Monthly Archives: June 2012

Loveridge: One politician’s verbal diarrhea about the Barbados tourism industry

Let’s play… Name that politician!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Debate, whether it takes place in the Upper House, Elected Chamber or through the various forms of media, demonstrates the presence of a healthy democracy, but unless its informed, does it really have any meaningful relevance?

Sometimes you have to stop and think exactly why certain people utter particular things and the timing of those comments. Ultimately they either believe what they saying is credible and truthful or have become a victim of a sudden and virulent attack of verbal diarrhea. Perhaps what is also so surprising, is why at this time, with a general election constitutionally due in less than a year, would a person voice such controversial words?

Does he feel that his party has no realistic possibility of being re-elected, so it doesn’t really matter if you alienate those generating your single largest contributing sector of foreign exchange? Even from someone who has a long track record of expressing often outrageous  and incredulous statements, frequently from a place of rare privilege, this particular verbatim quote must take the biscuit.

The claim was that ‘the private (tourism) sector was 98 per cent profit and 2 per cent social obligation’.

If it wasn’t so grossly insulting and inaccurate, perhaps many of us could excuse it as another puff of political hot air, but the phrase is so critical to the lack of understanding of this industry, it is frightening.

Whatever your partisan leanings, I sincerely believe the private sector has done an extraordinary job of trying to support Government in their attempt to protect employment and these ill-advised words simply slap those in the face that have defied almost insurmountable odds to stay in business. This despite the current administration’s policy of imposing unbudgeted increases in taxation, that without doubt have contributed substantially to the erosion of any possible profits.

Perhaps a wise undertaking might have been, before giving the impression that he actually knew something about the subject discussed, would be to check, which if any, of our remaining hotels had declared any corporation tax liability. At least this might have indicated a realist level of profitability.

Or did this person not hear the remarks made by the President of the Barbados Bankers Association a few weeks ago, where he stated that a staggering 43 per cent of all non performing loans were tourism related.

Sadly, this is another classic example of the increasing use of square pegs in round holes, and will do nothing to endear the thousands of Barbadians dependent on tourism to feed their families, and who may be less forgiving at the ballot box.

Not everyone of course can be an ‘expert’, but if you are clearly deficient on the subject in question, at least do your homework before engaging the mouth into gear. This is not the time for bluster and bravado, but surely to galvanise all the very best players, who can make a positive difference.

We all welcome constructive criticism, but let is be based on fact rather than conjecture.

Then finally, ask yourself a simple question, if owning and operating hotels was all about ‘98 per cent profit’, then why would over 30 of them have closed during the last 16 years?

Editor’s note: This article was printed as received from Mr. Loveridge with the exception of the title and subtitle that were added by Barbados Free Press. BFP also changed some of the paragraph breaks, punctuation and spelling.

And yes, it was Senator Jepter Ince who just can’t seem to get it through his thick head that being elected doesn’t mean you can spout off on anything without doing your homework – and not look like a fool.

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23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business

Prime Minister Stuart and the FBI report: When idiocy meets the politics of corruption

“Campaign Donation” deposited into Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s personal bank account. DLP & BLP politicians engage in corruption  without fear that the next government will investigate and lay charges.

The DLP doesn’t want to see the FBI report any more than the BLP does

Nobody wants to break the DLP – BLP agreement that no corruption charges will be laid

Ten years ago, then Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur publicly acknowledged that the US FBI had delivered to him a report on the corrupt activities of Barbados ‘public officials’ – whatever was meant by the term ‘public officials’ at the time. Were the ‘public officials’ elected? Appointed? Both? Bajans never knew because the moment the news of the report appeared, that was the end of the story as is usual ’bout hey…

Until the other night in Parliament when Owen Arthur and our accidental Prime Minister had it out in a child-like ‘Did so!’ – ‘Did not!’ exchange.

Said PM Stuart about the FBI report…

“One of the first things that my predecessor in office [late Prime Minister David Thompson] enquired about in my presence at Government Headquarters on the Friday after the general election, was that FBI report.

“It could not be found anywhere, although that honourable Member [Arthur) had said that it was received, and he was aware it was on his desk.”

…Prime Minister Freundel Stuart talks about David Thompson trying to find the FBI corruption report.

Big news for the DLP and the Prime Minister: The FBI has a copy of their own report! (Gasp!)

Here we are heading for five years of DLP government and only now our PM (and former Attorney General) raises the issue of the ‘missing’ FBI corruption report? When the report couldn’t be found back in 2008, did PM Thompson or his Attorney General Stuart ask the FBI for another copy? Nope, they didn’t.

I guarantee that if the FBI delivered a report to the Government of Barbados, that agency would have a copy of it filed away. There is NO WAY that the FBI would deliver a report to a foreign government and not keep an exact copy of what was delivered. The current little stage play in Parliament is nothing more than politics at its worst.

If the DLP government really wanted a copy of the FBI report, they could have arranged to have it… but they didn’t really want it.

The DLP deceived Bajans about Integrity Legislation, FOI, conflict of interest rules…

The DLP was elected largely because of the public disgust with the open corruption of the Arthur/Mottley government and the DLP’s promise to implement Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information as a priority in their first 100 days in office. The DLP also promised to put conflict of interest rules and a Ministerial Code in place “immediately” on the first day in office.

The integrity and corruption issue was what pushed the DLP over the top to victory in the January 2008 election – that much was stated clearly at the time in both the Bajan and UK news media.

But almost five years later the DLP government hasn’t laid a single corruption charge against anyone – although the government has had ample time and opportunity. The promised Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation will never become law prior to the next election. It will die with this last session of Parliament. The conflict of interest rules and Ministerial Code were never declared.

You see folks, the DLP and the BLP have had this agreement for 20 years and more: lots of shouting and talk and accusations, but no real action, no charges against each other. Neither party wants to start what would be a destructive war that might consume all, and therefore neither party will ever lay corruption charges against other politicians.

It just wouldn’t be wise for either party to start that kind of a fight.

And the public interest be damned to hell… the politicians don’t want to stop their ability to make something on the side.

Further Reading

Readers are encouraged to visit The Nation to read the below article online, but we have to reprint it here in its entirety as The Nation sometimes removes news stories for political reasons…

Bring it!

TEN YEARS AFTER controversy first arose over an alleged FBI probe of Barbados public officials, the issue was resurrected late last night in the House of Assembly. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley responsible for the Al Barrack mega-mess

UPDATED: November 18, 2012

More lies from PM Stuart

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart yesterday told The Nation that contractor Al Barrack will get the $77 million owed to him by the Government of Barbados. This, of course, is a lie. The DLP government has been at the helm since January 2008 and have not started to pay Barrack. The BLP now awaiting to form the next government will not pay him either.

Al Barrack is screwed. He’s one man who had a large contract with the Government of Barbados. The courts have said that Barrack must be paid, but the government does what it wants and does not obey the courts. Always been that way, ’nuff said.

The Government, whether DLP or BLP, is waiting for Al Barrack to die.

That is the way that things work ’bout hey with big court cases involving small people. It worked that way with Violet Beckles and it will work that way with Al Barrack. The Barbados Mafia is waiting for him to die.

Story as originally published June 28, 2012…

submitted by Real and Reality blog

The Al Barrack monster mess we know originated during the days of  Owen Arthur. Like it or not Bajans, the BLP government under leadership of Owen Arthur and Mia Mottley awarded Al Barrack Construction Company a thirty-six million dollor contract WITHOUT TENDER. The court in 2006 ruled in favor of Barrack for 34.4 million. Barrack in 2008 received 2.5 million from the David Thompson administration but nothing from Arthur.

He, Arthur, instead of surrendering payment of some kind to Al Barrack, invested 2.4 million dollars into a Nigerian Water Heater project.  No water heaters were produced and the 2.4 million was lost and or unaccounted for.

That was some magic trick: “now you see 2.4 million, now you don’t” 2.4 million. The $75,000 ‘campaign donation’ cheque perhaps was one of Arthur’s magician tricks. Something went wrong. The cheque didn’t disappear. It was discovered walking into Owen’s personal bank account. Continue reading

30 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

Intra-Caribbean flights taxed to death. Here’s a current LIAT itinerary…

“From: no-reply@Liatairline.com
Subject: Travel Itinerary

Dear Customer,

Thank you for booking with LIAT The Caribbean Airline…”

“Thank you for booking with LIAT…”

Like we had much choice between BGI and Grenada? LOL! US$240 to fly to Grenada and return is one thing… US$412.48 is another. Intra-Caribbean tourism cannot happen at prices like these.

The sad truth…

LIAT (1974) LTD
LIAT(1974)Ltd.
P.O. Box 819, St. John’s/Antigua

(Name)
(Address)
Barbados

Confirmation Number:  (XXXXXXXX)      Agent Number: XXXXXXX
Booking Date: XXJun12    Booked By: XXXXXXX

ITINERARY: (NAME)

Date                  Flt     Depart                              Arrive      Stops
———–          —–   ————————-   ———    —————- —–
Thu XXJul12  771     BGI – BARBADOS,        8:10am     GND – GRENADA, G  9:05AM
Sun XXJul12  726     GND – GRENADA, G    3:10pm     BGI – BARBADOS,     4:05PM

Fare and Charges Detail:   Total For 01 guest(s)         Fare: US240.00
Insurance: US9.66
Sales Tax:  US42.00
Passenger Facility Charge: US31.20
Airport Development Tax: US16.00
Airport Authority Taxes: US8.90
Airport Passenger Taxes: US29.72
Fuel Surcharge: US35.00
———
Total: US$412.48

Payment(s): Visa: US$412.48—-
Balance Due:         US$0.00

Thanks to an avid BFP contributor!

18 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Canadian store collapse brings memories of Barbados cave-in disaster

Where are the men?

Dear Barbados Free Press,

As a Bajan living in Canada I thought you would be interested in the following article from the Toronto Sun newspaper because it made me think about what happened in Bim at the Arch Cot collapse when the police, fire and military dithered for a whole day before venturing into the wreckage. Then they chopped down the apartment wreckage into the hole, without regards to anyone who still might have been alive.

This Toronto Sun article by Joe Warmington points out that people live for over a week in collapsed buildings. That didn’t matter in Barbados and it didn’t matter in Elliot Lake Canada where government prevented rescue teams from entering the building, saying it was “too dangerous”.

Where are the men? Where are those who devote their lives to rescuing others in these kinds of disasters? When the crunch time comes they always seem to fail us.

They always talk about “lessons learned” but never seem to apply those lessons on the next time. The lesson for each of us is that you cannot rely upon the government. You must be prepared to save yourself.

The death certificate for Donavere Codrington says he died two days after the collapse and that fact got short shift at the inquest.

The Sun article says that Elliot Lake will not forget. That’s a lie: yes, it will. Barbados did, Canada will too. Barbados forgot and nobody was held accountable for building on a known cave.

Justice Mottley and daughter Mia Mottley

Nobody was held responsible for removing the prohibition against building on the land. Mia Mottley and her family were involved. They owned the land at one time. Nothing more need be said.

sign me “Never Forget”

Further Reading

Please read the following article at the Toronto Sun: Warmington: Elliot Lake will not forget

Warmington: Elliot Lake will not forget

“It’s just not safe.” — HUSAR leader Bill Neadles.

Was Juno beach safe?

How about Vimy Ridge or Helmand Province?

When would such an emergency rescue mission, which would require bringing in the Heavy Urban Search And Rescue Team (HUSAR), ever have safe conditions?

Only in nanny-state Ontario could somebody decide the working conditions for rescue workers in a catastrophe were not safe enough to do what they are trained, and paid, to do. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Canada, Disaster

Meat glue: Is your beef roast held together with pork blood enzymes?

Call upon Barbados Ministry of Health to ban meat glue use

Have you heard about meat glue? I hadn’t until an old friend sent Barbados Free Press the above YouTube video. It is a common practice where scraps of meat are glued together so they mimic prime cuts, and it’s not confined to beef: pork, chicken and lamb are also subject to this trickery.

According to the video report, the enzymes used to perform this are dangerous and the meat ‘cuts’ created by this process can have over a hundred times the bacteria content of ‘real’ meat cuts. That’s important if that nice looking steak you ordered ‘rare’ is actually formed with multiple scraps of meat.

This white powder sold by the kilo, is the meat industry’s dirty little secret, secret because it is hazardous to your health! Meat glue makes pieces of beef, lamb, chicken or fish that would normally be thrown out stick together so closely that it looks like a solid piece of meat. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Health

Turks & Caicos Islands actively seeking criminals to be police officers

Have a criminal record? Want a career as a police officer? Head for the Turks & Caicos Islands!

The Royal Turks & Caicos Islands Police is actively seeking criminals to become police officers, this according to our friends over at TCeyeNow blog. We checked with the TCI police website and sure enough, yup… the police force is looking for criminals to become police officers.

“Previous criminal convictions, which must be disclosed, will not necessarily prevent appointment (as a police officer).”

… from the recruiting section of the Royal Turks & Caicos Islands Police

Will wonders never cease? Are things that tough in the recruitment department?

“Any reasonable person would think that the Commissioner of police and his Deputy would be working overtime to restructure the police force, change the recruiting policy and root out the criminal elements in the police force.

Instead the Police force is appealing for more criminals to join the police force.”

from the TCeyeNow article TCI Police Force actively seeking criminals to join the force

And in Barbados…

As a followup in a telephone call to the Royal Barbados Police Force, a recruitment officer told Barbados Free Press that it would be ‘unlikely’ that the organisation would hire anyone with a criminal record to be a police constable but that we were welcome to submit an application. That sounds okay until you stop to consider that there is no blanket prohibition against hiring persons with criminal records.

Standards: If society doesn’t maintain them it all goes to hell.

18 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police