Submitted by Readydone
How can we transform Barbados from an uncomfortable reliance on services?
Next time you walk into a supermarket take a good look around and enjoy the experience, after all, you are paying for it, the light bill, the manager’s mortgage, all of it is coming out your pocket even though you think all you are buying is food. Very little of your money is used to pay for food, the most of it is for the convenience of getting the food to you.
If you had to run down a yardfowl every time you wanted eggs for breakfast or pluck a chicken every time you ate a snack box, I am sure most of us would be father-thin vegetarians. So we go to the supermarket for our food every month or so but how reliable is the supermarket? The short answer is it isn’t. Let me illustrate.
It takes 3 days for all the shelves to empty in every supermarket when there is a hurricane watch, 3 days tops, that is how long it would take for us to start feeling the effect if the supply of food was to halt. Then what? I hope you have a backup plan, I got my kitchen garden.
It has now become an expected landmark in political analysis, no matter where you are from, that the first 100 days of any new administration are the most important roadmaps to the programme that that administration intends to follow for that parliament. Given that we are now only a few days away from the 100-day point with the Freundel Stuart DLP administration, what objective indicators have we got as to how the administration intends to govern the nation. In other words, cometh the moment, cometh the man: can Stuart be our Moses? Is he equipped with the vision and tenacity to lead us out of the mire that we have found ourselves in?
For most of the last government prime minister Stuart and his supporters spent most of their time blaming the previous BLP government for the state of the economy, and they were right. The Arthur government spent 14 of the most prosperous years in global economic history and left the Barbados economy with serious current account and deficit problems. But, five years later, it is a poor excuse for finance minister Chris Sinckler and his advisers to continue to blame the BLP administration for the mess they are in.
They have had more than enough time to deal with the problems, more than that, they have had long enough to come up with credible ideas, a workable vision, to take the nation forward in these tough times. So far, there is not a single transparent idea to emerge from the prime minister’s office, the ministry of finance or indeed the central bank. Almost every statement, every speech, every interview they give catches them on the back foot, defending their incompetence and paucity of ideas. Not only that, they have somehow managed to turn every legitimate criticism, no matter how positive, in to a party political issue – to criticise is to be part of the opposition.
Submitted by Pachamama
War in Syria continues
While Caribbean peoples are deeply engaged in an ever increasing battle for meagre economic survival, events half way around the world may have more to do with outcomes than any expected amelioration in the steadily deteriorating circumstances of Western capitalism. As we write the Syrian army and their Hezbollah counterparts, buttressed by support of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), Russia and to a lesser extent China are completing mopping up operations not far from the Lebanese border (al-Qusayr) and elsewhere. Even Obama and his ‘international community’ are less vocal with their illegitimate but central demand that the prospective victor in this Western led conspiracy against a sovereign state, Bashar Assad, be removed from office – logic turned on its head. The West is on the verge of losing all influence in what they have called the ‘Middle East’. We are persuaded that America’s decline in the Middle East has accelerated since 9/11 and the influence of other actors, like the IRI, China and Russia has markedly increased. On the other hand the Americans and Europeans have loss several of their clients states and will in short order loose Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and more. This will mean not only a loss of strategic control of the regions oil reserves but will extend to the removal of America’s cat’s paw (Israel) from the region. These will represent a seismic shift in Great Game politics. The events in Syria can be seen as an historical moment. This is a moment not dissimilar to the period after World War Two when as a ‘presumed’ victor, the USA, through the CIA, pressured the British out of the Caribbean and elsewhere. So Caribbean ‘independence’ was and is merely a function of Great Game politics. The same will happened again, in reverse.
In the war on Syria the West has been revealed as an ally of al-Qaeda, a group they sometimes call a terrorist organization. It is this very USA government which gave birth to al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was from the beginning a CIA/Saudi/Zionist project. The evidence presented by Sibel Edmond is unassailable. Recent USA actions in Syria confirm her findings. They have armed them, given them chemical weapons and diplomatic coverage for more than two (2) years in spite of a long list of war crimes committed by their terrorist proxies. Obama has long decided that the USA is only able to fight ‘smart wars’.
Submitted by Yardbroom
“in the UK, under the Child Maintenance Scheme if a named father continues to dispute he is the father he will be offered a DNA Test”
Matthew 18: 15-17
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen even to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
The urge in the male to reproduce is strong in humans, some animals and even insects; often the male of the species will sacrifice his life and even take that of others in efforts to produce his progeny. A male lion taking over a pride, will kill all the young cubs in that pride, this not only allows the females to come into heat but it ensures any patter of tiny paws he hears will be as a result of “his” copulation. “Lions obviously don’t care about the perpetuation of the species, only about the perpetuation of their own personal genes”.
“Sexual intercourse is the ultimate bond between male and female, but for some hapless males it is also their demise. In the encounter between a male and female black widow spider, the female resorts to cannibalistic behaviour by eating the male during or after sexual intercourse.” It would be crass of me to mention and mean this but here it goes, a matter of having your cake and eating it.
Barry Gale QC, President of the BA
BU has been able to access the audited financial report of the Bar Association (BA) relative to the Compensation Fund. BU notes that the fund holds in excess of $2 million. The authority for the Fund is to be found at Part VIII of the Legal Professions Act Cap. 370A of the Laws of Barbados.
Briefly, the Act states:
The Fund is the property of the BA and must be paid into a separate bank account to the credit of the BA to be known as “the Attorneys-at-law Compensation Fund”.
Every attorney-at-law is required, when a Practicing Certificate is issued to him, to pay to the Registrar his/her annual contribution to the Fund, without which no Practicing Certificate will be issued.
“50. (1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Bar Association that any person has sustained loss in consequence of dishonesty on the part of an attorney-at-law or any clerk or servant of an attorney-at-law in connection with that attorney-at-law’s practice as an attorney-at-law or in connection with any trust of which that attorney-at-law is a trustee, then, subject to the provisions of this section, the Association may, if it thinks fit, make a grant to that person out of the Fund for the purpose of relieving or mitigating that loss.”
A few points to ponder from the reading of the posted financials.
Submitted by Dear Loving Person
“With general elections not due for another five years though, team Barbados urgently needs to address the economy and does not need so much political rhetoric.”
Sanka Price described as the omniscient editor
The above is an unsolicited bit of advice from Nation columnist, Sanka Price, posing as he often feigns to be the omniscient editor, who is attuned to the pulse of the nation. He would be well advised to take some of the same medicine he is prescribing. His “weakly” contributions are precisely that – partisan political rhetoric, being passed off each time as objective, analytical prose. I wonder if he reads the texts presented before he affixes his name. If he did, he would realize that his opening sentiments are acutely applicable to him.Talk about ‘spitting in the wind and it lands in your face.’ Well, his contribution in today’s issue was a classic example.
He is being used to fight other people’s battles, as week after week his dislike and condemnation of the DLP administration are patently obvious. The February elections are barely three months behind us, yet his drawn campaign swords remain unsheathed. But, he is not alone in this misguided effort to seek to derail this administration, rather than face the stark economic reality that is confronting EVERY OTHER country in the world – including the US, the UK, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Canada, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, Venezuela, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, etc.
Marston Gibson, Chief Justice
In the interest of sharing all information received about any matters which BU has reported on, we have been advised and updated on the issue of the Parris v BLP and Nation and Barbados Advocate as follows:
Mr Hal Gollop QC filed an action for defamation against the Nation which pre-dates the Parris action. The law firm of Carrington and Sealy acts for the Nation and Mr Vernon Smith QC is acting for Mr Gollop.
The essence of the complaint is that on January 07, 2013, the Nation captured and published the photograph which is the subject of dispute. Reasonable conclusion, the Nation was the author and the holder of copyright of the photograph. The BLP subsequently used the photograph and caption in their campaign. Thus, Mr Gollop has also advanced a claim of conspiracy against the Nation and the BLP.
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