Barbados Today http://www.barbadostoday.bb Read, Watch, Listen & Discuss Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:57:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 WICB suit http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/wicb-suit/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/wicb-suit/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:46:31 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=105013 The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today said it would “initiate legal proceedings against West Indies Cricket Board” after it players abandoned the Indian tour earlier this month.

The BCCI also announced that “all bilateral tours between BCCI and WICB stand suspended”.

The WICB is meeting in Barbados at this hour to discuss the ramifications of the decision by the players who walked out of the tour following the fourth One-Day International in Dharamsala last Friday.

The BCCI has incurred heavy losses for the abandonment of the series and the decision to take legal action was taken by the all-powerful Working Committee that met to decide the future course of action.

The decision to suspend all cricket tours with West Indies and initiate legal action was taken “unanimously” by the Working Committee members.

“BCCI will initiate legal proceedings against the West Indies Cricket Board due to the abrupt cancellation of this tour. All bilateral tours between BCCI and WICB stand suspended,” BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a brief statement after the meeting.

The BCCI also appreciated the gesture of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board for accepting the offer of playing a five-match ODI series at such a short notice.

“The members appreciated the gesture of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board for having accepted our request to play five ODIs starting from 2nd of November 2014, at such a short notice. This tour is in lieu of their scheduled tour to India next year which will be reciprocated by India touring Sri Lanka in months of July/August 2015,” the statement said.

The venues for the five ODIs will be Cuttack, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, and the detailed itinerary will be announced shortly.

The statement, however, did not specify the exact period of suspension of cricketing tours between the BCCI and the WICB.

It has been learnt that the majority of the members were in favour of taking a hard stand against the WICB for aborting the tour after playing four ODIs.

The West Indies team was scheduled to play five ODIs, one T20 and three Tests matches during the tour between October 8 and November 19.

 

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In David’s name http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/in-davids-name/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/in-davids-name/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:35:30 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=104975 Former groundsman and porter Bill Forde served under five principals at the Lodge School, never wavering in his diligence to the institution.

After completing 38 years and six months of service, he bade farewell to the school in 1970.

It was for that dedication that he was named among half a dozen people rewarded yesterday for their contribution to St John. The awards were issued in the name of the late Prime Minister and St John representative David Thompson.

“He was revered by the students and hailed by many as ‘a faithful servant, an institution within the institution’,” the citation for Forde stated.

Also recognized was veteran educator Wendy Antrobus, who retired on September 1 this year after serving almost 42 years in the teaching service. She spent 33 of those years educating children in the parish.

Another honouree was Margaret Marshall, who ended her 31 year service in law ewnforcement in 2011.

Margaret Marshall receives her award from from the MP.

Margaret Marshall receives her award from from the MP.

She was awarded for “her excellent years of service within the Royal Barbados Police Force”.

The other awardees were attorney-at-law Sukeena Maynard, young entrepreneur Alian Olliviere, and entertainer and multiple award winner Dario Walrond.

Dario Walrond was happy to receive his award.

Dario Walrond was happy to receive his award.

Speaking prior to handing out the awards during the church service at the Unity Wesleyan Church at Edge Cliff, St John, Mara Thompson, widow of the late prime minister, registered disappointment that one of his visions did not appear to be making headway.

Speaking just days ahead of the fourth anniversary of his death, the current Member of Parliament for St John said her deceased husband believed in socializing and building communities.

However, she said this did not appear to be happening.

”Today I can say that I have witnessed the impact of the decline in that connectedness. I was there to see the project he was constructing. I was intimately involved as a doer. From the chair that I now occupy, I have come to appreciate even deeper, his ideals for a stronger community. By community, I’m not just referring to a geographically defined locale but I speak about an ideology that should help drive our future endeavours,” the widow said.

“This country must never find itself just existing with individuals living within a small space but losing the essence of community. I’ve said this before that the advent of technology has brought us together by ensuring that we actually spend less time being together. But technology is not the lone perpetrator in all of this.”

As she concluded her short speech, Thompson issued some advice to Barbadians, and the ruling Democratic Labour Party in particular.

Mara Thompson and her daughters Misha, Oya and Osa.

Mara Thompson and her daughters Misha, Oya and Osa.

“. . . Let us continue to ensure that we seek to build those strong ties among ourselves and seek to extend our community. With this objective in mind, I know the dream of my late husband has hope.”

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was absent from the service, reportedly due to another commitment.

Some of the MP’s present included John Boyce, Denis Kellman, Richard Sealy, Ronald Jones and James Paul.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy (right) and Member of Parliament James Paul (centre) were among those attending the service.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy (right) and Member of Parliament James Paul (centre) were among those attending the service.

]]> http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/in-davids-name/feed/ 0 Get involved in agriculture http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/get-involved-in-agriculture/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/get-involved-in-agriculture/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:17:20 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=104962 Chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul today commenced the first in a series of visits to primary and secondary schools across the island to in a bid to stimulate interest in the sector and Agrofest 2015.

During his visit to the Gordon Walters Primary School, Paul offered encouragement to students, while noting claims that young people were shying away from the industry.

“We want [you] to get engaged in activities dealing with agriculture. The interest that the school has in the 4H Club shows that we can demonstrate to them the kind of activities that can be engaged in as it pertains to agriculture and in that way then we can catch their interest,” Paul told the students gathered in the assembly hall.

“We continue to hear talk about people in agriculture getting older, but we think that if we can introduce young people as early as possible in agriculture, it means that they will get to know the activities. They will then be able to identify at a very early age what are the opportunities. That explains why we are working with schools at this stage.”

The BAS boss promised that students attending Agrofest 2015 would find it to be more educational than in previous years.

The agriculturalist further stated that students would be given the opportunity to win more prizes at next year’s event.

“We are trying to do something different for Agrofest 2015, emphasizing competition and trying to make the children appreciate agriculture. We want to show them how they can help to be part of the effort to improve agriculture generally within the island,” the CEO explained.

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Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/pistorius-sentenced-to-five-years-in-prison/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/pistorius-sentenced-to-five-years-in-prison/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:52:44 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=105006 oscar pistoriusSouth African Paralympian star sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years in prison for the killing of his girlfriend last year, as his sensational trial reached a climax.

Pistorius, who had vomited and wept at times during the trial, stood stock-still in the dock as he was sentenced, veins bulging in his forehead and his jaw muscles clenched.

“Count one, culpable homicide: the sentence imposed is five years,” judge Thokozile Masipa said.

Pistorius, 27, was also given a three-year suspended sentence on a separate gun offence conviction.

The family of slain model Reeva Steenkamp welcomed the sentence.

Steenkamp’s ailing father Barry said he was “very glad” the seven-month trial was over. A lawyer for the family said the sentence was “welcome”.

The Steenkamps’ lawyer, Dup de Bruyn, said the sentence would likely be served as two years in prison and three years under house arrest.

“In effect he gets three years’ correctional supervision and two years’ direct imprisonment,” said De Bruyn, after the sentencing hearing ended.

De Bruyn said that Steenkamp’s parents were satisfied with the decision. “They feel it’s right,” he said.

Visibly relieved, Steenkamp’s mother June turned to a family friend, Gina Myers, to thank her for her steadfast support throughout the trial before leaving the courtroom

Masipa said she wanted to find a balance between retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation, dismissing defence claims that the disabled athlete would face particular suffering in prison.

“It would be a sad day for this country if an impression were to be created that there was one law for the poor and disadvantaged and another for the rich and famous,” said Masipa.

786493-492269ae-58f7-11e4-983e-8817ef23774e

Pistorius embraces his father Henke as he arrives at the High Court in Pretoria.

She also weighed his ability to cope with incarceration given his physical disability.

“Yes the accused is vulnerable, but he also has excellent coping skills,” she said.

Discussing the gravity of Pistorius’s crime, the judge said he had been responsible of “gross negligence”.

“Using a lethal weapon, a loaded firearm, the accused fired not one, but four shots into the door,” said Masipa.

“The toilet was a small cubicle and there was no room for escape for the person behind the door,” she said.

The double amputee sprinter was acquitted of the more serious charge of murder over Reeva Steenkamp’s death on Valentine’s Day last year.

The prosecution has called for 10 years in jail. The defence pleaded for house arrest and community service.

Pistorius testified that he shot Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate and model, four times through a locked bathroom door at his upmarket Pretoria home after he mistakenly believed she was an intruder.

His lawyers, arguing that Pistorius would be more vulnerable than most in prison because of his disability, had argued against jail time, and called instead for the equivalent of house arrest and community service.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said such a sentence would be “shockingly inappropriate” and could cause South Africans to lose faith in their legal system.

The trial has drawn international attention and media gathered outside the courthouse shortly after dawn to get into position for the star runner’s entrance and the arrival of friends and families on both sides of the case who have attended the long trial.

A man dressed in prison orange draped himself in chains, holding a sign saying: “Are certain offenders more equal than other offenders before the law?” Before the sentence was pronounced, legal experts had been divided on which way judge Masipa would swing.

“There is a strong argument to be made for certainly a period of direct imprisonment,” said William Booth, a criminal lawyer based in Cape Town. “You do have to send a message to the public.” The athlete made history by becoming the first Paralympian to compete against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics, inspiring millions with his story.

But during his trial the prosecution painted a darker picture of the one-time sports star, presenting a dangerously volatile young man with a penchant for guns, beautiful women and fast cars.

With the conviction and sentence, Pistorius has lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and — above all — his hero status, tarnished forever. (AP/AFP)

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Arthur to miss first sitting of Parliament http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/arthur-to-miss-first-sitting-of-parliament/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/arthur-to-miss-first-sitting-of-parliament/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:33:50 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=104973 Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is expected to miss out on the first sitting of Parliament tomorrow, following the summer recess.

He is due to be discharged from the private Bayview hospital, following minor surgery to his foot.

In his absence, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is due to move the Second Reading of the Public Accounts Committee (Repeal) Bill, 2014, and the Second Reading of the Financial Management and Audit (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, is slated to move the Second Reading of the Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2013, and also the Second Reading of the Excise Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2013.

Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, is also expected to move the First Reading of the Education (Amendment) Bill 2014. 

]]> http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/arthur-to-miss-first-sitting-of-parliament/feed/ 2 ‘Get fit!’ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/get-fit/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/get-fit/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:28:35 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=104930 The days of having unfit football referees who are unable to manage the game effectively and efficiently for ninety minutes are over.

This assurance was given today by vice-president of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) referees committee, Andrew Belgrave, during the closing ceremony of the Member Association Elite Referees Course held at the Barbados Olympic Association.

Belgrave told a gathering which included BFA president Randy Harris that the time invested by instructors should reflect on local referees and if they were not performing then one could assume the instructors were failing at their jobs.

(From left) Andrew Belgrave and David Meikle.

(From left) Andrew Belgrave and David Meikle.

“If you are just here for other reasons my advice is to stay home. We have no time for referees who are not serious about their craft. I have no time to give up for referees that are not interested in their craft, and interested means attending training, being early, being involved, doing what you have to do,” he noted.

There were 25 referees in total from Barbados who participated in the course which commenced last Thursday, October 16, and ended this afternoon.

The vice-president said one of the main concerns for local referees this year was fitness and made it clear that if they felt they didn’t have to train because they didn’t have to do a fitness test or they were not a part of FIFA and were not going anywhere, they were wrong.

“My only concern is that the fitness aspect was lagging a little this year and as I said it reflects on me and whether you are 19 or 45 it reflects on me. So in future when the tests are called and I am asked to assist in selecting referees and I realize you cannot even do a decent fitness test I would recommend to Mr Callender [Barney] or whoever is in charge to leave these people off the courses because it is better for us to have 15 referees and 12 passing fitness test than to have 30 and 12 passing.”

Belgrave’s comments were supported by Jamaican-born FIFA physical instructor, David Meikle, who facilitated the course over the duration of the four days. He said in his country the decision was taken that if a referee could not pass his or her fitness test they simply would not referee a game.

“I would straight off the bat advise Andrew to go for it. In Jamaica, our season started September and it usually starts with the playing of the school boys’ competition which is one of the most viewed competitions in the island. A lot of games are played so you know you need a lot of referees to man these games and the decision we took prior to the start of the season was that if referees can’t pass a test which lasts for roughly twenty-three minutes, how are you going to manage a game that lasts ninety minutes?

“So the decision was taken if you don’t pass the test you don’t referee a game and of course we came up against opposition from the referees themselves and from some of our local presidents but in the end our plans went through. We did not use one referee who did not pass the test. In fact, we started getting a lot of calls asking: ‘Can you reschedule a fitness test for me?’,” Meikle said, to laughter from the audience.


marissalindsay@barbadostoday.bb

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Burst pipe a bother http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/burst-pipe-a-bother/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/burst-pipe-a-bother/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:10:29 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=104958 As Barbados battles a spike in cases of Chikungunya and dengue fever, one St Phillip community is raising alarm about pools of stagnant water caused by two burst pipes.

The residents of Peat’s Bay, Merricks said they have been appealing to officials at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) for the five past months to fix the problem, without any success.

Margaret Greenidge told Barbados TODAY that one pipe, which is located on the left side of her house, developed the problem back in June.

Margaret Greenidge pointing to the burst pipe that is contributing to stagnant water near her house.

Margaret Greenidge pointing to the burst pipe that is contributing to stagnant water near her house.

After reporting the matter to the BWA, she said a representative came to investigate but had not been seen since.

“A guy came, I can’t remember his name, but he said that they are going to change the meters and he [was] going to report it and since then the water is still running,” a frustrated Greenidge said.

Around a month after the visit by the BWA worker, a grass fire occurred, spreading through a field located to the right of her home. It was at that time that the second pipe was ruptured.

“I put a rock on it, but on a night it sprays all up into the air,” the villager said.

When a Barbados TODAY team visited the area yesterday, Greenidge pointed to a field overgrown with grass, which she said pools stagnant water from the running pipes and “provides the perfect breeding ground for the Chikungunya [aedes aegypti] mosquito”.

“At night, I have to spray consistently and put mosquito coil all around my house because about 5 o’clock or so you start hearing the mosquitoes. I started putting oil in it [the stagnant water] or it would be bare trouble up here.”

The worried resident added that she was tired of sharing her house with mosquitoes and treating the stagnant water.

“The water is breeding too much mosquitos. I have to put on my boots and wade through the water to put old oil in it. It is just running all the time and the water settling . . . . I would like something done with it.”

Greenidge was also frustrated that no one from the BWA has responded to her complaints.

“I called and I went in there, inside Water Works, and a lady tell me she got one or two complaints about it already. She didn’t give me a reason as to why they haven’t come since the complaints, just that they already have it in the system,” she said.

“You tell me four months and they cannot find somebody to come and fix a pipe that will take two minutes?” Greenidge questioned.

When Barbados TODAY contacted the BWA, we were told by customer care representative Ronald Eastmond, “the authority only received a complaint this morning” and that they would look into the matter.

fernellawedderburn@barbadostoday.bb

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On guard http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/on-guard-4/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/on-guard-4/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 05:13:38 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=104988 With pressure mounting on the Freundel Stuart administration to halt its plans for the establishment of a disease treatment unit near the Ursuline Convent School on Collymore Rock, St Michael, the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) today ruled out the possibility that its medical centre could used as an alternative.

This follows last week’s tour of the facility by a team from the Ministry of Health, headed Minister John Boyce.

Over the weekend, the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) also issued a statement in which it listed the BDF Headquarters at St Ann’s Fort, The Garrison as one of three sites the doctors deemed to be more suitable than the current Enmore Centre location.

However, speaking on behalf of his chief of staff Colonel Alvin Quintyne, another top official of the BDF told Barbados TODAY while the medical centre could be used in a mass causualty situation, it did not meet the required international standards, as specified by the World Health Organisation, for either isolation or quarantine of infectious disease victims.   

Lietenant Colonel Glyne Grannum also said concern had been expressed about the threat such an isolation centre could pose to soldiers at the Defence Force base.

BAMP had also suggested the former St Joseph Hospital in St Peter; or a hospital ship as the other alternatives.

In a statement this weekend, it also sought to clear the air on where it stood on the proposed location on Collymore Rock.

President Dr Carlos Chase pointed out that as far back as early September during a meeting with Minister Boyce, the BAMP council had expressed concern about locating the centre close to the school.

Chase said the council had also informed the minister of its reservations in having the unit centrally located in a densely populated area and “having easy access to the public”.

Chase said the Ministry of Health had initially rejected a number of recommendations it had made regarding the operation of the facility.

“Concern was expressed about the plan to have blood transported across the street to the QEH lab. BAMP recommended that on-site processing of essential blood be done, since one did not want to be transporting highly infectious materials across the street in public and then processing in the QEH lab to expose staff and contaminate equipment.” This, Chase said, was rejected by officials saying that was not their protocol from PAHO.

“Further, BAMP suggested that persons be decontaminated and washed down prior to removal of the PPE (special protective suits). This was rejected saying that was the protocol that was established by the experts for the donning and removal of the PPE.”

The medical doctors organisation has also recommended that dedicated team was necessary to manage the isolation unit. “[We] cannot have four different teams going to the unit and then returning to manage patients at the QEH,” Chase pointed out.

BAMP had also urged Government to ban travellers from Ebola-affected African countries.

But so far the ministry has not instituted a ban. Instead, it has recommended that residents do not go to West Africa unless absolutely necessary, until the current Ebola outbreak was brought under control.

When contacted today, the Minister of Health said he could not say too much on the matter at this stage. However, he said he would come to the public shortly with a statement.

“This matter is a very serious matter. I am dealing with it. We are forging ahead with the preparation of Barbados in the event we have to deal with this matter [Ebola]. It is not a simple task. It is changing almost daily. When my team is ready they will prepare a document which I will share with the media. That will be very shortly,” he added.

In the meantime, the parents of the more than 600 children, who attend the Ursuline Convent School, have intensified their opposition to the establishment of the centre next door to the learning institution.

The Parent Teacher Association has launched a formal petition, which is to be presented to Prime Minister Stuart as head of the Cabinet.

Administrator of the school Susan Chennery informed this paper this afternoon that the petition was seeking to determine how many people across the island agreed with their concerns about the possible health hazards the centre could pose “so that we could let the decision makers know”.
Chennery said copies of the petition, which were emailed out this morning, should be in the hands of all the parents by this afternoon.

“We will send out copies and parents can print them and help gather signatures; and then we will have stations here at the school where people can sign individually.”

Asked what the petition said, the school administrator replied: “Basically, do you agree that it [isolation centre] should be relocated?” She said the intention is for persons to indicate “yes” or “no”.

“At the end of the day we will see what happens. We will submit the information to the decision makers and we hope that there will be appropriate action.

[We will submit it to] the Prime Minister so that it goes to Cabinet because Cabinet would have been the decision making body, and a copy should go the Minister of Health as well,” she added.

The students who attend the school range between ages three and 17.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

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Mottley suggests Ebola site be put in St Lucy http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/mottley-suggests-ebola-site-be-put-in-st-lucy/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/mottley-suggests-ebola-site-be-put-in-st-lucy/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:49:42 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=104991 Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has suggested that the former temporary prison at Harrison’s Point in St Lucy may be the island’s best bet in terms of an isolation centre to treat victims of Ebola and other infectious diseases.

She made the suggestion during a BLP branch meeting in St Peter last night at which she strongly criticised Prime Minister Freundel Stuart for his silence to date                      on the matter.

Mottley told party faithful that Stuart needs to follow the examples of world leaders such President Barack Obama of the United States and address the nation on the threat of this dreaded disease.

Mia Mottley

Mia Mottley

“The worst thing that can happen in any country is panic . . . One of the things that most leaders understand is that panic emerges when there is both incompetence and a vacuum of information,” she told those gathered in the Alexandra School auditorium.

“We are still waiting for the Prime Minister of Barbados to let us know that he is the driver still in charge, and that his government, not the Ministry of Health – because the nature of Ebola is that it is not a Ministry of Health problem alone – but that his government is undertaking a range of actions on which Barbadians can rely and have a level of confidence that we are minimising our exposure to what is this dreaded disease that has killed thousands of people [around the globe].

“It is unacceptable for the Prime Minister to have remained silent thus far, and we call upon him  to speak to his people,” she stressed.

During her address, Mottley also zeroed in on the concerns raised by parents of children attending the Ursuline Convent School, who are totally opposed to the establishment of a treatment unit for Ebola and other infectious diseases at Enmore, which is next door to the school.

In supporting the parents on the issue, Mottley said she fully understood their current state of unease.

“If you have a disease that drives fear in the hearts of human beings across the world, are you going to take the one physical measure that you make and put it next to a school of the most of the most vulnerable, namely your children?” she asked.

Dismissing cost as the reason for locating the centre at Enmore, she warned that the psychological impact on parents should have been considered.

“You must know that the one thing to motivate a man or a woman is the protection of their children,” she said, while likening the urgency presented by the threat of Ebola to the 2005 fire at Glendairy Prisons when she was attorney general and minister of home affairs.

“We had in less than 24 hours to make a decision where to put, not four beds, but 1,200 people, that could affect equally the lives and security of Barbadian households. We made a decision to carry them where they would least affect any community.

“We took them to Harrison’s Point [in St Lucy], because the perimeter of Harrison’s Point, once you drive in, is the sea, and the size of the property is such that you have a good distance from the buildings to the fencing.”

While ruling out her party offering advice to Government because such counsel had not been accepted in the past, Mottley said, “I’m speaking to the parents at the Ursuline Convent who have a vested interest in speaking to the Government, and who need to represent to the Government that there can be no logical explanation that can calm our nerves because even medical workers in the removal of their suits have proven that they are most vulnerable to this disease.

“And that whether it is Harrison’s Point or some other location, you need to carry an isolation centre where it will least impact on Barbadian communities and particularly Barbadian children,” she said.

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NO-BRAINER http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/no-brainer/ http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/10/21/no-brainer/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:07:07 +0000 http://www.barbadostoday.bb/?p=104984 It’s a foregone conclusion.

That’s how two leading political scientists today reacted to news of tourism consultant Colin Jordan’s election unopposed as the Barbados Labour Party’s candidate for St Peter.

In fact, with general elections not constitutionally due for another three or so years, both Peter Wickham and Dr George Belle are already calling the St Peter seat for the Opposition.

Peter Wickham

Peter Wickham

“I think it is a no-brainer, quite frankly,” said Peter Wickham who told Barbados TODAY he expects Jordan to carry the banner well in the constituency, long regarded as a BLP stronghold.

And based on what he sees as the current level of swing away from the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) he said there was no stopping Jordan’s ascendency in the northern riding.

“I think the national environment is one in which there clearly will be a swing towards the Barbados Labour Party that will also help Colin Jordan and the most important point is that the Democratic Labour Party hasn’t really demonstrated a lot of interest in St Peter,” said Wickham, who also based his position on recent comments made by Haynesley Benn, the former DLP candidate for the area, who is currently this island’s Consul General to Canada.

“I think it has become quite clear that the DLP has really not taken St Peter quite seriously, they have essentially sent a candidate who has done very well in St Peter off to Canada and it is difficult to see how he could make a serious case for that seat in Canada,” he added.

His former University of the West Indies colleague Dr George Belle has also been seeing signs of a swing away from the Government, which he contends has not performed well and therefore will not present a formidable challenge to the BLP in the St Peter seat.

“I am expecting a swing that would be going against the Government and therefore the stronghold would be strengthened and not diminished. There would have to be something that is very negative that is happening against the Barbados Labour Party that would prevent a swing against this current regime,” he told Barbados TODAY.

Dr Belle also commented on Owen Arthur’s abrupt exit from the BLP back in July, saying he didn’t “see any particular weight in what had happened” since then.

However, Wickham said the tourism executive should be given credit for being able to get the support of both Arthur and the current leader of the BLP Mia Mottley.

“I think it speaks volumes about the individual and his candidacy and I think it’s good for the BLP that it has been able to produce a candidate that can straddle both interests and it kind of makes it clear there is a level of unity existing in the organisation.”

Wickham also dismissed as a “non issue”, the fact that Jordan was not a card-carrying member of the BLP when he was named as the BLP’s caretaker for the constituency back in August.

“I think that many people become members of a political party at a point in time when they are intending to seek office. If you look on the other side you might be surprised that they are senior members within Cabinet that are not members of the DLP or they only joined very recently. So that to me is a non issue. It is not as big a deal as people think.”

He, however, believes the nomination further clears the way for Mottley to stamp her authority on the leadership of the party, post Arthur, as he stressed that the Opposition must focus on consolidating its leadership.

“It has to consolidate, it needs to project unity and it need to project a serious assault on the Democratic Labour Party and the policies that are clearly unpopular,” Wickham stressed.

sandydeane@barbadostoday.bb

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