Daily Archives: August 2, 2006

Barbados is Dangerously Close to Being A One-Party State.

One of our readers, Trueblue, seems to take issue with our caring at all about the DLP’s lack of effectiveness and posted this comment to the Barbados Free Press article Barbados Labour Party Says Roads Are Improving – DLP Says… Well, Nothing Really…

BFP: do you publish what the DLP says about the economy? Do you publish any of the House comments carried in the newspaper? Where do you want the DLP to say it: on your site?

Lets be real. The people elected the BLP not the DLP. And gave them 23 seats – before Mascoll did his nonsense – so why should the DLP be in the equation?

To which the Barbados Free Press editor replied…

Hi Trueblue

Our main point again and again is that the DLP has no online presence and haven’t been able to arrange something as simple as putting up their website in the last year.

The DLP or somebody should be in the equation as we are becoming dangerously close to becoming a one-party state – with all the associated dangers to personal freedoms.

The BLP’s conduct in the last year has been proof enough that too much power corrupts.

Now, a reader points us to a Nation Newspaper article Jones: Not Easy Being In Opposition. An excerpt…

“…the extensive control of persons in strategic positions in other media houses; governments’ utilisation of departments of communication and information; the positioning and repositioning of the governing party henchmen and hench-women in strategic decision-making positions; and the manipulation of state resources to their advantage, thus allowing for an even greater thunder of voice”.

“In this environment,” Jones said, “the voices of others are significantly drowned out. People then clamour for a greater voice from the parliamentary opposition without realising that the opposition can sometimes face insurmountable odds, particularly when it follows traditional methods of appealing to the people.

Our Message To The DLP: Quit Whining, Put Up A Website, Work Harder

These DLP guys and gals should leave the whining to us until they at least take advantage of existing opportunities to connect directly with the electorate.

Will somebody please give them the US$7.99 per month that it takes to have a website hosted?

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Fantasy – Specific Taxes To Fund Specific Programmes

A few weeks ago, the papers were alive with debate and outrage over a Barbados Government plan to levy a special tax, a “user fee”, upon water sports – supposedly to facilitate the formation of a special force of “sea rangers” who would then be used to protect the environment in coastal areas.

“User Fees” are, in effect, nothing more than additional taxes directed at specific markets. Governments throughout the ages have long sought to conceal additional taxation under the guise of “user fees”.

The idea is that at a certain point, the public will rebel against further general tax increases – whether income tax, property tax or general consumption taxes like the VAT or import duties.

To get around this resistance, the Government “divides and conquers” through the imposition of narrowly focused taxes upon highly specific activities.

And Always The Promise Of The Government…

“We are only collecting these user fees to fund a very important project for which there are not enough funds in the general revenues.”

But like highway taxes that don’t build highways, and airport fees that never lengthen a runway, a “watersports” tax has little chance of being directed towards the cleaning up of the coast.

Nope, any additional tax revenues will undoubtedly have to go to the interest on the Cricket World Cup – for many years to come.

Tide Against Water Charge
Published on: 7/12/06 – The Nation Newspaperby ROY R. MORRIS

GOVERNMENT is about to start charging watersports operators or their clients every time they go snorkelling, diving, sailing, skiing or participate in other activities in any area designated as a marine protected zone.

It’s all part of a larger plan to set up a Barbados Marine Management Agency to manage and protect the island’s coastal areas, with funds going toward the establishment of a special force of “sea rangers” who would be vested with some of the powers now held by the police and Coast Guard…

Continue reading the story in The Nation News here

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption