The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – A Weekend’s Brief Respite

Jeff Cumberbatch – Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

There is a passage in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I that is somewhat referable to this weekend in our nation. I refer not of course to the celebration of the end of the harvesting sugar cane crop, now replicated locally not in thanksgiving but, rather, in a latter day carnival of music and assorted varieties of public dancing. However, in the play, having just dealt with a civil uprising in his kingdom, Henry IV is tired of it all and announces to his council that he yearns for national unity to lead an English army on a crusade to the Holy Land.

There is much in recent local events that approximates this state of affairs. Over the past few weeks, we have been beset by political dissension among the national stakeholders over additionally imposed taxation; a claimed absence of consultation; a patent increase in gun violence, and impatient partisan calls for national elections even though the previously agreed and long accepted rules of governance provide expressly for when these should occur. Simply put, our local condition bears reminder of civil strife, although happily without the mortality rates of “civil butchery”.

The analogy does not end there. King Henry, at the start of the play, confesses his exhaustion with the prevailing civil discontent and expresses his contentment with the period of respite (a time for “frighted” peace to pant) even though in keeping with the theme of the metaphor, they may breathe only in “short-winded accents” of broils to be fought in “strands afar remote”.

So it is with us this weekend that marks the culmination of the Crop-Over festival. Forgotten for a while will be the acrimony over economic policy among the private sector or most of it, the labour organizations or most of them and the governing administration.

Shakespeare puts it better than I ever could:

…those opposed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way and be no more opposed
Against acquaintance, kindred and allies:
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master.

I suppose that I need to re-emphasize that I am in no way suggesting that the local situation is equivalent to a state of civil war, it is simply that the contrast between the popular protest march of July 24 and the festive progression from the National Stadium to Spring Garden tomorrow is at least remarkable.

Of course, we should not wish to have the Shakespearean analogy actualized any further. It may be recalled that at that very moment when he was speaking there came unwelcome news of skirmishes in Wales and in Scotland that caused the king to remark;

It seems then that the tidings of this broil
Brake off our business for the Holy Land.

Most Barbadians, I feel certain, will allow nothing to “break off” their business of festivity this weekend. There have been threats of violent disruption broadcast on the social media, but few are taking this seriously, either trusting to the Royal Barbados Police Force adequately to counter this should it eventuate, or simply relying on the hoary Barbadian superstition that nothing like that ever happens here.

I am not one much for the costumed (or what little there may be) street parade, but I enjoy at this time the lexical skills of some of the calypsonians especially those with the witty turn of phrase. In this regard, Mr William “Smokey” Burke’s “Persona non grata” stands out, especially his mimicry of the protagonist’s twisted syntax in the punch line, “Persona non grata is what you will always be are”. Skilful.

And even though its message is less uplifting and perhaps a parody of incitement to the criminality of vote buying and selling, I find Mr Ian “I-Web” Webster’s “Salesman” with its use of the en vogue local expression “up de ting” referring to the cost of purchasing his vote to be an exceedingly witty composition.

Unfortunately, this personal appreciation does not extend to the modern bashment genre where the emphasis appears to be not on subtlety or wit but rather on a direct entreaty to tell it like is.

Clearly, I may not hold the same views as a majority of Barbadians in this regard. The effort performed by the Flow People’s Monarch for this year is one where he has consumed so much alcohol that he needs someone to pick him up. All the same, this emphasis on drunken helplessness may be in the finest traditions of the genre.

Over 40 years ago, Mr Slinger Francisco, the renowned Mighty Sparrow, declaimed that he always made his family ‘shame by being drunk and disorderly and by spending “every weekend in de jail”.

Enjoy your weekend, dear reader!

30 thoughts on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – A Weekend’s Brief Respite

  1. $BDS will be devalued after BLP takes control. Steuart will not be running in 2018.


  3. Hmmm…..wuhloss…..did you have to remind the PM of those words of the Bard of Avon as no doubt he will be spewing from his works over the next 9 months.

  4. @ Mr. Cumberbatch.

    Thank you for mentioning de ole man here “Persona non Grata”, I may have to hire you to sue Smokey for his use of this term without any creditation so to speak heheheheheh

    Every year for the last 3? years there has been a threat sent out to the “General Public” by some part of the “Underworld”

    Let de ole man conjecture on (a) its origins and (b) its purpose.

    The video/audio/whatever the item is falls into the category of a “national threat”

    Do ole man ent see it but judging from what I am gleaning from BU it has made some specific claims and threats to be actuated on Kadooment Day.

    The Bajan Underworld per se is not so sophisticated as to launch what is a “national threat” for inherent with such a threat would be a required Force of Arms to append to that and ammmmmm dat would be plain idiocy to broadcast whu you going do and de day dat you going do um.

    So the source is not and I REPEAT, IS NOT, de Criminal Underworld.

    It is a politically oriented faction which is playing games with the Bajan reveller population.

    Now let de ole man explains how this works.

    If you plant lettuce seedlings pun a evening and nourish dem with a likkle water overnight the likelyhood of the sun coming up tomorrow morning and aiding in the photosysthesis of such seedlings is 50/50

    De Sun going rise tomorrow, irrespective of de clouds.

    De bad boys who got grudges IS NOT DE BRIGHTEST FELLOWS and Kadooment going bring dem out in droves.

    So, if i meks a pronouncement bout ammmmm I gine mek a statement wid gun interventions pun Kadooment day I GOTS A 50% CHANCE to be correct ent I?

    THis is just the law of averages for it would be a real ingrunt faction that would say we going kill police and ting but we going do it pun Kadooment.

    You feeling me so far?

    So you understand de purpose of course.

    With dufuses like the DLP and the Royal barbados Police Force you gots to expect that it going get dem fellers all excited and ting and got dem saying dat dem gine be out in Force and ting.

    It is called yanking ones chain or pulling the curly hairs pun a feller *alls.

    THere are going to be a few incidents tomorrow during Kadooment BECAUSE IT IS THE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME TO DO THIS but it is not a national threat.

    Now de ole man would like to tell de ingrunt RBPF bout how dem cud find de mobaton of guns dat is all around Barbados and mek some serious interdictions into the apprehension of these criminals and illegal gun owners.

    De problem wid broadcasting that solution is dat de said Police, rather some of de Said policemens is criminals demselves!! and if one was to give them this sort of information it would only mean dat you going HAS TO run and hide in a nex cuntry cause dese chvunts dem gine get you ef up.

    ohhhhh ammmm by de way you seeming to suggest dat you ent going and look at dem when dem is passing you friend house at *** so is it possible dat you cud leh you friend know dat de ole man ent mind to come and look at tings from dem gallery. I listening out to hear from you hear?

  5. Because Honourable Blogmaster the so called anonymous voting of the judges is not so anonymous AND EVEN THOUGH THE DLP IS ON ITS WAY OUT noyone of the said judges would be so stupid as to vote for a song that speaks so clearly to this voting issue.

    THe words and the musical arrangement are really of worthy note.

    But that would require a mature audience to first receive then acknowledge and finally ascribe a value to his contribution but that requires balls which those judges dont have.

    • To have withdrawn Not One Vote suggest- event to the Kaiso dunce- that some pressure was exerted on this your man we are willing to bet. What is ironic is that the YouTube is widely accessible although surprisingly only 16,000 views. A tangled web!

  6. @ pieceuhderockyeahright August 6, 2017 at 8:14 AM #

    Taken from your post

    ” De problem wid broadcasting that solution is dat de said Police, rather some of de Said policemens is criminals demselves!! and if one was to give them this sort of information it would only mean dat you going HAS TO run and hide in a nex cuntry cause dese chvunts dem gine get you ef up.”

    My feedback is there are way more criminals in the Barbados Police Force engaged in drugs, fraud, bribery, guns, human trafficking, theft, planting evidence, blackmail, criminal collusion and conspiracy taking place daily than the wider population because they feel embolden by their uniform.

    If the Bajan Public knew the REAL scale they would all be living in fear.

  7. Let us face it Honourable Blogmaster, very few of these performers understand how to ammmmm incentivize their music.

    If you were to tell Ruell to

    (a.) create a website where he agressively promotes the dissemination of his Youtube music using a bespoke website that charges 99 cents american for a chance to win a ticket to Merica, he nor his peoples would not know how to orchestrate that and

    (b.) further to that suggestion you were to tell Ruell to increase the beat of his tune so that he produces a road march version like “Jack tell dem doan bade pun my beach” he and others might say that it ruins the tune but they would not see how it would lead to further adoption/expansion of its market.

    People are not always able to see the other angles that a songl like that portends for biting social commentary and how to leverage it for a different objective than winning a Suzuki Vitara at the national stadium and cementing himself as a real contender for net year.

    It is called First Wave where you observe the location of the enemies battlements and adjust the Second Wave accordingly

  8. @ Insider Exposing the Local Underworld

    Our RBPF is 1100 strong and rumour is rfe that 250 are avowed crimnals.

    Because of their position, note carefully that i did not make any reference to wire tapping durin time afore nor wiretapping @ today by the DLP operatives and no one can say that de ole man mentioned Mugabe.

    In a video locate in another blog on BU Mujica states that “we are all worms’ meat” and whether we go in our sleep or in a hail of gunfire, or in the nuclear conflagration that the Orange Gorilla in the White House is moving towards, we all going go.

    “…and how can men die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of their fathers and the temples of their gods…”

    If there are bad cops we have to weed them out so that the sons of our poor people doan get “suicided” while in police custody nor other honest policemen doan get shot in crossfir by the brotherhood of the rose cause dem “too honest”

  9. For those of us in the diaspora who are locked into Motown or kaiso of an earlier vintage, those two links are above are like pouring water on a parched land.


  10. Good to see prime minister Stuart getting out to a crop over fete or two. He attended a Panache fete this week and from the pictures in the press he appears to have had a rollicking time. One wonders though if better judgement might have been used when one considers the fete was promoted by Leroy Parris wife’s company. To make matters worse it is reported Chris Sinckler and Hal Gollop were in attendance. Sometimes it is not what one does but …

  11. @ David, if I was in Barbados I would likely have gone to ” Panache fete ” and any event organised by PES.

  12. David August 6, 2017 at 6:54 PM #

    Chuckle……A big able picture was in easy magazine yesterday with all the aforementioned,howcome you have not posted it as yet?

  13. U.S. Marshals capture international fugitive in Fairfield County

    Warren Stocker

    Posted: 08/06/2017 12:14 PM


    FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) – An international fugitive with a lengthy criminal history was arrested in Fairfield County, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

    Hainsley DaCosta Browne, aka “Barbados” was arrested without incident with the assistance of the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office. He faces charges in both South Carolina and Barbados.

    In Barbados, Browne’s wanted for operating an identity fraud phone scam ring. He allegedly would call elderly individuals and have them pay him money by convincing them he was a family member in need.It is estimated he defrauded elderly victims of $130,000.

    Officials say Browne fled Barbados to escape the Diplomatic Security Service and the Royal Barbados Police Force. It was discovered by the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service that he may have moved to South Carolina.

    The U.S. Marshals Service discovered Browne assumed the name Ronald Oscar Browne and was attempting to defraud the elderly community in South Carolina as he did in Barbados.  
    Full Story

  14. A few have commented on. The Ole man’s predictions of shootings and killings?
    the police’s inability to preempt and the attorney general s predictive impotence

    The solution go this issue is simple but simple minds cannot see it.

    DE Ole man could even show how to predict the hot spots for the Rass**le Bajan Foolish Police but again demand going blame DE Ole man and say Dat I is responsible for the incidents.

    The thing is that it is obvious that you the RBPF do not know what to do.

    It is also understood that you are embarrassed to reach out for any help because that action would confirm that statement above.

    And finally the fact is that wunna really can’t reach out to persona non grata causing Dat would be a fate worse Dan death heheheheh

  15. @Pieces, your predictive analyses may be quite right…namely thar the RFPB seem not too sure of next steps.

    I am amazed at the sheer number of police/soldiers walking in between the band’s. Are they there to protect the revellers from bad actors who will shoot them, rape them or otherwise?

    The simple fact that they were so many reported shootings (admittedly just a few actual perps) and no on site arrests or even a sense of preventing the acts gives credence to your point.

    The RBPF does not have a helicopter but boy two or three drone sets of eyes feeding back to a command center and to the device comms of the task force would have been a real winner yesterday.

    I would love to see a perp outrun an aerial ‘cop’.

    Anyhow, that said I am in full praise of those men and women who run speedily TOWARDS the sound of gunfire…it takes brave folks to run to danger and put their life on the line (job or no job)…so props to Task Force, BDF and all our protective services.

  16. The officers of the RBPF were too bunched first of all

    Secondly they should have been in teams of four.

    Thirdly the teams should have had two defence force soldiers

    Fourthly this was a full route exercise that needed drones AND mobile eyes of the physical and electronic type

    Managing Kade omen is an all day exercise in the sun, with usual police HD shifts? and normal monitoring of domestic policing duties

    This was not planned for

    If you watch the policing activities you see their inexperience showing vis a vis effective crowd management

    When you only have 1100 policemen and 800 soldiers you do not focus on your officers mingling with the 75000 revelers you let the crowd MI glee with the officers and keep your officers “fixed

    Yes these way points move so to speak but they rotate in specific locales and give the. Isuzu impression of being nuff and in control.

    The officers were too distracted from their substantive duties and we’re horsing around with the revelers too much

    As a. Officer on duty the pussy ogling is okay but you have to be focused

    Their command Centre should have had them shifting and reporting Bach to them all day with mobile floating teams with vehicles moving and disembarking at Vaio us points among the crowd based on what the mobile eyes saw

    The sad thing about this is that we have Lime Digicel and Ozone Wireless out there and not a fellow ent mek a suggestion about mobile eyes

    And of course demand got Stephen the ICT whiz cuntsultant who getting paid to do ship


  17. ” Even more startling was a revelation from Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith that on the Kadooment route alone, there were too many gangs.

    He singled out Black Rock saying there were at least 16 gangs there.”

    16 gangs in tiny little Barbados. Unfreakinbeleivable.

  18. @ pieceuhderockyeahright,

    Maybe they could ask the Toronto police for help in developing a plan for next year crop over.

  19. @ Hants

    If they were intelligent men they would but demand ent

    Powful foolish and hard headed to boot.

    There is nothing wrong with saying I am out of my depth and help me.

    Real men do that but these are not real men these are the DLP incompetentso we are talking about

    Hants even the people’s Republic of China with their resources in subjugating crowds could be contacted above a day beyond the recent indicative programming that was secured to monitor *** heheheh

    All wunna secrets is out dere among the public Fumbles it is only a matter of time

  20. But @Pieces n Hants, whether the Canadian Mountains, DEA, Interpol or any other do we really believe that after all these years of Kadooment, carnival in Rio and next door that our folks are ‘incompetent’ for any reason other than they want to be.

    Pieces, I am hard pressed to believe the RSS personnel don’t have the training or assistance on tap to effectively patrol key bays and inlets (via all the types of resources you noted ) and similarly that they and Task Force are not up to speed with crowd n event managrment at gatherings like this.

    I’ll put it this way.

    I recall first reading of community policing in US/Europe back long ago and then it became a feature du jour under Com Durant…he got specific funding, organized his officers around that model ….that was now 30 years or so ago!

    Well, if that was adopted so effectively it’s impractical not to accept that other modern tactics for terrorist related disruptions are not in our police playbook….this government CAN’T be THAT stupid.

    That knowledge base and site/people management is applicable to local gangs of terrorizing idiots or other idiots planning terrorists acts…

    What we saw on Monday must give us pause that maybe our government is being deliberately stupid and wasteful with available resources.

    I agree that unless they have done (and know) a lot more than what it appears that we are screwed when bigger doodoo hits the fan.

  21. @ De Word

    Slowly yu are seeing what is going to roll inot the emergency powers act.

    And a prolongation of the sojourn of these vampires and walking dead and man zombies incapable of any thought.

    Pachamama speaks of the only solution for them but de ole man cant repeat it cause it is sedition

  22. @ Piece,

    “Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite today vowed to introduce legislation to give the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) additional powers to arrest the worrying wave of gun violence.’

    emergency powers……additional powers ?

  23. You got to be careful. In Britain two black boys walking together constitutes a gang. These are the people who export their flawed ideas on policing to the Caribbean. There cannot be 16 gangs from Black Rock, unless you are including the sitting MP.

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