Daily Archives: October 21, 2011

Barbados Government expropriates land from one business owner – gives it to competitor

Land owner finds out by reading newspaper!

by Nevermind Kurt (with Cliverton)

Our headline says it all. Brian Cozier owns some industrially zoned land at Vaucluse where his company recycles metal for export.

Your commissars of the Barbados government intend to “compulsorily acquire” (that means “expropriate” in Bajan) a portion of Mr. Cozier’s land so a competitor can use it for the competitor’s recycling business. If you say that sounds unfair and like a huge slap in the face for Mr. Cozier, I couldn’t disagree. It sounds incredibly unjust at first look anyway. (Nation News: Not my land!)

There are a few issues here and I’ll be quick…

1/ Land expropriation is incredibly arbitrary in Barbados, and is often influenced by connections, politics and political donations. Those who give sizable political donations don’t get expropriated. Sometimes the political contributors are the ones who end up benefiting from the expropriations.

2/ There is a long history of private lands being expropriated for a named public purpose, but then being used for other purposes nothing to do with the original reason.

3/ There is a long history of private lands being expropriated for public purposes, but then ending up in private hands after the government “changes its mind” and disposes of the land.

4/ It’s not unknown for a Government Minister to end up residing on land that his government expropriated from private ownership. Barbados has no conflict of interest rules, no Integrity Legislation, no Freedom of Information Act and no constraints or transparency on political donations. The absence of these kinds of laws and standards means that just about anything goes, and that includes expropriations of privately owned lands, then turning the lands over to friends of government.

5/ There is a long history of government expropriating land and not paying for it. Read that again. It is a true statement.

True fact: Had Mr. Cozier made sizable political donations to the Democratic Labour Party, he wouldn’t be facing this trouble. Just look at Leroy Parris, who probably should be in jail. He loaned the CLICO business jet to the Prime Minister and then when the Clico house of cards collapsed, the DLP gave Parris a cushy job at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation CBC and covered-up his crimes at every opportunity.

Maybe it’s not too late yet, Mr. Cozier: write out that DLP campaign cheque for five or ten thousand and get it submitted right away.

On second thought, forget it. Ten thousand is peanuts beside Leroy’s donations and you probably can’t afford that much anyway. Say, I wonder if Mr. Cozier’s business competitor (Paul Bynoe & B’s Recycling) made any sizable donations to the DLP?

In a truly transparent, democratic and accountable society we’d be able to see the campaign finance records for every political party and candidate.

Not a chance of that ‘pon de rock, my friends. Not a chance.

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14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Babies explain why Chinese-made products are so cheap.

Colour photo (look closely) of a normal day in Shanxi, China

The Statistics

Babies born with Spina bifida, anencephaly and other neural tube defects – for every 1,000 live births…

USA:  .75 for every 1,000 live births

China, Shanxi: 14 for every 1,000 live births

That’s 18.7 times more neural tube malformed babies born in Shanxi than in the USA. (ie: partial brain, spinal cord on the outside etc.)

The Photos

For unbelievable photos of living conditions and pollution in China, check out China Hush Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China.

I just can’t bring myself to post the photos of the children online. If you must, go to Google and search for photos of “shanxi china pollution birth defects”. It doesn’t much matter whether the “SafeSearch” is on or off: Send the children out of the room first.

The Story

Time: How Chinese Babies Pay the Price for Chinese Pollution

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Filed under China, Economy, Environment, Human Rights, Slavery

Troublemaker calls for environmental testing at Jada Construction beach project

Director of Jada Group calls complaint “Ridiculous”

Jada Construction Company representatives are quoted in today’s Nation stating that no chemical or waste was pumped into the sea from their Road View, St. Peter project.

Jada Group director Philip Tempro calls a complaint by the troublemaking Mullins Bay blogger “ridiculous” and confirmed that he’s seen the stories and photos on the internet – presumably at Mullins Bay Blog and here at BFP.

Site supervisor Larry Maynard told The Nation that “several gallons” of seawater had been pumped back into the ocean during the construction and that Coastal Zone Management and Town and Country Planning have been “constantly” monitoring the project. (Constantly? I don’t see them in photos of the construction site when the pumping was happening!)

“Several gallons?”

Have a look at the above photo of the discoloured “chemical smell” sea, taken by the Mullins Bay Blog “troublemaker”. Does that look like “several” gallons to you… or several hundred or several thousand?

A pity that our blogging friend hadn’t thought to fill a couple of sample jars for testing. Why two? One for the Environment Ministry and one to be sent to an independent laboratory over and away to be compared with the government results. Everybody knows the reason why you have to do that! It’s the only way to keep things honest ’bout hey where the big money boys can make lab results change by magic.

The Mullins Bay troublemaking blogger also says that the new seawall is being constructed too close to the sea. Companies regularly do that when they can get away with taking a little more of the coast. We’ve all seen it happen a dozen times.

This time though, our blogging friend has asked for the authorities to come in, take measurements and also to test the water coming out of the pumps and in the general area of the discharge.

Will CZMU, the Environment Ministry and T & C Planning really look at the construction site, and deliver a public and transparent examination?

This being Barbados I wouldn’t hold my breath, but maybe we’re being too critical. Maybe the authorities will be on site today. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on that from Mullins Bay Blog.

Further Reading

Now look here, folks. You should go to The Nation to read Sea Fear. Please do it now.

But.

You know how it is… The Nation has a record for deleting and changing news stories to re-write history, so to preserve the truth and the integrity of our post we have to print their whole story here. But please do read it at the Nation. They did a good job covering this news and they deserve your visit… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Health, Nature