Bjorn Bjerkman is JADA Construction
Former Minister of Transport, John Boyce
BU wishes to ask the Cabinet of Barbados headed by Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart the following questions:
Was Jada Construction – Bjorn Bjerkman – awarded the GROTTO contract WITHOUT going to tender? If so is this a violation of government’s financial rules?
In December last year with much fanfare former Minister of Transport John Boyce launched the Super Saver Smart Card. This is a prepaid card designed to allow customers to ‘top up’ and use to pay for travel on Transport Board buses.
Most modern corporations and efficient public bodies provide management training for staff, both to help them do their current roles well and as preparation for promotion. It is what is expected of staff, and most importantly, of clients, that the people looking after their interests have the competence and skills to do so efficiently. Politics, however, is different. People quite often enter politics, with no management training apart from their formal and professional education.
In the case of Barbados, since a high proportion of our politicians are lawyers, they come in the majority of cases having not even had a junior to supervise or an office budget to manage. Yet, on appointment to the cabinet, they often find themselves with thousands of staff and million of dollars to look after. It is a horrifying prospect.
I remember a couple years ago asking a senior politician if members of cabinet received any private training in management and budget control before taking up office and/he told me no. I Britain, senior members of the cabinet receive private tutorials on how to manage staff and on controlling a budget.
Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking, we have switched to auto pilot but for a short while…
As we sat momentary in silence, confirmation came from over the aircraft’s address system, that it was business as usual. Only weeks before, all incoming deputation were put on orange alert before release of any retrogress information. In the interim, CA heads sought to prelist their take with an uncanny sense of urgency to defer any IMF pending group therapy. Up pops a most laudable head of union suggesting congestions, which now transmits that certain underlying tectonics forces are at play. More silence and still more silence…Of clever moves or deception?
All in the games we love to play.
Submitted by Benny
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
I wish first to congratulate you on your return to office. The people of Barbados have instilled their confidence in you. I do personally admire you, and despite the beating that your leadership style has taken throughout the years I am satisfied that the Barbadian electorate is justified in returning you to office. We believe that your are honest, of sound character and fully capable of making this nation proud again. I must say though that I felt disappointed that you thought is necessary to respond to Muscle Mary as it was not worth the effort. In a day like today when persons cannot articulate themself without referring to another person physical appearance it is a sad. We accept the beauty of your character and honesty and the magnitude of your intellect; I buy into your concept of building a society. Mr Arthur explicitly stated that he does not know any philosophy about building a society, he only knows about building an economy. Well where the only vision is an economic vision the society becomes an open prison where respect is lost and freedom is curtailed by there resulting acts of criminality. Mr Arthur failed to see that when everything is premise on the almighty dollar it leads eventually to a state of anomie.
Mr PM you must take fully in your hands the reigns of leadership. You have created history being the first Prime Minister to inherited a Government and won back in the election, and to add to that, in the toughest economic times. This definitely speaks volumes to the high regard in which the right thinking Barbadians hold you and your Government, may God bless you and give you the health and strength to continue.
Now that the general election is over, and the nation has indicated its distrust, or indecision, of the two main parties, the marginal majority held by the DLP must, nevertheless, be treated with the respect and seriousness which the urgency of the nation’s predicament deserves. It is, however, an opportunity for the DLP government to start afresh, and, whatever the impulse, the prime minister must take a firm grip on policy and drive through his ideas. This is now his government, the electorate have given him a mandate and it is his moment to make history. He now has an opportunity to write his name in the nation’s story comparable to that of Errol Barrow or even Grantley Adams. Equally, he can go down as another Bernard ‘Bree’ St John or Erskine Sandiford, as someone who made very little impact on the nation and who is remembered for all the wrong reasons. After appointing his Cabinet, the first thing the prime minister – and at the time of writing only the attorney general has been appointed – should do is draft a ten-year development plan, with radical pathways for dragging Barbados, kicking and screaming, in to the 21st century.
Reforming the Public Sector:
Some civil servants, in their arrogance or ignorance of democracy, boast that while politicians are there for short periods, they are there for a working life. One of the first things the prime minister should do is to dis-abuse them of this nonsense. However, this does not mean entering territorial fight with senior civil servants; the changes must be carried out with civility and professionalism on both sides in the interest, most importantly, of present taxpayers and future generations. The failure of politicians and civil servants to work effectively together will in any case impact on the quality of service the general public receives. But, it is to improve the efficiency of this service that changes must be made.
Prime Minster Stuart being congratulated after the DLP was the declared the winner
There are some things the BU household has surrendered to by saying, we just do not understand.
Submitted by Gordon Jones
Dr. David Estwick, a key performer on the campaign platform
Although it might seem that I have been given the bad end of the stick it is my belief that I have been chosen by the Almighty, and my constituents of St Phillip West to work on behalf of this country. My mother always said: time longer than twine and that the race is not for the swift but is for he that endureth.
Nation Newspaper (01/10/2010)
Despite a can-do attitude and an unmatched passion for politics the first term of the DLP administration was not been particularly kind or favourable to Dr.David Estwick. First there was the allegation of brandishing a firearm in the precincts of Parliament and then there was the public spat with a dying David Thompson ending with the now infamous Bajan quote ‘time longer than twine’.
Dr. Estwick who is affectionately known in the political arena as The Pitbull, undertook responsibility for crafting the economic message and arguments for the DLP campaign and also for analyzing the policies and personality of Owen Arthur and for the vicious attacks that resulted there from. Some will argue that it was the combined efforts of Dr. Estwick and Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart that ultimately destroyed the mystique and somewhat favourable memory of Owen Arthur as a leader capable of delivering prosperous times. The combined effort prove too fatal to Owen Arthur’s bid to regain the leadership of Barbados and the experience will serve these two well in 2018 when it is likely that they will be facing the more formidable challenger in Mia Mottley.
Submitted by William Skinner
Clyde Mascoll, BLP spokesman on economic matters deemed a liability
Many years ago, during the turbulent years of political rivalry between Edward Saga and Michael Manley, in Jamaica, there was a very violent election and at the end it was dubbed: ”elections that people lose”. Sometimes, the only victors are the politicians and their lackeys. The victory of the Democratic Labour Party is a victory for Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. The jury will be out for sometime as to whether it was a victory for the people.
This election clearly demonstrated that the fed-up level, with both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour party is rising; the electorate, caught between a rock and a hard place, decided that the money offered “to be put back in their pockets’ by the Barbados Labour Party, was not enough to convince them that they should bring the Bees back into office. They worried about the transport being privatized and pensioners having to pay bus fares; they worried about the Sanitation Services being privatized and having to pay for garbage removal. A people under the heavy yoke of a recession, that is not going away, are very circumspect. So, Stuart went out there and reminded them about schools that the Democratic Labour Party built and told the voters that while money in their pockets is good, their character and understanding the value of a vote is more important. A less colourful but more effective message in the end.
Building a brighter future
After what has been described as one of the most bruising political campaigns in history of Barbados, the commonsense approach is for all Barbadians to quickly put our shoulders to the plough in the interest of country. There is no time for the traditional honeymoon period. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart needs to quickly get his human and other resources in position. The current state of the local economy is well documented and should not become loss in the euphoria of an election victory. The prospect of a challenging winter season does not bode will for the country in the short term. Restructuring the economy will take time.
The dust has not settled after 2013 General Elections but the BU household continues to be concerned about the relatively low voter turnout. The data for the 2013 General Election are (not datum) still being crunched but according to CADRES we had about a 60% turnout in 2013. The question which Barbadians need to ask is whether this situation should continue to go unaddressed. It was interesting to listen to Mia Mottley in an interview after the general election result was known. Her focus on the need to address governance issues should align well with Prime Minister Stuart on this issue who is seen by many as a man of integrity.
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
Tonight is shaping up to be a victory for the people and for Barbados. I am pleasantly surprised and quietly proud. We have defied all polls, expectations and political/election stereotypes. BU has been a great conduit for it to begin. Let us move ever closer towards that much needed tipping point and let’s hope that those who lead us wake up and realise that this is a wake call to do better for all of us
A result which the most ardent of DLP and BLP supporter did not predict. Barbadians have witnessed a 16:14 result in favour of the Democratic Labour Party. The result also blew the Wickham CADRES model to smithereens, made all the more interesting that Wickham performed two polls leading up to the general election. BUs one regret is that even as the country faces unprecedented challenges – posed by the global economic landscape – we have a parliament which will struggle to do business given the result.
Submitted by Old Onions Bag
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart known for his figurative language
Goodness gracious me. It’s happening all over again. DEMS’s worse nightmare as the beasts of Ephesus have once more risen to torment and torture the presumptuous. Wickham’s latest ‘second poll’ we mean. With it, many DLP hacks’ hopes stampeded and diminished after yesterday’s rekindle of sparks. PM Stuart’s nemesis too, as his popularity has once more plummeted back to behind that of Opposition Leader Owen Arthur’s. What does this mean? Ask BU’s Hammy, who yesterday had most ceremoniously went to the pulpit and said a prayer to his Gods, after hearing the now premature good news. On thy breast plate, Freundel, once more unsheaf thy sword … whether the mother of all battles or the slaughter at Little Bow, definitely a wash pan a licks promised and wounds of a gushing kind galore.
But Wickham dear Wickham why the hair raising turn? You certainly caused many Bees to sit up from their honey making churns. Have you not heard that such thrift is not good for the feint and weak hearted turks? Or is this some new kind of preamble to reactivate the indifferent to arise and lurk? Which ever way is up, it certainly has worked, for never in another General Election in Barbados has there been this much ephemeral. Could this be a permanent fixture of how things will be done from here on? Polling with a difference, a last minute thrill.
Submitted by Ckeckit-Out on BU’s General Election page (as a comment)
Note from Owen Arthur to Fruendel Stuart (sent via Hal Gollop)
David; I thought I should push my mout in your discussion with Miller of 1.35 pm today. There are a number of things about the NOTE that was reproduced in Barbados Today that is somewhat troubling.
Submitted by Stephen Williams
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart eases pass Opposition Owen Arthur in recent poll – photo credit: Nation newspaper
According to the latest Cadres Poll, Freundel is out front. Wow!!! With that said, the DEMS must, therefore, press home the advantage as a result of our favourable showing.
However, I am somewhat sceptical about Wickham’s findings, that despite the fact that Freundel is ahead of Arthur, the DLP is still marginally trailing the Bees. I wonder if it is a case of who pays the piper, calls the tune! We all know the obvious bias of the Nation Group of companies. But, however you analyse the poll, it’s a body-blow for the Bees.
I am no political scientist, but I believe I have more than a modicum of common sense. It stands to reason, and rightly so, that if Freundel has surged ahead (in my humble opinion, he was ahead for some time) he would consequently bring along the DLP.
So, it must have been heart-wrenching for the Nation and the know-it-all Wickham, the avowed nemeses of the Prime Minister, to admit that Freundel Stuart is ahead of ‘Owing Arthur’ in their latest poll. Only last month, they were arguing it will be a landslide for their side. This must be a bitter pill for them to swallow.