Monthly Archives: May 2009

Why The Barbados Labour Party Needs A Real Leadership Contest & Convention – And Why Mia Mottley Will Never Agree To A Leadership Vote

Mia Mottley Will Never Willingly Agree To A Leadership Vote

In the wreckage of the January 2008 election, defeated Prime Minister Owen Arthur resigned from the leadership of the BLP, and Deputy Leader Mia Mottley was publicly announced as the new party leader.

barbados-mia-mottley-fraudWhat most of the public didn’t see or read about in the papers – and only heard about in whispers and quiet standpipe talk – was that Mia Mottley’s “promotion” to party leader was anything but unanimous and smooth sailing. Her “confirmation” (if you can call it that) as Leader of the Opposition took place behind closed doors and must have been some battle judging by the reports.

I wasn’t there, but like many people I’ve heard the stories of screaming, shouting and banging that could be heard out onto the street until some thinking person sent a text message to one of the participants that party supporters milling about outside were hearing the disaster. Later, the rumours came around that Mia almost lost the position until her father threatened to lay waste to half the old-boys network if his little girl didn’t assume the mantle of BLP leader. Yes, Mia’s daddy – Justice Elliot D. Mottley – was at the inner-circle meeting on election night and not just to provide moral support to his daughter. Judge Mottley took a very active role in the political process – according to what was heard on the street.

Once again folks – I wasn’t there, but I’ve heard the stories and so have you. Whatever happened on election night that saw Mia Mottley emerge as BLP Leader, it sure wasn’t a unifying experience for the BLP. Nor was this a satisfactory “public” fight where a clear winner was declared by the party.

The legacy of the chaos and bullying that resulted in the “selection” of Mia Mottley is a dysfunctional party, an ineffective opposition and a hamstrung BLP leader operating without a clear publicly-achieved mandate from either the grassroots membership or the party elites.

What the Barbados Labour Party received on election night was an Interim Leader.

Whether the BLP cares to call Mia Mottley by that name or not, the public understands the reality of her position and it weakens her image and credibility in Parliament.

Mottley Wants A Coronation – Anything But The Real Leadership Contest That The Party Needs

mia-mottley-finger-1.jpgAfter a government falls, it is not unusual to have a bit of chaos in the defeated party for a time. That can be healthy because it allows the members and the leadership to work out the problems, shuffle and add personnel – and emerge in unity and with new energy.

That is only healthy though if there IS a process happening – a process that includes a public discussion of the party’s direction and leadership – early enough before the next election that there can be a true self-examination by the party faithful.

The problem facing the BLP is that if Mia Mottley continues to get her way, there will be no leadership race – only a coronation convention scheduled so near the next election that the party will have no choice but to simply confirm her as leader.

The result of a coronation is that the public will still view the Barbados Labour Party as having an interim leader without a strong mandate from the party.

Doubts About BLP’s Ability To Win An Election With Mottley As Party Leader

Mia Mottley has always been a power-house in her own area with an impressive army of dedicated supporters, but she has not been able to turn that local support into a widespread popular base throughout the party. Many BLP stalwarts simply don’t like her, and some of those who do support her as a Member of Parliament do so with reservations. They have doubts about the ability of the party to win IF Mia Mottley is leader.

In short, many BLP faithful will tolerate Mia Mottley as a Minister, but are unwilling to support her as party leader because they don’t believe she can win a national election in front of the voters.

Mottley is no fool and she knows that in a real leadership vote by the members, her victory is anything but assured. That is why she will do everything she can to engineer a coronation and to not allow a real leadership contest to develop.

But that coronation will weaken the Barbados Labour Party. No matter how many of the party faithful cheer Mottley onto the stage before the next election, if she hasn’t won the leadership fair and square – many of the voters and many BLP supporters will have doubts.

If Mia Mottley hopes to be Prime Minister, she will first have to fight a legitimate public battle for the leadership of her party. Only by truly winning her leadership position will she be able to convince the public to even consider her for Prime Minister.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Source: Rape-Accused Roy Morris Bought Off Girl’s Family – About To Be Re-Hired By Barbados Nation Newspaper

"Best for everyone if you take the money and forget all about it." What about the next girl? That's her problem, not yours.

"Best for everyone if you take the money and forget all about it." What about the next girl? "That's her problem, not yours."

Barbados Rapists Can Buy Their Way Out Of Jail – Larger Societal Interests Forgotten

While we compose our thoughts about the Roy Morris rape charges fading into the mist, we’ll print this letter received anonymously through an anonymous remailing service in Russia. We remind folks that the letter is anonymous and may contain falsehoods. We also remind our readers that the Roy Morris rape story was broken right here at Barbados Free Press. The oldstream Barbados news media refused to cover the story for almost a month after we printed our first article, and many believe that the police would have allowed the whole issue to drop if not for Barbados Free Press.

Take it away anonymous source…

Dear Barbados Free Press

Just when you thought it was safe to work at the Nation Newspaper as a young female reporter, it seems as though they are about to bring a sexual predator back on board.

Word is that the once feared news maguffy Roy Morris might have exhausted his cooling off period and is about to return to the Nation Family.

It is understood that Executive Editor Roxanne Gibbs has presented a proposal to the board for Morris to return as duty Editor of the Weekend nation and the Sunday Sun. This would be a slap in the face for both Sanka Price (weekend editor) and Carol Martindale (Sunday Sun editor.)

However, the moronic Gibbs has been under pressure to inject some life into the major publications. If that is not enough Gibbs will also put a case for Morris to manage the internet publication.

But hold on, wasn’t this the organisation that laid off 18 workers earlier this year? Is it now hiring again? Or were those lay-offs a guise to make way for the return of the self-style Don of newspaper journalism.

One of my friend’s nieces who attends UWI Cave Hill said she came face to face with him in one of the corridors and trembled and shivered in his presence. Oh yes it seems as though our boy Roy has been contracted by University in some way or the other.

Imagine this, putting the fox in the hen house amongst those young vulnerable female teenagers at campus.

My friend told her niece to be on her guard and if he looks at her too hard please report it to so that justice could be done. By the way could Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin say if the constabulary has returned Morris’ licence firearm.

As for the case, remember last year it was adjourned sine die (meaning without a date). It is understood that Morris paid the lass or her parents a pretty penny to done the case and and it is this back and forth negotiation which has gridlocked the case. If Ralph Thorne is wunnuh lawyer ask he. He would know more as Morris’ lawyer.

But for now they are making space in Fontabelle for the return of the DON.

No Public Court Trials Needed In Barbados: If The Accused Has Enough Money

"So tell me. Do you like your job here at The Nation newsroom?"

"So tell me young lady. Do you like your job here at The Nation newsroom?"

Question: We haven’t checked the Nation yet to see if the old Roy Morris rape stories are still online – or have they been removed? Perhaps some of our readers can do so and let us know in the comments section. This should be interesting!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Human Rights

Reader Fires Broadside At Bizzy Williams’ Nation News Letter – “Xenophobic, Stupid, Intolerant”

UPDATED: Bizzy Williams’ letter added at the bottom…

Dear Barbados Free Press,

This letter is in response to Mr. Bizzy Williams’ letter to be found on page 13 of the Weekend Nation (May 29, 2009).

Dear Mr. Williams:

Let me say for starters I have not read such a xenophobic piece in a long time. I am a born and bread Bajan who is capable of accurately tracing my roots for over six generations. I am deeply embarrassed that someone with your prominence in our society can pen such utterances.

My wife of over 30 years and three children are not born and bread Bajan, however, they became naturalized citizens of my beautiful country because of my heritage; yet you want to deprive them of a right that they have earned..

If you were to get your way none of my children or my wife would be able to vote in their adopted home country Barbados. This is in spite of the fact that they all pay their taxes on time – inclusive of PAYE, VAT and NIS.

Your intolerance for “foreigners” reminds is no less repugnant than the US’ most notorious media bigots, namely Rush Limbaugh, Bill O-Reilly, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity.

Editor's Note: Any man of Bizzy's age who can party until 8am has our respect!

Editor's Note: Any man of Bizzy's age who can party until 8am has our respect!

By the way Mr. Williams, what do you mean by “a culture unlike ours”? May I remind you that culture is a set of patterns and traits exhibited by humans from the time of our existence and such characteristics are often used to define any given period, community, country, ethnic group or class within a respective society. As you can or should appreciate, culture is by no means static and actually it is a very dynamic process which will continue to undergo metamorphosis over time.

Here in Barbados we do not have a homogeneous culture, For the weekly paid construction worker with four children to support will never be able to sip Chivas Regal too regularly much less own a multimillion dollar yacht, however, both you and I are aware of those Bajans in our midst where this is an everyday part of life. There are some of us Bajans who prefer dancing to the dance hall star Buju Banton at Reggae Longue while there are others who prefer a night out taking in the classical violinist Patmore Lewis at Holder’s Plantation House. We are still Bajan in spite of the fact of our differences culturally.

Both you and I know that political parties here in Barbados seldom dance to the tune of the electorate as a matter of fact they are more likely to cow tow to major political financiers. Case in point both parties routinely break election promises following every election.

Mr. Williams I have always credited you with some intelligence, however, you went onto compromise my opinion when you state, “.. everyone (who was born in Barbados) and allowed to vote would at least have grown up in Barbados…”. Do you see the stupidity of such a conclusion? My Brother’s two kids were born in Barbados but migrated from Barbados when they were 3 and 5 respectively and have lived and are still living overseas for the last 20 years. However, if we were to follow your decree my Bajan born but overseas living nephews should be allowed to vote while my non-Barbados born but Bajan by descent kids should never be allowed to vote in the country they have called home for over 25 years. How utterly stupid!!!

Do you realise that if you were given your way most of out Prime Ministers wives (including PM Thompson) would never have been able to vote for their husband’s political party. Mr. Williams it looks as though that your brain was not in gear when you penned your harangue.  .

Mr. Williams how come we never heard a disparaging word from you regarding “foreigners” when Port St. Charles was being conceptualized and built or for that matter Apes Hill and the plethora of other similar projects. Was the conspicuous silence because these foreigners imported a culture that was similar to yours?

May be we are all foreigners for when our ancestors originally “discovered” Barbados some 550 years ago there were unsuspecting indigenous inhabitants that roamed Barbados for centuries who were a lot more welcoming to our fore parents than you are being to our neighbouring CARICOM brothers and sisters.

I consider myself much more culturally compatible to the foreigners you doth vehemently protest about. However, unlike you I am tolerant of the foreigners from both near and far for I see both these groups of people as having the potential to contribute in a positive manner to my beautiful island country called Barbados even it is no more than to diversify our stagnant gene pool.

A Bajan Forever

Letter written by Bizzy Williams… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Immigration, Race

Barbados Needs Lower Intra-Caribbean Air Taxes To Help Level The Playing Field Between Cruise Ships, Air Travel And Island Hotels

barbados-cruiseship-boarding.jpgAt a time when various Caribbean Ministers of Government have recently met and agreed to levy yet another tax on intra Caribbean air travel, its time perhaps for them to contemplate exactly the effect its having on land based tourism.

A seven day cruise departing from Barbados was recently advertised with one of the largest companies, taking in St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominica and back to Barbados.   With a lead-in price from US$449 per person plus mandatory gratuities, Government fees and taxes, it represented what many might consider outstanding value-for-money. Especially as when you consider most meals, and other features like entertainment are included.

Of the overall total cost, an amount of US$55.42 per person is shown as Government fees and taxes.   Now let’s say you were the same person considering visiting our Caribbean neighbours and taking the cheapest published airfares between point to point, what would you pay in Government taxes and add-ons?

Barbados-St. Lucia US$61.87; St. Lucia – Antigua US$82.57; Antigua-St. Kitts US$42.10; St. Kitts – San Juan US$52.70; San Juan – St. Thomas US$34.50; St. Thomas – Dominica US$33.00 and Dominica- Barbados US$25.38!

Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport

Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport

So a massive US$332.12 per person in taxes and add-ons to visit the same number of destinations by air! In fact this figure is even higher, because some governments are not yet including the departure tax in the ticket price.

Now what about the overall contribution to the region?   Well we know many of the ships are not registered in the region. We know they largely employ extra-regional crew and officers, who as far as I am aware contribute little in national insurance contributions, income or other taxes to the Caribbean.   The overwhelming percentage of what is consumed onboard is sourced outside of the Caribbean.

And finally, where does the lion’s slice of the revenue and profit generated from the world’s largest cruise market go?   Of course, outside the region!   On the other hand, the almost dominant regional airline has been subsidised over decades by the Caribbean taxpayer. The reason we are told the departure taxes are so high is because we need to upgrade the airports, but wait a minute, don’t we, and haven’t ‘we’ upgraded the ports as well?

How can anyone reasonably argue for airports to extract more than six times the amount in taxes than our ports do?

For the ship cruise operators, when the going gets tough, all they have to do is haul the anchor and sail off to Alaska, Dubai or the Mediterranean.   Hoteliers and other land-based tourism partners sadly do not have that option.

I am not, repeat not advocating against the cruise ships and their recognised contribution. But simply asking the playing field to be levelled to a degree where we can at least think of competing and surviving in these troubling economic times.   Yes! There have been repeated calls for hoteliers to lower their rates and make them more affordable to Caribbean Nationals, while at the same time considerable pressure has been placed on them to maintain employment.   Most of recognise the desirability of having a truly pan Caribbean marketing campaign, but don’t do it at the expense of an already barely viable accommodation sector.

Adrian Loveridge

30 May 2009

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

Cute Bajan Neighbour Drops In For A Nap…

Barbados sleeping-dogFor your smile and feel-good story today, you really must head over to Margaret Ashby’s Dogs In Barbados blog and read how a strange doggy decided that the neighbour’s home would do just fine for afternoon naps. We can’t wait to read the follow-up story about how things turned out after a note was pinned to the doggy’s collar.

Margaret is a dog-enthusiast in Barbados and she can’t say enough good things about her Bouvier Des Flandres friends. Whether you like dogs or not, her blog is well-written and good for a laugh if you need one.

Welcome to our sidebar links, Margaret.

Dogs In Barbados (blog)

Barbados Bouviers (website)

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Message To The U.K. News Media: British High Commissioner To Barbados Is NOT Our “Barbados’ Head Of Trade”

“During the Trade Visit, Thomas had the opportunity to outline Akome’s services to Barbados’ Head of Trade, British High Commissioner Duncan Taylor. On his recommendation, Akome approached BICO.”

… from a press release published at 24dash.com: Cool Customer! Croydon Enterprise Business Helps Ice Cream Firm Slash Energy Bills

UK Press Release: BICO Ice Cream Gets A New Roof In Barbados

The story came to us as a press release and is actually a very interesting and informative piece about how Akome Energy helped BICO slash energy bills in half with a few changes.

Barbados Head Of Trade? I Don't Think So!

Barbados Head Of Trade? I Don't Think So!

But last I heard, Barbados is no longer a British Colony. We’ve had our own government and Trade Minister for at least a couple of weeks now.  😉

A small point, but it just shows you that some folks still have the same image of Barbados that they had 50 or 100 years ago.

Am I being too sensitive here, my friends?

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Energy, Environment, Politics, Technology

BBC TV Looking For Role Model Bajan Family – For Reality Television Series

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I am a Producer in the BBC series and we are looking for a Bajan family to take part in a programme on parenting. Please can you add the information below onto your website?

Thank you

BBC TV ARE LOOKING FOR A ROLE MODEL BAJAN FAMILY

BBC TV Logo Circa Late 1930's

BBC TV Logo Circa Late 1930's

Do you believe in instilling good old-fashioned values, discipline and boundaries in your children? Can you give two British teenagers the chance to have some much-needed structure in their lives?

Following the huge success of the first series, the BBC are looking for role model families to take part in a second series of factual entertainment programmes on parenting. In each one-hour programme, two British teenagers will be sent to live with a family abroad, to experience life in their country under their rules. In the last series, the BBC sent overindulged teenagers from the UK to live with families over the world, from Jamaica to India, Alabama to South Africa. In this series we want to send two British teenagers to Barbados.

We are looking for a traditional, conservative Bajan family (with children aged 14-16) who are proud of their strong parenting and family values and who would be willing to accommodate two British teenagers for one week in July 2009 and instill in them the values and morality they demand of their own children.  The British teens will be expected to attend school, church, complete homework and help with household chores; they will not be guests in the house but new members of the family. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues