Debt Swap does not mean debt relief

Debt swap does not mean debt relief.

Ryan Straughn
Ryan Straughn, a minister in the Ministry of Finance

First it was Ryan Straight singing the benefits of Barbados entering a debt swap arrangement with CIBC FirstCaribbean and Credit Suisse International. It was reported both institutions agreed to the government of Barbados buying back BDS$150 million each. The mechanics of the deal: savings generated from rebooking the debt at a lower rate will be used to finance government’s marine conservation plans.

See related article – Debt swap

Next it was Prime Minister Mia Mottley last week announcing another debt swap worth BBD$600 million to be utilised to finance the upgrade of the controversial South Coast Treatment plant (SCTP). The financial agencies mentioned with the deal were the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the Green Climate Fund.

See related article – PM says capital for upgrading South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant won’t increase Gov’t debt

In both cases there should be no criticism about the need for government to allocate resources to upgrade the SCTP and marine environment. Barbados is a small island developing state that is heavily dependent on a pristine environment to maintain its character. The country is beginning to take on a haphazard appearance with the high volume of vehicles on the road, photovoltaic panels littering our fields and hills, houses being planted everywhere, itinerant vending everywhere, et cetera.

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Politicians too fat, cabinet too large, too many consultants

One day coming soon some disgruntled persons will attempt a Sidney Burnett Alleyne.

On the 15 July 2023 Prime Minister Mia Mottley sat down with veteran journalist David Ellis (see 90 minutes interview below) to answer questions raised early in the administration after she became the first woman to win government on 25 May 2018.

Interview with Prime Minister Mia Mottley

The blogmaster from time to time has circled back to this interview to use it as a measure of performance of Prime Minister Mottley and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) from 2018 to the present.

You will hear her stout defence for appointing the largest Cabinet per 1000 of population in the world. She will now argue the fact her government was reelected in the controversial snap election in January 2022 and won another clean sweep confirmed the electorate bought into government’s playbook. The blogmaster is of the view it was more a case that in the land of the blind a one eye woman is queen.

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Mottley, Macron and neoliberal globalization

The following was submitted by Tee White from the Caribbean Empowerment blog.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Macron and neoliberal globalisation

By Tee White

Prime Minister Mia Mottley (l) and President Emmanuel Macron (r)

Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has emerged on the international scene as one of the most visible supporters of the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, which recently concluded in Paris. The summit, which was hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron, took place from 22-23 June under the twin themes of building a new consensus for a more inclusive international financial system and advancing towards achieving the United Nations Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals.

These goals, set in 2015, were a continuation of the UN’s Millennium Goals, adopted in 2000. Both sets of goals are presented as measures to end global poverty. However, in contrast to the high sounding UN aspirations and conferences, a large part of the world’s population remain trapped in both poverty and inequality. 

Read full article @caribbeanempowermentblog

Is Little Barbados Leading the Charge to Disrupt Global Financing?

The following is a Press Release issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – Blogmaster

The Government of Barbados Forms a Coalition of Multilateral Banks to Develop Resilient Infrastructure and to Drive New Social and Nature Capital Investments, Building on Its Resilience and Sustainability Facility at the IMF

June 23, 2023

Washington, DC: The Government of Barbados announced at the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris an integrated package of innovative initiatives to accelerate its transition to net zero, boost resilience, enfranchise workers, and draw in private sector investment while prudently managing public debt levels. These initiatives build on the ongoing climate policy reforms, supported by the Resilience and Sustainability Facility with the International Monetary Fund, which are expected to play a catalytic role in mobilizing private and public sector financing for climate projects.

This package of initiatives reflects unprecedented cooperation and a new “system approach” between the Government, its Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Barbados’ long-standing financing partners; Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank Group (WBG), Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF), European Investment Bank (EIB), and Green Climate Fund (GCF). 

Barbados is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and it needs to invest heavily to protect its citizens from hurricanes, flooding and droughts, and to preserve its natural capital. It is committed to achieving sustainable public debt levels, meaning that the government has limited borrowing capacity for public investments. To meet these challenges, it has identified four complementary approaches together with its financing partners.

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Lawyers continue to undermine our freedoms

An interesting news item this week centred around Prime Minister Mia Mottley who continues to loom large on the local, regional and dare twe suggest the international stage? Mottley has attracted the ire of some in the legal community for suggestions made at the recent Regional Symposium: Violence As a Public Health Issue organized by CARICOM. 

We need to start rotating judges and magistrates in the region to ensure that there is not the familiarity with counsel and other circumstances and things that people take for granted.

Mia Mottley

Who better than Mottley to understand some of the challenges our legal system continues to pose. She has been immersed in the moribund system for all of her life and if caught in an informal conversation after a stiff drink and a ‘smoke’ may admit she has been a contributor to the flawed system over the years.

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After Mia, who?

The late Errol Walton Barrow died in 1987, 36 years later the political party he founded, one of two main parties that have dominated the political landscape- the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), continues the struggle to ‘find’ itself. On the other side of the political fence the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is led by the personage of Mia Mottley whose style has endeared her to the local and international community.

There is the suggestion Prime Minister Mia Mottley will elect not to offer herself as a candidate in the next general election. Political pundits again suggest that were this to occur the BLP will likely find itself in a similar state to compare to the DLP. From where the blogmaster is perched there is no obvious successor to Mottley. Some say Santia Bradshaw is being groomed, others are of the mind leaders emerge, a lazy premise if the blogmaster were to opine.

Who is the BLP leader in waiting?

Barbados Secures Another $100 Million

The borrowing continues with the general Barbados population non the wiser about the economic strategy – Blogmaster

World Bank Approves US$100 Million for Barbados’ Green and Resilient Recovery 


Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2023 

ESG Climate change Clean Energy Transition Financing Multilaterals 

World Bank release

Bridgetown, Barbados, January 11, 2023 — The World Bank approved yesterday $100 million in financing to support Barbados’ low carbon economic development and resilience to climate change.

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Barbados Small and Proud – Mia Mottley and Rihanna Successfully Negotiating the Global Space

How many times have we heard references made to Barbados being a country punching above its weight? Through the years the comment made but former United Nations Secretary General Koffi Anan has been striped of its obvious meaning by political opportunists. 

The challenges for a 21 by 14 small developing island with an open economy in a competitive global space will always be many. While it is true Barbados lost its leadership anchor in recent years by our high standards there is hope, as a people we must never surrender to despair.

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley Defends frequent travel overseas

Prime Minister Mottley on her return from overseas after taking a few days off as well as attending COP27 in Egypt, Rwanda and South Africa called a press conference on her return to Barbados to brief the nation. There is criticism Mottley’s time could have been better spend on island given the precarious state of the economy and rising crime situation. DLP spokesman Paul Gibson has been scathing in criticism levelled at Mottley, questioning cost of trips overseas and size of delegations.

The blogmaster has cautioned many times in this space that managing the optics in any situation is important, however, Mottley has demonstrated with the appointment of a bloated Cabinet she intends to do it her – she has an aggressive style – even if it is obvious the configuration of the Cabinet is about political considerations and not about many hands making light of the work. Some of us are not fools although we understand the games politicians play at the expense of the masses.

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Prime Minister MIA Mottley Delivers An Empty Emancipation Day Message

August 2 signals another Emancipation Day, another public holiday for the masses to revel in the carnival season and engage other leisure activities – a few may reflect on what the day is intended. Emphasis on a few if one measures public participation at events arranged to celebrate the day.

In her Emancipation Day message Prime Minister implores Bajans to not just commemorate the emancipation of our forefathers from chattel slavery but “celebrate the lives and efforts of our African forefathers to end slavery. In remembering these things, let us understand that while the seas may get rough and while the struggle may be long, together we can and will see these challenges through. That is to say that egos, matters of self-interest and tribalism must give way to the way of thinking and the lifestyle that saw communities raise children and societies raise the bar”.

The blogmaster finds no fault with the message by prime minister Mottley asking us to be inspired to overcome the challenges before us by what our forefathers had to achieve breaking the chains of physical slavery. Maya Angelou in her inimitable style encapsulates the importance of the past with a practical definition- “I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place“. 

We have to do better to help Barbadians sustain the awareness around the struggle of Blacks for liberation. The blogmaster is satisfied our children are given sufficient exposure at the primary and secondary level to be aware of the struggle. Where we continue to fail as a society is our inability to feed a culture to support our people being energized by the heroic achievement of our forefathers. Instead we have allow edourselves to become overwhelmed by the miasma of popular foreign culture which by and large continues to lock our people into another form of bondage- economic and mental slavery.

To Prime Minister Mia Mottley again we say, a nice sounding message, a message that will tick the box on the checklist for the day, however, inquiring minds wonder- what about the need to find practical approaches to assist citizens translate your nice sounding message to relevant daily activities? We have become a people characterized by revelry, indolence and lawlessness, antithetical to the traditional value set that underpinned the behaviour of our forefathers.

So Prime Minister Mottley, your message will be received as empty by a majority of the population because the discrete actions required to invoke meaning for the general population is MIA.

No Quick Fix

Submitted by Just Observing

Every once in a while this government finds a catch phrase and sticks to it. We had our “nothing to see here” moments. There was the famous “lost decade” and “old guard.” Once upon time it was “all uh we, my friends and no retreat no surrender.”

The newest catch phrase is “no quick fix.”

Dale Marshall’s response to the spike in crime that equals or surpasses that of 2006-7 which he criticised??

No quick fix.

The Central Bank Governor’s response to bank fees AFTER the Prime Minister said it has to stop?

No quick fix

The Prime Minister’s response to abolishing Common Entrance after proclaiming it so on a political platform and after Dr. Denny bragged about a 2023 end in Parliament?

No quick fix

The roll out of the Summer Nutrition Programme which NO ONE knew about before it was announced??

No quick fix

What about integrity legislation and freedom of information? After all, it’s 30-0 with a packed Senate

No quick fix

Cost of living. Tax on gas? Increasing prices? Decreasing items on shelves?

No quick fix

Legislation to protect the elderly and the vulnerable?

No quick fix

Legislation to protect hard working farmers from praedial larceny?

no quick fix

Repairs to housing damaged by Elsa and the provision of low income housing?

No quick fix

Covid numbers again at 400 with a consistent 33%+ positivity rate?

No quick fix

But then again, what should we expect. We were told to “gimme de vote and watch muh.” We were also told of “mission criticals” “many hands make light work” “we got dis” and “this is who we are.”

Whether BOSS, BERT, SUN, REAP, BOUNCE or whatever…. I guess it’s just back to life and back to reality.

No quick fix!!!

Mottley Cabinet is Bloated

One of the more interesting decisions made in 2018 by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government led by Mia Mottley was to appoint the largest ever Cabinet in our history. Her justification for the ‘relatively large’ Cabinet was because of the overwhelming mandate received from the electorate. From 2018 until the present – with a cosmetic tweak in 2022 – the Cabinet has remained large.

Enough time has elapsed to fairly judge if a large Cabinet adds value to how the country has been governed since 2018. It has been a government led by the larger than life and seemingly indefatigable Prime Minister Mottley. Her style of delivery and oratory skill has endeared her to the international community. It is worth a reminder she inherited an economy with a GDP north of 150 with junk status credit rating. There was a feeling of renewed hope in the nation post 2018 general election.

Out of the gate the Mottley government committed the country to a debt restructure on domestic and local holdings which right sided the debt to GDP indicator BUT immediately shot the confidence of local and foreign investors. The lack of confidence to invest persists four years later. To be expected economists are divided on whether it was the right strategy, these decisions are never easy we must admit. 

In Mottley’s defense she will postulate that the COVID 19 pandemic, Hurricane Elsa and La Soufriere volcano ash fall combined to derail government’s rebuild effort and in fact caused the economy to significantly contract. To reasonable onlookers she has a good defense. However hungry mouths well not be as sympathetic. The debate will continue about the BLP’s performance since 2018 until the next bell is rung.

Political pundits are already surveying a barren political landscape for alternative voting options. The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) under rookie leader Dr. Ronnie Yearwood is in the early stage of a rebuild and the many political parties that presented at the polls in 2018 and 2022 have done the usual vanishing act of which Houdini would have been proud. 

What is the blogmaster trying to say in too many words?

Prime Minister Mottley has taken the reins of government at a challenging time in our history there can be no doubt. This is precisely why decisions taken by Mottley must be fit for purpose for the extraordinary times to guide a 166 square mile open economy island through the economic tempest and other challenges. There is no good reason the country should have to suffer a bloated Cabinet not to mention a bevy of financial consultants in 2022. Mottley must stop pandering to political inclinations and instead send clear signals to the population she and her government are prepared to make the sacrifice and walk with the people at a difficult time in our history. 

What the blogmaster fears most is – when the next general election is called the electorate may have no choice to abstain or vote anyone posing as an opposition, a default position. The level of apathy and cynicism in the country is already low. Whither our democratic system?

Prime Minister Mia Mottley Named in Top 100 Most Influential People of 2022

Congratulations to Prime Minister Mia Mottley for being recognized by TIMES Magazine as one of The 100 Influential People of 2022. Based on reports the rationale for recommending Mottley for the award was penned by  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization.

The hope is that Mottley will be able to leverage her burgeoning global brand to improve regional and domestic economies. In recent times Barbadians have not had many high points to celebrate, the recognition of one of our own is a step in the right direction and should assist in bolstering bajan pride which took a hit in recent years.


Mottley’s Decision Rejected

The decision by Prime Minister Mia Mottley to reverse the controversial appointment of 18 year old Khaleel Kothdiwala is unfortunate. It was evident from exchanges in the last session of the Upper House the amendment to the Constitution to allow Khaleel’s sitting would not have garnered support from independent senators.

Immediately after the January 19, 2022 general election Prime Minister Mottley announced Kothdiwala’s as a BLP nominee for the Senate with the justification she was fulfilling an election promise to bring the youth into “the centre of governance and national determination…if you are old enough to vote then you must be old enough to serve”. All who have followed politics in Barbados are patently aware Khaleel’s politics is heavily influenced from Roebuck Street – and it is right to practice the politics of his choice.

The prime minister became swell headed by a second 30 to zero victory in the last general election and took for granted Khaleel’s appointment would have been rubber stamped by the Senate. Lest we forget, the Senate is currently involved indirectly in a fight for its legitimacy. Although the constitutional motion brought by former Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite was tossed out by Justice Cicely Chase, legal counsel Garth Patterson signaled appeal documents will be filed this week to challenge the Upper Chamber doing business with 18 appointed Senators instead of 21.

From comments posted to BU and aired in other fora, those opposed to the appointment of Khaleel took umbrage to the lack of national consultation about the unprecedented decision to add an 18 year old BLP supporter to the Senate to represent youth matters. Bear in mind Mottley- also in controversial and contentious circumstances- transitioned Barbados to a Republic in November 2021. The dissenting cry then was – why not complete an exercise of national consensus to determine a new constitution to make the process to a republic comprehensive.

At the root of the uncertainty muddying the governance process is an election result that rejected opposition candidates AND the unwillingness of elected members of parliament to cross the floor to manufacture an opposition. This is interesting against the rumour Mottley called a snap general election to quell a political mutiny.  

There is also the contention that President Sandra Mason is partly responsible by her refusal to appoint two apposition Senators given the outcome of the general election. Had she appointed two Opposition Senators and Mottley a standin for Kothdiwala there would possibly have been no legal challenge brought and Mottley would have avoided the political embarrassment of having to withdraw Khaleel’s appointment.

It is what it is as the popular saying goes. We wait to endure the Court Appeal process and possible request for leave to appeal to the CCJ. In the meantime there is the potential lawmaking in parliament will be disrupted if Justice Chase decision is overturned.

At a time the country is battling to manage economic challenges acerbated by the pandemic we have become mired in process because of off flippant decision making. It is ironic the Upper House that is currently under challenge in the Barbados courts is responsible for Mottley’s decision to remove Kothdiwala. 

We are living in interesting times.

Prime Minister Mottley Delivers in Ghana

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley has called on Ghanaians to mark 7th September as Africa-Caricom Day.

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley was invited to participate in Ghana’s 65th Independence anniversary. To be expected she delivered a speech that has provoked discussion.

Prime Minister Mottley at Ghana’s 65th anniversary of Independence celebrations

Related Links:

Sound of Silence

Freundel Stuart was the prime minister of Barbados in the period 2010 to 2018 after assuming the caretaker role from David Thompson who became sick on the job soon after the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was voted to office in 2008. The legacy of Stuart’s stewardship is still being written although some pundits at this early stage are happy to label it worse than the Sandiford administration. The tactic engineered by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) – the other member of the duopoly – has enjoyed success with branding of the Glorious Years as The Lost Decade.

The failure of a third party movement to gain traction in Barbados means the health of our democracy is nexus to well managed DLP and BLP political parties. A strident dissenting voice is a feature of the Westminster system we try to model – the lacuna created by the recent general election and ensuing legal challenge regarding how the Senate is constituted is a case in point. A good argument can therefore be made that the business of political parties is the public’s business although classified private entities. In fact the unwillingness of quality citizens to offer themselves to join political parties who aspire to selflessly serve the public is at the heart of the type of governments we are saddled.

Some of us who comment on political matters are not surprised at the dysfunctional state of the DLP. It was not difficult to forecast. Barbadians except for the rabidly partisan are turned off by the quality of politics and governments we have been getting since the Tom Adams era which ended in the mid 80s. The blogmaster opines both DLP and BLP political parties have been rotated to govern the country based on the level of voter apathy and lack of credible alternatives and little to do with substance. The unprecedented 30-0 victories at the polls by the BLP in 2018 and 2022 should give Barbadians reason to pause. The BLP despite making several mistakes in a brief tenure of just over three years the political opposition was unable to gain the public’s trust.   The quality of our system of government whether we like it or not is tied to the quality of individuals attracted to serve in political parties. There is that symbiotic relationship only a fool would deny.

Today makes 32 days since the last general election and except for a public position in response to a contentious offer from Prime Minister Mottley to participate in a discussion about accepting two Senate seats, the DLP has been silent and irrelevant in the public space. Sensible observers appreciate it will take the DLP time to assess, reorganize and mobilize BUT there is a reality to be considered by the DLP and onlookers. The silence coming out of George Street is consistent with the ‘glorious years’ of the Stuart administration and the longer it persists, the more difficult it will be for that party to be perceived as a credible alternative. The blogmaster is aware the DLP has skin in the game based on the matter that is before the court brought by AG Brathwaite – who we know is acting de facto for the DLP. Some of us are not so stupid to believe otherwise.

This is a cry for a different type of citizen with a passion and body of work for serving the public to join the two main political parties. An organization assumes the character of its members. If we want our governments to change how business is done, it must begin with the quality of personnel attracted to political parties. Today it is the DLP in crisis, it is not inconceivable the BLP may find itself in a similar position when Mia Mottley demits office whether for a forced or unforced reason. If that happens all of us will be adversely impacted.

The type of government we get starts with YOU!

What Divides Us?

Submitted by Observing

“In her address explaining the decision to hold the election, Mottley called on the people of Barbados to “unite around a common cause, unite behind a single government, unite behind a single leader.” She added that she did not want Barbados to be a “divided nation.”

But what divides us?

  1. Calling a snap election 18 months before time, knowing for sure that a Covid wave was starting and that thousands would contract it.
  2. Laying in a king sized bed with all Unions to blunt their voices, link hands with Capital and disadvantage workers at will
  3. Not consulting with the professionals at BAMP on travel protocols, election protocols or any other recent protocols
  4. Staging a puppet show called a Social Partnership meeting to pillory, criticise and condemn ordinary hard working nurses AND THEN docking their salaries despite recent precedent.
  5. Paying late salaries, no severance, and arrears to the average man and pensioners in bonds…while Mark Maloney gets a 10 million blank check, Abeds gets all of his stock bought and all Ministers, consultants, special advisors, Parliamentary Secretaries, “Ministers in the Ministries of” and Permanent Secretaries in the largest Cabinet ever get paid on time with perks and allowances
  6. Introducing medical marijuana for Herbert’s Redland Farms and Canadians, but leaving out the rasta and the Afro-Barbadians who suffered, were fined and locked up most for it
  7. Giving no-tender contracts to “a certain Mark” and then claiming “special circumstances”
  8. Silencing opposing or critical voices by appointing them as advisors through the politics of inclusion and delusion
  9. Talking down to the average man because he can’t spell “remdesivir”
  10. Rushing to a Republic without a referendum, without a revised constitution and with “a Creator” instead of “God”
  11. Blaming “Brandy and Punany” for Covid when it was the unnamed Platinum Coast that deserved the blame
  12. Telling 6 year olds to tell their parents if they don’t vaccinate them then they don’t care about them
  13. Refusing to give a budget statement to explain to the average man where we are and where we are going given everything that is going on
  14. Disenfranchising the constitutional right of 2000-4000 people who now cannot vote, because they have Covid through no fault of theirs.

There are many more general and personal examples but time is short. It is abundantly clear that with a 30-0 / 29-1 government any tough decisions that need to be made can be made. It is also clear that the apathy, frustration, mistrust and disillusionment among enough of the electorate is very real. It is even more clear that we are where we are on January 6 with 1000+ new cases and climbing out of political expediency and individual concern, rather than the same national concern that was stated. We get the government (and opposition) that we deserve.

Will the real leaders please stand up?

Strike Action During a Pandemic!

The ongoing dispute between Unity Workers Union (UWU) and government exposes the boast we are an uneducated people. It seems the height of ignorance actors on both sides are unable to resolve a dispute involving healthcare workers during a pandemic. This has occurred in a country with a social partnership established with a mandate to prioritize a space to facilitate consultation, dialogue and collaboration. It must be stated Caswell has written in this space his lack of confidence in the social partnership. 

The blogmaster has no bone in the fight EXCEPT to acknowledge the life of a human being is priceless. If it is the grievances fueling the dispute for whatever reasons cannot be quickly resolved because of weighty imponderables – the raging pandemic has created the opportunity for reasonableness between the parties to be exercised. To maintain intractable positions with omicron starting to spike our rate of infections is an admission of idiocy. Bear in mind Barbados’ heavy dependence on tourism and the negative impact an elevated positivity rate will have on the country’s ability to earn precious foreign exchange. There is the possibility government’s finances may collapse and compromise its ability to service public sector payroll.

According to reports strike action about 100 strong is expected to take place this morning, a clear indication the chasm which exists between the two sides. If UWU backs down it may be interpreted as a defeat especially for the peppy head of UWU Caswell Franklyn who is fighting to increase his share of membership. If the government gives in, it opens the door for the industrial relations climate to become active at the worse time for government managing tanking revenues. 

Of concern to the blogmaster is the role Most Honourable Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic has been reported to have played so far. It was reported the former schoolmates Bostic and Franklyn had agreed to a third party mediator to move the dispute along. According to Caswell Prime Minister Mottley vetoed the meeting after her request for striking workers to return to work was rejected. This slammed the door shut on possibly resolving the matter or at minimum depositing it in the abeyance bucket. The call of a snap general election eighteen months from when it is constitutionally due ensures the door remains closed. This is the second time Bostic has found himself in a pickle in recent months. His surprising admission he knew nothing about an arrangement between a Mark Maloney led initiative and government to procure AstraZeneca Covid 19 vaccine from a non traditional procurement source continues to tug at sensible minds. It surprised many including the blogmaster that Bostic and the permanent secretary- who signed off on the strange arrangement- were conferred high national honour. Through it all the phlegmatic Bostic has been serving out his final days having given notice of retirement from politics in October 2021.

In the system of government we practice all ‘big works’ related matters continue to lead to the first among equals in Cabinet. Hopefully in the debate to come about reforming the Barbados Constitution, whichever party wins the upcoming election, Barbados will seize the opportunity to create relevant constitutional clauses to ensure decision making by the executive becomes more decentralized from the prime minister led approach synonymous with a dictatorship.

Message to Mama Mia

For the first time in his life the blogmaster is overwhelmed by a feeling of melancholy after following the opening salvo of the January 19, 2022 general election campaign. A general election called eighteen months before it is constitutionally due because Prime Minister Mia Mottley in her infinite wisdom wants a mandate from the electorate to validate important decisions she says have to be made given the perilous state of the local economy. Many if not all Barbadians agree the current state of the economy is perilous, not all agree the early ringing of the bell was necessary given the unprecedented mandate the BLP received in 2018. Time will soon tell if Barbadians agree with Mottley in our first past the post system.

In the electioneering of the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s the blogmaster felt excited at the prospect of hopping from meeting to meeting listening to BLP and DLP platforms add Eric Fly and a few independents to balance things out. While the messages from the various platforms were filled with the usual comedic relief, there was enough grist to inform healthy debate between loyal party supporters and independents. 

Last night the blogmaster wasted precious time to view the opening platforms of the two campaigns and a saying growing in popularity on BU – Nothing to See Here (NTSH) was fresh in the mind. The apologists will remind everyone that it is early days yet, however, the blogmaster subscribes to the view that usually one does not get a second chance to make a good first impression. Predictably overused narratives populated the speeches by the candidates last night. The tired messages contradicted the urgency of the call for early elections by the prime minister BUT the blogmaster maybe jumping the gun on the early pronouncement.

What the blogmaster and some others are hoping to hear is a creative strategy/vision supported with ground tactics to steer Barbados from the economic rocks we are headed. Barbadians have been living high on the hog up until about 20 years ago given the nature of the global economy- easy forex inflows from tourism and high powered money to the West Coast with the international business sector supporting the economic model that has served us well up until now. North south capital flow is drying up given the complexity of moving money across borders post 911 and deepening, polarizing geopolitics. The exotic destination of the Caribbean is now competing with UAE, Mediterranean, Central America other non traditional markets. The rise of WTO rules has meant protective tariff had to be removed with large countries in the market maintaining an advantage.

The message to Mia is simple. Let us forget the extreme politics this time around and position the national needs first. Yes you are admired as a political leader who strides the globe like a colossus. Yes you are head and shoulder above the next on the local scene. Yes you have done a lot to remind locals and other afar of the forgotten Barbados brand. Yes you are an improvement on Stuart who apparently didn’t have use for an internet connection. What the people need however is to believe that there is a leadership with the ability to find a pathway that leads from the present path to nowhere. We need to efficiently execute our plans because we have no more margin for error.

My How They “care”

Submitted by Observing

First they gave a non-impactful salary increase.

Then they raised taxes and rates in every place possible.

Then they kept gas prices high despite world conditions.

Of course they watch silently as retailers raise their prices left right and center.

Then they restructured government bonds that found bondholders getting less and taking longer to do so, maybe even dying in the process.

Then they decreased corporation taxes, propped up Pinnacle Feeds, Abeds and God knows who else.

Of course we can’t forget the big huge contracts without tender to the small few persons.

Now they have passed a bill which means that any Government obligations can now be paid with bonds that will take 3 1/2 years with no interest at all…hopefully. Clearly just a glorified IOU.

AND on top of that they will also institute a National Credit Bureau that will record all the debts and obligations which were in arrears specifically BECAUSE the government wouldn’t pay me what they owed me in good time in the first place.

But of course, the millions HAD to be spent to move to a Republic without public education and buy in.

And of course the billions HAD to be borrowed so foreign reserves can look good.

And of course the consultants, new foreign embassies with full staff and silent ministers HAD to be kept in place.

And a budget to help the “poor man” understand what is really going on HAD to be postponed indefinitely.

Really can’t wait to see what comes next.

My oh my how they care.

Nothing to See Here (NTSH)

Submitted by Observing

First the strategy was smoke and mirrors, then it was detract and deflect now it is “nothing to see here” (NTSH)

The Prime Minister announces a willingness to pay $48 for vaccines which cost $12. NTSH

A permanent secretary signs off on a $10 million dollar agreement without their own Minister’s knowledge. NTSH

The biggest Cabinet of ministers and Ministers of State most of which we hardly hear or see, along with consultants, committees and advisers left, right, center and underneath. NTSH

20 months of Covid, millions spent, a depressed economy, extra salaries and largesse for a few but no budget or expense reporting to inform us. NTSH

Marches up and down about sewage tax and NSRL, but, cost of living is now the highest in decades with purchasing power at its lowest. NTSH

An entire law created to get TWO Deputy Commissioners of Police, yet finding ONE who was NOT a Deputy was akin to pulling teeth. NTSH

Houses imported from China, contractors left in the dark, only a “promised few” will be able to install and erect them. NTSH

A Republic is being forced down throats at break neck speed but yet we promote the gospel of consulting and engaging stakeholders. NTSH

Four sitting MPs retire, two sitting MPs castigate their boss in parliament and gag orders seem to be the order of the day. NTSH

A Minister and a Chief says online learning is going well. A million Frenchmen know otherwise. NTSH

On Moe minister takes 8 months off with full pay and no repercussions. NTSH

In December we said tourists must come, in January we said one death is too much, in October it’s we have to live with it. NTSH

Visitor protocols changed overnight without consultation. BAMP in the dark. 300+ cases and deaths continue daily. NTSH

The best candidate to market a Barbadian product is actually a German-Canadian. NTSH

Once upon a time MAM proclaimed MM as horrible, corrupt and deserving of jail. My how things change. NTSH

A candidate is publicly chosen and endorsed, then the branch is told you now have to decide if it is O-Kay. NTSH

We should all get a dollar when a Minister lies to our faces and says “I am not aware of that, I will have to look into it, I don’t know what you are talking about.” NTSH

Oh and before I forget….the decades old Kingsland Estates matter is adjudicated with half billion dollars going to the plaintiff while implicating local “power players” in fraud, deceit and corruption over many many years. But hey! Clearly, there’s nothing to see here.

Anyhow, don’t think about it too long folks. Pretend you didn’t read this because after all…no matter how bad it gets, how many lies are told, how many mistakes are made, and how much we are made to look like fools…THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE HERE!

Mia Mottley Government Must Work Harder to Build Trust with Barbadians

Prime Minister Mia Mottley was a bubbling fountain of information yesterday. She was courteous enough to advise Barbadians she will be jetting off to New York to attend a climate change meeting at the United Nations, New York and will take the opportunity to have a bilateral exchange with the President of Ghana. One positive all will admit is that Mottley has raised her profile in the international arena, definitely above her regional counterparts. This will boost her job prospects post prime ministership and unlike her predecessor will not have to secret herself from the public, content with drinking Merlots and reading books.

Besides observing the frustration leaking through of the Prime Minister during the press briefing yesterday the blogmaster takes the opportunity to introduce a few others.

A key characteristic of a good leader is always defined as the ability to be empathetic – “one who has a genuine interest in his/her team members’ lives, the challenges they face, and their overall feelings. This kind of leader makes an effort to understand their situations and what they are going through, in order to offer support and help”. Several times during the press briefing Mottley became immersed in highlighting government successes at a time Barbadians are understandably more concerned about the pandemic wrecking havoc on households; both socioeconomic and mental. The blogmaster understands she is a politician and leader of a political party with a general election due soon but with delta variant on the rampage …

Mottley took the opportunity to shoutout White Oakes for expertly (blogmaster’s word) assisting with the domestic and international restructuring. Really prime minister? Do you understand how the domestic restructure of debt has decimated the networth of the middleclass and senior citizens whose peace of mind was punctured by your decision? It is a win for the government but at the micro level it NOT.

Prime Minister Mottley also took the opportunity to remind Barbadians international reserves stand at 2.6 billion. With all the respect this blogmaster can muster, who gives a rats ass? Is there pride in your (Mottley) suggestion Barbadians should pleasure in the country’s improved capacity to borrow post 2018? Of course it is a tactical win for the government but in a pandemic requiring situational awareness, really?

Last but not least, Mottley publicly commended some key members of her economic team, Dr. Kevin Greenidge, Avinash Persaud et al. Really Prime Minister? At the risk of being repetitive, who gives a rats ass. The majority of Barbadians are stressed and can do without hearing the platitude. There will be a time on the campaign trail coming soon to pat members of the economic team on the back, for now do it at your inhouse meetings.

The blogmaster does not know everything, who does. What is known however is that good political leaders never miss the opportunity during a crisis to demonstrate empathy. The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Arden is a case study of a good example. Interesting Mottley often references New Zealand and Arden in her briefings. The blogmaster has no issue with the government’s policy of over-communicating with Barbadians. However there is more work for the public relations team to do with scripting and content targeted to build trust with the public. Let us hope David Ellis adds value to the team.

A Heather Cole Column – Governance by Confusion, Who Gains?

About 20 years ago as we crossed the street to get on to East Street there was a group of people ahead of us and one of the women was lugging a suitcase. We were going to the East Street Vendors Market in London. My son who was five then was with me and when we reached the market, we started to browse. Suddenly raised voices were heard above the normal chatter. Two women on the other side of the street were arguing loudly and it was escalating. Next, they seemed to be on the verge of exchanging blows and all eyes were focused on them; no one was focused on the items on display. From my distance across the street, I was trying to figure out what was happening and if to leave when my son said, “mummy look! that woman is putting the people’s things in her suitcase.” He could not see what was happening across the street only what was happening on our side at his eye level.

It was then that I realized that the distraction had been planned. The group had created a distraction and shifted everyone’s focus and in the ensuing confusion, made the vendors goods easy prey to theft.

Is this what has been happening in Barbados? Think about it, the prorogation of Parliament for no reason that has been made public to this day and the Throne Speech from hell with its mandate for a Republic, the buying out of the leadership of the Barbados Workers Union, the largest trade union in Barbados and the by-election in St. George North. Even the pandemic played into the government’s hand as they used it to change the terms of the Severance Pay Act.

The above distractions have caused confusion and shifted the attention of the people of Barbados away from the performance of the economy, unemployment, the fact that this Administration is not providing any solutions, a refusal to diversify the economy, increasing debt and the Chinese invasion of Barbados.

The Prime Minister does not deliver clear messages. There is more information in the foreign press than from the Government of Barbados about its relationship with China. It looks good and sounds great to hear that the Prime Minister had a telephone call with President Xi but ask any Barbadian what was discussed. They will not have a clue. One wonders if ever there was a time since independence that an Administration in Barbados has acted in such a deliberately shady manner but again it is meant to cause confusion.

What is significant to note is that the Private Sector too is confused. However, what occurred over the last weekend in which the government’s move of political expediency not to make vaccines mandatory should be a wake- up call for those businessmen in that sector. They have a clear case of nearsightedness; they can only see what is right in front of their noses.

In particular, the voice of the private sector has not been heard in the debate about the Republic so no one knows what they envision but it cannot be business as usual.

In the scope of things, unvaccinated workers do not pose as great a threat as China. Perhaps if the Private Sector can envision a scenario in which Barbados is unable to repay China, that China takes over the ports and then raise duties on all imports except from China, it would remove the biblical beam from their eyes.

If there is another move of political expediency that involves China, its products or government contracts, the private Sector, will be on the losing end as China does not hand out debt to settle for scraps.

With only 166 square miles and limited manufacturing, one does not envision the survival of local manufacturing as Chinese investments begin to roll out. Those lucrative government contracts will become a thing of the past. Ultimately with billions of Chinese yens at their disposal the present Administration will not need the private sector to fund their election campaigns.

The ordinary people in Barbados do not have anything to lose but that is not so with the private sector.

The private sector has a choice to make. It is either:

  1. Stand idly by as the fire breathing dragon approaches and watch Rome burn. Or,
  2. Act like they are concerned citizens of Barbados and press for transparency and involvement for all the people of Barbados in the process to becoming a Republic which ultimately benefits them.

One kept hearing for weeks on end that the government had been doing an assessment of the housing stock that had been damaged or destroyed in the freak storm, to the point where one really had to wonder what was going on, only to find out in the newspaper a few days ago that the government is purchasing emergency housing from China. Surely this is a sign of things to come. Especially with unemployment so high in Barbados, this should never happen.

There is a connection between the method that the current Administration has chosen to become a Republic and China. As this unfolds, it appears that neither the public nor the private sector will benefit when Barbados becomes a Republic if all of this has been devised to hide China’s impending control over Barbados by placing it in its debt trap. The Chinese debt trap is a pattern that is being rolled out across the globe. They loan countries billions of dollars that they know they will never be able to repay. When the debt is called the Chinese exhibit their love for ports and utility companies.

In confusion, planned or unplanned, the brain does not think clearly, and someone always benefits. Should Barbadians continue to blindly accept what is going on with the pending Republic?

Red Bag Politics

Less than one month after the Phillip J. Pierre’s St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) won the government in St. Lucia from Allen Chastanet’s United Workers Party (UWP) the Deputy Governor General read the following in the Throne Speech:-

My Government in recognition of the widespread, unprecedented reports of alleged corruption during the term of the last administration will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of corruption and Government. This appointment is expected to be completed soon. My Government will strengthen the integrity commission to return our country to a system that respects our democratic norms and the rights of the people. My Government will reactivate the bipartisan parliamentary committee to review Justice Suzie d’Auvergne Constitution report and the parliamentary recommendations, with a view to adopting final recommendations for implementation.

Extract from Throne Speech (St. Lucia)

The appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate charges of corruption by the former Chastanet government delivered on a key campaign promise by the SLP. In less than one month the SLP has started the ball rolling in a tangibly and visible manner. Time will tell if the special prosecutor will be able to discover evidence of the corruption hinted on the campaign platform.

The decision taken by the SLP government in St. Lucia contrast starkly to what occurred in Barbados post 2018 general elections. The Mia Mottley led government after three years in office has made no tangible or visible attempt to deliver on a similar promise made on 2018 general election campaign to prosecute corruption. Thousands of Barbadians were ‘mamaguyed’ into a belief that there was a mountain of evidence safely stored in the RED BAG by then Opposition Leader Mia Mottley. After three years it is safe to say Barbadians were given a ‘big rock’, the RED BAG was a prop in a well designed melodrama called – Geh Muh de Vote and Watch Muh.

Some will suggest former minister Donville Inniss suffered the ignominy of being the first minister in a Barbados Cabinet to be incarcerated, therefore the incumbent government must receive some credit? The irony is that Inniss was incarcerated in the USA because of a transaction that originated in Barbados. It was reported in the case notes local authorities cooperated with US law agencies, however, to date no charge has been made against Inniss by local authorities. The electorate geh dem de vote and watching dem like a hawk with 2023 quickly approaching.

All manner of reasons have been shared with the public by Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Attorney General Dale Marshall why they have been unable to deliver on expansive promises about corruption made in 2018. One does not have to do scientific polling to deduce that the 30-0 mandate the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) received was because a large segment of the electorate bought into the promise that corrupt behaviour would have been exposed and actors held accountable by this government. Three years later it is fair to surmise we are having more of the same.

The government will proffer that it has had to grapple with an economy in unprecedented decline, followed by the pandemic made worse by ash fall from La Soufriere- the result of which the economy loss 2 million dollars in economic activity. A reasonable question must be asked and answered – why has St. Lucia been able to initiate a formal process to investigate corruption suspected of the Chastanet government in less than one month?

Mia’s Blunders

In recent weeks two events created embarrassment for the Mia Mottley led government. First it was the still born Little Island Big Barbados BTMI matter followed by the snub after she demanded the smutty Trojan Riddim video be removed from the YouTube streaming service.

Three years after achieving an unprecedented victory in the 2018 general election and riding the crest of high popularity, several blunders and unwieldy execution of projects have been the bane of the BLP administration in recent months. Notwithstanding severe economic challenges, a raging COVID 19 pandemic and a brief encounter with ash fall, the general public has become increasingly impatient with a government that has over promised and yet to deliver on several promises: Freedom of Information legislation, enhanced governance to effectively treat with perennial concerns of the Auditor General and related matters, timely delivery of justice from the courts, NIS  fix, reform education, arrest crime, rooting out corruption in public life by holding transgressors accountable to name a few.

One suspects despite the blunders the government still has its head at the front of the 2023 political race given the unpreparedness of the main opposition party. That said a week is a long time in politics. However, the black eye the Mia Mottley government has received as a result of the clawback on the ‘Little Island Big Barbados’ issue, capped by the snub delivered by the Trojan Riddim artistes must be worrying. Why pull the plug on the Brand driver initiative after it was paid for? How will a committee of locals determine a brand driver for the visitor? Why demand local artistes remove the video from Youtube if Mottley more than most should have been acutely aware of the uncompromising loyalty enjoyed by said artistes with the underground audience?

Brand drivers are a set of adjectives that describe your organization and are used as a way to influence your branding in the marketplace. … The marketplace, your customers, and others outside of your organization are the ones who actually determine what your branding is.

Brand Drivers

More worrying for the blogmaster is the confirmation of a crisis of public morality in the country. Public morality is considered to be the moral and ethical standards a people try to maintain in the society; embodied in our laws, how the police force enforces the law and the peer to peer influence by citizens. The cohesion required for a well ordered society is the ability for all segments, Alpha, Millennials, Baby Boomers et al to ensure mutual concerns overlap on the ‘ven diagram’. What we have in Barbados are disparate groups unable to create a path to defining acceptable social values 

Note to Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the country needs leadership.

The attributes of true leadership are honesty and integrity, authenticity, responsibility, the will to inspire and act, passionate communication skills, the drive to innovate and create, to name a few.

However, I believe the real stuff leaders are made of is when they live their values out loud. That’s where leadership has its roots. That’s when a leader becomes inspiring. That’s when leadership is real.

The Stuff Leaders are Made of

Speed Dials and Privileges

Submitted by BU Regular

In Barbados speed dialing is usually reserved for your closest friends, your bestest buddy. That person who can get you out of jail or the mud if you need to. It is with passing interest therefore that a reputed “businessman” who was previously charged for trafficking of drugs from an area associated with certain activity was able within seconds to call a leading Minister and Member of Parliament (not his member) when confronted by the Police for what they believed was wrongdoing on Good Friday.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still concerned about the original sin of possibly breaching Covid Protocols on a clearly stated lockdown weekend. I’m also still concerned that this same flagrant breach of protocols occurred last year in the same area by the same persons. I’m similarly concerned that the Police were interrupted in their duty with a speed dial to an aunt. And we should all be concerned about the rumblings and rumours of shadows and benefactors, whether they be from white, black or red seas.

But, the absolute concern is that this “businessman” was so bold enough, so confident and so certain enough of the eventual outcome of his speed dial that he could call an aunt on speakerphone to have the Police retreat and rescind their interpretation of the activities playing out before them. All this in the earshot and view of many many persons.

What is even more farcical is the “official” response from a secretary of the press within 24 hours to spin what happened and raise even more doubts in any right-thinking Barbadian’s mind.

How many other allegations, incidents, rumours and social media posts about aunts and uncles have gone viral without responses or spin? Why is this one so important Roy? Is there fire behind the smoke??

So yes folks, privilege and access here is clear. The reason for it however is not clear (well, at least not to the average bloke). One must now wonder how many “businesspeople” in the BCCI, BPSA, BEC, SBA, shops, villages and even Social Partnership have such a powerful number on speed dial AND are bold and confident enough to use it when confronted by the Police executing their duties.

How many other calls have been made during Covid, or before Covid, or before May 2018 or during the lost decade or even during 1994-2008 that we may never hear about?

I wonder if Hamenauth Sarendranauth had the privilege of a speed dial which would take days and not weekes, if he could have avoided court, prison and now death before being sentenced.

I wonder how many other politicians, ON BOTH SIDES, are comfortable taking speed dials on loudspeaker that lead them to acting CONTRARY to the procedure of the day to the detriment and embarrassment of law-abiding public servants simply trying to do their jobs.

The old girl always said that whenever you see one flying ant by the light bulb there are usually a lot more and to expect some rain over time. In other words, shut de windows.

One thing is for sure. In this 166 square miles privileged speed dials to uncles and aunties who care and who “got this” may not be as rare as we think.

Nay I say. Instead, it should be clear to any observer that despite the talk, the cliches, the speeches and the promises this incident truly shows that This Is Who We Are.

The Misdeeds of the USA

Two matters of interest to the blogmaster heading into the Easter weekend.

This comment is meant for Pacha sent via the blogmaster’s mailbox:

Re Chauvin’s trial

I’m still shaking my head as to why the Minnesota murderer, Derek Chauvin, was not charged with first-degree murder in addition to/or in the alternative to various charges against him.

Hope, however, springs eternal.  Perhaps, widespread protests, rioting, and any glimmer of political consciousness on the part of the jury (including its black members) might somehow limit the standard, historical, American racial impulse to acquit such a murderer.  

Prosecution’s tasks here must also be to split the defense.  

Going forward, also, where a bandit like former Police Officer  Chauvin is concerned, with 20+ prior complaints against him, his commanding/superior officer with knowledge of such complaints should be fired, stripped of any qualified immunity, and deprived of any pension rights and other benefits.

Imagine what would have happened if four or five black police officers had done this to a white suspect?

Other than that, Chauvin is a prime candidate deserving of Saudi type Justice.

Caleb Pilgrim

The other item of interest addresses how large countries like the USA views small (insignificant players) on the world stage. The reverse is also true, some small players believe that ‘brown-nosing’ large countries will secure priceless crumbs from the table.

A White House Diss Of Barbados’ Prime Minister?

By newsamericas–  March 28, 2021

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley addressing the 16th annual Raul Prebish lecture on climate change in 2019

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C. Mon. Mar. 29, 2021: Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has been at the forefront of the climate fight for the region since taking office in 2018. But she has not been invited by US President Joe Biden to a White House climate summit next month.

The virtual event, entitled the ‘Leaders’ Summit on Climate,’ is to be held on April 22 and 23 and live-streamed, the White House said Friday. But Mottley is nowhere among the 40 leaders invited to the summit.

Instead, the only Caribbean prime ministers invited are prime ministers Andrew Holness of Jamaica, and Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda. Not even the current CARICOM Chair, Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has been invited. 

Other world leaders sent an invitation to attend the virtual summit include: Xi Jinping, President of China; Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Angella Merkel, German chancellor; Jacinda Arden, Prime Minister of New Zealand; and Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The White House said in a statement that the event is to feature the reconvening of the US-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 per cent of global emissions and global GDP.

Biden, in his invitation, urged leaders to use the summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.

“The Leaders’ Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action,” the White House statement said. “It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.”

Interestingly, Mottley has been the lead on climate change for the region, including at the UN. Speaking at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City in 2019, Mottley delivered a stern warning to world leaders on the destabilizing domino-effect she believes these rising temperatures will have around the globe if greater measures are not taken to hasten the effects of climate change.

“Make no mistake, there will be mass migration by climate refugees that will destabilize the countries of the world that are not on the frontline of this climate crisis,” Mottley predicted then.

Today, the US is battling with a border crisis that include many fleeing Honduras after back-to-back hurricanes last year.

Mottley has also become a champion of what are known in sovereign debt contracts as natural-disaster clauses, measures that give the government a break from principal and interest payments in the event calamity strikes.  She has defended the rights of small islanders bearing the brunt of the climate emergency, saying she was committed to empowering them, giving them opportunity, a voice and a presence, even when others cannot or refuse to see them.

In December last year, Mottley told the virtual Climate Ambition Summit 2020, that other countries’ climate ambition will determine the fate of Barbados and other island nations that are vulnerable to global warming.

While committing Barbados to a target of net zero emissions by 2030, Mottley urged large, high emitting countries to do their fair share when it comes to reducing emissions, and said she hoped they were not capable of what could be considered “climate genocide.”

And the PM has said Barbados has developed a model for how countries can protect their finances from climate change, especially neighboring Caribbean islands, which have been prone to default.

The invites to Brown and Holness is obvious. Brown for his part is Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) for the period, 2021-2022, and had sent Biden a note soon after his swearing in, expressing delight that the US government will, once again, commit to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. While Jamaica’s Prime Minister has been asked by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to lead a global political initiative to mobilize climate change financing for developing nations.

But come April 23rd, Mottley won’t be at the White House event even as Biden claims he wants to chart a new course forward.

The Mottley Shuffle

ˌCabinet reˈshuffle noun  –  a change in the members of the British Cabinetdecided by the prime minister, in which some members are given different jobs, some members lose their jobs, and new members are brought in.


The Mottley cabinet reshuffle has generated tanta debate in the country. This is not surprising given her decision to appoint a 26 strong Cabinet supported by a bevy of parliamentary secretaries and consultants said to be the largest anywhere in the world per thousand of population.

Civic minded citizens appreciate the importance of a vibrant opposition within the parliamentary setup AND The Third Estate. Unfortunately the culture of local parliamentary politics has not morphed to a level of maturity to witness routine voting that challenges the front bench. Members of parliament – like puppets on a string – happily discharge parliamentary duties by parroting the positions of the front benchers. How refreshing it would be in the current configuration of the Lower House to have backbenchers voting and contributing based on conscience. Wishful thinking from the blogmaster because Prime Minister Mottley removed that possibility by selecting 26 ministers that she recently reduced to 24.

What informs the decision by a prime minister to reshuffle a cabinet is left to speculation. All the opinions expressed as to Mottley’s motive for the changes to her cabinet remain just that, opinions. That is unless she sees good reason to disclose her reasons to the public and how would we know she is not being politically diplomatic given the nature of the blood sport?

At a glance the reshuffle leaves the blogmaster to speculate about a few things supported by a little research.

Prime Minister Mottley for the moment regards Ministers Jerome Walcott, Dale Marshall, Santia Bradshaw and Jeffery Bostic, Cynthia Forde and possibly Ronald Toppin as the nucleus of her Cabinet. It is important as leader for stability be maintained in the Cabinet room and by extension the government.

The reshuffle was possibly to accommodate Lisa Cummins and Ian Gooding-Edghill who demonstrated competence and high work effort. The inclusion of the two is meant to infuse Cabinet with greater energy to match that of prime minister Mottley at a challenging period of the countries existence. There is the speculation Cummins is also being given the opportunity to raise her national profile with an eye to 2023.

The government has not yet implemented Integrity in Public Life (Bill) although the law was passed recently. It has to be operationalized. The devil is always in the detail (execution). By shuffling ministers around it serves to upset relationships, destabilized fledgling power structures that may have taken root after two years. Until the integrity in public life apparatus is implemented the prime minister has the option given the large MP pool to use the reshuffle option in the toolbox to suppress corrupt behaviour.

In June when the large cabinet was selected the prime minister would have based her decision for the most part on potential. After two years she is in a position to match potential with performance. It is an opportunity for Prime Minster Mottley to FIRE a couple ministers under the cloak of a reshuffle. If Trevor Prescod wants to make a fuss about a prime minister exercising the prerogative to relieve him of his ministry the blogmaster sees the upside, a more active bank bench which is integral to adversarial politics in the system we try to practicee. Some of us maybe encouraged to tune in to debates in the Lower House.

Those ministers who escaped the reshuffle should not feel they operate in a safe zone. Mottley is aware her large cabinet will be a platform issue in the upcoming general election. She will have to do another assessment before she rings the bell to determine if she can defend the position that she needed a large Cabinet to get a difficult job done. If the answer is no, she will jettison a few more.

The 64k question for the BU intelligentsia- which bucket does Prescod, Payne, Hinkson or Moe fit? Bear in mind it is speculative because with the exception of a couple BU commenters, we do not live in the head of Mia Mottley.

The Spectre of Mottley

It is mid term and the political temperature just went up after Prime Minister Mia Mottley executed  a shake up to her management team – see Prime Minister Mia Mottley Changes Cabinet.

Unlike her predecessor Freundel Stuart who preferred to hideaway on the hilltop of Mount Olympus and descend to talk to the people only if poked and cajoled- Mottley in stark contrast has commanded regional and international attention in her short tenure as prime minister – see Barbadians Take Pause to Watch Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s CNN Interview.

On Wednesday of this week (22/07/2020) the blogmaster listened to an interesting discussion on VOB’s Down to Brasstacks between David Ellis and Dr. Ronnie Yearwood. Both gentlemen agreed that Mottley has been successful in resurrecting the international profile of Barbados BUT the job of monetizing (Yearwood’s word) this intangible will be the challenge.

Relevant Link: Brasstacks Podcast (click 22 July 2020)

The blogmaster has broached this subject many times, the importance of a leader effectively communicating, even if it means OVER communicating. The effect it has on the psyche and confidence level of the people being led is one benefit. Especially during crisis situations that have led to economic and social fatigue of a people. There is a reason political communication is studied in political science.

…in Political Communication in America characterize it as the ways and intentions of message senders to influence the political environment. This includes public discussion (e.g. political speeches, news media coverage, and ordinary citizens’ talk) that considers who has authority to sanction, the allocation of public resources, who has authority to make decision…

The blogmaster concedes there is a dark side to the discipline of political communication. The responsibility rests with civil society to apply its collective intelligence to filter the noise and propaganda from the grist of the points at issue.

This preamble serves notice to readers that Barbados joins small open economies at an unprecedented time in the history of the world. Bold decisions will have to be made to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Old ways of doing business will have to be replaced. Different approaches to educating our people, constructing buildings and homes. The use of technology; digitization. Enhance governance in every sphere of endeavour must spike.

The masses however are reminded the political class in Barbados is a secondary class, there are a few who operate in the economic class; the primary class sitting as gatekeepers and ultimately the greatest influence on decision making and execution of policy in Barbados. While this scenario is no different to what obtains in other countries, some argue the degree of influence exerted by the primary class in Barbados is above the global median.

It is unfortunate the influence of Mia Mottley on the Barbados space looms large and has had the effect of sucking the opposition- political and others – from our space.

This is not Mottley’s fault.

The fault is ours.

How will we respond?

Are we able to strip away the political ragga ragga and use God’s gift to citizens – social media – to  intelligently  respond?

Prime Minister Mia Mottley Changes Cabinet

The Government has determined that it is necessary that we take fresh guard. The Parliament of Barbados will be prorogued on the 8th of August, 2020, with us resuming in a new session on the 15th of September with a new Throne Speech and with a new direction as to where we must go in order to meet these extraordinarily different circumstances from the original Throne Speech of two years ago – Prime Minister Mottley

Two years into assuming the government of Barbados Prime Minister Mottley tweaked her Cabinet by making changes to her team. The standout changes – Lisa Cummins  and Ian Gooding-Edghill take over at Tourism and Transport respectively. Removed from the Cabinet are George Payne, Trevor Prescod, Lucille Moe, Neil Rowe and Edmund Hinkson.

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Here is the new Cabinet:

    • Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley – Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment
    • Dale Marshall – Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, with responsibility for the Police
    • Santia Bradshaw – Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training
    • Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
    • Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic – Minister of Health and Wellness
    • Dr. William Duguid – Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance
    • Ronald Toppin –  Minister of Industry and International Business
    • Kerrie Symmonds – Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship
    • Cynthia Forde – Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs
    • Senator Lisa Cummins – Minister of Tourism and International Transport
    • Ian Gooding-Edghill – Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources
    • Adrian Forde – Minister of the Environment and National Beautification
    • Wilfred Abrahams – Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs
    • Ryan Straughn – Minister in the Ministry of Finance
    • Marsha Caddle – Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment
    • Sandra Husbands – Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade
    • Colin Jordan – Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations
    • Charles Griffith – Minister in the Ministry of Water Resources
    • Dwight Sutherland – Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment
    • Kirk Humphrey – Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy
    • Indar Weir – Minister of Agriculture and Food Security
    • Peter Phillips – Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
    • John King – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture and Rural Development Commission and eventually the National Development Commission
    • Senator Dr. Romel Springer – Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training
    • Senator Kay McConney – Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology


Related Link:

GIS Release – Prime Minister Makes Changes To Cabinet


Submitted by Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

It is unfortunate that, in response to intense solicitation and lobbying from Guyana’s opposition People Progressive Party (PPP) and their lobbyists, the Chairman of the Caribbean Community, Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Mia Mottley, as well as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the ABCE Ambassadors in Guyana, are contemptuously interfering in Guyana’s election controversy when this matter is subjucie at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The PPP is the most violently racist, brutally oppressive anti-black political organization is the Western Hemisphere. These foreign actors are interfering in the elections on behalf of the PPP. The results of the national recount of ballots cast in the March 2, 2020 elections show that the PPP has 15,000 more votes than the ruling APNU+AFC coalition. However the PPP’s subset of votes contain between 32,000 and 56,000 fraudulent ballots which were obtain through voter impersonation.

The Guyana Police Force, after an investigation by the Chief Immigration Officer, confirmed the presence of votes which were cast in the names of persons who are on the voters list, no longer reside in Guyana and were not present in Guyana on Election Day. The General Registrar of deaths has also furnished death certificates verifying that votes were cast in the names of dead people.

The Chief Election Officer (CEO) has confirmed in his report to the Election Commission that “In respect of the allegations of voter impersonation, responses from the Chief Immigration Officer and review of the General Registrar’s Office Deceased Reports confirmed that these were of substance.” Hence the thousands of fraudulent ballots that were cast through voter impersonation are not mere allegations for an elections petition. They are proven occurrences. These ballots cannot be counted.

The CEO’s report also states that “The summation of anomalies and instances of voter impersonation identified, clearly does not appear to satisfy the criteria of impartiality, fairness, and compliance with provisions of the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act (ROPA) Cap 1:03. Consequently, on the basis of the votes counted and the information furnished from the recount, it cannot be ascertained that the results meet the standard of fair and credible elections.”

This matter was ventilated on June 20, 2020, in the Guyana Court of Appeal, in the Eslyn David v. Chief Elections Officer case. The court ruled on June 22, 2020, that only “valid votes” cast in relation to the March 2, 2020 elections can be counted in accordance with Article 177 (4) of the Guyana constitution and Section 96 of the Representation the People Act. Consequently the CEO has prepared a report of valid votes only, which shows the ruling coalition won the elections. Foreign actors are now attempting to bully GECOM to change the lawful report to give the PPP the victory.

Guyana’s Chief Elections officer does not take instructions from the Chairman of CARICOM; the OAS of Western Ambassadors. The CEO takes instructions from the laws of Guyana; the Elections Commission and the Courts. Guyana is a sovereign State with a functioning, independent judiciary. Guyanese must reject any attempt by Prime Minister Mottley; the OAS and ABCE Ambassadors, to arrogate to themselves the powers of CECOM and Guyanese courts.

These foreign actors are attempting to force GECOM to disregard the ruling of the Guyana Court of Appeal and count fraudulently cast “valid ballots,” instead of “valid votes.” Under the laws of Guyana a valid ballot is a ballot paper which is correctly marked for the party for which the voter intended to vote. If that ballot paper is not correctly marked it is to be rejected as a spoilt ballot. On the other hand, a valid vote is a vote that is lawfully cast in person by an eligible voter whose name appears on the voters list, after that voter has been properly identified by a legitimate form of photo identification as required by law.

Guyanese are not prepared to accept a conflation of with fraudulent ballots with valid votes. We are not prepared to accept unlawful votes, that were cast in the names of dead people and people who live abroad as valid votes. Every Guyanese must resist this attempt by the PPP and international actors, to bully the nation to accept a racist, ethnocratic PPP regime based on fraudulent votes.

Moreover, the previous PPP regime, through death squads and extra judicial killings, murdered over 1400 African Guyanese, with impunity. This genocide was never investigated. There has been no justice. These black lives matter. What is CARICOM and the international community doing to bring about justice for these families?

The very CARICOM, which is speaking in support of the PPP now, was silent then when these African Guyanese young men were killed by the racist PPP regime. The PPP is the most violently racist and brutally oppressive, anti-black political organization is the Western Hemisphere. CGID calls on Guyanese to reject and resist any attempt by CARICOM and international actors to impost a racist PPP regime on our nation – via fraudulent ballots.

The bedrock of any democracy is one man, one vote, and that only legitimately cast, valid votes are counted. Guyana must be no different. CGID therefore calls on CARICOM and the international community to respect the democratic process and the courts of Guyana.

Senator Franklyn Wins Case Against Top Lawyers


Senator Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

The following was posted as a comment to the blog Senator Caswell Franklyn Speaks – Mock Police Part 2 .

– David blogmaster

Ezra Alleyne, even though partially conceding that he was wrong, attempted to obfuscate the issue with nonsense about the Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs and by attempting to place blame on civil servants. He is wrong on both counts.


It is not a civil servant’s fault if the Prime Minister, who has been a member of Parliament continuously since 1994, has not as yet grasp parliamentary procedure. The mistake that she made up to prove me wrong is too basic. It would appear that she is only concerned about power not about observing the niceties involved, in other words, a dictator.

Now to the Biggs’ case of which Ezra exudes such pride. To this day, he does not realise that he was being used by the British government to ensure that Biggs was not repatriated to Britain, since he would have been an embarrassment to people in high office in Britain.

I was an immigration officer in the early 1980s and can say without fear of sensible contradiction that there was absolutely no reason for the UK to pretend that it was seeking extradition. Biggs was kidnapped and brought to Barbados by his captors. He was never legally allowed to enter this country. That being the case, any immigration officer could have refused him entry and put him on any craft to any country that was willing to accept him. Britain did not want to accept and staged a charade, with Ezra included, to ensure that Biggs did not go back to England. It amazes me that to this day Ezra is still proud of the fact that he was used or he still has not come to grips with that fact.

Barbadians Take Pause to Watch Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s CNN Interview

During the last decade the BU blogmaster has not had the opportunity to highlight our prime ministers performing on the world stage/media. The election of Prime Minister Mia Mottley has corrected the problem.

Today (2020-04-29) many Barbadians took pause at 2PM EST to watch Mottley with her usual oratory and unrestrained flair participate an interview with the world renown journalist  Christian Amanpour.

Mia Mottley Has Become a Best Friend of Ralph Gonsalves

Submitted by Nathan Green, April 05, 2020

Wake Up Barbados

Mia Mottley Has Become a Best Friend of Ralph Gonsalves v2.docx (read-only)

Prime Ministers Mia Mottley and Ralph Gonsalves

Tom Adams, the deceased Prime Minister of Barbados, must be rolling in his grave when he sees the cooperation taking place between the current Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, QC, who like Gonsalves is an attorney. Like Gonsalves, she is the leader of a Labour Party, her close affiliation with Dr. Ralph Everard Gonsalves currently the disputed prime minister [disputed by a large section of the electorate] of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Jon Michael Geoffrey Manningham Adams, lovingly known as ‘Tom Adams’ (September 24, 1931 – March 11, 1985) was a Barbadian politician who served as Prime Minister of Barbados from 1976 until 1985.

Adams banned Ralph Gonsalves from Barbados, made him officially ‘Persona-non-Grata’ wouldn’t have him on the island. Gonsalves was said to escape the island under cover of darkness, covered in a stinking tarpaulin and dressed as a woman, getting a ride with a well known Bequia boat captain, Captain King, to Saint Vincent. 

Tom Adams

The Late Tom Adams

I suppose to be fair to Tom Adams, Gonsalves was banned at one time or another from two other island states as well.

Adams maintained close relations with the U.S. He was the leading proponent in the grouping of Eastern Caribbean states that asked Reagan to intervene in overthrowing the Cuban-backed communist regime of Bernard Coard, who had toppled Maurice Bishop, who was later murdered, in Grenada. Barbados was used as a staging point for some of the U.S. forces, and a nominal contingent of the Barbados Defence Force accompanied in the invasion force’s wake, not least to allow (as Barrow claimed) Reagan to gild the statistics. The Barbadian population was of two minds about Adams’ move, generally conceding that Bishop’s murder had moved Grenada too far, but being uneasy with Reagan’s U.S. heavy-handedness. Nevertheless, Adams’ BLP was tipped to win the upcoming elections at the time. 

Tom Adams died of a heart attack at Ilaro Court, the Prime Minister’s official residence, on March 11, 1985. He was the first sitting Prime Minister of Barbados to die in office. He was buried in Bridgetown, Barbados, at the churchyard of the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels on Saint Michael’s Row.

Bishop and Castro

Murdered Maurice Bishop flanked by the late Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega

Ralph Gonsalves supportive, and was deeply mixed up with the Marxist – Leninist revolutionary Maurice Bishop, who led a Cuban/Russian encouraged coup d ‘état in Grenada know as the Grenada Revolution in December 1979. Gonsalves was riding in his car and attending meetings and rallies and writing the speeches for Maurice Bishop.

Gonsalves also hitched a ride from Grenada in a USSR supply plane, which dropped him off at Barbados airport. The Russians wrote during the Grenadian revolution that Gonsalves was someone they could trust. That perhaps only added to Tom Adams’s intense dislike of Gonsalves. But the feeling became more intense because Gonsalves never forgave Adams for being a kingpin in the U.S. invasion of Grenada, which brought the revolution to an end and reinstated democracy. The ending of the communist era in Grenada must have been a significant disappointment for Gonsalves because he had always dreamt of SVG being a communist stronghold under his command. Now all those ideas were dashed to the ground. 

During my research for this opinion, I came across this, which I had forgotten. But since being written has become a classical part of the history of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is essential in the scheme of things; I recommend everyone to read it.

This article is spread through different agencies worldwide.  

Comrade, by a different means you have almost achieved what you failed to fulfil all those years ago. During these past years, you have faithfully stuck by, if not clung to, your friendship and affiliation of the Communist Castro owned Cuba. I suppose you will feel real success if you somehow-or-other get re-elected in 2020. For the sake of SVG, let’s hope and pray that never happens.

Well at least Gonsalves will not be annoyed by what he reads here, because he is proud of his past and wears it like a medal of honour. He has even written about it himself, a slightly different version of course. You too can read his book, The Making of “The Comrade”: The Political Journey of Ralph Gonsalves, only US$29.95 free shipping.

Remember Comrade,

The past is never where you think you left it.”

Katherine Anne Porter

Barbados Goes on Partial LOCKDOWN

Prime Minister Mia Mottley  advised the country tonight that Barbados will impose a curfew from 8PM to 6AM starting on Saturday 28 March 2020  until 14 April 2020. On a personal note the Prime Minister also shared she will be MIA for a while because her medical team advised her to undergo a medical procedure this coming weekend. Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw will act as prime minister. The blogmaster wishes her well.

Jamaica JOINS the USA to Snub Caricom, Again

The blogmaster has been observing the blowback to the visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Jamaica where a few countries in the region were invited to participate. Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s triggered the exchanges when she announced what any sensible person in the region should support.

I am conscious that if this country does not stand for something, then it will fall for anything,” she said. “As chairman of Caricom, it is impossible for me to agree that my foreign minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of Caricom are not invited.

Prime Minister of Barbados – Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Holness of Jamaica gave a flowery and empty explanation in response to Prime Minister Mottley and other countries in the region that took exception to the snub by Jamaica and the USA to CARICOM. Jamaica has the right as a sovereign nation to pursue bilateral initiatives with another country – why did Holness feel compelled to state an obvious point? The issue Mr. Prime Minister Holness is that Jamaica is a member of CARICOM. What is CARICOM you may ask? Here is a snippet to serve as a reminder:

…CARICOM rests on four main pillars: economic integration; foreign policy coordination;human and social development; and security.  These pillars  underpin  the  stated objectives of our  Community –

  •  to improve standards of living and work;
  •  the full employment of labor and other factors of production;
  •  accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence;
  •  expansion of trade and economic relations with Third States;
  •  enhanced levels of international competitiveness;
  •  organization for increased production and productivity;
  • achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage;
  • effectiveness of Member States in dealing with Third States, groups of States and entities of any description;and
  • the enhanced coordination of Member States’ foreign and foreign economic policies and enhanced functional cooperation…

The post meeting briefing was littered with references to CARICOM which confirm matters pertaining to the regional movement were discussed. This supports Mottley’s position that Caricom should have been FORMALLY accorded an invitation and at ‘minimum’ Mottley as Chair represent members in the spirit of enhancing coordination of Member States’ foreign and foreign economic policies and enhanced functional cooperation

The quote from the St. Kitts and Nevis representative Foreign Affairs Minister Mark Brantley sums up the current state of Caricom for the blogmaster:-

I think we would have been foolish to pass up on that opportunity. The US has been a good friend to the region, and I think it is a relationship that matters,” he said, while acknowledging that St Kitts and Nevis was not at the table for earlier talks between US President Donald Trump and a select regional group in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, centred on trade and security.

The Gleaner

A reminder this is the second time the USA snubbed Caricom.

Mia Goes To Ghana


As part of the Year of Return and the visit of H.E, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to Barbados in June this year, the Prime Minister of Barbados, H.E. Mia Mottley, arrives in Ghana today for a 3-day visit.

The visit also forms part of the bilateral discussions started during the President’s visit to Barbados.

She will be in Assin Manso where a Durbar of Chiefs will be held in her honour at the forecourt of the Assin Manso Ancestral River Site.

Remains of an unknown enslaved African from Barbados brought along with the Prime Minister will be buried at the site.

This will bring to three, the number of African ancestral remains buried at the Assin Manso slave river site.

Prime Minister Mottley will also visit the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and participate in the Damba Festival in Yendi over the weekend. Her delegation includes Foreign Affairs, protocol, and business leaders.

According to the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Ghana’s tourism sector seeks to deepen its interest in the Carribean with Barbados as a key gateway.

The Coordinator of the Year of Return and CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, says the visit highlights the importance of the Year of Return in the Global African discussion.

Related Link:



Barbados Pushing Regional Narrative

One of the noticeable marks Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley has been making early in her tenure is on the regional front.  By contrast former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was silent and usurped the leadership role Barbados has played historically in the region. Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the 2019 Caribbean Forum on Regional Transformation for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth recommitted Barbados to the CSME project.  She stressed managed migration a la Canada and greater communication must be the focus to deepen regional integration. Following in the footsteps of her BLP predecessor Owen Arthur there is an intent by Mottley- who has lead for CSME- to expand the fiscal and financial space to the benefit of tiny Barbados.

An example: initially the blogmaster was critical of Senator Alphea Wiggins’ appointment as Special Envoy with a mandate to develop a strategic partnership with Suriname.   With a large gathering in parliament why not appoint a member of parliament? Feedback in this space proffered that the  resume of Wiggins the diplomat is ideally suited to the task at hand. Time will tell.

Barbadians have been told by Wiggins about land donated to Barbados by Suriname – in a government to government deal – to be utilized on a pilot basis by local farmers. Although Wiggins has expressed disappointment at the weak response to the opportunity provided to local farmers and private sector there is hope the mindset of our local actors will change from being inwardly focus. In 2013 resident billionaire Sir Kyffin Simpson was reported to have significantly invested in an agriculture project in Guyana.

The farm, located in Santa Fe in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region some 231 miles (or 371 km) south-west of Georgetown, will be producing rice, corn, soya, cow beans, guar and eventually moso bamboo trees primarily for export. Already 10 000 acres are being prepared for cultivation and this will be extended by another 30 000 acres as production is steadily increased. Sir Kyffin has the option of tripling this acreage if the venture proves successful – Sir Kyffin Simpson Shows Leadership Investing in Agriculture

Last week at a business forum to promote trading opportunities in Suriname and Guyana was held in Barbados – opportunities identified agriculture, agro-processing, construction, renewable energy, tourism, education, and services. To add impetus to the message being championed by government, Minister Sandra Husbands with responsibility for  foreign trade could have co-opted support from Sir Kyffin or designate to update on his investment in Guyana.  Local private sector actors sitting on the fence needs to be persuaded to shed a risk averse mindset.

The blogmaster supports the renewed effort to deepen regional integration.  All sensible people will agree small islands in Caricom must do better to improve avenues for functional cooperation. It should be obvious to those with an average level of discernment that both Jamaica and Bahamas in the North share no great appetite for CSME – maybe just for the movement of the unskilled.  The alternative approach by Barbados to create opportunities with our neighbours in the South is a countervailing strategy to salvage the CSME initiative.

The idea to have Barbadian capital and technical resources combined with Guyanese and Suriname significant land and natural resources to the benefit of both countries in large scale agriculture and other opportunities is an approach which keeps hope alive.








Mottley Don’t be a Moe!

During the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) 81st Annual Conference in Queen’s Park on Saturday, Mottley described Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley, De Peiza and Solutions Barbados’ leader Grenville Phillips as “Eenie, Meenie and Miney” who were poor alternatives to the BLP Government.

[Nation Newspaper 27 October 2019]

The political barbs Prime Minister Mia Mottley lobbed at the three visible faces who represent the dissenting voice of political parties in our democratic system has evoked some public comment. Mottley in an address at the 81st Annual Conference of her political party used the occasion to rev up her political base – throw some reed meat at the loyal subjects. To intuitive political observers this is standard fare.

Have we forgotten not too long ago in order to avert a constitutional crisis serious consideration was given to creating Senate seats for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP)? That idea was scrapped presumably because our system of government is derived from a first past the post and not propositional representation. Bishop Joseph Atherley conveniently defected to the Opposition side and as they say the rest is history.

Leaders of organizations anchor positions taken based on values and purpose partially influenced by management philosophers of the past like Elton Mayo, Peter Drucker, Henry Gantt, Edward Deming et al. Political leaders will cite Machiavelli, Madison et al for the same reasons. Unlike Verla De Peiza, Grenville Phillips II, Joseph Atherley et al Mia Mottley – the political animal that she is – will not ignore the opportunity to stoke her popularity within the party. Imprinted on her mind are the faces of Dale Marshall, Ronald Toppin, Gline Clarke and George Payne who were instrumental in ousting her as leader of the BLP to make way for the return of Owen Arthur in 2010.   So far she has adhered to Sun Tzu’s advice to “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Mottley wears the scares of her confrontations within the BLP to give currency to the position by many that politics is as a blood sport.

To cut a log story short, Mia Mottley is Prime Minister of Barbados AND leader of the Barbados Labour Party. This blogmaster anticipated her message to the annual party conference would have been laced with the usual political rhetoric and hyperbole.  What Phillips, Da Peiza and Atherley must do is to exercise political gravitas in the counter to be seen as relevant in the minds of the electorate. Make no mistake, the average Joe will entertain a political actor who is not averse to riposte.

The Prime Minister at the Conference threatened to withhold a subvention Owen Arthur approved (Cabinet decision) for all political parties represented in the House of Assembly. Richie Hayne’s of the National Democratic Party (NDP) received the subvention of $150,000 when he displaced  the BLP as the official Opposition. The subvention is allocated in the Estimates to Parliament under the authority of the Clerk of Parliament to disburse to the Leader of the Opposition to assist with administrative expenses. Arthur was sensible enough to appreciate a democracy is as strong as a quality opposition.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley should immediately suppress the temptation to rescind the practice of giving the subvention to political parties sitting in parliament. Given the overwhelming majority of the BLP sitting in the Lower House why has she made this an issue?

A word to the wise should be sufficient.








No Man…Including Mia…Can Have TWO Masters

Submitted by PUDRYR
@ Talking Loud Saying Nothing
I noted your submission in another article here and it caused me to write this:
“…” No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon…”
In the link you provided it highlighted some remarks made during the reading of a Bill concerning new honours to be conferred on citizens being made by the leader of the Opposition Reverend Joseph Atherley
De ole man has a problem with these remarks by the Leader of the Opposition Reverend Atherley and de ole man will expand on that, if you permit me
(I trying on my “manners hat”, posturing in the shadows of men who I trying to copy here Mr. Austin, Mr. William Skinner, Mr Vincent Codrington and Artaxerxes to name a few of the gents here who don’t cuss like de ole boar)
Reverend Atherley said and I quote
“…Since 2008 that has been clear to me, that there are people involved in the practice of politics [at the] elective level in Barbados who are attaching themselves to persons involved in illegal drug activity in Barbados, to help their cause and I dare anybody in here to stand and say that is not true,” Atherley charged…”
Where the ole man has a problem with this matter TLSN, as championed by the Leader of the Party that represents the Third Party Movement, a party de ole man been talking bout for close to 2 years now, and a movement that the ole man is committed to, lies in this.
The goodly Reverend has no less that 10 examples of publicly documented instances where persons “at the elective level” are encouraging and empowering those in the criminal regime.
In fact, the most egregious of these being the invitation of 3 known drug dealers to the opening of Parliament by Mia Mottley!
An act which HE, NOR NONE OF THE ESTABLISHED MEDIA, have ever taken her to task about YET SHE UP AT THE UNITED NATIONS TALKING BOUT MADURO and sovereign state rights!
Why is the Reverend using this “soft soaping language” when we are discussing an issue of politicians societing with druglords, an issue of such Import & Impact?
This Reverend Atherley, is a case of either that YOU ARE TOTALLY IN, AND THAT BAJANS SEE THAT YOU ARE “ALL UP IN THERE” or you are out!
Half efforts ARE NOT GOING TO CUT IT! in this fight to win the next government, sir
Let me use the words of another leader who is a Bishop, just as you are, and a political leader,  to make this point
“… We don’t want apartheid liberalized. We want it dismantled.
You can’t improve something that is intrinsically evil.
Desmond Tutu”
And now let de ole man transpose this quote of Desmond Tutu for you Reverend Atherley
“We BAJANS don’t want the politics of inclusion as clearly shown by Mia Mottley reaching out to drug dealers and normalizing Criminal ACTIVITIES a la Mugabe.
We Bajans want it ERADICATED and these drug lords gone from our society.
You can’t encourage something that is intrinsically evil.”
This is the version Bajans want Bishop Joseph Atherley to start saying!
EVIL THAT IS EVIDENCED  BY 46 MURDERS TO DATE, directly attributed to the activities of Mugabe Mottley’s DRUG LORD invitees and their drug wars for turf

Vote Out Mottley … in 2023

Submitted by PUDRYR
De ole man was tempted to write a long ass article bout Mugabe, citing all de unconscionable tings she has perpetrated against Bajans since May 24 2018, de Constitution changes, (1) de nepotism in knighting she fadder, (2) de thievery of $27 million from bajans under this White Oaks scam, (3) de 26 ministers in parliament and (4) 33 other RH immoral and some might say, illegal acts of Mugabe, but de ole man won’t write bout dem!
De ole man was even tempted to write down Mugabe Swiss Bank Account numbers or the name of the local bank used to *** but de ole man won’t mention them!
De ole man stopped and pondered and said to meself, “meself this information is not important for the people, NOR WOULD THE OTHER RH SHEEPLE be interested.”
De ole man therefore decided to  write about  DISSENT, in general, and patriotism, Love of Barbados, in particular.
In the view of this government, when there is a voice that speaks out loudly about this administration’s continuous string of despotic actions, their customary response is “The Legend OR DISSIDENT “X”, is guilty of High Treason because he is consistently seeking to highlight our  government’s despotism”
First it was Depeiza from the Fumbles crew, now its Mugabe, and her Rented Jackasses speaking about destabilization.
Few understand that our Fight for Country  has a “price” and the fact is that, even fewer give a RH.
Any dissenter lives in perpetual danger because our VOICE is rarely seen as the voice of reason, a voice crying from the wilderness, most consider you a troublemaker.
in fact, dissenters are often verbally abused heheheheh, by government sycophants and poochlickers, persued under mutual assistance treaties, and of course there is their Burn Notice
To effect the latter has its risks, and repercussions, on foreign soil but, since Mugabe realises that de ole man ent got no intention of ceasing the fight against her dictatorship aspirations well…heheheheh … already showed the black SUV pictures to ***)
So why does The Legend continue?
Why should any dissenter continue to face her persecution, the attendant verbal assaults and “final solutions”?
De ole man will tell wunna why.
For some of us citizens, WE WILL ALWAYS BE SOLDIERS against injustice and True Patriots.
When we see how wicked this so called “servant of the people” is, in perpetrating suffering against the average bajan, WHILE SHE GETS FAT LIKE A TRANSPORT BOARD BUS, we recognize that, barring illegal options, (options which ARE NOT PART OF THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS DE OLE MAN WILL SUPPORT),  there is but one legal way to remove a despot and dictator, THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX!!
and for there to be “informed Ballot Box action”, THERE MUST BE PROACTIVE DISCUSSION, AND DISSEMINATION, of “what is going on” in Barbados, euphemism for “the voice of dissent” BY ANY MEDIA AVAILABLE.
and we dissidents are aware that,  BECAUSE  OF THIS DISSENT, Mugabe has invoked her “High Treason” representations, in the Constitution of Barbados , and to the Government of the United States.
Fellow Bajans, (and that includes my ardent supporters Hee Hee, Hee Haw and Boring Goerring) this struggle, one  in which there are a few “dissidents”, is NOT going to be easy.
We few warriors must understand what our job is. We who love country CANNOT FAIL, else we will be responsible for the establishment  of “Mugabe – Dictator Absolu”
and IF WE ARE TO BE TRUE TO OUR PLEDGE to our flag and country, we MUST each engage in fighting for a less unjust society, ONE WHICH MUGABE IS NOT IN.
De ole man realises that her agents going seek to change up dem words to make it seditious BUT I BEG YOU ALL TO UNDERSTAND, this opposition only means to vote Mugabe out in 2023!!
WE EACH MUST live up to our moral charge and responsibility to fore parents, our children, grandchildren and citizens yet to be born, and what is right for our country!!!
God has been kind to our Nation, Mugabe IS NOT KIND, and never will be!!!
From May 24th Mugabe Mottley has shown us that she is only interested in herself BUT, if we love BIM, EVERY BAJAN MUST BE PREPARE TO VOTE SUCH DESPOTISM OUT OF PARLIAMENT IN 2023!

The Grenville Phillips Column – Hero or Villain

I have been repeatedly pressed to declare how well our Prime Minister performed during tropical storm Dorian.  No matter how many times I have responded, the requests keep coming.  To avoid further requests for a comment, my full response follows.

As the storm approached, our Prime Minister: explained the situation, encouraged people to prepare, closed businesses at a reasonably time, attended drainage clearing sites to verify that the work was being done, and did other similarly important things.

Our Prime Minister appeared to do these things in a calm and decisive manner.  She appeared to competently manage the protocols for a tropical storm.  All Barbadians should feel justifiably proud of our Prime Minister’s heroic performance.  So well done Madam Prime Minister.

What needs to be emphasised, is that our Prime Minister’s actions were appropriate for a tropical storm that should do minor damage.  Had we experienced Hurricane Dorian like the Bahamas, then no one, except the most extreme partisan supporters, would be praising Prime Minister (PM) Mottley’s efforts.

Our homes should be our primary shelters.  If the house is not sufficiently strong, then the occupants should move to a stronger shelter.  In 1993, under PM Sandiford, Barbados finally had a building code to inform homeowners and their contractors how to build strong houses.  It was a very easy-to-understand document, and added little to no additional construction cost.

PM Arthur won the general election in 1994.   In 1995, banks in Barbados started offering 100% mortgages, which started a massive residential building boom.  Fortuitously, Barbados had a new Building Code at the right time.  Regrettably, PM Arthur, who was responsible for Town and Country Planning, did not enforce or actively encourage the Code’s use during his 14-year term.

Part of PM Arthur’s real legacy, is the thousands of unnecessarily sub-standard houses that were built during his administration.  PM Stuart continued PM Arthur’s legacy of overseeing the construction of substandard houses, by not enforcing the Building Code.  However, he unpredictably went a lot further – in the wrong direction.

PM Stuart claimed to be flabbergasted at the fragility of houses in Barbados, after the damage done by Tropical Storm Tomas in 2010.  However, even that did not convince him to actively encourage the use of our Building Code.  Instead, his administration abolished it.  Thus, Barbados, in one of the most hazard prone regions on this planet, became the only nation on Earth to offer no meaningful structural building guidance to its residents.

PM Mottley inherited this unfortunate mess, and seemed well prepared to solve it.  She experienced the devastation caused by Hurricane Gilbert in Jamaica in 1988.  She was aware of the two Category 5 Hurricanes that caused major damage to our Caribbean neighbours in 2017.  Following the General Election in 2018, she declared that Hurricanes were one of the two things she fared most.

We seemed to be in good hands – PM Mottley would play the hero.  She would make building strong and durable houses a priority.  Tragically, she has embraced the damaging legacy of PM Stuart.  This should all but ensure that we will suffer a worse fate than those in other islands, if we experience a similar hurricane.  Why someone, who held such promise, chose such an irresponsible path, is a question that only she can answer.

Our PM still has time to play the hero by doing three simple, but highly effective things.  They will cost her administration no money and very little effort.  First, she should temporarily unabolish the 1993 Barbados National Building Code, for use in the residential construction sector only.  We should never abolish something unless we can replace it with something better.

Second, the 1993 Building Code should be published on the Internet and made freely available to residents.  Third, the Town Planning department should add the following standard condition of approval for residential applications.  “Construction should comply with the structural requirements of the 1993 edition of the Barbados National Building Code”.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at

Mottley’s Dominant Leadership Style

There is a conversation that has emerged in Barbados concerning the ‘visible’ leadership style of Prime Minister Mia Mottley. A style that is accentuated if compared to the unobtrusive approach by her predecessor. Some feel justified levelling the criticism because Mottley presides over the largest Cabinet in the history of Barbados, probably the world if measured on a per mille basis.

What justification can there be for a prime minister to be at every ‘dog fight’ if the large Cabinet is unable to give wings to Mottley’s mantra – many hands make light work?

The blogmaster recalls during An Interview with Prime Minister Mottley  conducted by David Ellis soon after the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was elected to office – Mottley explained her reason for the large Cabinet. She asked Barbadians to be patient and to judge her government by results. After 15 months in office, it is fair to suggest several of the ministers are struggling to find their feet and undeserving of a minister’s salary during  a time of austerity.

In the pseudo Westminster parliamentary system of government practice in Barbados all roads lead to the prime minister. It is not uncommon to hear the reference “primus inter pares.” Our culture is one where there is an expectation the prime minister must solve all problems. Have a read of this blog through the years, there was an unrelenting attack on former prime minister Freundel Stuart because he appeared to be uncomfortable in the leadership role and was rejected at the polls in unprecedented fashion.

A key characteristic of a good leaders is that they recruit the right people to do the job. This is why the quality of persons offering themselves for political office is important.  Are we confident members of parliament elected on the 24 May 2018 possess the requisite skill set to get the job done?

The blogmaster is on the side of the side of the leadership style that works. The fact Mottley is always out front may reflect on the quality of her team. If this is the case who is to blame?

Our governance system needs reform. There was talk from the minister early in her term about devolving authority from the office of prime minister. Update anyone?

Message to PM Mottley: Why is 747-400 Boeing Being Registered Under Barbados Colours in the Dark?

Submitted by xxxxxxxx

Why is there a big white end of life Boeing 747- 400 aircraft, capable of carrying 490 passengers or troops 7,285 nautical miles non stop, sitting at Grantley Adams International Airport for the past month being de-registered from an FAA holding registration of N508BB to a Barbadian registration of 8P-ERI?

Research shows that this is the very same aircraft, serial number 29031 registration number B18208 that was delivered to China Airlines, a Taiwanese airline company in September 1998, and retired from service in October 2017 to long term storage at the California Logistics airport at Victorville (Aircraft Boneyard).

This aircraft was recently de-registered and re-registered as N508BB by AAR corporation in May 2018, and then transferred to a Trust company called Aero Intelligence Inc (Trustee) in April 2019.

This aircraft was then re-painted white, overhauled engines were fitted, and it was ferried from the southern California logistics airport (SCLA) at Victorville California (boneyard) on May 23rd 2019 to Phoenix sky harbor airport (PHX) Arizona, and then Ferried from Phoenix to Argyle International Airport (SVD) in St. Vincent on May 24th 2019, by Canadian company Nolinor Aviation.

It arrived in St. Vincent to great fan fare, to be delivered into the waiting arms of fledgeling Vincentian charter airline One Caribbean which is only 2 years old, and only operates a single Beechcraft 1900, 19 seater charter aircraft. Sources say that one of the owners of One Caribbean is the son of Vincentian Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

One Caribbean then sought to de-register and re-register this end of life Boeing 747 aircraft in St. Vincent under the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority. However, the ECCAA said they had never registered a Boeing 747 and sought guidance from the US FAA on registration of this aircraft, since this would require oversight and maintenance to be done in accordance with ECCAA regulations.

Capt. Paul Delisle, ECCAA’s flight operations inspector, confirmed that the request to certify the 747-400 was a big step for ECCAA.

Related link:

ECCAA Seeks FAA Guidance over St. Vincent 747-400 Registration Plan

St Vincent’s First Boeing 747- 400 Now Registered In Barbados

He noted that, as the airworthiness regulator for six member nations of the English-language Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent), ECCAA today has oversight of six AOCs, 14 airports and just 41 aircraft. Six are helicopters—but none of the aircraft is a large commercial jet.

Delisle said ECCAA was taking a two-step approach to re-registering the One Caribbean 747-400. First, “We were discussing the whole plan with the FAA,” which originally awarded the Boeing 747-400 its type certification, he said. “We wanted concurrence” with the FAA on all matters relating to N508BB’s potential SVG certification.

One reason is that, 21 years ago, ECCAA’s predecessor certified a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 for the Antigua and Barbuda registry, for a company called Skyjet. However, according to Delisle, the aircraft actually was based in Belgium, from where it was leased to various carriers throughout the world.

The FAA took such a dim view of the situation that in 2002 it removed the Eastern Caribbean regulator from its list of approved Category 1 airworthiness authorities. “We had to stop that [Belgium-based] operation to get Category 1 categorization” back, said Delisle. “It’s a sensitive subject.”

It seems that following information received from One Caribbean about the purpose and use of this aircraft, as well as the information received from the FAA regarding the maintenance requirements of this aircraft, the ECCAA is not interested in registering it.

Following this development, we are reliably told that Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves phoned Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and asked for her help, by having this aircraft registered in Barbados.

Barbadian colors were then painted on it’s tail; and it was ferried under dark of night to Grantley Adams International Airport, where it now sits.

We are reliably informed that Prime Minister Mia Mottley has given instructions to the Director of Civil Aviation to have this aircraft registered on the Barbados aircraft registry, despite objection from the DCA, and that this has now been completed and it is registered as 8P-ERI.

This however poses other serious issues for Barbados. Being a Barbados registered aircraft, it will need to be operated under a Barbadian commercial air carrier with a valid Air Operators Certificate (AOC). There happens to be one such Vincentian owned charter operator in Barbados called Executive air, run by Vincentian John Ackie. On a side note, John Ackie’s brother in law is currently serving time in a US prison for drug smuggling and money laundering. John’s sister still resides in Florida.

We are reliably informed that this aircraft has been licensed under Executive Air’s AOC to be operated by fledgeling Vincentian charter operator One Caribbean, and apparently re-leased to a Dubai company to move passengers and cargo between the UAE, Africa and St. Vincent.

As a Barbadian registered aircraft, this plane will have far less scrutiny than a US, Vincentian, or UAE registered aircraft. It will also require local civil aviation authorities to have oversight and sign off on all maintenance and inspections. It will require an approved maintenance program be put in place, none of which the local authorities in Barbados have experience in, for such a colossus as a Boeing 747-400. We don’t even have a hanger in Barbados large enough to house a 747 for maintenance inspections.

Why is a Dubai company going to such great lengths to conceal the true identity of the operators of this aircraft? If such a company wanted to offer 747 Charter flights between the UAE, Africa and the Caribbean, why not simply lease or purchase one directly and register it in the UAE under the UAE Alpha 6 registration?

Why would a tiny startup Vincentian air charter operator who has only ever operated a 19 seater Beechcraft turboprop aircraft, purchase or lease a near end of life Boeing 747-400 aircraft which can carry 490 people, through a trust company, register it in Barbados through a Barbados based Vincentian owned air charter company’s AOC, only to lease it to a Dubai company to do charters between the UAE, Africa and St. Vincent?

That aircraft can carry 490 people or troops, or thousands of tons of cargo, weapons or drugs over 7200 nautical miles, non-stop.

This Boeing 747-409 would be close to it’s maximum airframe life limit of 20,000 cycles for its age, is extremely uneconomical to operate, will require compliance with an extensive list of service bulletins (SB’s) and airworthiness directives (AD’s)? This type of aircraft is only useful for extremely long flights, moving large numbers of passengers and huge quantities of cargo.

It is an inordinate and uneconomical gas guzzler.

Where would any charter operator find enough passengers in the UAE who want to travel to tiny St.Vincent to justify the cost of owning and operating such a large and expensive aircraft? Are there enough Vincentians anxious to travel to Africa or the middle east each week to fill up 490 seats?

Or will it be used to transport marijuana grown in the Caribbean to far away destinations?

Perhaps it will be used to deliver aircraft parts to Iran who has been using front companies to purchase 747 parts to keep its aging fleet in the air?

Is it really being leased to a Dubai company? Or an Iranian front company posing as a Dubai charter operator?

This is a highly unusual arrangement, and can place Barbados Civil aviation and International Airport in jeopardy of being de-categorized by the FAA, or worse.

Further, FAA records show that Aero Intelligence Inc (Trustee), the owners of N508BB told the FAA that this 747 aircraft was being exported to Antigua and Barbuda, but we now know that it was in fact exported to St. Vincent and not Antigua. Why did they tell the FAA they were exporting this aircraft to Antigua & Barbuda and not St. Vincent? Would this have created a red flag?

Antigua is well known for aviation operators and is the base of regional air carrier LIAT. But St. Vincent has never ever had an aircraft this large land there until now.

What will this plane carry?

Marijuana? Troops? Weapons, drugs, nuclear material? Regional politicians on long expensive business trips to the middle east? aircraft parts or weapons to Iran or other countries?

We sincerely hope that the United States, The International Civil Aviation Organisation and international customs agencies keep a very close eye on this Boeing 747-409 registered in Barbados as 8P-ERI. Who knows what it may be transporting in the future, and to where?

By the way, the middle east is presently on a heightened aviation terror alert. Could Dubai based operatives be planning to use a Barbados registered 747-400 aircraft as a flying bomb in a terror attack against Iran in retaliation for recent attacks on UAE targets? What impact would this have on Barbados if this aircraft is used for such a purpose? How will the Barbados Civil aviation authority have proper oversight of an aircraft being subleased to 3rd parties in St. Vincent or the middle east?

Barbados Civil Aviation Authority should not touch this aircraft with a ten foot pole. They are setting Barbados up for international trouble. If One Caribbean wants to operate or lease this aircraft to a middle eastern company, let them register it in the eastern Caribbean or the middle east.

Barbados should not touch it.

We need some answers about this.


Submitted by Pachamama

While most remain distracted with the dos and don’ts of political-economy, the Mugabe regime in Bulbadhus has made prophetic the admonitions of OSA. Arthur had told all who would listen to him that he would never leave the BLP in the hands of Mugabe. While Mugabe, like Obama, pretends to be singing from the same hymnal as ‘his’ forbearers, ‘she’ has spared no effort in the construction of a tapestry of interlocking networks of ‘her’ LGBTQ ‘folks’ within the very ‘seat’ of governmental power in Bulbadhus. ‘It is a hidden government (within a government) operating like a mafia’, a source close to the administration tells us.

We, for a year now, have been receiving reports that regardless to the point of approach one has to navigate a series of LGBTQ networks, characterized by differing personalities and with no less than an obvious determination to empower their people. Not that Barbados is unfamiliar with this ethic, however the overt politicization of this brand of ‘identity politics’ in Barbados represents a stark departure from the past and delivers for Mugabe, like Obama before ‘her’, the undisputed title of the first lesbian prime minister of Barbados, maybe in the Caribbean as well.

We have people, near to and far from Mugabe, coming to us, making the same general types of complaints, they go like this. They would go to Mugabe or she would call them in to meet and then a referral is likely to be made. The making of such a referral it turns out, time after time, to be the equivalent of ‘kicking the matter into the tall grasses’. A grassy area infested with ‘bullers’ and ‘wickers’ experienced to have a firm, unbreakable, commitment to the LGBTQ mafia and to that mafia alone. This means that anybody who is seen as not having the required links will see their proposals and projects ‘offered-up’ to members within the LGBTQ government networks for exploitation. It is not our case however, that these formations are necessarily monolithic.

We have a report that there was a certain directorate which was preferred for a specific person. However, a senior member of the mafia thought that that allocation could have been redirected elsewhere, to a place nearer home. And it was Mugabe, ‘herself’, who then had to behave badly, as badly as we would expect a ‘lion of a woman’ could in order to install a known kleptomaniac instead. We have these kinds of reports but seek not to get anybody in trouble.

And Mugabe continues to play this double-game with the people of Barbados, exhibiting dangerous, even existential, contradictions. For example, she has oft opined, publicly, that the population is getting older, that there are not enough younger people in the population. Very well! But how is the covert and overt promotion of the LGBTQ discourses and praxis, as a national project, to serve population stabilization and development. Are we somehow on the threshold of a scientific breakthrough where men could breed other men or women other women? How could it be possible, for a prime minister, with a straight face, could preach one thing but actively seek to subvert that which Ma’at, Ptah, Sambo, Ani have thusly ordained? Indeed, how is the destruction of the human species by the LGBTQ ‘folks’ any less profligate than the killing of up to 300 life forms monthly? What are the links between the people who are close to her, people who served to sterilize the Barbadian population for decades, the eugenicist and now these LBGTQ people currently controlling the government of Barbados? How it is that Mugabe could redirect economic support from the traditional family structures while seeking to elevate other formations where there is no centrality of children, all in the dead of night? These, and more, are internal contradictions which the Mugabe regime can never reconcile nor does it pretend to.

LGBTQ people, now the GoB and their supporters are unthinkingly supporting the extension of imperialism. An end-stage American, White imperialism which can go no further but being on its death bed seeks to gnaw on the bones of those who still believe that it has something to offer them. It asks us to forget that none of the structural problems of capitalism have been solved, can be solved. These are the essentially questions of race, class, poverty and all which flow therefrom. In response, capitalism and imperialism pretend to present a social formation to deliver comfort to people who see themselves as having issues separate from those which we all suffer. Irrational identity games currently at play are no substitute for radical and fundamental transformation necessary. They cannot avoid the cultural dead-end facing us!

Prime Minister Mottley and Minister Kerri Symmonds Continue to FAIL a Poor Black man

Where and to Whom in Barbados can a Barbadian Black man from the blue collar working class (now an old age pensioner) complain to and seek redress from, pertaining to illegal actions by a White British ex-pat who in 2002 created a private road across, within and along a watercourse bed.

Even if such actions were carried-out with permission from the then BLP Minister of MTW, the procedures were still wrongful and illegal to effectively block an essential part of a watercourse. This means that the Minister of MTW, would have had to an abetor to an obvious violation of the Barbados “Prevention of Floods Act Cap 235”. Due to the fact, that the private road created the conditions that caused recurring rainfall run-off to redirect from an original course to my home, caused damages to my property and forced me to make some changes to prevent rainfall run-off from entering my home which is situated South-West of the illegally altered watercourse. From 2004 all of my legitimate Complaints and pleas to Officials at MTW&M for a remedy to the created at risk flooding situation are still persistently disregarded not only by prolonged inaction to remedying, also the relentless discriminatory manner that showed favouritism towards the White Ex-pat.

BLP, and DLP Government Ministers at the Ministry of Transport, Works and maintenance (MTW&M) who are entrusted with the authority under the “Prevention of Floods Act Cap 235” as it pertains to watercourses – Top Public Servants at MTW&M in general who never ever showed the courtesy of acknowledging a letter of complaint far less responding, and in particular MTW&M Chief Technical Officers who are entrusted with responsibility for the correct functioning of watercourses.

The named persons below have contributed to relentless discrimination against this Barbadian Black man exposed to the risk of flooding situation   by Top Technical Officers, CTOs Frank Thornhill, and Nash Lovell. The Present Deputy CTO Philip Tudor, who would have acted as CTO at times, and CTO Cheryl Bennett-Inniss. The Ministers, Hon. Gline Clarke, John Boyce, Michael Lashley. The present Hon Minister Dr. William Duguid The Top Public servants, PS Bruce Alleyne, and  acting PS Simone Rudder. The present PS Mark Cummins.

MTW CTO Frank Thornhill and Deputy CTO Philip Tudor to whom I complained and pleaded over the years, acknowledged and stated that the private road is the cause of at risk flooding. They confirmed the road contravened the “Prevention Of Floods Act Cap 235”. The CTO is entrusted with the duty to carry-out the necessary flood work to remedy such at risk flooding situations. That said, CTO and Deputy CTO, Officially verbally pledged to remove the boulders and restore the watercourse. Yet those two top Technical Officers reneged on their pledges to carry-out the functions of their responsibility clearly stipulated by the “Prevention Of Floods Act Cap 235”.

After enduring, all the unfairness and discrimination against this Black community by the last DLP government,  I was looking forward to the new seemingly improved BLP government to do the right thing. Before the 2018 General Election, I sent an email to MP. Symmonds reminding him of the worsening situation at the watercourse, that email was copied to non other than the now, Hon. Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley who quickly replied. She asked for more information on the matter, (which was forwarded) and made promises to address the at risk flooding situation if successful at the polls. She also asked to support Kerrie. MP Kerrie Symmonds response to the email was to contact me. He visited and made overworked promises, that he is “still trying” to get a remedy to the watercourse. He reinforced that promise with another visit to inform me that he and Mia visited where the watercourse is altered and they agreed to prioritize the fixing of the flooding situation if successful in wining the Government. He also used that 5 yearly visit to promised other Residents affected by the at risk flooding in Clarkes Road.

One year after the BLP 30-0 victory at the polls, the Hon. Kerrie Symmonds clearly resumed his purported representation of the Black Residents of Clarke’s Road. When I called upon the Hon Minister, the Minister stated he is “still trying” to get the much needed remedying to the watercourse. When reminded that he was seeking a remedy from 2006, Minister Symmonds took cover by stating that Barbados is financially embarrassed, the public Officers are not well equipped, and “if I continue my agitation in public”, it will not advance a remedy, he said, it actually makes it harder for him to get Public Officers to work towards remedying the watercourse.

How much equipping the Public Officers need “other than integrity”.  The CTO of MTW&M is entrusted with the legal responsibility to carry-out, authorize the Deputy CTO or Officers to Carry-out the functions of the clearly spelled-out stipulations of “The prevention Of Floods Act Cap 235”, pertaining to the White British Ex-pat clear contravened actions, that altered, and placed the private road across, within and along a watercourse in 2002.

The Hon. Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley, seems not to have the need now to show the respect of replying to this Barbadian Black man, as she did before the 2018 general Election, far less intervening.

 Alden Blackman

Resident of Clarke’s Road, St. James.

Barbados Labour Party One Year Later

For the next days and perhaps weeks there will be palaver about how effective the policies of the Barbados Labour Paty (BLP) have been since taking up the office. The conversation is reminiscent to what follows the annual 11+ exam. It is a must do exercise for ‘stakeholders’- including the media- to purge themselves of any accusation of not delivering on the mandate.

Given the perilous state Barbados finds itself both on the economic and social fronts, it is a challenge to speak with certainty whether measures implemented so far by the one year old government are gaining traction.

If you separate the political noise- loud as it is- there is justifiable concern that although the Mottley government has been active by attempting to tackle the gargantuan debt situation by restructuring, moving with urgency to apply a temporary fix to the sewage issue on the south coast, rationalizing SOEs, drawing-down development loans to fix crumbling infrastructure, dusting off out dated Town Planing legislation, addressing thorny issues like local and regional Transportation (LIAT, Transport Board), breathing life back into brand Barbados by increasing visibility on the regional and international spaces. This is not meant to be exhaustive. A review of the BGIS portal archives can assist with listing government’s effort to date.

A concern of the blogmaster however is a lack of similar energy as it relates to communicating the state of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS),  operationalizing a transparency framework to include Integrity (anti-corruption) in public life, FOIA, political campaign financing, a relevant Public Accounts Committee, Auditor General’s office and related projects.

This concern about the NIS was heightened with a recent public  assurance delivered by Chairman Ian Gooding-Edghill that the NIS is financially healthy. What does his statement mean if we compare to a 2017 IMF report – NIS Reserves Projected by IMF to be Exhausted in 2037 – UPP Candidate Craig Harewood Muted by VoB?

Government needs to do more to encourage people to become investors and create ä Barbados that works for Barbadians – President, Barbados Economic Society

In a related matter is is encouraging to listen to Opposition spokeswoman on economic affairs Senator Cristal Drakes not intimidated to discuss the pros and cons of devaluing the Barbados dollar. Her position was supported – not directly – by President of the Barbados Economic Society (BEC) Simon Naitram. He is on public record promising to dispassionately debate the issue on the BEC website in the coming weeks.

Sorry to disappoint a few members of the BU family who will want to look at the numbers from all angles. Not to forget about the social fabric of the society also busting at the seam. Has the time come for us to focus more on the Vision/Strategy positions of our governments? If we hold our leaders accountable for the Vision the supporting tactics may be better understood. What is the REAL Vision/Strategy of the government for Barbados?

The blogmaster is unable to grade the government A, B, C or D at this stage. To use a race horse analogy – the horse has ‘lathered’ nicely in the paddock before the race, outcome unknown.