Monthly Archives: November 2010

CHAOS! BLP website six weeks later: “Mia Amor Mottley, Political Leader of BLP”

Opposition Leader Owen Arthur still not mentioned on Barbados Labour Party website!

Eight days after Barbados Free Press broke the news that the BLP website still proclaims deposed leader Mia Mottley as “Political Leader of BLP”, everything remains the same…

The “real” leader of the Opposition, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, is not mentioned on the Barbados Labour Party’s official website – and deposed leader Mia Mottley still welcomes visitors as “Political Leader of BLP”.

This is almost six weeks after Owen Arthur led a coup that deposed then-Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and over a week after Barbados Free Press exposed the battle over the BLP’s website.

On November 17, 2010, Barbados Free Press received an anonymous email indicating that the people in charge of the BLP website are refusing to give up the password to Owen Arthur’s team.

It looks like the stand-off continues. How embarrassing! Yet… how indicative of the reality of turmoil within the Barbados Labour Party.

Hey… BLP… Who’s yo daddy?

Or is it “Who’s yo’ mommy?”

When you sort out who is the leader of the BLP, please let Barbados know!

(Hey… BLP… Sucks to be you!)

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Barbados Tax Grab: We’ve been living beyond our means and the bill just came due

Merry Christmas: Barbados VAT to 17.5%

“Finance Minister Sinckler says the increase to VAT is “temporary”. That’s okay, my new policy of buying as little as possible will be permanent.”

“That budget just cost our family at least $6,000 out of our pockets in 2011.”

…Heard at work this evening

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler delivered his first budget today, and it was pretty much as it had to be given the state of the world’s economies and the heavy debt burden accumulated by Barbados over the last 20 years.

We lived beyond our means for the best part of two decades and not only that: we socked nothing away and spent like drunken sailors on everything except the fundamentals. We had cricket parties for half a billion dollars but neglected the hospital. We spent $400,000 on a $100,000 public washroom – and that was just one over-budget project of hundreds just like it. We forgot to change the oil in the garbage trucks, so we ended up replacing engines instead. We let the seawall deteriorate and then were so surprised when the street above it collapsed.

We gave a million dollars to buy the boys on the block some weed trimmers to “encourage the development of entrepreneurship and small business.” Do you see the boys on the block operating any businesses now? We gave millions and millions to every ad hoc community group that raised its hand and we never audited the spending or checked the results.

We had a great party while it lasted, but now it’s hangover time and it’s a doozie!

Taxes and government fees are headed nowhere but up, with a few stimulus bones thrown into the mix to confuse the wolves at the door. Continue reading

102 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy, Politics

Good things happening on Saturday in Barbados

Shona and Marcus make plans for Saturday night

We’re taking it easy this weekend. Auntie Moses has volunteered to take the two little ones starting at… noon Saturday!

Thank you, Auntie M!

My friends, you know how it is. Every once in a while as a couple you need more than a few hours alone together. We are so blessed to have Auntie Moses because about once a month she calls Shona and demands the children for Saturday night sleepover. No argument from us and you can bank on that. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Music

Please visit our friends at… Carter County Radio

Click on the banner and listen online to Classic Rock from the Volunteer State of Tennessee!

You KNOW that Cliverton loves Carter County Radio – and he thought we should give them a plug. Not my cuppa, but anything for a friend. Done and done!

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Filed under Barbados, Music

Some pampered babies at Barbados Royal Westmoreland crying over hurricane Tomas

UPDATED: November 22, 2010 9:31am Bridgetown

BFP reader ‘Come here’ says that Royal Westmoreland’s club house was open with free food and drinks throughout the period described by the “young posers” (that’s a quote!) to the Brit newspapers. Here’s what ‘Come Here’ has to say…

For the record, the renters of those 2 villas who complained to the MIRROR are young posers, entitled colonial era minded Brits, who cannot understand why “staff” did not rush from their roofless homes to bring them a Chicken Rita. Don’t ask how I know, but I do.

These disgusting snobs burned Rooney’s cabinets with candles, broke furniture, and generally abused the staff willing to brave the weather to “serve” them. The golfers clubhouse was open and operating WITH FREE FOOD AND DRINK, and several of the staff went without sleep to serve the guests. All of this nonsense here about what generator should be or what water tank could be in a million dollar home fails to explain why BL&P was unable to restore power to a lot of suffering people for nearly a week.

The point is that EVERYONE was caught flatfooted, including the inept government and salaried weather watchers, leaving Bajans a wind gust away from being in the disaster state that is St. Lucia.

All the millions wasted attracting visitors here cannot compete with the public relations nightmare Tomas has caused Barbados.

Here is our original article as published November 21, 2010…

All together now: “AWWWWWWWWW poor babies! Let mummy kiss it better!”

(While daddy shouts “Don’t do that. Let him be a man!”)

Some Royal Westmoreland guests are upset that their caviar and champagne holiday was interrupted by Hurricane Tomas. They rented Wayne Rooney’s home for 1,000 pounds a night (GOOD LORD!!!!) but when the power and water went out for three days they were greatly inconvenienced.

The p’d off guests report to the London Mirror that they had to use water from swimming pool to the flush toilets! Imagine that! They had to get a taxi driver to (hold nose here) bring them some chicken! EGADS!

And, doan ya know, the roof and door leaked during the hurricane! “Well, I never! That’s the last time I’d stay in that five million pounds rubbish heap!”

(Side note: We’ve heard rumours – only rumours, mind you – that at least three and as many as six other roofs in Barbados – gasp! – actually leaked during the hurricane!)  😉  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Sports

More EU charity millions for Barbados – still no rules, transparency or accountability.

Just don’t ask what happened to the last EU Sugar funds

Rise and shine children! It is a fine, fine day! The European Union is sending us another fat aid cheque. That’s free money to “increase competitiveness of the sugar sector in Barbados and to develop alternative economic activities”, but doan be fooled. That money goin right into the general government coffers ’cause things are bad, bad, bad ’bout hey.

You know how it really is. Successive Barbados governments have positioned Barbados as an international beggar – all the while squandering hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid without visible results or readily apparent benefit to the people of Barbados.

The EU gentleman says additional new money is “earmarked” for information and communication technology, international business and human resource development.

I suppose that means new Blackberries ‘an laptops for the big-ups. Maybe some consulting fees for human resource development and international business “consultants” who just happen to be cousins of some guv’ment official.

Doan worry about it though. There are no rules about giving contracts to relatives or friends, so it’s all nice ‘an legal – just the way the big-ups like it. Continue reading

18 Comments

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

The State of the Media

by Afra Raymond

The recent series of changes at Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG) have sparked a series of evolving discussions.  I was one of the three people ‘let go’ from CNMG and that was reported briefly on my blog and in the Barbados Free Press article Caribbean New Media Group fires journalist Afra Raymond, stops his CL Financial, CLICO fraud coverage

I am starting to reflect on some aspects of all this recent interest, but no, this not an anti-PP column or one about how wicked politicians are and so on.

What kind of talk is that?

The first thing that occurred to me is how the media conversation has blown up in sheer size and how that has had an effect on the quality of our national conversation.

In the so-called ‘good old days’, before the shift I am about to describe, the only people who really had a voice in our society were those who were approved, such as government ministers and their spokespersons, established journalists, the ‘great and good‘ and of course the brave and imaginative ones who were our activists.

In fact, the last-named group were the voice of the voiceless, who fought to uplift our society.  Of course in that group you would have to include the leading calypsonians and ‘troublemakers’ of their era. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Trinidad and Tobago

Christmas is coming – Time to call Caribbean Spice Caterers!

Christmas gathering at work or home? Call Caribbean Spice Caterers and they’ll put on a wonderful spread so you can enjoy time with your guests. mmmmmm!

We’ve been to two events catered by Caribbean Spice (one major and the other not so large) and the food and service were impressive enough that many folks at each event made it a point to ask for the name of the caterer. Without being too specific, it was interesting that the two parties were at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of numbers, budgets and guest expectations but everyone at both events came away absolutely raving about the food.

The food is special. Kim calls her creations a “fusion” of various island traditions but everyone else just says “I think I’ll have some more, please.”

Give Caribbean Spice Caterers a call and tell them Marcus at BFP recommended them. Kim hasn’t a clue who we are but that’s another story!

Caribbean Spice Caterers website Phone: 424-9617

Comments Off on Christmas is coming – Time to call Caribbean Spice Caterers!

Filed under Barbados

Four weeks ago this morning, Prime Minister David Thompson said goodbye

What would David say to us now, four weeks later?

On October 23, 2010 at about 2:10am, David John Howard Thompson went to be with the Lord. We said then and believe now, “It is a mercy that he had time to prepare himself, his loved ones, his friends and his beloved Barbados for his passing.”

Many folks don’t have that opportunity to prepare themselves and their loved ones – as much as one can prepare.

Death is a journey we shall all make, every one of us. Some leave suddenly during an accident or heart attack, maybe even after an argument with an old friend, or cancelling out on visiting father for the third week in a row because of work commitments.

If you knew that tomorrow was your time to leave, what would you do differently today?

We remember Prime Minister Thompson now, and we will continue to remember him and his widow Mara, their three daughters Misha, Oya  and Osa, his mum, Margaret Knight and the rest of David’s family.

It’s time for Barbados to get back to work.

The Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) website is our face to the world on the Internet, and if you visit it today you will find that it is representative of our nation’s current upset and malaise over the passing of our Prime Minister.

According to the Government of Barbados website, David Thompson is still alive and serving as our Prime Minister.

We want our readers to understand that we are not being critical of the folks at the BGIS or their web team. We know that they are working hard to update the many Government websites to reflect our new Prime Minister and the many changes in the government.

We’re only using this as an example to say that there are many things that still need to be done as a result of the changes – and while we install the new Captain and crew, we still have to keep the good ship Barbados sailing through the storm.

We mourned our lost Prime Minister, but now…

The Lord gave Barbados time to prepare for David’s passing. We mourned and we still mourn, but we must ask ourselves as Independence Day approaches, What would David want us to do now? What would he say to us?

I think David Thompson would say something like this: “Thank you for remembering me and looking after my family – but friends, it’s time for Barbados to get to back to work.”

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Filed under Barbados

“Problem” Judge David Myers now Barbados lawyer

Trinidad still cleaning up the mess, but was it all David Myers’ fault?

Lawsuit launched over 10 year wait for justice

Lawyers typically waited years for Judge Myers’ decisions

For a moment we thought we were in Barbados when we read the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday article Judge in Barbados.

We’ve covered many stories of the pathetic state of our Barbados courts where land disputes can take twenty years to work their way through court. (Yes, we said TWENTY YEARS.)

Not to despair though, because Barbados Judges can push a child rape case through the courts in as little as seven or ten years. (Yes, we said TEN YEARS for a child rape case to reach trial.)

Was Judge Myers a failure, a victim of an unreasonable workload… or both? . Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Trinidad and Tobago

Leadership chaos at the Barbados Labour Party

“Has Owen Arthur become so drunk; power-hungry and confused about what is acceptable that despite being a 3-term Prime Minister he would allow himself to be summoned to George Payne’s house in the dead of the night – just to sign a document, which now makes him a puppet leader?”

BLP Buyer’s remorse? Lack of viable options? Normal cut and thrust politics?

ONCE again Barbados Free Press prints an article about the BLP leadership chaos and Owen Arthur’s silence about the vote-rigging. This could be from the same anonymous author as the last Owen Arthur article, but we have no way of knowing because it’s coming to us through the popular Anonymouse.org Proxy in Germany.

Like everything you read at BFP and elsewhere on the internet, take it with a strong shot of rum ‘an doan believe anything without a sober second thought in the morning!

Who wrote this article? What’s the agenda?

Is it written by a Mottley supporter, or by a famous DLP supporter who’d rather see his party face Mottley and not Arthur in the next election?

We don’t know, but after a tonic and pink gin Robert says that some of the phrases are vaguely reminiscent of someone who’s name begins with “H”. Any other guesses from the Cheapside seats?

Ladies and gentlemen, BFP presents this article by an anonymous author…

No magic and after 14 years – no legacy

Despite the feeble attempt at damage control, even the few Owen Arthur supporters who clamored for his return are now having second thoughts. They too are disappointed having heard his un-inspiring address to the 72nd Annual Conference of the BLP over the last weekend. His dwindling support base now realise that if Owen is to impress anyone (which he didn’t last Sunday) then he has to do much better in his up-coming budget response. As I understand it, the buzz in the hive is that Owen Arthur’s speech to the BLP’s 72nd Annual Conference was like watching a horror moving in slow motion. It is being said that the hive dwellers are wondering if there were on Elm Street since what they heard and saw was really a nightmare. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Caribbean New Media Group fires journalist Afra Raymond, stops his CL Financial, CLICO fraud coverage

Afra Raymond too effective, too insightful in his CL Financial, Clico stories

The Trinidad and Tobago state-run media company Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG) recently fired contract journalist and television host Afra Raymond without notice and without explanation – then backdated their faxed letter to him.

“Remember this folks: CL Financial – CLICO damage control by the involved governments and politicians is all about getting the public to foot the bill, while ensuring that the crooks keep their profits and Florida mansions and stay out of jail.

Afra Raymond stands in the way, so out he goes.”

Afra Raymond is a chartered surveyor, journalist and television host whose intensive and detailed coverage of the CL Financial – CLICO scandal has caused much embarrassment and fear to some very important persons, companies and organisations. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

New on Facebook: Bajans against the return of Owen Arthur

No, it’s not us. Honest!

So far over 70 people have had the courage to publicly “like” the new Facebook page and some of the names are very surprising!

We suspect many more “like” it, but wouldn’t want their own FB page linked.

“Having hijacked the BLP Owen Arthur now wants a return to the position of prime minister, a post he held for 14 years until a defeat in 2008 that saw him run from the leadership position of his party.

Bajans aren’t stupid, we don’t want a return to the corrupt politics of Owen Arthur.”

… Facebook page Bajans against the return of Owen Arthur

Ya can’t stop this kind of thing, Owen!

Hey… does anyone know if Owen Arthur has a Facebook page?

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

Barbados Free Press forced to change layout.

Updated: November 18, 2010 – the wee hours… Change in Process

Ok, the new format is activated and we see a few problems, like the missing search bar. (Fixed)

See anything else that’s wonky? Please let us know in the comments. Thanks!

Change is good, right?

We’ve just heard from our blog hosting company, WordPress, that our current layout has to change.

WordPress is having a bit of a punch-up with the developer of our current theme “PressRow”, so they are discontinuing it. They suggest we use a similar theme called “Pilcrow”. Matt and the folks at WordPress assure us that the new theme is soooooooo much better with more bells and whistles.

Left unsaid is that we don’t know how smooth the process will be or if there will be some oops! moments along the way.

No matter, we have to do it so here goes!

We’ll make the change within 24 hours, so if everything goes wonky for a while – no worries. We’ll tough it out.

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging

Who has the passwords to the Barbados Labour Party website & blog?

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Regarding your story about the BLP website still showing Mia Mottley as party leader (Barbados Labour Party website: “Mia Amor Mottley, Political Leader of BLP”), I confirm that there is a fight going on over the BLP website. Only 2 people have the password and they aren’t giving it up. That is why the website hasn’t been updated since Owen Arthur took the leadership from Mia.

Your story is up for over 24 hours at the time I’m emailing you. People are getting desperate, but it will take this email being published before the passwords to the website and the blog will be turned over to the current leadership of the BLP.

There is lesson here somewhere.

Yours truly,

One who knows.

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Politics

Exclusive: Barbados Coroner shuns Canadian expert. Hans Machel not called to Arch Cot Inquest

Updated: November 16, 8:45pm Bridgetown

Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris says she will now “explore the possibility” of summonsing Professor Machel to the inquest. Hopefully he will be available. (Isn’t that exam time at a University?) He could have been given many months notice but the Coroner is laying this on at the last moment due to pressure from the Codrington family.

Attorney David Comissiong, who is representing the interest of Donavere Codrington, asked the court to also summon Professor Hans Machel, a specialist in earth and atmospheric science at the University of Alberta in Canada, who conducted an independent study of the cave after the apartment collapsed.

The coroner pointed out that she would explore the possibility of getting the professor here.

… from The Nation article Arch Cot Visit

Original BFP article…

BFP Exclusive: New interview with Professor Machel

BFP Exclusive: Codrington Family wants Professor Hans Machel to testify

Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris summonsed over 70 witnesses to the ongoing Inquest into the deaths of five members of the Codrington family, who died in 2007 when their home fell into a collapsing cave.

Barbados Free Press has learned that the Coroner did not summons University of Alberta Earth Sciences Professor Hans Machel (photo above) – nor has he ever been contacted by the Coroner’s staff or investigators despite Machel’s offers to provide the evidence and information he and his team collected about the Arch Cot cave-in and deaths.

Sources close to the Codrington family inform Barbados Free Press that the family is most interested in having Professor Machel attend the next inquest date on Friday, December 3, 2010, and the site visit to Arch Cot Terrace scheduled for that same day.

There is despair among some family members that “This inquest is being stage-managed like a play with only certain actors allowed to take part.”

It is obvious that the people who run Barbados do not want to see the evidence that Professor Machel and his team gathered during his publicly reported investigations into the Codrington deaths. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster, Real Estate

Sublime irony: Muslim TSA guard feels Catholic nun’s genitals

Muslim TSA security guard searches Catholic nun’s groin for bombs and weapons

As the outcry over virtual strip searches and genital feeling by minimum wage TSA airline security guards grows, this photo from Drudge Report really says it all.

Matt Drudge captioned the photo “The Terrorists have won” and I quite agree with him.

It’s totally out of control. If you had to pick the risk factor in that photo, which person is the most likely to be a threat to commercial air travel?

That’s right, Islamic Supremacists are the risk. How do you tell them apart from normal non-threatening Muslims? I don’t know, but I do know that feeling the genitals of Catholic nuns and New York Jews on their way to Disneyland with the grandchildren is not the answer.

The Muslim terrorists have accomplished what they set out to do.

My family will probably not fly to or through the USA again for some time. If the Brooklyn relatives want to visit us, they are welcome anytime – but Shona and I will not inflict flying upon our family if we can at all help it.

I suspect that we aren’t the only ones who feel that way.

Barbados Tourism industry: prepare to take another hit because this anti-flying feeling is turning into a movement in Europe and the USA.

28 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Religion

Tourism Matters: Unlicensed accomodations make for chaos

Foolishness: Doing things the same old way and expecting change.

Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

From a tourism marketing perspective, there are two phrases, expressions or mission statements that I have come to detest. They are ‘paradigm shift’ and ‘thinking outside of the box’.

It’s not the words themselves, but more the people that tend to quote these sayings frequently. Because in hindsight what at the time seems almost an imperative to implement change, inevitability becomes seemingly the last thing on their minds.

Barbados Tourism stuck in the mud

Most people consider tourism a dynamic industry which is subject to frequent change and almost perpetual challenges. So it would be unreasonable to think that ‘we’ could keeping doing things the same old way and achieve different results, surely? Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking