Monthly Archives: December 2008

No Starbucks On Planet Barbados – But That’s The Way Jane Shattuck Likes It!

"Planet Barbados? Again? Where the devil did this blog come from?" ... BFP's Cliverton commenting on the day's Google alerts.

"Planet Barbados? Again? Where the devil did this blog come from?" ... BFP's Cliverton commenting on today's Google alerts.

Planet Barbados Bursts Onto The Bajan Blog Scene In A Big Way

barbados-beach-rental-jane-shattuckJane Shattuck obviously knows what she is doing in the blog world. Her Planet Barbados blog has been the subject of a Google “Barbados” news alert four days out of the past ten. For a new blog, this is incredible performance. While Barbados Free Press is usually the subject of multiple daily Google news alerts, we’ve taken three years to get where we are and have almost three million visitors every year. Like we said, Jane is doing something right because her blog is only a month old!

Planet Barbados blog is Jane’s vehicle for promoting a group of Barbados rental condos near the St. Lawrence Gap, but she is wisely doing that indirectly by promoting Barbados and the locale around her rentals as a beautiful and interesting spot for a vacation. Jane is an American who fell in love with a Bajan and Barbados – or maybe fell in love with Barbados and then a Bajan? Her articles are well-written with a friendly style and, like our friend Garry Wynters at The Barbados Blog, are simply the stories of an outsider as they discover all the wonders of Bim for the first time.

Jane is also using YouTube and other websites and tools to widen her reach and to create that synergy that comes from simultaneous exposure on multiple web venues. Besides her blog, she has her condo rental website South Coast Barbados, a page on Vacation Rentals By Owner, and her own YouTube channel. The only obvious omission is a FaceBook or other social networking page, but judging by the work she has been putting into her website in December alone, that is probably planned for early next year.

UPDATE: Aha! I see that Jane Shattuck is also writing Ezine articles online like this one… Barbados – The Six Best Beaches in Barbados

Today’s Planet Barbados piece is a little video Jane put together contrasting a visit to StarBucks with her life in Barbados where she grabs a coffee at the local Shell station.

Jane sounds like a hard worker with lots of ideas and energy. Hmmmm… I wonder if the Barbados Museum could entice her into giving them a voluntary hand with promotion and also to get that historical document scanning project back on track? How about it, Jane?

Click on the YouTube photo to see Jane’s new video at Planet Barbados blog…



Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Four Shot At Football Match As Thousands Run For Their Lives: Jamaica? Guyana? No… Barbados!!!


Welcome To Your New Island

The Barbados Advocate and the Nation call the shootings an “incident”.

We call it Barbados out of control – the natural result of what happens when you combine no rule of law with no effective police force and a top-down culture of corruption in government that has permeated everyday life.

It looks to us like 15 years of starvation wages for the Royal Barbados Police Force and 15 years of corrupt governments are the chickens that are coming home to roost.

Read it and weep…

CBC: Guyanese Killed, Four Men Shot

Nation: Shots Fired At Football Match

Barbados Advocate: Police Investigating Incidents


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Police

Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit

New Wardrobes & New Cars On The Public Purse: This Is DLP Integrity Reform In Barbados

Elected and appointed government officials in Barbados are free to use their office for personal profit because successive governments have deliberately refused to pass laws or policies against the practice. Not only can government officials misuse and use information and influence to personally profit – they can actually issue fat government contracts to companies owned by themselves or their immediate family members!

david-thompson-piggy-smlThe current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government led by David Thompson promised during the election campaign of 2007 to implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct immediately upon being elected. That was the first integrity promise to fall by the wayside but not the last. Upon election, the DLP priorities immediately switched from integrity and accountability to getting their little piggy snouts right into the public trough. Fine cars and fine clothes became the order of the day. Not to mention borrowing business jets from companies who profit from government contracts!

And what of the promised Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation and Policies?

Well, we did have some public consultations for a Freedom of Information Act proposal that has since disappeared. No public consultations for the Integrity Legislation are planned though – we can’t have citizens spotting the deliberate holes and weaknesses in the legislation beforehand, doan ya know!

David Thompson Failed To Make The One Simple Policy Change That Could Have Stopped Much Of The Abuse

With a simple policy statement Prime Minister Thompson could have sent a message of integrity throughout the government. Without passing any laws or any consultation at all, Mr. Thompson could have declared the following…

“It is now government policy that no government contracts are to be issued to companies or other government suppliers that are owned wholly or in part by an elected or appointed government employee or official or their immediate family members.”

Thompson could have also declared the following policy without too much trouble at all…

“It is now government policy that elected or appointed government employees or officials are prohibited from directly or indirectly receiving any gift, consideration or loan from any government contractor for any reason except that the value of such gift or consideration shall not exceed BDS$50 no more than three times in twelve months.”

That “limits on gifts” policy leaves open the door for some small Christmas or birthday presents between friends but stops thousand dollar “Christmas” presents or the five-thousand dollar “loans” to government officials that are never repaid and are coincidentally given by government suppliers who just received a fat contract.

To those of you who will moan about the difficulty in enforcing such policies, you must remember that many government policies are set. Some are enforced and some are ignored but everyone knows they exist and they do establish standards and limit behaviours just by their existence.

Had Prime Minister Thompson established these two government policies it would have sent a clear message to appointed and elected government officials. The fact that Thompson didn’t set these integrity policies AND that he failed to implement his integrity promises sent another very clear message to everyone…

The feeding trough is open. Nothing changed except the name of the pig – from BLP to DLP.

An Example Of How Senior Government Officials Use Their Office And Inside Knowledge For Personal Profit

For today’s lesson about how corrupt this island of Barbados is, we turn to a September 4, 2005 Nation article that says “senior civil servants” were behind a $200 million dollar hotel development…

$200m resort plans
Published on: 9/4/05.

AN INTERNATIONAL hotel brand is playing a major part in transforming Harrison Point into a rich and famous paradise, possibly in time for Cricket World Cup 2007.

The SUNDAY SUN has learnt that the 240-acre site, north of the temporary prison will undergo a $200 million transformation in two phases.

Local company Harrison Resort (Barbados) Limited, made up of a number of senior civil servants will construct in the first phase, 160 two-bedroom condominiums, eight ocean-front villas, 100 lakeside townhouses and 75 residential villas…

… continue reading this article at the Nation (link here)

Which “Senior Civil Servants” Are/Were Involved With This Mega-Project?

By virtue of their insider knowledge, connections and their ability to directly and indirectly influence lawmakers, civil servants are well-positioned to profit from their office and government employment. They know which government policy changes are coming. They know which landowners are behind on taxes, which zoning change is in the works and which pieces of land will become more or less valuable as a result. Their civil servant friends have access to other information or are able to put a piece of paper to the top of the pile and so on.

For all those reasons, most modern democracies have established rules and standards limiting the business activities that government employees can engage in after hours.

But no such limits or rules apply in Barbados – where the country is so corrupt that senior civil servants don’t even have to hide their conflicts of interest and the press prints it all like the corruption is some good news story that is evidence of progress and industry.

God, I love Barbados – but I hate the corrupt cartels and elites who have been feeding off the public for so long that citizens believe this is normal and acceptable.


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Ian Bourne’s New Year’s Resolution – No More Abuse From KFC and Chefette in Barbados

From The Desk of Ian Bourne

Ms Kim Tudor; Nat’l Initiative for Service Excellence/
Ms Michelle Hustler-Small; Bds. Coalition of Service industries/
Editor; Daily Nation/
Editor; B’dos Advocate & Heat Magazine


Attn: New Year’s Resolution, viz. – Service

Dear All:

Most people at this time of year make a New Year’s resolution; more often than not it usually involves losing weight. My resolution also concerns food, but as it relates to service…

On Saturday 27th December I decided to have a Gourmet Burger at Chefette’s Barbecue Barn for a late lunch or early dinner – much to my regret; I ordered a small salad, burger-platter and a Pepsi.

Before the cashier rang up the sale, I made sure to add I wanted cheese and bacon with the burger and I paid the Chefette employee.

After having the salad my main course appeared and I collected it, while sitting at the table I looked at my meal, it seemed there was no cheese – I even looked at the bottom of the patty and it was dry bread underneath; naturally, I returned to the counter. I asked for an attendant and one who was not the cashier stepped up, so I explained what I thought was my shortcoming. Paraphrasing the rather appropriate Clement C. Moore for this time of year – what to my wondering ears … ?

She wrings up her face and says “LOOK, IT UP UNDER DEY!” hurled in either a snarling shout or shouting snarl (Translation – ‘Look, it’s up under there’ as in; the little bit of cheese was under the slice of bacon)

Still shocked, I went to sit back down at the table, I realised a senior-type Afro-American couple parallel to me were staring at me so I asked if they witnessed what happened; they not only confirmed what they saw but added they’re accustomed to it every time they visit the island and they try to ignore it – as I started to put on BBQ sauce on the burger I don’t know what happened, but I just had enough. I muttered to myself that enough is enough and this can’t happen anymore, then I marched back to the counter and demanded for the Manager On Duty; when she arrived I then proceeded to loudly demand for a refund on my meal as the service was not even what I expected at Nelson Street or Baxter’s Road.

I can safely state I did not use profanity, but I was not quiet, the entire fast-food establishment heard me, I was even asked what I wanted and I said I did not care it was Xmas or New Year’s that that woman did not deserve to be in a Chefette uniform and she should be sent home! To the Manager’s credit, she was quiet and apologised as well as giving me a full refund even though I ate the salad.

Chefette is not the only place to have poor service; there was October this year when Kentucky also failed in their bid to entice my patronage…

ian-bourne-kfc-barbadosI see in the Saturday Sun that Kentucky Fried Chicken is returning their Famous Bowl offer, this is where you get mashed potato with gravy and corn with popcorn chicken and draped with 3 different grated cheeses and a Pepsi to drink for $14.99 Bds – what is cool is the bowl has a resealable lid and is microwavable and dishwasher-safe, so you can reuse the item for a long time after!

So I head over to KFC’s Hastings branch, but having had previous horrors with KFC, I made sure to ask WHEN will the Famous Bowls be ready? I was made to wait for a bit then learn they’re “on hold” until the corn arrives… Quite naturally I ask how long will this take and I am told when the corn arrives in a perfect rendition of Catch-22! I blurt “Typical!” then exit the queue and stalk out to my car. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Business

Barbados Condo Sign Vandalized In Protest – Ocean Two Project “Destroying Our Beaches One Condo At A Time”

Barbados Environmental Activist Strikes

Barbados Environmental Activist Damages Expensive Condo Sale Sign

Barbados Beach Access Vigilante Strikes!

The above photo was received by Barbados Free Press from a person who used an anonymous internet re-mailer proxy out of (we think) Germany.

Apparently someone vandalized this large sign for the Ocean Two condo project. It is obvious that the damage was not a spur-of-the-moment action as the words “Destroying Our Beaches One Condo At A Time” were written using a stencil outline that must have taken some time to prepare.

The photo was received with the following statement…

“The attached photo shows how the people responsible for destroying Barbados’ coastlines (the culprits) recently became the victims of silent protest. The traditional media has failed to effectively highlight the destruction of our fragile coastline that continues under the guidance of these inconsiderate, money-hungry, and careless real estate tycoons. Perhaps BFP can bring this potentially devastating trend to the forefront. If we don’t fight to save our own island, who else will?

Barbados Free Press cannot and will never support the criminal destruction of private property – but we do agree that the traditional Barbados media has chosen to receive advertising revenues from condo projects in return for silence about our disappearing beach access and views.

News is news though and it looks like we have a Barbados Beach Access Vigilante on the loose!

Ocean Two Condo website here

Further Reading For Prospective Condo Buyers In Barbados…

Only A Fool Would Buy A Condo In Barbados – Canadian In 17th Year Of Barbados Condo Hell


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Environment, Freedom Of The Press

Chinese Police Arrest Christians For Nativity Play, Praying – But Barbados Still Loves Chinese Charity and Investment

New Barbados Flag

New Barbados Flag

Chinese Ambassador To Barbados Wishes Us A “Merry Christmas” – While Government Thugs Arrest Christians In China

In what is an annual Christmas Eve event in Communist China, police and other government thugs conducted raids and arrested Christians throughout the country.

Communism is a jealous religion and tolerates no rivals.

For Christmas 2008, arrested and imprisoned Chinese Christians include nine women in Zucheng county, Henan province who were committing the dastardly crime of reenacting the nativity on the street. The nine women, including Mrs. Yue Zengyun who led the group, are currently being held at Detention Center of Yucheng County.

Another 19 Christians were arrested on December 22 during a raid on a Shepherd Fellowship Bible training class in Dianlong village, Yanghu township in Dongzhi county. On December 27th, forty police officers raided Christian homes in the earthquake zone in Sichuan. The residents of the homes had received assistance from other Christians when such assistance was prohibited. The police took away Li Zenggui, a local earthquake victim, and Christian volunteers Cao Gang, Brother Yang, as well as others. They also seized Bibles, hymnals, televisions, motorcycles and many other items owned by the Christians.

Slave Camps An Integral Part Of China’s Economy

It is well documented that many arrested Christians are sent to Communist China’s huge Laogai slave camp system. The slave camps are an integral part of the Chinese economy. Over a thousand slave labour camps hold an estimated over 3 million slaves. The slave labour camps’ connection with the Chinese trade in body parts of executed persons is well established and certainly there to be seen by anyone with a few minutes and a connection to the internet.

Meanwhile the Barbados government and Bajans seem to be quite happy to accept gifts and investment from the Chinese government without a word about the slave camps.

Such a strange position for a country like Barbados that witnessed the suffering and abuse of slavery and still remembers and celebrates those who fought for emancipation.

Source for the news of Christmas arrests: China Aid

Further Reading

Barbados Prime Minister Holds His Tongue About Slavery, Torture, Imprisonment, Forced Abortions Of Chinese Christians


Filed under Abortion, Barbados, China, Ethics, Human Rights, Religion, Slavery

Barbados Court Attempts To Have Closed Bail Hearings For Arrested Journalists

Barbados Media Fraternity Show Solidarity At Court

Barbados Media Fraternity Show Solidarity With Arrested Journalists

Power Of Numbers Prevails As Barbados Court Opens To The Public

On Monday, a Barbados judge changed an earlier decision to have a closed bail hearing for the two freelance journalists arrested last Saturday when they tried to take photographs of a police officer charged with dealing in cocaine. (See Nation stories: Journalists Show Support & Media Close Ranks)

Despite the fact that only “some” family and media colleagues were allowed into the court, this was a stunning victory by the dozens of local news media people who showed up to support freelancers Cherie Pitt and Jimmy Gittens. It just shows what can happen when a few determined people challenge the system and say “This is wrong.”

Barbados Courts Often Operate In Secret, Closed Hearings

It may surprise our foreign readership to learn that here on Barbados, people are often brought before the closed courts where what happens is kept from the public. Judges on this island will order their court closed on the flimsiest of excuses so charges can be processed, dropped or negotiated to resolutions that would disturb the citizens if they only knew.

Transcripts of proceddings are seldom available even to lawyers – let alone to the media or public. Many “hearings” happen in the judges’ chambers where deals are sometimes made to “quietly let things fade away.”

The Barbados news media has often been part of such coverups and it is not uncommon for stories to just drop off the news media radar at the same time that deals are done in closed courts. Nothing is ever said again and the media remains quiet.

But the news media were not willing to let that happen on Monday with two of their own being dragged before a “closed to the public” court. They pushed, used their numbers and their power and the judge soon decided that the “public interest” required an open process in an open court.

We Have Two Messages For Members of the “Professional” Barbados Media

1. Congratulations on pressuring the judge to have an open process in an open court.

2. Why hasn’t the media made an issue of closed court hearings before? Why only when two of your own are before the court? Has the “professional” Barbados journalism community now decided that this abuse by judges in closing public courts should be addressed in the public interest? Will we see such professional interest the next time a Barbados judge closes a courtroom to the media and the public?

Or, is it as we suspect – that the fight to have an open and transparent Barbados justice system is only a media cause when journalists are before the courts?

The “professional” Barbados media has much to atone for with the Bajan public.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media