In the United States, after the pornographic Hustler magazine satirized the outspoken clergyman Rev. Jerry Falwell, the Supreme Court ruled that a free society must tolerate even “outrageous” speech in order to guarantee robust public debate and discussion. As one justice once wrote, “There is no such thing as a false idea. However pernicious an opinion may seem, we depend for its correction not on the conscience of judges and juries, but on the competition of other ideas. – Media law Handbook 2010
The year 2007 will be remembered by Barbadians for different reasons. BU cannot forget an incident which occurred at the Voice of Barbados (VoB) radio station. On that occasion Adrian Loveridge – hotel owner and contributor to the blogs – was invited to participate on a talk show which was hosted by David Ellis. Surprisingly he had to agree to sit in a different studio from the main participants. We were subsequently informed by VoB that it was a precondition for Adrian Loveridge’s participation if the station wanted to retain former minister of tourism Barney Lynch for the program.
Some may regard BU’s position as extreme but we still regard it as one of the darkest moments in our democracy. At the time BU was a fledgling concern and if we needed a reason to be motivated it was the decision by the management of STARCOM to accommodate Lynch at the expense of Adrian Loveridge. The decision represented a threat to freedom of expression any way you looked at it. To his credit, Loveridge shrugged off the obvious embarrassment and participated on the show which will be remembered for the high level of arrogance Lynch demonstrated.
Many have wondered why a hotelier who runs a successful small hotel, and has demonstrated over and over that he is not afraid to present ideas, would continuously be ignored by successive governments from making a contribution at the level of policy and strategy making. When this government assumed office he was appointed to the board of director of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) but was quickly dumped by Minister Richard Sealy. To be fair to the minister we were told that the BTA Board was to be restructured along marketing and product lines. Not sure if the idea has been implemented as yet.
BU understands Adrian Loveridge has been invited to participate on the VoB talk show tomorrow (27 February 2011) and Minister Richard Sealy is likely to be in attendance. Hopefully VoB and Minister Richard Sealy will ensure history does not repeat itself and extend every courtesy to Mr. Loveridge. It seems both should have a vested interest in the success of the industry.
One point the minister can shed light on for us is to better explain why he thinks the Reggae Show planned for Farley Hill represents a good nexus for the Barbados tourist product?