Daily Archives: April 25, 2010

Oldstream Barbados news media steals Bajan Reporter gangs story without attribution

Barbados Journalist Ian Bourne

True to Ian Bourne’s prediction, The Nation newspaper has grabbed his story about the Gangs of Barbados and cashed in big time without crediting Bourne’s Bajan Reporter.

Nevermind they didn’t use a direct quote and you can’t copyright ideas – Ian did the creating and research and the old stream media of The Nation stole his work and didn’t even give his blog a nod.

The Nation = Scum of the earth, fuh sure!

Ian: you’re twice the journalist of those who stole your ideas.

Further Reading

Bajan Reporter: Gangs of Barbados

The Nation:

Parents put on gang alert

Bloods boss says he’s no longer into crime

Gang fears

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10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Police

Electric Bicycle test in Barbados: Cost of traveling 176kms: US$1

Canadian supplier calls for Barbados tax exemption for Electric Bicycles

Our friend David Cameron of CameronEV (Electric Vehicles) in Ottawa Canada just completed stage two of testing an electric bicycle here in Barbados.

Last November we reported the first stage of the test where David used an EMoto™ Milano electric bike to roam around the island. Everything worked out fine until the bike couldn’t make it coming up to Sugar Hill. But as one of our readers (John Da Silva) remarked, even that “failure” showed that the e-bike could satisfy 95% of people on 95% of their journeys in Barbados.

David Cameron returned to Barbados in March and was successful with his continuing series of journeys around the island to test the e-bike’s capabilities. Here’s what he wrote to BFP…

The parish of St. Phillips has been conquered.

The red and white Milano e-bike visited the East Point Lighthouse, located at Ragged Point and made it back to town easily.

David Cameron returned the end of March and picked up the e-bike from Demario Cycle World where a customer assessment had been conducted.

Interesting to discover that the price of the e-bike at $5299BBD was considered high. Majority felt they would pay less than $4000BBD for an e-bike. The problem is the only way to get that price is for the government to let electric bicycles (e-bikes) be tax exempt.

The e-bike under test is a true electric bicycle under Canadian and international law. This type of vehicle should be granted a tax exemption.

Again a thanks to the patrons and staff at Buffy’s in Inch Marlow for assistance.”

Barbados transportation policies are unsustainable

As BFP has pointed out many times in the past, our current transportation policy has remained unchanged for 50 years. Our policy is accurately described as more cars on more roads and when those roads become jammed, increase the capacity again to allow more cars… and so on.

Many of our old roads can’t be widened or otherwise improved without destroying houses or doing some very expensive cutting into hills. When they originally laid out Bridgetown they weren’t planning on two ZR vans passing while meeting a bus!

In different and simpler times we had a railway, but that gave way to private autos and diesel powered buses. At a certain population and lifestyle that worked for a while, but Friday afternoons anywhere near the city should convince you that things aren’t working so well anymore.

Using the Toyota 4×4 or BMW to pick up some bread

Have a look around you next time you’re stuck in traffic: most of the cars have only the driver and no passengers. How far are they driving? Why are they taking this particular journey? To pick up some bread? To pick up their husband in the city?

Creep ahead for 10 seconds then sit for 30 seconds. What a waste of time, energy, fuel and money.

Now watch the odd motorcycle or scooter… ZIP! Away they go right past you. 20 minutes later you’re still siting in traffic and the bike rider is hoisting a cold Banks beer, relaxing and thinking about the day.

PM Thompson says "Conserve, make-do"

Times have changed, but people are pretending it isn’t so!

Prime Minister Thompson has been delivering a steady message of conservation and change in lifestyle for the last nine or ten months but many folks haven’t thought about what he is saying in a serious manner. The Prime Minister’s message can be boiled down to this: “Make do with less. Be satisfied with less. Don’t give up on the future, but for now the world has changed.”

The Prime Minister is telling the truth. Things have changed. Our hotels are half full. The tourists we see aren’t spending as they were even last year. Businesses are closing (Goodbye Miles! We gon miss you!)

Many Bajan homes have two vehicles sitting out front. We have to re-think this.

What do you think folks? Could you personally use an electric bicycle or motorcycle as your primary vehicle? If you have two autos in your household, could you make do with one auto and one e-bike?

Let’s hear what you have to say!

(Story suggested and partially written by BFP reader RLL. Thanks, RLL!)

Further Reading

Cameron Electric Vehicles, Ottawa Canada & Barbados

BFP: Barbados electric bicycle experience great until Sugar Hill

Electric bicycle world tour

Wikipedia: Electric Bicycle

Bramo Electric Motorcycles – USA

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment

CLICO Scandal: Interlocking Directorships a recipe for corruption and self-serving behaviour

CL Financial, CLICO Investment Bank & Interlocking Directorships

Our old friend Afra Raymond has written another well-researched article about the CL Financial – CLICO financial collapse. This one focuses on ‘What main event/s caused the group to fail?’ and as usual Afra is asking questions the news media should long ago have asked.

And what dirty little secrets has Afra dug up from the fetid swamp of lies and corruption where Duprey and Parris hope no one looks?

Here’s a sample…

“One of the main rumours making the rounds at the time of the bailout was that the State-owned National Gas Company had made heavy withdrawals from CLICO Investment Bank.  Those withdrawals and the requests for the return of further deposits were said to have triggered the ‘crash’ within the CL Financial group.”

… from the April 25, 2010 Afra Raymond – Trinidad Guardian article Taking In Front

Why would National Gas Company have wanted to make “heavy withdrawals” from Clico Investment Bank?

Could it be that one of the Directors of NGC also served on Clico and therefore had insider knowledge that allowed one company to profit over the other?

Afra Raymond

Read what Afra has to say…

A continuing concern, in light of the growing challenges to the old order of the commercial and financial world, is the role of inter-locking Directorships.  That is the situation in which a very small group of people control most of the major companies and activities in a society.

Critics of that situation would say that such situations are a recipe for corruption and self-serving behaviour.  The small group of people can enrich themselves, leaving the leftovers for everyone else.

Those who support that situation would say that the emergence of such a small group of leaders is natural, particularly in a small society such as ours, and the real challenge is to develop rules and norms which limit the possible negatives.

This is an issue which I am exploring in the ongoing series to examine the governance implications of the UDeCOTT fiasco.  It is not surprising that it is also a feature of the CL Financial collapse and there is an example of that in the case of National Gas Corporation and CLICO Investment Bank.

The CLICO Investment Bank Directors

At the time of the collapse, the Board of Directors of CLICO Investment Bank comprised –

Mervyn Assam (Chairman)
Amjad Ali
Anthony Rahael
Maria Thorne
Michael Callendar
Faris Al Rawi

The NGC Executive

At that time, the National Gas Corporation’s executive management included –

Ms. Olave Maria Thorne, Vice President, Legal and Corporate Management and Company Secretary – Yes, the same person.

Comment on Afra Raymond’s latest article

This comment about Afra’s article was forwarded to us, but we don’t know if the author wishes to be identified, so we’ve changed some things about and removed some details…

You are onto something here on this issue of interlocking directorships.

Did Ms Thorne know something that we haven’t yet found out? How is her position different to the Minister of Finance and the Chairman other than they seemed to have benefited directly. Would her interest have rested at that of the NGC or did she personally benefit? Did she or did she not?

For us to stay quiet on these things would only lead to more anger in our society as more and more of our people now understand what these things mean and with the human carnage that has been created by this CL Financial debacle, I don’t think we have seen the real emotional outcry as yet, but it is coming.

“The governments approach to drip feeding hope is slowly losing currency.”

As more and more people feel cheated and exposed, only time will tell whether it would remain bottled up as it has been so far or explode into something sinister and ugly.

I pray not.

Similarly, we have to focus on the role of the Auditors. Internationally they are being called to account – i.e Goldman Sacs, where Ernst and Young are being called to board. In this region we seem to be approaching their seemingly ‘gross failures’ with a sense of the untouchables.

The time has come for those of us who lead public opinion to call for a serious overhaul of our financial and business systems in light of all this.

While we are being told things are being dealt with the CL Financial issue, other companies could be doing exactly the same thing and nothing is being done to close the stable door.

Afra Raymond is a Chartered Surveyor.  This series on the CL Financial bailout can be viewed or readers’ comments made at AfraRaymond.com

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Offshore Investments