The new Barbados – woman dead in home two years before discovery

old lady died Barbados

by Grape Hall Girl

I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about Muriel Proverbs all this last week since I read the papers, but I can’t.

She was 90 years old – found dead in her home at Fairview, Christ Church when the police kicked in the door at the urging of some of her relatives.

Yes, she died in her bedroom as do many 90 year old people.

Only thing is Muriel Proverbs had been dead all these two years and more. Laid out on the floor where she fell or collapsed… slowly desiccating in the Bajan heat. Little more than a skeleton when found!

Two years of uncashed pension cheques and unpaid utility bills made a heap under the letter slot in the door.

This can’t be the Barbados I grew up in. This must be some New York City suburb where folks pay no attention to each other.

Surely this can’t be my Barbados?

Nation News: Gran dead in bed

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Filed under Barbados, People

Bargain airfares offer hope for Barbados Tourism – but only if we act!

American-Airlines-Dallas-Barbados

“If anyone realistically thinks… that lower prices do not drive additional business, then think again.”

Atlanta to Barbados – Return from US$227!!!

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I subscribe to a website called airfarewatchdog.com which for those of you are unfamiliar with, monitors airfares across the world.

When Delta Airlines resumed their flights from Atlanta to Barbados, I placed an alert which several times daily, automatically scans all available options on that route whether direct flights or through connecting cities. Last week a series of alerts advised that for certain days and months, subject to advance booking, return air fares were available as low as US$227 with the amalgamated American Airlines and US Air.

Delta flights are of course direct and non-stop twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays, while flying with the other carriers would involve a change in Charlotte or Miami, obviously resulting in a longer overall travel time.

But look at the fare, and if anyone realistically thinks for at least part of our target markets, that lower prices do not drive additional business, then think again.

I also monitor the very popular Trip Advisor Barbados Forum site and could not help notice that a lady had also spotted the bargain fares and had no hesitation in booking her family of five to Barbados, due to the lower cost travel opportunity.

How can we as a tourism driven country better take full advantage of these chances, especially as they cost us absolutely nothing in terms of marketing dollars?

Maybe by following other examples, both in terms of the tourism industry, but also other sectors, by including a ‘last minute’ portal on the national website with links. It could even be branded as a distinctive by separate product with catchy name like ‘spontaneous’.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Australia shows why we need a Referendum over Barbados Republic

Australia RepublicBarbados Republic

“A proposed law: To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament.”

submitted by The Beach Doctor

Back in the mid 1990s there was a huge movement in Australia to dump Queen Elizabeth and become a republic with a President as head of state.

Aussies and the world saw a republic as a done deal for the Centenary of Australian Federation in 2001 – the same as Barbados Prime Minister Stuart’s plan to celebrate 50 years of Bajan nationhood by establishing a republic.

And who wouldn’t blame the Aussies for wanting to dump the Crown? The country was established first as a penal colony, slavery really, with all the usual brutality and racial and class divisions.

But many Australians didn’t want to leave the decision to their Parliament as had been proposed “based upon the jubilant mood of the time”. Australians insisted on a referendum, and in the end the people said ‘No’ and voted to retain the Queen as Head of State.

The divisions in the population looked like this, says Wikipedia… (Australian 1999 Referendum)   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, History, Politics

If each small business in Barbados could hire just one more employee…

got the job barbados web

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

As a small business person for most of my life, trying to make miniscule budgets become larger profitable realities goes with the territory. As a general rule we adopted a very simple psychology – that any marketing dollars spent had to produce a tenfold return, or return on investment ROI of 1:10.

For instance if you took a quarter page on a peak circulation day in the sister publication of Business Authority, the ‘ad’ space would cost around $900 per insertion.

Very few smaller businesses could reasonably expect that a single ‘ad’ would generate an additional $9,000 in turnover, so the only plausible alternative could be to partner with 8 other entities each contributing $100 and then ask the question again.

Could an individual participant in a collective ‘ad’ expect to drive another $900 in new business?

An example might be a standalone restaurant ‘ad’ at $900 would probably need to drive another 60 customers a week to justify, but a shared cost of $100 would require just six or seven more patrons per establishment.

More historically traditional mediums like newspapers have been driven into looking for far more creative ways of retaining advertising revenue to compete with internet and other competition, but at the risk of the editor sacking me, they have to do a lot more to retain viability. (Editor’s note: Not around here, Adrian. Our advert ratesheet is very reasonable!)

One of the simplest ways this could be achieved would be to run a dedicated weekly restaurant and/or staycation/attractions page. Break the cost down to a level where individual ‘partners’ could afford to participate and justify the expense. Perhaps even build-in a discount voucher which is exclusive to the publication.

The recent revamping of the Nation and its various supplements may provide a new opportunity with one or more sales staff dedicated to following through with this concept.

There is also the possibility of sponsorship by other businesses that ultimately stand an equal opportunity of adding turnover or brand awareness. A local branded credit card issuer would be a natural partner who would benefit by users selecting a preferred method of payment.

The remodeled Easy Sunday insert just might be one of the best mediums for such a regular feature, as it appears to be targeted towards a particular lifestyle and perhaps would be easier to manage in terms of size and content.

As we rapidly approach the more challenging long tourism softer summer months the launch timing also seems to be perfect.

Personally, I am absolutely convinced it is going to primarily our small businesses that will be largely responsible for aiding economic recovery. Just imagine if by encouraging co-operative marketing initiatives each small business is able to employee just one more person. What a difference that could make to reducing unemployment levels and increasing disposable income into the system.

So I have thrown out the gauntlet to this publisher and those enterprises who think they can work together collectively to make a positive difference.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business

Harlequin selling Headquarters building for £525,000 – Where is the £400million taken from investors?

harlequin headquarters fraud

We’d say it was like selling off the family silverware, except there is no silverware left. Probably never was any.

After slickly removing £400 million from little old ladies and transit pensioners, David Ames and his gang are selling off their headquarters to pay the bills.

The Serious Fraud Office and the Essex Police have had an open file on the bunch since early 2013, but after two years Ames is still walking around with the rotting financial corpses of thousands of victims in his wake.

Two years should be long enough for the police and the SFO to do the job. What’s the delay?

From the Professional Adviser…

Troubled Harlequin puts HQ up for sale

Troubled overseas property investment scheme Harlequin has put its headquarters up for sale.

The warehouse and offices in the Honywood Business Park in Basildon have been listed for sale on property website Rightmove for £525,000. Harlequin owner David Ames would also consider leasing back the first floor offices at a rent of £25,000 per year, according to the advert.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Harlequin owns its Basildon offices and occupies the first floor of Unit 11, with all other space let to third parties.

“Harlequin is attempting to sell in order to discharge its liability and remove its responsibilities as a lessor.”

The move raises further questions over the financial situation of the company, which has received £400m from investors that they are currently unable to access.

Unregulated investment scheme Harlequin worked by taking deposits from mainly UK pension investors to build off-plan properties in the Caribbean, which could then be sold at a profit on completion or used to generate a rental income from holidaymakers. But out of a scheduled 6,000 properties, about 300 have been built.

… read the rest at the Professional Adviser

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Will the demise of LIAT Airlines bring down CARICOM too? Do you remember “one from ten is zero”?

Liat Airline

Our old friend Jim Lynch has been following the news that Barbados wants to pull out of LIAT Airlines and establish a national carrier. You can follow the story at CRANe – The Caribbean Regional Aviation Network.

That got us thinking… you remember the old CARICOM cry “one from ten is zero”?

LIAT isn’t CARICOM, but it is perhaps the most visible expression of Barbados’ commitment to the organization.

If LIAT falls, does it harm CARICOM?

Proposal for Barbados to Quit LIAT

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, March 28 2015 – Caribbean News Service (CNS) has obtained a document titled “Proposal for the Establishment of a Barbados Air Carrier.”

The document, allegedly authored at the senior management level of LIAT, points to Barbados, LIAT’s majority shareholder, planning to quit airline

The document proposes that a Barbados air carrier be established with its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and Route Licensing Authorisation. The new company would effectively replace the majority of existing LIAT services throughout the region and would seek to develop new markets.

An approach, methodology and structure for the establishment of the new Barbados air carrier were detailed in the document.

It said a traditional approach to fleet planning in a startup airline with a projected requirement of 10 aircraft would be to launch initially with two to three aircraft and a limited route network and build thereafter incrementally over a period of 18 months to the final fleet number. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has funded, via shareholder governments, LIAT’s wholly owned ATR -42 aircraft.

The plan calls for the title of those aircraft to be passed on to the Barbados Government either through shareholder agreement or through CDB taking charge of the aircraft and reassigning them.

… finish reading CNS article Proposal for Barbados to Quit LIAT

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, CARICOM

Land use, land theft, backroom deals a worry for small Caribbean island nations

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)

“A small State such as Trinidad & Tobago must accord a very high priority to the judicious management and utilization of its land resources or perish. All elements of land policy must must be designed to ensure that these finite resources are efficiently utilized and husbanded in such a manner as to serve the long term interests of the national community.”

—Conclusion of “A New Administration and Policy for Land” (19 November, 1992)

Afra Raymond’s new piece Our Land talks about the same problems we have in Barbados with greedy elites using public and private lands like their own little piggy bank.

Between crooked lawyers scamming little old ladies like Violet Beckles, and Bajan politicians doing backroom deals, land ownership is a dangerous jungle out there.

Any Bajan has heard the stories and sometimes read the news…

– A relative of a Government Minister ends up with a building lot after an expropriation.

– An official advises his cousin to buy a piece of useless land, and six months later the government expropriates the land and pays a very good price – far more than the original purchase price. Who knew that a new road was to be built there? Don’t ask!

– For fifteen years, a farmer tries unsuccessfully to re-zone his land for housing, but then gives up and sells out. Thirty days after the new owner (and friend of government) buys the farm, the zoning approval comes through and the land is now worth millions. No one knows who the real shareholders are.

– Prime land is expropriated for “low income” government-sponsored housing, and eleven months later a Government Minister moves into a new home in the “low income housing” sub-division. Of course, his girlfriend owns the home – not the Minister. (Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes on Expropriated Land)

– “Back door” land expropriations where building permissions are denied for no good reason until the owner gives up or goes bankrupt over unpaid land taxes. While one arm of the government refuses permission to build, the other arm expropriates for back-taxes… and the land eventually ends up in the hands of a friend of the government.

When a politician gets his eyes on your land… it’s all over. Corrupt Barbados politicians prepare to expropriate widow’s land – probably for personal profits

… and on and on and on. Then when the citizens start ignoring the laws, the elites wonder about the state of the world.

“We can never move forward as a nation until we have men/women of integrity running our country – that is our problem, and it cannot be said too often.

Until then we will always be second raters, puffing and panting on the world stage with a veneer of progress, but the condos, concrete palaces and circumscribed greens of the golf courses which are admired, will not be our own. We will be strangers in the land of our birth, Oh! how our forefathers must weep, as to what has become of us.

So much pain, for so little gain, a pain “perpetuated” by those who felt the same warm confines, of the womb from whence we came.” Yardbroom, August 2007

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