David Comissiong

The Fight-Back Has Begun!

Submitted by David A. Comissiong, President, Clement Payne Movement
Akanni McDowall (l) Toni Moore (r)

Akanni McDowall (l) Toni Moore (r)

Barbados – as we all know – is suffering from a dearth of national political leadership, and is currently in a state of crisis and great peril. But the good news is that we are beginning to see positive signs which suggest that the “fight-back” to save and restore Barbados has begun!

These recent positive and hopeful signs of a national “fight-back” consist of such phenomena as:-

  1. the new young leaders that have come to the fore in the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), and the renewed spirit of courage and activism that the Trade Union Movement has begun to exhibit;
  2. the courageous and patriotic Budget reply speech that Opposition leader Mia Mottley recently delivered in the House of Assembly;
  3. the effort recently undertaken by such elder patriots as Sir Henry Forde, Ian Archer, Sir Woodville Marshall, Sir Stephen Emptage and Peter Laurie to propose and design a system of “People’s Initiatives” that would permit the citizens of Barbados to put forward proposals for new pieces of legislation and for changes to the Constitution;
  4. the new effort that is underway to bring together the forces of consciousness and progressive thought in Barbados to address many of the centuries-old problems of Barbadians of African Descent under the unifying banner of the recently proclaimed “United Nations International Decade For People of African Descent“;
  5. the initiatives that have been embarked upon by such notable citizens as Ras Simba, Hal Martin, Onkphra Wells, John Howell, David Denny and others to launch young Barbadians into independent business and artistic activity via such new formations as the African Heritage Foundation and the Pan-African Coalition of Organizations (PACO);
  6. the concerted effort that is now being made by this writer and other citizens such as Bobby Clarke and Muhamad Nassar to expose and put an end to the still existing old colonial practice of conferring outrageously privileged taxpayer-funded Government contracts on a clique of elite Barbadian business-people; and
  7. the admirable initiative undertaken by Messrs Andrew Bynoe and Patrick Frost to highlight and tackle the corrupt practice of “vote buying” that is now routinely engaged in by our Barbadian political class.

What makes these recent developments so encouraging is that they have emerged in a Barbados that has been through a virtually unrelieved ten year period of depression, disappointment and disenchantment, courtesy of a highly deficient and defective national political leadership.

If we go back to the last three years of Mr Owen Arthur’s 2004 to 2008 governmental administration, we will recall that we were saddled with a highly dysfunctional Government that deflated and depressed our nation.

But if we thought that the latter stage of Mr Arthur’s reign was bad, worse was to come with the Democratic Labour Party’s ascension to power in 2008! Under both late Prime Minister David Thompson and current Prime Minister Freundel Stuart our country has been saddled with a pathetic “do little” Government that has preached a message of national helplessness to the people of Barbados over the entire period that they have been in office.

For seven long years now all we have heard from this Democratic Labour Party administration is that our country is in the grip of an international recession and that there is virtually nothing that we, as a country, can do about it. And so, armed with this dispiriting and defeatist dogma, Prime Minister Stuart and his cabal of Ministers have been content to preside over a gradually sinking and decaying Barbados, with nary a word, idea or proposal of positive or inspiring endeavour being proferred by them to the nation.

Thus, for some ten long years now our deficient and dysfunctional political leaders have generated a miasma of “learned helplessness” that has settled over our nation and stifled it.

But the time has now come for us – the citizens of Barbados – to bestir ourselves and dispel that negative miasma!

I would therefore like, on behalf of the people of Barbados, to tell Prime Minister Stuart that the people of Barbados have never been a defeatist “do-nothing” people! Rather, our history has shown us that whenever the people of Barbados have been faced with calamity or crisis they have always been able to come to grips with the situation and to apply their energy, native ingenuity and creativity to overcome the crisis and move forward.

And so, the biggest problem we face in Barbados today is not any “international recession”, but rather, an uninspiring and unenterprising Governmental administration!

We Barbadians should therefore be encouraged by the recent signs of a renewed national spirit in the labour movement, in our Opposition Leader, in our community activists, and in patriotic elements within our civil society.

We – the citizens of Barbados – need to nurture this new found spirit, and find a way to get this dispiriting and dysfunctional Governmental administration off of our backs, and to put in place a new administration that is capable of inspiring the nation, unleashing the pent up energy of our civil society, and collaborating with both our Labour Movement and our business community.

This is the time for a new governmental administration that is capable of thinking and acting outside of the proverbial box– an administration that, for example, would appreciate the need, in a period of economic stagnation, for every Government Ministry to be mandated to identify and pursue at least one concrete developmental project that can add new economic value to our nation!

We must aim for a new development – focused Government that could rise to the challenge of collaborating and partnering with the private sector to ensure that all national assets that possess the potential to earn foreign exchange are developed and utilized to the fullest extent.

We must also aim for a new labour – respecting Governmental administration that could take the trade unions into their confidence, and genuinely consult and collaborate with the trade unions to sensibly restructure the public sector and the statutory corporations.

And what about the many ways in which a new labour oriented Governmental administration could empower and facilitate the credit unions, cooperatives, trade unions and other working-class and community based organizations to develop a new “People’s Sector” of the economy? Or to develop a national “Employee Share Ownership Programme” that would permit Barbadian workers to share in the ownership of the businesses that they work for and help to develop.

There are many, many ways in which Barbados could and should be moving forward! But before any of this can or will happen we must first throw off the dead weight that is holding us down.

Time to fight back and move forward Barbados!

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88 Comments on “The Fight-Back Has Begun!”

  1. St George's Dragon July 23, 2015 at 10:56 PM #

    @ ac
    I quote from BT “The issue is that the practice is WARPED….and anything which we can do to protect future generations from falling victims, the better. WE MUST THEREFORE NOT ACCEPT THE PRACTICE AS NORMAL, even though we don’t blame the current victims.”
    Interesting. Government sponsored anti-gay harassment aimed at someone who is anti-gay. Another sign that the Government doesn’t know it’s arse from its elbow.

    Like

  2. Bajanfuhlife July 24, 2015 at 3:01 AM #

    David Commisiong is singing for his supper . This man changes his political tune as soon as you offer him a tax payer funded position or consultancy. Owen did it and it kept his mouth shut and the moment he and Owen fell out , the same Commissiong ran around Bim with this same foolish rhetoric in 2007.You remember when he called into Brass Tacks Sunday saying Mia Mottey arranged a meeting at a south coast hotel to “get him included” in the BLP set up. When Owen had enough of him, he turned on Owen and bad mouthed the BLP even though he coordinated the BLP campaign in St. Michael in a previous election.

    Since PM Stuart did not allow him access to a “position” or the treasury, he is now openly campaigning for his cousin Mottley hoping that he might stand a better chance hitching his personal interest to her campaign. Do not be fooled Barbados by this self serving hypocrite and opportunist.

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  3. ac July 24, 2015 at 8:13 AM #

    commissiong maybe a relative of Bush shit talk from both sides of the mouth

    Like

  4. ac July 25, 2015 at 6:20 AM #

    Well at least another step in the right direction was taking by the NUPW after much stampeding and vitriol ,the need to become warriors of engagement a necessary benchmark for good leadership prevailed as NUPW answered the called by minister of labour DR ,Esther Byer Suckoo to show assertiveness to that which is principle to seeking resolution in regards to industrial matters . Hence the response given by the NUPW with a formal letter of recognition in seeking resolution to the present and past industrial issues was a most welcomed response.

    Like

  5. balance July 25, 2015 at 6:33 AM #

    “that as long as there is a rum shop to sit in front of and play dominoes; as long as there is a political pimp to come around occasionally to buy a rum; as long as there is a stupid mother at home to provide free meals; the only shiite they will fight for is a longer kadooment and another soca or some shiite on Farley Hill.”

    Dog dead.

    Arterexes could not have put it better Bushie. Neer a truer word was ever spoken Bushie.

    Like

  6. ac July 25, 2015 at 6:40 AM #

    Even as i made my above comment. i am reminds me of the old adage fools rush in. in a news article yesterday MR McDowall was quoted as saying that engaging further with Dr, Byer would be most uncomfortable / signaling distrust/ but most interestingly enough those words had not yet dried on the paper before the official letter was sent.
    AS a young leader he will learn along the way that words can be dangerous however the public has a sense and a need to forgive when what is of interest is tantamount to the betterment of all parties involved suffice it to say that young Mcdowall had a lot to rethink over the past two weeks as he saw the chaos and confusion heaped on this tiny and innoncent island and one of a burden some of which he will have to bear

    President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall has revealed that he would be uncomfortable meeting with Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer after she accused his union of acting in bad faith and of treating her office with scant respect during the ongoing impasse with the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC).

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  7. balance July 25, 2015 at 6:45 AM #

    “Well Well & Consequences July 22, 2015 at 10:53 AM #

    BTW….I don’t know where Dennis ‘were is my bribe’ Lowe and the DLP got their idea that workers should not be paid for striking; you do get paid in the real world, but obviously not in la-la island of Barbados. With jokers like Esther ‘do you know who i am; Byer, no one is surprised.”

    The employer in this case the Gov’t is well within it’s right to withhold pay from employees who are absent from work without permission. The Government’s General orders are clear on this. Absence from work without permission could very well lead to dismissal if the correct procedures in investigating the matter are followed by the employer. However the Government’s General orders do allow for employees to strike without fear of dismissal but without pay. All those public sector workers who withheld their labour to demonstrate in the great march of yesteryear and the recent march would have known that they were absent from work at their own risk. The workers were definitely told at a meeting before the last march that the employer had a right not to pay them. Nobody was forced to march.

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  8. ac July 25, 2015 at 6:47 AM #

    Another interesting feature in a news article on the opposite side of the fence was Commissioing statement of stoking the fire of discontent by highlighting the riots of 1937 as a necessary tool which ought to be acquired by barbadians to reign in his form of justice in barbados 2015 never mind that barbados has made strident moves forward since 1937 under an umbrella of peace tranquility and prosperity,

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  9. balance July 25, 2015 at 6:57 AM #

    “Frustrated Businessman July 22, 2015 at 3:22 PM #

    It is my long-held legal understanding that unions pay their members for days they are called out of work on strike, that’s what union dues are for”
    Perhaps you are talking about union activity in larger countries but not so here Mr Frustrated. The dues paid to unions are to take care of the day to operations of the union. In one union, dues are broken down into components out of which a percentage is attributed to an industrial action fund but funds accumulated are so small that it would never be enough to pay the 9000 membership if they all come out on strike.

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  10. balance July 25, 2015 at 7:05 AM #

    “ac July 25, 2015 at 6:20 AM #

    Well at least another step in the right direction was taking by the NUPW after much stampeding and vitriol ,the need to become warriors of engagement a necessary benchmark for good leadership prevailed as NUPW answered the called by minister of labour DR ,Esther Byer Suckoo to show assertiveness to that which is principle to seeking resolution in regards to industrial matters . Hence the response given by the NUPW with a formal letter of recognition in seeking resolution to the present and past industrial issues was a most welcomed response.”

    The NUPW leadership should never have met with the shady Minister of Labour again after her deceitful volte-face concerning interpretation of decisions coming out of last meeting. If the Minister really believes that ‘not acting on correspondence’ means something different from ‘withdrawing the correspondence’; then she is more jackass than I thought. What else though can we expect from a Minister who displays a complete ignorance of the tenets of legislation which she takes credit for piloting through the Parliament

    Like

  11. ac July 25, 2015 at 7:15 AM #

    WEll mr balance opinions like yours serve no purpose but to frustrate ! infutriate ! nothing ventured sir nothing gained.
    Mr Mcdowall is young his sense of guidance through leadership cannot alone be served and presented by emotionalism especially when a nation interest of over two hundred thousand people lives are at stake and would have been put aside solely to please a few.
    As he pursue on his path of leadership some lessons would be learned mostly coming from disagreements.

    Like

  12. balance July 25, 2015 at 7:28 AM #

    ac July 22, 2015 at 5:31 PM #


    the govt used discretionary action in the case of the Alexander teachers and rightfully paid the aggrieved teachers who had/show sufficient evidence of proof detailing that they were “wronged” over the ten years of tenure under the management and leadership of Jeff Broomes ( an employee of govt)and the govt did nothing about it, Such evidence within itself made the govt liable for any losses during the strike period since the govt was responsible for maintaining a civil environment for the teachers over the years the teachers were aggrieved and the govt failed to do so.Moreover the BSTU was able to have an inquiry which favored their side and removed Broomes”

    Never heard such jackassholery in my whole life. If you do not know of what you speak; please do not comment.

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  13. ac July 25, 2015 at 9:17 AM #

    Mr balance sir in reference to your above comment I am pleased to say it takes a jack ass to know a jack ass.
    Now my comments pertaining to the ax issue might not have meaning of any significance to you especially when the object to compromise was an effective bargaining tool. Furthermore the action if applied given in your earlier comment “not to pay “would have been wrong in that instance giving the presentation of evidence which was critical to show much guilt pointing towards govt

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