Monthly Archives: July 2012

When the rich start complaining about Barbados prices, environment and urban sprawl then we’ll start to worry… What? Oh oh!

Jet setter Lady Carol Parsons talking about moving someplace else because Bim isn’t what it used to be

We felt sick to our guts yesterday reading Rubia Tinctorum’s piece Barbados: Don’t bother, frankly because for the last seven years we’ve been pounding out the same message here at Barbados Free Press – but obviously to no avail.

We and others warned of willy-nilly development and the rush to block the sea views. We talked about crime being a huge threat to tourism: the engine that drives our entire economy. We warned that our politicians were greedy and setting wrong priorities; holding massive celebratory events like Cricket World Cup while ignoring infrastructure, health care and the environment. We said that our police force budget should be doubled to retain and attract quality personnel and that the police are the guardians of our economy: if crime wins, the tourists leave.

We said all that and much more as so many Bajans have.

When our politicians borrowed millions and millions for ‘studies’ and ‘initiatives’ we asked to see evidence of where the money went. We demanded Freedom of Information laws, to no avail. We demanded Integrity Legislation and received nothing but put-offs and promises while the fat politician piggies kept their noses in the trough. DLP, BLP: all the same.

The politicians borrowed $100 million for a sewerage project and never built it. They received $40 million in EU money for studies of our sugar industry. Well? Where is the benefit? $20 million here for an environmental study, $2 million there for a ‘partnership’ in a failed venture in Nigeria. (Please! What did Prime Minister Owen Arthur expect would happen in Nigeria? What a joke!) Cost overruns of fifty and a hundred percent on every other government project and everyone acts like this is normal. Our Prime Minister personally gives away US$150,000 to a cricket charity and everybody acts like this is normal and Owen’s a great guy for doing that.

“No one asks how much money a man has to have to give away US$150,000 cash or how a public servant can acquire such wealth.”

Green space, nature, the good island life in short supply

The BLP and DLP politicians promised National Parks in the north and at Graeme Hall. Then they blew $150 million on a failed dump at Greenland (in what was to have been a National Park), and changed the law to build on the protected watershed at Graeme Hall: the very last green space between the airport and the city. The politicians sold our best asset: the view of the sea. Bit by bit they allowed their developer friends to wall off large parts of the coast so there’s nothing to see but concrete monoliths and no place for tourists or locals to park and access the beach.

As the economy tanked, food prices skyrocketed and businesses and hotels closed. Petty crime is now a daily concern. One BFP reader recently left a comment that says it all:

“Crime. You can’t grow a tomato without someone hop the fence and steal it. leave a box of laundry detergent on the porch an it be gone! It is not big crime that is killing us it is little crimes. thousands of little crimes every day. every person for themselves. pen on a desk. lunch in the fridge at work! they steal you lunch at work!!!

Crime is killing us but it is not robbery or violent crime, it is little everyday crime that is destroying this island.”

… comment posted by BFP reader Culpepper-X

So now the monied people – the jet setters, the polo players – are starting to look at other places. No doubt that St. Lucia’s new airport will one day see the same squadron of Gulfstreams, Learjets and Falcons that still lines up on the tarmac at Grantley Adams. Sad, but also reality.

There is still time folks. We can turn this around. We can recover much of what we had that attracted people to our little rock.

But we’re not going to do it by electing the same old politicians from any party. We need good citizens to stand as independent candidates, and to band together in opposition to those who are destroying our country.

We’d better make big changes, and we’d better do it fast – because in this day we can’t hide the reality any longer…

Barbados: Don’t Bother, Frankly

by Rubia Tinctorum

Something disturbing is happening on Barbados – the Caribbean experience is being drowned in a tsunami of greed and gravel. With tax dodgers, celebrities, footballers and bloated businessmen all flocking to the island prices have soared. Even my rich friend Lady Carol Parsons complains. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Economy

Afra Raymond on Heritage Radio 101.7fm – 6:30am July 31, 2012

Read Afra’s latest piece on CLICO, CL Financial: The Sacred Cow

Tune in to Trinidad’s Heritage Radio 101.7fm to hear Afra Raymond talk about 50 years of Trini independence.

Listen online here!

Comments Off on Afra Raymond on Heritage Radio 101.7fm – 6:30am July 31, 2012

Filed under History, Trinidad and Tobago

Who is in charge of the Royal Barbados Police Force?

Two policing factions have been at war for years over which group calls the shots at the RBPF. On any given day the factions of Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin or his sworn enemy Deputy Bertie Hinds might be on top. Crime fighting strategies have given way to court battles over who appears on the promotion list. And the sad fact is that the retirement of Dottin or Hinds wouldn’t solve the problem: we’re talking factions, groups – not two strong personalities who can be removed to solve the problem.

Now the court has had to step in and order Commissioner of Police Dottin to not proceed any further with the latest list of officers to be promoted.

Repeat after me, class: “Banana Republic”

The people of Barbados deserve better than this.

Here’s an idea for the court and the impotent DLP government: promote whomever gets rid of the Boscobel Toll Gang, and fire the rest.

So who’s in charge of the Royal Barbados Police Force?

I don’t know. See if you can figure it out yourself.


Filed under Barbados

TripAdvisor hits 75 million reviews: Barbados Tourism Authority thinks it can be ignored.

The largest, most popular travel website on earth is Founded in the dot-com boom 12 years ago, the website survived and thrived due to the emphasis on the opinions of ordinary folk who have no agenda except honest reviews of accommodations and services during their travels.

Oh sure, businesses and others attempt to skew the results, but TripAdvisor is wise to the common schemes designed to misuse the venue. And if TripAdvisor discovers that someone has an agenda to make or break a hotel or attraction, the website ruthlessly hunts down the offenders, kills their writing and makes sure that users can rely upon the integrity of the website.

That’s why TripAdvisor is the #1 travel website on the planet.

TripAdvisor just hit 75 million reviews and opinions… so the BTA did what?

The Barbados Tourism Authority does not have a dedicated program to monitor TripAdvisor and to address the negative and positive comments and reviews about Barbados. Such an omission is inexcusable.

But, hey… what do you want from the BTA having to operate with only a lousy $100 million dollar annual budget?


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

A simple, cost-effective idea to deliver more tourists to Barbados

Why didn’t the Barbados Tourism Authority do this already? Don’t even bother to ask…

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

From 7th September until 14th November, American Airlines lower their mileage requirement to allow return travel from any point they serve in the Continental United States, Canada or Mexico to Barbados for just 25,000 miles.

So whether you live in the north east corridor, midwest or pacific coast area, the miles required are the same irrespective of distance travelled. Geographically it opens up access to Barbados to millions of potential visitors that might normally find the normal published fare, financially inhibitive.

Take Seattle, Washington State, as an example. The lowest bookable fare online is US$832.40, but still only 25,000 miles through AAdvantage, plus a nominal US$56.50 in taxes and add-ons.

But some may say, you have to spend at least US$25,000 to obtain the minimum miles required. Not so, as many credit card issuers are giving very generous incentives for switching to their product.

Citibank is currently offering their Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature credit card where you receive a bonus of 30,000 miles if you spend just US$1,000 in the first three months of membership. It doesn’t end there. You also get priority boarding, 25 per cent discount on certain in-flight purchases, a US$100 flight discount once a year, Double miles on eligible AA purchases, 10 per cent of your redeemed miles back and the annual fee waived for the first year.

Of course, certain conditions apply and unless the monthly balance is settled on time, in full, like any other similar card, interest will be payable.

So to summarise, just by selectively using this card to pay any one of number of bills totaling $1,000 or more, you have already created the means to reach Barbados and return home for $56.50.

With over 69 million members, AAdvantage can offer substantially more, in fact, than the entire adult population of the United Kingdom, which is still our largest single market.

How do we reach this potential?

The simplest way would be to smart partner with CitiBank and the airline and use their current methods of communicating with clientele. As an attention getter, a number of accommodation prizes would spark interest and help drive destination choice. The national marketing agency could also pre-purchase miles and lower the minimum requirement, making it  even more attractive for travellers. Even at consumer rates, 5,000 miles can be bought for around US$100.

Corporate bulk quantities can be negotiated at substantially discounted rates.

What a programme like this does at a stroke, is immediately take away, what many pundits argue, that because Barbados is further away, its more expensive to reach. And if a promotional campaign like this is rolled out in time, monitoring of its success or failure could easily be policed by incorporating a code like the unique flight booking record locator and the name of the final accommodation choice.

While the concerted regional battle goes on to address the injustices of the dreaded APD (Advanced Passenger Duty), whatever may be finally agreed, it is not going to make a meaningful  difference to visitor arrival numbers for the remainder of this summer.

So why don’t we concentrate on something that could drive additional business, or at least give it a try!


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados Attorney General admits Integrity Legislation is dead, dead, dead

Integrity Legislation has no chance and Adriel Brathwaite knows it!

Hey folks:

The Bajan news media isn’t carrying the real story. The Nation and the rest are repeating the government line like they rely upon the government advertising to survive…

Oh… wait… The mainstream Bajan news outlets do rely upon government advertising to survive! Do you think that impacts their editorial decisions? We think it does and that any citizen can see that our news media isn’t giving us the truth. Here at BFP we say that the Bajan news media sold their souls a long time ago and consequently the public is fed a version of the news that is less than citizens deserve.

Attorney General Adrel Brathwaite says:

“Legislatively, we have the anti-corruption legislation which is before a joint committee of Parliament. We had promised that we would have that done before the end of the year. It’s my hope that we can get it within a month or two.”

… from the Nation article AG spells out crime plans

Listen, Brathwaite: that’s a lie. Your government said they would put forth the anti-corruption legislation four years ago – within 100 days of being elected.

So your statement is a big fat lie. Liar.

Now let’s talk about what happens even if your government passes the integrity legislation in the next few months: It will never be proclaimed as law before the next election because it will die in the Senate. You know this, you liar. You know this legislation will never become law. You also know the Freedom of Information legislation that you promised is rotting in its grave. The conflict of interest rules and Code of Conduct that the DLP promised to implement from day one were the first two promises to die.


Integrity Legislation is four years and more past due. It is dead, dead, dead.


Here’s what Brathwaite told the Nation. Please read it at their website, but we have to reprint the whole thing here because the paper has a history of deleting articles to change history. Too bad…

AG spells out crime plans

A drug court is on the cards and anti-corruption legislation may be agreed in a month or two. Just as important, says Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, the Government is moving on legislation to boost the offshore international sector which has been hit by competition from Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and The Bahamas.

He also dealt with crime, the Police Force and complaints against lawyers in an interview with THE NATION’s North American Correspondent Tony Best in New York last week.

What are some of the things you want to get done before the next election?

Brathwaite: Legislatively, we have the anti-corruption legislation which is before a joint committee of Parliament. We had promised that we would have that done before the end of the year. It’s my hope that we can get it within a month or two. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press

The heartache and frustration of renovating historical buildings in Bridgetown

Building before renovation

From a mutual friend we (and every other news media outlet in Barbados) received another sad tale of outrageous abuse by our government officials against an investor and business person who was doing something positive in the community.

You want a lesson in how a few narrow-minded bureaucrats can take six years to pass a few pieces of paper around and discourage even the most enthusiastic foreign investor? Read on…

The document speaks for itself, so we’ll let ‘er rip…

By Ryan Thorpe: property owner, business investor

Telephone (246) 2687665
Email :

Historical Building : Violet Bourne’s Bar and Andy’s Bakery & Deli 116 Roebuck Street

This property was on the market for sale over 6 years (1999)

Mr recommendation to: The Bill for the preservation of places, structures and relics or other object of archeological, historical and cultural interest.

To :

Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, the Hon Stephen Lashley,

Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Shirley Farnum

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Celia Toppin:

Dear all,

Site Description

The subject site is one of the typical small urban lots on Roebuck Street. Roebuck Street is a Class 1 road according to the Town and Country Planning Development Order 1972. This street is one of the seven Cultural Heritage Conservation Areas identified within the Bridgetown Community Plan Boundary. The sites contain a two storey stone building that has been identified by the Barbados National Trust and UNESO as a building for its historical and architectural value. The building on Lot 116, like most other heritage buildings along the throughfare of Bridgetown occupies the majority of the land space zero degree to the boundaries lines.

The property was formerly known as “V Bourne’s Bar” which was a popular Rum shop for liquid lunch, cutters, rock cakes, lead pipes and fish cakes in the 1970’s situated on the ground floor. The first floor was living quarters for the same shop keeper’s family and later in the 1980’s was a Tailors shop.

This property was renovated to almost the same architectural design alike the 1800’s, approximately six years ago by me (Ryan Thorpe) the owner and property developer resulting in a change of use to facilitate more up market retail space and corporate offices, harmonizing the old with the new designing. I have injected 40% physical labour and design into this project for this final finish.

I have resided and worked in the United Kingdom for the past ten years as a Multi-Skill Engineer with a International Blue Chip Companies and the United Kingdom government.

I was very happy with the area as an investment, having done tremendous historical research about the area, which holds so much history for Barbados and the Caribbean trading communities. I had some costly delays and setbacks with the Chief Town Planner, since it took that Department one year before the approval of my building plans, and one of the main requirements was to locate twenty five (25) parking facilities in Roebuck Street to accommodate my business venture i.e Change of use to public entertainment and Sports Bar (2011). I believe the government of Barbados should pay more attention to the Town Planning Department as these delays can hinder returning nationals and foreign investors from coming to Barbados to invest in our heritage. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

The post turtle and the Prime Minister

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old ‘livestock specialist’, whose hand was caught in the squeeze gate while looking after black bellied sheep, the doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to Freundel Stuart and his role as our Prime Minister.

The old man said, “Well, ya know doctor… Stuart is a Post Turtle.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him, what a ‘post turtle’ was.

The old man said, “When you’re driving along a road up near Grape Hall and you come across a fence post with a land turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle.”

The old man saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain.

“You know he didn’t get up there by himself,  he doesn’t belong up there,  he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there,  he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with. It was all an accident, and not meant to be!”

Best explanation I’ve heard yet.

(Our thanks to an old friend!)


Filed under Barbados, Politics

Future Centre Trust needs hands Saturday morning!

The Garden is going well!

The Future Centre Trust’s last Saturday in the garden was so successful I just wanted to let you all know how well the garden is going and invite you to our next garden day this Saturday the 28th of July. Julia, Paula and Lorraine have done such a great job so far. They have developed the banana circle, developed a list of plants and trees on site, worked with a landscape architect to create drawings for the garden, developed a veggie plant list for us to procure and helped the FCT find buyers for our produce.

This weekend we will be further developing the beds and mulching as well as planting our new veggie seedlings. As part of our research into organic and Permaculture methods we will be conducting a study on what works to keep away the snails. Lorraine will be using copper wire to  keep the snails away, this will be our experimental group, while we have a regular controlled bed to see if the copper wire solution works. additionally, we will be employing some other methods to keep the snails away, if you have any ideas please share them with us.
Please join us in the garden this Saturday the 28th of July from 7:30am to 11am. Please bring your hats, water and garden tools with you if you have them.
Looking forward to seeing you all in the garden.
Your supportive and ever uplifting friend.
Lani Edghill
Green Business Barbados Coordinator
The Future Centre Trust

Comments Off on Future Centre Trust needs hands Saturday morning!

Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Environment

Barbados S&P downgrade all about CLICO and government raiding NIS pension to ‘invest’ in Four Seasons

“Countries with low ratings, including Barbados, are shunned and as a result attract high borrowing rates from financial markets. This phenomenon worsens a country’s fiscal position as higher interest rates eat up more of national revenues that would otherwise be available for expenditure on social services, infrastructure, health and education etc.

The important observation by S&P is that Barbados’s problems are not solely related to the very weak global economy.”

… Peter S. Boos talks about how the rest of the world sees Barbados

In BFP’s recent article Debt Tsunami drowning Barbados: Standard and Poor’s downgrades to junk status we zeroed in on the fact that Standard & Poors’ downgrade of Barbados specifically mentioned the government’s ill-advised raiding of the NIS National Insurance Scheme to carry portions of the national debt burden. We also talked about the impact of the CLICO collapse on the national economy and debt. These decisions by the current government of Barbados seem rather unwise to us… but what do we know? We’re only the poor citizens who have to carry the burden created by our leaders.

It seems though that others recognize the folly of the decisions by the DLP government. Listen to what Peter Boos has to say, and what Standard & Poors’ thinks of the decisions of the Barbados government…

In his writings for the last year or thereabouts, Peter Boos is appalled that the Barbados government should use monies from the NIS to prop up a failed Four Seasons project.

Lest we forget, the reason that the Four Seasons project collapsed in mid-building is that private money does not see it as a winner. Private money ran from the Four Seasons – and that is a clue about the project’s viability. Of course, the politicians do not have the same accountability as the private markets: they can always BS their way to re-election while the real world lives or dies on actual performance.

Standard and Poors’ were also appalled by the rape of NIS funds and by the CLICO fiasco that added immeasurably to our national debt. We don’t even know how much the final bill will be! As we’ve said before it’s a good thing for David Thompson’s legacy that he died and therefore can’t be prosecuted for his personal role in the CLICO mess.

Not that Barbados has ever prosecuted any politician for conflicts of interest or profiteering from a government position.

The whole thing stinks, and Peter Boos explains some of the reasons for the smell in his latest at Barbados Today. You should read the article online at Barbados Today, but we have to print the whole thing because of the Bajan news media’s habit of revising history to suit political agendas.

Here we go…

A blow to our reputation

The recent S&P downgrade of Barbados is extremely damaging to Barbados and its hard earned reputation as a well managed economy.

Countries in the top tier of economic management with high investment grade Sovereign Credit Ratings (provided by S&P, Moody’s, Fitch etc) attract the greatest interest from investors, the ultimate source of wealth creation.

Countries with low ratings, including Barbados, are shunned and as a result attract high borrowing rates from financial markets. This phenomenon worsens a country’s fiscal position as higher interest rates eat up more of national revenues that would otherwise be available for expenditure on social services, infrastructure, health and education etc.

The important observation by S&P is that Barbados’s problems are not solely related to the very weak global economy. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy

DLP and BLP: Nowhere to hide their histories

“Campaign Donation” deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

Both major Bajan parties lack credibility

by BFP reader Look

Arthur and his BLP cronies seem to like spitting upon DLP and often does though it backfires. Arthur and the BLP in 2008 were forced out of office but left behind a lot of things that just can’t hide. Stuart and the DLP cannot hide the recent S&P downgrade or ClICO. Barbados before the 2008 general election was downgraded several times. Arthur and the BLP cannot hide this.

The Al Barrack matter originated during the days of Arthur and the BLP. They know this, can’t hide it, that or the $75,000 campaign cheque that Arthur invited into his personal banking account. The Mottley family linked to Mia Mottley purchased the Arch Cot land that couldn’t be built on and got planning permission within six months. The previous owner was denied planning permission. The Mottley family was not. The Codrington family totaling five all died at Arch Cot, Britton Hill; their home fell into a cave beneath it. Arthur and the BLP cannot hide this. Those deaths at Arch Cot, Britton Hill could have been avoided. No building on that land should have been allowed.

Al Barrack was awarded a government contract without tender. Barrack built the complex at Warrens in St. Michaels though he had never built a project that size. The BLP exposed to Bajans their incompetence and cannot hide it. VECO, a corrupt Corporation homebased in Alaska was awarded a government contract via Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and Dale Marshall. The VECO Corporation built the prison at Dodds in St. Philip without tender but had no record of building prisons. Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and Dale Marshall exposed to Bajans their incompetence and cannot hide it.

Arthur, believe it or not said “REDjet Airlines might still be flying if the Barbados Government had honoured its financial commitment to the collapsed airline”. Okay, but the Al Barrack matter, if the government had fixed the Al Barrack problem born during the days of Arthur and the BLP, it would not have ballooned quite so large. Bajans owe REDjet Airlines nothing, absolutely nothing. They, however, owe Al Barrack millions due to incompetence exposed by Arthur and the BLP.

The BLP responds to all of the above saying the party has a enviable record of keeping promises. Whatever happened in the past cannot be changed. . . . The DLP government is guilty of greed and incompetence. Truth is that both parties, BLP and DLP, exposed to Bajans their incompetence, greed and corruption.


Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics

National Geographic chooses Zed’s Surfing Adventures as one of the Top Ten best surfing schools in the world!

Congratulations to Zed Layson and the whole bunch at Zed’s Surfing!

“Still largely unsung (and untouristed) by surfers, Barbados’s sandy shore breaks and warm, forgiving waves actually make it an excellent learners’ spot. Zed Layson and his instructors at Zed’s Surfing Adventures offer everything from private day lessons to weeklong packages, but the three-day “Be a Surfer” program, which includes twice-daily small-group lessons, leaves you enough time to explore the island (and its snorkeling—especially to view the cool shipwrecks and vivid coral reefs off the west coast—kayaking, and rum-punch-fueled nightlife).”

…from National Geographic’s Top 10 Surf Schools


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Sports, Surfing

Oprah Winfrey to interview Rihanna in Barbados. Which Barbados will Oprah portray?

Which agendas are at work? What will the end product be?

A friend of mine was once interviewed by a television reporter about a problem in the community. When he saw the broadcast he was both astonished and angry because the message he communicated had been corrupted and spoiled by an editor, he believes deliberately, to make him less convincing and less credible with the audience. The tv station didn’t just leave out parts of his answers, they inserted his answer from one question to appear as if he was answering another question. The whole interview, the whole news report, became an agenda-driven lie and was my friend’s first-hand education in television fakery.

That was an extreme example of the power of editing visual images to mislead, but it reminds us that everything we see on television is carefully crafted, and selectively pieced together to suit a purpose, and at best only conveys the journalist’s perspective on the subject. When we see something on television we can easily allow ourselves to think that we’ve seen the truth, when we’ve only seen little pieces selected by someone else.

Oprah is coming to Barbados to interview Rihanna – or perhaps she’s already been. You can bet that Oprah’s staff have already decided the big messages of the show – and Rihanna hasn’t even opened her mouth yet. The preview above gives a clue that Oprah’s intent is to feature some of Barbados ‘where it all began’ for Rihanna. I guess that means the audience won’t just be seeing the Platinum Coast. (Come on up to Grape Hall, Oprah, and we’ll put on some grill fish that can’t be beat.)

No doubt the Barbados Tourism Authority is involved somehow, and if they aren’t already they should be working overtime to make sure that Oprah and her staff get the best of the best service and support we can manage. Is the government springing for staff rooms at the Hilton? We own the place, don’t we?

Subjects that interest Oprah Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Rihanna, Slavery

Bajan banks protecting their high-profit monopoly in Credit Card processing

With Square and an iPhone, even a coconut seller could accept credit cards by the side of the road!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

While in the United States recently, I came across a small device called Square, which if introduced into Barbados and the Caribbean could transform the way many of our small businesses do business. Not just in tourism, but across most sectors.

The Square device fits into the audio jack of an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and android based mobile phones. Rather than the traditional credit and debit card processors with their variable rates, monthly and sometimes hidden charges, Square charges a flat standard 2.75 per cent merchant transaction fee. Previously many factors could influence the discount rate and other fees you pay for the privilege of accepting charge cards, including length of time you have been in business, the type of business, percentage of your sales over the phone and internet, average dollar transaction, total dollar amount of sales per month etc.. Many banks also will not offer merchant accounts directly to small businesses and use third party providers, which can also increase acceptance costs.

With Square, wireless technology enables even the smallest, most remote trader to accept payment electronically and often at a more attractive cost than current dominant processors. From a tourism perspective just think how many more smaller players would be empowered if they were allowed the flexibility and advantage of accepting payment by plastic!

On returning home, I sent the information to a credit union, local bank and one of the major telecommunications providers, hoping they would explore the potential. Sadly, weeks later, only the bank even bothered to respond.

Perhaps the status quo currently protects existing near monopolies and it is not in their interest to drive choice and more competitive ways of doing business.


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking

If Soca star Machel Montano came out as gay, what would happen?

Our old friend Karel McIntosh of Outlish Magazine takes a look at how mass media transforms attitudes to gays. But does the same apply to gay Soca artistes?

by Karel McIntosh Outlish Magazine

Studies show that people are likely to be less prejudiced towards gay people through parasocial contact via mass media. What this simply means is that you’re socialised through one-sided interaction. You know a lot about the other person – the celebrity who’s gay or the gay character in “Will & Grace” or “Sex & The City” – but the celebrity doesn’t know much about you.

And, through regular consumption, your prejudice levels begin to drop – most likely, I suppose, because you begin to see them as human characters, and not as “that gay man or woman”.

But does increased tolerance really mean that people are ready to see homosexuality, which is still viewed as an alternative lifestyle, represented on the big stage?

Would thousands jump up in Soca Monarch for a gay artiste? Would the grassroots in general admission go for it?

Would thousands jump up in Soca Monarch for a gay artiste? Would people be cool if a male singer put “he” where they’d have expected “she” in a song? Or would we really not care because, oh lawd…de song sweet!

Read the full Outlish Magazine article Soca and Sexuality: What if your Favourite Artiste was Gay?


Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Music

Shocking misinformation by politicians on tourism: the foundation of our economy

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Whenever possible I listen to the radio broadcasts of both houses of Parliament, especially if there is a possibility tourism will be discussed. When recently, Senate members were responding to the budget, I paid particular attention to one speaker and was frankly shocked by the level of misinformation about our number one industry that was being disseminated. I thought that at any moment, one of the other twenty Senators would raise a point or order and everybody present would benefit from fact rather than fiction.

Sadly, it didn’t happen, and I got to thinking that if tourism is really going to be taken seriously at all levels of governance, should we not have people in place that are sufficiently informed to make a positive contribution.

Looking around at the composition of the Upper House, it consists of lawyers, a captain of commerce, agriculturalist, financial advisor, clergyman, trade unionist, former diplomat, teacher, credit union manager, academic, economist, and a medical professor amongst others. In all, individuals, many of which have four or five decades of acquired ability and knowledge in their own fields of endeavour.

But not a single tourism expert, with the length and breadth knowledge of the industry to ensure that all the combined expertise is maximised in this sector. Perhaps it is unreasonable for everyone to be an thoroughly versed on every subject debated, but surely more homework has to be done to allow information proffered is constructive rather than destructive.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

Sanka Price delivers a message to Health Minister Pornville Inniss

It’s a long story folks, but Sanka’s latest column is all about delivering a sideways message to Minister of Health Donville Inniss. Now that it is published, we can say that aloud.

How do we know this? Let’s just say a little birdie told us so…

Why do we continue to publish the Donville Inniss pornography business story? Simple: Mr. Inniss refuses to acknowledge or explain his involvement with the porn industry, where his profits went, and whether or not his political campaign or the DLP received contributions from the online porn industry. We believe it matters and that Bajan voters are unaware of the truth because the news media refuses to cover this story.

Porn is not harmless. The porn industry is undeniably associated with human trafficking and the degradation of women. We believe that matters – and that our elected representatives should not be associated with the porn industry.

For background, check out BFP’s Barbados Health Minister attacks journalist over questions about Minister’s porn business profiteering

I Confess

as told to Sanka Price

I LEFT THE MAN I LOVE because he is obsessed with pornography.

It was difficult leaving him after nine years of friendship before we became a couple in the last two years. But I had to walk away to stay sane and keep my self-respect…

… read it all at The Nation: His love for porn hurt me.


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Human Rights, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

REDjet provides tough lessons for foreign investors in the Caribbean

“REDjet might still have been flying if the Barbados Government had honoured financial commitments to the collapsed airline.”

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur talks to The Nation about the DLP’s failure to honour its promises.

Owen Arthur chides DLP for breaking REDjet promises – conveniently forgets he did the same thing with other foreign investors

Submitted by One Who Knows

For a man who himself made false promises to major foreign investors just to entice them to Barbados, Owen Arthur has some nerve criticizing the DLP for their handling of REDjet.

Not that the DLP government is undeserving of criticism over the REDjet matter. The point is that both DLP and BLP governments have shown they will say and promise anything to a foreign investor: at least until the cash arrives. The promises aren’t always about money or tax breaks, sometimes they are about changing the laws to facilitate business or protection of the environment, or putting in roads and sewerage treatment to encourage development.

Unfortunately that long-established history of promising anything to potential investors but then failing to keep up the agreement is starting to cost Barbados credibility in the eyes of the world. Continue reading


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