The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Partisan Politics and the Workers’ Organization

Jeff Cumberbatch – Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

Permit me, dear reader, at the outset of this week’s essay, readily to concede that I am, to date, unschooled in the finer intricacies of the art of collective bargaining. Nevertheless, it appears to me that an opening gambit of seeking to secure a pay increase in the order of 23% from a notoriously cash-strapped employer appears at first blush to be either an initiative that would have evoked the query from a former colleague of “What have you been smoking?” or an infringement of the concept of good faith bargaining, an integral aspect of the industrial relations process.

It should be clear by now that I am referring to the publicly declared intention of the National Union of Public Workers [NUPW], the most representative public sector union, to seek that level of increase for public servants in the current negotiations.

It might be hazarded that the technique here might be that favoured by some students of “aiming-for-the-stars-so-that-you-might-still-fall-short in-the-clouds” and, to be fair to the NUPW, it has not been made publicly clear over what period this increase should obtain. Nor has the precise division of any annual increases been published. To treat the demand as a claim for an immediate 23% increase in 2017 therefore, is thus at least tendentious, even though the prospect of an increase of that nature over a triennium remains an awesome contemplation, given the state of the nation’s finances.

In any case, the international labour law on freedom of association for trade union purposes, as contained in Article 3(1) of Convention No. 87 of the ILO entitles the workers’ organization to “draw up their constitutions and rules, to elect their representatives in full freedom, to organize their administration and activities and to formulate their programmes”. Its bargaining strategy is entirely of its own making.

These entitlements are further concretized by article 3 (2) that stipulates-

“The public authorities shall refrain from any interference that would restrict this right (sic) or impede the lawful exercise thereof”

And while no one can fairly accuse the local public authorities of interference to such an extent as to restrict or impede these rights or indeed any of them, there appears to be extant a partisan rhetoric that would suggest that the union is politically opposed to the current administration and perhaps even allied to the Opposition in parliament. And that this stance is somehow improper.

Last week in this space I mentioned our quaint custom of using words, as Humpty Dumpty did, to mean precisely what we want them to mean, no more no less. On that occasion, I referred to the phrase “the silly season” that, contrastingly, refers here to a period of intense electoral activity. It might be argued too that locally, political opposition means having a different position from the governing administration, even if the industrial dispute such as it is in this case is really between the state, qua employer and the union, qua recognized bargaining agent for most public servants.

This misidentification of the state with the governing administration is all too prevalent in local discourse, and while the adversarial industrial relation is unquestioningly accepted as natural in the private sector, the public sector workers’ organization is forced to contend with the local shibboleth that you either support the administration in political authority or you are to be treated as opposed to it.

While such a convergence of views between the union’s executive and the government may quite likely portend a smoother or less contentious public sector industrial relation, it might also implicate negatively the bargaining power of the public workers, who are entitled to look to their elected representatives not only to negotiate increases in remuneration, but also to have those representatives advance an objective, informed view on governmental policy on the union’s behalf.

According to the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association –

“It was pointed out during the preliminary work on Convention No. 87 that trade union activities cannot be restricted solely to occupational matters since a government’s choice of a general policy is usually bound to have an impact on workers (remuneration, leave, working conditions, functioning of the enterprise, social security, etc.) This relationship is obvious in the case of national economic policy (for example the impact of budgetary austerity programmes or price and wage restrictions, structural adjustment policies, etc.) although for workers in particular it may also appear in the form of broader political or economic options (for example, bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements; the application of directives on international financial institutions, etc.)…”

Given the traditional and historical links between the workers’ organization and the political party both locally and regionally, it might be a little late in the day to advocate for the total independence of a union from partisan politics, although the Committee does counsel that “such political relations should not be of such a nature as to compromise the continuance of the trade union movement or its social and economic functions irrespective of political changes in the country…”

The unvarnished truth is that by its very nature the workers’ organization is a political institution to the extent that it will advocate and support economic policies that might lead to the advancement of its members’ interests and, conversely, will oppose those that it may perceive will not do so.

Much of the current partisan criticism against the NUPW appears to be premised on the notion that its youthful leadership, or at least most of it, is perceived as being allied to the current Opposition. Yet, given the highly polarized and politicized state of the nation, such a state of affairs would seem to be inevitable. Indeed, though it might merely be owed to pure happenstance, the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of association expressly stipulates membership of two organizations only; the trade union and the political party.

According to section 21 (1)-

Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say , his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties or to form or belong to trade unions or other associations for the protection of his interests…”

In light of this, the political orientation of the workers’ organization is plainly a matter for its membership and, although I am unaware of his partisan political leanings, if any, I welcome the challenge to the current leadership mounted by my secondary school classmate, Mr. Roy “Gosh” Greenidge, who owes his sobriquet to a solitary expression of exasperation by our Mathematics teacher, Mr. U G Crick, one afternoon nearly fifty years ago. But that is literally bringing tales out of school. The membership of the NUPW will decide, in due course and in full freedom, precisely who their elected representatives shall be.

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55 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Partisan Politics and the Workers’ Organization”

  1. angela Skeete April 2, 2017 at 7:47 AM #

    No argument can be brought forth that the govt can afford to give the NUPW a 23 percent wage hike within the fiscal confinement the country is facing. On the other side of the coin no argument can be brought forth that the Public workers are not deserving of a wage hike that is supplementary to the economic challenges that their household is facing daily
    However what both sides should and can agree on is a starting point borne out of reasonableness of how ! when and how much can be agreed upon using a phasing period one which can be timely in executing the amount to be paid and also with a high probability that some public workers might be subjected to being retrenched in order for govt to give the necessary wage hike asked by the Union

    Like

  2. Pachamama April 2, 2017 at 8:07 AM #

    Jeff

    Your ‘essay’ is still firmly confined to the boundaries of law, the constitution, general practice.

    We would like to suggest The Constitution is dead!

    The truth is that the trade union, of today, could hardly be considered as representative of ‘interests’ of individuals as envisioned in the constitution.

    Indeed, economic and political changes throughout the world have rendered them quaint, at best. If one looks at penetration levels etc.

    A captive body of public servants maybe be somewhat exceptions to this general rule. But we
    never get the impression that ordinary workers feel as protected as the union bosses.

    It is what has been described elsewhere, Wolin, as an ‘inverted totalitarianism’.

    Citizens of today also see political parties differently. Few presume that the ‘leadership’ ethos of the 1940s to 1970s still imbue these staid organizations today.

    Moreover, within both the political parties and labour unions there have now been deep betrayals of the memberships.

    While unions were dying they sought alliances with government and the private sector which were inimical to workers’ interests.

    The ‘interest’ thus referred to by the constitution is markedly different today than when written. Different as a practical matter that the ‘theory’ of the Constitution.

    The social partnership arrangements have succeeded in defanging trade unions and rendering political parties a mixture of state actors servicing the interests of corporations, not members.

    In asking for inordinately high wage demands maybe the NUPW is not so much acting to bring the BLP to power directly, as it is, but in the service of the corporate elites seeking that very outcome.

    The truth is that neither the excessive wage demands nor attempts to change the figures within this elected dictatorship represent the interests of members in either of the institutions mentioned by the Constitution.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David April 2, 2017 at 8:08 AM #

    Jeff why have you allowed yourself to be sucked into this 23% darkhole of a discussion? This is an obvious ploy by the NUPW to push the government on the defensive by demonstrating to a fatigue public service their concerns remain front and centre by the McDowall leadership. We should add the recent restore of the 10% by government would have added umph to this tactic.

    Bear in mind like the DLP government the NUPW has entered the silly season.

    Like

  4. Vincent Haynes April 2, 2017 at 8:40 AM #

    Why should the NUPW not ask for 23% increase as this govt has stated that they have stabilised the economy with the future looking very good and as a measure of their confidence in their assertions reinstated their own 10%.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CUP Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZ April 2, 2017 at 8:49 AM #

    If 23% is true, and if the government was forced to pay, I see the VAT going to 23 to 25% to get it back and more,

    Like

  6. William Skinner April 2, 2017 at 8:58 AM #

    Welcome to Comedy Central !!

    Like

  7. independent voice April 2, 2017 at 9:05 AM #

    Why would govt make such an insane decision of increasing vat to pay a ridiculous wage hike
    Presently the Union is way out of his league in being bullish of its asking especially seeing the challenges and the fiscal pressure the country is under

    Like

  8. Artaxerxes April 2, 2017 at 9:10 AM #

    There is merit to the argument that the NUPW demand of a 23% increase in wages & salaries for public sector workers at this time, especially taking into consideration Barbados’ current economic situation, may be as ambitious as it is unreasonable.

    However, we must also take into consideration that “civil servants” have not received a salary increase since 2009, almost 8 years. Not surprisingly, this fact was dismissed by Denis Kellman who stated it was incorrect to suggest government employees did not receive salary increases, since they would have received increments, which were reflected by an increase in government’s wages/salaries expenditure.

    Kellman, a government “spin doctor,” would want the rational thinkers among us to believe there isn’t any difference between an employee receiving an incremental entitlement (e.g. an increment up the salary scale from Z32 to Z31) and a union negotiated salary increase.

    Obviously, Kellman would have purposely neglected to mention those employees who have reached maximum salary in their salary scale, would not receive increments. A Clerical Officer, for example, whose salary scale is Z38 – Z24, and who has reached Z24. Such an individual would not have received a salary increase since 2009.

    Additionally, Kellman would also conveniently refuse to mention statutory corporations such as NCC, Transport Board and his own NHC, have employed a number of people subsequent to the 2013 retrenchments, which would have increased the salaries/wages bill.

    However, I think it is rather hypocritical to mention the 23% and not make any reference to the implications of parliamentarians demanding the 10% restoration of their salaries, against the background of this inept DLP administration having the largest cabinet in the history of Barbados, some of whom should have also been “retrenched” in 2013 along with public sector employees.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. David April 2, 2017 at 9:26 AM #

    Again many of you have become sucked in to a simplistic interpretation of what the 23% wage demand is meant to signal in the silly season. As Pacha alluded these are games being played by little boys to the detriment of the people both the government and union are meant to serve.

    Like

  10. Caswell Franklyn April 2, 2017 at 9:44 AM #

    Jeff

    You wrote:

    “Permit me, dear reader, at the outset of this week’s essay, readily to concede that I am, to date, unschooled in the finer intricacies of the art of collective bargaining.”

    You are in good company; the same can be said of the leadership of NUPW, both elected and permanent staff, with the exception of Delcia Burke.

    Like

  11. Vincent Haynes April 2, 2017 at 9:44 AM #

    David

    All the commenters on here so far have shown that they are perfectly aware as to the games that are presently being played in the silly season…….including the govt operative.

    Like

  12. David April 2, 2017 at 9:50 AM #

    @Vincent

    If this is the case it should be reflected in the quality of comments.

    Like

  13. Vincent Haynes April 2, 2017 at 9:55 AM #

    David

    In the silly season one has a choice of crying or laughing as we watch the shenanigans of all the players in the game called “screw the populi”.

    Like

  14. Bush Tea April 2, 2017 at 10:02 AM #

    What the union is doing is straight out of the books of the 1950s.
    That a workers union should be at the same philosophical level in 2017 – of fighting against ’employers’ for a pittance increase in wages and salaries for powerless ‘workers’ is an apt reflection of the idiocy that continues to represent trade unionism….. Unity included.

    Bushie has always said that Trade Unions should LONG have evolved into mechanisms of worker ENFRANCHISEMENT through ownership, rather than this childish focus on wages.

    What is the point of fighting for a ‘wage increase’ when the damn employers can just go and increase prices by enough to negate the increase and even add a penalty too?
    What is the point of fighting Government for a salary increase when they can casually lay of 3000 low-wage Bajans …AND increase taxes too?

    The Damn Unions should, by now, be representing MAJORITY interests on all Boards in the private sector, and be influencing political policy in Barbados INSTEAD of COW, Bizzy and Baloney.

    Total lack of vision, purpose and no progress whatsoever in the last 40 years.
    BBBBs!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. David April 2, 2017 at 10:06 AM #

    Bush Tea don’t the major unions receive duty free concessions for vehicles and subventions? Hopefully Caswell can advise.

    Like

  16. Bush Tea April 2, 2017 at 10:19 AM #

    What are you saying David?
    That here too we see representatives of the poor workers ….selling out their birthrights for a mess of porridge …just like the politicians, the businessmen, the lawyers, the teachers, the doctors …and even the beach bums…?

    Lotta shiite!!!

    Like

  17. angela Skeete April 2, 2017 at 11:23 AM #

    The Unions do not have the intellectual capacity or capability to be owners of one dam shit in barbados Some of them owe govt money. Furthermore they have struggled over the years financially to pay their own workers
    Owenership of what. They like some in the private sector would eventually be sucking of the nipples of taxpayers

    Like

  18. Bush Tea April 2, 2017 at 11:53 AM #

    Well there we have it……and we know that people without the intellectual capacity to be owners are condemned to be serfs.

    Personally, Bushie would be ashamed (if he was a government yardfowl) to admit that, after 60 years of free education to tertiary level, …and with a shameful history of four hundred years of serfdom on white-owned plantations behind us, ….my government has failed miserably in instilling a sense of pride in Bajans brass bowls – to the extent that they grasped the value of OWNERSHIP.

    ….clearly, the DLP yardfowl called ‘angela’ has no such shame….

    Add to this, the clear fact that the government ITSELF can see no better strategy than to SELL OFF the assets that had been accumulated by previous leaders – just to be able to survive for a few weeks, tells us all about ‘intellectual capacity’….. Theirs…

    Eventually (and quite soon) the taxpayers will find themselves right back on the same white-owned plantations that their grandparents died to escape.

    Like

  19. Caswell Franklyn April 2, 2017 at 12:02 PM #

    All unions are entitled to duty free concessions on EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL, according to the law. The waiver of duty and other taxes on high end vehicles is plain and simply bribes. Just like certain people from BWU and their families being entertained at the Hilton free of cost and Chefette providing food for BWU functions.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  20. Pachamama April 2, 2017 at 12:13 PM #

    These things don’t only apply to union leaderships but are societal

    We’ve had the old Sandy Lane paying to educate a Central Bank governor’s children abroad

    The only difference was that they were clearly against the ethos of trade unionism that were thought to be prevalent.

    No longer so.

    There has been a radical change in the way trade unions see themselves.

    We were surprised to learn that around the 1991 disruptions Leroy Trotman was angling to become PM with the blessing of the corporations, using workers as a lever.

    All of these people are the same

    And there can be only one genuine answer!

    Like

  21. Vincent Haynes April 2, 2017 at 12:49 PM #

    The Unions do not have the intellectual capacity or capability to be owners of one dam shit in barbados
    ……………………………..

    What a stinging indictment made by the govt operative against the last 50 years of independence so joyfully celebrated by the PM,who spoke glowingly of how great we are.

    If this is the thinking of our govt then we need a complete overhaul of our entire operational system……this govt has indicted the legacy of EWB and by extension the uselessness of the same operative and this govt.

    I am totally flabbergasted.

    Like

  22. Hal Austin April 2, 2017 at 2:14 PM #

    I see Watson, former police commissioner and head of the Regional security, is claiming that the RSS can help with crime. You have been warned

    Like

  23. angela Skeete April 2, 2017 at 2:40 PM #

    totally flabbergasted about what… the newbies called union leaders are political buffoons and shareholders of nothingness,

    Like

  24. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 2, 2017 at 3:08 PM #

    Hal….show us some proof of this RSS conspiracy, ya on and on about it, outline it in facts.

    Like

  25. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 2, 2017 at 3:08 PM #

    With facts.

    Like

  26. Hal Austin April 2, 2017 at 3:15 PM #

    Well well,

    Conspiracy….man you are living in a fantasy world. I referred to Mr Watson’s claim that the RSS can help in the fight against crime.

    Like

  27. Caswell Franklyn April 2, 2017 at 4:03 PM #

    Well Well

    Hal is mad but not completely so; he is right about the potential use of the RSS. Last year, a unit of the Barbados Defence Force was ordered to St. Kitts to assist the Police. I am loathe to say that it was news to me because it did not make the news.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  28. Hal Austin April 2, 2017 at 4:39 PM #

    Great observation, Caswell

    Like

  29. David April 2, 2017 at 4:42 PM #
    Leslie P. Lett

    Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

    Like

  30. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 2, 2017 at 4:54 PM #

    Caswell…I just want Hal to back up his claims with facts, hard facts so we can understand the dynamics at play with RSS.

    Like

  31. Hal Austin April 2, 2017 at 5:03 PM #

    Wellwell,

    There is no need for ‘facts’. I was just bringing to the forum’s attention what Mr Watson had said.

    Like

  32. Gabriel April 2, 2017 at 5:25 PM #

    I nearly threw up when I saw and heard black Maloney criticizing the nupw.He got nuff gall.Has he paid back the big telephone bill yet?Is he still occupying a seat on the Severance Pay Tribunal which seat is intended for the NUPW delegated member?Is he a sell out to the Dems along with the former Gen Sec?Is black Maloney hoping to be a DLP candidate and is he singing for his supper?Is he still hoping for a diplomatic pick?

    Like

  33. Vincent Haynes April 2, 2017 at 5:25 PM #

    David April 2, 2017 at 4:42 PM #

    Interesting observation on Letts part as our ancestors own kith&kin captured them and put them in chains to be sold to the highest bidder and now we have our own putting us on the auction block in metaphorical chains again to be sold to the highest bidder…….quite apt

    Like

  34. David April 2, 2017 at 5:28 PM #

    There was a time when Cawmerians spoke people listened.

    Isn’t Maloney an old scholar?

    Didn’t Cawmere come last in BSAAC last week?

    #blight

    Like

  35. Angela April 2, 2017 at 5:36 PM #

    This island, which was once the envy of most countries in how we managed our fiscal responsibilities, our Educational and Healthcare Institutions and the good manners of our population put us on a pedestal way above more developed countries. We have thrown it all into a pit because of greed, stealing and total lack of accountability. Lack of the ability to govern and being led by a man whose utterances leave you in a state of unbelief has now become the most terrifying nightmare that this once great nation has to face.

    Like

  36. de pedantic Dribbler April 2, 2017 at 5:41 PM #

    @Hal, and what is your so grave concern of the RSS and its possible crime fighting role!!

    You seem to be the man crying ‘take heed, take heed’ to then echo ‘I told you so’.

    Of course some tyrannical leader could attempt to use the RSS to subvert governance in one of the islands or more realistically a leadership group of an insidious military elite could entrench themselves as some permanent power by mining the surveillance and intelligence gained from all the special equipment and apparatus from their US partners.

    But doesn’t the ‘diverse’ nature of the RSS’ configuration safeguard against just such a power grab! The same fears were raised over the years about the BDF and thankfully that has proved unfounded.

    Absolutely, we need to be vigilant against threats from within but we also need to have powerful security and intelligence services to protect against the external threats that buffet us (the Trinis ISIS returnees for example).

    This model of a regional force where no one country holds all prevailing sway and control is actually not a bad model.

    You prefer it seems to have no such service and rely only on local police. But that can become the same monster…. Haven’t we been regaled here on BU on how surveillance equipment was illegally misused.

    What was stopping such collaborators from going to the extremes you fear and developing their own ‘mangoose gang’ or ‘tonton machoutes’ rabble-rousers!!

    I do not see your threats of an RSS generally or when invited to assist in local law enforcement . In this modern era it is a ‘necessary evil’.

    It is all about regulations, transparency and strong accountability. That we need to be definitely in place. Period.

    Like

  37. David April 2, 2017 at 5:46 PM #

    @Dee Word

    How does one guard against tyranny and threats to our so called democracy?

    Like

  38. Caswell Franklyn April 2, 2017 at 5:57 PM #

    There was a time when Cawmerians spoke people listened

    David

    That only applies if you made it to fourth form or above.

    >

    Like

  39. de pedantic Dribbler April 2, 2017 at 6:03 PM #

    David, frankly there is only one looong way to do that.

    Establish an orderly and strong foundation built on acceptable standards, educate your citizens, build a well protected and transparent guard house, employ credible and effective guards and then give those educated citizens the power and process to monitor, reprimand and terminate those guards when they break those previously established standards they were employed to safeguard.

    Haven’t seen another way that works over my years of life.

    And as we see that one has been battered almost to submission too!

    Like

  40. Jeff Cumberbatch April 2, 2017 at 6:27 PM #

    “There was a time when Cawmerians spoke people listened”

    David

    “That only applies if you made it to fourth form or above”.

    Brrrr…Cold, Caswell!

    Like

  41. Gabriel April 2, 2017 at 6:32 PM #

    David
    Is Leslie Lett jnr going to be singing in a calypso tent this season?that poem has a nice refrain….’Doan join back bussa chain’…..he could use Mary de Red as a back up singer and target Jones and his current side kick the woman of wigs galore..kwren.
    On another note I condole with the Smith family on the passing of ‘Joe Physics’the late head of the Lodge Mr Aurie Smith.Long will he be remembered as the man who took on Tom and Billie and showed them the proverbial ball.

    Like

  42. vincent haynes April 2, 2017 at 7:05 PM #

    Caswell

    COW left in 3rd.

    Like

  43. Wily Coyote April 2, 2017 at 7:12 PM #

    Cueeeeeez

    Todays comments reminds me of a Game Of Darts, who’s IT.

    Like

  44. nineofnine April 2, 2017 at 9:58 PM #

    @ David

    …”How does one guard against tyranny and threats to our so called democracy?”….

    NO ONE has address the call of the DDP to end trial by jury. (for starters)

    The setting this stage for reasons of alleviating “backlog” does not cut it and borders on corruption itself.

    Why would the power to determine the fate of an accused, should be given to a single judge/magistrate?
    As given by the DDP, it would curb jury tampering, intimidation, witness tampering and a call for more of witness statements.

    The argument for this seem plausible, yet with no balance for the integrity, credibility and knowledge of the sitting judge/magistrate. (not that I am knocking any).

    The question then, by support is…
    1. WHY ARE CASES REFERED TO HIGHER COURTS?
    2. In cases where judgement of the Higher Court OVERRULED the lower court show that, at the level of the lower court, much misinterpretation or lack of knowledge or improper following of the law was found wanting… this too by extension is found at the Higher court which matters are further adjudge by the CCJ, LPC or other international courts.
    3. Many of the judiciary worldwide has been found in compromising positions for lack of better judgement.
    4. As the level of EXPOSURE of CORRUPTION, MONEY LAUNDERING, FRAUD and THE TRAFFICING OF DRUGS and HUMANS are surfacing at an exponential rate, we will see many perpetrators being brought before the Law Courts as their networks crumble.

    Suffice to say that some would think that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, we need to protect “legality” with integrity and thwart quick get out of jail schemes AND the mechanisms to do so.

    Good jobs well done takes time, work on STAFFING, COURTS, schedules and time frames LEGALLY.

    Like

  45. William Skinner April 2, 2017 at 10:05 PM #

    @ vincent haynes

    “COW left in 3rd.”
    Man look how easy you blow Caswell’s fourth form comment to little pieces. COW ain’t even went to fourth form but when he speaks we all listen: ($) 21, 000 000 decibels, enough to mek we stone deaf. And we had 200 hundred plus posts talking about a man nobody listens to. Oh Caswell, wheel and come again.
    Caswell probably went to fifth form; COW went to the bank

    Like

  46. nineofnine April 2, 2017 at 11:03 PM #

    PAGE 4 & 5
    TAX HAVEN LABLE HAUNTS BARBADOS

    http://epaper.barbadostoday.bb/Launch.aspx?pbid=87ad6005-1972-4d63-92b0-8927eda53c7a

    Like

  47. Caswell Franklyn April 2, 2017 at 11:48 PM #

    William

    All along I mistakenly thought that you had above average reasoning but sadly your attempt to discredit what I said has given me reason to reassess my opinion of you. David said that there was a time when Cawmerians spoke people listened. I replied by saying that it only applied if you made it to fourth form or above. We were speaking of Combermerians. As far as I know, COW did not attend Combermere. So please explain to me how what you said makes any sense.

    Like

  48. William Skinner April 3, 2017 at 12:09 AM #

    @ Caswell
    Combermerian or not your preoccupation with calling people idiots and so on has nothing to do with the school. i am saying again: You probably went to fifth or sixth form and COW went to the bank. Now pick sense from that ! That is why we have to bemoan the fact that our hard earned $21 000 000 ended up in his bank account. We can talk pretty but it does not take above average reasoning to understand the point I was making. Where is Kyfin Simpson’s Masters? Where is Bizzy Williams PhD? Now if you can be so rattled by a tongue in cheek remark, it means that you have a very limited understanding of the point I was making. A point that several of us have made on BU. When I read about who is “brassbowls” and so on it comes back to who is really controlling the commanding heights of our economy. Name any black man that the government giving $21 000 000 to in these dangerous economic times. Name any black that got it even in bountiful times. Sometimes in your strenuous efforts to dismiss people you miss the essential points being made. its an affliition that is rampant on BU. Hal Austin has warned us several times about this malady. You need to find a remedy . Take the advice from a below average reasoner.

    Like

  49. Caswell Franklyn April 3, 2017 at 12:19 AM #

    William

    I am sorry that I hurt your feelings but it is not my fault that you read and did not understand before making a comment. Oh! by the way, can you name any person that I called an idiot that was not.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  50. William Skinner April 3, 2017 at 12:26 AM #

    @ Caswell

    Since I consider you, and I really mean this, a genuine Comrade in the struggle for workers rights, I am going to fire one and let this little tussle come to an end. I do not as a matter of principle, enjoy back and forth with my brothers and sisters in the struggle. Peace.

    Like

  51. Hal Austin April 3, 2017 at 3:14 AM #

    Ninefornine,

    You are spot on. Our major problem is our democratic deficit and occasional respect for the rule of law, that is why you can get the Guyana-born DPP calling for Judge-only trials, in a stroke getting rid of hundreds of years of trial by one’s peers.
    It is why some silly people want to crucify the senior Clico officiaals while giving aa free pass to incompetent pubic officials.
    It is why you can have a backlog of 10000 cases in the magistrates courts, and a further 800 in the high courts with one magistrate carrying out a blitz on poor people coming before her without a single word from the Guyana-born DPP or the brain absent attorney general.
    Barbados is in crisis while its public leaders engage in widespread character assassination as a field sport.

    @de pedantric

    The issue of the military becoming involved in policing civilians is not just a technical one about the line of command, but that in a democracy the military do not police civilians.
    With a weak media, politicians that are ideology-free, academics that do not have a sound understanding of their subjects, and public leaders who prefer to engage in character assassination and personal abuse rather than discussing issues, I am not surprised.
    It comes back to the educational system, one in which learning by rote passes as a form of education; the result is if anyone opposes what we say that person becomes the enemy, someone to be destroyed. How can they even think of having an opposing view.
    The truth is that such barbarism goes right to the heart of our collective ignorance, a small island mentality that provides cover for our fifty years of failure and our individual bullying mentality.
    Our heroes become thugs and muscle men, usually with guns in their back pockets, a substitute for logical reasoning.

    Like

  52. Vincent Haynes April 3, 2017 at 7:59 AM #

    Caswell

    Cow went to Cawmere around the same time as Alvin,he will verify.

    Like

  53. Gabriel April 3, 2017 at 8:26 AM #

    On a point of elucidation a brother confirmed Cow went to C’mere and in a buggy too.He left C’mere and end up at Lodge.

    Like

  54. de pedantic Dribbler April 3, 2017 at 8:33 AM #

    –Hal Austin April 3, at 3:14 AM ….
    Discussions such as this one re military intervention in policing matters can get emotive and esoteric and commonsense is jettisoned due to valid concerns about a lost of the rule of law, privacy and the creeping crudity of militarization.

    I get that. I hear the concerns. But let commonsense prevail, fah real.

    I am sure that you are familiar with the USA Posse Comitatus Act and what that offers re military interventions in the internal matters of the policing of its citizens.

    I am also sure that you know of the similar statues and rules in Britain; as this ‘ancient’ Act was based on the US colony’s embrace (or should that be dismissal) of British rules and law.

    So to state simply with that preface: Any military intervention to assist police activity would ensure that all military personnel so acting would conform to the same laws and restrictions that would govern a local constable.

    To reiterate, there will be cases that local police (and here local means even in US or England) will require the specialized services of their military colleagues. That must be allowed with proper guidelines and cannot be constrained to your dump heap of fear mongering or those of other libertarian pundits.

    Let me also add that I was most appalled when I first saw those patrols – now long ago – of BDF soldiers assisting police at the Crop Over jump-up.

    But realistically I was just as taken-aback when prior to that they started displaying the local ‘special forces’ police crew in their blue tunics and M16 rifles.

    I will leave aside the other comments on our education system and being an enemy simply by being in opposition as I have no earthly idea what they specifically have to do with this topic as compared to ANY other topic.

    This is a serious topic, but you do it NO favors by coming at it with the ‘Chicken Little’ approach!

    Like

  55. de pedantic Dribbler April 3, 2017 at 8:50 AM #

    @Caswell April 2, 2017 at 11:48 PM re: ….SERIOUSLY!

    For a man of your reasoning power as displayed here before this is a real dozy!

    For eons now I have heard that COW went to ‘Waterford’. Of course one would never know that based on anything he had said … but that’s a tale for another time.

    So it was hilarious to see you push your spit shined boots so far down your throat that you have ‘Nugget polish’ on the INSIDE of your toes. LOLL.

    You should print, frame and prominently display @Jeff’s: ” Brrrr…Cold, Caswell!”

    Even if COW had not gone to that school to so smugly remark that “We were speaking of Combermerians,” was absolutely priceless illogical.

    A laugh a day definitely keeps the doctor at bay!

    Like

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