Thursday, October 28, 2010

Plans for PM Thompson's funeral underway

Since being chosen over the weekend to coordinate the state funeral of Prime Minister David Thompson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean has held a number of press briefings on the activities leading up to the funeral next Wednesday at the Kensington Oval.

Here're the details in a nutshell, courtesy of the Government Information Service:

The Minister explained that as a lead-up to the funeral, there would be the lying-in-state and the provision of condolence books for signing at a number of locations. Starting on Thursday, October 28, the body will lie-in-state upstairs in the East Wing of Parliament where, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., there will be private viewing by dignitaries in the order of the Table of Precedence, from the Governor General to current and former Members of Parliament.

From 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. that same day, as well as on Tuesday, November 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., members of the public may view the body upstairs the East Wing of Parliament.

The public will also have an opportunity to see Mr. Thompson on Friday, October 29, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at his alma mater, Combermere; the following day, Saturday, October 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the George Street Auditorium; and at the St. John Parish Church on November 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Persons will be able to sign condolence books at the following locations: downstairs the East and West Wings of Parliament on October 28 from 1100 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on October 29 and 30, and November 1 and 2.

Condolence books will also be placed at Government Headquarters for public officers on October 29 and 30, and November 1 and 2 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day; at the George Street Auditorium, on October 29 and 30, and November 1 and 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day; at Combermere School on October 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and at the Gall Hill Community Centre, St. John, on October 29 and 30, and November 1 and 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

And today she released that:

"With respect to the conduct of the service, a number of religious denominations will be represented. Dr. the Hon. John Holder will be the main celebrant. It is estimated that the duration of the service will be for one and a half hours and the service will be preceded by musical tributes beginning at 8:50 a.m. and this will be followed by the interment at the St. John’s Parish Church.”

Senator McClean indicated that many Barbadians were desirous of attending the funeral service, but stressed that admission to Kensington Oval would be by ticket only and persons would have to be seated by 8:30 a.m.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade mentioned that to facilitate persons attending the service the Transport Board would have a ‘Park and Ride’ system in operation. She indicated the sites would be the traditional locations: the National Cultural Foundation car park, the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc.’s Car park on Bay Street, the Wildey Gymnasium, Weymouth B and Queen’s College. The shuttle service begins at 6:00 a.m.

Next Wednesday is going to be a painful ordeal...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Nation Mourns

Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable David Thompson, has passed away.

According to reports, the Prime Minister died at his private residence in St. Philip at 2:10 a.m.

He was diagnosed in September with pancreatic cancer after undergoing medical tests since May.

At the moment, Cabinet is in session and we await word on who will be sworn in as the next Prime Minister of Barbados, more than likely DPM Freundel Stuart.

On behalf of Cheese-on-Bread, I wish to extend deepest condolences to the PM's family, friends, colleagues and to my fellow Barbadians at this difficult time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Going with Owen....again

Wuhlossssss. A day is a long time in politics in Bimshire. It's official, y'all. Mr. Owen Seymour Arthur is the new Leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party.

Here's the story in Nation

The vote to return Owen Arthur as leader of the Barbados Labour Party was a unanimous one.

George Payne told the Press today that Mia Mottley, the former leader, no longer commands the confidence of the majority of members in the parliamentary group. "Owen Seymour Arthur is the person we support...the necessary letter has gone to the Governor General and we await his decision with respect to that".

Arthur in accepting his selection by the group says no one had done more than him to facilitate Mottley, pointing out it was he who had first appointed her to his Cabinet serving as Minister of Education and Culture, Attorney General and Minister of Economic Affairs and later elevating to Leader of Government Business and Deputy Prime Minister.

Arthur says “ I really wished Mia Mottley would have led the people of Barbados to so cause them to forget about me”.

He promises to give his full attention to the leadership of the BLP. “I will give this my undivided attention. I will not be going to Antigua, I will not be doing any more consultancies. I will give this my undivided attention”.

The meeting to decide on the leadership of the BLP was held just after 10 a.m. Mia Mottley, the MP for St Michael North East, MP for St Thomas Cynthia Forde and MP for St James North Rawle Eastmond did not attend the meeting.

Along with Arthur, present were former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, George Payne, Ronald Toppin, Gline Clarke, William Duguid and Dale Marshall.

And again I say, wuhloss. They do my girl Mia real bad, though. I know people feel more confident with economist Arthur at the helm of the party because of the current environment, but I don't think she was given enough of a chance to show her worth.

It remains to be seen how Ms. Mottley will respond to this backraising (especially by her Deputy Dale Marshall). The way things are going, she may be back in the chair again by the time elections are next called, so who knows...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Rihanna the stylista

offers her styling services to a select group of fans at Topshop’s Oxford Circus store on October 4 in London, England.

Five lucky girls who entered a recent Topshop competition won a meet-and-greet with the 22-year-old singer and a styling session with her inside the store’s personal shopping suite.

As an added bonus, they also got to keep the outfit Rihanna selected for them.

Good for the girls, but based on this outfit, I can only imagined what pieces Rihanna put together for the five. A definite demented elf chic is going on here...

Shuffling on...

For the third time since capturing the Government in 2008, the Democratic Labour Party has reshuffled its Cabinet.

This time around, it's because ailing PM David Thompson has had to shed most of his portfolios. His role is now that of Prime Minister and Minister of National Security.

Here's the full list of Ministerial changes:

1. David Thompson – Prime Minister and Minister of National Security
• Senator Darcy Boyce – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility Energy, Telecommunications, Immigration and Investment.
• Senator Harry Husbands – Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office

2. Freundel Stuart – Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs

3. Christopher Sinckler – Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
• Senator Jepter Ince – Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs

4. Senator Haynesley Benn - Minister of Commerce and Trade

5. Ronald Jones – Minister of Education and Human Resource Development

6. Michael Lashley - Minister of Housing and Lands, Urban and Rural Development
• Patrick Todd – Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Lands, Urban and Rural Development with responsibilities for Urban and Rural Development

7. John Boyce - Minister of Transport and Works (In addition, Leader of the House)

8. Denis Lowe - Minister of Drainage, Water Resource Management and the Environment

9. Donville Inniss – Minister of Health
• Senator Irene Sandiford- Garner – Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health

10. Richard Sealy - Minister of Tourism

11. Dr. David Estwick – Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Industry and Small Business Development

12. Dr. Esther Byer- Suckoo - Minister of Labour

13. Steve Blackett – Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development

14. Stephen Lashley – Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth

15. George Hutson- Minister of International Transport and International Business

16. Senator Maxine McClean – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

And in related news, apparently the Cabinet reshuffle didn't sit too well with former Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. David Estwick. He had scheduled a press conference to express his thoughts on the matter, but apprently cooler heads prevailed and he was convinced not to go through with it.

I understand Estwick's pique over his perceived demotion, but really, how was he going to hold the PM to ransom over it?

Resign? He would only be cheating himself out of a place in Cabinet and relegating himself to the backbench.

Go independent? Independent Parliamentarians don't get very far in Bajan politics, and he knows it. Just ask Hammie-La...

Cross the floor? After his former colleague and leader Clyde Mascoll crossed over to the BLP anything is possible, but I somehow doubt Estwick would go that route. Though I would pay to see him and Owen Arthur trying to mesh their economic policies... Wuhloss.

Above all, Estwick would come over as the bas guy if he criticised his leader for changing his portfolio. Public sentiment is behind PM Thompson, and that's that.