Another Heather Cole Column – An Assault on Democracy

Submitted by Heather Cole

Based on the 2018 Manifesto of the Barbados Labour Party, it was my expectation that a new Barbados would be created that was a place of economic equity and justice for all, a place where poverty could be eradicated and most of all it would become a beacon for democracy.

For me, being guided by a vision of what it would take to create that new Barbados there would have to be participatory democracy, in addition to a movement away from all the colonial institutions, oppressive laws and the present system of education. I foresaw that after the government earned its laurels by resolving the problems that currently plagued this island it could make the move to become a Republic as its next step. I therefore did not anticipate that this Administration would ignore all of its problems and set a wheel in motion to create a Republic. This is the proverbial putting “new wine in old skins.” Mark 2:22 says “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

The action to become a Republic should have nothing to do with the length of time the island has been loitering on the steps of the Colonial Office or removing the Queen of head of state, if nothing else on the island will change.  It is a rite of passage that is to be earned by any Administration that runs the island as a sign that the people have a high degree of confidence in their government and are satisfied with their stewardship, having resolved the island’s problems.

I am not opposed to Barbados ever becoming a Republic.  At this time I oppose it because:

1. Government has not yet resolved the problems they set out to accomplish in 2018 and other problems have arisen since 2018 that have not been dealt with such has rising prices of food, lack of water, crime, high unemployment, the management of its resources, the age-old problem of the pilferage from the public purse, the awarding of contracts and privileges to the same persons over and over again. One can also add to this the marginalization of the trade union movement in Barbados, high taxation and excessive debt.  Instead of bringing solutions to the island’s problems, the government is in constant crisis mode; not confidence. They should fix the problems of Barbados first.

2. The current administration has not passed the Freedom of Information Act, the Transparency Legislation Act and the Integrity Bill. These should have been part of the prerequisites which the government could have used to gain the public’s confidence to agree to a change in status for the country. Nothing was given so nothing should be received. 

3. Becoming a republic is not a one man show or the sole undertaking of any Administration. The present Administration, the opposition parties and the people must participate in the process as Barbados is a democracy. If the Electorate is eligible to vote an Administration into office for a temporary period of 5 years should this not speak volumes that they must vote on something that will affect Barbadians for generations to come? Is government set on denying the civil rights of all Barbadians?

4. On one hand, government is dusting off and amending or creating the Constitution based on a document written in 2005. Not only has the world has changed leaps and bounds since then but another generation that was not born or at the age of maturity has no knowledge of this document. On the other hand it is refusing the recommendation from the same 2005 document that was written by one of the most conservative lawyers in Barbados. He stated that there must be a referendum first.

4. The Constitution is the embodiment of the norms and values that become laws in any society. The present Constitution has many laws that must be removed and despite what Sir Henry wrote or did not write in 2005, how in good conscience can anyone ask for input into a Constitution without providing the terms of reference or the framework? In addition there is no guarantee that anyone’s input will become part of the final document as there is no transparency.

For me to be supportive of any substantive constitutional changes, it must be by referendum which clearly outlines the type of Republican status that is being proposed as well as the composition of the Republic which must include the below:

  1. The power of recall by which Ministers and an Administration can be removed by the people.
  2. The people’s right to vote for amendments to the Constitution by propositions from the people.
  3. Prosecutorial powers for the Auditor General
  4. An elected President and not a holder of that office for life and no holders of office for life. Term elections of 5 years and a 2 term limit for the presidency or such similar position.
  5. Elected local government officials.

Your word is your bond and we are all cognizant of the fact that the government already broke a promise to the electorate that was in its 2018 manifesto.  This was the promise of having a referendum to make recreational marijuana legal.  The government reneged on its promised and imposed a fine for small amounts, but the herb is still illegal and still comes with prison sentences. A pattern seems to have developed where the government treats its own people who voted them into power like second class citizens. Next it was the moving the goal post in the Severance Pay Act to the detriment of the poor people when they should have been the ones to receive the $330Million of the tax payer money as their severance.

By now one must be aware of the turmoil that is unfolding in Haiti. There is no end in sight in that country which is plagued with poverty, corruption and now violent unrest. The people are sick and tired of all the corruption; they would love to have a referendum. One has been scheduled but based on their present Constitution; there can be no referendum to change the Constitution. Hopefully Barbados will not become another such victim.

It is time to call this what it is, an assault on democracy. The purpose of democracy is to use the ballot to preserve and extend the rights of the people not to forfeit them.  For if the people cannot exercise their civil right that will affect all Barbadians now, how can one expect the document created without their agreement will guarantee that the rights of future Barbadians be preserved?

With violence and crime now pervasive in the land, is this a sign that the lawlessness and disrespect for our laws and people are now abiding in Parliament?  If this is the case, surely it is a sign that the government has lost it way and now is not the time to change to a republic, but the time for the next General Election. 

133 thoughts on “Another Heather Cole Column – An Assault on Democracy

  1. besides…ya attempted to use it to pretend that Mia is actually doing something at the supreme court about the backlogged cases, because you have inside information..

    DO YOU REMEMBER when i took issue with you a week or so ago about the civil cases when ya were gushing about the cases at the court being taken care off…..and i called you by your natural name of being a LIAR……look how quickly ya ran out with that article…where was it before…..LIAR…FRAUD…and would try to not only TIEF THE CREDIT when its the Embassy gifting the PEOPLE OF BARBADOS…but would wickedly try to use it as an advantage for vote begging purposes..

    ya will not get away with anything…now everyone knows…ya will not use that to TIEF ONE VOTE…

  2. Yardfowl…i will catch ya AGAIN later…always do because ya just can’t help yaself..

    until next time….which is liable to be in a matter of hours..

    Donna…i don’t do the CRITICIZE corrupt governments in one breath and then praise them in the other…i do not SUCK UP TO STINKING POLITICIANS, never liked them and will never forgive the trash in Barbados for what they have done and STILL DO…so wrap that around ya SEESAWING head…

  3. Well… that cussing was rather mild.

    It is not called seesawing. It is called acknowledging the good while criticising the bad. There will be no perfect government and I do not expect one.

    My criticism of this government has never reached the depths that most of you reach simply because of that fact. With you guys, it is perfection or nothing. I don’t expect humans to display anything but normal human traits and it appears that politics attracts a certain personality type. I for one, was never interested in running a whole country. Most people aren’t. It takes a certain breed of person to believe he or she should be the one running a country. That breed comes with certain negative traits which we the people must monitor and contain.

    I want nothing from the BLP and therefore have no reason to kiss ass. At any rate, my personality does not accommodate ass-kissing. Any discerning person would see that. But I do believe that the political ANIMAL responds to positive reinforcement and can be encouraged to do better so as to feel that feeling again.

    I do not see politicians as demons or monsters. I know too many of them (including Donville Inniss) to think that. They are simply flawed human beings from among us.

    I treat them as such.

  4. In short, if I do bad and get cussed and I do good and still get cussed…..

    I know I would then do whatever suits me. Your opinion would no longer count. You would lose all influence.

  5. Don’t look at it as cussing….

    these vicious crabs in the parliament are so nasty that they have KNOWN FOR DECADES that their evil yardfowls for court officers in the Magistrate’s Court have been STEALING the maintainance money belonging to HELPLESS CHILDREN, spending it on THEMSELVES instead of handing it over to the mothers as they are supposed to and CURSING THE MOTHERS when they turn up to retrieve the money …and NEVER ONCE TRIED to stop that theft from children who have a RIGHT TO SUPPORT, not one government minister or lawyer from DBLP, did anything, making them complicit in crimes against children and their mother……

    …but now handed a case management system that can reduce those evil crimes and expedite cases in that regard…A GIFT TO THE PEOPLE OF BARBADOS instead of putting it on the news so everyone would KNOW that wickedness is at an end……..they send their dirty little fowl Slave on the blog to use it as a tool to LIE and pretend they are doing something about the problems at the supreme court, PIMPING FOR VOTES when they know they are DOING NOTHING….to change the situation at the judiciary..

    they can do NOTHING now to make me believe that they care anything about anyone except themselves and their bribers..they still have NOT REMOVED the slave laws and slave codes of the statute books…

    … you can sing their priasies as much as you want for as long as you want……has nothing to do with me, i will post what I KNOW THEY DO….

  6. “I do not see politicians as demons or monsters. I know too many of them (including Donville Inniss) ”

    i guess being a good person got him where he is….i know him personally too and know he has a nasty persona to those who look like him, who voted for him, that’s no different to any of the other DBLPites…all of them believe they are something other than public servants once elected and act accordingly…

    i don’t care for any of them and there is no progress for the Black majority…with those low class, low crawling go nowhere attitudes or billions would not be MISSING from the economy and so many Black people driven into poverty……….am not easily impressed.

  7. So who is Michel Namroud and so it it true he is an Apes Hill resident supplying government with Covid test kits tablets, masks and PPE gear and was arrest ed LAST WEDNESDAY….with COCAINE and AMMUNITION in his Mercedes and at his hoity toity Apes Hill pad.? does he also supply the boys on the blocks? asking for a friend…the yardfowls should know …they know EVERTING….

    .so why was this NOT FRONT PAGE NEWS,,,,like the Dutch national Harold Vernon Christobal Sint Jago…found with a gun and ammunition and 1.1 kilo of cocaine…lawd…the minority traffickers/gunrynners are on their game,,,..big shipments landing left and right…

  8. Donville has his flaws just like most people do. He did wrong but he is not a monster.

    Is there ANYTHING or ANYONE you don’t know?


  9. My, my! You say he was ARRESTED????? At APES HILL????

    Now how the hell did Mia allow THAT to happen????? Her cell phone not working??? He lost the number???

    What gives??????

  10. “was arrested LAST WEDNESDAY….with COCAINE and AMMUNITION in his Mercedes and at his hoity toity Apes Hill pad.?”

    according to info…one followed the other…the yardfowls should be able to tell us more…they got inside news…tight up tight up with ministers,,,..

  11. Barbados is thisbig, in certain circles you find everyone know each other or are related to each other….in some minds it’s a big piece of land but the circumfrence of 14 miles wide x 21 miles long never changed, and the population size remains more or less constant…’s an islet..

  12. Wuhloss…they are all too corrupt to open dey mout….can’t go against dey fellow crooks dey gotta close ranks….lawd. They won’t stop allowing big ticket minority criminals into the Caribbean with their greedy selves.

    Caricom’s silence on Choksi matter is ‘deafening’ – lawyer
    Jun 29, 2021 | The Big Stories | 0 comments

    Caricom’s silence on Choksi matter is ‘deafening’ – lawyer
    The former diamond trader is wanted in India in connection with a US$2 billion bank fraud (Photo courtesy STRATCOM) (l) and British lawyer Michael Polak claims high-ranking Dominican officials played a role in Choksi’s apparent abduction
    Spread the love
    by Gemma Handy

    Caricom’s “deafening silence” on the alleged abduction of fugitive Mehul Choksi from Antigua to Dominica is bringing shame on the region.

    Those are the strident words from British lawyer Michael Polak who has blasted the Caribbean body for failing to “stand up against corruption” amid claims its member states colluded in the “kidnap, torture and rendition” of the 62-year-old.

    The Indian-born former diamond trader is wanted in his homeland in connection with a US$2 billion fraud against the Punjab National Bank.

    India has been seeking to get Choksi extradited from Antigua – where he has held citizenship since 2017 – for more than three years.

    Polak claims Indian authorities’ “frustration” with the lengthy extradition process galvanised them to circumvent the law in sync with Caribbean agents.

    Choksi was discovered in the nature isle hours after his wife Priti reported him missing from their Jolly Harbour home on May 23. He has since been charged with illegal entry into Dominica – a charge Polak claims was concocted to detain him.

    “This farcical situation involves a number of Caricom members and is drawing the world’s attention to the region,” Polak told Observer.
    “Yet there has been absolutely no sound from Caricom, nothing said, no general statement of principle, about due process, the rule of law, or about standing up against corruption.
    “The silence really is deafening.”
    Polak said he had contacted the organisation’s bosses to request a meeting which he was “hopeful” would be arranged.

    “One of Caricom’s missions is to create a community where every citizen is secure and has the opportunity to realise his or her potential with guaranteed human rights and social justice,” he continued.

    “This falls right within that mission and it would mean a lot for the regional organisation to speak out on this very tawdry affair.

    “The whole of the world is now looking towards the region and saying, how can something like this take place with the connivance of Caricom states and this organisation sit there silently?”
    The barrister, a director of London-based Justice Abroad, claimed the saga had become “an awful spectacle”.

    Regardless of whether Choksi has committed offences in his native land, the issue is about “the rule of law”, Polak said.

    “Do the people of the Caribbean want to live in states where, if a powerful government wants them they can simply pluck them without any due process?

    “Extradition proceedings exist so courts can test the evidence around an extradition request. To allow a state to use brute force to take someone and to circumvent that procedure means nobody is really safe.”

    Choksi is currently on remand in Dominica but being held in hospital where he is being treated for various ailments including a blood clot and hypertension. He is set to be taken to the national prison as soon as he is deemed well enough.

    His next court appearance is scheduled for July 6.

    Polak also claimed high-ranking Dominican officials played a role in Choksi’s apparent abduction.

    “It’s quite simple. He was kidnapped, he was beaten, he was taken by the Coastguard of Dominica to police, and kept in police custody for three days without access to a lawyer.

    “It’s exactly what you would do if you were hoping to whisk someone away without the legal processes taking place,” he added.

    “The Indian authorities were frustrated by having to go through the legal processes of Antigua so they used agents to kidnap him.”

    Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne previously said he believed it was “unlikely” Choksi had been abducted but that local police were investigating the claims.

    Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit had been rather more reticent, pledging to leave the matter in the hands of the courts. But on Sunday night he told media that allegations his government was involved were “absurd”.

    Caricom has been approached for comment. No response was forthcoming up to news time.”

  13. Well, well, well! This story and the one before highlights the perils of the region’s Citizen By Investment Schemes. It’s a charter that encourages criminal behaviour and activity.

    The Caribbean region evolved out of. Piracy and has never quite been able to shake of that legacy.

  14. Donna knows many of them long time but Donna does not enter the circles without good reason. Donna does not enjoy hoity toity gatherings really. She is a simple soul.

    So the inside story has to come from family and friends who don’t mind their company. Second hand.

  15. “The Caribbean region evolved out of. Piracy and has never quite been able to shake of that legacy.”

    don’t care how they pretend otherwise,,,,that is what it was built on, its very FOUNDATION and that’s all it will always be…

  16. Well let’s hope the dirty little racists in Barbdos and their government enablers in Barbados and across the region understand that they OWE BLACK PEOPLE, particularly in Barbados reparations…i have told them this for a very long time…yall scummy TIEFING, oppressive SELVES will NOT get away…watch muh nuh..

    “The U.N. human rights chief, in a landmark report launched after the killing of George Floyd in the United States, is urging countries worldwide to do more to help end discrimination, violence and systemic racism against people of African descent and “make amends” to them — including through reparations.

    The report from Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, offers a sweeping look at the roots of centuries of mistreatment faced by Africans and people of African descent, notably from the transatlantic slave trade. It seeks a “transformative” approach to address its continued impact today.

    The report, a year in the making, hopes to build on momentum around the recent, intensified scrutiny worldwide about the blight of racism and its impact on people of African descent as epitomized by the high-profile killings of unarmed Black people in the United States and elsewhere.”

  17. Well ah guess yardfowls/Slaves have been given leave to grieve since they have been missing off the blog for days …

  18. William…what do you think…

    “urging countries worldwide to do more to help end discrimination, violence and systemic racism against people of African descent and “make amends” to them — including through reparations.”

    in my opinion the parliament negros are UNDER THE BUS…where they belong for their treacherous sellout ways….it’s a defining moment and opportunity to clean up the nasty racism, discrimination etc directed at Black people on the island, with the rats taking bribes to allow it to happen…. let’s see if we will have to continue exposing them and their racist, tiefing minority partners…this time at the UN level.

    …it’s amazing that the 2nd most important positive thing to happen since emancipation….and everyone is MUTE….the first being when Professor Hillary spoke to the EU parliament last year…and told them the islands are still Slave societies…not one local newspaper carried that story, i got it elsewhere…….even on this blog they pretended it never happened and continued living in their pretend world of make believe until i had to remind them……..notice the silence for this one……the same thing, if they pretend it’s not happening, it will go away… very few of us ever address these issues….then they want to take offense when we call them Slaves.

  19. @ WURA
    Many think that now America and Trumpism have crudely reminded them that they are black they believe that they can now turn to Africa.
    The economic truth is that we need Africa ; Africa does not need us!
    They are in for a rude awakening. We have refused to engage Africa since the momentous Independence era of the 60s.
    Progressive thinkers told these political scoundrels to turn to Africa; teach our children about their roots; focus tourism on Africa but they bought into the white world’s thinking that Africa was an economically backward place.
    Their collective snobbery has now returned to bite them in their backsides.
    They are sixty years behind.
    Idiots !

  20. “They are in for a rude awakening. We have refused to engage Africa since the momentous Independence era of the 60s.”

    they sure are, with their anti-Black/African Public Order Act to reduce Black people socially, economically and educationally, slave laws and code noir….still in place, they actually believe any African minded person would engage, enable or tolerate any of them, they are mad..

    i came on here and for 9 YEARS told them the same thing and they sent their now retired MUTED yardfowl/Slaves after me, a lot of good that did them…

  21. “Ahmed Steve Adamu    6,760
    social engineering is the key word here which simply mean manipulating the blacks mentally but if you are aware of your problem, then the problem is halfway solved and it will now remain how you are going to apply the solution to the problem. Here is educating the blacks about their, history, culture and tradition, If you don’t know where you are coming from then how will you know where you are going? Your history is your address and your culture and tradition is your way of life which includes your religion and your identity.”

  22. Republican discussion a must-see

    Last week Elsa lick me up. No current through the lines. No water through the pipes. Yet water flowing through the house. But grateful I am because I still had a roof.
    And while it took a while for power and water to return, I have to give maximum respect to all the personnel who had to postpone returning to their own personal matters so that they could deal with the damage across the nation.
    Nevertheless, it is clear enough, though, that we are not prepared enough for anything major. There are technical questions which I will leave to the more technically qualified. What I am more interested in are the social foundations of our unpreparedness.
    Friday just gone I got hit by another storm in the form of an energising conversation on the Instagram page of fellow artivist with the National Transformation Initiative, Alex Jordan. She, along with her guests, Khaleel Kothdiwala, Firhaana Bulbulia and Andrew Pilgrim, were discussing the transition to republican status.
    If you already understand why we are moving to republican status you will be moved, especially by the wisdom of the two younger guests. If you are not already convinced that this is a good move, there is much in this conversation that will cause you to ponder. Check it out. In a very short space of time the panel hit so many important points. I will try to explain what republican status has to do with hurricane preparedness later in this article.
    Khaleel Kothdiwala started off with a bang by noting that we are past debating if a republic is the direction we should be going in. Indeed, the Ford Commission in 1998 recommended the change. But it didn’t happen and here we are again. Maybe it is because we didn’t have the confidence then. Alex Jordan reminded the viewers of a statement made by the Prime Minister that becoming a republic makes a statement about our confidence in who we are and what we want to achieve.
    The monarchy doesn’t even seem relevant to Prince Harry, Jordan noted. Andrew Pilgrim expressed how personal the point was
    for him. As a Queen’s Counsel, he has been stamped with the royal label and has to regularly endure references to loyalty and duty to the Queen in our nation’s judicial system. He would love his worth as a lawyer not to have to be framed or validated by the monarchy.
    While there are a few of us who may still be psychologically wedded to the British Crown, Kothdiwala feels that they too should be patiently brought along because an assertion of confidence in yourself does not necessarily mean a rejection of others or the past. He also identified another group of people who need to be brought along. Those are the people who are indifferent to the switch, maybe because “it does not affect the price of gas”.
    This is why the point introduced by Firhaana Bulbulia is of central importance. Becoming a republic is just the first step. The process of maturing and learning continues. Pilgrim added that the change should not be about just changing a title. It has to be about empowering the people who will then chart the way to becoming a true nation. Anything less would be a travesty.
    What does this have to do with hurricane preparedness and/or recovery? If the owners, management, and staff of critical institutions, and the citizens themselves are not psychologically wedded to the idea and ideals of the nation, they are less likely to bring the kind of passion and enthusiasm that is needed in their work. They are more likely to take shortcuts and cut corners. In any line of work this is a problem. In essential roles and services and in the face of situations like last week’s it can be a national disaster.
    This is not about a day or one moment in time. It is, as host Alex J noted at the beginning of the talk, a movement of national transformation. Firhaana Bulbulia reminds us that it took 300 plus years for the British to etch their mark in us. And it will take a long time for us to remake ourselves and make our own mark. Go and watch de ting, people. Suh much good points made I can’t call all.
    Let me end by offering my condolences and respect to the Prime Minister for her recent loss. It
    must not have been easy to set aside grieving to step up to national duty.
    Adrian Green is a communications specialist. Email

    Source: Nation

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