Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier
While it was very tempting to write about any subject this week other than the Butcherisation I received at the recent Barbados Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, that would have been the easy way out and certainly not in my character. First for the record, I had no intention of offending anyone. In fact I made it abundantly clear in my opening remarks that many of us greatly admire Mr. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart and the hotel empire he has spearheaded. I am not so remotely naive to believe that any one person can achieve this alone and a great part of the success is attracting the right people around you. This equally applies whether it is a small or large business. Perhaps what surprises me more than anything is that a person who has received everything he has asked for within weeks and possibly more than we are aware of is so unwilling to respond to legitimate concerns. Especially, while so many who actually live on Barbados have toiled to build the destination’s tourism industry over several decades while being consistently denied similar extraordinary concessions.
Equally baffling were the number of persons present at the event who over the last months had, albeit in the shadows of anonymity, literally moaned about their inability to solicit business from Sandals Barbados but were now cheering their new found ‘super hero’. There is the temptation to name and shame these persons but they know who they are.
Are we really such a Nation of hypocrites?
Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance (l) David Estwick, Minister of Agriculture (r)
It has come as no surprise to independent observers that the Barbados government has to labour to govern as a result of its 2-seat margin. Prime Minister Stuart finds himself in a position where making decisions is heavily influenced by the political considerations. Now that the E11 faction has been effectively quelled and its whip – Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler – had to publicly throw himself at the mercy of the Prime Minister in the Big Interview with the Nation newspaper, an interview which will stain his legacy and perhaps has ended his political ambition to be Prime Minister of Barbados.
AND Perennial discontent Minister David Estwick made known his recent dissatisfaction in January that he will speak out on economic issues (words to this effect). Two weeks later he was reluctantly given an audience with the Prime Minister and cabinet to present a proposal of a lifeline deal sponsored by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To be expected there was loud clamour in the public space about the workability of Estwick’s UAE deal. It has been three weeks since Estwick presented to the Cabinet of Barbados and it has been three weeks the public, including local media, has gone silent. Yet again the politicians have been able to ‘’manipulate’ the voice of the people by remaining silent. And off we go to the next topic the planned construction at Lower Greys.
Submitted by Mathew Storey
…”a country which has taught me tolerance, understanding and pride”
I write regarding a recent article in the Nation entitled Dear John: Do not like gay advances published on the 7th of March 2014 and further regarding a larger national debate which I believe is an important point for discussion.
In summary, a reader has requested advice from the Dear John writer on confronting his boss without jeopardizing his professional relationship. The writer, a young professional man, is uncomfortable with his bosses advances and an unwanted ‘special attraction’. His boss is a senior and as a leading professional, he can offer opportunities to internships and other pathways to success. The boss prefers homosexual relationships whereas the writer prefers heterosexual relationships.
This is an understandably concerning dilemma and an unfortunately common situation which both men and women are confronted with. To clarify, there two points to discuss in this scenario. The first, sexual harassment in the workplace. This term takes on several negative connotations but what I specifically mean is unwanted attention of a sexual nature in the workplace. Harassment is in no way related to sexual orientation and given the balance of probabilities and common assumption is more often heterosexual in nature.
Subsidising the private sector has become a public policy addiction, yet vast gaps remain in our understanding of the political economy of our own society. Take for example, the recent row over the abolition of VAT, in which a higher proportion of ordinary people’s take home pay is spent on the regressive tax than that of the well-paid. Yet, for reasons best known to himself, the governor of the central chose to make his views known while out of the island, and, having done so, declined to enter any serious debate about the sales tax. This contempt for Barbadians is part of the pattern that has seen a massive delegation of politicians, civil servants and business people travelling to China – a country that ten years ago they knew only as the home of Suzie Wong and Kung Fu – In search of the mythical pot of gold at the end of the Oriental rainbow. However, back home, the nation has ground to a halt; people have taken strong positions and every other idea has been blocked out. Of course, there is very little new to say in terms of new ideas, but there is still a lot to fight for, most important of which is the future of our island home.
Ideally, government could have avoided going cap in hand to the Chinese, or tolerating a silly alternative by going to the United Arab Emirates as if a Middle Eastern state would look more kindly on Barbados than the Chinese. A more strategic policy, and one better in the long-term, would be to launch massive urban renewal programme covering the two sq. mile area bordered by Bay Street, Jemmott’s Lane, Bay Street and Fairchild Street.
Canada Loyal Financial reported to be coming to rescue CLICO
There was a report in the local press on the weekend that Canada Loyal Financial is interested in bailing out CLICO. The policyholders have been emitting noises of quiet optimism since the announcement. Some of us however are alarmed a foreigner stands to own a significant acreage of our lands. If Canada Loyal Financial is able to acquire CLICO it makes a mockery of the government stated claim that it bought the old Heywoods property was in the national interest. At this point we can only speculate on the Nation newspaper report.
Who is Canada Loyal Financial?
Human and Gender Justice Advisor, Caribbean Mentorship Institute
Mentoring is arguably one of the best solutions for social transformation. It is said that mentoring develops the character, self esteem, civic and social responsibilities, and spiritual growth of young persons. Mentoring of young girls and women has positively shaped their lives and their communities. The profound values of mentoring have created life-changing legacies by which our youth can gain knowledge and practical skills towards their development.
Our mentoring roles as educators, nurturers, providers, and leaders are major contributing factors of our social and economical livelihoods. We, as mentors in our society, have been influential in our civic and humanitarian responsibilities. We have the innate ability to rise against the various forms of structural barriers that has continued to hinder our progress as women. As we celebrate today, may we also be mindful of other women and girls that face these hindrances on a daily bases through the global. Gender-based challenges like poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment, human and child trafficking, child abuse and adequate access to health care are too often overlooked within many societies. Our experiences, hopes and aspirations have provided consistent and effective solutions for our youth.