Fool me ONCE, shame on you.. fool me TWICE

Submitted by Observing

After a lot of long talk and too many minutes of politicking on CBC TV it is clear that elections are upon us. Yes, we have been repeatedly told not to place much faith in promises. BUT, the current government came to power with a 30-0 mandate, promising good governance, transparency and consultation as a norm. It pledged to be a people’s government focusing on what was best for the small man. My how thing have quickly changed. Notwithstanding the current leader’s fixation with international attention, the growing heavy handed and unilateral and arrogant approach to domestic matters, nor the obvious rumblings that have led to some quick retirements swaps, a review of “promises made” tells me that I was fooled once so shame on me.

BLP 2018 Mission criticals

  • Rebuilding Foreign reserves. Yes indeed, with the IMF’s money and no plan to earn foreign exchange
  • Dealing with debt. “Up to the end of June this year, the country’s debt stock stood at just over $13 billion, or 150.3 per cent of GDP.” Enough said
  • Bringing tax relief. Really? The only people who benefited were the corporations and the VAT write-offs and subsidies. Nothing much for the average guy
  • Financial Sector Threat: I guess a National Credit Bureau that stops poor people with no or bad rating from accessing emergency funds counts
  • Helping people to live. Yes indeed, form paycheck to paycheck and if you are nurse from quarter to quarter.
  • Arrears and refunds. Yes sireee!! All in 42 month zero interest bonds. Gotta love it! Protecting people’s health. If the treatment of nurses and the engagement of Million Dollar Mark Maloney is any indication well …
  • Sewerage Systems must work: Yip, directly into the sea, just as planned
  • Getting rid of garbage: Ok, this is actually a promise kept. Kudos
  • Putting buses back on the road: Including the private operators again. Kudos
  • Repairing our roads: Clearly only certain “parts”
  • Alleviating water woes: If we consider running water that’s brown then yes, it has been alleviated.
  • Safety and well being: The crime statistics and gun crimes speak for themselves. Let’s not talk about paying out 2+ million dollars to the current commissioner of police who LOST their court case.
  • Empowering young people: Youth unemployment in Barbados over 30%.

Look, the PM’s press conference was well put together, sought to castigate and criticize those who oppose or have dissenting views. This is how dictatorships start. Every “Average” man understands that any economic growth has not reached them. Every blind man on trotting horses know that the worse is yet to come next year, hence the “rush” to the polling booths. WE also know the waning popularity locally of the current PM. The do as I say, ignore what I do and shut up because I am in charge attitude doesn’t hold any more.

Fool me once, same one me. Fool me twice, that’s all at me.

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.

Buy, Steal, or Disappear?

Submitted by George Brathwaite (Ph.D)

“A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.” James Freeman Clarke.

The announcement of May 24th, 2018 as the date for the next general election in Barbados has come as a relief for most. The May date signals a ‘mayday’ call and it has churned out possibilities and probabilities for those likely to govern the country in the aftermath of economic failures and societal decline. High taxation and high crime rates have added immense suffering to the lives of Barbadians; this fact is given the numerous episodes over the lost (last) decade. The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) through its political leader and other surrogates are suggesting that the party will be returned to the seat of governance with a bigger majority.

Noteworthy, there remain doubts about the DLP’s full slate of candidates with Dr Dennis Lowe sidelined for health reasons while the nation’s health is in a compromised position with garbage build-up negatively impacting upon communities across the island. There is speculation that Dr. David Estwick, after having repeatedly labelled the DLP’s economic policy framework as a dismal failure but voted for such, may jump over board at the last minute. Dr Estwick’s decision is also said to be tied to the persistent overflowing of sewage on Barbados’ south coast which reached crisis proportions since 2017 and continues to the present moment. The shock effect of Estwick withdrawing at the last minute brings back memories.

Quite frankly, the DLP seems adrift in terms of its readiness to contest the elections despite Donville Inniss, another critic of the DLP’s ‘silent’ leader. Inniss insists that the DLP’s machinery attracted problems for itself because of poorly communicated expressions that would amount to a prosperous Barbados. It appears laughable that PM Stuart would say “a date has been set, and the battle has now begun in earnest” when in fact, there is a glaring absence of energy from the DLP’s candidates and political machinery. The clouds are hovering over the DLP in what has been described by some, to be an election that forever will determine future governance in Barbados.

The political climate after the announcement prompted one of the most foreboding statements in the immediate days following PM Freundel Stuart’s forced call. George Payne of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is mulling over the incredulous approach of the ruling DLP. Payne noted that the DLP campaign team, planners, candidates, and blind-supporters will “have to buy the election,” or that “they plan to steal it or they plan to disappear.” This statement is relevant in the context of the popular discourse and it mirrors much of the uneasiness and distrust that has developed throughout the DLP’s years in office.

The electorate’s ignorance on corruption is the power holding together the DLP. Nonetheless, the DLP’s credibility has sunk to an unenviable low against the several pieces of real evidence pointing to what was once described by Mia Mottley and the BLP as a politics of stealth. The politics of stealth revealed secret deals and signings, significant concessions to business entities such as Sandals which only became known by leaks. There was the CLICO debacle, the peculiar relationship with a local business magnate, the Cahill fiasco, the sales of the Barbados Hilton and the Blue Horizon hotels which all left speculation of infelicities, malfeasance, and corrupt practices on the streets of Barbados.

In addition to the problems presenting real issues of trust for the Barbadian electorate when it comes to the DLP and its candidates, the many veiled attempts to shut up citizens complaining of the austere measures and practices of deception by the DLP have given new zeal to those believing their rights have been trampled. Ordinary citizens are mindful that a Speaker of the House refused to recuse himself in circumstances wherein the said Speaker was accused by an elderly member of the population of misappropriating the man’s funds and then failing to immediately comply with a court judgment.

Moreover, with the arbitrary attempts followed by legal challenges to deny Commonwealth citizens from registering to vote, represented another indication of a callous and mischievous DLP. The paltry performances of the DLP over the last 10 years coupled with the desperate rhetoric to serve yet another term, prods the citizenry to become suspicious of the DLP’s tactics. Prime Minister Stuart on numerous occasions has refused to show the empathy that any other leader would show when the plight of the poor has worsened, the burdens on workers and their unions have become unsustainable, and the neglect in the provision of services has been abominable.

Under the leadership of Mia Mottley who has grown in the position of Leader of the Opposition and in her attempt to pull all aboard for a better and prosperous Barbados, the BLP is nascent. The annual BLP picnic on National Heroes Day, the biggest since inception, suggests that it can only be by wickedness in high places should the DLP mount more than a handful of seats. The BLP’s vitality is for safeguarding today’s people and the generation of Barbados to come. On the weekend, Mottley asserted that: “I want to do right by the people of this country, but we can only do it if we join forces to bring the best Barbados possible.” Undoubtedly, the BLP-inspired hope is an emerging light capturing the attention of vast numbers of the electorate.

Anything short of the BLP attaining a commanding and overwhelming victory, suggests that the ballot box would have met with undue interference of some sort by those in positions to act selfishly and undermine the very institutions that Barbados has been prided – free and fair elections under the People’s Representation Act. The DLP objectively has situated itself in history as the worst-performing administration in the annals of Barbados. So, will the DLP attempt to buy or steal an election victory, or will that botched party do as most Barbadians now hope, and disappear?

(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)

‘Vote Buying’ Tactic!

This week Barbadians were treated with the news that the government released five million dollars to the account of the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) to settle income tax returns. And that an additional five million dollars will be disbursed in the coming days. If public comment is to be believed, outstanding returns go back many years.

Clearly the government- like any citizen- has a responsibility to honour financial commitments in a timely manner. The minister of finance has offered the explanation that government’s cashflow is the reason for the delay issuing income tax rebates.

The blogmaster is happy for those Barbadians who will be FINALLY receiving tax returns.

What piques the curious mind of the blogmaster however is why now. Clearly the saying that ‘timing is everything’ appears to ring true in the scenario unraveling in the light of day.  The idea the Minster of Finance and Cabinet may have orchestrated the payment of outstanding tax returns days before Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will be forced by law to declare the date of the general election – or have it done for him – is mindboggling. Not because it is to be expected from politicians, after all, political parties are in business to win elections. Are we not an intelligent people endowed with basic reasoning and observation skills to appreciate the rush to settle outstanding monies due to Barbadians? Does anyone care to question the political morality of the Cabinet of Barbados?

The blogmaster will be following the debate we hope this matter will generate in the coming days as a barometer to measure the  ‘citizen maturity’ levels in the Barbados space.   The media- traditional media to be clear- has a role to play because we know by its track record the Fifth Estate will continue to play the leadership role by sharing unfettered perspectives on all issues. The role of the Fifth Column will be vital to shore up the political efficacy which has move to a slow drip to a free flowing leak in the last decade.

What the blogmaster found appalling is Commissioner of the Barbados Revenue Authority Margaret Sivers being coopted by the government to issue a public statement on the matter.  This is a government with a legacy that will be defined by stealth in its communication strategy.   The BRA as far as we recall has a public relations officer in its employ if BRA’s management was minded to publicize the boost to its cashflow.

We are tired already.

Give us a Rh break!

The Adrian Loveridge Column – Tourism is Our Only Hope

As we edge apparently aimlessly towards an inevitable general election there appears, at least through my eyes, little or no compulsion to place my X on the ballot paper of any wannabe politician in my constituency. We have only seen our current representative twice in over ten years, a onetime visit to our property and the second at a popular Bridgetown café.

We still await a VAT refund amounting to tens of thousands of dollars due since February 2013 despite having a single year’s Municipal Solid Waste Tax demand with added interest and penalties, even though we have absolutely no state garbage collection. Of course we would be happy to offset this (excluding interest) against any outstanding government dues including land taxes, although not yet payable, but just try and get a response from the Barbados Revenue Authority or its principals.

They seem to think they have absolutely no accountability or obligation to reply to the people paying their salaries.

And in the tourism sector there are still so many unresolved issues including the hundreds and more likely thousands of unregistered and unlicensed accommodation operators trading outside of the required criteria that the others are forced to comply with.

Will any new administration push this pressing matter onto the back burner and ignore the previous work done if elected, or will the long overdue process be forced to start over again with another potential delay of ten years or more? Are ‘we’ really waiting for some yet unknown public relations nightmare to happen that could potentially indelibly help destroy our hard earned reputation as a destination?

What, if any, progress on the promised reduction of VAT and tax concessions on inputs to our standalone restaurants, when the chosen few have been given these trading advantages several years ago and in some individual cases unparallel 40 year, total or partial exemptions.

Our car rental sub-sector has also been forced to absorb massive increases in unbudgeted expenditure, including randomly imposed higher vehicle taxes and duties, the dreaded National Social Responsibility Levy and its 400 per cent increase, higher insurance premiums and let us not for a second, forget the additional damage and maintenance costs caused by the appalling state of our neglected road network.

What is indisputable is that the tourism industry provides the highest number of eligible voters together with their dependents of any sector.

Why do these aspiring politicians not seem to either understand, or wish to address these issues, at least in the hope of securing their votes?

While my little vote is a mere straw in the wind, just maybe there are enough other disillusioned persons out there to demand that at least one politician or party who can fully embrace the dynamics of tourism and its critical role in any possible recovery of our dire economy, hopefully over the next two or three generations.

What part of the phrase ‘tourism is an export’ do they not comprehend and which other major sector offers us any realistic hope of fiscal recuperation?

‘Natlee’ the Former Prostitute Vying to Expand Her Job Description in the City

News that featured in the local media on the weekend is that adult worker- a euphemistic description for prostitute- Natalee “Natlee” Harewood has declared her interest to contest the City seat when prime minister Freundel Stuart feels to ring the bell.  We know he has to do it in the next couple of months so there is no mystery as to when.

Natlee seems to be popular within the social media space with over 40, 000 Instagram followers in Barbados and overseas AND in the environs of Bush Hill. We have received a few requests to share an opinion on her decision. The truth is there is no need for the blogmaster to be prolix on this matter. The way she conducts herself in public would not encourage the BU household to support her candidacy. Our position has nothing to do with her gender, we simply do not like the fact that she is has to resort to vulgarity to express herself or sell her body. She chooses to be a prostitute and that is her business. We would encourage her if she wants to help people in the City, especially the poor, to reconsider the business of disrespecting her body.

The truth is we have no stomach to debate this matter but have not allowed a personal view of the BU household to prevent discussion in this space.

 

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.’

The Adrian Loveridge Column – ‘Third Parties’ Weak On Tourism

Over the years, I have made a conscious effort to try and avoid petty party politics, but the next election could well fundamentally change the existing governance status quo that many of us have grown contemptuous of.

Now with a choice of several other parties, all striving to become electoral aspirants, perhaps among the widespread disillusionment, there is a sufficient voter groundswell that could see these minority parties taking at least four or five seats in Parliament which could quite possibly eliminate any outright single party majority.

Would this, in itself help eliminate the current tribalism and lead to better Government?

I have been absolutely dumbfounded from a tourism perspective by the lack of public and media discussion by these new parties and the majority of their representatives about this critical sector and the way forward. Until any other part of the economy demonstrates any meaningful recovery, where are the ideas and tangible proposals that could convince us involved in tourism to vote for you?

I raised this point with one of the named candidates and she kindly pointed me in the direction of their website home page. While I personally found some of stated objectives a little vague, at least that party had made some attempt to voice their views.

Looking through the recently published list of candidate hopefuls, very few have any substantive proven record in tourism and that seriously concerns me. Up until the general election date is called, I would have hoped that the media could be more proactive in putting the various candidates together to discuss the very many concerns with the vested members of the public and private sector tourism players.

Certainly any serious investors would want to know what the various political groups have in mind, if they are going to commit any meaning funds. Tourism usually requires long term investment with some remote hope of ultimately securing a return. The many thousands of people directly or indirectly employed in tourism and those dependent on these wage earners also want to know, which party or political group will give them the best chance to remain employed.

So I call on those political ‘wannabes’, especially those with some experience in the industry to let us know what your priorities are and to articulate what you plan to do for tourism over the next five years?

I make the same plea to our sector leaders, shapers and shakers to ask questions now, so at least we have some idea how level the playing field is likely to be, should the administration be changed.

Will further taxpayer owned accommodation plant be sold off at far below market values?

Will future investors qualify for unique extraordinary tax concessions already granted to solitary operators?

What incentives will be put in place to stimulate domestic tourism?

These are serious questions that need to be asked and answered, way before we are asked to place a cross on any polling paper.

The Grenville Phillips Column – Prepare for the Nightmare

Grenville Phillips II, Leader of Solutions Barbados

Solutions Barbados is the only political party that has published a workable economic plan that does not require IMF funding.  The BLP and DLP have embraced development philosophies that no longer work when a country is in this level of debt, and have taken us to the brink of economic ruin.  That is why many economists recommend that borrowing from the IMF should be part of their economic plans.

Should voters choose to elect Solutions Barbados candidates in the upcoming general election, then they can finally experience well-managed government services and a fair economy in which all participants can benefit.  Since we are not following the BLP/DLP failed development philosophies, every resident can become healthy, wealthy and educated if they choose to, without being politically favoured.

If Barbados has the misfortune of electing any other Party, then as soon as the election results are announced, they should prepare for the worst, because within one year, they will likely be living their nightmare.  Mercifully, they may only have to survive the 5-year term of the nightmare that they voted to experience.  Some useful post-election advice follows.

Those with cars need to ask their mechanic to replace every part that will likely need replacing within the next 5 years, especially the wheels and shock absorbers.  If persons cannot afford to have them installed now, then they should at least purchase the parts while they can still afford to.

Persons should not apply for home mortgages, and those who were recently approved for a mortgage should not take it.  Those with houses need to complete any outstanding maintenance projects such as power-washing and sealing concrete driveways, painting external walls and roofs, and installing new tiles and faucets.  Everyone should consider purchasing a new computer, cell phone, camera, TV, microwave, washing machine, and any other device or home appliance that may need to be replaced within 5 years.

All employees in an export related sector should try to protect their salaries.  Such employees should request that the basis of their current salaries be in US dollars, but paid in the equivalent Barbados dollars.  If the company claims that it only exports say, 50% of its products, then the employees should not expect to have more than 50% of their salaries protected.

Persons in this ‘export’ category include maids and gardeners in foreign-owned villas, all employees in the tourism and international business sectors, and all employees of those who directly export goods or services.
Persons who can access their pensions should try to protect them before they are worth less.  Those who do not qualify to access their pensions should weep for their dependents and join their fellow Barbadians, who recklessly decided to suck whatever is left after the salt that they voted to suck has gone by not voting for Solutions Barbados candidates.

All of this will be necessary because the IMF has one main role – to protect the country’s foreign currency earnings from the country’s residents.  They are well-aware that if you have access to foreign currency, you will spend it.  They are there to ensure that the foreign currency is used primarily to repay those from whom we borrowed – it does not belong to us.

To prevent us from using foreign currency on our needs or wants, they will likely devalue our currency to make the foreign currency very expensive for us.  They will also significantly increase income taxes so that we will have very little money to spend.  Finally, they will increase sales taxes so that after we have spent our remaining money on our bare necessities, there will be nothing left.  So the foreign currency will be protected from us, and we will basically be working for nothing, like slaves.

In an IMF program, we should not expect our politicians to represent our interests.  That is because the IMF has learnt a very important lesson of slavery – feed the overseer and he will beat his fellow slaves.  Therefore, the only persons who normally do well during an IMF program are politicians, who are rewarded for carrying out the IMF’s instructions without mercy.  It is instructive to note that when the IMF doubled the income tax rates on Guyanese, their politicians offered no meaningful objection whatsoever.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Notes From a Nativity Son: Drinking in the Last Chance Saloon

Hal Austin

Introduction:
As we collectively sleep-walk in to another general election, the bells are tolling for a once proud nation that has become caught up in the tangle of political and economic mediocrity and individual egotism. But the warning bells signal more than that we are in the last chance saloon; it is the mourning sound for a nation on its way to the grave yard, a people being swept away by time and change and incompetence, as ordinary people unaware that time is short.

The weakness of Barbadian political gravity is partly fed by a press that is both out of its league and badly in need of proper direction. The problem with this is two-fold: Barbados national conversation revolves around personalities and the two-party political system, neither of which advances the quality of that discussion. Time and time again, despite reminders that one is not a member of any political party, one finds oneself the target for personal abuse on the grounds that one must be a secret party member. The rationale for this simple thinking is that to oppose the policies of a particular party then one must be an opposition member. This is a natural outcome of the educational system in which debate is based around – and encouraged – the demolition of personalities and point scoring. One explanation, although I am not convinced it is the only one, is that the educational system, based as it is on learning by rote, does not encourage critical thinking. And since our higher education does not include philosophy, it is not part of the public discourse to reason. This is compounded by the fact that since law, litigation rather than academic or theoretical, is the main professional training, it develops a model of argument based on taking a position, rather than following the facts.

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The Supposed Changing Of The Guard: The Next Barbados General Election

Submitted by Yardbroom

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart, the leader of the DLP

I have never been “AFRAID” to put my neck on the line for a just cause and at this stage in my life, I do not intend to be afraid now.

There have been many Blogs in support of the BLP here BU (Barbados Underground) and in other places.  So I ask myself is there in the interest of balance, another view.  I am reminded of the little boy who attempts to run away from home because his mother has given his elder brother 3 turnovers – a Barbados coconut loaf – and given him only 2.  We must see things in proportion.

There is also a lot of talk about who should lead the DLP Party because he is more popular.  I would simply say.  The supposed most popular or even best batsman on a cricket team is not necessarily the best “team captain”.

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Call For Barbadians To Boycott The Next General Election

Submitted by People’s Democratic Congress (PDC)

The People’s Democratic Congress (PDC) will NOT be running candidates in the next general election in Barbados. As a matter of fact, the PDC has decided to BOYCOTT the next general election over the continual destruction degradation of many of our political social material and financial affairs by these ossie moore jack o lantern BLP and DLP factions.

Furthermore, what this means also is that we will NOT be VOTING in the next elections either, and we will NOT be entertaining many conversations with many people on any political electoral issues related to which party is going to so-called win the next general election; which DLP/BLP candidates are going to so-called win constituency elections either; or which numbers of seats any of those two old joke parties are going to get.

Whilst it was our intentions up to recently – some weeks ago – to run candidates in the upcoming general election, we must say that – after careful study of three (3) particular situations in Barbados – we have recently most definitively come to the above described fundamental positions, and thus have so far been letting many potential/voters know the facts surrounding these circumstances. To this end, many of them have been in agreement with our positions.

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