In The Aftermath Of Noel Lynch And David Ellis Getting Down To Brasstacks

Published on: 3/26/07.

AN ANGRY Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch abruptly pulled the plug during a live radio broadcast yesterday after a question was raised about his alleged rise from being a “virtual beggar” to millionaire status in recent years. Lynch told Starcom Network’s Sunday Brasstacks talk-show host David Ellis, who was putting the issue of the minister’s reported wealth accumulation after receiving an emailed query in the studio, that the question was “as disrespectful as you can get”.


BU reviews the highly publicized incident two months ago when Barbados leading journalist, David Ellis was involved in an unprecedented “on air” clash with Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch, on the popular call-in program Down to Brasstacks. To all those who were fortunate to listen to the program we are reminded by the adage, if yuh start wrong, yuh gine end wrong. It was revealed to listeners that Minister Lynch’s participation on the call-in program was preconditioned on tourism industry expert and hotel owner Adrian Loveridge having to suffer the ignominy of sitting in a different studio to enable his own participation on the same program. David Ellis clarified his decision in a subsequent program to agree to the unusual request from Minister Lynch by saying what amounted to the fact that the need to get Lynch on the program to discuss CWC 2007 justified having Adrian Loveridge’s watered downed participation from another area of the studio. To David Ellis and Starcom Network BU gives you a brick-bat on that one. No one person – and especially a servant of the people – should ever be allowed to feel that they can dictate to the media to the extent where they would participate in a public discourse which is designed to promote their interest over any citizen of Barbados. It is not BU’s intention to rehash all that has been said and written about that fateful show on the 25 March 2007, we prefer to focus on the bigger picture.

The question which begs to be asked is what prompted a veteran journalist like David Ellis to ask what he must have known would have been a controversial question. To offer a response we have to examine Ellis’s growing stature as the leading journalist in Barbados which has come coincidentally through the call-in programs and even before that the much listened to “Point at Issue” broadcasted on VOB on Sunday afternoons. The growing public perception appears to be that Ellis is well researched when conducting interviews and feeds the public perception of being knowledgeable on a wide range of issues. David Ellis is a journalist who enjoys public confidence but despite his best efforts is always casted in a “rubbish” light by Prime Minister Arthur. Several times the public has heard Arthur engage in “cat and mouse” exchanges when Ellis has sought to request one on one interviews. It seems logical that if David Ellis is regarded as our leading journalist, who happens to work at the leading radio station with the widest listenership, then Prime Minister Arthur should pay Ellis the professional courtesy by ensuring that there is good public dialogue between the two of them. Perhaps the fact that Ellis regards DLP Brandford Taitt as a mentor and friend could provide a clue. The fact that Arthur has been able to continue his estranged relationship with Ellis with little or no fall-out is worthy of analysis. BU will continue to discount the role of the Barbados Association of Journalists (BAJ) and the lack of feedback or support for Ellis of any kind regarding this matter.

In the aftermath of the Barney Lynch and David Ellis saga it has afforded a terrific insight – if it were not already known – regarding the effectiveness of the media practitioner in Barbados. This is what we know happened immediately after the event:

  • Ellis was forced to offer an on air apology to Lynch on behalf of his employer Starcom Network after pressure was received from the highest office in the land. He also offered his personal apology. BU believes that the “question” posed to Lynch was at worst poorly worded but one which John Public wants answered. The “question” must also be seen in the context of the behaviour Lynch exhibited towards Adrian Loveridge on the same program as truly one of being an obnoxious and spoil brat who should have received a good “cutarse” for the effort. Our sources suggest that he was also less than truthful on the issue of the true indebtedness of HRL Ltd, it is well known within the tourism ministry that Lynch has a hands-on approach and now that he has responsibility for HRL Ltd no doubt he would have become very familiar with the case. BU restates that Lynch lied in response to a question from Ellis that he did not know the debt number of HRL Ltd. Lynch is on public record before the Brasstacks program as stating that the HRL Ltd problem is currently occupying his attention and the public will be apprised of government’s action plan to restructure HRL Ltd very soon. Now tell us Minister Lynch, how could you have been actively engaged in finding a solution for HRL Ltd but significant knowledge regarding the debt burden of HRL Ltd you acknowledge that you are ignorant? You must take the Barbadian public for ignoramuses!
  • Ellis was removed from the hot seat for a while until the issue abated and functioned behind the scenes as producer of the call-in programs. BU will not accept the excuse that Dennis Johnson was on vacation and therefore Ellis was functioning as relief.
  • Sources within VOB reported that there was the suggestion tabled to change the current format of the call-in program to a tape delay format, the suggestion was vetoed by Vic Fernandez who thought that it would remove the spontaneity which gives the program its current high appeal and rating.
  • VOB has in recent weeks been advertising the post of a Legal Officer who must have the Bachelors of laws degree (LLB) qualification. It suggests to us that as a station it is not only aware of the injudicious comments which can come from callers but also the moderators because after all the Ellis “blunder” was the catalyst for advertising the position.

BU has has attempted to examine the wider implications of the treatment meted out to Ellis – who has become frustrated at his ineffectiveness within the political hierarchy of Barbados – and to have supported a conclusion that the media in Barbados is clearly not respected by a key Estate in Barbados, the government. The harsh reality is that the media practicioners in Barbados are controlled like puppets because the media houses are controlled by the commercial houses which in turn pander to political interest.

18 thoughts on “In The Aftermath Of Noel Lynch And David Ellis Getting Down To Brasstacks

  1. By the way… is Barbados the only country in the world where it’s Prime Minister does not hold Press conferences?

  2. Centipede no the almighty president of the USA is very scared of the press as well.
    This whole issue of the Brass tacks program was a mistake in the very first place as it was never acceptable that they should have allowed Lynch to dictate the terms of the program he is a bully and his bullying tactics must come to an end, with regards to the question that struck his nerve all he needed to do was to state where his wealth came from in such a hurry, instead we are left to wonder where it arrived from does it have anything to do with the kick backs from the Carnival payments and his deals with them.

  3. Not the Carnival Destiny. What about the Port Authority? What about the Airport? What about….
    Never mind where he tief it from. The point is simple. He tief de money from summuchie places that it will be difficult to state the exact place from whence it came. Simple.

  4. Centipede~good point and it is the point I tried to make in the article. The lack of respect for the media is of concern. For example the recent Veco scandal which saw officials being arrested and the hint of a connection to the building of the Barbados prison should have triggered a “clear the air” press conference by our AG. The toothless press in Barbados have reported what was on the net and that is where they see their responsibility has ended.


  5. Our press are toothless ones, I held David Ellis in very high regard for his journalistic skills but even he has been subduded and deadened into submission, what a sick place we are living in when politicians can overcome the press as they have done here !! Mugabe style is what we are seeing here.

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  9. It’s obvious that in Barbados, employees of the people(elected offical), feels that they do not have to be accountable to the people. I think when the media (who speaks for the people) ask a politican a question @ how he accquired his wealth, he sholud be polite and void himself of personal emotions and give an answer even if it reak of politics. Lynch failed to do this in his interview w/Ellis.

  10. On another blog yesterday (26th July), one writer was trying to downplay the status of Gregg Farm, commenting that it was really just a ‘bungalow’ on two or three acres.

    Well! don’t take anybody word for it.
    Go and look at this ‘bungalow’ and then estimate the cost of acquisition, cost of renovations and then calculate the value of two or three acres of land abutting the Apes Hill Golf and Country Club.

    What would you say?
    $10 a square foot?
    $15 a square foot.

    Remember what happened to land values in the Durrants area when the Golf Course was re-opened?

  11. Whatever the situation whatever we want to think the reality is that the cost of acquiring such a property in this present market is out of the capabilities of anyone on an MP’s salary end of story.
    Yet he manages to achieve this feat without any fear of being questioned or doubted, rumors reaching me also suggest that the wife is now hired by BNB maybe it is payback for some gov’t contract work for the bank.
    Whatever the case there can be little doubt that there is a lot of steal in that house.

  12. Another day and no ships in port today what are we getting for that $ 5 million that was donated to Carnival corp

  13. Barbadians must appreciate that the higher up the pecking order of importance your Ministerial Portfoilo takes you on Cabinet the more chance of you getting big perks.

    However, what makes it more lucrative the chances of the political culprits being caught in Barbados is almost Zero.

    There is no investigative journalism, the press and authorities like law enforcement, undercover resources etc that might have a chance at learning about it are as useless in Barbados as the present BLP Government is. And most would turn away rather than deal with it anyhow!

    And let me say that the kind of wealthy, influential foreigner now in Barbados exploiting every limited resource it has left are past masters at sophisticated bribery with no paper trail. It is a matter of one on one or someone else doing their dirty work for them. Your word against mine!

    How many politicians especially Cabinet Ministers are going to be searched at Grantley Adams going or coming. Especially the high profile ones?

    But in this day and age the transactions, pay-offs etc can be so complicated few can ever get to the bottom of them.

    Barbados is not alone in this political feeding frenzy at the financial trough of the rich and famous but stand far less chance of being caught because of the political and social environment in Barbados.

    Point in question. If people claim that they have to use pseudonyms tp participate on blogs like these. What are the chances of whistle blowers going to the police about a political or other high profile Bajan of influence on the take?

  14. Point in question. If people claim that they have to use pseudonyms tp participate on blogs like these. What are the chances of whistle blowers going to the police about a political or other high profile Bajan of influence on the take?
    One excellent point,moreover going to them will yield no results anyway so why bother ??

  15. Let me tell you what really bothers me about all of this talk by so many Barbadians relating to what they see is the lack of integrity in the BLP Government.

    Whether it is based on substantive fact/evidence or is merely a perception that the BLP Government lacks integrity both are equally destructive to the proper running of a Democratic Nation.

    A Government of any Nation that is seen to be or perceived to be less than honest by the vast majority of Constituents is a Government that cannot manage the Nations business with confidence or conviction.

    The flip side of the coin is, if the majority who feel the Government lacks integrity is correct but cannot oust that Government because of apathy by the majority then this is a recipe for lawlessness, civil disobedience and other desturctive social behaviour foreign to the History of Barbados.

    Therefore it is of paramount importance that if in fact the majority believe there is corruption in their Government that they spread the word among the populace of Barbados. And more importantly see to it that the majority vote for change.

    Because if this is not done and the minority vote back in a Government that the Majority have no confidence in that is a sure recipe for a social meltdown.

  16. There can be very little doubt about the extent of the corruption and who is involved in it the question is how do you halt it.
    With the millions that this lot have embezzeled they are not short of cash to buy votes with and in society that is struggling as this one is, votes will have a price tag attached to them.
    On the other side of the coin the white rich folks that control Barbados purse strings see nothing wrong with Owings corruption because these are the same ones who are reaping the rewards with contracts for work etc.
    So realistically it is in the hands of the middle class and lower to decide the fate of all in the next election, lord help us if money, rum, corned beef and biscuits wins out.
    More corruption we will soon build another prison for them to steal another $ 200 million.

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