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.
Has anyone else noticed the sudden impulse to rename buildings, boardwalks and schools nowadays? Wonder why? What is really the subliminal message being sent out here? Soon time? All is mine?
Could it be… those were our charges and deserve more mention? Which ever way is up, it seems facetious and self serving for the placement of a new frets on\into old guitars, that have become legacies in their own right, when remembered as they were….true hallowed institutions. A new boardwalk maybe, but to rename a school like Harrison’s College to something else, seems extenuating even disingenuous. A Queens College renamed to a new fame or other dame is an exercise in farrago.
Why distort history and challenge past remembrance?
The DLP promised us integrity legislation within a short period of time once it had formed a government. Now, on the eve of another general election, there is no integrity legislation. It cannot escape consideration that the DLP did not dare to provide integrity legislation as, if it did, it and successor governments of both political stripes, might find it impossible to form a government, far less a cabinet.
Some time ago, BU promised that on the eve of the next general election it would revisit the issue of Minister DENIS LOWE. We know understand from his accreditation:
He specialises in Developmental/Clinical Psychology. He was appointed Minister of the Environment and Drainage in June 2011, having held those posts and the additional portfolio of Water Resources since November 2008. He previously held the portfolio of Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development.
Before assuming this ministerial portfolio, he was Managing Director and Principal Consultant with Life View International. We will not go into Lowe’s background. We are only interested in his political role. We note that he was “Managing Director and Principal Consultant with Life View International”.
Leader of the Opposition Owen Arthur says the Bees are ready.
Time we face up to facts. Too often now, plasters are to quick to be offered for every sore. Like Mathew Farley the said megalomaniac. Though some can see the truth behind the unfortunate situation, they would rather cower to a defensive stance and represent like a pit bull, giving all to their cause. Oh how we love not to face up to the truth and call a spade a spade. It has become contagious now. It is as if by some strange complexion, we would rather be blinded, than to take the path to truth.
So what is so wrong with looking at a shovel and saying its another word for a spade? Why must we take the round about route with mundane discourse? For those who are accustomed playing dominoes, if the board calls for sixes and duces, fours or threes cannot play. It just won’t be right. If by accident, a mismatch, the result will be chaos when coming to near end of the game. A six is a six and a duce a duce. There can be no substitute.
Why then in life’s situations we are tempted to play the wrong cards? A three for a four…..a blank for an ess? Why do we attempt to do such hubris and sabotage or cause problems to life’s domino game? Why can’t we be honest with ourselves sometimes when we know of the obvious error? Why continue to throw good time and money after bad? Like The Four Seasons. $400 millions now sunk and irrelevant past cost to any future decision making. Sometimes we know different but blinded by the folly of our error, continue to hold tether, hoping for change.
Lights !!! Camera!!! Action!!! Last weekend’s meeting of the Barbados Labour Party’s branch of the St Michael North East, on the spacious lawns of Tyrol Cot, reminded Barbadians of a scene in the upcoming new series of Dallas . This is one of the many scenes were JR Ewing and Sue Ellen pretend to be the loving couple in public. JR Ewing the abusive hubby and Sue Ellen, the faithful side kick waiting for the call to ask how high to jump.
How many times have Barbadians seen the kiss and make up public charade. The political embrace all in the name of the party’s image is just getting extremely worn. It was not too long ago that Mia scripted the now famous letter [19th September 2011] to her party’s hierarchy withdrawing from the race of chairman as the incoming chairman in waiting had a copy of the script from his greatest political ally. Mia wrote
“ …You may well ask whether internal victory at all costs for certain interests is worth jeopardizing the image and appeal of our great Party in the eyes of the wider electorate at this volatile and uncertain juncture of our Nation’s history and within sight of a General Election. The most powerful way I can register my strongest opposition to this undemocratic and unconstitutional cutting of members’ rights and tinkering with our Constitution is to withdraw from the contest for the post of Chairman. To remain would be to legitimize behavior that is foreign to this Party…”
Arthur and Stuart, the current leaders of the BLP and DLP
At the risk of inflaming the partisan passions of die hard Barbados Labour Party and Democratic labour Party supporters, I venture to suggest, that both parties are now in the position of the pot calling the kettle black! It seems to be quite clear to objective citizens, that both are now apparently incapable of formulating any real socio-economic plan to take our country forward.
Ever since the mid 70’s, the sole purpose of both parties, has been to focus almost exclusively on winning elections. As the country developed and the corporate elite became more sophisticated, the public sector was allowed to lag behind because of slow movement toward technology. The black political managerial class is therefore left to “keep noise” and impress the public gallery.
Many of our problems are rooted in our colonial history. At the very top is an educational system that lacks serious and progressive reform. The system is still elitist, and favours academically inclined students. Teachers are under constant pressure to keep the status quo intact.
You are suffering and you are indirectly suffering the independents that support you. We like you, really we do. We believe that you have the most integrity and desire to help all Barbadians and with time could do so. But you are doing an atrocious job of showing it, proving it, or at the very least talking about it properly. Let me pause to offer a moment of sympathy for your departed leader, former PM David Thompson. He truly went too soon. He also left big boots to fill and an unfinished vision and mandate that desperately needed time and hard working, honest souls to bring it to fruition. Fast forward two years and we must now ask. What have you done? How have you done it? How have you shared it?
I’ll declare my hand and admit that my philosophy, leaning and beliefs endear me to the DLP rather than the BLP. But, my objectivity will always question right from wrong, good from bad, sense from nonsense and efficiency from ineptitude. In too many cases you have collectively chosen the latters. To make matters worse, it has been so blatant, so obvious, and in some cases so bumbling that it seems you are still now trying to “settle” into the role of government, four years after the fact.
While on that, let me turn to your chairman, the PM, the numero uno, Mr. Freundel Stuart. A good man. A liked man. A decent man. An intelligent man. But clearly a man with flaws in some of the critical areas of leadership, team building and emotional intelligence. They say a leader gets the job done. Full stop. But there are many tasks he/she must undertake and people he/she must work and talk with to get there. The jury will decide on Stuart’s performance as PM and leader. As for the team? Likeable fellows somewhat. But, complacent, sometimes arrogant and now conveniently blind to the very things that swept them into power, and are poised to sweep them out. They should pray for light.
Some comments suggest we know and understand little about the country and less about how the world spins. Some party faithfuls without knowledge or facts preach falsehood in tattered narrowness. A few seem to have difficulty with the written word. Prodigal Son asks if theSt Joseph hospital was sold how could government “be able to lease it out.” Yes I said the BLP sold the port, airport, the National Bank and the hospital in the north. Is the northern hospital located inSt Joseph? Austin (not Hal) asks if I “honestly consider what the Bajan public is getting from the current PM is leadership.” The article dealt exclusively with the BLP not the DLP. To answer your question try reading my other submissions.
According to Enuff the submission is “symptomatic of a government that fails to accept that public policy and behaviour inspires the private sector to invest….” Does he mean the current opposition? The submission dealt only with the BLP. To find out who bought the Port and Airport ask those who know but choose to be conveniently unaware.
I am not suggesting the private sector is to blame. That sector (White) built and developed the country. For example four arrived as indentures (another name for slaves), worked on the plantations some of which they later owned, invested their savings in business and built Bridgetown, all by utilizing the only natural resource, the land. (Little England 2). Politically it provided education for blacks (CodringtonCollege) and other social facilities at a time when the Uncle Sam considered the Nigger to be 5/8 of a human. And they supported the abolition of slavery. Recall the Conservative Party? You voted them out of power. Why is another story. Today the private sector provides the bulk of taxation used to support social services, government employment and remains by far the largest employer.
You know election is around the corner when the opposition and its supporters have nothing good to say about the current government. Quite often the purported facts and figures produced have little to do with reality. Preaching falsehood in robes of tattered narrowness becomes standard. According to Mr. Austin (Not Hal Austin) the DLP government “lacks” innovative thinking, effective leadership, fiscal and innovative thinking, and ability to reduce spending and grow national revenue. He claims the BLP Rescued and Rebuilt Barbados. This of a government who could not even repair the West Wing of Parliament. As I said before we were in what amounts to recession long before the global recession
The last BLP government sold the Port, Airport, the National Bank, the northern hospital, land etc and left a national debt of $60bn (the sum-total of “all-budget” loan guarantees and contingencies) that was greater than the GDP. The debt constitutes a “lien” against the people and the unborn. In the process a few benefited and were rescued. A few were given jobs and a handful became ‘shareholders’ in an oil company which even today produces nothing. A few souls do not constitute the population. Does on rescue and rebuild a country by selling its most profitable resources and committing its people and the next generation to prolong indebtedness?
1- We are told that domestic exports rose by 49.2 % between 2003 and 2006. That may indeed be true. For that we have to thank the private sector not the BLP. Government has no business in the private sector.
Introduction: The Caribbean Court of Justice recently held its first meeting outside Trinidad, hearing the case of a young Jamaican woman allegedly assaulted by Barbadian border officials, and it was generally judged a success. In another development, a former Attorney General and Chief Justice has also revealed that it is his intention to put his side of the case why the late prime minister David Thompson refused to extend his term as the nation’s top judge.
Two events linked through David Simmons, the former AG’s push for the formation of the CCJ and the almost religious fervour in which the new nationalism, as reflected in the senior judge’s comments about the high level of presentation before the court. The CCJ judges, in summing up the success of the hearing, reportedly compared the high standard with the Privy Council and complimented the various attorneys on how well they presented their cases. It was rather strange comment, given that what he was in fact doing was complimenting them on their presentational competence, which I shall return to later.
However, this competition with the former colonial masters runs deep in contemporary Caribbean intellectual and professional discourse. Two examples remind me of this. I remember a Trinidad-born, Britain raised friend and I spending a long social evening in the company of a leading Barbadian legal beagle and his wife, and the conversation being dominated by this lawyer comparing himself with the Australia-born, Britain-based leading QC Geoffrey Robertson, a highly reputable radical lawyer and author, but nothing to write home about. Until then, I had made the obviously silly assumption that this particular Barbadian lawyer/politician, London-educated, was one of the brightest and best of his generation, full stop. It was only his clear insecurity that raised doubts in my mind.
Noel Lynch in action at Haggatt Hall on BLP platform
Although Prime Minister Stuart has not yet made known the date of this country’s next general elections, the Barbados Labour Party and particularly its leader Master Tactician Owen Arthur found a way to announce, at least from their vantage point, the start of “The Silly Season”. What else is there to deduct from the charade that given its hype, turned out to be nothing more than a storm in a teapot?
At the very same Bussa Roundabout in January of 2009 persons gathered there were given a dose of the aphrodisiac labelled Dialogue Of Deception and Bajans were in bed with the Democratic Labour Party. Last Sunday they gathered for what in the truest sense of the the word was nothing more than “OWEN’S MEACULPA.” (miaculpa). Gone was the hostility that became his trademark of late, replaced by the all important need to present a united front.
Sunday night Owen Arthur’s zeal said forget Geritol, there is potency in opportunism. Did he not think we wanted to hear from his lips the status and future plans for the one he appointed as co-leader and broke the camel’s back in the first place? Such might have been as weak and lame as the explanation given for the cheque that found its way into his personal account, but it was warranted none the less. Much time was spent in his attempt to show government’s blatant disregard for law, as if this were a new phenomenon in Bajan politics.
The political temperature is rising in Barbados as both political parties gear up for a general election due by early 2013. The contest is expected to be one of the most interesting for many reasons. On the BLP side there is Owen Arthur who led the country during a period of economic prosperity. On the DLP side there is Fruendel Stuart who finds himself in the role because of the death of David Thompson.
This is an unscientific poll by BU to test how the wind is blowing.
Owen Arthur, Leader of the Opposition (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)
According to the leader of the opposition inappropriate macro-economic policies have aggravated our present depressed economic circumstance. He blames the current government for incompetence and neglect including improperly kept financial trails and that we are lurching dangerously close on a financial brink. (Advocate 1/26/2012). Inappropriate macro-economic policies have aggravated Barbados present depressed economic circumstances for which apparently blames the global condition which is totally untrue.
Having defined Stagflation as a situation “where a country experiences economic or no growth accompanied rising unemployment and rampant inflation,” he notes “the growth that has been recorded and projected following steep decline in 2008 and 2009 means that the country is in Stagflation. As was noted in Fallacy In Shoddy Robes and elsewhere we were on in a “royal mess” and stagflation long before the global meltdown.
The sale of scarce assets and borrowing do not constitute growth. Economic growth as people understand it is misleading. It ignores debt accumulation, non-monetary transactions and unemployment; does not reflect the true state of the economy or nation and perpetuates an illusion of progress. Such growth is largely a function of the private sector and the people not the government.
Philosopher Stephen Cave begins with a dark but compelling question: When did you first realize you were going to die? And even more interestingly: Why do we humans so often resist the inevitability of death? In a fascinating talk Cave explores four narratives -- common across civilizations -- that we tell ourselves "in order to help us manage the terro […]
Snow Dragon. Pure Imagination. Frozen Minotaur. These are the names Eddy Cartaya and his climbing partner Brent McGregor gave three glacier caves that they were the first to explore. As the Sandy Glacier slowly slides down Mount Hood in Oregon, the caves and tunnels inside it morph annually thanks to warm water from above and warm air from below. At TEDYouth […]
Diébédo Francis Kéré knew exactly what he wanted to do when he got his degree in architecture… He wanted to go home to Gando in Burkina Faso, to help his neighbors reap the benefit of his education. In this charming talk, Kéré shows off some of the beautiful structures he's helped to build in his small village in the years since then, including an award […]
"In the cathedral of the wild, we get to see the best parts of ourselves reflected back to us." Boyd Varty, a wildlife activist, shares stories of animals, humans and their interrelatedness, or "ubuntu" -- defined as, "I am, because of you." And he dedicates the talk to South African leader Nelson Mandela, the human embodiment o […]
"An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport," argues Enrique Peñalosa. In this spirited talk, the former mayor of Bogotá shares some of the tactics he used to change the transportation dynamic in the Colombian capital... and suggests ways to think about building smart cities of […]