Will The Opposition BLP Publish The Throne Speech Before The Barbados Government?

I’ll be darned…

According to an email that just arrived at Barbados Free Press, the Opposition BLP are at this moment considering whether or not to publish their copy of the Government’s Throne Speech – with commentary – on the BLP blog.

Apparently they wanted to take their time in responding to the Throne Speech, but calls are being made to see if they can beat the government in making the speech available to citizens.

If they have what it takes to pull this off, the BLP will have embarrassed the government from day one. We note that since they lost the election, the Opposition BLP have continued to utilize the internet to have two-way direct communication with citizens, while the Government DLP has abandoned their blog since achieving power.

This should be interesting…

Here’s the BLP Blog Link.

Government Abandons DLP Blog

We notice that the Government DLP Blog hasn’t published a thing – not even a thank you – since January 13, 2008. It sure does look like the DLP just used the blog and then abandoned it when they achieved power. No more direct communication necessary with the citizens, I guess. Perhaps now that they have achieved power the DLP prefers methods of communication that they can control.

It kind of fits right in with the Throne Speech issue, doesn’t it?

Nope, I don’t like the feel of this at all.

48 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

48 responses to “Will The Opposition BLP Publish The Throne Speech Before The Barbados Government?

  1. Adrian Hinds

    I would not be surprise if this is the case. Both political parties are behaving as expected given the election outcome. Only a change of scene and acting role, but the pantomime continues.

    ….However i will be loathed to give any credit to the opposition for being the FIRST to publish it. Doing the right thing shouldn’t be condition on who did it first.

  2. Sam Gamgee

    I think you guys actually own the olympic gold medal for the 100 metres race. Gotta be so. Ya real fast.
    However, you are right where the DLP blog thing is concerned. If they have any sense they will keep in contact with the people who put them there and can take them from there.
    A word to the wise.

  3. Yardbroom

    That would not surprise me, the DLP has the business of a country to govern, the BLP opposition has plenty of time to devote to the blogs.

    However I would agree, that it is good public relations for the DLP to have their blog running, as it indicates an attention to detail, even at a time of heavy commitments.

  4. Adrian Hinds

    Yardbroom i very cognizant of this, and this all wrap up in my never ending call for parliamentary reform. Am i wrong in suggesting the your comment “the DLP has the business of a country to govern” is similar to when a former member of Parliament for St.Thomas said “the reason i have not been around as often as i would like is due my Ministerial role”?

  5. It’s a real shame that the DLP Blog isn’t being maintained. I’m tempted to say that the “big boys” don’t take the Internet seriously, but they used the Internet when it served their purposes (during the General Elections) so they must know the value of it. Maybe they just don’t want to nourish it or encourage the public to use it, because let;s face it, when a small man goes online, he doesn’t have the restrictions which make him a “small man” in the real world. The Internet is a symbol of liberty for many. This very website would never survive if it were into the Print Media, but when you go online, no one can “control” you.

    There are many Barbadians that have been trying to get into telecoms for over 10 years, but the “big boys” won’t let them do it. However, with the birth of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), any “small man” can setup a virtual telephone company for the fraction of the cost to setup a physical Phone Company. Of course, there are still “big boys” trying to regulate VoIP, even though the Internet isn’t supposed to be regulated.

    All of this is just to say, that the Internet is recognised as a valuable tool, but many of the “haves” don’t wish to promote it, for fear of losing control over the “have-nots”

  6. Donald Duck, Esq

    The recently delivered throne speech was non focused, rambling and out of touch with what is going on in the country. It had nothing in it about the international business sector which is one of the biggest contributors to our economy. I noticed that acting GG was absolutely great with his emphasis on words such as the “designated” persons who will get the duty free cars. It was also noted that the elimination of VAT on houses over $400K will come over a period of time.

  7. william duguid

    The internet and blogging in particular will continue to play a major role in local politics. i expect it continue to grow in significance and rest assured that I will continue to contribute whenever I can.

    ************

    BFP says,

    Hi William,

    Question please… was the Opposition furnished with a paper copy of the Throne Speech?

  8. Yardbroom

    Adrian Hinds
    I take on board the situation you have alluded to as a balance always has to be struck between commitments, but that is often the price one has to pay for taking on public office.

    I just do not see non publication of the throne speech in a short time frame as a major issue, and do not think it is a portent of things to come.

    What is not a good idea is to have Government by the internet eg the Government reacting to demands from us “bloggers.” I will not expect that unless it is a major issue of great concern, we must be reasonable people and allow the DLP Government to govern, that is what they were elected to do.

  9. Bimmy

    there is a thing nuh.

    the government outlined in the throne speech just what it said it would do in its manifesto and just because for one reason or the other it was not printed by the news media or the goverment blog it is being criticised.

    i wonder what would have happened had it not followed what it said it would do it its manifesto?

    i must admit i was looking forward to seeing an outline of the speech not the full thing

  10. Centipede

    I didn’t hear the whole of the throne speech… was there anything in it about ‘integrity leglislation’ ?

  11. John

    Good to see you back William.

  12. Donald Duck, Esq

    Centipede. there was a lot that was not in the throne speech as well

  13. Wayne

    Yes Centipede, it was mentioned, so clearly you didn’t hear the whole speech. They said forms will be circulated for public officers to declare their assets.

  14. DLP Broken Promises

    What happened to the minimum wage legislation which was promised “immediately”?

    Three weeks have passed and now they are saying it should happen “within two years”.

    Time for change indeed.

    also…

    I noticed that about one or two days after the election, the BLP website had a big THANK YOU message to its supporters, even though they lost. I was waiting to see if the DLP website would do the same… they never did, and I purposely kept quiet until now because I didn’t want to tip them off.

  15. John

    I was looking at the Constitution of Barbados as published by the GOB and discovered that there are two types of GG when the real GG is unable to perform the functions of that office.

    First, there is an acting GG which we got and second there is a Deputy GG, which we did not get.

    Here is how the Acting GG is appointed according to the constitution as published by the GOB.

    “Acting Governor General
    29.1
    Whenever the office of Governor General is vacant or the holder of the office is absent from Barbados or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall be performed –

    by any person for the time being designated by Her Majesty in that behalf who is in Barbados and able to perform those functions; or
    at any time when there is no person in Barbados so designated and able to perform those functions, by the holder of the office of Chief Justice; or
    at any time referred to in paragraph (b) when the office of Chief Justice is vacant or the holder thereof is absent from Barbados or is for any other reason unable to perform those functions, by the President of the Senate.

    29.2
    The holder of the office of Governor General or any person designated under paragraph (2) or by paragraph (b) of subsection (1) shall not, for the purposes of this section, be regarded as absent from Barbados or as unable to perform the functions of the office of Governor General at any time when there is a subsisting appointment of a deputy under section 30.”

    The deputy GG is appointed like this:

    Deputy to Governor General
    30.1
    Whenever the Governor General –

    has occasion to be absent from Barbados for a period which he has reason to believe will be of short duration; or
    is suffering from an illness that he has reason to believe will be of short duration,
    he may, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, by instrument under the Public Seal, appoint any person in Barbados to be his deputy during such absence or illness and in that capacity to perform on his behalf such of the functions of the office of Governor General as may be specified in that instrument.
    30.2
    The power and authority of the Governor General shall not be abridged, altered or in any way affected by the appointment of a deputy under this section, and in the exercise of any function that is exercisable by he Governor General acting in his discretion or after consultation with any person or authority a deputy shall conform to and observe any instructions that the Governor General, acting in like manner, may address to him;

    Provided that the question whether or not a deputy has conformed to observed any such instructions shall not be enquired into in any court.
    30.3
    A person appointed as a deputy under this section shall that appointment for such period as may be specified in the instrument by which he is appointed and his appointment may be revoked at any time by the Governor General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

  16. John

    Since we did not get the Chief Justice or the President of the Senate (there was none) then it follows that the appointment of Mr. Justice Elliot Belgrave came from Her Majesty the Queen, herself.

    If the GG was out of the island for a short time or ill for a short time, then we would have got a Deputy GG, ….. which we didn’t.

    The appointment of a Deputy can be revoked by the real GG at any time but it looks like if the PM will have to go to the Queen to revoke the appointment of Mr. Belgrave, the acting GG.

    This is what appears to come out of my reading of sections 29 and 30 of the constitution. Perhaps someone could point out where I am wrong. I must be!!

    Here is the link to the GOB website.

    http://www.barbados.gov.bb/bdsconst_chpt4.htm

  17. John

    Bear in mind that there are other versions of the constitution available on the net.

    http://www.caricomlaw.org/doc.php?id=656

    http://www.barbados.org/constitution.htm

  18. Brutus

    Wayne, thank you for confirming that there was new info in the throne speech about Integrity Legislation and declaration of assets. I was very excited when I heard it and I thought that would have been the top story in the media and on the blogs the next day. I am still surprised that it has not been picked up.

  19. Jerome Hinds

    william duguid
    February 13, 2008 at 10:47 pm
    Even If I had it electronically. I Do not think I would put it up. It is essentially their manifesto re -written with the words “My Government.”

    The only value would be to compare it with their non performance in years to come.

    *********************************************
    Dr. Duguid is being Dishonest…….he knows you cannot on a partisan basis DISSEMINATE the business of PARLIAMENT.

    Dr. Duguid cannot PRE EMPT the OFFICIAL GAZETTE .

    No wonder he and his party is in OPPOSITION !

    BFP,

    I chose to stay out of this debate until now……precisely to see if your article was one of honest commentary or design to create mischief .

    It is clear at this juncture that the latter seems to be the case.

    WHY ?

    Had you at BFP done proper research you would have recognised that there are certain conventions of Parliament that must be observed.

    Although emanating from the DLP party ( which is now the government ) the THRONE SPEECH is indeed a commitment of the Government of Barbados once READ in the House of Parliament…..therefore it is now the organs of Parliament to DISSEMINATE it’s contents to the general public.

    Example ?

    After being printed by the Government Printery and published in the Official Gazette.

    BFP…….it is the same process that will follow the passage of a DLP or BLP piloted BILL through the House of Parliament.

    The DLP posting such information on their WEB SITE……VERBATIM….ceased on the 16th of January 2008.

    All publication of the Government of Barbados Official Business are handled through PARLIAMENT , OFFICIAL GAZETTE or GIS.

    BFP,

    I KNOW after enduring the SKULDUGGERY by the past BLP administration for the past 14 years….it is difficult for you to know what is RIGHT !

    Anyhow please research before…….CONDEMNING !

    Talking about chiding one for NON – PUBLICATION……..BFP where is the long – promised MONEY LAUNDERING story ??????

    *******

    BFP Says,

    “Parliament” hardly publishes anything – even the debates. You make it sound as if “Parliament” is some totally independent organ totally unresponsive or unaccountable to the government.

    The fallacy with your argument that “Parliament” is to blame for the non-publishing of the Throne Speech is that the governing BLP published many copies and handed them out to party members and VIPs. Further, the government often publishes drafts or “check against delivery” copies of legislation and speeches for both internal, external and media use ahead of introduction in Parliament.

    Nope… it is a matter of a government that still exhibits an arrogant attitude “Why would the peasants need to read the Throne Speech verbatim? We shall dispense pieces when it suits us”

    Mark my words, Jerome. Transparency is not the citizens begging for scraps of information and the government deciding what shall be released according to its own agenda.

    Transparency is that all government documents are public except for good reason, and that all public documents are made easily available to the citizens in a timely manner.

    The minute we the citizens allow the government of the day to withhold most information from the citizens to suit the government’s purpose – we will be right back to the days of the corrupt BLP.

    Think GEMS financial records. Think the records of land expropriation and so much more.

    The time to make a stand is now. The subject of the stand is a document where there is no dispute that it is a public document. It has already been read in public.

    Now give us a copy of it Mr. Prime Minister. It is our right.

  20. Inkwell

    I have always looked forward to the contributions of commentator Yardbroom as I have always been impressed with the thoughtfulness and yes, sagacity he has demonstrated. But it is with sadness and resignation that I acknowledge that he too is flawed with the humanness of allowing party preference to cloud his otherwise clear judgment. If I have misinterpreted his position, I apologize in advance.

    The final paragraph of his last contribution speaks volumes about where he stands. I quote:

    “What is not a good idea is to have Government by the internet eg the Government reacting to demands from us “bloggers.” I will not expect that unless it is a major issue of great concern, we must be reasonable people and allow the DLP Government to govern, that is what they were elected to do.”

    Is this the same Yardbroom who has oft pontificated on the necessity for transparency in government and open communications with the electorate?

    With the change in government seems to have come a change in tune.

    While I agree with him that the non publication of the throne speech is not a matter for great concern as some others see, I am alarmed that he is perpetuating the suggestion that the Government should not react to the demands of the people but that it should “govern”

    I would have thought that Yardbroom would espouse the concept that the members of Parliament who collectively form the Government are “representatives” of the people who elected them to do just that, represent, not “rule” or “govern”. Our lack of insistence on the proper role of the Parliamentarian is what led the last administration to the arrogance that was one of the main reasons for its removal.

    Yardbroom now seems to be recommending a similar approach to the new people and they, of course, being human, will adopt it if they think they can get away with it. Let us make sure they start on the right foot.

    Please tell me I’m wrong, Yardbroom.

  21. Straight talk

    Was the island-wide ferry service announced in the Throne Speech mooted in the DLP manifesto.

    Speightstown-Holetown-Bridgetown-St Lawrence-Oistins-Silver Sands-Foul Bay-Martins Bay-River Bay.

    Don’t know about it being an economic practicality, but it will be a sure fire tourist success.

  22. BFP

    Jerome Hinds says that Parliament can only publish the Throne Speech.

    BFP Says,

    “Parliament” hardly publishes anything – even the debates. You make it sound as if “Parliament” is some totally independent organ totally unresponsive or unaccountable to the government.

    The fallacy with your argument that “Parliament” is to blame for the non-publishing of the Throne Speech is that the governing BLP published many copies and handed them out to party members and VIPs. Further, the government often publishes drafts or “check against delivery” copies of legislation and speeches for both internal, external and media use ahead of introduction in Parliament.

    Nope… it is a matter of a government that still exhibits an arrogant attitude “Why would the peasants need to read the Throne Speech verbatim? We shall dispense pieces when it suits us”

    Mark my words, Jerome. Transparency is not the citizens begging for scraps of information and the government deciding what shall be released according to its own agenda.

    Transparency is that all government documents are public except for good reason, and that all public documents are made easily available to the citizens in a timely manner.

    The minute we the citizens allow the government of the day to withhold most information from the citizens to suit the government’s purpose – we will be right back to the days of the corrupt BLP.

    Think GEMS financial records. Think the records of land expropriation and so much more.

    The time to make a stand is now. The subject of the stand is a document where there is no dispute that it is a public document. It has already been read in public.

    Now give us a copy of it Mr. Prime Minister. It is our right.

  23. Lady Anon

    When the BLP was in power, was the throne speech ever published?

    Did we as citizens demand a copy as “our right”?

    ***************

    BFP says,

    I don’t know if any other speeches were published, but I know that they should have been. The previous BLP government was masterful at keeping the people down through control and hoarding of information. Everything from debates in the legislature to land titles was hidden at the government’s convenience.

    With this bad start of the non-publication of a document that is incontestably public, it looks like more of the same.

  24. frankology

    Although emanating from the DLP party ( which is now the government ) the THRONE SPEECH is indeed a commitment of the Government of Barbados once READ in the House of Parliament…..therefore it is now the organs of Parliament to DISSEMINATE it’s contents to the general public.
    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    No one is disagreeing with you regarding your analogy based on procedures, but you failed to acknowledge the fundamental part of BFP argument, namely, the ‘failed attempt’ to publish the speech yesterday in the newspaper or online. For your information, once the ‘Throne Speech’ was read by the ‘Queen’s Representative’, copies of the speech can be distributed immediately after to the media houses for publication in order that the public to read and hear. Also, the print media can then obtain an electronic version from the GIS since the speech can only be made public after it was read by the Governor General or “a nominee” assigned by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Queen.

    By the way, in this case, the Chief Justice don’t have to be the immediate choice.

    So what is the problem Jerome.

  25. John

    Has Sir Clifford demitted the office of GG rendering the post vacant?

    Is his indisposition of a temporary nature?

    The constitution seems to indicate that a Deputy GG and not an Acting GG should have been appointed if his indisposition was temporary.

    Sir Denys Williams I believe as Chief Justice, was appointed as the Acting GG when Dame Nita passed away, rendering the post vacant.

    I am beginning to wonder whether the appointment of Mr. Justice Elliot Belgrave as the acting GG was in accordance with the constitution.

    Am I mad?

    Any lawyers about that can certify me?

  26. John

    Jerome

    Although emanating from the DLP party ( which is now the government ) the THRONE SPEECH is indeed a commitment of the Government of Barbados once READ in the House of Parliament…..therefore it is now the organs of Parliament to DISSEMINATE it’s contents to the general public.

    Example ?

    After being printed by the Government Printery and published in the Official Gazette.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why does the Budget Statement and reply get published in the papers without being first published in the Official Gazette?

  27. John

    Frankology

    By the way, in this case, the Chief Justice don’t have to be the immediate choice.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “Acting Governor General
    29.1
    Whenever the office of Governor General is vacant or the holder of the office is absent from Barbados or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall be performed –

    by any person for the time being designated by Her Majesty in that behalf who is in Barbados and able to perform those functions; or
    at any time when there is no person in Barbados so designated and able to perform those functions, by the holder of the office of Chief Justice; or
    at any time referred to in paragraph (b) when the office of Chief Justice is vacant or the holder thereof is absent from Barbados or is for any other reason unable to perform those functions, by the President of the Senate.”

    It would appear as though Mr. Justice Elliot Belgrave was designated by Her Majesty, the Queen to be the Acting GG of Barbados.

    There was no President of the Senate appointed and the Chief Justice did not fill the job. I assume he was absent from the island or was for some reason unable to perform the functions of Acting GG.

    BTW, the next Acting GG would be Brandford Taitt as President of the Senate if the CJ is absent from Barbados or is unable to perform the functions of Acting GG ……., that is unless Her Majesty has not designated someone else.

    God Save The Queen.

  28. Adrian Hinds

    william duguid
    February 13, 2008 at 10:53 pm
    The internet and blogging in particular will continue to play a major role in local politics. i expect it continue to grow in significance and rest assured that I will continue to contribute whenever I can.
    ==================================

    Why did you feel the need to announce your return presence amongst us? You unceremoniously left, high and mighty as a Minister of Government, a “top shotter”, above and beyond the Lilliputians. Now that the wind has been remove from beneath your sail, you remember the Oars of hard-work and the Lilliputians to work them? We carried on without you. I am under no allusion that you and your Flip flopping leader of the opposition think that you will be able to find easy sympathy and support on this blog, as i am equally convince that you will have another thing coming. People like you disgust me to no end. Tell YOUR LEADER that until she addresses her comments made when in government to the effect of wanting to “control the BLOGS” that her comments as the leader of the opposition, and your echo now of the same, that signals your belief that the Internet and the Blogs will play an important part in YOUR activities,… That i will see these two at odds positions as flip flops by someone who is self-serving, a megalomaniac, a fraud, dangerous, the devil incarnate, and a power freak.

    Have her address these things first before I can ever attempt to accept her about face now.

    https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2006/07/19/barbados-deputy-prime-minister-says-internet-blogs-marginalizeparliament-calls-for-regulation-of-blogs-call-in-shows-on-radio-television/

  29. frankology

    Why does the Budget Statement and reply get published in the papers without being first published in the Official Gazette?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Same point I have been making, or is this the beginning of a new dispensation.

  30. Jerome Hinds

    frankology
    February 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm
    Why does the Budget Statement and reply get published in the papers without being first published in the Official Gazette?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Same point I have been making, or is this the beginning of a new dispensation.
    ***************************************

    Because the News Papers Editors choose what stories to run with !

    Unfortunately for you…….the last time out they printed the stories about you and the HARDWOOD saga !

    We all know how that ( SINK – LER ) your boat……and beat you with the X !

  31. reality check

    “Why did you feel the need to announce your return presence amongst us? ”

    We all know that William Duiguid was silenced by the fallen King.

    Welcome back William but will the new Queen Mia demand silence or will she “off with your head”?

    Is there anyone left in your party that believes in freedom of expression or are they all in it for the pork and power?

  32. ??

    Its interesting now how Jerome quotes “procedures” and preempting the official Gazette, when he was on BLP warpath no policy matter was acceptable for him… Oh how we change our tune when the shoe is on the other foot

  33. Victor Callender

    People annoy me with these buzz words thrown around by politicians, words like TRANSPARENCY, NO NEW TAXES,CHANGE and all the other catchy political nonsense out there. If a politician says to you as a citizen that he or she is not going to be part of a government that raises taxes, get to hell away from that liar. Governments globally are sustained on the revenue generated from taxes, so why would any government sever or dissolve its revenue stream.

    Transparency can never be fully realized by any government. There are some things that governments cannot allow the citizenry to know. Hence, if elected officials can’t or won’t tell us citizens certains things relative to the government’s functions, they the politicians are not transparent. In the USA where I live, the regular American citizen truly believes that the Republican Party will eliminate the US tax code, foolishness. No matter how many gazillion pages exist in the US tax code, no politician will be able to fix the mess known as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Taxes are a necessary evil, read the book “The Richest man in Babylon.” When David Thompson talks about reductions in Barbados’ taxable base, he too professes’ what he does not possess. So all you politicians out there leave taxes alone, or else face the prospect of losing general elections.

    ************

    BFP comments

    Victor says…

    “Transparency can never be fully realized by any government. There are some things that governments cannot allow the citizenry to know. Hence, if elected officials can’t or won’t tell us citizens certains things relative to the government’s functions, they the politicians are not transparent.”

    Hi Victor,

    Everybody understands that there are certain things that a government must keep secret. That is a given. Barbados governments to date have started with “everything is secret” – with no rules about public access to documents. That means that only a select elite possess certain information which allows them to profit from the public purse.

    When there are rules, and when the attitude in law and reality is that all public documents are public unless the government can show good reason, then we have one of the foundations for accountability. Every citizen must be allowed access to public documents unless there is good reason to prevent access.

    The Speech from the Throne is undeniably a public document.

  34. Old Brigand

    where was Julie while Owen was at Tuesday’s opening of Parliament BY HIMSELF?????????? And how c0me Liz was not acompanied by her controversial husband but by her father?????????And why did she were that big LAMP SHADE on her head???????????

  35. liz

    Different Topic –
    Can I hear some opinions on the possible National Strike please.
    Does this matter merit the shut down of the island?
    What does the union hope to prove/gain?

  36. ROBOT

    liz !
    yes the matter merits a national strike
    its not the numbers involved in the situation
    it is the principle

    what if other employers do the same
    the problem in barbados is that employment of workers in this country is based on slavery pratices: from the salary scales to the varing attitudes to workers right

    a change can only be affected through education of the masses

  37. John

    liz

    I heard Sir Roy last night on TV and read Sandy Lane’s version in the press today.

    All I can say is WOW!!

    I think the Union could spend its time better looking into the UDC dismissals where the two gentlemen did not actually walk off the job and the third seems not to have actually started his properly.

    The more investigation at the UDC the better for us.

    I have to admit though that I don’t know all the facts of Sandy Lane or The Royal Shop affairs so will watch and see how these play out.

    Something’s got to give!! My feeling is that it might be the Union, but it remains to be seen.

  38. Bajanboy

    The Royal Shop and Sandy Lane need to stand firm. Unions have encouraged workers over the years into a number of bad and lazy habits where they feel they are not accountable and they can do as they choose.

    We need to break the unions like Margaret Thatcher did in the 1980s.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3067563.stm

    After government, unions are the single biggest drain on the economy of Barbados in terms of reducing productivity. I hope there is a strike on Febuary 20, but that the turnout is low, and that those who strike are fired.

  39. John

    I don’t agree with breaking the Union. It is a vital part of life.

    However, it should tell workers the truth and not try to push their position down an employer’s throat because it can.

    It is time to become statesmanlike!!

  40. Rock

    I agree with liz. I think we know where most bloggers stand on the issue of the throne speech so change of topic. This situation with the Royal Shop and Sandy Lane can have serious consequences for productivity over the next few weeks if not soon resolved. I understand that the Union has a job to do but not to the detriment of national productivity. Basically, the Union has to market it’s services and it does so by forcefully representing it’s clients loud and clear for all to hear, sometimes using not so thinly veiled threats and bullying tactics. After all, subs pay the bills (and salaries) and if their track record is poor, people will not join.I will say the Unions in Barbados have done a good job over the years representing their clients rights but the way they go about it could be a bit more refined. They seem to teach their delegates that the employer is evil and not to be trusted and this is starting off on the wrong foot. They should be promoting the creation of an atmosphere where parties can sit around a table and negotiate with some kind of dipolmacy. Yes there will be some instances where an individual is being taken advantage of but deal with each case on its merit. Productivity in Barbados is falling and unfortunately the Union is part of the problem. For example, companies are finding that absenteeism is becoming a major problem, and employees are almost daring employers to take some kind of action, because they know the Union will fly to the rescue.Unless you are involved with one of these meetings it is highly unlikely you would actually know what goes on as it is not reported verbatim in the news media. It was only a matter of time before someone with eneough strength stood up and said, “I’ve had enough, this far, no further!”
    The Union must choose it’s battles wisely and not promote the fact that a poor work ethic will be defended. Neither should it promote the fact that disobeying a direct order from an employer, especially when the staff member was aware of the rules should be defended at all costs.

  41. Bajanboy

    John, that will never happen. Unions are always wrong and strong. As employment legislation improves in Barbados, unions are losing their raison d’être. Unions need to justify their dues to their members so they will always jump at the chance at some grandstanding.

  42. John

    The truth works!!

    It sets you free!

  43. ROBOT

    you people – bajanboy and the like amuse me with you lack of appreciation for our history
    if you did know our history you would not have made the statements you have
    you are not to blame
    we as a nation have work to do

  44. Reudon A. Eversley

    After reading contributions on this blog, even though my role as Communications Director for the DLP was specifically related to the General Election Campaign and officially ended with the conclusion of this event, I wish to assure the BFP family that the DLP Government is serious and committed to improving public communication.

    The government agency responsible for communicating with the public is the GIS. However, if you checked the GIS website during the past several months, you would have noticed that the news there was very dated. Clearly, this has to change. That may have been fine under the BLP, considering their approach to public information, but it can’t be business as usual. The former regime was more interested in propaganda than having a genuine dialogue with Barbadians. As soon as the PM’s new press secretary is fully settled, I expect that you will see a pro-active approach where public communication is concerned.

    The GIS should be and must be the focal point for news and other information about what is happening in government, pretty much like how the GIS in St Lucia was when Dr Kenny Anthony was prime minister. Within an hour, say, of Dr Anthony delivering a budget speech, the document would be posted on the website for the public to access. I see no reason why the same cannot happen here in Barbados.

    Regarding updating the DLP blog, that matter is being addressed and you should see some activity pretty soon. I must tell you, however, that already the DLP Government has honoured a campaign pledge related to improving public communication by introducing press briefings after Cabinet meetings. Unheard of during the Owen Arthur era. Rome was not built in a day. The DLP’s main focus during the past month was putting in place an administration, getting reacquainted with the machinery of government, and settling down to press ahead with the people’s business.

    Rest assured that public communication by this government will be better than under the BLP. You know; the DLP sees itself as the people’s servant. Hence, the commitment to accountability, openness. The BLP, on the other hand, always behaves as if it is the people’s master. Well, massa day done long time ago!

  45. liz

    I thank all of you for your opinions.
    I think that mistakes have been made by both sides in the handling of these matters. I am not sure that the Royal Shop is even unionised, or if it was beginning negotiations, but to shut Barbados down at this time of the year when tourism is at its very best seems to me to be a bit hasty and possibly irresponsible.
    Those that strike – do they get paid by the union? I do not think that the employers will pay them.
    In the end if companies lose money those that will get laid off will be the workers.

  46. Adrian Hinds

    liz
    February 15, 2008 at 11:07 am
    Different Topic –
    Can I hear some opinions on the possible National Strike please.
    Does this matter merit the shut down of the island?
    What does the union hope to prove/gain?
    ===================================

    Yes it does, it can cause us to focus on one of the central themes of CSME, which is protect, Caribbean companies and jobs. It is in this context that i will look at the Royal shop and Sandyland strike. All across Barbados and the caribbean there is this distinct divide between employees and employers. I feel that if Globalization where to occur in such away that corporate entities from outside the region were to set up shop in Barbados thereby bringing needed competition, and also bring their best practices in employee and employer relations to bare, we might see a willingness on the part of local business owners to update their management skills. The behaviour of caribbean business people contributes significantly to the caribbean people disillusionment of CSME.

  47. Donald Duck, Esq

    BFP

    You should have a separate article on the threatened island wide strike. If the royal shop or sandy lane are asked to reemploy the dismissed workers it will be a dreadful day for barbados. It will send the signal that employers can no longer discipline employees. I know of several cases in Barbados where employees are left to do what they like in their employment. How many cases do you know of where an employee has a contract that says for instance that his work starts at 8 a.m and the employee does not surface until after 9.

  48. Get it Right

    Adrian Hinds:

    Is this blog meant to be taken seriously? Certainly a smart as we all are, we can make our points without the namecalling…

    Oh, btb, that divide between employers and employees will exist in any developing nation where the ruling party is “Labour” and the governing follows the theory of ‘market capitalism’.

    in other words, it ain’t just here..

    What I would like to know, one day in Barbados is …. are all of you waiting for it???

    “What REALLY Happened!” … not what we ‘FEEL’ happened.

    How about some investigative reporting BFP. That would be great.

    Good Work ‘BS’P.