Category Archives: Politics

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The Arthur Objective

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (l) Owen Arthur MP (r)

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (l) Owen Arthur MP (r)

The public statement by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler that he is willing to endorse former Prime Minister Owen Arthur serving on an advisory committee of government has come as a surprise to BU. His statement comes a couple days after Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made a similar statement. It is clear there is some public relations being done to smoothed or welcome Arthur’s entry into the DLP’s universe, a naked grab for a man who is widely regarded as one of the best economists in the region. The vast experience Arthur has accumulated leading Barbados for 14 years has positioned him as a priceless resource for an under resourced DLP Cabinet struggling to manage a contracting economy.

Until recently Arthur was the focal point of relentless attacks from the government that bordered on tactless and tasteless in the Lower House. Arthur may have contributed to the venomous attacks by his repeated references to a porakey parliament.  BU believes the angst the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) side holds (held) for Arthur is derived from him having been the face of a successful Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for close to fifteen years. His extended tenure gave the DLP a long time in the wilderness to all but self-destruct. If Arthur had not allowed the Mascoll factor to muddy the issue for the electorate in 2007  many believe Arthur would have served another term. He was mercilessly lampooned in all areas of the media which a generous general election budget supported. An attack on Arthur that resonated with the public effectively decapitated the the BLP figurehead and shorten his coat tail.  The DLP flawlessly executed the strategy to demonize Arthur in the last general election and Stuart was the beneficiary. Unfortunately the economic challenge that faced Barbados was a secondary message.

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Young Democrats Launch Education Grant

The following shared as a public service communication – Barbados Underground

Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:28:29 -0500

Young Democrats offering shollarships

Young Democrats offering tuition scholarships

Subject: Young Dems Educational Grant Programme Application Form and Poster

To: Dear Comrades,

On Thursday 17th  August, 2014, the Young Democrats lunched it’s Educational Grant Program. The Young Dems launch this initiative to target students in need of assistance to meet their financial requirements as they enter their respective educational institutions. This program came as a result of the noticeable number of students who are unable to pay their fees or even afford the necessities for school. Therefore, the aim of this program is to provide some students with educational grants to pay for their economic costs.

If you or anyone you know need assistance with funding for school, apply for the Young Dems Educational Grant Today!

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Submitted by Pachamama
Destruction of Gaza

Destruction of Gaza

As we enter week four (4) of the barbaric slaughter of the sacred Palestinian people a simultaneous and larger war against the peoples of the world pursues apace. Indeed, the savage decades old war against the Palestinians comes within the context and at the height of an American imperial exceptionalism that has had no ‘moral minimum’. This war of aggression against the Palestinians is no different than the wars against economically disadvantaged peoples of the South. It is a  war even against Russia and all of Europe because there must never be another exception to this new and staggering American exceptionalism. It is an exceptionalism that aims to do something no other empire has considered – to have no end, almost Messianic. And nothing, nobody, nowhere is outside its sphere of interests. Its current central focus is Russia but China is to soon follow. The war on Gaza sees the Palestinian people facing the onslaught of the Zionist agents of this vicious American exceptionalism.

We are all Palestinians when, as Caribbean peoples, we are devastated by engineered economic conditions as characterized by booms and busts. The economic wars we are facing is no less criminal in nature than the brutality inflicted on innocent women and children in the open air prison called Gaza. This brutality of capitalism, as war, has reach such a normalization that we have been numbed to the growing billions still living beyond the poverty line, starving, unable to find potable water, lacking basic medicines, denied quality education, shelter and healthy food, even in ‘developed’ countries. These are still happening in a world where the number of billionaires is increasing exponentially. For these are the accepted and acceptable conditions of the Palestinians people and billions more throughout the world who are Palestinians today and have always been Palestinians.

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Solid Waste Tax Good for Barbados

There is a cricket saying, if a batsman does not watch the ball carefully onto the bat, bad things are likely to happen. The local news will be consumed with the resignation of former prime minister Owen Arthur from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) after being a member for 43 years for the next week or two. Arthur’s resignation – which took many Barbadians  by surprise – has triggered a flood of speculation about how it will influence the porakey political landscape of Barbados. Sadly we have found yet another politically motivated event to distract from the important job of rebuilding Barbados. Has anybody noticed Barbados dropped from 38 to 59 in the Human Development Index?

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Owen Arthur Resigns from Barbados Labour Party

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur

The resignation of Owen Arthur from from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) should make Barbadians pause for several reasons. The incapacity of a former Prime Minister of fourteen years to carve out an effective role to serve his political party in the twilight of his career leaves a sour taste. If our leaders are unable to find ways to resolve conflict to the greater good of country what message does it send to the general population?

BU hesitates to join those who believe that with the exit of Arthur it leaves a clear path to unchallenged leadership for Mia Mottley. The decision by Arthur to resign from the party BUT continue to sit in parliament as an independent may yet prove to be a bane for Mottley. Unshackled from the political party that made him, he has created the opportunity to demonstrate in his post-resignation contributions to parliament why he believes the BLP has drifted from its course. For him not to record for the benefit of Hansard and to share his knowledge as a former prime minister with the people of Barbados will be a cheat on his legacy, a porakey parliament notwithstanding.

BU is of the view Arthur sincerely believes Mottley is not made of the stuff required to be a prime minister. He has stated it publicly at a press conference held at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill in 2009.  And many of his statements since has demonstrated he has not shifted his position. When Mottley was selected as opposition leader after the last general election was Arthur present in the room?

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Owen Arthur’s Revelation

Submitted by Joan Worrell

The following was submitted before former Prime Minister submitted his resignation earlier today.

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur

David, I am surprised that 12 hours after an interview between Owen Arthur and Kaymar Jordan captioned ‘Arthur Fed Up’ in yesterday’s edition of Barbados Today, you have not made reference to it.  Prove to me and other readers of Barbados Underground that you are different from the mainstream press as you often boast. However I would be the first person to apologize to you if you are too busy to read the E-Paper. Let me give you an extract of what he said in the interview in case you were in fact too busy.

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Sack Worrell and Sinckler

Barbados Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler and Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell take an in-depth interview at the Global Borrowers and Investors Forum.

Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler and Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell

In May this year Governor Delisle Worrell issued a directive to ban the Nation newspaper from participating in press conferences hosted by the Central Bank of Barbados. His action provoked wide condemnation from every corner within in civil society. The Governor and Central Bank obviously yielded to the pressure and public expectation reverted to the Governor having his routine press  and Q&A  sessions or so we thought!

It was a surprise therefore when the media was informed that the regular press conference to cover the six month economic performance review was to be cancelled. To date Barbados Underground has not discern the same level of outcry in response to the decision by the Central Bank compared to when the Nation newspaper was banned. Which is to be condemned more, the short-lived ban imposed on the Nation newspaper OR the cancellation of the press conference that denied the Fourth Estate from interrogating the banker of government at a time when we have more questions than answers.

The feeble excuse offered by the Central Bank and  supported by leading media practitioner David Ellis that all press briefings are posted to a website  is unacceptable. At a time when a greater level of public engagement is the desirable option, the Governor has chosen to retreat and is happy to limit his public appearances captured in the press to attendance at crop over events.

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Mia Flip Flop

Submitted by DLP Supporter
Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition

Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition

Back on September 29, 2010, Mottley said in her address to the Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Hilton Barbados that Government should not continue to wholly own and manage some of its facilities, when to do so would “challenge its ability to afford other services and benefits which are more important to us as a society – like affordable health care and free tertiary education”.

In other fora she spelt out her vision by asking, rhetorically, if people would prefer to pay a little for garbage collection while continually getting health care and education free.

At one such gathering, a political meeting, Mottley explained that Government spent about $55 million providing islandwide garbage collection. This included collection from businesses that at present pay nothing for this service.

She argued it would be better for Government to charge householders and businesses for this service.

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Mia Will Walk

Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition

Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition

The following is a statement issued by the leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party Mia Mottley. The action by Mia Mottley may prove to be a defining moment for her in the battle of public perception over BLP leadership. If she is able to rally her troops on Thursday, it will go a long way to prove she is the preferred leader.

The implementation of the Muni Tax, for whatever reason, has provoked Barbadians from all spheres to rally against it. The good thing is that it has brought focus to bear on the vexing issue of solid waste management. Barbadians must try to separate political rhetoric and naked political opportunism from the real issue read Kerri Symmonds.

Thanks ‪#‎Barbados‬ for coming out to our mass meeting last Sunday to show your support.

I SHALL NOW DO MY DUTY. I propose to take that first step. I have prayed on it. I shall walk. I shall walk on Thursday at midday from Parliament to Government Headquarters on Bay Street.

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Unjust Tax!

Submitted by Anthony Davis
that tax doesn't need reviewing. It needs taking to the Mangrove Landfill where it belongs

… the tax doesn’t need reviewing. It needs taking to the Mangrove Landfill where it belongs …

GIVE IT TIME! That’s the message Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, tried to convey yesterday to those who have voiced their opposition and discontent over the new municipal solid waste tax. If they’re aspects of the taxes that need to be adjusted, then we will adjust it going forward, but you need to give things time to work their way through, Sinckler told the SUNDAY SUN in an interview. We always do a review of taxes and this is no different and l particularly, we always tend to be more punctilious in doing it at the beginning, especially if it’s a new tax, or if it’s an existing tax that you’re increasing you always tend to see how it is performing and how it is behaving and where it can be made better,” he said. “That’s something that is constantly done.”

Well, well, well, How the mighty have fallen!

Is this the same Minister of Finance who decided to deprive the scions of the lower echelons of our society of a UWI education by refusing to pay their tuition fees, and going into his stand-your-ground mode and stating that it is his decision and he shall not be moved?

Is this the same Minister of Finance who slashed the $1300, which many people depend on for various reasons, and which would affect the lower echelons of our society most, to $650, and got on his high horse and stated that that is his decision and he will not be moved?

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