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.
Once I used to think to myself “oh just relax and put it on the plastic, after all you are on holiday”. I do mean literally once. That occasion was when a meal for 5 at the Lonestar came to £650 and I was paying. After that I was more careful. If someone said that Villa Rosa or Chin Chin were the latest places to eat, I would be sure to avoid them.
The turning point came about 10 years ago when property started to boom, and especially on the West Coast around Holetown, originally developed by the likes of the Guinness and Cunard families. This was The Place To Be. Now it is jam packed with mansions from end to end. The latest is One Sandy Lane, a sort of beachside British Museum opposite the famous Sandy Lane golf course and Barbados’s answer to One Hyde Park, that Qatari monstrosity near Harrods in London… (snip)
… I thought that the idea of a Caribbean holiday was to relax on a beach, soak up some of the colourful local atmosphere, dine in a shack, listen to Bob Marley, get legless on rum punch. Not watch the stock market and news from Afghanistan. One Sandy Lane, like the other mansions that now stretch from one end of the West Coast to the other, has blocked the last tantalising views of the turquoise waters fringed by palms that made this place so enticing. Access to the beaches, which are theoretically all public, is getting more difficult by the month as new buildings fill the gaps… (snip)
… As I said, a lot of this has happened in just 10 years since I first visited Barbados. Give me another island these days – the last thing I want when I go on holiday is to spend the morning in an air-conditioned shopping mall that sells Cartier watches and Versace handbags. But that is what you will be expected to do in Holetown because the new Lime Grove shopping centre, which offers all this, is the latest talking point on the island… (snip)
… read the entire article at Orchard Times: Barbados: Don’t bother, frankly