Debate Over “The Father Of First World Barbados” Title For Owen Arthur


BLP Political Strategists Declare Owen Arthur “The Father Of First World Barbados” – and Cheapen What Could Have Been

In our recent BFP post Blogging Around On A Barbados Sunday Morning, we noted that the BLP political strategists have declared Prime Minister Owen Arthur to be “The Father Of First World Barbados. BFP’s Marcus commented…

“To me, it sounds a bit personality-cultish and more than a bit buffoonish. Such self-proclaimed grandiose titles are common-place in African dictatorships and other tin-pot locations where the people are relatively unsophisticated. But hey, whatever the BLP inner-circle thinks will work!

Now, commenter Royalrumble replies at the BLP Blog

Regardless of which international report you pick up these days that examines the social, economic and political development in the world they have all ranked Barbados at number thirty among the developed counties or first among developing countries.

Clearly Barbados’ socio-economic and political development under this Barbados Labour Party administration, for which highly respected international institutions like UNDP and others have recognised, have placed us in a position where in the not to distant future we will attain first world status.

In the same way that Barbados’ progress to independence was charted by an architect whom we now rightly call our Father of Independence so to do we recognise that our progress to First World Status must have an architect who shall be the Father of First World Barbados and that person is the Rt. Hon. Owen S. Arthur, Prime Minister.

I must readily admit that I am not in the least interested in what the BFP thinks about this title. Who cares about your comments that have obviously sprung up from the bowels of intellectual dishonesty, political two-facedness and moral decadence. You have no authority to express an opinion especially unsolicited on matters of an ethical nature.

Barbados’ current state of affairs is a vast improvement to what it use to be in the early 1990’s when the entire country was under the dictatorship of a “like or Lump it” DLP regime. Yet the Dems, BFP included would have us believed that that period was the best thing to have happen for us. Lets us accept a few fundamentals here and now. (1) Our views on what is right or wrong are polls apart. (2) The DLP can never ever be the judge of anything that the BLP does. You have no moral minimum.

Barbados Free Press Responds

Royalrumble and the BLP political strategists who coined the term “The Father Of First World Barbados” are now trying to popularize their clever election-time moniker for the party leader.

They presume that the crushing national debt and continuing annual deficit of Barbados will not combine with world events and government mismanagement to send our country back into the stone age of the 60’s and 70’s. They embrace the Arthur/BLP legacy of new highways and cricket celebrations and ignore the failings and longterm neglect in collapsing sewerage, water and health infrastructures.

The title might seem a tad premature to those citizens still hauling water in buckets while stepping over greenish rivulets of human waste making its way to the sea from overflowing cesspits.

Bestowing Such A Title For Election Purposes Cheapens It, And Destroys The Honour

If Owen Arthur is ever to be properly declared “The Father Of First World Barbados”, such an honour should be…

a/ Bestowed by the People of Barbados with widespread popular support, not just created and declared by some backroom political hacks in the runup to the next election.

b/ Only given after Barbados IS a first world country.

c/ Only given after Mr. Arthur has retired from public service. Otherwise, what would be a National Honour is cheapened into a mere partisan political slogan.

Those BLP “Strategists” Just Don’t Get It

History and Barbados will judge Owen Arthur in the full measure of time – his strengths, his weaknesses, his failings and successes. Owen may well deserve such an honour at some time, or not – but we must wait for history to unfold.

The BLP idiots who have cheaply thrown this onto the table in the runup to an election have done a disservice to Owen Arthur and to Barbados.

Not to mention that should a reversal occur in the Barbados economy – perhaps due to something totally beyond the Prime Minister’s control – the title would become a mockery, useful only to the political opposition.

About This Debate And BFP’s Comments

It is certainly healthy to see this type of open debate going on in Barbados because, as we all know, before the internet and call-in radio shows, public political debate on a mass scale was carefully controlled in Barbados by both DLP and BLP governments.

In recent and not-so-recent history, once elected, governments from both parties have each exhibited a sense of entitlement to power and privilege that can only be called corrupt. So far, neither the DLP nor the BLP have seen fit to introduce integrity legislation and conflict of interest rules.

We at Barbados Free Press will continue to shine the spotlight on the political elites – and we don’t care which party they belong to. Until someone declares integrity legislation, they are all headed for the Piggy Trough as far as we are concerned.


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

24 responses to “Debate Over “The Father Of First World Barbados” Title For Owen Arthur

  1. Hants

    Central Bank Governor, Dr. Marion Williams is cautioning against heavy consumer spending during the Christmas season.

    With Government worried about a near $1 billion increase in the island’s import bill, Barbadians could soon be seeing some credit curbs applied.
    Prime Minister Owen Arthur hinted at this yesterday.

    Seems like all is not well in Barbados. Could be a little hiccup on the road to First World Status.

    Good thing they have Clyde on their side.Right?

  2. Anonymous-

    I couldn’t read all of this garbage.

    The Arthur administration has seen an unprecedented level of social and economic development in Barbados, second only perhaps to that of the late Sir Errol. Like all developing economies, it will have its slow periods – but by and large this Government has shown itself to be the bastion of strength and stability that is so desperately needed in the governance of small island developing states like Barbados.

    I shudder to think what would have become of our island if the travesty that is the Democratic Labour Party had been allowed to take over government, what with their back-alley brawls and internal fighting… Barbados would truly be a joke on the world stage.

  3. BFP

    I notice that Anon avoids commenting upon the main point of the article – the political strategists who are using this title for the PM cheapen what should be a national honour.

  4. Anonymous-

    Lack of foresight has never been a trait of the BLP. History, as you say, may very well prove that this administration was the architect of modern, developed, Barbados. That they have ‘jumped the gun’ in labeling him as such as no bearing on what will be the eventual truth.

  5. Economix

    At Xmas, Bajans buy only what the importers/stores have previously imported.
    So the restraint is NOT up to consumers at the retail level.
    All like now so, de money done spend, at wholesale/importer level, with cheques written back in Aug.
    for Goods entering the country in October.

    And let’s say the retail Bajan consumer does indeed show restraint,
    and leaves all those plstic toys on the shelves…
    are the merchants going to trade them back in for a refund in USDollars?
    Do you get my point?
    As long as ‘stuff’ is presented,for sale, people are likely to buy.
    It is up to importers to show restraint, and not send precious foreign exchange out of the island, to keep Fischer-Price(plastic-toy manufacturer) happy and rich!

    Frankly, the retail shopper couldn’t care less about our foreign exchange balance, coz they don’t even understand the difference between retail and wholesale, and don’t care to:
    -they think goods arrive by magic in the stores, and merchants put on whatever markup they feel like.
    Some feel merchants import, and run a store, just to keep the customer happy, and that the merchant should make no profit at all.

    Statements re. retail restraint are all rhetoric

  6. out dey in Bim


    Thanks BFP for a balanced and well thought out response on the above article.I am going to carefully re-read it and may save some comments for another posting.

    However listening to royalrumble the big yard fowl and annonymous the spin doctor it seem to me that this BLP administration is agitated and running scared.

    How else can you explain the various attempts to control how the barbadian public think – so they throw out these meaningless catchy prhase (father of first world barbados), while everything breaks down in the country?
    They also try to control what people say – so they threaten lawsuits to the radio stations,they get their political pimps to threaten persons who disagree and speak out against them.When that doesnot work they threaten to shut down internet sites like Barbados Free Press and radio call – in programmes,and they even get their cohorts and buddies in the Nation and Advocate to write nasty letters about persons critical of them under fictitious names.

    And even if that isn’t enough they bring out the heavy roller himself – the Prime Minister who tells his critics -“if you criticise me you do so at your own peril” – yuh ole negrocrat.

    Pray tell me does that sound like a party that it is confident that it can win the hearts of the bajan people without intimidation and propoganda?Tom Adams look out – Arthur is about to take your crown of ‘ King Dirty tricks – supremo.’

    Oh, by the way annonymous I thought you were going to use your enormous power to get this site shut down and then drink the champagne you had chilling afterwards?

    Boy,God don’t like ugly yuh hear?

  7. Hants

    The Barbados government may need to borrow yet again to prop up the country’s foreign reserves.

    That’s the word from Central Bank Governor, Dr. Marion Williams who says the bank has already looked at how much the country could afford to borrow without putting pressure on the balance of payments.

    Although the economy grew by 3.7 percent in the first nine months of the year this was largely due to the foreign exchange consuming, non-traded sectors of distribution and construction.

    Doan worry…. Be happy.

    an doan shoot the messenjah.

  8. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Barbados: Who’s your First World daddy?

  9. Jason

    I love Global Voices title

    “Barbados: Who’s your First World daddy?”

    Already others are mocking the title. BFP is right those BLP yardfowl dont get it!

  10. Anonymous-


  11. out dey in Bim



    Wha happen annonymous? Yuh gone deaf or cat got yuh tongue?

    Errr? eh

  12. Pat

    Well, it seems like I have a little foresignt afterall. I said in in other forum some time back (which was picked up by BFP) that the Barbados government was broke. I said at the time that all the signs were there and it would only be a matter of time before others saw it too. Well, I will say this now. Things are much worse than Dr. Williams and the PM are letting on. CWC is a gamble to put more money in the foreign reserves. But it may just be that more have been spent on the event than the government will net.

    The situation will only get worse. I will bet dollars to doughnuts that most of those recent immigrants/businessmen keep their money off shore, in banks in London, Geneva and even New York. When devaluation comes they will not be affected.

  13. Anonymous-

    Far from deaf and my tongue is far from gone. I was just lost as to the point of the vapid post above mine, that’s all.

  14. John

    A monkey shut down Barbados today.

  15. Rumplestilskin

    John : Sure twas not a monkey with a wrench, testing the waters? Never hear about no monkey shutting down the island. Hmmm….

    out dey in Bim: You say ”And even if that isn’t enough they bring out the heavy roller himself – the Prime Minister who tells his critics -”if you criticise me you do so at your own peril”

    I sure hope he did not use those words. It would be a shame indeed. Not statesmanlike, not even words a PM in a ‘supposedly’ democratic society should utter. Hmmm…

    Gotta give Sandi one thing, he has carried himself like a true Statesman. Good on you Sir.

    And guess what….I do not support either Party particularly……..just want what’s best for the Nation.

  16. out dey in Bim


    Yes the P.M did say as was quoted in the nation sometime early this year that:the gloves are off and those who criticise him do so at their peril.
    This was at a branch meeting to nominate Lynette eastmond.At that meeting he also used the infamous word ‘negrocrat’ to describe Harold Hoyte.

    But don’t get into convulsions yet there’s more – he is also known to personally call up journalists and cuss them out if they write or say anything unflattering about him or his policies.
    As a matter of fact Ricky Singh about 6 weeks ago mentioned on the People’s Business – that there are politicians in this country who call up journalists
    and haul them over the coals or intimidate them.

    I really wish that our journalists had some cahones.On their tombstone should be written they cared more about their paycheck than their professional integrity.Although I don’t blame the journalists entirely but the decision makers at the media houses like the publishers and the CEO’S whose main concern is the money they rake in from Ads and not the news.

  17. Rumplestilskin

    That is really not ‘cricket’.

    Should live by deeds, not threats.

    By the way, does ‘First World’ today mean:

    – water goes off in many island areas during dry season, from S.Lucy across to St.Philip

    – monolopies are free to set their own prices

    – traffic officials continue to use methods which obviously do not work, obvious to the dimmest wit, methods such as traffic lights at inappropriate places AND empirical evidence proves it…much to the consternation of citizens

    – service attitude in Government places (such as the Airport) is sub-par, lead by inadequate management systems

    – Government does not account during their term, only accountable by the five year ballot

    – the average Barbadian cannot afford the loans for a decent house & land to put it on

    – new ‘standards’ are such that insurance companies are giving trouble to those who buy second or third hand cars and want to put them on the road…….(they do not insure…too old 10+years you can run a car in UK and USA)…crippling to the up and coming or financially poor person with a small business

    – the Government to raise OPERATING funds by selling taxpayers-owned land

    – our exports are significantly less than imports

    Great, yeah, we are first world….

    Bah humbug

  18. John

    First world may just mean the debt is first world.

  19. Jane

    “But don’t get into convulsions yet there’s more – he is also known to personally call up journalists and cuss them out if they write or say anything unflattering about him or his policies.”

    He is also known to phone private citizens in a temper when they ask basic questions about government expropriations.

  20. Rumplestilskin

    ‘Father of First World Barbados’

    When ruling parties make up such ‘titles’ you should start wondering.

    When are the 20 foot x 20 foot posters going to be placed?

    Maybe a nice pic of him as we enter at the Airport.

    Another maybe over Heroes Square.

    Tear down Nelson, replace with a tall column with a poster.

    Tear down Bussa…raplace with similar column and poster…

    Now where else…

  21. John

    …. some father

  22. josephine

    I have been reading the posting and i have been seeing a lot of angry people lashing out at a government that has been doing its work, pushing at a LEADER in the fear less Prime Minister the have taken a stand to carry this nation forward and refuses to let anyone or anything get in the way of our small but greate nation and a pains me to hear the call in programs where people talk about the man like he is going out of his way to run this country down and then i read these pages and see how you all write on these things, it upsets me. We bajans seem lately not to see the good, never to see the silver linning, at some point the roads will finish lets, the world cup will come and go and the Stands built will remain so hopefully i can go there to watch my unborn son play cricket. There is no nation in the world that does not barrow money none, we need to import not as much as we are doing but we need to do it, Y? cause we the real people want these things that are not made here. i am just saying the Prime Minister if we look close and be realy honest not to me but to your self will see a good effort being made. i Give him a B+ a passing grade

  23. Velzo

    Josephine I feel sorry for you. Owen Arthur asked for the job and begged us to elect him to solve problems. We did not beg him for anything except to keep the cost of living down, provide housing and land for the people. control crime, manage the economy, stamp out corruption and provide moral leadership for our country. That is what he promised and his job is to deliver.

    I refuse to get into any sympathy act for any politician. Owen Arthur does not work for free. He gest nearly $200,000.00 a year plus a house, a car, drivers, maids, free travel, travel allowances, MP allowances etc.

    He better work for what we pay him. Don’t try that sympathy act on us.

  24. Anon

    Josephine,you better get back to where you were hibernating because you sound as though you were fast asleep.

    Errol Barrow ask what mirror image we have of ourselves,and now I am asking you what image you have of someone who wants to appropriate unto himself the title of “Father of First World B’dos?”

    Is it a statesman,a person with integrity,practices high moral standards?
    Or is it someone who cusses out journalists and private citizens,threatens persons that if they disagree with him they do so at their peril,have multiple children outside of his marriage,is known to have a strong fascination for alcohol,openly boasts about breaking the law by hiring illegal guyanese to repair his house,refuses to introduce Integrity legislation,but yet also refuses to investigate allegations of fraud,corruption and conflict of interest?

    Who is the real daddy?