Daily Archives: January 13, 2008

To The 7,000 Folks Who Signed The Graeme Hall National Park Petition…

You might have noticed that just the day before the election was called, Owen Arthur cynically “canceled” the Caribbean Splash Water Park despite the developer’s earlier statement that he had paid “over 2 million dollars” to various “consultants” to have the water park approved.

(For those uninitiated in obtaining land use permissions from the Barbados BLP government under former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, certain large payments had to be made to “highly recommended consultants” for “consultation” before such approvals would be granted. Corruption and bribes are the same no matter what they are called.)

I suppose that the water park developer has been told to keep silent during the election and something will be worked out later. (Hey Matthew Kerins… you can kiss that 2 million dollars goodbye when the DLP wins the election!)

Now we see that the BLP say they intend to purchase the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary… What a joke! The owner hasn’t heard a thing about it – and the government  previously refused an offer to have most of the sanctuary lands GIVEN to Barbados (as in “free”).

What’s the problem?

The BLP, Owen Arthur and their developer friends want to get their greedy hands on the lands around the sanctuary. 7000 good people signed a petition indicating that they want a National Park around the sanctuary – not more condos.

Owen Arthur and Dr. Duguid are telling a big one with their “promise” to purchase the nature sanctuary.

Don’t buy into their lies, folks!

Head over to Keltruth Blog for the entire sick story of how Dr. Duguid and Owen Arthur are lying to you again…

Keltruth Blog: BLP makes incongruous promise to buy Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary after refusing most of same as a gift!

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

Owen Arthur Says Noel “Instant Millionaire” Is The Best Tourism Minister Barbados Ever Had!

‘It happened because a man who has a passion for the industry, who is respected by everyone in tourism, at home and abroad, has gone out of his way to work every day’ Owen Arthur said.

This was part of a speech by the Prime Minister when describing Minister of Tourism, Noel Lynch, last Wednesday during at meeting at Villa Road, St. Michael.

The Prime Minister went on to describe, Noel Lynch ‘as the most outstanding Minister of Tourism, Barbados has ever had’.

Well!

Does the record confirm this?

27 hotels have closed during the 13 years of the BLP administration.

Between 2002 and 2004, some 2,000 jobs were lost in the sector. Down from 14,200 to 12,200 and that’s according to the Ministry of Labour.

In the first nine months of last year alone over 67,000 airline seats were lost.

The stewardship of Minister Lynch over the return of LIAT to a monopoly carrier has decimated Intra Caribbean travel, with all the detrimental economic consequences this has inflicted on the accommodation and ancillary tourism sector across the region.

Only now, is The Minister speaking about ‘a strict zoning regime is coming for condominiums’. 27 closed hotels later.

In their manifesto they are boasting a growth in tourism earnings from $2 billion to $4 billion in five years.

A growth that they have not even been close to achieve even with rampant inflation!

The Prime Minister may be under the illusion. That Noel Lynch is the ‘most outstanding Minister of Tourism’ but I suggest he talks to a red cap, a taxi driver, a hotel room maid, a restaurant waiter or one of the many hotel staff that that have had the working hours reduced during this, the peak winter season.

Ask also one of the 10 passengers that flew in on the much heralded Fort Lauderdale flight yesterday or the hundreds of passengers that have had their flights cancelled in recent weeks.

You only have to compare our performance both in terms of tourism arrivals and earnings with virtually all of our Caribbean neighbours to see exactly how we are doing.

And no rational person could conclude we have the ‘most outstanding Minister of Tourism’.

Adrian Loveridge
13 January 2008

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

From Hardwood To Soft Cotton – An Expose Of The Disaster That Is The Barbados Sea Island Cotton Company

The Best Kept Secret Scandal Of The BLP Government

ECCI – Another Cariscot In The Making

We have spent a lot of time and energy discussing the corruption exposed about Hardwood. There is yet another company justifying forensic investigation which deals with cotton – ECCI.

ECCI was incorporated about 3 years ago as a private sector company, but is now under the direct control of the Minister of Agriculture and his hatchet man/political sidekick – the Chief Agricultural Officer. This same Ministry has never grown a successful cotton crop at Graeme Hall and is light years behind in agricultural technology. They have failed miserably to take the Sea Island cotton industry forward in the last 20 years and their support to the cotton industry is basically worthless.

The Ginnery at Groves, St. George cost $4million of taxpayers’ money and never even went to tender. It was given to a party hack contractor with no relevant ginnery design expertise. The design is a catastrophe, the site choice was the worst (sloping with foundation problems), and the building has serious construction flaws which remain unresolved, yet the contractor was paid in full.

About a year and a half ago, there was a $4million buyout of ECCI with taxpayers’ money through the Enterprise Growth Fund Limited – shades of Hardwood!
In addition to the $8million at risk at that point, how much more of the taxpayers’ money has been thrown into the bottomless pit? Are we up to the $10million CARSICOT cotton scandal figures yet?

ECCI is now a fully Government controlled and operated company, which is basically insolvent and totally dependent on a financial life support system from this BLP government.

Raw cotton lint sits in a Swiss warehouse, where it has resided for the last one and a half years. Is it true that ECCI has a pending joint venture with the owner of this Swiss company who has no apparel design/garment manufacturing or textile marketing experience?

What is the justification for excluding a reputable North American company with advanced high class design and marketing capability and fine finished end products from a possible joint venture with ECCI? Is it true that this company has managed to land a significant sales contract for Sea Island Cotton end products with Sandy Lane Hotel right under the noses of ECCI using ECCI’s own cotton?

The ECCI board of directors was subject to ethnic cleansing by the Minister of griculture and his political sidekick. All the white board members/shareholders were unceremoniously kicked off the board right after the $4million Government corporate takeover with taxpayers’ money. Other white senior staff members also suffered the same fate. SHADES OF MUGABE!

This company is controlled by a misfit Management Committee. Why is a land surveyor with strong links to the land shark cartel presiding as Chairman, together with the pompous political Ministry of Agriculture bureaucrat, another from the failing BAMC and yet another from a company of takeover fame? Why are these people with no proven competence running a company with the potential to make multi-million dollars in revenue of foreign exchange earnings for Barbados?

After an extensive corporate search by Price Waterhouse for a CEO, how exactly did ECCI end up with a non-selected Cable & Wireless dropout as CEO? What is his relevant background in agribusiness, the textile industry, apparel design/manufacturing, or the Sea Island Cotton industry for that matter? Apparently none. How did this same individual end up with a remuneration of $12,000 per month, which includes a brand new SUV, health insurance, entertainment, etc. This is a novice CEO who has nothing to bring to the table, while extracting money from a company which is basically bankrupt/insolvent.

Why did the ManagementCommittee never see fit to hire a full-time bookkeeper/accountant? Why pay an outside so-called “consultant” $75 an hour for basic bookkeeping, clerical and secretarial services? This person sometimes takes home $10,000 to $12,000 a month with inflated invoices for what should have been a couple hours a day. What is the true nature of the relationship between the Chairman and this consultant which makes her “untouchable”?

Is it true that the real agenda is to ensure that ECCI fails, so as to free up more land for golf courses, villas and condos to satisfy the insatiable appetite of the land shark cartel. Does the Chairman also represent the interests of this cartel through high level involvement in their various companies?

Can the BLP deny that the extent of financial exposure with taxpayers’ money is now in the region of $10million for ECCI, including the ginnery, with no definite income in sight, and worst of all, with no competent people in position to run it?

Should a potential multi million dollar business, dealing with cotton that is SUPPOSED to be the best cotton in the world, but whose quality has been allowed to degenerate through incompetence on the part of the technocrats at the Ministry of Agriculture, be allowed to continue to flounder in the wrong hands?

We have gone from HARDWOOD TO SOFTCOTTON. The picture is basically the same. Government interference and involvement in private industry, squandermania, corruption and gross incompetence – a tragic and reoccurring picture under the BLP administration.

A new DLP government must swiftly bring a halt to the operations of ECCI, institute a forensic audit of the Company and be prepared to apply corrective surgery (not at the QEH!), to restructure and restart this vital industry with the talented people now marginalized and victimized – another trademark of the BLP.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption