A Matter of Integrity

On the 29 th of July 2022 on the floor of the Senate Minister of Tourism Lisa Cummins during wind up on Resolution: Special Loans Act, Cap. 105 – Scotland District Road Rehabilitation made a surprising revelation. At about 2hrs. 12 mins into the video Cummins explained that a loan agreement with China in 2017 included a condition which exposed Barbados sovereign assets to China in the event there was a default by the government of the day.

A few days later former Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy – who was in office during 2017 – issued a robust denial to what Cummins stated. Quoting Sealy’s rebuttal:-

There is nothing in the agreement about any airport or seaport being [claimed] in the case of default.

I do not know where that young lady got her information. I do not know if she is being misguided . . . [but it is] absolute total rubbish,” he said.

The former minister of tourism added that the agreement was regarding the Sam Lord’s Castle Hotel Project. He said the arrangement with COMPLANT (the China National Complete Plant Import Export Corporation) was for the project to be a discreet one which could stand on its own.

The Government (then) was determined not to have a repeat of the HRL (Hotels & Resorts Limited)/Gems of Barbados fiasco so there was an exit plan where as soon as we completed the job, the private sector would come in and do what they had to do, which is exactly what this Government is doing,

Source: Nation Newspaper

The blogmaster is unaware the public has been satisfied what is the truth in the matter raised. No documents have been made public as far as the blogmaster is aware to satisfactorily clarify the matter. What is the purpose of our existence if our leaders cannot do so with integrity. What is the purpose of a democracy if people remain silent.

Little Island Big Cabinet

The Barbados government recently launched the Little Island Big Barbados campaign and immediately those responsible are having to defend against a torrent of criticism from the public. The thrust of the concern: the campaign is a tired concept several islands have used to promote tourism for which Barbados is whispered to have forked out $700,000.00.

In the blog BLP and DLP Cancer of Adversarial Politics the blogmaster raised concerns that are applicable in this case. 

Yesterday the Reverend Guy Hewitt (also see: Is Guy Hewitt the Way, Truth and Light for the DLP?) was featured in the news in clarion voice calling for the resignation of Minister of Tourism Lisa Cummins. The good Reverend as spokesman for the DLP- our government in waiting- has the right to call for the resignation of Cummins. If we want to promote a culture of high performance built on meritocracy, when mistakes are made or persons perform poorly, there should be consequences. Although the facts of the matter have not been disclosed to the public – pending an internal investigation by Chairman of the BTMI Roseanne Myers – there is enough smoke to the story to suggest public concerns are valid given the large sum allegedly disbursed for the campaign.

Source: DLP St. Andrew Facebook Page

A takeaway from the imbroglio for the blogmaster is the use of the resignation tactic by politicians on both sides of the aisle. It was not too long ago the incumbent Attorney General (AG) Dale Marshall called for the resignation of then AG Adriel Brathwaite. There were calls for the resignation of Michael Carrington to resign as Speaker of the House Assembly the revelation he had to pass around a hat to collect donations to make good on a client’s monies owed. The blogmaster joined strident calls for Denis Lowe to resign after the Cahill Expose. Fast forward to the present there have been calls for Dale Marshall over concerns about crime, before that it was Wilfred Abrahams and the sordid practice by GIS staffers to emotionally and physically abuse detainees at the GIS, whomever is responsible for the fiasco at Barbados Revenue Authority re car registrations and the latest Lisa Cummins to step down or be fired. They all survived the job. No doubt when the dust is settled so too will Lisa Cummins, one of those Mottley has pencilled in on her succession plan.

A critical examination of the way recent governments have operated in Barbados is that firing has not been a go to option. The calls from political talking heads for opposite members to resign is all about generating froth to feed a perception of relevance in the eyes of a disengaged and unsophisticated electorate. One has to go back to Arthur’s obvious firing of George Payne and Elizabeth Thompson to find good examples of ministerial sackings. Some may offer that a reshuffle is a form of demotion given the pecking order of some ministries, it is not a firing.

In the climate of adversarial politics the DLP is doing what the system allows for a political party to seek traction and visibility in the eyes of the public. Especially two years out from a general election.

Adrian Loveridge Column – Over to You Minister Lisa Cummins

Minister of Tourism Lisa Cummins

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the British Government’s Eat Out to Help Out promotion that initially was being offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3rd through to the 31st August.

Almost a week before ‘last orders’ under the offer is due to expire, over 64 million meals have already been served at more than 50,000 restaurants, pubs and other eating establishments across the United Kingdom.

So far, there have been 34 million searches by 13 million unique users on the official Eat Out to Help Out restaurant finder which uses postcodes to locate participating eateries in any given area.

Not surprisingly, many in the catering industry and trade associations are now calling for a further one month extension, taking it through September, before the employee furlough subsidy is scheduled to end in October.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UK Hospitality, which represents pubs and restaurants throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland stated ‘the scheme has been a huge success for the sector. Our members have been reporting a very-welcome boost in trade, when it was needed most’. Adding ‘the scheme has not just benefited businesses commercially it appears to have really boosted consumer confidence as well, which is just as important’.

While the following observations may go down badly in certain circles, we seem to be constantly reading various utterings about the need to restructure the entire tourism industry on Barbados. Yet few, if any, policies appear to have been put in place to stimulate the sector, in which ‘we’ place so much reliance on now? I can only conclude that those proffering advice on restructuring do not really understand our industry and their immediate needs, which could result in a devastating consequence for any hope of its survival in the short to middle term.

Restructuring does not take place overnight in any sector and in our case, what does it really mean anyway?

Demolishing scores of existing hotels, villas, apartments and the hundreds of extra rooms created by small independent owners that have been persuaded to provide them for rental, through companies like Airbnb?

And what about the various proposed new-build accommodation projects that have yet to show significant progress?

This will be my final impassioned plea to Government to consider launching a national domestic tourism initiative that would be supported, not just by the tourism partners, but by all elements of the private sector that have a vested interest, including food and beverage suppliers, wholesalers and financial service providers that embraced credit and debit card issuers.

Even a low-cost ‘ad’ campaign through local social media and radio might just make a significant enough difference to keeping some of our ‘make or break’ restaurants open and staff employed. Failing to introduce such an incentive into Barbados later than September will run the plausible risk that many of our tourism entities will simply not survive intact until there are real signs of fiscal recovery later this year or into 2021.

Otherwise the danger is that the much vaunted discussion on restructuring will quickly turn into a major plan for possible rebuilding, and that could realistically take decades.

The Fool’s Mate

This week a strange development unravelled in the glare of the public. One minister stayed home and one minister went to…

The eagerly anticipated Integrity in Public Life Act 2020 failed to pass the Upper House again. If it did we understand it would have died this week with the prorogation of parliament. If the government is serious about enacting and operationalizing the failed Bill, we HOPE to see it listed on the Order Paper in September 2020 when the House of Assembly resumes after the break. Are we gluttons for receiving punishment from the political class.

What led us to this point civic minded Barbadians want to know? Was the debate designed and orchestrated to fail by hoodwinking independent and opposition Senators or were they willing participants in the show?

It is incomprehensible the government side – led by the experienced Senator Jerome Walcott and member of the kitchen cabinet – was not able to win the support of three Senators. The assumption is that Senator Lucille Moe is onboard with the Bill and not off sulking some where shirking the people’s business. Do we need to remind the political class and so called independents this Bill was recorded in the Chamber for three years before it died in the last session of parliament?

… is that if you have a good bill, then that means it will have support and opposition because the bill will actually do something. Because of this, the bill will require some negotiating and compromise. This means that you should start with the biggest, broadest bill possible because as your bill moves through both houses of the Legislature, you will inevitably have to remove or change some parts of the bill…


To this blogmaster’s simple way of thinking, enacting integrity legislation is expected to be a contentious undertaking in any place. It follows the citizenry of Barbados expect elected officials in a mature setting to negotiate a final position in the interest of who they were elected to (Rh) serve. We have been trying to pass this type of law since the mid 70s . Our failure to accomplish the task exposes the political class – read Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and Democratic Labour Party (DLP) – as a disingenuous cabal.

How in heavens name can the Minister of Health Jefferey Bostic make a decision out of caution to remain isolated after receiving a negative COVID 19 test AND the Chief Medical Officer (ag) issue a medical clearance to rookie Minister Lisa Cummins to attend the Upper Chamber where the Integrity in Public Life Act 2020 was about to be voted. The minister is the the de facto boss of the CMO for crissakes.

What was the point?

How is it connected?

Minister Lisa Cummins’ apology

Minster Lisa Cummins was instructed to apologize to public criticism. Not the way she wanted to start her tenure as a new minister of government but she appears to be a smart lady and will have to wrestle her conscience if being a politician allows her to the individualist she appears to be.

The blogmaster continues to reflect … if this pandemic does not disrupt what will?