Category Archives: Blogging

Blogging around Barbados

Fond Farwell Looking Glass

Submitted by Stan Carter
LOOKING GLASS

LOOKING GLASS

To all the many Underground readers who either liked or disliked the articles posted by the controversial Looking Glass, I have the sad task of informing you that Looking Glass passed on or about January 02, 2014. His contributions  will be sadly missed.

May He Rest In Peace.
Aside

Dear BU family, Commenters all BU apologizes for the disruption caused to our readers and contributors over the last 48 hours. Site traffic drops below average during the holiday period and the BU household belatedly grabbed the opportunity to transfer … Continue reading

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Workers Misrepresentation, Who Benefits?

David:

Reblogged by request.

Originally posted on Barbados Underground:

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Recently the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Dale Marshall, accused the National Union of Public Workers of playing politics. That caused me to reflect on the state of trade union representation in this country and wonder if the accusation was true for other unions. A comparison of the roles played by the unions during different political administrations would suggest that Marshall had justifiable reasons to come to his conclusion. During the DLP administration, you tend to get the impression that unions are bending over backward to accommodate the Government. When the BLP is in office, unions tend to be a bit more active which can be attributed to the fact that most union leaders appear to favour the DLP.

From inception workers have been complaining that the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) has not been acting in the…

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When Obituaries Make Pleasure

Submitted by Charles Knighton
Charles leacock, DPP

Charles leacock, DPP

“Carson Anthony Ismael….had pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier in the Continuous Assizes. Calista Alleyne, whose throat was cut, died on May 26, 2010.  Ismael had previously been convicted of causing the death of his former wife Kirani Ismael back in January 2007. The charge had been assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was sentenced to 16 months in jail for that offense, suspended for two years.” “Study ordered on manslayer”, Midweek Nation

“How dare someone take the life of someone else in a jealous rage and then follow it up with the most cowardly act of drinking a poisonous substance, unable to face the consequences of one’s actions?”  Janelle Husbands, December 10 Advocate

Consequences, Ms. Husbands? In Barbados? Where the Director of Public Prosecutions is only too eager to see manslayers as opposed to murderers? Where the average sentence for men who kill their partners is 5 years in prison? Where in an understatement of appalling proportions Mr. Ismael, who has now killed two female partners in less than five years, is deemed in need of “anger management counseling” in the probation report furnished to the court. Really?! Only in Islamic countries would the leniency shown to the killers of women in Barbados seem harsh.

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A Green Party Beckons in Barbados

The following text was circulated by Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament, Saanich-Gulf Islands, Leader, Green Party of Canada

Elizabeth May MP, Canada Green Party

Elizabeth May MP, Canada Green Party

After seven years as leader of the Green Party of Canada and two and a half years as a Member of Parliament, I do not think of myself as a politician.  I don’t think of myself as someone who yearns for power.  I hope I am not the kind of person who would want to build a new political party for its own sake. Nevertheless, I am more committed than ever to getting a full caucus of Green MPs (at least 12) elected in the next federal election.  The question we should always ask is “why?”  Will working and focusing to elect twelve MPs change anything?  Will we – as so many progressive voices allege – merely “split the vote?”

When I first decided to run for leadership in the Green Party, my primary motivation was to stop Stephen Harper gaining a majority government.   I thought I could prevent his chances of a majority by being in the leaders’ debate, working to keep a focus on issues.  I wanted to blunt what I saw then – and still do today – as the informal alliance between Conservatives and the NDP to destroy the Liberal Party – thus keeping Harper in power.  In 2008, thanks to a huge public outcry, I was in the debates and we held Harper to a minority.  In 2011, when the other party leaders and the networks did a better job of covering their tracks to block Green participation, Harper won his coveted majority.

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Barbadian Author Andrea Stuart Discusses her Book Sugar in the Blood

Listen to Barbadian author Andrea Stuart gives a riveting insight into her book Sugar in the Blood at the Barbados High Commission in London. An introduction is given by Barbadian historian Richard Drayton who is the widely respected Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s College London. The book launch comes at an interesting time with a reparation claim being explored by Caricom. The book highlights how the history of Barbados and England is forever intertwined. Sugar built Britain on the backs of slaves.

 

Appeal to Roebuck Secondary School formerly Louis Lynch Former Students

Urgent notice do read and repost:

future_centre_trustDid you or any one you know attend the Roebuck Secondary also known as Louis Lynch Secondary? Do you know of anyone who died from cancer,suffering an endocrine disease or any mysterious illness who went to the aforementioned school? Please call the Future Centre Trust at 6252020 and leave your details.

Notes From a Native Son: For Whom the Bell Tolls, If Not for Thee?

Introduction:

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

The natives are getting restless as the dark clouds descend, it is as if there is  an expectation of bad news. While ministers and their advisers, clearly out of their policy-making depths, struggle with a patchwork of policies initiatives, mainly around the exhausted tourism sector, the rest of government and the private sector is in lock down. People are talking as in a Tower of Babel, but the noise is not making any sense, often lacking in coherence and simple logic, while in the meantime nothing is happening. Even so, what passes for policy is usually a further waste of taxpayers’ money: Four Seasons, Almond Village, Sandals, Transport Board, Gems, the chaos at the central bank – we all know the score. Absent from this roll call are any new and persuasive ideas from parliamentarians, technocrats or policy advisers. It is as if there are no answers to the nation’s problems, that the millions we have spend on education since 1966 has all been in vain, that together as a people we cannot put country before party or ego and come up with viable solutions to our problems.

Entrepreneurial State:
Recently I received a review copy of a book, The Entrepreneurial State, by Mariana Mazzucato, professor of economics at the University of Sussex, and it is a wonderful read. If I though it would have been appreciated, I would send a copy to every member of parliament – government and opposition – so that they can get new ideas on the pioneering role of government in economic development. Prof Mazzucato gives a long list of the new technologies and sectors, from the internet to Apple, Google, pharmaceuticals, and numerous others developments that would not have seen the light of day had not for early State support and intervention. It was State funding – government, military, health service, universities – that funded the early stages of most of these developments before they were transferred to the private sector.
It is a development that we have seen with the global banking crisis and the subsequent sovereign debt meltdown: a crisis that started with Bill Clinton’s removal of the Glass/Steagall barrier, which led eventually to banks over-dosing on cheap credit and, inevitably, the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Then the language of big business changed, from calls for minimum government to one of systemically important banks which had to be bailed out by taxpayers, removing huge unprecedented debt from the balance sheets of private banks to that of the State, ordinary taxpayers. Then calls for a solution, led by academics with access to policy-making, with one set calling for austerity, while the others lined up behind the so-called Australian School, calling for lighter government. But, as Prof Mazzucato has shown, there is room for State intervention, provided it is sensible and prudent and the outcomes are measured and productive.

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CL Financial bailout – Really learning from the past

David:

It seems Barbadians have forgotten about CLICO and all the promises but what have we learned from the collapse? How have we sought to strengthen institutional capacity as a response? Is the Financial Services Commission (FSC) doing a job? Should Barbadians be privy to the sealed judicial report? What about those who were involved with CLICO Barbados and continue business as usual?

Afra Raymond’s journey in Trinidad covering CL Financial matters should serve to inspire others. This piece is recommended reading.

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

CB-gov - TTCSII am responding to the points made by Central Bank Governor, Jwala Rambarran, in his 6 November speech to the T&T Coalition of Service Industries.

This speech attempted to both re-affirm the Central Bank’s important role in our economy -

…as the country‟s prime financial regulator, the Central Bank has an almost fifty year record of maintaining the safety and soundness of the financial system…

and to distinguish Rambarran’s tenure as Governor since July 2012 -

…These are just a few of the initiatives the Central Bank has been working on over the last fifteen months to rebuild confidence, strengthen financial stability and to help create our future financial system…

Rambarran’s focus was “…First, “How did it all happen?” and, second…“What is being done to prevent a similar event from happening again?…”

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Choose Bajans: Urgent Fresh Elections or an IMF/DLP Programme of Austerity and Suffering Even Worse Than 1991?

Henderson Bovell

Henderson Bovell

The downgrade by Standard and Poors is proof that, you can hijack the truth – even hold it hostage for a short time (as it is now crystal clear the DLP did before the February 2013 general elections) but “truth” will always escape and expose you, as the DLP is now finding out.

Before the February elections, Barbadians were assured by the same DLP that said that: it will not “cheat;” it will not “steal” and it will not “lie” – that the economy was “stable.” But soon after February, “truth” was able to escape and the country heard “for the first time” (despite an alleged report to the nation during the general election campaign when nothing was said) that the QEH could not pay a multi-million-dollar bill for medicines and that the Transport Board had spent $30 million it did not have and having done that – licked-out an overdraft for a further $10 million. You see part of why Barbados is in serious trouble?

Trademark fiscal recklessness like the Transport Board spending that $40 million it did not have  – will hardly escape the Auditor General but it constitutes the same cost overrun the dems  said will not happen – under a DLP Government?  Do you see why you need to urgently reel-in the DLP and why no patriotic person in Barbados; sensible person within the Caribbean or  respected institutions around the world -  have confidence in the DLP; trust them or want to risk taking them seriously?

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