Monthly Archives: December 2009

Barbados Free Press wishes you a safe and prosperous 2010!

We’ll see you again in the New Year friends.

Be safe tonight and don’t take any chances.

George wants everyone to know that he won’t be drinking at all tonight and he’ll be available to drive folks home if they need a ride. (You know who you are!)

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Congratulations to Trinidad and Tobago: Now “Murder Capital of the Caribbean”, knocks Jamaica out of #1 spot

“The English-speaking Caribbean, which extends from the Bahamas in the north to Trinidad and Tobago in the south, averages 30 murders per 100,000 inhabitants per year, one of the highest rates in the world, according to the Economist.

With 550 homicides in 2008, Trinidad and Tobago has a rate of about 55 murders per 100,000 making it the most dangerous country in the Caribbean and one of the most dangerous in the world, according to press reports. The rate of assaults, robbery, kidnapping and rape in Trinidad and Tobago is also among the highest in the world.”

… from eTurbo News article Trinidad and Tobago have overtaken Jamaica in a dubious distinction: the “murder capital of the Caribbean.”

Lawyer Stephen Alleyne cautions Barbados shouldn’t be so smug

The authorities in Barbados should find no solace in the fact that, according to Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin, the murder rate in Barbados is one of the lowest in the English-speaking Caribbean. At 8.2 per 100 000 of population, it remains one of the highest in the world, outstripping most North American and European countries…

… continued at The Barbados Advocate article New Challenges Ahead

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

January 11, 2010 court date in Cyclist’s Death – Barbados Police unable to say how much accused had been drinking

Another fatal accident in Barbados with no sobriety test for the driver

The man charged in cyclist Percival Niles’ death on December 5th is now released on bail until the next court date of January 11, 2010. Tremaine Peter Sargeant is charged with driving a motor vehicle in a manner dangerous to the public.

Once again officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force are unable to perform a complete professional motor vehicle accident investigation because successive DLP and BLP governments have not seen fit to pass modern anti-drunk driving laws and provide the police with breathalyzer equipment.

No Money for Breathalyzers, but lots for Rich Racing Horse Owners!

About a year ago though, Prime Minister David Thompson and his government gave NINETEEN MILLION of YOUR tax dollars to the Barbados Turf Club so the big boys could continue to have fun with their hobby horses.

That’s priorities for you. What are the deaths of a few Bajans compared with keeping the Dom Perignon champagne flowing at the Barbados Turf Club?

Further Reading at BFP…

Barbados Government Gives $19 Million To Rich Racing Horse Owners As It Pleads For International Funds

Trinidad & Tobago implements Breathalyzer law – Barbados government fails to protect citizens from drunken driving

Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: Breathalyzer Law & Equipment not necessary

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How many Barbados politicians received trips, gifts or “campaign donations” from Sir Allen Stanford?

PM Thompson Says His Use Of CLICO's Business Jet Is None Of Your Business

Let’s have some transparency and disclosure by Barbados Politicians!

Many US politicians received jet rides, trips and “political donations” from Sir Allen Stanford and now the US Justice Department is investigating just what Mr. Stanford received in return. The United States and their citizens care about that kind of corruption in the political system so they have disclosure laws about gifts and donations that politicians must follow.

Unlike Barbados where we have no campaign financing, disclosure or conflicts of interest laws for elected and appointed government officials. In Barbados “campaign donations” are just as likely to end up in the Prime Minister’s personal bank account, but as former PM Owen Arthur knows – even when he was caught it didn’t matter.

Yup, things may not be perfect in the USA but at least there are laws in place. Unlike Barbados where Prime Minister David Thompson can be given free jet rides on CLICO’s jet and then be bailing out Leroy Parris and his friends a short time later with millions of our tax dollars.

We’re inspired by this latest development in Allen Stanford’s story of corruption and greed to ask our Barbados politicians…

Dear Prime Minister Thompson, Opposition Leader Mottley and former Prime Minister Owen Arthur,

In the interest of transparency, please provide a list of campaign donations, gifts, trips or any other thing or consideration that you or anyone in your respective parties received from Allen Stanford or his businesses or associates. If nothing was received from Stanford, please say so.

Further Reading

Houston Chronicle: Feds probe links between lawmakers, Allen Stanford
TPM Muckraker: Stanford’s Shady Ties To Lawmakers Under Scrutiny

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

Another Drinking Driver gets off easy because Barbados Police lack Breathalyzers

Attorney General Stuart, Prime Minister Thompson, Transport Minister Boyce

Hit & Run, Drinking Driver fined only $750 for Second Offense

Thanks to successive BLP and DLP governments’ neglect of road safety and their failure to implement breathalyzer laws and equipment, Awadh Narayn Inder was fined only $750 for a hit and run accident on Christmas Eve. Oh… it’s Inder’s second offense.

The arresting police officer stated that Inder was “under the influence” but unfortunately, you know how it is in Barbados. Unless a driver is falling down drunk the police have no recourse because unlike other countries that implement anti-drinking driving measures, in Barbados it’s okay to drink and drive if you can still stand up.

Everyone knows that a drinking driver can look okay and still be dangerous, but in Barbados without breathalyzer laws and equipment the standard for sobriety is “He can stand up on his own.”

What a joke…

The judge warned Inder to “stop drinking and driving” – a hollow threat if ever we’ve heard one. Not that Inder cares: this is the second time he’s been caught. In some places in the USA, Britain or Canada he’d be in jail, his car would be sold at auction and he’d be prohibited from driving for three years or more.

In Barbados with no effective laws and our cultural acceptance of drinking and driving, Mr. Inder and folks like him are barely inconvenienced by getting drunk, running into someone and driving away and hiding. Even when caught the second time the penalty is nothing to be frightened of, so pass the bottle and to hell with the police and the courts.

To Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley, David Thompson and a series of Attorneys General: the victims and the families of the dead and injured say “Thanks for nothing.”

Today’s Drinking Driver: Awadh Narayn Inder

Here’s the story from The Nation newspaper…

AFTER Awadh Narayn Inder hit a car on Tweedside Road, St Michael, on Christmas Eve he did not stop to inspect the damage, exchange numbers with the other driver, or call the police.

Instead, the 33-year-old labourer, of Sobers Lane, St Michael, bolted from the scene and got as far as the Belle Estate, where he parked the car in a dark spot trying to elude the driver who pursued him.

Appearing before Acting Magistrate Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell in the Bridgetown Traffic Court yesterday, Inder admitted that he unlawfully drove vehicle X8322 on Tweedside Road without due care and attention.

She slapped Inder with a $750 fine payable in six weeks, or 14 days in HMP Dodds, and warned him to “stop drinking and driving”…

… continue reading this article at The Nation Fined $750 for hit-and-run

Further Reading at BFP

Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: Breathalyzer Law & Equipment not necessary

Trinidad & Tobago implements Breathalyzer law – Barbados government fails to protect citizens from drunken driving

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Two women at the helm of Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Is that better than two men? Worse? Same?

First Female Executive Director for Chamber to assume duties January 2010

Lisa Gale is new BCCI Executive Director

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry is pleased to announce that Mrs. Lisa Gale will assume the responsibilities of Executive Director as of Monday 1st January 2010. Mrs. Gale is the first female Director in the history of the Chamber.

Having a wealth of experience in Economics and International Trade, Mrs. Gale’s prior immediate post was Senior Economist in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, where she advised Government on International Trade Policy for 8 years. This involved among other duties, interacting with CARICOM and other regional organisations, as well as preparing trade reports, briefs, Cabinet Papers and statistics. She also liaised with the public as it relates to International Trade matters – all of which suit the challenges of leading Barbados’ oldest Non-Governmental Organisation.

Madame President Glenda Medford observed that since both the Chamber’s President and Executive Director are ladies – as BCCI enters a new decade and era, the helm will benefit from ‘the feminine touch.’

Lisa Gale is a Combermerian who also received training at both the Cave Hill and Mona campuses of UWI, as well as graduating with Distinction from the College of International Broadcasting (Barbados). For three years she also tutored Micro-Economics at the University of the West Indies.

The Executive Director says she looks forward to ‘hit the ground running’ and implementing her mandate to carry the Chamber forward into the next decade. Mrs. Gale holds a bachelors degree in 
Economics and a Masters in International Trade Policy and has benefitted from a plethora of training courses organized by the World Trade Organization.

That’s the BCCI Press Release Above – Now for a Reality Check

BCCI President Glenda Medford

If a CV and experience are the sole qualities necessary for running any organisation, then President Glenda Medford and Executive Director Lisa Gale should be successful at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Both are qualified on paper.

But as we’ve seen time and time again in other organisations, paper qualifications are no substitute for the dynamic leadership necessary to make things happen. The education and technical skills are a necessary foundation, but unless “Capital L” LEADERSHIP is there no progress will be made.

The first question is: Can the BCCI make a real difference to our faltering financial and tourism sectors that are the very heart of our country’s economy?

We at Barbados Free Press aren’t sure that having “the feminine touch” or “a man’s hand” has anything to do with making the BCCI useful to Barbados and the Barbados business community.

Okay, ladies – we’ll have a day or two of celebration about an all-female leadership team at BCCI, but then let’s talk performance.

And please appreciate that we’re happy to see more of our sisters, wives, mothers and daughters actively taking leadership roles in Barbados (and that for BCCI like everyone, there is no such thing as bad publicity.)

But January 2nd is coming and then it will be time to get back to work. BCCI’s leadership team might want to consider the following questions that are on every business person’s mind when they hear “BCCI” – even if they are too polite to ask the questions directly…

What is the mission statement of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry?

Is the mission of the BCCI still valid? Does the mission need changing?

Is BCCI fulfilling its mission? How do we know that BCCI is fulfilling its mission?

What can the BCCI do to improve my business and my profit?

How do we measure BCCI’s performance and impact upon our economy and upon my business?

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Irish Times: Most Barbados Red Legs have bad or no teeth. Many blind, without limbs.

I’ll leave the discussion on this one to our readers!

Excerpts from the Irish Times article Remnants of an indentured people

“In 1636 a ship sailed out of Kinsale bound for Barbados. Its cargo? Sixty-one Irish people destined to join thousands of others as indentured servants. Photographer SHEENA JOLLEY met their descendents, the Red Legs, who still live there today.

AN ESTIMATED 50,000 “white slaves” were transported from Ireland to Barbados between 1652 and 1657. Having succeeded in recruiting Irish men to die in the services of France, Spain, Poland and Italy, Cromwell turned his attention to others – men and women press-ganged by soldiers, taken to Cork and shipped to Bristol where they were sold as slaves and transported to Barbados. (snip)

Today, most Red Legs have bad or no teeth due to poor diet and lack of dental care. Illnesses and premature deaths due to haemophilia and diabetes have left men blind and without limbs.

They are no longer plagued by the old diseases of hookworm, typhoid, and cholera, but school absenteeism, poor health, the ill effects of inter-family marriage, large families, little ownership of land and lack of job opportunities have locked those remaining on the island into a poverty trap. Even today the Red Legs still stand out as anomalies and are hard pressed for survival in a society that has no niche for them.”

The Peter Simmons Solution to black prejudice against Red Legs: Wipe out the race through intermarriage with black Bajans

Peter Simmons

Peter Simmons, in a report for the ministry of education in Barbados, suggested that a solution to the poverty and stigma of being a Red Leg is better education and intermarriage with the middle class blacks. He wrote: “Born with a brown skin and armed with a basic education, these children shall never know what it really means to be a Red Leg.”

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Race, Slavery