Daily Archives: October 21, 2009

Barbados PM admits citizenship applications “not dealt with for over 12 years”

Prime Minister David Thompson admitted yesterday what anyone who has applied for Barbados citizenship in the past decade already knows: there really aren’t any clear rules and the system is a mess.

What Thompson didn’t say is how some people just sail right through the system and others never make it.

Money can grease the wheels sometimes, but other times it doesn’t seem to matter. Many folks – some rich and some ordinary – arrive in Barbados thinking that a decade of hard work and commitment, or marriage, will gain them citizenship as the law apparently says. I say “apparently” because, as the PM points out, there is a large element of “whimsical Ministerial or other discretionary and flimsy entitlements” that are in play.

So a word to foreign spouses, investors and retirees… whatever nice stories you’ve been told about obtaining Bajan citizenship aren’t worth the paper they’re not printed on.

Buy your house, promote the country, be a good sport and make a positive contribution to Barbados. Enjoy your 10 year vacation – because without citizenship your stay could end any time a government official gets “whimsical”. And that is the truth right from the Prime Minister’s mouth.

Good luck to the DLP government as they try to restructure a government service that is infested with the friends, relatives and supporters of the last BLP administration.

Read the Prime Minister’s press release: Barbados: Green paper on Immigration laid in house

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Filed under Government, Immigration

New Hospital the only proper decision for Barbados – but as a nation and as citizens, do we have what it takes to make it happen?

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Washroom - "Progress & Quality Of Life" As Defined By The Arthur/Mottley BLP Government

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Washroom - "Progress & Quality Of Life" As Defined By The Arthur/Mottley BLP Government

Minister of Health Donville Inniss announced Tuesday morning that our government has committed the country to building a new hospital. We pray that our current government and the succeeding government(s) receive the wisdom and strength to continue with vital project.

If we can make it happen in five years, I’ll be surprised but pleased. Most people don’t realise the enormity of the task – or how much commitment and effort this will require.

The danger is this: as a people we have been spoiled by two decades of politicians who bribed us with our own money until the cupboard was bare and the loans dried up.

After a generation of artificially living the high life, are the people of Barbados willing to put up with fewer circuses and parties in exchange for a new hospital?

For twenty years, we’ve had government giveaways by the score. We had community group funding. We had huge Crop Over celebrations. We had a Cricket World Cup party that cost us… well.. we don’t know because they never told us. Was it a billion dollar party? Probably. Blown to hell in three weeks of some of the worst cricket I’ve ever seen. Not to mention that “finale” in the dark. A generation of government contracts awarded to friends without bids. Hundreds of millions in project over-runs with not so much as an explanation from any government, whether DLP or BLP.

And then there were the little projects that bled us by a thousand cuts. Remember the $400,000 privy built by Government Minister Liz Thompson’s spouse? Remember the two million dollar plan that gave weed-trimmers to the unemployed boys on the block so they could each have a business cutting the lawns of the rich? That worked out well, didn’t it?

And that’s only a sample of the money the politicians shot to hell to keep us amused.

It’s all gone now, folks – but we still need a new hospital and the economy is in a graveyard spiral. (“Graveyard spiral” is aviation talk, but I’m sure you get the meaning.)

Our Queen Elizabeth Hospital is by any standard, a dump. Ineffective. Wasteful. A national embarrassment. A new coat of paint can only cover so much and that place has seen more coats of paint than Owen Arthur has seen empty bottles.

The condition of the hospital is one of the reasons why a beautiful country like Barbados can’t attract foreign nurses. Think about it… with a modern hospital paying a living wage, Barbados would have well qualified and experienced medical personnel lining up to live and work here.

Barbados desperately needs a new hospital. By the time the new one opens its doors we will be in crisis if we aren’t already.

BFP's Shona Plants A Kiss On The PM For His Good Intentions

BFP's Shona plants a kiss on the PM for his Good Decision

So good for the Thompson government for making a decision that should have been made five years ago by the Arthur/Mottley BLP government. The BLP chose cricket circuses for the masses instead of making the tough decisions to build hospitals and watermains.

Let’s hope and pray that the Thompson government and each citizen remains committed to the new hospital for the long run.

Further Reading

Nation News: New hospital in the works

BFP: Has it come to this in Barbados? Dialysis patients turned away due to shortage of needles, gloves, standard supplies

BFP: Your Child Is Sick: Welcome To Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Environment Minister Lowe’s speech a farce as he deliberately ignores the largest and best green space near Bridgetown

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson Promising "whatever it takes to get elected, not that you can believe a word we say"

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson promising "whatever it takes to get elected, not that you can believe a word we say"

Hey friends, just found a short little reminder to myself about something I read in the Nation a few days ago so I’ll write a few lines before it slips away and I forget again…

Environment Minister Denis Lowe was recently rambling on and on about the importance of open spaces for people. Lowe said recreational spaces were important to all Barbadians, “particularly since we are becoming a fast-paced society and we need to find places where we can cool down, so to speak, and recreate”.

Right.

That man has been making the same speech for seven or eight years and I mean the SAME SPEECH. Same words, same hand gestures, same earnest “I care” expression like a preacher man on fire to save your soul. Lowe could have been successful anywhere in the deep Southern USA pitching a tent in the middle of a farmer’s field.

Yup, Dr. Lowe is pretty damn good talking about open spaces, families and green space.

Except… when it came down to it, he voted with the rest of the DLP to change the law protecting 265 acres of parkland at Graeme Hall to allow developer friends to profit from these public lands. To make this happen, David Thompson and the DLP Members of Parliament had to set aside laws that had protected the land from development since 1988. When the government was finished, 2/3 of the parkland (175 acres) was gone.

If you can stand the smell of cow manure, you might read Dr. Lowe’s comments in The Nation News article The worst of green

If you want the truth about what Dr. Lowe, David Thompson and the rest of the DLP piggies did with your irreplaceable national treasure, read Barbados Government Steals 2/3 Of Parkland For Developer Friends – Graeme Hall Environmental Disaster Continues

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Barbados Athlete Ramone Harewood has shot at NFL – National Football League

Ramon-Harewood-BarbadosCouple six foot – seven, three hundred and sixty pounds with a engineer’s mindset and you get a thinking football player who can also eliminate opposition like a tank rolling on the battlefield.

Oh… and they say Ramone Harewood likes cricket too!

The NFL (that’s American “football”) has taken a liking to a young man from St. Michael and the talk is he’ll be snatched up in the 2010 National Football League draft.

Good for you Ramone!

We’d love to see you succeed, an we’ll send you off with best wishes and an admonition from Auntie Moses: “Unlike some folks, doan forget where you came from and wat is right and wat is wrong.”

Morehouse star from Barbados has shot at NFL

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Filed under Barbados, Sports

Rihanna: Barbados Ambassador for Culture, Youth and Barbed Wire

Rihanna Russian Roulette

Another Rihanna nasty picture. So sad.

I arrived home this morning to find Shona prancing around the kitchen wearing only knickers and barbed wire. “It’s the latest Bajan fashion for young girls” she said. “It must be – because our Ambassador for Culture and Youth thinks it’s the thing, doan ya know? Rihanna’s photo is all over the world on her Russian Roulette cover promoting Bajan culture. And youth.”

“The boys?” says I.

“Auntie’s” says she with a twinkle in her eye.

“Let’s get that wire off”

“Careful, I don’t think this fashion will last.” says she.

“No way!” says I, “Don’t you know that Prime Minister Thompson who made Rihanna our Culture and Youth Ambassador adopts all her styles? I even have a photo to prove it…”

Prime Minister Thompson couldn't resist naming Rihanna "Ambassador for Culture and Youth"

Prime Minister Thompson couldn't resist naming Rihanna "Ambassador for Culture and Youth"

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Filed under Ethics, Rihanna