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Letter: Hotel St Vincent
Published on October 28, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

It is not sufficient just to point out how many international foreign tourists currently visit the mainland of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to understand the probable impact on holiday arrivals of the operation of Argyle International Airport (AIA), as I did in a previous essay.

These numbers need to be placed within the context of overall hospitality accommodation on the mainland to assess their relevance: the number and capacity of existing resorts, hotels, and other establishments; demand for their expansion; and the need to build much larger facilities.

In another earlier essay, I argued that:

“… the mainland has a hotel capacity of only 564 hotel, apartment, and guesthouse rooms, hardly sufficient to accommodate the tens of thousands of new visitors AIA is supposed to attract”.

This assertion was incomplete on two grounds.

First, the 564 number did not include several hotels, apartments, guest houses, and other accommodation not advertised in the trade publication distributed by the SVGTA (see below) from which I derived my data. Nor did it tabulate the type, location, or size of the listed venues and their implications for our tourism industry.

Table 1 lists accommodations compiled from data in the Ins and Outs of SVG 2016, a commercial publication purchased and widely circulated by the SVG Tourism Authority, supplemented by additional rental units I was able to find on various online sources.

resorts_table.jpg
Table 1. Mainland Resorts, Hotels, Term Rental Apartments, and Guest Houses

Three qualifications are necessary before addressing what Table 1 says about the need for AIA.

First, the room occupancy of two of these properties is unknown. Given that they are poorly advertised and that two of them are guesthouses, I estimated their cumulative occupancy as 20 rooms.

Second, it is unknown how many of the properties listed are actually going concerns, given the high rate of failure of small hotel ventures, especially outside of the southwest coastal tourist belt. Still, I have assumed that they are all still in business.

Third, as I pointed out in my earlier treatment of this issue:

“There are a couple hundred more rooms in short-term efficiency units, private homes, small apartment complexes, and duplexes that are not listed or well advertised and thus generally unavailable to international travelers.”

Some of these small operations derive a good part of their income doubling as love nests for middle-aged and older married men (sugar daddies, as they are called all over the world) and their adorable teenaged sugar babies. (Please don’t assume that I know this from personal experience!)

I have now taken into account most of the additional rooms (listed from Heron Hotel down in Table 1). I have also tabulated private home and allied rentals of all types and descriptions on various on-line holiday booking and allied sites (TripAdvisor, housetrip, flipkey, VRBO, Airbnb, and the metasite tripping), which yielded some 50 additional entries (assumed to total at least 129 additional rooms because many had two or more bedrooms) and have added these to Table 1 under the heading “Other.” (But it would be unreasonable to add totally unadvertised rental units since these would be inaccessible to international travelers unfamiliar with SVG, precisely the type of tourist AIA is meant to attract.)

This certainly does not include the Bush Bar’s Irie Hut, a three-cottage enterprise consisting of rustic one-room bamboo cold-water shanties with flush toilets and 15 five-star Internet rankings, proudly splashed all over cyberspace and available for a pittance at US$30 (EC$80) per night.

irie_hut.jpg
Bush Bar’s Irie Hut (Queensbury, Vermont) for those craving the natural life

At the other extreme, there is Harmony Penthouse Apartment, a spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit on the upper story of a private home in the inland Harmony Hall area near the southeast coast renting for US$2,100 (EC$5,607) per week. But well into October, neither this suite nor the jungle hut in Vermont have any booking for the next 12 months, something they share with most other private rentals.

harmony.jpg
Harmony Penthouse Apartment

I found no pricey private accommodation on or adjacent to the southern seaside area between Villa Point and Johnson Point, testimony to how little desirable beachfront property there is on the mainland.

Other private apartment and house rentals are at or under a US$100 (EC$267) per night rate, way below comparable accommodation in the Grenadines.

In sum, then, my best estimate is that there are 750 or so rooms available for holiday rental on the mainland of SVG (or 25 percent higher than my earlier and much cruder estimate) to accommodate 6,500 tourists coming from extra-Caribbean destinations, figures that are well below the occupancy capacity of the existing stock of room, even during the November-April high season.

tranquility.jpg
Tranquility Beach Apartment Hotel, a typical no frills establishment at Villa renting for US$70 per night for double occupancy but not actually located on the beach

But not all hotels, resorts, apartments, guest houses, and private homes are occupied by tourists from North American and Western Europe. Many are also rented by overseas nationals, Caribbean visitors (presumably including nationals), and various categories of business people. The precise number of such mainland guests is not presented in the SVGTA data, but once again some reasonable estimates are possible from the numbers provided.

To repeat what I said about this in a previous essay, among the things we do know relevant to this analysis is that, in 2015 (based on figures kindly supplied to me by the SVGTA), a year that saw the highest stop-over arrivals since 2009, is: how many stopover visitors arrived in SVG (66,612); how many of these were holidayers (33,630); how many people who landed at all five airports in SVG stayed in hotels, resorts, villas, apartments, guest houses, and other commercial establishments (27,366); and how many lodged in private homes (34,886).

Given that the Grenadines are a far more popular tourist destination than the mainland, I conservatively estimate that no more than 70 percent of those who landed on the mainland stayed at commercial establishments, an educated guess that translates into nearly 20,000 people, including holidayers, business people, and others. (Conversely, I assume that most of the 34,428 people who sojourned in private homes were mainly Vincentian nationals residing elsewhere who came to visit friends and relatives, an assumption partly based on a perusal of Internet private-home travel sites, a topic I will address again elsewhere.)

These 20,000 people made up some 40 percent of the 50,271 who landed at E.T. Joshua International Airport in 2015.

In discussing a comparable situation to ours, Gregor Nassief, president of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association, argued that:

“It is useful to reflect on the experience of St Lucia and Grenada. St Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport was built by the US military and handed over to St Lucia in 1952 (effectively a gift to the island). It became operational with a new control tower in the early 1970s and did not see serious internationally scheduled flights until ten years later, when St. Lucia already had over 2,000 hotel rooms and double the arrivals we [in Dominica] have today (and that was 30 years ago!). Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport was completed in 1984, also substantially a gift to the island (first built by the Cuban government, then finished with funding from various donor agencies).

“Similarly for Grenada, it took about ten years to see regularly scheduled international flights, by which time Grenada already had over 1,000 hotel rooms.”

ins_and_outs.jpg
Ins and Outs of St Vincent and the Grenadines 2016 magazine
The first line of evidence to support the assertion that the demand for rooms pushes their supply (rather than the other way around) which then pushes supporting infrastructure like an international airport (again, rather than the other way around) is the small size of our existing establishments. The average room number of the 35 hotels, apartment complexes, and guest houses in Table 1 (discounting “Other”) is 18. It would be far less than this if not for the troubled Buccament Bay Resort, which alone makes up a whopping 16 percent of all rooms in named accommodation.

So the second error in my earlier analysis was to opine that “… the mainland [stock of] hotel, apartment, and guesthouse rooms [is] hardly sufficient to accommodate the tens of thousands of new visitors AIA is supposed to attract.”

What my new and more accurate figures say is that the current supply of rooms far exceeds the demand for them. If all existing rooms were occupied every day of the year by two people staying for two weeks, this would require 39,000 guests (750 rooms x 2 people x 26 two-week blocks), or double the present number. If an average of only 65 percent of rooms were occupied throughout the year (the same rate as tourism powerhouse Barbados, they would still require 25,350 guests, over 5,000 more than my 20,000 estimate of foreign tourist visitors in 2015.

If the true occupancy rate were 50 percent, this would require only 19,500 guests, or about as much as we now receive. Indeed, a 50 percent rate would place us at the same level as Dominica, a country with a much higher level and proportion of foreign stayover visitors.

A 50 percent occupancy rate would also create an equilibrium between supply and demand based on what we economists call “perfect competition” -- a huge number of actual and potential consumers and enough independent establishments whose locale, description, features, prices, and customer reviews are publically known to ensure competitive prices and selection.

Alas, “equilibrium” and “perfect” in economic terms would only mean financial distress, if not bankruptcy, for many hoteliers unable to pay their bills or their staff given the actual occupancy rate – a figure that is surely closer to 30 percent than 50 percent, given the visitor numbers for Dominica (see below), a country with only 500 hotel rooms, according to Mr Nassief. (Even if these numbers were inflated to the same rate as our 750 based on the assumption that his figures don’t include rooms not advertised in officially-sanctioned publications, a 30 percent annual occupancy figure may be on the high side.)

A low occupancy rate is also suggested by the chronic inability of our largest and most expensive facility, Buccament Bay Hotel and Resort, to pay the millions owed to its workers, contractors, suppliers, and the government of SVG, an observation confirmed by the fact that it has plenty of cottages available for rent as I write these words for the prime December 17-31 Christmas period.

A tenancy rate way below 50 percent would also suggest that most of the 5,039 Caribbean visitors who came here in 2015 to visit friends and relatives lodged with these people rather than in commercial establishments, thereby adding relatively little to our foreign exchange earnings or other revenue in the process.

By comparison, in Dominica, a Caribbean country with which we share the absence of an international airport, about 56,600 people, or 76 percent of the total 74,474 stayover airport arrivals (a number very similar to ours), were foreign visitors. The obvious reason for this 24 percent disparity between the two countries is that Dominica has far more and far better natural tourist attractions than the mainland of St Vincent, as I will show in a subsequent essay, but could easily accommodate thousands more stayover visitors with its current supply of rooms.

Whatever the true mainland occupancy rate, many of our hoteliers besides Dave Ames, who runs the Buccament Bay operation, are barely treading water, an assumption that is borne out by the number that are shuttered during the low season (May to November), the plethora of mom-and-pop establishments with ten rooms or less, and the many small hotels and guest houses that have failed or repeatedly changed hands over the years.

In addition, discounting “Other,” the establishments under ten rooms (which represent nearly half of all private facilities), are mainly low-budget enterprises that were probably disproportionately occupied by the 6,908 Caribbean visitors who came to the mainland on business in 2015. Conversely, the two all-inclusive beach resorts at Buccament Bay and Young Island are pricey facilities whose cottages are rented mainly by well-heeled overseas vacationers.

My main point in all of this is that, taken together, these figures and observations suggest that the very last thing SVI needs is more hotel and resort rooms. Indeed, what we need most of all is to stimulate the arrival of tens of thousands more tourists by increasing and improving our existing recreational resources and allied infrastructure and by creatively advertising our holiday strengths and attractions in our main North American and Western European markets.

Instead, all the government seems to be doing – besides trying to build an superfluous airport at Argyle -- is accumulating worthless air service agreements with Qatar, Chile, and the United Arab Emirates, countries whose residents will never come here on holiday, and hectoring the private sector to build more hotels and resorts and expand existing ones for non-existent additional guests, an unfair blame-and-shame campaign also conducted by our country’s newspapers.

The need to refocus our tourism strategy – or give up on tourist growth and go back to farming, our only other development option -- is no better seen than by observing the situation faced by of our best and largest facilities, those with 20 or more rooms situated at or near the sea, most of them operating well below capacity even during the winter season. All other smaller establishments are located far from any beach because we have so little tourist-friendly beachfront.

There are only two coastline hotels on the entire Leeward side, the location of our most suitable beaches in size and recreation potential (swimming, beach sports, sunbathing, snorkeling, kayaking, etc.), one on Buccament Bay with a phony imported white-sand shoreline and the other an establishment with a decrepit dining and bar area at Wallilabou sharing a badly eroded and sand-mined seaside with the fast disappearing remains of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie set whose online booking requests go answered.

wallilabou.jpg
Two-star unadvertised Wallilabou Anchorage Hotel and a single moored holiday vessel

wallilabou_beach.jpg
The remains of Pirates of the Caribbean movie set on battered Wallilabou Beach

But none of our shortcomings or the experience of genuine tourist islands are of any concern to the present regime, whose members keep proclaiming that AIA is bound to magically transform our sow’s ear of a mainland holiday destination into a silk purse of international renown.

No wonder that more people are finally waking up to the fact that AIA is being built strictly for political show and control – an ostentatious expression of “Labour Love” and dynastic succession -- rather than for economic development and employment growth.

***

This is the 36th in a series of essays on the folly of the proposed Argyle International Airport.

My other AIA pieces can be found below:

Get ready for a November election in St Vincent and the Grenadines! But which November?
Lessons for Argyle International Airport from Canada's Montreal-Mirabel International Airport
Lessons for Argyle International Airport from the cruise ship industry
Lessons from Target Canada for Argyle International Airport in St Vincent
Lessons from Trinidad and Tobago for Argyle International Airport
The dark side of tourism: Lessons for Argyle Airport
Why Argyle won't fly: Lessons from Dominica
Ken Boyea and the Phantom City at Arnos Vale
Airport envy Vincie-style
Fully realising our country's tourism potential
Airport without a cause
The unnatural place for an international airport
The Potemkin Folly at Argyle
False patriotism and deceitful promises at Argyle
Airport politics and betrayal Vincie-style
Phony airport completion election promises, Vincie-style
Is Argyle International Airport really a ‘huge game-changer for us’?
Has the cat got your tongue, prime minister?
More proof that Argyle won't fly
Our very own Vincentian cargo cult at Argyle
The missing Argyle Airport feasibility studies
The world's four most amazing abandoned airports
Farming, fishing, and foolish talk about Argyle International Airport
Argyle Airport amateur hour
St Vincent's place in the world of travel
Investing in St Vincent's tourism industry
The Argyle Airport Prophecy: What the numbers say
Did the IMF drink the Comrade's Kool-Aid?
Why Qatar? Why St Vincent and the Grenadines?
Foolish words about Argyle International Airport
'If I come, you will build it': Lessons from the Maldives for Argyle International Airport
City lessons for Argyle International Airport
Who really lands at Arnos Vale?
No ticky, no washy - Argyle-style
We have met the Vincentian tourism enemy and he is us

C. ben-David
 
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Comments:

C. ben-David:

ADDENDA:

1. Those who feel that this essay is too long and too convoluted (myself included!) should note that had the relevant data on the number, type, and occupancy rate of our hotels and other stayover facilities been collected, compiled, and published by the SVG Tourism Authority – as they are in so many other Caribbean countries -- its length would have been reduced by two-thirds.

2. On a recent radio programme, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, argued that “But throughout the whole Caribbean, there are some hotels that are not managed properly. Some are even going through liquidation. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t build hotels and you don’t go into tourism” in response to the charge that Buccament Bay Hotel and Resort was being mismanaged. He also claimed that whatever is built in St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains in the country for someone else to manage, if the original owners don’t succeed (http://www.iwnsvg.com/2016/10/22/canadians-complete-payment-for-mt-wynne-lands/ ), a specious claim also made by Sir James Mitchell about Ottley Hall marina fiasco which is currently a shadow of the project that was originally envisioned.

Missing from Dr. Gonsalves’ simplistic assertions are the following observations:

1. Many of these hotels, including dozens in Barbados, are closed or have been for sale for years because of a lack of visitors, not because of incompetent management.

2. There are hotels and other guest facilities all over the Caribbean that have been shuttered or half built for years, including several on our mainland. If Buccament Bay Hotel and Resort is liquidated, it will too surely suffer this fate because the large number of competing interests and law suits will make it virtually impossible for anyone else to profitably manage it.

Building hotels in the absence of actual (as opposed to prayed-for demand) is an extremely risky venture, especially in a place like our tourism-challenged mainland.

Sandra B:

What a shame that the writer had to include an element of nastiness into this otherwise informing letter.

“Some of these small operations derive a good part of their income doubling as love nests for middle-aged and older married men (sugar daddies, as they are called all over the world) and their adorable teenaged sugar babies.”

You write this as a fact and I am sure you have no evidence of such a matter whatsoever. It is damaging to SVGs image, damaging to the small hotel and guest house images, and grossly insulting to Vincentian women and girls many of whom are good Christians. Tourists would think twice about staying in such places after reading such dreadful damaging nonsense.

Why would the writer want to insert such an opinion into a document which is purported to be otherwise filled with commercial fact.

For me it makes me doubt the truthfulness of the whole article. It makes the article sound as if its written by an unprofessional ill educated moron. It certainly makes the writer sound like some sort of a pervert “their adorable teenaged sugar babies”.

Shame on you Sir and based on your comments I hereby reject the whole article, because of your doubtful and unproven gibberish that blights the country its people and the accommodation industry, and in particular our girls and women.

C. ben-David:

Sandra B., you are either living in a nunnery or have a very sheltered life not to know that in SVG, as around the world, hotels and other accommodation are often used by married and unmarried people who want to keep their behaviour discrete or have nowhere else to have sex.

The individuals involved may be prostitutes and their clients, or married and unmarried lovers cheating on each other, or people living apart in crowded dwellings with no privacy to do their thing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_hotel).

So why should SVG be any different? And why do you think that this would be some big deal that would offend tourists from countries like America, the UK, and Canada where such love nests are commonplace?

As for the term "adorable teenaged sugar babies," this is exactly how their sugar daddies (and jealous men around them) look at these perky young gel.

And I am talking just about people with enough money to rent a room somewhere for a couple of hours or minutes (as in the case of prostitutes) of fun, not about people -- the majority -- who under the same circumstances (especially teenaged boys and girls still in school) do their thing in the dead of night on the beach or behind some tree (Yes, I have lots of evidence of that too).

As for being "good Christians," most Vincentian girls have lost their cherry by the time they are 16 at the latest. How you can call a person who engages in such fornication a "good Christian," is beyond me.

***

Actually, you just want to slam my whole essay for your own (perhaps political) reasons and see this assertion -- of which I have much anecdotal evidence -- a good excuse to do so.

C. ben-David:

Sandra B, forgot to mention that your claim that because my assertion about some hotels also being love nests is false, then everything else I wrote must be false as well is an example of the logical fallacy called the "fallacy of division" -- since one part is false, everything else must be false.

But this is of no concern to you because either you are a product of our failed "education revolution" and therefore have no understanding of logical argumentation or you are just trying to dismiss what I wrote, whether true or false, because of your political biases and hence have no regard for logical argumentation.

Whichever case, I continue to stand by my assertion that some of our smaller hospitality establishments double as love/sex hotels.

Sandra B:

Some of my friends and relatives own small and even two of the larger hotels at Saint Vincent. I know that none of them would ever entertain or allow such goings on at their hotels.

Tomorrow I will have a word with some of my friends and will also talk with the SVG Hotel Association.

Seeing as you talk from supposed authority on the matter and have not put this forward as something that could happen but something that is happening. You have declared it an assertion on your part which is something declared or stated positively, often with no support or attempt at proof.

I still do not understand why you would need to insert such comments in your letter. Unless of course you are an aggressive person looking to attract a fight with someone. I certainly can see aggression in your reply.

During this evening I will read some of the other articles that you list and the comments which are sometimes more important to get a view of what the writer is actually about. I hasten to add I have never read anything of yours before.

I had no idea that what you wrote is a political document. I have not approached what you wrote with any political reasons in mind.

I must add that I do not understand why you need to attack me personally when you do not know me. Is this your normal procedure? Or do you do that with everyone?

As for your reference to a fallacy of diversion you wrote what you wrote and I picked you up on it. I most certainly stand on my statement that you are obviously a moron.

But more on moron after I have read your previous letters.

I will revert tomorrow.

As for you Mr Ferrari you probably already had a skinful which you are pretty well renown for so I will excuse you for siding with this nasty person. You like he are obviously an unpatriotic woman hater, are you married still?

Patrick Ferrari:

Excellent research – as usual. Cleverly argued and logically presented. It is another “shoot the messenger” piece. (I see it done start.)

I have a far less erudite piece kicking around in my head that centres on part of one of your sentences, “… testimony to how little desirable beachfront property there is on the mainland.”

And dead against Camillo’s advice to the New York diaspora to look sharp and invest in SVG because investments here are going to “skyrocket.”

Shame on you C. ben. The plethora of earlier-part (13 – 15) teenage girls you see walking around the place with their two- and three-year olds, you don’t know but the babies came from a monogamous relationship with their steady, 13- to 15-year old boyfriends. You don’t know either but the young family goes to church every Sunday. I believe, though, that some of the babies could well have come via an immaculate conception. (There is a young woman in Calliaqua: age 25; children 7; oldest 14. Go figure.)

Now C. ben, “adorable teenaged sugar babies” is not PC. Wave the magic wand with an apology for the remark. The apology would make the problem, oh dear, I spoke a wrong word, the matter cease to exist and would make and all, all the women of SVG good Christians and the plethora of earlier-part teenage girls with their two-year and three-year old babies, good, educated, respectable, proper-aged, pious, God-fearing mothers. Just like that.

On the serious side, do you know what I think? I think “teenage sugar babies” is an epidemic. So, let’s not talk about it. We might have to face the problem. We would make it real it real if we do that. No let’s not. Let’s do our wont; let’s sweep it under the carpet and pretend it does not exist. And don’t forget, if we talk about it, we would paint all innocent women, good Christian women too, with the same tar brush. Because if you talk about teenage girls you talk about grandmas at the same time. One female is all female.

Oh gawd, I am retiring to the bar. The rum bar.

C. ben-David:

Dem young gel a dem not tupidy like dem granny, Patrick. Dem does know good, good "fool me once, shame pon you; fool me twice, shame pon me" after de young boy a dem breed um and cyan mind dem an de pickme. An de wicked boy a dem even say de pickme na he own. Worries again.

Dem get real smart now, dred. Dem want old man, money man, like I-man, to mind um and de pickme dem shit out for de young boy a dem.

Dem know good, good dat de old man na go fool um wit oder woman a dem beca he could hardly go wit dem wit he half-soft tone. What a time!

An if de old man ha a old wife, no problem ca dem go a love hotel fu brush an rub up an ting.

But dis gel, Sandra B, does know all a dem ting but fool I-man ca she wan fu make me look small or bawl wit she "Labour Love" does be sweeter than sugar-baby love.

Overs?

Peter Binose:

Sandra I am sure you are aware that this use of hotels happens all over the world so perhaps it is happening in SVG also.

In some countries there are hotels that only go for this type of trade, but I honestly have never heard of such in SVG. Except that is in 2013 when a small 5 bedroom hotel at Villa beach was used as a brothel using very young girls from Dominica and Guyana who were trafficked to SVG for that purpose. A well known senator was a regular visitor there and I wrote about this several times in the past.

Vinciman:

David what I do not understand is this. Why would you need 36 essays to convince “yourself” or anyone for that matter that AIA is as you say in your essay #1 “...AIA has always been an economic mirage meant to draw our gullible people to the polling booth...etc” you already made your point back then.

Is it that you yourself aren’t convinced about your erstwhile predictions and convictions so far, and sees the need to press on even further hoping that you might be on to something here?

Isn’t this more like the “half-fool” that hitches up his donkey behind the carriage, sets out on his way to market, then after getting to market and being tired from all that pulling, donkey included, never realized that it would have been better to let the donkey pull the carriage instead?

Only now, you see the need to do all these presentations after the fact, although highly speculative and specious.

Did it ever occur to you that even your 36 essays could be “perfectly flawed”? (And why not, they’re all rooted on/in speculation).

Like anything else, ‘Predicting anything is a fool’s errand, as difficult and unpredictable as trying to time the movement of financial markets or pronouncing on what the weather will be like six months from now’. (Your words)

Therefore, how does it really feel to continue being a “half-fool” going on 37 essays, one of which missed it mark, never making the Vincy page?

Maybe “someone” in power is just plain fed up and trying to tell you something.

P.S. In the case with Sandra B, I was waiting to hear you were just playing along, and knew it was Peter singing the same old song. Duh!

C. ben-David:

Vinciman, why am I still pulling the wagon which is pulling the donkey?

1. The donkey -- the majority of our people who continue to claim, "Yes, ben-David, you are correct in what you say, but we still need an international airport." -- is very stubborn and has to be pulled rather than driven to the Promised Land of self-enlightenment.

2. I like to write (and continue to write for the media and intellectual journals using my real name in my adopted First World country.)

3. I have learned a great deal about the airline and hospitality industries and believe that it is important to share my knowledge even with people like you.

4. I am retired and have lots of time on my hands to provoke people like you. (Better to harass you than my long suffering wife.)

So, what is your excuse for lapping up and spitting out every word I have written without actually being able to rebut a single word in any of my arguments?

Vinciman:

David you don't have any arguments. Who said you had? You're the only one that believes what you write is fact, is truth, but is really conjecture.( an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information). 36 speculations on the Argyle airport to be exact.

Only an idiot will try to rebut your speculations... (The forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence). You have no evidence to show, only an opinion, your opinion. And to that you're entitled.

I’m entitled to my opinion too, and I said what I said… You’ve been speculating 36 times so far heading for...?

Peter Binose:

COOooooo EEeeeeeeeeeeeee David your jealousy has got the better of you again "I like to write (and continue to write for the media and intellectual journals using my real name in my adopted First World country.)"

You are a copy cat what i wrote about my writing must of eaten your heart out.

Show us the proof.

C. ben-David:

Like many others, Vinciman, you can't or don't want to distinguish between facts, analysis, interpretations, conjectures, opinions, and biases.

I have no agenda, no axe to grind, and no preconceptions except that analysis, interpretations, and conclusions need to be grounded in empirical facts and that the search for truth must be based on a disinterested study of empirical data.

I support no political party in SVG because I consider them all equally corrupt and self serving.

I have no personal financial interest in the success or failure of AIA because I pay no taxes in SVG (except VAT and house tax and certain license fees) and own little property there (except an interest in a nice little family house) and only spend a few months of the year at home mainly because I simply could not afford to spend the same amount of time in another warm winter climate (where my fully furnished and air conditioned home would rent for at least $US 4,000 per month).

My conclusion that the construction of Argyle International Airport has been a colossal waste of time and effort from an economic perspective -- but a masterstroke from a political perspective -- was only reached after careful examination of all the relevant data from SVG and elsewhere. It was never my initial guiding premise and I never consciously tried to discover only data that made this conclusion the logical outcome of my analysis.

You have a totally different and entirely (bought and paid for) political agenda -- to enhance the prospects of the ULP retaining power from one election to another -- regardless of the viability and feasibility of the airport project.

We live on totally different planets, my friend, which is why we will always talk around rather than to each other.

Still, I am occasionally amused by your jokes and rhyming style, so don't let me discourage your party work.

Paul Summers Jr :

Yes show us the evidence David.

What a load of uninteresting and uninspiring data taken from here and there and stitched together.

You cannot write anything original to save your life. Everything you write is the property of someone else.

Get a life and stop publishing the long list of crap references to what you wrote before because when you have read one they are so boring you will never read another. If your name appeared at the beginning of what you write instead of at the end you may get no more than 10 or 20 reads.

Unmitigated rubbish from start to finish written like a cheap online university lecture but without any feeling of warmth or readability. This is most certainly what writing for this kind of publication is not about.

C. ben-David:

Paul Summers, Jr, are you actually so dunce as to not realize that readers would never believe that you were anyone other than Peter Binose employing one of his dozens of pseudonyms?

If my letters are unoriginal -- a stitching together of factual material from elsewhere -- they are at least not stuff that I made up on the fly to try to discredit a Prime Minister you hate so much, which is what most of your writing consists of.

Also, Peter, if my postings are such crap, just stop reading them. Neither you nor your comments will ever be missed.


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As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

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