Daily Archives: April 18, 2007

Did Mia Mottley Write This? (It Sounds Like It To Us!)

“We must however guard ourselves against those in our midst who lack the political creativity to persuade the electorate through enlightened policies and the intellectual capacity to grasp and understand the historical journey of the region’s people and our need to always show ourselves eminent in the international arena.” … from an article at the BLP Blog.

What is the author talking about at the Barbados Labour Party Blog?

… That Cricket World Cup is had “some earlier hiccups”, but everything be fine now!

Need a laugh? Head on over to BLP Blog’s Lessons From Cricket

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

CORRECTION: Errors In Original CBC – Guardian Story – Destiny Apparently Did Sail – But Questions Remain

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CORRECTION: Thursday, April 19, 2007

Barbados Free Press picked up on the story as carried by the Guardian and CBC (CWC Fans Stranded In Grenada) – that a cruise on the Carnival Destiny had been cancelled. Both the Guardian and CBC stories are still online on Thursday afternoon as we write this correction.

An article published today, Thursday April 19th in the online Nation News has Grenadian-based shipping agent Laurence Duncan of George G. Huggins Services Division refuting PARTS of the story as carried in the Guardian and CBC.

Apparently the ship sailed, but Mr. Duncan does not address the issue of fans left behind. Also there is absolutely no information given by Mr. Duncan as to the reports of Indian cricket fans bumped from a flight so that Cricket World Cup officials would have seats.

The original story quotes Huggins’ Marketing Manager Denise Parke and Operations Manager Reginald Sandy – who are not mentioned in the new press release.

SOMETHING happened here folks, and we are still trying to find out what.

Did a reporter make up the entire story? Do the original sources Denise Parke and Reginald Sandy exist as employees of Huggins Services Division? Why did they say what they said? Were Indian fans dumped from a flight for CWC officials? Was the flight actually diverted?

Something happened, but like many things associated with Cricket World Cup, it will probably remain a secret kept by a few.

Some of our commenters who seized upon this story as an example of “shoddy blog” rumours should be aware that this is the benefit of a blog – stories are vetted by thousands of readers who eventually get to the truth (Hey… that’s why the government hates blogs!)

Critics should also let the CBC and the Guardian know that Barbados Free Press has responded with corrections and more questions while the old media still has the original story posted.

The Nation News has printed some information, but as usual, they have failed to ask any questions and are acting as a press release agency for the travel agency.

From The Nation News…

Destiny Trip “Not Cancelled”

Grenadian-based shipping agent, George G. Huggins, has refuted a British newspaper report that scores of English and South African cricket fans were left stranded in St George’s by Carnival Destiny.

A news item in The Guardian newspaper in Britain yesterday said the cruise liner had cancelled its April 16 port call to Barbados at the last minute. It added this had put a halt to their plans to visit Barbados for Tuesday’s big Cricket World Cup (CWC) Super 8 match between England and South Africa at Kensington Oval.

But Laurence Duncan, manager of George F. Huggins’ services division, said in a statement that Carnival Destiny had not cancelled any of its scheduled port calls. He also confirmed that the ship departed on April 16 and sailed to Barbados as planned.

Yesterday, Carnival Destiny docked in St George’s where more than 250 people boarded the luxury cruise vessel, the statement said.

On April 14, the release said, more than 800 passengers who took advantage of the special cruise offer sailed to Barbados.

Duncan said response to cut-price cruise offers had been fantastic.
Carnival Destiny, on a charter by Barbados for April 8 to May 6, has offered several sailings to Grenada for CWC matches.

It will also call at St Lucia for the semi-finals next week.

… read the original story online here.

Here is our original story taken from the Guardian and CBC on April 19th …

Indian Fans Bumped Off Airline Flight So Cricket Officials Could Have Their Seats!

Cricket Fans Had Already Paid For Accommodation & Tickets In Barbados!

The Guardian says that “scores” of fans were stranded in Grenada. “Scores?” Shouldn’t that have read “A Thousand” or at least “Hundreds” ?

How many dozen fans were on the Carnival Destiny? That may tell the tale as to why she didn’t sail. Would they have moved a whole floating city for less than a hundred people?

Don’t expect to hear the truth from Tourism Minister Noel Lynch.

No further comment needed from Barbados Free Press, except for this…

Read ’em and weep…

Supporters are left all at sea as Destiny fails to set sail

David Hopps at St George’s
Wednesday April 18, 2007
The Guardian

Scores of England and South Africa fans were stranded in Grenada after their cruise liner to Barbados was cancelled without explanation at the last minute.

The Caribbean Destiny was scheduled to leave St George’s on Monday evening, prompting supporters to buy match tickets and Barbados accommodation before England’s game with South Africa. But it did not sail, further embarrassing World Cup organisers who have already faced criticism of a log jam in regional flights. One flight from Barbados to Grenada landed in Tobago because the pilot had not been informed of a change in schedule, and Indian passengers with valid tickets were bumped off a flight to Guyana so that ICC officials could travel.

Denise Parke, marketing manager for Geo F Huggins and Co, the local agents, said on a Grenada website that the trip, confirmed only last week, had been cancelled “to allow the cruise liner to meet international standards”. Reginald Sandy, the operations manager, suggested otherwise. He said: “We got the thumbs-up for the 16th but there was a change along the way. The verbal promise was never really on.”

Paul Heath, 23, an England fan from High Wycombe, had to find emergency accommodation in Grenada until he could leave the island. “It’s giving Grenada a bad name,” he said. “England fans bought match tickets, and some of us paid for accommodation in Barbados, in the belief that they could get to the game. No one knows why the cruise was cancelled.”

… read the original Guardian here.

Also see our previous article: Carnival Destiny Cruise Trip Cancelled!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket

Who Will Climb Aboard The Transparency Train? Dr. Duguid… How About You?

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Dear Doctor Duguid…

We sense that you would like to see some changes regarding transparency and conflict of interest laws. Wouldn’t this be a good place to start?

How much did your construction business earn you in 2006, and were any of your contracts working on government projects? In other words, did any of your construction income flow from government – even if you were subcontracting for a firm that had the actual contract?

Thanks, Doctor.

There are many of us in your area who hope that you personally will get aboard the transparency train – because it’s pulling out of the station and those who are not onboard… are not onboard.

Robert

Meanwhile in Britain, MP’s have to declare additional income…

British MP’s Reveal Outside Profits – As Part Of The Normal Business Of Being In Government

David Blunkett, the former cabinet minister, is on course to becoming a millionaire, it emerged yesterday.

Writing and broadcasting work have earned him more than half a million pounds on top of his MP’s salary since he quit the Cabinet for a second time 18 months ago.

According to the new register of MPs’ outside interests, at least £355,000 of that has come from his diaries, The Blunkett Tapes.

Mr Blunkett resigned as work and pensions secretary in Nov 2005 – less than a year after his resignation as home secretary.

The latest register of interests confirms, however, that Mr Blunkett has more than prospered on the backbenches.

His 800-page diaries and associated media work have generated at least £355,000 for Mr Blunkett so far – about £150,000 more than disclosed in a previous register update last November.

The extra income is made up of joint serialisation rights from The Guardian and The Daily Mail of up to £105,000.

Bloomsbury, the publisher, has also made a further payment of at least £80,000 on top of an earlier sum up to £165,000 disclosed last year by Mr Blunkett.

The income has all been paid into a company called Hadaw Productions and Investments Ltd, of which Mr Blunkett is a director. He, however, has insisted: “I have not yet drawn down any income from this directorship.”

In addition, Mr Blunkett has earned at least £145,000 from his weekly column for The Sun, plus up to £50,000 for speaking and other engagements. That is all on top of his MP’s salary of just over £60,000. Yet the new register confirms that Mr Blunkett and all of his MP colleagues are surpassed by William Hague’s ability to generate outside income.

Since 2005, the former Tory leader has received up to £790,000 from speaking events, media work and other engagements.

Just over half of that amount has rolled in since Mr Hague returned to the Tory frontbench as shadow foreign secretary in Dec 2005. He now typically earns up to £15,000 a time for speaking.

George Galloway is another high earner. The Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow has declared up to £305,000 for media and publishing work.

Not far behind is Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory Minister, who has earned up to £280,000 since 2005. Intriguingly, that includes up to £5,000 for appearing in a “forthcoming drama series” for the BBC, but she declined to shed any further light on this yesterday.

Television appearances are also proving lucrative for Labour MP Diane Abbott.

As well as a regular income for appearing on BBC1’s This Week on Thursday nights, she received a £14,326 “pre-production fee” for the BBC’s Play It Again programme in which she tries to learn the piano.

Tony Blair declared his holiday at Sir Cliff Richard’s villa in Barbados last summer and his winter trip to the Florida home of Robin Gibb.

The Prime Minister said that he had made charitable donations “in lieu” of the cost of the Barbados accommodation but did not reveal how much he had given.

Neither Gordon Brown nor David Miliband, his possible challenger to succeed Mr Blair this summer, had any declarations to make.

… continue reading this article at UK Telegraph (link here).

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

BFP Readers Write About Integrity Legislation, IMF Report & Currency Devaluation

Hello folks,

We received these two emails from readers Patrick Porter and “Anonymous Nobody”.

First up, Some Questions On Integrity from Anonymous Nobody…

Some questions on Integrity

It is refreshing to be able to access a news medium about Barbados that is actually reflecting what people are thinking and saying and not clearly biased to what some entity (usually political) would want us and the world to believe.

I have therefore become a loyal fan of BFP and have been following the discussions and articles with interest. I am particularly interested in the stance taken by most contributors on the question of the integrity of persons in public office.

I have a number of questions that I hope some contributors could assist with:

1. Why do we need new laws in order to address this problem? Is it not already against the Laws of Barbados to steal, embezzle, accept bribes, and kickbacks? How come this is not a matter of the responsible person (Public Prosecutor, Chief Justice, Attorney General, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee etc) doing their job and investigating and PROSECUTING those suspected to be involved?

2. Are we only concerned about this problem with respect to those in public office? How about private business where it is common knowledge that practically all deals in Barbados involves kickbacks. We have had businessmen like ‘Bizzy Williams’ going on “Brass Tacks” and admitting that he was able to secure a 150 Million dollar contract without competitive bidding for a controversial Flyover Project by “getting up early in the morning and going into the Minister’s office with the proposal”. Are the minutes of that meeting available?

3. My point however is that Integrity does not suddenly appear when one attains high office; it needs to be reflected throughout the society. People always get what they deserve. If we accept a culture of dishonesty for ourselves in our everyday actions how can we expect anything less from our business and political leaders?

4. Does integrity legislation not therefore need to be global in scope and all-inclusive rather than be focused on public office holders?

I am particularly interested in technology such as that being used by BFP since it can provide a forum for transparency that could be a major factor in dealing with this question.

Currency Devaluation

The IMF is on the way. Please read the piece in the Barbados Advocate (link here).

It seems that a warning is being sent by the IMF to all the CWC stakeholders. The last part is very interesting where it says that expenditure is 100% of GDP.

There is no way the Barbados can afford the spending that we have spent and must now allow the wolf in through the doors. Many on this site have warned about this happening, but it has fallen on deaf ears. The currency will have to be devalued to pay for this mess and all of us will have millions in the bank, but chicken will cost $100.00 a pound.

Thank you Mr. Arthur and your team of swindlers for the disaster that you have created. The crime will get worse as people starve,you know the saying “a hungry man is a dangerous man” Be prepared for a lot of troubling times ahead.

Barbados wake up and smell the coffee before it is too late to save yourselves. So much for Royalrumble, Javon Griffith and others. I don’t know where they got their figures, but the truth will out and now it is.

I call on the DLP to start letting Bajans know the true costs of the misspending of this Government. Now is the time David et al to get the process started.

Barbados I pray for you and hope that you can save yourself before the ship of state sinks.

Patrick Porter

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Changing Laws And Policies – Weighed In The Balance Blog

Some common sense from a Barbados blog we hadn’t seen before – Weighed In The Balance

Once policies are changed, then it is near impossible to revert to the previous position, even if it is proven that the policy change was based on incorrect fundamental assumptions. It seems that governments worldwide deem it political suicide to admit their mistakes and take appropriate corrective action.

History has shown that most governments would prefer to pursue domestic policies that would lead their countries into unsustainable debt, moral decay, famine, disease, racial hatred, genocide, and war rather than revert to a previous policy. Their pride seems to blind them to the horrific consequences as they pursue their policies without restraint. It is a most befuddling practise.

… read the entire article at Weighed In The Balance – Changing Domestic Policies

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Health, Politics & Corruption