Daily Archives: March 15, 2007

Interview With Stephen Alleyne – CEO of the Barbados World Cup

Interview from the Financial Express, India:

“The World Cup will forever transform the image of Barbados…”

“An environmentally sound, green and clean Barbados…”

“Improve the quality of life for the ordinary Bajan…”

Read the interview here

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket

DLP Blog Added To Our Sidebar

Sorry we forgot to add it earlier on – but it is there now in a couple of spots.

DLP Blog (link here

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Politics & Corruption

How Long To Pay Back $51 Million Barbados “Investment” In Harrison’s Cave?

Answer: A Long, Long Time…

Before Harrison’s Cave closed it was Barbados’s most visited attraction with around 150,000 people each year paying on average an admission fee of BDS$20, when children and tour groups are taken into account.

From media reports the upgraded facility will be re-opening shortly for ICC World Cup Cricket then close again until November 2007.

The adult full price admission will then be increased to BDS$40.

Therefore to recoup the $51 million ‘investment’ before any allowances are made for staffing and operational costs or repayment of interest, and wrongly assuming that each visitor will pay the full $40 entrance charge, at current visitation levels it will take eight and a half years to recover the debt.

Add on the interest payable, staffing and all the other associated expenses and it is difficult to comprehend how yet another Government owned private company can recoup the vast amounts of money ploughed into it.

The acting Caves of Barbados Inc., CEO quoted figures of 60,000 cruise ship passengers and another 40,000 long stay visitors attending the World Cup Cricket matches being held in Barbados, but are these figures really plausible?

Less than 30,000 overseas visitors attended the last ICC World Cup Cricket event and we have already been told hotel occupancy is only around 60 per cent.

Of the quoted 18 cruise ships mooring in Bridgetown, this is now apparently down to 11, including what can only be described as mega yachts which accommodate around 100 passengers.

Is this yet another GEMS in the making?

The Minister of Tourism has to explain the figures and justification for spending $51 million and exactly how this enormous figure is going to be repaid.

Adrian Loveridge
13 March 2007

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Puppy Dog Barbados Auditor General Gets Shiny New Collar!

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Government Controls What He Audits And When He Goes Out To Pee – Good Doggy!

The hits on our three part series on the Constitutional changes have gone crazy. The overwhelming majority express frustration and anger at the government for the disdain being shown regarding a matter that is on everyone’s minds i.e. that government borrowing and spending are out of control. I guess it is not a surprise that few think the DLP would do anything to change things, at least the way they are going right now.

Everyone knows that the only way to get spending and debt back under control is to prescribe and take some bitter medicine. On a personal scale people are willing to do that in order to stave off disaster and avoid suffering the anguish of losing it all. Out here in poor people country we call it ‘time to cut up the credit cards and hunker down – spend less than what we take in -use the difference to pay off debt.’ It hurts but it works.

But the Illusionist sees it another way. While things keep getting worse brag that your new changes in the law are fixing everything. Little noticed in the furore over the changes to the Constitution is the companion Financial Management and Audit Act, 2007. According to all the huffing and puffing in the preamble to this bill we find great pompous reassurances. The stated purpose of this baby that the government is about to foist on us is to provide “greater accountability and greater transparency” and “the fuller disclosure of government’s financial activities”. It is also advertised to give the Auditor General “a greater degree of financial independence”.

The Auditor General Has Greater Independence? … Afraid Not

After wading through pages and page of mind numbing legalese and starting to think that maybe some progress was being made in this new bill we came to Section 48. Now correct us if we are wrong but we thought that the Auditor General’s job was to check up on what the Government, including the Cabinet, was doing with our money. So you’d think that it might be a good idea that the Auditor General and department would be given independent power to look wherever they thought necessary; that they could compel production of any information they required and generally look in every nook and cranny, even under the carpets. That would be the way, we would think, to be sure the job got done and we would receive a financial report card that we could rely on.

But that is not the way the Illusionist Owen Arthur is going to have it done.

According to section 48 the Cabinet is in charge of telling the Auditor General what he can and can’t do, what books he is allowed to see and what questions he is not allowed to ask.

Reminds us of the joke of the fox being in charge of the chicken house.

Or the time one of our young nephews ‘lost’ his report card and managed to concoct one of his own (got caught though because his parents are not as dumb as they look).

According to Owen Arthur’s new law the Auditor General will get its marching orders, including its orders to stop marching, from the very people that he is meant to be checking up on!

Oh and guess who approves the Auditor General’s budget including those handy perks such as free cars, trips, etc? If you guessed ‘the Cabinet’ you get a prize which, unfortunately, is a front row ticket to the show put on by the Illusionist which we are calling ‘Arthur in Wonderland.’ The way things are going now, we are sad to announce, in the second act the Auditor General will no longer have a part.

In the last of the three part series the other day we wanted to see if we would get answers to a few simple questions. We regret to advise that instead we got bafflegab. Maybe we should ask the Auditor-General, with its new ‘powers’ to get the answers and report to us. Is it too much to ask for an honest report card?

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Nation News Lists All In Attendance For PM’s Speech – A Shame They Don’t Do The Same For Legislation Voting

One minute after Thompson arrived, Rawle Eastmond, representative for St James North and Minister of Labour, arrived. He was quickly followed by Minister of Housing and Lands Reginald Farley, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education Cynthia Forde, Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch, Minister of Education Anthony Wood, Minister of Energy and the Environment Elizabeth Thompson, and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Reverend Joseph Atherley, along with representative for St Michael West Central Rommell Marshall.

Marshall, Atherley and Thompson engaged in brief conversation before taking their seats as they made way for the entry of William Duguid, representative for Christ Church West, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kerrie Symmonds, Minister of Health Jerome Walcott and Attorney-General Dale Marshall…

… from The Lapdog Nation News article Business As Usual (link here)

What Nonsense!

As if it matters who sat before someone else and who spoke to whom before turning left and farting.

A real newspaper intent upon informing the public would report on all voting, which MPs were present and which were not, what they really said and who backed what legislation. A real newspaper would also report on whether the opposition was doing it’s duty or was asleep at the switch.

That would be a real newspaper.

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Filed under Barbados, News Media, Politics & Corruption

Fabulous New Plan For Improving Cricket Attendance: Spectators Now Allowed To Bring Water!

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Bajan Reporter has the details on this important breaking story here.

(Good idea to let spectators hydrate, but if you hear a bit of mocking in our tone, you are correct. How could the organization of CWC be sooooo fouled up on so many levels?)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket

Constitutional Amendment 2007 – A Crime In Progress (part 3 of 3)

THE WAY OUT

(Part 3 of 3 about the Constitutional Amendment Act of 2007.)

OK Owen and the rest of you. The truth is out. You have been caught in your parliamentary skullduggery red handed. The only honourable way out is for you to do what kids are made to do in school these days when they have been bad. Own up. Apologize. Tell the truth about how bad things are and how we might fix them.

Here is what you can do to regain some credibility and make us think you are leaders that can start finding a way to work out of the financial mess this country is in.

When you introduce the bill in Parliament admit that it is flawed and needs further study. (editor: too late for that now – it has already been rammed through) Then with the time you save which was going to be used for ‘debate’ i.e. glorious and misleading speeches about what a great thing this amendment is, please stand up and answer the following questions in simple and plain English:

How much does the country owe today?

How much debt has the country guaranteed?

How much money is required each month to service those debts?

What are the country’s expenses each month i.e. how much does it pay out each month not counting debt servicing?

How much money does the country collect each month from all sources?

If the net is negative i.e. more is going out than coming in (don’t fib here we know it is true) – how are you going to bridge the gap?

If the answer is to borrow more to bridge the gap then how much more and tell us how this reliance on debt to service debt cycle is going to stop before Barbados is bankrupt?

How are we going to pay back the debt? How long will it take?

Answer those questions publicly and sit down after an honest day’s work. We really don’t need you changing the accounting rules. We need to know right now just how much trouble we are in.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption