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.

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


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

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

  1. Arthur Wobig

    We have been coming to the Heritage for over 20 years. Now we are told that no repairs would be made to keep up. They don’t care. I do. I’ll be going to St. Martin.

  2. judyjudy


  3. what will they think of next.

    ………..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.”………. this is a man who only a few years previously threaten from the floor of Parliament to quit politics because he was so poorly paid as a Leader of the opposition. do you remember that?

  4. Anonymous

    Arthur out and about eating at Mustors yesterday in Bridgetown ! Who he fooling !/

  5. CQ9

    Sad to think of all the money wasted, disappeared without results of any kind. The politicos squandered money and squandered years, time that cannot be recovered.

    What did Arthur, Thompson or Stuart do to make this a better place? To leave the country in better shape than they found it? Nothing I know of. So sad all the waste and wasted time.

  6. slowhand

    Waht a rotten article by Rubia Tinctorum.

    All true, mind you, but how dare she say it! 😉

  7. an observer

    The Brits love affair with Spain appears to be over. In it’s hey day over 400,000 of them bought villas and condos at over inflated prices. Now the bubble has burst – real estate has plummeted, unemployment hovers at 25% and the country, along with most of Europe is broke. We’ll see what next year brings.

  8. countryview

    Lady Carol Parsons complaining that every time she turns her back on her paramour Rodney he gives the closest young ting ah good lash? Nooooo, she blaming Barbados instead. Question for her and the rest though…do they know ONE place which has not changed including England with Londonistan? And who, for the most part, has made the major contributions to change in Barbados? Her rich English countrymen and the Irish! Lone Star is owned by an ENGLISHMAN Rubia, that’s who hosed your dinner bill. Perhaps they would prefer we Bajan natives to cavort around in grass skirts and be ripped off and bulled at their behest and pleasure.

  9. Who is this rich Lady Carol Parsons?

    This is what happens when you chat with UK tabloid reporters.

  10. countryview

    Ok, so I read Rubia’s hilarious article…just loved the part where she complains the sound of leafblowers and lawnmowers drown out the sound of the crickets…Rubia, you goofy twat, crickets only come out and make their sounds at night when the aforementioned instruments are asleep.

  11. civilsociety

    Recently were were on the East Coast. Here is an interesting price comparison. Two rum punches at Atlantis cost us $27.00! Can you imagine that! The cheapest drink to make and they charged us $27.00! A lovely fish dinner for 11, plus nuff drinks, dancing and a seaside view in Martins Bay cost us $300 and that INCLUDED a HUGE tip! So figure that out.

  12. Doug's Dad

    I have owned two small apartments in Holetown for eight years now and originally came to the Island 30 years ago. For 20 years, while the children were growing up we didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of and could not afford to return to the Island. Thankfully hard work paid off and our circumstances changed.

    We returned to Barbados 10 years ago and realised that once accustomed to people’s initial apparent arrogance most working class Bajans are decent people who respect life’s basic principles – try to do no harm and respect others.

    So far as ‘integrity’ and ‘Big Ups’ is concerned, black, white or anywhere in between I am certain that such a principle does not exist in the mindset of their majority.

    In relation to crime that I have witnessed, and unfortunately been the victim of (six stitches in a head wound from a Bajan Bullet) I suspect that the majority is fueled by hard drugs and poverty, both brought about in part by a failure of successive governments to budget and invest appropriately, to fail to stamp out rampant political corruption and to finance a professional police force.

    I have to agree that in the last ten years the building of so many apartments has, in my eyes, destroyed the charm of the West Coast in particular, but that hasn’t detracted from the pleasure as a tourist of visiting Patsy’s at Paynes Bay, Papa Earl’s lunches, supper at Moontown, watching sports at Wendy’s bar or happy hour at Daphnie’s.

    Many types of tourist visit the Island, many too drunk, ignorant or lazy to notice most of the Islands failings, some so wealthy and ignorant they don’t care and many who are sadden at the decline in the Island’s general state of affairs.

    Those people who suggest drugs dealing to tourists is not a problem must be oblivious to the subtle suggesting of ‘partying’ or the wipe of the nose on the way by . I am subject to this daily on the west coast and in St Lawrence Gap and I am a 55 year old untrendy white guy.

    My view is that Barbados has definitely changed for the worse and will never return to the perceived halcyon days of old – but I still love you!

  13. Sam Shank

    This woman “Lady Parsons” should be the last to talk about Barbados high prices. She just sold her house at Queens Fort on Barbados’s west coast for US$25 million. She is brain dead to say the least.

  14. 52

    This reject from London “Lady Parsons” (I use the word lady loosely) states that a meal for 5 at The Lone Star cost her £650.00, that is BDS$2,040.00. She was obviously trying to impress someone because the math does not work. I have just had a look online at Lone Star’s dinner menu. A starter is BDS$40.00 and a main course is BDS$90.00 both include VAT.

    Now folks 40+90×5=650.00. Where did the other BDS$1,390.00 to make the bill BDS$2,040.00 come from? Did she conveniently forget to mention how many bottles of expensive champagne or wine they ordered. She should be ashamed of herself bashing Barbados like she has. Especially as Barbados’ west coast gigolos and ski boat operators have supplied her with all the sex she has had for the past at least 10 years mostly paid for by the husband (poor man) who she parked in a care home in England while she continued to frolic on the island.

  15. yatiniteasy

    @ anonymous..I know nothing of this Lady, but I was also in shock at her claim to have spent 650 ponds for four people at Lonestar…my first reaction was …what an asshole!

  16. tiny

    650 pounds for a meal for four people? Thats a whole lot of fish and beans and rice!

  17. Smooth Chocolate

    she meant i am sure BDS$650. she think we are idiots or that we locals do not patronize these restaurants, i remember my boss spent 500 dollars BDS on lunch for 4 about six years ago and that was at Champers. she knows she is lying, her kind are the one responsible for destruction of the west coast, it is just that to she now realizes what their money has done. i pity her and the people who sell their family heirlooms to them

  18. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Barbados and high prices have always existed. Many explanations for this have been given- the number one being importation tax and other applied duties. However the real reason is greed and the ease at which Barbadians can be exploited. THe merchants know very well when the last protests occur. So Barbados docile frame of mind and continued acceptance that what is and what cannot be,all these years, are all beyond the power of the politician and the rich merchant to change. This makes there continued political and business relations very good for their personal gains.

    So like I said Barbados has always been an expensive place and with the recession it has become even more expensive. But the truth be told does it have to be so expensive.

  19. countryview

    @ SSS…I have asked every one of my 3 ex-wives your last sentence…it seems to be obligatory

  20. clipper

    It is fine to have high prices if your clientele will bear the prices.

    Apparently even the rich have their tolerance levels for prices and Barbados has exceeded the thresholds.

  21. countryview

    clipper, I don’t personally believe what you say. I think it is more about receiving value equivalent to or exceeding what one has paid for. Barbados does not give value. The rich are happy to pay whatever, but they, like all of us, want real, perceived value in return.

  22. Calypsolover

    Barbados is losing its kudos internationally and even big companies can only deposit funds through one Barbadian bank now since the laundering fiasco. Lady C (who probably bought her title online teeters around with her Bajan paramour in her home in Speightstown and is usually to be found somewhat tipsy, flashing her underwear) can stay away from the island for all I care.

    Try to be polite to the visitors because when they decide to visit another island Barbados will finally collapse along with the housing market. Dont pack all the cruise ship visitors into Paynes Bay where locals fight and shout at the guests selling sunbeds and vying for business as if they were on a Blackpool beach. Locals have been heard cursing guests and their young offspring on the beach and they will never return ……

  23. Prince of Barbados

    @Aurthur…St.Martin????? HA HA HA!!!!! You’re only wasting your time….St.Martin/St.Maarten is just as BAD or even worse the Bim and the only greens spaces left on THAT island are the ones on the French side which isn’t that big. Barbados is overdeveloped??? Yes! But Barbados is still very authentic and green spaces are abundant on the East and North Coasts…lets just hope they don’t rape those as well.

  24. Prince of Barbados

    So funny how she is complaining but yet owns a house on this now predominantly privatized coast. It is people like her who started this bullshit to begin with! First it starts off with a little quaint seaside villa, then a lavish all inclusive and before you know it, BAM….big ugly monstrosities dot the coastline knocking out miles of sea views. Everyone who owns land on this coast has help contribute to the issue. So before she goes on rambling and complaining about the current conditions of Barbados’ west coast, she should knock down her big “lovely” house first and gi’ we back de open space and sea view she tek way! AH GONE!

  25. judyjudy