The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Time for a Change?

 press_freedom“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”George Bernard Shaw

The title of this piece should not, in any way, be taken as a partisan political affirmation. Indeed, the more perceptive reader would have noted the presence of the interrogation mark that converts it into a hypothesis to be tested rather than as one of those questions in Latin, as expertly taught so many years ago by LS Wellington and CQ Williams, that suggests the answer by the use of “nonne” or “num” as the first word of the sentence. In any event, my readers will be familiar with my held thesis that the really effective change that we need is not that of the decennial or otherwise change of the first letters of the acronyms of the major parties, but rather a change in ourselves so as to accomplish our civic responsibility of being useful citizens; in other words, to be responsible stewards of our living environment. In my view, this necessitates the forging of a new political compact between the governors and the governed.

We may adduce some evidence of the nature of this compact from the recent successful and uncontested constitutional challenge by one enlightened citizen, Mr David Commissiong, to the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 that purported to empower an immigration functionary to prohibit a Barbadian citizen the freedom to re-enter the country should he or she refuse to be fingerprinted on their return from abroad. According to newspaper reports of the decision, the measure was determined to be null and void, although it was not made clear whether this was on the basis that it was unconstitutional or that the regulations themselves did not comply with the procedural requirements for their creation, another facet of Mr Commissiong’s claim.

As I wrote in this space some weeks ago under the title A dog’s breakfast, the prohibition of re-entry was, in my view, a disproportionate response to an otherwise necessary initiative to identify persons in an era when “the traditional methods of identification of persons –by photographs and numbers- have become obsolete; are incapable of preventing identity theft; are susceptible to other fraudulent abuses, and generally inadequate for their intended purpose. I also argued then that in an age of terrorist threat moreover, the existing methods of identifying individuals had clearly become unsustainable” and that, in consequence, many jurisdictions, had sought to modernize their national ID databases from the simple photograph or number to include biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints, iris recognition, voice, gait and even DNA, which would authenticate individual identity and assist in border security and that Barbados was merely acting similarly.

As is usual, in spite of its civic importance, we were not afforded the benefit of a published unofficial summary of the decision as has become par for the course in other jurisdictions. However, given that the press report asserted that the measure was found to be “both (sic) null and void” this betrays an unfamiliarity with legal terminology in general and the use of the legal doublet in particular that is, in effect, one expression where both parts mean the same thing as, for example in “to implore and beseech”; “to have and to hold” and “to aid and abet”, inter alia.

There may be a certain quiddity about the decision however if the measure itself was found to be a procedural nullity; for if so, then there would have been remained no threat by law or other state action to the fundamental right of the Barbadian citizen to freedom of movement and to the absolute injunction that “no person shall be deprived of… the right to enter Barbados”. Indeed, the doctrine of judicial restraint would have mandated a decision on the procedural matter alone. It must be conceded however that there exists a credible rumour that the order was in fact made with the consent of both parties.

Another integral aspect of the new political compact must be the legislative enabling of the citizen’s right of access to official information, or FOI, (freedom of information legislation) as it has been popularly termed. It was heartening to hear the Prime Minister assert at the media luncheon that he hosted last month that this measure had not been taken entirely off the table, although the existing draft bill might yet need some tweaking to become compatible with the local condition. I am not in full agreement with this. I am partial rather to the view that a human or civic right is universal and that while the practical enforcement of that right by the information commissioner may vary from case to case, sometimes depending on existing local culture, the legislative statement of the right itself should nevertheless accord with the minimum global standard if it is to be of any real value.

The concept of the FOI is important, according to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, principally because it enhances the transparency of official policy creation, administrative decision-making and the delivery of government services. It is persuasively argued further that “a better informed community is able more effectively to participate in the national democratic process”. These factors are all premised on the notion that government does not really own the information that it has acquired at public expense but that, as with the national purse, it merely holds and manages it as trustees for the principal beneficiaries, the citizenry.

On this analysis, the right of access to official information should be made subject to strictly necessary conditions only such as its release being shown to be undeniably contrary to the public interest.

I propose to continue this column by discussing freedom of expression, the enforceability of manifesto and other political promises, integrity legislation and the climate of anti-intellectualism that seems to pervade these days.

I should wish, however, also to pay tribute to Austin “Tom” Clarke, the Barbadian-Canadian author who shuffled off this mortal coil last week and who seemed, in some of his writings, to have a fascination with legal matters.

From “A Man” in the anthology, “Nine Men Who Laughed” (1986)-

“You don’t have any evidence he told her.” That’s not a prima facie case…”And he allowed the weight of the legal jargon to sink into her incredulity…

He patted his attaché case…took out some of the legal documents he had picked up a few minutes earlier, leafed through them and allowed the rustle of the documents and the jurisprudence in them to give her the heavy significance he wanted her to get…

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44 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Time for a Change?”

  1. David July 3, 2016 at 7:35 AM #

    Dropping this here and hoping Jeff feels motivated to respond.

    Doubly wrong

    Gollop rejects fingerprinting ruling

    Added by Kaymar Jordan on July 2, 2016.

    Saved under Legistlature, Local News

    A prominent Queen’s Counsel has rejected out of hand Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court in the fingerprinting case brought by attorney-at-law and social activist David Comissiong against the Freundel Stuart administration.

    Arguing that the legal judgment was not only premature, but an absolute nonsense and stressing that the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 were still at the “idea” stage and was yet to become law, Hal Gollop, QC, also did not rule out the possibility of Government pressing ahead with its plan to introduce fingerprinting at all ports of entry, and for all persons, with the exception of children under the age of 16 and persons holding diplomatic passports.

    Asked whether he felt the measure had suffered a premature death, Gollop, who is close to the Democratic Labour Party administration, warned that there was nothing stopping Government from taking forward the fingerprinting imitative.

    “That is something for the minister responsible for security and his Cabinet after taking all things into consideration,” he told Barbados TODAY while echoing recent sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister and other top officials of his administration that “one cannot be oblivious to the need in a modern society, a modern international climate, to have measures in place that will protect the security of the citizens and the State.”

    He stressed that terrorism currently abounds, amid reports that some of the equipment needed for the fingerprinting plan to be implemented had already been sourced by Government.

    Nonetheless, Gollop stressed that the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 was simply “an idea” at this stage.

    “It is not a law, so you cannot act under it. Consequently, you cannot be sued under it,” the attorney told Barbados TODAY, pointing out that the measure was originally slated to go into effect on April 1 this year.

    However, following much public outcry, Acting Chief Immigration Officer Wayne Marshall announced on March 18 that it was being deferred.

    In what has been viewed as a further setback to Government’s fingerprinting plan, Madam Justice Pamela Beckles on Thursday ruled that the move to have the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 introduced was not only unconstitutional, but “null and void”, with Comissiong telling waiting reporters at the steps of the Supreme Court that he felt he had been “spectacularly vindicated.

    “Just as we anticipated, this matter was not contested. It really couldn’t have been contested because the facts were so clear. So Justice Pamela Beckles has granted the order and that order basically says that the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 were null and void and are unconstitutional and an order of certiorari has been granted to quash it. So, as of now those regulations no longer exist,” a beaming Comissiong said in reporting on the court’s decision.

    However, Gollop was adamant today that there was no “legal” win to speak of.

    Instead, he charged that the court had acted prematurely on the matter.

    Insisting that the fingerprinting proposal was not yet law, Gollop pointed out “it cannot be used to fingerprint anybody.

    “So by extension, you cannot get a constitutional action against it, because it is not a law. It cannot be used to breach rights, so you cannot get an action against it. It is like getting something against nothing,” the Queen’s Counsel maintained.

    He further argued that the consent order “must” be set aside, even as he sought to lay blame squarely at the feet of the Solicitor General’s office for failing to enter a defence in the matter.

    “They should have applied to strike it out because it is premature,” he told Barbados TODAY.

    “It was an action being brought on nothing, but having not entered [a defence], to go and give a consent order to something that can’t be done legally, is really doubly wrong in my view.”

    However, Gollop acknowledged that Comissiong may have made some “political” headway in terms of advancing his argument that Barbadian nationals should not be fingerprinted upon entering or leaving their place of birth.

    “That is a political issue, whether Government thinks it efficacious to enact such a measure or not, that is a political matter. That is a decision of the political directorate that is open to challenge . . . but until it becomes a law, what we are doing is debating the pros and cons of Government instituting such a matter,” Gollop insisted.


  2. ac July 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM #

    Commissiong fifteen minutes of celebration was given the cold shoulder by Gallop response. .However as expected the political wheel of satisfaction must have felt good to those on the opposite side
    Gallops response is interesting given that he asserts that the ruling was in effect an overreach against a proposal which was not a law.


  3. Jeff Cumberbatch July 3, 2016 at 8:14 AM #

    @David and BU

    I heard Hal make this point on CBC on Friday morning and I do not understand what he is arguing. Maybe he is unaware that the Regulations were in fact made by the responsible Minister… even though one of David’s claims was that they were procedurally defective. This is the point I seek to make when I point out that if they were in law defective or null and void, then they do not exist and to this extent and thus could not be unconstitutional.

    In that case I would agree with Hal that there would be then no law to declare unconstitutional. However, his s argument above goes to existence and not merely legal validity as mine does.


  4. Pachamama July 3, 2016 at 8:38 AM #

    A philosopher once beckoned to the basics. What is this, in itself.

    The Chilcot Inquiry will release a report, Wednesday, on the Iraq War. That war is the recognizable point of a recent descent of ‘rights’.

    That report is expected to absolve Tony Blair from charges of war crimes, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. Including public admissions of wrongdoing.

    While impeding some individual rights Barbados can comfortably choose to ignore its international obligations for the trial of suspected war criminals. That’s alright with us.

    There will never be a legal question as to whether Blair is to be arrested and transferred to the Hague for trial under this same colour of law in Barbados. A law under which the country has international obligations in these matters.

    War crimes were, since Nuremberg, amongst the pantheon of the worst violations of human rights known to man.

    It is hardly to be unexpected that the GOB would follow the general overreach of state power, by all Western governments, under the pretext of ‘terrorism’.

    Some idiots might even be motivated to characterize those who would object as some kind of terrorists. Not people like Blair nor Bush but most persons daring to oppose the radical changes to basic rights based on a pack of official lies about Iraq, 9/11.

    Lies that have killed millions of people and counting.

    The state of law in Barbados is highly consistent with the country’s general disposition. It cannot be disaggregated from other critical factors. And we all know where they point.


  5. David July 3, 2016 at 8:39 AM #


    Thanks, that was our conclusion as well. It goes back to the need for intelligent commentating and a probing media. You do the public a great service by you legal outpourings through the various channels.


  6. de pedantic Dribbler July 3, 2016 at 8:48 AM #

    @David, the remarks from Mr Gollop is the type of wondrous legal self-satisfaction that forms the basis for so many unsavory jokes or otherwise scathing brickbats towards these types of paid mouth-pieces.

    With their legal qualifications and experience we (stupidly) expect them to speak with REAL equilibrium on legal matters but we completely forget that a lawyer speaks the TRUTH according to his/her client’s needs.

    Gollop’s technical argument that the the process to initiate the legal challenge to the ‘Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015’ is wrong because “It is like getting something against nothing” is disgustingly self serving.

    This is summer up north so visits to the latest roller-coaster ride is a must for some with all the big loops and plunges from sanity to ‘ahhhh, OMG’. His legal brain is in one of those ‘ahhhh, OMG’ plunges.

    The same court matter he dismisses on the procedural basis was foisted in a most egregious illegal way upon the Bajan public by his clients, as stated on these pages by Mr Commissiong.

    It’s therefore amusing that one lawyer said then practically the same thing this one is saying now.

    Commissiong said so correctly then that “On a procedural basis alone, therefore, the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 are null and void and of no legal effect !”

    Law and lawyers, it’s always so sweet


  7. Caswell Franklyn July 3, 2016 at 8:50 AM #


    You really want Jeff to respond to Gollop’s babblings? He is not anywhere near Jeff’s league.


    The answer to your question is simply “YES”. Time to change the method of selection and composition of the Electoral and Boundaries Commission: time to change the method of appointing judges and top public officers; time to enforce all the electoral laws; time to remove judges from office for negligence and failure to perform their duty; time for the BLP and DLP to shuffle of their mortal coil; time for Freundel Stuart to stay on as caretaker Prime Minister, with a skeleton crew as his cabinet, for six months in order to put a new electoral system, without parties, in place; time for a new DPP; time for non-partisan Governors-General; time to stop the stealing at QEH, Psychiatric Hospital, Public Works, secondary school system and …; time to change the method of selection and composition of the Public Service Commission; and time to join Unity Workers Union.


  8. David July 3, 2016 at 8:54 AM #

    @Dee Word

    It is interesting to ‘listen’ to the tone of the article. It seems Gollop has eased into the AG’s role?


    Now this matter has surfaced one wonders the status of the national ID project. BU understands there is a story waiting to be told.


  9. de pedantic Dribbler July 3, 2016 at 9:10 AM #

    @Jeff and @David, in the absence of deep survival training and an extensive martial arts/defensive ability, a guy or gal lost in the jungle (let’s call it a legal forest) must of necessity resort to his basic commonsense that got him to 7th standard and helped him survive.

    On that basis it seemed nonsensical that a court of law would even entertain a matter that was “was simply “an idea” at this stage.”

    If I were the journalist doing that interview I would ndeed report his words exactly as they are with nary a probing’ question.

    For an attorney (any attorney, far less a QC) to make the remarks he made indicates that he is ‘bought and paid for’ ‘lock, stock and barrel’ (therein an overuse of Jeff’s ode to “where [the] parts mean the same thing”).

    ‘Legal outpourings’ indeed.

    I commend you for commending Jeff for his public legal edification here on Sundays. His column is one thing (lots of columns abound) but the back-n-forth to dissect and clarify nuances of the law is beyond fantastic as a public service.

    We salute you sir. And I smile at your diplomacy…so that when you next share a glass of ‘Old Gold’ (or whatever) with ‘Hal’ it would be the usual bon-vivant !


  10. Caswell Franklyn July 3, 2016 at 9:18 AM #


    I have already told the unbelievable story of the proposed and already approved national ID card project. It would appear that one woman, who does not like the idea of her date of birth being displayed on her ID card, has convinced the doofuses in Cabinet that the ID card numbers can recycle and hence they ear not unique to a person. What she did not say to the Cabinet is that the number would come back around in 2,500 years.

    For that reason and that reason alone they propose to re-issue every ID card. Mind you, the project is to be outsourced and the contractor already knows who he is. Another Fatted Calf project!

    Sent from my iPad



  11. Bush Tea July 3, 2016 at 9:18 AM #

    @ Caswell
    What answer is ‘YES” what?!!
    The answer is that “it is now too late…”

    What the hell do you change on the Titanic AFTER the iceberg appears in the lower deck…? ..the chairs on the upper deck…?
    All those needed course changes that you correctly articulated had their LAST chance to be realised ..perhaps up until a year ago… and probably only you, Jeff and a few others even POSSESS what it would have taken to steer the Titanic to safer waters.

    …listen carefully!!!! What you are hearing is water rushing in below deck ….into the engine rooms… The days of ‘course changing’ have passed. It is time to man the lifeboats.

    @ Jeff
    Bushie admires the seriousness with which you take these court decisions. The Government will simply appeal the decision, which will go to an appeals court comprised of DLP appointees, who will review the SAME evidence and rule for the government. In short, these are what Bushie would call ‘SHIITE LAWS’.
    REAL LAWS are intractable! There can be no appeal and judgements are consistent and final.

    @ David
    The only thing Bushie wants to hear from Gollop is his side of the story related to the abduction and murder of Mrs Smith ..whose home he visited just prior to her death in an intimidatory manner.
    That serious reporters entertain him on air talking a roll of shiite ..without asking such questions …puts them in the class of shiite-hounds just like him.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jeff Cumberbatch July 3, 2016 at 9:30 AM #

    @ Bush Tea -There is nothing to appeal from. The State did NOT offer a defence to David’s claim. It cannot raise an argument now!


  13. Bush Tea July 3, 2016 at 9:39 AM #

    Thanks Jeff


  14. chad99999 July 3, 2016 at 10:16 AM #

    Showing familiar signs of strain at actually having to come up with a NEW IDEA, Jeff takes a great deal of time (and much unnecessary verbiage) to propose, with great pride and fanfare, the merits of FOI legislation for Barbados.
    Now FOI legislation is old news in the US, Canada and the UK. What Jeff neglects to tell you is that it is seldom of much use. In the hands of any clever government bureaucrat, a FOIA information request is subjected to lengthy, expensive delays under various pretext, and any documents eventually


  15. David July 3, 2016 at 10:16 AM #

    Douglas Trotman
    Douglas Trotman Hal, HWLS.. Civil … Sometimes rumors are true! We need continuing legal education!

    Just a”musing”!


  16. chad99999 July 3, 2016 at 10:20 AM #

    under various pretexts, and any documents eventually released are almost always so heavily redacted as to be virtually meaningless.
    Not much of an improvement on the status quo.


  17. Well Well & Consequences July 3, 2016 at 10:26 AM #

    “These factors are all premised on the notion that government does not really own the information that it has acquired at public expense but that, as with the national purse, it merely holds and manages it as trustees for the principal beneficiaries, the citizenry.”

    This excerpt needs to be pounded into the very hard heads of the politicians and government ministers in Barbados who are determined to keep information away from the public, all the time and at any cost.

    ACs….Gollop is a government pimp and parasite who does not know the definition of conflict of interest, a nuisance, no intelligent person would even think him credible.

    Commissiong like each one of us is not perfect, but anyone one the island can pick up a phone and ask him legal advice…and get it. If I had to choose, it would be Commissiong who knows what his civic duties entail and perform them brilliantly.

    Unlike ya fly by night crooks and wannabe dictators in parliament.


  18. David July 3, 2016 at 10:28 AM #


    To be clear you are saying FOI adds nothing to the toolkit of a maturing democracy? Read strengthening governance framework?


  19. Well Well & Consequences July 3, 2016 at 10:43 AM #

    Dont mind Chadx9…ya can get information through FOI…it just that the US government got such frightening secrets, that if you attempt to access classified information, that after the persons are long gone is just titillating and not worth the time, money and effort…a waste of time, but why would you want to acccess classufied info.

    What you need to access is the information that affects Health, welfare, the economy…everyday issues…not what the CIA is doing in Guatemala…nine of ya business unless it affects you and the economy negatively.

    The only secrets the government got in Barbsdos are the bribery, corruption, human trafficking…that are not secrets at all, so why no FOI, intergrity, anti corruption, human trafficking and other legislations. The ministers are lower level crooks…so what’s the problem which cannot be solved.


  20. Jeff Cumberbatch July 3, 2016 at 10:47 AM #

    David I think that Chad (one short of 100,000) is arguing simplistically, (and illogically) -“FOI legislation may be abused in Some jurisdictions, therefore FOI is useless in ALL jurisdictions. He needs a course of study in straight and crooked thinking!


  21. Jeff Cumberbatch July 3, 2016 at 10:49 AM #

    Oops! My bad. He has now added another 9. Now one short of one million!


  22. Hants July 3, 2016 at 10:58 AM #

    Canada FOI. Seems workable in Barbados but I is just a ornery BajCanajun

    1. The purposes of this Act are,

    (a) to provide a right of access to information under the control of institutions in accordance with the principles that,

    (i) information should be available to the public,

    (ii) necessary exemptions from the right of access should be limited and specific, and

    (iii) decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government; and

    (b) to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by institutions and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 1.”


  23. millertheanunnaki July 3, 2016 at 11:20 AM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch:
    “So by extension, you cannot get a constitutional action against it, because it is not a law. It cannot be used to breach rights, so you cannot get an action against it. It is like getting something against nothing,” the Queen’s Counsel maintained.

    He further argued that the consent order “must” be set aside, even as he sought to lay blame squarely at the feet of the Solicitor General’s office for failing to enter a defence in the matter.

    They should have applied to strike it out because it is premature, he told Barbados TODAY.”

    Just a little question to challenge your memory: Was Hal G. QC ever a student of yours? If so you have done a wonderful job in helping to mould a lawyer of the kind that your friend Jesus found rather repugnant in his day and in total conflict with his philosophy.

    But I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the interviewing journalist.
    Shouldn’t the question be asked of Hal G what role the then Minister responsible for Immigration played in this embarrassingly major fiasco which is making Barbados the laughing-stock capital of the CCJ jurisdiction?

    It’s OK to find a scapegoat in the Solicitor General’s Office but what about the A G and the Minister responsible for laying the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 in Parliament?
    Aren’t the two holders of those ministerial portfolios well ‘taught and trained’ attorneys-at-law thanks, in a large measure, to you and the Faculty of which you are an estimable member of its teaching and management team?

    Is Hal G QC (quintessential clown) implying that both the AG and the Minister responsible at the time for Immigration matters are just robots of no greater intelligence than those Adonijah sang about many years ago?
    Didn’t these two creatures of Public Servants put up a rather muscular defence of the same so-called Constitutionally sound regulations when challenged by those naturally endowed with commonsense and a wider knowledge and deeper understanding of Law?
    If these insensitive policy-makers can be so cursed with tunnel-vision why not replace the entire Parliament (both Houses) with beings possessed with artificial intelligence (AI) and leave out the bull-shitters and donkeys in any race to enter those ‘hallowed halls’ of fast becoming shame?


  24. TheGazer July 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM #

    Once again, I venture to comment on matters that I am not familiar with. But if I was to impose possession of knowledge as a criterion for passing comments I would be on the sidelines watching; and why should I set a higher limit for myself than others set for themselves?

    Forgive my using the US as a reference, but the majority of my learning and experience was gained in this foreign land and as result this model was foreign to me. . I have seen ‘bad laws’ challenged and the proposers of those bad laws defended those laws with a great deal of passion. In my time, I have even made some laws and watched my wife overruled/ignored them. I did not even get to ‘family court’ where I would have defended them vigorously.

    I would love to believe that law making in Barbados is a more serious matter than in my house; that politicians introduce laws that they see necessary for the running of our society. It bothers me that there was no defense of this law. I need someone to tell me why? I read the statements of Jeff and Hall Gallop, but I am still confused. Surely, our lawmakers have some kind of scratch and sniff test, or have staff that could inform them if the law was a good and defensible one. I have avoided the use of the word constitutional, for I hate when people hide behind big words instead of saying “this law does not make any “fecundity’ sense”. PUDRYR has convince me that is also a correct use of that word.

    I don’t want to think of our leaders as water boys carrying water for the US Embassy; developing laws because the US want to build a global database of fingerprints; writing laws that they do not truly believe in and therefore do not defend when challenged. Again, someone underestimated the number of functioning testicles in Barbados. If we generously assume that the male population of Barbados is fifty percent, then ‘at least’ one pair of functioning testicles was found among 140 pairs.

    Let me continue with my US conspiracy theories by stating that now a next pair of balls has been located on the island, there will be people trying to determine the price of those balls. I do not expect it to happen, but it would not surprise me if at some time in the future I saw a BU Posting stating “David Commissiong never left”

    Mr Comissiong! To me, today, you are a Barbadian hero. A man who saw a wrong developing and stepped up to challenge it.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. TheGazer July 3, 2016 at 11:34 AM #

    I think you asked my question, but in a better manner.
    Are we now having ‘rum shop law’ coming out of the legislative body?


  26. TheGazer July 3, 2016 at 11:35 AM #

    *the US model is one I am familiar with


  27. TheGazer July 3, 2016 at 11:49 AM #

    @Chad (may he never run out of 9s)

    For some reason, I like you in the smae way that I like ac. I guess it is because you are probably the only person who is wrong more often than ac.

    Your FOI bit should be filed in the BU category of misinformation. So much good has come from the FOI act in the USA that it is astounding to see its contribution described as “virtually meaningless”.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. FearPlay July 3, 2016 at 12:43 PM #

    My congratulations to Mr Commissiong for taking up the public interest in this instance. My question now is where were the Sirs Henry, Cheltingham, Tulls et al from the BLP, not to mention all the Sirs from the other side and all the in-between wanna be’s from whom not a word was heard. Were they all going to remain silent until this law was enacted? How many other pieces of drivel legislation has this government introduced and will introduce that we the public do not have the wherewithal to challenge? In the public interest, will they continue to remain silent? Do the care anymore?

    If it requires the intervention of the law courts every day in order to bring this government to a christian understanding, well god know we have an overabundance of attorneys educated at taxpayer expense. They need to get up off their fat a***s and work for the public good for a change instead of defrauding senior citizens of inheritances.


  29. Hopi July 3, 2016 at 2:00 PM #

    So remove your average jane/joe from the discussion and decision making while leaving such duties up to the intellectuals….Perish that thought for it was the so-called intellectuals to whom the public surrendered their god-given right to critically think and make decisons for self, that has brought the people so much heart-ache today.

    FOI: Does the GOB of Barbados have the slightest idea that Bio-metrics have absolutely nothing to do with protecting the citizens from modern-day terrorism but about more patenting the DNA of humanity for absolute ownership and control by the few whom God died and left in charge? And if the GOB is aware of this, isn’t it their responsibility to inform the citizens.

    Why keep info from the public if the government’s sole purpose is to serve the public? Or should one conclude that the citizens do not possess the intellectual capacity to do justly with such info and since the gov’t only collects info to merely hold and manage as trustees, why should access by said beneficiaries be restricted? Double-speak!

    David Commisong DO NOT CHANGE your stance on this matter for there is no progress while the majority is terrorised and enslaved by the minority and because there’s absolutely no just argument pro Bio-metrics. The real TERRORISTS on this planet are the elements of the USA gov’t, the UN, the ‘jewish’ bankers in Tel-Aviv and Europe. ISIS is only their cover.


  30. chad99999 July 3, 2016 at 2:51 PM #

    I have just come back from Holy Mass to see my comment on the futility of FOIA legislation disparaged by the heathens among us.
    So let me elaborate briefly. All FOIA legislation in the countries Caribbean lawyers go to to copy and paste the laws they put on our books ( thereby making a mockery of our claims to “independence” and “sovereignty”) contain numerous exceptions.
    So a FOIA information request may be rejected in part or in full on national security grounds, or because it infringes upon the privacy interests of an individual, or because it may reveal the privileged or proprietary information of a private corporation, etc., etc. There are so many of these exceptions that a government official can come up with a ton of reasons and excuses for withholding information. When all else fails, they usually cite a law enforcement exception, which is an assertion that sensitive information is part of an ongoing criminal or civil investigation into potential wrongdoing, and therefore cannot be revealed.
    You get the point. If Jeff was as bright as he thinks he is, he would have suggested that Barbadian anti-corruption activists like David use their contacts in the US and Canada to submit FOIA requests in those countries –because North American government agencies have plenty of information on corrupt foreign officials, and while they are usually reluctant to reveal the names of corrupt Europeans and Asians, they can be persuaded to rat on corrupt foreign blacks — for the obvious reason we all know about.


  31. ac July 3, 2016 at 3:01 PM #

    TheGazer July 3, 2016 at 11:49 AM #

    For some reason, I like you in the smae way that I like ac. I guess it is because you are probably the only person who is wrong more often than ac.


    Gazer for some reason i am not offended at what you say because time always sort out truth from fact
    For as many years that i have strolled the hallways of BU and beencussed i have become embolden and resolute knowing that those doing the cussing thinking themselves to be on the right side have been proven wrong and i have bee around to see it

    the recent ruling that most are applauding as a win , now that the smoke is cleared and the ashes are dried up the evidence now unfolds that the win can be classified as null and void on the grounds there was no law being upheld , giving reason for the govt not to provide a defense


  32. Well Well & Consequences July 3, 2016 at 5:19 PM #

    Hopi…the GOB would take bribes to make sure the citizens of Barbados never finds out that information…so low is their sense of self.


  33. FearPlay July 3, 2016 at 5:22 PM #

    @ac, … and I suppose that now that the evidence has unfolded that there was no law, had Mr Commission not taken the matter to court no one would have been fingerprinted, right? Your prime minister just brought this non-legal motion to Parliament because he had nothing better to do that day. You are no better in your reasoning that the lap-dog QC.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. chad99999 July 3, 2016 at 6:37 PM #


    Responding to your unwarranted attack on my posts today as “misinformation”, I want to refer you to NETWORKWORLD, “Government Sets New FOIA Failure Record”, which notes that in the USA,

    “The Associated Press analyzed FOIA requests sent to 100 federal government agencies in 2015…The Obama administration censored materials it turned over or fully denied access to them in 596,095 cases, or 77 percent of all requests.”

    The materials that were fully disclosed are usually trivial — such as disputed information on drivers accused of traffic violations.


  35. Well Well & Consequences July 3, 2016 at 6:46 PM #

    Agaun…don’t mind CHADX9…most information is turned over to the public once requested…even if heavily redacted…there is always the supreme court available to force the government to release more….those nuisances for government ministers on the island cannot even be trusted to disclose how many Chikungunya deaths there really were 2 years ago or how many people passing through at that time, myself included, were infected…or how violating to human rights their latest idiotic idea and plan to fingerprint their citizens are…they just cannot be trusted….at any time…there is no one to police them, no checks, no balances.


  36. Hopi July 3, 2016 at 7:47 PM #

    2….WellW…Eventually those same bribes will return to bite them in their black arses.


  37. Sargeant July 3, 2016 at 8:45 PM #

    Much as it pains me to admit Chad 9’s is right about some aspects of FOI. In an “open” democracy like Canada, requests for info under FOI are subject to lengthy delays or the information so redacted that it is akin to completing a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces.

    Here is a report from the Toronto Star


  38. Well Well & Consequences July 3, 2016 at 9:21 PM #

    Not soon enough Hopi…something needs to be done about such vile beasts, real humans avoid that type of nastiness, only beasts would be comfortable in the role of bribetakers while Government ministers, hired and being paid a monthly salary to represent the people. ..true rats, true beasts.


  39. Well Well & Consequences July 3, 2016 at 9:23 PM #

    Sarge…that is why there is a supreme court to challenge government’s actions in redacting whole parts of documents.


  40. Enuff July 4, 2016 at 3:49 PM #

    As much as I “war” with Bushtea on certain topics, he near kills me with laughter with many of his posts. Ease up on Hal before I collapse.


  41. Pachamama July 6, 2016 at 9:37 AM #

    Stinking Tony Blair is on TV defending himself against war crimes in wake of the Chilcot report. A report 7 years in coming.

    The proper place for such a defense is the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

    But only African leaders and other anti-western former belligerents are to be so sent.

    This dog and pony show by Chilcot does not lessen the responsibility of the Barbados government and indeed ordinary citizens of the world to have Blair arrested when he next lands in Barbados.


  42. Pachamama July 6, 2016 at 9:39 AM #

    We trust that his associates in Barbados could be stained, forever, by Blair’s crimes.


  43. David July 6, 2016 at 10:12 AM #


    Maybe the HoGs on the go in Guyana will comment.


  44. Pachamama July 6, 2016 at 11:29 AM #

    @ David

    It might indeed be in the national interests to have Fruendel Stuart, himself, arrested for corruption.

    And as a means to prevent ongoing criminal conspiracies by himself acting, knowingly or unknowingly, or in collusion with others.

    A series of citizens arrests are clearly warranted. LOL

    A citizens arrests are well established in law, no?


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