David Comissiong

Owen Arthur and Freundel Stuart – Purveyors of Folly and Backwardness!

Submitted by David Comissiong, President, Peoples Empowerment Party

On Tuesday 31st May 2016, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur addressed the monthly meeting of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and made a call for the privatization of some of the state owned entities of Barbados; the abandonment by Government of some of its “welfare support programmes”; and the implementing of new so-called “private-public sector partnerships” that– in Arthur’s words — “would allow the private sector to expand into activity historically deemed to be the preserve of the state.”

Needless-to-say, the capitalistic, profit-seeking, private sector businessmen and women who attended the BCCI meeting gave Owen Arthur a standing ovation!

Similarly, on or about the 25th of October 2015, current Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, addressed a monthly meeting of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) at the Deighton Griffith Secondary School and informed his audience that the DLP Government intends to take away a number of the “entitlements” that the Barbadian people currently possess, thereby– in Stuart’s words– “leaving the State only to look after the most vulnerable people in the society.”

And although the national newspaper that reported on this meeting did not describe the reaction of Mr. Stuart’s audience to this disclosure, one would not be surprised if Stuart’s compliant, partisan audience also gave him a standing ovation!

What makes these two “Prime Ministerial” speeches truly remarkable is the fact that almost exactly three years ago – in the General Election campaign of 2013– both Arthur and Stuart were running all over Barbados desperately trying to convince the Barbadian people that they were totally opposed to any suggestion that state enterprises be privatized, or that social entitlements should be taken away from the Barbadian people!

Now, if I had been in the audience at either of these two events, my first reaction would have been to wonder aloud how hypocritical, untrustworthy, and backward mainstream Barbadian politicians can be!

In addition,I would also have been inclined to ask some very concrete, practical and commonsensical questions!

For example, I would have been inclined to ask Mr. Owen Arthur if he could identify exactly which state entities he would sell off to the so-called “Private Sector”. Is he proposing to sell off our Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Polyclinics, Barbados Water Authority, television station, Sanitation Service Authority, Grantley Adams International Airport, Bridgetown Port, Barbados Community College, or our Transport Board??

What exactly are you proposing to sell off Mr. Arthur? And when you say that you propose to sell our state entities to the “Private Sector”, who exactly do you have in mind?

I would also pose similar questions to Mr. Arthur about his proposal to discontinue some of Government’s welfare programmes!

Precisely which programmes or services would you abandon Mr. Arthur? Would you, for example, get rid of our Welfare Department, National Assistance Board, National Disabilities Unit, Barbados Council for the Disabled, Child Care Board, Geriatric Hospital, Children’s Development Centre, or the District Hospitals?

Oh, please tell us, Mr. Arthur, which welfare programmes or services you would get rid of, and let us see if, like the BCCI audience, we too can give you a standing ovation!

And perhaps while we are at it we could ask Mr. Stuart what precisely are these “entitlements” that we Barbadian people possess, and that he is planning to take away from us.

I am aware, Mr. Stuart, that our Barbadian children are entitled to essentially free education in our public primary and secondary schools. Is this the entitlement that you intend to take away? Or is it our right to seek out medical attention at our Government owned polyclinics and Queen Elizabeth Hospital the entitlement that you propose to get rid of?

Might it be, Mr. Stuart, our old age pensioners’ entitlement to be transported for free on the buses of the Transport Board? Surely you would remember that entitlement: it was the one that your Democratic Labour Party featured in a number of high profile television advertisements during the last Election and pledged to defend against the machinations of the wicked Barbados Labour Party!

So please tell us which counter-productive “entitlements” you have targeted for elimination Mr. Stuart, and let us see if we can applaud you as well?

And finally, to Mr. Arthur’s much cherished “private-public sector partnerships!”.

Of course, Mr. Arthur knows a lot about “private-public sector partnerships”. Why, when he was Prime Minister his BLP administration entered into a contractual arrangement with Mr. Bizzy Wiiliams’ Ionics Freshwater Ltd., by virtue of which Mr. Williams’ company was mandated to construct a desalination facility and to provide the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) with 27,000 cubic metres of desalinated water every day over a 15 year period.

When, however, several years later, the Auditor General’s department carried out a special investigation into the workings of this outrageously preferential contract, they discovered that:-

  1. The BWA had – to the ultimate detriment of the taxpayers of Barbados – agreed to pay a price for the desalinated water that was substantially higher than was merited.
  2. The BWA had contracted to secure more water per day than it had the capacity to receive, and therefore the BWA and the taxpayers of Barbados had to pay the company – on an ongoing basis – for work that the company did not have to do; and
  3. The BWA had entered into a contract that virtually guaranteed the company a massive 18 per cent return on its investment !

So why – Mr. Arthur – would you want to saddle us with more of these types of outrageous contractual arrangements with the Bizzy Williamses, Mark Maloneys, Bjorn Bjerkhams and Martin Da Silvas of Barbados?

Fellow Barbadians, the sad reality is that the vast majority of the traditional political leaders of Barbados have totally lost their way! And if we – the people of Barbados – are not careful, they will end up destroying all that our forefathers struggled and fought for, and will deliver us right back into the hands of a local and foreign minority elite class!

It is sheer folly for any political leader to propose the abandonment of welfare services; the jettisoning of the very few precious social entitlements of our people; the dismantling of our country’s “mixed economy” model; or  the delivery up of critical areas of our national system to a traditional elite business class intent on enjoying tax-payer guaranteed, risk-free, business enterprises!

Furthermore, we Barbadians must insist on Barbados being a “civilized” society. And in a civilized society, when economic conditions become difficult, welfare services are not cut; the poor and destitute are not abandoned; and the core social entitlements of the people are not dismantled!

In fact, it is precisely in such difficult times that Government must show its true worth as the principal defender of the “General Welfare” of the people!

Some enlightened and patriotic citizen who is close to Owen Arthur and Freundel Stuart needs to pull them aside and explain to them that they are putting themselves on the wrong side of history : that they are in danger of going down in the history of Barbados as black leaders who turned back the hands of the clock , and who played a perfidious role in taking our people back unto the old plantation!

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99 Comments on “Owen Arthur and Freundel Stuart – Purveyors of Folly and Backwardness!”

  1. Colonel Buggy June 6, 2016 at 10:01 PM #

    The Prime Minister has been knocked for 6 over the discovery that many people on murder charges are being granted bail, to walk the aisles of supermarkets in Barbados.
    We can therefore surmised that the Prime Minister has also been knocked for 6 ,over the following.
    Folks in the Scotland District have been without a regular supply of water for the past years,while still paying high water rates..
    Folks in Whitehill,St Andrew ,have no road, water or a bus service.
    That plans for the proposed multi-million dollar Andrews sugar factory appear to have gone the same route as the Four Seasons Project,and that agriculture is dead.
    That the 2016 sugar crop only produced 7000 tonnes of sugar, probably the combined warehouse stock of Massy and Popular supermarkets.
    That Barbados is covered in garbage from North Point to South Point,and from Ragged Point to Holetown, as there are only a few SSA trucks to service the whole island.
    That the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Garrison, could be mistaken for a half -way SSA station. And Bridgetown is not much better either.
    That it is easier to obtain any desired type of firearms off the streets of Barbados , easier than a pound of Yams or Butter Beans.
    That Barbadian motorists are pumping millions into the Barbados treasury,by way of road taxes, numerous VAT Payments, overpriced gasolene and diesel,and in return receiving bugger all, but potholed roads,and dark areas on the ABC Highway where street lights are not working ,or have not been replaced after an accident.
    That the good discipline of law and order on our highways ,has taken a nose dive.

    It appears to me that our Prime Minister ,not only knows Leroy Paris,but also Jack Shit.,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Colonel Buggy June 6, 2016 at 10:13 PM #

    Hopi June 6, 2016 at 10:07 AM #

    You have the SUN at your back and you have food.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….
    By using the word ‘you’, its clear to say that you do not live in Barbados. Yes , we have the sun, but our food comes from Trinidad and Tobago,as our once arable agricultural lands are now bearing concrete plants.
    As someone once said, God help Barbados if the weekly spaghetti and macaroni boat from Port of Spain should sink.

    Like

  3. Well Well & Consequences June 6, 2016 at 10:17 PM #

    Should read:

    people been complaining about NOT getting tax returns on time in Barbados

    Like

  4. Hopi June 6, 2016 at 11:13 PM #

    @Col Buggy………..Its a disgrace that such rich arable agricultural land is literally going into the pockets of rich folk i.e the realtors and golf-club owners, but the people only have to look in the mirror to see whose at fault. I think ‘education’ will be the downfall of that island. No more skills, no more affinity for the land and too much damn pride. Looks like Mother Nature will have to step in and give Old Father Time a Hand because the people are dead, dead to their condition as its approaching the mid-night hour.

    Like

  5. chad99999 June 7, 2016 at 12:05 AM #

    The only reason Barbados does not grow it’s own food is because the skills and resourcefulness to do so aren’t there. In South Korea and Israel massive quantities of fruit and vegetables are grown in greenhouses and in backyards. The Barbados government has an Agricultural Marketing & Development Corporation that was supposed to create linkages between agriculture and tourism, but it is a hopeless failure.

    Like

  6. Well Well & Consequences June 7, 2016 at 5:44 AM #

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/81995/uwp-win-election-st-luciap

    Ha-ha….AC aka WAK and Alvin…ya’ll are next…lol

    Like

  7. Well Well & Consequences June 7, 2016 at 6:03 AM #

    Oh what a disgrace!!!!

    “GOVERNMENT’S MANAGEMENT of the economy came in for a battering yesterday following Moody’s Investor’s Service triple point downgrade of Barbados’ credit rating from Ba3 to B3, pushing this country further into junk bond territory. Economists, business organisations, politicians and civic leaders here and in New York all said the downgrade was expected and showed Government needed to get “serious” in achieving an economic turnaround. In its report on Monday, Moody’s said the size of the downgrade reflected the reinforcement of negative fiscal trends given the increasing size of the country’s fiscal deficit and their expectation of continued challenges to Government’s efforts at fiscal consolidation.”

    The politicians and yardfowls are too busy helping Bizzy, Maloney and Bjerkham rob the country and people, faces too deeply buried kissing ass….blights, be gone.

    Like

  8. ac June 7, 2016 at 6:09 AM #

    for the record ac did not have a man running in the ST.Lucia so the outcome would not have mattered to me , The last days brouhaa got my attention because of the stench pf political interference which was said being emitted due to the presence of several blpites including the leader of the Opposition party Mia Mottley in the ST. Lucia political process
    Any how if the BLP feel a sense of vindication it only shows that the BLP had a vested interest in having Anthony lose
    ac have clean hands and as i stated no interest of any kind stemming from who win or lose
    So the Blp posing on the bragging rights of the winner of STL election exposed a rightful concern of Anthony about the blpites invasion of ST,lucia in weeks and days ahead of the election
    As they say the higher the monkey climbs the more he exposes his tail

    Like

  9. Well Well & Consequences June 7, 2016 at 6:16 AM #

    Don’t let the door hit you and ya political masters in the ass…WAK..lol

    Like

  10. Well Well & Consequences June 7, 2016 at 6:25 AM #

    Perfect…those bank notes should go on a memory wall of corruption, never to be forgotten, always readily available as a reminder of how easily politicians can be corrupted and in turn corrupt others and destroy a country..

    Like

  11. Well Well & Consequences June 7, 2016 at 6:29 AM #

    That’s some excellent imagery……..bills should go on a memory wall of corruption…….always readily available to show how easily politicians can be corrupted by business people in the private sector in Barbados…excellent.

    Like

  12. Ping Pong June 7, 2016 at 6:46 AM #

    When we deading wid hunger, when we deading wid lack of medical care, when we killing one audder fuh toilet paper and rice, in udder words when we get like Venezuela, it is only then that we will unnerstan dat we doing shite. But looka muh crosses, ain’t it Venezuela dat Commissiong thinks is heaven pun earth?!! Even when we reach that stage deh still going be plenty people saying “I is a D (or a B) till ah dead!”

    Pork and Guinnness, fooping and fete
    I nevah see a place like Barbados yet
    tings brown as shite
    but as long as I got Q, tings allright
    Wunnuh could talk bout economy and politics
    Freudel gun laugh and stay mute
    Barbados could only be sweet fuh trute.

    Like

  13. Frustrated Businessman aka Republic my ass. June 7, 2016 at 9:09 AM #

    chad99999 June 7, 2016 at 12:05 AM #
    The only reason Barbados does not grow it’s own food is because the skills and resourcefulness to do so aren’t there. In South Korea and Israel massive quantities of fruit and vegetables are grown in greenhouses and in backyards. The Barbados government has an Agricultural Marketing & Development Corporation that was supposed to create linkages between agriculture and tourism, but it is a hopeless failure.

    Untrue.

    Arable agriculture has been demonised by every gov’t since independence, it is therefore not an aspirational pursuit for entrepreneurs; quite the opposite in fact.

    This is less true for animal husbandry and our chicken and pig production is consequently up-to-date, although expensive due to the high cost of any pursuit in Bim compared to other Caribbean islands. Agrofest animals have been quite incredible for the past several years.

    We will not have meaningful arable agriculture until the gov’t teefs get their hands off of the sugar industry. Without that rotation crop there can be no others.

    Like

  14. Artax June 7, 2016 at 10:09 AM #

    Well Well & Consequences June 7, 2016 at 6:16 AM #

    “Don’t let the door hit you and ya political masters in the ass…WAK..lol…”

    @ WW&C

    The consortium of yard-fowls is “shitting grits” now. If Stuart is so confident about an increased support for the DLP, I bet he won’t call the general elections early.

    However, although the DLP yard-fowls want to keep the focus on Mottley and her leadership style, surely many of us remember 11 members who were brave enough to make themselves known, also have a problem with Stuart’s leadership style.

    After seeing what occurred in Antigua, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and now St. Lucia, perhaps the 11 would emerge again lest the DLP suffers a similar fate.

    Like

  15. Well Well & Consequences June 7, 2016 at 12:49 PM #

    Art…let’s see, they are not comfortable for sure. Donville is thirsty to be prime minister, but not only is he a bad choice, but you do not want the same comfort zone of corruption settling into and further destroying the economy….for a third term.

    The other islands’ populations are not tolerating the nastiness, they made the necessary changes to thrir governments…using electorate and voter intelligence and so should the bajan voters….get those parasitic, lying, useless blights…..gone.

    Like

  16. Colonel Buggy June 7, 2016 at 11:19 PM #

    chad99999 June 7, 2016 at 12:05 AM #
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    I beg to differ, Barbados has the skill and resourcefulness to grow its own food, what the farmers may not have is the will and patience to continue to grow food to be reaped by crop thieves, and the despair of very little hope of forthcoming legislation to protect them. Many a farmer has given up.
    For a couple of years there was a massive vegetable farm, consisting of many green houses,at Strong Hope in St Thomas. It would be interesting to know why it was closed down.
    Then there was the Australian in the north who was forced by the Courts to abandoned his vegetable farm ,consisting of million of dollars of equipment, all because one of the local mafia wanted to be given preference to purchase the land, which he eventually said he was not interested in, after the Australian farmer was booted off.
    Agriculture in Barbados is virtually dead, as a few business men in Barbados believe that there is more money to be made planting houses, than planting yams,canes or potatoes.
    We have some young bright farmers who are working against the odds to keep,local foods on our tables, but are not given the support and protection in an industry so vital.

    Here is a pic taken at Lower Greys ,in the heart of the St Georges valley agricultural belt. The land has been taken up , like so many other fields of good arable land, to make way for a housing development.

    Like

  17. Colonel Buggy June 7, 2016 at 11:32 PM #

    Another 1000 acres of agricultural lands ,not “making any money” may soon fall into the hands of the housing developers.

    Like

  18. millertheanunnaki June 8, 2016 at 1:11 AM #

    @ David Comissiong:
    “What makes these two “Prime Ministerial” speeches truly remarkable is the fact that almost exactly three years ago – in the General Election campaign of 2013– both Arthur and Stuart were running all over Barbados desperately trying to convince the Barbadian people that they were totally opposed to any suggestion that state enterprises be privatized, or that social entitlements should be taken away from the Barbadian people!

    David Comissiong, what you wrote above is NOT ‘entirely’ true.
    It is primarily because of Owen Arthur’s Privatization proposal that the deceitful volt-face Stuart was able to win the 2013 elections.
    Don’t you recall Mr. Commisong that famous slogan ‘No Privatization under the DLP’?

    But let us put the past behind us where it belongs and look towards a better future by looking on the bright side of Privatization.
    Don’t you think a well planned programme of privatization can effectively bring about fiscal savings and administrative benefits by way of:

    There will be absolutely no need for such an obese Executive Cabinet of 19 as currently exists to provide jobs for the political rejects and incompetent parasites. A smaller Cabinet will mean less political involvement in the day-to-day management of a smaller bureaucracy and, by extension, in the lives of the ordinary citizens.

    Less corruption because of less procurement and building contracts for greedy politicians and corrupt top bureaucrats to determine and award to selfish private sector thugs.

    Politicians would be unable to go around at elections time promising people jobs in the Public Sector or taxpayers’ funded freebies. The quality of representation, the proposing of legislation to improve the rights of citizens (especially those of minority groups and those currently disadvantaged) and the governance of a public bureaucracy focused primarily on regulatory matters would be the main ingredient or political menu potential candidates would have to ‘sell’.

    Don’t you think that too much direct dependency on politicians and on the various social agencies of the State has created a culture of slavery-type dependency among young black people? Shouldn’t education, especially at the University level, be about self-reliance and determination?
    Where is the dividend from the billions of dollars spent on educating citizens if they are still “umbilically” tied to the State? Why educate a people if they then are to be told what to do and be under sycophant control of politicians?

    Like

  19. Colonel Buggy June 8, 2016 at 10:48 AM #

    And now we are hearing that chicken wings which had become scarce to Barbadian shoppers, because of their popularity in the fast food outlets,are once again available on some supermarket shelves,but with a catch .Many are now complaining of these chicken wings being tainted. Probably rejects from the two fast food giants.
    50 Years of independence, I tell ya.

    Like

  20. Well Well & Consequences June 8, 2016 at 12:33 PM #

    http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2016/06/08/missing-in-action-2/

    Let’s hope Holder is not running for politics, ya cannot be complaining about backlogs at the court and be part of the problem causing the backlogs and not the solution. ..fixing the problems.

    How does that make sense.

    Like

  21. Gabriel June 8, 2016 at 1:02 PM #

    WW&C
    This is politics.Holder is BLP.Bannister is DLP.

    Like

  22. Well Well & Consequences June 8, 2016 at 3:48 PM #

    Jeeze…no wonder the judiciary is in such disarray…do they lock up or not the accuseds based on party affiliations as well….sick does not begin to describe, if true.

    Like

  23. In and Out June 10, 2016 at 9:11 AM #

    Gabriel the situation with Bannister and Holder isn’t political, lawyers possess horrible attitudes informed by arrogance. They steal clients money, disrespect the court and treat persons who pay them for advice with scorn. What is refreshing is at last law enforcement came around to jailing the culprits like the common criminals they are.

    BU’s Lawyers In The News puts names to faces of lawyers who are convicts or are allegedly accused of malfeasance. Lawyers caught in skullduggery belong in prison.

    Like

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