Politicians cannot grade themselves

Every five years, Barbadians get an opportunity to look at their politicians’ report card and decide whether to allow them to continue to manage the national economy, or turn over management to a more competent group. 

Over the past 50 years, we chose not to look at their report cards, but instead simply listened to our politicians declare that they were doing a good job, and the Opposition declare that they could do a better job.

Those of us who do not worship politicians normally made our voting decisions based on whomever was the most persuasive.  I am an engineer.  How could I have been so gullible, naïve and lazy?  Politicians cannot grade themselves. What was I thinking?

Like many others, I simply wanted to trust that our politicians knew what they were doing. I just wanted to participate in Barbados’ economy and leave the management up to what they told me was an experienced and competent political class.  Our dollar appeared stable, the transition of power between BLP and DLP was non-violent, and we were not a dictatorship. 

So while everything was not perfect, I was convinced that they knew what they were doing.  O how wrong I was!  It was in 2015 that I just happened to see our politicians’ report cards by accident.  I read the IMF reports for Barbados and I was shocked to learn that we had been failing as a country for the past 20 years. 

The IMF informed Barbados and other developing countries that we could use debt to finance our development, but they warned us that our debt should never, under any circumstances, exceed 40% of what we as a country made in one year, which is called the Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

Twenty years ago, the BLP took Barbados past this maximum ceiling that should never have been crossed. However, rather than quickly return to the safety of under 40% of GDP before anyone found out, they recklessly and arrogantly took Barbados’ debt to an irresponsible 90% GDP. Why on earth and in heaven did the BLP do this?

If they thought that it was necessary for us to cross the 40% maximum limit, then why not ask our permission, or at the very least, inform us? They had no right to plunge all of us into an unsustainable debt and almost ensure that our children will lose this country – no right whatsoever!

Clyde Mascoll recently challenged my figures on Down to Brasstacks and shockingly declared that the BLP debt was good debt.  I responded that my figures came from the IMF, the same source that he used when he was criticising the BLP for their reckless borrowing when he was leading the DLP. 

Further, the only good debt was any debt below the safety of the 40% GDP ceiling. Anything over that ceiling was irresponsible and reckless debt.  I challenged him to discuss this issue with me at any time.  He has yet to respond.

The DLP took the debt baton from the BLP and appears to have simply given up. They have allowed the debt to rise to about 150% of GDP, which has taken us to the brink of economic ruin. In this upcoming election, the DLP will claim that they are doing a good job, but the IMF report card shows that they are failing miserably. 

The BLP will claim that they could do a better job, but the IMF and Moody’s report cards show that they were the ones who actually placed us in this financial mess.

After I read the report cards, I set about publishing solutions to the various problems hindering Barbados’ development, but neither established party appeared to be listening.  Peter Boos subsequently offered similar advice, and he was informed that unless he was in the political trenches and got his hands dirty, that he basically had no standing to offer any advice. Since the DLP explained that the only way that they would listen to advice is if I got into the political trench, then into the trench I went.

Solutions Barbados was established in 1 July 2015, primarily to offer good advice to both political parties.  However, despite being in the political trench with them, they still would not listen. Therefore, we will assemble 30 responsible persons in order to finally give Barbados voters a competent alternative to the two established parties. 

We are pleased to announce the following additional candidates: Kenneth Lewis, Leighton Greenidge, Cherie Pounder, Betty Howell, and Daniel Chalbaud.

From left, Leighton Greenidge, Daniel Chalbaud, Cherie Pounder, Grenville Phillips II and Kenneth Lewis. 

(Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com)

10 Responses to Politicians cannot grade themselves

  1. jrsmith May 17, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Every five years bajans get an opportunity to look at their (Politicians) 100 marks for that ….. then the rum , biscuit and corned beef time come around .. If you can break they minds get them thinking as they do when crop over party times comes around change the way bajans vote , you may get some votes yourself other than that , we could see the present government still in office after the coming election………..

    When will the day come , when bajans would stop raising they right hand , bowing their heads and saying nothing, the time is here raising both hands , heads erect and shouting loud to our crooked politicians , enough is enough ………….
    My take , I want bajans to be in a very strong position , being able to use the same vote that place these politicians in office , to use the same vote to remove them , if not performing for the people no more being scared of them……………………………

  2. Alex Alleyne May 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Politics for LOVE of Country. If elected , will you guys take a pay cut , let’s say 45% for 3 years ????????. and reduce the seats in the house. The leader in office add one , the Opposition Leader say she will increase them. Doing so will only bring more “hardship on the people of BIM”.

  3. tsquires May 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Brethren we have given these politricians too much rope, and they have reaped the sweets and hung us out there to suffer. The real problem is that it has been getting steadily worse, but most of our people ignored the warning signs because it did not have any impact on them. “Once I get my belly full I care nothing about the rest”. It is still happening as some of us seek to be the change we wish to see, however too many of our people are still dependent on these schemers.

  4. Greengiant May 17, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Great that we continue to reveal this type of information. I’m ready to fully support the campaing of Solutions Barbados in the city and St. Michael South where my home borders both. It simply can’t be business as usual come 2018.

  5. Bobo May 17, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Greengiant right on — Days of corned beef and biscuits long gone Time for a positive change– Time to educate our people–Time to acknowledge what they have and to take responsibility–Time to cultivate our Ancestors ”integrity”–Time to be whom we are, poor -rich-proud educated civilization living in a civilized -unified -world—Barbados Solutions is the answer –

    Mr G Phillips the new ”Macron” of Barbados.. God bless his visions for my beloved Barbados and its people.

    Folks ”Life” contain a series of choices– such as the past evil or a future of ”good” — you have the power to determine which one you want.

  6. Bobo May 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Ref to Four comments –During the British colonial days all our history keep under the carpet moving right through to the 21st century to present,the education curriculum has not change, how many Bajans in knowledge of their Constitutional Rights–Human Rights -21st century children are taught, their History began with slavery, (terrible insult).

    Folks, all over the Caribbean innocent children are loosing out– developing their potentials to meet the global world. Take time out tap in Youtube — ”young geniuses” there you will get a better understanding of the 21st century generation–where are these ”little big geniuses” in the Caribbean

    Folks the power is in your hands

  7. Alex Alleyne May 17, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    It seems that the only power in Bim now comes from through the barrel of a gun. That “sound” is the only one that get one and all attention.

  8. Greengiant May 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    While i understand the constant referal to the plantation, plantocracy, slavery, massa, divide and rule, and the like.

    We have to focus more on the past IMF reports on Barbados, the suggested quota of dept to GDP ratios, the last time the ratio was adequate, which administation inflated that ratio to an unsustainable level, what has been done by administrations since then.

    The Erskine Sandiford led administration took this country through some choppy economic waters. Our workers endured 8% salary cuts, wage freezes, and massive lay offs to restore our dept to GDP ratio to sustainability. What happened after that?

    So you lot who have bought burial plots from the BLP and DLP will spend the rest of your years pointing fingers at one another when actually the evidence has found your parties both responsible for the economic mess. You need to be sensible and withdraw your burial agreement, you don’t need to die politically with them. Returning either of them to office is sure econo ic death, the dept ratio will not be adequately maintained by them, they depend entirely on using our public service and statutory departments as jobs for votes schemes. They will never develop a private sector driven economy. It’s not in their political DNA.

    Solutions Barbados has the capacity, courage, intention, and DNA to impliment the political and economic changes necessary to restore our dept to GDP ratio to an acceptable level and maintain it. As a nation we don’t need to punch above our weight, we simply need to punch effectively, making every blow count. We’ve punched above our weight under the Bees, now we’re down for the count under the Dees.

  9. Andrew Simpson May 18, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Will Solutions Barbados commit to move us away from the archaic Westminster system of geographical constituency representation; where parliamentarians self-install in place of ‘trained and qualified personnel’ to head up the various economic sectors, or will this solutions group consider serving the voters while appointing a TEAM of trained and experienced managers to make professionally motivated decisions in the public interest?
    Public servants must serve the public with integrity. Conflicts of interest which form part of recent electoral politics, from the outset, must be avoided. Church groups, civic associations and citizens engagement should be facilitated in a more direct participatory democracy model, on a continuous digital platform.
    Governments must govern.

  10. Greengiant May 18, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Read the article here written by Mr. Phillips. Listen to what was said to him and Mr. Boos, ” if you want to contribute, get into the trenches “. Do you now think that Solutions Barbados will exclude trained, experienced professionals capable of making a contribution? @Andrew Simpson.

    This same system of managing the affairs or our country has brought us to this point, we certainly can’t continue as with mathematics, ” if we do the same thing similarly each time, the result can only be the same”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *