Polling, Pollsters and Manipulation

Submitted by Douglas
Should polling be allowed during important elections?

Should polling be allowed during important elections?

Have a read of David Cameron’s comments (highlighted below).

Thursday’s Scottish referendum was interesting not just for what it said about Britain, but also for what it said about the state of political forecasting. I’m calling it a loss not only for the pro-independence movement — the “No” campaign won 55.3 percent of the vote — but also for the pollsters – Justin Wolfers

I totally agree with him; maybe pollsters should be sued for misleading voters by putting their personal opinion and spin on data collected to influence the outcome of elections. They are a parody of those  rating agencies  that manipulate their findings for their own benefit. Multilateral Corporations (MNCs) and some governments in the developed world  have been known to sue some leading international credit rating agencies for misleading investors and the financial/business sectors in the lead-up to the 2007 recession that is still very much with us. Perhaps, our so-called pollsters, who parade as impartial experts, should also be brought to book.

Cameron: Queen ‘purred’ after Scottish vote
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has been overheard describing his nervousness about the Scotland referendum and how Queen Elizabeth II appeared relieved when he called to tell her the result. The leader was being filmed chatting with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York when microphones picked up what they said. The video showing the conversation was broadcast Tuesday on Sky News.

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Musing – No Change IV

Please show us the way...

Please show us the way…

We talk talk about business facilitation, we talk about making government more efficient by rationalizing government agencies charged with revenue collection.  We changed aged old laws to employ a US based Barbadian to head the local judiciary –  are we satisfied by the progress since his appointment? We talk about building a society and not an economy yet can we say without a shadow of a doubt we are making progress? Interestingly, Barbados does not have a relevant or comprehensive National Youth Plan to fashion a future society anyway. We talk talk talk,  and while we talk, the need to be competitive in the global market widens.

The revelation that Dodds prison has been waiting on approval from Town Planning (TP) to expand farming operations for a couple years must be an embarrassment to government and Barbadians.  The biggest irony is that Dodds prison lands formed Dodds Plantation.

The time taken by Town Planning department to issue approvals must be accepted as symptomatic of a flawed system. If Dodds, an entity owned by central government, is unable to collaborate with the TP to efficiently acquire timely approval, what is the read by non government players who are observing? Sandals management appears to have encountered no similar difficulty acquiring approval to construct at its Dover site.  Of concern to Barbadians who expect our leadership to resolve problems in the national interest the Dodds scenario does nothing to infuse confidence. Then there was the statement issued by the BCCI today it does not have confidence in government’s economic plan.

The 4th anniversary of the Campus Trendz tragedy was recognized recently. Social activist David Commissiong and Doriel Skinner must be commended for using the memory of those who perished for a good. What BU finds amazing is the revelation that the Barbados Fire Service is still to act to penalize many businesses in Bridgetown which operate in contravention of occupational and safety laws.

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Re-Route Truth


When John Citizen is willing to sacrifice their life for a belief…

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

hrm-proposed-rerouteThe leader of the Highway Reroute Movement, Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh, has started another hunger-strike in protest at the actions of the State in relation to the hotly-contested Debe-Mon Desir link of the Point Fortin Highway.  Some of the issues now emerging offer disturbing echoes from Kublalsingh’s first hunger-strike in November 2012, but it seems to me that these are the very reasons we need to think again so as to find a different way to speak about our country’s large-scale development.  This column is to be published on Republic Day, so it an invocation of the ideals of our status as equals, with our disputes on public policy to be settled on the facts.

A bit of background is important, given the great deal of confusion which is swirling on this issue –

  • The San Fernando – Point Fortin Highway has been proposed for over 40 years, with the actual…

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Expanding the Renewable Energy Rider

Submitted by Tony (kite) Gibbs
Sir Neville Nicholls - Chairman of Securities Exchange Commission - August 8, 2013 ruling, the FTC determined that the distributed intermittent renewable energy generation shall be increased to seven megawatts

Sir Neville Nicholls – Chairman of Securities Exchange Commission – August 8, 2013 ruling, the FTC determined that the distributed intermittent renewable energy generation shall be increased to seven megawatts

The rapid deployment of PV in recent times has taken many by surprise. This is because its true potential has been consistently underestimated by policy makers, planners and industry participants alike. But while this is no longer the case, all we can now hope for is that industry stakeholders recognize the major challenges – technological, policy and regulatory – that must be overcome in building out a high level of intermittent renewable capacity.

In their August 8, 2013 ruling, the FTC determined that the distributed intermittent renewable energy generation shall be increased to seven megawatts. At the time of the ruling, there were two hundred PV customers connected to the grid, representing a total of 2.1 MW of capacity. In its long term resource plan, the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) projected that the 7 MW capacity limit would be fully subscribed by January 2016.This projection was made in February 2014, but fewer than six months would elapse before BL&P informed customers that the approved capacity limit had almost been exhausted..

In BL&P’s plan, which was informed through broad consultations with stake-holders, the company made no further PV growth projections after January 2016. It therefore, came as no great surprise, that there was no further discussion about future of the Renewable Energy Program (RER) or how events would unfold after the 7 MW limit was met. That such omissions could escape the attention of the regulators is quite remarkable, especially since PV roof-top development is touted as an important element in meeting our energy security needs. More importantly, this approved resource plan claims to be the culmination of a process that “considers Barbados’ future power needs and identifies a future portfolio of power generating technologies”.

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Prudent UWI Correction

Submitted by Douglas
It has always contemplated some students assuming responsibility for their education at some stage

“It has always contemplated some students assuming responsibility for their education at some stage”

It is the duty and the responsibility of the Government to ensure that the resources of the country are spent in the most prudent manner. In a situation where the resources are already under pressure, government has to take the tough decision to ensure the viability of the service being offered. The area of education has been one of the areas where Government has taken the decision that an intervention was necessary to halt a runaway budget before it collapsed the entire educational system.

In the presentation made to the DLP’s Annual Conference, Prime Minister Stuart articulate what has been the DLP’s longstanding policy as it relates to UWI education:

“One area in which the stridency was very evident was that related to the contribution by student to the cost of their education at the University.

This measure, in which government still continues to meet 80% of the cost, was described variously as a declaration of war on the poor, a cutting back of the opportunities available for persons to access university education, a repudiation of Errol Barrow’s legacy, and an attempt to undermine the viability of the university itself…

The response of the Democratic Labour Party in government to this particular challenge has a history which needs to be told.

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Not Enough LIFE Guards!

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Not enough experienced life guards to service the beaches

Not enough experienced life guards to service the beaches

DESPITE AN ASSURANCE from the National Conservation Commission that it would provide lifeguard coverage at Crane Beach in St. Philip, there were no rescue personnel on duty there last Thursday when 18-year-old Shaquille Denny drowned…In  fact, as recently as yesterday the area, famous for its strong currents, was unmanned by a lifeguard for a significant portion of the evening once the lone lifeguard on duty left. One observer noted that veteran lifeguard Roderick Yarde had been on duty from as early as 7.30 a.m., but once he left bathers were on their own…Asked specifically if the situation suggested Govt. needed to urgently reconsider its decision to fire 28 of its 94 lifeguards, the NCC boss said he believed at some point when circumstances permitted, those responsible would look again at the situation.”

Well, well, well!

How generous of Mr. Neblett and, especially the Minister of Finance who, like Shylock, is demanding his pound of flesh. How many more lives must be lost before the ” circumstances permitted” are right?

Have you and the Minister of Finance determined how many lives must be seen as collateral before these “circumstances” are right?

How much is a life worth to you Messieurs Sinckler and Neblett?

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Arthur’s Bagman May Slip the Noose, AGAIN!

BU posted the blog Former Owen Arthur Bagman in a Jam earlier this month. Today local media reported that the police has taken a man into custody for questioning. The latest development follows and earlier report that a key person of interest in the car scam investigation was allowed to leave the island. BU cannot confirm or deny if the person taken into custody today is the bagman (Rodney Wilkinson) of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

Of interest to BU is why the sudden interest to prosecute the individual at the centre of the car scam involving Globe and Nassco at this time. BU has been made to understand this is not the first time financial institutions in Barbados have been ‘taken’ by this prominent individual. Also BU is interested to know why all the supporting actors who colluded with the prominent individual have been allowed to go free. Yes, we want to see ‘nailed’ the big fish BUT all those players at the financial institutions, government licensing authority and the third party entity that supplies financial institutions with the service of searches of bills of exchanges need to be investigated and prosecuted as well. As prominent as the former bagman is he was not able to perpetuate fraud by his lonesome. There obviously has been deep collusion between several players to have been able to perpetrate a scam of this magnitude.

A reaction to the unravelling car scam Minister of Transportation and Works (MTW) Michael Lashley announced on the weekend that a shake up at the Barbados Licensing Authority is in the offing. To quote a local newspaper, “Lashley explained that he was shocked to discover that all a person needed to license a vehicle in Barbados for use on the road for a year was a cover note from an insurance company, which usually provided insurance coverage for one month”.

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