Thursday, 26 July 2012

Woah, I'm going to Barbados (WITH THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION) - Premium Economy Class, naturally.


  1. Barbados is a bit larger than the Isle of Man with a population of 284,000 – 90% being of African descent.

    The indigenous Taino-Kalingo people were taken into slavery or driven out in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese and Spanish (the Island being named by a Portuguese explorer in 1536).

    The English colonised the territory in 1627 and imported African slaves besides many English, Irish and Scots as slaves, indentured servants or former political troublemakers.

    Poverty and social unrest in the 1930s led to a Royal Commission in 1950 and the introduction of the vote for all adults and creation of other political structures.

    Independence was “granted” in 1966.

    Among the poorest residents today are about 700 “Red Legs” or “Bukra Johnnies” the poor white residue from the indentured /enslaved Brits form the long forgotten past.

    Now migrants from other poorer territories are stretching the housing and other benefits of the Island and “threaten the existing social, economic and political stability”.

    They are becoming the latest political force.

    So who should we identify with here – the Taino-Kalingo people, the African slaves and their descendents, the colonial planters, the indentured Brits or the new Migrants? What is the true voice of Barbados or any community and how might it be heard?

    Answers please to the Jersey Electoral Commission POB 999 Plantation Bar Barbados.

  2. Woah, and you found that out all through a little bit of home based internet research.

  3. And of course, they will refuse to take a day off whilst there, just like the detectives from the Historic Abuse team did to save any further expense!

  4. This is the interesting part from comment one

    "Now migrants from other poorer territories are stretching the housing and other benefits of the Island and “threaten the existing social, economic and political stability”.

    They are becoming the latest political force."

    In Jersey the minority is far from the political force, maybe Baillache (sorry not going to use the word Sir) is fact finding to ensure the minority never has a chance to change things. It certainly seems that Barbados would be a good starting point of how not to do things if you want to keep the status quo.

  5. Excuse me but why are you pertaining to represent St Helier Number 1 when you are not even an elected member of the Assembly?

    1. Bukra Johnnie, I think you mean "purporting"?

  6. Good spot but I ain't no Bukra Johnnie.

    I am still confused by your Blog title though because I live in Number 1 and support James Baker.

  7. The title of this Blog is self explanatory. Perhaps you could ask James Baker to start his own blog and let us have his insights into life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    I understand James Baker is somewhat disillusioned with the job of being Deputy of our district, in that there is a lot of hard work and little glory.It’s such a pity to be put up for a job under false pretenses when there are others capable and willing to give their all (and not just me either). He appeared before PPC recently to lament the current malaise in the States. As a member of the Electoral Commission, he could surely have wangled an economy class seat to Barbados. Will he bother to stand at the next election if his heart is not really in the job? It took seven months for him to make a maiden speech and even the JEP noticed. I assume the voters had an image of something that is not the reality. The right of course did well getting one of theirs in and will want to try and keep the seat, even if only to keep out someone more capable.

    Here are my thoughts on Barbados.

    The post is a satire on the waste of money by two members of the Electoral Commission going to Barbados to find out about their electoral system, when such information could be found easily by a few phone calls to the University of the West Indies and internet research.

    It is also a comment on the fact that the clerk that accompanied the two members did not travel first class like they, but was obliged to travel stowage somewhere in the hold. It smacks of the class system and the serfs should know their place. We that live more prosaic lives have a certain sensibility towards social equality and human dignity. Last night at a public meeting in St Martin about building a new school, there were quite a number of jokes from the floor about States Members and jollies to Barbados. I am not alone in my scepticism.

    For £6000 we could have a variety of reports from academics on what it means to have a democratic constitution, how to overcome 60% voter abstention etc. I suspect few on the Commission have interest in such ideas.

    You might like to listen to the series of lectures by Pierre Rosanvallon France’s most respected academic on the subject of “what is a democratic society?”. The lectures have an English spoken translation. Well done to the Collège de France.

    It will be interesting to see if the final report of the Commission has an extensive appendix on Barbados. I suspect the Chairman went there because it is the model some have in mind for Jersey – independent but with a Lt Governor in plumed hat and quaint connection with the English Crown. Legislation would presumably not have to be vetted for being human rights compliant, which I presume is the reason for delay in the much hailed Work and Housing Law. Big brother is watching you (the legislation is the rump of the UK’s abandoned identity card scheme).

  8. Your opinion of James Baker is simply an opinion.
    What differs between the two of you is that he does not spend all his energies trying to drag the Island down all the time which you seem to have in your head as a way of getting votes.

    1. There are opinions and there are opinions and then there is blind faith.

      From the point of view of the ruling group on the right it does not matter that James feels frustrated by the States. He is blocking a space and knocked out Paul Le Claire. There is no real expectation of performance, provided loyalty is shown.

      I sympathise with James in believing that the institution of which he is a part is dysfunctional, slow and nothing like running a business. I cannot believe you can say that a good job is being done, when on his own admission, he cannot utilise his talents.

      District No.1 is not getting what it deserves – committed Deputies prepared to deal with the many social issues that beset the population – unemployment, addiction, depression. Yes, they all exist, as I met them on the doors as I was canvassing last year. These are island wide issue and increasing as the crisis, which is here now, deepens further.

      "Dragging the island down" is code word for criticising the guys running the show. The people are what really matters, not the vested interests of its comfortable elites.

      Don’t abuse patriotism in the service of the few rather than the many.

  9. nice reply nick, to many Establishment`s troll`s spouting there same old tired rhetoric, change will come though determined people like yourself .
    keep up the good work