Daily Archives: April 5, 2007

Readers want article on Money Laundering so long PROMISED by the BFP

Good Afternoon Friends,

Barbados Free Press is a little late with our promised money laundering series (4 days late now – it was promised by the end of last week) and one of our readers, Jerome Hinds, challenged us to post this title and explain why.

No problem Jerome… no need to be nasty though! (Jerome’s comment is here)

As Marcus explained, for the last week and a bit he and Shona have been dealing with a little family situation that has taken all their time and money. We’ve asked our readers to be patient and although they are eagerly anticipating the series, for the most part they understand that BFP is a part time effort.

We (George, Robert and me, Clive) have been holding the breach for Marcus while he looks after his family.

Jerome, you are quite premature to question our credibility in all the circumstances – even alleging that the government has somehow “gotten” to us. (Sounds rather silly now, don’t you think?)

As Marcus wrote to another reader two days ago…

… As I explained earlier in the week, Shona and I were beset with a family situation this week that took all our time and money.

Our regular readers understand that this blog is a part-time and very risky venture. While we are pleased that so many are anxiously awaiting the Money Laundering series, the tone of your comment sounds like you have paid for delivery of a new air conditioner and are chiding the store owner because it was promised by noon and it is now 11:30am and WHERE IS THAT DAMN AIRCONDTIONER I NEVER SHOULD HAVE DEALT WITH YOUR STORE YOU IDIOT!!!

Now picture that instead of a new store owner, it is a store where you have been shopping for the last year and have developed some small relationship with the proprietor.

I shall return to my writing.

If it is not delivered exactly on time, you are free to purchase your air conditioner from anyone you choose. I understand that The Nation Newspaper’s products are always on sale, even if they are of low quality.

;-)

Marcus

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging

You Want Audited GEMS Hotel Financials From Prime Minister Owen Arthur? It Will Never Happen… Never.

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The Crooks In The Barbados Government Don’t Even Know How Much They Lost And Stole

Ho Hum… someone has published another request/demand for the government to obey the law and present audited financial statements for the GEMS of Barbados Hotels – otherwise known on BIM as the “GEMS Scandal”.

Folks, you should know by now that the Prime Minister and his government are not concerned with obeying the law – THEY ARE THE LAW.

Whether it is changing the Constitution with no notice on a Tuesday afternoon, sending their lawyer thugs against journalists who ask too many questions or simply ignoring the legal requirement to produce financial statements for a third of a billion dollar waste – for six years! – strongman Prime-Minister-For-Life Owen Arthur and his gang do as they please.

Jonathan Peters has written a splendid piece for The Nation News, and we applaud him for keeping the theft in the public view – but the Prime Minister would use it for toilet paper if he wasn’t already stealing the TP rolls from his government office loo.

From The Nation News…

GEMS Audited Figures, Please

YOU AND I and all Barbadians are shareholders in one of those quasi-Government companies called HRL Limited.

HRL Limited makes the Greenland Landfill and the Bostic $2.5 million look like child’s play when it comes to squandering and wasting the taxpayers’ dollars.

In fact, to date HRL is reported to have spent nearly $300 million of the taxpayers’ money and lost between $12 million and $15 million each year for the past six years on its income statement. HRL Limited is of course better known as Gems of Barbados.

Our Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, talks, and I repeat talks, about accountability but never delivers on this promise.

I can say that because it is a fact that for the last six years, Gems of Barbados, those hotels that we all own, have not produced for us, the shareholders, audited financial statements. Six years without audited financial statements, but still operating with our tax dollars and losing millions each year. That cannot be right.

Government is breaking its own law in not providing these audited, signed off, financial statements. Where on earth is our Auditor-General on this matter?

A lot of prominent people over the last six years have been asking for these accounts to be produced. Some of those people are Sir John Stanley Goddard, Mr Adrian Loveridge, the late Peter Morgan and, of course, the new wonderchild in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Clyde Mascoll.

Mr Mascoll was the most vocal opponent of Gems as we all remember his “Jaws” issue. We also remember Mr Mascoll’s heated exchanges with his Prime Minister.

Can you imagine that the Minister of Tourism had the audacity to stand up in Parliament during the Estimates and tell the people of Barbados that he and Government would not allow the equity in Gems to deteriorate and that no debt would be placed on the taxpayers of this country when it came to the performance of Gems?

To him I say, bring audited figures to prove it.

Where on earth is the Opposition on this matter? It seems as though it is just a matter of the boys’ club not rocking the boat as surely Messrs David Thompson, David Estwick and Denis Kellman et al must remember Gems and the transfer of National Insurance Scheme funds to prop up its operation.

Everyone of us is affected by the spiralling cost of living that we face in Barbados each day, but no one seems to care very much when our Government spends $300 million of our money in a company that loses additional millions of dollars each year in operation.

Who do we think is going to pay for Government’s bad management and investment of our $300 million?

If we, the public shareholders, are not prepared to hold anyone accountable for our $300 million, then we cannot bellyache when we have to pay more for a tin of corned beef.

Jonathan Peters

… read the original article online at The Nation News (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics & Corruption

Mike Selvey Writes An Obituary For Caribbean Cricket

Excerpts from Mike Selvey, SportBlog (The Guardian UK)…

Weep For The Ghosts Of Calypsos Past In This Lifeless Forum

Antigua was the very soul of Caribbean cricket, but the crowds have vanished from a sterile new stadium.

I am writing this sitting on a bum-numbing wooden bench 12 rows back in the lower tier of the Double Decker stand at the Antigua Recreation Ground and, if I shut my eyes, I can still sense the spirit of Caribbean cricket that existed here before the International Cricket Council got hold of it, ran it out of town, then sanitised it out of existence.

Of all the cricket grounds around the world at which I have seen international matches none has given me the joy that this place has. In front of me, protruding from the stand so that it almost hovers over the boundary, is the platform on which Chickie Baptiste would stand his giant disco speakers and girls would gyrate along with Labon Benjamin, the clown Gravy, who cavorted in the rafters, defying health and safety, risking life and limb. When Chickie cranked it up and the Double Decker crowd jumped to the rhythm, the whole stand oscillated.

I have a pal who came to watch here and sat in this very seat for all five days of a Test. On the opening morning he knew no one: inside half an hour he had been assimilated into the posse. So each day he arrived to meet the Professor (a professor, oddly enough) and his gang, a case of beer under one arm and a bottle of brandy in his hand. The brandy was gone before play began, they lunched royally on stew from the large pot the Professor brought and they became firm friends.

All the while, despite the distractions, the cricket took centre stage. The noise was an enhancement rather than an intrusion, as was the constant competing percussive brilliance of the Iron band, musicians whose rhythm came from beating metal pipes, or hubcaps, brake drums, door panels…

(big snip)

It has gone now. Rather than plough strong investment into upgrading the ARG sympathetically, to preserve cricket’s integrity here, Chinese money, grabbed eagerly, has produced the new stadium out of town. Of its kind it is a fine facility and a fitting monument to the greatest batsman of the modern era. But what of the other heroes? It has a north end and a south end, as bland as that. Where is the character? Where is the recognition of Antigua’s cricket heritage immortalised in calypso: Richie Richardson (“Who is dat man flashin’ blade in de han’?”), Ambrose (“He mek de batsman shiver when he run up to deliver”) and Andy Roberts? The stands named after Richardson and Roberts still look down on the field set up for net practice.

This still should be their epitaph. Instead Antigua has a white elephant that will see, if it is lucky, one Test match a year and little else. There is talk of enticing baseball teams down from the States. That is the legacy that the World Cup could leave on the island. Baseball. I shut my eyes once more, feel the vibes and want to weep.

… read the entire article at SportBlog (link here)

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Like All Young Men Heading Off To War, Prince Harry Wants A Week Alone With A Pretty Girl And Some Barbados Rum

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HRH Prince Harry Heading Off To Iraq War, But First…

According to the papers, Prince Harry and his girl Chelsy Davy are staying at the Coral Reef Resort in Barbados this week before he heads off to Iraq for 6 months.

I can’t blame him at all.

The papers also say he has developed a fondness for our rum.

I can’t blame him for that either.

Metro News.UK – Harry Tucks Into Barbados Rum

Another article says that while in Barbados, Harry wears red shorts. (Too much information!)

Thanks for the tip, J  

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, History, Traveling and Tourism

BLP Government Insider Says Tourism Official Distributing Info Package Calling Pundit Adrian Loveridge “The Embodiment Of Racist” !

A BLP government insider who frequents Barbados Free Press has posted a stunning revelation…

An Official of the Government’s Barbados Tourism Authority is distributing a dossier on tourism pundit and local hotelier Adrian Loveridge, that labels Loveridge as a “the embodiment of racist”. Further, the document has been sent to the Minister of Tourism, Noel Lynch.

The Barbados Government insider who uses the name “Royalrumble” to post on Barbados Free Press has proven his credentials many times – occasionally coming up with or talking about confidential government documents in the middle of the night that have later appeared on the government BLP Blog. “Royalrumble” appears to be the real thing – a government insider who has access to Cabinet documents no matter what the day or time.

We are sure that the current information on Adrian Loveridge was in fact posted by the same “Royalrumble” government insider because we are able to see that the poster’s IP address and compare it to his other posts.

Here is what government insider Royalrumble posted today on a Barbados Free Press article written by Mr. Loveridge Sky High Intra Caribbean Airfares!

posted by Royalrumble – April 5, 2007, 1:16pm GMT

I recently received a package from a very highly respected official in the Tourism Industry. I was never so shock in my life when I opened the package to realize that it was a collection of information on this idiot that Minister Lynch had to put in his place couple Sundays ago, loveridge.

The note on the package said, “Please use the contents herein to enlightened our people on the level of hypocracy that now conveniently falls from the mouth of the embodiment of racist, loveridge”. The gentlemen worked with our relic of colonialism and has gathered quite an archive on his life in Barbados. The package contained a document for every day of the year and upon every subject matter the he has ever spoken. Barbadians will be most suprise who this loveridge really is and how he truly feels about them.

When I said in a previous post that he is only relevant to the new intellectually weak DLP I did not know how right I was. In fact I will from time to make some of the information available to this blog but I must tell you the truth I have been ignoring this idiot on this blog to the extent that nothing he post on this blog has been engaging my attention.

I have sent some of the information to the Minister and the rest will simply be dealth with appropiately since loveridge the idiot does not pose any challenge to the government and people of Barbados. He is simply not within my peripheral view.

This morning he is obviously either feeling black or singing for his swallow at the DLP’s butcher stall and so he his carrying about high prices in the airline industry. But how did he feel exactly eleven years ago?

Taken from page 10 of Business Morning for April 1, 1996. The headlines read “British hotelier’s recipe for tourism. Make B’dos more expensive”.

“British hotelier, Margaret Shaw believes making Barbados a more expensive holiday destination is a good recipe to revive the island’s tourism product”.

“The European rate was very cheap , now it is not. It is more expensive than the Caribbean. We have a good product here and we should not undersell it and I dont mean just the hotels, I mean the island on the whole”.

Where has Loveridge come in in all this. Ms. Shaw was loveridge’s business partner who together owned a tour operating company in the UK. Loveridge shared her view on a high price Barbados. Infact you should know that they bought a hotel in Barbados and that they also erected boulders to block access from black people getting to the beach, which this Government had to remove.

I know you will respond loveridge and when you do let us know what frame of mind you are in. Would be in the mind of a white man speaking a black language.

Do We Believe Royalrumble?

Although we have disagreed many times with Royalrumble’s twisting of the facts and spinning his spins in support of the government, we have never doubted his credibility as a government insider, nor has he ever claimed to have a document that he did not have or that did not subsequently appear on the government BLP Blog.

Do we believe Royalrumble that such a dossier exists as stated, that it calls Adrian Loveridge “the embodiment of racist” and that it is being distributed by an Official of the Barbados Tourism Authority? Do we believe him when he says that the dossier has been sent to the Minister of Tourism, Noel Lynch?

In short… Yes, we believe Royalrumble.

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

Cricket World Cup Fraud Continues – Barbados Children Get Free Tickets – Food, Drinks, Music Now OK

I Hope The Kids Enjoy Their Tickets – They Cost Us Probably US$50,000 Each

Four Things Come To Mind …

1/ Cricket World Cup Barbados is in real trouble when you have to fill the stands with 10-year-olds on a school day.

2/ It is now a proven fact that the prohibition against food, drinks and musical instruments was not about security. It was firstly about money, and secondly about providing a “civilized” (read “British”) environment for Cricket World Cup… with none ‘o them noisy darkies all dancing around and blowin’ them damn conch shells ‘an tossing water an havin’ a good time. Whatever the reason for this decision by organisers – be it racism, cultural superiority or something else – they misjudged heavily. Our foreign guests wanted authentic Caribbean cricket as much as we did. The first foreign tourists and press sent back the word “Ho hum – just like watching at home.”

3/ The decisions made by Cricket World Cup organisers and agreed to by the Barbados government purged the Caribbean culture from our cricket and in one move killed local support from ordinary people. Further, the ticket prices were designed to keep the locals away. Cricket World Cup was designed from the start to exclude the local population from attending.

4/ The respective governments, including Barbados, surrendered control of their countries, cultures and economies to Cricket World Cup organizers when any damn fool could see the train wreck coming. The question that citizens should be asking is “Why did our politicians do this?”

5/ The manner in which Cricket World Cup West Indies was set up was a fraud – perpetrated on the Caribbean people by their governments and Cricket World Cup organisers.

Here’s how the fraud was set up…

a/ Local economic success of the games was not necessary for the ICC/Cricket World Cup to enjoy both financial and apparent “public” success. (In fact, an argument can be made that the Cricket World Cup relies upon sucking the economic lifeblood and cash from the host countries – more on that later.)

b/ As stupidly admitted by Cricket World Cup CEO Chris Dehring – the ICC, Chris Dehring, Stephen Alleyne and all the big boys made their money up front even before the games started. The vast majority of the Cricket World Cup profits were derived from prepaid sponsorships. Dehring even had the stupidity to brag about it (BFP story link here).

c/ All of the above was well known to the politicians and leaders who committed their countries’ economies to sponsoring Cricket World Cup – when any thinking person would know that a contract where the other party has already made their profits was a bad deal for the Caribbean. This was a totally one-sided deal where one side has already made their money by virtue of signing the contract, and the other side puts up the vast majority of the backing and assumes the entire risk.

Cricket World Cup will go on to the next venue in a few years saying that the West Indies was the wrong place, they just couldn’t pull it off, no local support etc etc etc – and the people of the Caribbean will be left paying for generations.

d/ Why would any political leadership allow the above to happen? Why would they sign into such an agreement?

Answer: Personal Gain.

It was a fraud, folks. Clear and simple.

Whether they fill those stands by giving away tickets to children or vagabonds on the streets – or IF locals now come for the last games, it doesn’t matter.

The money was all gone a long time ago – full stands or not.

Barbados Determined To Restore Local Flavour

CricInfo Australia

Stung by criticism that the World Cup has been robbed of most of its Caribbean flavour by strict regulations, the local organising committee (LOC) in Barbados have hit back by announcing that restrictions would be eased at the Kensington Oval.

Stephen Alleyne, the CEO of the LOC told reporters that matches in Barbados would be closer to tradional “calypso cricket” than has been the case so far. He said that measures were being put in place so that music and food could flow more freely. For example, he said people bringing musical instruments would get clearance at the gate on the day of the game, rather than having to get permission beforehand.

In a break with the official line, which has continued to insist the tournament is running smoothly, Alleyne admitted that things had not gone so well at other venues. He also said that some matches at the Oval were not sold out, mainly because sponsors had not taken up their allocations, and that spare tickets would be made available free of charge to local children. Furthermore, he hinted that ticket prices might be reduced “to encourage more folk in” although that would need to be cleared with the ICC.

“We need to ensure that the environment is such that everybody in there, whether Barbadian, West Indian or from further afield, can get the chance to experience what it is like to be at a Caribbean Test match, or in this case at a Kensington Test match, and we are working with CWC and the ICC as we speak to get that balance right,” he explained. “One of the things we are going to work to achieve is the bringing of musical instruments in – we’re going to simplify that process. We’re looking at how you can bring things like foodstuff and so on into the Oval [while] making sure there’s clarity around those things.”

… read the original article at CricInfo (link here)

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

Barbados Sanitation Service Authority Reports Threats Against Workers Over Public Bath

The Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) is responding to an article from the Weekend Nation of 30th March 2007, which dealt with the public bath in Nelson Street…

The SSA has made repeated cleanings of all three public conveniences we are in charge of, however vagrants constantly undo all of the good works accomplished.

After each refurbishment, the fittings and basins have either been stolen or destroyed, toilets have been clogged with clothing or empty wallets – the cost for these repairs are expensive. At night when the baths are locked, SSA staff returns in the day to find the locks smashed and the place vandalised.

If any SSA staff catch any vagrants in the act of damaging public property and seek to stop them, then these vagrants threaten our workers with physical violence, these incidents have been logged by the Police. As a result, many employees are reluctant to venture near the Nelson Street bath for fear of their personal safety.

Green Park Lane’s bath and the original Reed Street facilities are constantly cleaned and face renewed attacks from vagrants despite numerous pleas for law enforcement.

The bath will be cleaned again and sealed for everyone’s safety, then an evaluation will be done to effect new repairs.

Until the early 80’s, Sanitation was in charge of 63 public conveniences in Bridgetown – this was limited to only three, since most Barbadians now have access to, or possess their own personal plumbing.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Environment