Monthly Archives: November 2012

Looking ahead to Barbados 50th Independence Celebration

barbados wave flag

In plenty and in time of need…

For all our current economic problems and the failures of a corrupt political class to provide principled, unselfish leadership over the decades, Barbados on our 46th National Independence Day is still a country and a society to be envied.

Millions of people from countries around the world would get down on their knees and thank God if they were blessed enough to have had their navel string buried in Bajan soil. Stand still anywhere on this island for ten minutes and take it all in: even inner B’town’s worst is only a short walk from the salt water and beauty.

And isn’t that the truth? No matter where you are in Barbados you are only a minute or two from beauty the likes of which people from other countries spend thousands of dollars to see and experience for a few days.

The beauty of these fields and hills though, is nothing compared with the beauty of our people, our children and the ordinary folk who give Bim its character and reality.

It is true that we should be worried about the excesses of celebration for lowered achievements and about some of the youth whose activities could not be more ‘un-Bajan’ – but despite these things, can you not ask for assistance from a stranger on this island and still receive a helping hand? Of course you can!

Try that in New Jersey, or Soho. Been there, “have the t-shirt” as they say.

We naturally focus upon the decades, and our 46th anniversary is an uninspiring number compared to our 45th or our 40th. Remember our 30th? Remember the rains and no one cared? Soaked or not the party went on for three days. A bit different from these last two days, yes?

Admittedly things back then looked a bit brighter economically, but it was more than that: the mood was about us as a nation, about our wonderfully rosy future. About us as a people.

A short four years from now and we will be facing our 50th year as an independent, fully sovereign nation.

The question we should be asking ourselves now is not “How shall we celebrate our 50th?”, but “What do we want Barbados to be on our 50th, and what should we do to reach that goal?”

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Who wants a sweet? They are handed out for free. Tasty! MMMMM… good! Everyone has one…

Barbados Chief Justice SIR!!!! Marston Gibson

SIR Marston Gibson… Can ‘e even find Grape Hall?

THIS COUNTRY’S CHIEF JUSTICE, along with a leading academic, has been conferred with the knighthood, Barbados’ highest honour, in this year’s Independence National Awards.

The Knight of St Andrew has been bestowed on Chief Justice Marston Creighton Dacosta Gibson for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession in Barbados…

From The Nation article Worthy Sirs

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Unelected Prime Minister asleep – Captain Freundel, part III

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Canadian Parliament to re-examine Barbados ‘tax-haven’

Barbados has no Integrity Legislation, no Freedom of Information, no Conflicts of Interest Rules

We stumbled upon an article in yesterday’s Nation that proves all old can be new again. It must have been a slow day in the news room because the news article TAX ATTACK is based on a blog entry from last August and is marketed as new news.

We don’t doubt that much of the Canadian doubts about Barbados and other “Tax Havens” has to do with our lack of proper regulations and laws respecting Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information and Conflicts of Interest. How can the Canadian Government protect its citizens if offshore banking centres like Barbados do not have the same controls, rules and oversight as Canadian banks?

There is no secret why Canadian and other nation’s banks like Barbados: our “island time” slackness extends to the rules. The Canadian and European banks can get away with things in Barbados that they wouldn’t dare do ‘over ‘home. Canadian tax law permits money to flow through Barbados in many billions – but without any concommitant requirement for ITAL. (ITAL = Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation)

ITAL was promised five years ago by the newly elected DLP government – but they lied.

Here’s a quote from the real story at the original blog source and the link where you can read it for yourself. How does this impact Barbados? That’s easy: tourism is in trouble and if Canada makes offshore investing difficult for Canadians, you just watch how things go ’bout hey!

“A growing share of Canada’s investment overseas is being channeled by Canadian banks into tax havens.”

“The finance and insurance sector now accounts for over 51% of Canada’s total direct investment overseas, more than double its share from 1987, more evidence that a large share of this money is going overseas to avoid taxes.   The Harper government has lauded Canada’s growing investment overseas, claiming it shows looser foreign investment rules (which allowed numerous takeovers of Canadian industry) have been beneficial, but the actual figures show the reality is quite different.  A large and growing share of this money isn’t going into real capital investments that could ultimately benefit people overseas or in Canada; it’s going into tax avoidance that benefits a wealthy few at the expense of the large majority in Canada and around the world.”

… from the August 16, 2012 Progressive Economics blog by Toby Sanger: Canadian banks use of tax havens keeps growing

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

Arab Spring Freedom: Libya Muslims to mutilate and then execute 12 homosexuals

Barbados backs the right of Muslims to execute gays

By the time you read this the twelve men in the photos taken by  the Nawasi militia group in Tripoli may have been mutilated and then executed for homosexual leanings. Their crime was to be at a private party frequented by (gasp!) gay men.

Arab Spring. What do you think it really is?

Barbados has no problem with other countries executing gays and lesbians. We even defended the executions in front of the United Nations.

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Why does the LGBT community give a pass to Muslim treatment of gays?

“The gay community should be in the avant garde that is fighting for the oppressed members of their community in the Islamic world. There is no minority in the U.S. that is as passionate, as fierce, and as effective as the LGBT community. What they have achieved, in relationship to their numbers, is spectacular and unrivaled. Why would they not apply their same premise of opposition to oppression and discrimination to societies that are abhorrent and monstrous in their treatment of gays? There is no group that I would rather have shoulder-to-shoulder with me, hands down, than this effective, uncompromising movement. And what could be more crucial, and as clear-cut an issue, as life and death?”

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs says: Pro-Gay Equals Anti-Sharia.

Further Reading

Telegraph: UK Muslim radio station fined for saying gay people should be tortured

BFP: Gutless Barbados “Abstains” From UN Vote Citing Iran For Human Rights Abuses, Torture, Discrimination and Violence Against Women – AND THEN VOTES TO PROTECT IRAN!

BFP: Shame on Barbados: abstains from UN Vote allowing execution for being Gay or Lesbian

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Barbados national tourism marketing efforts yielded no growth in five years

Pray for cold weather in the UK, Canada and the USA, but not bad enough to disrupt travel!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

With a little more than two weeks before the start of what may become one of the most defining tourism winter seasons in our recent history, many are left just to guess at what will happen.

Yes of course you can draw some comparisons with forward direct bookings, but with a heavy dependence on tour operator driven business for a high proportion of our hotels it is far more difficult to make any accurate predictions.

Clearly a number of factors have negatively affected the industry’s performance, and to put in perspective, I think it’s important to study the figures…

For the four years from, 2008 – 2011, we (Barbados), averaged 546,533 long stay visitor arrivals each year. In the previous four years, 2004 – 2007, the average was 558,632. Simply put, that’s a decline of nearly 50,000 visitors over the comparable periods.

Arguments could of course be made, and have in some quarters, that the average stay has increased – but without directly comparing this over a sustained period it is almost irrelevant.  And it becomes totally meaningless unless average spend has risen faster than the number of nights our accommodation offerings are occupied.

Certainly the steep reduction in arrivals from our largest market, the UK, would not have helped this equation. Without this critical information, it’s simply speculation about the overall performance of the industry and that does absolutely nothing to help devise meaningful solutions.

So perhaps, at least our winter destiny, might be in the hands of climatic conditions, with weather bad enough to stimulate travel, but not to disrupt it. Nor does the possibility of exceptionally cold spells in our source markets give us divine right to expect increased arrival numbers.

Without any coherent ‘national’ marketing campaign in place that directly converts destination interest into solid bookings at desirable rates, the industry is left to flounder on its own using any resources that it can individually muster to make a difference. Of course, an increasing number of tourism partners already practice this policy, preferring at least to try and control their own destiny. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism