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.
2013 BLP Manifesto
The manifestos of the DLP and BLP have been released about ONE week before the E-Day of February 21, 2013. Generally people pay very little attention to manifestos in most countries. A manifesto may be described as a political tool to get political parties elected. Although we know they are usually littered with pie in the sky promises, BU had hoped this one time around, given the unprecedented challenges which confront service-oriented economies like Barbados, the electorate would have been wooed and teased by a vision articulated by both political parties (espoused in the manifestos). How do they plan to navigate the economic and social milestones currently strewn in our path? Why is it this one time our people could not have been convinced to turn-down the political rhetoric, and instead, engage in a level of collaboration hitherto never experienced in democratic Barbados? As a highly regarded small predominantly Black country here was an opportunity created by the prevailing economic challenge for us to lead; a role which is not unfamiliar in the post-Independence period.
Kudos to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for being ‘first’ out of the blocks with their Manifesto launch – a sarcastic comment you ask?. Although a trivial point, it has not escaped the notice of BU that apart from the first page which features an aggressive air-brushed image of Owen Arthur reflected on The Team for A Better Tomorrow, Mia Mottley’s photo appears in the most prominent position. To those with an ‘eye’ for these things it is called subliminal advertising and it is designed to draw the eye and create an impression in the minds of the electorate.
During the stewardship of the DLP government (2008-2013) a few issues have always occupied the attention of the BU family. Heading the list is GOVERNACE! On Thursday an increasingly cynical electorate will have to decide which party leads (by a nose) on the issue of Freedom of Information (FOI) and Integrity Legislation (IL) among others.
Related Link: Manifesto WATCH
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Economy, Barbados Elections, Barbados Government, Barbados Judiciary, Barbados Labour Party, Barbados Lawyers, Barbados News, Barbados Police Force, Blogging, Caribbean News, Democratic Labour Party, Fruendel Stuart, Governance, Justice, Law,Crime, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur, Politics, Tourism
Tagged 2013 Barbados General Election, Manifesto
Submitted by Yardbroom
Barbadians urged to vote INTEGRITY
Deliverance from Whom?
Leadership to Where?
Pragmatic in what we can reasonably afford.
All underpinned by “INTEGRITY” for without that, we are nothing.
In a matter of days Barbados’ electorate will go to the Polls and elect a Government for the next five years. The time for crunching figures is over. The pollsters have trotted out their numbers, the columnists showing bias have pontificated on the rightness of their selections and those in the shadows with much to gain, have invested their dollars and largesse to be distributed, no doubt expecting a large return on their investment. The manifestos are near ready but they too rely on that word INTEGRITY for without it, they will be as useful as a loser betting tickets discarded at the Garrison Savannah.
I asked deliverance, from whom? Deliverance from those in the shadows, whose faces are never seen but their dollars are. They do not mount platforms and tell ribald jokes, and their parentage, domestic arrangements and physiognomy are never questioned, but like a fox at a Leghorn fowl shin-dig, they cannot be ignored.
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Elections, Barbados Government, Barbados Labour Party, Blogging, Corruption, Democratic Labour Party, Governance, Politics
Tagged BL&P, DLP, Integrity
As the general election campaign heats up, some of us are looking in vain for an improvement in the quality of the discussion. So far, however, it remains on a level that would have been familiar to Eric ‘Fly’ Sealy and some of the old fringe campaigners who would say anything for anyone if the money was right. But the real victims of this low grade discourse are the ordinary people who are out of work, cannot pay their bills and, more often than is publicly acknowledged, cannot even feed their families. In the meantime, they allow themselves to drift along with the half-truths, lies and total fabrications often heard from the political platforms, and, even moreso, the omissions and denials piped through the media, both print and broadcast.
There are things about our island that we can genuinely celebrate: we do not have political assassins stalking public figures; we do not have drug addicts at every street corner nor toddlers taking drugs, no matter what self-promoting ‘criminologists’ may say; we do not have organised criminal gangs, apart from those people in influential positions who make it part of their project to rip off the tax man. In the main, Barbados is a relatively law abiding and decent society, despite pockets of deviancy and vulgarity.
Memo to Commissioner of Titles
Department of Inland Revenue document
Doctor Watson declares Violet Beckles’ fit’.
Violet appeals to Nation newspaper for HELP!
The Old Lady appeals to Mia Mottley, former Attorney General
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Government, Barbados Judiciary, Barbados Labour Party, Barbados Lawyers, Barbados News, Barbados Police Force, Barbados Press, Blogging, David Thompson, Democratic Labour Party, Fruendel Stuart, Governance, Justice, Land, Law,Crime, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur, Politics, World News
Tagged Adriel Brathwaite, Beatrice Henry, Hal Gollop, Nation Newspaper, Plantation Deeds, The Farm Plantation, UDC, Urban Development, Urban Development Commission, Violet Beckles
Auditor General Leigh Trotman
After reading the Are VIPs Exempt From Paying VAT? which followed BU’s The G Virus, BU remains convinced we have a crisis of governance in Barbados. As election time draws closer BU will be highlighting examples to show that it does not matter which government is in office, the decadence which permeates our governance system is foreboding.
During the last general election Barbadians listened to several accusations of financial wrongdoings by the then Opposition. With another general election on the horizon Barbadians are hearing the same concerns from the current Opposition. Needless to say many Barbadians have become turned off by the politics being practiced in Barbados.
Do Barbadians remember the two Special Audits done by the Auditor General in 2006? Continue reading
How to increase national productivity must be the topic of conversation.
Managing the finances of the BU household requires adherence to a simple rule which cannot be broken. Do not spend more that is earned! It is the only way individuals can create a financial security blanket (creating wealth) for the family before retirement. We live in a world which has become addicted to consumption. It has become a place where the value system is securely anchored in love for things at the expense of people or what is commonsense.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) next talkback forum has as its topic ‘Putting Money Back in your Pocket”. The topic should provoke all Barbadians to think about what kind of country we want. We understand that political parties are in the business of winning elections, and the opportunity to promise what is often impossible or illogical is par for course at this time. It explains why the period leading into a general election is labelled ‘the silly season’. However Barbadians must be able to rationalize and force the best decision based on what is before us.
Barbados is an economy where we import most of what we consume, we produce little. If we do nothing or follow the trend of expanding our consumption, it means we have to improve the inflow of foreign exchange. It is a simple equation to balance which has implications for being able to defend the parity of the Barbados Dollar and avoid the clutches of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). BU’s simple analysis is that Barbados can continue to live above its means; we have been doing so for the last 20 years, and suffer the fate of many countries across the Caribbean and the world – OR – we can make structural changes to our social and economic model to be able to sustain a wholesome and practical lifestyle for Barbadians in the present and generations to follow, while at the same time build out mitigating options to buffer the exogenous shocks which will affect us from time to time.
Auditor General Leigh Trotman
Many financial analysts agree that a poor governance structure contributed to the collapse of Wall Street, and precipitated a global economic meltdown not experienced since the Great Depression. A consequence of it all, small countries like Barbados have seen ‘wanton’ destruction to gains accrued to standard of living built out over the years.
On the regional front we have not been immune to the G Virus. We witnessed it with the collapse of Stanford Bank and more visibly with CLICO. The CLICO mess exposed the lack of a robust regional regulatory framework to govern pan Caribbean companies. Several years after the demise of CLICO the jury is out whether any serious attempt has been made to improve the regional regulatory framework. It is ironic to note however that despite a commitment to Caricom by regional leaders, they all own Central Banks with the exception of the sub region.
Locally, we are confronted by the G Virus at every turn. The best example is the perennial disrespect which both political parties have directed at the Office of the Auditor General. Exceptions to the financial rules of government have been highlighted by successive Auditor Generals and ignored by successive governments. How can we be serious about being competitive and building out a disciplined society?
It is appropriate BU returns to the issue of Freedom of Information (FOI) on the second anniversary of death of former Prime Minister David Thompson. The promise that FOI and Integrity Legislation would have been introduced by this government early in its term swayed BU and we supported the DLP in 2007. Sadly the government has not demonstrated the political will to implement transparency legislation. Five years later it is fair to describe the promise as a gimmick to win votes.
Submitted by Old Onion Bags
Greg Christie was appointed Jamaica’s fourth Contractor General in 2005
The call has been made umpty times now on BU for Barbados to have a Contractor General. For those wondering what are the duties of such a noble sounding executive officer, in a nutshell….”to assist government in the fair advertising, soliciting, and final disbursements of contracts for services and purchase of major worth.” More detailed….
The Contractor General is given the onus to monitor the award and the implementation of government contracts with a view to ensuring that –
such contracts are awarded impartially and on merit;
the circumstances in which each contract is awarded or, as the case may be, terminated, do not involve impropriety or irregularity;
without prejudice to the functions of any public body in relation to any contract, the implementation of each such contract conforms to the terms thereof; and
to monitor the grant, issue, suspension or revocation of any prescribed licence, with a view to ensuring that the circumstances of such grant, issue, suspension or revocation do not involve impropriety or irregularity and, where appropriate, to examine whether such licence is used in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof. (Courtesy Jamaica’s Office of Contractor General).
Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
President Donald Ramotar
The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) fully supports the AFC’s complete and unequivocal rejection of the PPP’s second proposed term of reference for the commission of inquiry into the Police killings of the three Lindeners.
This additional term proposes to inquire “into the role and involvement” of “other forces” in organising, mobilising and promoting the protest actions from their commencement and immediately after the shooting on July 18th 2012.”
This is a back-door attempt by the PPP regime to investigate organizers of the protests, who broke no law and committed no crime. The only crimes committed were the murder and unlawful shooting of unarmed, innocent citizens by Police officers.
Mia Mottley promised in reply to budget to restore pensions to Statutory Board workers
Employees of Statutory Boards are entitled to receive a pension after being employed for ten (10) or more years. However, in accordance with Section 32 A (1) of the Statutory Boards Pensions Act, Cap. 384, persons who were employed with Boards after September 1975 and are entitled to receive a pension shall have that pension reduced by the amount of pension payable by the National Insurance Office when this latter pension becomes due. It should be noted that those persons who were employed with the Boards prior to September 1975 would be entitled to a pension from the Board and the National Insurance Office without any reduction.
Our investigations revealed that the Statutory Boards have not been reducing the pensions of its former employees as required by the Law. This has resulted in these retirees receiving payments to which they are not entitled.
Auditor General’s Report 2011
Statutory Boards because of an oversight – BU suggests negligence -has resulted in several retirees receiving pension monies to which they have not been entitled over many years. One would have thought the error having been discovered should have been corrected forthwith. However the matter has become smothered in politics like most issues in Barbados. With a general election on the horizon the government is likely to not endear itself to pensioners who have had one pension cancelled.
Submitted by Yardbroom
Owen Arthur, Leader of the opposition (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)
In the September 1994 General Election, Owen Seymour Arthur – a matter of days before his 45th birthday, 17th October – became Prime Minister of Barbados, he was of course leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and went on to hold that position until 15th January 2008 when the BLP lost the general election to the DLP – Democratic Labour Party – by 10 seats to 20. During that reign – some might say an illustrious period – Owen Arthur became the longest serving Barbadian Prime Minister. On the 19th January 2008 Arthur relinquished the leadership of the BLP and Mia Mottley was elected to that position. He was reinstated and sworn in as leader of the BLP by a vote of confidence by four of his parliamentary colleagues on the 18th October 2010.
I will not dwell on the period January 2008 – October 2010 the Mia Mottley leadership interval. I should make it quite clear this is not because of any misgivings about Mia Mottley it is just this submission is not about her.
In a relatively short time – months – the electorate will decide on the next government of Barbados; more should be pondered on than a simple reaction to the moment; a skip back in time should be part of that process.
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Labour Party, Caribbean News, David Thompson, Democratic Labour Party, Fruendel Stuart, Governance, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur, Politics
Tagged Barbados General Election, leadership