Grenville Phillips II: “I’ll run as a candidate for Parliament if …”

“Grenville… have you ever thought of running as an independent candidate for Parliament? Go ahead, put your name on the ballot. Don’t even bother with a traditional campaign. You might be very surprised by what happens.”

Barbados Free Press to Grenville Phillips II in our post One man takes on the cause: Most houses in Barbados unsafe construction

Grenville Phillips II lays out what it will take to get him to run…


I apologize for this delayed response to your suggestion that I consider running as an Independent candidate, but I had to carefully count the cost – which I have done.

As I pondered your suggestion, coincidentally, the same day’s Nation newspaper (Saturday Sun 26 May 2012) reported Gray ‘Doc’ Brome’s response to similar encouragements:

“Not interested. Not interested in the least. I’m disgusted with politics. I’m disgusted with politicians.”

Gray ‘Doc’ Brome as quoted in The Nation

If what followed was accurately reported, then in my opinion, Brome provided the most informed and honest summary analysis of the Barbados political system, that has been unmatched by my reading of any of the popular political scientists over the past 25 years. Brome’s analysis is instructive, since he appeared to have entered the political system with a desire to help people advance. The newspaper reported the following.

“Brome blames people who enter politics for personal empowerment only for a lot of the problems facing the average constituent today.”

Brome determined that it was in the politician’s best interest to keep people living “hand-to-mouth” “from pay check to pay cheque”, and concluded that the entitlement culture “had reduced the entrepreneurial spirit among young people.”

In Barbados, we have seen politicians appear to attempt to ruin the reputations of anyone not in their current favour and without warning. They appear to use rhetorical language to divide us rather than unite us in a common goal. The question that I have periodically asked myself is: Why?

Will Grenville run?

Mr Brome has diagnosed two root causes of the problems with Barbados’ political system through his advocacy for a “new breed of politician” that is “less likely to go on power trips or get into politics simply to get rich.” Therefore, the root causes appear to be the motivating desire within our politicians for power and/or money.

With Gray Brome’s informed perspective of the problems, and definition of their root causes, the solution becomes obvious – remove the money and power ‘magnets’ that attract the type of politicians who have a vested interest in keeping the masses at a subsistence economic level.

How can this be done? The following appears to be an efficient and effective solution.

1. Discourage the ‘career politician’ by removing any pension benefits from a politician’s remuneration. Therefore, they will have to rely on their pensions from their pre and post political careers. This should attract ‘Doc’ Brome’s new breed of politician who simply wishes to serve, rather than one who mainly wishes to get re-elected in order to secure a lifetime pension.

2. Remove all discretionary powers from Ministers. If a law is badly written, then amend the law rather than allowing a Minister to repeatedly use his/her discretion.

Is the current crop of politicians likely to want to solve these root causes of the problems with our political system? I do not think so. If they damage each-other’s reputations and eat their proverbial young when there is no threat to their pensions and powers, how are they likely to react when an actual threat is perceived? I do not even want to imagine. This presents another problem. How can Barbados benefit from a politician who is not attracted by power or money, and who simply wants all Barbadians to be healthy, wealthy, and wise?

How can this new type of politician co-exist with the career politician gnashing at every perceived threat? Defined this way, the solution becomes obvious – feed them. Allow the current crop to benefit from a lifetime pension as career politicians, but remove the benefit for new entrants. This appears to be a win-win solution.

So, will I run?

I have no desire to endure the frustrations with career politicians that ‘Doc’ Brome reported. Neither do I want to experience the constant threat from career politicians and their ardent supporters who think that I am trying to “take bread from out of their mouths.”

So I asked myself again – will I run? My earnest desire is to have Barbadians healthy, wealthy and wise. However, I am unwilling to pay the sacrifice demanded by the current political system. Therefore, I will only consider running if the pension benefit for all new politicians is removed. If it is not, then I will continue to publicly and privately (as politeness would dictate) offer my best advice, whether solicited or not – which I consider my active duty as an adult citizen.



Filed under Barbados, Politics, Politics & Corruption

16 responses to “Grenville Phillips II: “I’ll run as a candidate for Parliament if …”

  1. West Side Davie

    Grenville: I implore you, please put your name on the ballot as an independent candidate! Just do that and nothing else and you’ll be performing a great and patriotic service to the people of Barbados.

    I will bring you the papers and your nominators. We will pay the fee.

    Please reconsider.

  2. Chicago

    Run, Grenville, Run!!!

  3. Pingback: Congratulations to us! BFP published 4,800 posts | Barbados Free Press

  4. Doris

    He’d have my vote!

  5. Co-Sign with Grenville, especially –

    “{I do NOT} want to experience the constant threat from career politicians and their ardent supporters who think that I am trying to “take bread from out of their mouths.”

    As an Independent you go to the House and you want to make it so Ruling Ministers no longer have discretionary powers? Please, you got Kevlar? Look at what happens to Adrian Loveridge, and he’s not even a full-time blogger nor MP! Barbados needs at least for the PEP’s 4 candidates if not to win, then poll just 1,000 votes each to send a strong message to Tweedledumb & Tweedledumber!

  6. rastaman

    @BFP: What happened to my post????

  7. robert ross

    What a wonderful idea. Will there be a T shirt? See my post below on the third force.

  8. BFP

    Hi rastaman

    We don’t see a missing post here or in the spam bucket. Has it come online?

    Sometimes when people post it doesn’t ‘take’ and we have no indication you even tried. That’s why if you are creating something that takes effort, you should do it in a Word doc and then cut and paste. WordPress and the internet can lose stuff.

    So, do you now see what was missing? If not… sorry, we can’t find it. You’ll have to write it again. (do it in Word to be sure then cut and paste!)

    Thanks for participating even if you got screwed. Wasn’t our fault!


  9. Vezlo

    Grenville: you must stand for election. God I would work for you two or three days a week if you would declare. How about it?

  10. Hi Everyone:

    Thank you for your encouraging sentiments. However, the current political system is likely to make the term of any politician who truly cares an exercise in frustrating futility.

    I am not sure what the PEP’s election promises are. However, to indicate that they are not simply waiting for their turn at the ‘trough’, perhaps they could state their intention to end pensions for all new politicians (including themselves). To help us believe them, they could take out a performance bond, where they forfeit their salaries for their entire term if they fail to diligently amend the relevant legislation.


  11. countryview

    It generally takes blood in the streets and the ballot replaced by a bullet to completely makeover an established political order in a relatively short period of time. Absent the makeover, all that obtains is new faces in the same game all bleating to the sheeple that “they’ll do things differently”…what an ongoing joke.

  12. robert ross

    The Third Froce

    On both BFP and here some few people have spoken of a ‘third force’. That, I think, has generally been assumed to mean a new political party or, as Grenville seems to intimate here, an existig ‘fringe’ party like the PEP. Any political party is, however, bound by its own agenda and the PEP, say, is no exception.

    The idea of an ‘Independent’ MP is one way of getting round this problem. The problem then is that he/she will always be a lone voice which is likely to be stifled. The voice might be bolstered by the Free Presses, of course, but then my experience is that people may well (1) have never heard of them; (2) regard them as a joke; (3) realise that they themselves have agendas they are keen to push not always very honouraly.This is not a criticism – by no means. BFP in many respects does wonderful work and, I think, has probably the best reputation for integrity. Nevertheless, as I’m always being told, it is a Press for ‘white’ boys. I have no idea whether it is true – but true or not, it is a pity it is seen in that way.

    As a consequnce, and having given an undertaking to someone or other (I think on BU) not to forget the idea of a ‘third force’, I came up with the following:-

    A Third Force – a watchdog with Teeth

    The idea is to form a Committee with a public profile. Not a political Party, but a Committee which airs its voice through the media on matters of consequence to us all – all our people. EG – if people want to get a word on a question of human rights, they turn to Commissiong for his view. Well, if they want a word on anything which strikes at the welfare of the nation, and most especially the body politic, let them turn to the Third Force – which will command respect not because of the colour of its shirts, nor the skin colour of its members, but because its members are quasi national figures who are respected by reason of whom they are. Such a force could push openly, eg, for integrity legislation or any of a range of things we have accounted critical here on BFP.

    Someone would have to spearhead it – Grenville? – but its members would consist, say, of an economist, a philosopher, a lawyer, a religious, a small-business person, a representatve of the arts – a poet (usually a visionary), a hotelier, a heritage person and so on – maybe even a vagrant – God’ fool. Because of the distinction of its members , it would be listened to by a cross section of people which the Free Presses miss. That fact alone – being listened to -is the ‘teeth’ of which I spoke. It might work with and in some respects through one of the free presses or free online newspapers as well as the standard media.

    What I have learned on the Free Presses, is that though there are some who are ill informed and riddled with bigotry and superstition, there are many gifted people too and some of them might also help to form the watchdog – people of integrity that is who are both politically aware and intellectually nuanced..

  13. Dear Robert:

    I only referred to the PEP because Ian suggested them as a candidate for a protest vote of sorts.

    The Third Force concept is likely to be ignored by career politicians. We already have the BCCI, BPSA, BCSI, and CTUSAB as umbrella organisations representing various other organisations. If they cannot get career politicians to act responsibly, then neither may a Third Force.

    I have given some thought to this problem, and I believe that the most effective solution is to remove the major magnet attracting would-be career politicians, namely, pension as previously explained.


  14. robert ross

    @ Grenville

    Thanks for replying. I know nothing about the outfits you mention. Have you the time to enlighten me? Of course, I have in mind a ‘watchdog’ who really does ‘WATCH’ and SNARL…and this without prejudice to your proposal about pensions.

  15. robert ross

    Indeed, it might ‘push’ for the very pension reform you mention.

  16. robert ross

    A further thought…the ‘Force’ might actually stand behind/sponsor/support/campaign for one or more independent candidates – who shared the pension reform proposal.