Jeff_Cumberbatch

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – The Mirage of Integration (ii)

Caricom“The Community and Common Market are intended to promote the coordinated development of the region and to increase intra-regional trade thereby reducing dependence on extra-regional sources. The community will institutionalize the machinery for the many shared services, which already exist and which even the most prosperous of the More Developed Countries, could not operate on its own.” –

Errol Barrow, (July 4, 1973) when the Treaty of Chaguaramas was signed, establishing the Caribbean Community and Common Market

More than forty years after the founding fathers of the Caribbean Community [CARICOM] initiated that regional project, the process of true integration, as opposed, perhaps, to cooperation at carefully chosen levels, has been scarcely advanced. Indeed, the three leading institutions that might have served as most cogent evidence of a deepening regional integration appear currently to be battling against the odds for relevance and for their continued existence in their originally contemplated forms.

The University of the West Indies [UWI], an institution that preceded the formation of CARICOM, but fittingly symbolic of the regionally integrated effort in tertiary education and developmental research, struggles to maintain its unitary character through the One University initiative, although the fight may have already been lost so far as the traditional professional disciplines of Medicine and Law are concerned.

West Indies cricket, for decades a highly successful example of what we may achieve together, has succumbed to the effects of indiscipline, inconsistency and shallow concentration of some of its players and is currently placed near the bottom of the world rankings in those longer versions of the game that we once ruled as champions. The recent trifecta of victories in global contests should have captured the popular regional imagination of a soonest return to superiority.

At the same time however, it has served to expose to universal scrutiny the festering sore that constitutes the industrial relation between the players and the West Indies Cricket Board, scarcely a recipe for prospects of future success.

Now, in consequence, some regional heads of state, rather than seeking to use the moral authority of their offices to mend the broken fences between the Board and the players, for reason (s) not immediately clear to this writer, have sought to demand the removal of the constitutionally elected directorship of what is essentially a private organization and to establish some other body more acceptable to them in its stead.

I dealt with this matter in the first part of this essay last week and the suggestion from some readers that the heads of government might, as a last resort, simply refuse to allow the WICB to stage matches under its auspices in their respective jurisdictions is liable to create more problems than it might ever resolve, for all concerned, not excluding those leaders who might think of playing this card.

A third regional body, itself created by international treaty, has suffered perhaps the “most unkindest” cut of all. The Caribbean Court of Justice [CCJ] established by the regional constitution to interpret that Constitution itself, the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, and to replace the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the final appellate court for regional jurisdictions, has failed spectacularly to capture the regional imagination in its secondary guise.

Four jurisdictions only have found it possible so far to accede to its apical appellate function -Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica- although, to be fair, other voices have been raised in favour of accession, and Antigua & Barbuda has put arrangements in place for a constitutionally required referendum to be able to replace the JCPC which is deeply entrenched in its Constitution as that nation’s final court.

Others appear, however, to languish under the disablement of partisan political dissension, an absence of political will or plain suspicion as to the international allure of any regional court. The insecure regional phenomenon of “how we go look (to others) ” is apparently not restricted to the populace of any one country only.

Not that one would think that the integration project is anything other than alive and well if we are to judge from the lofty aspirational speeches of regional leaders. Hear former Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar in 2013, “Our challenge is not to be decisive, not to hesitate, not to reverse, not to turn around. Our challenge is not to delay and loiter over hardship, adversity or difficulty, but to persist and to rally on our course towards the realization of our destiny that our forefathers have set for us…”

And Mrs Portia Simpson Miller, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, “CARICOM…represents the vision and aspiration of a forefathers for a strong integrated region which would provide the best prospects for economic and social development…”

Another former leader, President Ramotar of Guyana was more realist in his assessment, “…We have studies on transportation, we have the Regional Financial Architecture, the free movement of people and hassle fee travel is vital and very important in helping us to strengthen our integration movement. This implementation deficit needs to be resolved lest we find ourselves guilty of a commitment deficit…”

This observation by ex-President Ramotar, especially those aspects concerning free movement and hassle free travel, provides an ideal point of departure for the third part of this piece; the pledged interstatal commitment to regional freedom of movement of CARICOM nationals and its collision with a contrasting amalgam of shoddy generalization, of a select xenophobia, of jingoism and of a crass appeal to national sovereignty whenever reminded of voluntarily undertaken obligations that bedevils our best efforts to act as committed regional partners in any integration exercise in this context.

To be continued…

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59 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – The Mirage of Integration (ii)”

  1. caribbeantradelaw April 17, 2016 at 8:28 AM #

    @Mr. Cumberbatch, excellent article as usual. I am looking forward to part 3!

    Like

  2. David April 17, 2016 at 8:58 AM #

    I dealt with this matter in the first part of this essay last week and the suggestion from some readers that the heads of government might, as a last resort, simply refuse to allow the WICB to stage matches under its auspices in their respective jurisdictions is liable to create more problems than it might ever resolve, for all concerned, not excluding those leaders who might think of playing this card.

    @Jeff

    With respect you your quote above are you by the use of the generalization in part 1 addressing your concern about the ramification of regional governments withholding the use of grounds? Trying to line up the quote with part i.

    Like

  3. Bush Tea April 17, 2016 at 9:14 AM #

    Caribbean integration is less than a mirage – it is shiite.
    It is about as practical and achievable as world peace.
    This was obvious to Bushie 40 years ago after a brief stint with regional entities and personalities, …and it is even more obvious now.
    Why do we even talk about it…?

    We do not even have a common vision and understanding of what represents the way forward for little Barbados…. and we are focusing effort and resources on a REGIONAL vision?

    Steupsss…
    A man that does NOT love himself CANNOT love his community …because charity begins AT HOME.

    Like

  4. Jeff Cumberbatch April 17, 2016 at 9:36 AM #

    I am not clear as to your question @ 8:58, David. The comment about withholding the grounds came from a colleague who sees it as one recourse for the leaders to have their way and hold the WICB to ransom, As I point out, I am not so sure that we would not all, including the leaders, be losers as a result of that “scorched earth” policy!

    Like

  5. David April 17, 2016 at 9:38 AM #

    Yes Jeff, just asking you to detail your concerns.

    On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 1:36 PM, Barbados Underground wrote:

    >

    Like

  6. Jeff Cumberbatch April 17, 2016 at 9:39 AM #

    Bush Tea, I do not agree with you. Regional integration is a natural instinct. Its stuttering failures so far may be owed rather to the disconnect between the leaders and the several publics than to the inherent weakness of the concept itself. Even EWB saw this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. David April 17, 2016 at 9:45 AM #

    It is obvious in times of economic hardship Caricom members will be flushed with domestic priorities. Is this what we are seeing at the moment? For the sake of political expediency the politicians are pandering to the home front, sacrificing on external policy positions.Then there is the EU, although a more complex and resource rich common market, has exposed the challenges of bringing sovereigns together. BU is of the view we have missed the boat by not looking in our backyard at the sub region of the OECS.

    Like

  8. Well Well & Consequences April 17, 2016 at 9:51 AM #

    The Caribbean leaders are of limited intellect or they would see a way and drive forward, too much title-itis and arrogance among other WEAKNESSES, clouding their judgement.

    Like

  9. MoneyBrain April 17, 2016 at 10:31 AM #

    WW
    These Pols are interested in protecting their own fiefdoms(corrupt practices) and where practical, the larger Nations, are quite willing to take advantage of the smaller islands like Bim.

    Just imagine that full integration was a reality 50 years ago, where would Bajans be in terms of their standard of living within a crippled currency? What has it been like for Muddies/Guyanese, Jammies, Trickies? Are those peoples better off due to their political leadership? Is Tdad, floating on OIL, not a more dangerous criminal society with all the $$$ being stolen from the people and wasted? Why must Bim be connected as Siamese twins with these Nations?
    Why not jump into bed with really RICH Nations like Canada? At least Trudeau et al will write massive cheques on Bajan’s behalf! Indeed, Froon should be up here regularly relieving the Cnd Treasury of cash! (for the Bajan people of course) If Bajans dont others will, hurry before Pretty Boy Justin depletes all remaining cash, they sold all the Gold already! (meanwhile China, Russia, Iran et al are loading up on Gold)

    Integration is an attractive theory that has little impact on the psychological mindset of regional Pols. The concept is struggling even in the context of WI Cricket, the more successful integration body extant.

    Like

  10. Ping Pong April 17, 2016 at 10:36 AM #

    Steups. Mr Cumberbatch obviously needs something useful to do.

    Like

  11. Sargeant April 17, 2016 at 10:43 AM #

    @Jeff C
    Your articles on this subject are confirming what many of us know at a visceral level i.e. the hope of Caribbean Integration is a pipe dream that is unlikely to become reality. Despite the flowery rhetoric from Kamla and Portia what did they do to advance the cause of the CCJ in their respective countries? I realise that the logistics of the location of the Court was worked out in advance but isn’t it incongruous that the location of the Court is in Trinidad a country that doesn’t subscribe to membership?

    Like

  12. Bush Tea April 17, 2016 at 10:46 AM #

    @ Jeff
    Regional integration is a natural instinct.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Come on Jeff … you can do better than this… natural instinct…!!??

    Have you ANY idea what Bushie’s natural instinct is wrt Islandgal…?
    …shiite man, that 2X4 would have ended the Bushman’s whacking long ago …had that instinct been followed… and for what??!! 4 hours of bliss🙂 ha ha ha

    …and don’t even talk about the natural instinct wrt AC …. although having said that, .. it seems that murderers can walk free quite easily bout here nowadays… hmmmmmm

    Only animals, immature children and confirmed brass bowls follow ‘natural instinct’ – when the consequences are so OBVIOUS and negative…

    Like

  13. de pedantic Dribbler April 17, 2016 at 11:12 AM #

    @Jeff, for any of us who live in northern climes the concept that integration is a natural instinct has merit because as a Bajan I will gravitate to Caribbean locales in Toronto or NY or Florida wherever possible for some food and socialization. I have eaten more roti and jerk pok/chicken in the last few years than I did for my entire life prior to that…and don’t talk about Trini love of white rice…oh lawd!

    But back on the rock that instinct seems to disappear.

    The concept of integration has always made sense as you chronicled with your examples but the realities of it were dismissed by Eric Williams and frankly as the experiences of the Caricom Secretariat showed we really NEVER truly embraced integration in a meaningful way

    For my entire life the secretariat was in Guyana…laughably so. It was there at one and the same time while theirPresident dramatically decimated his country with ethnic politics and allegedly carried out ex-judicial assassinations.

    Now sir how integrated could we be and we were unable to ‘intervene’ into the toxic environment where monthly our own operational folks who are acclaiming strong inter-country relations were travelling in and out on regional integration business.

    Pappy-show not so.

    I hear the appeal but like most here see it as a pipe-dream long now void of any REAL fire!

    Like

  14. Ping Pong April 17, 2016 at 11:32 AM #

    The CARICOM crowd should remind us of the actions of Basdeo Panday in 1998 when Julian Rogers work permit was revoked.

    http://www.ipsnews.net/1998/04/media-caribbean-journalists-expulsion-stirs-up-hornets-nest/

    “Officials at the Caricom Secretariat in Guyana remained mum on the issue though Public Relations Officer Leonard Robertson was on radio last week confirming that the legal basis for the free movement of skills does not exist in a majority of Caricom countries.

    Barbados’ Attorney General, David Simmons last week took diplomatic note of the turn of events and there is speculation that the issue may reach the St. Lucia Summit.

    But, in a puzzling statement on the issue, Prime Minister Basdeo Panday said his country is taking the lead on the free movement issue by ensuring that the laws of the country apply.

    He said the laws required that a post be advertised first for nationals then offered to non-nationals. “Are you saying that the law should not apply to the media?” he asked one journalist.”

    Maxine Maclean before she became a minister used to be on the radio complaining about the 30 000 Guyanese that were taking all the jobs from Bajans. The success of the DLP in 2008 was in small part due to the xenophobic sentiment of Bajans in response to the perceived invasion by (Indo ?) Guyanese into Barbados. Remember the “ever so welcome wait for a call” comment by David Thompson?

    While I don’t claim to know the “natural instinct” of West Indians, I strongly believe that Mr Cumberbatch’s “natural instinct” is to view the ordinary Bajan as gullible and unthinking.

    Like

  15. Well Well & Consequences April 17, 2016 at 11:56 AM #

    MoneyB…it’s been like that now for at least 70s years, they CAN SEE it’s not working, but you would think if they had full use of their brain capacity as Caribbean leaders, beyond corruption and false staus, they would try something new…but no, not them, everyone looking to compete with the other, denigrate the other, rush up to Washington and pretend that everone of them is an island, separate and distinct from each other and riddled with useless titles…..jackasses, still have not learned that even though they may not want to integrate because of their indiviual WEAKNESSEs and lack of clear thought…that there is STRENGTH IN UNITY.

    Wuh if I see those types of idiots coming before me generation after generation with the same dumbass, backward mentality…I (US, UK and whoeverelse can see) would take advantage of their dumbness too, as a matter of fact, I would try to extend it to each and every successive generation that refuse to make that change…until they learn.

    Like

  16. Well Well & Consequences April 17, 2016 at 12:04 PM #

    I agree that Barbados should have, over the years, done more business with Canada, outside of the fickle tourist trade, it’s not too late because as you said MoneyB, Justin is open to suggestion…but…the local politicians are too busy with their small island nonsense to pay attention

    . Adriel Brathwaite is wsiting for bar association presidents to dictate legislation for him and we still dont know what they others are really up to…they are lost.

    Like

  17. Vincent Haynes April 17, 2016 at 12:11 PM #

    This old man will once again refer to the 60s,70s and a bit of the eighties when the interisland vessels flowed,the hey day of the West Indies Jaycees and the greatness of our cricket…these 3 factors truly gave us a feel of oneness that has been destroyed by our leaders with too much ole talk and at the same time creating boundaries e.g. high liat fares,lack of inter island schooners,no vehicle other than UWI to net work with.

    Like

  18. Vincent Haynes April 17, 2016 at 12:22 PM #

    I found this attached post from Peter Wickham in todays SundaySun on point and a must read if we wish to understand who and what we are.

    https://shar.es/1jx2Fi

    Like

  19. David April 17, 2016 at 1:09 PM #

    Interesting comment by minister Stephen Lashley as it relates to the government of Barbados having to intervene to ensure the outfield and physical structures at Kensington. This is the job of KOMI and the BCA. The WCIB is a lega entity yet at the domestic/territorial level governments have to play a big role to keep the product shipshape.

    Like

  20. Jeff Cumberbatch April 17, 2016 at 1:32 PM #

    But David, that is the precise point my colleague was making, the grounds are owned by the governments, not the WICB. The WICB is a regional regulatory and administrative body, not an absentee landowner or a controller of cricket in the individual entities.

    Ping Pong, why do you think that I have that low an opinion of my fellow Barbadians? Your
    post is confusing. I am not sure with whom you are agreeing on this issue.

    Vincent, are you saying that the peoples of the region would integrate had it not been for the leaders?

    Most of the submissions, except for one or two, I have read on my return here seem to be strangely ambivalent for a typical BU discussion.

    Integration or not?

    Wake top, Bushie, It’s past lunchtime!🙂 Four hours of what?

    Like

  21. David April 17, 2016 at 1:40 PM #

    @Jeff

    But David, that is the precise point my colleague was making, the grounds are owned by the governments, not the WICB. The WICB is a regional regulatory and administrative body, not an absentee landowner or a controller of cricket in the individual entities.

    Hence the dilemma regional governments now find themselves. A key stakeholder read owners of the CWC2007 world class ground yet no ‘locus standi’.

    Like

  22. Vincent Haynes April 17, 2016 at 1:43 PM #

    Jeff Cumberbatch April 17, 2016 at 1:32 PM #

    Yes,by acts of ommission and commission.

    Like

  23. Well Well & Consequences April 17, 2016 at 2:09 PM #

    As Vincent alludes, the days when Captain Selby ran his Stella S through the Caribbean islands delivering food and packages seemed more integrated, that was the 70s, these clowns dont even have a dinghy delivering anything anymore, the island governments cannot even get that right.

    Like

  24. Well Well & Consequences April 17, 2016 at 2:10 PM #

    And they believe themselves to be more developed, even boasting about it…what a crock.

    Like

  25. Sargeant April 17, 2016 at 3:09 PM #

    @Jeff C
    Most of the submissions, except for one or two, I have read on my return here seem to be strangely ambivalent for a typical BU discussion.
    ++++++
    Please excuse us if we don’t approach this issue with fire in our bellies but having heard and absorbed the argument for over half a century we have been rendered comatose by the pros and cons of the discussion.

    A funny thing happened on the way to integration, I don’t think that there was any real commitment by the two largest islands (by population) to a nascent WI Federation if one looked at the makeup of the people who formed part of the Parliamentary group. Various members of the Opposition in Jamaica and Trinidad were elected to that body but Barbados proved the exception, the leaders of Trinidad and Jamaica stayed at home to mind their shop while GH Adams of Barbados left and we know what happened to his Party and Gov’t.
    Subsequently Manley looked across the pond and saw that the Leader of the Gold Coast had achieved Independence from Britain for his country and wanted the same for his fellow citizens the majority of whom wanted no part of a WI Federation, In Trinidad, Williams applied a mathematical theory “one from ten leaves nought” and the rest is history.

    Nothing has changed since those days the bottom line is “Everybody wants to be Chief, no one wants to be an Indian”.

    Like

  26. Ping Pong April 17, 2016 at 4:47 PM #

    Caribbean integration is a fiction. There may be occasional cooperation but there is no evidence that there has been (or will ever be) a sincere attempt at integration. While some may accuse the “leaders” of cynically deceitful behaviour, I believe they know that their constituents (the citizens of the West Indies) have no desire for integration other than to visit each territory as cheaply as possible on vacation. I will be surprised if UWI lasts another 20 years as a single university. It may actually be a cost saving to get rid of the central administrative functions at Mona. The future of Cave Hill may only be as a institution offering English as a foreign language, some post graduate courses,some technical “know how” and as an resort/hotel for visiting academics. The cricket team will survive only because no country can on its own guarantee an audience of sufficient size to attract sponsors and media houses. The jury is probably still out on the CCJ. CARICOM will probably continue to be the financial millstone around our necks continuing to organise periodic fetes and produce boring documents.

    So I agree that the facts show that there is no desire for integration. I disagree that the fault lies at the feet of the leaders alone. I disagree that there is any natural inclination to integrate (what ever that term may mean). I very strongly disagree that integration will provide any benefit for the majority of West Indians.

    The ONLY way that Caribbean integration will occur is if all the countries are once again subjugated by a single larger power (China lol?).

    We are in economic and social crisis and we are debating unimportant fairy tales.

    Like

  27. Bush Tea April 17, 2016 at 7:22 PM #

    Bushie just LOVES it when Ping Pong turns on the big whacker….
    ..or is that a little bobcat…?🙂

    @ Jeff
    LOL … Four hours yes!!
    ….longer if Islandgal was able …and the cooperative type..
    Think Bushie is a 40-second man like a certain dribbler…?

    Like

  28. Bernard Codrington. April 17, 2016 at 8:59 PM #

    @Jeff. The WICB are de jure a private institution. But de facto there are many stakeholders with financial and psychological interests in the development and direction of West Indian Cricket. The governments in the region have used the tax payers money to develop the physical infrastructure of cricket and they should have an input into what is currently happening in Cricket? Jeff, wheel and come again. The views of the Governments and the majority of the West Indian population are similar.
    On the wider issue of WestIndian integration we are closer than we ever were 50years ago. We speak in a single voice on many issues. But it is a matter of pespective. Some of us see a half full glass others a half empty glass. “Vive la difference”

    Like

  29. Colonel Buggy April 17, 2016 at 9:21 PM #

    The Caribbean countries unlike being a fleet of naval ships scattered about the Caribbean Sea ,yet are all under the control of a central command ,are more like a pack of pleasure yachts all competing against each other, and every skipper wants to be in absolute charge of his own boat. One referred to by a colleague, as the”My boat’ syndrome.

    Like

  30. Vincent Haynes April 18, 2016 at 5:54 AM #

    Jeff

    Could you comment on how you see the below affecting caricom relationships.

    http://goo.gl/hU18NS

    Commentary & Analysis

    Saving BAICO and CLICO policyholders

    April 18, 2016

    Like

  31. Dompey April 18, 2016 at 6:19 AM #

    I just have one question regarding the idea of Caribbean integration: in what way would Caribbean integration ameliorate the economic conditions of the poorer states of the Caribbean archipelago? Because I have gathered from the comments here that this is the primary objective behind this union.

    Like

  32. Dompey April 18, 2016 at 6:26 AM #

    I think that we are lost in the backwash of disillusionment if we think that the richer states in the Caribbean will allocate their resources in an effort to effectuate the improvement of the poorer states.

    Like

  33. chad99999 April 18, 2016 at 6:35 AM #

    The voters of the smallest islands of the eastern Caribbean would be utterly foolish to allow regional labour market integration. The consequences would be disastrous. In less than one hundred years, Hindus from Trinidad and Guyana would be dominant players in industry and commerce from Antigua to Grenada, and not long afterwards they would take control of political and cultural life in the entire region.
    CARICOM has not brought prosperity to any significant number of blacks, and it never will. The much-discussed “gains from trade” are trivial. The advocates of regional projects should be forced to regularly measure and report on the economic benefits and costs of their initiatives. Any rigorous analysis will show there are better ways to pursue economic development.

    Like

  34. Jeff Cumberbatch April 18, 2016 at 7:38 AM #

    “…the richer states in the Caribbean”
    @ Dompey, go you care to name these? Eating a chicken leg from the garbage can does not make you any better of than the fellow who finds a corned beef cutter only in the same can!

    @ Vincent, it will neither increase or decrease the swiftly receding odds of integration. How could they expect to share in the proceeds of a restructuring without contributing to the process?

    Like

  35. Exclaimer April 18, 2016 at 8:09 AM #

    Jeff, you are proposing a form of incest. Integrating these disparate, corrupt and poorly run countries wlll only produce a bad outcome. Let’s us raise our level of ambition and seek relationships with more progressive countries.

    Like

  36. MoneyBrain April 18, 2016 at 8:48 AM #

    Exclaimer

    At last we fully agree!

    As a result of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis there were many Banks combined in various Nations on the theory that the New Bank would be larger and stronger. It has not worked and the very biggest Banks in the World with over a US$ Trillion in assets were formed in Japan, nothing has improved, indeed, many Big Banks in Europe, Japan, China and elsewhere are in deep trouble again eg Deutsche, Credit Suisse, Santander.

    Russia and Brazil are massive Commodity producers, has size helped? NO, both Nations are very close to Depression.

    If we are going to integrate we should seek out a Rich, large partner with a good reputation for helping those less fortunate eg Canada. Over the last 50 yrs even our very own BeachBums comprehended this strategy and took advantage of all the sweeetts on offer! lol

    Like

  37. Bush Tea April 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM #

    If we are going to integrate we should seek out a Rich, large partner with a good reputation for helping those less fortunate eg Canada.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Steupsss… Like EMERA?
    Unless you are planning to ‘integrate’ under mendicant status, you are well advised to focus on getting your own house in order BEFORE looking outwards for partners….
    OTHERWISE the only ‘partner’ that you are likely to find is a new master….

    Charity BEGINS at home….
    How complicated is this basic truism to understand…. CHEESE on BREAD man!!!

    Like

  38. MoneyBrain April 18, 2016 at 10:15 AM #

    Bushie,
    You are neglecting the power of IF!

    A short but powerful word.

    Having a RICH bride does not hurt. Marital problems are always a risk in any relationship. PR has a gargantuan Debt load and who is going to help them with that—the USA!

    In the Bimsters marriage with the “leaders” how can we achieve immediate DIVORCE and who is going to replace these corrupt jokers?

    Who is going to PAY down the accumulated Debts of this marriage? The people OWE the blendser.$$$

    What we MUST have is strict Integrity Legislation, the best true Leaders who MUST be attracted by much higher Salaries for MPs. The Leaders MUST have Diverse backgrounds with no one group like Liars/ Lawyers dominating! (with apologies to some of my learned friends who are of the highest ethics)

    Like

  39. Bernard Codrington. April 18, 2016 at 12:10 PM #

    In the new international economic system you get what you negotiate. Therefore the larger the pressure group the more negotiating power. In addition we can share resources, reducing unnecessary duplication of services and the costs of these services. Widening the market for goods and services of West Indian producers increases economic development and growth. Do you think that Barbados can win an international cricket tournament by itself? Similarly we cannot eliminate the roller coaster nature of the economy except in a wider economic union. I do not think many( if any ) politicians in the Caribbean are as corrupt as some bloggers seem to think. I think this is a subtle manner of undermining our confidence in ourselves. With this attitude we do not need colonial masters or slave owners to reduce us to nothing. We are doing a better job than they did.

    Like

  40. Ping April 18, 2016 at 2:22 PM #

    Money Brain
    Puerto Rico is about to default. It cannot pay its bills. The Catholic Church recently told its teachers that there are no pension funds for them. Having a rich godfather is not a substitute for living within one’s independent means.

    Mr Codrington
    If pigs had wings they could fly too.

    Like

  41. MoneyBrain April 18, 2016 at 2:52 PM #

    Pingy

    I know PR is at least $42BN to the BAD!
    However, Congress is considering BAILING them out! This is so real that they are entities advertising against the Bailout because Illinois is Bankrupt and these entities dont want Illinois to be bailed. Naturally the ex Senator from Illinois, Barry the First, may look kindly on helping Illinois.

    Like

  42. MoneyBrain April 18, 2016 at 2:55 PM #

    Codgy wrote,
    I do not think many( if any ) politicians in the Caribbean are as corrupt as some bloggers seem to think.

    So when did you first win the election?

    Like

  43. Well Well & Consequences April 18, 2016 at 3:45 PM #

    MoneyB and Ping…..the lesson to be learned in this story is, Puerto Rico is a department and dependent of the US, it’s not a godfather to the island, but a parent, so go figure.

    The senate and house of representatives have been praying for a miracle to cut them loose for decades….in saying that, none of the small islands should look to be adopted by any of the bigger countries. I would go for more business ventures, via the citizens directly., not the jackass, greedy politicians.

    Like

  44. Enuff April 18, 2016 at 3:47 PM #

    A lot of us would do well to read before commenting. We are at stage 3 of 4 stages (5 if we count the establishment of a supranational body to make decisions to which members are bound). It simply makes no sense being stuck where we are at just a single market. The global recession was a perfect opportunity for re-evaluation and the restructuring of member states’ economies in the context of a common economy. Just imagine the possible savings! Bushtea sue me.🙂

    Like

  45. Well Well & Consequences April 18, 2016 at 3:47 PM #

    Re Puerto Rico. ..*The senate and house of representatives have been praying for a miracle to cut them loose for decades……..because of all the corruption practiced by the politicians.

    I forgot to add.

    Like

  46. Bush Tea April 18, 2016 at 3:54 PM #

    LOL @ Bernard Codrington 12:10 PM
    “….the larger the pressure group the more negotiating power.”
    ” I do not think many( if any ) politicians in the Caribbean are as corrupt as some bloggers seem to think….”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    What a laugh…
    ….and how is your cousin Dompey…?

    Like

  47. Bush Tea April 18, 2016 at 4:00 PM #

    @ Enuff
    “….Just imagine the possible savings! Bushtea sue me…..”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Since when was ‘wishful thinking’ coupled with ‘gross ignorance’ grounds for a lawsuit bozie?
    Yours is the stuff that fairy tales are made of….
    LOL
    Perhaps you can launch another Anancy series…..

    Like

  48. Colonel Buggy April 18, 2016 at 4:08 PM #

    Dompey April 18, 2016 at 6:26 AM #
    Or in the words of the former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Kamla Persad -Bissesssar …
    “Each time there is a shortfall we cannot continue like Trinidad and Tobago is an ATM card … you come in you put the card there and you come back out with cash.

    Like

  49. Exclaimer April 18, 2016 at 4:17 PM #

    LOL @ Bernard Codrington 12:10 PM
    “….the larger the pressure group the more negotiating power.”

    Goody we can continue to import more goods at a reduced price. It does not say much about our export market.

    Like

  50. Exclaimer April 18, 2016 at 6:41 PM #

    Let me elaborate further on my post on April 18, 2016 at 8:09 AM. We would all agree that Caricom is a complete failure and serves no meaningful purpose. The cries that integration is a must, simply, do not stack up. It reminds me of young kids growing up in poverty stricken parts of the USA such as Compton or in Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica where they are enticed to claim affiliation to a gang for their very own self- preservation. Nonsense!

    Do we sincerely believe that Barbados will sink if it refuses to fully integrate into a region of social, economic and political pygmies? Leaving aside the exotic nature of the Caribbean, and her beautiful geography, climate, culture, cusine, et al.; what do we as a region have to offer the world in terms of our services and our products such as rum and Sea Island cotton?

    How has the average Bajan benefitted from having an influx of migrants from Jamaica, Guyana, St Vincent and all those other islands? Not so well! This has brought a drop in wages, insecurity in the job market and a fall in the worker’s conditions.

    We should try to reach out to countries with “small populations” which are well governed such as Norway. They would be able to teach us about good governance, and how small countries can survive. Unlike the UK which squandered the vast majority of her North Sea oil money; Norway was prudent with how it used her North Sea oil revenue.

    We should also look at linking up with small African nations where we could attempt to develop strong economic, social and political ties.

    Why has Barbados never attempted to make a serious overture to her neighbour Haiti? Given Haiti’s under-development I would say that Barbados could potentially do amazingly well in this country.

    These are just three countries. The relationship that we have with countries such as Canada, Trinidad and the USA are one-sided and in my opinion should be terminated.

    Like

  51. Exclaimer April 18, 2016 at 7:06 PM #

    Apart from rum and sea island cotton

    Like

  52. Enuff April 18, 2016 at 7:52 PM #

    Exclaimer that is part of the process–centripetal forces draw people to the “core” initially. However, due to the half-hearted efforts of member states and failure/refusal to implement the necessary policiies, economic convergence and territorial cohesion have failed to materialise.
    Haiti is a full member of Caricom by the way.

    Like

  53. Bustopher Jones April 19, 2016 at 12:43 PM #

    Should we have a referendum on it, then? A Bar-exit?

    Like

  54. David April 19, 2016 at 1:08 PM #

    The Don has spoken, a referendum will be too expensive. It makes one wonder as a citizen in this here democracy.

    Like

  55. Colonel Buggy April 19, 2016 at 1:33 PM #

    David April 19, 2016 at 1:08 PM
    It would not surprise me if the following do share a similar view. Patrick Todd, Jepter Ince, Byer-Sukoo, Irene SG, Maxine McClean, Darcy Boyce . All now roosting on the highest limb .

    Like

  56. balance April 21, 2016 at 8:40 AM #

    Bernard Codrington. April 18, 2016 at 12:10 PM #

    “In the new international economic system you get what you negotiate. Therefore the larger the pressure group the more negotiating power. In addition we can share resources, reducing unnecessary duplication of services and the costs of these services. Widening the market for goods and services of West Indian producers increases economic development and growth. Do you think that Barbados can win an international cricket tournament by itself? Similarly we cannot eliminate the roller coaster nature of the economy except in a wider economic union. I do not think many( if any ) politicians in the Caribbean are as corrupt as some bloggers seem to think. ”
    Agree with all of the above.

    “I think this is a subtle manner of undermining our confidence in ourselves. With this attitude we do not need colonial masters or slave owners to reduce us to nothing. We are doing a better job than they did.”

    I do not think it is a matter of undermining confidence in ourselves. It’s a matter of having found the elusive voice of speaking out against impropriety where once one was prepared to remain silent for good or ill.

    With the state of the system of governance in the Caribbean as it is and the inability of our leaders to take us to that most important step of the free movement of people and hassle fee travel which was effectively in place under you term our colonial masters which is very vital as the former president of Guyana indicated in helping us to strengthen our integration movement. Can we really say that we have done a better job.

    Like

  57. MoneyBrain April 23, 2016 at 11:42 AM #

    Integration regionally will never work, we are not the same people—JA, Tdad, Bim and Guyana have different population mixes, histories, natural resources BUT the same type of Greedy, Corrupt Pols—FUGGET bout It! We need RICHASS family that have lil scraps that are bountiful in Bim—-nuff benefits/lil commitments/STIFF INTEGRITY LEGISLATION!

    Like

  58. Sargeant April 23, 2016 at 1:10 PM #

    @David
    The layout on this thread has gone wonky again, this seems to be a recurring issue.

    ¿Qué pasa?

    Like

  59. David April 23, 2016 at 1:31 PM #

    Thanks Sargeant, a comment was posted which had an open tag.

    Like

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