A Senior Barbadian Journalist Gives A Rare Insight Into The Challenges Of The Local Media Extracting Information From Government Regarding GEMS


I have called both Parliament and xxxxxx, to ask them for copies of the Gems’ financials which were laid in House some time ago, apparently.
You might not be surprised to learn that these are only up to 2001, and no information is available on when anymore might be coming down from the mountaintop.

Also, I am concerned about your implication of journalists n this non-transparent behaviour of the government. There are so many government reports and financial statements which are technically public documents but cannot be even read, far less commented on by reporters, until they are “laid in Parliament”. We would have to mount a 24/7/365 operation to learn when any of these are finally sneaked into Parliament. There are no trumpets sounding and no fanfare: somewhere, as quietly as possible. I don’t even know if “laid in Parliament” means that someone has to tell the Speaker while P is in session.

A basic rule of transparency, it seems to me, would be to routinely make those documents available to the media. The Parliamentary person told me they had only been given enough copies for MPs and their library, so I would have to ask the PS Cabinet Office. He then said he would have to cal Parliament to see if they had spies.

So you see, the media is purposely left out and kept in the dark as much as possible, yet we are supposed to somehow follow all these things up, YEARS after documents should have been laid.

Barbados is not easy, hear.


lsbusprf.gif The quote above should be very easy to contextualize. It is a response to a prominent Barbadian citizen from a leading journalist in Barbados. Those readers who think that BU, BFP and the many other citizens who are demonstrating concern about the threat to our democracy are partisan political poppets, please wake up and smell the coffee!

We can sit back and do nothing or we can all start to do what civic minded citizens are obligated to do. Take your pick.

Previous Stories

Barbadians Do You Want To Discuss The Financial Statements Of Hotel And Resorts Ltd, AKA GEMS?
Media Houses In Barbados Should Take Note Of What Their Counterparts In Dominica Are Doing
The Third Estate Has The Final Power~The Voices Of THE PEOPLE Must Be Heard
Media Houses In Barbados In Collusion With Government To Suppress News, Press Freedom Under Threat ~ The Voices Of The People Must Be Heard



26 thoughts on “A Senior Barbadian Journalist Gives A Rare Insight Into The Challenges Of The Local Media Extracting Information From Government Regarding GEMS

  1. Here is a note received from Adrian L with some interesting info:

    I have sent under separate cover, the bombshell.

    Remember in the BLP column this week they were boasting about having laid the audited accounts of Hotels and Resorts Ltd (GEMS) in the House sometime ago.

    See email ‘You may not be surprised to learn that these are only up until 2001, and no information is available on when anymore might be coming down from the mountaintop’.

    My first column goes into the Nation 25th October if it is not rejected.

    GEMS will be subject of this column on 8th November 2007,

    but this is so explosive, I think we should run with it now.

    It clearly implies that the BLP are misleading the people.

    Best Regards

    Adrian Loveridge

  2. Why am I not surprised at this revelation? Is this not in keeping with the normal BLP policy of deceit, lies and more lies? But where is the people and the DLP in all of this? Where also is the concience of the Nation and I am speaking about the Nation News and the Barbados Advocate?

    How many more controversial and mishandled issues must be exposed to convince the people of Barbados that their Government lacks integrity and is abusing the fundemental principles of Democracy? How many?

    Barbados under the BLP regime as become a Nation of people who are given information by their Government based “On a need to know basis” only. The Government is out of control and is so deep in financial difficulty and scandal that even day to day operations like paying civil servants on time is on the verge of collapse! And was an issue for the burning of Glendairy Prison.

    The people of Barbados must let their voices be heard. The DLP Opposition must go on the offensive. And the main stream media must start doing its job. Because unless the Nation of Barbados unite with one voice an election might not be enough to save it.

    Day in and day out supported by the recent CADRE poll the less fortunate are crying out that they cannot afford the basic necessities of life or a home. And this is in spite of the world being told Barbados has less than 4% unemployment. Yet their Government is squandering and wasting millions of tax dollars because of gross inefficiency, incompetence and obvious corruption.

  3. To have laid financial statements for 2001 in 2007 is surely making a mockery of any attempt to examine the performance of Hotel and Resorts Ltd. It clearly shows the contempt with which the BLP government regards the obligation to report to the public on its performance. What a joke on those who took the statement in the BLP column seriously!

  4. We are trying to understand why the BLP blog would make the point that the HRL finanacials were laid in parliament if it is only for 2001. Where is the PR in all that when we examine Mascoll’s recent announcement that the GEMS are glowing and if sold will fetch a pretty penny.

  5. In the absence of current financial statements this senior journalist should be writing about the breaking of the laws of Barbados when the government refused to complete the audited financial statements in a timely manner. It has reach the point whee nobody gives 2 hoots. What is the DLP doing? Can’t they raise this matter or will they say the people don’t care? They must be creative in there agitation man!

  6. Are there other companies that have not submitted audited financial statements, or is this the only one? If not, can someone make a list of unregulated companies that don’t submit these required year end documents?

  7. It is amazing that Government doesn’t have to stand by the same rules as regular people and companies. What about all those penalties for all those years. What happens if we the citizens follow by example.

    On another point why has the tax department not followed up Minister Lynch in proving where his funds came from vs. his assets. They do this with haste for us citizens.

  8. David makes a good point. Why would even a dumb Government that constantly has its foot in its mouth post this statement realizing that it could backfire as it has? I really have no answer to that?

    But even more of a mystery is how can Noel Lynch make such specualtive and unsupported claims about the success of GEMS? Where is financial information coming from one wonders? This is “economics” of inclusion. ALL BLP MEMBERS Except Prescod!

    What makes me laugh about it all is, how can an undertaking like GEMS that involved some huge tracks of valuable real estate and millions of Government (taxpayers) money could be so far behind years wise in not being audited and current financial statements, bank statements etc not be available for public and Opposition inspection? 6 years of un-audited and absent finacial data on a project like GEMS is the equivalent of a pilot flying IFR with all instruments dead and no GPS trying to convince his/her passengers that he knows exactly where he/she is.

  9. The truth is that we have encouraged and allowed Owing and his corruption to grow and nurture it to the stage it has become full term corruption.
    We cannot trade honesty and decency in politics for what we presently endure in Owing and his merry gang of crooks and criminals running while with our money.

  10. There is clear evidence in Barbados that the majority of Barbadians turn a blind eye to or at worst pretend not to understand things. What is this thing you ask? It is propaganda labelled as “Politics of Inclusion” and it has succesfully bought and paid for, those persons who were public agitators for what was socially right. Look around you and you will see for yourselves. A couple of years back, certain people were pressing for enfranchisement and held governments to their responsibilities to the people, now they indulge themselves in areas of lesser social meaning and have received big-up positions, knighthoods, national awards, etc. Call them “Hush up Awards” or whatever you wish, but these recipients, more often than not use to represent the consciousness of a people. Therefore if they are muzzled by their misguided conscience then can lesser mortals who look up to these people say or do anything?
    The practice of “Politics of Inclusion” that is designed to buy persons of certain social intellect / standing and not of any political party bias, this, when coupled with the “appearance” of hearing the people through farcical Town Hall meetings where the opinions of the people are pretended to be heard but not heeded but always resulting in follow through that is only what the government solely wants, is a sure diet for some serious social problems that I really do not wish to even imagine. Years ago I heard a man say in a shop that Hitler practised the “Politics of Inclusion” and the Jews readily accepted it. Well we all know what happened to the Jews.

  11. Many think my rants are too racial or extreme but what one has to focus on is this, are they correct. I think they are. The saying, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it has to be a duck!

    How can a Democratic Nation tell the world they practice equality, tolerance, fairness etc. When they have a Government that controls the press? And the press itself is run by Pro Government lackeys and uncle Toms none more obvious than Al Gilkes? The biggest Uncle Tom of them all who has his head in the public trough 24/7 hardly ever coming up to breathe. He is even hired and paid big money by UK bigots building Developments in Barbados and threatening to deny the ordinary Barbadian public access to the beach to spread propaganda!

    Accepting that what has been printed to be correct why is Adrian Loveridge a WHITE entrepreneur with far more knowledge and insight into Tourism and other subjects than most on Government not being allowed to write a column in the Nation News? Is it because of his color or are the prominent black, white Bajan and Foreign bigots afraid of this man? Newspapers all over the world allow guest writers to write about anything they want to write about. Therefore why is the press in Barbados denying a “WHITEMAN” the right to write in their paper that is not denied BLACK Uncle Toms and others?

    Has Noel Lynch the Minister of Tourism a BLACK MAN who would not share the same space with Adrian A WHITEMAN at a radio station to blame or is it Prime Minister Arthur who is responsible for it? And Please have the guts to step up to the plate and tell the truth. Is this about COLOR or is it about FEAR?
    And where is the CEO of the Nation News in all of this Ms. Gittens. Is she too implicated?

    These Blogs may not be taken too seriously by the mainstream and privileged Barbadian but I am sure many overseas residents read them and I suggest they do impact the image of Barbados significantly and as an extension the “Tourism” industry. Overseas folk do not want to come to a Nation where the masses are being treated like they are in Barbados because they correctly fear that their frusatration might be taken out on them!

    But what is even more obvious and destructive about the neglect of this BLP Government on the poor and the masses is this. The Barbados Government, Judicial system and related Agencies are all run/administered by MAINLY black Barbadians. If the masses cannot get a fair shake from their own where do they turn to for help?

    According to a poll and the press 40% of Barbadians out of a population of 285,000 are crying out about the high cost of living in Barbados, not being able to buy a home and those who have a home many are dilapidated in areas where services are constantly being disrupted etc. They are the neglected “masses”!

    In spite of these things not one decent group of white, black or foreign persons in Barbados says a damn thing about it. Businesses continue to rip the poor off, the Union remains silent as does the churches and most other such groups? Why? Is it fear of reprisal or is it that they do not give a sh——t! This social, political and economic behaviour is not acceptedable in other civilized Nations of the World. I say unless Barbados changes it’s position it should be sanctioned by other Nations and the traveling public.

    We have 500 Chinese working in Barbados because we are told that there is not enough trained or skilled Barbadians to do the job. Whose fault is that? This BLP Government has been in power 10 years saw the Construction industry rapidly growing and did bugger all to train Barbadians for the boom!

    The propaganda machine is telling people that Barbados has only 13,000 living at poverty level yet the Minister in charge says on the public record that he is having a census done because the Government has not got a clue how many are living at the poverty level. We have a Government saying that unemployment level is at or below 4% and that Foreign Investment, Off-shore banking, Construction etc are all doing well. Yet 40% of the population are saying the cost of living is so high they cannot afford to eat. Chickens are selling at $20 each. How with all of these healthy economic indicators can the cost of living be so high for so many? What kind of economics is this?

    Well “Inflation” is given as the reason but it seems to only impact 40%-50% of the population. And inflation is also used as a scapegoat to stick it to the people when it is all rubbish. Only a few months ago Mr. Stoute who heads up the Barbados Chamber of Commerce claimed that “Inflation” was non existant for a specific period. That was posted in the Press. You cannot believe a bloody thing being said in Barbados.

    Look at the last election to see what the BLP and the privileged Barbadian did much like what they have just done to Adrian Loveridge. And this is the Gospels truth.

    The DLP Opposition Party hired a Campaign adviser from the USA a “female” by the name of Lazlo. The focus of the DLP Campaign was rising crime in Barbados which was a FACT. And which now is at epidemic proportions including heavy duty drugs and gun running. Dame Billie Miller a heavy hitter in the BLP Party just confirmed this on the public record. How did the BLP react led by Al Gilkes a stalwart at the so called “Democratic” Nation News. They ran Lazlo out of Town claiming she was a “Foreigner” with no work permit. This is what Democracy has been reduced to in Barbados. And what is even more shocking is this.

    The USA, British and Canadian Embassies also remain silent and their Governments continue to give Foreign Aid to Barbados and other Caribbean Nations that is spent furthering the cause of “Oppression” against the “MAJORITY” who are the masses, impoverished and mainly BLACK people. Go figure!

  12. Is it too optimistic to wonder if we had a vibrant Barbados Association of Journalist (BAJ) that the public could feel there was some recourse to vent about important issues in the world of journalism? What has become of this organization? Why are the senior journalist in Barbados not disposed to putting some energy behind resuscitating it. Are they not concerned about the legacy of the profession in Barbados?

  13. David

    Have you noticed in Pudding and Souse – that investigative arm of the Nation newspaper – that a big up person is alleged to have cussed out someone recently departed?

    Then Albert Brandford column is also more explicit asking if the silence from gov’t (namely arthur) on Stephen Alleyne’s death had to do with a cussing out alleyne received he receieved from a big -up in government.

    Can anyone say if arthur cussed out stephen alleyne just before his sudden death?

    We know of arthur’s predisposition to calling up persons in the night and cussing out people – so this would not be surprising.

  14. [And the press itself is run by Pro Government lackeys and uncle Toms none more obvious than Al Gilkes? The biggest Uncle Tom of them all who has his head in the public trough 24/7 hardly ever coming up to breathe. He is even hired and paid big money by UK bigots building Developments in Barbados and threatening to deny the ordinary Barbadian public access to the beach to spread propaganda!]

    Never have truer words been spoken. Gilkes is a massive Uncle Tom and wherever money presents itself he appears pimping his botsie off.

  15. Are we to suggest that Owing may have played a part in the early demise of Mr Alleyne I wonder for what reason he would have chosen to curse the decent gentleman.
    I to did read the portion in Albert Branford’s article and I found it strange myself.

  16. Let me share with you a story that is true and shows the hypocrisy of the BLP Government, Big up white and black persons in Barbados and how far they will go to accommodate a Foreigner. And at the same time profess to have the best interests of Barbados and Barbadians at heart.

    This story also highlights the hypocrisy of this BLP Government that they are environmentally responsible. They do not know the meaning of the word. All a Foreigner has to do is wave the dollar bill and he can buy and build anything anywhere in Bim. We do not even have building codes far less responsible laws demanding that studies about environmental impact be done prior to building permits being issued. They merely go theough the motions as a formality!

    When the Asta Beach Hotel was taken over by Foreign Interests about 10 to 15 years ago the hotel was extensively refurbished to bring it more in line with other hotels of its kind.

    From the time the Asta was originally built there was a vibrant reef immediately in front of the facility that the original owners correctly left intact. The reef did impact swimming immediately in front of the hotel but guests needed walk only a short distance down the beach to enjoy good swimming.

    Following the refurbishment of the hotel the new owners turned their attention to how best they could improve swimming in front of their hotel and had only one option get rid of the reef.

    Application was made to the Ministry responsible for permission to remove the reef and it was correctly turned down. The Foreign owners then went to the Minister of Tourism and he approved the removal of the reef.

    I have not been down there (Asta beach) in years but not only was the reef completely destroyed but the rocks excavated from it were stacked up in a fashion to make a swimming enclosure. How is that for developing eco-tourism?

    I wonder when Prime Minister Arthur was in New York recently addressing the UN about Global warming if he ever felt a twinge of guilt about his hypocritical talking out of both sides of his mouth. Out of respect I will not publicly name the Tourism Minister. But if I have to I will!

    This is why “Good Name” can write crap about how good a life SOME in Barbados live!

    Do you think “Good Name” and Bajans like him care that when the reef was destroyed so were millions of sea creatures, not to mention the fact that it denied visiting and Barbadian children the joys of enjoying the many wonders only found on a reef when the tidse recedes? Or that it denied some needing a meal the resources to find a sea cat or a lobster. Man you boys got to be joking.

    What we write here day in and day out we are only touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corruption and accommodating foreigners in Barbados and that is why more and more are coming there.

  17. Blog Administrators at BU.

    You will recall a few days ago my posting to the REAL Adrian Loveridge telling him that I had received a call suggesting that Blogs are being targeted by the BLP to discredit comments not favorable to their Party. These rebuttals were going to be directed supposedly against Adrian mainly but other commenters too.

    I speculated that the plot if correct had the markings of the genius of Uncle Tom, Al Gilkes.

    Well isn’t it coincidental or is it, that all of a sudden we have people like “Good Name” a PHONY “Adrian Loveridge” and a “Linchh” who appears sparingly and suspiciously out of the blue.

    I really have not got a good handle YET on the PHONY Adrian Loveridge because he/she seems like a nutso. However, Linchh and Good Name both articulate very well and are quite crafty in their approach that leads me to believe that the Al Gilkes blog movement has been activated. Bring it on! But I hope all and sundry are prepared to pay the consequences.

    I do not know about Adrian but I will put things in the public forum that will get the attention of more than the BLP!

  18. See a set of blogs as seen on the blp blog site my suggestion to them is if they are unable to find something loyal to the blp they may well be advised to shut it down as it advertises more for the opposition than it does for them it is filled with pro DLP pieces well done DLP at least people are willing to speak out in your favour even if it is on the Blasted Liar Place.

    Anonymous // Oct 23rd 2007 at 11:34 pm
    Anonymous // Oct 23rd 2007 at 11:35 pm
    Anonymous // Oct 23rd 2007 at 11:37 pm
    Honesty mascoll sadly lacks
    Anonymous // Oct 24th 2007 at 1:46 am
    Where is the entrepreneurial spirit when you can access $ 2 million in government funds to
    * buy equipment in your own name…..only to lease it back to the same company ?
    * write bounced cheques to companies including government agencies ?
    * employ illegal workers while Bajans are given weed wackers ?
    * when we now hearing that this “small man ” never built 500 houses ?
    * only 15 houses framed out lying down in the factory ?
    Anonymous // Oct 24th 2007 at 1:48 am
    David Thompson’s VISION……is 20/20 in exposing the BLP FILTH !
    Adrian Loveridge // Oct 24th 2007 at 8:57 am
    ‘the DLP has sought to destroy Clyde Mascoll’s credibility’
    I am afraid it didn’t take the DLP.
    Mr Mascoll has done it to himself.
    Just read his public utterings including ‘neither here or there’ when referring to whether or not Mr Murrell had built ‘500 houses in Grenada in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan’.
    Of course he still hasn’t answered the question about the lease-back by Mr Murrell to the company and the over ‘$44,000′ saving it brought to HHF Inc.
    Or the land the company ‘HAD acquired’ in St. Peter and Christ Church according to a statement made to the Nation on 9th July 2007.
    And as for the ‘GEMS GLOW’ article published in the Nation 17th September 2007 and the ‘gem’ of a statement ‘the companies now are in a far better position to manage their current cost’.
    This really demostrates his financial genius, as audited accounts have NOT been made available from 2001.
    Imagine running a country on this crystal ball gazing and second-guessing philosophy?
    Keep on going Mr Mascoll and you will bring them all down.

  19. The corruption is widespread and touches every area more than the average Bajan knows. It didn’t start yesterday but goes way back.
    Things like the disappearance of bus engines from the Transport Board.
    A leading communications company in the Caribbean giving a top dawg an estate in England to ensure that expansion efforts by the communications company’s major competitor are stifled and delayed.
    Rich Government lackeys purchase of lands that are clearly marked Zone 1 at low prices then said lands approved by the Prime Minister’s office for change of use and sub-division and are subsequently sold to Bajans at exhorbitant prices per square foot.
    The Hardwood Housing Project.
    A Minister receiving monies to pave the way for foreign companies to set up in Barbados and after establishing themselves here, adopt an “I can do as I like to Bajans attitude”. Now Mr. Minister is filthy rich and wants to sue people left, right and center if his wealth attainment is queried.
    Leroy McClean when he was a Senator being drowned out in the Senate when he raised the issue of the BNB being sold because it may rub somebody’s wrong side and certain other financial aspects could come to light that the public should not know.
    Recent Trade Mission to Guyana which was mainly a sight seeing vacation for about 40 persons comprising mainly BLP lackeys whose areas of expertise did not relate to the supposed objectives of the Mission but who received an all expenses trip out of the Taxpayers pockets.
    Creation of the Gems project to ensure that certain leading Barbadian families that are mainstream BLP received payments for their insolvent and debt riddled hotels.
    Expensive public bath built by a certain spouse of a minister.
    Inquiry into a former Comptroller of Customs financial activities cut short because a certain minister would be implicated resulting in the C of C being being removed from the post and promoted.
    Boys on the Block votes being bought with weed wackers and lawn mowers which is made a media event and the poor ignorant recipients behaving as though it is greatest thing that ever happened to them.
    And the list can go on and on.
    Bajans who think and feel seriously about their country should realise that as Taxpayers this is their hard earned monies that are being misused and guided by many indiscreet guises into the pockets of a few.
    There will always be malfeasance, crookery and dishonesty by any Government in power but it is the extent and volumes that need to be examined and stemmed as deemed necessary.
    Therefore legislation should be put in place to publicly examine the performance of Ministers, their associateas and linkages relative to Government business during their tenure and if found wanting in any way or any criminal activity is discovered then they and their associates should face the courts with serious serious consequences.

  20. Chris Sinkler in a St Peter DLP branch meeting last week assured us that when the DLP get in some people will go to Jail for corruption and theft.

    Let’s hope it targets the right people like Owen and others.

    We will be holding the DLP to that promise.

  21. I do not know who saw to-days article about the vision that the British Investor Mr. Peter de Savary has for the island of Grenada but here is what I want Bajans to focus on after reading the article.

    But before I go on let me clarify something. I have no problem with what de Savary wants to do from an INVESTMENT PERSPECTIVE neither do I fault him for not wanting to model Grenada after Barbados. But here is what I have a problem with, de Savary’s attitude and presumptiousness. And it is exactly de Savary’s attitude aided and abetted by the Government of Grenada that has prevailed in Barbados with Foreigners at the expense of the MAJORITY AND LOCAL INHABITANTS. And if you read between the lines of this article locals in Grenada are not happy either.

    Investment is one thing but when you have Foreigners coming to your country whether it be in the Caribbean or overseas they do not hold a press conference as de Savary did and talk like if he were the Prime Minister of Grenada. Expounding on what HE WANTS to see happen in Grenada as far as Tourism and related development is concerned.

    This man is a visitor wanting to invest and that is fine but know your damn place and do not dictate to the people of Grenada what you see is best for them. Who the hell does he think he is?

    This is exactly what was allowed to happen in Barbados and what good has it does done for the ORDINARY and AVERAGE BAJAN?

    When Barbadians cry out about not being able to afford a house, eat properly etc they are told along with others that they are bloody liars or that oil prices are responsible.

    Governments in the Caribbean have too long played the role of Uncle Toms to foreigners bearing gifts instead of putting the needs and best interests of their fellow Citizens first.

    When a Foreigner comes to any country to invest they play by the rules of the country they are in. Incentives to invest is not uncommon but these investors are not allowed to dictate their terms at the expense of and belittling the local masses!

  22. No Name,

    Is that you? Well said!!
    I hope that you understand that the BASIC problem is the uncle tom, inferiority complex mentality of the people we call our leaders…
    No pride, No vision, No Integrity – people who think that success = foreign exchange.. and that flexibility means bending over…

  23. Bush Tea das is me bo!

    What I think is the main problem is this. When you have people of de Savary’s wealth and he by no means is the only one coming to a place like the Caribbean. And especially in the case of Grenada which is reeling from hurricane damage not only can he write his own ticket but do you not think he can spread a little money in the right direction to pursuade those in power to see things his way?

  24. Money talks. And its talking its way right into the bank accounts of certain influential people. Man I am in the wrong job. I working hard to earn a decent dollar whilst some sit back and watch the zeros move from hundreds, thousands, millions and upward. Now I need someone to teach me the tricks of the trade on how to get easy money. I wonder if I can ask Ellis to get me on the ear to declare my meagre assets resulting from high inflation and political infelicities on his call in programme and see if the tourism minister could sue VOB again my behalf. Maybe I could get $60, 000.00 too. What yall think?

  25. Pingback: Over $150 Lost For Every Occupied Room Night «

The blogmaster dares you to join the discussion.