Monthly Archives: March 2006

Barbados Gospelfest Contoversy – Where is Jesus?

REVEREND CHARLES MORRIS has blasted the annual Gospelfest slated to be launched this week, stating that few of its songs mention Jesus, and seemed to portray the Saviour as "somebody's boyfriend".

From The Nation News

The good Reverend has a point about Jesus gone missing from many of the songs. But he goes too far for saying music is evil if the tune is "catchy". Good to talk about Jesus anyway.

posted by Shona

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Caricom Human Rights Treaty Promotes An Economic Agenda

Selling Bajans An Economic Agenda Masquerading As Human Rights

What's this, you say? The new Caricom Human Rights treaty is primarily an economic agenda rather than having to do with basic human rights? Let's have a look at an article in today's Stabroek News out of Guyana…

"Work has begun on a Caricom Human Rights Treaty, which will succeed the Charter of Civil Society and will be a legally binding document on which the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) can base judgements."

So we are talking about real and binding law here – assuming that Barbados signs it. What human rights are we talking about…Free speech? Freedom of Religion? Freedom from Racial Discrimination?

Nope – maybe our elites will talk about those minor items later. For now, it is about removing barriers within CARICOM that keep your boss from firing you and hiring a new immigrant who will work for half the price.

"The charter deals with workers' rights, for example, on full and adequate employment, social security policies, the right to earn a wage that offers a decent living, collective bargaining, to foster and promote a good working environment and cross-border mobility of labour among other areas."

So just when did "cross-border mobility of labour" become a "human rights" issue and not an economic one? Since they say it is, I guess!

It reminds me of car salesmen painting up an old car to sell. If he makes it pretty enough, people will forget that underneath the shinny new paint, it is still the same old car that someone tried to sell them last week.

 

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West Indies Blind Cricket Council Launched

From the Trinidad & Tobago Express, we learn that a West Indies Blind Cricket Council has been launched.

Speaking during the launch at the Pommarine Hotel on the Barbados south coast, Committee Head Damion McClean said the council's mains goals this year would be the staging of the inaugural Caribbean Blind Cricket Championship in July in Barbados and sending a West Indies team to the Blind World Cup in South Africa in December.

"We need sponsorship and support. I'm calling on corporate Caribbean. We now speak of integration, CSME and free movement," McClean said.

Of all the burdens on this earth, being blind must be one of the most difficult. It seems to me that this is one project where I wouldn't mind the government giving some of my tax money. May God bless the work of Mr. McClean and his friends.

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Friend of Barbados Deputy PM Mia Mottley Received How Much Government Money? !!!

Mia_Mottley.jpg

UPDATED: 12:05pm March 26, 2006

Scroll down re – reader identifies “Richild” as the correct spelling of Ms. Springer’s first name…

A source within a government office tells us that a “good friend” of Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley (shown above) has been receiving rather outrageous government “consulting” contracts for at least the last three years – and maybe much longer.

The “good friend” is Richild Springer – daughter of Sir Hugh Worrell Springer, Governor-General of Barbados from 1984 to 1990. Springer now lives in Paris, France, and journeys back to Barbados once or twice a year when she receives government contracts to “consult” – usually about dancing, culture and choreography.

Our source says that a two-week contract has paid as much as Barbados $30,000… and that Ms. Springer has also been a house-guest of Mia Mottley.

Yes, that’s what we said… “Thirty-thousand Barbados Dollars” for two weeks of ‘consulting’. The source also maintains that while Richild Springer was once a professional calibre ballet teacher, her advanced arthritis means that the only “choreography” she could do these days would be while sitting in a chair or leaning on her cane.

Our source also reports that rumours are flying that this “good friend” situation has been threatening to boil over for a while, and in fact, was a factor in Mia Mottley’s apparent demotion during the last cabinet shuffle.

“If this story got out, the Prime Minister couldn’t very well ask Mia Mottley as Attorney General to investigate herself for wrong doing!” …says our source.

So, Deputy Prime Minister Mottley… what is the story? Has the government of Barbados ever made any sort of payment to Ms. Springer? What for? How much? When? Did you ever suggest, approve or have anything to do with awarding the contract to your “good friend” ?

If the source has everything totally wrong, just say so, Ms. Mottley. Just say so.

(By the way – do any of our readers have any other photos of Richild Springer?)

UPDATED: 12:05pm March 26, 2006

One of our readers clarified that Ms. Springer’s first name is correctly spelled as “Richild” and directs us to the website of the Barbados National Cultural Foundation.

The Barbados National Cultural Foundation website has this to say about Ms. Springer…

“- Ongoing workshops conducted by internationally acclaimed dancers-like Barbados-born Richild Springer (resident in Paris), France’s Pascal Couillaud and Jamiaca’s Barbara Requa and L’Antoinette Stines-have generated increased demands for local dance studios.”

The questions now become…

– Was Richild Springer in fact paid $30,000 Barbados each year for 2 weeks work?

– Was Springer also paid travel, meals and residence expenses?

– Was Springer paid these expenses while staying as a house-guest of Mia Mottley?

– What did Springer do? How many hours of work, where and when? How was this audited? Were members of the public present? Who are the students? How many years has this been going on?

– Considering Springer’s arthritis, just how much dancing is she capable of?

The Central Bank of Barbados lists the average per capita income as US$7,350.00. That means that Richild Springer is being paid two-year’s annual income for an average Barbadian for just two weeks of “consulting”… plus expenses, of course.

Disgusting.

Some of our additional questions and answering excerpts from the NCF website…

Where did the Barbados National Cultural Foundation come from?

“The National Cultural Foundation is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament in 1983. Its mandate is to oversee the cultural landscape of Barbados…”

How Many Friends of Government Now Feeding At This Trough? …

“Also during the early years of its operations (1984 – 1995) the head of this organisation was called the Director, a term which was subsequently changed to Chief Executive Officer in 1994 to reflect the new role and expanded focus on the business of culture.

There are now Cultural Officers, rather than Officers attached to zones, for each artistic discipline, namely: Visual Arts (which encompasses Fine Art and Craft), Literary Arts, Music, Dance and Theatre Arts and Research.

In addition, the Foundation now has an eight-member internal Management Team comprising: the Chief Executive Officer, Manager of Administration, Financial Controller, Chief Cultural Officer, Senior Business Development Officer, Technical Officer, Marketing Officer and Corporate Communications Specialist.”

So What is the Primary Mission of the NCF? …

“Mission Statement:

To fuel the development of culture through training, research and the creation of opportunities in cultural industries.

The Role of the NCF

The NCF’s two major roles are: developmental and commercial. In its developmental role, the Foundation uses culture as a tool for national development fostering and supporting the various art forms and new cultural products. In its commercial role, the Foundation is responsible for the promotion, production and hosting of cultural festivals and associated events that are considered economically viable or socially acceptable. A key part of this function now includes the responsibility for the staging and execution of major governmental and national events.”

(I see… tax money for “staging and execution of major governmental and national events.”

Who Is on The Board? …

Mr. Al Gilkes Chairman
Mr. H Adrian Cummins Deputy Chairman
Mrs. Carol Nicholls Member
Mr. Hal Gollop Member
Mrs. Beverley Alleyne Member
Mrs. Denyse Menard-Greenidge Member
Ms. Alissandra Cummins Member
Mr. Oliver Jordan Member
Dr. Ikael Tafari Member
Ms. Carla Springera Member

HEY…. Is “Carla Springera” as shown on the website really “Carla Springer” and related to Richild Springer? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?

hmmmmmm….. Shona can dance – and probably a lot better than Richild Springer at this stage. If Shona had a relative on the Board of Directors, could she get some of that easy money too? Where might she apply?

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Claude Alexander Allen – Barbados Connection To White House Drama

Claude Alexander Allen was Domestic Policy Advisor to President George W. Bush until shortly before his March 9, 2006 arrest for theft at a Target store. By all accounts, Mr. Allen has been a model husband, father and Christian, and people just can't believe he would do such a thing.

The Barbados connection? Mr. Allen's wife Jannese is from Barbados.

Richmond Times-Dispatch article here.

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Toronto TV News – Barbados Hospital “Squalid, Crumbling, Urine On Floor”

The story of an elderly Canadian who broke his hip on vacation is developing into major negative publicity for Barbados in the Canadian media.

According to Toronto’s Pulse 24 Television News, 91 year-old Guiessepe Fiorillo “was sent to a crumbling and ill equipped hospital” in Barbados where the conditions are “squalid” and “abysmal” with urine on the floor and “birds flying into the room.”

Regardless of any hyperbole or inaccuracies in the story, the fact that a major television station in Canada’s largest city (population over 3 million plus suburbs) is saying such things about Barbados is not a good thing.

What will be the response of the Barbados government and tourism organizations?

Minister of Health Jerome Walcott told The Nation Newspaper that he disputes parts of the Toronto TV story, but that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital had its “challenges”.

Well, that should inspire confidence in any Canadians contemplating a visit to Cricket World Cup in 2007.

A glass of rum punch for Toronto blogger & Bajan, Jdid at Doan Mind Me. (Hey Jdid, how’s the new little one and Mommy doin?)

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Barbados Stockpiling Anti-Bird Flu Drug

“Prime minister Owen Arthur said that his government had decided to deploy resources now rather than adopt a wait-and-see policy in the face of the threat.

Arthur said he had given permission to his minister of health “to pay to stockpile the drugs” now so the country “would be ready” if the virus reaches the island.”

Only the Lord knows where the money is going to come from. Barbados hasn’t even paid it’s government drug-plan pharmacists for three months.

Linda Tompkins has the bird-flu details at My Barbados Blog.

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