Monthly Archives: November 2011

Happy Independence Day Barbados!

We Loyal Sons And Daughters All

We are all the same, you and me
Everyone of us has the same, anatomically

Legs and hands, eyes, nose, mouth and ears
Our smiles express our joys and we show sorrow with tears
Yet, we are all different and unique
A finger print distinguishes us, or simpler, how we speak
Lifestyles vary and our talents too

So much is different, through what we do
Our goals may differ but this thing I know
None of us want failure, we’d rather see our nation grow
Some of us must be doctors and some must clean the street

And so when we pass each other, when our paths meet
Never belittle another for what they do
Don’t scoff them, they are as important as you

Do your role in life, do it from your heart
And respect that others may have, a separate but equal part
Use your differences to complement this nation
Give your all, be your all, let this be – being a Bajan
How great this would be
This is our strength and unity
Every heart beating as one
Reaching forward in unison
So, what ever your differences, who ever you are

A brighter Barbados is never too far
Let’s pick each other up, if we should fall
Let’s encourage each other, We Loyal Sons And Daughters All

By Khaidji
BajanPoetry.com

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Barbados Road Tennis – Time for a new Olympic sport?


Adidas gave Andy Murray one hour to master Bajan Road Tennis, and then take on Sylvan “Lama” Barnett – one of the world’s best players from Barbados.

This IS creative use of social media. Over 15,000 views in a week at No cost to Barbados.

Nation News story: Big push for road tennis

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Sports

How many years should rape victims be jailed?

UPDATED: Jailed rape victim forced to marry her attacker

Where is the outrage? Where are the women’s rights advocates? Why to they flee when the story is one of Islam once again brutalizing women?

Barbaric.

KABUL—Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday pardoned an Afghan woman serving a 12-year prison sentence for having sex out of wedlock after she was raped by a relative.

Karzai’s office said in a statement that the woman and her attacker have agreed to marry. That would reverse an earlier decision by the 19-year-old woman, who had previously refused a judge’s offer of freedom if she agreed to marry the rapist.

Islamic Barbarians sentence rape victim to 12 years in jail

Sharia? Islamic values and standards? Just say, “No thanks!”

Get one thing straight before you read this story, friends – there is nothing unusual here, for the vast majority of women imprisoned in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries are victims. It’s the same in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and everywhere else where Islamic laws and standards are the basis of society.

Under Islamic law and culture, it is the duty of the women prevent rape and adultery by covering themselves and never going about alone. Young Bajan students are taught this in our Al-Falah Islamic School. You don’t have to believe us on this, just listen to the young Bajan Muslim women repeating this warped concept for themselves.

(BFP story: Barbados Muslim Girls School, 14 year old student: “Nothing wrong with beheading, chopping off your hands…”)

If rape happens, it is the fault of the woman. –  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Human Rights, Religion

Barbados Tourism Disaster: Serial rape victims slam police, government, tourism authorities

Daylight rape near popular beach – scene of 13 reported rapes in past year – tourists not alerted – police did nothing

Police “callous, incompetent, totally inept”

“Barbados authorities are more concerned about protecting the lucrative tourist industry than they are about seeking justice.”

Police “try to brush the rapes under the carpet so as not to damage the overseas tourist market”

Questions about the role of racism in the attacks and lack of police response

British tourist and serial rape victim Diane Davies is going public in a major news story about how she was raped in broad daylight near the “Platinum Coast” Sandy Lane Hotel. On Monday, October 25, 2010 the 62 year old grandmother was beaten and raped at the same spot where another tourist had been raped just two days earlier and where 13 women had been raped in the previous year.

The Barbados Police never alerted citizens and tourists about the serial rapist in the area, nor did they make serious efforts to arrest the serial rapist.

Perhaps Police Commissioner Dottin can explain why he didn’t care enough to order a stake-out of the serial rapist’s chosen spot, or alert women in the area that they were at a high risk of rape?

Instead, and as usual, the Barbados Police played their role in what has become an all-too-familiar story of covering up crime against tourists.

Our government, police and tourism authorities just don’t get it: The way to protect our lucrative tourism industry is to protect the tourists – and when something does happen, to immediately respond with professionalism, massive resources and genuine care and compassion for the victim.

Millions of prospective tourists around the world are now reading…

“The truth is that if a woman  is raped in Barbados, she is unlikely to get the support she needs. There are almost no procedures in place and the police are way behind in how they tackle crime.”

British tourist and serial rape victim Diane Davies in the Daily Mail story I was viciously raped on this Barbados beach but local police cared more about protecting tourism, says brave British grandmother

Memories of murdered tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Murdered Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Our government, police and tourism industry obviously learned nothing from the February 28, 2009 daylight beach murder of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld. Mrs. Schwarzfeld’s murder came after her killer had committed a series rapes and robberies at the same spot over the course of several years.

The police and tourism authorities covered up the crimes and ineptly left the serial criminal to continue his business at his usual location. That cover-up and incompetence is part of the reason that Mrs. Schwarzfeld was murdered on a tourist beach in broad daylight.

Then when Mrs. Schwarzfeld was murdered there was the usual total lack of proper response from the authorities. Continue reading

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

This is probably written by Colin Leslie Beadon – but if we remove a word, then what?

Bayes’s theorem of Inverse Probabilities.

by Colin Leslie Beadon

I’d not be surprised an editor would blank a script with such a heading as above. Yet in an attempt to continue encourage all our youth, in the pursuit of science, and mathematics, I can’t but press blindly ahead.

Thomas Bayes 1701-1761 was a clergyman from Tunbridge Wells in Kent. He was, as Bill Bryson writes in his newest book ‘At Home’ , a shy and hopeless preacher, but he was a singularly gifted mathematician.

The Rev Thomas Bayes somehow tripped upon an equation. And as has been often been the case with equations, he did not know what it could be used for.

Thankfully, Rev Bayes wrote it carefully down, but then he shelved it. That is right ! Rev Bayes shelved it away, and died two years later.

Two years after his death, a friend sent the equation to the Royal Society in London. It is a short equation. About 30 key strokes on a laptop could write it. The equation was published in the Royal Society’s ‘Philosophical Transactions’. But there were not any computers around in those days, to make head or tail of it.

‘Today that equation is used in modelling climate change, predicting the behaviour of stock markets, fixing radiocarbon dates, interpretation of cosmological events, and much else where the interpretation of probabilities is an issue.’

As I have said before in previous letters, this phenomena of a scientist/mathematician coming up with an equation that does not seem to fit anywhere, until a great many years have sailed by , never fails to bring up goose pimples. I don’t know how many times now, reading on science I have come across this extraordinary facet of long-delayed equation recognition.

I’m going to repeat my enthral of the other book by Bill Bryson. ‘ A Short History of Nearly Everything’.

If we are definitely serious about getting our young people interested in science, then the above book should be in every single classroom, and should have been read by every politician too, since it deals interestingly, and excitingly, in all the major knishes of science.

Reading such a book, would draw most of us out of the morose and blindness we swim around in concerning the world and the modern age in which we live.

Too many of us are being hoodwinked by sellers of modern technology dealing with climate change and alternative energy (for example), technologies most of us know extremely little about.

Wikipedia: Thomas Bayes

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Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?

Tourism MATTERS: Fail to plan… Plan to fail

by Adrian Loveridge - small hotel owner

Tourism MATTERS #62

In May this year an announcement was made that plans were underway by the Barbados Tourism Authority to commence a planning process to analyse and define the Barbados destination brand.

According to a media release, the Chairman was ‘particularly concerned that the study evaluates the relevance and strength of the brand for both Barbadians and visitors’.

He stated ‘once we get the information, it may tell us that the brand is fine; but it may also tell us that we have work to do, and I think we can all agree that this is probably going to be the outcome. We will then harmonise that work into creating a strategy for rolling out our new brand promise into the markets’.

Of course, it makes absolute sense, but six months later, how closer are we to this objective?

Simon Anholt wrote in his excellent essay entitled ‘ ‘Why National Image Matters’:

Why National Image Matters

‘Today, every country, city and region on earth must compete with every other for its share of the world’s commercial, political, social and cultural transactions in what is virtually a single market. As in any busy marketplace, brand image becomes critical: almost nobody has the time, the patience or the expertise to understand the real differences between the offerings of one country or another, and so people fall back on their fundamental beliefs and prejudices about those countries to help them make their decisions. Just as in the commercial marketplace that ‘brand image’ provides a short cut to an informed buying decision’.

Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?

Under a previous Chairman, a white paper tourism master plan was promised and a staggering four years later the industry still awaits, leaving many to contemplate if it can really be considered our number one foreign currency earner?

While we have drifted, some may say, bumbled, along without any coherent national policy for decades without a master plan, branding and the protection of  a destination brand is something altogether different, requiring a much higher priority and need for integrity protection.

Negative perceptions of proposed tourism developments

What prompted this week’s column discussion is seeing the vast quantities of negative material appearing on blogsites relating to various proposed tourism developments on the island.

Many of the detrimental comments refer to planning consent, the granting of concessions and the economic viability or creditability of either the project and/or the developer.

One of the grey areas seems to be what is legally permissible here in Barbados and whether or not the same laws apply to would-be ‘investors’ in other countries.

Clearly, any ongoing uncertainty and ill-informed speculation has the potential to damage what many competitors consider our enviable holiday brand status.

Is it not time to draft and implement legislation that leaves no-one in any doubt, whether that person is an investor considering purchasing property or a company submitting plans and undertaking proposed construction tourism projects?

This in my humble opinion is an almost prerequisite to any meaningful tourism master plan, if we are going to maintain and enhance our solid reputation as a transparent and quality destination choice.

Adrian Loveridge

Editor’s note:

This article was printed as received with the exception of the following:

BFP added the titles: “Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?”, “Tourism MATTERS: Fail to plan… Plan to fail”, “Why National Image Matters”, “Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?”, “Negative perceptions of proposed tourism developments”. BFP also made formatting and paragraph break changes and corrected a few speelling errrorz. 🙂

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Robert Mugabe’s Christmas dinner!


I love the internet… Last Dictator Standing!

All your favourites are here: Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, P.W. Botha, Colonel Gaddafi… courtesy of South Africa’s NANDO.

Chicken anyone?

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Filed under Africa, Human Rights

Mortgage my home to invest in Harlequin? Let me think about that Mr. Ames…

“People are still investing every week with Harlequin throughout the Caribbean”  (Harlequin Chairman David Ames)

This differs from a “Ponzi” scheme in what way?

(Mr. and Mrs. Curious and Curiouser, Birmingham)

Dear BFP,

We used to think that Harlequin “investors” were big shot rich people. After watching Harlequin Chairman David Ames in this video we’re sure that a good portion of them are ordinary retirees who worked hard and were persuaded to mortgage their home to ‘invest’ in a dream. We hope they get out what they put in.

When we watch this video it is difficult not to think of the word “PONZI” as Mr. Ames launches a convoluted explanation of how this business model is “very affordable”. (“Very affordable for whom?” we have to ask Mr. Ames.)

We think what he’s doing is paying the “investors” so he can use their good names to obtain funds for building, but if no profits are coming in, aren’t the first “investors” being paid with money coming in from later investors?

How is an “investor” different than a “partner”? Mr. Ames says the “investors” are “partners”. Does that mean that their “deposit” is not in escrow because it is an “investment”?

After watching the video three times, we swear we can’t figure out exactly what the “investment” model is all about. It could be that we’re just too stupid to appreciate the business model and benefits for two retired teachers from Birmingham.

Harlequin Chairman David Ames Posted on YouTube January 16, 2010…

“People are still investing every week with us throughout the Caribbean”

(Starting at about 1:15 in the YouTube video…)

“What happens is, we ask our investors to raise 30% of the property price. Let’s just say they invest a hundred thousand pounds, what we look for them to do is to raise 30% of that which is thirty thousand pounds. Now let’s just say that cost them in a mortgage or a loan, let’s just say two hundred and fifty pounds a month. Well, what we then do… we actually pay that money back to the investor so the time during the build, it doesn’t actually cost them a penny out of their own bank. We’re actually, the project, the resort, is paying for those payments for them.

And why would we do that? If you think about it, that Harlequin is a partner with our investor because Harlequin actually owns the resort. So what happens is, when we’re letting out their room – renting their room, we actually share the percentage of the money from that room.

So for example with our investors they receive fifty percent of the room rate after the second year. So what happens, for every hundred pounds our investor gets fifty and the resort gets fifty…”

That sounds wonderful to us Mr. Ames, but we still have this question:

If there are no rooms yet built, and there are no room rental revenues: where is Harlequin getting the money to “pay that money back to the investor so the time during the build, it doesn’t actually cost them a penny out of their own bank.” as Mr. Ames says?

Is the money coming from new investors, and always more and more investors are required to keep the pot large enough to “pay that money back to the investor so the time during the build, it doesn’t actually cost them a penny out of their own bank.” ????

This differs from a “Ponzi” scheme in what way? We’re not making a statement. We’re asking a question and we can’t figure it out.

Yours truly,

Mr. and Mrs. Curious and Curiouser
Birmingham

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments

CL Financial’s “Barefoot Billionaire” Lawrence Duprey enjoying Monaco Grand Prix

Smiles come easily when spending OPM – other people’s money.

Lawrence Durprey - Barefoot Billionaire in Monaco 2007

Readers throughout the Caribbean deserve to see these photos and read the story of Lawrence Duprey and friends visiting the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix. After all – our grandchildren will be paying for Mr. Duprey’s crimes until they die. And yes, that is a US$100 “per cigar!” Cohiba in one of the photos. You can bet the wine isn’t from Tesco either.

Enjoy… but first a word about where this material comes from: Monaco Revue and DiversityCanada Foundation.

Although we are using this material under the Fair Use provisions of copyright because we are commenting upon the material and it is also public evidence of the crimes of Mr. Duprey and his gang, and therefore contains an overriding public interest in its publication at BFP, we ask each of our readers to visit Monaco Revue HERE to read the original material.

It looks like DiversityCanada Foundation and Monaco Revue have worthy goals and we encourage each of you to at least visit their websites and give them consideration.

We do note that according to the article, former Trinidad government minister Carlos John (and then “advisor” to Lawrence Duprey) is the “compatriot” of Monaco Revue’s editor.

Colman Commission evidence?

We also see that what was once an article about the elites having a good time in Monaco is now certain to be of interest to the Colman Commission inquiries into the CL Financial Fraud. Especially as the commission looks into the close relationship between Duprey and Ministers and former Ministers of the Trinidad & Tobago Government. This 2007 article is evidence of crimes and has a compelling public interest. Therefore we have been advised that the Fair Use provisions of copyright are exceptionally strong and allow us to publish the material here at BFP.

We hope that DiverstyCanada Foundation and Monaco Revue have the journalistic integrity to leave this information published at Monaco Revue.

Now on to watching Mr. Duprey and his friends spending your money on a good time… Continue reading

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

Erdistan House burns on Wednesday night

UPDATED: November 24, 2011 4:10pm

Another “Heritage” building goes up in flames with the usual reactions from everyone…

1/ Praise for the Fire Service.

2/ “Woaloss, we must rebuild it!”

3/ Total silence about why we as a nation prefer to see historical buildings burn or rot rather than spend the money to protect them. How much would a sprinkler system have cost to install vs. replacing the “irreplaceable” building and historical documents it contained?

4/ Total silence about what company insures the building and what the coverage limitations are.

In a few weeks the truth will set in: the building is a goner and we aren’t going to rebuild it.

What will be the next 100 or 200 year old building to burn that we don’t treasure enough to retrofit with sprinklers?

Photo taken by D. Hunt and sent via someone else.

Barbados Today: Professor Henry Fraser laments the loss, calls for rebuilding. Doesn’t mention that as a society we fail to protect and value our historical buildings.

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Barbados Advocate rants about CBC funding – but loves government advertising!

The motto of the Barbados News Media:

“Never bite the hand that feeds us”

OH the irony!

The current Barbados Advocate editorial Another sacred cow? makes some good points about the primary value of the CBC as an instrument of government propaganda.

Left unsaid though is that the Barbados Advocate itself loves to suck off the government teet when it comes to printing those full colour, full page adverts for the government. During the BLP reign, it was The Nation that was the main beneficiary of government gifts, now the Advocate benefits from the DLP government.

In return for that government advertising revenue the Barbados Advocate will not cover certain news stories and keeps a respectful posture on others. Even if their editorial is bluster it’s good to see The Barbados Advocate at least recognizing the blogosphere as an antidote for the news media being used for government propaganda…

“It is not to our certain knowledge either that the Opposition is any more averse to state ownership. After all, it should take nothing less than a Damascene conversion for a party which has occupied the seat of government for an equal part of those years, suddenly to become convinced of the benefits of privatisation of the island’s lone television station.

Of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room which both sides of the political divide are careful not to notice is the perceived propaganda value of CBC; a perception that may indeed be more apparent than real in this era of the blogosphere, social networks, and streaming technology over the Internet. We are not aware of any empirical studies which would lead to an assumption that CBC is a national leader in the supply or analysis of information, whether political or otherwise in the public interest. We are prepared to be corrected on this nevertheless.”

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Freedom Of The Press

Is this the brutal truth about Harlequin’s Merricks project in Barbados?

The following as posted at Harlecon.net simply cannot be true. We await comments and information from Harlequin.

“So finally Harlequin have embarked on their eagerly awaited build program. Having sold in excess of 1000 properties in Barbados since 2006 at their much publicised Merricks resort, the plans for the next 12 months are set out below;

A total of three units.”

… from the HarleCON.net story The Current Status of the Projects, Is there really a future?

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What does it mean? Almond Resorts: Slash and burn pricing @ 45% off

Barbados: £1,259.00 for 7 days, 2 adults, 2 children all inclusive

Friends, I don’t really know what to think of this one. Not being in the travel industry I have nothing to really compare it to, but it seems to be so low I have to wonder where the profit is. If I really think about it, I have to wonder about the necessity that drives this cut-rate pricing.

We are a high-end destination, aren’t we? Isn’t that our market?

The £1,259.00 price includes all taxes and all a family of four can eat, drink and play for a week.

Perhaps someone in the travel industry can explain what kind of an indicator this is. I have a feeling it’s not good, but maybe I’m wrong.

Comments are open!

Robert

Here’s the link to the deal while it lasts.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Attention Finance Minister Sinckler: About those Donville Inniss US Corporations, Real Estate and Assets

How did Donville Inniss get cash to Florida to purchase this condo?

Finance Minister Sinckler assures: Barbados plays by the rules! (But does Minister Inniss?)

by Marcus & Shona

Barbados has this little problem right now. French, American and Canadian politicians are calling our country a “tax haven” and other names – which is actually their way of accusing Barbados of offering secret offshore banking to foreigners who don’t want to obey the tax laws of their own countries.

France and some others say we don’t obey the rules of international finance. (Joke on the side: How many French soldiers does it take to defend Paris? Answer: Nobody knows. The French have never tried to defend Paris.)

Our government is responding to the charges with an aggressive public relations campaign and a host of reciprocal information sharing agreements with other countries. We’ve also pledged to update financial legislation and to more effectively monitor international financial transactions.

Fair enough. The sea is changing so Barbados is setting out some different sails and adjusting the windage and the helm. Good. We’ll check the passenger manifest too, to ensure that everybody on board is someone we don’t mind sailing with. That’s only common sense when our survival depends upon the friendship of other countries. (“Friend of all, satellite of none.”)

This is serious business for Barbados, because as Minister Sinckler said the other day at a meeting at Cin Cin Restaurant (Look at the food! THE FOOD! YUM!!!)

“…the international business and financial services sector contributes upwards of 60 per cent of all corporate revenues in the country and, therefore, that is an important station for us and one that we seek to protect and, of course, guard very zealously.”

… Minister Sinckler quoted in the Barbados Today news story Leading by example

What about the international finances of Health Minister Donville Inniss?

Barbados Free Press is publishing a series of stories showing that Minister of Health Donville Inniss profited from the online porn industry. Our stories tell the truth even if the Barbados news media covers up and looks the other way. Minister Inniss knows that our stories are true so he hasn’t taken any steps to have the stories removed from WordPress where Barbados Free Press makes its home.

But now we get to the issue of money. How was Minister Inniss paid for his involvement with online porn companies? Was he a stakeholder in any company or was he providing a paid service to front the porn industry? Were any of his family members or friends acting as proxies?

We think we see some interesting discoveries on the internet…. Continue reading

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

CL Financial collapse: Colman Commission hiding facts from the public

“Sir Anthony Colman needs to be watchful of the wily attorneys, who may seek again to tempt him to agree to conceal some more financial information which might be awkward for their clients.

The fact is that all those companies are now being funded by the Treasury and we have a right to know what caused this huge mess.”

The Colman Commission – The Importance of Money

by Afra Raymond

The Colman Commission was established about a year ago as a Public Enquiry into the failure of the CL Financial group, some of its subsidiaries, and the Hindu Credit Union.  The Commission is also mandated to report on the causes of these costly failures, so that it can make recommendations for possible prosecutions and the regulatory or systemic changes needed to avoid further collapses.

There has been a lot of fresh information revealed at the Commission and that is good, since the public now has a much better view of the various episodes behind the scenes.  The sole Commissioner, Sir Anthony Colman, has now made a statement which outlines his progress in this huge and complex matter.  Colman expects to take at least one more year and will be continuing his examination of the HCU matter when the CL Financial stage is completed.

Despite all the evidence about staggering sums of money and the heated public discussion that has sparked, I am perturbed by the way the essential information is being handled.

Since it is a Public Enquiry into a huge financial collapse, the financial information has to be front and centre if we are to get at the facts.

It is common knowledge that the link between performance and pay is essential in obtaining quality results in any competitive situation.  That basic fact, with which most people would agree, is now seriously challenged by some of the key events in the global financial meltdown.  It is beyond the scope of this article to delve into the new learning emerging from this global crisis, suffice to say that the old learning has literally been ‘tested to destruction’.

An unhealthy relationship between pay and performance would be a problem for any company, but in a financial company the issue is worse.  That is because the investors expect those companies to endure and prosper, so that they can collect the expected returns.

The Colman Commission will be unable to fulfill its mandate if it does not uncover the relationship between pay and performance in the failed companies.  Colman will also need to consider the motives and behaviour of the investors, who must also form a significant part of the story.  Without their participation and investments, the failed companies would have had no money to lose.

There is a strong interest in keeping the real figures and circumstances out of the news and some of the main items are –

  • The Accounts
  • The true levels of salaries, fees, dividends and bonuses
  • The identities and sums of money returned to those who have benefited from the bailout
  • The delinquent borrowers who owe the failed companies huge sums of money
  • The extent to which the failed companies and their chiefs complied with our tax laws

In ‘The Colman Commission – Cloudy Concessions’, published here on 1st September, I pointed out the danger of allowing the HCU claimants to testify without stating the amounts invested for the public record.  It was my view that those concessions represented the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ in terms of the entire exercise being a Public Enquiry into a series of financial collapses.

In this recent, third session of evidence Hearings, we have had three examples of the ‘widening wedge’ in respect of financial information. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments, Trinidad and Tobago

Nigel Farage to EU big shots: You are the assassins of nation states’ democracy

“Here we are on the edge of a financial and social disaster”

European Parliament, November 16, 2011

“Here we are on the edge of a financial and social disaster and in the room today we have the four men who are supposed to be responsible. And yet we have listened to the dullest most, technocratic speeches I’ve ever heard.

You are all in denial. By any objective measure the euro is a failure. And who exactly is responsible, who is in charge out of all you lot? The answer is none of you because none of you have been elected; none of you have any democratic legitimacy for the roles you currently hold within this crisis.

And into this vacuum, albeit reluctantly, has stepped Angela Merkel. And we are now living in a German-dominated Europe – something that the European project was actually supposed to stop. Something that those who went before us actually paid a heavy price in blood to prevent. I don’t want to live in a German-dominated Europe and nor do the citizens of Europe.

But you guys have played a role, because when Mr Papandreou got up and used the word ‘referendum’ – or Mr Rehn, you described it as ‘a breach of confidence’, and your friends here got together like a pack of hyenas, rounded on Papandreou, had him removed and replaced by a puppet Government. What an absolutely disgusting spectacle that was.

And not satisfied with that, you decided that Berlesconi had to go. So he was removed and replaced by Mr Monti, a former European Commissioner, a fellow architect of this Euro disaster and a man who wasn’t even a member of parliament.



It’s getting like an Agatha Christie novel, where we’re trying to work out who is the next person that’s going to be bumped off. The difference is, we know who the villains are. You should all be held accountable for what you’ve done. You should all be fired.



And I have to say, Mr Van Rompuy. 18 months ago when we first met, I was wrong about you. I said you would be the quiet assassin of nation states’ democracy, but not anymore, you are rather noisy about it aren’t you. You, an unelected man, went to Italy and said, ‘This is not the time for elections but the time for actions’. What in God’s name gives you the right to say that to the Italian people?

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GEMS of Barbados website slickly deceptive

click photo for large

Website implies GEMS still operates a chain of hotels – only operates one.

by Nevermind Kurt

We’re nearing the end of that failed adventure known as Hotels and Resorts and GEMS of Barbados hotels. The experiment in nationalizing the tourism accommodation industry now operates only one hotel – The Blue Horizon.

You’d never know that from their website though. True to form, it’s all show and no integrity as it deceives unknowing tourists into believing GEMS still operates The Savannah and Time Out.

The scandal of GEMS Hotels and Hotels and Resorts Inc. is a textbook lesson in how the political elites rape public funds and get away with it. Barbados tried to nationalize the hotel industry and lost hundreds of millions of dollars, perhaps over a billion dollars – who knows? They won’t tell us how much we taxpayers lost.

Predatory Pricing by Government… upon privately-owned hotels!

By using tax funds to support an unprofitable operation the Barbados government also kept out other brands and undermined private hotels large and small. The government even subsidized the GEMS hotels room rates to keep them lower than possible in the private sector.

That was decidedly hostile to outside and domestic tourism investors who soon got the message: “Don’t invest in Barbados where your main competition is the all-powerful government.”

As so many learned the hard way, it’s not a level playing field when the Barbados Tourism Authority pushes government hotels over privately-owned businesses.

Except the GEMS project failed just as everyone predicted and now the government is begging outside investors to renew our aging hotel inventory. The Government should have thought of that when they originally established a business climate that was poison to private investment in tourism accommodation.

Can you imagine if we’d have used that now-gone billion dollars to renew our infrastructure and professionalize and expand our police force? As a country we would now be cleaner, safer and more attractive as a tourism product. But no… we “invested” that money in buying run-down hotels, subsidizing years of losses and then selling the hotels at big losses.

GEMS of Barbados was a stupid thing to do… unless you were one of the inner circle personally profiting from the scheme…

… and then it was brilliant!

Further Reading

February 24, 2010: Barbados Government GEMS Hotels folly continues. Where did all our money go? Three remaining GEMS hotels valued at only $74 million!

May 17, 2007: What Happened To The Money From Hotel and Resorts Ltd’s Assets Sale? How Much Went Into David Shorey’s Pocket?

November 19, 2000: Nation News – The Question of Corruption, GEMS

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption

Harlecon.net averaging 4,500 visitors per day – 1.6 million annually

The Streisand Effect kicks in

My goodness! In only one week the controversial website Harlecon.net has gone from 1,000 visitors a day to over 4,500!

That is 1.6 million visitors a year on an annualized basis.

These numbers go up and down as we at BFP well know. Our best day ever was 44,087 visitors. Annualized that works out to 16 million visitors a year. HA! We wish!

The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.

… Wikipedia

Good for Harlecon.net

But let’s remember some reality: the website had a good week because BFP, Caribbean360.com and others linked to it after Harlequin Hotels and Resorts decided to emulate Barbara Streisand on South Park.

Is that really Harlequin’s own David Ames running amok with Barbara Streisand? The Streisand effect:

Memories, like the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were…

As an aside, we notice that the Harlequin Property entry at Wikipedia seems woefully incomplete and out of date and does not reflect any of the controversy raging in Barbados and elsewhere. Interesting… we wonder how long until someone updates it.

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Filed under Barbados