Signs of defeat

Political scientist Dr Tennyson Joseph has suggested that yesterday’s Budget signals that the economy is in more trouble that the Freundel Stuart administration has admitted, and that the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has accepted its political defeat.

The main sign, he said, was that Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced increased taxation on the population on the eve of an election.

Responding to the measures announced by Sinckler in Parliament, Joseph said “the real critical thing is not even so much the implications for the economy as a whole, but what it says for the economy already.

“The fact that we are in an election year and everybody was expecting the minister of finance to start to . . . ease up the taxes and allow persons to have greater spending power and so forth, but it is the opposite . . . . The Freundel Stuart administration is in a more perplexed state than we have been made to understand. This clearly is a minister whose hands are so tied that he was unable to do the things that would be in his own political interest,” the Head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) told Barbados TODAY.

“The pressure of the economy was so tight that the minister of finance had to forego the political advantages that would have been allowed to him and impose harsher measures on the population such as the increase in taxation which would lead to an increase in the inflation rates.”

Joseph said Sinckler taking the usual approach of taxation also showed a lack of creativity and innovation.

Reflecting on the minister’s reference to former Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford) in his speech, the senior UWI lecturer suggested that was symbolic of the administration accepting political defeat.

Sinckler had referred to how the former Barbadian leader “stood steadfast in the breach, and doggedly pushed through an unpopular programme that eventually led to the steadying of the ship of state and the laying of the groundwork for more than a decade of strong and sustainable economic growth and development in Barbados.

“His [Sir Lloyd’s] mission was not popular; his policies were disliked, and even he was despised, ridiculed and mocked, but that never deterred him from sticking to that mission to save Barbados. He put Barbados first even though many Barbadians didn’t appreciate it at the time,” Sinckler added.

That Budget, however, preceded a successful no-confidence motion against the then Prime Minister.

Joseph suggested that Sinckler’s reference to the former leader’s words months before an election was constitutionally due, signals that the party has admitted defeat, given the state of the economy.

13 Responses to Signs of defeat

  1. Tony Webster June 1, 2017 at 2:48 am

    “Perplexed”?? Careful, Sir Lloyd’s lawyer might be contacting you, as he already has an I.P. lock on “How we get back hey?”

    That apart, Professor, might I welcome you to the ” after-party”… where everyone is seeking liquid comfort. Yes, please settle your tab…in USD. Cheers!

    Reply
  2. Concern citizen June 1, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Finance minister haven’t accepted antthing. He didn’t have any leg room to manuvere so he just played a card and waiting for results. You every here them accept anything. Wait until the campaign stages are set up and you will here the appeal for us to understand what was done. You heard his collegue saying last night it wasn’t an election budget. He had no choice.

    Reply
  3. Tessa Trotman
    Tessa Trotman June 1, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Yes you get on like sandy and wanna gine lost every seat come election .

    Reply
  4. Nickk Moore
    Nickk Moore June 1, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Both parties know what it is to win and lose and election.

    Reply
  5. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore June 1, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Consider the Christ Church East seat the first casualty of this Stuart admin. We gine grind ge low, down to the ground.

    Reply
  6. joan Worrell June 1, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Unfortunately Dr. Joseph seemingly wrote without doing research. Sandiford’s defeat was a result of his Party members voting against him in a no-confidence motion. Here are the facts for the younger reading public.

    Former Prime Minister of this eastern Caribbean island, Erskine Sandiford is on a mission to get even with those who sent his political career in a tailspin two years ago.

    But he is finding that his mission is hardly receiving the support he had expected. Rather,he is now re-living some painful memories of the No Confidence vote against him in parliament in 1994.

    At last week’s annual conference of his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) some 90 percent of delegates voted against his resolution calling for disciplinary action against the so-called rebels whose votes initiated the demise of his political career.

    Some 348 delegates voted against his motion while 27 gave it the nod.

    In 1994 the Sandiford administration fell after five members of his cabinet voted with the then opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) led by present Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, allowing the motion to carry 14-12.

    Sandiford was the first government leader in the Commonwealth Caribbean to have been placed in such a situation.

    Since then two of the five dissidents, Harold Blackman and Leroy Trotman resigned from the party. Blackman joined the National Democratic Party (NDP), a splinter group from the DLP led by Richie Haynes who himself had resigned from the DLP in 1989 and unsuccessfully contested the 1994 elections.

    Trotman, leader of the powerful Barbados Workers Union, ran as an independent candidate.

    The other three, Wes Hall, Evelyn Greaves and Keith Simmons remained as members of the DLP.

    But since that No Confidence vote was taken Sandiford had maintained that he was unfairly treated and vowed that he would seek vindication even if he had to do so with his last breath.

    But it is clear that he does not have the support of most members of this party. For instance, David Thompson, party leader has launched a blistering attack on those who are seen as taking sides with Sandiford, whom he has described as being “hell-bent and adamant” about taking the party back to the “point of near destruction in 1994.”

    “What they might find on this occasion is that the new found commitment of our members to seeing this party soar into the sky is greater than the individual petty desire to drag it into murky gloom and doom,’ says Thompson

    And Thompson is making it clear that he wants the issue to be settled so that the party can move ahead and reconcile with the former members and supporters of the DLP who crossed over to the NDP during the turmoil.

    Last week both Thompson and Haynes held talks about cooperation. These talks have been interpreted by observers as a “prelude to a merger.”

    But the mere talk of a merger appears to have sent jitters through the ruling BLP camp with Arthur arguing that a merger would be seen as the DLP’s cry for help.

    “This business about mergers is something that fascinates fringe elements that do not have a mass base, that do not have a legacy, that do not have a tradition and cannot stand on their own feet,” he says.

    If the DLP moves ahead to forge an alliance with such a fringe element (NDP), “it could only be telling us that they no longer have confidence in their ability to stand alone. I can only therefore regard it as a cry for help by a leader who is out of his depth,” Arthur added.

    In the 1994 election the BLP captured some 48.3 percent of the votes while the BLP and NDP together garnered 51.1 percent. The NDP had eroded the popular support of the DLP slightly but had done enough to cause eight BLP candidates to barely ease pass the post with slim margins.

    In fact, had there been a DLP/NDP cooperation at the last poll, the BLP would have lost the elections, capturing only 11 of the 28 seats, observers say.

    “In a sense a serious crisis within the DLP had taken place. You could not want a more damaging experience than that for a political party government and yet the opposition party, which seemed to have everything going for it ends up with minority support.

    “That must raise serious questions about the strength of the BLP and with an unknown element like the NDP hanging around them, that complicates the issue more so and that is why I think the prime minister was so nervous about the whole thing and decided to respond in the fashion that he did,” says political scientist, George Belle.

    But still political analysts say before the former DLP members can return to the fold, Sandiford has to be out of the picture.

    The cost on the NDP’s side is different.

    When it first started it tried to capture mass support from the DLP. After that failed, it projected itself as being distinctly different from the DLP with a cause and a movement. To merge with the DLP now is to abandon that distinct cause.

    Meanwhile, says Belle, the government continues to encourage the growth of the NDP, for example, by allowing it certain privileges, especially in parliament.

    Political analysts say the government knows the importance of maintaining the divide between the DLP and the NDP. As long as the two stay apart, they will compete with each other for support, leaving the BLP to maintain its slim grip on power.

    Reply
  7. joan Worrell June 1, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I can’t believe that this is 2018 when people should know that the Internet proves them to be liars. Then again Donald Trump says one thing in the morning and contradicts himself in the evening . Millions still believe him, so anybody could write any untruth (fake news) in Barbados and hope that Bajans would believe them.

    Reply
  8. joan Worrell June 1, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Go for it Lynette. Nuff respect. You know how to use the Internet effectively. Tweet like if it going out of fashion. Your alternatives make sense. Get some more members into your Party and hit the campaign trail. Nothing heard yesterday , suggests that the Opposition can be taken seriously as the alternative Government of Barbados. Not a solution to Barbados number one problem i.e the payment of the Barbados Civil Service which is bursting at the seams. A lot of hot air and masquerading like if it was Foreday Morning. The only thing that Barbadians have heard coming from the Opposition over the last eight years that differs from the way the DLP is functioning, is the legislation of same-sex marriages and legalizing the use of marijuana.

    Reply
  9. Kevin June 1, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Well the DLP put country before party. Only good thing thing they did coming out from this budget.

    Reply
    • Randolph June 2, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      Foolishness.They put their own self interest before country.

      Reply
  10. joan Worrell June 1, 2017 at 10:02 am

    God Bless the Internet. Politicians and political commentators in the United Stateshave to report truthfully because there is something called fact checking. ABC’s Fact Checker is one of the best. Barbados Today should use a fact checker before it publishes items coming from politically biased commentators.

    Reply
  11. joan Worrell June 1, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Dear Mr. Editor

    Is the above fake news. lol

    Reply
  12. Milli Watt June 1, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    you are correct good doctor de place in real trouble the question is who going clean it up………minister made a political decision based on a political situation so he in his element. One last kick down de road for dis can and to the winner the spoils (or trouble as you so rightly put it). The next 12-18 months going be exciting bout here. Was waiting on this for a while.

    Reply

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