Daily Archives: March 10, 2007

Moving Back To Jamaica…. The Blog, Not The Reality!

Our blogging friend Fwade at Moving Back To Jamaica Blog has taken issue with my Prayer for Jamaica this morning.

That’s just fine with us. If we don’t talk about issues of culture, we will never understand each other – even if it is to say “We’ll just have to agree to disagree, then.”

Good thing he missed our post Just Another Day In CARICOM: Jamaican Hotel Construction Workers Riot, Burn, Employee Shot By Police, Management Airlifted Out By Helicopter

… which was about a story on his other blog: Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle.

Anyway, here’s a hello to Fwade. Perhaps we will get together someday for flying fish & Banks beer… or jerk chicken & Red Stripe.

On the last day, there is more that brings us together than separates us.

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, CARICOM

Barbados Dictatorship To Change Constitution With Zero Notice, No Public Debate, No Public Release Of Proposed Changes

By Not Even Allowing Citizens To See & Debate The Proposed Constitutional Changes Beforehand, The Barbados Government Shows An Elitist & Dangerous Contempt For Citizens & Democracy. Why the Secrecy? Why The Rush?

This Is Democracy?

We are witnessing history in the making. Well, actually, ‘witnessing’ is not the right word because Bajans are not allowed to look. But don’t worry though: our leaders are telling us that it is going to be alright and we know they would never mislead us.

The Nation’s headline yesterday A Free Rein was a dead giveaway. Ain’t nothin be free in this world, with the possible exception of this blog…

It seems that the Government is going to amend our constitution next week. They intend to rush this through by taking the most unusual step of debating and passing the bill on Tuesday and then referring it to the Senate to be passed there on Wednesday. And right after that we will be treated to Owen Arthur’s presentation of the 2007 Financial and Economic Policy Statement. (Is there a coincidence here that we are missing?)

So we decided to take a look at this far reaching bill which will affect government and business affairs far into the future.

Citizens Not Allowed To See Constitutional Changes Beforehand

We went to the Barbados Parliament Web Site where they list “Bills and Resolutions Before the House”. Maybe the government put the proposed constitutional changes up on the web for all to see… Nope: Nothing, zero, no posting. We tried to Google it. Same result. Perhaps the proposed changes were printed in the newspapers… nope. Not there either.

The Government of Barbados put out a press release on a Friday that it intends to ram through a change to the Constitution on Tuesday. And Barbados citizens are not even allowed to see the wording of the amended Constitution prior to the change.

Oh Oh…

We have been treated in the last few days to a heated debate between DLP loyalists and BLP insiders as to whether or not there was a unanimous vote in parliament regarding the CWC security legislation. It seems those who were there, the people who represent us there in parliament, have amnesia. They can’t remember who voted for what. Were any of them there that day? And there is nowhere for us common folk to go to find out the truth.

And folks – that was just about a few cricket matches.

An Elitist and Dangerous Contempt For Citizens & Democracy

So now the same bunch are going to rush ahead and pass a law that is a fundamental change to our constitution, for all time, for our country and the way it operates from now until forever. No public notice, no debate, none of us are even allowed to look at it.

We have seen this before of course last year when the government rushed through the bill to amend the Highway Traffic Act. Our geniuses forgot to put in drunk driving laws, not to mention other oversights that would have been pointed out if only we had seen it beforehand. They quickly pulled it, tried to hide their embarrassment and sloughed it off as ‘just one of those things’. Right!

When a country is making constitutional changes; fundamental changes to our independent country are taking place. Can we not slow this down and let some outsiders such as lawyers and constitutional legal experts, take a long look at it? Something as important as this needs to be put up for debate and all people that are effected need to be heard from. That is the only way to get it right. That is what democracy is all about.

We would like to continue this discussion but, alas, we are prevented from knowing what our politicians are doing, or even if any of them have read it, because they won’t tell us.

This Is Democracy?

No, it is a devious bunch of people who pretend to be our leaders, playing hide and seek with us. I guess they think we are too stupid to think about what might be good for our own country.

For God’s sake, Owen Arthur, put a stop to this insanity. You too David Thompson if you are part of this scandal. If we need fundamental changes to our constitution tell us why, tell us what, and let us maybe point out what you may not have thought of.

What possible harm can come from postponing this process? It can only make you look like leaders who actually believe in democracy and respect the rights of the citizens of Barbados.

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Lapdog Barbados Media Silent On Government’s Abuse Of Democracy

Once again, The Nation News has allowed the government to use them as a press release service. Albert Brandford’s article on the rushed and secret constitutional changes is nothing more or less than a government advertisement. The Barbados Advocate didn’t even bother to mention that, “Oh by the way, Government will be changing the constitution in a few days – but don’t worry about it”

Same with the CBC – no mention that government intends to change the Constitution next Tuesday. No questions. No debate. Nothing.

What a pathetic excuse for journalism. The Barbados media has long forgotten its duty to the country.

Lapdogs who keep silent in exchange for continued government advertising revenues.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Interview With Barbados Taxi Driver Margaurita Haynes Published In South Africa

“We can’t take our rum or our picnics, not even a drink of water into the grounds. No plastic bottles…what is that for?” asks my taxi driver, Margaurita Haynes, one of only three lady taxi drivers in Bridgetown, she tells me proudly.

“The ticket prices are too high – we can’t afford them – and if we could then we can’t have a good time and watch the cricket like we have always done. And all the people who sell food and drinks around the ground, outside the ground, they been cleared away. They can’t earn their living any more during the World Cup. It’s not right, I mean, I don’t understand it, but it doesn’t seem right. My cousin has been selling flying fish outside the Kensington Oval for 20 years, now she can’t. But everyone tells us that the World Cup is for all the people of Barbados. It doesn’t feel like it,” says Haynes

... from Flying Fish Burger Reality – South African Super Cricket News

Neil Manthorp’s interview of Marguarita Haynes is but a small section of his insightful article. South Africa went through much of the same trials in 2003 that we’re facing now, but in the end it all worked out – according to Manthorp at least.

His article ends this way…

No doubt this will still be a lovely World Cup. But it will be a shame if the locals feel shunned and the traveling supporters remember the beaches and parties more than the games.

The new regulations, which are as much about making money as they are about security, cost the 2003 event its soul and robbed it of much of its South African flavour. Cricket in the Caribbean means dancing, drinking rum, playing music and having a party. It always has. The challenge for the ICC and event organisers is to make sure the restrictive regulations don’t rob the 2007 event of that magic.

Our thanks to BFP reader A for sending us this article.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Traveling and Tourism

How Many Barbados Hotels Have Closed In The Last 12 Years?

BFP Readers – Can You Help?

The below is a list of hotels/apartments on Barbados that have closed over the last 12 years.

I am preparing a very important report on tourism development and would be very grateful if BFP readers are aware of any other properties I have not included.

1. Tropicana Beach Hotel
2. Kings Beach
3. The Regent
4. Glitter Bay
5. Paradise Beach
6. Sierra Beach
7. Apple Experience
8. Oasis
9. St. Lawrence Apartments
10. Eastry House
11. Sam Lords
12. Windsurf Beach
13. Club Rockley
14. Caribbee
15. Club Rockley
16. Coconut Creek
17. Little Paradise
18. Sunshine Beach Hotel
19. Fairholme Apartments
20. Sunhaven Beach Hotel

Very Many Thanks

Adrian Loveridge

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Parliament Website Drops Opposition Leader’s Webpage For Months – Nobody Notices Or Cares

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If The DLP Doesn’t Care Enough To Mention It – Why Should The BLP Government Fix It?

The webpage for DLP Opposition Leader David Thompson has been off line for at least four months at the Barbados Parliament website. Clive stumbled across this last November and thought “That would make a good article”, but then like so many story ideas it just fell to the bottom of the list until we were talking earlier this week and somebody said, “What ever happened to that story…”

Yup… as of Friday, March 9, 2007, the webpage is still missing – a “404” in the language of the net.

Four Points…

1/ The Barbados Parliament website is worth a visit.

2/ The beauty and functionality of the Barbados Parliament website proves that the government has the technical capability to post accountability information on the web for all to see…. if it wanted to do so. The government just doesn’t want to have that information made available to citizens.

The website is well done technically and visually, but is missing so much information that could be posted there for all to see: debates, attendance records for elected members, links to the non-existent Auditor General’s website and reports and so on. The website could have all kinds of information to assist citizens in monitoring the activities of Parliament and holding their appointed and elected government officials accountable.

You know… to facilitate real participatory democracy and all that stuff.

Don’t expect this information to be posted under the current BLP regime – or under a newly-elected DLP government. The DLP and BLP piggies are much too busy climbing into the trough and don’t want any obstacles like Integrity Legislation put in their way. Can’t you hear them squealing? Oink Oink!

3/ Maybe Its A Coincidence That Only The Opposition Leader’s Page Is Missing

Yes. That’s it. Must be a coincidence that the Opposition Leader’s page went missing but not the Prime Minister’s page.

4/ The DLP have no ongoing organized plan to monitor the electronic media or they would have caught this months ago.

Any professional organization these days realizes the value of the electronic media and the damage that can be done if their message is missing or corrupted. That’s why professional organizations employ people and software to check on important websites daily. There is all kinds of software out there that will automatically check web pages and report any changes – minute by minute if that’s what is needed.

The missing Opposition Leader’s page isn’t just a missing page – after four months, it is a message that says “We’re the DLP and we’re not even capable of monitoring our own Leader’s website, let alone running a government.”

Here is the Official Parliamentary Webpage of The Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition For The Sovereign Nation Of Barbados…

barbados-opposition-leader.jpg

Story Links

Barbados Parliament website

Barbados Parliament – Opposition Leader’s Webpage

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Marcus Says A Morning Prayer For Jamaica

Finally Saturday!

Good morning folks. Neither Shona nor I are working today so we are going to take it easy. Big feed tonight with family and friends, hopefully outside but the weather doesn’t look too friendly at the moment. We have a new leak in the roof so I’ll get to that after lunch if I can. If not, then some other day.

I am on island time today…

Jamaican Gangs

This morning I was surfing around and came across Jamaicans.Com weekly news summary. After reading the good and the bad, once more I thank God for my good wife and son, my family and friends and for being born in Barbados. No matter what problems we face here, there are good people in Jamaica who must think every morning “Why did you put me here, Lord?”

Lest anyone take that as a backhand against Jamaica – nope, it is just an acknowledgment of the way things are. Everyone could use a little prayer, and I think I’ll say one this morning for the folks in Torrington Park, Jamaica…

GANGS AND GUNMEN CAUSE FAMILIES TO FLEE TORRINGTON PARK—03/08/07

In Torrington Park, lower St. Andrew, residents are panicked and fearful, and over 20 families have already left the area. Residents suffer attacks, and some have been killed, while children are too traumatized to attend school. Gunmen invade the houses of the families who have left and steal their appliances. Some women say they run away at night and return to their homes in the morning. The fighting is not political, says Superintendent Delroy Hewitt, but results from an internal gang feud. Hewitt said additional resources have been put into the area to help resolve the problem.

… from Jamaicans.Com Newsweekly (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, CARICOM