Minister Stephen Lashley, Knock Knock

Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot – Mark Twain

The government is on a tight timetable to enact several pieces of legislation before parliament has to be dissolved before the next general election. A peek at the Order Paper of the House of Assembly for next Tuesday’s sitting announces a number of bills, among them the long awaited Prevention of Corruption Bill 2010 which was sent to a Joint Committee in July 2011. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart has promised the country his government still has work to do, which confirms the belief in many quarters that Stuart may become the first Prime Minister to go the extra time which the constitution affords before calling the next general election.

While many Barbadians agree that our legislative framework needs to be strengthened to efficiently guide how we order our society. The process of enacting such legislation – to be effective – must encourage wide collaboration with stakeholders and facilitate rigorous debate to ensure there is fit for purpose. BU does not want to believe that in the government’s haste to enact legislation, the quality of the effort is compromised at the altar of political expediency.

The Preservation Of Antiquities And Relics Bill piloted by Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley was pull back from final reading because of public outcry. This is after the draft bill had been widely circulated according to the minister. Common sense supports the view that if the draft bill was widely circulated and all pertinent feedback incorporated into the final draft Minister Lashley would not have egg on his face as a result of the bill not having an uneventful passage through both houses of parliament.

The proposed Cultural Industries Bill (CIB) is another piece of legislation which has the potential to be transformational –  if correctly drafted. The fact that in 2012 Barbados is debating this legislation should be an embarrassment for the country.  A large part of the blame must be saddled on local artistes whose crabs in barrel approach over the years has made them susceptible to manipulation by politicians. In the last 20 years we have followed a lazy approach to developing our economy by depending on tourism and international business. Our inability to have created enabling legislation to spur growth in the cultural and creative industries must be recorded as one of two failures by post-Independent governments, the other, the development of a renewable energy sector.

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It therefore comes as a surprise to learn that a group of concerned cultural citizens – who have culture at heart – have been trying to meet with Minister Stephen Lashley to discuss proposed amendments to the CIB with no success to date. BU has had sight of the recommendations by the concerned citizens group (posted below) and the recommendations appear to add tremendous value to the original CIB draft which BU has been critical. Now why would the minister not want to meet with a group of citizens trying to help him push through a solid bill?

A big criticism  many have of this government is the lethargic way it approaches how it does business. The CIB is a significant piece of legislation and the minister should do less micro-managing the affairs of the National Cultural Foundation and allocate more time to ensuring he gets the redraft of the CIB right. Why wait until the bill reaches parliament to be forced to confront the same recommendations made by the group of concerned cultural citizens?

Here is another example of a government minister refusing to meet with ordinary citizens who want to contribute but instead an inflated ego gets in the way.

Documents leaked to BU:

39 thoughts on “Minister Stephen Lashley, Knock Knock

  1. “An inflated ego gets in the way” truth or Speculation. how ever what the cause could it be that the Bill is being delayed by those who want to address areas in the bill that can be easily compromised but they making it difficult for the minister to activate without further process. i meaning every Tom Dick and Harry see their stake of the pie as not being sufficient so there we have delays and counter delays not necessary the fault of the Minister but also in part by the stakeholders in involved and as far as he not meeting with them how many times must he meet i will guess enough will never be enough until everyone of stakeholders say so.

  2. Dear Minister

    You stated months ago when the matter of the restoration of the Empire building raised its head your were taking the matter to Cabinet. What the hell happened? Frankly some of us who are not political hacks are tired of the lack of communication from the government.

    Communicate with the people for godsakes!

  3. “BU does not want to believe that in the government’s haste to enact legislation, the quality of the effort is compromised at the altar of political expediency.”

    Good one David. It’s so transparent its see through (no owen pun intended). The major boast the DLP will have is passing legislation that impacted the country. It’ll be a hard sell though given the opposition’s stance and the union’s stance and the practices of some appointees on the government’s side…

    As chris says, FoI is the real landmark bill, and actually easier to implement than PoC. As for Lashley, the electorate will have their say, yay or nay.

  4. Perhaps Minister Lashley will understand the urgency if the artistes finally gather themselves as ONE and initiate a FB campaign if he fails to deliver a bill which does not have wide participation.

  5. Colonial Life Insurance Company………..CLICO…….Crass Legislation Instituted to Catch Ogres……….CLICO…….or maybe…… Come Lame I Came Stole Lied and Conjured…..( had a good laugh and now smiling at you suckers)……….take you pick cuz all leads to the same direction

  6. @David. Thanks to BU, I have now had a chance to look at the proposed CIB and at the group recommendations and précis. In light of the clear and obvious, common sense submissions by the group, my views are:

    1. The draft CIB is rubbish, badly drafted and extremely messy. Clearly drafted by people whose sole aim is to cobble something together so they can say that we have a CIB. Lucky us!!!!!! It actually says nothing, except that a committee or board is to be created at the expense of the taxpayer that will actually produce no possibility of revenue at all, merely of expense to the taxpayer. It is a Bill for the sake of a Bill and shows no research or even appreciation of the industries (plural) for which it is supposed to be designed.

    2. I found the group submission to be clear and concise and I am shocked that the Minister did not take the time to carry out the research that the group has clearly undertaken, before setting, as it were, “pen to paper”.

    3. The designation of Cap. 308 (which I confirm is the Companies Act – merely refer to the Cumberbatch blog on BU a couple of days ago, and it just goes to show the degree of care (or total lack of it) that went into the drafting of this Bill. I find it hard to believe that this Bill was ever submitted to a competent lawyer, of which the government has several working for it, along with some pretty hopeless ones too it has to be said. It is unthinkable that someone didn’t pick that up when it was sent for the legal people to check over. The Companies Act is not an obscure piece of legislation, but one with which all attorneys must have crossed paths regularly.

    Of course, if the Minister is allowed to carry on with this ridiculous piece of “legislation”, he exposes himself and the government to a lot of ridicule from the opposition which, I would be prepared to bet, are just waiting poised, with the group’s brief in hand, to pounce on him. Oh well, if he wants to commit political and electoral suicide, I suppose, at the expense of the taxpayer of course, he must be allowed to get on with it. However, with any luck the other ministers, upon whose ministries this Bill might directly impact, will prevail on him to re-think (if capable) or prevail upon the PM to reshuffle him into a cabinet post where he can continue to screw up, but where it won’t show.

    Frankly, it offends me to read a document like this “draft” CIB from the government of Barbados. Incoherent and uneducated and totally lacking in any care. The Minister ought to be ashamed to even think of bringing a document like that before the House. Onions has it right. Mr Bean.

  7. Byer-Sucks was on 92.9 trying her best to explain the Employment Rights Bill. That woman is woefully inadequate and inept. She is best described as an adorable blonde.

  8. Was Buyer-Suckoo able to explain why it took 5 months for her personal assistant Alicia Deane to get her “Terminations of Services/Layoff Certificate” (Green Form/U3). Does anyone know why?
    Why did Ms. Deane have to engage the services of a lawyer.
    Why was there no reason given on the form for the termination / dismissal?

  9. Actually BU thought the minister did quite well by answering all questions posed and elucidated when it was required. Under the Employments Rights Bill an employee has the right to ask for the reason for termination. The fact is that some employees prefer not to know. In the case of Deane it is said she did not performed to satisfaction tasks assigned and the minister lost confidence in her.

  10. Leave the doc! She did well based on context and expectations. (Y) onto the next battle.

  11. There is a difference between a Bill going before Parliament and a strategy which Government is going to adopt.
    A lot of the leaked commentary is about strategy, which is of critical importance, but does not have to be included in a Bill.
    As an example, if Government decided to cut deaths from road accidents, they would not need to introduce a “Road Accident Death Reduction Bill” containing all the issues. They might for example provide more funding to the Police, repaint the direction signs at Warrens and make sure traffic police were on the highway at all hours. None of that requires a Bill. The legislative part of the strategy which would need to be incorporated in a Bill might include the right for Police to breathalise drivers, penalty points system for ultimately banning license holders etc.
    My point is that any Bill before Parliament is just the legislative part of what Government is trying to achieve.
    I feel the authors of the leaked documents want too much in a Bill. The success of a thrust like this will depend on the ground rules set for the body that runs the cultural industries. A Bill will just tweek the law and taxes to give that body the tools to do what it needs o do.

    • @St. Georges Dragon

      Do you accept that the bill must facilitate an enabling environment to give wings to the strategy?

      If you agree then it is imperative that the framers of the bill are aware of what is intended.

  12. The Cultural Industries Bill.

    The papers presented by the group of concerned citizens to Minister Lashley is an impressive, in depth, well researched and well thought out paper.

    I have seen the draft that was intended to be put to parliament ( it can be seen on GIS site. ).

    The papers submitted by the group of concerned citizens to the Ministry of Culture suggesting amendments/rewriting of CIB are attached to BU article.

    Anyone, including a layman such as myself only has to look at both to see that much needs to be done to the present draft bill before it is ready to be passed.

    I for one hope that the Ministry will see that the papers were created to help with amendments to the bill and will respond to the group.

    Count me in as being a concerned cultural citizen.

  13. Wow! I think ‘Amused’ has said it all.

    This group has put the word out to all “creatives” that their desire is to sit and talk with Minister Lashley…not to disgruntle him as some above seem to think… but in the hopes that the Minister would work together with them to ensure the bill is one that encompasses the entire community of “creatives” and does not address one particular sector or group or even one person. I have been one of those who has joined discussions on the Fb page The Empire Strikes Back and sometimes wondered why “creatives” did not appear united. I believe I even put my voice openly right here on BU in past postings.

    A bill that will affect a huge number of people who for years have almost been deemed as belonging to the bottom of the ladder in terms of credibility because they have chosen ‘art’ or ‘writing’ or ‘music’ or ‘theatre’ (I have been told many times as so have others “why not get a real job”) as their profession, cannot be just slammed together and passed for whatever reason.

    “Creatives” in this country have been asked and asked for their opinions on things by those in positions of power, only to have same those placed in the bin of oblivion. Conversations have made me realize that “creatives” have developed an apathy towards coming forward on anything. And I fully understand.

    “Creative” people are a different breed…they by virtue of what they do…require imagination to create….whether a piece of music, a canvas of thoughts, a design of a product, a play for the theatre, a book…and in Barbados in particular, the difficulty in being taken seriously alone is a concrete wall one has to break through or dismantle piece by piece or literally mash down with bare hands before the creative process has even begun. Frustration takes over the creative process at this point, sadness and a feeling of going nowhere right behind, and the best of imaginations cannot imagine any more and if they do, the result is not the full potential but only as much as can be eked out.

    It is only because we have a passion for what we do and also because we have to make a dollar that we continue to chip away at that wall. But… imagine if the road of opportunity was wide open…imagine if we were given the same respect as the head of the Central Bank is for instance…or an appointed Senator… or the head of a large construction company or a doctor…..imagine how we could soar….particularly with all the amazing talent on this island… imagine if imagination was respected, aided to move freely and really open up; protected if you will by an amazing piece of legislation that a Culture Industries Bill should be Wow! Wow! Wow!

    I have repeated this story so oft, and it still shocks and saddens me: A creative was summoned by our national television to talk about a production they were considering…during the talk, fees were mentioned and this was uttered out of the mouth of one who should quite frankly have known better but whose words remain as a sort of Bible used by those not in the creative industries: “The problem with you people is that you want to get paid.” Duh? Are we supposed to eat the air we breathe?

    First we are perceived as a problem and then…shock, horror and dismay that we should require payment for our work!!!

    Yes! Creatives do work. And work hard. And yes! that is what they do every day of their lives, every time they put a musical note on paper or into an instrument, every time they pick up a paint brush or pencil etc. etc. It is indeed WORK! Creative work…the essence of a country…the essence of a business, the essence of life.

    The time has come I think for this government, or any other government for that matter, to give us “creatives” the opportunity to be heard and in that hearing be mindful that we do have brains. That a creative group was able to dissect this bill and put out genuine concerns attests to brain matter and speaks well for us. That the Minister does not see this as an opportunity to do something that will help his people (his voters) as a total whole, make them comfortable enough to soar, seems strange.

    I feel positive that Minister Lashley sees this as an opportunity to embrace “creatives” – not a room full of people whose voices get lost…not one person or persons with an idea that will help only him, her or them only, but, a group who has shown their concern by taking the time to systematically pick a bill to pieces and come up with points that need to be looked at carefully. I am sure the Minister realizes that this is certainly a group that requires his personal attention.

    On the other hand….perhaps the Minister has received better papers on the matter and these papers do embrace the entire community of “creatives” and are being looked at… then I for one would ask that he opens them up in the interest of the transparency that was so often touted on the political platform.

    To me it does not matter who has looked at this bill and come up with clearly defined areas the bill does not address…as long as it is for the good of the creatives as a whole. But so far….I have not seen one such other paper…this is the first. But if there are others as good as this one, all the Minister has to do is show them. Put them out there in the press.

    There is no doubt that the Culture Industries Bill must not be allowed to pass through cabinet/parliament without the necessary amendments…I have heard it say that the Bill can be passed and the amendments come later. Now why go through that expense first of all…and then there is the added fact that we know it will take another six years to happen. If it has taken such a long time to come up with this *inadequate-and- insulting-to -the-intelligence-of-Barbadian-creatives* Culture Bill then God only knows how long it would take for amendments.

    How does one amend total crap? Best to amend now! All it takes is points from a well-formed paper on the subject (the Minister apparently now has this) and one good typist. Hey! I can give some time to this. I type real fast too.

    An amended well put together will be allowed to pass through Cabinet with ease. An action that should please The Minister no end, appease his political obligations (UNESCO et al) and bring a sense of heroism to his Ministry. Oh! Yes! Creatives would consider them all heroes believe you me.

    I have a feeling common sense will prevail and the bill will not be passed until properly amended and in a form that will augur well with “creatives” as a whole, from the little man on the beach painting to the musicians creating Crop Over tunes and beyond. Creative people put ‘mucho mucho’ money into the coffers of the economy. So why would the Minister not see this. Come on peoples…In these times of economic distress I am sure this is one of the areas he understands extremely well. Our Minister of Culture cannot possibly see this embarrassment of a bill as an indication of what his government can produce.

    I personally feel positive that Minister Lashley might just have been a little too busy with other matters…and that he will open that door. I do believe it. But then the cynical side of me takes over and I remember that I also firmly believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

    **Slap. Slap. Slap. Rosemary…you have faith…you do… you know that Minister Lashley will not try to pass an incomplete bill. You do believe this. He knows that a bill that does not speak to all of us but to only a few…. and not even comfortably for the latter either is… just not on.**


  14. Last night on the Empire Strikes Back page BU made the point albeit subtlety that the ‘voice’ of the artistes needs to become more unified and coherent. The disparate groups which all compete to represent the local artistes are riddled with politics and distrust. If the creative sector is to morph to a movement perhaps they should not be ashamed to reach out to an international body to assist them. One immediate benefit is the muscle it will bring to the table. There is the urgency of now to consider.

    Perhaps then the door will open when there is the knock.

  15. Sad enough David…sad enough. I will never understand why we must always seek ‘outside’ help to have leverage…but if that is the law of the land…then I guess you are probably right. As I always say May God Bless This Little Rock and all its “creatives” that I love so much!

  16. More news on the Cultural Industries Bill. More people/groups getting involved. This one from Manifesto Barbados has strong words plus a petition.
    For all of the creative arts in Barbados we must get involved in our future.

    The CIB could be, and I believe will be a wonderful bill if it is amended. Many people have taken time to look at it and have submitted ideas over the last few months at meetings. Others have prepared an impressive paper and presented it to Minister Lashley with suggestions for amendments and are willing to work with government. They still await word from the Ministry.

    Better to create a strong bill to be proud of and that will work for the cultural industries and Barbados than one that is leaving much to be desired.

    • Can anyone say where the updated CIB bill can be found? It seems unimaginable that the link on the GIS website currently reflects the draft bill in its original form. Can you help is Minister Stephen Lashley?

  17. This has been going round and round Facebook….”creatives” need to sign up…an amended Bill that does good for all creatives bar none is what we want….not an amended Bill that only sees fit to aid one particular group of creatives. Why is that so difficult to understand? And if this is being done as we speak, how difficult is it for someone in the Ministry to appease the worries of creatives and just tell us so…or publish the amendments carded so that those of us are interested can peruse…

    Honest and transparent communication can bring a sense of respect and peace….

  18. What i cant understand is why the minister can’t respond to the people who took time to show their interest in the bill. it was what he was calling for; wunna can t have dat in a democracy; the minister is failing big time to be fully transparent about the bill. what is the excuse. this is a democracy and sometimes i wonder why citisens in the country got to fight so hard for anybody to listen to them. it aint no point saying dat people had meetings. a democracy got to involve everybody – especially if dey de people want it. it is ok to say we not like other countries and the HDI and human rights got us ranked up in there with the big up countries . what i cant understand is that if that is so, then why the government always find it so hard to hear what people are saying and respond and not act as if they are lords onto themselves — and i cant figure out why this got to be so and everybody scared? to me, the people who write up that commentary say a lot dat is not in the bill and even if they didn’t the government owe it to them on principle to reply… where is the thanks ? nobody din;t pay dem; the government should be grateful not silent.

  19. @Lash Him

    The artistes need to speak with one voice.

    Now that Dennis Johnson has his program going he may consider interested persons appearing on Fireworks to speak to this matter.

  20. Word is…or so creatives have heard…that the Minister will be hosting another meeting to discuss the amendments on this Bill. I knew we (as in all those of us who come under this umbrella) could rely on the Minister to understand the importance of ensuring that a Bill that is good for ALL creatives would be one that could be passed through Senate without any hitches.

    ..but of course we do ask, as voters, that the Minister place this amended Bill up on the GIS website for perusal by his people….this would indeed be an amazing public relations move.

    And if the above is true, and there will be communication, I say Yes! Yes! Yes!

    We shall see as the blind man said.

    Meanwhile…please sign this petition…one can sign with one’s name or incognito if you fear reprisals …I for one do not believe that the latter is even remotely true…but it appears that a lot do. So this petition is perfect for those of you who live in fear….why I just cannot imagine.

    We do live in a democracy peoples and we can communicate with our Ministers….they have said over and over again that they want us to. So let us heed their call and do exactly this.

  21. Interesting to read Sir David’s cry in today’s press that as a property owner of old buildings in Bridgetown there has been no meeting called to explain restrictions he and others need to observe.

    Minister Lashley!

    • Lashley communicates!

      Feature: Cabinet to Review Recommended Changes to Cultural Industries Development Bill
      By Sharon AustinPublished: May 21, 2012 Print Email

      Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley. (FP)
      The Cabinet will soon be considering changes to the proposed Cultural Industries Development Bill following new recommendations from stakeholders.
      This disclosure has come from Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, who said the suggested enhancements to the Bill had emerged from the recently convened public consultation, held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, as well as other written submissions made directly to the Ministry.
      Mr. Lashley explained that following Cabinet approval, “the next step would be to submit the changes to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to have the redrafting of the necessary provisions done so we can have it approved and taken to Parliament.”
      He is hopeful that the process would be completed this year so the legislation could be on the island’s statute books.
      Describing the Cultural Industries Development Bill as “extremely important and critical”, he said it was necessary for all relevant sectors to move purposefully based on legislation that was relevant and practical, given the dynamics of the emerging creative sector in Barbados.  “And, that is why we spent the time caucusing with the various stakeholders so we could understand their issues and come up with a Bill that makes sense, based on where the cultural industries are in Barbados and where we want them to go,” he stated.
      He said his Ministry was encouraged by the many recommendations received from the public and promised that the useful suggestions would be incorporated into a redrafted Bill.
      Turning his attention to the Preservation of Antiquities and Relics Bill, the Minister noted that several valuable contributions were made at a recent public consultation held at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed and his Ministry was now examining those suggestions. “I am also aware that the Barbados National Trust has set up a team to review the Bill and make recommendations to the Ministry.
      “I am awaiting those recommendations before we finalise the proposed changes which will take the same route as the Cultural Industries Development Bill, that is, to Cabinet, on to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and then Parliament,” Mr. Lashley indicated.
      The Preservation of Antiquities and Relics Bill was taken to Parliament late last year, but Government suspended its debate in the Senate to allow for further consultations following public concerns about some of its provisions.
      Giving the rationale for the Bill, Mr. Lashley said it was intended to ensure Barbados’ historic patrimony, relics, and buildings, among other things, were preserved for future generations. “We were also concerned in relation to archeological digs. The Bill seeks to set up a regime by which that process is appropriately licensed to ensure that persons involved in such digs follow certain requirements.
      “The concerns have been in relation to the definition of relics, as well as the provisions relating to search and compulsory acquisition. Given the feedback from stakeholders, you may very well see a Bill emerging that is more focussed on voluntary registration of relics because we don’t want to have an arrangement where persons believe they are under pressure regarding items that belong to them. We want persons to see this as a partnership where we want to encourage them to register their items so we can help to protect them,” he declared.
      The Minister said the wording of some provisions of the Bill might give the impression that Government could move in and seize certain things. However, he maintained that was never the Bill’s intention and informed that his Ministry was seeking to correct any misinterpretation.
      Mr. Lashley stressed, however, that those persons who still wished to make contributions to both Bills should immediately contact the Division of Culture and Sports in the Warrens Office Complex.
      Meanwhile, the Ministry will soon continue its dialogue with Government ministries and agencies which are key to cultural industries development and discussions with the private sector will follow.

  22. Minister Lashley has shown us that his political ear is to the ground. That is excellent and will favour him well. This is a man who was nurtured by the likes of Errol Barrow…a man who was voted by a cadre of highly esteemed Bajans and endorsed across political lines, to be the most outstanding Minister for 2011. Perhaps he will once again attain that status for 2012…!

    Just the same as we are quick to damn we should be quick to congratulate when a step for the good of the people is taken.

    So I will congratulate the Minister…and I hope that “creatives” across the board will too…sorry about those who thought they were getting the whole bag and did not care about the others left lagging behind under the auspices of this rather ineffectual Bill. But such is life.

    Today…with the above news sent out as a Press Release on the BGIS website… ALL “creatives” should be proud of their Minister. He put his political future to one side to make a better one. We “creatives” must do the same by the same…there should be no room for politricks amongst us!

    Creatives should also be proud of and thankful to the few who banded together, here and abroad. ♥ They ensured that the Minister took notice and was not swayed by the “chosen few”. “Real Creatives” to the world! Creativity also means Community. Never forget that!

    However…the above news does not mean that we as “creatives” are not to continue to monitor the situation closely. Hopefully now those who sat hiding behind ‘fear’ can see the light; realize that it is our given right to make noise if someting not right…even when we feel our jobs as “creatives” might be at stake..we must always band together now more than ever and be ever mindful of much.

    Remember…The Minister must listen to his inner-house in order to make a Bill happen. We want him to continue to listen to the outer-house (we the people, we the creatives) so the inner-house can learn that we have a given right to speak with a unified voice.

    It is not a perfect Bill that we seek. That is impossible. But we do want a Bill that will encompass ALL OF US! Simple tings. Today is a good day. Thank you Mr. Minister!

    *I am a concerned creative citizen and proud of it!*
    And may we, as soon as possible, please have a page on BGIS giving us creatives a chance to see all the amendments carded for this new and improved Bill?? Perhaps just a list of the proposed amendments first even before they are place within the contents of the Bill. i.e. a week to week notice to all “creatives” so that we are kept in the loop at all times. Communication is the key to success.

  23. Dear BU. To cut straight to the chase, there are comments in the original post that cannot be ascribed to the concerned cultural citizens group that submitted the proposals. I refer to the section that states a meeting was requested and that no word in this regard was received from the minister. This is not so, and I respectfully request that you remove the comments. Kind regards always, John.

  24. @John

    Do you represent all concerned groups who have requested a meeting with Minister Lashley?

    Are you saying that all requests made to the Minister’s Office to discuss feedback on the CIB were granted?

    On another point can you advise why changes and feedback from the public has not been made public? In much the same way feedback on the amendment to the Immigration Bill was posted online.

  25. concerned cultural citizens was the term you used, which is us. So unless you would like me to believe in incredible coincidence, which I don’t. lol, then my request still stands. I suppose even if you choose not to, my request will remain noted. I always act in a fair manner, and that way I can be comfortable at all times. Regards, John.

  26. @John,
    good to see your clarification in BU on CIB matter for Minister Lashley to see. Fair, transparent and honest only way to go. And that the concerned cultural citizens group are willing to work with government for the best for creatives in Barbados. We cannot thank you enough for representing us creatives.

    It seems others/groups are also in touch with Ministry about CIB.

    Those of us who can, without fear ( in fact even in the face of fear), have stood up and been counted in public through our personal Facebook pages and commentary in public, articles, websites, the news, blogs and email.

    Looking forward to seeing the CIB bill end up being for the good of all ‘creatives’ in Barbados in a manner which will encourage and support the cultural industries in taking steps forward and so be in a position of pride, and industry.

    Count me in as being a concerned cultural citizen.

  27. If you are a creative you should be a concerned cultural citizen. I am. As BU pointed out before, creatives have not been very vociferous on this Bill. Scared of repercussions I was told. And many others too.

    Mostly because we are always the first to suffer when it comes to the so-called “money running out syndrome” so I guess many would want to remain ‘receiving their pittance’ ’cause we also, as creatives, need to eat… although that seems to be a hard fact for many who are not creative to understand.

    Minister Lashley, by keeping the Bill back, you have shown courage and understanding of the problems faced by creatives. I hope you will also see how that Bill does not cover all creatives and if it is to be Bill for the people, then it should. Creatives (those who have shown their face and those who have not) just want a fair Bill. One that would make Barbados and yourself proud, Sir. It is that simple. And John’s group seems to be the first (that anyone has seen I should say) that speaks to all the problems with the Bill, point by point.

    How great is it that time was taken to dissect same and hand it to the Ministry to implement. Shows the general desire of creatives to work with government, not against, on this issue.

    So yes! we would like to see amendments before it all goes before Cabinet. ‘Cause it would not be a nice thing for us creatives to be told simply that “Cabinet has refused the changes”. This could happen. And we would like to see what they are refusing if it does. This is the most important issue we should all be concentrating on…the transparency of amendments on the Culture Industries Bill. Done.


  28. Just in case anyone might like to know. There is so much going on in the Arts in Barbados at the moment…much I might add without the help of government…even though we could do with some all of the time…but we can wait for no man…we have to put food on the table just like anyone else…so we just continue the struggle and the battle uphill.

    This link will take you to a fine publication that Corrie Scott puts out without fail every month. She does not charge. She makes no money from it. This is purely for the love of Barbados and those creatives who need exposure for what they are doing. This publication is about just a small section of “creatives” – it does not include music, theatre, dance et al. And also because of the time required to put it all together and plus availability of pages…this is but a grain of sand compared to all that so many are doing under the banner of ‘arts’. How can we be ignored by our government?

    Perhaps now it can be seen that there is more to the arts than heritage and film and video. The entire arts community needs to be…has to be… recognized i.e. covered by this Bill or it will be deemed as a failure for Barbados.

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