A Freundel Stuart 2022 Utterance

Former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was promoted to speak at a DLP St. Michael South spot meeting in Britton’s Hill last night at 7PM. The blogmaster searched for a recording of the meeting to satisfy a mild curiosity about what the former Prime Minister had to add to the national discourse. Try as we might only a 1 minute clip has surfaced so far on social media.

Former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart Breaks Silence

Former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in a rare public appearance since the last general election delivered a speech last Sunday at the DLP St. Philip North branch meeting. Thanks to Piece the Legend for the following audio snippet. So far the blogmaster has not been able to locate the full speech by Stuart (some people will say disappointing).

Additional link posted by Ping Ping.


Freundel Stuart to SPEAK!


 Verla De peiza, Leader of the DLP

Former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is being promoted as the guest speaker at the St. James South branch meeting scheduled for May 19, 2019. The first reaction from the blogmaster to the news is that after one year the giant appears to have been coaxed from his slumber by the Goddess of Isis.

The topic of his speech has not been shared with the public – this is consistent with Stuart’s style of communicating with those he was elected to serve. Why would he change now? The fact he presided over a political party discombobulated at the polls will never be a consideration for him.

An interesting debate has emerged as to why the DLP would invite Stuart to address a branch meeting. And why would Donville’s constituency have extended the invitation at this time.

June 24, 2019 is the date set by the United States Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to hear the case filed by United States prosecutors against former International Business and Commerce Minister Donville Inniss.

Is there a story line to be read from the tea leaves? Many prefer the DLP to die and for something new to rise from its ashes. It supports the view that like the mortals we are, entities also have a shelf life.

The blogmaster has shared the view that Verla De Peiza has no significant power base within the party. She has a weak ‘brand’. Her position is undermined with the appointment of Irene Sandiford-Garner, regarded as a political light weight. De Peiza has been selected post the 30-0 defeat of the party as a stop gap leader because it is a role any sensible political aspirant will spurn at this time. This may explain why she lacks the political courage to overrule the invitation by the St. James South branch for Stuart to speak.

  1. Will the Clyde Mascoll/David Thompson story line be repeated.
  2. Will Stuart’s delivery be a mea culpa?
  3. Will Stuart continue with his Mount Olympus philosophical musings?
  4. Well Stuart- for once- embrace the role of a statesman and share relevant insights to a political party with the scent of the political dustbin it is nostrils?

Time will tell.
Screenshot 2019-04-23 at 18.05.31


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?





Elections Results 2018: Democracy Alive, Opposition Dead!

Submitted by Doc Martin

Congratulations to Ms. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister and to the BLP on their victory in the 2018 elections. As other commentators elsewhere have stated, democracy is alive and well in Barbados.

Well, the operation to remove the Freundel Stuart led DLP government has been successful but the patient has suffered complications and so an amputation was necessary to remove opposition to the flow of blood. At least that is the imagery that came to mind when CBC showed us for a few fleeting seconds, a red Barbados, after it was clear that the BLP has made a clean sweep of the election.

A much subdued Freundel Stuart, in the wee hours of Friday morning, conceded defeat but, as some commentators observed, was not gracious enough to mention the incoming PM by name.

Ms. Mottley is credited with saying that she was going to make history but I doubt even she had more than winning the election and being the first female Prime Minister of Barbados in mind when she said that. She certainly may not have had in mind a clean sweep of all thirty seats, including the St. John constituency, which for the first time in about 60 years, has fallen into BLP hands.

For weeks and months to come, pundits and analysts will ponder the complete “redwash” of the DLP and many hours will be spent analyzing the mistakes made and the lessons to be learned. While the dust is still settling, I wish to offer summary comments on three matters: [1] the defeat of the DEMS, [2] the absence of an opposition and [3] the need for a system of PR (proportional representation) to replace the current system of FPTP (first-past-the-post).

Defeat of the Dems
The defeat of the DEMS can be attributed to several forces, one positive, several negative.

On the one hand, the BLP must be credited for executing a very cleverly integrated marketing campaign that addressed the strategic marketing issues of stakeholder research need analysis, product configuration, positioning, segmentation, promotion and messaging. I have explained how some of these apply to political marketing elsewhere in this blog. As a marketing professional myself, I must also complement the BLP for sheer brilliance in using both traditional and digital media.

The “negative” force is threefold:

  1. The failure of the DLP to do as well on marketing as the BLP. Too much of their manifesto, for example, focused on philosophy and the distant past. I have long ago said that Barrow and Tom Adams are no longer relevant to everyday life in Barbados. But the presence of at least two historians in the DLP just will not let the ghost of Barrow rest. Presumably the people of St. John have now exorcised his ghost!
  2. Their failure to recognize the hazards of the ‘martyr complex’ which they induced in the electorate on behalf of Ms. Mottely through their communications strategy. Ms. Mottely cemented the martyr complex when she declared, “I have a broad back”. Elsewhere it is known as turning the other cheek, something Mr. Stuart should have done himself. It is a pity that he is not half as good at psychology as he is at history! The DLP started their campaign with the obvious goal of demonizing MAM, presumably in retaliation for her demonizing of the PM. This and their bad timing of the Mottley “tax waiver” bombshell, did not do them much good. When it was dropped, I remarked that the “tax waiver” bombshell was dropped too early. Had the DLP dropped the bombshell say, on the Tuesday before the election, they might have had a more lasting impact on the electorate and pressured the Mottley-BLP campaign. So another of their errors is that they forgot that most Bajans have short memories!
  3. Finally, the association of the DLP brand with the spent and vindictive force of Owen Arthur served to cement Ms. Mottely’s victimhood and seal the DLPs fate. So, even though defending their policies was going to be a hard sell, the DLP, in fact, committed political suicide, although they had been holding the noose around their necks long before the election.

Opposition Dead
The second issue that has emerged from this election is the “death” of the parliamentary opposition. This means that the BLP, with an absolute majority can theoretically “do anything it wants”. As if in recognition of this, Ms. Mottley promised, in her acceptance speech early this morning, to consult all stakeholders and even hold referenda on crucial topics.

Notwithstanding her promises, the Barbadian population, in its overreaction to the DLP malfeasances, has unwittingly robbed the parliament of a lawful opposition to prosecute the business of those who did not endorse the BLP and, who are, therefore, in the minority. This means that the third parties which have not won a seat (as well as the population as a whole), must now be the surrogate opposition. So that far from being demolished, these third parties now have a responsibility to be the best extra-parliamentary opposition they can be.

Proportional Representation
In her concession speech, the leader of the UPP has suggested a system of proportional representation (PR), something I have been trumpeting on this blog since the start of this election. As should be now clear, had there been such a system in place, the DLP would have gotten some of the seats and we would have a formal opposition. Without the benefit of the final overall distribution of votes, I cannot say whether any of the third parties might have secured any of the seats because, in most PR systems, there is a minimum threshold of votes a party must obtain to be eligible for seats in parliament.

The first order of business then is for the “extra-parliamentary” opposition and all right-thinking members of society, to call, sooner rather than later, for a referendum (if that is the appropriate mechanism) on a change from the FPTP system to one of proportional representation. Ms. Mottley certainly has the votes to make such a constitutional change and therefore, her handling of such a request would tell us her true intentions for the Barbados which she claims she will be putting first.

In the meantime, all I can say is: “Barbados, looka wuh yuh gone and do!”

Prime Ministerial Madness, and Robes that do not Bind

Submitted by George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

The independence of the CCJ and its fitness … should not be a matter in which there is any doubt. In assessing the independence of a court, one looks at the quality and the character of the judges of the court, the institutional arrangements for the selection of judges, focusing particularly on the absence of political involvement, as well as the independence and sustainability of the financial arrangements for the operation of the court. The CCJ meets these standards. – (Sir Dennis Byron, 2012).

Freundel Stuart of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), in what will likely be his last days as the beleaguered Prime Minister of Barbados, has proven once more that on awaking from his slumber, he would rather shoot from the hip while aiming recklessly, than gather his bearings and pierce the intended target with any precision.

Last Friday night, in a desperate attempt to rally the dwindling numbers of DLP supporters and to capture and keep those willing to risk their futures with another term under the DLP administration, Stuart suggested that should the DLP be returned to office, Barbados will be withdrawing from the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final Court of Appeal.

Prime Minister Stuart narrow-mindedly stated:

Barbados is not going back to the Privy Council because we are not going backward; life goes not backward or tarries with yesterday. But once the Democratic Labour Party is re-elected to office, I am determined, to put Barbados on the same level as every other CARICOM country by de-linking from the Caribbean Court of Justice in its appellate jurisdiction. We went in first and we can come out first.” Plainly, this statement by Barbados’ 67 year-old prime minister is arbitrary nonsense!

Several years ago, one of the main architects of the CCJ – Sir David Simmons the former Chief Justice of Barbados and eminent jurist – indicated that the CCJ’s setting up was “not the product of some sudden or knee-jerk reaction to recent decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC)” but in fact was a conscious decision. Indeed, since 1947 there were forthright discussions on claiming political, and self-evidently the sovereign independence that accompanies such, within the context of the wider Caribbean. Barbados, like all other Caribbean countries, has systematically through processes of decolonization and quest for self-determination operated on a drive for the type of political independence which further implies the autonomy for its legislative and executive affairs.

In my doctoral thesis, I made the point that the discourse and many actions by leading “national actors do not conform to the stated desire of the member states for deeper regional integration and integrated development.” The negative political posturing that can sometimes happen, occurred in Barbados with the DLP’s victory in 2008.

Issues of intra-CARICOM migration and CARICOM citizens living – legally or undocumented – in Barbados consumed the popular discourse over the next couple years to no one’s benefit. Hardly anyone in the region would forget the notorious and inglorious statement by then Prime Minister David Thompson (DLP), when he stated: ‘ever so welcome, wait for a call’. Thompson and the DLP sought to rid Barbados of numerous CARICOM immigrants who were actively and welcomingly contributing to Barbados’ economy and national development. In response, Barbados was accused by Guyana and other member states of abandoning the ‘spirit of CARICOM’ as it related to Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

This past weekend, the issue of Barbados attempting to walk away from the ‘spirit’ of integrated functionality in the Caribbean Community under the administrative guidance of the DLP is most staggering, particularly when measured against the episodes of a post-2009 era in which Barbados’ reputation became tarnished, and the exit of many CARICOM citizens put pressure on the availability of agricultural produce, other food items, and placed downward pressures on rising labour costs. Numerous households and businesses relying on the valuable input of CARICOM citizens living and working in Barbados were short-changed because of the exits and unnecessary deportations. Thousands of Barbadians were robbed of opportunities for enhancing localised commercial activities while cementing Barbados’ pivotal place in the regional integration movement.

Lest one forgets, it was none other than the Right Excellent Errol Barrow – one of ten Barbados National Heroes – that was a founding father and pioneer of formal integration relations in the region. Although Freundel Stuart prides himself in historical knowledge, it is a definite absurdity that this irksome leader should overlook the cautions of Errol Barrow who warned at his very last Heads of Government Conference of the Caribbean Community in 1986 that: “The promise of the regional integration movement … cannot be realised unless we [the national leaders] find new ways of communicating to the mass of our people the meaning and purpose of all our regional institutions.”

The CCJ came about in February 2001 and would not have become a reality in Barrow’s lifetime. However, and in Barbados, after the Caribbean Court of Justice Bill that was debated in 2003 in the House of Assembly and gained full consensus of the legislature, the CCJ became the final Court of Appeal for the island. The CCJ’s operational and juridical presence, both in its original and appellate jurisdictions, today points directly to bringing access and the ‘rule of law’ to the people of Barbados.

With the CCJ came the development of a Caribbean jurisprudence, providing nationals and foreign entities “the assurance fostered by the existence of an independent and efficient judiciary” together with the capacity to settle commercial disputes, to hear criminal and civil disputes at the appellate stage with the highest integrity and independence of the judiciary, and to lessen litigation costs.

Ironically but not surprisingly, Freundel Stuart is an attorney, and was the Attorney General of Barbados when Thompson made his offending statement and Barbados appeared to retreat from spearheading and upholding CARICOM’s Single Market and Economy (CSME). In these his dying days as primus inter pares and the legitimate Prime Minister of Barbados, Stuart’s statement about “not going to have Barbados disrespected by any politicians wearing robes’ amounts to taking a ‘potshot’ at the judges of the CCJ. Is it a deliberate ploy by Stuart to distract the local electorate from the burning issues of economic mismanagement, wastage and administrative malfeasance that happened under his tenure?

Surely, with mere days left before voters take to the ballot box, it seems unwise and non-strategic to be reckless and gladiatorial when one can prefer to appeal to the passivity of a Barbadian populace known to be relatively tolerant. Why did Stuart not extract the few achievements of the DLP, and expand on those with the hope that the voters would be willing to offer a modicum of a chance for re-election as the government?

The fact that in building a rationale for his unnecessary and unlikely withdrawal of Barbados from the CCJ and, knowing that a two-thirds majority in Parliament is needed to achieve such a caprice, Stuart revealed his character of untimely speech and out-of-touch demeanour with the people. Stuart’s saying that he does not “want to influence any decisions” and that he does not “care what they decide” is a ludicrous position to put oneself in, particularly when the court has exhibited the highest professional integrity in its judgements and general conduct. Stuart himself suggested that he was not commenting on the decisions of the CCJ, because he respects the decisions that courts make.

Yet, while Stuart may fuss and frustrate over the “attitude coming from Port of Spain,” that according to him, “leaves much to be desired in terms of how it is treating Barbados,” it is irresponsible and inflammatory for him to overlook the many long-standing problems being articulated in Barbados’ judicial system. From tardiness to unpreparedness, the CCJ has been justified in highlighting such problems.

In fact, and to draw on Sir David Simmons who used an extract from a contribution of a deceased Prime Minister and Queen’s Council Sir Harold ‘Bree’ St. John, who spoke years earlier indicating the essence of Barbadian complaints and criticisms of the judicial system, said that: “There can be no doubt about it now and it is an open secret all over Barbados that there is a level of dissatisfaction in the community in respect of certain areas of the administration of justice in Barbados. This dissatisfaction arises from the experiences of a number of people with the judicial process. Some people get frustrated by the delays, not only the hearing dates but in the process of hearing and, worst of all, in the process of decision-making after the hearing.”

Certainly, it may be because of the DLP’s paltry performances measured against broken promises and bad policies that may have led Freundel Stuart to grab at any straw. Stuart was at one and the same time being dismissive of the CCJ and vainglorious to Barbadians and regional counterparts despite numerous persons questioning why was the Myrie incident so badly handled at the diplomatic level? Why was the matter not kept away from the courts? Why was the Electoral Commission of Barbados so reticent to uphold the laws and customs of Barbados regarding Commonwealth citizens’ right to vote in the upcoming general elections?

It is therefore, quite okay for Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to say that he is “not going to have a situation where other countries in the Caribbean keep a safe, safe distance from that court while Barbados supports” its functionality and decisions. That seems to be fair ground; but would it not have preferable for him to be part of the formula encouraging member states to ‘close the circle of independence’ for this region?

However, it cannot be acceptable to have a prime minister jump from his slumber and go straight into a bout of political madness, outright clumsiness, or salivate with the drowsiness that comes from trying to implore an electorate to vote for your party out of sheer desperation. Stuart’s anti-CCJ statement takes shape exposing his excremental silliness at a time when Barbadians and the Caribbean region are looking for the transformational leadership that can deliver prosperity and justice for the populations whose very survival is reliant on functional cooperation. As Errol Barrow asserted, our “battle of communication in defence of the unity of the region … beyond the confines of conferences” must be effectively translated at home and in the region. Prime ministerial madness cannot be a part of the future for Barbados or the Caribbean.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a part-time lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com )

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.

End of Inept and Evil Government

Submitted by George Brathwaite PhD

Worse than a corrupt government is an incompetent one, not least because having the second characteristic does not exclude the first one. – (Victor Bello Accioly).

Against a distressed society and a baulking economy, Barbados is set for a possible direction-altering outcome in the general elections slated for May 24th, 2018. The current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration has been beleaguered with crisis after crisis in almost every sphere of political economy, and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund are on standby to rescue a country from its man-made indiscretions.

A record total of 132 nominated candidates will beckon and woo the electorate for its support; among them are 32 women, the highest number ever to seek election in Barbados on any polling day. If the numerically increased challengers to the DLP administration since 2013 are anything to go by, then the situation partly removes doubt over the extent that voter-apathy has enveloped the political climate. Polling day can be expected to attract one of the highest voter-turnouts in post-independent history, and this is very likely to mean a change in government given the stale and dour status quo.

Moreover, the popular discourse is suggesting that Barbados is ripe for both change and substantial reforms. In terms of personalities and power, one of the most monumental things likely to occur is Barbados seeing the election of its first female Prime Minister. Mia Mottley, by dint of years of commendable public service and commitment to empowering people, will most likely see her become the region’s fourth female prime minister following on from the initial step which saw Dame Eugenia Charles of Dominica emerge as a strong leader on July 21st, 1980 until June 14th, 1995.

In many respects, the last decade has been a lost decade for Barbadians with many gains achieved under the Arthur years (1994 – 2008) being wiped away for several reasons. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, to this day, would attempt to convince Barbadians that the “worst downturn in nearly 100 years” have been extreme, with the repercussions being far-reaching and prolongingly ravishing. However, many observers and economic practitioners still argue that Barbados went about its business based on a badly flawed approach of trying to tax its way out of the recession.

Year after year, rather than stimulus to spur economic growth, tax increases of enormous proportions coupled with the unsavoury practice of unsustainable printing of money magnified the fiscal deficit and the hugely increasing debt problem Barbados faced over the last five years. In all this time, the Barbados dollar survived under the constant threat of devaluation because of the lack of adequate levels of foreign investments and economic growth. Unrealistic capital expenditures and lack of proper prioritisation for balancing the generation of revenues against the provision of public services, meant that the economy coughed up even more problems for the society.

Incidentally, the DLP’s noble mantra that ‘Barbados is more than an economy, it is a society’ became empty rhetoric for residents. The disheartening conclusion became entrenched in the psyche of Barbadians, many of whom were forced to live through a long and consistent period without salary increases while high inflation and unemployment became the new norms. Burdensome taxation, and particularly the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) which was introduced two years ago at a 2 per cent rate, was increased to 10 percent and had significant drag on businesses and all consumers.

The fact that in areas such as public transportation, healthcare, education, and sanitation, Barbadians were receiving services far below the standards achieved pre-2008, clearly evoked questions of how the taxpayers’ money was being spent. Reports emerging from the Auditor General drew attention to administrative malfeasance and the possibility of corrupt practices further weakening the national economic situation.

Largely, the social, economic, and environmental policies of the beleaguered DLP wreaked havoc on all socio-economic categories of persons in Barbados. The nation through the political opposition, trade unions, civil society, church, and other entities increased its voice of complaint and protest directed towards a ‘silent’ prime minister. Criticisms swelled against an ill-disciplined Cabinet, and overall, allegations of an uncaring and uncharitable government were being heard across the length and breadth of Barbados.

Indeed, one of the sentiments that have captured the imagination in Barbados, is the need to end the life of an inept and possibly evil government. One may ask, ‘what is a wicked or evil government’? The American social philosopher Eric Hoffer answers this question in the following way: “No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will and suspicion; it is an evil government.” Many persons are convinced that the behaviour and policy options taken by the Barbados Government under Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s leadership for more than five years amounts to the characterisations expressed by Hoffer.

The evidence is both wide and deep. In the political campaigning of May 2018, numerous Barbadians are suggesting that they have been exposed to record lows on the political landscape, and especially from the characters comprising Freundel Stuart’s Cabinet and team that must face the electorate on polling day. While it is partie du cours to target the leader of opposing political parties in a strategic effort to handicap the entire team, Barbadians were given a campaign launch by the DLP that almost totally avoided the economic and societal issues that have vexed the population.

Instead, Barbadians evidenced the worst of all sordid behaviour by an incumbent government seeking re-election when DLP candidates, one after another, took to the podium to viciously berate, disrespect, curse, Mia Mottley, the political leader of the strongly positioned Barbados Labour Party (BLP). The coarse content, unpleasant tones, and putrid statements by DLP candidates left much to be desired. The gross disrespect spouted to a woman of obvious decency, intellect, and caring was not on the cards for the youth or a general audience since many of the nasty comments would have been rated ‘NC-17’.

The behaviour by the DLP’s candidates on the night of May 6th surely reinforces the view that the DLP has fully transformed into a government that blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will. Freundel Stuart’s Government, besides being inept and paltry in its performances for almost a decade, is equally a pathetic and poisonous group best defined as an evil government if Hoffer’s definition is to be accepted.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a part-time lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com)

Just Like Freundel Stuart, Arthur Holder is WRONG–Don’t Take the Money!

Submitted by DAVID A. COMISSIONG, Citizen of Barbados

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 13)

WHETHER  THE  ADVICE to “take the money” comes from the Democratic Labour Party’s Freundel Stuart or from the Barbados Labour Party’s Arthur Holder it is WRONG — ethically, morally, politically and legally WRONG !

It would seem that the BLP’s Arthur Holder just couldn’t help himself. In spite of the national tongue lashing that Prime Minister Stuart received when he urged Barbadians to “take the money” offered by would-be vote buyers, Arthur Holder – the BLP candidate for St Michael Central — similarly discredited himself by following in Stuart’s footsteps and advising residents of the working class district of Bush Hall to accept any money offered to them by persons attempting to buy votes during the upcoming Election.

I would like to appeal to all Barbadians who possess a sense of patriotic concern for their country to adopt an attitude of zero tolerance to any notion that our people should in any way accommodate vote buying and selling, and to vehemently denounce any person who advances such a notion.

In light of Arthur Holder’s recent foray into political and ethical backwardness, I can only repeat the advice that I tried to give to my fellow citizens a few weeks ago when no less a personage than the Prime Minister of Barbados urged the entire country to “take the money”.

I said then and I say again — “don’t take the money” — because if you take the money you will be devaluing yourself as a human being !

Please recall that back in the 19th and 18th centuries rich white people were actually buying and selling our ancestors as if they were mere animals or things. Why then would we want to allow anyone to convince us to reduce ourselves to so low a moral level that — once again — people with money are made to feel that we are for sale?

I also said then and I say again –“don’t take the money” — because it is against the Law !

Surely, just like Freundel Stuart, Arthur Holder  must know that the citizens of Barbados CANNOT “take the money” without breaking the Law of the land as set out in Section 6 of the Elections Offences And Controversies Act as follows :-

(1) A person is guilty of a corrupt practice who is guilty of bribery.



  (2) A person is guilty of bribery who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf



       (a) gives any money…..to any elector or to …any other person on behalf of any elector…in order to induce any elector to                vote or refrain from voting ;



   (5) Any elector is guilty of bribery who, before or during an election, directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on       his behalf, receives, agrees to receive, or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration…for voting or agreeing     to vote or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting.

So, according to the Election Offences And Controversies Act both the buyer of the vote and the seller of the vote are guilty of having committed an illegal “corrupt practice”, and are liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period of six months.

And finally, as I said a month ago, I now  maintain :–“Don’t take the money” — because if you do take the money you will be helping to destroy your own country!

The insidious and growing practice of “vote buying” has already resulted in thousands of young (and not so young) Barbadians forming the impression that many, if not most, politicians –including some men and women who get elected to Parliament and some of those who hold ministerial office — are no more than tawdry hustlers and con-men.

In other words, the people of our country are already rapidly losing respect for the men and women who are supposed to be their national leaders. And when a critical mass of a population lose respect for the men, women, and institutions that are supposed to provide national leadership, the nation is lost !

Furthermore, the vile practice of “vote buying” is gradually and sedulously stripping many of our youth of their idealism and moral values, and is also threatening to subvert the integrity of our electoral system, and by extension, our entire system of governance.

My fellow Barbadians, do not permit ANYONE to persuade you to become an accomplice in the destruction of your own native land. Always, set out to  do the right and moral thing!



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?

DON’T Take the Money

DAVID A. COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement

“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
 -Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 13

FELLOW  BARBADIANS, my advice to you may be reduced to the following four words:-  “Don’t take the money !”

I implore you to ignore any agent of deception who sets out to lead you into temptation and evil with serpentine advice that you should “take the money” of political operatives who will soon be on a mission to seduce you during this Election season and to buy your vote.

Indeed, the vile practice of “vote buying” has become so widespread in Barbados that the agent of deception who advises you to “take the money” cannot but be aware that members and supporters of his own political party will in all likelihood be among those dishing out hundred dollar bills  in exchange for votes.

I say — “don’t take the money” — because if you take the money you will be devaluing yourself as a human being !

Please recall that back in the 19th and 18th centuries rich white people were actually buying and selling our ancestors as if they were mere animals or things. Why then would we want to allow any misleader to convince us to reduce ourselves to so low a moral level that — once again — people with money are made to feel that we are for sale?

I also say –“don’t take the money” — because it is against the Law!

Surely, the “Great Deceiver” must know that the citizens of Barbados CANNOT “take the money” without breaking the Law of the land as set out in Section 6 of the Elections Offences And Controversies Act as follows :-

(1) A person is guilty of a corrupt practice who is guilty of bribery.

  (2) A person is guilty of bribery who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf

       (a) gives any money…..to any elector or to …any other person on behalf of any elector…in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting;

   (5) Any elector is guilty of bribery who, before or during an election, directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on       his behalf, receives, agrees to receive, or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration…for voting or agreeing     to vote or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting.

So, according to the Election Offences And Controversies Act both the buyer of the vote and the seller of the vote are guilty of having committed an illegal “corrupt practice”, and are liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period of six months.

And finally, I say –“don’t take the money” — because if you do take the money you will be helping to destroy your own country!

Indeed, the insidious and growing practice of “vote buying” has already resulted in thousands of young (and not so young) Barbadians forming the impression that many, if not most, politicians –including some men and women who get elected to Parliament and some of those who hold ministerial office — are no more than tawdry hustlers and con-men.

In other words, the people of our country are already rapidly losing respect for the men and women who are supposed to be their national leaders. And when a critical mass of a population lose respect for the men, women, and institutions that are supposed to provide national leadership, the nation is lost !

Furthermore, the vile practice of “vote buying” is gradually and sedulously stripping many of our youth of their idealism and moral values, and is also threatening to subvert the integrity of our electoral system, and by extension, our entire system of governance.

My fellow Barbadians, do not permit ANYONE to persuade you to become an accomplice in the destruction of your own native land. Always, set out to  do the right and moral thing !

A Heather Cole Column – Beyond the Boundary

Heather Cole

Cricket! Glorious cricket! CLR James wrote a book entitled ‘Beyond a Boundary in 1966.’ It was a book that describes cricket as the mirror image of what happened in West Indian Societies. So much so that it is the best medium for explaining anything that happens in our lives across the wide spectrum from politics to even instilling fear. The book was about politics explained through cricket.

A present we have a situation where Fruendel Stuart the Prime Minister of Barbados has decided to go beyond the boundary of the Parliamentary 5 year term and is refusing to call an election as is customary. As many other have called it Parliament has closed and Mr. Stuart and his merry men are still loitering on its steps.

Picture it, the last ball has already been bowled on the last day of a test match at Kensington Oval. The opposing team has left the field, so too have the umpires, the grounds men have taken up the wickets, the fans have left Kensington but a man is still at the wicket demanding to bat. His team members have gathered.

But truth be told there was nothing that this batsman did prior to close of play that was spectacular. There were no sixes or no fours. One did not hear Andrew Mason as he almost gave someone a heart attack say “straight through the covers! 4 runs!’ Or, ‘a mighty shot, clears the boundary, into the stands! 6 runs and the whole of Kensington erupts.’ There was none of that from him or any other member of the team.

As the crowd left Kensington one could clearly see disappointment etched on their faces. It was the kind of performance that one wants to quickly forget and bury in some box. The few that are willing to talk are upset because that batman refused to leave. There is no joyous celebration in the air and others try to understand what happened at Kensington today, trying to be consoled by believing that the batsman did not understand the game. Yet others are too upset saying they wasted their money and could have stayed home. The complacent say his stats were never good anyway. Yet others shake their head in disbelief. The batting conditions were perfect, nothing was wrong with the pitch and there was no rain to make the outfield wet; yet the entire team failed to perform. It was a dismal and embarrassing performance.

The commentators were left trying to explain the phenomenon. Truth be told, none of us understand this, it is perplexing to our psyche, outside of our narrative. All we know is the tale of the errant school boy, who when he got caught or bowled pulled up his stumps or took his ball and went home effectively ending play.

There must be a reason why Fruendel has decided to stay beyond the boundary of a close of play. Is it because of the length of time that it takes to convey land? I am referring to Clico’s lands and one must note that the judicial manger has not made public an audited list of the lands of that company. I am of the opinion that it is illegal after the close of parliament to create new laws, disperse funds from the public purse and share out government contract or conduct any business on the behalf of the government except in the case of an emergency situation. There is no transparency, no accountability and no recorded approval by Cabinet.

However, one is certain that Fruendel Stuart is starting to realize that beyond the boundary is a very strange place to be as no one can predict the sequence of events that will unfold. One wonders if beyond the boundary there is a cliff from which some of his Ministers will jump. Mara Thompson has already stated that she will not be a contestant in the next general election. One wonders if Denis Lowe will be available. It is significant to note that Fruendel Stuart is no longer in control of this situation. The best way to describe it is that he has opened Pandora’s Box. Not only has revelation are revelation occurred regarding the activates of his government; for example the giving away to Crown lands to Pharciple with the conveyance now in possession of Jada Construction, a London newspaper has written a negative but accurate assessment of the island’s situation and Germany is warning its citizens about the sewage crisis. Alas, stranger than fiction he is responsible for creating a spectacle of general elections as a person who is renowned for less than a stellular reputation has entered the ring to be a contestant for the City of Bridgetown and taken the spotlight from him. Another person has also declared his candidacy for Christ Church West Central on Facebook and one wonders if Tom, Dick and Harry will do likewise. That being said it is time for Fruendel to ‘ring de bell.’

Stuart Going Where His Predecessors Failed to Tread

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Tomorrow will be the last sitting of parliament before it is dissolved.  Under the Constitution of Barbados the Prime Minister can- and it appears he will- extend his government into the 90 day unchartered discretionary period within which a general election must be called.  This decision by the government to loiter in Government House against a less than stellar performance and deteriorating social landscape without calling for a mandate from the people, has seen a crescendo of public debate about when will the general election be called. The delay serves to deflate an already low confidence level by civil society which comingles with the notion that not much gets done in a lame duck period of government. The Stuart government seeks to prove 20 million Frenchmen wrong.

Since Barbados weaned itself from under the Union Jack it has nurtured a reputation of being a politically stable country, in fact a model studied by the world. That this government would rupture a well earned reputation by a wanton disregard for the niceties and conventions of a system of government we claim to follow is a worry. The reality is that when parliament is dissolved all ‘seats’ are declared vacant. The Cabinet will continue to function in their roles but without the oversight of parliament. This is where abuse of power can be questioned. Is it worth the reputational damage to secure a couple months in office during a time when it is accepted that the country will mark time until the genera election is over?

In an interesting parallel albeit ironic that the ruling communist party of China plans to remove the 10 year restriction on the president. If achieved it will see the all powerful President Jinping continuing in office possibly for life. Experts opine that this is China’s signal to the world that it has no interest in dismantling a system of government which has served it well enough to be the global power economic superpower it has become. The flipside to the irony unfolding in China was the decision by the UK government in 2011 to impose fixed term elections every five years. The Act allows for a variation if by a two thirds majority a no confidence vote is successful.

If we examine the decision by Stuart against what is unfolding in China  by following a path which precedent and convention in our Wesminsterlike model of government does not support, AND, one that departs from the decision taken by the UK government in 2011 to impose fixed term elections then it is clear Barbados is playing the Rh with how we govern.

It is instructive President David Granger of Guyana declined to attend the 38th HOGs Summit in Haiti but Prime Minister Freundel Stuart essays no similar concerns with foreign reserves at about 4 weeks and the country gripped in abeyance.

It is also instructive that members of the Stuart Cabinet would have allowed partisan politics to define  the non existent legacy they richly deserve.

Serious Wiretapping Questions for Owen Arthur

Submitted by David Comissiong, Citizen of Barbados

In the Sunday Sun front page newspaper article of 11th February 2018 titled Not On My Watch, former Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin, publicly confirmed :-

(1) that there are “extra-regional third parties” who provide the Royal Barbados Police Force with the “capability” to tap the telephones of persons in Barbados; that these “extra-regional third parties” are given “authorisation” to work with the Royal Barbados Police Force; and that the tapping of the telephones of persons in Barbados with the assistance of these “extra-regional third parties” has been ongoing since the year 1991– a period of some 27 years;

(2) that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister David Thompson (deceased), and current Prime Minister Freundel Stuart all knew about this practice of the Royal Barbados Police Force collaborating with “extra-regional third parties” to tap the telephones of Barbadians;

(3) that “it was common practice for all Prime Ministers……. to give authorisation” for the Royal Barbados Police Force to collaborate with these “extra-regional third parties” in the tapping of telephones in Barbados; and

(4) that “all Opposition Leaders over the years had been informed” about the Royal Barbados Police Force’s use of wiretapping technology to tap the phones of Barbadians.

And so, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur could bluster and obfuscate as much as he likes about the Governor General being formally responsible for the efficient administration of the Police Force — sensible and conscious Barbadians are not buying his contention that he and other Barbadian Prime Ministers are not relevant to the issue of foreign entities collaborating with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping the telephones of Barbadians.

We are also not buying his pathetic effort to turn himself into a victim by claiming that “it has been represented in the public domain that my phones had been tapped also”.Nor are we interested in his irrelevant sob-story about Darwin Dottin being his best friend at primary school !

Perceptive Barbadians will have noted that in spite of all of his effusions and feverish protestations on the matter, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is yet to deny that foreign entities have been collaborating with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping telephones in Barbados.

As a citizen of Barbados I find it to be totally unacceptable that our Government and national Police Force could be joining together with foreign entities to tap the telephones of Barbadians without having established any legal authorisation in the Laws of Barbados for this practice; without establishing any protocols of oversight and accountability in relation to the carrying out of this activity; without in any way informing us–the Barbadian people — about any of this happening; and without providing us with even basic information about the identity of the mysterious foreign entities that are being permitted to invade the privacy of Barbadians.

Who — former Prime Minister Arthur and current Prime Minister Stuart — are these “extra-regional third parties” that are permitted to collaborate with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping telephones in our country ?

What are the protocols and regulations under which this practice has been taking place over the past 27 years ? Aren’t we — the citizens of Barbados — entitled to know the criteria by which a decision is made to tap the telephone of a Barbadian citizen? And who makes that decision?

Furthermore, what mechanism of oversight and accountability has been attached to this practice ?Indeed, is there ANY mechanism of oversight and accountability ?

When all is said and done,the reality is that you–Mr Owen Arthur– held the office of Prime Minister of this country for 14 of the 27 years during which this practice of telephone tapping was taking place. And you– Mr Stuart– have held the post of Prime Minister for some 8 of those 27 years.

Do not insult our intelligence with idle and evasive talk about the Governor General or insinuations about current Opposition  Leader Mia Mottley! We need answers to the serious questions that surround this 27 year old practice of engaging with foreign entities to tap the telephones of Barbadians.




The Prime Minister, Attorney General and Gollop the QC

A few years ago Minister Michael Lashley was the starboy of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). He was complimented for expanding the housing stock, exponentially. He ensured Barbadians erased Liz Thompson’s ‘bumblebee’ prototype from memory. Years later many of the houses built by Lashley with tax dollars are unoccupied or rotted. If we include the Coverley PPP it gets worse. A few years later Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley will be recorded in a political footnote as having presided during a period where the state of Barbados roads deteriorated to a level slightly above a cart road.

Of concern to the blogmaster though are observations arising from the waning LEC debate.

Some are of the view now that the LEC debate is behind us, more important issues will be have the space to fuel discussion. What they fail to acknowledge is that the political principals who waylaid Barbadians with the manufactured issue of Mia’s LEC are also responsible for informing and leading the country on the pressing issues of the day.

In his Sunday Column – The Jeff Cumberbatch Column–Non – litigious Resolution of Defamation LawsuitsJeff Cumberbatch shared his view on the LEC matter:

To the best of my knowledge and belief, Ms Mottley has been duly admitted to the local Bars, both Utter and Inner. Unless and until she is removed therefrom or otherwise disbarred by appropriate procedure she remains duly admitted. Omnia praesumuntur rite esse acta [Apologies for the Latin] It means that there is a presumption that acts done through the court are rightly and properly done.

The outcome of the recent court case Mia Mottley vs Barbados Today confirmed that Mia Mottley is qualified to practice law in the Courts of Barbados.

What Barbadians must reflect on is why did the Prime Minster of Barbados- a seasoned lawyer and former Attorney General- not have the knowledge of the law and procedure related the LEC issue. One must assume he did not know because he said nothing.

Although the Attorney General is a legal neophyte and light weight he had the resources of the Solicitor General’s office and other state resources to have been equipped to clarify the LEC matter in  less than 24 hours. Some should recall he promised on the floor of the House of Assembly to investigate the matter. A promise he failed to keep. One must assume he dis not know.

Then there is Hal Gollop, better known to the BU household as a school teacher and musician, who prosecuted the LEC matter recently at a DLP political meeting. What has his failed LEC argument done to injure his reputation as a lawyer? Clearly he was party to a political plot to ‘decapitate’ the leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) a few months from a general election. One must assume he misinterpreted the relevant laws and procedures related to the LEC issue.

The challenge Barbadians face is that we have an obsturate political directorate whose members are willing to crash the economy on the altar of political expediency. Why should intelligent Barbadians expect that this government is able to appreciate what rising oil prices will do to the economy? We are a country with a DEBT to GDP ratio of close to 150% and foreign reserves  cover of 8 weeks. Despite the current state of the economy this inept lot prefers to try to hoodwink Bajans by floating a silly debate anchored to Mia’s qualification to practice law in Barbados.

Imagine if Stuart, Brathwaite and Gollop were able to put heads together to promote a component of transparency legislation promised from day one? Wasn’t Gollop contracted to draft a roadmap to assist with moving Barbados to a Republic? Didn’t Stuart and Brathwaithe promise to examine existing to electoral laws to address what they admitted to irregularities that occurred last general election?