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The Logic of Politics

BU reproduce today’s Barbados Advocate editorial as a ‘Op-ed’ response to Dr. George Brathwaite’s submission – David, Barbados Underground

 Mia Mottley, Opposition Leader

Mia Mottley, Opposition Leader

“Politics”, Mr Basdeo Panday, a former Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, asserted sometime ago, “has its own morality”. While we are ignorant of the validity of this claim, one might be forgiven for thinking it unarguable that politics does have its own logic, if we are to judge by some recent local developments in that context.

We have had the scenario of claims being made by some that recent interruptions of the supply of running water in constituencies that happened to be represented by Opposition parliamentarians were somehow contrived by the governing administration, even though those constituents who are supporters of the party in office would have been identically inconvenienced.

The governing administration itself has been equally guilty of this fuzzy logic. Desiring to dissuade Barbadians from refusing to be fingerprinted, for the purposes of identification, on their return to the island, under the now delayed immigration biometric regulations, officialdom chose, rather than imposing a suitable fine, to bar the individual’s right to re-entry into the country, thereby probably infringing an inviolable constitutional right of the Barbadian citizen.

Nor, seemingly, are even fledgling political organizations immune. There are reports that one of the recently launched “third” parties is seeking, according to the ostensible leader, a certain type of candidate only -the business owner- for its slate in the next general elections. This candidate, who might very well be unable to identify with the needs and aspirations of the ordinary man-in-the-street, is nevertheless expected to catch the popular electoral imagination simply because of his or her ability to have remained in business for at least ten years, or some such period, with ten or more employees.

The piece of political logic that is currently challenging the intellects of impartial onlookers however, is the recent tabling by the Opposition leader of a parliamentary motion of no confidence in the current governing administration. The motion of no confidence, that is ordinarily intended to bring about the downfall of a government, has been a popular political strategy ever since its spectacular success in assisting eventually to remove prematurely the Sandiford administration from office in 1994.

The distinction needs to be made, however, that that motion was against the Prime Minister himself, one who had managed to alienate the parliamentary support of a number of his colleagues. This was enough to ensure that while the motion was not numerically supported to such a degree as to remove the Prime Minister from office, it nevertheless sufficed to make the administration’s continued governance so precarious that it was compelled to call elections in order to seek a new mandate.

The most recent motion is against the current administration itself, although Miss Mottley, the Opposition Leader, insists that the immediate objective is not the unlikely one of removing it from office by the carrying of the motion, but rather to “force the government to speak to the electorate”.

We have editorialized more than once on the regrettable silence from the current administration on some issues and, to this extent; we share Ms Mottley’s disquiet. We remain bemused however, that the strategy now being employed to ensure an official public ventilation of these matters is a parliamentary no-confidence motion that does not intend to achieve what it says [since it concedes defeat ab initio] and one on which those members of Parliament who support the Prime Minister may choose not to speak.

Perhaps it might have been more strategic in the log term to allow the administration to continue its “culture of silence”, as Ms Mottley terms it, to its eventual electoral detriment, but then, we are not politicians ourselves.

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38 Comments on “The Logic of Politics”

  1. de pedantic Dribbler April 15, 2016 at 7:47 PM #

    Good offer from the editors of the ‘old lady’local news, Mr Blogmaster.

    I am completely confused by their remark; “… rather than imposing a suitable fine, to bar the individual’s right to re-entry into the country, thereby probably infringing an inviolable constitutional right of the Barbadian citizen “.

    If the matter is considered as “probably … an inviolable constitutional right ” then how can that inviolability [Secure from violation; Impregnable to assault or trespass] yet be assaulted with a fine?

    The editors in their strange logic can’t see the forest for trees that the entire process is flawed and subject to legal attack on that constitutional point….

    …certainly that seems inviolable from my layman’s perspective.

    Like

  2. Frank Gilkes April 15, 2016 at 7:54 PM #

    If the opposition don’t say or do anything about the deafening silence coming from the PM and his governing DLP, they most certainly would be accused of doing nothing as an opposition party to highlight what is not happening in the governance of our country. Let us hope that we can learn about what is going on in this country when this debate takes place.

    Like

  3. David April 15, 2016 at 7:59 PM #

    VoB is reporting that Minister Stephen Lashley will be on the Sunday talk show and he is open to discuss topics which fall outside of his ministry, governance and others. Makes one wonder.

    Like

  4. Mora April 15, 2016 at 8:08 PM #

    Elections are in the air David, they are in the air I say

    Like

  5. ac April 15, 2016 at 8:14 PM #

    There is enough in the article to bite on..however my taste of preference is the confusing and conflicting manner upon which Mia has embarked to break “the culture of silence”.

    Like

  6. David April 15, 2016 at 8:18 PM #

    @Mora

    What indicators have you used to draw the conclusion two years adrift of the date?

    @Dee Word

    The PM last week was careful to clarify that not every single returning native will have to be fingerprinted, verifying identity will be used in cases which raised alarms based on their training.

    Like

  7. David April 15, 2016 at 8:21 PM #

    The final two paragraphs should provide fodder for discussion. Surely the LOTO after reading must be swearing under her breath what must an Opposition do in a system of democracy which all and sundry admit is visibly dysfunctional.

    We have editorialized more than once on the regrettable silence from the current administration on some issues and, to this extent; we share Ms Mottley’s disquiet. We remain bemused however, that the strategy now being employed to ensure an official public ventilation of these matters is a parliamentary no-confidence motion that does not intend to achieve what it says [since it concedes defeat ab initio] and one on which those members of Parliament who support the Prime Minister may choose not to speak.

    Perhaps it might have been more strategic in the log term to allow the administration to continue its “culture of silence”, as Ms Mottley terms it, to its eventual electoral detriment, but then, we are not politicians ourselves.

    Like

  8. Jeff Cumberbatch April 15, 2016 at 8:30 PM #

    @DPD, the right of re-entry would not be “violated” by imposing a fine for failure to comply with a provision that regulates that re-entry, Already you have to show your passport to gain re-entry, don’t you? Would the showing of a national ID card suffice?

    Like

  9. de pedantic Dribbler April 15, 2016 at 9:39 PM #

    @Jeff, that is correct that a passport is needed and frankly it would also be correct that a valid Nat ID in theory would also suffice. I seek the clarification on the letter of the law as to how I can be fined by refusing to provide my fingerprint on the return to my native country WHICH constitutionally stipulates that I MUST be allowed back in.

    I attack this on the basic lay ‘natural’ law side and of course am guided by you on the statute and actual stipulations of the law.

    Many years ago circa 1989 – 1990s is when it started in earnest as I recall, the US started this rather distressing practice of deporting from their shores criminals who were born in Barbados. In some instances these men had left the island as infants or as boys with nary a continuing nexus and in some cases no close family on island.

    But on the plane they were placed surely sans passport or Bajan ID but with some US documentation supporting their citizenship. That’s obviously a special circumstance but the point is that a passport is less a real need as it is a tool to manage the travel process.

    I accept that the government will enforce their will but as we have discussed on this issue previously its perplexing and annoying that the government would fly in the face of fundamental constitutional jurisprudence rather than ‘fix’ the legal hurdles first.

    There is in the Constitution…

    (1) No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty save as may be authorised by law in any of the following cases, …

    (i) for the purpose of preventing the unlawful entry of that person into Barbados, or for the purpose of effecting the expulsion, extradition or other lawful removal of that
    person from Barbados or for the purpose of restricting that person while he is being conveyed through Barbados in the course of his extradition or removal as a convicted
    prisoner from one country to another;

    And then of course …

    (1) No person shall be deprived of his freedom of movement, that is- to say, the right to move freely throughout Barbados, the right to reside in any part of Barbados, the right to enter Barbados, the right to leave Barbados and immunity from expulsion from Barbados.

    (2) Any restriction on a person’s freedom of movement that is involved in his lawful detention shall not be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section.

    So I’ll be guided by your ruling on the law as it seems to me that the government is ‘criminalizing’ (making unlawful) its citizens in order to impose its ability to restrict their re-entry to the island.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bernard Codrington. April 16, 2016 at 12:24 AM #

    The Advocate lead editorial has some merit from the logical and political strategic point of view. How can a motion of no confidence force an administration to break its silence on economic and other ethical/ social issues? Surely this will be another opportunity to “punish it with laughter”? In life we need to choose carefully which battles we ought to fight. This is one that the opposition should ignore.

    Like

  11. Exclaimer April 16, 2016 at 4:43 AM #

    “The sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL) is all but complete, with Government simply “waiting on the cheque” to consummate the deal, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler revealed last night.”

    (http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2016/04/16/sold-off/)

    Apparently the government has not made public the name of the buyer!

    Here is a Wikipedia link to the above organisation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbados_National_Oil_Company_Limited

    Like

  12. David April 16, 2016 at 6:32 AM #

    Reudon summed it up well in his column. Some victories are pyrrhic. The last thing the DLP wants is to have the local and regional media consumed with stories about Cahill, Moody’s downgrade, CHIRP etc.

    Like

  13. TheGazer April 16, 2016 at 8:13 AM #

    ‘Apparently the government has not made public the name of the buyer!”

    Perhaps they are at a stage in the negotiation where disclosure of “some types” of information could harm the deal. Full transparency may occur when the deal is final.

    A Bajan phrase is that “you can hide and buy land, but you cannot hide and work it”.

    Like

  14. Bush Tea April 16, 2016 at 8:23 AM #

    @ BC
    The Advocate lead editorial has some merit from the logical and political strategic point of view.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Merit shiite!!
    Mia should bring a no confidence vote every damn week until something gives…..
    Never before have so many Bajan Bowls had so little confidence in so many political shiites.

    What else do those morons do in Parliament anyway? …debate when and how they will be ‘repairing the Empire Cinema’ – for the 20th time…?
    Steupsss….

    Liked by 1 person

  15. TheGazer April 16, 2016 at 8:33 AM #

    It may be time for all Bajans to start pooling their resources and buy some of these plums as they go for sale; else we may wake up and find that these various businesses were all sold to a very small group of folks. We have to move beyond being born and bred in Barbados to being stakeholders and owners of the economy.

    Like

  16. de pedantic Dribbler April 16, 2016 at 9:03 AM #

    @TheGazer April 16, 8:33 AM ….That Mr Blogger is a plea to be made not on the pages of BU but in your drawing room, or Facebook private friends group with a pledge of $XY from all those within the range of your voice and the strategic plan for purchase of stock towards eventual take-over of the company…. In short us making small talk here about ownership of business entities falling into the hands of outsiders is just that…small talk.

    That is not a broadside against you, so stay copecetate (smile). It’s a broadside against myself really cause I am in no position (along with group or otherwise) to buy BNTCL or Banks or BS&T or any of the other jewels that were removed from the local jewelry box.

    That is the painful issue when all the talk is said and done…why are we not able to effect a different outcome re ownership.

    But let it also be said that as much as I could not (surely Bush Tea could have) they are any number of Bajans similarly sun-burned as I am who certainly could — off the top of my head folks like owner of KFC, Halll of retail food fame are two.

    So frankly the argument may not be lack of investment capital but moreso lack of will and strategic intention…those two have been there and done dat…

    Anyhow who knows maybe BNTCL is now owned by a local group .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Vincent Haynes April 16, 2016 at 9:11 AM #

    The headline only reiterates what has been known even before Machiavelli that politics has its own rules and one would venture to suggest that they change all the time a bit like ebb and flo……Politics is about pragmatism not ideology….only a dictator can afford the luxury of ideals.

    Bushy….your 8.23a.m….was on point….wonders never cease.

    Like

  18. TheGazer April 16, 2016 at 9:19 AM #

    @DPD
    I agree with your comments; but my drawing room has not seen a Bajan for years, and I do not do business with my FB friends. They are some I would do business with, but they may not be willing to do business with me. So I am left with BU…

    Anyhow who knows maybe BNTCL is now NOT owned by a local group

    Like

  19. TheGazer April 16, 2016 at 9:23 AM #

    But I get your point. And perhaps we may be at this stage for a long time.

    Giving what is being said about lawyers and residents, it would be difficult to appoint those who I am not familiar with as stewards of my two measly dollars.

    In a sense, we are painting ourselves into a corner that we cannot escape from. We are losing confidence in our institutions, our systems, our leadership and eventually our fellow citizen.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Vincent Haynes April 16, 2016 at 9:26 AM #

    de pedantic Dribbler April 16, 2016 at 9:03 AM #

    I agree with your last sentence….. BNTCL is now owned by a local group .

    I disagree with your opening statement as to your inability and others to purchase BNTCL,this govt. has simply followed the OSAs one with BNB…..both govts like the will or vision to involve the populli in the operation of their own country.

    Like

  21. David April 16, 2016 at 9:29 AM #

    We blame the politicians for the morass yet we refuse as citizens to fully participate in our system of democracy and embrace change.

    Like

  22. Gabriel April 16, 2016 at 9:37 AM #

    We have suspected all along the identity of the sole provider which includes the party passport to riches compliments of the great provider who gave and took as he liked

    Like

  23. Vincent Haynes April 16, 2016 at 9:43 AM #

    that should be lack the will …….in my 9.26am post

    Like

  24. Vincent Haynes April 16, 2016 at 9:55 AM #

    This is an excellent example of the logic of politics.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/80119/units-headache

    Like

  25. Sunshine Sunny Shine April 16, 2016 at 10:37 AM #

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Colonel Buggy April 16, 2016 at 10:49 AM #

    The Ministry of Health has embarked on an exercise distributing Rat Bait to property owners. A good gesture , yes. But who in their right mind has seen it fit to set up one of these distribution points outside the front door of Massy SuperCentre in Oistins. Imagine the consequence of some elderly or forgetful person reaching home with their bags of groceries, and forgetting that the little bag is really rat bait. And even more undesirable are those who collect and handled their supply of rat bait before entering the supermarket, and proceed to touch and feel up exposed produce on the supermarket shelves.
    An old Bajan proverb: Head ain’t brain, rings true.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Well Well & Consequences April 16, 2016 at 11:11 AM #

    The name of the potential buyer should be public knowledge, it is a public entity, it does not belong to any of the ministers, these secret deals always return to bite them, yet they never learn.

    Like

  28. Mora April 16, 2016 at 11:29 AM #

    BNTCL has been sold to SOL (in theory), everyone in the business community knows that. The problem is that the Minister responsible, FJS has yet to approve the sale and yet to take the matter to Cabinet for approval, hence Sinckler’s declaration of ‘we are waiting on the cheque’. Sinckler is trying to back the PM into a corner with his public utterances, not realising that the PM via sidekick Darcy Boyce has a franco / american player lined up to snatch the ‘privatise’ prize right from under Sinckler’s nose, public declarations not withstanding.

    Like

  29. Mora April 16, 2016 at 11:34 AM #

    Now the PM is a patient man, he will let Sinckler make all his moves, not unlike the Cahill scam cum public scandal. The PM is not going to work with SOL, as that leaves too much of a audit trail. Plus Darcy Boyce favours bringing in ‘investors’, thats been his preferred MO from the days back at KPMG, CB and BTI.
    In the end Rubis will win, they are the more ‘dominant force’, their ‘machinery’ is better.

    Like

  30. Vincent Haynes April 16, 2016 at 11:54 AM #

    Colonel Buggy April 16, 2016 at 10:49 AM #

    In the 80’s&90’s an NGO,MoA and the private sector worked together identifying the areas in need,distributed the packets with literature or sometimes met at schools and did a lecture whilst distributing packages…….your last sentence resonates.

    Like

  31. Well Well & Consequences April 16, 2016 at 3:31 PM #

    No one should be surprised by current events, all nasty things come out eventually.

    http://ow.ly/4mLFvl

    Like

  32. David April 16, 2016 at 5:08 PM #

    Hoyte new head of CBC

    Like

  33. David April 16, 2016 at 5:48 PM #

    Extracted from Facebook.

    When you can sell an entity of the state without public disclosure for over 70 million dollars and simply notify the taxpayers that it was in the final stage of the transaction, I simply say we need to invite BBC Panorama to spend a long holiday in Barbados.

    Now look forward to the watered down discussion in parliament, where we are given the usual comparisons of back in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, … 2008 this and that happened.

    Like

  34. flyonthewall April 17, 2016 at 5:10 PM #

    SOL or Rubis? Who will get it? Here’s another question: how much money does the government currently owe Kyffin?

    Like

  35. balance April 21, 2016 at 9:00 AM #

    “Jeff Cumberbatch April 15, 2016 at 8:30 PM #

    @DPD, the right of re-entry would not be “violated” by imposing a fine for failure to comply with a provision that regulates that re-entry, Already you have to show your passport to gain re-entry, don’t you? Would the showing of a national ID card suffice?”

    Just asking but I cannot fathom how non- compliance by a citizen with a provision regulating re-entry to the land of my birth can de deemed a violation punishable by a fine if the Constitution guarantees me as a citizen the unfettered right of re-entry.Can I be locked up at the airport for life or sent back to the country from whence I came.
    Only Cuba to my knowledge does that.

    I only provide the immigration with documentation on my return to Barbados out of courtesy and discretion and not because of fear of penalty. If I have solid proof that I am a citizen ,Can immigration refuse me entry?

    Like

  36. millertheanunnaki April 21, 2016 at 2:00 PM #

    @ Mora April 16, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    I genuinely admire your perspicacious analysis of the privatization shambles about to be exhibited by the current incompetent (mal)administration.

    You forgot to mention one other hurdle FJS has to overcome before granting final approval to the sell-off (or should that be ‘sell-out’?) of the BTNCL.
    He has to deal with his conscience. His lying voice is pricking his moral pillow causing him sleepless nights.

    Here is a politician reelected on a “No Layoffs, No PRIVATIZATION” Commitment to the People now on the brink of ditching his solemn vows.

    How can he in all honesty approve the privatization of any State-owned asset without coming to the people to first ask for their forgiveness and to then explain the reasons for his reneging of his iron-clad electoral promises? The members of the Canadian branch of the DLP (especially Hants and Sargeant) ought to be rightfully pissed off with the lying bastard.

    Don’t expect the sale to be made to any local interests unless they can pay in foreign currency.
    Even though the Quisling Boyce is looking for his usual kickback (aka his off P&L negotiating fee) it is preferred that the BTNCL facility be sold for a song to a player in the oil business other than SOL.
    SOL is too big a player in the local petroleum products distribution market. Any semblance of competition (or whatever little there is to keep operational costs down) would certainly disappear should SOL be allowed to own and control almost the entire stream from ordering, importation, storage, distribution and retailing of finished petroleum products.

    You should continue to live in hope. But just remember you are dealing with a political administration which would sell the internal organs of your dead grandmother just for a few foreign dollars to stave off the grim reaper stalking the foreign reserves corridors of Bim.

    Like

  37. David April 22, 2016 at 8:01 PM #

    Another promise broken.

    Refunds affected by cashflow

    Like

  38. Sunshine Sunny Shine April 24, 2016 at 3:31 PM #

    Its not another promise blown, its another lie told. They had to use up 7 million for the Independence celebrations. As far as they are concern that is more important than providing people with what is due to them.

    Like

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