Daily Archives: April 4, 2007

BFP Reader Says Cricket World Cup Is All Positive – The Big Problem Is Just Bad Spin

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“Hey, Look On The Bright Side, Captain Lynch – This Will Give Us A Whole Lot Of Free Publicity!”

Someone we’ve never heard of before sent us the following CWC-Positive piece.

As we say… Barbados Free Press belongs to everyone, so here is the article as received…

Spin or Fact?

Cricket fans should be able to recognize spin!

The term is borrowed from ball sports such as cricket, where a spin bowler may impart spin on the ball during a delivery so that it will curve through the air or bounce in an advantageous manner.

In public relations, spin is a sometimes pejorative term signifying a heavily biased portrayal in one’s own favor of an event or situation. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, “spin” often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics. Politicians are often accused of spin by commentators and political opponents, when they produce a counter argument or position. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Understanding the facts point to a positive spin on the World Cup:

In the first instance, there’s little evidence or facts to support the idea that staging a major sporting event such as the Olympics, World Cup Soccer, Cricket etc., is about a return on investment in the normal sense.

The return on investment for the sponsors and host venue needs to be considered and measured as a massive publicity and advertising event.

Viewed in this light, Barbados has already positioned itself to benefit most from the spectacle and spotlight.

Regardless of the fortunes of the West Indies team, the collective effort of Barbados will be front and center on the television consoles of Cricket’s World Cup estimated 2 billion viewers worldwide.

(answers.google.com)

Some major sport event sponsor advertising comparisons:

As a quick comparison, Formula 1 motor racing teams spend between US$200 – 400 Million per year, not necessarily for the racing laurels, but for the televised exposure to 30 – 50 Million viewers per race. There are 17 races this year with a maximum time of 2 hours each, so the math looks like this.

17 x 2 hours = 34 hours of television air time. If the average F1 team spent US$250 Million that equates to US$7.3 Million per hour, equivalent to US$60,000 for a 30 second television commercial, remember this number as we will get back to it shortly.

So if the expenditures of Barbados are correctly quoted on this site, then US$250,000 has been spent on various infrastructure programs by Barbados.

There are 7 Super Eight events at Kensington Oval, including the final, and each approximately 8 hours long, so the math looks like this.

7 x 8 = 56 hours of television air time. If Barbados spent US$250 Million that equates to US$4.4 Million per hour. equivalent to US$37,000 for a 30 second television commercial to a 2 billion worldwide audience…

That’s 1.6 times more bang for the buck than a sponsor benefits in a Formula 1 Season.

Compared to the Super Bowl where the Advertising cost is $2.4 million for a 30-second spot, then one might argue that Barbados has achieved 64 times more bang for the buck than it could have expended in a single 30 second ad in the Super Bowl.

Well done Team Barbados, looks like you are already the winners in the 2007 ICC World Cup!

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

Barbados Forward – Manifesto Proposes Amnesty For Corrupt Politicians, Fresh Start, Integrity Legislation And Other Changes

Barbados Forward – What Is It? Who Are They?

On Monday evening Barbados Free Press received the following email and attached ‘manifesto’ from unknown people calling themselves “Barbados Forward”. We are not going to reveal the email address it came from except to say that it appears to originate in Barbados.

We’re not sure if Barbados Forward is the name of a group, or the name of the attached ‘manifesto’. We call the document a ‘manifesto’ because we don’t know what else to call it and the people who sent it to us only call it “Barbados Forward”. The document almost seems to be the blueprint for a political party’s policies, but there is no mention that Barbados Forward is or intends to become a political party. Perhaps the people behind it are already associated with a political party? They don’t say so, but who knows.

So… we’re not sure exactly what we have here, but it is an interesting read.

The Barbados Forward manifesto proposes various changes to our laws and asks that the government and the opposition band together to introduce these changes BEFORE the next election.

One of the proposals is that all politicians and other people guilty of previous corrupt behaviour are to be given amnesty, and be allowed to keep their wealth – and I am not sure I like that at all.

Never mind that though. The writers of Barbados Forward ask that we post the document on Barbados Free Press for all to comment upon – to improve it.

Ok. Fair enough, but we’d like to know more about the people behind Barbados Forward. We are always curious!

Here is the letter that they emailed, and then the ‘manifesto’…

Hello BFP.

We’re Ato, Erle and Grace. Been reading you lately. We like are no sticky wicket and let everyone take a swing at the ball fair and square. We need more voices like that here on the Island. We been drinking our rum crying about the Windies going down talking about rebuilding for next Cricket World Cup. Got it all figured out. Our side need some new ideas and players, for sure.

Then we thought yeah same thing like Barbados and all the bad things happening these days. We need some new ideas and players too before it go down.

What we’re asking is if you’ll run our ideas. We’re calling it BARBADOS FORWARD cause looking back on the way we are now is not happy. Let’s hear from your readers about how to improve it. We’ll come back later with an update. Maybe send it over to the thinking people at UWI law faculty because we figure they study this kind of thing and can make it more legal sounding..

Way we see it Barbados is the story of the frog in a pot of water. Put that frog in boiling water and it will jump right out. But put it in cold water and slowly raise the temperature it won’t notice till it’s cooked.

Here in Barbados the government, administration and friends have been the cooks. We people are the frogs, pretty well cooked but never saw it coming cause it was so gradual. Moral underlie of the country slipped away from us down a road paved with good intentions. Lots of bit promises but bad things doing. A little money ends up in a pocket here, a little favor for a friend there, and careens crazy out of control. Before you know it the cooks be feasting on frogs legs, which happen to be ours. No good, that.

Who’s to blame? We all are, cooks and frogs. Made it happen, allowed it to happen. We say right now is time to turn off the stove and do a fix ‘em up before the whole island is frog soup.

BARBADOS FORWARD

BE IT STATED THAT BARBADOS is in need of updating of its way of doing business.

AND THEREFORE the people of BARBADOS now state that it is the manifest will of the common people that the following laws need to be enacted at the earliest opportunity. We call upon the government and opposition parties to join together to pass these laws in advance of calling an election so that the new parliament will be ready willing and able to begin operating in a new regime.

I. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Barbados needs clear headed leadership. This cannot happen if elected officials or government employees are looking first to how much they can personally profit from a decision and then secondly to whether it is the right thing to do for Barbados.

The new law will be that no elected official or government employee shall be involved in any transaction where they or their families will receive a financial benefit.

The underlying premise is that each newly elected official will declare all personal and family assets and then do it every year while in office.

II. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAWS

Government to set up and maintain a web site ‘Barbados Information Website’ or BIW. Fill it up with all the information they have that we want to know. A Bajan need only ask if not there and it gets posted or the reason why not will get posted. (An independent person will be appointed to decide if the reason is valid and override it if it is not.).

III. TENDER AND DISCLOSURE OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

All government contracts must be put out for tender with details posted on the BIW at least 30 days prior. When it is signed the name of the contractors who bid as well as who won the bid must be posted along with a copy of the final contract..

The objective of government procurement contracting is to acquire goods and services, including construction services, in a manner that enhances access, competition and fairness and results in best value.

IV. FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Politicians and civil servants are fair game for criticism in pamphlets, web sites and the press. Voters are pretty smart and if they think a politician got the shaft because of this they will not be fooled..

Politicians and civil servants work for the country and should be able to take criticism graciously. If the criticism if wrong never fear because the new freedom of information laws will give them a way to give out the truth.

For private citizens it is a bit different. If someone says something or prints something you don’t like you do two things: say it ain’t true and demand an apology. If they won’t then we’ll have a tribunal to decide who was right and their decision is final. No lawyers allowed. Maximum penalty is $5,000 and the tribunal’s finding gets published.

The result, and it will fix a lot of things, will be no more intimidation and harassment and collecting big money just because someone speaks wrongly or hurts your feelings. You have a forum to fight back and obtain redress but not at the expense of shutting down what people need to know.

Note: It is important for everyone to remember that this is a small island and what goes around comes around so people tend to be circumspect and polite in what they publish but if something needs to be said Bajans need to hear it. We have watched BFP reader comments and see lively but polite discussion on all sides of an issue. That is the way it has to be.

V. PUBLIC DEMONSTRATIONS

If a demonstration, political or not, is peaceful there is no need to get a permit as long as it is only at a few locations such as Independence Square, Parliament Buildings, Prime Minister’s Office, Parks, Church squares, but no more having to get a permit from the police “in case it might tie up traffic”. (We don’t think a demonstration could make it much worse than it already is!)

If the people of Barbados want to deliver a message they can and should get out and let their politicians and press know they are concerned. Errol Barrow’s new statue would certainly be a good audience to applaud his people showing their care about the things that affect their lives.

VI. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND CREATION OF NATIONAL PARKS

Environmental and no-pollution laws to keep our water, air, land clean . Laws that enable government to require clean ups and fine polluters. People harmed by pollution can sue for the damage to their own property..

National Park creation in Barbados is overdue before the best lands and opportunities slip away. We need at least three big parks and many little ones. We see one in the North of at least 200 acres, one in the south of 200 acres, and a smaller one on a coast that will preserve beachfront. (There are several very good candidates for this). All in all this will freeze part of our lands, flora and fauna, for enjoyment and forever.

VII. LAND USE

Land use shall be guided exclusively by the land use plans passed at least every five years by parliament. Special exceptions may be granted only by act of parliament.

All expropriated lands shall be paid for within one year or returned to owner.

All expropriated lands not used within five years of expropriation (for the use for which it was expropriated) shall be returned to owner who may keep amount previously paid.

VIII. AUDITOR GENERAL

That job and its budget will be independent of interference with access to all government records so it can go wherever it needs to track down information. It can also look where government has loaned or granted money. Autonomy is the key.

IX.. CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

The magical tricks (now you see it now you don’t) have to stop. Barbados’ constitution is too important to leave to whims and abrupt changes. No more changes to the constitution except under strict guidelines of 6 months advance notice, public debate and study, supermajority vote (75% in both houses) or by referendum.

X. JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

We recognize that judges used to be lawyers and maybe politicians. Judges appointed for life. Full disclosure of assets required to know and control conflicts. For five years they cannot sit on a case where a former associate is arguing or a former client is involved. Pay them well and even a BMW every now and then is fine. Give them complete independence, though, by creating a committee of one judge, two laymen, one representative of each political party to set their salaries and pensions. It will be a serious crime for a politician or anyone else to try to influence a judge’s decision. A judge will lose his job and pension found to have allowed to be influenced in making a judicial decision.

XI. WHISTLE BLOWER LAWS

In five years time, when the new laws are operating, we will then need whistle blower laws. Society is too complex and spread around to expect that all dirty deeds will eventually come to the surface unless there is protection for those who report and a modest financial reward for doing so.

XII. TERM LIMITS

Without in any way judging past leaders it is important that new ideas and people are encouraged to step forward as leaders. Therefore no one may remain as a minister of a government portofolio, including prime minister, for more than 8 years. (The Yanks figured this out in the last century. Nothing good happens after a leader is in power for 8 years)

XIII. AMNESTY

We talked a lot about this one and figure it will cause the most ruckus. But we see that the fastest way to fix things up is to forgive and forget. That means existing politicians can look forward and not hold things up because of things done in the past. So all past sinners and saints stop on one day and we start afresh with these new rules. If they don’t like the new rules they can get out now without looking back.

XIV. ELECTORAL INTEGRITY

We figure it is too late to fix this for the next election but right after that a committee of one judge as chairman, an elected representative from each party, and three laypersons to deliver a new law within a year to be passed within two years. It will create limits for contributions, expand disclosure and create public funds to support each person who is running. Once implemented the sanctions for disobeying will be severe e.g. disqualification from public office, jail or fine. Tough yes but protecting the voting process is a fundamentally important matter for democracy.

(published draft version 1)

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

I Did Not Know That Minnie Driver Was Raised In Barbados

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British Actress Minnie Driver Raised Until Seven In Barbados

Kind of off-topic today, but I can’t help it. I am missing home, tired and lonely.

I don’t usually date older women, but in this case I would make an exception! (Miss Driver is a gorgeous 37 years old)

Clive 🙂

Huntington News article here

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities

United States “Had Nothing To Do With The Institution Of The CARICOM Visa”

“While we worked with Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to help improve their security, the U.S. had nothing to do with the institution of the CARICOM visa…” James T. Heg, U.S. Charge D’affaires, U.S. Embassy, Jamaica in a letter to the Jamaica Gleaner

So Who’s Idea Was The Last Minute Implementation Of The Disastrous CARICOM Cricket Visa?

Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley is in charge of the CARICOM Security Committee that implemented the visa requirement at the last moment – just the week before Christmas.

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Deputy Prime Minister Mottley had implied that the Americans were behind the push for the disastrous CARICOM Cricket Visa. Now we know the truth – it was Mottley and her Security Committee – and no one else.

After years of preparation and planning for Cricket World Cup in a post-9/11 security environment, Mia Mottley and friends waited until the very last moment to announce to the world that a visa was necessary.

The impact of the last-minute visa requirement upon the Cricket World Cup cannot be underestimated. Although Mottley and company state that the requirement was only directed at a small group of expected visitors, it threw the travel industry into chaos for over a month.

The Mottley crew said it was all about security, but as many have pointed out – that is nonsense…

– While Australians, New Zealanders and Swedes required a visa, Canadians, Americans and Brits did not – even if they were Muslim immigrants to those countries and presumably much more of a risk than a Kiwi cricket fan.

– Although CARICOM visas were required for folks arriving by air, they were not required for those arriving by sea. Presumably Islamist terrorists never take ships, so the thousands and thousands (?) of visitors arriving on cruise ships were not required to have a visa no matter where they were from. (See our article Islamist Terrorists Never Take Cruise Ships…)

From the start, the Australian media called it a blatant cash-grab, and in retrospect, it sure looks like they were correct.

The public relations damage done to Barbados and the Caribbean by the visa fiasco is immense, but all along Mottley said “security, security, security” even when faced with the obvious idiocy of her statements and the chaotic implementation.

American charge d’affaires clears the air

Jamaica Gleaner – April 3, 2007

The American Embassy in Kingston has defended the role of the American Government in helping to provide aspects of security for Cricket World Cup 2007. In a letter to The Gleaner yesterday, James T. Heg, charge d’affaires, also denied that the U.S. had anything to do with the institution of a CARICOM visa…

… continue reading this article at The Jamaica Gleaner (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, CARICOM, Cricket, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Greenland Dump Construction Problems – Landslips, Deviating From Plans, Runoff Diverted Into River

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Only Two Days Of Rain Overwhelms Greenland Dump Construction Site

The above photo was taken just after 3 pm on Tuesday 3 April 2007 at the excavated Landfill site at Greenland, St. Andrew, in the Scotland District National Park, Barbados.

Two inches of rain had fallen in the preceding 5 days followed by 1.75 inches on Monday night. Note the red construction machine in the background has had to cut a drainage trench to drain the water from the land-fill site. Water drains into the Greenland river to Green Pond on Morgan Lewis Beach then in the sea where currents flowing south to north take matter around the north point of Barbados onto the western coast of the island including the up-market Sandy Lane.

During this two days of rain, no work with machines was possible due to wet clay conditions.

Pollution Of Greenland River Has Already Started

Visible in the photo is a drain water ditch visible on the section on which the leachate pond is to be constructed. There is no mention of this drainage ditch on plans of the landfill construction as supplied to project bidders. One has to wonder what will happen when the site receives 10 or 20 inches of rain in 24 hours as often happens in this area. How will rain water and spring water be kept out of the landfill and prevented from overwhelming the leachate (drainage) system? There is nothing in the plans to address this issue – and the drainage ditch appears to be designed by a couple of guys at the construction site.

I can hear the conversation now…

“George, doan you see that the water be carryin’ everything into the middle of de construction site?”

“I see that, Dennis. Why don’t you just take your machine and run a ditch across that little ridge and that will take care of it. Make it so it drains into that there river.”

“OK boss!”

And so the two guys created that ditch that is now draining all construction runoff into the Greenland River.

Rain Causing Landslips At Greenland Dump Construction Site

In the larger photo, you can see a landslip on clay soil stock piled on west side of dump site. If our reporter had a better lens, you could see numerous incidents of small landslips at the construction site that occurred during this relatively common amount of rain.

This project is truly a disaster in progress

God help the poor folks who live between the dump and the sea – and also the fisherfolk on the east, north and northwest coasts. In a couple of years, the leachate from the Greenland Dump is going to pollute the entire east coast to the north of the river outlet to the sea. The beaches on the north west side of the island aren’t going to be so healthy either.

I’m no environmental engineer – but I can stand today at Greenland and watch it happening. Why are we doing this? Why aren’t we building a garbage-powered, electricity generating incinerator?

This must be about the value of lands near the existing dump. They want to “just do it” and damn the consequences to achieve as quick a solution as possible – so the value of the lands in question will rise in the short term. Just get that land money in NOW!

And to hell with the longterm good of the people of Barbados.

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Above photo – enlargement of construction machine digging ditch to drain the Greenland Dump construction site into the river.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Barbados Free Press Reader Survives Buying Cricket World Cup Tickets!

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On Tuesday, one of our regular readers decided he would purchase some tickets to the April 21st West Indies vs. England contest.

Seeing as he lives in Barbados, purchasing tickets should be a simple matter, right?

heh heh…

Dear BFP:

I went today to buy seven tickets for the April 21 game, West Indies v England. For an event where you think they would welcome US$700 in sales, the process to actually get the tickets was annoying.

The saga started yesterday when I went to the ticket office to be told that they take only credit cards and cash – no checks and no debit cards. Since I did not have the cash and did not want to place the purchase of my credit card, I left to get some cash.

I came back this morning with cash in hand. I was then told that I had to fill out an application form even though they would give me the tickets right away. OK, no problem I thought, but they needed to see a Barbados ID or passport. Since I did not have either of these on me, and they were unwilling to yield on this, I had to drive home to get my ID card. There were also two groups of tourists there who were told that at least one person in the group would have to go back to their hotel to get a passport.

I also could not choose where I wanted to sit. Two people in our group are elderly so we wanted seats on an aisle but somewhere that would be in shade for most of the day. Nope, the computer would assign the seats automatically in a block of about 1000 seats.

The final insult was the exchange rate of US$1 to Bds$2.05. US$700 works out to Bds$1435. With this final slap in the face, I took my tickets and left.

For an event that is struggling to fill stadia, the whole process was unnecessarily frustrating. It is like being forced to wait for an hour to enter a nightclub, only to find it empty when you finally are allowed it.

However, considering how everything has gone to date, I really should not have been surprised.

Bajanboy

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

Dear Barbados Minister Of Tourism…

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Dear Minister Lynch:

1/ How much money and other assets did you have before you entered government service?

2/ How much do you have now?

3/ It is apparent from your lifestyle and visible assets that your net worth is in the millions of dollars… where did you get it?

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption