Monthly Archives: June 2008

Why Not Cricket At The 2012 Olympic Games, London?

Why Does the World’s #2 Sport Need the Olympics?

The dream of winning an Olympic Medal inspires athletes from all over the world, and it will motivate athletes in countries that do not currently play Test cricket or the World Cup. The Olympics is the largest stage in the world for sports, and being in the Olympics will help cricket spread faster throughout the world.

Why 2012 ?

The 2012 Olympics will be held in England – England has a cricket infrastructure and the diverse public for a successful start

The above taken from Cricket2012Games.com

See an excellent article at Inside The Games: David Owen on the Chances of Cricket Making It Back Into The Olympics

Cricket Europe article: Cricket in the Olympics?

Wikipedia: Cricket at the 1900 Summer Olympics

Cric Info News: The Ignorant Olympians

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Olympics, Sports

Barbados Lawyer Hal Gollop: Is He Unethical? Underhanded? Back-stabbing? … or Perfectly Proper?

“Among the several attorneys retained in the past on (Andrew Thomas’) behalf in a quest to claim outstanding monies owed to him is senior lawyer Hal Gollop who was Alleyne’s counsel in the recent impasse.”

… from The Nation News article Pay Up!

Attorney Hal Gollop Represented Andrew Thomas THEN Stanton Alleyne!

Will somebody please tell me how it is ethical for a lawyer to represent Andrew Thomas in a civil dispute involving the SSA and Stanton Alleyne… and then to later switch sides and represent Stanton Alleyne in the same ongoing dispute?

I thought that things like this just weren’t allowed. I thought that after representing one party in a lawsuit or potential lawsuit, that no honest or ethical lawyer could then turn around and represent a party on the other side of the same dispute?

Then again, this is Barbados – where the local legal community thinks it is OK for a lawyer to practice law after stealing over a hundred thousand dollars from a client! (Stories here and here)

Yes… Barbados where a man can be the Attorney General one day and in charge of defending and launching lawsuits on behalf of the Government… and then POOF! – all of a sudden he is the highest Judge in the land in charge of judging those same lawsuits that he launched and defended for the government! And he was never a judge before! (story here)

Yes… the Barbados legal community where the highest prosecutor in the land can misuse his power for personal gain, and where the police use a pre-signed blank search warrant to strip naked and harass a woman for the Director of Public Prosecutions and the legal community says nothing even after the documents are published online! (story here)

Maybe I’m Wrong About This…

Let’s hear from our Barbados legal community.

We’d like to know if the actions of Hal Gollop are considered ethical by other Barbados lawyers and judges.

50 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Six Months Since Barbados Immigration Chief Kenrick Hutson Was Assassinated

UPDATED: September 19, 2013

This December 28th will be the sixth anniversary of the assassination of retired Barbados Immigration Chief and former Assistant Superintendent of Police Kenrick Hutson. The case is as ‘cold’ as they come with not a squeak from the police or newspapers since Hutson was shot down in front of his family.

We at BFP try not to forget even if our leaders do.

Original story first published June 29, 2008…

Retired Barbados Immigration Chief and former Assistant Superintendent of Police Kenrick Hutson was gunned down in front of his home on Friday December 28, 2007 while his wife and daughter were inside.

That is six months without an arrest and without a further mention of Mr. Hutson in the Barbados news media.

It is as if he never existed at all.

One would have thought that the Royal Barbados Police Force would have moved Heaven and Earth and never rested until those who murdered a colleague were captured or dead. Perhaps there is some large scale task force working diligently but quietly to hunt down Mr. Hutson’s murderers? Perhaps there has been further interest in the Barbados media with many stories – and we at BFP missed them?

Or perhaps, it is as if Kenrick Hutson never existed at all.

There are strange things that happen on this island sometimes – made stranger still by the silence of the “professional” news media.

Further Reading on BFP

Former Barbados Immigration Chief Kenrick Hutson Gunned Down At His Home

Was Kenrick Hutson Murdered …or Assassinated?

Strange Omission By Nation News Online – Murder Of Retired Chief Immigration Officer Not Mentioned

Barbados Underground

Former Chief Immigration Officer Kenrick Hutson Shot In Barbados

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, News Media

Truth Is Where You Find It – Even In Dominica

Hard Hitting Words From Caribbean Man Blog

“Just returned from Barbados. I both admire and am afraid of Barbados.

Barbados represents the ultimate in first world mimickry. Its a beautiful little country with some of the hardest working people you can find. Its economy and living standards are first world, and its stability as a nation is great.

I admire all of those. Barbados has shown a capacity to absorb foreign direct investment to the point where it is attractive for foreign dollars to be in Barbados because foreigners want to holiday there, they want to live there, they want to even die there.

I get the sense that Bajans tolerate this success carefully. Its like the butler who takes shit all day because he knows he gets paid higher than even some white collar workers elsewhere and that he lives large. But deep down, he doesn’t want to be a butler anymore…”

… read the entire insightful article at Caribbean Man blog (link here)

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Garbage Strike Is A Side Issue In The National Debate About Corruption In Public Service

Introducing Barbados Prime Ministers Dennis Clarke and Walter Maloney

You heard that old joke where the parts of the body argue about who should be the boss? The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the workers at the SSA just proved the joke to be true.

Sanitation Service Authority employees struck in support of manager Stanton Alleyne, who was fired over corruption allegations. With no garbage being collected and even no bodies being buried for five days, the government caved in and gave Alleyne his job back.

NUPW officials Dennis Clarke and Walter Maloney (photo) are at this moment, arguably the most powerful men in Barbados. A few words from them and the whole country began to stink. Bajans couldn’t even dispose of their own garbage as NUPW workers blocked roads with sabotaged trucks – an illegal act for which no one will ever be held responsible.

In a country that depends so heavily upon tourism, the guys who remove the garbage have far more to do with the health of the economy than they get credit for. And we’re not just talking about their ability to shut things down – we’re talking about the important role that they play in making Barbados as desirable destination.

But the garbage strike and the firing and re-hiring of Stanton Alleyne are only side-shows in the national debate about our culture of corruption.

As A Nation, Bajans Are Learning How To Deal With Their Culture of Corruption

The Board of the Sanitation Service Authority terminated acting manager Stanton Alleyne five days ago after they received information about him accepting money from an SSA contractor in 1999. Under Barbados laws that promote a culture of corruption by public officials, there is no offense in Alleyne accepting a “gift” from anyone unless it can be shown to be a direct bribe for a specific outcome.

So although any fool can see that it was a corrupt act for Allenye to accept money from a contractor with whom the government does business – it might not have been an illegal act under our impotent laws.

The SSA Board may or may not have handled the situation as they would now – BUT GIVE THEM CREDIT… they at least had the courage and integrity to try and deal with this obvious corruption by Stanton Alleyne.

The SSA Board is just like the rest of us – finally we have decided that we will no longer tolerate this corrupt behaviour, but we lack the knowledge, experience and the legal tools and procedures to effectively deal with specific cases or the wider perspective.

Some of us don’t even realise what corruption is.

Every week, folks come to Barbados Free Press and comment that there is no problem with elected or appointed government officials receiving gifts from companies who have government contracts as long as the officials don’t do anything specific in return.

These people are either naive or involved in the corruption themselves. Either way, they are part of the problem that we face in trying to clear up this culture of “gifts” that does so much harm to the country and totally destroys respect for government.

Stanton Alleyne’s lawyers proclaimed that their client is “vindicated” by the recent settlement that sees him return to his job.

I don’t think so!

The NUPW has declared a “victory”.

We ask “Victory for whom?” Certainly not for the people of Barbados who continue to pay for the corruption and live in a society where government officials become rich at the taxpayers’ expense.

Alleyne may or may not eventually have to answer for his corrupt act of receiving money from a government contractor, but one thing is certain – these situations will be seen more frequently as Bajans finally decide they have had enough of corruption by people in the public service.

Further Reading

The Nation News: Back At SSA

82 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Get Tested For HIV Today At ScotiaBank – In Barbados And Other Caribbean Countries

Thanks so much to our friend Keith Ripley at Temas Blog for reminding us that everyone can get free tested for HIV today at ScotiaBank branches.

In the Barbados Free Press family only Auntie Moses, Marcus and Shona don’t need testing.

Shona and I (Marcus) have both been tested many years ago and have remained faithful to each other. Auntie Moses doesn’t need testing because, well, I think that when Frank Sinatra was last visiting the island… Oh, never mind!

Cliverton… get yourself over to ScotiaBank Now! 😉

From TemasBlog…

Get Tested Caribbean!

If you happen to be in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Maarten or Jamaica tomorrow, Friday 27 June, stop by the local branch of Scotiabank.

Why? Because Scotiabank, in cooperation with the local health authorities and members of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP), is hosting private, voluntary on-site HIV testing and counseling. As I mentioned last year, 27 June is HIV Test Awareness Day. The Scotiabank/CBMP event has been fully endorsed by the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP)…

… read the rest including testing in other countries at Temas Blog (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Brother Charged In Muslim Honour Killing In Canada

Back in December, Barbados Free Press wrote about the murder of 16 year-old Aqsa Parvez in Canada. Aqsa’s father was charged with murder and her brother was charged with obstructing the police investigation…

“It happens all the time in countries ruled by Islamic law and nothing is said or done about it, but when it happens in Britain, Europe or North America it is news.

Aqsa Parvez was an ordinary 16-year-old Canadian teenager who dared to refuse to be subjugated as a woman according to Muslim religious law. She would leave her home dressed in a Hijab and then change her clothing at school. Her father found out and decided to make sure the “family honour” was preserved…”

… from BFP’s article Canadian Father Murders Teenage Daughter Over Refusal To Wear Muslim Headscarf Hijab.

Now Canadian police have upgraded the charges against the brother to murder. It is alleged that 27 year-old Waqas Parvez assisted his father to murder his 16 year-old sister.

BFP will continue to follow this and other North American and European honour-killing cases along with several other human rights issues that interest our writers.

Toronto Canadian Sun Article: Aqsa’s Brother Charged

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Immigration, Religion, Slavery

Two More Canadian Airlines To Fly To Barbados!

Canadian airlines SunWing and WestJet will be flying scheduled (ie: not charter) service to Barbados from Canada.

This is great news because Air Canada has just laid off a couple of thousand staff and is cutting back on overall flights by something like ten percent. I don’t know if their Barbados flights will be impacted, but it doesn’t look good.

Here is the press release for SunWing – only a few minutes old.

Here is the WestJet story.

(I guess you can tell that Robert is your BFP editor today!) 🙂

17 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

U.S. Supreme Court Says Americans Have Right To Firearms

I’m always torn between the old saying that if guns are prohibited then only the criminals will be armed and the reality that the more guns we have in our society the more shootings there will be – so guns should be banned or at least discouraged.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court came down firmly on the side of the right of Americans to own firearms, and to keep them handy for self-defense.

The case was all about Washington DC, where guns have been banned for 32 years.

Yet in 2006 that city was ranked #7 in murder rate, #10 in robberies and #13 in the overall violent crime rate in the entire USA.

Here is the big test: now that DC residents are allowed to own and carry handguns legally, will the rate of violence increase or drop off the charts as happened in a few states that adopted “concealed carry” laws for good citizens?

Here you go… hot off the press, er… web…

Supreme Court Says Americans Have Right To Guns

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense in their homes, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court’s 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms restrictions intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by “the historical narrative” both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

The Constitution does not permit “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home,” Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington’s requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns…

… continue reading this article at Associated Press (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Why Prime Minister Thompson Is Like A Boeing 747 Pilot

Robert Tells Cliverton To Be More Understanding Of Barbados PM

Flying a loaded airliner has very little to do with flying.

That might sound a little funny to many of our readers, but pilots who handle heavy metal made by Boeing, Airbus and Antonov know exactly what I’m talking about. It is all about systems and controlling momentum – especially momentum.

When you have 700,000 pounds of aircraft barreling down Runway 20 Left (short) and your go/no-go decision speed is just about NOW and number four engine flames out, there are two certainties in life…

1/ That sucker is not going to fly before the end of the runway… and

2/ That sucker is not going to stop before the end of the runway.

Momentum. Boeing 747’s take a lot of time and distance to turn or to stop, and, if you find yourself half way through the takeoff suddenly inserted into the left-hand seat as pilot-in-command and facing a “situation” – it takes a while to make that airplane do what you want it to do.

The situation is much like that faced by our Prime Minister, David Thompson, as he finds himself flying our Barbados 747…

The last pilots – “Rum-breath” Owen Arthur and his cranky co-pilot Mia Mottley – never spent money on maintenance or training. They were busy cricket partying and buying new uniforms. They painted our Barbados 747 to make it look beautiful, but they never spent a dollar repairing the engines. The tires are worn and the brakes are spongy. Anti-skid doesn’t work anymore and the backup hydraulic system is “iffy” – because Owen and Mia never spent a dime on the important systems, only new paint.

Then we had an election and changed the pilot-in-command to Captain Thompson – and inserted him in the middle of the takeoff roll. Maybe we could have continued the flight somehow, but the “US Economy” engine gave up the ghost, the “Oil Price” engine is overheating and the “tourism tires” that hold up the whole airplane have suddenly gone flat.

So while the old pilot-in-command lies drunk and silent on the floor, and the old co-pilot is still screeching what she thinks should be done, our Captain Thompson has a few command decisions to make about what to do with this ailing airplane called Barbados.

But there is momentum to contend with and the end of the runway is approaching.

It may be that Captain Thompson has been placed in a “no win” situation and the best he can do is to try and limit the damage so that people don’t get hurt too badly. “Any landing you can walk away from…” and all that.

But whatever is going to happen, it will be a rough ride – so tighten up those seatbelts folks, and maybe Cliverton should lighten up on the new Captain for a while. He’s got his hands full right now and we might all need a change of underwear when this baby finally lands…

Photos: May 25, 2008 – Brussels Zaventem Airport (EBBR) – Kalitta Air Boeing 747-209F aircraft (registration number N704CK) rejected takeoff after engine failure. Five crew, no pax. Everybody walked away.

747. Heavy load of cargo and 150,000 pounds of fuel. No fire.

Thank you LORD!

36 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Disaster, Politics

From What Gods Are We Born In Whose Image?

A painting, two days ago, one of the most sublime in all the world, is auctioned by Christies for 80 million dollars. It is to go into an obscure mansion, possibly never again seen, when such art should belong to the world, kept safe in an art museum for all who would see it. (Monet painting fetches $80 million)

Meanwhile, in Somalia, Ethiopia, millions, men, women and children, are dying in inhospitable near treeless deserts, swamped with the swirl of nostril and eye filling dust, exasperated by extreme heat, drought, and wars. (The story of the vulture and the child link here)

Those peoples are the strongest and most resourceful people on the face of this Earth, but every living entity has limits on what it can endure, and for Somalians and Ethiopians, death by the millions,… is their only escape. Thabo and Magabe are making sure the heat on Africa stays on, so that starvation can only spread.

How many could have been saved with 80 million US Dollars ? How many could have been spared if Zimbabwe were still the Breadbasket of Africa, instead of being Africa’s third basket case ?

From what Gods were we born in whose image?

Colin L. Beadon

82 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Disaster, Ethics, History, Human Rights, Religion

University Of The West Indies Construction: Caribbean Companies Squeezed Out By Chinese Government

New Barbados Flag

This story was leaked to the Nation News and CBC a week ago. Why hasn’t the Barbados news media covered this story?

Our thanks to a special friend who sent us the following letter. For the record, none of the people named in the letter had anything to do with delivering this letter to Barbados Free Press.

Will Prime Minister Thompson, the Government of Barbados and UWI award a major construction contract to the Communist Chinese under such unfair conditions?

Will the Barbados news media now be embarrassed enough to cover the story?

I guess all those free trips to China for the politicians and the press have to be paid for in some way!

Barbados Contractors’ Association
C/O Moorjani Caribbean Limited, Jackson
St. Michael, Barbados
Phone: 246-421-4027 Fax 246-424-7374 e-mail: achal@moorjanicaribbean.com

June 13, 2008

Ms. Barbara Forde,
Project Officer
Cave Hill Campus,
University of West Indies,
St. Michael.

Dear Barbara,

Ref.: Construction of School of Business

Our members are in receipt of the names of the applicants for the pre-qualification of the Cave Hill School of Business. We notice that three Chinese companies have applied to be pre-qualified. Please take note of the strong objection by this Association of the inclusion of these companies on the following grounds:

1. We believe the 3 Chinese companies are owned by the Government of China. These companies are not independent as the management of the companies is interchanged depending on the territory they are working in. The construction of World Bank funded contract for the construction of Pogson Hospital in St. Kitts was won by China Jiangsu Canada limited and the contract was signed by China Jiangsu Trinidad Limited. Both companies had tendered the project supposedly independently. It is now customary that more than 1 Chinese company bids the World Bank or CDB funded projects. It leads us to speculate the independence of the bids which is a requirement of all the Tenders.

2. In accordance with the rules of CDB, these companies are supposed to operate as if these are independent private enterprise companies. To date no such proof has been forwarded by CDB to show transparently that such is the case. The case above in item 1 clearly indicates that these companies cannot be operating as independent companies.

3. Majority of the Labour engaged by the Chinese companies is from China thus denying local workers the opportunities of employment.

4. Wages paid by the Chinese companies to their Chinese workers are 25% of the wages paid by the Barbadian contractors to their workers. The conditions, under which the Chinese workers work, violate Human rights treaty and the UN convention of the treatment of migrant Labour, to which Barbados is a signatory.

5. Majority of materials are imported from China, which denies opportunities to Caricom indigenous business enterprises.

6. The Chinese companies enjoy taxation advantages in Barbados that are not available to our members.

7. Our members cannot compete with the Chinese companies because we are not tendering on a level playing field.

8. The University of West Indies is a unifying icon of the people of the West Indies. We urge the University to come to the forefront of our struggle to create fair and equitable treatment of Barbadian citizens and our Caricom Partners.

Yours Sincerely
BARBADOS CONTRACTORS’ ASSOCIATION

Achal Moorjani
President

CC The Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon David Thompson
Minister of Labour Attn: Hon Arnie Walters. M. P.
Minister of Economic Affairs Attn: Hon. Maxine McClean.
Dr. Hillary Beckles Principal, Cave Hill campus of The University of West Indies
Caribbean Development Bank. Attn: Dr Compton Bourne, President

This story was leaked to the Nation News and CBC a week ago. Why hasn’t the Barbados news media covered this story?

22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Business, CARICOM, China, Freedom Of The Press, Politics

Worth Repeating – The Words Of Our Readers

A Few Select Quotes From Our Readers

On Integrity Legislation…

“From what I have seen and heard in 18 months here, public life is a bit of a free-for-all, or maybe “free for accountability for those in office”, with little real sense that ministers and public officials have a clear idea of what integrity means or how they should be accountable to the electorate and the public. Amongst the local bloggers, Barbados Free Press (BFP), has been trying to kick life into this issue–cutely acronomyized as ITAL–but holds out little hope that this will be more than another piece of fooling most of the people most of the time.

I take a different view, believing that fundamental changes such as these pieces of legislation will represent cannot, and should not, be the things that get rushed into play, just to confirm some electoral promise. But, I also hope that Bajans are getting ready to hold a government’s and its public servants’ feet to the fire, or to fire their ******, good and proper.”

BFP reader and fellow blogger Dennis Jones on Living In Barbados blog

On Land Values…

“If our image is one of stability, certainty, and rule of law we will prosper. If we become seen as just another small, remote, unstable socialist workers paradise where instant laws suddenly appear, the capital will flow away from us and we can join the ranks of Jamaica and Guyana, blessed with wonderful resources but unappealing to folks with money to invest.”

… BFP reader “the white rabbit” on Land Values In Barbados – Government Giveth, and Government Taketh Away

“What is needed is a proper Physical Development Plan that is made LAW. To restrict development in the area outlined by the government just needs it to be made a National Park. The problem has been that, over the years, governments have been reluctant to make physical development law, because it restricts their ability to grant special “favours”. I am really skeptical of any plans to restrict development or sale, without it being made law.”

… BFP reader “peltdownman” on Land Values In Barbados – Government Giveth, and Government Taketh Away

On Nurses…

“You have a situation where Barbadian nurses pursue a three-year programme in General Nursing and are hired as Nursing assistants and you bring people from the other side of the world and hire them as staff nurses with lesser qualifications, the NUPW says nothing about our local Nurses yet insists that Taxpayers’ money be used to pay out contracts that werent valid in the first place.

Its time Union members send a serious message to their executives. Our dues pay these delinquents and we get little or no representation.”

BFP reader “of interest” on SHOCKING: Hospital Nurses In Barbados Allowed To Practice Without License Or Proper Training!

On Casino Gambling…

” ‘We’ missed a golden opportunity in the Caribbean when European Vision was moored in Carlisle Bay for months. It was eventually sold for about US$250 million which means each cabin cost 50% less than the average land based hotel room.

Just think if we put in half the money that has been squandered in GEMS into our own ship and had it initially operated for us with a Caribbean crew, sourcing regional produce and consumables

Just think we might have even by now be benefiting from some of the vast profits Carnival Group and others are extracting from our doorstep.”

BFP reader “Adrian Loveridge” on Should Barbados Allow Casino Gambling On Docked Cruise Ships?

“Why allow cruise ships to reap benefits from our tourists and locals alike? Seems the opposite of what we should want.

The measure we need is to acknowledge the casinos that already exist on land and allow all major chains who come to Barbados the right to operate casinos.

This will encourage major chains and at the same time push land based businesses, including ancillary services.”

… BFP reader “Rumplestilskin” on Should Barbados Allow Casino Gambling On Docked Cruise Ships?

On Barbados Blogs And Google Searches

“It is unbelievable that two blogs from Barbados would monopolize the returns on the world’s largest web search engine. No matter what subject you search on Google, if you are searching the word “Barbados” you’ll find BFP and BU articles more often than not…

I don’t understand how Google works, but I have no doubt that the Barbados blogs have a worldwide reach and influence that far exceeds what people would expect.”

BFP reader “Jason” on Google Searches For “Mia Mottley” and “David Thompson” Are Surprising!

“What is unbelievable is that the Blogs are continuing to be ignored by the traditional Fourth Estate here in Barbados. What wasn’t stated above, but should be, is that neither of the Barbados print newspapers, nor our CBC, nor any of the radio stations, appear above the Blogs in almost all Google searches…

For anyone outside of Barbados searching for same on the Internet, the Blogs rule.

In my mind, it is absolutely incredible is that the traditional Fourth Estate continue with their head in the sand, not knowing how to react to same. Any fool knows how they could adapt, but they appear to simply be uncomfortable (unable?) to giving the People a voice.”

BFP reader “Chris Halsall” replies to Jason on Google Searches For “Mia Mottley” and “David Thompson” Are Surprising!

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Filed under Barbados

UPDATED: Barbados Government Says Integrity, Freedom Of Information and Defamation Laws In A Year Or So – Or Maybe Two Years

Almost a year after it was promised, the Thompson Government says they will have “final drafts” of ITAL legislation by the end of this year. As to when the draft legislation will become law… oh… maybe a year or two down the road.

In the meantime, Thompson’s DLP Government members and officials will be free to award government contracts to companies in which they have an interest. They will also be free to accept “gifts” from suppliers and others who are awarded government contracts.

Same old, same old for another couple of years even if Thompson is to be believed this time. (As opposed to the election where he said he would adopt a Ministerial Code immediately upon forming a government.)

Prime Minister Thompson and his government could declare immediately that government contracts will not be awarded to any company in which a government official or their spouse has an interest. The DLP Government could order that this very afternoon.

But they won’t… because they intend to take full advantage of the two year “feed at the trough” period before the integrity legislation becomes law.

So while we are encouraged by the process that is outlined in the Barbados Advocate today, we’ll not break out the champagne just yet. All this work that is just now starting should and could have been done by David Thompson and the DLP two years ago.

There is also the matter of just what the legislation will say and whether the politicians will really adopt meaningful laws or window dressing designed to placate the public but do no harm to feeding at the trough.

Some will say we are too negative, too hard on a government that promised to adopt a Ministerial Code almost six months ago and then failed to do so. Some will say that we are too hard on a government that cut and pasted integrity proposals from the internet a few weeks before the election.

All we can say is… we’ll see what happens.

A promise is a comfort to a fool… and we’ve been fooled enough, thank you.

Here is the full article from the Barbados Advocate. We reprint it in its entirety because the Advocate routinely destroys its articles and keeps no archives for some strange reason. You can look at the original for a few weeks here.

NEW GOVERNANCE LAWS COMING

By Shawn Cumberbatch

GOVERNMENT should have the outline of new laws governing integrity, freedom of information, and defamation, by August and final drafts by year-end.

This means the island should have Freedom of Information, Defamation and Integrity Legislation on the books by the first quarter of next year if not sooner, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Maxine McClean said yesterday.

The Minister, along with Senator Orlando Marville, chairman of the new Governance Advisory Board which is dealing with the laws in question and other governance issues, gave an update on its work during a news conference at Government Headquarters, Bay Street, St. Michael. Also present were other members of the board Permanent Secretary, Special Assignments Prime Ministers Office Captain Randolph Straughn; former Central Bank of Barbados Governor Calvin Springer; attorney-at-law Monique Taitt; Development Specialist Shantal Munro-Knight, and Dean of the St. Michaels Cathedral Rev. Frank Marshall. Another member, Professor Eudine Barriteau of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus was absent.

As soon as we have drafts and as soon as they have been ventilated with key stakeholders, it would go to Parliament. As soon as we can get that, and beginning next year for sure, it should be there, if not before. I think that there are pieces of it, which among the priorities will be top priorities, and we would want to get that to Parliament so that we can have it enforced, McClean told reporters.

The issues that we have put on the table certainly … would indicate that for Barbadians and certainly for the government it is a critical area. We think it is important for the functioning of every government and it is therefore a priority. As a priority, however, we want to ensure that we do all that is necessary to put on the table a range of legislation that can deliver what we are seeking to deliver, she added.

Marville said the immediate focus of the body was getting the three pieces of legislation mentioned ready by the end of the year. It has hired noted lawyer Professor Albert Fiadjoe, who has worked on similar initiations in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Belize, to help draft legislation.

The chairman said in order to get as wide input as possible, three town hall meetings will be held in addition to meetings with the media, the social partners, and other specific stakeholders in August.

We are also hoping to have the work online. We are doing this as openly and transparently as possible, largely because this is supposed to be an act in the interest of transparency, he said.

Marville said once the first three pieces of legislation were out of the way, the body intended to work on other initiatives, including looking at a constitutional amendment dealing with the power of the Prime Minister, possibly at a Contractor General, and also revisiting the role of the Ombudsman.

He anticipated considerable public participation during the discussions in August, and said that while the public expected all the things mentioned to have been done by now as you can appreciate, drafting is not the job of a board like this one, it is looking at the issues and trying to put some sort of sense together on what we would present to the Cabinet.

We therefore have engaged the services of a legal services advisor Professor Albert Fiadjoe, who is arguably the best public lawyer in Barbados if not in the region, he said.

UPDATED: Story from Caribbean Net News…

Reprinted from Caribbean Net News
caribbeannetnews.com

Governance advisory board set up in Barbados
Published on Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS): A Governance Advisory Board has been established by the Barbados Cabinet to deal with a number of issues, including Freedom of Information, Defamation and Integrity draft Bills.

This is according to Chairman of the Board, Senator Orlando Marville, who was speaking at a press conference at Government Headquarters on Tuesday.

The other members of the Board are: The Very Rev. Dean Dr Frank Marshall; the Permanent Secretary (Special Assignments) Prime Minister’s Office; Captain Randolph Straughan; Calvin Springer; Shantal Munroe-Knight; Professor Eudine Barriteau and attorney-at-law Monique Taitt.

According to Marville, the Board would also be looking at a constitutional amendment related to the tenure and power of the Prime Minister; and examining the role of the Ombudsman and a proposed Contractor General.

He noted that Legal Services Advisor, Professor Albert Fiadjoe, had been retained to draft the legislation, and the aforementioned Bills should be ready by year end. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Video: Chinese Soldiers Murder Tibet Civilians

Barbados’ New Best Friend: China

We love all that free Chinese money in Barbados. Free trips for politicians and reporters. Free equipment for the Coast Guard. New Bajan embassy in China. Prime Minister Thompson reviewing the Chinese troops and touring the Olympic venues.

Yup. What a wonderful friend Barbados has in Communist China.

And we have this very special agreement with the Chinese…

They give us money.

We keep our diplomatic mouths shut when they murder innocent men, women and children.

If you really want to see the video, click on the photo above.

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Filed under Barbados, China, Human Rights

SHOCKING: Hospital Nurses In Barbados Allowed To Practice Without License Or Proper Training!

Unqualified Nurses Allowed To Work For As Long As Six Months!

That nurse who looked after you or your child at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last week might have previously failed the General Nursing Examination.

The story of this outrageous abuse is carried in the Nation News article Nurses Must Go.

The Nigerian nurses were hired, brought to Barbados and allowed to work even though they were not qualified and could not pass the basic nursing exam.

Even after this expose, the National Union of Public Workers has the stupidity to insist that the recently fired unqualified nurses be paid for the entire two years of their contract.

As to the previous and current Ministers of Health… what do they say about this idiocy? What do the hospital Board of Directors have to say for themselves?

Apparently the professional “journalists” at the Nation News never thought to interview anybody in charge and ask some deep professional questions like, “Have you lost your mind?” or “What the hell were you thinking when you hired unqualified nurses to look after our children?”

What is it that our leaders don’t get about setting and maintaining standards for the public good?

One of the jobs of governments everywhere is to set and enforce standards that are in the public interest – especially in critical areas where mistakes can cause grave consequences.

We don’t let plumbers or carpenters or teachers wake up on Monday and decide that they now want to fly airliners or design office buildings on Tuesday!

But we allowed unqualified nurses to treat our sick and injured.

We’re there any “incidents” involving unqualified nurses? Were any patients injured?

Will somebody please tell me why the QEH Board of Directors shouldn’t be fired this minute?

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Filed under Africa, Health, Nigeria

Land Values In Barbados – Government Giveth, and Government Taketh Away

Own Land In St Philip? Hey… Thats Too Bad!

If you own a house or land in St. Philip – you just lost a pile of money. Your equity was slashed and burned while you slept.

The Barbados Government announced it will push through rules that will restrict your ability to sell your real estate to foreigners. Bajans are concerned that the country is being sold to foreigners, so the government has decided that large areas of St. Philip will be reserved for Bajan ownership only.

No, it is not law yet – but the announcement of the government’s intent was all it took to devalue your home in St. Philip.

The effect of this is that yesterday you could sell your land to a foreigner for big bucks, but today you can only sell to Bajans – who have much less money to spend than foreigners.

We who live in Christ Church and St. Michael thank you St. Philip homeowners for helping out with the land shortage while allowing us to sell our land for even more money! Its all about supply and demand, and the supply of land available to be sold to foreigners was just reduced so I guess we can ask those Brits for even more money for our Christ Church building lots!

Prime Minister Says “Don’t Even Think About Suing The Government”

Why was this area in St. Philip chosen by the government for restricted real estate sales? Well… they could hardly choose the west coast, could they? Just think if all those multi-millionaires woke up one morning to find that they could only sell their mansions to Bajans. Whaloss!

While we have no special information on land ownership, we suspect that neither the Prime Minister nor Sir Charles Williams have real estate in the “restricted sale” area. If we’re wrong, we’d love to hear it as it would be proof that the political and business elites will be sharing the pain with the equity-robbed St. Philip land owners.

Perhaps one of our DLP insiders who regularly visit BFP can inform us which Members of Parliament own land in the restricted zone. We await this information with excited anticipation…

Apes Hill Building Lot Sales Doing Fine, Thanks!

Meanwhile, COW Williams has announced that he is making a killing at his Apes Hill project. With prime building lots going for upwards of 3.5 million dollars each (yikes!), he’s raking it in. Yes, Sir COW is bragging in the Nation News that he’s sold 150 lots from $400,000 to 3.5 million each.

Do the math. Now you can see why the Government of Barbados isn’t going declare Sir Cow’s project as “restricted sale to Bajans”.

Hmmmm…. I wonder how much money the DLP received from Sir Charles in the last year? Ah… strictly “campaign donations” of course.

What Development Plan?

A big part of the problem faced by Thompson and the DLP Government is that during 15 years of BLP government, major land permission changes were strictly an arbitrary decision by Prime Minister Owen Arthur. Sometimes bag men like David Shorey would purchase land from a farmer who had been unsuccessfully trying to have development approvals passed for a decade. Then the land would be flipped and permissions granted within days.

Only a coincidence, I’m sure!

So we Bajans are naturally wary about another seemingly arbitrary land decision by another Barbados government. Why St. Philip? Why not, for instance, St. Andrew and Apes Hill?

So let’s hear from the DLP… How many Members of Parliament own land in the proposed restricted sale area of St. Philip?

Don’t be shy, Mr. Prime Minister. Let us know the answer.

Further Reading

Nation News..

PM Ready For Legal Fight

Apes Hill lot sales exceed projections

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Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments, Politics, Real Estate

Should Barbados Allow Casino Gambling On Docked Cruise Ships?

Adrian Loveridge Considers A Radical Idea For Barbados

If the Bermuda Government overturns the current restrictions, then cruise lines would be able to open their casinos after 10pm, allowing hotel based visitors and presumably locals, access.

I am not sure whether this could be a possible compromise to a Barbados solution.

As oil prices have risen, many of the ships that currently berth in Bridgetown have tended to actually leave earlier to ensure less fuel is burnt by cruising at a slower speed.

However, if they could be persuaded to remain in port longer, then this could possibly entice a few more passengers off the ships to spend an evening in a revitalised Bridgetown or enjoy the current offerings in St. Lawrence Gap.

This maybe, might be a possible trade-off.

Should this idea have support, there would also have to be other considerations. As an hotelier, I already feel that cruise ships have several advantages over their land based colleagues…

… excerpt from a letter by Adrian Loveridge as published on Caribbean Net News (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law