Daily Archives: May 28, 2007

Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch Just Can’t Help Himself…

Noel Lynch Spins Like A Top

To respond to the front page Daily Nation article headlined The Best by Far! by Roy Morris dated 28th May 2007.

‘Stating repeatedly he would not back down from his assessment that CWC represented Barbados finest hour’, Lynch noted that 63,480 long-stay visitors were on the island in April, the highest number ever since the country started recording tourist arrivals’.

‘This figure, he added, represented a 19.6 per cent increase over the previous April, which had itself seen a 13 per cent jump over the year before’.

… from The Nation News The Best By Far! 

What is critically missing from the equation is of course, our long stay arrival visitor performance for the first three critical months of the year.

In it’s economic review for the first quarter of 2007. the Central Bank said ‘that that real tourism value added had declined by approximately 3.8 per cent compared to the same period last year’.

‘The Bank added that ‘preliminary estimates suggested that long stay arrivals contracted by 6 per cent’.

With ‘a total arrival figure for the first three months of the year of around 143,000, down close to 10,000 on the nearly 158,000 long stay arrivals for the same period last year’.

For lets look at the total four month period overall…

Down 10,000 in the first three months and up 19.6 per cent or 12,442 persons for April alone!

So a increase of just 2,442 long stay visitors during the first four months of 2007 when compared with 2006.

Mr Lynch also stated ‘that the island earned an additional US$16.75 million’ in April.

But based on the Minister’s economics, the 10,000 fewer long stay visitors that did not come in the first three months of the year, would have written some US$13.46 million off the April figure!

Therefore a net gain of just US$3.29 million!

It is really quite misleading to the public to describe this tourism performance as ‘The Best by Far’.

Adrian Loveridge
28 May 2007

Note: The main and lead-in titles of this piece were created by BFP for the letter received from Adrian Loveridge.

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

Update: Lawsuit Against The Prime Minister Of Barbados And Others

Thanks to all our readers who have been emailing rumours, information, comments and advice about the lawsuit naming the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, judges and businessmen.

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday), Barbados Free Press will be printing what we have confirmed so far.

Previous BFP Stories On This Topic…

May 24, 2007 – Heard On The Streets Of Bridgetown, Barbados – Fact Or Only Rumours?

May 25, 2007 – WordPress.Com Reaches 1 Million Hosted Blogs – Our Post About Lawsuit Against Prime Minister Is #60 Most Popular Worldwide !!!!

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Daily Mail: Rihanna Likes British Men, Not So Keen On The Irish

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“The men over here are so charming,” Rihanna says with more than a little twinkle in her apple-green eyes. “I’m drawn to tall men with a quirky sense of humour and a touch of the bad boy about them.

“I’ve met loads of men like that in Britain. British men tend to be very forward, too, and I find that very attractive.”

She gives me a saucy Babs Windsor wink – and then suddenly deflates.

“But then I visited Dublin recently and didn’t get chatted up once! That was so disappointing. Not that there’s much I could have done about it. I’m so busy that I’ve got no time for a boyfriend right now.”

… from the Daily Mail (link here

How much of what Rihanna says is all about publicity? Probably most of it.

We still love ya, girl. There’s little you could do wrong in our eyes. Silly Irish fellows!

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities

Does Barbados Chief Justice Simmons Own Shares In The Country’s Largest Newspaper?

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Should The Chief Justice Declare Any Ownership Interest In The Nation News Or Other Media?

Should An Attorney General Declare Any Ownership Interest In News Media?

What About Close Family Members?

We never even thought about it until we witnessed a conversation between four different readers in the comments section of our article Heard On The Streets Of Bridgetown, Barbados. A reader “John Doe” stated that Chief Justice David Simmons is “one of the largest shareholders of the Nation corporation and Starcom network.”

For the moment, let’s forget about whether this statement is true or not as it relates to David Simmons – while we generally consider the ethical and conflict of interest questions that are at the heart of the issue.

In Barbados, Newspaper Owners Are Big Frogs In A Small Pond

In a small country like Barbados, enormous influence can be exerted through the relatively small local media outlets. Consequently, those who hold significant ownership interests in the local media can influence national events in a manner that is totally out of proportion to their relatively small investment. Think of it this way – in the United States, owning say, 25% of a newspaper the size of our Nation News wouldn’t count much more than spit on the sidewalk in terms of national influence – but here in Barbados a 25% share of the Nation News would make the owner a very big frog in our small pond.

Should any media ownership be declared by the Chief Justice, Attorney General or any Cabinet Minister in Barbados?

We think so.

Our democracy seems to be increasingly fragile and common sense dictates that citizens should at the very least be aware of conflicts of interest in our society. This media ownership issue is relevant for all Government Ministers, but especially so for the Attorney General who must wear many hats – some of them seemingly in direct conflict with his presumed political loyalties. The Attorney General has a duty to uphold the law and this theoretically can put him in conflict with members of his own party who are either under suspicion or before the courts for any reason.

The Office Of The Chief Justice Must Appear To Be Impartial And Non-Political… Oops!

It goes without saying that the Chief Justice and the Office Of Chief Justice must remain above issues of politics and partisanship of any kind if he or she is not only to properly discharge their duties, but also be seen and perceived to be impartial. As we have stated many times before, that is the foundation of our objection to the appointment of David Simmons as Chief Justice. No matter what his qualifications, wisdom, integrity or his personal desire to properly fulfill his duties, his instant transformation from Attorney General and Government Cabinet Minister to Chief Justice was highly inappropriate and even unethical.

Sir David Anthony Carthcart Simmons K.A., B.C.H., Q.C., LL.M., Chief Justice Of Barbados served continuously for 25 years in the Parliament of Barbados from February 1970 to 27 August 2001, on which date he retired from active politics. He twice served as Attorney General – from 1985 to 1986 and from September 1994 to August 2001.

On many occasions during the latter period, Sir David acted as Prime Minister of Barbados.

As Attorney-General, Sir David chaired many initiatives and conferences, including the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (1997/98); the Joint US/Caribbean Sub-Committee which developed a Plan of Action on Justice and Security issues; the Regional Committee for the establishment of a project for Maritime Cooperation Against the Traffic In Illicit Narcotic Drugs in the Caribbean (1999-2002); and the Preparatory Committee to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice (1999-2001).

For his contribution to public service and politics, he was awarded both the Barbados Centennial Honour (B.C.H.) and the Knight of St. Andrew (K.A.) in 2001. Sir David Simmons is married to former High Court Judge, Madame Justice Marie MacCormack. They have two children, Gavin and Lynne-Marie.

… from the website of the Caribbean Court Of Justice (link here)

How can the Chief Justice appear to be impartial if only a few weeks before his appointment he was a senior member of the currently ruling government? How can he reasonably be in charge of a justice system where citizens seek protection from wrongdoing or heavy handedness by government – when he personally took part in so many political campaigns and government initiatives?

David Simmons was part of a government that did, and still does, give out public funds, jobs, cars and other perks to political supporters while penalizing those who support other parties. Merely reading some of his past political comments about other parties and their members would give many persons pause about their ability to now find justice in our courts.

It is our position that David Simmons should not have accepted the office of Chief Justice because his appointment weakened the Office of the Chief Justice – not only for his tenure, but for others who will follow. Once again this is not because Justice Simmons has acted improperly in his office – it is because his appointment lacks the appearance of impartiality.

Now to the question of whether or not Barbados Chief Justice David Simmons owns or owned shares of news media companies now or at any time in the past…

The following conversation took place in our comments section. (link here) …

John Doe
May 27th, 2007 at 7:00 pm

I guess you guys didn’t know that David Simmons is one of the largest shareholders of the nation corporation and Starcom network. It will be great when the shareholders register of companies finally becomes a public document, then you will be able to see who ones what.

Vigilante
May 28th, 2007 at 1:44 am

Why do you continue to post lies about our CJ? Since some of you follow him so closely, you should recall that on 7 September 1994, when he was sworn in as AG he announced to the press at Government House that he had resigned his directorships in all companies. Go and check the registry of Corporate Affairs. As someome who does know the CJ, I can tell you that he sold his shares in the Nation corporation when he became CJ to prevent even the possibility of a conflict of interest arising. John Doe et al, the depth of your nasty lies is pathetic.

Wishing in Vain
May 28th, 2007 at 4:53 am

What are you suggesting that the CJ sold the shares to his childern for safe keeping???

Vigilante surely you are not so easily misled or fooled.

files
May 28th, 2007 at 5:07 am

Vigilante, “Go and check the registry of Corporate Affairs” Will we find the files to check or will they be “misplaced”?

Important Issues Raised By Our Readers

In an attempt to defend Chief Justice David Simmons, reader “Vigilante” lets it slip that when Sir David Simmons was Attorney General, he still owned shares of The Nation News.

Assuming that Vigilante’s statement is true, if that isn’t a conflict of interest I don’t know what is. Was the public aware that the newspaper that they depended upon to have some oversight of the government was in fact partially owned by a senior member of Cabinet?

The second question that arises from Vigilante’s statement is …

Who did David Simmons sell his Nation News shares to when he became Chief Justice?

If the Chief Justice sold his shares to a stranger on the open market… no problem.

If he sold them to a “friend” who may sell them back to him one day for the “same price” – we may have a problem.

If David Simmons sold his shares in The Nation News to a family member – we’d call that a “phony” sale done so the Chief Justice could maintain control of his assets while pretending to do the right thing.

Well, Chief Justice Sir David Simmons?

The citizens of Barbados deserve an answer… because the truth matters.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, News Media, Politics & Corruption