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Agrarian Clive "Bish-I" Bishop and other persons at the meeting. (IWN photo)
Agrarian Clive “Bish-I” Bishop and other persons at the meeting. (IWN photo)
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Former Minister of Housing Sen. Julian Francis says he will take agrarian Clive “Bish-I” Bishop’s advice about where to plant crops, but not where to build houses.

Bishop, citing soil assessment reports from 1958 and 2006, has said that special engineering was needed at the site in Clare Valley, where a house built under the government’s housing initiative collapsed on Sept. 19.

Related: Lands where house collapsed not suited for construction — expert 

“I have great respect for Bish-I, great respect for Bish-I, but soil knowledge and engineering — once the engineer has the information of soil, and soil structure, then he can design to suit the soil,” Francis said at a town hall meeting of homeowners last Saturday, which Bishop also attended.

To illustrate, Francis, who is now Minister of State in the Ministry of Works, said that when the government was building low-income houses in Green Hill, an excavator sank there.

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He, however, said that Brian George designed two houses over that very spot.

“And I can take you there today, almost 11 years later and those two houses are still there; people have not one single problem,” Francis said.

“In fact, when Brian designed the foundation, water was coming out of drains in the foundation. But that is what engineers are for. Some of us have different professions in life. I have a little bit of everything. I am not a professional on anything.

“Bishi-I is an expert on soils, but when it comes to construction, with due respect, I will take the word of [Chief Engineer] Brent Bailey, Brian George, [deceased former head of the Housing and Land Development Corporation] Morris Slater over Bish-I.

“I am being frank — when it comes to engineering. If I want to know the soil structure and so on, what crops I can grow and so on, I will speak to Bish-I,” Francis said.

Citing 1958 and 2006 studies, Bishop has said the lands in Clare Valley are not suited for construction. (IWN photo)
Citing 1958 and 2006 studies, Bishop has said the lands in Clare Valley are not suited for construction. (IWN photo)

8 replies on “‘Bish-I’ can advise on planting crops, not building houses — Francis”

  1. By all means and rightly, take the word of your Chief Engineer. But to say what is said concerning Bish-I’s opinion on soils is tantamount to being a confirmed jackass. Aside from being ridiculous and perfectly democratic, the expressed sentiment is truly ill-advised.

  2. Being frank does not exclude being dumb. You can be dumbly frank or frankly dumb. Take your pick and give thanks.

  3. Pat Robinson Commissiong says:

    This is typical “ad hominem” response from Mr Francis. That means you attack the speaker, rather than addressing the substance of the argument. As I read Mr Bishop’s comments, he was not himself advising anyone about anything. What he was doing was bringing to our attention two soil analysis reports, which he quoted, and one of which was commissioned by this government in 2006. Soil analyses are of interest to agronomists like Mr Bishop, but they should also be of interest to Governments who commission such reports and who plan to build houses. Houses, in case you haven’t noticed, Mr Francis, are built on soil – like the soils analyzed in those reports. It was the soil analysts – not Mr Bishop – who said that the area was not suitable for house building, except with very expensive foundation work. You cannot build “low” cost” or “middle income” “or “affordable” houses if you have to do expensive foundation work BEFORE you even start building. And I expect that the “remedial work” that now has to be carried out will be an enormous charge on the public purse i.e. taxpayers money, all because our government wanted to build houses in that particular area and ignored (or were ignorant of) a report commissioned by themselves just 8 years ago, which said (not Mr Bishop) that the area was unsuitable for that purpose. Would Mr Francis now like to attack the soil scientists who produced that report?

  4. I could have told Mr Bishop that he would be attacked for his exposure of the governments fault in this matter. He stands the possibility of total destruction of his good name, by the application of spite, malice and political hatred hence forth.

    Thank you Bish-I’, thank you for exposing what this wicked government has done, but besides that, what they are capable of doing.

    Now they are trying to destroy your good name by questioning your ability to read a simple report. I apologise on behalf of all decent Vincentians, on behalf of all decent and honest human beings, for the treatment that your are receiving.

    Watch your back and please stay safe.

  5. What an insult. I wonder what qualification Julian have… Oh that’s right, drinking campari and smoking cigarette.

    Who the hell died and made this man god.

  6. Francis makes it sound as if he knows about these things, he should do, but he doesn’t, he knows far less than Mr Bishop.

    In my opinion, Bish-I’ is of far superior inteligence than the unelected senator, the Gonsalves/Francis family dynasty member, only possible by his appointment by his cousin.

    Some years ago he was leaning against an old vehicle in a car park, big holes in the knees of his trousers, when he begged five dollars from me to buy cigarettes.

    From rags to riches in one easy step.

    Ring any bells Julian, it was what is now the Finishing and Furnishing car park.

    There are plenty of us that know all about you, all about all the jobs you once had, we know everything. Then you come hear and are an expert, an expert in what?


  7. Lisa Binomial says:

    There is no need for a politician to be this rude. Anyone should be able to give advice. It is a free country. Francis is also free to reject it. But Francis still need to be respectful to every citizen.

  8. Knowing what type of soil on which you’re going to construct a building is very important.Bish-I is RIGHT .Only a moron will build before examining the soil.Be aware,Julian Francis is among the ranks of the not too smart.

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