The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – The Populist Solution and the Oxford Comma

Jeff Cumberbatch – Columnist, Barbados Advocate

It should be clear maybe even to the proverbial blind (or rather visually impaired) man on a trotting horse that what we choose, in our quaint way of using expressions to mean precisely what we want them to mean despite their traditional usage elsewhere, to call the “silly season”, has begun in Barbados. Most dictionaries choose to define the silly season as referring to a period when there is an absence of serious news available for publication in the newspapers; for example, the Cambridge English Dictionary posits the following – “The time of year, usually in the summer, when newspapers are full of stories that are not important because there is no important, especially political, news

However, as Humpty Dumpty would have done in Alice in Wonderland, we use the term to describe that period when political news is at its most prevalent, the period of the electoral campaign, whether official or unofficial. That it might now be accurately described as an extraordinarily premature delivery, given that the Prime Minister might have as many as 12 months at his disposal to dissolve Parliament will scarcely bother those who are yearning for an electoral war for the coveted spoils of the reins of office.

So we have had the laughable scenario of some of the members and supporters of one party condemning the presence of a youngster, far braver than I could have ever claimed to be at his age, on a platform mounted by the opposition. He is censured not for what he is reported to have said or even how he said it, but simply for where he said it. The lad might consider ruefully that he would have suffered an equivalent panning from those who now defend his perspicuity had the metaphorical boot been on the other leg. That is realpolitik, I suppose.

As far as I am concerned, there will be time enough for musing on the engagement political, especially given the anticipated duration of this “silly season”.

I have chosen rather this week to comment on a development in another regional jurisdiction that speaks to the politics of crime fighting and of the lengths to which an administration will go to protect the lives of the citizenry and, simultaneously, to avoid being tarred with the partisan brush of being held hostage to the criminal element.

I refer, of course to the scenario in Trinidad & Tobago where, in order to wrestle a burgeoning murder rate to the ground, the governing Keith Rowley led administration is seriously contemplating a reinstitution of the execution of convicted murderers by hanging. The gravity of their concern might be evidenced by the fact that, as reported in last Sunday’s edition of the Barbados Advocate, Dr Rowley himself has openly requested the assistance of former Attorney General and quondam political foe, Mr. Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, “to ensure the death penalty for convicted killers can be executed (sic) in T&T.

In light of the number of murders in that jurisdiction in recent years, – for 2017 alone, there have been, when last I checked on Monday, 106 murders in the 78 days of the year that had elapsed so far; an alarming rate of 1.37 murders per day-it comes as no surprise that a political administration should feel compelled to “try a t’ing”.

What most bears remarking about the current initiative, however, is not the conscription of a political foe to assist in the effort, but rather that all previous attempts since 1999 to follow the identical course of action in that jurisdiction have spectacularly failed. This apart, there are also the legal barriers in the jurisprudence of Trinidad & Tobago’s highest court, the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council, that would stymie the likelihood of the currently proposed measure passing constitutional muster.

Perhaps the Rowley administration is spoiling for a legal fight; which might explain the praying in aid of Mr Maharaj’s forensic legal skills and perhaps even his reputation as a previous administration’s chief legal adviser. After all, in that guise many years ago, he achieved the dubious distinction of “hanging nine with one blow”, reminding so much of the Brothers Grimm’s “Brave Little Tailor”. The Republic will, nevertheless, have to speed up its curial practices if it is going to overcome the Pratt & Morgan “elephant in the room” of having to effect the ultimate punishment within five years of the conviction. Indeed, because it withdrew some years from the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, T& T has an even shorter period to do what it considers must be done once a conviction has been secured.

The Oxford Comma

One of the social media sites that I frequent carried a report this week as to how the absence of a comma led to a rather surprising legal decision. I thought it sufficiently amusing to serve as an end-piece to this week’s column. Frequent readers of this space may recall that on more occasions than one, I have referred to the importance of the placement of the comma in the phrase, “Hang him not let him go”. Position it after him and one obtains a markedly different result from when it is sited after the “not”. One might say it would be the difference between life and death. There are others too. For example, the unvarnished and unpunctuated, “ A woman without her man is nothing” might offer some controversial insights whether the comma is placed after “woman” or, indeed, after “man”.

The piece on LinkedIn, interestingly enough, refers to the use of a comma many of us would have been taught as infants to avoid as being superfluous. This is the infamous Oxford comma that, contrary to traditional lore, is employed before “and” and before “or”.

The anecdote, written by one Zamira Rahim. Is self-explanatory.

According to his report, a group of dairy drivers in the dispute argued that they deserved overtime pay and the appeals court agreed with them. Why?

Because the guidelines setting out the types of work that don’t require overtime pay lacked clarity. The case turned on one particular statutory extract:

“The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of

(1) Agricultural produce;

(2) Meat and fish products; and

(3) Perishable foods.”

The lack of an Oxford comma between “packing for shipment” and “or distribution of” meant that it was unclear whether the guidelines meant distribution and packing for shipment were separate things, or whether the exemption applied to jobs involving either packing for shipment or packing for distribution.

According to the court, the dairy drivers in question only distributed but didn’t pack perishable food, so weren’t necessarily covered by the clause. The judge added that where such rules are unclear, labor laws are structured to benefit employees, so the dairy drivers won.

“For want of a comma, we have this case,” the judge wrote.

75 thoughts on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – The Populist Solution and the Oxford Comma

  1. Violet Beckles CUP Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI on said:


  2. “A woman without a man is nothing ” Agree ! with or without the coma it would be hard to decipher the truth and the content of the statement other than that of being truthful,
    A judge leaning forward slightly adjusting his glasses and positioning himself readily to gave a decision would not take a chance to say any thing different unless his back is strong enough to withstand the wrath of a Calvary of woman standing outside his front door

    In reference to hanging there are times when the end justify the means when every thing else fails and restoration is the only alternative

  3. Yeah…like hanging lawyers who refuse to stop stealing from their clients.

  4. There is something savage about us which is best demonstrated in our blood-thirsty craving for hanging.
    Yet, as we know from the United States, and other European jurisdictions, the convicted offenders most likely to be hanged for murder are what we now call people of colour.
    In many ways, this is an argument that has played out itself in North America and Europe, not only about hanging, but the general mas incarceration of black people.
    It then becomes a major problem when you come to a black-majority nation in which black police, black judges and black juries condemn black people to death, or extra-ordinarily long prison terms, for relatively minor offences.
    In Barbados, we have one particular magistrate who seems to derive great pleasure from her abuse of every sentencing principle know to jurists without as much as a whisper by the Barbados Bar Association, politicians, the attorneys general of either party, activists groups, the church – not a single social group.
    This authoritarian, spiteful, abusive magistrate – who to my unprofessional mind has a deep psychological problem – seems to have a serious dislike of poor black people, and in particular men.
    This abusive sentencing goes hand in hand with the rise of the militarisation of civil policing (see Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarisation of America’s Police Forces), which coincided with the defeat in Vietnam and the over-supply of military equipment.
    Not only did this development give rise to so-called SWAT teams (see Scotland Yard last Wednesday), but the indiscriminate murder of black suspects.
    How do the Americans spread this vicious form of criminal justice, through soft power: sponsoring training for local police and criminal justice officials; taking journalists on all-expenses paid tours; etc.
    Criminal profiling (another bogus theory of crime developed by the FBI in the 1970s, at the same time as so-called victimology) all come together rather comfortably to reinforce the marginalisation of young, under-educated, untrained, unemployed black people.
    Even black law enforcement officers can be victims of such profiling (see Neill Franklin, a former narcotics cop and commander in the Maryland and Baltimore police).
    In Barbados, because we are not used to having public discussions about sensitive social issues, officials can get away with murder.
    Clive Stafford Smith, the British-born lawyer who has made it his career defending people on death row in the US, once said, each generation must find a new focus for its politics of resistance.
    It is one thing being foul-mouthed and abusive, but when you see that look in the eyes of a person on death row and the wives (it is usually a man) and children are looking to you as their last hope and you know that you are powerless, it is humbling. That, my friend, is real politics.
    Two final stories: Bill Clinton, in 1992, said that New Democrats should no longer feel guilty about protecting so-called victims of crimes and came out in support of the death penalty. As governor of Arkansas, he broke off from the presidential campaign to return and oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a brain-damaged black man. This is the man and his wife that black people in large numbers voted for.
    The final story: I was once standing in the reception area of Wormwood Scrubs prison, the biggest reception prison in Britain, when prisoners were being brought in from the courts.
    I was wearing a suit and a Home Office staff badge.
    In walked a prison officer, who clearly only saw a black man, and tried to push me in to one of the cells; he was only stopped when one of the prison staffers intercepted. That was in the early 1070s and there was not a single apology.
    The point I m trying to make is that those of us who know how criminal justice operates in North America and Europe and see it operating in the Caribbean can only shake our heads in shame.

  5. Jeff

    The precision or imprecision, and maybe ‘inbetweenity’ of English language obviously represents some delight for you.

    You are a lover of the language, we know

    For us, we like to write how we feel

    Not particularly paying attention to the linguistic traditions, usage

    But more as an artist

    Indeed, sometimes we incorporate ‘rules’ from other traditions in writing English.

    On the matter of the death penalty

    We would prefer if no government had the responsibility to, sought to, kill anyone. And this is our best thinking, ranges from allowing corporations to poison people to hanging citizens for murder, no matter how depraved that murder might have been.

    At a personal level, we have already determined that if we or any member of our family was murdered that we will do all in our power to prevent the execution of the one/ones so charged regardless of circumstances. This does not mean we might not want to kill the killer/s ourselves. But would not encourage any government to commit murder in our names, at any level.

    That is in a not so perfect world.

    But since government seeks the fall back position of murderer-in-chief. And given that the law, generally speaking, seems to be unsettled internationally. And while crimes of governing administrations throughout the world are drastically increasing, we have argued that this remedy is an adequate device for official violations against the people.

    We contend that in those circumstances no legal niceties need be followed.

    Rowley, in TNT, will therefore be as pursued as he is pursuing those the court system now calls murders.

    In the final analysis, it have been decades long governmental corruption in TNT which has led to widespread social disorder and the political elites have been the ultimate hand in the murder of citizens.

    We are sure these positions will not persuade you any, but they are ours nonetheless

  6. As is the case with wonton debt accumulation by regional governments, retreating to the death penalty is a lazy solution. We need to focus on programs to strengthen the family unit read non economic initiatives.

  7. the issue relates to trinidad of mixed origins black and indian and whose murder rate has escalated to uncontrollable levels
    What other alternatives are available, the consensus of global opinion is in disagreement on whether the death penalty is a preventative measure to murder In other respect “‘ the one size fits all” theory is not always appropriate to deal with the reality at hand
    Small nation govts have a right to protect its citizens and if the overall view of the citizenry is in harmony with govt options or alternatives there is nothing wrong with govt proposing legislation to cull or stymied those activities that are causing harm or indifference to the overall betterment of society

  8. Digicel accused of committing bypass Fraud in Guyana wonder if they are doing same in Barbados to cheat the Treasury.

    Digicel, a company that has a licence for mobile services, has been facilitating an “illegal, unlicensed trans-border link between Guyana and Suriname”.

    GTT said that there is no ambiguity about this bypass activity. In fact, the company said, in a demonstration of “remarkable arrogance and disregard for rule of law in Guyana”, Digicel itself has acknowledged the operation on several occasions.

    “Just as recently as March 21, 2017, Digicel told the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) that its bypass operation was not appropriate for the discussion at hand, while never once denying any aspect of the operation.


What this world would be
Without our women
Don’t be stupid, dummy
There would be no men
For behind any ordinary man
There is a good woman 
There would be no world
No country
No flags to be unfurled
So empty
For women bring love into play for all
This sometimes adds to man’s downfall
What would the world be without fashion
It would be a real mess
Living in a bomb-shelter without ration
Seeing a man in a dress
It would be like a hive without bees
Living in a desert without any oases
Imagine a world without any bikini
No G-string
It would be so barren, no beauty
A sad thing
There would be no healthy beach
And nothing for all men to reach
No matter how man prays to the above
He’d be left with a world so barren
He would never be able to fall in love
In a world so dull and foreign
It wouldn’t be a world but a big joke
Like drinking good rum without coke
Men would be left facing the wall
For men without women
There wouldn’t be any Taj Mahal
A cock without a hen
It would be a sad, wretched world indeed
And men would have no use for their seed
And those commercials about hygiene and Secret
For which men have no need
They say their pH-balance don’t make them fret
For which men take no heed
But whether they use Massengill or wear panty-hose
A rose by any other name is still a bleddy rose
Men would surely go robust and bust
The macho stereotype so sterile, so vain
What would men do with all that lust
Like going the other way in a one way lane 
That’s one sensation of which they would be deprived
Which can’t be replaced no matter how they contrived
Without women there’d be no heartbeat
Men’s hearts would not last very long
That would be the cause of men’s defeat
There would be no love in their song
Their world would be in monotone
With poor men’s hormone all alone

    No night life without night-gals
Boring, boring
Men can’t have fun with their pals
I’ll be snoring
It’s women who maintain the balance and checks
And men can’t live without this opposite sex
Men would not need bedrooms
No marriage no honeymoon
No brides and no bride-grooms
Like a song without a tune
Then men may really learn a thing or two
For without women they can’t find a clue
Finally last but not least
A man without a woman
Will resort back to a beast
And become a lesser man
Sailing a sunken sail-less ship without a mast
In a planet just hit by a nuclear holocaust.

  10. Bims murder rate is on the increase…..our gun violence is on the increase as is our lack of intelligence e.g. it took 5 fellows each with a gun to rob the Taitt hill night spot.

    We must take the happenings in T&T and J’ca seriously as we are heading in that direction,those of us who grew up in the 50s knew of how great British Guiana,T&T and J’ca were how much their money was worth.

    Only the blinkered or blind cannot see the similarities of their decline with ours,the increase in robberies is a sure sign that money is no longer circulating,just look at only $600 on a friday night take at Taitt hill.

    Hanging will not solve the situation only a progressive leadership with a vision to galvanise the people will do it.

    • Inevitably a deteriorating economic condition will cause crime to spike. On the ground we understand the ‘temperature’ of crime has risen and there is a difference between reported and not reported crime.

      We contiTo stick our heads in the sand while leaving our asses exposed.

  11. I am un unapolegetic defender of the death penalty in capital murder case. I am no bleeding-heart liberal when it comes to crime and punishment. Why should the society be more tolerant of citzens taking the lives of other citzens- and the offender given free boarding and food at the tax-payer’s expense – but frowned upon when the state does the same thing in law? I guess giving muderers a free pass is the political correct thing to do nowadays.

    The punishment must fit the crime is my doctrine, deterent is secondary.

    • @fortyacresandamule

      There are good arguments on bothsides of this issue. The tipping argument could be if as a society we lack the wherewithal or capacity to implement effective remedial programs then we are forced to destroy what are threats to a peaceful society. Not to do so means the inevitable.

  12. vincent

    Hanging will not solve the situation only a progressive leadership with a vision to galvanise the people will do it.

    only until when a amily member of yours get brutally murdered, then and only then would your eyes would be awakened tto the fact that there are some monsters living in modern day societies that need to be eradicated with immediacy
    How many times have we read of repeat offenders who callously killed again,

  13. Fortyacres,

    Most murders are not intentional. Further, what happens when there has been a miscarriage of justice?

  14. Nowhere have I made a case for or against hanging….its a non issue to the present situation steering us in the face.

    Prevention is always better than cure….lets get these active young people with lots of energy into productive occupations producing things for the countries benefit.

    What we are seeing now is a manifestation of idle hands,loads of time and no money all lining up together.

    • Again this statement is more idealistic than practical. What about the deportees who are known to involve themselves in crime? What about those who travel the Caribbean under the RTOC?

  15. David

    The exception proves the rule which will be dealt with according to the implementation of the laws of our land…..the bigger picture is to get idle hands being productive again otherwise you will end up hanging the entire society.

    • @Vincent

      Deportees and criminals from the region exception or not, it only takes one or two to create mayhem in Barbados. We must accept that these bad elements cannot be helped, many of them. Unfortunately Caribbean societies are failing and we must be pragmatic while confronting the problems. Given the level of debt and social decay currently being experienced we will be struggling for a long time to come.

  16. @Hal. I am not talking cases of OVERWHELMING mitigating circumstances. Nothing in life is fair, and no system is 100% full proof. People die innocently everyday and we don’t make it into idealogical or political cause. Airplanes crash and innocent lives are lost regularly. Yet, nobody is calling to ban air travel. Natural disasters kill thousands yearly, we say it is an ‘act of god’ and we move.

    But it never seizes to amaze me, how the same set of people, exhibit this irrational stance, when the state executes or try to execute the vilest among us.

  17. Take the case of a man who was recently released from dodds after spending twenty years
    The details of the murder are so horrific the man plans to kill his wife get a chance to do so decapitate her and as if the the horror of doing so was not enough kills the child
    Why in the world was this man not giving the death plenty but was released after time served
    How does one justify or rationalise the horror of this crime sufficiently to say that the victims family members were fully represented and fair justice was done on behalf of them and the victim.

  18. The following extracted from a T&T group BU is a member. The same conversations are being had all across the Caribbean.


    Typical of the PNM, remember it was PNM who closed down Caroni, and that is fact. Agriculture & Fishing are not mentioned in their diversification roadmap. Not a surprise since successive PNM governments have neglected the Agri sector and even though they shell out occasional propaganda press releases etc on Agri, one has to conclude they don’t like people in that sector, in general any roti people, and could not care less – let them drop dead – about those parts of the country where the Agri/roti people live. They put a token green-verb PNM farmer in the Agri Ministry and all he care about is paving the road near his home and making sure he and his friends/families eating as much food as they can.

    Media Release

    Diversification Talks

    Planning Minister Camille Robinson Regis; Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan; Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon and Finance Minister Colm Imbert discuss a diversification roadmap with Dr. Terrence Farrell and the Economic Development Advisory Board.

    Recognising the negative economic impacts of the sharp fall in oil and gas prices since mid-2014 as well as the decline in the production of both crude oil and natural gas the Ministry of Planning and Development in collaboration with the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) has been pursuing measures to diversify the economy.  The Honourable Minister of Planning and Development Camille Robinson-Regis called a meeting to further discuss actions towards diversification with the Minister of Works and Transport, the Minister of Trade and Industry and the Minister of Finance and the Economy on March 24.

    Dr. Terrence Farrell and the members of the Economic Advisory Board presented a draft diversification roadmap to the Ministers and Permanent Secretaries in attendance.  At this meeting, it was agreed that private public and private sector coordination, stakeholder leadership and partnership, inter-ministerial collaboration, resources and focused actions are some of the key variables for this journey.  Some of the other factors highlighted were the development of research and development in the public, private and tertiary education sectors in Trinidad and Tobago.  Worker productivity and work ethics were also seen as challenges to be overcome.

    The draft diversification roadmap presented by the EDAB identifies seven (7) industries to drive diversification which include manufacturing for export, nearshore financial services, creative industries, tourism, energy services, digital platforms and business process outsourcing and trans-shipment, ship repair and maritime-related services.  Also highlighted are seven enablers which serve as initiatives which must be addressed for the efficient and effective realization of the diversification agenda as well as overcome obstacles to development.  These are: infrastructure, both physical and ‘soft’ such as health and education; diaspora engagement; foreign direct investment; economic and commercial diplomacy as well as branding T&T; innovation; private sector and university collaboration and institutional reforms.

    The draft diversification roadmap is a rationalization of what must be done towards the short, medium and long term in order to achieve a partial to fully diversified economy.  The Ministers and Permanent Secretaries present will further analyse the document at the levels of their various ministries and more work will be done on the ideas presented to further enhance the concepts laid out and transform them into actionable plans for success.

  19. @Hal. Human beings have always been collateral damage, it’s part of the human condition. How many civilians died in WWI and WWII or in Syria as we speak.?

  20. David

    Typical of the PNM, remember it was PNM who closed down Caroni, and that is fact. Agriculture & Fishing are not mentioned in their diversification roadmap. Not a surprise since successive PNM governments have neglected the Agri sector and even though they shell out occasional propaganda press releases etc on Agri, one has to conclude they don’t like people in that sector,

    One can change the names and put in succesive govts of Bim in the above and that says it all for us here.

  21. @Hal. I abhor criminality with a passion. I tell my kids and adult children to walk the straight and narrow everyday. And if god forbid they find themselves on the wrong side of the law, they are on their own. Tough love.

  22. Sherwin Patterson alias Jersey Jersey

    This US drugs and fraud criminal deportee who spent 9 years in US prison bulling and being bulled daily has fucked a lot of people in Barbados being aided by equally dirty Barbados Police who are involved with drugs, prostitution, fraud and Bribery.

    Previous involvement with Rolex, Tastee Treats and Ace of Diamonds Strip Clubs all out of business.

    This crook and woman beater has disclosed recently on his Facebook page he is looking to start another Strip Club Climaxxx to continue his crooked ways aided by Police, Immigration and Customs for human trafficking of the strippers/prostitution and weed/cocaine from, Trinidas, Jamaica and Guyana.

    This monster has beaten and abused many of the former strippers/prostitutes in his Clubs and having those who stand up to him deported by his corrupt government employees partners in crime.

    No wonder Roxanne his former wife a Guyanese left his sorry ass. Roxanne used to travel to Guyana regularly to bring in cocaine and counterfeit US$ for him to destroy the Barbados society.

  23. @David. Indeed I am following . Since the Pratt and Morgan ruling, caribbean societies have become murder capitals of the world. The UN, in past report, has even classified some countries in the region has conflict zones. Their daily murder rate is equivalent to a coutry undergoing a civil war. Now is not the time sing Kumbaya. I support Rowley on this and Panday deserves the Trinity Cross to exterminate scumbags like Dole Chadeee and his gang.

  24. @ The Honourable Blogmaster

    You see that initiative per Diversification that the T&T government is pursuing?

    I find it really interesting for a number of reasons not least of which is my own subscription and involvement in the same.

    But here is a thing that you and the writer Jeff might be able to appreciate.

    Jeff as part of today’s article writes “…“Hang him not let him go”.

    In looking at the sentence without the hints a few of us automatically see the comma, or lack thereof, a few, given the hints, then are able to see the meaning associated with the sentence but there are a few who even if it were to be explained to them CANNOT SEE THE DIFFERENCE like Angela Sealy obviously did not.

    The issue and construct of “Diversification” can be likened to that comma and the fact that WITHOUT A HINT many are lost perpetually and, even with the assembly of so called great minds CANNOT SEE the roadmap nor the old tracks and certainly dont climb a tree to get their bearing out of the thick copses.

    And this is precisely the poing Honourable Blogmaster.

    THis is why we are where we are in Barbados with both DLP and BLP bereft of any plan forward but proudly and emptily chanting the Diversification chant.

    So we bring the Cardinal Warde’s to champion the fight because “he does teach at M.I.T” so he musseee know about diversification.


  25. Trinidad is a conundrum. How come a society with a low unemployment rate (below 5%), massive welfare programme , relatively high HDI, and high per capita income ( third highest in the americas ) be so murderous and violent? This defy traditional theory of economics and crime.

  26. Trinis were always bloodthirsty, being cosmopolitan with all those different bloodlines, spanish, french creole, indian, polynesian, african running through their viens of 1.4 milion people, does not help.

  27. @ 40acres+1mule
    Boss, why are you arguing with Hal? His questions are worthwhile, but his answers continue to be questionable. Yours is a sensible position on crime, and it is for lack of such VISION as yours, that are facing the present scourge.
    Any society that takes a soft stand agains crime is effectively condoning it, sending the message that it is OK to do shiite.

    It is interesting that arguably the most barbaric people EVER to have inhabited this earth (Hal’s hosts) are now pushing this condescending and accommodating position in response to serious crime.

    In the final analysis however, our current situation can be traced to the Garrison – where the now infamous monument has been installed to celebrate the enthronement of our new ‘god of Barbados’…. the one whose ways of brass bowlery we have whole-heartedly adopted.

    This country has been taking such asinine decisions, in such a wide variety of areas in recent years, that in is almost impossible to conceive of such idiocy even being possible – without Satanic guidance.

    • The best indicator of the state of the country is the observation of a couple members of the BU household a moment ago and passed a Chefette outlet that was literally jam packed with locals fifty fifty adults and children.

  28. @ David @7:51 PM

    How do you interpret this observation? Is it indicative of prosperity or lack of the wherewith-all to prepare a properly home cooked Sunday dinner.?

    • @Bernard

      It is emblematic of a surrender to a modern lifestyle. Do you understand why we are regarded as the NCD capital of this part of the world?

  29. @ David
    It is not about wanting a modern lifestyle. It is about wanting a free and easy life – with all the glitz we see on TV – but without any serious effort on our individual parts.

    But this is our NATIONAL motto…. not the one voiced in the Anthem, but the one we ACTUALLY live. It is why we like tourism as a business too – just sit back and wait for others to provide our needs.

    We accept the humiliation of waiting in line for others to feed us;
    We accept the nastiness and health issues that come with this mendicancy; we accept being looked down on… pissed on in fact.

    There is no national advancement. We produce no great thinkers; no great writers; no great builders; no great advocates; no great athletes; nothing…
    Shiite man … we cannot even qualify a Judge on the CCJ – which we pioneered…

    The few assets we previously owned have been pawned off in order to enjoy the easy life for a few month longer…

    If social development is about ADVANCING a people towards self-actualisation , then we are total, embarrassing, brass bowl failures.

  30. @Bushie. Amen. Truer words have never been spoken. Nowadys criminals have more lobbyist on their behalf and rights, than the victims. We live in an upside down world .

  31. Slaves OF the corporate structure FOR the corporate structure, at the cost of our energy, paying the bills is the motivation to work and its all strategize social engineering… BU bloggers exhibit great thinking, multi level writing, excellent ideas and advocates.. can’t speak to sporting potential

  32. Bush Tea,

    I think you ought to be a hangman or even a Bajan magistrate. The real truth is that there is a high level of illiteracy among prisoners, this is no coincidence.
    There is a vast literature in the sociological sub-discipline of penology that shows this. Prison education should be a priority.
    Why do you find relatively few so-called white-collar criminals in prisons? In Barbados why do you think so few white people even come before the courts, farless get sent to prison? Do we have the most honest white population in the world?
    You have also bought in to this American nonsense of victimology and the FBI fabrication of criminal profiling.
    In Britain we allow the ‘victim’ to give a pre-sentence impact statement which usually calls for revenge. You know what they are going to say even before they are written.
    The point is that in a civilised country the state should not have to take in to consideration so-called victims. We are all victims.
    A crime is the breaking of state-determined social rules and for which the state is authorised to impose a penalty, not the victim. Victim-led justice is called vigilante-ism. Read about Emmett Till.
    On another point, you may have noticed that Scotland Yard is now saying the terrorist who attacked parliament was a ‘lone wolf’. The theory of the lone wolf or loner in crime studies is that it frees the investigating authorities from having to undertake any further work. The loner is dead, so that is the end of the investigation.
    To say s/he has co-conspirators means the investigation must go on. It is an escape clause meant to re-assure the public.

  33. The simple truth/ fact: We plant okra and
    expect to reap corn. Making excuses for
    all our national failures. Pretending that
    we can ignore what is taking place
    globally. Entertaining bogus intellectuals.
    Elevating inferior politicians often referring
    to rather ordinary leaders as “brilliant”.
    The national discourse has been hijacked
    by non-thinkers !

  34. “We accept the humiliation of waiting in line for others to feed us;
    We accept the nastiness and health issues that come with this mendicancy; we accept being looked down on… pissed on in fact.”

    That’s the key word, the operative word. ……ACCEPTANCE…..then you wait for someone to come along and free you and your minds from your own self-inflicted enslavement. ….you fight down those among you who show you your predicament, who have the tools to show you hpw to free yourselves from that mental predicament, those who fight their way out of that predicament and who try to get you out of that predicament, because you have become comfortable, accepting slaves.

    “Emancipate YOURSELVES from mental slavery, none but YOURSELVES can free YOUR minds”

  35. People who support the death penalty are basically talking about killing poor people

    People who hardly have access to the best legal representation, or any at all.

    In Barbados 90% of cases are prosecuted entirely based on ‘confessions’. Says Johnny Cheltenham

    Other countries have found that significant numbers of people so accused, sentenced and executed, where innocent

    For us to have purposefully killed people in these circumstances is equivalent to killing all of mankind, one innocent person is.

    These same people genuflect when ‘silent killers’ of whole countries, the same treatment is proposed for.

    When war criminals like Tony Blair or George Bush or Theresa May there are no clarion call for their execution.

    When OSA, FJS, MAM Mugabe have committed far greater crimes against a whole population calls are never made for executions like there should be.

    Lastly, these notion of living lawful lives is the same as obeisance to the elites.

    Elites who themselves must seek to break laws for their advancement, and so do routinely.

  36. @ Pacha
    Good to see you and Hal on the same side of a moot….. perhaps we will now see some love and affection…
    Pity that you had to take such an erroneous stance in order to achieve this feat.

    Look Boss…
    There are some basic SPIRITUAL laws that override any shiite rules that are prescribed by our warped societies of lawyers…. (except for Jeff of course)

    Some things in life are SACRED… for spiritual reasons….whether wunna understand/ accept this or not is 100% IRrelevant…. things like – the sanctity of life, marriage, the Sabbath….

    ‘An eye for an eye …and a tooth for a tooth’ was meant to emphasise the importance to SOCIETY that individuals respected the rights and life of OTHERS. In other words, unless you are prepared to give up YOUR life too, you must not feel entitled to take another’s.

    When Hal talk shiite about ‘poor people’ and ‘white people’ and ‘white collar people’ – this is just a red herring. If the justice system does NOT address these imbalances properly then we need to attack the unbalanced system – NOT THE FUNDAMENTAL UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE.

    Obviously if you send the message that killing someone is not worth, and does NOT require, the sacrifice of the life of the perpetrator, then you are DEVALUING human life….

    A progressive society is one where this RULE is applied all the way to the warmongers at the top. Therefore an argument that says that “Bush and Blair killed thousands so why can’t John Doe kill his neighbour” …should be beneath you Pacha….. you just want to fraternise with your pal Hal…

    The REAL question is “how can we develop a society where people like Blair and Bush are held accountable – with their lives, …for unjustified acts of murder too…”

  37. For me it goes far beyond supporting the death plenty or not supporting but international treaties that small island countries are govened that disallowed these nations from formulating their own policies. Eg the death penalty
    Some of these treaties in some way have become meddlesome and forms an imbalance that at times are destructive to the social enviroment of these nations
    The idea that international treaties can be used as an appartus to direct and dictate small island goverance is a form of control and ludicrous
    Small island nations have to come to terms with reality and be guided and directed in every sense of the word by the day to day issues when confronted seeking those solutions that would not erode at people lack and faith in governance

  38. Meanwhile in sister Caricom country Guyana where an Indian despot,having agreed to and enshrined in the Constitution of that country that a presidential term limit of two 4 year terms is the law of the land,now seeks by subterfuge and innuendo to once again enter the presidential office to foul the system of good governance that Guyana so urgently deserves.
    Another eminent former judge and chancellor adds to the debate by supporting justice Pollard’s reasoned argument that the Constitution in this case, cannot be subject to a referendum.

  39. angela Skeete March 27, 2017 at 8:02 AM #

    An interesting admission on the social cost of signing on to treaties wily nily in order to accesss grants or technical assistance and belong to some clubs.

    Caricom should review all island treaties and decide which one are beneficial to the group.

  40. Bushie

    You will know that we have no desire to be in agreement with the ugly man from England, for he is a ‘concomitant’ C-hole.

    We very seldom read what he has to say for lack of time, though on other occasions we merely look at it, without reading .

    There are only a few here we read.

    In all circumstances, there is regrettably a one in ten trillion chance there could be an alignment of views. But we would wish that never was. Indeed, had we known this we would never have expressed our views on this subject.

    This is a man who has accused us of incitement to murder, the elites. Amongst other crimes.

    On the substantive matter.

    Bushie, yours are some contradictions that must be confronted sooner or later.

    It certainly cannot be acceptable that your BBE which is replete with lies, all its fictions and as an institution for the killing of billions of people over 2500 years could still profess to have any special place amongst the people.

    Being the fountain of virtue for us.

    The ‘underlying principles’ were set up by people who most times posited that somebody else sent them so to do.

    But there is no evidence that these people ever existed. So why then would be we basing the most consequential decisions on lies, when we know with certainty that your ‘underlying principles’ are all based on fiction.

    We are the Ones who must set up the best ‘underlying principles’. Not phantoms! Meaning that the people who gave you yours were no better than us.

    But this argumentation when compared to your position on albino-centrism cannot be properly reconciled.

    There is further incoherence also.

    If John Doe is to be killed by the state for killing his neighbour. Please tell us who is to kill the state for the murder of a murderer? Is a lying Bible story sufficient to wash away the blood on the hands of the state? Are they not committing state-sponsored murder as well?

    Indeed, your ‘underlying principles’ make murders of us all…………….. they do not deliver justice. And they can’t. For justice will require bring the dead back to life immediately. And this, your ‘underlying principles’ have NEVER done.

    The question that you posit in your final stanza is inert. We already have the legal infrastructure to indict war criminals like Bush, Blair, Obama et al.

    That is not the problem. The problem is the same selective prosecution which is the real ‘underlying principle’ of this wicked system of things.

    That selective prosecution has all kinds of flaws. And because it is so imprecise the real crime is killing innocent people, not killing murders.

    The best underlying principle is to take no risks of killing the innocent. Even if a 1000 times more get away with murder.

    And there is only one way we can be sure of that!

  41. Both Hal and Pacha are interjecting a loopsided point of view by using the issue of race sown and bred in international countries against a background where small island nations whose overwhelmingly majority of its populace are predominately black and where the crime are mostly comitted by blacks
    Problems arising from race in international countries were already preposition and purposely used as an example against the black race
    However it is most unlikely that such occurence of a similar nation would occur.
    Hal and Pacha are on an intellectual denial of a reality which is eroding the social fabric of small island nations and which by all cost should be tackled to the ground

    Yes i agree that Caricom role is one of being introductory mediators advancing those arguments that best serve the people of the carribbean on social issue and not be made to be on lookers on decision made on those issue that affect the country national interest

  42. Here are the facts:
    Slavery: Fields o:f beatings, murder , rape etc
    Since slavery : corporal punishment in schools, floggings
    Reap: Capital punishment

  43. You need to take off the blinkers @angela Skeete at 9:18 AM … and see the moot as presented within the broader context of social class. It is too simplistic to interpret the overwrought studies of criminal behaviors as you have.

    The similar deficiencies that weaken the justice systems and skew metrics to reveal disproportionate disadvantages to Blacks in general across the US , UK et al weakens our local system similarly for those of the lower strata of Bajan society.

    Above it was asked about US, how many white folks vrs Afros suffer at the courts. But do yourself the value of a more careful review and you will see that ‘poor white’ folks also suffer disproportionately worst than those with means.

    In Bim that surely applies as well.

    So yes with a 90% Black population it is seemingly nonsensical to cry race in the court system but substitute social class and then ask yourself how many Black Bajans with some financial means or superb connections have ever had ‘their necks popped’.

    Seen with a different filter our justice system is just as wracked with prejudice as any other…just not a racial one !

  44. @ Pacha. The ‘poor people’ excuse is just political sentimentality. Majority of airplane disaters are due to human error, do we ban air travel? No, we investigate the causes and seek to remedy the situation so as to avoid a repeat. The same principle should be applied to the imperfect justice system.

    You know very well that the bar for death penality cases are extremely high in our jurisdiction in addition to the multiple layers of protection. The accuse is able to exhaust all legal channel to present his or case.

  45. @ Pacha
    Anytime that you seek to dismiss the existence of a super-natural, omnipotent creator in the affairs of mankind, you will make a mockery of your intelligence.
    Every logic points to such entity.

    You are COMPLETELY wrong about this stupid modern-day logic, that since we have been unable to implement a 100% effective justice system that works across the board, THEN we should abandon the whole system.

    Would you suggest to a student that since he has not been able to solve the section of a test due to his inability to grasp advanced calculus, his logical response should be to dismiss the whole test?
    Where would you expect such a student to end up…?

    As to who will hold the State accountable…. the damn citizens….that’s who.

    When leaders accept the RESPONSIBILITY to administer a country’s affairs, they automatically acquire certain duties, responsibilities, and rights that are BEYOND those of an individual. These responsibilities include the administering of COLLECTIVE justice. (this is why low-life brass bowls should stay away from such responsibilities).

    If Bushie were to accept such a role in society, the Bushman would HAPPILY execute all such low-life, cancerous vermin from our society…(just as happily as Bushie whacks the in grunt brass bowls who come on BU with shiite)… a national duty.

    Ours is a tough world …where tough people survive, and effeminate lackies and brass bowls become slaves and down-trodden low life victims.

    If the state, in genuine error, executes the wrong person, then all efforts must be made to compensate for the tragic mistake; to ensure it is NEVER repeated, and to improve the systems …to get better and better at the process. The answer is NOT to give up to chaos, but to persevere towards excellence.

    If the state, in deliberate wilful malice, executes the wrong person, then those responsible becomes guilty of murder in the same way – and subject to the same penalties ….and it is the VIGILANCE of wise citizens that must ensure this happens – through transparency, integrity and accountability.

    The dynamics of national leadership is complex. But the ground rules have been laid out for eons now… in that famous book that you like to trash….
    Even in our ‘enlightened times’ where brains like yours abound, no one has found a system that works ANYWHERE as well…. or even at all…

  46. Here are the facts # 2
    Sow: Corporal punishment in homes and schools. Violent methods of correction done to our children; domestic violence against women in homes and wider society
    Reap: Violence only known means of conflict resolution; capital punishment

  47. @ Hal
    in a country that boasts of a 97% literacy rate, is it wise to suggest that most of our inmates are illiterate ?

  48. Bushie

    There is nothing that you can possibly say to us for the deep affection held for you to wane.

    But we must tell you that following principles of an albino-centric god is what it is.

    Do you know that Afrikans who ‘engineered’ all the systems albinos now claim never had prisons. Indeed, in many Afrikan societies today there is no word for prison, for example.

    You have misunderstood us.

    Indeed, we had hope that our interaction would have reached this point.

    We are yogis, we communicate with the ‘Gods’ everyday

    That we refuse to accept your god does not mean that we are godless, as you presume.

    Anybody who is an Afrikan

    Anybody who follows the principles of Ma’at

    Cannot be so describes.

    Yours is an imprecision

    It would be more precise if you could find the courage to destroy this White god you worship and seek the God that your Afrikan ancestors recognized.

    Moreover, in all your criticisms of albino-centrism, how is it that you consistently refuse to take that to its logical conclusion when the evidences dating back tens of thousands of years is so clear.

    Instead, you op for a book written by the hands of man. A book falsely purporting to be the word of god in order to find principles to live by.

    Principles which say we should be killing people for killing other people. When none of the people who supposed wrote these words ever existed, from Noah to Jesus, never existed!

    Since we are so wrong about what you suppose is ‘modern day logic’, why is it that you cannot prove that anything about your ‘underlying principles’ is true, a fact not faith based nonsense?

    Bushie, you want to kill people based on an Abrahamic lie

    There are significant persons who were here 60K years ago and have left their marks, for all to see, but your eternal indictment will be that the people from whom you seek your ‘underlying principles’ never existed.

    Indeed, the criminal Catholic Church spent nearly 2000 years trying to get a fictitious story straight.

    It is because we know the God of our ancestors that we can confidently reject the albino-centric god you serve.

    This ‘baby in the bath water’ nonsense is beneath you immense intellect. It equate to keeping the big albino-centric lie going. We are not impressed.

    There has never been any collective justice in this here albino-centric world. This is a mere fantasy.

    We agree that most low-life government officials should be done away with in the same way they would be execute poor people, as long as murder has currency.

    How it is possible, based on your ‘underlying principles’ for any compensation to be just by any means other than giving life to the wrongly dead, by the state.

    For you cannot on one hand argue that life is sacrosanct, that only your albino-centric god can give and take. But on the other, you suggest money or something less than life in return for wrongly taking the life of the innocent.

    In any event the peoples of world do not trust the elites. Any elites. So why would we look to them to settle this issue?

    In the USA 300 people have been released from death row over the last 25 years alone, base on DNA evidence proving them innocent.

    In Barbados, we are certain that innocent people were killed too.

    What vigilance of citizens? You think when the forces of a government tells an uneducated, poor man, that he committed a murder, only the few are able to go against.

    We are collectors of old books. There are no old books we’ll have trashed. If you are talking about the Bible, we have incontrovertible evidence that it is fiction, stories stolen from other people.

    Should you be able to untethered yourself from this nonsense you will have finally broken the chains of mental slavery.

    We never understood how otherwise intelligent people, like you, could seek a god in narratives of our enslavement.

  49. William,

    Let me explain for fear of misinterpretation. I mean functionally semi-literate for a modern, advanced, technological world.

  50. Fact # 3
    It is a known fact that capital punishment does not curb or prevent the crime of murder.

    Question: Why would “civilised” people still support what is essentially state sponsored murder ?

    Since the taking of life is considered the ultimate crime if the state takes a man’s life and then finds out he is innocent, how does the state suffer or is punished for this ultimate act of state sponsored murder of an innocent citizen?

  51. Depedantic. The overlapping of race relations in the Usa as correspondences to an issue within the Carribbean which merits consideration as applied to solutiins is far reaching
    Understandly that their might be a case where a wrong person might be accused however most findings within the region on race relations and the death penalty would reveal that very few if any death penalty cases brought forward are founded on race and most of the time the victims death occured at the hands of one of our own
    Unlike the Usa the policies which were based and influenced by white supremacist the carribbean has solely been govern by people of their own race although white inflitration brought about by treaties are now beginning to show a cause of concern for revised thinking as applied to the death penalty.

  52. Fyi

    Stephen Brathwaite is feeling annoyed.

    3 hrs ·

    As a service to all fellow iPhone 6/7 users, even though your phone is may be 4G LTE capable, it is not with the FLOW network!

    Do not waste your time believing the adverting and going into a FLOW outlet for the "easy SIM swap out"

    LikeShow More Reactions


    14 Douglas Trotman and 13 others


    Fabian Todd

    Fabian Todd I hope they fix this issue soon.

    Like · Reply · 3 hrs

    Marisse Downie

    Marisse Downie Good to know

    Like · Reply · 2 hrs

    Chard Peters

    Chard Peters is it that the phone not compatible or is it that they not really offering true 4g/lte service

    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs

    Stephen Brathwaite

    Stephen Brathwaite 🤔

    Like · Reply · 2 hrs

    Chard Peters

    Chard Peters lol i take its the latter

    Like · Reply · 2 hrs

    View more replies

    David King

    Write a reply…

    Damian A Edmund

    Damian A Edmund Digicel either I don’t even bother and I went to them and they told me my phone isn’t 4G capable 😐 . So on my last visit to the US I took a screen shot of my phone saying 4G both with a t-mobile and my Digi sim in it . Took it and show them and they ain’t know what to say .

    Like · Reply · 3 · 2 hrs

    Mac Thomas

    Mac Thomas That is nonsense and untrue. The Digicel employee you spoke to don’t know what he is speaking about.

    Your phone will continue saying "3G" because of the technology used however the service you receive is no different from the phones which say "4G".

    Like · Reply · 32 mins

    Damian A Edmund

    Damian A Edmund Well then they should say that ..

    Like · Reply · 15 mins

    Stephen Brathwaite

    Stephen Brathwaite This is the substantive point here… give the customers information without them having to search for it and come to their own conclusions (often that the telecoms are jerking our chain)

    Like · Reply · 13 mins

    David King

    Write a reply…

    Timothy Leach HD

    Timothy Leach HD All lte is not LTE. The problem can’t be the phones as the LTE radios in them are made to the LTE standards

    Like · Reply · 2 hrs

    Mac Thomas

    Mac Thomas Why not if you have a Unlocked phone?

    Like · Reply · 34 mins

    Stephen Brathwaite

    Stephen Brathwaite Because, Flow!

    (Digicel not any better neither)

    Like · Reply · 33 mins

    Mac Thomas

    Mac Thomas Depends on the LTE frequency certain handsets may not be LTE compatible however apple has included all LTE bands in their phones I think it’s from the 6 and above. So if you place a Digicel or Flow sim in an unlocked phone you should see "LTE" once you subscribed to that service.

    Like · Reply · 28 mins

    View more replies

    David King

    Write a reply…

    Rico Yarde

    Rico Yarde But if you check you would see it does not have LTE support for Barbados…

    Wireless carrier support and features for iPhone in Latin America and the Caribbean

    Like · Reply · 23 mins

    Stephen Brathwaite

    Stephen Brathwaite You know, I should not have to go hunting for this information. If you are advertising that you have "switched on" this service and all I need is "a compatible handset and a new SIM, just come in and it is a free and quick change" then the same advert should say "not yet available for the iPhone" or "only available on the Samsung 3746q" or "check our website for a list of compatible handsets", but no NOTHING of the sort!!

    Like · Reply · 3 · 17 mins

    Rico Yarde

    Rico Yarde Don’t get me wrong I agree with what your saying but this information was out for a while (not picking sides for carriers) but as you said someone should of been able to say hey iPhone user it won’t work for you etc….

    Like · Reply · 10 mins

    Stephen Brathwaite

    Stephen Brathwaite You mean to tell me (from browsing this link above) that Flow, C&W, Digicel are all such small fry that they cannot negotiate feature support with Apple for the entire region? with the exception of Cayman, Antigua & Barbuda… wha I real curious here… Antigua yuh!!!


    (given the money available and the way of doing business in these territories respectively, I suspect rights need to be paid for – but I could be wrong)

    Like · Reply · 3 mins

    David King

    Write a reply…

    Stephen Brathwaite

    Stephen Brathwaite most of the time, it is not what we can or cannot get, it is what we have to go through to find out. It all comes back to providing good customer service.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 16 mins

    Damian A Edmund

    Damian A Edmund Honestly I over it .. I mostly use data for whatsapp and emails on the go and since I work from home I’m always connected to wifi

    Like · Reply · 12 mins

  53. @ Pacha
    Until your full enlightenment, let us agree to disagree.

    Suffice it to say that life is so complex, that in order to REALLY enjoy living, one must be prepared to die…
    In order to be TRULY wealthy, one must be open to being poor…
    In order to to be REALLY wise, one must be prepared to ASK (to be open to not ‘knowing’)

    In order to create a prison-less society, one must be prepared to imprison evil.
    In order to create a ‘murder-less’ society, we MUST be prepared to pay for a life with a life.
    It is overly simplistic to think that the results that we dream of can be achieved by the easiest route possible…..

    This is why economic prosperity often evades those who selfishly and greedily grab after every chance to dispossess others to their own benefit…

    But you are unusually talented … and will no doubt come to understand all this in the fullness of time.

  54. Bushie


    We’ll continue to wrestle with these issues.

    Even if both of us know too much

    Or think we know too much

    To be persuaded, fundamentally

  55. Bushie

    On re-reading, we see a number of errors were made

    A few more than normally.

    Sorry, we’re too engaged in closing a few serious business matters

  56. Really ? Regular contributors are discussing
    Capital punishment,slavery etc and a thread
    is opened about Flow Digicel 4G 3G. How
    rude can we get? Pathetic!!

    • @William

      You are the BU blog etiquette police these days?

      Understand something because we will only post this once.

      When BU post a comment it is done with a purpose, always (note the placement of the comma.

      You have the choice to scroll pass any comment you do not find acceptable to your high standard.

  57. Has the forum noticed that the Guyana-born DPP is now calling for judge-only trials? This is not only ridiculous, but anti-democratic and authoritarian. It is the beginning of a slippery slope of a repressive state, removing a crucial check and balance on the state-run criminal justice system.
    This man is not a democrat. He is in favour of using the armoury of the state to jail the marginalised and oppressed.
    Where are those who oppose this ill-thought out nonsense?

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