On behalf of the BU household the blogmaster extends sincere congratulations to Dr. Grenville Phillips. In this space we have had our differences of opinion but through it all there is nobody who doubts that you are a well being Barbadian.
I am pleased to announce that I have been awarded a Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Hertfordshire, after 5 years of doctoral research in structural engineering.
On 18 January 2022, I attended the Supreme Court to support those in COVID-19 isolation having the right to vote. I was directed to sit in the Gallery – which I did.
This was evidently an important case. There were ten senior lawyers, including the Attorney General himself, representing the Government and the President, against our lone lawyer.
INTO THE ZONE.
I sat down in the Gallery and began to write – every word, every argument, every objection, and the judge’s ruling on each objection. Soon, my writing became automatic as I began to analyse the arguments in real time. I smiled as the familiar Dopamine hormone flowed – I was in the zone.
After writing eight pages, I was interrupted by a Court Marshall. I tried to remain in the zone while giving him some attention. “You can’t write”, he said, as I started the ninth page. The judge was ruling on an objection raised by the other side, and I did not want to miss it. I assumed he was commenting on my handwriting, so I simply shook my head in disagreement and continued.
OUT OF THE ZONE.
“You can’t write in here.” He insisted. The judge had sustained the objection, and our lawyer commenced speaking. I quickly held up the page to show him that I could, in fact, write “in here”. I was still in the zone, and hoped that my evidence of writing would cause him to leave me alone. Any hope of that ended when he finally gave a clear instruction. “You are not allowed to write in here.”
Life a speeding train hitting an unmoveable object, I tumbled out of the zone. I was upset. I was learning so much from these legal practitioners. He was insisting that I stop writing immediately. I complied. I also asked him to accompany me outside of the room to where we could discuss this matter.
OBEYING THE RULES.
“Why am I not allowed to take notes?” I asked. “Are you a lawyer?” He countered. I explained that I was not, but that I had represented myself in two cases in the High Court, and was representing myself in two cases before the Court of Appeal. “Are you a lawyer?” He asked again. “No, I am not a lawyer, but I am here to learn from lawyers” I explained as I showed him my notes,
“If you are not a lawyer, then you are not allowed to write in here.” He stated. “Why not?” I asked. “Because that is the rule, and if the judge looked up here and saw you writing, you would get in trouble.” He said. What could judges find so objectionable about someone taking notes, I thought. However, I had no intention of offending the judge, so, I agreed to return to my seat and write no more.
APPEALING THE RULES.
Upon re-entering, I noticed that there were three people seated. The person nearest to the door where the Court Marshall was stationed, was a lady – and she was writing. I asked the Court Marshall if there were exceptions to this rule. “She is a reporter”, he said. “And I am an Engineer”, I responded. “Only reporters and lawyers are allowed to write notes in here.” He declared.
“I would like to appeal this rule.” I said. “You can’t.” He responded. “Why not?” I asked. “Because I checked with my superiors before telling you to stop writing.” He answered. “Who are these superiors.” I asked. He gave me the name of his superior.
THE END OF LEARNING.
I decided to return to my seat and try to get back in the zone. It was useless. I am a read and write type of learner – I need to write, and then read what I have written, to facilitate my learning. When I am in the zone, I just have to write. I now had to try to remember what I was hearing, while trying to analyse that information. That is easier for auditory-dominant learners – but I am not an auditory-dominant learner.
Sitting there, I soon realised that I was wasting my time – and it was frustrating, because I wanted to stay, but I was not learning anything. So I left the room in search of this fellow to whom I could appeal this rule. I was told that he was in the basement of another building, and there was no contact number for this mysterious basement-dweller. So, I left the Supreme Court and returned to my office.
Why is writing notes in court such a major offence, that it must be actively stamped out by our Court Marshalls? What is the harm or inefficiency that this rule is intended to limit? I thought of O’Brien’s advice to Winston, in George Orwell’s book, 1984. “You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”
It seems that our judges have only given permission for lawyers and reporters to take notes in Court. If others want to take notes, they must request the Court Marshall, to request the Judge’s legal assistant, to request permission from the judge to be heard. If permission to be heard is granted, then they may then ask the judge for permission to take notes, and why they want to take notes. If the reason is not sufficiently persuasive, permission may be denied.
Submitted by Grenville Phillips II, president of Solutions Barbados
Dear Barbadian Voters:
First, let me state the obvious. The chances of a third-party candidate getting elected in Barbados at this time, is somewhere between extremely unlikely and non-existent. We are fully aware of this. Yet, we persist.
After each election, we receive the same three types of responses. They are: (i) encouragement from those who support our message, (ii) disappointment from supporters of the established parties, and (iii) ridicule from the media and political consultants, and those whom they influence.
WHY KEEP GOING?
Have you ever asked yourselves why? What would cause persons with over 20 years of professional experience, and who are at the peak of their careers, to risk it all with an impossible mission? Why do we expose our personal and professional reputations to the scrutiny of a General Election campaign? What can we possibly hope to gain through this stubborn persistence?
Do you really want to know the answers to those questions? I have yet to hear any person ask them during the seven years of Solutions Barbados’ existence. I have given the answer several times, but unless people are curious enough to ask the ‘why’ question, they are less inclined to be receptive to our answer.
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW?
Each time we throw ourselves against this impenetrable wall during an Election campaign, we leave a bit of ourselves there. Is it worth it? No. It is not worth the disappointment in the eyes of our families, friends, clients, or employers. It is not worth the public ridicule, the baseless accusations of political operatives, or the derision of the media and social commentators.
So, if it is not worth it, then why continue to do it? If you genuinely want to know, then with all of the sincerity in my heart, l write, ‘thank you’. I cannot speak for the other so-called third parties. I can only speak for Solutions Barbados. We do it because we must. Perhaps a parable may help me explain that response better.
THE PARABLE OF THE TERMITES AND PAINTER.
There was once a termite infested house that sheltered several families. Every five years, the families elected a painter to maintain the house. But the painter only did what he knew, which was to paint over the rotten timbers.
One day, a Structural Engineer visited the house, and warned the families that the timbers were severely and extensively rotten. He then provided a solution of replacing rotten timbers, and strengthening the building to prevent its collapse, and offered to do so free of cost.
On hearing this warning, the painter quickly painted the rotten timbers with another coat of paint, and then declared the structure to be sound. The occupants unquestioningly trusted the painter, and never believed the Engineer’s warnings – until the building collapsed shortly thereafter.
THE PARABLE EXPLAINED.
The timber structure is the economy of Barbados – which shelters us all. The termites are inflated no-bid contracts that are given to political donors. The damage is the high debt created by borrowing to pay for these inflated contracts. We are taxed much more than we should, to repay debts we should never have been in, to pay for inflated costs we should never have been charged.
The building’s occupants are Barbadian voters. The painters are successive BLP and the DLP administrations, who allowed their donors to corrupt our national economy, so that it is no longer sustainable. The Structural Engineer is Solutions Barbados, who keeps warning Barbadians about the foreseen collapse of the economy.
THE FORESEEN COLLAPSE.
Based on the amount of damage political donors have done to our national economy, it can no longer take a major financial shock. However, major shocks are expected this year. The IMF are insisting that the rot in the economy must cease, but with the just concluded General Election, the political donors will insist on their right to feed.
A worse shock is that by removing God’s providential care in the new Charter of Barbados, we are, for the first time since our Independence, unprotected from major hurricanes. We are all terribly exposed.
AN OBLIGATION TO WARN.
Tragically, it is also foreseen that you will only believe us once you experience the unbearable austerity – that could have been avoided by addressing the corruption. The Government’s many public relations departments, that persuaded you that the economy was sound, will likely claim that the collapse was an Act of God. The foreseen collapse is due to corruption by political donors.
You have a right to be warned, and we have a moral obligation to warn you. Solutions Barbados mainly runs highly qualified and experienced persons for two reasons. The first is they are credible voices whom you know that you will ignore at your peril. The second is that they are capable of properly managing the economy if elected.
Last week, I described the Leader of the Opposition’s irresponsible actions that unnecessarily delayed the Court case, and the Judge’s rejection of his adjournment request. I will now report the Attorney General’s main arguments.
The Attorney General offered two main arguments. The first was that the Leader of the Opposition’s appointment was not of sufficient public interest. Therefore, it should not warrant the court’s attention. That argument was rejected.
The second was that the Governor General’s appointment of Mr Atherley cannot be enquired into by the Court. It is the second argument that should concern us all, and is the subject of this article.
The Attorney General based his argument on the assumption that the Governor-General’s appointment is protected by section 32 (5) of the Constitution of Barbados. I responded that this assumption should be verified. Section 32 (5) of the Constitution of Barbados follows.
32 (5) Where the Governor-General is directed to exercise any function in accordance with the recommendation or advice of, or with the concurrence of, or after consultation with, any person or authority, the question whether he has so exercised that function shall not be enquired into in any court.
I argued that this section is irrelevant to the appointment of Mr Atherley, since the Governor General did not need to consult, etc, with anyone in performing that appointment function. Section 32 (1) of the Constitution of Barbados explains two categories of Governor-General functions.
32. (1) The Governor-General shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet in the exercise of his functions other than –
a. any function which is expressed (in whatever terms) to be exercisable by him on or in accordance with the recommendations or advice of, or with the concurrence of, or after consultation with, any person or authority other than the Cabinet; and
b. any function which is expressed (in whatever terms) to be exercisable by him in his discretion.
I argued that it was the latter function (Section 32 (1) (b)) to which the appointment of a Leader of the Opposition belonged. Therefore, the appointment may be enquired into by a court.
The Attorney General also argued that other jurisdictions gave persons prerogative powers, that were not subject to judicial review. I argued that the Constitution of Barbados, section 1, states the following.
“This Constitution is the supreme law of Barbados and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”
Therefore, if other jurisdictions chose to give specific persons prerogative powers, that conflict with the Constitution of Barbados, then the Constitution of Barbados should prevail in Barbados.
Further, the Constitution appears to give the Governor-General prerogative powers, only when she makes decisions in consultation with other parties, in accordance with section 32. (1) (a). I argued that those prerogative powers do not extend into appointments where the Governor-General exercises her sole discretion or judgement, in accordance with section 32. (1) (b).
The Attorney General and I agreed that the Governor-General was obliged to act in accordance with section 75 (2) of the Constitution. Where we diverged, is that the Attorney General ignored the fundamental prerequisite for the office, which Mr Atherley evidently did not have. Namely, the support of other members of the House of Assembly. Even the Judge appeared to acknowledge that fact.
The Attorney General argued that since the Governor General made the appointment, then that alone proved that Mr Atherley met the qualification. The Attorney General essentially argued that it was impossible for the Governor General to make a mistake – she is infallible. I explained the absurdity of that Constitution violating argument.
THE PARTY’S INTERESTS.
The Barbadian press continues to promote the provable fake news that the case was dismissed (it was not), rather than report the extraordinary arguments made during the case – which are easily available to them. Perhaps it has time to ask why.
Jesus stated that we cannot serve two masters. The Barbadian press must decide whether they will pursue truth – or the propaganda interests of their political party.
My name is Grenville Phillips II. I am the President of Solutions Barbados, and your candidate in this by-election. Let me first tell you about myself, and then about what we plan to do in St George North over the next two and one-half years.
I have qualified in several disciplines. I am a structural engineer, highway engineer, environmental engineer, land-use planner, and adjudicator. I am also a teacher and President of Walbrent College, which is a regional institution specialising in construction. Therefore, my Clients benefit from a range of different disciplines for the same fee.
I hold two Bachelors degrees (maths and engineering), two Masters degrees (environmental engineering and planning), and am currently pursuing a Doctorate in Engineering. I do this for only one reason – to provide a better service to my Clients.
If you elect me to represent you for the next two and one-half years, then you become my Clients, and I will work for you.
About Our Plans.
With only one seat in Parliament, I will not have a Ministry. Therefore, we can dedicate most of our time improving the lives of those in this constituency. If we form the Government in 2023, then Solutions Barbados will make similar improvements across Barbados.
I have 30 years of experience in the construction industry. We plan to set-up a non-profit construction company, to participate in the government’s 1,000 affordable houses initiative.
We will train all unemployed St George North residents, who want to learn to safely construct a house. Training will take two weeks, at no cost to St George North residents. We will then employ them in the non-profit company, to apprentice with senior artisans. If the government’s 1,000 houses initiative does not happen, then we will build affordable houses for any client in Barbados.
The roofs of most houses in St George North are vulnerable to blowing off during a hurricane. We will offer to economically strengthen the roofs of all houses in St George North, for the cost of the labour and materials, but no profit.
Those who want their roof strengthened for only the cost of the materials, can volunteer their time with the no-profit company one day each week, for seven weeks. They will help to strengthen the roofs of other houses in St George North.
Dilapidated and Abandoned Houses.
We plan to identify the owners of all dilapidated and unoccupied houses in St George North. We will then negotiate with the owners an arrangement, where we will economically repair the house, and get it rented. The rent will be split between the homeowner and the non-profit company, until the construction cost is repaid.
Potholes can lead to costly vehicle repairs and accidents. Therefore, we will organise a dedicated St George North road maintenance crew, staffed by St George North residents, to safely and permanently repair potholes. A volunteer force of 350 people, allows each person to work for only one day each year.
We will offer to install a Photovoltaic (PV) system on every roof in St George North at cost, with no profit. It would be connected to the BL&P grid, so that home-owners will have more disposable income.
Those who want the PV systems installed at only the cost of the materials, can volunteer their time with the no-profit company one day each week, for seven weeks. They will help to install PV systems on other houses in St George North.
To address monkeys and other crop thefts, and provide some food security for St George North residents, we will participate in the Government’s tree planting scheme. We will plant thousands of fruit trees near drainage courses, open spaces, and wooded areas across the constituency.
Disputes between homeowners and contractors are common. As an Adjudicator, I plan to listen to both sides, and give preliminary rulings on construction disputes. This service will be free of cost to residents of, and disputes within St George North.
Any party may have the matter finally settled by the court. But the preliminary ruling should let them know the likely outcome, and prompt them to settle before starting a long and costly court process.
Regardless of how well or poorly students did at secondary school, we will train all willing St George North secondary school graduates (in six weeks) to be employable, and/or ready to start their own business. Training will be at no cost to St George North residents.
Participants will learn to speak, write, listen, calculate, draw, and do tasks at an excellent level. We will teach them to become responsible adults, and model employees, and employers.
I am the 2014 winner of the National Innovation Competition. We will train people how to start and grow a profitable business, with no start-up money. The 8-week training will be at no cost to St George North residents.
The aim is for each willing participant to have a viable Internet based business, by the end of the workshop. This should provide each household with a separate income stream.
In the House of Assembly, we will advocate for the following:
A referendum, to measure the public’s support for a Republic, same-sex unions, and moving the statue of Nelson.
An end to the corrupting no-bid public contracts, where the public must pay up to five times the cost of products, through increased taxes.
Better managed public services to an international standard, where customer feedback is valued, instead of the current ‘like it or lump it’ management method.
A rearranged secondary school curriculum, so that graduates leave school with marketable skills, and the confidence to succeed in life.
An improved justice system, where victims are properly compensated.
The removal of all taxes on healthy foods.
The abolition of taxing land, for which our enslaved fore-parents already paid for with their lives’ work. The Government can find something else to tax, but not our land.
We also plan to critically examine all proposed legislation, to ensure that it is in the best interest of the Barbadian public. That should keep us sufficiently busy for the next 30 months.
The BLP won all 30 seats in 2018. This by-election is an opportunity to do at least two things. Namely, to keep the BLP accountable, and to meaningfully benefit the residents of St George North.
You are in an enviable position, where you have nothing to lose by voting for Solutions Barbados – and everything to gain.
“Change your lifestyle or order your casket, because you will be dead in one year.” That was the blunt advice of my doctor about 25 years ago, after she reviewed my cholesterol test results.
I had harmed my body with unhealthy food, especially when I attended University. After I graduated, I added: no-exercise, very late working hours, and the stress of structural engineering, where getting a calculation 99% right can be fatal to the users of the structures that I had designed.
After agreeing to change my lifestyle, she advised me to do three things. First, I was to visit nutritionist Dr Mark Alleyne at Sir Winston Scott Polyclinic, then get a massage, and do some exercise.
Dr Alleyne advised me to stop eating all dairy products and red meat, and gave me a menu of food choices. He also taught an exercise class, which I agreed to join. When I returned to the office, I searched the yellow pages for a massage business and made an appointment for after work.
When I entered the massage business, the lady turned off the lights and lighted candles. I inquired about this and she said that it was aromatherapy. I said that I came for a massage. She asked what type. I said the type that doctors prescribe.
She asked me to remove my clothes, so I stripped down to my underwear. Perhaps seeing my embarrassment, she said that I had the option of keeping it on. I took that option. Then she told me to lie face down on the bed.
She put both of her hands on a muscle on my neck and squeezed – hard. My body immediately tensed to try to suppress the pain. She told me that it was a knot and that I must not tense up, but I could not help myself.
She then put my arm behind my back and raised it until my shoulder blade stood out. Then she rammed her elbow under my shoulder blade. I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came out. I wanted to cry, but no tears welled up.
The way that she contorted my body made tensing muscles ineffective at dulling the pain from her main tool, her elbow. So, I relaxed my body and decided to endure the torture in silence. That fateful decision only seemed to make matters worse – for me, since she did not know how much pain she was causing.
There is a level of pain between what a human body can endure, and death. That is where she took me, again and again. This pain was visionary – I believe I saw the gates of heaven.
At the end of the session, she seemed exhausted and finally spoke. She asked me to grade the level pain I had felt on a scale of 1 to 10. I said that it was a 9, because I suspected that a 10 was designed to kill her enemies. She explained that she does not like to start the first session so high, but that I had a lot of knots.
I paid her the agreed sum, and she said to return in 2 weeks to get the other knots out. I had complied with the doctor’s instruction to get “a massage”. However, I did not like the idea of paying someone to beat me up, so I decided to keep the remaining knots.
The following evening, I attended Dr Alleyne’s exercise class. He led us in a stick-dance of over 70 moves, to calypso music. After about 2 minutes I was exhausted – my mouth was dry, my heart was hurting, and I started seeing those black stars.
I thought how I could gracefully leave the class, but I was too embarrassed by my comparative lack of stamina. So I pushed through the 2-hour intense class moving as little as possible. At the end of the class, I decided to give future classes 100% of my effort – and I did.
After the first week, the fat around my waist and around my face was gone. After week two, I regained the body of my youth. After week three, I was ripped with muscles. Then I had an engineering assignment in Nevis.
When I returned to Barbados, I got another cholesterol test done. This time, the results were impressively good. I have maintained good health since then.
I knew that I was not healthy 25 years ago. But it took the bluntly presented option of prematurely ordering my casket to force me into meaningful action. May it have a similar effect on you.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
Today, it is useful to understand the basic preparatory training for those who want to follow Jesus.
Jesus gave a set of commandments. Some Christians found them challenging to follow, so they developed diverse and conflicting traditions about these commandments, including:
they should be followed;
they are optional;
they are a guide;
they are impossible to follow; and
their purpose is to show us how sinful we are, and our need for a savior.
However, rather than speculate about whether we should follow them or not, we should go to the first rule on interpreting the Bible – what does Jesus say about it? If Jesus is silent on the matter, then we can go to other rules.
Jesus introduced His commandments by stating:
Whoever breaks the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)
Jesus ended His commandments by stating:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I [Jesus] will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
It would seem that Jesus intended that that all of His followers should obey all of His commandments, which are included in what is popularly called, ‘the sermon on the mount’. A descriptive outline of this sermon follows. The details are provided in the Gospel according to Matthew, chapters 5 to 7.
Expect to face challenging situations, so count the cost before making a commitment to follow Jesus. (Matthew 5:3-12)
Be visible and effective in your obedience to God. (Matthew 5:13-16)
Do the right thing, especially when there is no expectation of a reward. (Matthew 5:17-20)
Maintain good relationships with others, and reconcile quickly with your adversaries. (Matthew 5:21-26)
Do not sin in thoughts, words, or deeds. (Matthew 5:27-30)
Be faithful to your spouse. (Matthew 5:31-32)
Tell the truth always, regardless of the consequences. (Matthew 5:33-37)
Submit to everyone and trust God. (Matthew 5:38-42)
Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48)
Do charitable deeds in secret. (Matthew 6:1-4)
Cultivate a relationship with God, your heavenly Father, and genuinely forgive everyone who hurts you. (Matthew 6:5-15)
When fasting, do not make it obvious to others. (Matthew 6:16-18)
Let your principal security be in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Do not be distracted with things that can cause you to lose your way. (Matthew 6:22-23)
Trust God for your security, rather than trusting in your wealth, or your ability to generate wealth. (Matthew 6:24)
Do not worry about anything, but first seek God’s kingdom and righteousness. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Do not attempt to correct others while you are struggling with the same challenges. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Wisely share information with those who lack understanding. (Matthew 7:6)
Treat others the way that you want to be treated. (Matthew 7:7-12)
Stay on the responsible path, even when you have little company. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Beware of counterfeit leaders – you will recognize them by their irresponsible behaviour, which they cannot stop doing. (Matthew 7:15-20)
It is not only acknowledging Jesus as Lord that will allow you to enter the Kingdom, but by practicing these commandments. (Matthew 7:21-23)
If you obey these sayings, then you will be stable, otherwise, you will be unstable during challenging times. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Jesus commanded His followers to obey both the letter and spirit of the law. Jesus did this by contrasting His commandments with those given by Moses and Jewish tradition, for example.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. (Matthew 5:21b, 22)
Jesus’ commandments not only instruct believers to avoid doing what is wrong, but to proactively do what is right, motivated by love.
Many of these commandments appear to be contrary to our natural tendencies. However, we normally improve at doing whatever we practice. Therefore, with persistent practice, this behaviour can become habitual. Enjoy your improvement journey.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
Today, I thought it useful to examine Jesus’ parable:
“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
“But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’
“The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:24-30)
What does this mean? We can speculate and introduce unnecessary complexity. However, it is better to let Jesus, who gave the parable, explain its meaning Himself.
“Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
“He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matt 13:36-43)
When we allow the Bible to explain itself, it can make a lot of sense. The obvious question is, how do we know the tares from the righteous? Jesus also provided an answer.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt 12:33-37)
Given Jesus’ warning, we should be careful of what we say/write, for we will be called to account. The problem for the tares, is that they cannot stop speaking/writing evil things, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Jesus explained this condition.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matt 7:15-20)
It is the believer’s duty to examine the words and actions of those who want to be their teachers. Are they kind and helpful, or “ravenous”. Jesus explained the end of the ravenous wolves who pretended to be sheep.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt 7:21-23)
We should all examine ourselves. Are we practising love, kindness, helpfulness, or hate, rudeness and division? We should try to change now, for later may be too late.
Grenville Phillips II, Leader of Solutions Barbados
In 1776, the United States of America (USA) declared its independence from Britain, and there was war. France joined the USA in 1778, and attacked British interests in the Caribbean the following year. The French captured St Vincent and Grenada, and there was general panic in Barbados that we would be next.
On 16 June 1779, Spain joined France in the war, hoping to reclaim Gibraltar and the island of Minorca from the British. The Spanish quickly blockaded Gibraltar, hoping to starve the defenders.
Barbados was defended by about 22 coastal forts, which could easily be overpowered if Barbados was invaded. On 26 July 1779, Barbados’ legislature voted to construct a defendable fort. A hill called Mount Charity, in the parish of St George, was selected for the construction of Fort George.
On 10 October 1780, a Category 5 hurricane struck Barbados, with wind speeds estimated as high as 200 mph (by comparison, Hurricane Dorian was 185 mph). It destroyed all forts, and every building in Barbados was damaged or destroyed. It resulted in the deaths of an estimated 4,326 people in Barbados. It also caused about 9,000 deaths in Martinique from the 25 ft storm surge (Dorian produced a 23 ft surge).
On 1 June 1781, the French captured Tobago. On 14 August 1781, the French navy informed George Washington, that they were travelling from the West Indies to Virginia, with a fleet of 29 warships and 3,200 troops.
On 28 September 1781, the combined USA and French forces had a major British force trapped at the coastal town of Yorktown, Virginia. After a few weeks of heavy bombardment, the British surrendered on 17 October 1781, which was a decisive defeat. Approximately 8,000 British troops were captured, and the 29 French warships returned to the West Indies.
On 19 August 1781, a combined French and Spanish force invaded the island of Minorca. The island had a fort which had been massively strengthened to survive a siege for one year. The combined force started bombarding the fort on 11 November 1781. The British lasted 3 months before surrendering on 4 February 1782.
In January 1782, twenty-nine French ships, with about 8,000 landing troops, sailed to invade Barbados. They were to join 18 ships already anchored off Barbados. However, a strong wind blew them away from Barbados, so they captured St Kitts instead. By February 1782, the only Caribbean islands that remained in British possession were Barbados, Antigua and Jamaica.
On 25 May 1782, the British troops at Gibraltar started digging siege tunnels and underground galleries in the limestone rock. On 18 September 1782, a grand assault of Gibraltar by French and Spanish forces (60,000 men and 49 ships) decisively failed to defeat the 5,000 British defenders.
On 3 September 1783, a final peace agreement was signed between Britain and the USA, France, and Spain. The Barbados Assembly met that same day and decided to abandon further construction of Fort George, rather than raise new taxes to complete it. The main reason was that they “could not discover its utility”.
What Were They Building?
From 1741, the Royal Military Academy started teaching the scientific principles of gunnery and fortifications. Therefore, the final design of Fort George would likely have been informed by at least four events. The destruction of forts in Barbados by the Great Hurricane of 1780, the successful bombardment of Yorktown in 1781, the successful bombardment of Minorca’ fort in 1782, and the successful defence of Gibraltar in 1782.
Perhaps the reason why the Assembly could not discover the utility of Fort George, was because its main asset was a military secret. We are still discovering secret military installations in Barbados. In 2011, the secret troop movement tunnels were discovered by accident at the Garrison. So far, approximately 10,000 ft (3 km) of tunnels have been identified.
This year, the general public learnt of a massive underground building at Fort George. It comprised a series of majestic arches, and was large enough to house many people and supplies. The coral-stone masonry work was exquisite, and the arches were reinforced with two rows of brickwork. It appeared to be in very good condition.
The building seemed to be the British’s solution to a shelter that could survive a Category 5 hurricane and military bombardment, and be finished for use by a Governor. Thus, Barbados seemed to have constructed the first, and only known masonry military bunker on this planet. No record of a military bunker was found in the historical record until approximately 150 years later, where it would be made of concrete.
Approximately one month ago, the Barbados Water Authority ordered the complete destruction of this priceless international treasure. There is a heavy price to pay for rewarding political supporters with managing our public services. We are normally on the losing end of their skills. But sometimes, so is the entire world.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
I recently had the privilege of working with Paul Clifford, a competent Engineer who died last week after falling through a roof. Carrying out inspections on suspect roofs, under cracked bridges, and in structurally damaged buildings is the life of a structural engineer.
The personal safety-risk of performing structural inspections is very high, but completing the inspection and providing a safe solution for contractors to follow is part of the calling. Engineers cannot send a contractor, artisan or labourer to do their inspections, they must put themselves in harm’s way and do them themselves.
Engineering is more than a profession. It is an obligation to work conscientiously to solve foreseen problems to prevent harm to the public. It normally includes Engineers risking their own lives. If an Engineer has done their work well, then the public will be oblivious to the magnitude of the harm that has been avoided, and the danger to which the Engineer willingly exposed themselves. Therefore, no manner of appreciation is expected.
In 1907, Rudyard Kipling provided a glimpse into the obligations of Engineers, in his poem, the Sons of Martha. It is generally unknown outside of the Engineering community. With Paul’s passing, perhaps it is time for the public to be aware that when an Engineer dies doing inspections, it is no mere accident – but a sacrifice on behalf of others.
The Sons of Martha
The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.
It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.
They say to mountains, ‘Be ye removed’. They say to the lesser floods, ‘Be dry’.
Under their rods are the rocks reproved – they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit – then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.
They finger death at their gloves’ end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.
To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matter hidden – under the earthline their altars are;
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city drouth.
They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not teach that His Pity allows them to leave their work when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand.
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren’s days may be long in the land.
Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat:
Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha spilled for that:
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own king in their common need.
And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessed – they know the angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessed, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the Feet – they hear the Word – they see how truly the Promise Runs:
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and – the Lord He lays it on Martha’s Sons.
Regardless of what we are pursuing in this life, we all need encouragement to keep going. If no one is encouraging you, then be encouraged by someone who reached the mountain top and was able to put life in perspective. The following is my paraphrase of Simon Peter’s final letter (2 Peter) written shortly before he was executed for speaking the truth.
My dear fellow Trainees:
Our Employer has graciously given us everything that we need to complete our training, and He has promised us that all the training exercises are achievable once we start with the right attitude. If you are committed to becoming productive employees, then please read the employee manual so that you may understand the Employer’s standards of work and behaviour. With this knowledge you can then begin practising the exercises. You may find them challenging at first, but please do not become discouraged. They will eventually become easier if you persist with them.
Once you have become proficient in the exercises, then please encourage your work colleagues and teach them everything that you have learnt. Your own training will be complete when you have unselfishly helped to train enough of your colleagues.
Please try to encourage those who find the exercises challenging, especially if they seem discouraged. If they give up, they may never develop the confidence that comes with completing an exercise, and will probably develop a fear of failure or a crippling belief that such exercises are unachievable.
I have completed my training and will shortly be leaving this department. However, before I go, allow me to give you some important advice. I hope that after I am gone, you will reread this letter to remind and encourage you during your own period of training.
Firstly. Please understand that the Company is not a myth or a cunningly devised fable. I personally know the Chief Executive Officer, and I heard when the Employer confirmed his appointment. The Employer Himself actually dictated the employee manual for your benefit.
Secondly. Please be aware that some members of your class may not appreciate the purposes of the training exercises, or they will think that the exercises are too challenging, irrelevant, or unachievable. They will then try to promote their own low standards of productivity. Unfortunately, this will only ensure that they and those who they mislead are unprepared for the work of the Company, and they will find themselves unemployable after their time of training has expired.
If those promoting low standards are able to influence most of the class in unproductive behaviour, then the Employer may have to take drastic measures. He has had to do this at least three times in the past.
The first time was when a vice-president and some associates attempted to take-over the Company and they were fired. The second was when the entire student body rejected the training and the Employer had to wash down the facility. The third was when a class engaged in abominable behaviour and the Employer had to sanitise the classroom. However, if you remain faithful to your training, despite the unproductive influences around you, then you will be retained.
Those who try to frustrate your training are ignorant, presumptuous and self-willed. Most of them only attend the training classes to impress and seduce those of the opposite sex with smooth words. They continually try to entice others away from their training and promise them a fun time, while they are actually addicted to corrupting behaviour that prevents them from attaining any reasonable level of productivity.
Both the enticer and the enticed will become unemployable, just like those who refuse to start training and instead, waste all of their precious time on the playground. If a person starts training and then becomes addicted to corrupt practises, then it is better if they had not commenced training at all.
Thirdly. Please remember that the Employer’s expansion project will commence. However, He is waiting patiently, and He will suffer delays and be inconvenienced for as long as practically possible for you. You see, He has no desire that those who are not training properly, or those who are not training at all should be destined for unemployment. He is desperately hoping that those on the playground, and those playing the fool in the classroom will commence and complete their training respectively.
Since the expansion project will start, please prepare yourself for the wonderful responsibilities that you will receive upon completion of your training, and do not be distracted by those who have no interest in your future. Above all, grow in the favour and knowledge of our Chief Executive Officer, Jesus Christ.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
All national economies are affected, either for good or bad, by politicians. Our parliamentarians get to decide whether the national economy will be fair or corrupted.
The Government collects taxes, and then spends a significant amount of our taxes to purchase products for our benefit. These products include cars, hospital equipment, cleaning services, spare parts, and consultants’ services, and are purchased with Government contracts.
A fair national economy is one where all citizens can have an equal opportunity to participate. This means that Government contracts for these products are open to all Barbadian companies, and the winner is selected by a fair competitive tender. The national economy becomes corrupted when Government Ministers arrange for contracts to be given to persons who fund their political campaigns.
Since our independence, there has always been a component of Barbados’ economy called the ‘political economy’, which is reserved exclusively for persons who fund political campaigns, and expect Government contracts in return. Both political administrations have maintained this corrupt political economy for their joint benefit.
Once this corrupt political economy remains relatively small, then its impact on the national economy is negligible. Those who choose not to participate in the corrupt political economy believe that they can do nothing to stop it. It is generally understood that anyone who speaks about it will not be long for this world.
Countries do not tend to get into unsustainable debts by meeting the basic needs of their citizens. Instead, they tend to get into such debts due to the greed of their elected politicians, who grow the corrupt political economy to the point where it structurally damages the national economy.
Barbados passed that tipping point decades ago. The likely time was identified in Moody’s 13 Oct 2009 downgrade report as 20 years ago. A section from that first downgrade report under the then new DLP administration follows [emphasis mine].
“Barbados’ KEY DEBT INDICATORS have been on a deteriorating path OVER THE PAST DECADE [1999-2009], and are now at levels that compare poorly with other countries in the same rating category,” said Moody’s Vice President – Senior Analyst Alessandra Alecci. “While the global crisis has clearly exacerbated this trend, the worsening of debt indicators OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME suggests that STRUCTURAL ISSUES are at play. … These include a steady increase in expenditures, INCLUDING OFF-BUDGET, as revenues have remained at roughly the same level in terms of GDP.”
To my knowledge, back in 1999, DLP Leader Clyde Mascoll was the only person in Barbados warning us of the potentially corrupting “off-budget” no-bid contracts being awarded by the BLP administration, and the resulting unsustainable debt. After he defected to the BLP, magically those became “good debts” and the corrupt political economy became mythical.
When it was the DLP’s inevitable turn to form the Government (since there were only two players in the game), they continued this practise to such an extreme level, that it seemed that the corrupt political economy was all that remained. It is now the BLP’s turn and it is left to be seen whether they will maintain the political economy at the DLP’s extreme level, or eliminate it.
When a Government decides who wins in Barbados’ economy, it automatically decides who loses. By repeatedly choosing the worst companies as winners, and the best as losers, that Government can irreparably damage the national economy.
Businesses that decide to participate in the corrupt political economy do not need to provide good-quality products, because they are shielded from competition. Therefore, the public must pay additional taxes for the increasingly poor-quality public services that use these products. Frustrated public workers at the lower end, who are forced to use these sub-standard products, can be wrongfully accused of being inefficient and wasteful.
Since public workers seem to be forbidden from defending themselves publicly, they gain little public sympathy. Therefore, it becomes easier to justify replacing them with new political supporters at the start of each new political administration.
For three years, Solutions Barbados offered to improve the economy by lowering taxes and abolishing the corrupt political economy. The details were published for critical public review. In response, the BLP claimed that Solutions Barbados was not the only political party that planned to effectively address corruption, and promised to meaningfully address it also.
With the support of an inexcusably irresponsible news media, who actively suppressed Solutions Barbados’ consistent message and all of its 28 candidates, the voters rejected the DLP and elected the BLP to fix the mess. It still needs fixing, and the BLP has been allowed an unprecedented unhindered opportunity to do what they promised, namely, to punish corrupt politicians and end the corrupting practise of no-bid contracts. The people can judge their progress for themselves.
If the corrupt political economy is not abolished, then expect Solutions Barbados to once more offer over 20 candidates to the people as a competent alternative. The voters can then finally decide what type of Barbados they want for themselves and their children.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
From left to right Solution Barbados candidates: Robert Toussaint, Grenville Phillips, Julie Chalbaud, Angela Edey, Cherone Martindale, Andrew Banfield and Andre Griffith
Given our history, it was necessary that all Barbadians be given access to similar opportunities to create their futures. Over the past 50 years, the Government of Barbados has facilitated this by providing all Barbadians with free access to health-care and education services. Our children and elderly are also provided with free access to transportation services. This is, by any measure, commendable and should have resulted in us being so much further ahead.
The Government manages a diverse set of services, most of which are unprofitable and require Government funding. The Government gets the funds to pay for most of the services it manages by taxing citizens, visitors and businesses. If the services that the Government manages are inefficient, unproductive and wasteful, then it takes more money to run them. Therefore, the Government must increase taxes on Barbadians and businesses to pay for these additional ‘wastage’ costs.
When the Government increases taxes on individuals to pay for these additional ‘wastage’ costs, then parents have less money to spend, and can be forced to live pay-cheque to pay-cheque. When the Government increases the taxes on businesses to pay for these additional costs, then they may be forced to divert money that they had planned to hire additional employees. This explains why school-leavers cannot find jobs, and parents cannot buy toys.
Since the Government can no longer afford to pay for all of the services it manages, and since Barbadians cannot afford to pay any more taxes, the Government is considering selling some of the services that it provides.
Normally, this would be good news. However, not in Barbados at this time. If the private sector purchased a poorly managed government service, then it would likely run it profitably. However, Barbadian consumers would not likely pay less on their bills, but may pay more depending on how convincing the new owners’ arguments for increased rates are to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).
If the Government plans to sell our state owned services, then the very least that they should do is to allow us to benefit from the low cost of a properly-managed service. This may lead to our utility bills being perhaps one half of what we are currently paying. We are currently forced to pay both the cost of an efficient service, plus the additional inefficiency and wastage costs.
Once the service is properly run, then both we and the FTC will know how much it should cost to provide an efficient service. At this moment, all we know is how much it cost to run an inefficient operation. So how can we determine what we should be paying as opposed to what we are currently forced to pay? There are two methods.
The first one is to privatize in a non-monopolistic competitive environment. When there are many competitors and no collusion, each business will tend to maximize profits by becoming more efficient than his or her competitor. An example of this is bus transportation. The bus owner who has a poorly maintained bus and unproductive employees will spend more on his operation, than the owner who has a properly maintained bus with productive employees. This method of privatization is unlikely to work if a monopoly, like water or natural gas, is to be sold.
Before one even contemplates selling a monopoly like the water utility, we consumers must experience a properly managed service. How do we know if we have met the minimum standard of efficiency? Fortunately, there is an international standard called the ISO 9001 Quality Management System, which the Government had access to 30 years ago and should have implemented.
We comply with international standards for important things, why not for our important, but inefficient Government services. I have been asking this question for the past 15 years, and Minister Inniss finally revealed the answer while I was with him on Brasstacks Sunday (23 April 2017). He repeatedly insisted that the ISO 9001 was a theory, and I repeatedly corrected him that it was a standard.
If the Government believes that ISO 9001 it is a theory, then it remains an academic debating exercise. However, if it is actually an internationally recognised standard, then it should be attained as a minimum, and even exceeded. For more than 2 decades, public services of other nations have been benefitting from the ISO 9001 system. However, we have been left behind. Why? Because we have decided to proudly declare ourselves to be ISO 9001 deniers, while the world passes us by.
Our system of Government requires politicians to compete for our votes every general election, for the responsibility of managing Barbados’ economy. However, rather than it being mainly a competition of management proposals, our politicians tended to compete by trying to out-promise their opponents. In the past, we seemed not to realise that their promises would be paid by them burdening us with higher taxes and our children with greater national debt.
It has taken 50 years for Barbadians to finally interpret what our politicians have been promising. When they promised to give us more than what their opponents promised, what they were actually telling us was that they promised to sink us deeper in debt than the debt level promised by their opponents.
Now that our national debt has grown too large for our generation to pay off, Barbadians have finally woken up to the reality that our children will be forced to pay for the promises that our politicians have made. We have finally reached the point where both voter and politician know that we cannot afford any more unfunded promises. Thankfully, the Barbadian voter can no longer be fooled by any politician trying to recklessly out-promise another. Therefore, the next general election should finally be a competition of how best to manage Barbados’ economy, instead of how many “free” things a politician can recklessly promise.
This is an entirely new experience for Barbadians. We have grown so accustomed to general election candidates being paraded early, while the policies are kept secret until after the general election has been called. This gives the voters very little time to critically read and challenge the politicians’ intentions for us, and the cost of their promises to our children. Given the crucial importance of the next general election to Barbados’ future, we published our proposed solutions to Barbados’ problems over 18 months ago for voters’ critical review. Thank you to all who commented and helped us to improve the ideas. Our published solutions generally do not require additional taxes or debt. They typically require better management of Government services.
We now have 15 responsible employers (not merchants) experienced in good management practises to contest the next general election. If the remaining 15 responsible employers do not respond to our public invitation to be candidates by the end of this month, then we will widen our candidate selection criteria to include any responsible persons with any type of management experience.
SOLUTIONS BARBADOS seem intent to make a difference on the political landscape by offering what it deems a proposed draft of solutions (subject to improvement/revision) for the countries’ present economic and social challenges which by public outcry shows that present governance is found wanting in every Ministerial portfolio.
It is evident that the motive for such an endeavor is highly placed on management of the enormous Debt of which the country finds itself in. A staggering $13billion plus debt. With this in mind, a call/advertisement has been made for 30 employers (business men/women) to rally the cause as candidates for the next general election and so far 14 has answered that call yet (not known) until the formal announcement of election date or they of the own volition surrender their identities before such time.
Conflicts of interest.. businessmen as political leaders?
Will they separate themselves LEGALLY from their business interests as an act of transparency?
WHAT ROLE DOES THE ELECTORATE PLAY IN SELECTION OF CANDIDATES?
WHAT ABOUT CONSTITUENCIES AND THEIR CHOICE FOR REPRESENTATION?
Fundamentally, ELECTIONS are of the people, chosen candidates BY the people and act in service FOR the people. A group of volunteered/SELECTED business men/women is a non starter. There is high probability for corruption. There are many facets of government and it is wise that verse persons suitable for respective portfolios be considered, chosen by constituents with power to recall by the constituency.
As I see it there is no transparency thus far in this undertaking, but an attempt by opportunists for power and control WITH AN ELEMENT OF SURPRISE, somewhat like a Trojan horse.
In their “Policy Solutions“… must seek out/identify its foundational base, the intent of purpose and modus operandi for executing its agenda. In its opening paragraph, academics has been bashed for “RECENT ACADEMIC TRAINING” and lack of experience while adding insult to injury asks for restraint of comments of disagreement, terming them as lazy, yet wanting solutions. These opening remarks makes one reflect on recent comments made by the current Prime Minister.
First and foremost its foundational base seem to be the institutionalization of the ISO 9001 plan that concerns itself with streamlining management processes of “A PRODUCT” and an end result of “customer satisfaction”. The interpretation of the words PRODUCT and CUSTOMER must be defined. Is the “product” government and its systems/processes and the “customer” ISO 9001 strategists?
The General Requirements 4. QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (section 4.1) of ISO 9001 ALLOWS for an open door for the co-control of an “out-sourced process” (note 2) BY AN EXTERNAL PARTY. Under this guise, SHOULD THE GOVERNANCE OF BARBADOS BE LIKENED TO A PRODUCT? In a nutshell, its no different to yielding to the IMF et al.Please examine this very carefully and understand the implications.
INTENT OF PURPOSE.
As the current political environment tend to be bordering on collapse (whether true or not), with the economy, confidence and polls at an all time low, this predicament could merit the opportunity for opportunists to snatch power of Governance (however conceivable)…. to what end?
Lets dig deeper on Governments’ indecision.. (an attack on sound and exemplary political service). Current indecisions by government surrounds (mostly in part) to Capital works and high-end projects, withdrawing pensions of politicians is a poor excuse of punishment for lack of efficiency and productivity, Again current functioning is due mainly in part to the affiliation to INTERNATIONAL ABC INSTITUTIONS (AS SIGNATORIES) and as your foundational pillar is based on implementing the ISO 9001 then the result will find the country in a similar predicament … “Letters of intent to withdraw” is the remedy for governments lack of control and efficiency, adding to that is, if you are not functioning, you will be recalled, replaced or reshuffled.
It appears that when national issues surfaced, an attempt was made to address them, however conceived. Bear in mind that these proposed remedies/solutions will also apply to any successive government.
ACTION PLAN case points.
-Lack of civility in Parliament,…. a curtailment of exposure…absolute privilege vs secrecy. both require remedy.
-Civil servant apathy……………….. as in a recent CBB board appointment? All eligible voters have a right to affiliate to any political party of their choice, then how can there be any non- politicals unless the non-political is exempt of the laws of the land.
-Political victimization…………….. harsh and bordering dictatorship. a violation of Constitutional rights, to disallow a civil servant to join a political party of their choice is already deem a victimization It also has an effect on voter count at election time.
-Non-passionate nurses and teachers.. “educational grants for an alternative career” do not retain these persons in the profession. Strategy of ISO 9001 at work… simply address the concerns of these professionals, this is the solution.
-Statutory corporations………….. A permanent Secretary cannot counsel himself, CEO/Minister same role but switched while encumbering the PS with greater responsibility and POWER without the dictates/recommendations of a counselling body, he then can definitely determine CONTRACT all by himself.
Part 2 will address Improving the Regulatory System and more
Celebrating 50 years of our political independence was an important national event that the Government should have been allowed to manage, without being distracted by constant criticism. Given the foreseen economic challenges this year, it was also important that Barbadians be allowed to enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations. With these events now behind us, we all need to consider the future of Barbados.
Barbados has never been in so much debt. The BLP has been responsible for accumulating approximately $8B and the DLP approximately $5B of our $13B national debt. The international rating agencies continue to warn potential investors about our challenges to repay our debt. If we continue to manage Barbados’ economy as we have in the past 40 years, then we will not own a country to pass on to the next generation of Barbadians.
The solutions to Barbados’ economic problems should be well known by both of our established political parties. However, for the past 50 years they have both played this game of criticising the party in power for mismanaging the national economy, and then proceeding to mismanage it far worse when they attained power, leaving the criticising to the other party until their roles are reversed.
Since they have taken us so far beyond any responsible debt limit, to the point where we have no choice but to be badly taken advantage of by investors, then the next general election is crucial to the future of Barbados.
Solutions Barbados has already published workable solutions to the principal problems hindering Barbados’ development at SolutionsBarbados.com. Regrettably, the games continue to be played while the problems are getting worse. Therefore, we have assembled 14 employers who have never contested a general election, but who are willing to stand as candidates in the next general election in order to give Barbadians a competent alternative. We are looking for 16 more candidates.
If you agree with our published solutions, have been a responsible employer at any time in your career (the type and size of business does not matter), and are willing to be a candidate in the next general election, then please contact us at NextParty246@gmail.com.
Managing our national economy is the most important job in Barbados. It also carries the greatest risk for us since failure at this job can send most of us into poverty. Remarkably, managing our national economy requires no qualification of competence.
Most of us are too busy working and managing our family and business affairs to pay much attention to how well our managers are performing. We have grown accustomed to the party in opposition accusing the party in government of mismanaging the economy, and the government’s response that they are doing a good job. We have learnt to treat it like a game, and approximately every 5 years, we get to decide whether to switch their roles and give the other party a turn at the top.
Both parties are similarly competent. They may have differing priorities on where to spend our money, but they both manage to over-spend it and accumulate massive debts in our name. We rarely check the books to see how they are performing, and most of us do not bother to understand terms like GDP and Deficits. We just want to believe that they know what they are doing, while we try to live our lives as best as we can.
After repeated IMF warnings and repeated downgrades by international rating agencies, perhaps the time has come for us to examine our books. Perhaps we should pay attention to the Caribbean examples of Guyana and Jamaica, who were recently the most prosperous Caribbean countries, but who over-spent and accumulated a debt pattern similar to our own. Much of the populations of these countries were reduced to poverty because of their leaders’ failures. If Barbados’ economy is not better managed very soon, then our children may be destined to read this part of our history with disgust.
There is another job that requires no qualification of competence, namely, the business owner. Successful business owners can confirm that they may experience years of failure before they attract enough customers to afford to employ more than one person. Employers are forced to learn from their many and inevitable failures because they are risking their own money.
Successful political candidates have to manage the nation’s business, including over 20,000 employees and over 2 billion dollars in revenues. However, 50 years of evidence reveals that the managers of our national economy have not learnt from their failures. The likely reason is that they did not have to, because they were not risking their money, but ours. The public is invited to a free public lecture on whether a case can be made for a third established political party in Barbados to properly manage the nation’s business. The lecture is scheduled for Thursday 7th April 2016 at 6:00 pm in the Combermere School Hall. All are welcomed.
Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Barbados’ newest political party Solutions Barbados. BU asked Grenville to give Barbadians an update on the building of the political party. The following is what he had to share:
Approximately once every 5 years, Barbadians select persons to manage their national affairs. At the time of our independence, we received a debt-free island with well-maintained pubic infrastructure. Fifty years later, our public services are generally poorly managed, and we are risking losing our country as a result of our unsustainable national debt. During periods in Barbados when money appeared to be plentiful, we mistakenly thought that our national economy was being properly managed. However, it takes no special competence to uneconomically spend borrowed money.
It normally takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice for persons to operate at an expert level. Therefore, it would seem that successfully managing a business, with about 10 employees for about 10 years, should adequately prepare an individual to manage our national affairs. To my knowledge, none of Barbados’ ministers of Government have ever come close to this minimum standard of preparation.
I do not blame any past or current member of Barbados’ parliament for the current state of our national affairs. Rather, they deserve our deep gratitude. When we had to elect persons to manage the national economy, they were the ones who stepped forward. At the end of each election cycle, they graciously demitted office and admirably accepted the will of the electorate.
If anyone is to blame for the abysmal state of Barbados’ national affairs, it is those who were adequately prepared for national service, but refused to step forward. Thus, they deprived Barbados of their skills and left the electorate to choose from among a group of unprepared, but willing candidates.
Barbados is fortunate to have had exemplary employers who have effectively trained and cared for their employees as they managed successful businesses. They willingly chose less corporate profits in order to maintain their employees during economically challenging times, and rewarded them for their productivity during times of plenty.
Those employers were adequately prepared to manage Barbados’ economy. However, rather than fulfilling their national duty, they generally ignored the call. They ought to be utterly ashamed of themselves, and are ultimately responsible for forcing Barbadians to select people who were simply not prepared to manage national affairs.
There is no shame if the electorate chooses others to lead. That is the governance system within which we operate, and the same voters, and their children, have to live with the consequences of their choices. However, to provide them with fair choices, it is the responsibility of the most demonstrably competent and caring employers to offer themselves as candidates in each general election. How else can a small independent country with few natural resources be properly managed?
Our politics has now degenerated into career politicians desperately trying to convince Barbadians that all is well while we are being drowned in debt, taxes and downgrades. It is long-past time to relieve our career politicians from this burden, but thank them for their efforts. I am publically calling all employers with the requisite preparation to review the solutions at SolutionsBarbados.com, and then contact us with the intention of being candidates in the next general elections.
Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Barbados’ newest political Party, Solutions Barbados, and can be contacted by: Web: SolutionsBarbados.com E-mail: NextParty246@gmail.com. Tel: 232-9783