Destruction of the Barbados Brand

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,

and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Proverbs 22 Vs 1

From way back in the 17th century when sugar was king, Barbados was a brand.  It made the best sugar and the best rum.  Even the first president of the United States visited in 1751.  In the 1960’s with the filming of Island is the Sun, the brand Barbados was romanticized.  It became the most desirable honeymoon spot and known as a place of beauty that many have on their list of places to visit.   Nowadays, it is known as an exclusive tourist destination for jet setting travellers, especially from the United Kingdom, including none other than Simon Cowell.  The Merry Men have immortalized the name of our island in song, “ Beautiful, beautiful Barbados, gem of Caribbean Sea…”  The mixture of all of these; the historical, romanticism, beauty and allure have made the island a well-defined brand.

The island also benefited from a reputation of having a stable democratic Government.  It became a leader in the regional economic grouping CARICOM.  Long before Rihanna  became a sensation, Barbados was a brand, having established a good name and reputation for itself abroad.  Now this all seems to have changed as the island has gone from being the brightest jewel in the English Crown to, in the last ten years a struggling economy, with mis-management at its epitome.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and all of his ministers are to be squarely blamed for the economic situation that compounds any growth on the island.

Chris Sinckler as Minister of Finance has been responsible for no less than 21 downgrades in the country’s credit ratings. He has made it difficult for the country to get low interest bearing loans in its name. He has damaged the good name of Barbados.

In his defence of Mr Sinckler, the Prime Minister provided a false narrative that was not based on any economics principles but appealed to the emotions of Barbadians.  He said the rating agencies could not devalue Barbadians.

On December 3, 2017, it was reported that the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Stephen Lashley had applied for a grant $100,000, of which approximately $94,000 was to pay contractors. UNESCO rejected the application and the grant was denied.  Being denied a grant is not uncommon. However, Lashley’s actions leads one to question how he could have been awarded a national honour, and why the Prime Minister did not break his silence on the matter or if he would be willing to invite the media to be present when he raises this issue with Mr Lashley.

About two weeks ago it was also publicized that Barbados has been placed on the blacklist of countries conducting international business by the European Union (EU).  The Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss said during a press conference that he was shocked that this had occurred. However, it was not the first time that the country was blacklisted under his watch.  It previously occurred in 2015. Shame on him!  He had two years to ensure that the requisite legislation had been put in place  and enforced.  The fact that it has happened again speaks to his incompetence to address the issues facing the ministry for which he has responsibility.  He too is responsible for the destruction of the Barbados Brand.

In addition to the above, the tourism product has been put at risk on the south coast.  A sewage crisis has been unfolding for over a year.  The first response by the Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and the Minister of Health John Boyce was to pull a publicity stunt of jumping in the sea instead of adequately addressing the problem.  However, the failure of both them to adequately correct this problem in a timely matter has a negative effect on the Brand Barbados enough to threaten the existence of the tourism product.

With the secrecy that surrounds the sale of the Hilton Hotel, one wonders on whose advice and on whose judgment, was the action taken to devalue the value of this piece of real estate so closely associated with the brand.  Nike will never devalue its shoes; or Roberto Cavalli devalue the prices of his dresses.  One can go on and on regarding the major brands.  Therefore, why should the price of the Hilton Hotel be sold way under value when there are even some houses on the West Coast of Barbados that are worth $80 million?  None of the aforementioned brands are as old as the Barbados Brand and they would certainly not consider selling off a part of their image that was known for performing well for the proverbial “mess of pottage”. It would only be considered self-destruction.  To date the Prime Minister has not said a word about the sale of the Hilton Hotel.

These are the types of ministers that the Prime Minister has raised. Without admonishing or firing them when they erred instead he has stood in their defence as in the criminal case with the Speaker of the House, trivialized the impact of their actions as he did with the information of the island’s 20th downgrade, or said nothing.

However, like a sick patient taking a combination of pills that will have life threatening effects on the body so too is the current status of Barbados.  The cash strapped Government is in a serious bind causing  it to undertake the selling of the Hilton hotel. There is a stench of desperation approaching that the island’s economy is on the verge of collapsing and the actions of the ministers are accelerating the collapse.  One wonders if the Prime Minister really understands what is at stake?

Source: by Heather Cole

42 Responses to Destruction of the Barbados Brand

  1. Antheia Springer-Williams
    Antheia Springer-Williams December 22, 2017 at 12:27 am

    My inner person is shouting “Anne shut up before you get lock up! Let the article speak for itself!”

  2. Santini More
    Santini More December 22, 2017 at 1:41 am

    So damned true it ain’t funny!

  3. Jasper Stone
    Jasper Stone December 22, 2017 at 2:22 am

    The entire Caribbean region is in deep trouble ,high crime and high unemployment with many islands not sure how to resolve issues. Clearly tourism isn’t enough the region needs more diverse economies. The EU seems like an extension of colonialism yet another way to control black people in a region that’s suppose to be free from the shackles of Europe but they still have tremendous influence in the region it’s like they never left.

  4. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe December 22, 2017 at 3:07 am

    Best article and summary of the destructive duo. Bravo BT

  5. Dave December 22, 2017 at 3:52 am

    Article should have included a reference to China and their interest in Barbados

  6. Nikolai Gibson
    Nikolai Gibson December 22, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Thanks for saying what needs to be said. This country belongs to us all and we have a right to speak out if we see it decending into oblivion. It it not complaining or being partisan, it is being in a burning house and calling out for help, not sitting inside and being quiet so as not to offend the fire.

  7. Denzil P Walker
    Denzil P Walker December 22, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Incompetence usually starts at the top; regardless of political leanings, it’s absolutely horrid, and shameful what this incompetent lot has done to Barbados.

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner December 22, 2017 at 6:54 am

      Denzil this flock so awful reshuffling ain’t going to help period.

    • Denzil P Walker
      Denzil P Walker December 22, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Rawle Spooner, when one considers the legacy of government ministers we’ve had, this lot is so bloody awful that they stand to put a stain on our vaunted educational system.

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner December 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Denzil P Walker Could not have said it any better, this bunch of present day governing yardfowls probably worse to have ever govern Barbados.

  8. Aleisha Crichlow
    Aleisha Crichlow December 22, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Good article BUT it will fall on deaf ears. I don’t believe the DLP are solely responsible the decline started before DLP was in power unfortunately for them they haven’t done as well to repair the damage and improve Barbados for the better of the people at all. As with the whole world it is evolving and quite frankly the archaic attitude and colonial slave master mentality still dominates and exists in Barbados which hinders Barbados progressing as a country. Total disregard for the real issues that are affecting not just the economy but Barbados on a whole. All that wasted money on an Independence Day like really….I am neither for or against any political party but something drastically needs to happen to bring us out of this hole we are continuously going deeper down in. It is very sad indeed. I am glad that someone has been able to identify that Barbados was a brand and well established before the likes of Rhi Rhi yet many would shout from the rooftops that this young lady is who put Barbados on the map, really? Nothing against Rhi Rhi at all but who paid for the renaming to Rhianna Drive? People starving and living bad in Barbados and them doing untery and completely not focussed at what is important or at hand but still no sense placing blame because the people of Barbados voted in the DLP again so whose to really blame?

    • Janice Corbin
      Janice Corbin December 22, 2017 at 5:30 am

      Well said

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner December 22, 2017 at 6:52 am

      Ok I’m positive Rihanna did not ask for anything to be name after her but what about the wholesale selling out of Barbados for way below market value to foreigners who don’t care about de lil rock. Also what about the millions of taxpayers dollars that is given away without accountability nor transparency to just a few well heel folks in contracts just ask Auditor General.Agree with your post 100% but both of these two political parties that have ever only govern Barbados equally responsible for the decline, could go on and on about all the shady slimy dealings over the years but no need to.

    • Deborah King
      Deborah King December 22, 2017 at 10:45 am

      We NEVER had DOWNGRADES with the B.L.P.

    • Aleisha Crichlow
      Aleisha Crichlow December 22, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Maybe not downgrades but everything we owned sold off to the highest bidder Deborah King and billions went where exactly???? So I ask again who exactly is to blame????

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner December 22, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      Aleisha Crichlow Dirty slimy shady politicians from both political parties.I’m a independent minded Bajan don’t care for political parties.

    • Aleisha Crichlow
      Aleisha Crichlow December 22, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Sadly with all politics everywhere in the world.

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner December 22, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Deborah King But ya had selling out of crown property which belongs to citizens and there were downgrades not as many as this present day government so stop pretending BLP got clean hands.

  9. Tony Webster December 22, 2017 at 5:52 am

    @Heather: many thanks to you lady!

  10. Maureen Drake-Clarke
    Maureen Drake-Clarke December 22, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Lisa Maria

  11. Adrian Allison
    Adrian Allison December 22, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Aleisha Crichlow
    I endorse almost everything you have said here but while not saying that everything was perfect under the Arthur led administration rather than implying that the previous administration contributed anything more than what would be the normal occurances of governance it would have been better to state what you believe were the specific areas that could be attributed to the BLP.
    This sitting administration led by Fraundel Stuart must own the current economic and financial situation in it’s profits entirety simply from the fact that not one measure that they have tried has worked, that they have procrastinated when solutions were to be applied more concerned with political fallout than the health of the country and most importantly, their gross incompetences in almost every

    • Aleisha Crichlow
      Aleisha Crichlow December 22, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I am not pointing blame at either party as my personal opinion is BOTH are responsible for the demise of Barbados and you are correct in saying that as the sitting administration the current economic situation they must own in its entirety but what I find an issue with all political parties in the world is that we the people always point the finger of blame at whose in power often forgetting the devastation caused by the opposing party when they were in power. I do not vote at all because they say our vote counts when in fact it actually does not count WE do not make the decisions they do, our opinion or vote is only for who is to be in power THEY do not listen to us the people that their decisions affect! BLP, UPP, DLP makes no difference whatsoever to the small people. If BLP are in power the people will find something to complain about and so it goes on. Our country needs to get a grip and move forward with the times and as I have said this archaic mentality and rules needs abolishing. Where are the young politicians that are up and coming????

  12. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner December 22, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Very good article and very true but is these clowns running country listening or even care,Barbados is just a shell of what it use to be.Regardless of whomever wins next election nothing gine change because damage already done and both of these two political parties that have only govern Barbados very damm shady and slimy to say the least.

  13. Randolph December 22, 2017 at 7:50 am

    The worst PM and government in the history of Barbados.History will not be kind to this man and his ministers.

  14. Walter Prescod December 22, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Well stated. Barbados lost, sold to the in and outsiders on the baw baw line.

  15. Alex Alleyne December 22, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Next group in office will have to be “Super Houdini” in order to make a mark in turning things around in under 30 years.

  16. Anderson Steven
    Anderson Steven December 22, 2017 at 8:21 am

    This country will have so much apologizing to do once we are finally freed from this bunch of clowns.

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner December 22, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Apologizing gine be least of our worries but ya make a good point.

    • Anderson Steven
      Anderson Steven December 22, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Rawle Spooner as unfortunate as it may be, you are also correct. I fear the worst.

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner December 22, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Anderson Steven I’m looking at the bigger picture, yes we gine have to apologize but it’s a lot worse than that.

  17. Tony December 22, 2017 at 9:39 am

    This country was sick from the time they false Tom Adams deaf.
    This country would be better off being run like a Castro GOVERMENT.

  18. Jerry December 22, 2017 at 9:56 am

    The article is well written but something should be said that as a result of all of the above and more that cannot be reported .we Barbadians who cannot be downgraded or devalued as a people according to our esteemed leader by overseas lenders and rating agencies now as a Nation face the real threat of a devaluation of the 2 Barbados to 1 US peg. We have no gold, oil, lumber, sugar, rice, bauxite, , competative manufacturing, reasonably priced labour force or Foreign Exchange earnings to protect the value of our dollar like other Caricom Islands who have already faced devaluation .eg Jamaica 120 to 1 US, Guyana, 220 to 1 US. Trinidad 10 to 1 now unofficially as they are experience severe USDollar shortages since 2016.

  19. George Ullyett December 22, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Does any one really think this the Prime Minister is awake, the nonsense he comes out with, plus has no control over his Ministers or he just does not give a Damn. mind you I don’t think he knows any better. Do these Ministers realise that their great Grand Children will be left to pull the Country out of the mess they seem so happy to have put it in. Maybe their children will bring back their money when they die, and save the Country
    There are several MInisters that should have been sacked, why do they still have a job ? Absolutely no Shame on their shoulders.
    This is the biggest disgrace any Country can have.
    Three times the DEMS were/are in Power, Three times the country has been brought to its knees, where does the Buck Stop ?

  20. Mack December 22, 2017 at 10:33 am

    This selling off of the country’s assets at discount prices, needs to be Investigated, This is nothing short of a scam.

    These clowns needs to be held responsible by the people of Barbados. Some body is profiting from all of this. We need to follow the money trail.

  21. Errol Rayside
    Errol Rayside December 22, 2017 at 11:16 am


  22. Alex Alleyne December 22, 2017 at 11:40 am


  23. Belfast December 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Sixteen Grace and Robert Mugabes in the Parliament of Barbados.

  24. Ossie Moore December 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    The Sinoman will come to rescue!! All civil servant will wok under Sino regime!! All officer will now become Under- Officer as Wong Ping would say ” If yuh wana get at a Berry good Blush yuh betta get a Siney blush!

  25. Lionel Gittens
    Lionel Gittens December 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    They don’t really care about us. ( Michael Jackson)

  26. Bajan USA December 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Next thing them going look to sell is the west bury cemetery.

  27. jrsmith December 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    This article , Is a massive reminder of how far our politicians has taken Barbados to be a failure ……. My frightening time ahead is if this government is fortunate to be given another term in office what would bajans do……..
    Our politicians is out of order ,they do what they like , when they like , say what they like when they like and has gotten with 2 terms of non government without being challenge and they things to do list have no ticks at all …………….
    What I dont understand, no one ever seems to consider how would our people in Barbados ,be able to remove politicians from office if they are total failures as the present government ….. For me we need a short act of parliament , the (Accountability Act 2017) which would give the voters the right to use the same votes which put (MPs) in office to remove them ,if they are not working for the benefit of the people….
    As i said before I am feeling this government would be return in the next election, or else we will have to have a coalition government…………………….

  28. Rubertha Blackman
    Rubertha Blackman December 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Destruction of our brand is on point


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