Time to Abandon Petty Party Politics

Submitted by Mahogany Coconut Think tank and Watchdog Group

As we approach the middle of 2013, it is obvious that throughout the Caribbean, the collective political managerial class has been reduced to acting like chickens without heads. We are not going to dwell on the party based political arguments, which are relentlessly fuelled by two groups: those who want their party to remain in power and those who want their party to regain power. The situation in Barbados has now reached dangerously comical levels. Both the Democratic Labour party and the Barbados Labour Party continue to appear useless when it comes to managing our island state.

We however cannot be only critical of the DLP/BLP. It is equally dismal on the private sector side, that is now complaining about everything and embarking on the most alarming and bold faced economic blackmail imaginable. The private sector is saying to the government, it will breathe new life into the economy under the condition that we can privatize everything: the hospital, the ports of entry, the sanitation service and public transportation. It is saying to the government: send home the public workers and unleash massive suffering on the populace while we become the sole reapers of all the economic gain.

They want to keep their cake and eat it too. This is the very same private sector that: wrecked the agricultural industry; abandoned manufacturing; cannot get tourism moving and have been totally inept at adjusting to the changing world economy. The same private sector that can find money to invest in all manner of luxurious projects are now trying to convince us that they are technically broke. The sad and nauseating feature is that we have intellectuals and political opportunists, who are prepared to assist in the economic collapse of the nation in order to feather their beds. They are acting as if we have a level playing field. They are refusing to accept that there are still workers in this country earning wages of $200.00 per week.

We are convinced that unless we have political and corporate leaders who are beyond paying lip service to the national good, this crisis will drag on for at least three more years. We call on both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party to seriously abandon the cosmetics and deal with the historical truths of the economy. Since the attainment of independence billions upon billions of dollars have passed through both the coffers of the public and private sectors. They both failed to transform the economy. The private sector, by and large remained in archaic retail mode while the DLP/BLP continued to promote failed or failing economic policies.

We are all in this together. It is time for the whole truth to be put before the public. The majority of Barbadians have to grind this period out. In two weeks, we understand there will be a national consultation on the economy and we can only hope it will not be another talk shop but a serious resolution on how we carry the nation forward.

We said, at the end of the last elections, that the close results were an excellent opportunity for the DLP/BLP to abandon petty party politics and move forward with a coalition government of national reconstruction. Political public relations have landed us in this predicament. Political public Relations will not get us out. We smell the stench from both the public and private sectors and we are now finding it difficult to breathe. The collective political managerial class will continue to fail unless a new direction is taken. This is true for Barbados and the entire Caribbean.

27 responses to “Time to Abandon Petty Party Politics

  1. Hamilton hill

    problem is we are not sure of whom we can trust.Time and again persons in whom we repose confidence use the political arena as a pathway to personal wealth.They never lie,cheat nor steal….they just set up their friends and their friend’s wife for a lifetime of prosperity,while we who do the real work suck salt.What is there to suggest that you and your bunch will be any different?

  2. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926-2013 AND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS

    Its a good heading and seem to be saying some thing for once ,
    Hamilton hill @And that what its all about for them DLP?BLP money for all who is my family and friends and nothing for the workers to take home besides sweat and tears from being stuck in sand getting now where , A real slave Plantation called Barbados for its people.

    They just cant seem to keep their hands out the Peoples Pot.
    We see very fast the up grades to their life after they reach office that dont even match their pay check , More life drug dealers over night once in Office.
    All we can say is to get to work or get out , to much long talk and acting like little kids in the school yard with the peoples money.Maybe more heads have to roll after the top PIG is gone , more house cleaning must be done to an ex drug dealer.?

  3. Unfortunately our Westminster system of government breeds adversarial politics.

  4. @Mahogany Coconut Think tank and Watchdog Group. Very well written and while I disagree with some parts of what you have said, the overall concept is right on target. We are in a state of emergency akin to war, except it is economic war this time. If we follow Westmister (and we do, as David has pointed out) then we have the war time precedent of government from World War II. We also have the laws against hoarding of food and other necessities – in our case today, that would be money. While the average citizen is having to dip into his/her savings in order to survive, it is unthinkable that coprorations ought not to be forced to do the same.

  5. old onion bags

    A most lopsided and unfortunate statement. How have you drawn your conclusion on this one? Any astute business person nowadays will attest to the challenging times they are seeing. Why would they want to see – “unleashed massive suffering” on their ( now essential) employee….a necessary proponents in the production mix (capital -labor) that will make or break their productivity curve?

    As to privatization…come on now…as much as we would want to keep ALL our family silver at all cost.. a most recent example has shown it is better not to….. Republic bank our drawn example…they, by having greater management and resources ( capital) capabilities, were able to make our once lackluster family silver outshine our days of applying home grown Silvo… we need to drop the emotionalism.

    Our objective is to maximize contributions, subject to uncontrollable variables and home grown constraints….Republic Bank and others,have shown us a better way of achieving it….so how can we
    ignore their profitability curve…

    THANK YOU!

  6. @Old Onions Bag

    If you read with understanding it should be clear the blog was NOT written by a member of the BU household. In face it clearly states who wrote it.

  7. old onion bags

    Kindly remove the submission @ 6.21am…I dont know how you name ..nor the number of errors got there…my apologies Sirs.

  8. millertheanunnaki

    @ Mahogany Coconut Think tank and Watchdog Group:
    “In two weeks, we understand there will be a national consultation on the economy and we can only hope it will not be another talk shop but a serious resolution on how we carry the nation forward.”

    What are you expecting if not another opportunity to eat up, drink up, smile for the media and engage in another long dose of bullshit of the intellectual flavour or pure downright fecal in substance?

    Do you really expect to hear any new workable proposals from any think tank private sector or quasi-governmental including the illustriously polished Mahogany Court that this administration has not heard or been told before?

    The current administration has been advised already what it has to do. Even the PM and his MoF and other members of the Cabinet have publicly expressed what has to be done to restructure the public sector and the economy in general.
    What is required is not any further talk-shop meetings to air bullshit but the political will to grab the bull by its economic horns and get some red raging hot action.

    But if this administration can’t even get the little issues right like cleaning up the place and maintaining the crumbling basic infrastructure like roads and buildings how do you expect it to do handle the big issues like reforming the public sector unless it is “imposed’ from outside by the international financial administrators?

    So before we can run we need to walk. Let us first get down to basic and to crawl to the nearest stool for support in order to rise on our feet.

    You Mahogany Court have been critical (and justifiably so) of both political parties and the private sector for their abject lack of ideas and proposals either at the creative or implementation stages.
    Now why have you not put on the table your own proposals that you perceive as necessary and workable to help pull Barbados out of the quagmire it has fallen into?
    Where in your critical article have you offered alternatives to the current inertia?
    Let us hear what you have to say other than bullshit criticism.

  9. @millertheanunnaki
    Here are the policy suggestions we proposed prior to the last elections and were carried by BU. :The Mahogany Coconut Group, cannot in all honesty, endorse either the ruling Democratic Labour Party or the Barbados Labour Party in the recently announced General Elections of February 21st. 2013. We remain steadfast in our position, that neither party has the intellectual capacity or the political will to engineer progressive socio- economic reform. However, we respect the right of the populace to vote and we will be the first to offer critical support to any party, organization or individual, who come forward with suggestions and or positions to enhance our national and Caribbean well-being. However, we are cemented in our belief, that we are governed by a very sophisticated one party state. In other words, “six of one and half dozen of the other!”
    Against this background we offer some of the policies we will support in the interest of national development:

    Education
    We believe that there can be no real or sustainable change without the radical reform of the educational system. We therefore call for the abolition of the Common Entrance Examination. We will replace the current system with continuous assessment so as to identify the skills sets and educational strengths of our children. Too many of our children are falling through the cracks because of the elitist approach to education;
    Land Use Policy
    We call for an immediate band on the sale of land to non-citizens. In recent years we have seen the increase in land prices because of unregulated speculating. This activity has resulted in citizens being denied the ability to purchase land and therefore have no real legacy to leave for future generations;
    Tourism
    We call for the establishment of craft markets at all hotel plants,each to accommodate at least twelve vendors to sell their craft. The vendors would be chosen by a lottery which would be conducted by the hotels and a reputable firm of auditors. This would assist in restoring some form of economic activity by small business persons who have been systematically denied opportunity in the tourism industry.
    Agriculture and Fisheries
    We call for the establishment of a revolving fund of fifty million dollars to assist small farmers with ten or less acres and fisher folk with small/medium sized vessels in order to improve their operations. These funds should be loaned from the National Insurance Scheme. We call for the establishment of an Agriculture and Fisheries Fund Department to exclusively manage the fund.
    The Arts
    We call for a National Primary School Arts festival. All performances should be filmed and marketed throughout the world. Outstanding students/performers should be given scholarships to further their Craft/skills. This festival should include calypso and steel drum (pan) performances in addition to all other activities.
    Governance
    We call for senators to be elected every two years and with term limits of six years or three terms. Candidates should be nominated by any civic group or organization registered by the state. Independent candidates will not be allowed. No more than one candidate should be nominated by each civic group. In cases where there is no clear winner, run-offs should be used to determine winners. The newly constituted senate will have the right to vote on all government bills. Defeat in the senate will send the bill back to the House of Assembly for further consideration. A bill can only be defeated by a clear two third majority in the new senate. The senate should comprise of no more than twenty four persons and the stipend paid should be no more than that necessary to cover travel to and from the senate. Senatorial campaigns should not exceed ten thousand dollars and the monitoring of such will be executed by an independent Senatorial Overview Committee whose members will not be paid but selected by the Government Opposition and Governor General.
    Integrity
    We call on all Members of Parliament to declare their assets immediately. Failure to declare assets after six months in Parliament should lead to recall and new elections barring those who refuse or fail to declare their assets from being elected and or participating in any campaign
    Republic
    We call on both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour party to move Barbados to Republic status within one year after the date of General elections of February 21st. 2013.

    Mahogany Coconut Group Think Tank and Watchdog Group.

  10. @ MillertheAnunnaki

    If there is one common thread in your submissions Mr. Miller is the fact that while you use the English language so eloquently to posit your points of view, and decimate your detractors, you are always one to present an alternative for active consideration.

    Therein lies the crux of this matter of those people who come to the table with this wishy washy harmonization theories.

    They are the first to cry down what exists in either political camp but as you examine every single one of their submissions there is not an iota of “here is a suggestion to build up the inefficiencies that abound”

    So we have the one group that delight in castigating what exists and preaching doom and gloom.

    Then their is the second group that falls into the “GOD IS DEAD” and “WE have been appointed to REPLACE HIM” crew who wait, like vultures over carrion, and descend on any and every idea that is proposed and seek to tear the proposer to shreds.

    Note that i did not say what is proposed, but the proposer.

    Having said that let me begin.

    The People’s Republic of China has the largest photovoltaic cell cum facade building panes in the world.

    Instead of canvassing for bilateral funding to build another useless arena in some ministers constituency why doesn’t our government, aided by the mission staffing that is living it up in China, actively pursue a specific programme for a pilot to outfit every one of the governments housing developments with PVC plants to outfit said units at Ferniehurst, Haynesville, Deacons and the rest of the settlements that they periodically establish and then abandon, to collect sunlight and reintroduce it into the electric grid so that the less fortunate amongst us who are suffering under the Energy Bills each month can see some real benefits of this big up Renewable Energy ting that successive governments talk about in their manifesto every five years.

    But that would be too much to ask wouldn’t it, the establishment of a RE programme with relevance instead of EGFL putting millions of dollars in a energy tings out in Africa someplace.

    Oh one more thing, neither party needs to come to my house in 2018 for my vote unless it institutes a power of recall programme,

    I also am joining the increasing group of voters who feel that it is time for both BLP and DLP, to be accountable to the people.

    If you know you can be recalled for poor performance, maybe that would make a difference to some of these fellows telling you to come to their constituency office, making you wait for 2 hours, never turning up and not even apologising.

    Remember what i said earlier, “GOD is Dead and am i not like unto GOD?”

  11. David Weekes………..a guy borrowed over $20,000,000 (million) US dollars from outside entities and arrived in Barbados a couple years ago to eagerly start on a renewable energy program, with all the long talk government loves to give everyone and rah rah about the subject.

    He was in the newspapers either last year or the year before complaining bitterly about the same ministers not returning calls, emails, memos or not doing any followup that would allow him to proceed, I mean this guy borrowed heavily and was allowed into the island to setup. So go figure.

  12. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926-2013 AND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS

    Well Well @ you know the deal , Whats in it for me ?If the Ministers cant get a 10% of the 20,000,000 deal no DEAL.
    As long as they can over charge the people for their own oil that is to go to TNT and then sell back to Bajans at World market prices , then why mess up a good thing is the ministers have stock in the wrongs of Barbados DLPBLP/ .We can even use sugar cane to run cars , but the price will be the same as fuel , No one wants to give no one a pick. It all to hammer the people into the earth.
    Its the same with RED JET. its was said Sink man wanted 10,000,000 to let them fly , LIAT rules the sky.
    If LIAT drop a plane out of the sky they will never be grounded by Minister or no one ,

  13. Plantation…….that’s why no one trusts either political party at this time, trust has to be earned, when you have no transparency but lots of secrets that were revealed to some in the last 5 years, it’s a no go.

  14. Alvin Cummins

    @Well Well You will have to give me more details on thissituation. goeernment has advertised for tenders to supply Solar energy to a number of Government buildings, schools and other places. Did this guy apply to tender for any of these advertised? There is a process to be followed and I know for a fact the tendering process is very specific, and the tendering process has to be followed to the letter. I would need to get more information before I pass judgement. Government has already installed solar energy panels at the government offices in the Pine.

  15. Alvin Cummins

    @Well Well. I perused the link. Will comment after further in depth study.
    Same thing goes for Mahogany Group. Some of your proposals need in depth study especially since on the surface the are not well thought out..example institution of Republic Status requires a change in the constitution and that can only be changed buy a two thirds majority of the governing party, which no party presently holds. More on that later.

  16. @Alvin

    Surely you are aware that it is possible for the government to solicit/canvass the support of the opposition on the matter of Republicanism? It is your suggestion that to change the Constitution requires two thirds from government side which is self defeating.

  17. millertheanunnaki

    @ Alvin Cummins | June 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM |
    “Government has already installed solar energy panels at the government offices in the Pine.”

    This is nothing new or represents any major break through. These are just moves that should have been made many moons ago. The building that houses the MoA at Graeme Hall was outfitted with solar technology in mind way back in the late late70′s to early 80′s.
    W
    hat we would like to see done with absolute haste is the amendment to the Electricity Act to allow for some real vibrancy in that R E sector by private players.

    What is government going to do with any excess energy supplied by their own buildings? Sell it on to the company managing the national grid network? And if so, under what legal framework the various ministries/departments/ statutory bodies be operating as opposed to the private sector players who are complaining about the slow pace of having the relevant legislative framework up and running?

    What is causing the delay in having this important piece of amended legislation brought before the people’s Parliament? Why is all of the current frivolous non-urgent legislation crowding the legislative queue at the expense of vitally important economic life changing parliamentary work?

    Speak up Alvin, or else you might be accused as the next cause of a national power failure emanating from sudden shocks to your brain cells overloaded with partisan political tripe!

  18. Alvin…………you will have to go into the Nation Newspaper archives to get the information on the guy who was/is investing all that money on renewable energy in Bim, I was passing through the island at the time and happened to read the paper that day, the information will still be there.

  19. @ Alvin Cummins
    Thanks for your comments. We assure you that our proposals were done after discussions with small business persons who were systematically squeezed out of the tourism industry , small farmers and fisherfolk. Our positions are consistent with our philosophy that there can be no real economic reform without reform of the education system. We welcome all ideas ,suggestions and advice. We look forward to working with you and others as we continue our quest for a new Caribbean economic order and a vibrant new Caribbean nation.

  20. Alvin Cummins

    @Mahogany think tank.Have you informed yourself of the grants and funds available under the Ministry of Agriculature that are available? Check and you will see that there are grants available for fisherfolk, as well as small investors in agriculture. In addition don’t they have crafts people displaying their goods at almost every hotel? I certainly see them in St. Lawrence gap, I knew a lady from Brittons Hill who used to sell at Almond, when it was Heywoods, and there are bootsh at Dover and Accra for crafts vendors. In any case I will reply to your blog in depth.
    @Miller, I know individuals who have installed solar panels on their homes and who are feeding their excess electricity to the national grid. I am sure that those details can be worked for government. You should also know why the installation at Graeme Hall failed. You should also know why, during the BLP years there was so much sceptcism about the use of solar power that the installation at Skkeete’s Bay was allowed to deteriorate til it became useless.I took the principals of a company in Canada that is associated with the provision of solar panels etc up there to look into the possibility of reinstalling solar panels etc. These were for the rovision of ice for the vendors at that facility.

  21. Didn’t the BL&P confirm single digit subscribers feeding the grid?

    Hasn’t it been confirmed the pay scale does NOT make it viable for consumers to feed the grid?

  22. @David.
    I seriously considered the SOLAR option.
    Believe me it ent for us.Unless your us is a different US to mine.
    The cost is prohibitive and the life cycle of the units deteriorates way before payback time.(Which never actually transpires)
    Would you feel that spending around 36,000B$(and thats IF the parts/components, were available in Bim at the same as in US of A) is an affordable option for most people like US?
    Then be looking at Major replacements inside 15 years. What will then be the COST of the replacements?
    Its an open ended scam.
    In this life things only sell on the premise of FEAR or GREED,
    Greed operates this scam.
    Get the power for “FREE” .
    Do the #,s and see as usual that the maxim of no “FREE” lunches still is not outdated..

  23. @David Weekes
    WHY use the “Peoples Republic of China” in the same comparative breath as our” Lil’ Ole Rock”
    a non starter.
    The Chinese can build what they like and it costs nothing cos people are without value in China ,furthermore the companies that produce panels are all under the control of the Government,via subsidies etc.
    If BIM can get a similar system at virtually ZERO cost also,YES lets go for it and have the backup of ZERO ongoing costs.
    Wonderful.
    You know it ent gonna happen cos we politicians also ent get nah rakeoff from a ZERO cost project.

  24. Why not a third party call ‘MCTT Party’? Why not support a party which favours Proportional representation?

  25. @Alvin Cummins
    We are quite aware of the limited assistance given to small fisherfolk. We are also aware of the efforts to get the fisherfolk organised into modern cooperatives etc. We dare say that neither the BLP/DLP have brought any progressive policies to move the fishing industry forward. or have failed to make the industry, on a whole , more viable.
    As far as the vendors at Dover are concerned, we invite you to talk with them and find out whether their businesses have really prospered for the last eight years . Also find out if they are happy with the physical changes made in relation to the booths. We also invite you to canvass the beach vendors throughout the island and ask them how business has been for the last 10 years or so.
    You speak of a vendor selling at or outside a hotel. In our proposal we called fro craft markets to be established at hotels. We are speaking about modern craft markets with proper facilities and the opportunity for vendors to have well appointed facilities to compliment the properties. You should know that vendors close shop before nightfall because the booths are not conducive to night selling etc. The booths ,in many instances ,are very cramped and in the case of Dover, most vendors believe, they have actually made the area less attractive .

  26. Perhaps, I am wrong to assumed that governmental interact generates private- sector productive.

  27. What I meant to say and forgive me for rewriting it twice because of the small mistake that I’ve made above. That governmental interaction obviously produces the necessarly impetus that is needed by private- sector in order for it to remain productive. For example, state defind wages couple with governmental regulations, obviously will determine how best a private-sector company operates within the ocean of the national economy.

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