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FLYING FISH & COU COU: Henry got it wrong


FLYING FISH & COU COU: Henry got it wrong

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AS AMERICAN POLITICAL pundits ponder how Hillary Clinton lost what appeared to be certain electoral victory, strategists here are asking how the kingmaker got it so wrong and the implications of this for the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

Hartley Henry, the man widely acclaimed for masterminding the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) victory in 2008 after 14 years in opposition, had forecast a big Hillary win at the polls because Donald Trump’s campaign seemed not to have the necessary infrastructure “on the ground”. His assessment came after he visited a number of states in monitoring the poll.

That Hartley was so off the mark has left several Barbadians accustomed to his accuracy in poll predictions, especially BLPites with whom he reportedly now associates, totally apprehensive. Some have even asked if his brand has been damaged.

But Hillary and Hartley were not the only losers on Tuesday. Cou Cou understands that Mia Mottley is quietly sad too. According to operatives, the Opposition Leader was hoping to be able to encourage Barbadians to follow the example of the British and Americans and put a woman in charge.

On the other hand, Trump’s success is being viewed by Dems as a classic example of how to win a poll despite having obvious character flaws and without fully defining policy objectives.

Based on what their operatives told Cou Cou, the Dems were impressed by Trump’s appeal to patriotism as he played on Americans’ innate prejudices and fears, similar to their basic campaign strategy in 2008 and 2013. It encouraged their belief that once they can exploit the morality issue effectively, together with other electoral tactics, they should have a good shot at re-election despite their woeful economic performance. 

The only concern some Dems operatives have is whether Freundel Stuart or Donville Inniss should lead the party into the election. They reason that Inniss’ positive public image of being a straight talking, can-do minister would energise the party’s profile and present a fresh look for the voters to tackle the resurgent Bees.

The problem with this scenario is that Stuart may not be too willing to step aside; neither would Richard Sealy, Chris Sinckler nor David Estwick readily accept Inniss’ leadership.

Revisiting Sandi’s plan 

COULD GOVERNMENT BE contemplating a novel relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in which the agency advises it on a day-to-day basis, but without Barbados going into an actual programme?

That’s what stakeholders are asking given that IMF officials were this week conducting discussions with key people in business and Government.

Cou Cou understands that Government called in the IMF to share its expertise on what more can be done to shore up Barbados’ woeful weakening economy short of shedding jobs, stopping the printing of money and cutting spending.

The big question people in the know are asking is that with the IMF’s last Article IV consultation mere months old, what more can the body say to help the Freundel Stuart regime realise that it needs to bite the bullet and implement measures that would immediately fix the economy, rather than just saying the right things and thereafter taking no action.

Operatives suggest Government hopes to use the IMF’s wisdom to devise a short-term plan to enable it to get some goodies to spread around for the general elections, then impose austerity measures immediately afterwards similar to what Erskine Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd) did in 1991.