Numbers Don’t Lie. People do!

We apologize to Walter Blackman for picking up his submission several days lateDavid

Walter Blackman

Walter Blackman

His silver hairs will purchase us a good opinion, and buy men’s voices to commend our deeds.

William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

I make reference to a Nation News article dated November 4, 2013, entitled “Numbers don’t lie” and written by Sanka Price. In that article, Mr. Erskine Griffith is highlighted as a top‐level civil servant who served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance under six Ministers of Finance and five Prime Ministers, dating back from his appointment to the post under Tom Adams to Owen Arthur, under whom he retired as the Director of Finance and Head of the Civil Service in 2000.

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121 Comments on “Numbers Don’t Lie. People do!”

  1. Alvin Cummins November 21, 2013 at 9:47 PM #

    @Balance.
    The comment attributed to Dr. Jordan is very strange. When was the St. Joseph hospital purchased (from the vatican) by the DLP government? When were refurbishment and rebuilding begun? When were they completed? Was BAMP functioning during this period? Why did BAMP choose to comment in 1994? Were’nt the plans at that time, based on the objectives of the program, to run the hospital as a government hospital, with some private input? At the time it was purchased wasn’t part of the intention to put great emphasis on Health tourism, n objective that is NOW being discussed here and in other countries? Wouldn’t this reinforce the fact that the DLP was far ahead of its time with regaard to that institution?

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  2. Gabriel November 21, 2013 at 10:01 PM #

    David
    Lay out the facts.Don’t glibly write,glossing over what you think your message should be.The data presented assumes whoever reads it has access to the AG’s reports.Detail that data for a comparative analysis.Use examples to bolster your argument.The problem with figures oriented training is the inexpressiveness of the presenter.The mighty EWB described the CS as an army of occupation.He could’nt get things done so he changed the system of Local Government to be rid of the Mottley influence in the city.He could’nt get things done so he changed the constitution to make diredt appointments in the Public Service.I have a difficulty with blaming by the crappy present MoF and PM on the 14 years of Government of OSA.It’s a stupid vapid argument.It’s clear to all in Barbados and in Trinidad and in Jamaica and in St Vincent and in St Lucia and in Wall Street that Barbados is suffering from elective politics or as Burnham aptly put it from the ‘vagaries of the ballot box’.All the insipid spin by Walter cannot undo the fact that when the history of this period is written,this current administration will be seen as the most destructive in post independence Barbados.Walter don’t live here.We can’t pay him and he won’t want to make the sacrifice to return to live in this one eyed town anyway.

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  3. David November 21, 2013 at 10:19 PM #

    @Gabriel

    Perhaps you are not giving due consideration to the fact that we are positioned high on the HDI and as a consequence the harsh economic conditions will impact us differently to the lesser developed countries. We have an enormous social services bill.

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  4. are-we-there-yet? November 21, 2013 at 10:35 PM #

    Walter Blackman; re. your 4.59 post

    You said “If we use 1976 as the base year, and spread accountability and responsibility for our current problems among our nation’s prime ministers since then, we can ascribe blame in the following proportions:
    Owen Arthur 35%
    Tom Adams 24%
    Erskine Sandiford 19%
    David Thompson 8%
    Freundel Stuart 8%
    Errol Barrow 3%
    Bree St. John 3%”

    How did you arrive at those proportions? What data was used to ascribe blame for any of the PM’s

    You also said
    “Finally, an analysis of the comments on my article revealed the following:
    Focused on the article’s content & related issues 38%
    Blamed the DLP 22%
    Defended the DLP 16%
    Irrelevant to the article’s subject matter 13%
    Ad hominem (personal) outbursts 6%
    Accused me of defending the DLP 5%
    As a group, we managed to achieve this 38% level of “relevant” focus through a process of periodic nudging and reminding from David about the context and content of the article. David is worthy of our thanks and appreciation”
    .

    Grateful if you would also explain how you arrived at these figures.

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  5. millertheanunnaki November 21, 2013 at 10:43 PM #

    @ Walter Blackman | November 21, 2013 at 8:32 PM |

    Since you and Gabriel seem to be of the same academic generation and made from the same basic intellectual cloth why not call a truce and direct the debate to a more scholarly level?
    Why not discuss the devaluation options the IMF have put on the table for East Caribbean economies (and certainly Barbados) to choose from?

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  6. balance November 22, 2013 at 4:00 AM #

    “Don’t agree, his analysis was always easy to follow. We have structural issues which can be tracked back for decades. He has clearly fingered the current administration for where we find ourselves but his central point is the Arthur years was about riding an economic boom without dealing with the system issues. It is why you party faithfuls want to crucify him :-‘)

    I did indicate that there was merit Mr Blackman’s article but I do agree with those that much of the logic was speculative. The notion that Mr Arthur rode on an economic boom for 14 years is a myth since even if we are to believe that the draconian policies to correct Mr Sandiford’s mismanagement of the economy were in place on Mr Arthur’s assumption of office, it would have take time for the measures to bare fruit provided they were properly managed and Mr Arthur must be given credit for that. Just putting measures in place could not realistically have been all that was needed to bring us out of the hole the then Sandiford Administration placed us. I recall distinctly during his short time at the helm Mr Sandiford boasting that the economy batting better than Gary sobers. Mr Blackman’s philosophical but speculative discourse need to take these facts into account. We are where we are at present because of an administration and its advisors unable to manage an import based economy dependent for its survival on a vibrant at all times domestic phenomenon. Money must like a meeting-turn circulate /change hand at all times to fuel the economy, the heat on which must be skilfully kept at certain levels otherwise the food would burn. Except for a few instances since 1961 our economic management has been generally praised internationally and the envy of our brothers and sisters in the diaspora . So i am not buying that crap of spreading blame to exculpate those who through their immediate policies have now made us the laughing stock of those who normally cling to us for guidance. Obviously there would always be arguments some with reason, that things could have been done differently in some areas of our development but as the current administration have now perhaps recognized in hindsight that political savvy is one thing but managing a two by three economy like Barbados’s is another certain Again I say, no amount of diatribe can defend the indefensible and that too is one of our problems when the DLP is in charge, their intellectuals seem to support everything nonsense or otherwise the politicians do for sake of party.

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  7. balance November 22, 2013 at 4:03 AM #

    ALVIN- I JUST QUOTED FROM A NATION NEWSPAPER. AND DIRECTED THEM TO YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE ON THE ST JOSEPH HOSPITAL ISSUE. ADDRESS YOUR COMMENTS TO DR JORDAN IF HE IS STILL ALIVE.

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  8. David November 22, 2013 at 6:30 AM #

    @balance

    Hogwash

    Arthur benefited from a reduced public sector wage bill post Sandiford which gave him wriggle room to do what he wanted.

    Arthur build out a services economy period with no focus on niche sectors like manufacturing and agriculture. The BWA, Transport Board and many other government and quasi government agencies contiued their wastage and public sector reform was a farce. The histoprical records are their to show the climbing debt burden under Arthur and we were warned by the internation financial institituions, in case you have forgotten Barbados suffered about 3 downgrades under Arthur.

    Note BU did not mentioned the need for institutional strengthening in Insurance and Credit Unions which probably resulted in the CLICo mess.

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  9. Common sense is not common November 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM #

    David

    Wow!

    Your post above @ 6:30 a.m. goes to the heart of the matter and sets out the argument succintly.Well done!

    You know why I like bloggers like Piece Under the Rock he/she holds nothing back and is an equal opportunity criticiser of both parties.The BLP men and women on this blog like Miller,Gabriel Prodigal person,enuff (I leave out old onions since he seems to have gone through some metamorphosis)and others who cannot help but be nasty and personal and spread lies on individuals who can’t represent themselves and you David allow them to do this willingly,although in this case you spoke up for against Gabriel but not in the harsh way you deal with AC and Carson Cadogan.A clear case of who the dog like – he licks.

    Here Gabriel is so stung by Blackman’s presentation that the only thing he can do is raise some fictitious claim about setting back an exam date trying to insuiate some dishonest move by Blackman.Plus we have no record of anything Gabriel is saying.Typical BLP poison.

    So what does that have to do with the price of tea?Steupes

    BLP supporters like to spread lies on people and send out nasty rumours and we have all the posts about Michelle Arthur,Joanne haigh,Irene Sandiford,Donville Inniss and his wife etc as clear eveidence of this.

    Soon no one of merit outside of the BLP yardfowls and the odd DLP apologist along with the ‘noun,verb and the horrible BTA and minister sealy sentence man’ tourism writer adrian loveridge will be posting on this site.

    I think there should be no more than 2 posts from each political party every week since this site is in danger of being taken over by yardfowls.

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  10. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2013 at 9:44 AM #

    @ Common sense is not common | November 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM |

    Who is more politically partisan in contributions other than you outmatched only by ac and CCC? Any time you criticize this DLP administration for the crap it is doing and the awfully stupid and inappropriate utterances from the members of cabinet you are automatically deemed pro-BLP, anti-government unpatriotic in need of your head being cracked and shot at. Even David the blog master is deemed anti-DLP.
    Instead of all the ad hominems, personal attacks and name-calling you have engaged in as confirmed in your post above why not come up with alternatives to save the country from the clutches of the IMF?
    Let us hear you make some suggestions that would help save the economy from further deterioration since the current administration seems at a loss as to what must be done. Or do you think this administration is doing a fantastic job and the economy is stable and firing on all cylinders? And don’t tell us jack shit about giving them time because nothing is being implemented and the credit rating agencies and IMF have become too impatient and about to take away the cheque book.
    Such a request for you to contribute something of commonsense instead of name calling and attacking should shut you up while you try to get your head around the intellectual cul-de-sac you are in thinking outside the partisan box coloured “yellow”.

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  11. Gabriel November 22, 2013 at 9:48 AM #

    David
    What I find equally absent from the posturing is the fact that the House Public Accounts Committee when led by Leader of the Opposition David Thompson failed to perform its duty in bringing any infelicities real or imagined to the attention of the public.Why was he afraid to perform his duties?OSA literally begged him to activate and convene,to no avail.When DT came with his lame excuses of failure to get a quorum,OSA changed the architecture of the committee to give DT a platform to literally find the dirt and throw it at the Government benches.He failed to do so.My point is if OSA was so poor a PM and Thompson so brilliant a LOO,why suggest OSA was behaving like a run away train driver when in actuality,the brakeman just stood by and did nothing.On the other hand we saw MAM robustly using the PAC to dig and was stopped in her tracks by this pack of jokers for an administration.The taxpayers deserve better in the here and now.Don’t tell me about 20 years ago.

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  12. David November 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM #

    @Gabriel

    Who is making the point that Thompson was brilliant. The simple point which party supporters need to embrace is that our rot did not begin in 2008. Arguing how the DLP added to the mess in the six years is moot. We need to accept the economy is in a hole and we need to generate constructive debate.

    To those who advocate we censor, that is backward. Yes we will have to deal with the people we disagree and those who abuse the privilege of a forum like BU, we will deal with those situations using our best judgement.

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  13. Tell me Why November 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM #

    I agree with “are-we-there-yet?” regarding Walter’s questionable percentage data pertaining to who created economic hardship. To come to a realistic conclusion, Walter will have to deal with successful performances where the populace are gainfully employed, money in they pockets, food on the table, businesses thriving, construction wukking, employment down and the most important taxes rolling in with sustainable forex.
    David, you talking under your breath since after the Sandiford cuts which started to stablilize our economy, it was Owen who captained the ship and maintained and even keel in managing “OUR ECONOMY”. Remember I said, “Managing our economy’ and not SOCIETY. Even if wastage was problem, the populace still had money to play with.
    However, today we are faced with a NEGATIVE outlook, Everything getting bleaker and bleaker and not a word from our captain who told us that he will be micro managing his managers. So Walter, wheel and come again with a truer percentage data based on Result Performance and not perception. I await your corrected data.

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  14. Walter Blackman November 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM #

    @ are-we-there-yet?

    Prime Ministers and their years in office (1976 – 2013):
    Owen Arthur 13
    Tom Adams 9
    Erskine Sandiford 7
    David Thompson 3
    Freundel Stuart 3
    Errol Barrow 1
    Bernard St. John 1
    Total 37

    At the time, I analyzed 63 comments and here were the results:
    Focused on the content & related issues 24
    Blamed the DLP 14
    Defended the DLP 10
    Irrelevant to the subject matter under discussion 8
    Ad hominem outbursts 4
    Accused me of defending the DLP 3
    Total 63

    Hope this helps.

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  15. Tell me Why November 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM #

    Walter, you solve my question. How on earth you can work out percentage data based on years at the control. You might have a driver with over 10 years and cannot drive properly making bad judgements with 10 accidents and another driver with one year driving making fantastic judgement without an accident. Tell BU family who is the better driver. Probably you will say St.John as a scientific twist. When yuh too educated yuh try to fool people with unreasonable statistical data

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  16. balance November 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM #

    “Arthur benefited from a reduced public sector wage bill post Sandiford which gave him wriggle room to do what he wanted”
    Who says not/ no one can dispute that fact- but the point is that whatever advantage Mr Arthur inherited still had to be properly managed otherwise the time referred to as one of plenty could not have developed between 19988- 2008.

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  17. balance November 22, 2013 at 1:15 PM #

    and David isn’t the current administration benefitting from a surrepptitious wage cut of monumental proportions as well given the fact that public sector workers have not had increases since 2008. do the maths and see how the administration has benefitted with tacit support from the unions.

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  18. balance November 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM #

    “Prime Ministers and their years in office (1976 – 2013):”
    I Mr Blackman wants to be credible he has to include the 1961-76 period not data to suit his agenda.

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  19. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 TO 2013 , MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS OF BARBADOS, BLPand DLP=Massive Fruad November 22, 2013 at 2:04 PM #

    It seem OUR post is missing , We will keep better tack of them from now on.
    Walter Blackman | November 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM | @ based on your numbers, how does those number relate to land fraud and the use of land with out payment or owners permission,?

    We Already know that Owen and MIA came in first and the DLP was to clean up under DT, but he was killed , maybe to stop him? Now this PM joint the massive fraud of land and cash ?Now we all have to pay?

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  20. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 TO 2013 , MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS OF BARBADOS, BLPand DLP=Massive Fruad November 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM #

    Newer Comments →

    Common sense is not common | November 20, 2013 at 4:07 AM |

    It is commentary like this from a very informed person is what is lacking in this country.

    This was not the first comment. lets hope BU is not acting like Tony Best

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  21. Gabriel November 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM #

    We all wait with baited breath to see what our Minister of Labour will do in this BWA/BWU posturing.If we are to believe that the Minister is the proverbial red rag standing up to the proverbial bull,the outcome should be an automatic kick up to Bay Street.If the BWU decides to pull out its “troops”(the Gen Secty words)it will be more problems for this Cabinet.The timing by the BWU is significant.Stuart jucking ‘e finga in de air and last night I see Trottie on DLPTV jucking he wun tuh!

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  22. David November 22, 2013 at 3:41 PM #

    We are all engage in an argument of semantics. The story of the ants preparing for hard times is a good reminder. The legacy and measure of a good performance is what does one do to prepare for hard times, in this case sustainability.

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  23. Clint Eastwood November 22, 2013 at 5:05 PM #

    Walter Blackman is just a shite talker talking pretty shit and feeling good doing it
    Some people have an ability to talk and articulate well.and like Gabby can take nonsense and make it sound good but little substance abounds. When I see Walter Blackman do something, I will be convinced. Where is the creativity ?
    Such people get other people to believe that because of their ability to talk, that the world owes them something or everything for that matter .
    Walter Blackman ? Pure shite talk . His days on the call in show demonstrated that, no wonder they fired his ass
    Racoon know where chicken coop is, .Dolphin know how to swim in formation. Birds know how to fly high , swerve low and Walter Blackman know how to talk shite.

    In the beginning was the

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  24. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 TO 2013 , MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS OF BARBADOS, BLPand DLP=Massive Fruad November 22, 2013 at 5:26 PM #

    Walter Blackman@ Words lie , People Lie Numbers dont lie, ,Now put the Names of the Person to the bad numbers, Now where did the numbers go and go.,? Numbers dont run away, some one ran off with the numbers.
    So now you where did the money go? Who was over paid ? What bank accounts , and offshore accounts, where did all the VAT go?
    Tell Us master of the Numbers, Numbers never stop coming and going ,

    PM DAVID knew who the crooks are and so do we , Tell Us.
    who took over the Plantation Deeds and use free land to build up very fast on fraud , It too S&P and Moodys to catch these good crooks, DLP numbers do lie and the Mooys and S&P may not lie to get more money out the crooks at a higher rate and more down grades on it way ,

    Yes in DEED, all must hit ROCK Bottom for most to wake up, The CAVE IN at Brittins Hill was a clue, people died no blame no where , ASk MIA for a deed and Mark Cumming < did he approve the building on that site.

    Walter Blackman dont run stand and fight for right and justice like a Man

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  25. Enuff November 22, 2013 at 6:01 PM #

    @ David
    You and many continue to mention the lack of restructuring on the part of Arthur during his 14 years as if RESTRUCTURING is a straightforward undertaking. You posit that Arthur focused on services and not niche agriculture or manufacturing, which is true on the surface but once you engage in a more granular analysis and place the Barbadian economy within the context of the GLOBAL one I think we need to ask ourselves if he had a choice. For example what niche manufacturing and or agriculture product(s) were or are now available? Krugman and other new trade theorists are adamant that most countries involved in world trade are actually similar and trade in similar goods, but have developed specialisations because of the persistent coagulation of small and large accidental advantages over time, and industrial location. I would say in Barbados we have rum, tourism and specific services. Take those three and see if specialisation have been or could be further developed based on historical events and or location. What about sea island cotton and black belly sheep?

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  26. David November 22, 2013 at 6:04 PM #

    @Clint Eastwood

    your obvious attempt to obfuscate tells of a desperation which is becoming more apparent by the day.

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  27. David November 22, 2013 at 6:14 PM #

    @enuff

    You forgot to mention cotton and the solar industry was not given enough support where Barbados could have been the centre of a regional industry. There is a start.

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  28. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2013 at 6:36 PM #

    @ balance | November 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM |
    “Prime Ministers and their years in office (1976 – 2013):”
    “I(f) Mr Blackman wants to be credible he has to include the 1961-76 period not data to suit his agenda.”

    I differ slightly with you about the time period for comparative analysis.
    If we accept the period 1961-66 as part of the time horizon then we need to include the period 1951 to 1960 when Barbados had fully elected representative government under the enfranchisement of the masses through universal adult suffrage.
    Why not start with the year after independence when Barbados became an ‘adult’ State fully in control (legally speaking) of its affairs both locally and internationally; thereby able to boast to be “a friend of all and satellite of none” as its foreign policy motto.
    The period 1967 to 2013 ought to be the time horizon under discussion.
    Do you agree then we should set aside Walter’s start period which fits in with his own work experience in the public service?

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  29. are-we-there-yet? November 22, 2013 at 7:00 PM #

    Walter Blackman;

    Thanks for your reply indicating how you arrived at the numbers for apportioning blame to the various PM’s since 1976. But, you must see that there is something missing in the derivation of those numbers.

    The PM’s in Barbados (except for the current one and the one before him, in an experiment which has failed abysmally) worked tirelessly to ensure that Barbados did not move away from the general precepts of good management of the economy and thereby pulling the society along with it. Each PM maintained the status quo in the majority of areas under his control. Incentivising the Private and Public sectors; Modernising the country’s infrastructure; providing for social upliftment; Maintaining relations with our regional and international partners; etc. etc.

    David Thompson led the charge to delink the society from the economy and thereby put in train what has been happening in the economy since then. FS followed but added his own touch of mute detachment and allowing Ministers to do what they wanted without any ostensible control except where he sought to undo many of the policies of his Minister of Finance, even though such policies bore the imprimatur of Cabinet.

    I said the above to try to indicate that one cannot reasonably ascribe a blanket blame percentage to a PM merely by a calculation of a simple proportion of the years in that office over the total years between 1976 and now. There should be some rational weighting which segregates the policies of a PM which are blame worthy from those which are progressive and forward looking.

    If you had identified the new policies of each PM which led directly to the problems we are now having and showed how those policies and the implementation thereof can be correlated with our current decline I would be totally on your side but instead, you use flawed data to come to what appears to be a desired conclusion.

    Your analyses are not believable if you only based them on years in office.

    Perhaps, for balance, you should do another piece that looks at the policies and tangible outcomes of the OSA years as compared with those of the last 6 years.

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  30. Enuff November 22, 2013 at 7:05 PM #

    No, I did mention sea island cotton. Solar? What gave or gives us an advantage?

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  31. David November 22, 2013 at 7:17 PM #

    @Enuff

    It is a mature industry in Barbados and we should be able to leverage against the knowledgebase post Oliver Headley.

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  32. Enuff November 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM #

    David that’s the problem, it is neither the most mature or research-oriented solar industry in the world. To be a global leader in an industry, you need more than one Professor Headleys and that’s why I keep talking about agglomeration through integration. What handicapped the solar industry was COST; the sustained high costs of oil (accidental??) and “energy security” are driving the AE agenda as opposed to the environmental debate of the past. Between 1994 and 2008, oil prices were motly <$40 per barrel.

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  33. David November 22, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

    It didn’t have to be the most mature and with support to the UWI and other agencies we could have come up with a product fit for market.

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  34. are-we-there-yet? November 22, 2013 at 8:26 PM #

    David / Enuff

    Seems like David is saying that the PMs’ of the relevant times did not give sufficient support to restructuring of agriculture re. Sea island Cotton and to the Solar industries that I suppose would now be called Renewable energy technologies.

    I wonder why most commentators cannot see that the development of new forward thinking industries is a partnership involving not only Government but the Private sector as well. Both are important.

    For both Sea Island Cotton and Solar water heating the Government of the day did their part. Thus, for Cotton, Government provided land and equipment to get the projects rolling. It is the private sector that did not follow through. You might also recall CARSICOT which had much to do with the apparent demise of cotton in Barbados. For Solar water heating, that industry, which appears to be still viable today, became so only because of initial tangible incentives offered to and taken up by James Husbands who built up a regional industry from scratch and by Tom Adams going out on a limb to utilize avant garde technologies on new Government buildings. The Governments could not have been reasonably expected to do more .

    But the battlefield in solar has moved from mere solar water heaters to Photovoltaics and other means of harvesting renewable energy. The main players in the relatively new Renewable energy technologies are the companies like Williams Industries, etc. It seems that this is how it should be; let Government offer incentives for usage, source project monies for development of the technologies here and let the money-people invest their money in implementing the technologies, taking the risks and harvesting the profits. Where the private sector is unwilling to play its part there will be no progress.

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  35. David November 22, 2013 at 8:40 PM #

    Never mentioned renewables, we should have leveraged our early entry into solar across the region.

    If the private sector did not take the bait then one may reasonably conclude that the government did not do a good enough job enabling the environment and or finding partners/ strategic relationships.

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  36. are-we-there-yet? November 22, 2013 at 9:06 PM #

    David; re. your 8.40 pm post
    WOW! A classic example of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t do”.

    I vaguely remember seeing what looked like an excellent proposal sometime in the 1990’s by Oliver Headley for setting up a PV production facility in Barbados. I don’t think it was sent to Government. It went nowhere.

    Your analysis above would suggest that its failure to achieve implementation was because Government did not do a good enough job enabling the environment and/or finding partners / strategic relationships.

    Perhaps the overarching reason for its failure to get financing was that the time was not ripe for such a project. Today it might have a chance for success. Hey, perhaps UWI could get it from the files, dust it off, update it and get Government to get China to fund it.

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  37. Enuff November 22, 2013 at 9:07 PM #

    @ David
    You continue to miss my point…man I dun!!! Regionally….you can’t sell unless there is demand. Look at the 2m+ market in the then wealthy Trinidad where oil was subsidised making electricity (hence electrical water heaters) cheap. How lucrative would the other markets have been given the cost?

    As for cotton there was CARSICOT and under OSA Exclusive Cottons of the Caribbean. Are we saying the problem is simply a lack of political will as is being trumpeted here? What are the other dynamics at play? We are now talking about a sugar cane industry, and the issue of volume is to be alleviated by paying farmers ‘more’. Again we seem oblivious to the dynamics of global trade; because it worked in Brazil does not mean it will in Barbados…land mass alone dictates otherwise. Can Williams compete with the big global photovoltaic players or only dominate the local market?

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  38. Enuff November 22, 2013 at 9:19 PM #

    @are-we-there-yet?

    It is not about factories BUT patents.

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  39. are-we-there-yet? November 22, 2013 at 9:59 PM #

    Enuff, re your 9.19 pm post.

    Please expand and educate me as I don’t recall dealing with either factories or patents in my posts on this topic. Where do patents apply in the Williams PV operations? Are they going beyond retrofitting their buildings for solar? Re. the Oliver Headley project proposal, perhaps patents for the process might have been a stumbling block.

    If it was Cotton you were referring to, the Barbados Government was or is essentially controlling the Sea Island Cotton patent through WISICA and was doing its best to modernize the Industry on a regional perspective so even from that standpoint David’s thesis of inadequate government support is somewhat flawed.

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  40. enuff November 23, 2013 at 5:53 AM #

    Are we there
    I was just trying to say Headley patenting his works would have been more important than a PV factory in the scheme of things. Not attacking you…lol.

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  41. David November 23, 2013 at 6:11 AM #

    Good points enuff but BU’s position is that Barbados and Barbadians tend to contain our ability to innovate using market constraints as the excuse. We have to be fearless and be willing to leverage our touted human capital to be disruptive in the marketplace to ensure our survival on a sustainably basis.

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  42. balance November 23, 2013 at 6:40 AM #

    are we there your post at 7.00 pm says it all.

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  43. Snake Venom! November 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM #

    Dear readers and commentators all.
    Is there ANY project or activity that we ALL as a country can identify, plan and execute to the betterment of the society at large?
    It doesn’t have to be something major or breath-taking like we Barbadians like to undertake and then happily fail at, just something that can show value island-wide, is no too elaborate and whose success will validate in the minds of the population the value and importance of team-work?
    Is there anything?
    It’s O.K on some level to go back and forth here slinging mud at those with whom we disagree or believe to be ignorant and idiotic, but its time to save Barbados from the decay which it has been enjoying since the established class system has now proven itself to be a resounding failure.
    Can we find any little thing that we can all work at and succeed at and then move on to the next thing?
    Lets look.

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  44. old onion bags November 23, 2013 at 9:21 AM #

    Mr. Walter Blackman

    Let us be real here. This is nothing but a failed attempt of appeasing the current administration’s entropy all due to lack of leadership….Gimme a break man we all know monies in the NIS cannot just lay idle….why is people of your ilk that told us so, not true? Monies must be prudently invested to make an adequate ROI and replenish the funds as it goes on….

    You speak of a slide….But of course they would have been a slide…again the odder actuary S.Alleyne had so informed us…. that due to something to do with increasing life span of the bajan elderly and incremental inflows by new entrances, more intense and prudent attention would be needed in managing the NIS fund. As we all know this was lapsed by this revenue hungry administration.

    When the MOF can tell the Chairman of the NIS to approve such or else what do you expect? We all recall the Brass tack moderatorNIS directors plight only too well….Point is there was inveigle bad management by this administration, in there desperate attempts of meeting ends….

    You all need to stop pointing fingers now and get on with the job at hand…..Is this what we can future expect from a Govt just given a mandate to rule for another 4 years?…Well heaven help us..
    Look do the damm job and stop the cry-babying…or GIVE IT UP ! The odder side more than willing to show you how it should be done.

    Complaining, complaining complaining…. it is getting tiresome now and gets us all no where…..

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  45. are-we-there-yet? November 23, 2013 at 9:55 AM #

    Enuff
    Thanks for your response. The point about our inventors patenting their work is a valid one but sometimes that work is not patentable for various reasons.

    Take for example the late Colin Hudson and his vast array of implements for agriculture, best exemplified by the sugar cane harvester. Most of his implements were slight modifications of existing ones that might or might not have had existing patents. In many cases Colin sold just one implement to far off places and that was the only revenue he got for his “invention” as the buyers modified it once they got their hands on it.

    The late Professor Oliver Headley was a genius, constrained to some extent by the system he operated in. Perhaps his son who used to post here could let us know how many patents he had and for what processes or systems. But I would hazard a guess that the numbers do not match with the breadth of vision of the man and his contributions. He worked with UWI in Trinidad and in Barbados and It is possible that that intellectual property rights clauses of his contract with the UWI might have militated against his patenting some of his designs. I don’t know but perhaps someone can put me right on that score.

    Nearer to the present, I understand that Jeff Chandler, of UWI, does have some patents on orchid varieties that he developed. So there might have been some progress made at UWI on the matter of patents over the past 10 years or so.

    But you are right, patents, more so than factories, is the way to go.

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  46. Alvin Cummins November 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM #

    @Gabriel, Miller, enuff ec,
    A visit to the Skeete’s Bay fish processing facility will show evidence of Professor Headley’s vision, and the failure of the government of the time to understand the significance of his contributions. Profesor Headley pioneered the building of a Solar Ice making plant to provide ice for the fishing boats who used the faacility. I distinctly remember the disdain which he had to undergo, from the government of the day, and many naysayers in the country who laughed at his efforts. The facility was allowed to deteriorate; the solar batteries and inverters became subject to the elements (salt air) and no effort was made to provide the necessary assistance either by government or private sector to push his efforts forward. Government could have helped by providing funding to supply other fish landing sites with the technology, and/or providing funds to the University to help the development go forward. Private sector could have helped in the research and development (things like develppment of sealed containeers for inverters, batteries etc.) and personnel to help in the innovation and development. Farmers have used as an excuse for not producing enough onions is the absence of a drying facility. The University Professor Headley) developed a Solar Drying facility. Has Private industry taken up the potential of this facility and advanced it? No!! Did Private Industry support the government in the CARSICOT issue, when there was an attempt by outside forces the interfere with the obtaining of a patent on the Sea Island Cotten Brand? For reasons unknown the whole issue was part of a political campaign aimed at the government rather than seeing the benefits for the island as a whole.
    This is our problem as a country. Individuals politicise everything.

    Like

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