Monthly Archives: December 2012

Owen Arthur chides DLP for hidden campaign spending, not declaring assets to Parliament

owen-arthur-barbados-bribes-bim.jpg

by TickTock

In terms of shear naked hypocrisy and bravado, can any living or dead Bajan politician equal former Prime Minister Owen Arthur?

It is easy to picture Owen as a 6 year old boy getting caught walking out of the local shop with stolen sweets in his pocket. Caught red handed, with the evidence sticking out of his pants he would utter in the most surprised and innocent voice, “Not me, Sir. Somebody must have put them there.”

Other than hypocrisy and bravado how else can we explain the apparent disconnected reality of Owen Arthur now criticizing Prime Minister Stuart and the DLP for not declaring their assets and for hidden campaign spending? After 14 years as Prime Minister when he did not introduce integrity legislation, conflicts of interest rules, freedom of information laws or elections spending laws Owen Arthur now points the finger at the DLP. That takes style!

After 14 years of Owen having his friends act to ‘source’ government purchases, after 14 years of mega-projects issued without open tenders and increasing our national debt by a billion dollars with no appreciable benefits or assets gained, Mr. Arthur is criticizing the DLP?

Pot, meet kettle…

Please read the following article at The Nation, but as usual we have to print it here in full as that paper has been known to change and delete news to suit agendas.

Arthur questions Sinckler’s assets

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has not set an election date because his ministers are yet to declare their assets to Parliament, Opposition Leader Owen Arthur has charged. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Politics

Commissioner Dottin says accused rapist Derick Crawford confessed to particular knowledge of crimes

UPDATED: January 1, 2013 – Victims angry with Commissioner Dottin!

“Dr Rachel Turner and Diane Davies are hopping mad because of comments made by Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin during a Press conference last week.

The top cop had indicated that both women were uncooperative during the investigation of their rape, at the same spot two days apart, and that the Police Force had done its job properly in arresting Derick Crawford.”

The Nation: Reopen the Case! Find the man who raped us!

But can we trust a confession collected by the police without video?

For years judges and commissions have recommended that the Royal Barbados Police Force video confessions to crimes to remove the doubts.

Why should there be doubts? Aren’t all our police officers perfectly proper and honest when it comes to confessions?

Bajans know that many young men have died or been seriously injured in police custody where it is said that the police were trying to obtain confessions. Our officers have been known to shoot unarmed bicyclists in the head when they didn’t stop for police for a “routine checkstop” and were riding away. Young men have been known to jump off a cliff 50 feet into the sea and die rather than face questioning by our police. Or maybe they didn’t jump.

Can you blame Bajans for having doubts about the confession of Derick Crawford? Did the police provide him with the “particular details” of the crime that appeared in his confession?

“We know what goes on ’bout hey, and that’s why we have doubts.”

Commissioner Dottin: we wouldn’t be having this conversation and public embarrassment if you had of ordered that confessions be videoed as you said you were going to do years ago.

Video courtesy of The Bajan Reporter

48 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Owners of Peach and Quiet Hotel mark a collective 100 years in the hospitality industry!

peach-and-quiet-barbados-cricket.jpg

“As we prepare to enter a brand new year, 2013 will be another benchmark one for us personally. Our small hotel celebrates its fortieth birthday and my wife and I enter our collective one hundred years in the hospitality industry.”

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

I owe old copies of National Geographic magazine to my first interest in tourism, while spending prolonged time in hospital as a child. Even five decades ago the images were outstanding, and to me, captivating. I knew that with my limited formal education I was never going to be destined for a ‘normal’ job or career.

Even before leaving school I worked as a waiter in the Bath Hotel in Lynmouth, North Devon and later training as a Commis de Rang, at one of Britain’s historical hotels; the Old Ship in Brighton which opened it’s door in 1559. Not for a moment did I think waiting on tables was a demeaning task and would genuinely take great pleasure in ensuring diners had the very best possible service and experience. Surely that’s what we all want.

Most of the monies earnt were spent travelling. My first big trip was hitch hiking to Istanbul, along the way stopping in many cities, towns and villages. I vividly  remember visiting Paris for the first time and marveling how beautiful it was and so different to London – yet  geographically, so close.

Among the many ‘adventures’ that followed was reliving an old television series Route 66, across the United States and even now, recalling the amazing hospitality of the American people. One example was while waiting hours for a lift in a small Texan town called Whitesboro, its Sheriff, driving one of those huge Ford police cars, pulled over and told me to get in.

Flashes of the part Rod Steiger played in the film ‘Heat of the Night’ went through my brain, thinking that he was arresting me for jay walking or some other infringement. As it was late in the day, he took me to his office, let me sleep in an unlocked cell overnight and the following morning, his wife brought me the first ever Texas breakfast that I had experienced.

By this time tourism had become my life and the only industry that I wanted to be part of. Money soon ran out, but I was lucky to land a job in a small travel agency based in Winnipeg, Canada.  This was the solution; work in the industry, get paid and learn every aspect of what makes it tick.

Later I joined a Swiss company, Globus Gateway, based in Lugano as a tour director escorting coach holidays across Europe and North Africa. My very first tour, 47 days long, visited 17 countries, four of which I had never previously visited. I met the group in London and flew with them to Madrid, where we joined our European motor coach and driver for the remaining six weeks. Manuel spoke only Spanish and had never driven outside Spain, so you can imagine what a defining learning curve this was.

I will be eternally grateful to Globus for having the confidence in me, to entrust that not only would we survive that first tour intact, but go on to direct many others successfully. Along the way gathering the knowledge needed to get better and better at the job.

Returning to the UK, we started our own tour company, but that is part two of the story for another week.

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados Tourism

Unregulated gift giving between doctors and patients follows an old Bajan tradition

barbados-cricket_bmw.jpg

There once was a time on this island when doctors did not drive BMW and Mercedes autos. There was a time when a doctor would go about his visits and stay for a meal, and perhaps receive nothing more than a meal because that was all there was. Several weeks later maybe a kingfish would be delivered to the doctor’s home and gratefully received because the doctor, like everyone, was struggling too. At Christmas time especially people would drop off what they could, and if a doctor’s son needed a better job, there was likely one to be found. If a tyre puncture needed attention as likely as not the doctor would return to the garage to find that someone had already taken care of the bill.

Those days are gone, but the gift giving has not gone. If anything the ‘gift giving’ between doctors and their patients has ramped up to impressive levels both in frequency and in the value of the bribes er, ‘gifts’ received by the doctors.

Why has this happened? Is it because the patients and citizens value the doctors and freely supplement the doctors’ salaries out of respect and thanks?

Perhaps…. but where do we divide the grateful gift givers from the subtle pressures by doctors that they could arrange that test a little earlier ‘if only the radiologist would be reasonable’ ???

We know how things work ’bout hey, and so does the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners. That’s why the BAMP wants to address this ‘gift giving’ topic as soon as possible – because they say it has the potential to undermine the system with fraud and bribery.

The docs are right. Now, if we could only convince the politicians to do the same!

Please read the article Docs playing dirty at Barbados Today Online, but if it’s not there, we’ll have it here…

Docs playing dirty

by Emmanuel Joseph

The unregulated practice of gift-giving between doctors and patients in Barbados is creating fears of possible fraud and bribery in the minds of the hierarchy of the local medical representative body. Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Health

Ian Bourne and Donville Inniss face off again: this time over hacked phones, Inniss-connected porn sites

Barbados Bourne Inniss (click photo for large)

Someone is trying to hack into The Bajan Reporter

According to journalist Ian Bourne the trouble happens again and again and seems to coincide with articles he publishes about Minister of Health Donville Inniss.

So Ian phoned up Minister Inniss and had a little chat. Wahloss!

Head over to Bajan Reporter for the latest installment in the battle between Ian Bourne trying to get an answer out of Minister Inniss about the Inniss-related porn websites and other topics…

The Bajan Reporter: How close is a general election in Barbados? Ask the would-be hackers (or is it ‘Porn Webmasters’?)

33 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

Christmas 2012: The list of Muslim attacks, slaughters

It’s the same every Christmas and it’s getting worse with each passing year. With millions of Christians gone from the Middle East and North East Africa, and increased efforts to exterminate Christians in Malaysia and Indonesia, it won’t be long before vast areas are truly ‘Christian Free’.

And women’s rights? Gone.

Gays? Atheists? Critical thinkers? Dead meat, all of them.

Let’s have a look at some of the Christmas news this week…

Australia: Head Imam at Australia’s largest mosque issues Fatwa against Christmas

Saudi Arabia: 41 arrested for plotting to celebrate Christmas

Nigeria: Muslim gunmen kill 12 Christians and burn two churches.

Muslims burn 20 Christian homes.

Pakistan: Christian girl shot dead.

Indonesia: Mob beats Christian girl for saying the name of Jesus. Judge jails Christian girl for 60 days for talking about Jesus

Indonesia: Mob throws rotten eggs, urine, feces at Christmas Eve service.

Iran: Muslim convert to Christianity arrested on Christmas Day

8 Comments

Filed under Religion

Rihanna’s Christmas message to the world

Rihanna Christmas 2012

“It is most important to be happy, eliminate negativity around you this holiday season…2013 is way too futuristic for the same weak shit.”

Rihanna

But Rihanna’s real heart and Christmas message might be found at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where the Clara Braithwaite Center Oncology and Nuclear Medicine was christened in memory of Rihanna’s grandmother with RiRi’s cheque for $1.75 million dollars.

BBC News: Rihanna donates $1.75 million to hospital

60 Comments

Filed under Health, Rihanna

Government tax policies killing the island tourism goose, subsidizing Carnival Cruise operations

carnival-destiny-barbados-cricket.jpg

What if every Caribbean Nation said ‘No’ to cruise ships?

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Taxation, not surprisingly is a very controversial subject and while most people accept and understand the need for Government(s) to raise taxes, they also reasonably expect that collection and subsequent spending of them is equitable.

The revelation that American based Starbucks Coffee retailer, globally the second largest restaurant or cafe chain (after McDonald’s)  had paid less than 1 per cent in corporation tax, despite generating US$4.5 billion of revenue from over 700 United Kingdom branches during a 14 year period, shocked many. Over the last three years, Starbucks has reported no profit, and paid no income tax, on sales of US$1.8 billion in the United Kingdom. Apparently, the company has broken no laws, only making every possible use of existing tax legislation.

But you don’t have to travel 4,000 miles across the ‘pond’ to find similar examples, they exist right on our doorstep. Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise operator with its 12 dominating brands, is a classic case in point.

“Despite declaring a profit of US$11.3 billion during the last five years, Carnival paid no US Federal taxes at all last year, even though, in essence it is headquartered in the United States.”

In fact over that same five year period, while using the services of twenty Federal agencies such as the Coast Guard and Customs, it paid an average of 1.1 per cent in federal, state, local and foreign taxes.  For a hotelier or other land based tourism business, that must seem like an unattainable dream become true. Even if you chose to ignore all the one-sided advantages the cruise ship companies have, then you cannot escape the ultimate commercial option.

If the going gets tough, they just move the ships to where they can extract higher revenues and profits.

The shipping companies will argue they pay lots of other taxes, but do they in reality?

While in many cases port fees are now included in the purchase price, but the operator merely acts an intermediary collecting them from the customer. Certainly with any Carnival group product it clearly states, but not government taxes which are an added extra, payable again by the cruiser.

You also have to ask the question, what taxes are paid on the items consumed by the passengers, like food and beverages. Absolutely none, I suspect. Do they pay the majority of their staff National Insurance contributions or any portion of any applicable personal income tax? I am also pretty certain any form of land tax doesn’t enter into the equation.

Then look at pay and working conditions. I cannot imagine any reputable trade union, either in the USA or Caribbean allowing the commonplace practices that crew onboard have to endure on many of the ships, to be tolerated here on land. Of course, they largely depend on nationals from poor and developing countries, like the Philippines, where an agricultural worker may earn as little as US$4 a day. The very low wages paid are the norm, hugely enhanced by gratuities, again, in the overwhelming number of cases, by the passenger.

This week is one of the busiest of the year for Bridgetown Port, with their website indicating some 22 ships arriving and departing.  Boxing Day alone could welcome up to 9,000 passengers based on the individual ships capacity.

Hopefully, some taxes will be left here on Barbados while visiting our attractions, activities restaurants and shopping. This may in some way, help sustain our disadvantaged land-based tourism players who unlike Carnival Corporation, already pay lots of taxes.

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbadian politicians promise to take a 10% pay cut. NO, Wait… that’s Bermudian politicians…

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

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

“Bermudian Premier Craig Cannonier tonight unveiled his Cabinet team — and all of them immediately pledged to take a ten percent pay cut.”

… from the Royal Gazette article New Cabinet sworn in: pledge to take pay cut.

8 Comments

Filed under Politics

Barbados Free Press receives DMCA Takedown notice for ALL FIFA Jack Warner bribery articles!

matt-mullenweg-wordpressed

‘Somebody’ doesn’t like BFP’s Jack Warner bribery articles. Who could that be?

Okay folks, it looks like someone is concerned about our articles about Jack Warner’s FIFA bribery allegations.

I wonder who could have lodged a complaint with WordPress?

Hmmmmmmm….. I don’t think it was Matt – but hey, if anything goes wrong at WordPress… remember: it’s always Matt’s fault!  😉

Our Jack Warner articles are 99% original journalism with referrals to other news sources. We did reprint a graphic though. Perhaps that is THE EXCUSE for ‘someone’ to complain.

We notice that Ian Bourne’s Bajan Reporter is still up with his Jack Warner bribery article

We’ll look at it in the morning, but right now I think we’ll reprint our original articles and leave out the graphic from the newspapers.

Then we’ll see what happens.

OH………  we’re going to reprint all our readers’ comments too!

Yup. We’ll obey the law. Right to the letter.

Here’s what we received from WordPress…

Hi there,

We have received a DMCA Takedown Notice (http://chillingeffects.org/dmca512/faq.cgi#QID130) for the following material published on your WordPress.com site:

https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/trinidads-new-national-security-minister-jack-warner-yes-that-jack-warner/

https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/leaked-video-shows-jack-warner-advising-caribbean-fifa-representatives-to-take-gift-money/

https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/jack-warner-fifas-poster-boy-for-corruption-racism-and-disgusting-talk/

As per the DMCA’s requirements, we have disabled public access to the material. If you do not have the legal rights to distribute the material, you are required to permanently delete the post and/or content and let us know when this has been done.

Republishing this material without permission of its copyright holder – or continuing to publish material that results in DMCA Takedown Notices – will result in a permanent suspension of your WordPress.com site and account. Publishing such material is a direct violation of the WordPress.com Terms of Service (http://wordpress.com/tos/), which you agreed to upon registration.

If you wish to formally challenge this notice, we will be happy to provide you will all of the appropriate details.

Thank you.
Karen A.
WordPress.com | Happiness Engineer

6 Comments

Filed under Sports

Afra Raymond reviews the CL Financial – CLICO fraud

CLICO Fraud

Afra Raymond chats with Fazeer Mohammed on the December 10th Morning Edition show giving a year end wrap up of issues including the Colman Commission and The CL Financial bailout. Video courtesy TV6

…click on the photo or here to get to the video

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues

We’ve arrived! Moody’s cuts Barbados to junk status.

Barbados Rotten Fish 3

Notin’ much more ta say ’bout dis ya know…

Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday downgraded Barbados’ credit rating to Ba1, into junk territory, citing the Caribbean country’s lukewarm economy and rising government debt levels.

The rating also carries a negative outlook, with the agency saying that the country’s economic prospects remain weak.

“Moody’s believes that the country’s growth prospects remain very limited due to its deteriorating competitiveness and declining productivity coupled with heavy dependence on tourism, particularly from the United Kingdom and the United States,” Moody’s said in a statement.

“While the worst appears to be behind Barbados both in terms of fiscal deficits and economic deterioration, Moody’s anticipates that the government’s deficits will remain large for the next few years and its debt levels will continue to rise, albeit at a slowing pace,” the statement added.

Standard & Poor’s rates Barbados BB-plus with a stable outlook, also a speculative rating.

Reuters: Moody’s cuts Barbados rating to junk, could cut more

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Economy

Readers want to know: Who dresses Chief Justice Marston Gibson?

Chief Justice_Marston_GibsonGrey suit. Bright sky blue shirt. That brown striped tie – OH THAT TIE!

And the fit. Oh my.

Who dresses Chief Justice Marston Gibson?

Sorry, BFP. I couldn’t help it!

Clanger

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Barbados Tourism in death spiral: Government Minister congratulates Tourism Minister

Richard Sealy Barbados Tourism Minister

Richard Sealy Barbados Tourism Minister

From our “If it weren’t so tragic, it would be hilarious” department…

“Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, has been lauded for the exemplary job that he has done during his tenure, to keep the tourism sector together and performing, especially during the current economic climate.

Kudos have come from Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler…”

“He said that it has been under Minister Sealy’s stewardship that Government has been able to put forward a major policy document on tourism, an achievement that the previous administration cannot lay claim to.”

Read all the aburdities in The Barbados Advocate Tourism Minister Lauded

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

UWI student death at Grantley International Airport: Questions about ambulance delay

Barbados Airport Death

by Clanger

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I would like you to print this letter and I hope that people will ask questions about how long the ambulance took to reach Shenice Davis at Grantley International Airport. Shenice was only 21 years old and she collapsed at the airport and died. Everybody is saying that it took too long for the ambulance to arrive and maybe she could have survived if we had a proper medical response team at the airport.

Every day thousands of people move through and around the airport it makes no sense to not have a medical team and ambulance at the airport. Many passengers need assistance every month because of the rarefied air pressure in the airliners and thrombosis and other medical problems. We do not have an ambulance and first responder medical team at the airport and that is criminal.

Barbados stakes its reputation on tourism visitors. Visitors to our country should be confident that if they have a medical problem that trained help is readily available on a FIRST WORLD BASIS, not a third world basis. Whatever shortcomings we have in tourism can be made up with smiles and friendliness but proper medical care cannot be made up with friendliness and excuses.

It is about priorities and some idiot spent money on something else instead of proper emergency medical care at the airport.

Clanger

Please read the full story at The Nation: Student Death

Student Death

A 21-year-old Trinidadian woman who was studying at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies died yesterday morning after collapsing as she was preparing to go home for the Christmas break. Continue reading

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Health

Will Mrs. Rudolph photo win the McEnearney iPad giveaway?

Mrs Claus Barbados

Come on, folks…

Help out a friend. Just look at her antlers… 11 out of 10 on the cute scale. Vanity needs your vote!

Drop over to McEnearney’s iPad Mini Giveaway and vote for photo number 7

You’ll be glad you did!   🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados

Barbados Police need to watch CSI crime shows!

dottin-police-concerns

“DNA evidence? Hair and semen samples? What’s that?” says the Commissioner of our Police

submitted by Johnny Up

In the wake of yet another world-wide embarrassment for the Royal Barbados Police Farce, Commissioner Darwin Dottin is desperately performing damage control. Again.

Dottin is becoming pretty adept at damage control: too bad he can’t devote the same amount of energy to managing major crimes – then he wouldn’t always be in this position.

This time it’s about Derick David Rudolph Crawford who languished in jail for two rapes he did not commit, or so say the two victims. Next time it will be about some other person who our police beat a confession out of or planted evidence on. It is a wonder the police bothered arresting Mr. Crawford at all but they needed a warm body to show the tourists. Crawford should consider himself lucky in some ways and don’t we all know it!

Video-taped confessions? What’s it take: a computer and an internet camera. Maybe a good old fashioned 8mm or VHS video camera, a $30 karaoke microphone on the never-never. Barbados police been talking ’bout video taping confessions for years. We’ve had studies, mentions in Parliament, statements from the COP and talk talk talk talk but never do. Why not? Police don’t want to, that’s why. Enough of the police force believe in the old way that if you beat a confession out of a man it’s still good because no man would confess to something he didn’t do. Some still believe that and they are ‘fast wit their fists and slow of their wits.’ That’s what they call them: fast fists, slow wits.

Dottin? He just need to go.

Fast.

Further Reading

Please visit The Nation to read the full article Case Study

Case Study

BY DAWNE PARRIS | TUE, DECEMBER 18, 2012 – 12:11 AM

COMMISSIONER OF POLICE Darwin Dottin will today begin a series of meetings with officials within and outside the Police Force before speaking publicly on the dismissal of two rape cases against a man whose British “victims” had insisted on his innocence. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Grantley Adams International Airport refuses to account for public funds. No transparency. No accountability.

Freundel Stuart Barbados Tourism

Freedom of Information stillborn in Barbados

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

In the editorial column of another publication recently, the writer seized on what I thought was a very pertinent question. ‘How much of the enormous government taxes tacked onto flight tickets actually go toward the maintenance of our airports?’.

In the case of our own airport, Grantley Adams International (GAIA), the taxpayer may never know the answer, because even though the facility is wholly owned by Government, it feels no obligation to publish its annual audited accounts for public scrutiny.

“A polite request made a few days ago for the airport’s latest fiscal statements, met with a deafening NO!”

While its difficult to draw any direct similarity, I wonder if ‘we’ the taxpayers had been able to view the accounts of another Government entity, the ill-fated Hotels and Resorts Ltd (GEMS) in a timely manner, perhaps then more pressure could have been brought to bear, to prevent the hemorrhage of hundreds of millions of dollars. So to try and calculate any comparison between the amount of taxes paid by departing passengers and what proportion GAIA Inc., retains towards operational and capital costs is almost impossible.

I also posed two other questions to the airport public relations department., and asked if direct air to cruise ship and in-transit passengers paid the same amount of ticket taxes as other travellers, but sadly did not receive a response.

This lack of accountability and transparency does nothing to enhance the wider understanding of the industry and the various contributions made by the many component players.

I will however compliment GAIA Inc., on the statistics section of the their website. At a glance you can compare, on a monthly basis the numbers of embarked and disembarked passengers, those in-transit and transfers, together with cargo, number of aircraft movements etc. Especially interesting is comparing the airport disembarked figures with long stay visitor arrivals figures on the CTO website.

Preliminary stay over arrivals for July were 51,253, down 12 per cent for the same month in 2011,  while  the airport disembarked number was 84,734, a variance of 33,481 or over 65 per cent.

August long stay visitors numbered 43,191 which represented a decline of 13.6 per cent over 2011, but with 77,601 disembarked passengers, a differential of 34,410 or around 79 per cent more.

As transit and transfer movements are shown separately, I think the discrepancy in these figures have to be explained. Are they residents returning home, people flying in for visas for the day and not occupying accommodation or who? Clearly, it could make a massive difference with the sustainability of airlift.

The gaps get even bigger in the winter months. As an example in January, 101,738 disembarked passengers yet only 52,619 long stay visitors. In fact, if you average the first eight months of 2012, the number of disembarked passengers is nearly double that of long stay visitors. What also appears inequitable, is that the same rationale for recovery of costs that is applied to the airport, does not seem to apply to the seaport.

We are told the stated justification of massive hike in departure or services fees, is to cover the true costs of GAIA Inc. But if the BOLT financed Sugar Point Cruise Terminal becomes a reality, will the repayments be totally funded by port fees and other charges directly related to servicing the cruise ships?

So many questions, so few answers!

8 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism