Stuart Not Getting The Job Done

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

On reflection there have not been many blogs which were written by BU (David) when the laptop keys were banged in anger – consider this blog the exception. Of all the issues which have challenged Barbados and the government since it assumed office, it is the Alexandra matter (AX) which continues to provoke the ire of the BU household. A lot has been written in the last decade about this matter. The bottomline, Barbadians brag about how wonderfully educated we are, and how socially and politically stable we are, and how the Social Partnership has worked for Barbados and is viewed as a beacon of success for others to admire and emulate. Yet despite our many achievements we find ourselves where we are today; unable to solve a 10-year dispute which came to a head in recent months.

After 4-months of the AX matter having been escalated to the Prime Minister of Barbados Fruendel Stuart, and his early success to get the teachers back to school there was great expectation amongst the population that the matter would be resolved soon after. The Prime Minister by his language coupled with a public demonstration of confidence by the BSTU arising from meetings with Stuart, Barbadians rightly in our view perceived that the matter was being thrashed out, the fact that it is known to be a complex issue notwithstanding.

On Thursday when the Prime Minister held a press conference to announce on the matter, honestly, whatever expectation and admiration existed for Stuart was deflated when the solution approved by the Cabinet of Barbados was aired. BU has recorded in earlier blogs our concern that Stuart has demonstrated a tendency to ignore the political dimension to the many issues he has had to battle albeit during a difficult stewardship. The fact that he is a politician whether he considers himself one should make such an observation moot anyway. Barbadians are stark raving mad at the decision by the government of Barbados to establish a Commission of Inquiry as the means to solve the problem. It is not that constituting it is was not well intentioned however the perception of Barbadians is that the matter requires the urgency of now.  Whatever the level of the political stock Stuart and his government enjoyed before the press conference it has significantly fallen since.

Perhaps what this issue will do is to revisit the issue whether Stuart is the best man to lead the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) into the next general election which beacons. Truth be told the Eager 11 matter remains outstanding in the minds of many and is perceived as yet another matter which Stuart has not adequately addressed. Barbados is a small place and the underground buzz on that issue remains. If Stuart is the one who will lead the party into the next election he needs a political strategist onboard tomorrow. He is simply making too many errors which have devastating political implications for the party managing in a difficult time. In the meantime Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) hardly needs to address any of the important issues.

On the question of leadership in DLP, if we subtract Stuart, there is not much left to chose from. Sinckler is a neophyte and his role in the Eager 11 matter would make his elevation too polarizing for the party. Also the perception by many that he is/was too close to Leroy Parris is not an asset. Kellman is too grassroots with a maverick approach to be able to garner the support he needs. The fact that he believes he can be leader is irrelevant. Estwick is perceived and many times has supported the belief that he is a loose cannon. Sealy has a passive public image and at this late stage in the game it is hard to imagine he has what it takes to carry the party on his back at a difficult time.  Innis has been quietly grooming his image, greasing the media and working the Who is Who Class since the death of Thompson. Incredibly he seems to be the one who stands out from a weak pack. The saying that in the land of the blind a one eye man is king is most apt. Of course the x-factor is who has the coattail to bring home the bacon going into an a general election which will require swimming against a strong current flowing from the other direction.

For many Barbadians, should they chose to exercise their civic duty by voting in the next election, it will require the ability to hold the nose to avoid the permeating stench currently emanating from our political system.

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0 responses to “Stuart Not Getting The Job Done

  1. @all

    Barbados Today last night: sensible, middle of the road article by Charles Forte on the AX situation

    http://www.barbadostoday.bb/launch.aspx?referral=other&refresh=tY03C16s19qM&PBID=87ad6005-1972-4d63-92b0-8927eda53c7a&skip=

  2. Oops!!!, It should be Carlos Forte, page 11. The link doesn’t go directly to the article.

  3. old onion bags

    @ Sarge
    Glad to see you taking a principled stand, is this Politics 101 as taught to you political operatives?
    ***********************************
    For an overseas cohort…..you surely wheel a heavy scalpel.
    Least ye forget Onion is but a mellow fellow..PEACE

  4. @checkit-out

    By Forte’s admission he is operating on info in the public domain so his article can be middle of the road against that background.

  5. old onion bags

    @Fiscal Deficit Slashed
    Government has slashed the fiscal deficit from 9.1 per cent of GDP in fiscal 2010/2011 to an estimated 5.4 per cent for the fiscal year ended last month.
    ****************************************
    Worthy UWI students of econometrics would inform the public…. that the 1st Quarter economic statistics…..should be the BEST FIGURES (highest) as they will included revenues and receipt from the current year’s tourist season.Not only does this paltry decrease spell a disastrous year ahead, but highlights further shortfalls ahead.
    Also, a growth spurt from 0.5 to closer to 1.0, is terrible given the above….

    Econ 304 Sarge..

  6. An economic reality, two of our key markets continue to struggle.

    The UK is officially in double dip after .5% decline.

    Hot of the press growth in the US economy has slowed to 2.2%.

  7. old onion bags

    Point taken…..so why inform….”.stable” ?

  8. old onion bags

    @ David
    Isn’t the role of the Central Bank Governor to report on the past and project to the future ? What about factoring the Almond element ? We did not hear any projection on that ? The 500 direct jobs loss…the other 300 indirect….How could we talk about STABLE..? We are on a precipices about to fall over…Is that the definition of stable ? While not just doom n gloom..maybe some travelers can take stock…The NIS FUND is not a bottom-less PIT.

  9. @Onions

    The governor is projecting stable based on current information.

    No doubt an analysis now has to be done on Almond impact.

    Whatever happens Almond will have to go offline to improve the plant.

  10. @David

    Question which seems to get ignored …… Is the global recession the reason why:

    1. We have no national debt reduction plan, which should focus on identifying and eliminating wasteful government spending?

    2. Is the global recession why we still have no FIO legistation as promised?

    3. Is the global recession why we have no national fiscal strategy?

    4. Is the global recession why we have a PM totally disengaged from the public.

    5. Is the global recession why we have no innovative thinking on revenue generation efforts.

    and on and on and on … can someone just answer one of these?

  11. @Austin

    Some good questions although the government and Governor of trhe CBB will suggest the medium term fiscal strategy is the plan being worked.

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