Illegal Water Rates: Pay Back The Money

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

On March 3, 2012, the Saturday Sun published an article entitled, “BWA Sacred Cow”, which claimed that the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is no longer regulated under the Utilities Regulation Act (the Act) chapter 282 of the laws of Barbados. This in effect means that Fair Trading Commission (FTC) cannot set water rates or hear and determine any complaints about the quality of service provided by the BWA. Any such complaints against the BWA can only be made to the BWA. As the article stated,

“They [BWA] are judge, jury, everything. You have to accept what they say. So water in this case is creating difficulty because of the change that was made in 2009 when it was removed . . . it is creating a lot of problems for the consumers”.

The obvious question must now be: How did the regulation of the BWA get back to this undesirable situation? The answer is not the most honourable thing that the present Government has done.

In order to honour a promise made to the electorate to regulate water rates by the FTC, the new DLP administration published an order to that effect in March 2009. That order was made in accordance with section 36 of the Act which states:

36 (1) The Minister may by order designate the utility services to be regulated by this Act.

(2) An order made pursuant to subsection (1) shall also list the service providers supplying the designated utility services.

However, when Government wanted to raise water rates, rather than allow the FTC to do its job, they did the unthinkable and betrayed the electorate by publishing an order, on June 23, 2009, purportedly under section 36 of the Act, to remove the supply of water and sewage services from the purview of the FTC.

While I readily admit that the Minister has power to remove the supply of water from the purview of the FTC: he cannot do so merely by changing his mind and signing an order. The procedure for exempting a service from regulation of the FTC is set out in section 37 of the Act. He can exempt a service and the service provider from the provisions of the Act on an application from the service provider under subsection 37 (1) on the recommendation of the FTC or on his own initiative in accordance with subsection 37 (3) which states:

The Minister may on the recommendation of the Commission or on his own initiative exempt the utility service supplied by any service provider or part of that utility service from the application of all or any of the provisions of this Act, where the minister is satisfied that the market for the utility service supplied by the service provider is effectively competitive.

Before the Minister could have exempted the BWA he should have been satisfied that the supply of water was effectively competitive. Since he has already given the exemption, he should be in a position to tell the country who are the other suppliers that are effectively competing with the BWA.

When he signed the order to exempt the BWA on June 23, 2009, it paved the way for the board of directors of the BWA to meet, on Friday, June 26, 2009, where they made an order to increase water rates by as much as 60 per cent. The Cabinet then gave its approval on the same day according to the order which was published as S.I. 2009 N0. 69.

I went through all of that to simply say that that the Minister did not have the power to exempt the supply of water from regulation by the FTC as he could not satisfy the condition that the service was effectively competitive. As a consequence, his action should be declared null and void and of no effect. Accordingly, all monies collected as a result of the improper procedure employed by the Government to increase water rates should be refunded.

0 thoughts on “Illegal Water Rates: Pay Back The Money

  1. So Caswell are you saying that I can sue the BWA? A class action suit too? Geeze I have a whopper of a water bill $904.40 for last month and I am very interested to know how that came about. I feel very sorry for the farmers and the back yard farmers. Life pon dis piece of rock ent cheap at all.

    • @Caswell

      …where the minister is satisfied that the market for the utility service supplied by the service provider is effectively competitive.

      How does one define ‘effectively competitive’?

  2. David

    To answer your question, I consulted with my Oxford English Reference Dictionary. It gives several meanings of the word “competitive” but the one which is relevant states:

    “(of prices etc.) low enough to compare well with those of rival traders”

    The point I am trying to make is that there cannot be competition, much less effective competition, with only one supplier. The Minister would therefore have acted contrary to law when he removed the BWA from the purview of the FTC.

    • @Caswell

      But, is it not true to say that water utilities are usually single entities in a country?

  3. WHY cant I JUST ASKING get a column like Caswell Franklyn
    I got one hundred questions to ask in 100 seconds
    WHO is Caswell Franklyn that he can get a column and not JUST ASKING


  4. What are you saying…..yet another controversy. We had Thompson and CLICO……now you telling me we get rob again ?

    • Onions

      Getting robbed is something to which Barbadians have become accustomed. It seems as though most people could careless. But this is not just a case of robbery: it is also deceitful conduct by the ruling party. They promise to subject the BWA to the FTC and no one can say that they did not honour that promise. The placed the BWA under the jurisdiction of the FTC in March 2009 and then removed it with effect from July 1, 2009. Well at least they managed to honour one promise.

  5. David (9:46)

    You might be right that water utilities are usually single entities in a country. That being the case in the Barbados context the only way the Minister could remove BWA from the Jurisdiction of the FTC would be on the recommendation of the FTC itself. He had no authority to act on his own initiative. See section 37 of the Utilities Regulation Act. We do not expect politicians to make it up as they go along: we expect them to follow the law.

    Cases like this is where a vibrant consumer body would come into its own. Also organizations like BARP and trade unions should be making sure that the politicians do not get away with this type of abuse that affect the pockets of their members. You don’t have to secure a pay increase if you can ensure that the cost of living does not rise like it has been in the last four years.

    • Good question David. The order that was signed by the Minister did not say that the FTC made the recommendation. The order was published as S.I. 2009 No. 68 and it simply said, and I quote:

      “The Minister in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 36 of the Utilities Regulation Act, makes the following order”:

      Firstly, section 36 does not confer any such power on the Minister. The power to remove is conferred by section 37 and if the FTC had made the recommendation the order would have said so.

  6. “Also organizations like BARP and trade unions should be making sure that the politicians do not get away with this type of abuse that affect the pockets of their members.”

    What about the about the Auditor-General, mr Franklyn.Doesn’t a situation like this falls under his prview as well or is he going to wait til the government changes to report on this revelation?

  7. @ CF

    Well done for digging up this one. At the least you’ve demonstrated that the statutory language is meaningless in practice. Perhaps you might like to consider the misinformation put about in relation to lump sum payments and annuities under the Occupational Pensions Benefits Act 2011.

    @ David

    It is just this kind of thing that my ‘watchdog with teeth’ – the third force – would have a field day with – a suggestion which went absolutely nowhere.

  8. @david
    “Hal Gollop, on behalf of Government,”

    sigh. no comment,

    good job my brother.

  9. A system that allows big business to finance political parties. How is the awarding of a contract to Innotech fair? White businesses are so tapped into the public’s purse that they are a cancer.

    The haste shown by the GoB to increase the rates of the BWA was to facilitate the increase in the base rate given to the BL&P (BWA’s biggest expense by far) as that company was being primed for its eventual take over by Emera. IT WAS A DONE DEAL, soley for the sake of selling Bajan consumers to acquire short term FX… And a commission walked away with millions in fees.

    … F#ck this world …stupse

    • Wasn’t there a Validation Bill passed for the road tax matter? Successive government have retroactively validated orders, nothing new.

    • David

      Unfaired asked a very good question. Your answer was correct in as much as that is what happened but in order for Government to legally do so, it would have to tear up the Constitution for a number of reasons but mainly because a person cannot be deprived of his property without the benefit of a written law. Government had a written law in place for the first four months when the increased road taxes were being collected (The Provisional Collection of Taxes Act). Under section 3 of that act the increased taxes ceased to be payable after four months if no law is passed. All the taxes that were paid ought to have been refunded. For he remainder of time that the tax was being collected, it was being done so illegally and should also have been refunded in accordance with section 5.

      Instead of refunding the money as required by law, Government passed an unconstitutional validation bill. Government cannot constitutionally deprive a person of his property retrospectively. Money is property.

      When that happened I went to several lawyers, including opposition lawyers, to take the Government to court for my refund. All of them acknowledged that I was right but refused to take the case. I did not have the resources to import one so the matter died for me.

  10. @ Caswell
    Since when do you require a lawyer to represent you in court ? I even see murder accuseds defending themselves . You seem to be better than most lawyers . Why would you rely on a mediocre /inferior person to defend you ?

  11. Water rates before and after the increase are not economic.

    I believe they are low.

    BWA can have no competitors because it would under sell them, even now.

    We would finance the deficit as we do now.

    BL&P and C&W are private entities which would fold were they to sell their product the way BWA sells its product.

    That is not to say that the rule of law should not be respected ……. or that BWA should be privatised.

    I believe it is a mistake for FTC to regulate water rates … and for BWA to be privatised!!.

    Get the inefficiencies out of the supply and run BWA as a private entity would run a business before trying to put it under the FTC umbrella and expect it to perform as a private business would.

  12. On the email sent to BU posted above our research confirms that Gollop has always walked a high road in his career to date. There are a lot of games scheduled to be played in this the silly season.

  13. bro franklyn let me state up front that i have not yet done any research on the matter but if your post is indeed correct, it shows the disdain and contempt which both sides of the political divide have for system of governance in barbados and by extension the people they beg cap in hand every five years to vote for them. the political system seems to be one big fraternity which both parties run as their own fiefdom where they decide among themselves over which issues they are going to put on a show for the gullible supporters or public consumption in general. you mean to tell me that not even one high powered lawyer from her majesty’s opposition was not perspicacious enough to bring this illegal activity to the attention of the public or is it a case of letting sleeping dogs lie in the form of an unwritten truce across the political divide. except for the froth spewed by the opposition leader seemingly for political expediency, what more have we heard of his allegation of the illegal sale of fuel to minibuses by the transport board or the employmentby the BWA of anexecutive chairman contrary to the law. we claim to follow the Westminister Model but do you believe such an unsavoury state of governance would be allowed to go unchallenged in britain either by the parliamentof britain or interest groups. Will the label ‘banana republic’ be apt to describe in the nottoo didtant future?

  14. @ David
    …see why Bushie has Caswell earmarked as Chairman of the National Supervisory Committee now…?

  15. @ David
    It is amazing that this fellow Gollop can become a major decision maker for the Government overnight ; he has lived a very modest life all the years as a BLP supporter !
    This is really the silly season David .

  16. the more concerning thing is that the bwa project manager one STEVEN LINDO has been able to secure his little pick from the project, a brand spanking new HONDA CRV which is reported to be fully-loaded and purchased at approximately $200K.

  17. @ David .
    It seems that rumour and slander have taken over ….WELCOME TO THE SILLY SEASON . It would be interesting to find out who got disappointed in the tender for the project .

  18. @ John

    “I believe it is a mistake for FTC to regulate water rates … and for BWA to be privatised!!”

    Agreed, BIG time. We can still change a government and by extension have influence over the boards that govern a number of these entities and their management. I would NOT want to give these public servants the opportunity to behave as if they were working as private individuals, nah … They would shaft us all.

    You John, cannot prove that the BWA is still being subsidised and I on the other hand cannot prove that it is not …! But give me the BWA and the NPC in Government’s hands without FTC say so any day, any day, because to do other wise would virtually guarantee a significant increase in price WITHOUT the commensurate improvement in the quality of service delivered.

  19. @David. I am amazed at the accusations against Hal. In my wide experience, he is one of the most honourable and honest attorneys and people in Barbados and, if there is any sort of justice in Barbados at all, should be appointed one of Her Majesty’s counsel very soon – in fact, it is a scandal that he has not already been so appointed, instead of some of the political hacks. Hal was approached by the Government to do a job, which he accepted and which you may be sure, he will perform with his usual excellence.

    However, Hal (a BLP supporter, but a fine and upstanding lawyer first, foremost and always) has a detractor who used to hold high judicial office and who is a close friend and supporter of one CF.

    The silly season is in full flood. A pity the silliness involves attempting to besmirch the name of someone so far above them in every way. Envy is a terrible thing. So unattractive. But the people who really count know the true measure of Hal and are honoured to know and work with him.

  20. @Amused

    The BU household is not familiar with Hal but we are with his son Steve. If one believes the maxim that the berry does not roll far from the tree then Hal must be Ok.

    BU has always been impressed by his willingness to give time to the public by commenting on matters of national interest where demystifying the legalese was required. Let us hope as the silly season descend participants will remember there is no honour in punching low.

  21. David (content of email sent to BU) “Bids for a new office were called for from three firms and Innotech was the sole bidder.”

    in the 70s, an invitatation to tender on renovating a warehouse was sent to 8 contractors all of whom took tender documents.

    Only one of them submitted a bid and it was $200,000 over what it should have been.

    The tender was accepted because it was known that 7 people would have gotten some nice “gifts”. Modus operandi. early effective use of a cost over run.

    This happened in Quebec.

    Food for thought.

  22. Amused

    This whole QC thing and Sen Council thing want scrapping…. and the fact that a citizen would find it appropriate to be part of a political party in its modern post independence form (no nothing about pre- independence) and still be considered as upstanding shows a serious deficiency in the standards that such people are judged by. What has this man done to improve the imaged and substance of the political institution that he is a part of..? Why do people in this practice find it so necessary to be part of a party agenda?

  23. @Hants

    The DLP rode into office on the back of promoting change: do you think anything has changed.


    In light of the belief that BL&P applied for a rate hike fully aware that there were moves to sell to EMERA, do we have options to hold hands to the fire.

  24. @ David

    This is the salient part of the mischief making emailer “Hal Gollop, on behalf of Government, is making all the decisions without the knowledge of the tender negotiating committee and is changing the fundamental basis of the contract”

    The Tender Negotiating Commitee was appointed by the Board of Directors of the BWA one assumes with the approval of the Minister. Mr. Hal Gollop was appointed by the Board of Directors of the BWA one assumes with the approval of the Minister. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BWA is himself a member of the Tender Negotiating Commitee.

    The salient issue is that Mr. Hal Gollop is not a member of the Tender Negotiating Commitee, he has been appointed to represent BWA’s best interest, legally speaking and report to the Board of Directors who may takes action(s) by the authority given to them under Barbados Water Authority Act CAP. 274A. The Tender Negotiating Commitee is a creature of the board for the purpose of carrying out a specific function, that of negotiating. However it should not be expected, nor will it happen, that an Attorney-at-Law who is qualified and experienced would be willing to have a Negotiating Commitee instruct him or her on how best they should advise their client, in this case, the BWA.

    It is clearly silly season. Mr. Gollop, a known supporter of the BLP but also a friend of the PM is the victim of someone who has decided to try and make the suggestion that Mr. Gollop is less that honorable or competent. Bajans know better when it comes to Mr. Gollop.

  25. @ Hants

    Six firms expressed an interest in the project. Three were prequalified by BWA and its professional advisors. On the day of closing of tenders one firm wrote to BWA and said they could not raise the money necessary to fund the project, they could not meet the requirement. One of the other firms (up North of the island) did not even have the courtesy to send in a letter on the day the tender closed and apologise for not tendering. Inotec was the only tender received and which it seems met all the requirements. The company ( up North of the Island) who did not tender then started a campaign ably assisted by senior DLP Minister to have this company declared, even thought they did NOT bid, the company with whom the BWA should negotiate the project.

  26. To David:
    It seems as if Hal Gollop is doing everything thing the PM wants done to get the AG job and the silk.

  27. Could this be the same Hal Gollop who was part of the team that undertook the St Joseph Hospital Branford Taitt Inquiry? Should he know better, yes.

  28. @ David

    Whatever I personally feel about Mr Gollop and his associates and the tic-tack that is being floated here on the basis of an anonymous email – I hope we won’t carry on with this unseemly by-way until at least someone is straight enough to honour the record with a post. You cannot dismember a body with an innuendo and a conjecture. It’s simply not ‘sporting’ though I do appreciate very well that it’s not uncommon.

  29. Public Joe wrote “Six firms expressed an interest in the project.”

    Cost over run can buy 5 bimmers or benzes……. but only in Canada eh!

  30. Lemuel
    ” It seems HG is doing everything the PM wants to get the AG job and silk ”
    Do you know the man ? Can you say that he does not qualify on MERIT for either position ? Are you just another sniper?

  31. @ Rumour & slander

    I am sure that Lemuel is a another one of the many jealous lawyers in Barbados. If a man is a making a way for him self based on merit, certain people (racked by envy no doubt) think it their place to do everything in their power to assinate the person integrity and character.

    How many millions did Adrian King, the attorney make since the DLP came to power.

  32. Listen, please stop sniping at Hal. He is one of the few in his profession whose ethics and conduct are not open to question, which is a hell of a lot more than the former high judicial officer who is, I am sure, behind this smear campaign. There are somethings that are so unjust as to be sickening – accusations of misconduct against Hal fall right slap bang into that category. I really am not amused. This is gutter behaviour and if this is the thanks that professionalism and integrity receive in Barbados, we have to ask ourselves two questions. First, why so many counsel eschew integrity. Second, why so many counsel end up in politics. Most things I let pass like water off a ducks back. But this is gratuitous scandal engineered I am sure by someone who not only forget his legal ethics, but has no interest in anything but his own self-glorification. Which, let me tell you, is dead, gone and can never be revived.

  33. What is happening in Barbados regarding how work is dished out without obligation to rules should concern all Barbadians.

    Adrian King is a lawyer of no extraordinary repute – certainly operating in the sphere of Gollop – yet the late Thompson saw fit to give him tonnes of work resulting in extrodinary fees. The fact that he is the husband of Natasha King (personal aid to late PM)should not be a concern.

  34. Come on!!!!! what do you expect of Mr Gollop? He’s FS neighbour, FS bwfore becoming P.M used to work in the same office as Hal Gollop. Time that a man do a favor for his buddy and in so doing do one for himself. Remember, the concern among the EAGER 11 was finding no financial supporters for the up coming elections. The DLP through the $ 5 million gift to Innotech, has secured their financing from us. Didtatorship at its best/worse. It seems the DLP would pull any stunt to remain in office, this silly season is going to get real dirty.

  35. @ Amused,

    I have tried to point out that contractors in Quebec conspired to circumvent the bidding process for their collective personal gain.

    You should focus on the possibility and or probability of this being the modus operandi in Barbados as well.

  36. @ The scout

    How could it be gift when everyone, anyone can see the work being done on the project since last year? Innotech done could down that mountain with all the bulldozers, excavators, jackhammers, trucks, bobcats, rollers and drillers.

    surely that is millions upon millions of dollars already done in work. % million my ass, you feel you does just get 5 million so.

  37. David

    We are going off track. This post is about the increased water rates that are being collected illegally: it is about Government breaching faith with the electorate or you could say deceiving the people of this country. This nonsense about Hal Gollop has nothing to do with the matter at hand.

    • @Caswell

      A few questions were posed to you above.

      Also there is the opportunity to discuss other things which allow us to peer behind the veneer of how we do business in Barbados.

      It all comes together.

  38. @ Caswell Franklyn,

    Thats the problem with a freeness. You don’t get to decide the direction the post will take.

    The commenters do.

    In a few months the people of Barbados will have the opportunity to punish the Government and the next Government can decide to repay what you claim to have been collected illegally.

    David you tracking Windies and IPL?lol

  39. @ David

    Sorry this won’t do. CF and I have tried to steer the Gollop thing to another forum. You have asserted that you accept Gollop’s integrity. And yet you say to CF that it is right to “peer behind the veneer” and that all things “come together”. Well maybe you’re right, maybe it’s pay-back time; and it was BU who posted this thing in the first place anyway and so it is BU who must take responsibility for it. But essentially you have thrown Gollop to the dogs though you say he’s honourable. That is a little mealy-mouthed isn’t it? Or are you hoping it will all blow away on a side-wind?

  40. @ Amused

    You damage your man by pointing fingers at hypothetical others.

    @ David

    Or is THAT the idea….to point the finger at the usual suspect?

    • @robert

      You always come out on the wrong side of these matters.

      BU has been following the buzz that there have been alleged irregularities how the BWA contract was awarded.

      All we are doing is pushing to get information our unorthodoxy not withstanding.

      BU has indicated that Gollop’s reputation is not in question here.

      Based on some of the exchanges so far we have found out a little more than was first known.

  41. @ David

    To allow a few jealous people to use this blog with the single intention of trying to ruin Mr. Gollop’s good reputation is a shame and does nothing positive for BU in the long term. You of all people know that Mr. Gollop’s only crime is being a friend of the Prime Minister. You should do the right thing and stop this from continuing.

  42. @ David

    The only irregularity (your word) is that the builder from the North, a sponsor of David Thompson et al cannot accept that his plan to secure the project via a cancellation of the tender in favour of a directly negotiated contract with the BWA, did not work despite promises from some in Bay Street. The same builder was able to get Cabinet to award the Villages at Coverley project while the project was still out to tender.

    • @Giga Soul

      So where do we go from here? If we had transparency in government dealings citizens would not have to be pimping for information which should be legitimately in the public domain.

  43. @ David

    Your response is a cop -out. The style has been tried before by you – attack the sense of the awkward question. OK – so the right side is YOUR side? And you are judge and jury on the question of integrity? In fact, according to you the case is closed. And Public Joe seals it. Good. I’m glad for HG. Has it “come together” now?

  44. The problem here of course is that what ever is found out on BU apparently has no where else to go but to remain on BU.

    Man talk ya talk do … reputations my ass. Once yah name lawyer you is fair game ’bout here … There is no smoke without some kinda a action goin’ down … ha ha ha

  45. @ BAF

    ‘But Brutus says that Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault and grievously hath Caesar answered for it……………so were they all, all honourable men’.

    Don’t forget the party.

  46. @ David
    I am still amazed that Gollop could be the centre of any alleged dealing on behalf of the government’s fund raising for the election and find the posting of SCOUT particularly nasty . Being the FRIEND of the Prime Minister seems to have bestowed all kinds of privileges upon this man who was formerly a virtual unknown in the political arena . I have since heard that he used to be a staunch supporter of David Simmons in St Philip and St Thomas . Maybe this provides a good enough reason for the present smear campaign . Or is it that persons no longer appreciate what TRUE FRIENDSHIP means . How can you seek to smear a man for being somebody’s friend ? the mind boggles !

    • @Amazing

      Barbados is becoming increasingly politically polarized a la Jamaica.

      Good people are staying away from the political arena.

      Did we read something in the press where CBC’s Socaholic launch was cancelled because their theme colour was red, BLP colours?

      Our society is in decay and it is why Caswell will always be able to find stuff to highlight. Who cares anyway? It is why our politicians can do what they do.

      The whole world is beginning to implode, the signs are there. Social unrest will start in Spain next and the UK possibly.

      Globalization has made coming events a big issue for Barbados and the Caribbean. We need to wake up.

  47. At last! A Barbadian candidate for beatification! Hal-lelujah!.Do give the panegyrics a rest. It’s beginning to make me suspicious.

  48. Giga Soul your post may21, 8.38 suggests your soul is getting restless. stop whining. that has always beenpart the nature of the political beast which masquerades foe governance in barbados.carlton brathwaite and richie haynes were branded for their closeness to mr barrow, mr thompson branded mr hallam nicholls in haggatt hall for his closeness to mr arthur and mr david bryan of the advocate was branded because ofhis closeness to mr tom adams, poochan and racketeer clarke were branded because of their closeness to mr deighton mottley. so do not let the results of the polls get you disheartened. be comforted by the gospel according to mr michael lashley, ‘polls do not vote’.

  49. hants since we are all over the place talking about company up north and such like; can you update me on the status of the pickering project in the north since the sod was broken by mr thompson.

    • BU reported a long time ago that the plug was pulled on the Pickering Project although Kellman denied it.

  50. … Uh to what …? To the fact that the Capitalist approach to development where partisan participation by exploitative entities has completely corrupted the process? (Wait there gotta be a simpler way to put dat …)

    • @BAFBFP

      Keep fighting, keep on with your inputs wherever. Our voices are being heard, might even be upsetting a view.

  51. “BU reported a long time ago that the plug was pulled on the Pickering Project although Kellman denied it.”

    i was not aware. can we put this down then as another lie, trick, unfullfilled promise, white elephant. you mean to tell me after the launching of this project with much glitz and glitter, this has been another case of promising much but delivering nothing. you mean no homework was done before submitting the idea to the public.

  52. @ Caswell
    NAD workers walk of the job in solidarity of co-worker.

    The requirement of 4 o’ levels being a prerequisite for promotion to position of Supervisor…said to be at the center of the matter. Are they really relevant to the position .v experience and know how (20yrs)…Could this be another unfortunate ‘fish bone’ at this time ? Your take.

  53. @ David

    On “who cares anyway”

    I’m sure you’re right. It’s why not even BU has considered the ‘watchdog with teeth’, the con relating to the Occupational Pensions Benefits Act and the ways in which the Bail Act is being subverted – well unless it’s time to go soft on remand prisoners in order to get at DS. Do we control the agenda or does the agenda control us?

  54. @ David

    “Barbados is becoming increasingly politically polarized a la Jamaica.”

    I can agree with your statement, but I do not think that we have gotten to the extent of Jamaica. I have observed systematic changes in the way people are approaching politics now-a-days, especially during the last 6 years or so, and it reminds me of St. Kitts and Antigua. There are strong divisions between parties in those islands, and more so in St. Kitts. However, on closer examination, I realized that the political culture has been influenced and redesigned by a political strategist, common to the three islands.

  55. @ David

    I understand about resources. It’s simply that when I mention these things – and often to you – no-one says anything. I realise, of course, there may be all sorts of reasons for that. Even with the Law Commission thing, it all got side-tracked by someone with a hang-up as much as I love him. You see, despite my fish-nor-fowl status (which may actually be salutary) I am actually committed to change and, to be totally airy fairy, to everything that is good and beautiful including the business of waking up. I think you understand that – well sometimes.

  56. “However, on closer examination, I realized that the political culture has been influenced and redesigned by a political strategist, common to the three islands”
    xeres- do not forget St Vincent; the octopus like tentacles of the masquerading political consultant to the Democratic Labour Party unashamedly remunerated out of the taxpayers of Barbados coffers for doing work for his political organisation without a whisper of disdain from even the opposition benches again calls to mind the bankruptcy of the system of governance in barbados. mr gonsalves wanted to to ascribe to him some nondescript post at the public’s expense too but the foolish vincies as we would say sensibly would have none of it unlike us wise bajans who foolishly accepted it. Has anyone ever researched his certification in this political consultant nonsenseor is he a hoax.apart from his brief sojourn in the journalism field and his association with AL-Hart, he is not reconised. yet he can g all through the caribbean posturing as a political consultant and we say the caribbean leaders brilliant.

  57. A surety turned up at District A today on behalf of her daughter. She was wearing a skirt which dropped below the knee. The Prosecutor pointed out to the Magistrate that it was a ‘jeans skirt’. The Magistrate sent her home to change it. Has this country gone totally MAD?

  58. RRoss…..this just goes to show how common sense ain’t so common at all. Now it boils down to the type of material the skirt is made of and the style. The magistrates have now become Fashion judges. How the hell can the fabric of a skirt worn by a surety determine the credibility of that person?

  59. “We live in a society built on observing standards no?”

    Yes David a dress code for the poor and one for the rich. If it were a white person would it have the same results? We are soo backwards that we cannot decipher what is decent and indecent , what is acceptable and unacceptable.

    • @islandgal

      Just checking to establish that you are ok with maintaining a standard. Now we get into the realm of interpretation 🙂


      Notice in the news there is industrial unrest brewing at the BWA.

  60. Robert

    The administration of the courts and the Registration Department has gone awry. They make up rules, usually stupid ones, as they go along. This nonsense with a jeans skirt is just the tip of the iceberg of ignorance that goes on there.

    If you want to see madness, go and apply for a death certificate. They will want to know why you want the document and your relation to the deceased. A registry is a place where public document are kept. The only restriction on having acces to those documents should be if the applicant can afford the cost. It is not the Registrar’s business what you want to do with the document. But they have instituted an inquisition for persons who apply for the services of the Registration Department and no one in authority is willing to restrain the excessive behaviour that passes for administration of that department.

    • @robert

      Your reluctance to name the prosecutor and others involved speaks volumes why the problem will remain.

  61. Quoting islandgal “The magistrates have now become Fashion judges.”

    And in truth NOT ONE of our judges and magistrates can be called an elegant or a fashionable dresser.

    Do you ever see them once they take that gown off?

    As the young people would say “They crying man!!!!”

  62. R Ross

    As a public service please provide the names of the Prosecutor and the Magistrate so that we can make “mock sport” of them

  63. @ Sarjeant

    The magistrate was a lady. It was NOT the prosecutor who drew the attention of the magistrate to the offending garment. It was a constable from the doorway. Consider the dress code on saturdays – flip flops, jeans and open shirts are de rigeur for attorneys. Apparently justice is blind at week-ends.

  64. There are curious rules about leg crossing too. Magistrates, attorneys, probation officers, prosecutors may cross and uncross – but not witnesses, complainants, defendants and, indeed, anyone else. It is a very serious offence to place the elbow on the back bar of a bench in the ‘public’ body of the court. So yes – it is all about observance – in other words pretence.

    @ Islandgal

    I’m told that skin colour is not a determinant of the application of the rigours of the dress code.

    @ David

    I suspect that (narrowly) it is a question of interpretation as you suggest. There is a notice forbidding jeans – but I think I’m right in saying that there’s nothing about ‘jeans skirts’. So as Islandgal suggests, it’s all about fabric which, as she says and as we all know, is a determinant of credibility. Why don’t we wear jeans on sundays at St Splotts?

    • David

      Some time ago, while in opposition, David Thompson said that they were some foolish magistrates. I am tempted to agree and extend it since the magistrates did not make up that absurd rule. It is silly because there is no such thing as a “jeans skirt”. A jeans is a hard-wearing trousers made from denim or another cotton fabric, for informal wear.

      Jeans is a style of pants: the lady would have been wearing a denim skirt. To be complete, the Compact Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines denim: A hard-wearing cotton twill fabric.

      Power really goes to some people’ heads.

  65. @ CF

    Yes, I’m sure you’re right about making it all up as they go along. How often do you see a smiling face in that building?

  66. Kamla returns to T&T
    Belgrave to be GG
    Dudus sentencing hearing today
    Gabriel to return home

    Four headlines in one of our Nations daily newspaper. Am I too old fashioned in thinking that a Prime Minister of a country deserves to have the title before her name?
    Same for the GG designate Justice Belgrave?

    I guess Journalism school has changed.

    Apologies for the diversion

  67. I have seen the skort (skirt/shorts) cause a problem the other way around in court.

    The complaint was made to the wearer of the skort that no shorts were allowed in court although the hem was below the knees by an authority figure wearing an extremely short skirt, halfway up her thighs.

    I expected fire works as the lady in the skort has a way with words and could only chuckle quietly when she looked the authority figure up and down, asked “…. And what about your mini skirt?” … then turned around and left the authority figure to figure out an answer!!

    Never heard the answer!!

    That day I added a new word to my vocabulary … skort and I realised that those put in authority are not always up to it.

    It is sad really.

  68. Uh wondering how long Caswell gine be able to keep this new job he got writing blogs ? when we tek he record : fired from evry job he ever had it can be long before he get fire from dis one !! leh we wait an see …

  69. @ David

    Oh you are a one! It doesn’t need much working out as Serjeant would know I guess. But to repeat – it was not the prosecutor – a woman also. That was my error. The complaint was made by a constable to the magistrate.

    But – thinking about it – supposing I said her name was ‘Boulder’? Where would that take us? Between a rock and a hard place? It’s the system we are attacking, isn’t it, which breeds this kind of idiocy? Mind if it was Bannister, I wouldn’t hesitate – he has too many ‘convictions’ already.

  70. See how we are trapped by language. Yes, as Hants says, it’s a denim skirt. But ‘we’ say ‘jeans skirt’ and thereby create a myth. We also tend to write as we speak – which is why so many, especially in tertiary education, appear only semi-literate. Think also what we do with the expression “God says”.

  71. @robert

    It matters because it maybe one of interpretation of the rule and NOT the system. What does the dress code stipulate which regulates the magistrate’s court? We have to start there, then a denim skirt referred to in slang as jeans skirt can be properly be resolved.

  72. @ David

    Spoken like a lawyer and, as a sort of lawyer, I agree with you as I’ve already said. And yet it is also about mindsets which is what we’re all about here isn’t it? Would you find this kind of thing in Jamaica, I wonder? If not, what does it say about us? And them?

  73. @robert

    Would not want to be compared to Jamaica when discussing the merits of an orderly society which has as its underpinning standards/rules.

  74. @ David

    The ‘standards’ we discuss every day on BU? As CF says – we are a Pharisaical society with all that that entails. Me: I prefer ‘honest to goodness’ shit to shit masquerading as the virgin queen.

  75. Hants | May 23, 2012 at 12:05 AM |

    My man the onliest person dat deserve a title in your list is Dudus the Sacrificed … hear ?!

    The lawyers and politicians and army and police and courts in that country were powerless to protect he as a citizen of Jamaica and prefer to tell de res ah we that he chose not to have a extradition hearing. Now you know that he couldn’t ah been dah foolish … Beware for the same could happen to any one ah we, hear …?!.

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