Having caused the economy to “shrink” and Barbados to be downgraded to “JUNK” it should not matter what the DLP now says it will do, especially when none of its policies before, worked and given that consumers and other credible people and institutions – no longer have confidence in it. The DLP cannot restore confidence, even if the same weak; tired; stale; incompetent Cabinet is reshuffled again. Only a new Government can restore consumer and investor confidence!
This country is in serious trouble and while it is true that the Government is weak (some would now say, incompetent) the truth is that the majority in our society essentially gave the DLP and blank cheque and a free pass to continue to do crap.
Perhaps with the DLP as the Government, it is now becoming obvious that it is no longer sufficient to just do your civic duty once every five years and that’s that! Maybe if people would spend a little more time paying attention – it would not be so easy for an incompetent DLP to get away with so much foolishness, especially when, it was already known that the DLP is a Government Barbados cannot trust or afford..
Imagine! The house engulfed in flames, but the DLP assures: “don’t worry, we have the key to the front door!” The Government is now making the wild allegation that its ability to access a US$225M bridging loan in these tough economic times, is an indication that Barbados can still borrow on the International markets at reasonable rates.’. How can a “rolling-basis-interest-rate,” ‘EVER’ be a good thing?
Owen Arthur would describe this as: ‘a man jumping off the 80th floor of a building, without a parachute and when passing the 50th floor, is heard to say: “so far so good.” Let’s put this discussion in context. You will recall that the DLP was forced to withdraw its $500 million bond offer on the International Capital Market because (given the “JUNK BOND” status the DLP has earned for Barbados) respected and credible International Investors now find Jamaica’s debt more attractive than Barbados.’
Remember also, that the Central Bank of Barbados took-up US$375 million and essentially bought “JUNK:” with it, that is to say - “DLP-JUNK-Bonds.” Then consider that since June, the DLP caused this country to lose over $400m in foreign reserves. With the foreign exchange cover causing panic, the DLP is “desperate” but it finds itself in a position of absolute weakness – having had four downgrade, including one to “JUNK,” as well as a negative credit rating. Investors like Barbados but they have simply lost confidence in the DLP and with this much uncertainty (where all indicators are showing that things are deteriorating “fast”) a capital flight is inevitable!
There are instances in history where the person in charge does something remarkable act (at the right time) which saves the lives of people or accomplishes some other remarkable feat on behalf of their country or those for whom they have responsibility. Names like Owen Arthur; Tom Adam; Barrow and Clement Payne, easily spring to mind. A captain of a cruise liner or a pilot of a plane – is no different from a Prime Minister of a country. Take, (then 57-year-old) Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, for example. The world will remember him as the man who landed a US Airways Plane with 155 passengers and 5 crew, successfully and safely on the Hudson River – having lost power to both engines – after the plant hit a flock of Canadian Geese. You probably cannot imagine the degree of difficulty or, how remarkable it is to land a plane on water but the experts thought what Capt. Sullenberger did was such an outstanding achievement that the entire Crew of Flight 1549 was later awarded the Master’s Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators. The award citation read, “This emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement.” It was said to have been described by NTSB board member Kitty Higgins as, “the most successful ditching in aviation history.”
If the DLP was flying that plane, everybody on-board would have been dead and the plane completely destroyed. A far less difficult undertaking and yet, the DLP somehow manages to crash the Barbados economy, AGAIN!
The downgrade by Standard and Poors is proof that, you can hijack the truth – even hold it hostage for a short time (as it is now crystal clear the DLP did before the February 2013 general elections) but “truth” will always escape and expose you, as the DLP is now finding out.
Before the February elections, Barbadians were assured by the same DLP that said that: it will not “cheat;” it will not “steal” and it will not “lie” – that the economy was “stable.” But soon after February, “truth” was able to escape and the country heard “for the first time” (despite an alleged report to the nation during the general election campaign when nothing was said) that the QEH could not pay a multi-million-dollar bill for medicines and that the Transport Board had spent $30 million it did not have and having done that – licked-out an overdraft for a further $10 million. You see part of why Barbados is in serious trouble?
Trademark fiscal recklessness like the Transport Board spending that $40 million it did not have – will hardly escape the Auditor General but it constitutes the same cost overrun the dems said will not happen – under a DLP Government? Do you see why you need to urgently reel-in the DLP and why no patriotic person in Barbados; sensible person within the Caribbean or respected institutions around the world - have confidence in the DLP; trust them or want to risk taking them seriously?
Can the two major political parties work together for the good of country?
Pure Confusion From her first day on the job the Leader of the Opposition had promised to raise hell in Barbados. On the day she was sworn in she had sworn that she would be “sparing no punches”. So indeed Ms. Mottley came out of her corner fighting. She indicated that, “the Opposition was prepared to let Government introduce its new programmes free from ‘advice’ from the BLP, but once it was divulged her team would voice its concerns.” This indicates that the Leader of the Opposition never had any intention to work with the Government to take this country forward. Now what is all of this talk about, “For love of Country”? Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has sought every opportunity to paint the worse picture of Barbados possible. One would recall her use of the term, “Economic Terrorism”, in her response to the Estimates debate on March 18th 2013.
Before the world and for ever recorded in the most prestigious record of a country’s history the Leader of the Opposition chose to make political mileage from an unfortunate incident which had occurred the day before involving visitors to the country. Whenever she gets an opportunity to speak she speaks of a Barbados filled with suffering people and on the brink of collapse. One must agree with our Honourable Prime Minister that the BLP led by Opposition Leader Mia Mottley is out of touch with reality. “The Barbados filled with suffering people and on the brink of collapse is a figment of the opposition BLP’s imagination.”
Chris Sinckler, Minister off Finance (l) Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition (r)
The apologists, supporters, assorted scribes and defenders of the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party, should now hold their heads in collective shame, after the embarrassing and bizarre spectacle that took place in our parliament, on Tuesday 23rd, October 2013.
The pathetic spinners are trying to convince the public, that both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party take for granted, that each side has won. The unvarnished truth is that our parliament was the location, of a shameless, nauseating display of BLP/DLP political grand standing and showmanship that easily surpassed what the horse racing fraternity expects on Gold Cup Day! My sincere apologies to the horses for even mentioning them when speaking of this sorry group of political misfits.
For where else in the world could a no – confidence motion, so lacking in confidence, be foisted on the public? Where else could a government, strategize that to ignore the motion was the best way to treat an electorate that recently returned it to office? This administration has made a deliberate attempt to be arrogant while it bungles and fumbles.
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Owen Arthur, Former Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley Leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
Fellow Barbadians, let me say how pleased I am, that our recently held general election was incident free and fair. Let me congratulate all the candidates for maintaining the democratic process and thanks to all those hard working citizens, who ensured that the highest standards of conduct prevailed.
Let me specially congratulate our main opposition, the Barbados Labour Party, on its success although the party of which I currently have the honor of leading, the Democratic Labour Party was victorious on this occasion. As you know, the result was very close and while the Democratic Labour Party was returned to office, the voters clearly showed that they are looking to both parties to solve our problems. In other words, while we are buoyed by the victory, we realize that these are challenging times and both parties have put the health of our economy, as their main priority.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart delivered a wide ranging address at the Democratic Labour Party’s St. Philip North Branch meeting at the Hilda Skeene Primary School on Sunday, 13thOctober 2013. In a packed room of branch members and party supporters, the DLP President and Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank the constituents of St. Philip North for their overwhelming support for Member of Parliament and Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Lashley in the February 2013 General Elections.
He then went on to reassure those gathered that life in Barbados is normal despite what they had been hearing from an Opposition which he described as, “a hastily put together coalition of the restless, reckless and the rejected.” He dismantled all of the recent Opposition attempts to foment unrest in Barbados by explaining the country’s position as it relates to the management of the economic challenges by protecting the foreign exchange reserves through the deficit reduction programme introduced in the 2013 Budgetary Proposals.
His wide-ranging presentation dealt with the payment of UWI tuition fees by Barbadian students, the status of temporary employees in the public service, the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, the Transport Board and the CCJ’s Judgement in the Shanique Myrie Case.
Less than one year after the last general election and the sense in the BU household is that the country continues to be gripped in election mode. This is despite the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) having won the general election albeit by a narrow margin of two seats. The inability of the Stuart led government to bring Barbadians together and get on with improving the lot of the country has been a bane to many. To some the narrow result confirmed the disgust which the electorate has with the two main political parties.
Here is the flipside. BU is not convinced by the alternative proposals which were championed by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) during the last general election campaign. There was the privatization argument which backfired, however, the thrust of the BLP’s offering is centred on maintaining a service economy read tourism and international business. Not to forget the promise of a more aggressive offshore oil exploration program. The BLP faithful appear not to accept that the world has changed post-2008. Barbados ‘leveraged’ a global economic boom where there was easy money to be borrowed from capital markets. A significant percentage of the billions left in foreign reserves by the BLP represented borrowings which will have to be repaid. The adage that one has to earn your way in the world means that a borrowing strategy was not sustainable.
The BU gang has been harping for years that the Barbados downward spiral can be tracked to a lack of leadership. In case the BLP hacks have forgotten, the economic indicators started to flag during Owen Arthur’s third term. There is evidence that Arthur and the BLP struggled with the economic conditions which had become harsher.
Kerri Symmonds, Deputy Leader of the BLP was reappointed to the Senate after a widely publicized marital dispute.
The ‘Rubbing Shoulders’ initiative of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has been attracting attention and criticism from the government of Barbados. Minister Ronald Jones has gone so far as to suggest that insurrection may result which may lead to the cracking of heads etc.
What is there to fear from the BLP talking directly to the people? Isn’t the opposition political party charged with ‘raising’ issues?
Mia: ah hay Dipper tell you to form a national unity gouvment Fruendel: well, I was tinking that Owen would have been a better partner. Dipper seemed to feel so …………. Mia: Tom like he would agree too. But I is the maximum boss now, not Owen. He would never be able to overthrow me again! Fruendel: the boys down under got other plans fuh he. Well, we can consider dah idea for the country. Like the social partnership, but deeper, as deep as Dipper use to dip and broader. The boys from down dey tink we could deepen we personal relationship too, yuh know. Mia: but you aint got nuh wife Fruendel: and you aint got nuh husband Mia: so are you suggesting a powah alliance that is not merely political
Politics in Barbados seem to have hit an all time low: the ruling party is under severe scrutiny because of its mismanagement of the economy, but the other side is apparently moving under the radar escaping any meaningful examination of its performance. In my opinion, the Opposition, as presently constituted, is fast becoming an ineffective laughingstock.
Recently, the media carried a story to the effect that Kerrie Symmonds was “elevated” to some non-existent post of “Leader of Opposition Business” in the House of Assembly. Political analyst and commentators quickly waded in on the merits and implications of the appointment, without first considering that there is no such post. The political leader of the minority party in the House becomes Opposition Leader or if you like, the leader of opposition business. One section of the media reported that members on the Government side laughed when the announcement was made. That alone should have given the Opposition pause since this otherwise clueless Government thought that it was funny.
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