They fail, we suffer

Our elected politicians are supposed to represent us. When they fail in that primary duty, then the rest of us must suffer – grievously. However, we do not simply suffer the damaging consequences. We must also be overtaxed, not to pay to permanently fix the problems that were created by their failures, or to only maintain the high maintenance environment created by their failures, but rather, to try to slow the slide into eventual ruin.

In the mid 1980’s, many boys were leaving secondary school with no evidence of having attended. They had no legitimate marketable skills and started forming gangs. Our politicians were warned about the emerging gang activity and were asked to do something about it. Their response was to publicly announce that there were no gangs in Barbados.

The obvious solution was to modify the secondary school curriculum to allow all of our students to leave school with at least one marketable skill, so that they would have an alternative to trading in illegal drugs. However, neither the BLP nor DLP administrations were willing to make the necessary changes.

Over 30 years later, the school curriculum still does not allow all of our students to leave school with marketable skills. Therefore, gangs have a ready supply of new recruits.

In the early 1990’s, guns started flowing in to support the illegal drug trade, and shootings were becoming frequent. Our politicians were warned about the increasing gun violence and were asked to do something about it. The callous response was that it was simply criminals shooting each-other.

The obvious solution was to charge all persons involved in the illegal distribution of a gun with the same offence as the final user. Therefore, the importer, distributor, seller, and renter should all be charged with murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, rape, theft, threats, illegal possession, or whatever the final user was charged with. Neither the BLP nor DLP administrations would implement this effective deterrent. Instead, the guns flowed in, gun violence increased dramatically, and the innocent are being killed.

Near the late 1990’s, the problems with residential construction quality were getting out of control. Government was warned about the wave of substandard houses being constructed that were unlikely to survive an earthquake. Fortuitously, the easy  to understand Barbados National Building Code was published in 1993. The obvious solution was to make compliance with the structural requirements of the Building Code a condition of Planning approval.Both BLP and DLP administrations
chose not to protect homeowners in this manner. Thousands of substandard houses have subsequently been constructed in Barbados.

Inexcusably, Government decided to withdraw the only building standard for residential construction, resulting in Barbados being perhaps the only nation on Earth that does not provide any sort of structural building guidance to residential contractors. Thus, Government is ensuring that most residential contractors unintentionally build only high
maintenance tombs for unsuspecting homeowners.

By the mid 1990’s, we were approaching the 40 per cent of GDP debt limit. The IMF warned us that this limit should never be crossed, otherwise a most harsh austerity would be required. Yet, the BLP crossed this limit and plunged Barbados into an unsustainable debt. The BLP took Barbados’ national debt to an irresponsible and unsustainable 90 per cent of GDP. The DLP provided perhaps the worst possible response to our debt situation, allowing it to balloon to an irresponsible and unsustainable 150 per cent of GDP.The obvious solution would be to simply respect the debt limit or bring the national debt back to the safety of below 40 per cent of GDP as soon as possible. Instead, both the BLP and DLP administrations allowed the national debt to balloon out of control.

Over the past five years, in a moment of sheer lunacy, many Barbadians provided children with tablets and smart phones with Internet access, where they can watch other children being repeatedly raped.Our elected representatives are preparing to allow cell phones in our schools, which will allow widespread distribution of pornography among our children. The increase in abortions, STDs, rapes, kidnappings, murders, low productivity, etc are foreseen. The obvious solution is to block pornography as a default. As expected, this solution is being ignored – so, once again, we will have to pay for the foreseen consequences.

At this time in our history, we should be more mature in our approach to solving problems. Our elected politicians tend to ignore problems until they are completely unmanageable. When the harmful consequences are publicized, then they
tend to blame parents, the private sector,
the Church, and even God, for not
doing enough, but they never blame themselves.

Watching the country being run this way is very frustrating – but it is the system that we must accept. The only hope for Barbados is for voters to finally realize that both established parties have no actual solutions by the time the next general election is called, and to look for a competent alternative. Solutions Barbados is that competent alternative.

Source: Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at

2 Responses to They fail, we suffer

  1. BimJim August 9, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Well spoken, Sir. Let me hear the yard fowls now… tell me how your BLP or DLP is so wonderful, how your politician is “de bess”.

    There is an entitled, self-centered ignorant group of people who try to call themselves “leaders” but are just Pied Pipers leading us into destruction. Their only goal is self-enrichment in the popularity contest we call politics – where democracy becomes just an elected dictatorship.

    For too many decades we have had to cheese between two “Labour” Parties, who were formed to protect working people and the middle class. The problem is, they no longer represent anyone but themselves, and once elected their constituents barely see or hear them.

    One of these – apparently respected in some circles – believes it is his duty to demonstrate his ivory tower standing by driving a Mercedes – which is far above the means of even a wealthy Bajan – and wearing an ostentatious gold Rolex watch worth a full year’s salary of the average worker, if not two years’ salary.

    I say enough is enough. We have had enough of the incompetence, stupidity, braying, lack of intelligence and just plain ignoring the plight of the average Bajan.

    For BOTH the BLP and the DLP there are just THREE words which I believe fits them most precisely and exactly…

    OUT!! OUT!! OUT!!

  2. Seaweed August 9, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Mr. Phillips and his party are the new “under 40’s”. Time to give someone else a chance to save Barbados from the destructive mismanagement of the island’s economy. The DLP and BLP are too broken and have failed to present a viable option to get us out from under the mountain of debt burying us all.


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