Advocate’s Business Monday publishes yet another press release, incorrectly labels it as news

July 14, 2008

Congratulations came in from all sides of the Barbados business community today as Butterfield Bank managed to get the Barbados Advocate to print a press release almost-verbatim. No fact checking, no reference to external sources, no real commentary, no actual news, just pure unadulterated reliance on a piece of paper sent in by Butterfield’s marketing department. Our question is this: How in the name of all that is good can the following initial sentence in the article possibly constitute a news item,
“BARBADIANS have been assured of more high quality services from the Butter- field Bank…”. There’s also some fluff in the piece, provided by Butterfield, about “controversy surrounding the banking sector” as a way of exclusively revealing that “banks have staff costs, it also costs them a lot of money to run ATM machines and other facilities”. Well that’s allright then.
And while we’re feeling vindictive and petty, they can’t even get the name right. It’s “Butterfield”, not “Butter-field” you journalistically sloppy, blithering idjits.

Barbados facing total economic meltdown as government raises cost of visitor drivers licenses by a few dollars

July 9, 2008

The government of Barbados sent the economy into freefall yesterday with the news in the recent budget that visitors drivers licenses were going to cost US$45 more than they used to – around what the average American spends on lattes in Starbucks each week. The move wiped 84% off the value of the Barbados Stock Exchange, sent real estate values plumetting and single handedly decimated the tourism-based economy, causing outrage across the blogsphere. When asked, prominent hotellier Adrian Loveridge was clear about the risks, “Barbados is an expensive destination and it’s clear that what people care most about when choosing their holiday is the cost of a driving license, not accomodation, flight costs, or the destination’s profile. Which is why I expect tourism arrivals to fall by 1,291% in direct response to this measure”. Both Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground declined to comment except to note that, “we shouldn’t be too worried about recessions in the key US and UK tourist markets or the macro-economic details of the budget – let’s shout really, really loudly about driving licenses”.

More incisive journalism as Barbados Business Authority reveals that, “Profits” are “driving corporations”

July 5, 2008

Well done to the Barbados Business Authority this week as they reveal that businesses and institutional investors are motivated by “profit”. And there we were thinking that money had nothing to do with it. Before we used our copy of the BBA in the only sensible way that we could think of – to start a barbeque – we did find a couple of other gems amongst the press-releases-printed-verbatim that make up most of the column inches. We must record our undying gratitude to BICO for adding tamper seals to their ice cream tubs “at no extra cost to the consumer”, having sort of assumed that our tubs of ice cream were already safe. And is it just us, or is Judette Coward-Puglisi really, really annoying ? You do expect a PR director to self-promote but does Judette really have to be so insufferably smug at the same time ? The only ray of light, as always, is Patrick Hoyos who we may disagree with reasonably often but at least writes well.

Right, where did those chicken wings go ?

GEMS hotels fail to sparkle/ lose their shine/ put in dull performace etc.

June 18, 2008

Journalists and Bloggers across Barbados took the opportunity Wednesday to bring out as many cliched headlines as possible on the incredibly unsurprising news that the GEMS hotel group had $48 million in unpaid interest and needed silly amounts of money to remain as a going concern. When asked, the CEO of GEMS was shocked by the reaction, “We’ve been losing money and running awful hotels for so long that we didn’t realise people cared any more. We’re just salaried bureaucrats and it ‘ent our money so we don’t give a green monkey what happens to the hotels. What really gets me though is the choice of GEMS as a name – it gives almost everyone an opportunity to dust off their bad headlines for the day”. Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, commented, “before we close GEMS down and use it to beat the BLP again and again, we’ve decided to change the name to something less easy to headline and are asking the public for suggestions. Our starter for ten is CRAP (Crazy Resort Accomodation Plan) or BAD (BLP Awful Deal) but we encourage the public to write to me directly with their ideas.”

Outrage as businesses in Barbados make money, do business.

June 17, 2008

There was disgust last night as it emerged that real estate companies in Barbados were doing as much real estate business as they could get away with. Paul Altman, when asked why he was not turning AAltman Inc into a charity or giving his vast personal wealth to that homeless guy who hangs out on Swan street, was only able to look at his feet in shame and mutter something under his breath about, ‘free enterprise’ and ‘economic development’ to the jeers of fairly much every Bajan on the internet. Town Planning responded by requesting, “A $10,000 donation in used $100 bills” before they were able to issue, “whatever planning permission – sorry, statement – that you require”. When asked, Mark Cummins, Chief Town planner, clarified that without this donation, it was unlikely that a statement would be issued within the next, “10 years” but that if we knew a, “big up”, that could help.  
BFR only managed to find one economist sober enough to provide advice on the issue, “All those rassholes who’ve destroyed our coastline, sold out to foreigners and blocked access to our beaches going to lose they shirts when the housing crisis in the UK and US catch up with Barbados.” before noting that it might, just might, be the responsibility of the government to regulate real estate development so that the private sector doesn’t go absolutely certifiably insane and put condos and polo fields (seriously, how many can one island possibly need ?) all over our beautiful country. BFR