Prince Harry was happily and enthusiatically welcomed to Barbuda last week and attended events at both HTS and SMGSS schools. In Antigua however, Gaston wasn't appreciated by the watching British press but we know how much Gaston adores an A lister. 'Despite the fact that organisers of an Antiguan charity event Harry attended on Sunday had declared his romance with Markle was off limits for discussion, the Prime Minister appeared to have missed the memo,' says the Independent. The Prime Minister did not stop there, as Prince Harry was lined up to meet six of the island’s beauty queens Gaston went for that old “whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” idiom, to the embarassment of the Prince; bringing more than a hint of that newly elected American President to mind.
In a Press Release today the BPM announced it would be boycotting Independence celebrations on Barbuda. The party cited the following examples of the treatment of Barbudans by the current administration as the reasons for this. But Nibbs is right about buying Barbudans with a cooler - it's all that seems to happen now in Barbuda. A free party every weekend and the rest of the week off to get over it. But this is the plan, eh Arthur?
BARBUDA PEOPLES’ MOVEMENT
C0DRINGTON BARBUDA via St. Johns ANTIGUA.
Tel. (268) 460-0434
24th October 2016
The Executive and general membership of the Party having met and considered the disregard for the rule of Law, the disrespect for the people of Barbuda and the Barbuda Council as demonstrated by the current government administration; we cannot in good conscience pretend to be enjoying the fruits of 35 years of independence. We will therefore boycott all official events connected to the 35th celebration of Antigua's independence. The following list details some of our main concerns:-
1. The incendiary statements made by Prime Minister Gaston Brown and Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin that the Barbuda Land Act 2007 "… is not worth the Paper it is written on".
2. Irresponsible and baseless claims that the "Barbuda Land Act is unconstitutional"
3. Declaring that Barbudans taking action in the Courts Of Law are "economic terrorists" and that the he would use the resources of the State to "bankrupt them" and that "any persons standing in the way of development will be eliminated".
4. For indicating that the entrenched Barbuda Local Government Act will be removed from the Constitution.
5. The relegation of Barbudans to "second class " citizens status again.
6. The rapacious grab of Barbudan lands by real estate speculators posing as investors.
7. The insulting statement made by Minister Arthur Nibbs claiming that Barbudans can easily be bought with a “cooler with some beer and drinks”.
Trevor Walker Fabian Jones Mackenzie Frank
Political Leader Chairman General Secretary
Following the report that students are having to be taught outside because of lack of classroom space and resources in Barbuda, the Minister of Education has been quick to respond. In 2014 Arthur Nibbs shared the same opinion. Nibbs even then told OBSERVER Media that '... currently, there are space shortages at McChesney George and not enough teachers.'
Sir McChesney George Secondary School was built following prolonged pressure from the people of Barbuda to improve education on Barbuda. One of their demands was to have a long overdue separate setting for secondary education on Barbuda. Until then, all children - infants and seniors - went to Holy Trinity together, as in other under-developed nations where minimum standards are not met and excellence in education is denied the population. SMGSS was too small when it was built then and there has been an acute shortage of qualified, interested and motivated teachers for thirty years, which is why most Barbudans who are able send their children away from Barbuda to be educated. And then they never want to come back.
But some Barbudan teachers are returning to Barbuda, to improve education here and with their own first hand experiences of it as children. They will be the positive role models of the future and the inspiration for the next generation, not some official from Antigua.
Scotland's intention to protect the unique way of life of its 900+ tiny island communities is making fast progress towards their Islands Bill. Minister Humza Ustaf said 'Our islands make a significant contribution to Scottish life from both a cultural and economic perspective. We have placed the aspirations and needs of our island communities at the centre of our empowerment agenda. The Bill will provide lasting benefits for all our island communities for generations to come'. This approach is an exciting recognition of those ancient communities that live in isolation and small numbers and after consultation with all residents their manifesto includes -
- Giving Island communities a stronger voice with a new Islands Bill, and continue the Islands Working Group.
- Develop a National Islands Plan to ensure our islands fulfill their economic potential.
- Maintain the Air Discount Scheme at 50 per cent; invest in quality ferry services; keep ferry fares as low as possible, and provide concessionary travel for our older people.
- Superfast broadband will be extended to all premises by 2021, and island businesses will benefit from the Small Business Bonus too.
- Record investment in our NHS, supporting health care across our islands with more health care in the community.
- Free childcare doubled and action to improve attainment in our schools.
- Ensure Winter Fuel Payments, which are being devolved to Holyrood, will be paid early to people who are “off-grid” – making a huge difference to older people in remote areas.
- £5 million investment to support island and Rural produce.
- Support the energy industry on the islands and push the UK Government to deliver the connections that are needed.
- Ensure island communities receive the full revenues from Crown Estate assets around their shores and have a greater say in how the assets of the Crown Estate are managed.
This Australian online gambling site reports that the Packer/De Niro casino will go ahead on Barbuda despite Ambassador Boufany's over-reaction to any opposition to it and subsequent uninformed comments on the Forbes article. All this highlights is that if you have enough money you could ask for a Noah's Ark full of Albino Animals and the Antigua government would agree if it was on Barbuda... oh, that's exactly what Maria wants for her wedding? Will it include Llama's Mariah?
I can't even be bothered to write up this one...
As if the terms of the De Niro project weren't bad enough at least he's A list. Gaston's open door to the queue of other greed-driven billionaires waiting for Barbuda's salt ponds and wildlife to be divvied up for their benefit is looking desperate. DeJoria donated to Ted Cruz' racism-driven election campaign in the US of A - maybe he has just found that out? But as our court case looms Gaston must be wondering how Antigua can claim the fastest economic growth in the Caribbean without securing his income from Barbuda land? That money certainly wouldn't be staying in Barbuda. His ridiculous assertion that Barbudans are 'virtually 100% subsidised by central government' was long disproved by an economist invited here by Council to research accurate data, to put to rest the same backward opinions perpetuated by the Bird government for over twenty years. And most Antiguans know this. This is why we have subsidised, cheaper-than-Antigua cooking gas - to offset the extra transport costs to us for basic everyday things. For a so called twin-island state we are fleeced daily by the Browne government - through airfares (except when they want to come here to party) and other indirect taxes as everything we do outside of Barbuda goes into an Antiguan business; even our money is saved in an Antiguan bank. So none of the Barbuda lobster exported, the fresh fish sold, the small independent family-run businesses, the homes built without mortgages, the sustainable tourism in small locally owned guest houses count, to the men in Antigua (and their friendly facilitators in Barbuda) who are only interested in money.