Barbados is a wonderful country full of good people – but we have this one huge problem with a long-established culture of corruption and entitlement in politics and government service. Barbados Free Press and other reform-minded folks believe that the only way the culture will change is if the international community starts examining the Barbados government’s actions, inaction and policies with a critical eye in decisions regarding Barbados investments, property ownership and business deals.

International visitors to Barbados Free Press are usually shocked when they learn that Barbados government officials are not prohibited from accepting gifts of any value from land developers or companies that receive government contracts.

No Integrity Legislation exists in Barbados. As a result, powerful Government Ministers do not have to declare their assets or explain (for instance) how it is that, as a Member of the Cabinet that approves the expropriation of privately-owned lands, a Minister of Government can come to live upon a choice building lot that was forceably taken from an owner – using the full power of the Government.

Even our recently deceased Prime Minister, David Thompson, was embroiled in a conflict of interest scandal where he refused to allow independent oversight and transparency in the collapse of CLICO Barbados – a public company run by his best friend, Leroy Parris. Not only that, Prime Minister Thompson appointed Mr. Parris to be in charge of Caribbean Broadcasting – CBC – so Parris has control over what the news media tells the Bajan public about Clico and other matters of national interest.

Integrity, transparency and accountability are just words to Barbados politicians, but to fellow taxpayers the failure of successive Barbados governments to implement and enforce ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) says “corruption”.

To international investors, the refusal of Barbados governments to define and regulate obvious conflicts of interest by elected and appointed officials says “higher risk”. After all, nothing says “banana republic” like the fact that Barbados citizens have an expectation and an acceptance that government officials will become millionaires while in office.

9 responses to “About

  1. nancy smith

    What a shame. Is there any remote part of this earth free of exploitation? I was also sad to hear the land is now owned by government and leased by residents.
    Oil exploration off the coast? I hope and pray that never happens.
    On another note — I was reading about your sugar industry and how cheaper production elsewhere has undermined your island industry, but they cannot compare to the unique growing conditions and therefore the unique qualities of your Reserve sugars. Bravo! Marketing it should be a cinch with all the new FoodNetwork shows we enjoy in the USA.
    I also (as a photographer) use a new kind of fine art paper — made of bagasse. Unless you need it all for renewing the soil, might you consider producing this fabulous paper? My photos look like fine water colour paintings when I use the sugar cane paper to print.
    Cheers to all the locals!
    Nancy A. Smith

  2. Colin L Beadon

    About Sugar. Will there be a shortage ?

    Many of our island sugar fields are in disarray, neglected. I’ve never seen crops looking so woe-filled, and to think last year was a record rainfall year. Our St John figures, collected daily through the last 15 years, show a record high ten inches over previous records years.
    Four of the major sugar producing countries are under serious flood conditions, with much of their producing zones swept away and mudded over with their farmsteads, and much life and equipment, gone.
    We remember suggesting it seemed so stupid to neglect our sugar industry here in this island. You can postulate and add up all the figures you want, and professors can draw all their graphs to show why we should stop producing sugar, but this is not the time or the age to do it in. We have reached a Complexity Horizon, and forgotten that Earth systems go chaotic.

  3. Peter Webster

    A famous Roman (Julius Caesar?) is on record as having made the dire prediction (which may be roughly translated from the ancient Latin) “All of our arable lands are already being cultivated and our population is growing daily. Soon we will not be able to feed everyone”. In the ensuing two thousand years Criticrats, Doom and Gloomers and others who lack faith (in mankind only?) are still posing the same question, even though the world’s population has increased ten-fold to 7 billion and there is still enough food being produced to feed every human on earth. Furthermore, we have the technology and resources to increase current production by as much as 50%. There is obviously a finite production limit but how much that is and when that will be achieved remains to be seen but we can rest assured that it will not be in our lifetime.

    The food supply problems we have result from cost and affordability. The producers (farmers) need to earn a living too! They have demonstrated over and over that they can and will increase production of food any time they are adequately compensated. However the poor and hungry cannot afford to meet the cost of food and this is compounded by the fact that the farm gate price averages somewhere between 20% and 50% of the market price. The cost of handling, storage, processing, transport and marketing (value added) contributes between 50% and 80% of the market price.

    So why do we keep expecting the producer/farmer to feed the poor and hungry? Governments the world over subsidise housing, health, education, transport, and utilities for the poor but are not supposed to subsidise the most basic and important item needed by the poor – food ! Logic seems to be lacking.

    Peter Webster

  4. Peter Webster

    The following article was submitted to the Nation and the Advocate but tey have not published it.

    October 16, 2011 designated as “World Food day” has come and gone – or has it? For too many of the billion hungry people the world over, most days are “no food day”. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) promoted the theme “Food Prices – From Crisis to Stability” to highlight a worldwide trend that is “hurting the poor consumer, the small producer and agriculture in general” because “food prices which were stable for decades have become increasingly volatile”. They concluded that “controlling prices was key to the fight against hunger”.
    FAO further lamented that “Agriculture cannot respond fast enough with increased food production because of long-term under-investment in research, technology, equipment and infrastructure”.
    The statement by the FAO Director General, Dr. Jacques Diouf, leaves several unanswered questions: Why did FAO emphasise the volatility or fluctuation of food prices and not the fact that the prices were higher although fluctuating? How do higher prices hurt producers and agriculture in general? Why does FAO concern itself with the hungry? Since when are the interests of food producers the same as those of consumers? Could the high price of energy be a contributing factor to high food prices? and Why is there under-investment in agriculture?
    It is unfortunate that the FAO statement does not distinguish between the food producers and distributors. Promoting more investment in agriculture is like “pushing rope” since it deals with an effect and not the cause! Food producers around the world have repeatedly increased their production when they are adequately rewarded for their investment. Our experience in Barbados supports this. When our government in 1971 taxed all of the nasty profits out of our highly efficient sugar industry (over $50 million between 1974 and 1981) the result was dwindling capital investment in the industry with productivity falling by 50% from a high of over ten tonnes of sugar per hectare to the five tonnes per hectare currently being achieved.
    Our people supposedly abhor agriculture but several are reputed to be cultivating marijuana in discreet nooks and crannies around the island despite the risk of imprisonment. Why are they not growing sweet potatoes and yams? Could it be that cultivation of the latter is not lucrative enough?
    We need to stop expecting the food producers to feed the poor and hungry – this is society’s responsibility not the food producers who are trying to earn a living!
    I strongly recommend that FAO focus on its mandate to promote food production and leave the job of feeding the hungry to those with that conflicting mandate. In the process FAO should ensure that OXFAM and other food-aiders feed the hungry with fresh, healthy food from their poor countries like rice, yams, sweet potatoes, vegetables and coconut water instead of over-processed and unhealthy wheat flour and powdered milk. This would promote food production in the very countries where most of the hungry are located. Unfortunately, such action would put the food-aiders out of work and we cannot have that, can we?
    I recall hearing President Bush (the son) admit in the dying days of his Presidency (October, 2008) that the USA had made a mistake in providing food-aid to poor countries. He concluded that the USA should have helped the countries to produce their own food instead. At the time I thought “Wow! I wonder how many people have heard and will remember this”. Obviously not many!
    FAO also supports the “elimination of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies in rich countries”. Rubbish! Agricultural subsidies have been practiced by the rich countries for centuries. It is one of the reasons why they are rich! Their economies are not bled by having to import billions of $ in foreign food. Subsidies promote their agricultural industries, maintain their producers’ standard of living and contribute significantly to their economies by providing value added opportunities which amount to more than half of the value of their agricultural industry. They also promote their countries’ food security. Such subsidies only distort trade in agricultural commodities when the surpluses they tend to produce are dumped on the world market at less than their real cost of production. It is the act of dumping that distorts the trade not the subsidies!
    Governments the world over subsidise housing, health, education, transport, and utilities for the poor but are not supposed to subsidise the most basic and important item needed by the poor – food ! Logic seems to be lacking. Furthermore, if the subsidies are eliminated where would the food-aiders get their cheap food to feed the hungry? Round and round we go….!
    Peter Webster
    NB: Peter Webster is a retired Portfolio Manager of the Caribbean Development Bank and a former Senior Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture.


    Its good to see that Barbados Free Press , Knows what We talking about here at Bajan Free Party,
    YOUR words are on points ,All of what we are seeing wrong now in and on Barbados has to do with the Ownership PLANTATIONS lands and the deeds.
    How many took so much and still more still here than what they took for more than 25 years of Land Fraud, Its a plan it seems once in office you can get a slice of the Massive Fraud for you, your friends , family and others. Many PMs and Ministers ATTORNEY GENERALS and lawyers have us all talking and getting no where , Its why We put the names up to give sight of Who the Persons and How it works, We here at Bajan Free Party have been looking in to what happen and who is to blame , But with the head of Police that is there now , He Also have to have a hand in this CRIME to do nothing , Just Name the heads of the Departments and you will see who was in place to cover for each other.

  6. 73

    All of you, I would like to request that you learn to write in proper English before publishing such absurdity.
    One cannot have multiple subjects for a single predicate. Just sayin.


  7. 108

    Mr. or Ms. 73, proper English or not, why are you attacking the messenger?

  8. Colin Leslie Beadon

    Around every village there should be village allotments in walking distance of homes so people who want to bend their backs a little, can grow their own foods on their own or rented lots. This is done in may other countries including Britain and Cuba. Just small lots are needed. Work can be done early morning, or in the cool of the late evening, and there are many ways to stop predial larceny, which it the prime excuse here in Barbados, for not getting soil under fingernails.

  9. The major problem with Mankind: The more food and water needed, the more trees will be cut, the more pollution will be caused by the further energy demand and methods to grow, move and ship food products to keep people from starving as world population zooms. It is an energy and population growth problem at its worst.

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