of the foregoing, how was it possible for Mr Stuart, his Cabinet colleagues, or our newly appointed Governor General for that matter, to consider it permissible to rule over Barbados for an extensive seven and a half weeks after the dissolution of Parliament, without setting a date for or decreeing a General Election to establish a new Parliament ?

Who — in the absence of a functioning Parliament — was Mr Stuart and his fellow Democratic Labour Party ministers accountable to over the past seven and a half weeks?

A proper respect and regard for the principles of Parliamentary Democracy would have impelled Mr Stuart, his Cabinet colleagues, and our Governor General to recognize that where a governmental administration has permitted the life of Parliament to run its full course and to be dissolved, that they were under a duty (established by the Constitution and owed to us, the people of Barbados) to IMMEDIATELY set a date and issue writs for a General Election.

In other words, the period of time during which the country was required to operate without a functioning Parliament should be kept to a minimum, and–after the dissolution of Parliament– the Citizens should NOT be kept in a state of prolonged suspense over when new and critical General Elections will be held ! No doubt the Governor General has a discretion in all of this, but her discretion should always be exercised in the best interest of us the Citizens of the country and in keeping with the nation’s fundamental interest not to be deprived of a functioning Parliament for any extensive period of time.

That Messers Stuart and company (and seemingly our Governor General as well) did NOT appreciate this, and instead, subjected our country to seven and a half weeks of unaccountable Cabinet rule was unconscionable!

Mr Stuart, his Cabinet colleagues, and indeed their party — the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) — thoroughly discredited themselves over the past seven and a half weeks in the eyes of all right thinking Citizens who believe in the tenets of Parliamentary Democracy.

Indeed, their contempt for democracy has become so obvious and offensive that perhaps they should now do the decent thing and remove the word “Democratic” from the name of their political party!

ONWARD  TO  GENERAL  ELECTIONS fellow Citizens, and let us ensure we elect thirty Members of Parliament who understand what DEMOCRACY entails and who truly appreciate that we — the people of Barbados — are the real and permanent owners of the country, and that the temporary political administrators that we vote into office are merely there to serve us and must always be accountable to us.



Mara Thompson’s Porous Legacy

The idea to hatch a Thompson dynasty in the St. John constituency by the late prime minister David Thompson at the behest of his political advisor Hartley Henry ended in failure last week.   The last representative for the St. John riding Mara Thompson  announced her retirement from elective politics last week and took the opportunity to anoint George Pilgrim who was cherry-picked by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) to contest the next general election.

Members of the BU family are keen observers of local politics and the decision by Mara bears a severe critique on several fronts .

She will be remembered for being an incompetent participant in the affairs of parliament whether on her feet or presiding in the Chair as deputy Speaker. Hansard will support. There is no need to be prolix on this matter. For anyone who wants to challenge please point the blogmaster to one seminal intervention she made in her role as a contributor in parliament. The only ‘significant’ contribution that comes to mind was her reference to ‘barren’ women.

The blogmaster admits erring in our support- as the BU archives will support- of the Thompsons. Subsequent events have unfolded to give credence to the view that to err is human.

Although her late husband grabbed the focus as it relates to the Clico Scandal. And revelations contained in the Deloitte Forensic Audit confirmed there is justification in the tainted legacy he has earned. The fact Mara Thompson operated as Office Manager at the defunct Thompson and Associates and MUST have been privy to decisions taken by her husband, not to mention via the pillar talk channel, will also besmirch her legacy and hang around her neck like a yoke rested on our favourite beast of burden  – and the children.  Citizens of the secular world will exact their pound of flesh in recompense, however, there is hope if she claims to be a ‘believer’ to seek repentance for her worldly sins.

The ‘infraction’ the blogmaster prefers to prosecute at this time given our core focus is one of the role of media holding public officials accountable.

It was on November 2017 the Nation newspaper published a story which advised that Mara Thompson:

…will be vacating had been held by her late husband, former Prime Minister David Thompson, from 1987 when he was elected following the death in office of Prime Minister Errol Barrow. Thompson’s death in office in 2010 led to the January 2011 by-election which his widow easily won. Thompson’s disclosure ended weeks of speculation about whether she would be facing the poll constitutionally due early in 2018 – Nation newspaper 15 November 2017

What was amusing is that the local media was forced to defend the story although its source was an interview- albeit a brief one- given by Mara Thompson. She subsequently denied the story. Clearly events have shown that she jumped the gun by making the announcement. We are left to speculate that it was the lack of readiness by the DLP to declare her replacement with a general election looming.

Mara Thompson’s reluctance to ‘lie’ about her premature announcement shows she is no different in moral fibre to the person she deputized for while sitting in the Speaker’s Chair (MICHEAL CARRINGTON). Whether as a member of parliament or Office Manager of Thompson and Associates the conclusion is the same. This is a person who is devoid of the qualities to engage in ethical behaviour if the need to be politically expedient is required. Sadly this is the prevailing quality that describes the local political class.

Why has the media given Mara Thompson a pass?

Freundel Writes His Name on History’s Page

I did not dissolve it – deliberately – and of course the experts have been giving expressions to their surprise. ‘This is the first time in Barbados’ history, that a parliament was allowed to stand dissolved by effluxion of time’. That is how history is made. History is not made by things happening the same way all the time. History is made by doing things differentlyPrime Minister Freundel Stuart

The quote is credited to the Prime Minister of Barbados in response to wide public disquiet his decision to encroach on the 90 day period the framers of the Constitution provide to have a general election after the dissolution of parliament. For sure the statement can be generously described as puerile and strips bare the reputation earned by Barbados post Independence as a model Black democratic nation punching above its weight class.

Barbados has been reduced  to the butt of jokes brought to a head by a story in the Russian media space with the title Swapping Erections for Elections: Prostitutes Dip Toes in Caribbean .…. We have the ridiculous state of affairs a former prostitute entering the race and a political party by the name of PPP – you guessed it – indicating an interest in contesting the next general election. Say what you will, one cannot imagine this state of affairs occurring if Errol Barrow, Tom Adams  or Owen Arthur were leading the country. Is it accurate to conclude it has to do with leadership?

Prime Minister Stuart has revealed his value-set to Barbadians on numerous occasion, the best example is when he failed to censure the former Speaker of the House MICHAEL CARRINGTON for withholding payment to a client. Monies based on standard procedure should have been deposited in his Clients Account awaiting final disbursement. Because BU is rated a PG blog the blogmaster will be generous in language to describe CARRINGTON. You will recall the prime minister’s advice was to publicly advise CARRINGTON to get a lawyer.  Given the fact there was no crescendo of noise emanating from civil society led by NGOs, Bar Association and others, it brings into question the extent to which political morality is honoured in Barbados.

Notwithstanding, the blogmaster is unable to fathom what political capital Stuart and team is benefitting from subjecting Bajans to the humiliation currently being being experienced. As if the psyche of the Bajan has not suffered a deep puncture and the swagger transformed to a limp as a result of the protracted economic performance downturn.  Today we heard it all when perennial local political scientist Dr. George Belle described our government as a de facto dictatorship.  From a model Black country punching above its weight class to being described by a local academic as a de facto dictatorship!

It seems like yesterday in 2007 the same political arguments were being had. What has changed? TwiddleD has replaced TwiddleB. How will the cycle be disrupted? Besides Natlee championing the cause of the invisible people, what new political narrative have we been hearing?

DLP Accused of Using ‘Firewater’ Program to Sniff Voters List

The following was received from an anonymous person. The BU blogmaster will let this play and follow where it leads, for the moment – David, Blogmaster

I thought I would let you and the readers on BU, know about one of the Barbados Election Programmes used by the DLP to learn about voters in Barbados. It is called “firewater” and trust me when I say that no one in the DLP wants you to know about this because it has aided them in the past, and because no one in bim can handle the truth about what goes on around election time! How do they know what they know about you during election time?

Firewater came into light during the last 2013 election. It is a programme used to show the voters list and display information about all who are registered to vote in Barbados. In its most basic form, it is a database, with entries pertaining to ALL registered voters in Barbados. Information can be accessed from the database at any time without any clearance or authorization, and because we are talking about voters, access to information about the who’s who of Barbados is granted.

When was the last time you heard about firewater in the news?

You have probably never heard about firewater before because it has never been mentioned once by any member of the DLP because they do not want the public to be aware of what they have been doing with your information! With this programme everyone in Barbados is vulnerable! Firewater can access everything about a person such as National registration number, permanent address and polling district. It has information about every single person who is registered to vote in Barbados so that means even you. I am not aware of any laws regarding the use of information in such a programme outside of the Electoral and Boundaries Commission office(s) but I thought you would like to know.

Firewater is a programme that only the DLP has access to. I am doubtful that the other parties in Barbados have this kind of tool at their disposal. Anyone who is registered to vote can be found by name search, so it is very easy to find someone who is listed as a registered voter. That means anyone 18 years or older at the time of the last election. The database can pull up any one of the 380,000 names listed. No one in the DLP wants you to know about firewater so here is a perfect example of why no freedom of information legislation has been passed.

I have attached some photos of firewater in action. As you can see the database is quite extensive. Firewater was used in the last election in 2013 so I cannot tell you if it will be used again this time around. Firewater is only one of many ‘Barbados Electoral Programmes’ used by the DLP. Most likely, there will be some improvements to these  tools in the upcoming elections as the DLP also controls the government.

I don’t know what else to tell you about firewater other than the fact that this programme exists. Again, this could be one of those issues that borders on the line of legality or it could be completely illegal for the DLP to have compiled the voters’ information in such a manner. I guess it is a question of WHO has access to the database and WHO can use it for what purpose?! I want to caution who and every Barbadian that this is a very comprehensive list with access to your friends, and family’s information. It can be used by persons anyone, and on any computer outside the Barbados Electoral and Boundaries Commission office(s).

The George Brathwaite Column – DLP’s Bus Conked-out

George Brathwaite (Ph.D)

Last Wednesday night, a discerning audience got to hear from one of the sober minds emanating from within the bosom of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Ryan Straughn delivered an insightful, comprehensive, and forward-looking presentation that hailed the intellect, vision, and leadership of arguably Barbados’ best prime minister – JMGM ‘Tom’ Adams. Straughn’s presentation was timely, and it reached across the exacerbated political divide which is already hampering real progress in the island. Straughn delved into the glory days of governance in Barbados, to indicate that there are realistic pathways for returning economic growth to the island.

The Christ Church East Central BLP candidate, whose economic background, perhaps does not say sufficient about him as a rational intellect and progressive thinker, certainly got the message across that it cannot be business as usual in Barbados. Verbally, graphically, and at times with a wit demonstrating his connectedness to Barbadian culture, the maturing Ryan Straughn painted a picture of the sad state that Barbados finds itself due to bad measures and unsustainable practices undertaken by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Indeed, Straughn used the vision and sagacity of Tom Adams to reveal the ineffective policies and damaging practices courted by Prime Minister Stuart and his inept Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler.

In the audience, there was rivetted interest set against the canvas that was erected by Straughn’s insight. His brush was appropriately textured and wetted with the colour and substance for anyone willing to rescue the floundering Barbados economy. Whether one prefers to hide from the facts that Barbados has seriously struggled under the DLP since 2008, or if one chooses to reflect on the fact that Straughn’s frankness also put possible solutions to the problems, were significant. The shallowness of the DLP’s posturing became a takeaway because the erstwhile economist exposed the DLP’s lack of creativity and competence when it comes to the management and growth of the Barbados economy.

Certainly, a decade ago Barbadians had more money in their pockets. The promise of prosperity for all Barbadians was ever-present; and numerous jobs were created while foreign investments and revenues from international business grew bountifully. Additionally, debt was kept under control. Not today! Barbadians cannot leave the terminal because the driver is asleep, and the co-pilot does not know how to navigate the people’s business.

Regrettably, the Stuart-led DLP has virtually smashed most things that would be important for rebuilding the economy and returning significant growth to the Barbados economy. The constant and systematic downgrades have come with such regularity that the recent CCC rating – with a negative outlook – may bypass the scrutiny of Barbadians suffering from their other setbacks. The very socio-economic stepping stones that would normally be used to trigger hope and encourage positive responses such as in tertiary education, have been dislodged by a myopic and sell-out DLP Cabinet.

Painfully though funny, the current Finance Minister still has difficulty understanding basic economic formulae of supply, demand, and price. Minister Sinckler does not understand the basis of taxation policy in a small developing economy, and displays an incomprehension of savings, investment, and spending. How can Barbados attract investors, or gain credit worthiness in the international system when at home, Barbadians do not have confidence in the Finance Minister to do a reasonable job?

Moreover, how does a prime minister fail to talk with the public and refuse to shuffle his Cabinet when all tried outcomes have been disastrous for Barbadians? Surely, the DLP has run its course and its bus is going nowhere forward, and backward is not the population’s destination. Barbados is ready to make a definitive statement on the DLP’s failures and broken promises.

On the matter of busses and transportation, it was shocking that the General Secretary of the beleaguered DLP would resort to another unimpressive piece of spin. Distorting Ryan Straughn’s well-received Tom Adams Memorial Lecture, Pilgrim went down the road with a superficial statement. George Pilgrim stated that Straughn “sought to link” the number of cars on the road to a “reduced need for access to public transportation.” Pilgrim wanted to impart maximum political damage by desperately wishing that Barbadians would forget the chaotic mess happening under the DLP since 2013, and refocus on the emotive advertisement with the ‘old lady’ on the bus.

Pilgrim contended that “the logic” of Straughn’s reference to the need to transform the poor service which Barbadians currently receive from the Transport Board was an affront to the nation. Unashamedly, and appearing more distressed than usual, Pilgrim mockingly lamented Straughn’s capacity to deliver a comprehensive package to enhance services for Barbadians. Arguably, Pilgrim may have been the only person in Barbados interpreting Straughn to mean that since “more Barbadians now own cars, it is legitimate to privatize public transportation and put hundreds of hard working public sector workers on the breadline.” This is the debased thinking that characterises today’s DLP.

Indeed, over a year ago, it was reported that Ryan Straughn agreed with Finance Minister Sinckler that while “not rushing ahead to just go picking this and picking that and privatize this and privatize that … we are going to [take] a judicious approach.” Is the DLP’s misleading statement suggesting that its spokespersons are willing to avoid a relevant conversation with the public on the worsening ills of public transport? Why did Pilgrim not see it fit to say how the DLP administration will address matters of efficiency? Straughn offered an alternative to fix efficiency issues; and he reinforced the need for the appropriate regulatory framework.

It is known by the employers and employees that the Transport Board has become a broken system. Under the DLP, public transport creates perilous job insecurity for thousands of Barbadians having to commute daily. Getting to work for the little pay is a horror! Perhaps, employers are more empathetic than the Prime Minister and the substantive Minister. Hundreds more could have lost their jobs due to repeated lateness and absence, given the poor bus service. Every day, numerous persons are stranded in the terminals or at stops along the potholed-road network. Never is there certainty of a bus although hours of waiting. Can the Stuart-led Cabinet and surrogates speaking on behalf of the DLP be so willing to whip the tails of Bajans into submission?

Ryan Straughn knows that privatisation, restructuring, or any permutation of operational adjustment ought to reflect practicality and the national interest. On public transportation service, it is deep failure and crisis that make the Transport Board “an area that is obviously ripe for some revisiting.” However, Straughn has cautioned that Barbados “can’t afford to lag much longer.” The Minister’s constant promises remain fruitless. Barbadians know that crocodile tears will not work going into the next elections. Workers and students cannot continue to rely on a worsening transport system. Who is being fooled when the DLP’s bus has conked-out before the passengers managed to get on board?

Ryan Straughn is not about top-down politics and beefed up econometrics. Rather, Straughn is about participatory democracy. Barbadians must have a say regarding those issues affecting them at personal and community levels. Straughn has consistently asserted that a review of how the state’s resources are spent must be part of the solution. Furthermore, he has indicated that attempts to correct matters of inefficiency must unfold from “a national consultation before any action is taken.” Ryan Straughn, thank you for a clear and futuristic articulation of the undisputed facts. The thoughtlessness and laziness of the Cabinet shows that the DLP’s bus is conked-out. The DLP’s obsession with propaganda blocks pathways to progress.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com)

A Failure of the Social Partnership | Government Out of Step With Civil Society | Time for Workers to Rise Up!

We are well aware of the position of TNT as provider of corporate capital to Bajan business. We even wrote a paper about it. What you are doing however is helping us make our point. BS&T was largely controlled by the Mutual. Any undervaluation was a direct thief of workers interests. And the Mutual itself was owned by workers.

The larger point is that an historical opportunity was lost in the period around the early 1990’s. When you fail to learn from history you will be forced to repeat it. The only difference is that workers are not the owners/controllers of capital they could have been. But we continue to have feckless governments, unable to read what’s happening in the world and enslaved by self-imposed limited options.


During his post-march presentation, President of the NUPW Akanni McDowall to tens of thousands of Barbadians from all walks of life promised that the NUPW will sit with the other partners in the days ahead to plan next steps. It is always interesting to observe when labour and capital come together with shared objectives. In the Barbados context it is all the more interesting given the touted tripartite arrangement which consist of the  private sector, government and union. Clearly today’s demonstration is a blow to the social partnership that was born out of similar economic challenge of the early 90s.

We agree with Pachamama that representatives of workers need to change the narrative at the negotiating table in Board rooms across Barbados. We need to change the mindset that we have to be takers and not makers. It cannot be about percentage of wage increase, paternity benefits, tweaking grievance procedures, demanding coping subsidies and so on.  If the human element is promoted as the most important resource in any enterprise the owners of capital should have no problem agreeing to employees having a stake in the enterprise. Very few companies in Barbados have created employee stock ownership plans. Although Pachamama shares the view that the opportunity was lost in the early 90s to sensitize the Barbados market for workers to become significant owners of capital, it is never too late to redress.

The successful collaboration between the four largest trade unions and the Barbados Private Sector Association exposed the weakness of the social partnership. The union and private sector groups will always be treated as lesser stakeholders at the table when this government is present.  A prime minster gifted with leadership skills will mask the flaw.  When BWU withdrew from CTUSAB it weakened the optics of the social partnership because BWU as the largest trade union at the time did not need the clout of other trade unions to demonstrate power. It must be stated that the private sector in Barbados has seen a shift in the ownership mix in the last decade.

Is it possible that the union and private sectors can see more utility in forming a partnership bloc with the objectives being workers able to negotiate a share of the capital? In return the private sector is guaranteed greater productivity? A win win for Barbados?

The George Brathwaite Column – Dust Off the DLP, Change is Coming

George Brathwaite (PhD)

In another week or so, the pain and punishment being meted out to Barbadians will increase with the 2017 Budget measures taking full effect. The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has failed to convince Barbadians that today or tomorrow will be any better than the plight Barbadians endured for nearly a decade after that party’s coming to office. Since 2008, Barbadians passively and repeatedly made many sacrifices for the sake of nation. However, Finance Minister’s many economic stumbles, and Prime Minister Stuart’s hands-off approach, and the general lull in communications between the governing and the governed, have raised several questions across Barbados. The over-taxed population is wondering if those sacrifices were worth the dutiful efforts of the public and private sectors? What about the concerns of thousands of consumers who have seen inflation and the cost of living force them to raid their piggy-banks of every cent?

Clearly, things are far from the optimum in Barbados. The economy is in shambles and the society is crumbling having paid a price too high for the levels of incompetence witnessed from the DLP under Mr Stuart’s uninspiring leadership. Observers of national politics have long sensed and expressed their views that the DLP Ministers have a serious bout of ill-discipline that is showing up in arrogance and unsympathetic discourse with the public. The DLP’s main tunes have lambasted, insulted, and dismissed many from the walks of the private sector, trade unions, marginalised groups, householders, and the youth. Any suggestion from the periphery or outside of the DLP attracts disdain from a Cabinet whose underperformances have pushed Barbados backwards by at least 15 years.

Every day, Barbadians are realising that key spokespersons of the DLP lack the emotional intelligence and intestinal fortitude to bring about change from within. Perhaps, and partly hidden from view, there is a brewing rivalry within the DLP for that party’s leadership and hence the sense the leader is a ‘go-as-you-please’ champion. Certainly, Prime Minister Stuart’s slumber has not been made uncomfortable by those persons who have publicly called for an approach exposing his dis-connectedness to the people of Barbados. Ministers Inniss, Sinckler, Stephen Lashley, and Estwick have all at one time or another, recognised that the Prime Minister’s silence and non-interventionist styles are incompatible with what is needed in Barbados. Unfortunately, not one of the Cabinet or DLP parliamentarians is willing to go further and rouse Stuart from his deep forlorn and pitiful posturing. Nor has any one made the crucial step to depart from the ways of malaise and, speak out against the ills that are economically bankrupt and socially disempowering the nation.

If anything, Barbadians are witnessing a final burst of desperation from the DLP’s General Secretary and co-chair of the propaganda machinery. The FACTS (i.e. Freundel and Chris Telling Stories) have been unleashed on the public with unapologetic and fanciful claims. Political spectacle and ridiculous accusations have targeted the main media and all opposing entities. Many Barbadians have already been repudiated by the DLP’s rhetoric, including some staunch Barrow’ites. Clumsily and without any care to what is said, DLP spokespersons cut and chop down which is a figurative form of shooting people and cracking heads. When it is not Jeptor Ince calling the private sector parasites, Barbadians have had to endure the acrimony of Blackett blistering a young man’s parents for doing the right thing by allowing the Queen’s College student a voice in the civics of his nation. Also, the childless woman in Barbados has been put under the woeful hatchet of the representative of St. John. Numerous Barbadians would certainly prefer to get insights on her predecessor’s dealings regarding CLICO and sums of money amounting to $3.3 million.

An electorate will, over time, gravitate to the individuals and particularly a leader that the people can trust to get the necessary job done. With a leadership preference standing at 52 %, and with an increased approval rate, Mia Mottley’s demonstration to date speaks for itself. Comparatively, the weighty burdens placed on Barbadians by an uncompromising Minister of Finance and allowed by a pedantic Prime Minister while supported by churlish DLP parliamentarians, have rendered the DLP government unbearable. In real terms, and this assertion extends beyond the recently published results of Nation/CADRES poll.

Barbadians have literally made up their minds that a future DLP government is at best untenable and will not happen after the general elections coming later this year or early next year. Unfortunately, the drudgery of seeing off these final overs of Stuart and company, will mean that Barbadians must go well beyond the latest polls to register their disgust and etch with indelible ink that the DLP is not fit to govern – morally or otherwise. If Barbados is to rise from its present mire and degradation, the ouster of the DLP via free and fair elections must be manifestly delivered. The exit of the DLP will start the rekindling of hope. Of course, one may relate to Herbert Marcuse’s statement that “free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves.” However, it is the conscious expression of liberty, the hope for better tomorrows, and eventually how we seek to determine our social, economic, and political empowerment that will matter most going forward.

Indeed, it is more vital today than ever before, for the Barbados electorate to regain confidence in our governance systems, and equally so in the capacity of the politicians we elect to office. Any elected politician must pledge to work committedly to return civility, safety, and a sound economy to our shores. This should be a demand by the electorate to all political candidates and parties seeking to contest the next general elections. It simply cannot be business as usual.

Moreover, Barbadians must be given timely and necessary information to make informed and confident decisions. Forums, inclusive of e-platforms and social media, must be set up at multiple levels for much enhanced people participation in the decision-making which ultimately affects their lives and livelihoods. Representation must mean much more than an elevated status for our elected officials. Edmund Burke once stated that representation: “ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his/her constituents.” Barbadians must continue to preserve people power, and the political class must remain grounded or be constrained by this fact.

The eventual winning party and its leadership must decisively create a viable and humane future that is economically sustainable and socially uplifting. The Barbados of tomorrow must be made viable for all citizens and residents regardless of political persuasion, age, gender, race, status, or lifestyles. Change needs to be demonstrated and this demands that the Leader of the Opposition, as the most popular individual leader in local political circles, must be an effective communicator and must continue to provide hope for the many Barbadians that have long given up.

No doubt an enterprising Mia Mottley of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), and her formidable-looking team, will face considerable scrutiny and criticism on the way forward for Barbados. Yet, they must demonstrate their readiness, focus, and competence with a measure of credibility that is seen in their promises and performances in and outside of Parliament. There must be empathy for the most ardent of DLP supporters, while ensuring compassion for all citizens and residents whose suffering for almost 10 years has been unprecedented and unmerited. Barbadians are strongly calling for democratic leadership that is defined by effective representation, and one that is strongly given to trust, accountability, and transparency in the governance of this Barbados nation-state. Surely, Barbadians can now prepare to dust off the DLP, change is coming!

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com)

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: brathwaitegc@gmail.com)

Dems Low on Credibility: Barbadians Beware!

George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

Towards the end of 2016, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler – speaking at a meeting of the Christ Church constituency branches of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) – asserted that his struggling party will make morality a key issue in the next general election. For some, it is hip-hip hooray! Yet, numerous Barbadians are convinced that disingenuous concerns of morality should not take priority over economic and governance issues.

Indeed, Canon Isaacs an Anglican cleric, contended that if morality is going to be central in election campaigning, it must be “broadened to include bribery, kick-backs, victimisation, squandering of taxpayers’ money, intentionally misleading the public and many other issues that are dishonest,” but which are issues of governance. There is an overabundance of allegations regarding political mischief in Barbados. Isaacs posits that “the main item should be vote buying which is a form of bribery,” and this sordid affair surfaced in the national discourse by leading members of the governing DLP after the 2013 general election.

Therefore, to push governance issues behind blinkered views of morality, amounts to hypocrisy on the part of self-aggrandising advocates. Lawyer, Alan Dershowitz suggests that “hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground. Pretending you’re moral, saying you’re moral is not the same as acting morally.” What a reminder for Sinckler and his supporters! Similarly, the great political philosopher Edmund Burke stated that: Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.” Barbadians beware!

The fact is, economic and governance concerns are expected to be addressed by those in and outside of political office. Political trust happens when citizens through the electorate appraise the government and its institutions, policy-making in general and/or the individual political leaders as promise-keeping, efficient, fair and honest. Writing in the British Journal of Political Science, Arthur Miller and Ola Listhaug argue that ‘political trust’ is the “judgment of the citizenry that the system and the political incumbents are responsive, and will do what is right even in the absence of constant scrutiny.” It is reprehensible therefore, that an incumbent administration would want to hang its hat on morality, while minimising or hiding the extent to which many situations under its watch would have led to political trust being compromised in Barbados.

Crucially, credibility is a major topic in the context of good governance. The concept of credibility may be defined as “the perception and assumption that the operations” of the politician (e.g. Ministers, Members of Parliament, and prospective candidates) “are trustworthy, responsible, desirable and appropriate.” To be credible, politicians – especially leaders and the face of political parties such as Stuart, Mottley, and all others surfacing before the next general election need to publicly demonstrate competence, integrity, and honesty. As a co-requisite, they need to be truthful, and they should not be in politics for personal gain or to rescue a marred image. Selfish action is the antithesis to public service and good governance.

Put differently, politicians must demonstrate their skills and knowledge and capacity for good governance. In terms of good governance, this article uses one of the earliest definitions that emerged from the World Bank:

Good governance is epitomized by predictable and enlightened policy making (that is, transparent processes); a bureaucracy imbued with a professional ethos; an executive arm of government accountable for its actions; and a strong civil society participating in public affairs and all behaving under the rule of law. (World Bank, 1994: vii).

Entering the national political and governance landscapes, therefore, is social capital which refers to ‘the set of norms and values’ that the Barbados polity can positively embrace, and that permits ‘cooperation’ between the governing and the governed. These norms flourish in conditions of honesty, reliability, and fairness. Therefore, credibility and social capital concerns in Barbados merit our attention. Political elites thrive based on the social capital manifesting in the formats of trust, appreciation, respect, and confidence in the relationships between the governing and the governed. Analytical assessments must undeniably focus on people’s perceptions, popular discourse, and the politicians’ rhetoric.

A useful gauge must be the people’s perceptions about the DLP and the accountability of the current Cabinet. The DLP has held the reins of governance in Barbados for the better part of the last 10 years, although the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) does have a record inclusive of the Arthur years worthy of examination and critique. There are no new parties that fit into the frame of analysis.

Hence, it is reasonable to ask whether the Stuart-led Cabinet has effectively communicated and displayed the characteristics of honesty, transparency, fairness, justice, and overall performance? The polity’s perceptions of credibility in political institutions, and the extent that Barbados’ sense of democracy and good governance have become uncertain, happen to be useful signposts. Clearly, the Stuart-led DLP administration leaves much to be desired; already the foundations of credibility in Barbados are being dismantled from their pillars.

It must never be forgotten that leading up to the 2013 elections, the DLP under PM Stuart pledged that ‘no government worker shall be sent home’. For Stuart and his followers, such an occurrence was out of the equation should Barbadians give the DLP a majority vote of support at the polls which, they received. Equally dangerous to political trust was the flawed impression that the BLP wanted to “privatise statutory corporations and send home workers.” Within months of winning the election, the DLP Cabinet went back on its assurances and promises. The DLP Cabinet callously sent home more than 3,000 public servants to join the many more thousands that were ejected from the private sector. This was a definite betrayal by the DLP of the public workers’ trust.

In addition, PM Stuart and key members of the Cabinet after repeatedly denouncing privatisation, once again reneged on their assurances. Since 2013, more and more the wafting administration has engaged in privatisation practices, and often done so under the guise of another label or the suggestion that closer ties with the private sector will bring about the efficiencies which have been elusive to the Stuart-led administration. The build-up of mountains of garbage across Barbados, coupled with the catastrophe evidenced in public transportation quickly come to mind. The festering disrepair of long-neglected roads further expose the sham even to the most passive onlooker.

Contrary to the pre-election gimmicks, the DLP regime has since “begun the privatisation of statutory corporations with the sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL);” this is almost a done deal. Stated policy positions that were shared with the public, either through the DLP’s 2013 Manifesto or other official statements from Ministers, have been abandoned or side-stepped.

For instance, Prime Minister Stuart as early as 2011 had indicated that free tertiary education will remain in place under his administration. Again, in September 2012, DLP spokespersons gave the assurance that university education would remain free to nationals while recognising that in recent years, there was a significant increase in financial contributions to the University of the West Indies (UWI). Back then, Finance Minister Sinckler asserted that the administration would meet “every possible commitment” to Barbadian nationals attending the UWI.

All havoc transpired while Sinckler arrogantly insisted that “there is no person or institution or political party in this country that can challenge or contradict the absolute commitment of the Democratic Labour Party to public education” in Barbados. Undoubtedly, the subsequent bungling of bursaries and the railroading of bright minds came within a year of the ruse. The colossal blunders spoke to yet another monumental about-turn by the Stuart-led DLP administration.

Who can forget the careless utterances of the Ministers when they were dismissive of the plethora of downgrades that Barbados received from the international rating agencies? PM Stuart, often loathe to speak on financial and macroeconomic matters, argued in 2014 that what the rating agencies say “is only relevant if we want to embark on an orgy of foreign borrowing in which people should know how much we should have to borrow, how much our money should cost.”

With intellectual elasticity, PM Stuart would two years later remark against another downgrade. He suggested that despite insignificant economic growth, the country was still achieving development. The Prime Minister whimsically stated: Growth tells you how much the pig was weighing at the time of slaughter, while development tells you how much people will get piece of the pork.” Surely, with the fatted-calf having been reduced to bones, the pig is starving; and the pork is too little to feed the suffering families across Barbados.

The exit of the Sagicor Financial Corporation’s headquarters out of Barbados after the island’s series of downgrades, further reveals the ineffective ways in which this DLP Cabinet responds to economic drift. In contradistinction, Sagicor managed an upgrade since it moved to Bermuda. That single change exposes the Cabinet’s level of incompetence previously unheard of in the annals of Barbados, perhaps with 1991 an apt comparison. To date, the Barbados economy continues to experience major challenges, including low growth, a very large fiscal deficit, and a high debt burden.

Who will dare forget the fiasco and insidious statements from Environment Minister Denis Lowe on the Cahill disaster that was waiting to happen? Lowe was adamant in the face of constructive criticisms that Cahill Energy offered Barbados “a real solution to becoming energy independent.” No agreements were said to be signed, but certainly signed documents were leaked into the public domain.

What about the disdain with which the very DLP has abandoned its 2008 and 2013 Manifesto promises of transparency and accountability? The Barbados Today has reported that sources have “advised that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) was not required under the Town & Country Planning Act, therefore there was no reason for any further delay to the US$100 million Hyatt Centric Resort.” Oh really? The 2013 Manifesto clearly states that: “Government has an inescapable responsibility to assume the lead responsibility for ensuring that the environment is managed effectively” which would include the erection of the proposed Hyatt Resort on beachfront property.

The same Manifesto promisingly reveals that: “The process of environmental care is the concern of every citizen and resident of Barbados,” yet the DLP Cabinet has hitherto refused to be upfront with the people of Barbados. Led by PM Stuart, the Cabinet has been dismissive of real concerns mounted by various groups on several aspects of the project. Credibility and good governance are surely far removed from the actions of the current DLP.

Still, there are numerous other questions to be asked. Should Barbados trust the current Freundel Stuart administration? On the evidence, perhaps not. If the trust element is already damaged, will Barbadians even pay credence to the next government regardless of who is the leader? Not without thorough scrutiny. Professor of Political Science, Michael Johnston, asserts that “a democracy needs strong and sustainable political parties with the capacity to represent citizens and provide policy choices that demonstrate their ability to govern for the public good.” In that regard, the DLP appears to be facing tumultuous times and possible total banishment. Yet, the beleaguered Cabinet is showing a pugnacious face in the presence of a ruined credibility.

The lessons to be drawn should serve as ‘notice’ for all those presenting themselves as serious candidates in the next elections. All current members of parliament will attract scrutiny directed at their levels of representation (i.e. competence and stewardship). New candidates will be watched for their orientation to things such as skill-sets, community service, and national likeability. New political parties will be made to lay bare under the layman’s probing eyes for their raison d’être due to the national rejection of the DLP’s fascination with families first and paramountcy of the party.

Notwithstanding, the DLP knows better than any other entity the truth of its disappointing performances that have been ongoing for almost a decade. The 2013 Manifesto purports that: “There is a need to restore the image of Government in Barbados to one of decency, ethical behaviour and serving the interests of the people, instead of the interests of powerful groups and politicians themselves.” This statement is so very true and at the same time, serves as the DLP’s self-condemnation which could lead to its eventual demise.

The people will ultimately decide if and what difference new political parties can contribute to Barbados, particularly if the leadership of the respective parties comes across as being any of the following: naivete, bland, politically expended, roguish, corporatist or too elitist to seriously capture the national imagination. None of the candidates nor the political parties should get a free ride from the public. Rather, all candidates and parties must be put under the microscope by the electorate to get a sense of both their credibility and the social capital that they bring to public service.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com)

DLP’s Misery: An Incestuous Marriage?

Submitted by George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Today in Barbados, there are important political questions that must be raised about the relationships between state and society, and between wealth and power. With perhaps less than 15 months to go before the next general election, residents and citizens of Barbados are venting their frustrations about the status quo as issues relating to the economy and society fuel consternation. Barbadians are making their complaints known in a variety of ways, with the popular discourse often pitted in negativity coupled with a burning desire for positive change. Plain and simple, all is not well; and Barbadians are pleading for a better country.

In this article, I reveal several aspects binding the social, economic, and political issues that are consequential to the population’s anxieties. Many factors are giving rise to problems which are in turn erupting into social decadence, economic setbacks, and disarrayed governance. Blossoming in the current pessimistic environment are strains of power and wealth that feature in some uncertainties affecting almost every sphere of activity in the island. Indeed, Barbadians are claiming that our governance structures need serious reforms due to poor macroeconomic management occasioned by paltry performances and everyday governmental blunders.

The wishy-washy combination of ineffective policy programmes that are being repeatedly pursued by the Freundel Stuart administration have become quite staggering and damaging to the unemployed and perilous for the poor. There is a noticeable freefall of societal matters, with the politics of the day plunging into crisis proportions, thereby deepening the depths of national despair. On top of all that is happening, the fiscal dangers and debt burdens are expanding into a devalued sense of financial worth.

I well remember that on Monday June 15, 2015 Finance Minister in presenting the budgetary proposals stated: The home grown economic stabilization and recovery plan which we [the beleaguered DLP administration] devised right here in Barbados is working. … The Barbados dollar is safe, the fiscal deficit has been cut by nearly half and is well on the way to more sustainable levels, and a tourism-led recovery in the Barbados economy is underway.” Was the gullible Barbadian in anyway deceived by the catchy words and misleading statements that were sewn together and fell from the lips of a political dramatist extraordinaire?

Personally, I do not think that the honourable politician would allow a grab for power to stifle truth. Rather, the population was hopeful for recovery. Of course, there are others still believing that the electorate was thrown a detour which would eventually lead to the sense of false hope that previously underscored the surprising victory achieved by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 2013. A three-peat remains possible although highly unlikely in 2017/18.

Strangely enough, in that same presentation, the Finance Minister made the telling point that: “The single largest issue facing the economy is that economic growth in Barbados remains below the 2.5 to 3.0 percent.” At the same time, the novice macroeconomic and financial manager was suggesting that “we must get back to normal levels of growth sooner rather than later.” Who would disagree? Certainly, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Leader of the Opposition, and the population need the road to prosperity.

Since 2008, economic growth in Barbados has fluctuated between the minus sign and the negligible. To date, apart from increased taxation and throwing almost everything into the tourism basket or selling state assets, there has been no clear articulation by the current Freundel Stuart-led government of a policy-direction that would bring about long-term sustainable and inclusive growth in the Barbados economy. Privatisation, once publicly derided by the DLP, is seeping into the national architecture through fractures and fissures – some more visible and obvious than others.

Poverty reduction still appears as fleeting as the capacity for the authorities to reduce public debt and to embark on serious initiatives for job creation. The provision of adequate social services inclusive of education, healthcare, transportation, water and waste management are far away from the ideal but clearly nearer to disaster. By sleight of hand, the unemployment and other informative statistical data continue to be cleverly manipulated so as not to expose the fact that a failing administration offers little respite for our youth, businesses, agricultural and manufacturing industries. Taken together, these factors and issues are dampening ‘real’ progress in Barbados.

Perhaps, five years is becoming too long an election cycle. One can speculate the degree to which the DLP politicians will manage to hold on to their seats given the perceptions that most, if not all of them, have benefitted significantly at the expense of the governed. The restitution of 10 percent of their salaries cannot have helped their cause, especially when public servants’ salaries have stood still for about seven years. How many of the more than 3, 000 are today gainfully employed or are reaping reasonable sources of income?

In addition, DLP politicians have not helped their re-electability after appearing to railroad the Public Accounts Committee and admonish anyone asking for detailed and accurate information on the Four Seasons, Hyatt, or other major projects that have been slated to bring much needed jobs to the local economy. With the thumping of chests each time a new project is announced, can the average Barbadian forget the uncomfortable relationships existing between government and the privileged few of a certain hue?

None are so bold as to overlook ministerial stubbornness, or to see beyond the nefarious intrusion of a wealthy white businessman perceived to be in the business of string-pulling of notable puppets lurking in political corridors. Public administration is marred with the lack of transparency and accountability on matters of national importance. There is certainly a correlation between the lack of transparency and the propensity for corruption. In Barbados, there is a strong incestuous marriage between political power and wealth.

In fairness to the politician, there is nothing wrong with the legal and transparent accumulation of wealth as an individual although government salaries are not of the enriching kind. More pertinent and as one study suggests: “the ‘invisible hand’ of the market depends heavily on the support of a thick ‘glove’ of rules, norms, and institutions … but too often the glove is opaque, obscuring flows of information essential to the efficient and equitable functioning of both markets and the national and international institutions that regulate them.” All persons coming to public office must be transparent in their dealings.

Before the next elections are called, Barbadians ought to advocate for free access to information, particularly on the formulation of agreements which invariably impact the public purse. Barbadians must be mindful that the wealthy and those very proximate to the political elites will garnish favours in exchange for filled brown paper bags and/or external bank accounts. Although the poor of spirit may yet again feel that a sold vote has more short-term worth than the long-term value of social transformation and economic empowerment, the nation must resist such temptations or be prepared to suffer the consequences.

Surely, Barbados has been placed into a position that threatens the livelihoods of every man, woman, and child. We, in this country, can no longer take things for granted and give blind loyalty to the politician or uncritically pelt support to the political party. We must make demands for reform and strengthen our institutional capacities at every level. The harmful status quo must be challenged; and the many prevailing wrongs must be corrected at once.

Dr. George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com

The Daily Nation’s Continuous Poor Grammar

Submitted by A Fair and Balanced Douglas Leopold Phillips

Roy Morris, Editor-in-Chief, Nation Newspaper

Roy Morris, Editor-in-Chief, Nation Newspaper

I hate to return to this topic; and, although I may want to resist invoking his name, like the late Branford Taitt, these days, I am forced to read the Daily Nation (and the Sunday Sun) with a red-ink pen in one hand. I often tell my friends that the Barbados Advocate, especially the Sunday Advocate, is a far better newspaper – good stories, well researched articles and earnest commentaries

Now to the matter at hand. I saw this story in today’s online Daily Nation:

Shock as brothers die 2 days apart

by Lisa King, Nation News

AS THE JONES FAMILY plan a double funeral for two brothers who died suddenly in the space of two days, they are left with more questions than answers.

The Durant’s Road, Christ Church family are trying to muster enough strength to make funeral preparations for Shurland “Jonesy” Jones, 47, who died on December 2, and his older brother Henderson “Buck” Jones, 50, who passed away two days later.

Their sister Marlyne Jones, who spoke to the DAILY NATION yesterday, said the family was not expecting either death. In fact, she said both men were thought to be in good health and the family was therefore anxious for the autopsy reports to learn the causes. (LK)

Family is a collective noun, which carries a singular verb. So, in one instance it cannot have a plural verb and then a singular verb in the same story – see the highlights in red. Most of us know that collective nouns, like class, crew, band, crowd, gang, pack, board, bunch, group, etc. all carry a singular verb; but, not the Nation.

I guess some publications are more concerned with maximising circulation and profits, than being journalese-correct, factual, ethical and responsible.

Bad grammar, particularly where the subject doesn’t agree with the verb, is very pervasive in the local media.  Their seeming inability to use correct English is mind-boggling. For example, recently, the Nation and the Sunday Sun (following their overseas counterparts) were reporting things like: “Barbados are batting in their second innings”, “he said the Barbados Water Authority are dealing with the situation”, and “the Chairman assured the public that the Board are aware of the matter and are addressing it”.

Lots of reasons for me to again fall off my favourite chair with laughter. Where are the proof-readers? Poor fellows, they really don’t know better anyhow. Gladstone Holder and Jeanette Layne-Clarke must be turning over and over again in their graves.

But hey, the constant absence of subject and verb agreement is not the only common error being ‘perfected’ by them. They still wallow in poor syntax and gobbledegook as they continue their crusade to undermine this administration by daily highlighting shortcomings and so-called matters of national import, as well as outright trivia and partisan copy. Case in point: two Sundays ago, there was a news item pertaining to the NUPW’s Akanni McDowell receiving payment for the month of November despite having been asked to revert to his substantive post in October. The Sunday Sun’s ‘story’ while purporting to be a genuine news item was actually a blatant case of the reporter editorialising with subjective comment and personal opinion, and a few expected Ws thrown in to give it a semblance of authenticity and credibility. So RIDICULOUS! All the basic tenets of journalism went thrown out the window.

One only has to read their lead stories everyday.They give prominence to the “bad roads and potholes”, the “reduced Transport Board fleet, late buses, and people stranded in the bus terminals for hours on end”, “poorly maintained government buildings, sporting facilities and playing fields”, “leaking sewerage along the south coast”, “visitors turned-off by sewage overflow in St. Lawrence”, “continuous industrial action at both ports of entry”, “persistent water woes” (like we never experienced these situations before) and “threats by one Rosalind (‘shut-down-de-country’) Smith”, “the Hyatt Hotel issue and Town Planning permission”, “BUT and BSTU militancy”, and “environmental problems at Combermere and other schools”. Talk about a partisan, politician organ!!! The NATION, tip your hat, take a bow!

But, they won’t publicize: the thousands of tourists who arrive here daily; the 6 Condor, 6 Thomas Cook, 2 Virgin Atlantic, one BA,  and 2 Jet Blue flights that were on the tarmac yesterday afternoon at GAIA.  We are in for another record year for tourist arrivals. And, while we are at it,  what about the $M7 and other resources that were invested in our 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations that have redounded to our collective benefit in a BIG WAY. Many persons realized employment as the multiplier and trickle-down effects kicked-in.

Also, let’s remember the overwhelming  success of Jimmy Cornell’s Sailing and Yachting Events, including the return of the much sought after, annual Trans Atlantic Yacht Race. Scores of sailing vessels have been docking here in the Barbados Odyssey 50 since mid-year, and by next month close to100  would have called. Don’t forget the temporary partnership with the private waste haulers to clean up the “piles of garbage across the country” that the Nation was highlighting. The place is now free of the “pile-ups”. To date, that arrangement has been a resounding success. The de-bushing campaign to clean our highways and by-ways is now under way; and, by the way, Combermere is being made ready for the start of the next school term. Work is continuing there apace. Can’t the Nation at least mention these FACTS. Anyhow, enough said!

I usually try to desist from criticising my ‘friends’ in the media, but I get incensed sometimes at their ‘foul-ups, bleeps and blunders‘, as they persist with their non-stories and solecisms, on the one hand, while their editors, lead writers and columnists  adopt a holier-than-thou attitude and a partisan, political posture on the other. So, I can be forgiven for again jumping on my hobbyhorse.

Barbados Festival Day in New York with Ronald Jones


Minister Ronald Jones goes to New York

In the same way the Muslims trek to the Mecca to pay homage to Allah so too local politicians fly to New York to build their brand. Last weekend Friends of the D.L.P Association Inc in New York hosted ‘Festival Day’ (Bajan Day) and look who a BU correspondent spotted. It appears that a good time was had by all.

The Caswell Franklyn Column – DLP’s New strategy

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

THE DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY (DLP) had a miserable 14-year sojourn in opposition.

It was a fractious party until their thirst for power galvanised them into a united force that was ready and willing and to take control of the Government. They not only stopped fighting in public; they came up with a strategy which now appears to have been “tell the people what they want to hear”.

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Dear Santia

Submitted by Douglas

Santia Bradshaw, St. Michael South East M.P.

Santia Bradshaw, St. Michael South East M.P.


How are you?

I read what the dailies reported in Parliament recently about the conditions existing in Barbados. According to media reports, while speaking on a resolution aimed at raising the profile of the anniversary date of the 1937 disturbances in the House of Assembly, you intimated that the conditions existing in 1937 are still present.

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Well Done Freundel

Submitted by Douglas

Freundel StuartSaturday, 21st February, will mark two years that the Democratic Labour Party, under the leadership of Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Freundel Stuart, Q.C., M.P, was re-elected to serve the people of Barbados. Every day over those two years we have kept our commitment to the people of Barbados to deliver on our promise to develop a Barbados which is: socially balanced, economically viable, environmentally sound and characterized by good governance.

Our Prime Minister, his Cabinet and members of the parliamentary team have shown that they are capable of managing the affairs of Barbados in the most challenging period that this country has ever gone through. We wish to commend our Prime Minister and party leader for his mature leadership style. He has handled every challenge faced with a fearless resilience and integrity.

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Hard Work – Educational Success

Submitted by Douglas

Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

Our educational sector plays a vital role in the development of this country.  This DLP administration has always regarded education as one of the key developmental tools which would take this country forward.  That decision made by the first DLP administration in 1961 to allow free secondary education for all Barbadians continues to be one of the foundation policies which accounts for all of the growth and development which this small country has accomplished since that time.

One vital component of the educational sector which requires some focus discussion is the Secondary School.

We note, with amazement, that the Opposition continues to dodge their work but yet still draw their salaries and dine at the tables of parliament.  We hope that mature bodies who have a vital role to play in the development of this country do not adopt the bad habits and practices of our childish opposition lead by Ms. Mottley.  However, we the members of the Democratic Labour Party will press on in our efforts to move this country forward.  This week, we focus on secondary school education.

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BLP and DLP Political ‘Germfare’

Submitted by William Skinner

 “Mia Motley is being politically slaughtered by Owen Arthur because he is teaching her the age old truth”

“Mia Motley is being politically slaughtered by Owen Arthur because he is teaching her the age old truth”

As we continue to grapple with the floundering of the Democratic Labour Party and the blundering of the Barbados Labour Party, the collision of hypocrisy with reality stares us in the face. The inescapable truths are now haunting the apologists and desperate assortment of political henchmen and women, who never put Barbados before George or Roebuck Streets.

Mia Motley is being politically slaughtered by Owen Arthur because he is teaching her the age old truth: you cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hound. Arthur is bitter because he is confronting the harsh reality that his so-called economic management has in reality left the country no better off than he found it. He did not transform the society; he merely managed it competently and that is no great legacy to leave. Transformation is what both Grantley Adams and Errol Barrow achieved. Arthur will never and can never be seriously elevated to such heights. To put it mildly: Arthur became a ruthless self centered politician and conned the unsuspecting into believing that there was something called inclusion when in fact we all know it was nothing more than seduction and the opportunistic machinations of a frustrated group of young DLP politicians , who just did not want David Thompson to become Prime Minister of Barbados. He also easily seduced most of the rising talent that had emerged from within the ranks of the National Democratic Party.

Having squandered the chance to reclaim the government in 2013, Arthur on the night of the election made it known that he honestly believed that his chance for a second bite at the pie of power was sabotaged from within the ranks of his own party.

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DLP’s War on Labour

Henderson Bovell

Henderson Bovell

The Unions like to say, ‘where there is no vision the people perish!’ Perhaps then, it is because of ‘the ageing process’ or even ‘failing eyesight’ that they seem unable to read the signs and take appropriate evasive action, despite the visible early warning indicators, which are blinding the rest of the country.

This could very well be the end of the line for trade unions as we knew them. However, there is hope!The more you listen-to and read Caswell Franklin’s contribution on behalf of labour, you cannot help nodding your head in approval that he embodies the trade union leader of the future: “sound academic and common sense  judgment;” fresh; knowledgeable; energetic and committed to the cause of workers.  In recent times, union leaders have selected a shortcut to a destination, which is not in the workers’ or the national interest and therefore – a path, which clearly does not make sense to workers.

‘Declining membership and influence,’ is never in any union’s interest, given the very interpretation of the word: “union.” This shows that the crisis, which was triggered by the failed-DLP-Government, is spreading.

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Operation Corrective Measures

Submitted by Douglas

Owen Arthur would not want anything to do with Mia Mottley's eminent persons group.

“Owen Arthur would not want anything to do with Mia Mottley’s eminent persons group”

It is worth repeating- Sandiford’s structural adjustment programme of the 90s right-sized the public service of Barbados. It is worth stating that the Owen Arthur administration from 1994 started the process of inflating the ranks of the public service of Barbados. Growing the government; to the detriment of the private sector of Barbados – an unsustainable economic policy. He failed to take the advice at the turn of the century to reduce the size of the civil service by 10,000 spread over 10 years. The warning signs were there. But he failed to take the corrective measures.

Owen Arthur would not want anything to do with Mia Mottley’s eminent persons group. He knows that such a group would point fingers at him for failing to continue the restructuring of the Barbados economy which he had inherited from Sandiford. Like the prodigal son, for 14 years he partied, feasted, and feted spending the surplus revenue from the VAT and money borrowed for a rainy day, wasting billions of dollars on dead-end projects (Greenlands, Dodds Prison, Highway Expansion, Kensington, Crab Hill Police Station, and Eastry House). He also presided over decisions which left us with very little space to manoeuvre: the sale of the national bank, the insurance company and selling off the private sector of Barbados to foreign interest. Not to mention the first three downgrades of Barbados’ credit rating.

When you are managing an economy in good times you are expected to make provision and savings for hard times. Arthur did not do this. This was his greatest failure as a leader. He did not have the vision or foresight to adequately prepare for the future.

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The D in DLP

Submitted by Dercris

Former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford led restructuring in the early 90s

Former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford cut public sector wages and retrenched workers in the early 90s.

In 1992 [former Prime Minister] Sandiford went to Rio to a UN Global Climate Change Conference. He ended his speech with a (very bad) poem he had written Ode to the Environment much to the embarrassment  of the other Caribbean delegations. But I do remember this part  in part ic u lar.

In order to build we must destroy!

But how and what, where and when.

And if we destroy, we must rebuild.

But how and what, where and when.

Please note they advocated back then that we ” must destroy” and then he goes on to say “if we destroy we must rebuild” but  he didn’t know how!! Perhaps we have found the source of DLP policy?   Perhaps that  is what D stands

Oppressive DLP Creates a Fiscal Crisis and Again Punishes the Innocent for its Crime and Recklessness

Henderson Bovell

Henderson Bovell

How could the DLP be allowed to get away with such a vulgar and horrible crime against Barbadians and the region? Where is the social justice and accountability?  Has Barbados become a banana republic and a place where the innocent pays and are punished for the atrocities of the wicked? Because of the DLP, the whole world now thinks regional leaders and Governments are incompetent at economic leadership and management!

Barbadians have to be candid about what has happened and why this country now finds itself in this sorry mess and perilous state, where thousands of relatives; friends and neighbours (fellow Barbadians) are being oppressed and subjected to an unknown period of human suffering and a life of poverty, with no light or hope – in the DLP’s tunnel. There has to be a point beyond which, failure to accept sound, well-reasoned advice, from experienced professionals, including those who have “successful-actual on-the-job experience” – constitutes criminal negligence.

Very few would deny that this-failed-DLP-Government’s expenditure fiasco is caused primarily by its “flawed fatted calf doctrine and political entitlement programme,” which the country is now finding-out – has resulted in the reckless over-employment in the public sector, by stealth, over the past six years.

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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.

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Committed to Our Goals

Submitted by Douglas

Ministers Donville Inniss and Chris Sinckler

Ministers Donville Inniss and Chris Sinckler

It is never easy to take tough decision which would affect the livelihood of those affected. From the start of the economic recession, the Democratic Labour Party’s administration had always said it would seek to maintain the social safety net and the sending home of persons from the public service would be a last resort so that government could maintain the employment levels in the country as long as possible.

For more than six years, the Democratic Labour Party administration maintained that promise while it introduced policies to restructure the economy of Barbados and position it on a sustainable growth path. This restructuring process which was long overdue is now being undertaken in the midst of the most turbulent, global economic recession which the world has seen in over a hundred years. Naturally, the journey has not been smooth sailing.

From the start of the economic recession our financial experts reminded us of the importance of protecting our international reserves. We were able to do this with reserves consistently above 16 week of imports from 2008 to June 2013. This was a major economic victory in the face of an unsettled global economic climate. This provided the cushion for government to continue its role in maintaining employment levels and the social safety net while putting policies in place to sure up revenue earning and controlling government’s expenditure in areas of goods and services, transfers and subsidies.

To read more:

A Ring a Ring o’ Roses: BLP DLP Same Party

Mia Mottley, Opposition Leader

Mia Mottley, Opposition Leader

Less than one year after the last general election and the sense in the BU household is that the country continues to be gripped in election mode. This is despite the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) having won the general election albeit by a narrow margin of two seats. The inability of the Stuart led government to bring Barbadians together and get on with improving the lot of the country has been a bane to many. To some the narrow result confirmed the disgust which the electorate has with the two main political parties.

Here is the flipside. BU is not convinced by  the alternative proposals which were championed by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) during the last general election campaign. There was the privatization argument which backfired, however, the thrust of the BLP’s offering is centred on maintaining a service economy read tourism and international business. Not to forget the promise of a more aggressive offshore oil exploration program. The BLP faithful appear not to accept that the world has changed post-2008. Barbados ‘leveraged’ a global economic boom where there was easy money to be borrowed from capital markets. A significant percentage of the billions left in foreign reserves by the BLP represented borrowings which will have to be repaid. The adage that one has to earn your way in the world means that a borrowing strategy was not sustainable.

The BU gang has been harping for years that the Barbados downward spiral can be tracked to a lack of leadership. In case the BLP hacks have forgotten, the economic indicators started to flag during Owen Arthur’s third term. There is evidence that Arthur and the BLP struggled with the economic conditions which had become harsher.

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Operation Diazepam

Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking, we have switched to auto pilot but for a short while…

As we sat momentary in silence, confirmation came from over the aircraft’s address system, that it was  business as usual.  Only weeks before, all incoming deputation were put on orange alert before release of any retrogress information.  In the interim, CA heads sought to prelist their take with an uncanny sense of urgency to defer any IMF pending  group therapy. Up pops a most laudable head of union suggesting congestions, which now transmits that certain underlying tectonics forces are at play.  More silence and still more silence…Of clever moves or deception?

All in the games we love to play.

Deliverance Leadership Pragmatism: (DLP or BLP) A New Direction

Submitted by Yardbroom

Barbadians urged to vote INTEGRITY

Barbadians urged to vote INTEGRITY

Deliverance from Whom?

Leadership to Where?

Pragmatic in what we can reasonably afford.

All underpinned by “INTEGRITY” for without that, we are nothing.

In a matter of days Barbados’ electorate will go to the Polls and elect a Government for the next five years.  The time for crunching figures is over.  The pollsters have trotted out their numbers, the columnists showing bias have pontificated on the rightness of their selections and those in the shadows with much to gain, have invested their dollars and largesse to be distributed, no doubt expecting a large return on their investment.  The manifestos are near ready but they too rely on that word INTEGRITY for without it, they will be as useful as a loser betting tickets discarded at the Garrison Savannah.

I asked deliverance, from whom?  Deliverance from those in the shadows, whose faces are never seen but their dollars are.  They do not mount platforms and tell ribald jokes, and their parentage, domestic arrangements and physiognomy are never questioned, but like a fox at a Leghorn fowl shin-dig, they cannot be ignored.

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Democratic Labour Party (DLP) NOT Responsible For ‘PARO’ Ads


George A.Pilgrim, General Secretary, Democratic Labour Party

Issue : DLP Ad scraping the Bottom of the Skillet (Posted January 23, 2013)

The executive of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has categorically denied that its President, its General Secretary, any member of its Executive / General Council , or its campaign management team is responsible for recent advertisements carried in the local daily newspapers, ostensibly sponsored by a group called PARO.

In dismissing any responsibility for the ads or semblance of association with the group, the DLP’s General Secretary, George Pilgrim, in a clear-the-air statement today stressed that the DLP was not party to the advertisements. “We have not commissioned nor authorised any such ads; and, therefore, for anyone to associate the DLP with these newspaper postings is not only totally untrue but very misleading, and designed to put the ruling party in a bad light. As a mature, political party, we do not resort to or condone such tactics that have been the hallmark of the Opposition BLP in recent months,” he noted.

The Story Of Housing Since 2008 Must Be Told

Submitted by Stephen Williams

Michael Lashley, Minister of Housing

The story of housing since 2008, when the new government took over, needs to be trumpeted. It is a success story; and one that should leave the BLP hanging their heads in shame, after the mess they left at the NHC, Warrens, Coverly, Buckley, and the housing sector in general. Take a bow Michael Lashley, the Ministry of Housing and Lands, the NHC and the DLP! We are PROUD of your performance and achievements.

Look at the wonderful work done at Country Towers, Tweedside Road, Coverly, Work Hall, Ruby, Marchfield, Woodbourne, Foursquare, Six Roads, Lancaster, Cherry Grove, Vineyard, Parish Land, West Terrace, etc. Now, drive through Brittons Hill and look at the magnificent structures that have graced Valery and Forde’s Road – one word aptly describes them – SUPERB.

And, do not forget the 500 lot programme, the very successful $5 per sq. ft. low income land programme, and the NHC tenants of 20 years standing who have gotten their units free of cost.

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DLP In a ‘Gifting’ Mood

Submitted by Hamilton Hill

The Hon Steve Blackett, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development.

One of Country & Western’s most prolific song writers the late Bill Andersen once wrote a song called “Where Have All The Heroes Gone”. While listening to that song not long ago,the sense of frustration that I had subconsciously buried for quite some time, fought its way back to the top of my thought process, bringing to the fore this question.

Where have all the stalwarts of the DLP gone?

With such history, such a glowing legacy of performance in the name of nation building, why now do we seem so hell bent on gifting away the reign of leadership, as was done in 1994? Old sea dogs the likes of Greaves, the both of them and others like Branford Taitt, F.G.Smith, Keith and Erskine Simmonds must make sure that the gaffe of 94 remains a haunting memory never to be repeated.

If such must obtain then they must assume leadership of a vessel that for the most part gives the appearance of a rudder-less craft aimlessly sailing the choppy waters of this economic storm. For the most part the First Officer Mr. Finance Minister still has our confidence. Of grave concern however is the epidemic of verbal diarrhoea that seemingly is now the crew’s affliction. Dennis Kellman….almost every day. Minister Blackett who needs to be told that he spoke out of turn {dat shit you talk, shouldda come from Fruendel} and then the AG who chose to call David Ellis, who is chomping at the bit (de same one Fruendel spit) to hold feet to the fire. How do they not see that their actions seem to suggest abandon ship? Is it that or is it every man brek fa e self?

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Dear DLP

Submitted by Observing

You are suffering and you are indirectly suffering the independents that support you. We like you, really we do. We believe that you have the most integrity and desire to help all Barbadians and with time could do so. But you are doing an atrocious job of showing it, proving it, or at the very least talking about it properly.  Let me pause to offer a moment of sympathy for your departed leader, former PM David Thompson. He truly went too soon. He also left big boots to fill and an unfinished vision and mandate that desperately needed time and hard working, honest souls to bring it to fruition.  Fast forward two years and we must now ask. What have you done? How have you done it? How have you shared it?

I’ll declare my hand and admit that my philosophy, leaning and beliefs endear me to the DLP rather than the BLP. But, my objectivity will always question right from wrong, good from bad, sense from nonsense and efficiency from ineptitude.  In too many cases you have collectively chosen the latters. To make matters worse, it has been so blatant, so obvious, and in some cases so bumbling that it seems you are still now trying to “settle” into the role of government, four years after the fact.

While on that, let me turn to your chairman, the PM, the numero uno, Mr. Freundel Stuart.  A good man.  A liked man. A decent man. An intelligent man. But clearly a man with flaws in some of the critical areas of leadership, team building and emotional intelligence.  They say a leader gets the job done. Full stop.  But there are many tasks he/she must undertake and people he/she must work and talk with to get there.  The jury will decide on Stuart’s performance as PM and leader.   As for the team? Likeable fellows somewhat. But, complacent, sometimes arrogant and now conveniently blind to the very things that swept them into power, and are poised to sweep them out.  They should pray for light.

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Minister Sinckler’s Memo

Submitted by Porridgeboy

Photo Credit: Barbados Today

On a point of observation I could not help but notice the look on the face of the Finance Minister Mr .Chris Sinckler in a recent clip from the luncheon meeting held by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was held at the Barbados Hilton on the 25 January 2012 and aired on the CBC news the same night, and a pictured of the Minister in the Barbados Today News, page 41 25 January 2012 [see embedded image].

In my opinion it was a face of distraught, a look of someone lost in the forum which he was in at the time. Is this because for the first time in the last three years of the Democratic Labour Party’s governance of this country, the Prime Minister has taken the lead in his [Sinckler] Ministry by delivering his first address to the Member of Chamber? Is it a face of worry wondering what next, would it be the Estimates and then the Budget that he will deliver?

Well Minister Sinckler, maybe the PM has just decided to start dealing with the eleven  MPs who allegedly sough an audience with him to discuss his leadership style,  or is it that he has the feeling of his Ministers falling short of the mark lately?

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DLP, Let David Thompson Rest In Peace

Submitted by Caswell Franklyn

Credit: Nation Newspaper

Remembrance Day is observed on November 11th in Commonwealth countries because World War I formally ended at 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The day therefore has special significance as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who lost their lives in the line of duty. However in Barbados, and some other countries, Remembrance Sunday is observed, on the closest Sunday to that date, with a military parade, a church service and the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph. It bears repetition; Remembrance Sunday is set aside for members of the armed forces who fell in the line of duty.

It is therefore quite surprising and totally inappropriate for a Government Minister to lead a band of his constituents, with photographer on tow, to St. John to demean the significance of Remembrance Sunday. The Daily Nation of Monday, November 14, 2011 carried a story, with photograph, about Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy et al laying wreaths on the grave of the late Prime Minister, David Thompson. By now, the members of the Democratic Labour Party should have come to the realization that every occasion, especially days of national and in this case of international significance, is not an opportunity for politicking.

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The Hour Of Decision: A Pressing Need To Cut Cost And Articulate A Divestment Strategy

Submitted by St. George’s Dragon


Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

There are some, including the Prime Minister, who after the Moody ratings downgrade think all is going to be ok, and that we just need to sit tight until the economy comes right.  I see a strong swell of opinion that there is no alternative but for public sector cuts. Here is my somewhat random list of where the Government should look for cuts and other income. Feel free to add your own.

  1. Agree a public sector wage freeze. Ministers and MPs to take a pay cut of 5% if Unions agree to the freeze
  2. Employ a foreign consultant to get off-shore oil exploration going again as quickly as possible. Pay them a flat fee with a bonus dependent on how quickly they can get income in and the % profit the Government makes on it
  3. Privatise the BWA
  4. Cut down the number of Barbados High Commissions abroad
  5. Tender a significant number of Transport Authority bus routes to private sector operators
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Barbados Labour Party Supporter Highlights 23 Mistakes Inflicted By Government

Submitted by Apollo 13 (comment)


These are good things that the DLP has done:

  1. Free bus fares for children resulting in adding to the Transport Board’s $48 million deficit
  2. Free summer camps to the tune of millions to the taxpayers but fatted calf shared to its supporters, including Kenny Best who had a camp, some of their supporters had three camps each
  3. High petrol costs and allowing the Transport Board to run  a gas station illegally so that SOL can make back its millions spent on the DLP campaign and cover the costs of David Thompson flying up and down the world on SOL’s private jet
  4. Increase VAT to 17.5%
  5. Increase water rates by 60%
  6. Building a lot of poorly built chicken coops for houses and not being able to get neither renters or buyers resulting in the NHC not being able to access loans.
  7. Turning NHC into a hell hole in which to work with nepotism running rampant
  8. Firing Marilyn Rice Bowen and installing a brother as chairman while pretending in the by election to be champions of women
  9. Giving away the taxpayers land to JADA at Coverley in exchange for  free plane rides and gifts
  10. Ronald Jones cursing the principals and creating such a hostile atmosphere in the MOE that many senior staffers have left
  11. Stephen Lashley cursing out public servants and telling them to shape up or ship out as if he don’t know the rules governing the public service and now putting a gag order on NCF workers
  12. Raising unemployment from 6.5% to 11% in three years
  13. Spending over 2.5 billion dollars left as foreign reserves and cleaning out the sinking fund  in two years with nothing to show for it
  14. Running up the highest fiscal deficit ever over $500 million
  15. Three cabinet reshuffles in three years

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Anticipating Owen Arthur’s Address To The 72nd Annual Conference DLP Style

George Pilgrim, General Secretary, Democratic Labour Party

Good morning, Mr Chairman, Officers of the National Council, Members of Parliament, specially invited guests and comrades, It gives me great pleasure to address the 72nd Conference of this great party.

I address you with a heavy heart amidst our internal turmoil. I am fortified in our past successes and so we will overcome this. “We have had crises in the past and we will rise above this” A party founded on the principle of providing a Better Life for our People must not be put out to pasture by a few who don’t understand the basic principles of democracy. Our founding father, Sir Grantley Adams, fought to ensure the principles of democracy were paramount in the ideals upon which we were to evolve as a nation. We have a proud history, let us not consume it in this quagmire of darkness.

I know most of you here today must be wondering what type of speech I would deliver as your reappointed political leader. It has only been a couple weeks since my return to this lofty office. I must repeat at this junction, however:

“I am here to build and I look forward to that opportunity. This is a very difficult time for the country. It is a very difficult time for the party. It is a very difficult time for me.” I came to office as the son of a shopkeeper and led this great party for 14 years through the rough and tumble. I have said that persons on the other side treated politics like a blood sport and I would not want our party to go down that road. I swallowed my pride and acceded to a response from my parliamentary colleagues and decided to accept the post of Opposition Leader.

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THE Creation Of A Legend

Submitted by Bajan Truth

The Late Honourable Prime Minister David Thompson, Combermerian

Legacy for sale, created by MEDIA CREATIONS LTD.  You do not actually have to do much, intent is as good as the deed. Talk about Families First, no programmes, no initiatives, no legislation, mention in a few speeches and it is legacy.  Talk about Barbados is for all of us and not a few, it is a society not just an economy and you have transformed the Barbadian landscape. Pass free busfares and free camps and apparently that is sufficient to have impacted the lives of Barbadians and lift them from out of poverty. Go to the Gaza and Red Sea attend a few dub fetes and the youth have become a champion of youth, an inspiration, a community worker par excellence that has powerfully impacted on the lives of part of a wonderful legacy, legacy for sale. The intent is as good as the deed. A storm an unprecedented event in Barbados it is the spiritual power of David Thompson, such an outstanding leader the earth itself has groaned as it did for our Lord on his death (earthquakes) according to
Matthew Farley.

The creation of this legend so fixated the Dems and the media that they forgot to warn Barbadians about the storm, or did they deliberately withhold that information because they did not want to disturb the worship at the shrine of David Thompson (Combermere) now hailed the greatest leader Barbados has ever known. David you worried about the short time in office, the fear that you did not get to do what you wanted and about the legacy you would leave behind.  You did not have to worry, your faithful Dems have ensured that your name is lifted above all names, even above Prime Ministers of yore. Apparently in two years you did so much for this country and the region that my God had you been here longer you would have ushered in Paradise. Apparently no leader before, Grantley Adams, Errol Barrow, Tom Adams, Bernard St.John, Erskine Sandiford and Owen Arthur could ever compare with you.  One media Dem worshipper even said that your death was a loss not only to Barbados but to the region and indeed the world.

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The Late Prime Minister David Thompson Was Respected At Home And Abroad

Submitted by People’s Democratic Movement (PDM)
Turks and Caicos Islands


October 24, 2010

The Hon Freundel Stuart, QC

The Prime Minister


Dear Prime Minister


We as a people were deeply saddened when we learnt of the passing of Prime Minister The Hon David J.H.Thompson. The loss of such a young, vibrant and committed leader from this region is one that we cannot spare. Hon Thompson’s passing has sent shock waves throughout the Caribbean and the Turks and Caicos Islands included as we have always embraced Barbadians who are together here in these Islands mourning with their home nation.

In Hon Thompson’s all too brief period as Prime Minister we note his emphasis on unity for his homeland. Whilst I may not have had the opportunity to have met him whilst in this Office, his Speech made a few weeks ago which is now his Final Address, has been an inspiration to us as we face our battle as a people. The valiant call for unity was a great testament of his strong committed leadership which has spanned decades in his constituency representation and his focused leadership of his Party. This level of stability and commitment alone demonstrates that this region has suffered a great loss.

On behalf of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, my Party: the officers and members of the PDM, my family and myself, I offer our sincerest condolences to the people of Barbados, you and your Cabinet and the Former First Lady, children and family of the Late Hon David Thompson. As you mourn as a people, know that the region mourns together with you as we have certainly loss a great young mind.


Yours sincerely

Douglas Parnell

Leader of the PDM Party

Support For Stuart Is UNFLINCHING …But leaving is the decent thing to do

Hartley Henry - Principal Political Advisor to the Hon. Prime Minister

The answer is yes! I am confident of the government of Barbados moving on with its social and economic agenda, following the death of David Thompson and the appointment of Freundel Stuart as new leader of the country.

The philosophical and policy outlook of the Democratic Labour Party is not derived from a lucky-dip type undertaking. There is a clear trend of thought that inspires and determines how policy positions are arrived at. The late Rt. Excellent Errol Barrow set forth a charter for Barbados and the party in the mid 1980s that was followed through and implemented by Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford and the DLP Cabinet of 1987 to 1994. Several of Sir Lloyd’s initiatives and ideas were, understandably deferred or amended in the 1994 to 2008 period of Barbados Labour Party rule, but again the party hit the road running in 2008, with a resumption of its social and economic charter, this time, under the leadership of David Thompson.

While death has robbed us of his physical presence, his flight plan for Barbados was set forth in a clearly discernible manner. Thompson had his finger on the pulse of every sphere of social, political and economic undertaking and activity in Barbados. He had a clear concept of the five year work programme for each line ministry. The blueprint is there!

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