Prime Minister Thompson: Where Is The Throne Speech? Where Is The Transparency You Promised?

pm-thompson-doggy.jpg

Dear Prime Minister Thompson,

Yesterday thousands of Barbadians listened to the Speech from the Throne that outlined your government’s priorities and plans for the next year.

But thousands more were not able to listen to the speech or hear it all. And even for those who did hear it all, it is one thing to listen to a 44 page document being read – it is quite another to have it in your hand for consideration now and in the future.

Bajan citizens wake this morning to discover that the text of the DLP Government’s Throne Speech is not available to the public.

None of the media outlets reprinted the Throne Speech verbatim either online or on paper. It does not appear at the Barbados Government Information Service, at the DLP Blog or at the DLP party website.

Mr. Prime Minister, when you and your party launched your Election Manifesto you posted it online immediately and thousands downloaded it from here, here, here and at the DLP website. You and your party knew how important that action was to your election goal and you know how EASY and EFFECTIVE it was to post your Election Manifesto online.

Transparency and accountability are two sides of the same coin. By failing to make your government’s most important document to date easily and widely available to the citizens – you and your party have shown that your promises of transparency and accountability were merely words to get elected.

Prime Minister Thompson: this was your, and your DLP Government’s, first big opportunity to show that you have truly embraced transparency and accountability to the citizens of Barbados…

… and you blew it.

142 Comments

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

142 responses to “Prime Minister Thompson: Where Is The Throne Speech? Where Is The Transparency You Promised?

  1. Bajanboy

    I’ve been looking for it as well. The DLP needs to realise that it is no longer business as usually when it comes to releasing information. The technology is there is release it immediately, both in text, audio and video. Let’s see how long it takes them to respond.

  2. passing through south

    ppl like they now realising alot of it was just promises to win an election.oh dear oh dear

  3. Jason

    Terrible terrible terrible non-performance by Thompson. It would have been so simple to do. They published their manifesto when it suited them but now that they have the keys to the treasury?

    Thompson’s election victory was the end of transparency. Shame shame.

  4. wv

    Wait, yall wanted a throne speech a day after it was read? Yall even wanted it in the NEWSPAPER??????? Man wha de RH i hearing?!

  5. Jason is correct it would have been so easy for the government to publish the throne speech online and or put the video online.

    The DLP did all that when they wanted to get elected. The election and the honeymoon are over all right!

  6. John

    You have a point BFP.

    Even when Owen used to read the budget speech for hours on end it appeared in the paper next day.

    So to did the DLP’s reply.

    This is definitely an omission if it isn’t available today.

    The reasons we will hear, no doubt in time.

  7. crossroads

    the more things change
    the more they remain the same

  8. GreenBB

    I need this one explained to me…the man gave the speech correct? Live and simulcast on the radio. So what you are asking for is the transcribed speech to be available for people who missed it to read right?

    Well for one it has only been (1) day. In my mind that has nothing to do with transparency, the speech was public, why didn’t BFP transcribe it, or tape it and make a YouTube Audio File? Why not do for yourself instead of waiting around for someone to do it for you?

    Here is the transcription of Bush’s latest State of the Union Address, nowhere near 40+ pages:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html

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

    BFP Says,

    NO Green BB,

    We are asking that the 44 page Throne Speech that was given to the VIPs, the “check against delivery” copy, be posted online immediately along with the video of the delivery.

    You know… EXACTLY as was done with the Election Manifesto by Thompson and the DLP when they wanted our votes so badly.

    And FYI, the Throne Speech would have been read word-for-word by the Governor General. He doesn’t throw stuff in as he goes along you know! So a copy of the document that he held in his hand would not significantly differ from the delivered version.

    Like everyone says… the DLP were happy to be transparent when they wanted our votes.

    Now?

    What a sad joke.

  9. Poor Show Thompy

    Sesame Street song about the new and old governments,

    “One of these things is exactly like the other”

  10. akabozik

    The government didn’t feel that it’s throne speech was important enough to preserve historically in the public record so why should I care about it? MORE BULL

  11. Jay_remiah

    “I have a bad feeling about this…”

    Well, they may still have a chance to redeem themselves. But they GOT to do it asap.

    Like, by this evening (it’s 11am now).

    We’re waiting, DLP Admin…tick tock!

  12. Where Is Wishing In Vain?

    Hello Wishing In Vain? Hello? Hello?

    Are you still alive?

    What do you have to say now? You were so sure that the DLP and Thompy would be sooooooo different than Owen.

    Hello? Hello?

    Calling Wishing In Vain!

  13. Red Lake Lassie

    Jay_remiah says ““I have a bad feeling about this…”

    Me too. I don’t see no declaration of assets neither!

  14. The people must be first not politricks

    It is not easy being in a barren and dry place for so long. So now its time to drink and eat a plenty at the Oasis of pleasure, party, pocketing, pervasiveness and the inclusion of Politricks

  15. justice

    Are we expecting perfection from this DLP administration? How many will read the Throne Speech anyway? Is the Throne Speech a binding document? Should we not wait and see? Is our complaint in all this not that the DLP is technologically inept or unsavvy? Does that equate to poor governance?

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

    BFP Says,

    And so the DLP apologists start…

    “You don’t really need to know about the Throne Speech anyway. Trust us. We will tell you what the citizens NEED to know…”

  16. Hants

    BFP says…”We are asking that the 44 page Throne Speech that was given to the VIPs, the “check against delivery” copy, be posted online immediately along with the video of the delivery.”

    The should also mail a copy to every household in Barbados. That would get it to those who do not have a radio or TV.

    They could also hand deliver a copy to all the Homeless in Bridgetown.

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

    BFP says,

    Hants… what happened to your passion for openness and accountability? Did it whither with the victory of your team?

    All citizens should have the choice of having a copy of the Throne Speech. It is the most basic of documents and THIS is where we citizens who are for integrity, transparency and accountability should make our stand.

    If not with this public document, then with what document? None? Trust the government to say which Parliamentary documents should be easily accessible and which should not be?

    Hants… I’m disappointed in you old friend. We have been fighting the same battle for two years now. You were at BFP almost from day one… April 18, 2006.

    On that first day in April, 2006, when some folks said that we were a DLP mouthpiece, you defended us and said…

    This site will appear biased against the BLP simply because they are the party in power and all Government related problems are their responsibility.This is their third term in office.
    There is not much the DLP can do other than talk.
    This website will hopefully give a voice to Barbadians who care more about Barbados than any political party.

    Barbados is a wonderful country except for some very serious problems that need public discussion.
    Thanks to the owners of this website for caring.

    Now that you can truly see that we aren’t a DLP-run website, you seem to have lost your passion for basic accountability, Hants.

    I guess some other folks are about to receive big surprises too then.

  17. The Broad Street Journal had some comments. See their web site.

    By Patrick Hoyos/The BSJ Published: February 12, 2008

    CAPTION: Prime Minister David Thompson signs autographs for well-wishers in the courtyard of Parliament Square after the formal opening of Parliament on Tuesday, February 12, 2008.

    The Thompson administration used the Throne Speech yesterday to restate most of its manifesto pledges, adding just a few more along the way. The speech, delivered by Acting Governor General Elliott Belgrave at the official opening of Parliament, incorporated long passages of text from the DLP manifesto almost word for word as the government reiterated its plans for lowering the cost of living, improving health care for the whole population, improving access to property ownership and passing a comprehensive package of employment legislation that would increase the power of the employee and the union in the workplace.

    Here are a few initiatives mentioned in the speech which this reporter did not see in the manifesto:

    • The government says it will introduce through the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development what it calls “an innovative Food Security Policy” aimed at lowering the cost of basic foods and enabling the nation to “feed itself for an extended period in the event of a natural or other disaster.”

    • Also, in order to increase the disposable income available to workers, the government says it will introduce what it calls “additional reverse tax credits” as well as introducing a prices and income protocol as a matter of urgency through the social partnership.

    Just over a decade ago the first reverse tax credits were introduced by the then BLP administration with a $500 grant to persons earning less than $13,000 per year. The size of the grant remained the same until last January when then prime minster and minister of finance Owen Arthur proposed to increase the income threshold to $15,000 in 2007, $16,500 in 2008 and $18,000 in 2009, as well as raise the grant to $800 in 2007, $1,100 in 2008 and $1,300 in 2009.

    Mr. Arthur said that at those rates of increase the cost to the Treasury of the reverse tax credits would be well over $40 million, and would benefit over 27,000 people.
    It remains to be seen how much farther the new DLP administration will take these proposals.

    • Another initiative which may have been announced for the first time yesterday came among the various pledges to improve access to property ownership. In addition to the measures proposed in the manifesto and reiterated in the Throne Speech, a new pledge was added, that of transferring National Housing Corporation units free of cost to occupants who have been living in them for 20 years or more, except for legal and transaction costs.

    And on a small note perhaps, the phrase “in the first 100 days” with respect to any of the property ownership measures was replaced with a “over time” in respect of all of them.

    • The government also said, possibly for the first time yesterday that it would establish a full-time chairman of the Pubic Service Commission with the goal of better management of the public service; and rename the Data Processing Department the Central Information Technology Agency, which would bring what it called “a new focus” on IT in the public service, the goal being to computerise and connect all government ministries and departments by 2016, when Barbados will celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence.

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

    BFP says…

    See children? No need for you to see the 44 page document. Let the media pick out all the important stuff for you! No need for you to hold a copy in your hand so you can judge performance against promises two years from now. Trust the DLP. Trust the media.

    Damn! We feel like we can just shut down this blog now. No need for BFP anymore… the DLP have arrived!

  18. Laughing

    This blog has done the unexpected to me at least. In a few short weeks you have gone from inciteful and informative to fickle and foolish.

    First thing, you made an issue out of the GG’s indisposition. Which at first I was taking as an investigative approach but then the great BFP turned downright gossipy. You guys could have started each sentence with: ‘You hear that….’ and no one would have been surprised.

    Second thing, this nonsense about a Throne speech. The Throne speech is a governmental instrument not a DLP instrument.

    The government disseminates its information through the G.I.S. As far as I am aware, the G.I.S. functions as an arm of government not a Statutory Corporation, where the chairman and board ‘are expected’ be replaced with an electoral change.

    Therefore BFP needs to apply a standardized analysis to this situation. If when the DLP was in opposition, the DLP’s comments on some key issues were not widely disseminated, why with the same day to day functionaries (not political heads) in G.I.S., do we expect anything different now, until the DLP government can clean that act up as well. Please remember BFP that the opposition in the Westminster system is a funtioning part of government and therefore should be afforded the same informational facilities as the ‘government’ which you unfortunately narrowly only assume to be the ruling party.

    If the BFP is to function as an informational and implicitly an educational blog you must get your terms and the relationships right.

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

    BFP says,

    Another shell-shocked hardcore DLP supporter learns that the citizens of Barbados really do expect to have access to public documents in a timely and convenient manner – you know… just like the DLP easily did with their Election Manifesto

  19. Brutus

    I too was disappointed that the full text of the speech does not seem to be available. I read the nation and I checked the Advocate Online and very few details of the speech have been reported.

    I am not sure that we should blame the DLP for this. The throne speech was delivered by the GG and presumably is now part of the official record of Parliament. It is not a DLP document that they can simply post on their website. I imagine that there is protocol that has to be followed.

    However I am equally disappointed that the statements I heard on the news about Integrity Legislation, declaration of assets, etc do not seem to have been gotten much attention.

  20. GreenBB

    I would like a laminated copy on acid free paper so that it will stay nice for the next 5 years.

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

    BFP says,

    No, just one publicly available copy in PDF format posted online at the Government Information Service will be fine thankyou – so that citizens can decide for themselves what they think about it.

    You DLP supporters had better think about this long and hard – because whether you realise it or not, this is a major watershed moment of your government.

  21. Listen all you Persons who putting down Mr. Thompson like all new Jobs we do get things wrong at first but with practice we put them right for God’s sake give this government a chance and Allow The Prime Minister to do his job yes maybe his administration made an error but I am sure all who have served in Government past and present will agree that this government is fresh and needs your support not the negative comments being circulated around the Island so Please, Please, Please give Mr. Thompson a chance to prove himself.

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

    BFP says,

    Fair enough. This can be made right within the hour.

    Somebody at government grab a copy of the Throne Speech and scan or save it to a PDF format. Have it posted online today at either the official Government Information Service website (first choice – really where it should be) or the Parliament website or the DLP Party website and we will reconsider our position.

  22. rockready

    Same s**t, just different flies now.

  23. BFP

    Hants also said on May 14, 2006…

    It should not matter what politicians have if they gained their assets honestly.

    Barbados has been fortunate that the majority of our Politicians and Civil servants are honest.

    However, Integrity legislation is important and should be implemented ASAP

    Link here

  24. Yardbroom

    If the established media were at the ceremony, could they not have reported the speech as an important news item, or is that too much to ask of the media.

    I fear there appear to be an element of “glee” just waiting for something to go wrong, particularly if it can be associated with the DLP Government.

    If I may say so this is just being plain silly, there are so many important isues to be addressed in Barbados, that we must be vigilant, but if this vigilance is wasted, when we make an issue of something important, no one will be listening.

  25. reality check

    The Prime Minister just needs to appoint ONE person to make sure these important declarations are uploaded in a timely manner.

    Any University student with minimal computer skills could do this in five minutes and send them out to the local rags and blogs.

    This ommission is serious and is easily remedied if the DLP is really trying to bring in a new era of accountability?

    No more excuses DLP! We know you have your work cut out for you but this information sharing does not require major surgery.

  26. frankology

    I prefer not to place blame on anyone due to the failure of the Throne Speech today’s papers or on the internet. Possibly, GIS was not in receipt of a copy of the speech on a CD or diskette which might be difficult for the media to re-type (which is illegal) the entire speech to meet today’s issue. It is a strong possibility that this speech should be able to meet tomorrow’s issue.

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

    BFP says,

    Frankology, it is about a basic philosophy of government. The DLP had no trouble getting their Election Manifesto online within moments of Thompson’s speech announcing it.

    Either the DLP Government is committed to being transparent and accountable to the citizens, or, like the last BLP government it is not.

    This MAY have been an oversight, but even the oversight says much about the Government’s values and priorities.

    This issue is a foundational indicator of how the DLP Government defines its relationship with the citizens.

    This is a very basic issue and we are taking a stand here and now.

  27. In a quest for tolerance

    BFP, why the hurry to condemn at every turn? I for the first time in my life took an interest in the throne speech and thought that it would be a good thing to have but then it sounded like the manifesto and I already have one.

    While I may agree with you that these things need to be put in the public domain, you are so fast in your utterances that you seem to leave no room for apology but can only keep going down the road of condemnation.

    I am getting that feeling that this blog is being run by a group of perfect people who do everything right the first time and every time. Persons who never cheat on their partners, never play hooky when at work or any such thing.

    I also noticed that you only want a little PDF copy, what about persons without computers to download a copy?

    Oh, by the way, just because someone does not agree with you (Laughing) does not mean they should be labeled. You have done to that person what you accuse others of doing to you.

    Come on BFP, you can take the high road. We do not all have to agree.

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

    BFP says,

    Tolerance is often the folly and refuge of the weak and defeated, or those who stand for nothing.

    ALL PUBLIC DOCUMENTS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE TO ALL CITIZENS IF THAT IS THEIR WISH.

    The last government hated transparency because it arms citizens with knowledge and facilitates accountability.

    It is a simple thing for the government to say “oops” and post it online this very afternoon. If that is done, we may cut the government some slack, but as a few readers have said, we’re very nervous about what this oversight or failure means.

  28. RRRicky

    I agree 100% with BFP, John, Red Lassie and the others. This failure could say a lot about what will happen in the next few years.

    I too am nervous.

  29. Bimbro

    Well said, BFP, don’t they seem frightully, amateurish. Come on Thompy!! You might as well begin, ‘on the right foot’!!!!

    We don’t propose to allow you to remiss on promises and expectations made to us!!!!

  30. Transparency International Member

    What a joke is right. If the BLP had won the election and failed to post the throne speech the DLP supporters would have been lining up to condemn them!

  31. Wishing in Vain

    Lets not get our knickers in a twist here friends, the reason that the Speech has not been posted on the website is that the person charged with that responsibilty is out of the island on business of a personal nature and has not been in a position to do the necessary but trust me it will be posted as soon as he is able to so.

    So without getting excited and carried away in your effort to be critical and accusing any one of you that comment could have taken up the phone and called a MP or even the PM and you would have been given the facts as they pertain to this matter.

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

    BFP says

    Oh Gawd… “The person charged with that responsibility is out of the island on business of a personal nature and has not been in a position to do the necessary…”

    How weak, WIV. How pathetic. What an admission that it wasn’t even considered by the government in all the printing and such that the damned citizens deserve – HAVE A RIGHT – to see it and have it and comment upon it in a timely manner.

    Tell ya what… go downtown to any one of the internet cafes – or to the one in Oistins. They have a sheet-feed scanner. 44 pages will take about 15 minutes tops to scan into a PDF. Cost… ten dollars or less and if you tell Johnny what its for I GUARANTEE he won’t charge you a penny.

    Then email it to us and we’ll post it. Hell… email it to DUGUID – he runs the BLP blog and he will have it up in no time for the government. I GUARANTEE that the BLP would be delighted to post it for the government…

    … seeing as how the ONLY PERSON in the government that knows how to post something online “is out of the island on business of a personal nature and has not been in a position to do the necessary…”

    Pathetic!

  32. NUT CRACKER

    Come on Barbados free press it is not the Dlp fault that someone missed the the throne speech and think about the amount of money it would cost to give ine to every house hold in barbados they do not have that much money after that 1 billion dollars in cost over runs. Hants

    It is most likely going to be placed online only a day has gone sence the throne speech If you wanted it so bad BFP why did you not have it recorded give David a chance he only now gain power thing do not happen over night at least he ain changing zone one land or having huge cost over runs

  33. Floyd

    But the speech is essentially the DLP manifesto which has been widely circulated.

    **********

    BFP says… Oh well then…. NO NEED for anyone to see it because you and some of the papers maybe say it is. Right?

    No need for anything in the future to be made available to the public if it was mentioned in the Election Manifesto, right?

  34. Yardbroom

    “I am not at all nervous” and I will further state that this DLP Government will do a better job than the previous administration.

    They will make mistakes, they will not be able to deliver all that they have promised, but in the long term we will be proud of them.

    I am prepared to give them time to safely take over and manage the affairs of Government, that is only fair, and the country will be better for it, I for one “will not” be constantly carping on the sidelines.

  35. Bimbro

    BFP says,

    Tolerance is often the folly and refuge of the weak and defeated, or those who stand for nothing.

    ALL PUBLIC DOCUMENTS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE TO ALL CITIZENS IF THAT IS THEIR WISH.

    The last government hated transparency because it arms citizens with knowledge and facilitates accountability.

    It is a simple thing for the government to say “oops” and post it online this very afternoon. If that is done, we may cut the government some slack, but as a few readers have said, we’re very nervous about what this oversight or failure means.

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

    Well said, again, BFP. We might as well deal with this government FROM THE BEGINNING, in the way in which we intend to!! Barbadians are fed-up with sloppyness in government and we insist on the highest professional standards or it’ll wreak condemnation from us!!!!

  36. frankology

    With a cadre of professional IT’s and web masters in the island, are you telling us that once an individual is indisposed, everything should be placed on “HOLD”.

    Even the kids with Edutech would have been able to do the job. Why was Mr. Inniss service overlooked?

  37. John

    Already we have seen one person arguing that the 100 days will start from the delivery of the Throne Speech.

    Will we now be left to cogitate and postulate on what exactly is the meaning of “delivery”?

    Does “delivery” occur when the Throne Speech is given or does it occur when it is available to all the people via the press!!?

    Let us cut to the chase.

    What is the score on the 100 days?

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

    BFP says,

    Hey John… let’s leave the 100 days for now… we will be doing an article on that very soon.

    Let’s stick with today’s major issue…. Will the government provide citizens with convenient access to public documents in a timely manner or not?

  38. NUT CRACKER

    come on i agree With floyd th throne speech is the entre manufesto except he mention my goverment

  39. NUT CRACKER

    Please replace he with governal General

  40. John

    Wishing in Vain
    February 13, 2008 at 5:57 pm
    Lets not get our knickers in a twist here friends, the reason that the Speech has not been posted on the website is that the person charged with that responsibilty is out of the island on business of a personal nature and has not been in a position to do the necessary but trust me it will be posted as soon as he is able to so.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Gosh, seems like Bajans are falling down with this indisposition thing like flies since it afflicted the GG.

  41. Laughing

    You know the funny thing is, I am not a supporter of any side. I come here to find the truth whether it be written or implied.
    That is why I didnt just address the Throne speech.

    Yes BFP may have swayed public and governement direction during the last few years of an administration, but please don’t contract Pompus Blogus.

    Anyway enough of that. If just a month after the January 15 election the government had published further details on the integrity legislation or the declaration of assets by the elected officials I think we would have to seriously call into question the validity of the results we would achieve. For one thing any form of mechanism like these must have carefully weighed checks and balances. Secondly, laws cannot be enacted in a vacuum. To make a law work it must work in harmony with pre-existing and or newly created laws. As a moderator on a call in programme this week indicated these laws may stop people from standing for office.

    Worse, they may cause some elected officials to step down. Patience is a stealthy predator.

    We have significant debt to facilitate over the next few years. (repay or refinance) I would personally like to see BFP do a piece on this situation and the capability of our reserves etc. to service this debt.

    This more than a Throne speech (sorry to do that) affects my ability to live comfortably on this island.

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

    BFP says,

    Nope… the DLP Government promised, and they had two clear years under Thompson’s leadership to get their duckies in a row. Then at the last second and only a few weeks before election day, they did a cut and paste of integrity legislation from an online website.

    Now Government spokesperson Wishing In Vain comes on line to say “Oh… the one guy in the government who can publish the throne speech, he’s gone on personal business.”

    PATHETIC!

    You can make it about this blog – but that is a lie. It is about whether the DLP is different or “Meet the new boss – same as the old boss. Won’t get fooled again”

  42. passin thru

    I knew this “new transparency” stuff was a load of crap. I hoped and prayed I was wrong but I was right.

  43. no name

    All it takes is for the thing to be put up where it belongs for everyone to see. It is our right to be able to access the Speech. Everybody knows that in spite of feigning ignorance.

    What is the big deal? Just get it done, stop making lame excuses, all will be well and we can move on.

  44. Thewhiterabbit

    To Wishing in Vain: What? There is only one person in the entire DLP coterie that knows how to upload a pdf file? Man, we in trouble for sure!!!!!

  45. passin thru

    What’s the next excuse?

    THE DOG ATE MY THRONE SPEECH!!

    LOL!

  46. RRRicky

    “The dog ate my throne speech”

    Too much, passin thru. I practically peed my pants!

  47. Bajanboy

    Come on Thompson, post the speech on BFP and all will be forgiven. Please do not act arrogantly as if you need not respond quickly and apologetically, for that was one of the major downfalls of the BLP.

  48. In a quest for tolerance

    BFP says,

    Tolerance is often the folly and refuge of the weak and defeated, or those who stand for nothing.

    Well said BFP. Should I take that comment to mean that you are intolerant and therefore imperfect after all?

  49. Yardbroom

    We are at the moment talking ourselves into trouble when there is no trouble there.

    I hope that the DLP Goverment will not start to govern Barbados by an immediate reaction to what is written on the blogs, that would be a mistake of immense proportions.

    DLP, do not allow yourselves to be dictated to, I am only a blogger and no more than that, it is “all” the citizens of the country you have to answer to, they elected you and they can dismiss you, we are only part of the system.

  50. BFP

    SHONA!!!!!!

    “The Dog Ate My Throne Speech” !!!!

    You MUST! Right now! Please…. 😉

    Robert

  51. Wishing in Vain

    I know the blogs need to excite the public, after the election results and things have slowed down a great deal since the 15 th but let us not go overboard in an effort to sustain readership.

    It will be made available in good time for all to read for the next 5 years.

    As you not be aware the ones charged with taking care of the affairs of this island are busy trying to find out exactly what files were shredded at the UDC office here recently.

    They have some really pressing matters at hand such as delivering on their promise of 500 homes in the shortest of time for failing to deliver will give you plenty of amunition to fire at them, so lets allow them to do what the people put them there to do that is govern.

  52. Yardbroom

    BFP has my contribution been taken by spam because I disagree with you on this one?

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

    BFP Robert says,

    Hi YB,

    I think everything that you posted is online. Is there something else? Nothing in the spam filter from you.

  53. Cliverton Not Signed In

    Shona, I second that. You MUST! Right Now!

    Somebody call Shona and tell her to fire up Photoshop. I can think of a dozen!

  54. Private Pirates

    eh eh eh… let me clear my throat, eh eh eh …

    “I will not Lie, Cheat or Steal”

    ” …we will be a Government of Transparency…”

    “… high prices will be a thing of the past, we will reduce the high cost of living…”

    now honestly I know that some of you all still beleive the cow jump over the moon. This current government is like the Digicel slogan, “expect more, get more”, but expect more and get more of what??? you all tell me.

  55. Lady Anon

    Even when Owen used to read the budget speech for hours on end it appeared in the paper next day.

    So to did the DLP’s reply.

    ———————————

    How is this the fault of the DLP? It is the newspaper editors’ responsibility to have it printed, even if it is in installments.

    What should they have done? Force the hand like the BLP used to do?

    I concede that given the web presence, they should have at least ensured that it is published. But now, such information has to come through the Government Information Service, doesn’t it?

    ***********

    BFP says,

    It is not on the GIS. Are you saying that the new government is somehow not responsible because GIS didn’t publish it? Please!

    It just wasn’t on the government’s radar or thinking to make public documents available to voters. We’ll bet it is on their radar now…

  56. Thomas Gresham

    I wish our new government well and having won the election they have won the right to govern. And it was with thought that I eagerly sat down to listen to the throne speech yesterday.

    But I found it a little confusing. So I was eager to see it in print to study it more carefully.

    From what I heard yesterday the government wants to lower the cost of living, and to that end they want to lower duties on foodstuffs, but they also want to protect agriculture. How do you protect agriculture and reduce duties on food that we produce?

    I know that tightening up on immigration wins some votes from unsavoury quarters, but if we reduced immigration our cost of living would rise. How is the government going to offset this?

    I heard and approve of the governments aim to have a balanced budget which will mean finding substantial savings or raising revenues, but I heard reduced revenues to come from waiving duties for public servants buying cars and other spending initiatives. How is the government going to spend more and reduce the deficit?

    I thought I heard that they were going to make pensions up to B$3,000 a month tax free, but currently pensions up to B$3,333 is tax free, so is this a tax increase? Either it is, or the government doesnt know what government policy is, which is fine to begin with, but not a good position to start recommending new policies from.

    I cant recall hearing anything convincing on growing international business. Everyone says the international business sector contributes 60% of our corporate tax receipts, much of our foreign exchange earnings, but faces intense competition from other jurisdictions. Did you hear how we are going to keep our competitive advantage? I didnt.

    I was hoping to find the answers to these questions. I eagerly awat tomorrow’s papers.

  57. John

    Lady Anon

    I am sure a reporter from the press does not sit down and write out the budget speech or the reply as they are given.

    I believe they are press releases, probably given in electronic form as well, so the papers can publish the following day ……. and get it right.

    I have never heard Owen or David making noise about any publication in the newspapers of what they said in Parliament at budget time so my bet is that the newspapers get it right and both parties are set up to make sure it happens.

    Tomorrow we should either see this speech published in the Nation and Advocate or these two papers should begin to make noise just as BFP is doing.

    …that will be the day.

    Then again, maybe the Newspapers considered the speech not to be newsworthy and decided not to carry it!!

  58. young one

    i don’t see them not postin the speech a big deal, it’s been one day. give them some time. WIV is a fool to answer the way he did. he only know how to pull down the BLP so he like a fish out of water. poor guy/girl/them.
    but what i don’t understand BPF is you makin this a deal when the PM say:

    “ I think people ,misunderstand these things, so they think that if you say that you are going to, for example lay integrity legislation that it means you will pass it in a 100 days. It doesn’t mean that because it is not only the Members of Parliament who have a relevant role to play in that, it is the public, it’s the media, and I can’t circumscribe your 100 days, I can only circumscribe mine”

    to me that is way bigger than this… and that miss you guys or so it looks like. this speech thing is small stuff.

    but i guess if you add all the small thing you get a billon small things?

    and it really is funny to see how the DLP support turning on you.

  59. justice

    Was the last budget speech from the BLP administration put online? Is it a lack of transparency not to have a Throne Speech online the day after it is delivered? If this is all we have to fault the Government on, then we are scraping the bottom of the barrel!

  60. reality check

    “I hope that the DLP Goverment will not start to govern Barbados by an immediate reaction to what is written on the blogs, that would be a mistake of immense proportions.”

    Yardbroom

    I am appalled that after two years of demanding accountability and transparency that you would think that holding a government to their promise of performance is some kind of idea out in left field.

    This is not blog chatter but rather a free press
    paying attention to the fundamentals of a free and open government elected on a Manifesto professing transparency and accountability.

    The DLP needs to get their act together and pay attention to the electorate who voted them in and can vote them out of office.

    The Prime Minister will have now a whole collection of lobbyists and governments telling him how great he is and what can be done for him and Barbados.

    Please resist the honey and stick with the fundamentals from the ground up such as complete transparency and accountability. Everything else will fall into place.

  61. Yardbroom

    reality check
    On Dec 16, 2007, at 8:25am I wrote on the DLP blog.

    ” I would fear the future, if there was no one to turn to, but that is not the case. I hope that when the time comes, we will search within ourselves and have the strength and courage, to reach out for a new experience, that will make our lives challenging and fulfilling, but most importantly, make an enriched space, for all our children and future generations of Barbadians to inhabit”…

    I nailed my colours to the mast then because I believe the DLP will do Barbados proud, I said it before the election, and I say it again now. There is a lot of work to be done, I do not think this issue is as serious as others see it.

  62. frankology

    BFP, Reudon Eversley in one of his articles/party update, informed you that he is available to answer anything in relation with the party. He was Managing editor at one of the fourth estate and should be knowledgeable of having Budgets/Throne Speeches ready for the papers the following day.

    Technology is far more advanced in the dissemination of news since newspapers receive information my electronic means. Prior to the fax machine, a reporter would have attended the proceedings and he/she would have received a copy of the speech. This copy was divided by the editor and given to the fastest typesetters including secretarial staff to type, printed and then given to proofreaders to ensure that a ‘letter’ or ‘figure’ is not omitted.

    We now have the best technological communication that an entire speech can be received by the press within seconds, and place on the pages of the newspapers within minutes.

    With that information, I agreed with the stupid statement of WIV, that the person who was in charged was indisposed and the media never received any copy – by hand or electronic means.

  63. ROBOT

    if you expect anything different from thompson and his team –swallow hard again –becau’ the best is yet to come

    meaning dat

    ‘um gwine get wuss’

  64. For what is worth – 2 of many failures of BLP was not stopping 11-plus back in ’76 and to privatize CBC as pledged since ’94 (Can anyone locate them manifestos?)!

    As 4 DLP & throne speech? If no one say why Elliott not Clifford was presiding, you think you gonna get a clear answer on this?

    BFP right, is NOTHING to get throne speech out by same night and ready for next morning – they could get their ********* Damien Griffith to organize it if they rally wanted to!

    PS – Where is royalrumble in all of dis?

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

    BFP Says…

    *** = racial derogatory term removed.

    Watch it mister. I don’t know what the standards are in France, but once more here and you are banned.

  65. Yardbroom

    Sorry! BFP Robert I should have said, comment has been posted.
    YB

  66. no name

    Dog ate throne speech, cat got Royalrumble’s tongue.

  67. Floyd

    It seems like you are making a mountain out of a molehill. There is virtually nothing new in the document. I have never known the throne speech to be seen as any major document. I would pay more attention to the first budget or major policy measure brought to parliament.

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

    BFP says,

    “Nothing new in the document”

    Really? Where can a citizen read it to judge for themselves?

    ….. or are you, “Floyd” really the Prime Minister or someone who has a copy?

  68. John

    …….. but Floyd, suppose that don’t get publish either!!!

  69. Cliverton Not Signed In

    Shona: thanks for the quick cartoon. I loved it!

    🙂

  70. Um, I was not aware that that word could be considered racial? Is that not overly sensitive? Anyway – so sorry! Au revoir!

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

    BFP says,

    A well known US radio talk show host – Don Immus – was fired for the same words and we agree he should have been fired.

  71. Hants

    BFP says….”Hants… what happened to your passion for openness and accountability? Did it whither with the victory of your team?”

    No BFP but you seem to be putting pressure on the Government that is not reasonable.I respect your zeal for truth and transparency but micro managing government can’t work.

    I am more interested in how the Government is going to deal with the recession. Yes it is for real and with the billions in debt left by the previous administration, it is going to be a very difficult period for Barbados.

    I will help you BFP. I will be in Barbados and will raise your concerns the Government and see if I can get the answers you are looking for.

    BFP I am still the same. However you can’t fault me for asking you to give the DLP a little slack.

    Still a supporter of BFP and the DLP.

  72. Laughing

    Well since you didn’t respond to the request for a piece on the Barbados economy’s capability to weather the coming economic storm, am I to assume true investigative journalism is teh shortcoming of this blog?

    Forget the hype about Throne speech and the GG’s situation. Use your mouthpiece to delve deeper into the real existing and coming issues. The Throne speech is like Squealer in Animal Farm .

    Does BFP have the capability to look behind the hype and really intelligently analyse the issues?

    The issues that the present government found, create and will continue to create. The writing is on the wall BFP. To me you have proven you can educate the masses. Now help us to go forward by your preventitive maintenance

  73. Sam Gamgee

    You like you getting the last laugh laughing.

  74. Adrian Hinds

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/MARDIS.html

    An interesting perspective from which to view the last 13-14 years under a pragmatic economist, and view of what is to come, and how we can best prepare for it.

  75. Hants

    BFP says…”On that first day in April, 2006, when some folks said that we were a DLP mouthpiece, you defended us.”

    I will continue to support and defend BFP in principal but I am a DLP supporter so from time to time BFP and I may have a conflict.

    However, I still want the DEMs to run a Government with integrity; that is accountable and transparent but focused on issues critical to Barbados.

    Recession,cost of living,debt.

  76. william duguid

    Even If I had it electronically. I Do not think I would put it up. It is essentially their manifesto re -written with the words “My Government.”

    The only value would be to compare it with their non performance in years to come.

  77. Hants

    Good to see you back William. Look forward to your opposing views.

    Democracy is alive and well in Bim.

    Suggestion to Bajans. Curb personal spending. Recession is hitting the USA and Canada.

  78. TMS

    curbing spending would send us to recession not protect us from one. not good advice if you want the dems to be successful

  79. young one

    you DLP support are the best. before the elections, accountable and transparent was the issue. now you’ve won the election, Hants, your comments imply that all of that will take a back seat to “Recession, cost of living, and debt”. what is that they say? fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. fool me three times, right.

    i wish you people would call a spade a spade and stop with the spin.

    guess what? recession was comin BLP or DLP in power, debt will always be there as long as we stay on the road to becoming a 1st world country, and given what i see Mr. Benn doing with feed and the farmers. debt and recession goin to get bigger and come even faster, if that is how the DLP plan to deal with the cost of living.

    oh and Hants, watch what you say because your “suggestion to bajans” about personal spending maybe only make it wrost, given the fact that the US gov’t giving people money to spend to fight off the recession. i wonder if the DLP gov’t would do the same here?

  80. TMS

    recession is hitting US, not (yet) Canada.

    More relevant to us is the UK.

  81. Linchh

    #
    william duguid
    February 13, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Even If I had it electronically. I Do not think I would put it up. It is essentially their manifesto re -written with the words “My Government.”

    The only value would be to compare it with their non performance in years to come.
    ****************************************
    Doogs:

    I knew when you were a mere twinkle in your father’s eye, and I admire your spunk, and even though you have lost some weight, you still seem to have a lot of it. I will continue to enjoy your contributions in Parliament.

  82. Wishing in Vain

    william duguid
    February 13, 2008 at 10:47 pm
    Even If I had it electronically. I Do not think I would put it up. It is essentially their manifesto re -written with the words “My Government.”

    The only value would be to compare it with their non performance in years to come.
    Mr Duguid are you still charging for services not delivered to your patients?

  83. young one

    WIV? ya see what going on with the BFA. i hope that you talk about to. what a comin time. stay tune folks.

    WIV what say you?

  84. Andrew

    If it was the budget speech, both The Advocate and The Nation would have had it verbatim the next day. This will be followed by 3 days of analysis… I think it is the news media in Barbados that is suffering from shock.. can’t get used to the idea that it is Thompy and not Owen that is in charge now……….

  85. Donald Duck, Esq

    COMMENTS ON THE PROGRESS

    The following are comments made by Prime Minister Thompson in the Sunday Advocate of February 3, 2007 on the subject of his party’s 100 day programme.

    He said some of the initiatives merely “require initiation, not completion” He went on to add “ I think people ,misunderstand these things, so they think that if you say that you are going to, for example lay integrity legislation that it means you will pass it in a 100 days. It doesn’t mean that because it is not only the Members of Parliament who have a relevant role to play in that, it is the public, it’s the media, and I can’t circumscribe your 100 days, I can only circumscribe mine”

    He further added “And in relation to other areas of implementation, what we are aiming at, subject to the availability of resources, is the initiation of those items that fall under the 100 day programme so that we can therefore keep the faith from there”

    In the throne speech another delay was announced with the VAT relief promised for homes with a value of less than $400,000. It was a nnounced that this measure would come in over a period of time

    May I remind readers of the various DLP promises taken from their manifesto with relevant reference page numbers categorized between those the DLP promised immediate action and those which they promised to deal with within 100 days ( they did not say from when the 100 days commenced)

    IMMEDIATE ACTTION

    Labour rights legislation ( page 36)

    A new DLP government will move to immediately enact a comprehensive national Labour Rights legislative compendium which will include the following:

     A Full Employment Rights Act
     An Alternative Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Committee
     A Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act
     National minimum wages legislation
     Legislation fully recognizing Trade Unions.

    Approval of capital account transactions (page 25)

    Immediately review the current Central Bank procedures for approving capital account transactions with a view to simplifying and speeding up the approval (or denial) process for restricted transactions.

    Port charges (page 33)

    The DLP pledges to immediately re-examine the Port charges with a view to significantly reducing these to manufacturers as they consider them to be a burdensome cost. They say that tonnage dues are charged twice; – on raw materials when imported and again on finished products when being exported.

    Integrity legislation (page 48)

    Immediately introduce integrity legislation requiring

     a declaration of assets by public officials,
     a Code of Conduct for Ministers,
     a new Freedom of Information law,
     amendments to the Defamation laws and
     new constitutional provisions to rationalize the powers of the Prime Minister.

    Health issues (page 11)

    A new DLP Government will immediately embark on a health promotion campaign to sensitize the public to the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles

    ISSUES TO BE DEALT WITH IN FIRST 100 DAYS

    Don’t forget the DLP promises to do the following in the first 100 days

     Introduce the Agriculture Protection Act that will require a 2/3 majority of both houses of parliament for a change of use of land from agriculture.

     Remove VAT from building materials on houses valued up to $400,000.
     convene a National Consultation on Education

  86. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    I chose to stay out of this debate until now……precisely to see if your article was one of honest commentary or design to create mischief .

    It is clear at this juncture that the latter seems to be the case.

    WHY ?

    Had you at BFP done proper research you would have recognised that there are certain conventions of Parliament that must be observed.

    Although emanating from the DLP party ( which is now the government ) the THRONE SPEECH is indeed a commitment of the Government of Barbados once READ in the House of Parliament…..therefore it is now the organs of Parliament to DISSEMINATE it’s contents to the general public.

    Example ?

    After being printed by the Government Printery and published in the Official Gazette.

    BFP…….it is the same process that will follow the passage of a DLP or BLP piloted BILL through the House of Parliament.

    The DLP posting such information on their WEB SITE……VERBATIM….ceased on the 16th of January 2008.

    All publication of the Government of Barbados Official Business are handled through PARLIAMENT , OFFICIAL GAZETTE or GIS.

    BFP,

    I KNOW after enduring the SKULDUGGERY by the past BLP administration for the past 14 years….it is difficult for you to know what is RIGHT !

    Anyhow please research before…….CONDEMNING !

    Talking about chiding one for NON – PUBLICATION……..BFP where is the long – promised MONEY LAUNDERING story ??????

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

    BFP Says,

    “Parliament” hardly publishes anything – even the debates. You make it sound as if “Parliament” is some totally independent organ totally unresponsive or unaccountable to the government.

    The fallacy with your argument that “Parliament” is to blame for the non-publishing of the Throne Speech is that the governing BLP published many copies and handed them out to party members and VIPs. Further, the government often publishes drafts or “check against delivery” copies of legislation and speeches for both internal, external and media use ahead of introduction in Parliament.

    Nope… it is a matter of a government that still exhibits an arrogant attitude “Why would the peasants need to read the Throne Speech verbatim? We shall dispense pieces when it suits us”

    Mark my words, Jerome. Transparency is not the citizens begging for scraps of information and the government deciding what shall be released according to its own agenda.

    Transparency is that all government documents are public except for good reason, and that all public documents are made easily available to the citizens in a timely manner.

    The minute we the citizens allow the government of the day to withhold most information from the citizens to suit the government’s purpose – we will be right back to the days of the corrupt BLP.

    Think GEMS financial records. Think the records of land expropriation and so much more.

    The time to make a stand is now. The subject of the stand is a document where there is no dispute that it is a public document. It has already been read in public.

    Now give us a copy of it Mr. Prime Minister. It is our right.

  87. BFP

    Jerome Hinds says that Parliament can only publish the Throne Speech.

    BFP Says,

    “Parliament” hardly publishes anything – even the debates. You make it sound as if “Parliament” is some totally independent organ totally unresponsive or unaccountable to the government.

    The fallacy with your argument that “Parliament” is to blame for the non-publishing of the Throne Speech is that the governing BLP published many copies and handed them out to party members and VIPs. Further, the government often publishes drafts or “check against delivery” copies of legislation and speeches for both internal, external and media use ahead of introduction in Parliament.

    Nope… it is a matter of a government that still exhibits an arrogant attitude “Why would the peasants need to read the Throne Speech verbatim? We shall dispense pieces when it suits us”

    Mark my words, Jerome. Transparency is not the citizens begging for scraps of information and the government deciding what shall be released according to its own agenda.

    Transparency is that all government documents are public except for good reason, and that all public documents are made easily available to the citizens in a timely manner.

    The minute we the citizens allow the government of the day to withhold most information from the citizens to suit the government’s purpose – we will be right back to the days of the corrupt BLP.

    Think GEMS financial records. Think the records of land expropriation and so much more.

    The time to make a stand is now. The subject of the stand is a document where there is no dispute that it is a public document. It has already been read in public.

    Now give us a copy of it Mr. Prime Minister. It is our right.

  88. Lady Anon

    BFP says,

    It is not on the GIS. Are you saying that the new government is somehow not responsible because GIS didn’t publish it? Please!

    —————————

    I know it is not on the GIS because I checked before I posted…

    I completely agree with you…the speech should be published poste haste, whether it be in the newspapers or on a forum which the public has access to.

    Take the newspapers to task for not publishing it sooner rather than later.

  89. Tony Hall

    There are so many issues to be dealt with in our country and we are worrying about whether a speech was posted or not. This is a non-issue as far as I am concerned.

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

    BFP Says,

    Like so many, Tony thinks that Transparency, Conflict of Interest rules, Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information laws and Whistleblower laws are “nice to have” or “icing on the cake”.

    Wrong. They are foundational to a healthy democracy and accountable government.

    Without these things, all the other “issues” will be handled just as they always have.

    You are very wrong, Tony.

  90. frankology

    WIV said:
    Mr Duguid are you still charging for services …………to your patients?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Mr copy and paste, deal with the issue and stop the innuendos. Is this your problem?

  91. frankology

    Take the newspapers to task for not publishing it sooner rather than later.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    If you are speaking about a speech in its entirety, a copy will have to be delivered or collected by the media. It will be suicidal for a publishing house to accept such a sensitive speech from a reporter who might have attended the proceeding. Remember, we are speaking about a ’44-page’ document, not selective portions

  92. Technician

    BFP, For months now I have been waiting for you to publish you money laundering story.
    You built up this hype about it and really had us going.
    Sadly, we are yet to see it.All I see you doing is distracting us and side-stepping when you are challenged by others.
    In the interest of credibility, dont you think it would be a good thing to publish the story even if it is in parts to at least quench our thirst, however temporarily?
    Just seeing you cry down the DLP for this speech to be printed, smacks of that hypocritical line you seem to love.
    At least the speech has been heard and read by some…… your story is still to be read..

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

    BFP says,

    Oh well then. If a private blog doesn’t publish the money laundering story you want, that totally absolves the government for providing copies of the throne speech to the elites but not the citizens.

    Does that mean if we publish the money laundering story that the government will then be in the wrong?

  93. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    RE – read what I said.

    I never blamed Parliament neither did I insinuate that Parliament publishes anything.

    What you need to acknowledge is that the THRONE SPPECH is a document of the House of Assembly and as such any VERBATIM translation of such documents must find it’s way in the OFFICIAL GAZETTE .

    And the OFFICIAL GAZETTE is not issued by the BLP ….DLP….BFP…WILLIAM DUGUID…..NATION NEWS……ADVOCATE…..or ALBERT BRANFORD for good MEASURE…!

    BFP…..that is TRANSPARENCY….!

    UNLIKE…..BFP long – promised MONEY – LAUNDERING story !

    *********

    BFP says,

    You sound like a broken record Jerome.

    1. The “government” already published the speech and handed it out both before and after the speech to the media and VIPs… just not the public.

    2. We are not asking for anything more than has already been released to the elites. We are DEMANDING that public documents released by the government to the elites be made available at the same time to the general public.

    Do you have a problem with that? Or do you wish to see public information hoarded and used by a select group of chosen elites as was the case throughout the entire BLP government’s terms of office?

    3. We have published many stories on Money Laundering… just not the one you want. Check out our latest revelation on then Minister of Public Works Clarke and how he paid for his woman’s home in cash.

  94. Centipede

    WHAT WOULD BE REASON BE for the DLP not posting ‘the throne speech?’

  95. Thistle

    Oh boy! I wonder which will get published first – the Throne Speech, or the PROMISED article on money laundering??! I’m salivating in anticipation!

  96. Adrian Hinds

    william duguid
    February 13, 2008 at 10:47 pm
    Even If I had it electronically. I Do not think I would put it up. It is essentially their manifesto re -written with the words “My Government.”

    The only value would be to compare it with their non performance in years to come.
    ==================================

    What exactly is the issue with making the political party manifesto of ELECTION PROMISES, the core of the elected goverment’s legislative intent? Don’t you believe that it is time that the Manifesto be regarded in words and deeds to be representative of a binding contract between the Governed and their government?

  97. frankology

    Where is the Throne speech?. This is the first time since our independence that we fail to have a throne speech in the newspaper, and don’t tell me we are harping on a ‘non-issue’, this is our fundamental right to be able in assessing the programmes of our new government.

  98. Laughing

    LOL

    Money Laundering…’how he paid for his woman’s home cash’ I guess the laundering is when they wash the cash in the ‘laundry’ of the new home.

    I was afraid of this BFP makes gossip synonymous with investigative journalism.

    Read the pieces written by several US media houses in the last 5 years after the several financial scandals they have experienced, eg. ENRON, the sub-prime mortgage scandal last year. Sure US media is aligned to political parties, but you can tell by the language used and the information cited the writers are ‘well read’ people (no pun) who understand the technical issues involved.

    But I will throw out a safety line…to BFP…if you guys are technically challenged this way, why not sub-contract to someone worthy like the structural engineeer earlier this week.

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

    BFP says… So is it ok that the government released printed copies of the throne speech to some elite citizens but not the majority?

  99. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    You have been found wanting !

    As a public service gesture BFP can publish the THRONE SPEECH…….since you are so peeved !

    The Government of Barbados does not own the Nation News or the Advocate as far as I know.

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

    BFP Says,

    You still don’t get it, do you Jerome?

    Or, more correctly, you do get it but your tribalistic support for your DLP government supersedes your desire for transparency, accountability and informed participatory democracy.

  100. frankology

    You have been found wanting !
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    The problem is not the ability to publish the speech. But where will you get a copy from? It seems that only a ‘selective’ few will be able to digest this speech. Again I ask, where is the Throne speech?

  101. justice

    What Gline Clarke did cannot be considered money laundering. Where is the proof that the money was the proceeds of crime? Come again, BFP.

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

    BFP says,

    Money does not have to come from “proceeds of crime” to be involved in money laundering, however, in this case Mr. Clarke’s desire was to cut the money trail through the elimination of receipts. Like Mr. Arthur, Mr. Clarke deposited “campaign donations” into his personal account. He didn’t want that money being seen to be building a home on land that he expropriated for “public housing” as part of the Cabinet.

  102. Hants

    Laughing….”I was afraid of this BFP makes gossip synonymous with investigative journalism.”

    BFP is a blog that is a”not for profit service to the public that allows us to write as freely as is reasonable.

    BFP is not obligated to do anything other than what they have done since they started this blog.

    Keep up the good work BFP.

    70 days left out of the 100.

  103. reality check

    “Where is the proof that the money was the proceeds of crime? Come again, BFP.”

    When a cabinet member makes a known annual amount from all sources of income and then turns around and pays cash for something well in excess of that amount, then he owes a public duty to disclose the source of those funds.

    This is what the last election was about.

    Hopefully the proof will shortly rest on those elected officials who are our trustees and not a corrupt political and legal system that looks the other way?

  104. Technician

    It is so amazing how people here become so partisan.

    For their short life, BFP has been hounding the government to be transparent and also to be accountable.
    Yet when it comes to them, the same obviously does not apply.
    They talk of BLP lackeys and DLP lackeys, now I am privileged to see the birth of BFP lackeys.

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

    BFP says,

    Sure we’re anonymous citizens. When did you realise this?

    If you think that fact precludes us from having an opinion or writing a blog, you are obviously on the wrong island.

    If you think that fact now exempts the DLP government from criticism, well – we’ll just have to disagree then won’t we?

    Now… why did the government make the text of the throne speech available to only a small group of elites rather than all the citizens?

  105. frankology

    I hope I am not included in this lackeyism. Excuse my new found “suffix”. I am only dealing with the rationale regarding the non publication of the throne speech. Clive will tell you, we are always at war.

  106. young one

    but reality check, you want to corrupt to police the corrupt? come on now.

  107. robin hood

    So, we start with no transparency as promised, no assets declaration, animal feed increased, food still increasing daily. What next? VAT to be increased in an emergency budget by end February? Salaries cut by what this time 10% 15%? A lot more houses foreclosed on? HA, HA, HA!! Only it is not funny to lose your job or house when you have a family depending on you alone!!

  108. Centipede

    I ask again and hope some knowledgeable person will help me with the answer this time.

    Second post:

    WHAT WOULD BE REASON BE for the DLP not posting ‘the throne speech?’

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

    BFP Says,

    How about “Now that we’re elected, we don’t care about transparency in government. The little people should keep their mouths shut”

  109. Technician

    WOW……..BFP…….you should be a running back in the NFL……man….that was some darn good sidestepping.

  110. Technician

    BFP says,

    Oh well then. If a private blog doesn’t publish the money laundering story you want, that totally absolves the government for providing copies of the throne speech to the elites but not the citizens.

    Does that mean if we publish the money laundering story that the government will then be in the wrong?
    ——————————————————————————————————
    NO!! It means that BFP would have lived up to its promise.
    With all due respect BFP.
    It was you who said you had a story.
    It was you who brought it to the table.
    It is you who is always harping about transparency and accountability.
    We know how the government works regardless of which party is in power.
    You see, we expect that from them because that is who they are .
    Which is why we expect certain things from you because it is what you said you are.
    So please ……..stop sidestepping the issue and let us know….no let us see the money laundering story.

    BTW:
    I love your spin machine……is that the ’08 model?:-)

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

    BFP Says…

    We are NOT going to publish “the” money laundering story. The reason for that decision MAY be revealed or MAY NOT be revealed in the future. Live with it… and if you want to continue to use a blog’s decision to not publish a story in order to justify excesses and failures in government… go ahead.

    Now… why did the government hand out text of its throne speech to only a small group of elite citizens?

  111. Thistle

    BFP,

    This is the first time you have actually stated that you are NOT going to publish “the” money laundering story. Well, at least you’ve now made that confession. However, you are shortly going to eat your words over the Throne Speech issue. It WILL be published in the media. Bon apetit! (And if I am wrong, then you can make me eat my words!)

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

    BFP Says,

    Nice to see that the elites are paying attention to the rabble in the cane fields…

    … but somehow this “there, we’ve printed it. now shut up” attitude is not the new commitment to transparency that we were promised by the DLP during the campaign.

    Transparency is not citizens begging to see Public documents created by their elected representatives and the government finally saying “well there you go”.

    It appears that the DLP has a lot to learn about transparency and accountability.

  112. akabozik

    “It appears that the DLP has a lot to learn about transparency and accountability.”

    That may be so BFP but what are they going to do now that you have made a stink?

    Publish the Throne speech?

    Not publish it?

    Thompson must be cursing his advisors for letting this be turned into an issue when there was no need of it. The secretary could have pushed “save to PDF” when she finished it. That is all it would have taken to avoid this mess!

    Keep up the good work.

  113. Technician

    BFP Says…

    We are NOT going to publish “the” money laundering story. The reason for that decision MAY be revealed or MAY NOT be revealed in the future. Live with it… and if you want to continue to use a blog’s decision to not publish a story in order to justify excesses and failures in government… go ahead.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Thank you for your honesty (however slow in coming).
    That was all that you needed to say weeks ago.Instead you made it look like pullin’teet.
    For the record, I never justified excesses and failures in Government by your refusal to publish’your story’.
    Instead I merely highlighted your hypocrisy at attacking the government for the very thing you are guilty of …….failure to live up to promises made.

  114. Technician

    Guess I’ll always be moderated now….oh well,such is life in the tropics.

  115. West Side Davie

    Good luck getting the DLP to publish anything more than the BLP did. Two sides of the same bad penny.

  116. samizdat

    BFP Says…

    “We are NOT going to publish “the” money laundering story. The reason for that decision MAY be revealed or MAY NOT be revealed in the future. Live with it…”

    Ok, so that’s that.

    BFP, I’m totally with you in hammering our new govt about the throne-speech issue, and just as disappointed by such an early own-goal.

    On the other hand, I’m surprised you can’t see that the tone of your comment above is disappointing and offensive to many of us here.

    Most of us are not fools, guys. We get that there’s no substantive equivalence between the two issues. And you’re just a private blog, after all, not a government.

    But in both cases (and somehow it’s more dispiriting coming from you), there’s an unpleasant stink of disrespect in the attitude implied by what you say, which is: if you don’t like what we’re doing, too bad.

    We deserve better than that.

    And expect better from you…

  117. Hants

    BFP says….
    “We are NOT going to publish “the” money laundering story. The reason for that decision MAY be revealed or MAY NOT be revealed in the future. Live with it.

    Wha happen?

  118. samizdat

    Just to add to my last comment, BFP:

    I think it’s you guys who in this instance (to use a favourite phrase of yours) just don’t get it.

    It’s not the money-laundering story per se that matters here: in the greater scheme of things it’s small potatoes. What does matter – and rankles – is your dismissive attitude to your readers.

    I suspect it would have been perfectly cool with a lot (most?) of us if you’d simply cleared the air some time back and said: “we’ve reluctantly decided not to follow through on “the” much-hyped money-laundering story, for reasons that we hope to make clear at a later date. Sorry about this folks” – or something along those lines.

    If you’d done that, we’d all have respected you for coming clean and treating your readers with respect. And we could all then move on and focus on the much more important issues that you do such a fine job in highlighting.

    I for one am prepared to believe you’ve got good reasons for spiking the story. But I say again: the way you’ve handled this matter has been poor, and the comment above is petulant and childish.

    Many of us think less of you for it.

    If that doesn’t matter to you, it should…

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

    BFP says,

    Point taken friend.

    In retrospect we should have clarified our position much sooner, but there were issues that if explained might have led to our identities. Time has passed and we can say that only now.

  119. Yardbroom

    It saddens me about what has happened with this story, BFP it was always a non-event, and did not warrant the “importance” you attached to it.

    Like Samizdat I was dissapointed with how you railed on your supporters and others, you boxed yourself into a cul-de-sac, and then decided to fight your way out of it, focusing on those in front of you, not realizing some were your supporters, but not agreeing with you on a “specific” issue.

    The money laundering story was thrown into the fray, and in an “instant reaction” you did not handle it well.

    We are not clones, most of us are independent thinkers, if you ask the Administration to treat citizens with respect… then the onus is on you to treat fellow bloggers with the same.

    I am aware this is a private blog and the effort it takes to keep it going – and what you have done to the Barbados political scene- you have not got to constantly justify yourself.

    As regards the money laundering story, when it was first mentioned here, I was “cautious” about it even then, and said so at the time, as anyone with any intelligence would realize that there are dangers lurking there. I am not at all interested in it, let us look to the future, providing we learn from the past, we are wiser.

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

    BFP says,

    We’ll take our lumps, but we disagree entirely about the importance of this story and will be following up.

    Now… why is it OK for the DLP Government to release a public document to a select group of elites and not to the general citizenry?

  120. Rumplestilskin

    While it certainly would have followed custom and improved clarity to publish the speech as many of you have indicated, I personally am not so concerned about this. I do not see this as an ‘own goal’ or an early indication of lack of transparency or accountability.

    To make a decision on the issues that decide the ultimate success or failure of this administration, one must assess the basis for the election win.

    As I understand htis, these issues included the broad issues of transparency, accountability and responsibility and the specific issues of project prioritisation, project status reporting, project overruns (including GEMS) and the high national debt, cost of living inflation, the state of the health service, housing and land availability in of itself and last but not least, the land ownership ‘debate’ including ownership policy, zoning, use and beach access.

    Now, as I see it, the success or lack thereof for this administration lies not in promises, which was far from lacking in the previous administration, but in addressing issues on a timely basis and successful implementation as demonstrated by clear and measurable results. That should not now need to be restated as a substantial failure of the previous administration.

    How does one achieve each of the above success criticalities?

    The main ‘governing parameters’ of transparency, accountability and responsibility will only be addressed by making a general policy in approach of clearly defining and making easily available all relevant information that is sufficient for citizens to make fully informed assessments of issues.

    In addition, major decisions should be explained and areas of contention explained.

    The success or failure of this administration in addressing specific issues as those listed above will be clear for all to see, both as measured by timely presentation of proposed actions and then by the success or failure of the actions as exhibited by the results.

    A point to note is that while an issue by its nature will make the distinction on success or failure very narrow, full communication and explanation of challenges in addressing the issue will go a long way to satisfying the public that the administration has actually done all it can and all that any reasonable government could possibly do.

    I also note that it is my own belief that a grace period anywhere from six months to one and a half years could be expected in addressing actions on those issues above could be considered reasonable.

    The grace period will rely both on the nature of the issue and on the type and nature of the remedy required.

    Some issues should by their nature require much less time to address and conversely, some much more than the minimum of six months, for example.

    Thus, I am willing to wait and hold my tongue in criticising the current administration until I begin to see actions or until such time as the grace period appears to be expiring.

    I will not make assessment on what some perceive as a wrong by the lack of publication of the Throne Speech.

    I will make my assessment on the actions and results of the matters raised above. I would rather see action than more promises on top of promises.

    I will however state, that I believe that this administration is now, whether unfortunately or fortunately, depending on whom is considering the matter, being held to a much higher standard than previous administrations.

    Indeed, it should be.

    The message of the last election was clear.

    Barbadians seek transparency, accountability and responsibility.

    The issues mentioned above must be dealt with on a timely basis. Implementation of assessments and actions is demanded by the result of the last election.

    As a citizen I will expect to soon see various statements from relevant Ministers explaining assessments and action implementation on the above issues.

    As a citizen I expect no less.

    Yes, as I said , a higher standard.

    Peace.

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

    BFP says,

    We wish we could share your optimism Rump, but the DLP is now starting to back peddle on a host of issues… slightly, carefully and with great political skill – but back peddling nonetheless.

    Seeing as they had 2 full years under Thompson’s leadership to formulate policies and adopt a new attitude, it was a tremendous disappointment to see the DLP “cut & paste” an integrity legislation overview from the World Bank site only a few weeks before the vote… and that only after being hammered by us and others for remaining silent about integrity legislation in the time before the election.

    This issue of the availability of the Throne Speech is a foundational indicator of the attitude of the DLP administration.

  121. Technician

    Samizdat,
    What you have said sums it up for me.What BFP has done in the last couple years is commendable but I think they are seriously becoming more arrogant by the day.
    We know it is their blog and they can do what they like with it.It still does not mean you have to be dismissive and disrespectful to the readers.
    For a group who is always eager to highlight the short comings of the government, they should also look at theirs.
    Talking about petty and childish behavior, now everything I say has to be moderated.
    To prove this, I just typed in ‘Hi’ and submitted it.It went straight to moderation.
    All because they dont like what you had to say, yet still they call it free speech…what a joke!!

  122. Sam Gamgee

    As usual Rump, you are bang on.

  123. Private Pirate

    a bit of the topic ( not crossing you all)

    FYI : just a things for the people. Eclipse Bisquits cost $1.40 now retail, from the truck $41. 75 and the thing about it, it will be going up again in a matter of a week or so. enjoy your day.

  124. Civilsociety

    Here is the speech. One call to GIS and I had it.

    INTRODUCTION

    Mr. President and Members of the Senate;
    Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly;

    The representatives of the House of Assembly have been elected; and the members of the Senate have been selected.

    You have met and have chosen your respective presiding officers.

    Parliament is now fully constituted and so the new term of this great parliament can begin.

    It is now my privilege and my duty to outline my Government’s programme for the second Parliamentary term of the 21st Century.

    NATIONAL OBJECTIVES

    My Government comes to this hallowed place at this critical juncture in the history of this nation, fully conscious of the varying yet significant contributions that our predecessors have made to the cumulative development of our beloved country. This Parliament is also acutely aware of the awesome responsibility and the great expectations which the people of this country have placed on the shoulders of their representatives.

    This second Parliamentary term of the 21st century starts at a time when there is much foreboding internationally about global climate change, growing anxiety about global peace and security, and most recently great fears of global economic depression.

    These notwithstanding, my Government reaffirms its commitment to moving Barbados forward while keeping and promoting our cherished traditions, aspiring to a higher level of development that is people-oriented, culturally specific and socially rooted in the basic spirituality of our ancestors.

    It will ensure that the heritage, aspirations and goals of all of our National Heroes are not lost in a race for crude materialistic development. In short it will resume our quest for a better Barbados that is just, industrious, prosperous, proud and united…a nation that can stand tall in the international arena.

    My Government understands most clearly that as a small island developing state it must make its voice heard on the international stage. It can only do so by investing in its people, asserting a positive national identity and working in tandem with its trusted allies regionally, especially within CARICOM, and internationally.

    My Government does not believe that these things will happen miraculously. History has shown that with astute leadership, good governance, creativity, co-operation and respect, the people of Barbados can overcome whatever hurdles are placed in their way. They did so, most recently, in the 1960’s and in the 1990’s; and they will do it again.

    The details of my Government’s programmes will be discussed in more detail in the Government’s Estimates in March 2008. Work has already begun to address these debilitating issues that tear at the heart of this nation. Its number one priority will be to address the most pressing needs of the people of Barbados.

    LOWERING THE COST OF LIVING

    My Government is conscious that it is the state’s obligation to intervene in the market to correct failings of the system and re-balance inequities therein. My Government will adopt a holistic approach to the problem of the cost of living.

    As a matter of its first order of business, my government will establish an inter-disciplinary committee of Ministers and members of the social partnership and the informal sector to tackle the following tasks:

    First, the contraction and consolidation of the import, wholesale and retail distribution sectors in this country. It will use the power and patronage of the government not to disadvantage existing participants in the distribution sector, but to allow for new and efficient players to come into the sector and through increased competition contribute to the creation of a fair market structure. It will liberalize this sector to spread the options available to Barbadians.

    My Government will also provide incentives to new and existing small and medium size players to come into the sector. It will honour a previous commitment to more aggressively move to ensure that at least 40% of all government’s procurement requests for goods and services are reserved for sourcing from small and medium size enterprises.

    At the same time it will review the basket of goods on which VAT and other impositions have been removed. It is obvious that that basket is too limited and in light of the high incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases and the need for healthier eating among the population something must be done, over time, to ease the costs of foods that fall into these categories. It will therefore expand that basket significantly, following full consultations with sector stakeholders, consumer bodies, and nutritional experts.

    Energy costs have risen more often than they have fallen in the last two years and this has driven up the cost of production. My Government will examine the feasibility of removing the VAT initially on electricity bills for households and businesses alike; but it will ensure that some of our poorest households receive relief in this area.

    My Government is mindful that workers are also consumers and as a net food importing country we have to be very careful how we balance the need to protect jobs in the local market, balance our trade accounts and at the same time provide food for Barbadians at a reasonable cost. The time has come for a complete review of our various regimes of protection for goods coming into Barbados. The need to lower or completely remove some tariff and non-tariff barriers is evident notwithstanding the necessity of defensive trade measures.

    In the final analysis, this Government will introduce through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development an innovative Food Security Policy that not only lowers the cost of basic foods but also enables the nation to feed itself for an extended period in the event of a natural or other disaster.

    My Government will also increase the amount of disposable income available to workers. It intends to do so by means of human resource development, by identifying pockets of poverty and introducing additional reverse tax credits, and by strengthening the capacity of an extended Social Partnership to work out an effective Prices and Income Protocol as a matter of priority.

    Rest assured that my Government will leave no stone unturned in its effort to do something tangible and meaningful about this vexing issue of the cost of living.

    IMPROVING ACCESS TO PROPERTY OWNERSHIP
    Access to decent, affordable housing and land – “owning a piece of the rock” – remains one of the major concerns of Barbadians from all strata of society, especially those now starting out on life’s journey. Decent housing is the key to good family life, educational success and productivity at work.

    My Government is philosophically committed to ensuring that every Barbadian resident has access to comfortable shelter. It will therefore over time:

     Remove VAT from building materials on houses valued up to $400,000.

     Establish a Home Ownership Revolving Fund for public sector workers, providing interest free loans to appointed public servants with 5 years service who are first time homeowners.

     Provide 500 lots of land in five (5) months at $5 per sq foot for first time homeowners. These lots have been identified and land will be acquired by private treaty where necessary to speed up the process.

     Provide 2,500 house spots for sale to low and middle income wage earners.

     Build 2,000 housing solutions per year in the first term.

     Increase the tax deduction for mortgages to $20,000 per year.

     Initiate the full transfer of National Housing Corporation units to occupants living in the units for 20 years or more free of cost except for legal and transaction expenses.

     Build and maintain a pool of rent-to-purchase units for low-income earners, pensioners, and the disabled who may not qualify for mortgages and loans.

     Introduce Housing Communities, for low-income earners in which all the amenities – social, recreational and commercial – are provided.

     Promote starter home projects and partner with private sector companies in promoting the concept of “build and live”.

     Negotiate reverse mortgages with the financial institutions and give incentives where necessary, to provide for dignified standards of living for our elderly in their golden years.

    HEALTH CARE FOR ALL
    The biggest challenges facing Barbadians are improvements in health care facilities and the development of healthy lifestyles. HIV/AIDS and chronic non-communicable diseases are the major causes of death in Barbados.

    My Government will place health once again on the national priorities list and will immediately embark on a health promotion campaign to sensitize the public to the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles. It will intensify the campaign to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and give to all those who are sexually active a sense of ownership of the campaign.

    My Government will implement a “Rescue the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Plan” which will include changes to the structure of the Board of the hospital as well as upgrade the geriatric hospitals and open selected polyclinics on a 24-hour, 7days a week basis.

    The new St. John Polyclinic will be completed as a matter of priority and other capital investments, both private and public, in the health care sector will be undertaken to ensure the restoration of Barbados’ place as a number one community health care provider.

    EDUCATION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
    My Government recommits Barbados to high-quality, free education for all from pre-school to tertiary level. Education is the vehicle on which we have relied to improve our economic and social development. More than 20% of our national budget is spent on education but the return from this expenditure is becoming less and less satisfactory.

    My Government is in the process of convening a National Consultation on Education to address the relevance of our present education system, ensure adequate and affordable educational opportunities for every Barbadian, make school a rewarding experience for every child, ensure that every school child benefits fully from the educational system, and help every child to realize his/her potential through education.

    PUTTING FAMILIES FIRST

    My Government believes that families should come first because they are the building blocks of nations. It believes that education begins at home. It further believes that man is a social animal who needs to be involved in family and community life.

    My Government has established two important Ministries with a new focus: a Ministry of Family, Youth, Sports and Environment as well as a Ministry of Social Care, Community Empowerment and Urban Development. These Ministries will work together to give maximum support to parents in raising their children, strengthening communities, uplifting the level of sporting prowess and producing happy and productive citizens.

    EMPOWERING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE

    Many of our young people are emulating mores borrowed from alien cultures. This value system is based on what is convenient and pleasurable, but not socially acceptable. The country needs to return to the values and standards that made us the envy of the Caribbean and the world.

    My Government will put special emphasis on technical skills training for children whom the present education system is failing; broaden the scope and availability of adult education opportunities; promote programmes to foster and support strong family units and relationships and promote the values of self-help and community innovativeness. It will provide training and support in life skills such as parenting, dispute resolution and effective communication; eradicate the scourge of illegal drugs that is wrecking our communities; protect minors against indecency, vulgarity, illegal activity, and corrupt practices; restore Barbados’ reputation of respect for authority, property, traditions, icons and symbols; develop and inculcate a relevant system of values at all levels of society in consultation with community leaders.

    My Government has already begun to review the Division of Youth Affairs with a view to introducing a comprehensive National Youth Service Programme to ensure that all young people are exposed to opportunities for empowerment, for giving civic service and making a smooth transition to adulthood.

    TREASURING OUR SENIORS IN THEIR GOLDEN YEARS

    My Government is committed to caring for all Barbadians in their senior years. It will introduce a minimum pension threshold for all Barbadians. No Barbadian citizen will receive less than BD$500 a month on reaching pensionable age. It will ensure that old age pensioners receive a non-contributory pension of $6,032 per year and contributory pensioners receive $7,384.00 per year.

    My Government will also increase the tax-free exemption threshold for pensioners receiving $3,000.00 per month or less; and review the legislation that discriminates between government pensioners employed before 1975 and those after in relation to their government pension and NIS pension.

    It will reduce the drivers licence fee for drivers over 70 years of age; introduce a deductible allowance for nursing home fees and expenses; and encourage Senior citizens to use the Community Resource Centres for training and recreation.

    SPORTS FOR ALL

    It is ironic that Sports has become a major industry at a time when Barbados has become a weak sporting nation. This has coincided with a growing sense of despair among young people, an increase in crime and violence among our youth, an increase in chronic non-communicable diseases among citizens and disdain for rules among children and young people.

    My Government is convinced that Sports has the capacity to prevent these maladies among our people. It is therefore committed to supporting the 57 and more sporting disciplines that are practised in Barbados as a means of bringing health, social, psychological and economic benefits to the people of Barbados.

    As a matter of urgency, my Government will reorganize the National Sports Council to reach out more effectively to schools and communities; and create a Sports Administration Centre for all sports without a home.

    It will also construct a National Sports Hostel for athletes; upgrade the facilities at North Stars; build an international stadium in the East of the island; and work with the various associations and clubs, particularly the Barbados Football Association, to improve sporting facilities.

    My Government will develop centres of sporting excellence in schools and communities; provide community-based coaches; offer Certificate and Diploma Courses for athletes and sports organizers; offer National Development Scholarships to budding athletes; offer paid leave to athletes in the public service; and encourage the private sector to do the same. It will support training for sports administrators at national, organizational and club levels.

    My Government will waive Value Added Taxes on training and sports equipment; waive duties on transport facilities for sporting organizations; offer tax deductions for businesses which help sports charities; and make grants to successful sporting organizations.
    It will work closely with the Barbados Olympic Association; complete the National Sports Policy; and draw up a Sports Development and Strategic Plan. Finally it will assist in the promotion of sports as a worthwhile activity for all Barbadians.

    SOCIAL SECURITY: THE LAST SAFETY NET

    My Government will put in place a final safety net to ensure that no citizen, for whatever reason, falls through the cracks into abject poverty and despair. It will change the conditions that tend to transform resilient people into long-term welfare recipients, who become increasingly dependent on the state.

    My Government will therefore ensure that benefits will be given to eligible welfare recipients as a human right and not as patronizing handouts. Programmes to wean them off welfare will be introduced enabling them to become more productive.

    MAKING OUR CULTURE WORK FOR US

    My Government will make our unique culture work for us by creating the conditions for the full expression of our authentic way of life. Barbadians will be empowered to draw on our culture in a creative way, in order to improve the quality of our lives and enhance the tourism products that generate the bulk of the income on which the nation lives.

    My Government has already begun to address the issues that have dogged our “Crop Over” Festival, which is one of Barbados’ largest foreign exchange earners, and will embark on an aggressive programme to develop and sustain the cultural industries.

    HASSLE-FREE SERVICE

    People enjoy their lives better when the hassles of going about their normal business are removed. Despite living in a small country Barbadians spend several hours of frustration getting from place to place and in dealing with various agencies both in the public and private sectors. This includes time spent on our congested road systems and is a cause of stress and other related illnesses.

    My Government is convinced that it is necessary that services, including employment, be located where they can be conveniently accessed by the public. To this end it will make access to government services more convenient to the public by increasing access locations and using modern technology more effectively.

    It will also facilitate commercial and industrial development in country areas; increase the availability of government services in places outside Bridgetown; facilitate and support the development of town centres in major areas of settlement; review the country’s traffic management systems with a view to improving the flow on major highways; improve public transportation to encourage its wider use; and promote the use of flexi-time by businesses and in the public service.

    ECONOMIC POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES

    The development of a country is essentially a relationship between capital, labour and the government. My Government is therefore committed to an expanded Social Partnership which incorporates the informal sector to promote the development of Barbados. It will continue to provide appropriate support for private sector initiatives but will, in turn expect the private sector to respond with a sense of corporate social responsibility. It has already sent a signal to the nation by strengthening its economic development muscle through the appointment of three Ministers with strong technical skills in management, finance and labour-relations within the Prime Minister’s Office to enhance the delivery of its goals in this area.

    My Government recognizes that the rapidly changing global economic environment of the 21st century presents particular challenges to small economies. The impending cessation of preferential market access; the move towards full reciprocity through the accelerated liberalization of domestic markets; and the removal of all remaining barriers to the movement of finance and investment capital are all conspiring to narrow the scope of our policy responses.

    Against these realities, my Government will give maximum priority to the creation of a macro-economic environment that stresses fiscal prudence in the allocation of expenditure and the absorption of revenues; protection of the fixed exchange rate regime through careful management of the fiscal and external current account deficits; a tightly managed debt accumulation strategy targeted at the reduction in both domestic and foreign components of the national debt; the attainment of full employment through the private’s sectors response to new domestic entrepreneurial and investment opportunities in traditional and, more importantly new, industrial, cultural and knowledge sectors.

    Fiscal prudence will be the hallmark of my Government. It will restore fiscal stability to the management of the affairs of government. This objective is a central theme of good and responsible governance; it is absolutely essential to the credibility and maintenance of the fixed exchange rate regime. In light of this, my Government will give priority to achieving and maintaining a balanced budget while allowing for small manageable fiscal deficits where necessary to facilitate the development objectives of the country.

    It will implement taxation policies that reduce fiscal drag on the economy. This will require that public expenditure be kept under continuing review to promote efficiency and economy in the use of fiscal resources. It will also undertake a comprehensive review of the proliferation of government-owned companies.
    Given the commitment to a fixed exchange rate, my Government will adopt a cautious, measured, systematic and selective approach to liberalization of the capital account and will adopt a sequenced approach to capital account liberalization within the CSME.

    My Government will implement a program to promote further development of the capital markets. Its capital market programme aims to foster the development of the domestic capital markets by increasing the range and scope of domestic financial instruments and promoting increased liquidity in the stock and bond markets. This will serve to increase savings and investment opportunities, improve the pricing of financial instruments, enhance foreign exchange reserves by providing attractive investment instruments to keep capital at home and attract capital from abroad and of course create jobs for Barbadians.

    TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

    Another major responsibility of Government is the establishment of an efficient infrastructure for the development of the economy. However, there are serious problems of worsening traffic congestion on our roads and poor communication within the region.
    My Government wishes to reiterate that a possible solution to the problem of traffic congestion is to decentralize the provision of services. It will establish a constellation of town-centres across the country that are the seats of Constituency Councils. Each Constituency Council will have at its disposal a budget that would enable it to deal with local problems at the level at which they emerge. Provision will be made for both the Parliamentary Representative and the Local Councillors to show their accountability to the people of Barbados on a regular basis.

    My Government will, with a sense of urgency, explore the feasibility of using ferries to take passengers and goods from secure berthing points around the island to and from Bridgetown and other towns. A modern efficient ferry service will link places such as Six Men’s Bay, Speightstown, Holetown, Bridgetown, St. Lawrence Gap, Oistins, Silversands, Foul Bay, Martins Bay, Bathsheba and River Bay, thereby taking the pressure off the roads.

    It will also invest heavily in modern information technology with the appropriate training of people to facilitate e-government, e-commerce and the growth of the informatics industry.

    FACILITATING MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE AND GOODS WITHIN CARICOM

    Regional integration will not flourish without the implementation of mechanisms that facilitate the free movement of goods and people. With respect to regional travel, it is useful to remember that 46% of our trade is with CARICOM countries; and that the third largest source of visitors to our country, which depends on tourism, is these CARICOM countries. Yet communication between these countries, many of which are less than 500 miles away, is embarrassingly poor and expensive.

    My Government, because of the significant investment by it in LIAT, will review the capacity of LIAT to meet the needs of air travelers in the region. At the same time it will spearhead negotiations with CARICOM countries to invest in maritime transport to move large numbers of passengers and goods between the countries of the region.

    NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION POLICY

    My Government will prioritize the creation of a new and genuine production enterprise culture in Barbados. This will be marketed behind a holistic policy that will include (a) the creation and prioritization of a new industrial enterprise culture which seeks to aggressively enhance and promote the country’s potential to be an export leader in the areas in which it clearly has some comparative advantage; (b) the location of its new industrial policy within the context of the opportunities for new market access both in the CSME and further afield in global markets; and (c) the reallocation of national resources to areas of private sector investment that push profitable and sustainable industrialization and manufacturing.

    My Government will also consolidate the various venture capital windows in Barbados into one agency. It will create a new industrial development and innovation fund through partnerships with UWI to vigorously promote research and development activities in this area; and offer appropriate tax credits to companies that pursue research and development of innovative projects targeted towards manufacturing or agro-processing activities.

    My Government will re-examine the Port charges with a view to significantly reducing these to manufacturers and Port delays which are of concern, as cruise liners are almost always given priority over cargo ships.

    Finally it will introduce policies that will encourage commercial banks to work with local manufacturers to allow them greater access to, and a freer flow of finance and support as well as an accelerated write-off for investments in new manufacturing, processing, and associated information and communication, energy, and environmental technologies.

    EMPLOYMENT AND ENTERPRISE: OPPORTUNITIES AND RIGHTS FOR ALL

    Barbadian workers face competition in the labour market from foreign workers. For the most part, these workers come from other CARICOM countries, attracted by employment opportunities and the improved standard of living that Barbados offers. These workers may initially accept lower wages and less agreeable working conditions than their Barbadian counterparts, thereby affording some employers the opportunity to bypass the Barbadian worker. The potential for tension is obvious.

    My Government will therefore introduce policies to manage immigration in the interest of the local labour force and the foreign worker who may otherwise be subject to exploitation.

    My Government will put in place the legislation, institutional structures and the resources to increase the number of self-employed entrepreneurs from about 10% of the working population to 20% by 2016. It will assist in the creation of new enterprises through training, direct subsidies and easier access to capital for investment and promote actively the cooperative model by entrepreneurs as a business development model.

    My Government will as a matter of priority expedite the implementation of a “Worker Protection And Workplace Conditions Of Service Security Policy” aimed at guaranteeing high quality work for all Barbadians and invited immigrant workers alike.

    It will also move to immediately enact a comprehensive national Labour Rights legislative compendium which will include a full Employment Rights Act, an Alternative Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Committee, a Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act, national Minimum Wages legislation; and legislation fully recognizing Trade Unions.

    MAKING TOURISM EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS

    The importance of Tourism to the growth and diversification of the Barbadian economy is part of the success story of Barbados. The tourism industry has allowed Barbados as a country to take advantage of the few natural resources with which it was blessed – fine beaches and a warm equable climate. However, the time has come for us to address in our tourism planning, critical issues such as manpower and human resource development; the carrying capacity of the destination; the diversification and enhancement of the tourism product; and improving the economic yield of tourism.

    My Government will therefore draw up a Tourism Master Plan, which will diversify and enhance the tourism products of Barbados by linking tourism to agriculture, culture, sports, the arts and the environment. This will include the development of the concept of Community Tourism through training and motivating local people to provide accommodation and other services to visitors in their communities.

    LAND USE PLANNING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

    Establishing priorities in land use planning is of critical importance in a small island faced with competing demands on its limited land resources. Policies that leave the use and sale of land to market forces, are putting considerable pressure on agriculture and the natural environment.

    My Government is convinced that sugar cane production is essential to environmental and ecological sustainability in Barbados, and will apply its best efforts to ensure that the maximum benefit is derived from the production of all the products and byproducts of the sugar cane plant.

    It will provide continuing support of viable agricultural production, when viewed not from a narrow focus of financial profitability, but from a broader perspective of national resource use. Agricultural output contributes vitally to food security in the context of the possibilities in a small island economy. It continues to provide income, employment and output for rural communities and contributes to rural prosperity. Indeed, the growing demand for healthy food to combat obesity and related lifestyle diseases provides welcome opportunities for efficient production.

    My Government will also encourage the orderly development of the fisheries subsector, which continues to be an important part of our economy, through the provision of necessary infrastructure and the conclusion of negotiations with Trinidad and Tobago on a Fisheries Agreement.

    On a larger canvas, my Government’s land use policies and the need to save agriculture, are part of the commitment to preserve the natural environment. It will therefore introduce the Agriculture Protection Act that will require a 2/3 majority of both Houses of Parliament for a change of use of land from agriculture. At least 30, 000 acres of land will be reserved for agricultural use.

    It will introduce amendments to the Land Acquisition Act that will require Government to pay compensation on the replacement value rather than the market value of properties being acquired where those properties are owner-occupied.

    A CREATIVE ENERGY POLICY

    The single biggest challenge of our generation is the drain on foreign exchange created by the high cost of oil. Responsible governments around the world are therefore moving to change long held and cherished consumption patterns.

    My Government is prepared to be bold and move aggressively in the area of energy conservation, reducing the oil import bill and preserving our delicate environment for the future.

    It will therefore provide significant incentives to encourage ownership of fuel-efficient vehicles, particularly motorcars. It will also provide incentives for greater use of solar energy in meeting the electricity needs of consumers and businesses. The goal is to implement a package of incentives to cover up to 50% of the cost of installing solar electric systems.

    It will create a SMART ENERGY FUND of $10 million to provide low interest loans to households seeking to purchase solar panels to power their homes; introduce a tax rebate for the cost of installing a solar electric system; ensure all new government or government related facilities will be fully fitted with solar electric systems; and phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs from all Government buildings and private households.

    A MODERN CIVIL SERVICE

    Government is the single largest employer in Barbados. My Government will spare no effort to establish a well-trained and impartial public service, free from political interference, which is essential for good governance. It will formulate and implement a Human Resource Development Policy for the public service. It will also implement a service-wide public service training policy, which will see the establishment of Public Service training programmes to meet the qualification requirements for public officers; the reintroduction of Induction Training for all new public officers; and management and leadership training at various points in a public officer’s career.

    It will review the results of the last job classification exercise; establish a full-time Chairman of the Public Service Commission to play an effective role in the management of the Public Service; re-organize, retrain, rename and retool the Data Processing Department to become the Central Information Technology Agency responsible for a new focus on information technology in the public service with a goal of having all Ministries and Departments fully computerized and connected by 2016.

    Finally, it will strengthen the office of Public Sector Reform; providing the required staff and other resources necessary to carry out its functions efficiently; providing it with statutory powers to ensure implementation of agreed reform initiatives; and implementing customer charters in all Government Ministries and Departments to develop a truly customer-focused, customer-driven public service.

    It will provide new options within the pension plan for public servants, which will allow better provision to be made for the surviving spouse of a public servant who dies either before or after retirement.

    It will improve the physical and environmental conditions under which many public servants work; introduce a pilot project providing day care facilities for the children of public officers; increase the no-interest vehicle loan facility to $60,000 for those who qualify; and provide duty free motorcars for designated public servants.

    GOOD GOVERNANCE

    Good Governance is essential for the sustained development of Barbados. Its characteristics include participation, accountability, transparency, responsiveness to the needs of voters, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, authentic inclusion and respect for the rule of law.
    Good Governance assures that corruption is minimized, the views of the people are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable members of society are heard in decision-making.
    My Government will put systems in place to reverse the trend of concentrating power into fewer and fewer hands, as well as attempt to rekindle trust and confidence in the system of parliamentary elections and constituency representation.

    It has already kept the people informed of what the Government is doing on their behalf through regular press briefings following meetings of the Cabinet. It will also publish essential details of agreements and contracts involving the Government and its agencies. It will issue formal Ministerial statements at regular intervals on the progress of ongoing programmes and projects. There will also be a revision of and adherence to the rules regarding Parliamentary questions.

    My Government will also establish state-funded Constituency Councils to execute community enhancement and development projects. These Councils will comprise representatives of the church, civil society, and the political administration. In this way, perennial problems of street lighting, sporting and recreational facilities, drainage, poverty alleviation and youth programmes will be administered and resolved at the constituency level. My Government intends giving power back to the people.

    My Government has established a Governance Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office to service a Public Integrity Council which will immediately circulate draft integrity legislation requiring a declaration of assets by public officials; a Code of Conduct for Ministers; a new Freedom of Information law; amendments to the Defamation laws; and new constitutional provisions to rationalize the powers of the Prime Minister.

    LAW AND ORDER

    As a matter of urgency, my Government will provide better remuneration and group disability and life insurance for Police Officers; improve and/or build new police stations in designated areas; review the ranks in the police force thereby creating more promotion opportunities; and permit the police force to function free of political interference.

    It will also upgrade the Government Forensic Sciences Centre to help solve outstanding crimes and restore confidence in law enforcement agencies.

    Finally, it will consider converting Glendairy Prison into a publicly funded modern drug treatment and rehabilitation centre. Above all, it will put more emphasis on the prevention of crime and the rehabilitation of criminal offenders, in an effort to reduce the incidence of recidivism from 60% to under 50%.

    NATIONAL SECURITY

    In addition to enhancing its role in the existing security systems, the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) should be part of our national identity.
    My Government will seek to ensure that the BDF becomes more involved in the march towards First World status, more innovative, more strategically focused and more proactive. It will, as a matter of urgency, carry out a comprehensive Organizational Review of the BDF and develop a strategic plan for the Force. This will include a complete analysis of its structure, size and management of resources.

    My Government will expand the career prospects, training opportunities and counselling and welfare services available to all ranks; introduce performance indicators; develop a scheme of resettlement training for persons leaving the force; review and simplify the procedures dealing with pension; and provide new options within the pension plan for soldiers, which would allow better provision to be made for the surviving spouse of a soldier who dies after retirement.

    It will also improve the intelligence and security information-gathering capabilities of the Barbados Defence Force and forge closer ties with the Royal Barbados Police Force. It will implement a building maintenance programme to restore and maintain the current facilities; and build multi-purpose disaster management facilities, which may be used during normal times by youth groups and sporting organizations. These facilities will also house areas for skills training as well as for coaches in various sporting activities.

    FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE: SUCCEEDING ABROAD, WINNING AT HOME

    My Government will re-engineer the country’s external trade policy to securing and increasing market share abroad; and winning the battle to maintain dominance in our domestic markets.

    With this in mind it will, to the extent permitted by our regional and international commitments, negotiate and secure expanded foreign market access for Barbados’ goods and services.

    It will build a competitive productive sector that produces world-class goods and services capable of increasing our market share across the world; and allow for managed entry of goods and services from abroad so as to protect our most vulnerable sectors, and enhance our food security profile.

    It will increase the foreign exchange earning capacity of the country and thereby attract higher levels of investment.
    In pursuit of these objectives my Government will prioritize the negotiation of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade and economic development agreements.

    In the final analysis, Barbados will continue to pursue its long-standing policy to be “friends of all and satellites of none”. It will continue to defend the interests of its citizens at home and abroad.

    My Government will respect those treaties entered into by predecessor Governments and seek new alliances conducive to the achievement of our goals.

    My Government will work towards the realization of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. However, it will embark on a major public education programme to sensitize Barbadians to the challenges and opportunities that the free movement of labour, goods and services will bring. It will then prepare Barbadians for taking a leading role in the development of the wider Caribbean Community.

    TOWARDS SECURING OUR PLACE IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

    Mr. President and Mr. Speaker,

    Fifty years are but a moment in history. It is a short time in the life of a nation. But it is a long time in the life of an individual. Whatever your perspective, my Government owes it to the people of Barbados to demonstrate what a resourceful people can do within 50 years of achieving their Independence. Put simply, my Government intends to use all the resources at its disposal during this Parliamentary term to make a great leap forward on the pathway to developed country status.

    My Government is confident that with God’s help and with the support of all segments of society, Barbados can secure its rightful place as a good jurisdiction in which to live, study, work, invest and enjoy the highest quality of life.

    I extend to you best wishes for a successful and productive Parliament.

    GOVERNOR GENERAL

    Government House

    BARBADOS

    February 2008

  125. John

    I am not happy with any grace period.

    We gave Owen, a PM with no experience, a grace period and look where that got us.

    I think if elected officials commit to something they should be held accountable and should be off and running from the time they get the result. In any case, they should be held accountable.

    We need to keep them on their toes and stop them relaxing and thinking how important they are.

    We need to keep reminding them and keep them humble.

    We need to keep on them and let them know we have high expectations and want them to meet those expectations.

    They are well paid and if they last the distance, they get a very generous pension. My attitude is let them earn it.

    We expect more from these guys and gals and they should be honoured that we hold them in such high esteem.

    They should respond by seeking not to drop the ball.

    I agree the publication of the Throne Speech is a small issue …. but if you can’t deal with small issues, how are you going to deal with the larger ones?

    ….. as regards the money laundering story, I guess I must have some kind of sixth sense as I had kind of figured out we were not going to see it some time ago.

    However, I remained and remain hopeful for the future because there seems to be so much there to be found and there is a new dispensation which gives cause for higher hope and expectations.

    If BFP doesn’t do it my feeling is that it will still get done because there are fish out there to fry.

    It just needs one journalist to actually do his or her job fearlessly. Maybe that journalist will be encouraged to take up the challenge by BFP’s statement to show just how good he or she is.

    It comes down to expectations and accountability.

    Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall not be disappointed!!

    NO GRACE PERIOD, PERIOD!!

  126. Bajanboy

    Thank you, Civilsociety.

  127. Technician

    BFP says:
    ‘You DLP supporters had better think about this long and hard – because whether you realise it or not, this is a major watershed moment of your government’.
    *************************************
    Shouldn’t it be….’We the DLP supporters………’?

    Then BFP ends by saying…..’your government…..’.
    Shouldn’t it be ….’Our government’.
    After all…….you endorsed them and voted for them too.

  128. Technician

    Well….I guess if everything I post now (however trivial ..like ‘Hi’) is going to be moderated, I guess you could say that I’m partially banned.

  129. Jerome Hinds

    ” Civilsociety

    February 15, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Here is the speech. One call to GIS and I had it. ”

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

    BFP,

    You see what I told you ?

    Civilsociety did what you could have done….research the matter and check GIS !

    Please note…….that Civilsociety did NOT get the THRONE SPEECH from GEORGE STREET…….but from an institution of the STATE…..GIS !

    WE the DLP are always a party of TRANSPARENCY…….WE always get CUSS for following the LAW !

    In 1991……WE were taken to the COURT for the 8% cut…..the PRIVY COUNCIL ruled that we followed the……LAW !

    The new and invigorated DLP under the astute LEADERSHIP of HIS MOST HONOURABLE…..DAVID THOMPSON….will always follow the LAW and observe the CONVENTIONS of CABINET & PARLIAMENT .

    That is the HALLMARK of TRUSTED & HONEST…..LEADERSHIP !

    BFP……..by the way you would do well to follow your own CONVENTIONS…….and publish the DAMN Money – Laundering story or shut UP !

    Do you still REMEMBER…..” A man’s WORD should be his BOND ? “

  130. frankology

    Thanks BFP, Thanks Civilsociety. I could now do my research.

  131. frankology

    It seems that the speech was available from Wednesday, but only on ’email’. Just call the GIS and give your email and you will have your copy. Now, how come GIS was unable to inform the public through our television station that you can call GIS for an electronic copy. Poor communications by all and sundry.

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

    BFP Says,

    Hi Frankology,

    Yes, the GIS is now saying that the speech was available via email upon request from Wednesday… HOWEVER, we have two solid reports that as late as 3:11pm on Wednesday, calls to the GIS produced only confusion. The “available from Wednesday” statement now being made by GIS is interesting because even government insider Wishing In Vain was unable to come up with any version of the Throne Speech on Wednesday or Thursday – saying that the only person who could post it was away from the island. (guffaw!)

  132. frankology

    Remove VAT from building materials on houses valued up to $400,000.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    A house can only be valued when it is built, now tell me, when someone start to build a house and he received VAT free materials (remember no cost on the house is assigned) and when the house is completed and the true value is determined and it turn out to be a two million dollar value. Will the homeowner be made to return VAT savings on the increased difference?

  133. frankology

    It will also construct a National Sports Hostel for athletes; upgrade the facilities at North Stars; build an international stadium in the East of the island; and work with the various associations and clubs, particularly the Barbados Football Association, to improve sporting facilities.
    …………………………………………………………………………………
    I agree with this new administration embracing ALL SPORTS, but I have a problem where we are hearing that football will be in the forefront, here I disagree, why place emphasis only on football, maybe, the BFA president who is in the cabinet had some influence in this decision.

    What about motorsports and the future of Bushy Park. Will we now see the proposed hotel, golf course and casino occupying this famed location for motorsports?

  134. frankology

    Wishing In Vain was unable to come up with any version of the Throne Speech on Wednesday or Thursday – saying that the only person who could post it was away from the island. (guffaw!)
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Probably, he may be right with the that person out of the island and all the other employees only able to use “Remington typewriters” from the 70’s.

  135. ??

    Build a Sports Hostel… Is that not similar to a hotel. Several south coast hotels currently survive because of being able to accommodate sport groups. Adrian Loveridge what are your views on this is this not another case of Government encroaching in Hotel sector.

    Come on Mr Board Member speak up or rather out!

  136. John

    Thanks Civilsociety.

    … and yes frankology, de body musse get back from over and away!!

    We also now have a President of the Senate, Brandford Tait, (knighthood coming soon?) and a Chief Justice, (Sir David) who can fill the post of acting GG next time we get a throne speech if the current (??) GG is indisposed so we don’t have to get Her Majesty the Queen to designate somebody.

    Maybe they should just name a deputy.

  137. Wishing in Vain

    frankology you are a worn out record and you are only into the SECOND month of this new Gov’t, sit back relax and enjoy a new beginning and a new direction.
    Oops,oops I forgot that you may have been one of the many from within the inner circle of the Owing clan of crooks that collected in excess of
    $ 115,000.00 per person as advisors, so to the Ezra Alleyne who was and advisor of what I cannot even guess, like Clyde Griffith, like George Belle, like Henderson Bovell.

    Your rants mean little when you and your party raped this country as you have been doing.

  138. Wishing in Vain

    BFP Says,

    Hi Frankology,

    Yes, the GIS is now saying that the speech was available via email upon request from Wednesday… HOWEVER, we have two solid reports that as late as 3:11pm on Wednesday, calls to the GIS produced only confusion. The “available from Wednesday” statement now being made by GIS is interesting because even government insider Wishing In Vain was unable to come up with any version of the Throne Speech on Wednesday or Thursday – saying that the only person who could post it was away from the island

    My statement was in regard to being available on the DLP website my friend.

  139. samizdat

    BFP says:

    “Point taken friend.

    In retrospect we should have clarified our position much sooner, but there were issues that if explained might have led to our identities. Time has passed and we can say that only now.”

    Thank you, guys.

    And now that’s out of the way, let me stress once again that I think BFP was absolutely right to raise the throne-speech issue.

    It’s all about accountability from the get-go. We know far too well from bitter experience how quickly complacency and arrogance can set in once govts get their grubby hands on the controls…

  140. frankology

    Oops,oops I forgot that you may have been one of the many from within the inner circle of the Owing clan of crooks that collected in excess of
    $ 115,000.00 per person as advisors, so to the Ezra Alleyne who was and advisor of what I cannot even guess, like Clyde Griffith, like George Belle, like Henderson Bovell.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    WIV, let me remind you that elections done and gone. Stop the propaganda, stop the innuendos and stop the stupid lies. It is degrading all the efforts that David has in running our country. Your excuses are simply weak, but again you are a professional ‘cut and paste’ artist. Keep to your task muh brother. I got to run.

  141. young one

    Footballer going to get alot because Jones took alot. maybe that is why he can’t step down as BFA head? the cheques to the computer place he is director of, for things that the BFA never got? 0ver $30000 or maybe it could be the trip the team took to the USA and the kind folks there had to put them cause no hotels were book? but money for the trip gone. or maybe it’s the spin that is going on now with the BFA and the team that want to take them to court, because if FIFA ban them they would not have to explain why they don’t have the money to take part in the world cup games?

    see WIV if you spin right somebody could spin left… what say you WIV?