Submitted by Douglas
Government a tower of strength!
In the interest of the people of Barbados, this Democratic Labour Party administration will remain committed to our goals of restructuring the economy of Barbados. We will also continue to govern by doing what is in the best interest of the people of Barbados. As we go about the process of restructuring the economy and carry out the measures in the fiscal consolidation programme, some of the medication which we have to take may be bitter but in the end it is for a good cause.
The 19-month fiscal consolidation program was introduced in August 2013, thirteen months ago. Towards the end of the presentation by the Minister of Finance, he rallied Barbadians to support the measures recognising that they would redound to the benefit of the nation. He stated, “It is crafted to protect the things we hold dear and create new platforms for future success. It will not be easy nor will it be painless, but it will be worth it in the end. For the pain we bare now, will be the gain we secure in the future.”
In dealing with the Global Economic recession from 2008, this DLP administration insisted that we must maintain the social safety-net. When we look at what we have done during the time, this administration has managed to shield Barbadian from the full blow of the economic downturn.
When the government (National Insurance Scheme) sold a significant chunk of its shareholding in Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) BU disagreed. When Barbados National Bank (BNB) was sold to Republic Bank we disagreed. When Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) was sold for 30 pieces of silver by the White elite seeking to secure their golden parachute, we disagreed.
BL&P (EMERA) is the sole electricity utility provider in Barbados, a strategic asset. One of the largest inputs in the cost of production in Barbados is electricity. The capacity to fund projects by creating financial products and vehicles in the national interest can only be done by an entity if the decision making is influenced by indigenous thought. ALL the commercial banks in Barbados are foreign owned. Barbados has a significant food import bill and to compound the issue, food distribution and retail previously controlled by Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) was ceded to Port of Spain based Massy.
Three main ‘arteries’ of the Barbados economy, power, food, financial are effectively controlled and choked by foreign interest.
Submitted by Anthony Davis
Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education – yet another controversy in education…
“As education officials put systems in place to hold classes at the Grazettes Primary School at an alternative location next Monday, the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) is still waiting for some answers…”President Pedro Shepherd told ‘Barbados Today’ there are still questions about what chemicals were used in the fogging exercise that caused the lingering odour that has disrupted school since the beginning of the term…”I am told that the fogging staff of the Ministry of Health used about four or five chemicals mixed together, but they are only identifying one chemical – malathion. All they are saying is that they used malathion, which is an insecticide . . . Today, nobody wants to say what other chemical other than malathion was used in the fogging…”My opinion is that the chemicals used seeped into the furniture”
On page 5 of “Barbados Today” dated 02 October, under the headline “Health officials defend fogging”, it states: “Health officials have insisted that the chemicals used for fogging at the Grazettes Primary School were safe.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St John said this evening that the chemical mix that produces the fog used to kill the dengue and Chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes was as efficacious as it could be without being harmful to human health.”
Posted in Opinion
Tagged #246, #Barbados
Please show us the way…
We talk talk about business facilitation, we talk about making government more efficient by rationalizing government agencies charged with revenue collection. We changed aged old laws to employ a US based Barbadian to head the local judiciary – are we satisfied by the progress since his appointment? We talk about building a society and not an economy yet can we say without a shadow of a doubt we are making progress? Interestingly, Barbados does not have a relevant or comprehensive National Youth Plan to fashion a future society anyway. We talk talk talk, and while we talk, the need to be competitive in the global market widens.
The revelation that Dodds prison has been waiting on approval from Town Planning (TP) to expand farming operations for a couple years must be an embarrassment to government and Barbadians. The biggest irony is that Dodds prison lands formed Dodds Plantation.
The time taken by Town Planning department to issue approvals must be accepted as symptomatic of a flawed system. If Dodds, an entity owned by central government, is unable to collaborate with the TP to efficiently acquire timely approval, what is the read by non government players who are observing? Sandals management appears to have encountered no similar difficulty acquiring approval to construct at its Dover site. Of concern to Barbadians who expect our leadership to resolve problems in the national interest the Dodds scenario does nothing to infuse confidence. Then there was the statement issued by the BCCI today it does not have confidence in government’s economic plan.
The 4th anniversary of the Campus Trendz tragedy was recognized recently. Social activist David Commissiong and Doriel Skinner must be commended for using the memory of those who perished for a good. What BU finds amazing is the revelation that the Barbados Fire Service is still to act to penalize many businesses in Bridgetown which operate in contravention of occupational and safety laws.
Dr. David Estwick
The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) led by Freundel Stuart won the 2013 general election by a 16:14 margin, collecting 51.2% compared to 48.3% of the eligible vote. However, the statistic which stands out for BU is the 4,539 votes that separated the two parties in the first past the pole system of democracy we practice in Barbados, that is, 74,027 for DLP and 78,566 for the DLP. Another statistic civic minded Barbadians should take note of is that voter turnout continues to languish in the low 60 percent except for the general elections held in the period 1966 to 1986.
Although the system of democracy we practice in Barbados is described as “a universally recognized ideal” because it purports to protect the individual rights of individuals and ‘encourages the distribution of political power’, it is not perfect. It should be obvious to many our democratic system needs a revamp, we need to improve the quality of individual attracted to public service but more important, we need to have a system which holds politicians and public officials accountable to the electorate.
For the last 10 years, or so it seems, there has been too much twitter and not enough doing to build a better Barbados. Since 2007 which coincides with the global meltdown, the country has had to endure incessant complaining from a demanding public dissatisfied with an uncommunicative government. A government that appears not to accept the responsibility of being representative of ALL Barbadians.
Submitted by Pachamama
Do we have confidence in the 11+ model to equip our nation to be globally competitive?
In this article we will argue that the school system, at all levels, has outlived its usefulness and therefore can serve no desirable purpose in ‘development’. We will suggest that computers have made ‘knowing’ obsolete, that the brain of children respond negatively to the threats of punishment and examinations. That the 10,000 years it has taken us to reach knowledge obsolescence represents a much accelerated development when compared to the process of achieving bipedalism. This evolutionary state makes that which currently passes for education useless and therefore more and more unhelpful in any possible future. That the current system ignores the importance of spiritualism (not religion), basic healthy and other personal survivalist stratagems and is overly dependent on monetary considerations. That we need to design a future ‘of learning’ by tapping into the innate desires as driven by big, real world questions, a self-organized learning environment which maybe achievable through a broadband collaborative.
The current post-slavery educational system was basically established to run an empire – the British empire. Its objective was to create the very people we have today. A people who can manipulate numbers, keep records; people who after learning by rote are incapable of thinking outside those confines; who are mentally confined to a narrow way of thinking; people who are enemies to basic forms of creativity; national copiers who look elsewhere all the time for solutions to problems; people who wait for others to employ them; people who are willing to make millionaires out of any minority instead of self empowerment; people who lack the confidence to do for themselves, employ themselves, or build a national identity separate from their colonial past; national beggars who see their salvation with others, especially their former slave masters. People with a deep fear of expressing alternative ideas or committing them to words. People who live in the perpetual fear of shadows. This sounds like the quintessential Bajan to us.
Three items in the news this week have resonated in the BU household. The revelation that a road in Christ Church has been suspended for eight months because the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has been unable to procure a 6 inch pipe to complete their part of the work. The second, several Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) trucks have broken down and garbage collection has been severely affected. The sight of piles of garbage complete with booing flies, cat size rats and a pig pen stench has become part of the landscape in many districts. And the last item, the statement made by former minister Haynesley Benn that the government should manipulate the St. Peter constituency to create a partisan advantage.
The 40 million dollar BWA headquarters under construction perched on St. Barnabas Hill is an impressive structure. It is difficult to visualize or justify the investment in the building if juxtaposed to the level of bad service Barbadians have been subjected to for many years by the BWA. The construction of the building has been saddled with controversy from the start with alleged malfeasance. BU is confident though under Minister David Estwick everything has gone by the book so far. It is the greatest irony the BWA takes almost one year to procure a 6 inch main while construction of its multimillion headquarters nears completion.
As the country mobilizes against Ebola by holding frequent press conferences, media releases, identifying quarantine bays and generally dusting of protocols – 90 Nigerian students have been a casualty of the exercise – an inefficient garbage collection is a mounting concern.