Daily Archives: May 5, 2014

What it feels like to be Mixed Race?

Race permeates everything in Bim. It’s always there even when not visible – always hiding just below the horizon. The politicians bring it out appropriately or not, and often with the intent of causing division or distraction.

But we have to admit, it’s not like the old days even if some folks wish it were so. It was much easier to be a politician in Barbados when all you had to do to deflect valid criticism was to say “whites!” or “curry boys!”.

Jody is a mixie Brit with Bajan heritage. Here’s what she says…

silhouette scribbles

Someone recently asked me what it felt like to be mixed race and this made me realise, I’ve never really written before about my own ethnicity and culture. Firstly we have the term mixed race – before anyone gets all political with this, mixed race is a term I feel completely comfortable with. Now however, we are supposed to say dual heritage instead, just as we are no longer supposed to say half caste which I do find offensive, along with half-breed. I have been called all of these names (and worse).

download (4)I have a British white parent (a mixture of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh), and a black Caribbean parent whose own parents are from Barbados. Both my parents are British. My Caribbean grandparents emigrated from the West Indies in the early 1950s as the UK is the mother country of Barbados and the British government asked them to…

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Race

Crop Over 2014 under pressure

“Has Barbados Crop Over become less attractive?

Should the blame be on higher airfares, especially in the case of T & T – or are there other mitigating factors?”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

July 2013 recorded the lowest number of long stay visitors (47,953) during the same period for 13 consecutive years, so I find it not at all surprising that our policymakers have discussed dramatically curtailing certain events for Crop Over 2014. However, I believe a better analysis is needed to explain away the reasons behind this dismal performance. If you look at the principal markets in the last two years, the figures will reveal that the biggest losses in July 2013 were from the USA (down 10 per cent), Trinidad and Tobago (down 9.2 per cent) and what are defined as Other Countries (down 12.4 per cent).

In all, July 2013 recorded 3,318 less stay over visitors than 2012. This was on the heels of a loss of an overall 6,984 visitors when compared with July 2011. In July 2012 the largest declines were USA (down 18.1 per cent), Trinidad and Tobago (down 10.2 per cent), Other Caricom (down 20 per cent) and Other Countries (down 13.1 per cent). So for the last two years a combined decline of over 10,000 stay-over visitors for the month of July alone.

Has Barbados Crop Over become less attractive? Should the blame be on higher airfares, especially in the case of T & T – or are there other mitigating factors?

Perhaps more of a surprise is the announcement by Sandals Resorts to delay the re-opening of their Barbados property to 28th January 2015. With the frequently discussed dearth of construction work it would beg the question, why could the vaunted US$65 million renovation project not be completed on time – specially when you take into account that the additional lost six weeks covers what the hospitality industry considers the most profitable and highest occupancy period of the entire year?

At published rack rates that could equate to a revenue deficit of between US$7.7 and US$19 million for the 42 day additional closure! As it has been already established the vast majority of Sandals earnings are collected offshore, so the ‘real’ amount that Barbados will lose cannot be easily calculated.

Of even more concern nationally is the roughly 3,000 airline seats, which may not be filled as a result of the prolonged shutdown that could influence frequency and will detrimentally impact overall long stay visitor arrival numbers. While not openly discussed, some thought has to be given to neighbouring accommodation providers in the immediate vicinity of Sandals Casuarina and the economic negative consequences that ten months of construction will have on occupancy. Possibly Government has factored in some sort of relief for these disadvantaged properties with exemption of land taxes for the period.

While the summer may be the ideal time to undertake this work, I am sure very few hotels could afford to write off all or part of a peak winter season as a result of prolonged redevelopment with its associated noise, dust, discomfort and disruption.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

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

When this article was first published in July of 2012, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite was still lying to the people that his DLP government really intended to enact the long promised Integrity Legislation.
That was then. Today Brathwaite and the DLP don’t even bother to promise. They lied, we elected them. They lied again and we elected them again. Bajan politicians: laughing all the way to the bank… in Switzerland.

Barbados Free Press

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…

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

S. Brian Samuel: Taxing Caribbean aviation to death

RedJet_Barbados

Case in point: RedJet

If Caribbean people can’t travel, they can’t do business, can’t have holidays, can’t spend money – can’t spread wealth. Aviation, or the lack thereof, is holding the Caribbean back.

And what is the result of governments owning airlines? They protect their own. Therefore, we have almost zero competition on intra-Caribbean air routes; between LIAT and CAL/AJ, they’ve got it all sewn up: you go here; me there. And never the twain shall compete.

Case in point: RedJet. What a fiasco – or travesty, more like it. Here was a bold new entrant to the Caribbean aviation scene, the region’s first genuine low-cost carrier. A project developed by a bona fide Caribbean investor; putting (lots of) his own money where his mouth was. How long did RedJet last – six months? And why did it meet such a sad and untimely demise? Of course, no real reasons are given by the perpetrators; one can only surmise…

… from an excellent article by S. Brian Samuel: Crashlanding in Toxic Taxation

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy