Marston Gibson, Chief Justice
Barbadians were treated recently to the news that the enigmatic Chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Leroy Parris who was deposed when the bottom fell out of the CLICO parent company in Trinidad has filed a legal action against the Nation, Barbados Advocate and Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Parris would not have made the top 200,000th popular person list in Barbados prior to his recent court action. Now that he has filed the action his position is likely to slide to 250,000th.
Posted in Barbados Labour Party, Barbados Lawyers, Barbados Media, Barbados News, Barbados Press, Blogging, Caribbean News, Justice
Tagged Barbados Advocate, George Payne, Leroy Parris, Nation Newspaper
Sir Frank Alleyne
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler persuaded parliament last week to raise government’s borrowing limit from 1.75 billion to 2.75 billion. This single act ensures that government can float Treasury Bills and other government securities as the need arises. One may reasonably assume that for the government to have expanded its borrowing capacity it raises the issue of a concern for cash flow. The Minister’s explanation that seeking approval for one billion at one sitting pre-empts the need to return to parliament is ‘interesting’.
On the international front Barbadians ‘heard’ that Minister of Finance Sinckler and Governor of the Central Bank visited the UK recently to enter the capital market. As recent as 2011 Minister Sinckler publicly expressed a reluctance to accumulate external debt. His preference was for the government to leverage the flexibility of a highly liquid local market. Of late however we have heard that the lack of appetite for government securities has forced government to rethink this strategy.
About protecting the international reserves the government has made this a priority, relatively so. Although an adequate number of weeks imports provide Barbados safe cover, Barbadians must be concerned that shoring up the forex reserves of late required the sale of Republic Bank and Emera shares.
Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel
There is a very fine line, when writing a column like this. The risk of being branded as a pessimist is high. I only hope that readers will focus on the message that is trying to be conveyed and perhaps apply some of the content objectively to look at issues in a broader more holistic way.
When I heard the Minister of Tourism recently predict that he anticipated long stay visitor arrivals in 2013 should reach the same levels as last year, frankly I was surprised. Look at our largest single market, the United Kingdom has already experienced a decline of 15,631 visitors in 2012, when compared with 2011.
In the first week of May, Virgin Atlantic brought forward from October 27 their planned change of aircraft on the Gatwick/Barbados route by substituting the larger B747 aircraft with smaller A330 equipment on each day of the week, except for Thursdays. This immediately cuts up to 1,134 seats weekly and by the end of December this year I estimate to be almost 40,000 seats lost. Put another way, we will lose airline capacity for nearly 23 per cent or around one in four of all our British land based arrivals annually, which in 2012 totalled 173,519 persons. It is also not unreasonable to conclude that at least 50 per cent of those lost seats could have been used by the largest tour operator into Barbados, Virgin Holidays.
Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite
The Attorney-General of Barbados is the primary legal advisor to the Government of Barbados – Wikipedia
Good luck to Barry Gale QC who defeated ‘pooch skinning’ Alair Shepherd for the position of President of the Barbados Bar Association (BA). Not sure if outgoing president Andrew Pilgrim was able to achieve anything of note except to attain the status of Queens Counsel which lawyers are willing to ‘die’ for it seems.
There was a time when individuals worked hard because there was a consciousness that it was the right thing to do. How ones legacy might be defined was an inevitable consequence. Truth be told in defence of today’s incumbents which see a level of mediocrity hitherto unknown, it may simply be a matter of (in)competence.
Former Attorney General David Simmons is highly regarded by the legal fraternity and the general public. BU however has always been halting in our praise for two reasons. When Simmons demitted the office of Chief Justice (under duress) the delivery of justice caused by the weight of a heavy case load and an inefficient Court Registry should have been the performance indicators which painted his legacy and NOT the quality of his decisions. It was insightful to read Barry Gale’s comments soon after assuming the office of President of the BA concerning the court system. In summary, a mess!
Submitted by Readydone
Expecting Barbados food sources to transform from export to domestic is a very mighty task. This is compounded by the fact that we get up to five times our population in tourists annually. The result: the demand for food fluctuates too quickly for farmers to accurately judge what the market will be like when the crops are ready to harvest up to four months away. Our previous agriculture model of exporting sugar had numerous advantages for our small island. The fact the sugar takes a long time to expire and has excellent shipping and handling properties means that the farmer was almost guaranteed that his crop would be sold.
If agriculture is to survive given our small population, and benefit a greater number of people, not just the few that can afford the protection of the large greenhouses required if you want to grow vegetables for profit. We either have to find a more suitable export crop or promote the kitchen garden again. Baird Village Aquaponics has done some interesting research into finding an export crop. We researched rice, tobacco, grapes and soybean – all good – but Quinoa as a food crop for Barbados is showing the most real life potential, international research suggests the plant does not do well at low elevations, but Barbados has a very interesting environment that I personally believe can grow any crop.
Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte
Absenteeism on the rise in Barbados
Have you all heard? Latest findings coming out from a recent HR symposium proposes that Barbados has the highest rate of employee absenteeism in the Caribbean. Who Bajans? Is that right? Surpassing the land of the humming bird fete today call in sick tomorrow? All ya really sure you got that one right? So were we dreaming then, when we recently saw an award being accepted on behalf of Bajans, for being number 38 in the World on the social development ladder, number 3 in the Americas? Wait lazy people wearing two different shoes nowadays then, (brand name) ‘industrious’ on one foot, ‘shirkers’ on the other? Such a skewbald would surely tumble someday, being confused and not know which foot goes first.
Could all this have anything to do with Bajans been under a ‘trance by chance‘, like the one of the recent bus riding pensioner and her rude awakening from what could befall? Too much phantasmagoria maybe? One day we hearing we doing well, next we need to “shift and adjust” like a lesson of a confusing schematic inculcating too much to pedants, who still recovering from an unaccustomed downward economic fall. “You all had better do this, don’t mind us, ”. If the shoes fits… Like a call to curtail perks and privilege of statutory corps, but an unwillingness to lead by example. Sounds familiar?
Too much double standards man, some given license to sleep, while others sheeple. Any wonder some still stuck in gear? Sheeple will always follow.
See NISE Report on Absenteeism
By the time you have read this I would have carried out a promise to address the Caribbean elders of the Pepperpot club in what we used to call Ladbroke Grove in West London, which pompous estate agents have now renamed Notting Hill.These people are warriors, pioneers, unrecognised in their countries of birth and treated with disdain in their adopted home, Britain.
These are people who came to Britain in the early post-war years to labour in Lyons tea shops, the national health service, the army, and most of all on London Transport, because they wanted a better life.They are almost all now in their late 70s and 80s, ill-treated by the local Kensington and Chelsea local authority, the wealthiest in Britain, who want to deprive them of even the opportunity to meet in their lunch club to swap anecdotes and a few laughs until the good Lord calls them home.
These are people who left the sun-drench Caribbean to get out of their beds in a snow-covered city to look after the thankless patients, sweep tube platforms while remaining invisible to passengers, make breakfast in working men’s canteens for a pittance, all the while sending money back home to their loved ones to feed and clothe them and to repay the cost of their travel to Europe. These are the pioneers that two of our prime ministers – one BLP and one DLP – are on record as saying did not make any contribution to the nation.Now, with great reluctance, it is recognised that their remittances were the backbone of the foreign reserves in the 1960s that we now talk so much about. It will be a pleasure to talk to them, to share memories of being a young man in West London, birth place of the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival, that demonstration of street theatre that the British, especially the media and police, still find so hard to accept.The invitation to talk to them from the club’s chairman, Barbados-born Rudi Brathwaite (Kizerman), one of our brilliant authors, was so much appreciated that unusual for me, it has occupied my thoughts ever since then.
Submitted by Pachamama
Over the past few days the corporate, global, propaganda media have been glorifying the ‘self immolation’ of Angelina Jolie as brave and an answer to breast cancer for the women of the world. We consider that Jolie is being turned into a buffoon by the corporate media. Such a person should be receiving our well wishes and not be projected, for ratings etc, for some kind of perverted virtuousness. The simple truth, to this complex issue, is that merely cutting off body parts is not an answer for cancer. For the biochemistry of a human body does not build a fire wall between breast tissue and the rest of the body. The media promotion of double mastectomy as a viable solution is dangerous and has implication for all the women of the world, especially young girls, and sets a staggeringly new (low) standard in the pervasiveness of a new corporate culture – a culture that will be coming to a clinic near you, real soon.
The medical establishment has failed for decades to find their elusive cure to any cancer. In the interim that medical industrial complex continues to profit from the suffering of mankind. Sometimes their treatment modality is worse than the disease itself. We have a case, not in Barbados, where an 83 years old woman was being encouraged by a doctor to have a $500K operation to remove a clot from her brain. We can present hundreds of cases like this one. Where is this money going? Have conventional doctors everywhere loss their ability to care? Why is the patient not the most important person in the health care system? To what extent do medical practitioners answerable to pharmaceutical and other corporate interests? To what extent are we prepared to commodify medicine? Are we prepared to see old people die in the service of corporates? It is this same medical industrial complex that seeks to profit by inventing new diseases like AIDS, SARS, etc. The media supports conventional medicine as a Holy Grail. To them this is beyond question. Doctors are used to giving patients drugs without even a good understanding about their testing, trial and general efficacy. No wonder 120K people die every year in the USA from the effects of pharmaceutical drugs alone. Hundreds of thousands more die as a result of other medical errors. When the food industry is working hand and glove with the medical industry to manufacture an endless line of sick people by feeding them what Professor Pollen has called ‘edible substances’, like Purity Bakeries bread, which can stay ‘fresh’ for years without organic growths.
Senator Tony Marshall
BU had eagerly looked forward to the contributions of Independent Senator Tony Marshall to the Upper Chamber. Based on the Systems Systematic Survey he was labelled the #1 talk show host never bashful to share his views on any subject. He was vocal as president of the Barbados Cricket Association. Surprisingly he never seemed to be as vocal when he wore the hat of Chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). In his current public role as Senator again one senses he has been very below the radar in his contributions to the Upper House The few time sittings were called.
In his rookie contribution as Senator there was the opportunity for him to draw a line in the sand to define the tenor of is contributions by speaking to issues like NIS, EMERA, Four Seasons and outstanding financials; quick pick issues. In fact given his profile there is nothing to prevent him from speaking in the public forum. He is a public figure and the media would take note. BU does not expect Senator Marshall to raise these issues in the Senate because in our style of government what difference would it make anyway? This must be his mindset. Go for it Senator, it is legacy building time!
Along with earlier questions asked by BU in the public interest here are a few more.
Stephen Worme, Barbados Light & Power Co Ltd
Some have always admired the candour of Stephen Worme of Barbados Light and Power (BL&P). He was recently asked by a BU family member what was the average price they (BL&P) had paid per ton for Bunker C in the 2003 compared to 2013. This is a follow up to an earlier blog - http://wp.me/p41kz-74Z
2003 – $435 per ton.
2013 – $1,439 per ton.
Were these prices regulated by Government or have been subsidised in any way at any time? We cannot confirm at this time?
Posted in Blogging
Tagged BL&P, Bunker C
The following is a press release from The Concerned Creative Citizens Group (CCCG)
John Roett, veteran musician leads the CCCG
The Concerned Creative Citizens Group (CCCG) wishes to inform the public that despite a very one sided debate, the current Cultural Industries Development Bill (CIDB) is of great concern to many of the creatives of this country. Our Group comprising of 1251 members, along with many experts (both here on island and overseas) plus lauded artists in Barbados feel that the Bill in its current form is not worthy of passage in our Parliament.
Despite repeated attempts to present ways in which to make the Bill better, numerous requests to the Ministry and Minister of Culture, Public Objections to this Bill in many of the Public Town Halls and Forums, we continue to be rebuffed and ignored. We have submitted documents to the Attorney General listing our objections with the bill, carefully and meticulously pointing out the ways in which it will fail to develop the Cultural Industries in any manner whatsoever, and in an effort to maintain absolute transparency, these documents have also been discussed with the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Minister of Culture
Submitted by Old Onions Bag
Sagicor based in Barbados
What’s with these insurance companies in Barbados making such exorbitant profits? Sagicor and Insurance Corporation of Barbados are the latest to inform of their killings, reaping hefty profits from suffering Bajans.
Sagicor also informed that some of their investments in Europe had bottomed out and to be discontinued and put up for sale. Bajan markets like they still are good grazing grounds when you looking for the green. Why if I recall right sometime back, big able Cable and Wireless was reporting their setup down here was out-performing others all over the world. Why was this? Anything to do with the costing and marking up when it comes to Bajan customers, that these companies are “lickin cork” from our distress? Like we Luv-a-bull or like true Bajan Syrup. Fa real though, how come these companies do so well in our backdoor? Why can’t they now have a lil feeling for us down here seeing we totterin….Help a fella nah ! Help out now we need it.
We were never ones for complaining in days of plenty.
Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel
Short of a miracle and/or a radical change in the way we do business, it appears we have headed into one of the most challenging tourism summers’ in recent history, hot on the heels of a poor winter. With still no game changing strategies, other than one or two tinkering offerings on the horizon, is there more ‘we’ can do to avoid further widespread lay-offs and closures?
The answer has to be YES! And I think we can start by looking at further opportunities on our doorstep.
For ages, I have admired the work of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons. My wife and I have been members for a number of years and I cannot even begin to think of the savings it has brought us during that period, far outweighing any annual subscription fees. For a number of reasons, I only purchased my first public company shares just over half a decade ago, on the recommendation of our accountants. If we are lucky, our small capital investment will return to the level that we initially put into fund, by the end of 2013.