Monthly Archives: June 2015

New Barbados political party forming

barbados wave flag

A call for Candidates

Dear reader:

Thank you for visiting, and welcome to Solutions Barbados

We are a group of men and women who love Barbados, treasure our reputations, and plan to offer ourselves as candidates in the next general elections in order to give Barbadians a competent alternative.  While we have some potential candidates, we need more – hence, the following.

WANTED

Accomplished men and women of demonstrated integrity and leadership, who love Barbados, treasure their reputations, and are willing to present themselves as candidates in the next general elections in order to give Barbadians a competent alternative.  Prospective candidates must not view politics as a career, but as a brief time of exemplary national service.  Expect: long working hours, vicious personal criticisms, no pay, a slim chance of being elected, and an exciting journey.

Contact Grenville Phillips II at: NextParty246@gmail.com

Before you contact us, please do the following.

  1. Read our Solutions on the Solutions page.
  2. Read Harold Hoyte’s book: “Eyewitness to Order and Disorder”.
  3. Talk to your family and put your house in order.

We do not intend to be elected to simply wait around long enough to earn a pension.  Rather, we intend to govern responsibly.  A summary of our main solutions are described on our Solutions page.  They are designed to address the main problems hindering Barbados’, and therefore your development.  You are encouraged to comment, and we will happily engage you in discussions of how they may be improved.  The improved solutions will become our promises to you.

Our guiding principle is to provide an environment where all Barbadian citizens and residents can become healthy, wealthy and wise if they choose to.  Our Solutions are designed to accomplish this.

Current Main Political Parties

Despite their failings, we should count ourselves very fortunate that we have been led by persons who seemed to genuinely care about Barbados.  Therefore, both political parties should be thanked for their past service.  However, we should be under no illusion that it takes any special competence to spend other people’s money.  As a country, we are very deep in debt, and useful unsolicited advice appears to have been ignored as we plan to go further into debt.

One political leader recently revealed that that only those in the political trenches had the right to have their advice on national issues considered.  Since we do not plan to stop offering unsolicited advice, and we have no desire to engage in futile exercises, then we have no choice but to reluctantly enter the political trench.  If the Government or Opposition parties follow our advice, then we will leave the trench as quickly as we entered it – the choice is theirs.

Improving Barbados

The greatest obstacle to improvement lies within you, the reader – the voter.  This obstacle is the fear of change.  People would rather stay with what they know, regardless of how incompetent, than with what they do not know.  Hopefully, after reading our Solutions, you at least know what we support, and to what we object.

It has been said that good managers try to do their best with the resources available to them, while leaders change the environment to allow for better management.  We intend to lead.

We invite you to: share this web-site by including a link on your Facebook or other social media page, inform your friends, family and colleagues about Solutions Barbados, and follow us on this web-site in order to be notified of any updates.

Due to the charging of individuals for breaching the Computer Misuse Act (section 14) and the Defamation Act, we must reduce the risk of inconvenience by reviewing all comments for compliance.  You can help us by not speaking disparagingly about people.  Please note that all favourable and unfavourable comments will be posted, but any defamatory information will be redacted.  We apologise in advance for any delayed comments.

Thank you for visiting and best regards.

SOLUTIONS BARBADOS

Grenville Phillips II, Founder

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

In Defence of God

Weighed in the Balance

That God exists should be obvious to any design engineer.  Two of a multitude of examples should suffice.

Our best mechanical designs produce products that require constant maintenance.  For example, our best valves, even when used exactly as designed, still leak over time, and leak more frequently with use.  Yet, once we do not misuse our bodies, our lips do not leak water when full, and we do not leak urine or stool.  This is similar for every animal.  The ‘valves’ in every species of every animal were designed and made perfectly from the very beginning.

When design engineers, with significant research and development funds, design a car, cell phone, or any other manufactured product, then it is normally hailed as the most elegant design imaginable.  Yet, within approximately 5 years, it appears clumsy and crude when compared with the new current model.  We can be sure that today’s model…

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Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s sleazy conflict of interest

Kickback? What kickback? Wuhloss! Surely you jest!

Kickback? What kickback? Wuhloss! Surely you jest! It’s a CONSULTING FEE!!! For consulting. Plus the politician owns a piece of the company getting the government contract. Just another business entrepreneur. Nothing to see here folks. Move along, move along…

Should a Minister of Government have a financial interest in the outcome of a company’s bid for a government contract?

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler smiles. You'd smile too!

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler smiles. You’d smile too with a piece of a $700 million dollar government contract!

Anywhere in the civilized world the answer to that question is a resounding “NO!!!!”

But not in Barbados.

In Barbados we have no conflict of interest laws. No Integrity Legislation. No disclosure of assets for elected and appointed officials. No transparency laws that allow citizens to monitor elected or appointed government officials.

So if our DLP Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler stands to personally profit from the awarding of a government contract to his own company to build a $700 million dollar waste-to-energy plant… that’s just too bad for you taxpayers and ordinary citizens.

Barbadians accept that elected politicians become wealthy in office. This is so ingrained in our culture that when former Prime Minister Owen Arthur donated US$150,000 in after-tax dollars to Cricket Legends of Barbados, some folks said what a wonderful man he was. Only a few in the blogging world and none in the oldstream news media bothered to say Think about the wealth it takes to give away US$150,ooo.”

Where the Hell did Owen Arthur get that kind of money?

When Owen Arthur was caught money-laundering campaign donations through his personal bank account, what was the official response of Barbados? Ha! The DLP government appointed former BLP Prime Minister Arthur as head of a Commonwealth team in the Maldives tasked with ensuring the elections were conducted legally! HA!

So back to Finance Minister Chris Sinckler…

According to news reports, Sinckler has an interest in a company looking for a $700 million dollar government contract, and the true cost of the project will be $4.8 BILLION over the next 30 years.

How corrupt. In the USA or UK he’d be headed for jail. But not in Bim!

No laws being broken here folks… because there are no laws about this kind of thing. Nothing to see. Move along… move along…

“Members of the DLP and BLP had an opportunity to remedy this vulnerability with the passing of integrity legislation… but we all know how that turned out.”

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Increased taxes and costs are killing tourism. Barbados government actions “simply defies rationale”

Barbados Solid Waste Tax

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I had hoped to dedicate this week’s column to the new measures put in place announced in the 2015 budget to stimulate spending, especially in the tourism sector.

Unless I missed something while trawling through the 57 pages, not a single ‘incentive’ has been announced that would be likely to encourage increased domestic spending across the sector.

Conversely, many could fairly claim that the additional $200 million in taxation annually will further restrain people’s ability to take a ‘staycation’ or enjoy one of many excellent restaurants.

Government Broke: VAT refunds two years past due.

In fact private sector led initiatives like the re-DISCOVER dining promotion have been forced to scale down any paid promotion, due to the continued inability to reclaim due and payable VAT refunds, now overdue for more than two years. This in itself is ludicrous and short sighted as many of the participating restaurants do not qualify and are unable to apply the reduced rate of 7.5 per cent VAT, but obligated to pay the higher 17.5 per cent rate.

So Government could be easily losing up to $2 million a year in lost taxes. Add the duties and taxes lost in the included wine element and that figure could well be significantly more, let alone the employment this promotion generates.

Until we witness some real actual sustained recovery in tourism, it is very difficult to comprehend why any Government thinks that increasing taxation and operating costs will reduce the time it takes to attain that objective.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Remembering Campus Trendz and Arch Cot – years later Barbados still doesn’t have a building code

Passersby heard the screams from Campus Trendz store: no back door and bars on the windows.

“The criminals threw the firebombs, but it was an irresponsible government, building owner and shop owner that made the firebombs inescapable death.”

Barbados Free Press, September 5, 2012 Campus Trendz deaths: What criminals allowed bars on the windows, no fire exits?

by Cliverton

Almost five years after the Campus Trendz slaughter, sleep does not come easily for my friend. In her mind she still sees the weeping desperate men in the smoke at the rear of Campus Trendz – cursing and yelling as they used hand sledges to break through the brick wall all too slowly. She couldn’t watch any longer, she couldn’t listen to the screams any longer and there was nothing the girl could do so she walked away. That haunts her to this day.

Pearl Amanda Cornelius, 18, Kelly Ann Welch, 24, Shanna Griffith, 18, Nikita Belgrave, 23, Tiffany Harding, 23 and Kellisha Ovivierre, 24, burned to death because two evil men robbed the store and smashed flaming bottles of petrol. That is one of the causes of their deaths.

The other cause of their deaths is that Barbados has no enforceable building code. Folks just build as they want to, with no standards as to amount of steel or how rebar is connected. No standards as to fire exits or alternate fire exits through windows. Campus Trendz was a deathtrap from the moment it was constructed, and six young women died because Barbados had no building code to protect them.

Similarly an entire family died at ArchCot when a powerful family (BLP leader Mia Mottley’s family) invested in land over a known cave. How the prohibition against building over the known cave was lifted was never really explained to the public. Just another of those magical Bajan processes very similar to how a BLP Government Minister came to live in a house built on private land that had been expropriated for government purposes.

That Barbados has no building code makes it easier for the corruption and the corrupt to thrive and profit.

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Politics & Corruption

Barbados national crisis: Sargassum seaweed damaging tourism and fishing


Have a look at these Nation News videos that fairly depict the impact of sargassum seaweed on on beaches, and then ask yourself why our government isn’t calling “ALL HANDS ON DECK!”.

Sometimes I think I’m the crazy one when problems and priorities seem so obvious yet the government does nothing.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Environment

Prisoner walks off as court constables gossip and discuss latest romantic conquests

Barbados escape jail

“The decision was handed down, Williams left the dock and sat on the bench. He was not handcuffed. As officers of the court were busy going about their duties, Williams got up without drawing attention to himself and walked out of the court. At first, no one noticed he was missing. A constable subsequently went in search of Williams, but he remains wanted by Police.” Nation News

“A constable who was performing clerical duties in the courtroom apparently saw Williams just as he was about to exit and he quickly followed him. However, since he had several yards on the officer, Williams made good his escape.

It is understood that Williams turned himself in to police today, accompanied by attorney-at-law Romain Marshall.” Barbados Today

by passin thru

You have to love this story, even if like most folks you are not sympathetic to criminals, there’s something about what happened that brings a smile…

Last Thursday Chad Rommell Martin Williams appeared before court charged with obstructing and cursing a police officer.

Charged with cursing a police officer? Sounds like a put-up to me!

He was held without bail, but then the court police officers got to talking about all manner of things, including how they been shagging that sweet little thing in uniform that joined the courts detail a few months ago. That girl can boink… and she don’t care who with! Everybody in court heard it, so it be no secret!

So while the his guards were busy talking about how the girl can do this and do that, Chad made his way to the door and slipped out. The ‘official’ story is that some police officer noticed him on the way out and gave chase, but we understand that is not true. They never noticed he was gone for several minutes because they were talkin’ ’bout that girl. Hey… everybody talkin’ bout that girl.

Chad came to he senses the next day and turned heself in with his lawyer. Lots of new charges but under the circumstances I understand how Chad just couldn’t help heself!

Chad had a good evening, couple a splifs and a boink.

Even the police can understand that.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Elvis Graham shot but okay. Monsta Grill owner targeted in late night attack.

de monsta bar barbados

by Passin Thru

Damn.

Monsta Grill owner Elvis Graham was shot multiple times – reports say six times – in the wee hours after Wednesday night’s fete. He’s doing alright but one of the slugs (so says a friend) was too close to the femoral artery so will be removed after some further scans. Maybe another doctor is coming in, who knows? Nobody says anything on this rock.

Elvis Graham - shot six times, but recovering.

Elvis Graham – shot six times, but recovering.

Four thugs made the employees lie down on the ground and threatened to kill the women, to make Elvis give up the evening deposit.

But the evening deposit had already left the place, so Elvis gave up everything he had but it wasn’t enough, so they shot he in the legs three times and also in the elbow, side of the chest and face.

Elvis is a good man: kind to employees, respected by customers for being fair, and takes no nonsense from trouble-makers, but kindly and with peace-making style.

The arrest and conviction of these four gang thugs (that is the rumour, they are from the north) should be the first priority of our police.

Surround their homes. Give they one chance to surrender.

And if they come out blasting or don’t come out…

The police should kill they dead. Six shots each.

No trial necessary. You put a pistol in the mouth of a crying pregnant woman lying face down in the dirt… you deserve to die.

Passin thru

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Beachfront Bullies

debajan

The practice of covering desirable swaths of beach with chairs and umbrellas is offensive. They are placed, often from early morning, so closely together that locals and others not patronising some beachfront businesses are made to feel as though they are invading a reserved area or ‘scotching’ among private articles placed on our public beach. It is inconvenient. It is inconsiderate. It is greedy. It is not to be encouraged.

One business, known as the Boatyard appears to engage in this practice. But according to other beach-based businessmen, the Boatyard is actively seeking to stop users of their facilities from engaging with operators of certain water craft. Statements attributed to a supervisor of the business suggest they are protecting patrons while wearing their armbands. What nonsense. They are bordering on holding people hostage after taking their money.

They at the Boatyard are playing on the vulnerability of their guests. Their…

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Tourism success is about perceived value – and Barbados is slipping

barbados-beach-sand-surf

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

While not actually attending the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association Annual General Meeting recently, if media reporting was accurate, the current Chairman is quoted as stating ‘that discounts were not the way to attract visitors to these shores’. I have enormous respect for Mr. Chatrani (despite his opting not to join the re-DISCOVER initiative) and in principal totally agree with this statement, but in reality we have a mountain to climb to change the current perception.

Sadly across many of our markets we are generally considered as not offering value-for-money in our tourism industry and until the sector becomes more competitive this simply will not change.

As a tour operator in Britain for 12 years, we learnt from the mistakes of others and did not discount a single holiday out of hundreds of thousands sold, other than for people booking and paying in full up to 18 months prior to departure.

The year our company was formed, 1976, interest rates peaked at 15 per cent per annum and so we used our customer’s monies to partially subsidise commercial bank lending charges to grow the company.

Every person who booked also knew that they were not going to get a cheaper holiday if they waited until the last minute, so to get the holiday they wanted, necessitated booking earlier and enabled us to plan better. It was a policy that we continued while operating our small hotel for 25 years.

If we are going to achieve Mr. Chatrani’s objective, we are going to have to fundamentally change the way we currently do business.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Corrupt Barbados politicians prepare to expropriate widow’s land – probably for personal profits

Afra Raymond’s article on how corrupt politicians misuse their power to profit from public land, made us remember this story from last year.

Can anyone update this story?

Barbados Free Press

Barbados Expropriation

How long must ordinary Bajans put up with corrupt politicians compulsorily acquiring private lands – to be converted into private profits for the political elites and their friends?

“Sobbing uncontrollably, his mother said she was afraid that her house and land would be taken away.” (Nation News)

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman harassing widow for her property for 18 years

Every Bajan has seen or heard about this before – sometimes involving family, friends or old Aunties. Mostly we keep our mouths shut.

We keep our mouths shut because we know how it is ’bout hey. We know that there is no place to go, and we have to spend the next 70 years on this little island, God willing. Better not to cross the powerful political and financial elites who can have all your family sacked from their jobs over a few months with a word here…

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Our Land – Land for Everybody?

Trinidad, like Barbados, suffers from politicians who believe that public land somehow magically becomes their private asset upon election to government. In Barbados, we’ve even had government minister Gline Clarke and his outside mistress living on land that was expropriated from the private owners ‘for government purposes’.

AfraRaymond.net

A detrimental ‘land grab’ is almost upon our country and we all need to be alert to prevent the destruction of our patrimony and prospects.

Hon. Jairam Seemungal, MP. Minister of Land and Marine Resources Hon. Jairam Seemungal, MP. Minister of Land and Marine Resources

The State owns most of the land in the country – recent estimates by Minister of Land & Marine Resources, Jairam Seemungal, place the proportion of State-owned land in the 63% range – and as such those lands are critical national assets with which a progressive government could seek to address issues of poverty in a sustainable fashion. Those policies would have to be redistributive in nature if they are to effectively address the serious poverty faced by some of our citizens. That means the State using our resources to provide affordable land and housing to those who are unable to do so in the open market. It is critical to ensure that these…

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Joke of the day… Senator Jepter Ince promises DLP government will invest oil revenues for the people of Barbados

jepter ince CLICO barbados

“Government is looking at how best we can take those monies and invest those monies for the people of Barbados,” Senator Jepter Ince told the gathering in the Unity Bar at DLP headquarters in Belleville, St Michael.

“It is not going to be a free-for-all – live as you like because the country got a lot of money. It’s not going to happen because once you border on that and you don’t prepare for further down the road you’re going to have problems and my opinion is once [the oil exploration] goes well, continue to build Barbados, continue to build our people.”

Nation News No Wild Spending

You remember Senator Jepter Ince, don’t you?

Senator Ince’s Qualifications?

Qualifications? Hell – he should be under investigation for the CLICO Fund debacle!

Wuhloss!

This man is talking about protecting Bajans by properly investing our yet-to-exist oil revenues. Jepter Ince – who destroyed the life savings of countless old folks by advising them to invest in CLICO. Jepter Ince, who advised old folks to mortgage their home to borrow money to invest in the future with CLICO.

That Jepter Ince.

Ince was appointed by now-dead PM David Thompson – probably to keep him quiet.

CLICO and CL Financial. What a scam – including money laundering by Prime Minister Thompson from a company where insiders took bribes to have the company purchase land for way more than market value.

Mr. Ince, why don’t you tell us what returns you’ve achieved for your clients since you created the CLICO Balanced Fund in 2000?

How did all those folks do who borrowed money from you to invest in your fund so you could put that money back into Clico? Huh? How did they do?

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

DeBajan on the latest ZR crash

barbados-zr-van-bus.jpg

“You might think it unfathomable that the Ministry of Transport would license (for a fee) a random group of people intended to take care of the crucial mass transit sector without first ensuring the content, the level or the frequency of their training. Unfortunately this is the case in Barbados.”

More well worth reading at DeBajan Public Transport Matters

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, Disaster

One student critical, twenty-two injured by reckless ZR driver

More young students critically injured by another ZR maniac driver.

More young students critically injured by another ZR maniac driver.

14 year old student Zakiyah DeFreitas lost her left hand and 21 others received lesser injuries when a ZR van overturned in The City yesterday. The van flipped near the entrance to the nursery Drive Terminal.

Twenty-two students in a ZR van? Of course it overturned at the slightest provocation. Top heavy, overloaded, too fast. Half the time driven by maniacs with dozens of convictions – or in the case of ZR driver Cyril O’Bryan Archer one hundred and ninety-eight driving convictions prior to being found guilty of dangerous driving in the death of bicyclist Errol Thornhill on route taxi AR42 in 2010.

Insurance? What’s that? Half the ZR vans don’t have insurance and the police don’t seem to care.

Yesterday’s incident is only the latest. More will follow next month. It’s been this way for a decade or more. TripAdvisor calls ZR Drivers “Hustling Pimps“.

Our leaders don’t care, and don’t do anything to stop the slaughter.

Photo courtesy of The Nation

 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, Crime & Law, Police

Are LIAT’s major shareholders deliberately destroying the airline in order to re-create it without debt?

liat-airlines-disasterby Passin Thru

Sometimes our assumptions about a situation or problem blind us to simple answers that are right in front of us.

Could it be that the apparent increasing incompetence by senior LIAT management and a rapidly deteriorating cash flow are actually part of a plan to push the airline over a financial cliff as soon as possible, so that it can be reformed without debt and with limited political fallout?

LIAT’s biggest asset is its routes. Nothing else really matters. The aircraft are leased, and LIAT’s facilities are also mostly rented. The airline owns little of any real value that couldn’t be bought at fire-sale prices after a bankruptcy.

So let’s here from those who know about airlines and LIAT in particular… Is it possible that LIAT’s shareholders are deliberately destroying the airline?

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation

Barbados government should lower taxes on tourist rental cars

coconut car rentals barbados

“I am pleading with the Minister of Finance to reconsider lowering the rate of VAT on car rental for at least our overseas visitors. Car rental is a critical component part of our export tourism offerings.”

Hired cars unreasonably expensive in Barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Whether travelling on business or pleasure, I usually hire a car, because for me it adds a huge extra dimension to the experience and dramatically increases the options available.

With an imminent budget on the horizon, I would implore the Minister of Finance to look again at our car rental sector, if we are going to maintain the recent increase in visitor arrival numbers.

Personally I do not think this segment of our tourism offerings gets the attention it deserves and that is probably partially due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of the enormous contribution it makes.

Just one of our larger vehicle rental operators has a fleet of almost 130 cars. If you average a rental period at 7 days, with a driver and at least one passenger, that amounts to over 13,000 persons each year. Of course the fleet size varies enormously, but from recently writing to over 30 Barbados based entities offering car rental, it gives you some idea of the importance in economic terms they play overall.

Rarely do I pay more than US$150 for a week’s rental in North America or GB Pounds 100 in the United Kingdom for a compact car, so for many of our visitors it can be quite a shock to pay what are considered ‘normal’ rates on Barbados. But it’s easy to see why, because of the taxes on purchasing cars here is staggeringly different to those where our major source markets emanate from.

Also surprising is the sad and difficult to understand logic behind the decision not to lower the rate of value-added-tax (VAT) on vehicle rental when the adjustments were recently made to hotels and some restaurants.

Perhaps it is because our tourism planners and policy makers do not fully understand the secondary benefits and economic importance that the flexibility of having a rental vehicle brings. It enables our visitors to sample more restaurants for lunch and dinner, patronise our attractions, activities, increases shopping options and generates fuel purchases among others. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, Economy

Central Bank of Barbados still hiding from news media

That's Governor Worrell on the right... er, left!

That’s Governor ‘Weasel Words’ Worrell on the right… er, left!

Over a year ago Dr. DeLisle Worrell, the head thug of the Central Bank of Barbados, took issue with a Nation News story about the central bank.

So did Worrell ask the paper for space to present his thoughts to the citizens? Did he demand an apology, retraction or correction? Did he write an article to be published in the media or on the bank’s website?

Nope… Worrell banned Nation journalists from all bank events. Worrell wants to control what the press says about him and banning them was his stupid, thuggish reaction to an article he disagreed with.

This is so typical of the Bajan elites’ contempt for freedom of the press and the right of citizens to hold government officials and institutions accountable.

Journalist Ian Bourne

Journalist Ian Bourne

Then the central bank issued a press release in an attempt to backpedal, but as our friend Ian Bourne of Bajan Reporter points out, the Central Bank of Barbados hasn’t held a quarterly statement media briefing since then.

Bajan Reporter is sticking to its guns and hasn’t published the bank’s quarterly reports, and won’t until the institution resumes press briefings. In return, the bank has cut off advertising revenues to The Bajan Reporter, but as Bourne says, he will not sacrifice his dignity at the alter of CBB’s coffers.

And as Worrell is showing – once a thug, always a thug.

Check out The Bajan Reporter for the whole story on how the Central Bank of Barbados is failing to be accountable and transparent to citizens and government alike: Bajan Reporter will carry CBB’s media statements as soon as Quarterly Press Conferences resume.

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Business & Banking, Economy, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press