Tag Archives: Barbados Politics

Notes From a Native Son: If They Come for Me in the Morning, They will Come for You in the Night

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

We are all agreed that the economic arguments which have engulfed Barbados for the last six years have now been fully exhausted and most people have taken sides. Those who believe that the government is on the right track are firm in their belief, and those of us, the vast majority, who believe that the government has no clear strategy for rescuing the economy are convinced we are right. But there is also another gap in our national conversation, and that in many ways is even more fundamental than the short-term one about the current account deficit or, in many ways, the debt to GDP ratio. To my mind, what is dangerously lacking is a vision: how we see ourselves in a fast-moving globalising world which, paradoxically, is also at the same time witnessing the growth of a countervailing inward-looking nationalism. Future

One of the huge failures of this national conversation are our academics at Cave Hill whose role it is to explain the nation to itself. It is almost embarrassing to witness their silence, or for the brave ones who do speak, the clipped, short, one sentence outbursts that, in real terms, mean very little. Apart from ‘Professor’ Frank Alleyne,  whose views on modern economics to my mind are totally irrelevant, all we are getting are statements, such as that the Barbados dollar should not be devalued. But the advocates of this position are not saying why it should not be devalued or what benefits the nation gets from continuing to peg to the Greenback, despite the global currency volatility. Sadly, the journalists whose job it is to interrogate these people are intellectually ill-equipped to do so, or are intimidated by the reputations of these economic conservatives. However, even economic professors can be wrong, and the great defenders of the Bajan/Greenback peg in the current economic climate are dead wrong. I shall return to this argument in the near future.

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No Gimmicks

Submitted by Douglas
Sugar Point Cruise Facility

Sugar Point Cruise Facility

The DLP is on the right track to restore growth to the Barbados economy. We are having constructive dialogue with stakeholders to implement the tough measures and minimise the impact on those affected. We have started that consultation long ago with stakeholders to identify strategies to restructure the Barbados Economy. We have introduced our home grown policies such as the recently passed Electric Light & Power Bill and income tax amendments which will grow the alternative energy sector in Barbados.

As we go through the necessary process to reduce the public sector, we are aware of hope on the horizon to grow the private sector to take up the slack. Government has signed off on the proposed financing arrangement for the new Sandals Beaches Hotel at Almond with the Chinese Government. The coastal work in preparation for the new cruise terminal at the port has already begun. Both the IADB and the Chinese Government have expressed interest in financing the Pier Head Marina. Cabinet will take a final decision on the financing in a few days. The construction of the waste-to-energy facility at Vaucluse will bring in US$300 million in investment. These and other projects will contribute significantly to grow the Barbados economy in 2014 and beyond.

The Barbados economy will turn around, – not through political gimmicks, but hard work and dedication.

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Time to Usher in an Era of Political Maturity

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Owen Arthur, Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley MP, Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Owen Arthur, Former Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley Leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Good Evening,

Fellow Barbadians, let me say how pleased I am, that our recently held general election was incident free and fair. Let me congratulate all the candidates for maintaining the democratic process and thanks to all those hard working citizens, who ensured that the highest standards of conduct prevailed.

Let me specially congratulate our main opposition, the Barbados Labour Party, on its success although the party of which I currently have the honor of leading, the Democratic Labour Party was victorious on this occasion. As you know, the result was very close and while the Democratic Labour Party was returned to office, the voters clearly showed that they are looking to both parties to solve our problems. In other words, while we are buoyed by the victory, we realize that these are challenging times and both parties have put the health of our economy, as their main priority.

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What's In a Name

Submitted by Old Onion Bags

The Boardwalk

Has anyone else noticed the sudden impulse to rename buildings, boardwalks and schools nowadays? Wonder why? What is really the subliminal message being sent out here? Soon time? All is mine?

Could it be… those were our charges and deserve more mention? Which ever way is up, it seems facetious and self serving for the placement of a new frets oninto old guitars, that have become legacies in their own right, when remembered as they were….true hallowed institutions. A new boardwalk maybe, but to rename a school like Harrison’s College  to something else, seems extenuating even disingenuous. A Queens College renamed to a new fame or other dame is an exercise in farrago.

Why distort history and challenge past remembrance?

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Minister Denis Lowe: A Man Searching for Integrity in High Office

Minister Denis Lowe (1) Peter Allard (r)

The DLP promised us integrity legislation within a short period of time once it had formed a government. Now, on the eve of another general election, there is no integrity legislation. It cannot escape consideration that the DLP did not dare to provide integrity legislation as, if it did, it and successor governments of both political stripes, might find it impossible to form a government, far less a cabinet.

Some time ago, BU promised that on the eve of the next general election it would revisit the issue of Minister DENIS LOWE. We know understand from his accreditation:

He specialises in Developmental/Clinical Psychology. He was appointed Minister of the Environment and Drainage in June 2011, having held those posts and the additional portfolio of Water Resources since November 2008.   He previously held the portfolio of Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development. 

Before assuming this ministerial portfolio, he was Managing Director and Principal Consultant with Life View International. We will not go into Lowe’s background. We are only interested in his political role. We note that he was “Managing Director and Principal Consultant with Life View International”.

Related Links: Lowe 1, 2, 3

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Blind Men Don't Play Dominoes

Submitted by Old Onion Bags
Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur

Leader of the Opposition Owen Arthur says the Bees are ready.

Time we face up to facts. Too often now, plasters are to quick to be offered for every sore. Like Mathew Farley the said megalomaniac. Though some can see the truth behind the unfortunate situation, they would rather cower to a defensive stance and represent like a pit bull, giving all to their cause.  Oh how we love not to face up to the truth and call a spade a spade. It has become contagious now. It is as if by some strange complexion, we would rather be blinded, than to take the path to truth.

So what is so wrong with looking at a shovel and saying its another word for a spade? Why must we take the round about route with mundane discourse? For those who are accustomed playing dominoes, if the board calls for sixes and duces, fours or threes cannot play. It just won’t be right. If by accident, a mismatch, the result will be chaos when coming to near end of the game.  A six is a six and a duce a duce. There can be no substitute.

Why then in life’s situations we are tempted to play the  wrong cards? A three for a four…..a blank for an ess? Why do we attempt to do such hubris and sabotage or cause problems to life’s domino game? Why can’t we be honest with ourselves sometimes when we know of the obvious error? Why continue to throw good time and money after bad? Like The Four Seasons. $400 millions now sunk and irrelevant past cost to any future decision making.  Sometimes we know different but blinded by the folly of our error, continue to hold tether, hoping for change.

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Owen JR Arthur

Submitted by DLP Supporter

Leader of the Opposition

Lights !!! Camera!!! Action!!! Last weekend’s meeting of the Barbados Labour Party’s branch of the St Michael North East, on the spacious lawns of Tyrol Cot, reminded Barbadians of a scene in the upcoming new series of Dallas . This is one of the many scenes were JR Ewing and Sue Ellen pretend to be the loving couple in public. JR Ewing the abusive hubby and Sue Ellen, the faithful side kick waiting for the call to ask how high to jump.

How many times have Barbadians seen the kiss and make up public charade. The political embrace all in the name of the party’s image is just getting extremely worn. It was not too long ago that Mia scripted the now famous letter [19th September 2011] to her party’s hierarchy withdrawing from the race of chairman as the incoming chairman in waiting had a copy of the script from his greatest political ally. Mia wrote

“ …You may well ask whether internal victory at all costs for certain interests is worth jeopardizing the image and appeal of our great Party in the eyes of the wider electorate at this volatile and uncertain juncture of our Nation’s history and within sight of a General Election. The most powerful way I can register my strongest opposition to this undemocratic and unconstitutional cutting of members’ rights and tinkering with our Constitution is to withdraw from the contest for the post of Chairman. To remain would be to legitimize behavior that is foreign to this Party…”

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At The Risk Of Inflaming The Understood Passions Of Diehards

Submitted by William Skinner

Arthur and Stuart, the current leaders of the BLP and DLP

At the risk of inflaming the partisan passions of die hard Barbados Labour Party and Democratic labour Party supporters, I venture to suggest, that both parties are now in the position of the pot calling the kettle black! It seems to be quite clear to objective citizens, that both are now apparently incapable of formulating any real socio-economic plan to take our country forward.

Ever since the mid 70’s, the sole purpose of both parties, has been to focus almost exclusively on winning elections. As the country developed and the corporate elite became more sophisticated, the public sector was allowed to lag behind because of slow movement toward technology. The black political managerial class is therefore left to “keep noise” and impress the public gallery.

Many of our problems are rooted in our colonial history. At the very top is an educational system that lacks serious and progressive reform. The system is still elitist, and favours academically inclined students. Teachers are under constant pressure to keep the status quo intact.

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Dear DLP

Submitted by Observing

You are suffering and you are indirectly suffering the independents that support you. We like you, really we do. We believe that you have the most integrity and desire to help all Barbadians and with time could do so. But you are doing an atrocious job of showing it, proving it, or at the very least talking about it properly.  Let me pause to offer a moment of sympathy for your departed leader, former PM David Thompson. He truly went too soon. He also left big boots to fill and an unfinished vision and mandate that desperately needed time and hard working, honest souls to bring it to fruition.  Fast forward two years and we must now ask. What have you done? How have you done it? How have you shared it?

I’ll declare my hand and admit that my philosophy, leaning and beliefs endear me to the DLP rather than the BLP. But, my objectivity will always question right from wrong, good from bad, sense from nonsense and efficiency from ineptitude.  In too many cases you have collectively chosen the latters. To make matters worse, it has been so blatant, so obvious, and in some cases so bumbling that it seems you are still now trying to “settle” into the role of government, four years after the fact.

While on that, let me turn to your chairman, the PM, the numero uno, Mr. Freundel Stuart.  A good man.  A liked man. A decent man. An intelligent man. But clearly a man with flaws in some of the critical areas of leadership, team building and emotional intelligence.  They say a leader gets the job done. Full stop.  But there are many tasks he/she must undertake and people he/she must work and talk with to get there.  The jury will decide on Stuart’s performance as PM and leader.   As for the team? Likeable fellows somewhat. But, complacent, sometimes arrogant and now conveniently blind to the very things that swept them into power, and are poised to sweep them out.  They should pray for light.

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Re: Some Comments To Rescue And Rebuild

Submitted by Looking Glass

Some comments suggest we know and understand little about the country and less about how the world spins. Some party faithfuls without knowledge or facts preach falsehood in tattered narrowness. A few seem to have difficulty with the written word. Prodigal Son asks if theSt Joseph hospital was sold how could government “be able to lease it out.” Yes I said the BLP sold the port, airport, the National Bank and the hospital in the north. Is the northern hospital located inSt Joseph? Austin (not Hal) asks if I “honestly consider what the Bajan public is getting from the current PM is leadership.” The article dealt exclusively with the BLP not the DLP. To answer your question try reading my other submissions.

According to Enuff the submission is “symptomatic of a government that fails to accept that public policy and behaviour inspires the private sector to invest….” Does he mean the current opposition? The submission dealt only with the BLP. To find out who bought the Port and Airport ask those who know but choose to be conveniently unaware.

I am not suggesting the private sector is to blame. That sector (White) built and developed the country. For example four arrived as indentures (another name for slaves), worked on the plantations some of which they later owned, invested their savings in business and built Bridgetown, all by utilizing the only natural resource, the land. (Little England 2). Politically it provided education for blacks (CodringtonCollege) and other social facilities at a time when the Uncle Sam considered the Nigger to be 5/8 of a human. And they supported the abolition of slavery. Recall the Conservative Party? You voted them out of power. Why is another story. Today the private sector provides the bulk of taxation used to support social services, government employment and remains by far the largest employer.

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