Archive for July 31st, 2011

Deputy premier travelson to Jamaica for Ag show

| 31/07/2011 | 17 Comments

(CNS): While there is still no word from the Cayman Islands Government about the deputy premier’s current travels, according to the Jamaica Information Service, she is now in Jamaica for the three-day Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show, which will be held this weekend at the Denbigh Showground in Clarendon. DP Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, who is also the Agriculture Minister, together with President of the Cayman Island Agricultural Society Errol Watler and other dignitaries from the Caribbean were expected to attend Saturday's (30 July) opening day.

O’Connor-Connolly was in London for the 57th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference 21 to 28 July, but the Cayman authorities have still not acknowledged that the deputy premier is off-island or where else she may have travelled.

The Rurual Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) said its exposition at this year's Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show will be more technologically centredand integrative than in previous years, giving patrons a more fun-filled and educational experience, the Jamaica Gleaner reported.

Under the theme 'RADA: a global approach to food security through evolving technologies', the focus is on opportunities in agriculture using high technologies. Maia Chung, communications and public relations director of the RADA, said, "Our focus on global means that the RADA management, under advisement of the Ministry of Agriculture, will be demonstrating how scientific usage of greenhouse technologies can yield more globally appealing products that stand a viable chance with produce found anywhere in the world.

"The RADA Denbigh theme will be maximising our motto: People, land and opportunity, with a high focus on technological advances that can improve farming to not just enhance efficiency and improve yields quantity and quality, but also to make the sector more attractive to young people, and any other type of player who may be classified as a non-traditional person, to enter the sector."

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Corruption

| 31/07/2011 | 46 Comments

Two Viewpoints on Corruption have been posted recently by Aristophanes Duckpond, and several readers have concluded that I am Aristophanes Duckpond.  I am not.  It is great that this person is writing about corruption, but I cannot take the credit for it. I would like to add one thing to the discussion.

The first and best defence against corruption is an electorate who recognize what a dangerous and damaging thing it is, and use their votes to throw out anyone who they think is guilty of it.  By all means let’s discuss improvements to the law, but don’t give up the first line of defence.

If you look around the world at the countries which are in a total mess, most of them suffer from large scale corruption, people in power taking pay-offs or finding other ways to use their power to benefit themselves.  This is not a coincidence.  Of course there are other ways of ruining a country – war and famine for example — but corruption is the most common way for a country to become a hellhole for its people. 

If corruption is allowed to exist, it will grow. It will destroy prosperity. Honest businesses will suffer. Investors will be discouraged; why would an investor accept an arbitrary tax system in which he has no idea how much the payments will be or how often they will have to be paid?  Investors from major jurisdictions risk criminal prosecution in their own countries if they pay off people elsewhere.  Institutional investors cannot risk this sort of damage to their reputation. 

Corruption will destroy fairness and justice, not only in government and business but throughout society.  It will also encourage lawlessness; why respect the law if your government does not?  Corruption will undermine the country’s international standing and its ability to deal effectively with other countries and international organizations. 

There is no upside to corruption. Once people start to think corruption is inevitable, or that a little corruption does no harm, or that corruption is OK as long as the politicians take care of business, or that corruption is something for others to worry about, their country is on the slippery slope.   

Do not think a country can easily turn back if corruption gets worse.  People in corrupt countries understand well enough the need to get rid of corruption; but they cannot do it.  It is a quicksand.

Zero tolerance is the only effective defence. All politicians are faced by temptation. If they think voters will let them get away with corruption, be sure some will give in to temptation.  There will be corruption.  Do not imagine that the law will deter them if voters do not care.  All countries have laws against corruption.

If you want prosperity, security and justice in your country, you need to use your vote to say “no” to corruption. If you don’t, you are at the heart of your country’s problem.

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Jamaican businesses buckling from power bills

| 31/07/2011 | 11 Comments

(Jamaica Gleaner): Despite a growing backlash from business operators and ordinary Jamaicans buckling under the pressure of soaring electricity charges, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) says there is no immediate relief in sight. "There is no immediate solution to reducing the cost of electricity. I am very sad to say that," JPS president and CEO Damian Obiglio told a Gleaner Editors Forum, held at the newspaper's North Street offices on Thursday. Obiglio's comments came after Dr Rosalea Hamilton, the head of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Alliance – perhaps echoing the situation of most Jamaicans – revealed that her members are faced with monthly electricity bills that threaten their survival.

Hamilton, who also spoke at the Forum, said every month businesses are forced to make tough decisions whether to pay JPS, their bank, their employees or any other bills that are outstanding.

"If they don't pay JPS, they get cut off. And they wait every month until the problem accumulates and the bomb goes off and ultimately that business closes because they simply cannot afford the (electricity) bills," she said.

"This whole situation (to) our members feels like economic terrorism," she added.

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