New Trinidad and Tobago’s “Slightly Used” Fast Ferry Ready To Go! (Meanwhile In Barbados A Government Culture Of “Always Buy New, Always The Best” Is Bankrupting The Country)


T & T Spirit Is A Converted Military Vessel Of The Best Kind: Used, Proven & Already Depreciated

Trinidad & Tobago’s new inter-island ferry is a wave-piercing catamaran that was converted from a four-year old military vessel. The Port Authority of Trinidad & Tobago has no problem purchasing a used vessel in good shape as opposed to a new new one with high depreciation and untested systems.

We like that kind of thinking and we’d like to see more of it coming from the Barbados government and civil service.

Do you ever notice how our government projects in Barbados all have to be “first class” or nothing? Nevermind that the government seldom pulls them off well, or that the cost-overruns are criminal… we’re talking about a certain philosophy or culture that kicks in at the conceptual stage.

This culture causes our elected and appointed government officials to reject anything that isn’t brand shiny new. So instead of “making do” with less grandiose designs and projects, Barbados forges ahead with “the best” and plunges the country further and further into debt.

It is this “gotta have the best” culture that caused the criminal spending of the Cricket World Cup instead of a more modest expenditure. It is this culture that will see our grandchildren still paying for first-class flyovers and a prison that is wildly out of proportion to this tiny country’s needs.

Race Plays A Part In Our Decisions – It Is A Legacy We Must Conquer

There is also a “we are as good as whitey countries” chip on the shoulder that causes our government officials to always fly first class (no matter what), to stay in the best hotels, to build diplomatic missions like those in Miami and New York that are wildly out of proportion to our tiny economy.

What’s next, the rumoured corporate jet for government bigwigs?

Hey… we’ve heard those rumours too and they had better not be true! I don’t care how good a deal it is or how much the facts are twisted to justify the ongoing costs – the government is smoking Tafari’s herb if it thinks it could pull that one off!

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We have not even 300,000 souls on this rock. Anywhere in North America or Europe that counts as a large town or a small city. In Asia, 300,000 people is only a village. National pride aside, your job’s complexity, budget and responsibility doesn’t even come close to that of being the Mayor of a major city anywhere on earth.

So let’s keep our national pride, but drop the pretenses when it comes to the projects we choose and how we go about them. Let’s buy used when possible. Think smaller, make do and let’s climb out of this financial hole that we have driven into at full speed.

If we ran our family’s finances the way the country is run, we’d be out in the street by the end of the year.

Story Link: Trinidad & Tobago Express – ‘T&T Spirit’ ready to set sail soon


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

18 responses to “New Trinidad and Tobago’s “Slightly Used” Fast Ferry Ready To Go! (Meanwhile In Barbados A Government Culture Of “Always Buy New, Always The Best” Is Bankrupting The Country)

  1. Hants

    Lowdown reading BFP.

    He wrote this in yesterday’s Nation …

    “Someone else emailed an illustrated story about
    a king who allowed a castle to fall into ruins and his dragon friend was about to take it over at a low price. But another dragon came in from “the land where
    you can’t fish” and messed up things. Don’t ask me
    what that’s all about. Maybe BARBADOS FREE-PRESS can explain. ”

    The audience is widening BFP.

  2. Northpoint7

    King Arthur let his castle fall into ruins, and the dragon friend (China) tried to save the day but the dragon from “where you can’t fish” (Trinidad and Tobago) messed up things.

    The reporters at the Nation News are so messed up afraid that they have to write this cryptic garbage?

    Thank goodness we have Barbados Free Press to tell us straight.

  3. Red Lake Lassie

    In your article you say:

    *** There is also a “we are as good as whitey countries” chip on the shoulder that causes our government officials to always fly first class (no matter what), to stay in the best hotels, to build diplomatic missions like those in Miami and New York that are wildly out of proportion to our tiny economy. ***

    That is a piece of truth BFP and a truth that is not going to be printed elsewhere.

  4. more

    You all forgot to mention the top-of-the-line Beemers.

  5. Duh..

    Don’t see why we need a big second hand
    (from Trinidad? I don’t think so!)
    cruiser to go between Barbados and Culpepper Island..


    BFP comments…

    DUH…. it is not about the ferry. It is about the philosophy behind the ferry vs. what our government does.

    But you already knew that, didn’t you?

  6. crossroads

    This type of approach is not only shown in new projects. It has always been this and previous goverments policy to build new, rather than to implement an efficient maintance program on all of its properties, be it schools, offices, police stations etc. Have you ever visited some of these places and seen the deplorable conditions that our public service staff work under. Its no wonder their attitudes in some of these offices suck.

  7. FamilyB

    crossroads, that has always been my contention, rather than maintain what we already have, and make the best of it; the policy of successive governments is to let the investments run to ruin, declare it unfit, and slake their thirst for new, first world projects, via foreign, and now local funding.

  8. Marvin Bareback

    There is an excellent book called “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” that deals extensively with the many ways western (Read: US) countries loan funds to the Caribbean and Latin America. The main point the author makes is that they intentionally overestimate on every funded project in order to bankrupt the country. They then go on to bail out the country at a huge cost by imposing an IMF or World Bank program. Plus they expect the support of the country in world legislative bodies for the “favour” of bailing them out…
    It is little wonder that Barbadian society and its government have bought into the consumerist machinery and will order up the most expensive option when it comes to new war ships……

  9. Straight talk

    Martin Bareback:
    You are propogating a conspiracy theory, and these ridiculous assertions are not alliowed on this blog.
    Good bye.

  10. Marvin Bareback

    Much less harm in propagating theories than in propagating government debt. There is much to be wary of from those who believe in the Monroe doctrine and manifest destiny……

  11. Straight talk

    Careful Martin you are really pushing the limit now.

  12. more

    Straight talk, I too have read “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”. Perhaps you should read it too because it is not theory it is fact. The evidence is there for all to see.

    Since when do you dictate what BFP does?

  13. Straighter talk


    There are manifold facts which are consigned by society to theory.

    You should be more circumspect when reading posts.

    P.S. It’s a good read, isn’t it?

  14. Rumplestilskin

    Me see dat Manning seeking passing a bill to postpone de local elexshuns a second time.

    So when is de Republic of Trinidad, Tobago and Buhbayduss we ent goin have tuh worry bout party an elexshuns.

    It jus going be scrunting, scrunting, scrunting, while President Manning and Vice Pres Owen fly overhead in de choppers waving tuh we.

    Wuh loss.

  15. robert

    you know, as a trinidadian, i’m really taken aback by you bagians, we have two 2nd hand fast ferry to service the two islands, and you don’t have any, secondly, in as much as you are saying, about new or nothing, i recently travelled to your island, and to be quite honest, i’m not impress, also, we have quite a lot of bagians, ( who do not like trinis) living and working here, but do we bash them, no, that caribbean love, so pull your head out off you know what, and don’t be jealous bastards.

  16. Four lights

    Had a business trip to Trinidad last month and your building boom is endless. What I dont comprehend is your orgy of murder and your mind boggling crime wave. Overall like you I was not impressed. I want someone to explain Trinidad to me. Has the whole place gone bonkers? Oh by the way learn to spell.

  17. ToniTrini

    Well Four lights, it’s complicated. But first, why the bite at the end? As someone who grew up with my Bajan great-grandmother (a Lynch from St. Michael) and has a Vincy father, I am always perplexed by this bitterness towards us. There is no need for it.

    Anyway, to answer your enquiry, there is a historical element and a new addition to the problem. If you look at where these murders are happening, 9 out of 10 times it’s in one of four areas near the capital, and to a lesser extent Central Trinidad.

    Back when Eric Williams was fortifying his election machine he opened up the borders to people from other caribbean islands to ensure votes for the PNM for generations to come (it worked by the way). Some came legally to participate in what was then an oil boom, others came illegally and set up shop. Generally, these immigrants came less educated and economically ill equipped to make it in T&T. Trinidad was and remains a class-based society – everything is determined by your family name, how much money the family has, the school you went to, how many qualifications you have and what your racial composition is (read “complexion & hair”). They found themselves, along with other poor local blacks, at a serious disadvantage. Many of their descendants turned to illegal activities and crime as a way to make it. With this generation the gang culture from the US has taken root making it worse. Young black men see the gun as their response to every perceived insult, just like NY or LA years ago. Everything now is about “respect”.

    In addition to the home grown criminal element it was found in 2001, after a spate of kidnappings and other serious crimes, that the US was deporting over 300 criminals a year to Trinidad for the previous two years. Without informing any officials. Many were interviewed and spoke of the despair at finding themselves in a country with no family or friends (many left the island as children) no money, no education or skills and no hope. Most were recruited by the local drug and gang lords. And they brought all their “first world” criminal experience with them.

    The gang warfare currently going on in Laventille/Morvant & Diego Martin/Carenage is responsible for over 75% of the murders. As a Trini who grew up in the east, (and to this day the gate is unlocked, never really had any crime in our part of town) let me tell you that once you a) are not involved in the drug trade or in a gang, b) don’t flash your cash or be foolish with your safety or c) are a businessman with a busy cash-on-premises venture, you will be fine. Don’t let the newspapers and whinging Trinis (“Oh god girl, de crime, we go dead here”) make you feel that you’ll die at random walking down the street in Trinidad. Most of Trinidad is just like other caribbean islands.

    Yes, Trinidad is booming and money is flowing. But for those who are ill equipped with neither the education, skills nor foundation to participate in the boom, taking some of it by force is their choice.

  18. Lee

    ToniTrini I have to agree with you, that was well said.