Weasel Words By DLP Over Graeme Hall National Park

barbados-national-park.jpg

The DLP Wants To APPEAR Supportive Of Graeme Hall National Park, But Doesn’t Want To COMMIT

Weasel Words Mean Nothing. Bajans Deserve A Clear Written Statement From The Party!

As we at Barbados Free Press have pointed out many times, our Barbados politicians are as slippery as fish. They are so skilled in avoiding clear statements of policy and intent that we are in awe at their ability to convince an audience that they are with them – when an examination of their just-spoken words shows nothing of the kind.

We Bajans are partially to blame for this because for years we have let the politicians get away with it. We want to believe them. We NEED to believe them… so we accept what they say without substantive proofs or commitments and then think we have a right to be surprised when again they say one thing and do another.

In the past, we Bajans accepted half-truths, deceptions and horse manure by default instead of saying “I refuse to accept this.”

So politicians now EXPECT that we stupid Bajans will politely refrain from demanding any substantive proofs as to their policies or intents. Such contempt!

Nothing illustrates this contempt better than the recent comment on this blog by the DLP that they just can’t understand why a political party should be asked to state its position before being elected!

These DLP guys just don’t get it. The mood of the country has changed. Public expectations and demands have changed.

Read this comment from the DLP and see if you don’t agree that the DLP is out of touch with the current expectations of Bajan voters…

Dear BFP and others.

We find it interesting that the DLP is being called upon to state its position on many issues even before the people of Barbados gives it an opportunity to govern.

The DLP surely cannot at this stage speak emphatically on every issue which BFP or the other commentators throw up. Our policy pronouncements have to be based on sound research and good judgment.

Oh Please!

“How dare the people of Barbados ask a political party to state its position on many issues” before the election?

Such contempt. What planet are these smug people from? Do they think Bajans are morons?

Or perhaps in the past 13 years the DLP hasn’t performed any “sound research” on such a major issue as the southern watershed through the Graeme Hall area?

Perhaps the DLP thinks that it must be elected before “good judgment” comes its way? Mercy! Again… what idiot did they put in charge of communicating with the voters?

Then The DLP Starts With The Bafflegab…

They want us to believe that they are FOR Graeme Hall National Park, but they don’t want to be pinned down later. How to do that? For the DLP, easy! The Bafflegab continues…

The DLP is not insensitive to the issue of declaring the Graeme Hall Wetlands as a national park and therefore protected by legislation. We recognise the uniqueness of the Graeme Hall area and is opposed to any part of it being turned into a water park or used for any type of commercial development. The fragility of the Graeme Hall ecosystem must not be disturbed by callous development… (excerpt from a DLP comment below)

Read The Whole Thing And Tell Us If You See A DLP “Yes” Or “No” To Graeme Hall National Park

A detailed proposal has been put forward for a Graeme Hall National Park. The map is above, and all the details can be found through this link.

Now… DLP, once again let me state this really s-l-o-w-l-y so you can have “good judgment” about the issue…

It is very simple.

If elected, will the DLP implement the Graeme Hall National Park as proposed?

YES or NO?

Here are the comments made by the DLP concerning Graeme Hall National Park. They can be found in their original versions here. We urge our readers to examine the DLP’s comments in their original context and to decide for themselves if the DLP has weasel worded their non-commitment to Graeme Hall National Park.

Comment By DLP Barbados
July 3rd, 2007 at 8:45 pm

The Issue of Graeme Hall has been spoken to by several members of the Democratic Labour Party. As recent as the 17th of June Mr. Stephen Lashley gave quite a lenghty presentation on the Grame Hall Issue. A week before that Mr. Ronald Jones speaking in Parliament was able to elicit from the Minister of the Environment that Graeme Hall was declared a Ramsat site and therefore falls under the convention which governs such site.

The DLP has not been silent on this matter. To suggest to the contrary is to create an issue for the DLP. The Graeme Hall site must be protected and should not be opened to major man made projects.

The Government is the one whose feet should be held to the fire for their silence and inaction. The Democratic Labour Party supports green spaces in Barbados, the protection of wetlands, open windows to the sea, the safeguarding of our gullies and protection of our last remaining indigenous forests. This is the beginning of the process of fashioning a holistic policy on the environment. Everything cannot be achieved in a day. Furthermore the Leader of the DLP has placed confidence in the persons who speak to these issues as they affect our people and the environment.

(snip)

********************

BFP Comments…

Hey… nice words DLP, but let us clearly hear you (the party) declare…

“Graeme Hall National Park should be declared as per the proposal”

Well….

We’re waiting!

Pride of Barbados
July 3rd, 2007 at 9:12 pm

Thank you very much for that, DLP. I can now breathe a sigh of relief, especially learning that Graeme Hall has been declared a Ramsat site.

*******************

BFP replies…

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was declared a RAMSAT site, but this is but a fraction of the land of the proposed Graeme Hall National Park.

The DLP can’t have it both ways. Is the DLP FOR the Graeme Hall National Park as per the proposal or AGAINST?

Huh?

Whatsay?

dlpbarbados
July 4th, 2007 at 6:40 am

Dear BFP and others.

We find it interesting that the DLP is being called upon to state its position on many issues even before the people of Barbados gives it an opportunity to govern.

The DLP surely cannot at this stage speak emphatically on every issue which BFP or the other commentators throw up. Our policy pronouncements have to be based on sound research and good judgment.

The DLP is not insensitive to the issue of declaring the Graeme Hall Wetlands as a national park and therefore protected by legislation. We recognise the uniqueness of the Graeme Hall area and is opposed to any part of it being turned into a water park or used for any type of commercial development. The fragility of the Graeme Hall ecosystem must not be disturbed by callous development.

According to you BFP, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was declared a RAMSAR site. To the best of our information the entire 33 hectares are listed in the RAMSAR data base. Approximately 13 or so hectares are owned by the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Government owns about 19 hectares of the land and this must not past into private hands for exploitation and thus depriving future generations of the naturalness of that area.

This information would suggest that the total area is in fact listed and designated a RAMSAR site.

This information therefore throws up the terrible anomaly of a private developer seeking to establish a commercial venture within or proximate to this area. Any agency of government that gives permission for this venture would be flying in the face of the Ministry of the Environment, another governmental agency and its having Graeme Hall listed as a RAMSAR site.

The DLP wishes to restate that under a DLP government, Graeme Hall will not be used for commercial development, but will be part of a protected zone which will cover areas such as the Graeme Hall National Preserve and other areas of environmental significance.

Xlnc4u
Please go the links listed below and you can have information on the RAMSAR sites of the world as well as Barbados’ listing and a thorough description of the Graeme Hall ecosystem.

http://www.ramsar.org/key_cp_e.htm

http://www.wetlands.org/rsis/

BFP
July 4th, 2007 at 1:55 pm

DLP says…

“Dear BFP and others.

We find it interesting that the DLP is being called upon to state its position on many issues even before the people of Barbados gives it an opportunity to govern. ”

Yes, DLP, that is a big change in Bajan politics… the voters are actually demanding that their prospective leaders declare their policies and intents prior to being elected.

“We are better than the other guys, trust us” is no longer good enough.

Despite all the DLP’s flowery words in their response, we do not see clearly stated that they have looked over the proposal for the Graeme Hall National Park and are committed to it. The term “no commercial development” could also be translated to mean excluding businesses but not residential development.

The clear translation of what they said is “At this time, we are not willing to commit to the Graeme Hall National Park as proposed”

Cut the jiving and dodging DLP. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

“Here come de new boss. Same as de old boss. Won’t get fooled again!”

Wishing in Vain
July 4th, 2007 at 2:00 pm

BFP I disagree with you, they have stated that they are fully committed to leaving Greame Hall as a nature reserve.

********************

BFP Replies

Hi WIV,

You’ll have to forgive us for wanting to pin them down, in writing, with the exact boundaries that they intend and how they intend to do this. So far it is nothing but weasel words from an anonymous poster claiming to be DLP. Nothing official in writing from the party. Will they allow residential development? Yes or No? Where are the boundaries?

Is the DLP officially stating that they will act according to the existing proposal… or some other plan?

Their response is not only not clear, it bears the hallmarks of so many other weasel word responses on so many topics that it is meaningless.

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67 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

67 responses to “Weasel Words By DLP Over Graeme Hall National Park

  1. RRRicky

    BFP is right. Weasel words and more from the DLP!

    Yes or No, DLP?

  2. “Wishing in Vain” states:
    DLP has stated it is fully committed to LEAVING Graeme Hall as a nature reserve.”

    This is untrue. Graeme Hall- the entire area proposed for the National Park, is not yet a nature reserve. Only the Nature Sanctuary- a small portion, is presently a “nature reserve.”

    What we want from DLP is a commitment to:
    1. Prevent any of the area proposed for the National Park to be used for commercial exploitation.

    2. Specifically to reject Kerins’ Watersplash project forthwith.

    3. Support the plan for a national park to prevent the loss of our last “green area”, subject to finetuning details as to whether Min. of Agriculture should stay, what facilities will be incorporated etc. Also resolving the acquisition of private lands (Colonial Life? etc) which are still privately owned.

    DLP has done none of this as yet. Merely having one candidate say he is friendly to the concept is not nearly enough.

    We want to see this a major campaign issue in the coming election. If DLP is prepared to give it honest commitment they will find they have a wealth of supporters willing to vote for them. If they don’t commit, they do not deserve our votes.

  3. akabozik

    Yes or no DLP?

    Yes or no?

  4. Tudor

    Good on you BFP! It high time that the DLP committed itself to the National Park idea. Let us the voters know where they stand.

    Just for the record just because it has been classified as a RAMSAR site does not mean automatic protection. We have to be vigilant or this lawless band who make up the Govt will proceed with the change of use changing the Graeme Hall land from agricultural to housing ;out goes the National Park and in comes upscale housing and the “boys” make a dungbasket full of money.

  5. Uncle Remus

    Doubting Thomases … why don’t you ask the DLP to tell you when next they’re going to the bathroom, and what they plan to do there.

  6. Wishing in Vain

    The DLP site represents more that one persons views on the matter it represents the party’s views and I see that they are saying that they intend to maintain it as a nature reserve, end of story it appears to me that maybe we can tell them how you want it worded so that it is worded exactly as those at BFP require it to be worded but for me their intent is quite clear to me.
    Unlike what the alternative party is attempting to do with these lands the DLp have stated that they are committed to having it remain as wet lands, now lets find out from Owing what his plan is!!!

  7. Wishing in Vain

    Please read various extracts from the DLP website and if you can still draw the conlusion that the DLP are not committed to the conservation of Graeme Hall we are reading from two different pages.

    Lets not attack for the sake of attacking this is stupid there it is clearly stated in their website what their feelings are for all to see but instead we opt to be critical for no good reason.
    How many more ways do you want it said that they are committed to maintaing the lands as they are, BFP you write it and we will get them to reprint it in your words maybe then you will be happy.

    As recent as the 17th of June Mr. Stephen Lashley gave quite a lenghty presentation on the Graeme Hall Issue. A week before that Mr. Ronald Jones speaking in Parliament was able to elicit from the Minister of the Environment that Graeme Hall was declared a Ramsat site and therefore falls under the convention which governs such site.

    The Graeme Hall site must be protected and should not be opened to major man made projects.

    The Democratic Labour Party supports green spaces in Barbados, the protection of wetlands, open windows to the sea, the safeguarding of our gullies and protection of our last remaining indigenous forests. This is the beginning of the process of fashioning a holistic policy on the environment.

    The Democratic Labour Party supports green spaces in Barbados, the protection of wetlands, open windows to the sea, the safeguarding of our gullies and protection of our last remaining indigenous forests. This is the beginning of the process of fashioning a holistic policy on the environment.

    To the best of our information the entire 33 hectares are listed in the RAMSAR data base. Approximately 13 or so hectares are owned by the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Government owns about 19 hectares of the land and this must not past into private hands for exploitation and thus depriving future generations of the naturalness of that area.

    This information would suggest that the total area is in fact listed and designated a RAMSAR site.

    The DLP wishes to restate that under a DLP government, Graeme Hall will not be used for commercial development, but will be part of a protected zone which will cover areas such as the Graeme Hall National Preserve and other areas of environmental significance.

  8. BFP

    Wishing in Vain, you say that…

    “they intend to maintain it as a nature reserve,”

    What is IT? Boundaries please! Do they intend to purchase the Nature Sanctuary and incorporate it into the National Park? Or merely maintain the sanctuary which is a tiny part of the proposed National Park?

    See?
    … worthless gobbletegook from the DLP.

  9. Wishing in Vain

    No as they say on their site once again as below-:
    The DLP wishes to restate that under a DLP government, Graeme Hall will not be used for commercial development, but will be part of a protected zone which will cover areas such as the Graeme Hall National Preserve and other areas of environmental significance.

    Please read various extracts from the DLP website and if you can still draw the conlusion that the DLP are not committed to the conservation of Graeme Hall we are reading from two different pages.

    Lets not attack for the sake of attacking this is stupid there it is clearly stated in their website what their feelings are for all to see but instead we opt to be critical for no good reason.
    How many more ways do you want it said that they are committed to maintaing the lands as they are, BFP you write it and we will get them to reprint it in your words maybe then you will be happy.

    As recent as the 17th of June Mr. Stephen Lashley gave quite a lenghty presentation on the Graeme Hall Issue. A week before that Mr. Ronald Jones speaking in Parliament was able to elicit from the Minister of the Environment that Graeme Hall was declared a Ramsat site and therefore falls under the convention which governs such site.

    The Graeme Hall site must be protected and should not be opened to major man made projects.

    The Democratic Labour Party supports green spaces in Barbados, the protection of wetlands, open windows to the sea, the safeguarding of our gullies and protection of our last remaining indigenous forests. This is the beginning of the process of fashioning a holistic policy on the environment.

    The Democratic Labour Party supports green spaces in Barbados, the protection of wetlands, open windows to the sea, the safeguarding of our gullies and protection of our last remaining indigenous forests. This is the beginning of the process of fashioning a holistic policy on the environment.

    To the best of our information the entire 33 hectares are listed in the RAMSAR data base. Approximately 13 or so hectares are owned by the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Government owns about 19 hectares of the land and this must not past into private hands for exploitation and thus depriving future generations of the naturalness of that area.

    This information would suggest that the total area is in fact listed and designated a RAMSAR site.

    The DLP wishes to restate that under a DLP government, Graeme Hall will not be used for commercial development, but will be part of a protected zone which will cover areas such as the Graeme Hall National Preserve and other areas of environmental significance.

  10. Wishing in Vain

    No as they say on their site once again as below-:
    The DLP wishes to restate that under a DLP government, Graeme Hall will not be used for commercial development, but will be part of a protected zone which will cover areas such as the Graeme Hall National Preserve and other areas of environmental significance.

  11. BFP

    Does “not used for commercial development” mean that housing will be allowed?

    What are the exact boundaries that they propose?

    Will these lands be protected forever through making them into a National Park or will the next government be able to sell it off… or the DLP government be able to sell it off if they change their minds?

    Sorry… not good enough. The DLP has had over a decade to research and make solid comprehensive written policies on any number of major issues.

    Nada.

    Just like the whole transparency, integrity legislation issue. All we have is a general statement of intent by the leader one night at a church meeting.

    Not good enough anymore.

  12. Only about one third of the proposed National Park can be considered “wetlands.”

    The middle tier, level with Amity Lodge is certainly no a wetland by any stretch of the imagination.

    The top tier along ABC highway where Kerins wants to put Caribbean Watersplash is also separate from the so-called “swamp” which is mainly mangrove lakes.

    The importance of the upper two tiers is that they are vitally connected to the Nature Sancturary area through the underground drainage of ground water. Polluting any of the upper catchment areas will have a disastrous effect, sooner of later on the true wetlands below.

    So, although the upper two thirds is not “wetland”, it is an integral part of the drainage, and must be preserved as a green area. A national park with community facilities is the obviousl answer- except to a greedy politician who cares nothing about Barbadian heritage.

  13. Wishing in Vain

    Why do you not draft the wording of all of these niggling areas of concern and forward them to the DLP and let them peruse them and make the necessary amendments and then all will be happy and well.
    Rather than nit pick for the sake of nit picking if you want to know how many square feet are involved in the reserve and how deep the water is there and how many birds are resident on the compound write to them and ask them to furnish you with the details.
    For me I understand from the DLP that they intend to maintain the area as a nature reserve unlike you I am not concerned about how many feet are involved as you are but more importantly they have a stated position that it will not be developed.
    This is more than I can say about the BLP’s plan for the area.

  14. Cliverton not logged in.

    Wishing in Vain says

    “Why do you not draft the wording of all of these niggling areas of concern and forward them to the DLP and let them peruse them and make the necessary amendments and then all will be happy and well.”

    Why does the DLP not look at the National Park Proposal and the map and say “Yes” or “No” ?

    Yes or No to The Graeme Hall National Park as proposed, DLP?

    YES OR NO?

  15. Jason

    The nerve of the DLP blog to say that we shouldn’t expect politicians to state their positions on important issues. Go to the DLP blog and read it for yourself. disgusting.

    http://dlpbarbados.wordpress.com/

  16. reality check

    Uncle Remus

    The DLP and BLP have been playing bathroom politics with the citizens of Barbados for far too long.

    a lot of constipated grunting groaning and gas but not much substance.

    they need to s__t or get off the pot

    the proposed National Park includes about 244 acres including the Ramsar site and buffer zone as proposed by the ARA draft environmental Impact Study that the citizens of Barbados paid for many years ago.

    This is not nitpicking

    yes or no?

  17. Red Lake Lassie

    BFP is right about the partys (both) being out of touch with the mood in BIM that is real surly. BLP acting all high and mitey and DLP thinking they can walk right into power because the BLP is loosing support.

    The DLP been taking lessons from Owen $ Arthur an they got a “university policy” going.

    B.S. = Bullshit
    M.S. = More Shit
    PHD = Piled Higher and Deeper

  18. Inkwell

    Wishing in Vain is falling all over himself in the effort to get readers to accept the airy fairy statements of the DLP on the proposed National Park as a definitive position.

    It speaks volumes.

    If the DLP want the 6.000 votes of the petitioners, it had better commit to the National Park before the BLP comes to its senses.

  19. Missing Home

    Graeme Hall National Park FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!

    David Thompson say “YES” and you have my vote and all my family.

    Yes or No thompy?

  20. Inkwell

    The numbers of voters in the constituency who are in favour of the Park are certainly enough to unseat Dr Duguid, so he better decide fast which God he serving

  21. Northpoint7

    Yes to the national park.

    No to DLP if they don’t back it fully.

  22. Wishing in Vain

    There can little doubt that they are saying NO to any development on this site!!!!

  23. Northpoint7

    They said no “commercial” or “major” development. What does that mean. Also what is “the site”? Is it as it is on the map?

    YES OR NO!

  24. Yardbroom

    Perhaps it is time to reflect on what we are asking the DLP to do, they could easily say no development at Graeme Hall National Park, period. Everyone will be happy, but when they are elected they could easily say circumstances have changed, in that what we promised in good faith is no longer possible. Since no laws have been passed, there is no challenge that could be mounted. Political parties break manifesto pledges every day.

    We should be wary of the history of Barbados politicians, but having said that, we must focus on the “bigger picture” and not ask parties to do or say “anything” to gather votes. That is not the way to go forward, I fear it would be forcing a party into the politics of old.

    The climate of political opinion in Barbados has changed, it is out of the bottle and cannot be put back again.

    In our zeal, we might not get what we wish, or desire, but the present extended, and that would be a tragedy, it is not a comforting thought.

  25. BFP it is a minor point- almost off-subject, but RAMSAR should not be capitialised. It is not an acronym as I had thought until I researched what on earth the letters stood for.

    Ramsar is the Iranian town at which the Ramsar Convention was held in 1971, plain and simple. One less mystery to ponder over.

  26. Straight talk

    It’s easy D Thompson, support the National Park proposal , or give your reasons why DLP do not.

    Bajans do not require boundaries, feasibilty studies, commissions, or any such so, just a commitment to a National Park at Graeme Hall.

    Plain and simple. Yes or No?

    Your credibility as an alternative depends on your answer.

  27. Loaded Question

    Weasel words, huh? Right. BFP, are we ever going to get that long-promised expose on money laundering … YES, or NO?

  28. Pride of Barbados

    This is ridiculous and childish because you all know damned well that even if the DLP answer “Yes”, you’ll turn round and call them liars.

  29. Straight talk

    PoB
    Not if they really mean it, and state it unambiguously, preferably as a manifesto commitment.
    That’s one promise O$A cannot steal, he’s already sold his answer.

  30. Marcus2

    Why don’t you let this so-called “Graeme Hall National Park” die a natural death? I can not wait to see this swamp drained and filled in with marl and something really spectacular done in this location.

  31. Why are we deliberating this … whose agenda is BFP pushing. Which shareholder/financier of BFP is also involved with Graeme Hall Park? I have not seen any indications from either Party that they will remove the area from any use which it currently enjoys. Let us not create an issue where there is none

  32. Pride of Barbados

    Don’t answer Marcus2, folks – he’s taking the mickey (not that he would understand what that means).

  33. Justasking

    Peter Piper
    July 5th, 2007 at 1:42 am
    Why are we deliberating this … whose agenda is BFP pushing. Which shareholder/financier of BFP is also involved with Graeme Hall Park? I have not seen any indications from either Party that they will remove the area from any use which it currently enjoys. Let us not create an issue where there is none
    —————————————————————
    Peter Piper, you say that you do not see any intent from either party that they will remove the area from any use which it currently enjoys.

    Then what is the intent of the land use classification change from largely recreational open space and agricultural in the last legal Physical Development Plan 1988 (Map 20 & 24) to predominantly residential in the National Physical Development Plan (Amended) 2003 (Map 1,4 & 6).

    The resolution to move the passing of a Resolution to approve the Barbados Physical Development Plan as (Amended) 2003 is on the Parliamentary Order Paper.

    Why the land use change? What is the intent?

  34. Mark3

    “But those trees! Those trees!
    Those Truffula trees!
    All my life I’d been searching for trees such as these.”

    Read “The Lorax”
    by Dr Seuss

    You know, I have no vested interest in Graeme Hall, but I think that when we finish with Barbados we will have taken it just a bit too far. And those touris’s will leave us because of the things you think today are smart and easy.

    Mark3 my words. I’m speaking to him, and I am all power tonight- he is nothing.

    It’s knowing when to slow down the rampant exploitation and make it work for your image, tourism and culture.

    Not to step pun de ‘x’ until it roars with sport mufflers and pollution.

    This is a ripe issue of corruption today; and not as if environmental issues are not going to be the biggest ones in the next few years.

    I cannot believe that neither party will openly get up and take a stand on the environment, from one party or another, with Graeme Hall as the example today in focus.

    Is offshore personal account more important than the survival of the country? Are the politicians not completely lost today, resorting to snide threats on the blogs and media suppression? Where is the BLP taking us? Back to slavery?

    To greater offshore wealth for themselves? To lies about tourism, to the sale of everything? To the loan and mortgage of your great Grandchildren?

    My God, when everything is sold and gone we’ll have to go and live in empty tourist condos.

    I defecate on all politicians who refuse to do the right thing, those who take cash for destruction; like those who create a Coney Island waterpark of Barbados after a caring man placed 30 millions to conserve the mangroves and its ecosystems.

    I urinate on those who place wealth above the welfare of the populace and environment.

    And I curse the one with the marl, who comes over and reminds that he will destroy, not because it is the right thing, but because he hates and cannot control.

    This is your BLP, Barbados.

    There I’ve answered it.

    DLP Barbados, it’s your call. The people say you’re the same. Prove yourself. You have small numbers, less power, so you need to be better than them.

    Prove it!

  35. Citizen First

    With regard to the BFP’s question – “If elected, will the DLP implement the Graeme Hall National Park as proposed?” – the DLP should have said NO given the words “as proposed”! However it’s answer was probably the most politic one.

    As a voter, I am not aware of all the details and consequences of such a national park and until such a proposal is thoroughly vetted I would find it difficult to expect the kind of unconditional support that the BFP is requesting. While my sentiments may lie with the national park idea some related questions that need to be answered are:

    Are Barbadians in agreement that Mr Allard should be paid millions of dollars for his part of Graeme Hall?

    What are the long term costs involved in the maintenance of a national park or will the area just be kept in the present state?

    Do Barbadians in general support as a priority the establishment of the park over say health or housing issues given that funds are limited (even for Government!)?

    While I think that the park concept is a desirable use for the area, I understand the need for Government to analyse in fine detail all the associated issues. Anything other than the broad policy statement made by the DLP at this time would be to commit the DLP to something that may prove to NOT be in the best interest of the country once the data and other options are assessed.

  36. bajejun

    Citizen First

    Well Said, as much as I like your take on it, I am however still inclined to support BFP, there are some issues that we just cannot take wishy washy answers, this our only real wet land, and I strongly believe it should be preserved for the people, condominiums will go up in this country regardless, we however have only one wet land, and I believe it should be a source of national pride, our failure to make politicians deal with issues is what has us in this sorry mess in the first place. Based on the current performance of this government, it is my intention to vote against them. However I do not believe that the DLP should expect that they would not have to face the issues of the electorate. Too often we have allowed these politicians to dictate their own issues, too often we have voted for politicians based on popularity, too often have we allowed them to dismisss us for four years, and then show up at every dog fight, expecting to be accepted as one of the boys( or girls). We have to make them accountable, make them deal with our issues, our concerns. If we do not demand the change who will????

  37. Eager Reader

    What is this BFP fixation with the water park?

  38. Eager Reader

    I am sorry, what is the BFP fixation with the Graeme Hall National Park?

    ***********

    BFP replies…

    Hi Eager Reader

    What is the fixation with the waterpark? Let’s start with the fact that the developer made a mistake and said in public that he paid US$2 million in “consulting” fees. There is an issue of presumptive corruption here which must be addressed. Add to that the fact that the waterpark depends upon the “gift” of public land from the government. Then consider that the Caribbean Splash waterpark is to be placed upon sensitive wetlands and will generate all manner of effluent that will flow directly into the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

    The waterpark is a bad idea made worse still by it’s location.

    Mr. Kerins is p’d off because he was promised a waterpark if he paid the “consulting fees”, but then the PM and the boys couldn’t control public opinion.

    Sucks to be Matthew Kerins.

  39. Wishing in Vain

    Eager Reader like a paro looking for his next hit. desperate.

  40. Citizen First

    Bajejun, you have raised important concerns that go beyond the Graeme Hall issue. There is an apparent lack of trust in politicians of all stripes by the citizenry that there are calls for measures to be put in place that hopefully will force the hand of elected officials to do the will of the people. Therein lies the conundrum- what is the will of the people? (National Park or houses, for example) Is the majority always right?

  41. samizdat

    Loaded Question

    July 4th, 2007 at 10:41 pm
    Weasel words, huh? Right. BFP, are we ever going to get that long-promised expose on money laundering … YES, or NO?

    Well said, LQ. I’ve been asking BFP the same question again and again.

    Seems like everyone else on the blog has forgotten.

    Similarly, why did we hear nothing more about the Adrian Loveridge fire/burglary business?

    Was that all hype too?

    ****************

    BFP Replies

    Hello samizdat,

    About the Adrian Loveridge story, we reported it as it happened. If some additional news came along we’d report that too. As we never “promised” a follow up so it seems that you are for some reason attempting to artificially impose that upon us.

    Let’s ask Adrian… Adrian, any news about the break-in at your home? Did the police find any suspects?

    There is a bit of news that happened to Adrian just yesterday. I haven’t seen, but am told that the Barbados Advocate published something written by him.

    As to the money laundering series, it will come. You’ll just have to wait for reasons that we hope will become clear at the time.

  42. BK

    As far as I can remember we have fought a losing battle to maintain our windows to the sea. Barbadians in general have shown a reluctance to debate and support enviromental issues. It is gratifying that BFP, it does not matter the agenda, would take up this issue with the gusto which it has. I just hope that like the windows to the sea lobby this one does not follow similar suit. it will be a sad day in the country if the respective parties trivialize the importance of our enviroment. It always has a way of getting back at us,

  43. liz

    The Graeme Hall issue is “up to the people”.

    Not the politicians.
    Politicians can lie to get a seat.
    Politicians can be bribed.

    The people have the power but they may not care enough – until it is too late.

  44. Pride of Barbados

    BK

    “Barbadians in general have shown a reluctance to debate and support environmental issues.”

    How true. And when you have someone you would have thought had integrity lobbying for windows to the sea and then ending up buying a window to the sea at Fitts Village and building himself a mansion, you know you’re lost. Hatch was only interested in stopping FOREIGNERS from buying land and building on windows to the sea, because he wanted one for himself.

  45. Justasking

    Citizen First
    July 5th, 2007 at 2:36 am
    Are Barbadians in agreement that Mr Allard should be paid millions of dollars for his part of Graeme Hall?
    ————————————————————-
    You asked several resasonable questions but where has Mr. Allard asked to be paid millions of dollars for his part in Graeme Hall?

    From what I have read and heard he has been giving millions rather than asking.

    According to his representative in a letter to the press:

    “Unfortunately, here in Barbados we have not received any substantive response or engagement from the Government of Barbados for well over a decade in regard to multiple, formal offers of land, finances, technical and management support for Government-led environmental preservation and national park initiatives.

    Therefore, we are seeking, and investing in, alternative uses for Allard Family philanthropy.”

    In reality, that really is a sad commentary on our Government and yes our country and people as well.

    Out of sheer frustration he is putting the Sanctuary up for sale but according to his representative “That said, we are of course open to any last minute discussions with those in Government if they include a well thought out plan and commitments from the highest levels”.

    Let us hope that Government step up and send the right signals and then do the right thing.

  46. Pogo

    Has the government done an environmental assessment of the impact of a Water Park at Graeme Hall that we can see?

    And for that matter what about BLP’s position on the National Park. At least DLP are grappling with it (and will hopefully get it right soon)?

  47. Citizen First

    Just Asking,
    Mr Allard is to be commended for his efforts. However, the issue at hand is to what degree can the DLP make a commitment to the national park proposal when so many details are still to be worked out. Mr Allard’s portion of Graeme Hall is presently up for sale and while he is open to discussion there is no guarantee that he will agree to just any Government proposal. It is thus possible that payment for the land will be required to get the park up and running. Would the public be supportive of such a development?

  48. Justasking

    Citizen First
    July 5th, 2007 at 11:45 am
    Just Asking,
    Mr Allard is to be commended for his efforts. However, the issue at hand is to what degree can the DLP make a commitment to the national park proposal when so many details are still to be worked out. Mr Allard’s portion of Graeme Hall is presently up for sale and while he is open to discussion there is no guarantee that he will agree to just any Government proposal. It is thus possible that payment for the land will be required to get the park up and running. Would the public be supportive of such a development?
    —————————————————————-
    Probably Friends of Graeme Hall would need to respond to you but my comments are based on the informataion posted on their website.

    http://www.graemehallnationalpark.org

    There is no reason that there needs to be any payment to Mr.Allard/Sanctuary to get the park up and running. The Sancturay owns about 34 acres which is within the Ramsar site (81 acres) and is designated a Barbados National Heritage Conservation Area. So it already has some protections, although not against the consequences of improper development in the upper buffer lands.

    One of the main objectives of the National Park is to provide the environmental buffer to protect the sensitve habitat and ecosystem of the Graeme Hall swamp of which the Sanctuary is a part. The Sanctuary owns and manages the western quadrant of the swamp and Government the eastern.

    So whether the Sanctuary is for sale, really does not effect whether there should be a Graeme Hall National Park. That is a proverbial red herring.

  49. light hearted

    it is amazing the foolishness that BFP and its lackies on this site find time to waste on rather than using the space more constructively. Right now as these upper and middle class holier than thou, politician haters sit down at their expensive computers trashing he DLP there are mothers and fathers out their in Barbados struggling to make a living. Parents who tonight will put their youn children to bed on an empty stomach only to wake the next day facing the same reality. Right now as they pleasingly view the large tracks of land on which their well appointed houses rest and smile at their sense of achievment, there are several young people in Barbados who cant find work, who are hooked on drugs, feel marginalized and are victims of a society with hastly decaying morals. While the “rich” people who support the BFP and their childish tirades on the DLP sit around looking for the next politician to slander often without real facts but on pure common gossip and speculation, they are people in barbados facing financial and social ruin due to no fault of their own; people who cant buy land in their own country; who are afraid to go to the country’s main hospital because of its shoddy service but who unlike the idiots who editorialize for BFP, cant afford private health care so suffer the consequences of ill health.

    And while such a seemingly valuable space as this is wasted harassing the DLP about declaring the GNS a national park, we continue to fail the people who really need our help in Barbados. The DLP nor the BLP nor PEP is there to fight the battles of the “rich” and wealthy owners of Graham Hall they have to fight their battle on their own and are free to solicit whatever public support they can get for them. That course will include the “editors” of BFP who they know very very very very well. In the mean time i would implore the “rich” people who finance the effort of BFP to consider using some of that money to set up a suitable charty to help real poor people to deal with the daily grind of life in Barbados because the truth is that as calypsonian black stalin song accurate states in one of his smash hits “poor people….dont care about the rich and their problem…they only interested in where the next food coming”

  50. Citizen First- Nobody is saying, as you suggest, that Graeme Hall National Park should be given priority over such basic concerns as our health system, particularly Q.E.H.

    Graeme Hall lands can be turned into a national park at a bargain price, unlike the national park which was earlier proposed near Codrington nursery where 80% of the land would have to be purchased.

    The beauty of the Graeme Hall National Park proposal is that it has a wonderful nucleus in the nature sancturary and the surrounding wetlands which Barbados is committed to preserve. Mr Allard offered to donate his multimillion dollar sanctuary to the nation if the national park goes ahead, and his offer was snubbed by Government.

    The lands of the Ministry of Agriculture account for 90% of the balance i.e. they already belong to Government and it would cost the nation nothing to transfer these lands to a national park authority.

    The only expense would be to compensate those private holders of land (Colonial Life?) who own the remaining small area.

    It is true Government will find ways to waste a few million on design plans etc., but the basic infrastructure is already in place, at minimal cost!

    Condemning the dreadful Caribbean Splash water park is an integral part of the proposal as the brine pollution would inevitably destroy the delicate ecological balance of the ground water.

    How anyone cannot recognize this as bargain for Barbados IN PERPETUITY mystifies me.

    It is a now-or-never opportunity that cannot be lost. Future generations would never forgive such stupidity on our part.

  51. Pogo, where you been hiding?

    An environmental impact study was done at the outset, the results made public at the Town Hall meeting. This is a requirement of Town and Country for all such proposals.

    It roundly condemned many aspects and said many others potential problems went unanswered such as the noise pollution hazard.

    Every ministry consulted also condemned Kerins’ proposal for an aquatic fun park, starting with Ministry of Agriculture who occupy the land, but do not “own” it. (Later there were some backsliders yielding to political pressure)

    The E.I.S. has been kicked around from the start as a basic reason for rejecting the proposal, but the FIX was already in…

  52. Mark3

    “I think that I will never see
    a condo lovely as the sea
    Indeed unless the condos fall
    I’ll never see the sea at all”

    Old, but good.

  53. samizdat

    BFP, I’m not trying artificially to impose a follow up. Just suggesting to you that such a story (if true) clearly warranted further investigation and subsequent reportage on your part.

    Be interesting to hear what AL has to say (since as I recall he didn’t comment on the story the first time).

    As for the money-laundering series – ok, cool, it’s coming. I’ll be patient. But as a matter of courtesy, how about periodic updates/reminders to all BFP readers that it IS still in preparation…?

    Cheers.

  54. J. Payne

    I’m with BFP on this one…

    The DLP did weasle out of that answer… Read it again– nothing was actually commited to it as to what was stated about Graeme Hall… It was just made— to sound like they did.


    The Issue of Graeme Hall has been spoken to by several members of the Democratic Labour Party. As recent as the 17th of June Mr. Stephen Lashley gave quite a lenghty presentation on the Grame Hall Issue. A week before that Mr. Ronald Jones speaking in Parliament was able to elicit from the Minister of the Environment that Graeme Hall was declared a Ramsat site and therefore falls under the convention which governs such site.

    The DLP has not been silent on this matter. To suggest to the contrary is to create an issue for the DLP.

    The Government is the one whose feet should be held to the fire for their silence and inaction. The Democratic Labour Party supports green spaces in Barbados, the protection of wetlands, open windows to the sea, the safeguarding of our gullies and protection of our last remaining indigenous forests. This is the beginning of the process of fashioning a holistic policy on the environment. Everything cannot be achieved in a day. Furthermore the Leader of the DLP has placed confidence in the persons who speak to these issues as they affect our people and the environment.
    —-

    Example 1. They said they support “green spaces.”(They never said how much and whether or not that open space means Grame Hall in its entirety…. 1 Acre, 2 Acres, Just RAMSAT, a piece of RAMSAT, a Tennis ball court size…. I mean really give the public an idea of how much you commit to….. I want to hear what was meant etc. Not Implied.)

    As they teach in school never “assume” anything because if you “ASSUME” it can make an ‘Ass’ out of ‘U’–and–‘Me.’
    Under their current implied— statement they could tell you they support open space and leave just a tennis court size and then turn around and say- they never said they would preserve all of Grame Hall. That’s the kind of statement that BFP wants them to say. When you make the statement say it like a lawyer.

    Something that would work would be like the DLP. supports the right of Barbadians not to have the entire Grame Hall preserve area developed into a water park etc. Or the DLP agrees with the public of Barbados in not turning Grame Hall into a water park or something along those lines.

    Example 2. The DLP gave their duty as their answer. As an opposition they are supposed to ask the government questions about anything it does. Their answer was.

    “A week before that Mr. Ronald Jones speaking in Parliament was able to elicit from the Minister of the Environment (BLP) that Graeme Hall was declared a Ramsat site and therefore falls under the convention which governs such site.”

    Again but what is the DLP aiming for to protect only RAMSAT? or the whole thing? Again this is very vague. Clearity needs to be made. Also this is just an example again of being an Opposition party. Does the DLP swear that when they are in power they too will support the protection of RAMSAT? because all they are doing here is asking the government in power to consider protecting it.

    Flip Flopping has been done before… Example. Basdeo Panday in Trinidad was in favor of the Caribbean Court of Justice before— his current state (As an Opposition) of being against it…. lol

    Example 3.

    “The Graeme Hall site must be protected and should not be opened to major man made projects.”

    Define “major”???? Will the DLP party commit to preserving no less then say 80% of the Graem Hall swamp and abutting parcel? 90% of the two? Will they fund the acquisition of the land currently in private hands? No commitment yet again is given. It is crafted in a way that implies the whole– thing but again they can say they never said that. Would they only protect 95% of RAMSAT etc…? Nothing is nailed down as a commitment. The BFP is correct in this regard. The DLP made a good line about protecting gullies and windows to the sea etc. all very good causes that Barbadians want the government to protect and stand up for… However at the risk of calling a spade a spade it is politic-ing at it’s best. The DLP should make a statement on where exactly it stands with Graeme Hall. Does it plan to protect the whole thing and acquire the adjacent lands. The soo called “Tropical Education Centres”etc.

    All of this can be easily answered and I fell it is not too much to have BFP challenge the DLP (as a possible future government of Barbados) to make an inequitable statement on precisely where they stand on the matter in a way that leaves no room for future disambiguates. The public has a right to know on the bulls eye!

  55. J. Payne

    Sorry a meant to remove the large (quoted) part in the middle of the document… I hit send a tad to fast and it was off and posted before I realized.

  56. more

    I suspect the research into the money-laundering series turned up more than BFP expected.

  57. Northpoint7

    Pandora says “Pogo, where you been hiding?

    An environmental impact study was done at the outset, the results made public at the Town Hall meeting. This is a requirement of Town and Country for all such proposals”

    Pandora, where can we see a copy of the environmental impact report? Did they publish it at the Caribbean Splash website? (NO) Is it at the Environment Ministry website? (NO)

    When a copy of some report was at the library, Mathew Kerins forbade anyone to copy it and the librarian let people look at it but they could not make notes!

    Please post a copy of the environmental impact report!

    SEE! This is what they do. They (waterpark developer Kerins) makes ONE COPY available at the library, forbids anyone to photocopy it or even make notes of what it says. THEN Kerins says “oh I followed the letter of the law!”

    Typical bully. Two million in “consulting fees” he pays and he is going to loose it! Looks good on him HA HA HA

  58. Justasking

    nitpicker
    July 4th, 2007 at 10:12 pm
    BFP it is a minor point- almost off-subject, but RAMSAR should not be capitialised. It is not an acronym as I had thought until I researched what on earth the letters stood for.

    Ramsar is the Iranian town at which the Ramsar Convention was held in 1971, plain and simple. One less mystery to ponder over.
    ___________________________________

    nitpicker, you are correct. dlpbarbados it is “Ramsar” not “Ramsat”. You now have other posters quoting “Ramsat”.

  59. more

    “Two million in “consulting fees” he pays and he is going to loose it! Looks good on him HA HA HA”

    Northpoint7, have you ever heard that you can only con a con man?

    Anyone planning to invest in Barbados should do very careful research first unless of course it does not matter to them if they lose their money which is something that has taken me years to come to grips with. i.e. that there are people who actually want and need to lose money to make it -“offshore investment”

    I grew up in the days when you worked hard to make money not to lose it. How things have changed.

  60. Northpoint7

    Kerins was moaning about it at the public meeting and he didn’t sound like he was happy to loose it. It sounded like the light bulb in his head came on and he realized as he was speaking that he had been taken.

    I don’t think he planned to throw that money away because he has been fighting so hard.

  61. J. Payne

    He could always build it elsewhere.

    It doesn’t have to go on the last bit of Barbados ground that hasn’t been mash-down and turned into cow pasture, old house, hotel, or condos. I feel though iz- he own fault though if he really came with ill intensions though of wanting to hoodwink the people into giving him crown lands to build his private venture.

    What he’s asking– would be like him asking the United States to give him Yellowstone National Park so that he could fill it in and build a huge shopping mall.

  62. Tudor

    At the Town Hall meeting Richard Goddard put Kerins canadian consultant on the spot by asking him if the Canadians would allow allow a water park to be built in Stanley Park (Vancouver).His answer has a rather sheepish smile.

    Personally I do not believe that Barbados can support a water park , far less 2, as Ocean Park will be building a smaller version along with a “swim with the dolphins” pool.

    As I understand the position of FOGH, build it somewhere else due to the environmental impact on Graeme Hall They are not opposed to the water park in prinicple but not at Graeme Hall.

    I understand that the matter of Caribbean Splash is before the PM, I suspect that he will sit on it until after elections as if he says no now, it may have sever negative implications for him. If he loses the elections then someone else has to deal with that. I also remember that Kerins said at the town hall meeting that Govt could not back out now and that he had been sent to Graeme Hall.

  63. Pogo

    I am chastised for not knowing there was an environmental impact study. In fact I read the one that Kerins and co had done for them and it was funny the way they said that as soon as things are built we will see that there is no danger so there was no need to do too much of an assessment now.

    Very comforting.

    However what I was asking was whether before the government told Kerins to put Splash in the Graeme Hall Watershed did it -government not Kerins’s group- know from its own unbiased review what the dangers were?

    Relying on an environmental or any study done by a developer is like letting the fox guard the henhouse.

  64. pandora

    Northpoint7- I see you were at the Town Hall meeting too.

    Do you not recall one speaker saying that he had managed to obtain a copy of the environmental impact report, going through it to point out all the adverse aspects which Kerins and Crew tried to gloss over? I do.

    Tudor, who also attended the Town Hall meeting correctly recalls that Kerins and his advisors glossed over the unanswered aspects of the EIS. The consultant from Vancouver, who seemed a very decent guy, not only gave a sheepish smile. I am sure I heard him say, “Well, actually I wouldn’t want one in Stanley Park.”

    I had hoped that the speaker who quoted from the EIS would have provided Watersplash opponents with a copy of it. Unfortunately it appears he has not yet done so. One would think that such a survey should be in the public domain, obtainable from Town and Country Planning Dept. In view of the political sensitivity of matters, we can rest assured Town and Country will not cooperate even though their job is to protect the people’s interests. Mark Cummins has his job to protect, after all, which is why he has never dared come out and condemn Caribbean Splash as he should.

  65. Justasking

    Pandora, as Chief Town Planner (CTP) it would not be appropriate for Mr. Cummins to come out and condemn Caribbean Splash, whatever his personal position.

    This is what Mr. Leonard had to say in a letter to the editor (July 20, 2006) regarding the application for Caribbean Splash. To date no one has contradicted him so we can take it as being correct.

    It’s entirely up to minister
    Published on: 7/20/06.
    I DID NOT HEAR the Prime Minister’s intervention in the programme on Sunday afternoon (July 16, 2006) and I am relying on the accuracy of the report in the DAILY NATION, July 17, 2006, on Page 4.
    “Arthur placed the ball in the court of the Chief Town Planner….”
    This idea is contrary to law.
    You may wish to read for yourself the Sections 3, 4 and 18 of the Town & Country Planning Act from which the following facts emerge:
    1. The minister responsible for Town & Country Planning is advised by a Town & Country Planning Advisory Committee established by law for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the minister under the act.
    The Chief Town Planner is NOT a member of that Committee because inter alia it constitutes a body to which appeal is made against decisions of the Chief Town Planner on applications for permission to develop land.
    2. Applications for permission to develop agricultural land of over two acres are removed from the jurisdiction of the Chief Town Planner by order of the minister under prescription of Section 18 of the act requiring that any application made to the Chief Town Planner for planning permission SHALL BE REFERRED TO THE MINISTER INSTEAD OF BEING DEALT WITH by the Chief Town Planner.
    3. Before determining an application referred to him under this Section 18, The minister shall, if either the applicant or the Chief Town Planner so desire, give each of them an opportunity of appearing before and being heard by a person or persons (of the ADVISORY COMMITTEE) appointed by the minister for the purpose.
    4. All applications for planning permission must be determined i.e. DEALT WITH in accordance with provisions of the Development Plan in force at the time.
    Not admissible
    No application is admissible where the consent of the owner of the land has not been given.
    Furthermore, any significant amendment of the allocation of uses to land in the Development Plan approved by Parliament and brought into operation in March 1977 and subsequently amended by Parliament in 1991, must be subject to the process of public notification of the minister’s approval of the amendment and public enquiry of objections and representations held under the provisions of Section 9 of the Act Cap 240.
    Far from being in the Chief Town Planner’s court, the ball is in the minister’s face, who must consult the Town & Country Planner Advisory Committee (if one exists). According to law, the Chief Town Planner must not DEAL WITH this application, but refer it immediately to the minister. If the Chief Town Planner wishes to be heard on this application he must make a request of the minister for that purpose. The application will be determined i.e. dealt with by the minister advised by the Town & Country Planning Advisory Committee.
    A distinction must be made between an application for permission to develop land in accordance with an approved Development Plan; and the process of AMENDMENT of the Development Plan which is in force at the time.
    “I speak not to disprove what Brutus says; But here I am to speak what I do know.” (professionally)
    – LEONARD ST HILL

    Does anyone know who sits on the Town & Country Planning Advisory Committee? My understanding is that one has not been appointed for years? Maybe someone can set the record straight?

  66. cat eyes

    I have just read Lighthearted’s contribution, and to be honest, it is the most worthwhile I have read in a while. The submission kinda contradicts the name tho.(smile)

  67. fair dinkum

    Why stop the paving of Graeme Hall National Park? Maybe it would motivate the citizens of New York to build houses in Central Park. They don’t really need Central Park, do they?