The Arthur Objective

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (l) Owen Arthur MP (r)

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (l) Owen Arthur MP (r)

The public statement by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler that he is willing to endorse former Prime Minister Owen Arthur serving on an advisory committee of government has come as a surprise to BU. His statement comes a couple days after Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made a similar statement. It is clear there is some public relations being done to smoothed or welcome Arthur’s entry into the DLP’s universe, a naked grab for a man who is widely regarded as one of the best economists in the region. The vast experience Arthur has accumulated leading Barbados for 14 years has positioned him as a priceless resource for an under resourced DLP Cabinet struggling to manage a contracting economy.

Until recently Arthur was the focal point of relentless attacks from the government that bordered on tactless and tasteless in the Lower House. Arthur may have contributed to the venomous attacks by his repeated references to a porakey parliament.  BU believes the angst the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) side holds (held) for Arthur is derived from him having been the face of a successful Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for close to fifteen years. His extended tenure gave the DLP a long time in the wilderness to all but self-destruct. If Arthur had not allowed the Mascoll factor to muddy the issue for the electorate in 2007  many believe Arthur would have served another term. He was mercilessly lampooned in all areas of the media which a generous general election budget supported. An attack on Arthur that resonated with the public effectively decapitated the the BLP figurehead and shorten his coat tail.  The DLP flawlessly executed the strategy to demonize Arthur in the last general election and Stuart was the beneficiary. Unfortunately the economic challenge that faced Barbados was a secondary message.

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Strasbourg rules again: no human right to same-sex marriage

Originally posted on Catholic Voices Comment:

echr1There is no human right to a same-sex marriage, human rights law does not require countries to “grant access to marriage to same-sex couples”, and the state acts lawfully in seeking to defend the traditional understanding of marriage as between a man and a woman, according to a ruling by Europe’s highest human-rights court last week.

The judgement (PDF here) handed down by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) at Strasbourg both reiterates and reinforces a previous 2012 ruling which made clear that same-sex couples did not have a human right to enter marriage. Strasbourg’s consistent view is noteworthy because it has a clear remit to uphold anti-discrimination and human rights laws, and vigorously pursues the rights of gay among other minority groups.

Last week’s ruling is the final stage of a case first brought in Finland, where, uniquely in Scandinavia, there is no same-sex marriage (SSM) law, but where gay…

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Young Democrats Launch Education Grant

The following shared as a public service communication – Barbados Underground

Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:28:29 -0500

Young Democrats offering shollarships

Young Democrats offering tuition scholarships

Subject: Young Dems Educational Grant Programme Application Form and Poster

To: Dear Comrades,

On Thursday 17th  August, 2014, the Young Democrats lunched it’s Educational Grant Program. The Young Dems launch this initiative to target students in need of assistance to meet their financial requirements as they enter their respective educational institutions. This program came as a result of the noticeable number of students who are unable to pay their fees or even afford the necessities for school. Therefore, the aim of this program is to provide some students with educational grants to pay for their economic costs.

If you or anyone you know need assistance with funding for school, apply for the Young Dems Educational Grant Today!

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Barbados Can Generate More Tourists from the USA by Subsidizing Travel

Adrian Loveridge - Hotelier

Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier

While still a month away, September presents one of the most challenging times of the year from a tourism perspective, especially from our second largest market, the United States. With three flights daily, two from Miami, and one from New York, unless the scheduled aircraft equipment is changed that amounts to a total seat capacity of 16,680 in and out for the entire 30 days.

September 2013 recorded the second lowest US long stay visitor arrivals (6,198) for the last eight years, with only 2012 performing worse. Even if you factor in those travelling who are not counted in the landed passenger statistics, you begin to get an idea of the problem. Clearly this massive over-capacity or underutilisation is not good, either for the airlines or destination, as there is no profit in an empty seat or vacant room.

Is there anything ‘we’ can do? For many years I have tried to advocate the opportunities that frequent flyer programmes offer. From 7th September until 14th November American Airlines lower their mileage requirement to 25,000 for a return economy ticket from almost any city they service in Continental North America to Barbados. Of particular interest, due to excellent connection times are cities like Houston and Chicago where published round trip normal fares to Barbados would be at least US$789 and $673 respectively. Using miles only the add-on taxes are payable which amount to less than US$60 return.

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Submitted by Pachamama
Destruction of Gaza

Destruction of Gaza

As we enter week four (4) of the barbaric slaughter of the sacred Palestinian people a simultaneous and larger war against the peoples of the world pursues apace. Indeed, the savage decades old war against the Palestinians comes within the context and at the height of an American imperial exceptionalism that has had no ‘moral minimum’. This war of aggression against the Palestinians is no different than the wars against economically disadvantaged peoples of the South. It is a  war even against Russia and all of Europe because there must never be another exception to this new and staggering American exceptionalism. It is an exceptionalism that aims to do something no other empire has considered – to have no end, almost Messianic. And nothing, nobody, nowhere is outside its sphere of interests. Its current central focus is Russia but China is to soon follow. The war on Gaza sees the Palestinian people facing the onslaught of the Zionist agents of this vicious American exceptionalism.

We are all Palestinians when, as Caribbean peoples, we are devastated by engineered economic conditions as characterized by booms and busts. The economic wars we are facing is no less criminal in nature than the brutality inflicted on innocent women and children in the open air prison called Gaza. This brutality of capitalism, as war, has reach such a normalization that we have been numbed to the growing billions still living beyond the poverty line, starving, unable to find potable water, lacking basic medicines, denied quality education, shelter and healthy food, even in ‘developed’ countries. These are still happening in a world where the number of billionaires is increasing exponentially. For these are the accepted and acceptable conditions of the Palestinians people and billions more throughout the world who are Palestinians today and have always been Palestinians.

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Barbados Underground Congratulate Akela Jones

Barbadian Akela Jones wins gold at the World Junior Champions in Oregon

Barbadian Akela Jones wins gold at the World Junior Championship in Oregon

Solid Waste Tax Good for Barbados

There is a cricket saying, if a batsman does not watch the ball carefully onto the bat, bad things are likely to happen. The local news will be consumed with the resignation of former prime minister Owen Arthur from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) after being a member for 43 years for the next week or two. Arthur’s resignation – which took many Barbadians  by surprise – has triggered a flood of speculation about how it will influence the porakey political landscape of Barbados. Sadly we have found yet another politically motivated event to distract from the important job of rebuilding Barbados. Has anybody noticed Barbados dropped from 38 to 59 in the Human Development Index?

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