No solution!

Comissiong not buying into new political movement

The idea of a political party made up exclusively of businessmen and businesswomen is the “most ridiculous, reactionary and counterproductive” notion in Barbados’ history, according to social and political activist David Comissiong.

The island’s newest political party, Solutions Barbados — which said it has confirmed 14 candidates so far and has promised a full slate of 30 by the time general election is called — has said on its website: “If you have operated a business for at least five years with at least two employees, then consider being a Solutions Barbados candidate.”

David Comissiong & Grenville Phillips II

Comissiong today made a mockery of the idea, telling Barbados TODAY placing the country’s affairs exclusively in the hands of the merchant class would spell “the greatest potential to bankrupt and destroy” the nation. 

“You cannot reduce the political management of a society to simple decisions taken by businessmen and based on narrow profit and loss, dollars and cents criteria that businessmen typically apply to their business affairs. That kind of approach is sociologically reactionary, undemocratic and indeed flies in the face of the whole history of Barbados, which is a history of the masses of working class people striving to resist business interests and oppressive policies inflicted by business interests in an effort to protect their social and economic rights and their human dignity,” the attorney-at-law said.

In any event, Comissiong said, the situation was bad enough with business leaders “in cahoots” with the political leaders to the disadvantage of the general population.

“The reality is that the fundamental problem that we have in the political culture of Barbados is that a class of businessmen and women are in cahoots with the political directorate to an extent that the political directorate lavishes upon them outrageously privileged governmental contracts in a situation of almost zero transparency. In some cases the contracts bind the taxpayers of Barbados to make inordinately large and unjustified payments to these business entities sometimes for decades into the future.” 

Comissiong maintained that any political party must embrace a wide cross section of the population, including representatives of the working class, culture, intellectuals and business.

“It cannot have such a socially restrictive base as to be consigned simply to business people and persons who evince the kind of thinking that is associated with the business class,” he explained.

The activist dismissed Solutions Barbados as a
non-starter, suggesting the party might have been formed to subvert the very idea of a third party.

Asked if his People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) would be active in the next general election due in 2018, Comissiong spoke of the party’s ideal, but would not commit to running.

“The PEP exists. We have developed an economic and social programme to take Barbados forward. That programme exists. It has been written down. At this stage I cannot tell you whether the party will be contesting seats in the general elections, but I can assure the Barbadian people that they will be hearing from the PEP whenever the next elections are called,” he stressed.

nevilleclarke@barbadostoday.bb

16 Responses to No solution!

  1. Hal Austin January 11, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Does Solutions Barbados hope to attract as candidates small business people who refuse to pay their income tax, VAT, national insurance and hold out their hands for government handouts?
    Are they asking us to put the fix in charge of the chickens?

    Reply
  2. Tony Webster January 11, 2017 at 5:36 am

    M’lud, I rush to agree wid David the Goliath-Killer…but not for any “reasons he provides!
    1. He contradicts himself when he says that for citizens to elect business-people, is “undemocratic”: arrant nonsense, as adult franchise, is adult franchise, any way you like it fried.
    2. He then muddies his chicken-frying oil by admitting that the way we currently and democratically now fry chicken (and gazillions of tax-dollars)… is with lots of “cahoots-oil”.
    3. While the PEPPY Generalissimo doth not venture into the territory of Universal Wisdom assigned to The Bard, if he had referenced Caesar’s expressed discomfort with “lean and hungry men” and his alternative preference for those well-fed and contended dudes…I would have agreed with him….except for another failing of men, which afflicts even the latter: greed is evidently insatiable…and long shall we have a procession of lean and hungry…well-fed rotund ones who drive equally obese and large rides…and in-between ones. The in-between adventurers…who are not content until they get in-between your wallet…and it’s contents. No wonder they say English is the hardest languange, to learn!

    I cannot fault the prescription of the ideal political party having a wide cross-section of society, both at the top and via membership..…so what was PEP’s downfall? Leadership? Philosophical issues? Hopscotch Syndrome?

    Reply
  3. Harry January 11, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Comicsong at it again, why not business people. Lawyers like him have made an absolute mess of running this Country, surely business people couldn’t do worse. And good question Tony what was the cause of PEP’s failure?

    Reply
  4. jrsmith January 11, 2017 at 6:45 am

    New political party (Solutions Barbados).in itself it sounds like a silly joke . Its like saying the Barbados pot hole fixing party..
    What Barbados needs is a serious look at the top heavy political infrastructure, for such a small island we have too many politicians , but still who are they , what do they do ………..
    Would we be looking forward to the fact that our two party system , would eventually collapsed and we would become a single part state as like the (UK) at the present time…

    I would feel much better if a certain local fisherman at oistin who supplies me with my fish when I am in Barbados, starts a political party and I can vote for him.. at lease our oistins history could then be revived…
    My take , tourism is a frightening idea to sustain the Barbados economy looking forward, we have a new challenge on the block and thats call (CUBA) . To me the world manufacturing base is dying fast ,because of total automation, whats left is agriculture but , again who is there to and with the required management skills to push us forward…… welcome to 2017……

    Reply
  5. Ivana Cardinale January 11, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Businessmen only cares for BUSINESS, not the people. It’s incredible to see this. For this men, having a business with 2 workers IS ENOUGH TO BE A CANDIDATE? Not political ideas, philosophy? just business? Sorry to say it but it seems to be just a bunch of airheads that dream ruling an island like a “business”. A country isn’t business, a country is its people, their needs their development, education, health, culture, NOT BUSINESS!!! Please Mr Comissiong, run yourself for Prime Minister. We need people like YOU!!

    Reply
  6. Frank White January 11, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Way to go brother Comissiong, you always hit the nail on the head. Always speaking like a true leader.

    Reply
  7. Peter January 11, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I don’t quite understand David Comissiong’ s song and dance yet again. Aren’t doctors, lawyers, and other professionals who manage and are investors and shareholders considered business people too? Personally, for a small island without natural resources of exporting capabilities, there are too many parliamentarians and ministers, all with highly paid permanent secretaries. Government offices are literally overfilled with square pegs in round holes. We need to select (or elect) politicians who will be held accountable for misappropriation and corruption of any kind and who will not seek selection based on opportunities and not who just look after their own personal financial status. I quite likw Sir Paul Altman’s vision. Perhaps in another release I will try to get a close friend and associate to elucidate a massive developmental plan he spoke to me about which can not only grow Barbados to over n220 sq. miles, but which can bring Barbados to a revenue earning capacity of over $ US 8 Billion dollars per annum totally illuminating VAT among incorporating free medical and free education across the board while enhancing our legal system and border protection. and in the same breath, reduce water and electricity by over 60% off our current rates while enhancing our tourism and manufacturing for exports. All this without harming our environment. Sounds too good to be true? A developmental program is working in Singapore where they have increase their land space by some 87 sq. miles. Every single developmental reality begins with ideas and visions. We have to think Outside the box. Or as Jennifer says, ” that crab barrel.

    Reply
  8. 3rdsun January 11, 2017 at 9:16 am

    For once I agree with Comissiong. The election of Donald Trump in the US has given a platform to a lot of groups. This new party is just a cause of the effect.

    Reply
  9. Suzette P January 11, 2017 at 9:46 am

    There are good people on this island of Barbados who are willing to help run this country and would be politicians for the people. BUT, they don’t share the mentality of of a B or a D so they don’t run. In any event, how could they run unless on a ticket of B or D, would bajans vote for good independent candidates?

    Maybe all of us as voters need to be more cherishing of where we put our X at election time and then the good people who can lead this country may be inclined to come forward. If the candidates are not good then don’t vote.

    If this is the case, we need a paradigm shift in the structure used to run the affairs of this country and we need it now!

    Reply
  10. Alex Alleyne January 11, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Surely , you are not the solution.

    Reply
  11. Greengiant January 11, 2017 at 11:44 am

    The PEP has been around for several years and has never fielded a full slate of candidates so who any why is little David playing his harp so loudly.
    They have never been and never will be an alternative under his leadership, they’ve never had a national conference, can’t attract any financial backers, so what’s the real purpose of the PEP.
    Solutions Barbados needs to be heard, and taken seriously before being misjudged. The fact is the legal brained parties are failing this nation and the PEP’s fomula is the same as the B’s and D’s ( law + business = coruption. Maybe a party of wide ranging business people will force the lawyers to deal with long overdue legislative change. It’s time for real change and not change of law firms running our affairs.

    Reply
  12. Gearbox1964 January 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I see more integrity, honesty, goodwill, courage, and conviction in Commissiong than I see in all the other current politicians put together. Not saying he’s perfect, but he’s superior to rest in the categories I just mentioned.

    Reply
  13. jrsmith January 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    This is shameful little Barbados cant find honest to goodness people to manage this island…….

    Reply
  14. Solutions Barbados January 11, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Dear All:

    David does not believe that persons who obtain long-term no-bid contracts from the Government, that force taxpayers to pay them annual multi million dollar payments, should be Solutions Barbados candidates. Neither do we.

    David erroneously lumped “employers” into the “merchant class”. This is unfortunate.

    It is important to note that employers include: engineers (like myself), doctors, lawyers, contractors, accountants, merchants, hair dressers, landscapers, barbers, dentists, musicians, dramatists, economists, coconut vendors, and every other professional and non-professional person who took the risks of starting their own business and employing others. This is not the merchant class.

    We look forward to a better analysis of Solutions Barbados by David, for we value his opinion. We are willing and available to discuss any aspect of Solutions Barbados with him at any time. Perhaps Barbados TODAY can facilitate such a discussion.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Reply
  15. Solutions Barbados January 14, 2017 at 2:58 am

    David erroneously lumped “employers” into the “merchant class”. This is unfortunate. It is important to note that employers include: engineers (like myself), doctors, lawyers, contractors, accountants, merchants, hair dressers, landscapers, barbers, dentists, musicians, dramatists, economists, coconut vendors, and every other professional and non-professional person who took the risks of starting their own business and employing others. This is not the merchant class. I look forward to a better analysis of Solutions Barbados by David, for we value his opinion.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Reply
  16. hcalndre January 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    To vote for any new party or old party these things would have to become law. Transparency, assets must be declared if you wants to run for office, they are 11 parishes and there should be 1 representive for the parishes that would be considered small in population and 2 for a parish like St. Michael. Bribery, selling votes, misappropriation of the taxpayers money should be a crime.

    Reply

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