After a few days in Barbados, mostly resting, but spending time with friends and acquaintances alike, I have returned with a feeling of deep sadness for a nation for which I have a very deep affection. But, we have a situation in which the national political discourse has been reduced to a leading minister inviting the leader of the official Opposition to strip naked and run down Broad Street, our main thoroughfare, to grab attention. While, at the same time, the governor of the central bank could announce that the economy is in recession and the minister of finance, the captain of the nation’s economy, did not see fit to respond to, the Opposition did not speak out on, our academic economists kept their opinions to themselves nor did our feeble media see it fit to inform their readers.
As I have said before, the nation is in serious crisis, only this time it is much worse than it previously was. Yet, there is an epidemic of denial: a police force that is imploding and cannot properly guard against organised criminality, medieval religious practices and family abuse. We are a nation that has lost faith in itself, when we could appoint a Canadian – repeat the word, Canadian – as head of our football association and every spare bit of land bought by dubious foreigners because our policymakers are addicted to foreign reserves. The New Barbados has also lost its moral purpose, its sense of decency, as is reflected in the obscenities that desecrate the airwaves as a matter of course; of the total national silence when a toddler can make sexual gestures over an apparently drunken woman at Crop Over, our leading cultural event; when our leading news paper thinks that pornographic pictures of juveniles having sex in a class room is newsworthy. Even more, not a single senior executive or director of the publishing firm has made a public statement about the obscenity. If ever there was a case for ordinary Barbadians to show their power as consumers and ban that publication, it is now. This is a long way from the nation I know as a young man, when, in the 1960s it was exporting people to work on London buses, trains and in the national health service, routinely gave them a printed booklet on how to behave in Britain. Those were days when the nation was concerned about its global reputation as reflected in the behaviour of its citizens.
Submitted by Inkwell
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
Execution in it’s simplest sense is to: get things done. Period. But it’s more complex than those 3 words might suggest. It’s about getting the right people in place, building a strategy around the resources available, and finally implementing the strategy, linking the strategy with people.
- David Lau
It is generally accepted that highly successful organizations achieve stated objectives because they execute with military like precision. And as Lau opines, it is about defining a strategy, accumulate and efficiently deploy resources and assemble people with the correct skillsets. The theory is easy until we allow indiscipline to intervene.
Barbados like many countries in our region finds itself mired in an economic morass. While there is agreement from all quarters that the environment in which we have to manage is a challenging one, we remain divided as a people the path we should follow. It is a situation which cries out for leadership.
Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte
Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, Minister of Labour and Social Security blames a computer glitch for the chaos surrounding payroll of temporary workers.
What the Houdini, did I hear correct? Now they are blaming the removal of peoples’ names on binary malfunctions ****0101001011 glitch***? The computer does not ask anybody questions anymore nowadays. Was the reason given for why the 1,000 or so temporary workers were this week taken off the payroll list? So wait, just so Apple wid a bite decided to axe them off and for no apparent reason. Goat rolls I say, but sounds oh too familiar. Recall the CLICO\ Deloitte report? Just so again, documents and all friendly copies (I still got mine) vanished into thin air with no logical explanation whatsoever.
Shifting mirror states we encouraging when we choose to play with peoples’ livelihood’s by offering scapegoat-isms and computer hoodlum- hoods. Why was it not Sir Roy who said he supported the call for austerity measures but asked for transparency? So what is so big about owning up to the truth anyway? Could it be to do with a now tired electioneered sound byte that continues to be repeated by some who would rather remain as ambiguous?
Mr Speaker, fellow members of parliament, I rise today with great humility; knowing the state of our nation’s economy and being aware of the weight of expectations by ordinary people, looking to me to provide the answers regarding their jobs, their welfare and their children’s futures.
Mr Speaker, I will do my best by delivering the package of reforms, monetary and fiscal, which I hope will lead us forward both in the short and medium terms.
The past five years have been tough, not only for us, but for the rest of the world; but it is to our little island home that I am given the great responsibility to pilot the ship of economic stability, growth and, with it prosperity for our people. It is a great responsibility and one that I am not treating lightly.
Submitted by Gilberto Howell
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler with veteran VOB journalist David Ellis (28/07/13) – Photo:Nation
Yes Minister, but please tell the truth about the Pierhead Marina Project.
Can you believe anything the Minister of Finance said yesterday on Brass Tacks?
No you cannot because the Minister of Finance is a stranger to the truth. A bullshit artist from beginning to end, a man determined to lie his way through politics in Barbados. A man who is all show and little or no substance, a man who has, by himself, destroyed the confidence the people of Barbados place in the office of the Minster of Finance and Economic Affairs.
Take the Pierhead Marina as an example. The Minister said categorically yesterday that the Pierhead Marina project is proceeding but he conveniently forget to tell the people of Barbados that he, as Minister of Finance, brought a Cabinet Paper to Cabinet a few weeks ago making a number of recommendations, including:
The contract with SMI be terminated immediately
The Pierhead Marina project be suspended until the Barbados economy was not in a recession.
See document received by BU which is purported to be part of a Cabinet Paper dated 21 June 2013. BU has published because we deem it in the public’s interest – Click LINK to read document.
We also found that a significant minority of permanent secretaries are still appointed through ‘managed moves’ where the civil service leadership – often at the request of ministers – move officials horizontally without any formal process or competition. Since 2010, managed moves account for around a third of permanent secretary appointments – including the appointment of the Cabinet Secretary himself
- Akash Paun and Josh Harris, with Sir Ian Magee
Thanks to Prodigal Son for keeping the BU family informed
The intellectual argument that Barbados is in deep economic (and social) crisis has now been conceded by the deniers – those who talk nonsense about the nation punching above its weight and exaggerating the soft influence we have in the region and, the world. Of course, it is all self-praise, the unfortunate outcome of economic ignorance and wishful-thinking.
I have said before, and will repeat again, that: first, the narrative that we have had a period of prosperity in the first decade of the 21st century was a myth built on over-borrowing on both a household and government level, ignoring our inefficient productivity to such an extent that we even believed that life owed us a living.
The second point that needs stressing is one that is in danger of seeping in to the gilded story of our economic prosperity: again, let us concentrate it to the post-independence years, and that truth is that the official myth-making of our economic growth, generally given as three per cent annualised, is, to be polite, crap. Had Barbados had a three per cent growth rate over the last decade, compounded, our post-global recession story would have been totally different. As things stand, we are up to our necks in debt, tourism, the main driver of the economy, is in intensive care and the priest is standing by to perform the last rites, while, in the meantime, relatives are fighting over how to divide up the spoils even before the last breath leaves the body.
George C. Brathwaite, founder and interim president of BAJE
There can be much to be derived out of the sober utterances that are spilled by a man not seemingly daunted by drowsiness or other lethargic effects of prolonged sleep. This article takes as its starting point the simplicity of the game – snakes and ladders – an Indian inspired, all-time favourite of many pre-adolescent children. The minimalism of snakes and ladders stems from its lack of any meaningful skill component in the execution of the game or in the attainment of the victor’s crown.
Notwithstanding, snakes and ladders was conceptualised with a deeper, moral, and sensitising agenda. Inherently, the choices of good and bad are included to signify the dialectical transformations emerging out of the contexts of values versus vices. There is the dynamism that links with performances to produce upward mobility in contrast to downward or backward falling. The aggregate difficulties (i.e. snakes) to be encountered are significantly more than the available opportunities (i.e. ladders) for climbing. It is by a mixture of self-determination and fortune in relation to similar circumstances facing at least one other participant/competitor that the outcome is manifested but never assured.
Read full article
A copy of a dismissal letter received by a government worker dated 30 May 2013.
It seems our own Caswell Franklyn who heads Unity Workers Union has released the cat amongst the pigeons. Was there a plan to send home a large number of temporary government workers which was foiled when Caswell went public recently? Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has been forced to deny there was such a plan. Maloney and Clarke from the NUPW have also denied that they were privy to any plan. Caswell has rebutted that after the initial plan was exposed the contingency plan seems to be the orderly release of temporary workers when their contracts expire.
During the just concluded general election campaign a key message from the Democratic Labour Party platform was that government jobs will be protected.
Who is lying? You be the judge.
Submitted by Old Onions Bag
Sandra Forde, General Manager of the Transport Board
The days of the Transport Board operating as a quasi Governmental institution are numbered. We have tried our best for years now to make it break even, and or make profit but to no avail. One of the reasons, (which there are many) by nature Government institutions operate intending to give social benefits and not to make profit paramount at the expense of societal benefits. Obviously there lies the reoccurring problem with our Transport Board. Before, the organization was operating with a management whose training and thought was not to maximize the bottom line.
We cannot eat the cake and have it too…either we want to operate profitably or we want to provide solely social benefits? Profitability could mean, leasing to a private concern, whose management will want to make profits for its shareholders.
Transport Board as it stands sucks up good bucks that could help reduce a deficit lending institutions like the IMF see as hazardous to our country’s health. When will a decision be made? We could use the mega bucks as with BNB (now Republic Bank) which has had a complete turn around placing more in our Treasury and employing even more staff?