Doyen of the Political Class Attorney at Law Sir Richard Cheltenham Ignores the Court

Submitted by 4Justice
SIR Richard Cheltenham, senior legal officer of the Barbados Court and Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Elder

Has Sir Richard Lionel Cheltenham KA., KC, Ph.D been called by the Disciplinary Committee of the Barbados Bar Association for grave professional misconduct and is in breach of 22 of the clauses of the Legal Profession Act?

The Barbados legal eagle was ordered by the disciplinary Committee to submit a sworn affidavit to the complaint #31 0f 2020 and appear for the hearing of the complaint. How could such a case escape the media when other attorneys in breach with the same professional misconduct are being prosecuted and imprisoned?

Scott informed the committee that the Sir Richard, summoned called by this court, with status and authority of the High Court, will not be attending the second hearing in March.

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I Forgive You

Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

I normally take my best advice. Therefore, I wish to publicly forgive those whom I have publicly criticised for doing me harm.

I forgive the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration for confiscating part of my retirement savings and pension, changing the laws of Barbados to make that theft legal, and not allowing me to access all the remainder of my retirement savings until the year 2033.

POLITICAL PARTIES.

I forgive the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration for what the BLP called “the lost decade”. During seven years of that decade, I was not allowed to tender on construction projects in Barbados because of their corrupting procurement policy.

PARTISAN PROFESSIONALS.

I forgive our politically partisan professionals. They include: economists, accountants, lawyers, journalists, and political scientists who criticised behaviour when it was done by the political party they did not support, and praised the same behaviour when it was done by their preferred political party.

I forgive our established media, who work with their political party to suppress the voices of credible Barbadians, so that the media’s audience is mainly informed about the views of the media’s political party.

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Business as usual at Ministry of Education

Prime Minister Mia Mottley is on leave until November 3, 2022 and the public – despite offering strident dissatisfaction about the colossal muck up at the Ministry of Education arising from the infamous IDB Science Test – not a single person has been terminated for such a fatal mistake. The only casualty appears to be Peter Wickham.

Vote!

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Why was the information leaked is the question

The member of parliament for St. Michael West Neil Rowe was this week charged with rape, it has been widely carried in the social and traditional media. The fact that statement details given to the Barbados Police Service (BPS) by the victim was leaked is also of interest. It is the second time in recent weeks the BPS has been accused of a breach in confidentiality. The blogmaster agrees with those who opine the BPS will find it challenging to carry out its job in the circumstances and must hastily address the matter.

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9-day Wonder Redefined – A Matter of Governance AND Holding Public Figures Accountable

It is running more than 14 days since the IDB sponsored Science Test 11 year olds were coerced to complete. If one follows the newsfeeds the noise in the public space although fading continues to demand answers for the disrespect shown to children, parentss and actors in the school system. The kernel of dissatisfaction is the covert manner offensive questions were clandestinely inserted in the MOE/IDB sponsored Science Test.

The blogmaster has made his position known in an earlier blog – checks and balances were compromised at every step of the management process – which includes the Ministry of Education as the government agency responsible under our laws for administering education and the last defence, the management at the schools which without question allowed non school personnel for a period to assume responsibility for young children on different occasions.

See related blogs:

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Just Who is George Soros? 

Melissa Martin

Born in 1930, Budapest, Hungary, Soros hails from a Jewish family. Due to the invasion of the Nazis in 1944, his family was scattered. Soros experienced trauma and tragedy; suffering and surviving; loss and grief.  

The author of several books, Soros wrote: The Alchemy of Finance (1987), The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered (1998), and The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means (2008). He was the subject of the documentary Soros (2019). 

Most of us know Soros is among the 10 wealthiest people on the planet. Many of us know he is founder/chair of the Open Society Foundation.  

Who is Soros? Hmmm. It depends on who you ask. Those who criticize Soros are labeled as right-winged extremists, conspiracy theorists or anti-Semitic.  

But until recently, most of us (aka average hard-working citizens) were not aware of his involvement with Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum – the “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy” guy with the depopulation agenda.  

His other pals include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, the deceased David Rockefeller, and the Rothchild banking dynasty patriarchs. Is Soros the puppet master that controls world leaders? Is he the megalomaniac behind the curtain that barks orders to U.S. presidents, both Democrat and Republican, both past and present? Does he entertain Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton at dinner parties? Does he go on fishing trips with Henry Kissinger, Justin Trudeau, Albert Bourla, Peter Daszak, Xi Jinping, Pope Frances? Is Jeff Bezos on his speed dial?  

Does Soros own mainstream media? Soros’s Lakestar Finance (backed by the Latino Media Network) recently agreed to buy 18 Hispanic radio stations across the country. Visit https://www.foxnews.com/media/soros-takeover-spanish-radio-star-bolts-liberal-group-conservative-outlet

Does Soros own or influence the fact-checkers? “The International Fast-Checking Network is a forum for fast-checkers worldwide hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. The Poynter Institute is largely funded by George Soros´ Open Society Foundations, Google, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, Ebay´s Omidyar Foundation, and others.” Visit https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343962629_Who_is_going_to_Fast_Check_the_Fast_Checkers

Is Soros a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg group, and does he influence the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease and Control, Food and Drug Administration, United Nations, Big Pharma, big business? Does Soros influence The Federal Reserve, The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund?  

Watch the YouTube video “Who Owns the World?” a documentary by Tim Gielen. Is Soros a shareholder in BlackRock and Vanguard? Visit https://stockcircle.com/portfolio/george-soros/blk/transactions. The Vanguard Group does not disclose its’ clients.  

“Large swaths of Europe and America view him as evil incarnate, sure that he’s putting entire countries at risk. They hold him responsible for the financial collapse of a long list of countries including Thailand, Malasia, Indonesia, Japan and Russia,” according to a 2021 article by journalist Nirit Anderman at https://www.haaretz.com/

George Soros is a member of the United Nations High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing. Visit https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/newsroom/george-soros-hails-groundbreaking-agreement-climate

Does Soros control the Pope? “Soros money tried to exploit Pope’s US visit to influence 2016 elections,” is the title of a 2016 article in Catholic News Agency at https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/34485/soros-money-tried-to-exploit-popes-us-visit-to-influence-2016-elections. Guilt by association. “The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives,” is a 2017 book by George Neumayr.  

Who is George Soros? Megalomaniac, psychopath, narcissist, monster, modern-day super villain, mastermind of the New World Order for global dictatorship, minion of Satan.  

Who is George Soros? American financier, author, philanthropist, liberal activist of social causes, currency manipulator, wealthy elitist.  

Readers, use your critical thinking skills as you connect the dots. Do I trust mainstream media? No. Do I trust the fact-checkers? No. And I am not a right-winged extremist, a conspiracy theorist or anti-Semitic. I am neither on the side of Democrats nor Republicans – I am on the side of truth, civil liberties, freedom, and justice for all.  

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is a syndicated opinion-editorial columnist. She lives in U.S.

Nation Publishing MUST Do Better

There is the saying often posted in this space that the price of freedom (democracy) is eternal vigilance. A necessary component to safeguarding our freedom (democracy) is a relevant media. An extract from The Role of Media in Democracy: A Strategic Approach authored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) states:-

A free, objective, skilled media is an essential component of any democratic society. On the one hand, it provides the information which the polity require to make responsible, informed decisions. On the other, it performs a “checking function” ensuring that elected officials uphold their oaths of office and campaign promises and that they carry out the wishes of the electorate.

The blogmaster is reminded everyday since March 2007 when Barbados Underground (BU) went live on the WordPress platform the importance of a relevant media. We recall the VOB Sunday Brasstacks show when social commentator and retired hotelier Adrian Loveridge was forced to contribute to the program from a separate studio because it was the condition for the participation of former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch.

During one of last week’s VOB’s Brasstacks shows the blogmaster was again reminded of the naked manipulation of traditional media by a caller (was it you William?) who questioned the Nation Publishing company’s decision to anoint Khaleel Kothdiwala a columnist to replace Dr. Kristina Hinds. The caller’s simple and well articulated logic was – with the BLP in total control of the Lower House, why select Khaleel who is a BLP card carrying member. It does not mean Khaleel lacks the capacity to share a perspective on a myriad topics, however, making Khaleel a columnist ensured the leading publishing house in the country slammed the door on an opportunity to improve vigilance in our democracy.

This is not a personal attack on Khaleel, he obviously is an intelligent young man who is committed to be a BLP sponsored politician. And it is his right, to align with a political party of his choice. This is an attack on the Nation Publishing for allowing itself to be manipulated directly or indirectly into making Khaleel a columnist. We may speculate this is the Nation Publishing being opportunistic by contracting a young man whose star is rising or that ‘someone’ made a telephone call.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Rename Brasstacks ‘The Peter Wickham Show!’

Some issues it is more effective to avoid being prolix. The blogmaster will make the point by stating the following.

Voice of Barbados (VOB) popular mid-afternoon talk show program should be renamed The Peter Wickham Show on Mondays which is his scheduled day.

BLP and DLP Governments Use Media Practitioners for Propaganda

Submitted by Paula Sealy

The current administration has invested in the media and media personnel has invested in the Mottley administration. Some media practitioners were forced out of CBC and landed at Starcom. But some of the others are riding the fatted calf for all it is worth. (David Thompson spoke of the fatted calf being shared among the DLP members after the elections in 2008. Fourteen years later we are still there.)

They may be professionals but how many of their statements in the print media, behind a microphone or in front of a TV camera were motivated by a political agenda or professional integrity.

The Market Vendor aka Vic Fernandes has been used to influence the public with comedy and encourage John Public to rail against individuals and groups with views against the government of the day. Don’t forget when the vendor lambasted the DLP government.

Corey Layne was said to be an objective moderator on the airwaves. Any person who is a critical thinker must question that thinking by now.

We must be more aware of what is being put out by the media, who is the source and why news items are considered newsworthy or not.

Pay attention to where these people have turned up…

1. David Ellis, Starcom (Station Manager, Retired) – COVID-19 Public Advisor (Sep. 2021-present)

2. Sanka Price, Starcom/NATION (News Editor) – CEO, Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (2020.06.15-present)

3. Roy Morris, Barbados Today (Editor-In-Chief) – Press Secretary to the Prime Minister

4. Vic Fernandes, Capital Media (Chairman)

  • Chairman, Grantley Adams International Airport (2018-2021)
  • Chairman, Barbados National Oil Company Limited (2021.07.01-present)
  • Member, National Cruise Development
  • Commission (2018.08.16-2019.02.15)


5. Carol Roberts-Reifer, Starcom (Radio Personality)

  • CEO, National Cultural Foundation (2018-present)
  • Deputy Chairperson, Board of Management, Christ Church Foundation School (2018-present)


6. Corey Layne, Starcom (Radio Personality) – BLP Candidate, City of Bridgetown, 2022

People Waking Up

Barbados has officially joined the ranks of politically polarized societies. Like the fly on the wall the blogmaster has been observing the quality of debate on a myriad of issues and as a commenter on BU would describe it, the signal noise is deafening and the divisiveness is real.

Permit the blogmaster be clear, citizens of a country giving vent to issues is expected in a working democracy. It is better than throwing rock stones at those you disagree with or worse, engaging in violent criminal acts by resorting to guns, knives and other weapons. Although Barbados has been experiencing an increase in gun play, it is mainly associated with the ‘underworld’ and has not yet permeated mainstream affairs. Again allow the blogmaster be clear, increase criminal activity in any country is linked to underlying societal issues. A subject for another day.

The challenge beginning to emerge for Barbadians is the inability of stakeholders to robustly debate issues to reach consensus or what is popularly referred to as a win win position. One may argue significant investment in education over the years should have steered us away from the current trajectory. A path that is leading to nowhere fast. Is it we are failing in the area of informal education?

All those years ago Gabby penned the popular ‘One Day Coming Soon’ banned by the Tom Adams government. Prophetically the people are waking up and we are witnessing a spiking in the lack of trust directed at the establishment – the political directorate, media, police, justice system; LAWYERS to name a few. What is creating the problem for the establishment: as it continues to sleep more citizens are waking up from various states of ignorance adding to the increase in signal noise.

Unfortunately until the political directorate makes the adjustment to align with the expectations of an ‘awoke’ people, fallout from the signal noise will continue to be a drag on any effort to move the country forward.

We have the current situation of the Mottley government forcing through the transition to a Republic. Although there is anecdotal acceptance the time has come and gone to replace the foreign ceremonial head of state with a local, there is concern enough was not done to engage Barbadians to gain buy in to the process AND if this was the plan from reading the 2018 BLP manifesto, there was enough time to have updated the Constitution in order to avoid criticism in some quarters that the piecemeal implementation does not fit an educated country well. What we see playing out as Walter Blackman accurately observed is a Barbados Labour Party government concluding it has the political capital to do as it wishes largely because of a weak political opposition.

The message in the clip never grows old and fits Barbados like a glove. Unfortunately the current predicament we find ourselves cannot be solved in weeks, months or even a few years. Good governance and concomitant success does not happen by accident, it has to be led and planned.

Watch the from 4m:50s of the video.

Dennis Johnson, he did it his way

The Barbados Underground household extends sympathy to the family of the late Dennis Johnson.

Some may recall Dennis was an active commenter to the blog in the period 2008 to 2015. Unfortunately he stopped because of the constant ad hominems and how anonymity was abused to distort by a few. Notwithstanding his position this blogmaster respected the man for what he stood for, his body of work will ensure his legacy endures for the ages.

Below are a few of his many comments posted to BU which are linked to the blog posting.

May he rest in peace.


Well, it happened with “Hot Hot Hot” and “Who Let The Dogs Out”…. artistes other than calypsonians recorded them and they broke into the US market. In fact, Arrow re-recorded “Hot Hot Hot” in a Country & Western style for line dancing! So, Rihanna doing a calypso, is not too far-fetched. BUT …. the question will be which one? Alison Hinds “Come up to my bamsee boy, and Aye, Aye, Aye?”

Crop Over Keeps Going

David: Programme Managers should handle music rotation, but, there must also be checks to ensure THEIR particular bias[es] do not overpower everything. Personally [and that means speaking as “me” and not as a Programme Manager] I would like to see a small committee of three manage rotations.
Asiba: Missed out on the Maths. Did not like the subject too much. But… Try these figures:
10 -12 songs per hour. Prime Time: [morning]
06:00 -09:00 a.m. and Prime Time [afternoon] 03:00 – 05:00 p.m. [or 04:00 -06:00 p.m] That’s five [5] hours. Monday to Friday – five [5] days. Let’s try to put it all together. 12 songs per hour for five hours = 60 songs. Multiply that by 5 days per week = 300 songs. YOU said: There were 600 songs released, and I agreed with you. So IF ALL were released together [and they were NOT….but, let’s assume they were] To play all 600 would take 2 weeks. Then … second rotation [of all] another 2 weeks,. How long is the “Crop Over Season”? six weeks???? Three rotations!!! I know my maths. is really poor, but how many more rotations would you get ? [Remember what you said: 40 or so songs in rotation in prime time!]…. just following your logic.

Crop Over Keeps Going

@Adrian: In a year when it is forecast there will be no peace and plenty, may I wish you – enough!
I agree with you and Gen. Lee on the issue of “willingness”. But that is the journalist who understands what is journalism and is committed to upholding the tenets of that noble profession. Sadly, there are many who see it as a means to an end. That “end” is sometimes no more than free passes to cocktailed receptions, upscale events and eventual reward with a post of “Corporate Communications Specialist”. Now, I am not knocking those who bear that title nobly; but as with every profession, there are pretenders, and there are dedicated practitioners.

Barbados Association of Journalist Resuscitated

I hesitated; started to write this; stopped; thought long and hard, then decided to go ahead. May I pose the following questions [to no one in particular]:
Who publishes or broadcasts news stories? Journalists?
If a journalist said to an Editor or publisher or Producer: “I have started an expose on Corruption in the Judiciary. I need two weeks to focus on this to complete it”. What do you think the response will be?
If and when such an expose was completed, how long do you think it would take before it was published? How many checks, and double checks. How many “screenings” by “legal advisors”, and questions about “sources”?
Journalists in Barbados are, at best, poorly trained, poorly paid and recognised more as public relations outlets than as sources of credible information.
Most of the comments contained in this thread supports my belief.

Barbados Association of Journalist Resuscitated

Sadly, I cannot promise any new “Julians” on the horizon. Broadcasters of the calibre of Julian Rogers, Desmond Bourne, [Dame] Olga Lopes-Seale, Vic Fernandes, Leo deLeon etc. seem to be in short supply at the moment. But, seemingly against all odds, a Barack Obama emerged on the US landscape, after years of a George Bush; so maybe – just maybe – we are in our “Bush” years , and some “Obama” years [or Julian Rogers years] will follow.
Quien sabe?

It is Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I [somewhat reluctantly] must make this intervention on behalf of my station.
I constantly hear [and read] of concerns about defamation. What I seldom [if ever] hear about is reference to a small matter called a license.
That “small matter” can be revoked for broadcasting matter that offends public morals, stirs up disaffection against any section of the population, and a host of other infractions.
Does anyone recall the PM’s comment about Political Broadcasts and “some stations breaking the law”?
If the Broadcast Authority decides that comments made about Guyanese nationals in Barbados [select any of those printed on this blog by Negroman as an example] are representative of a breach of the broadcast license, and suspends the operations of Starcom Network Inc. [all four stations], please consider the financial loss [over the period it would take to obtain a review or re-instatement], and the effect on the future of call-in programmes on that [or any] network

Are Bloggers Journalists

At the risk of being hammered out of the park, may I offer another view. The OECS territories have a common currency and one Central Bank; BUT … there is no freedom of movement! CSME does NOT mean free entry for whosoever may! Nor does it mean freedom to come looking for jobs, wives and husbands, or hiding out and having children to get “status”. What is does mean is that RPB, Alison, Krsofyah, Dorsey Boyce, Merville Lynch, DJ Fuzz, Peter Coppin, Peter Ram, QSI Sounds, and a whole group of very talented Bajans could go to any Caribbean island and perform, set up stage, sound, lighting etc. and get paid for their various talents [in US dollars if they so desire] and continue to live in Bim, their homeland.

The problem is: other Caribbean islands took steps to secure their borders; made sure our artistes had work permits, visas, and whatever other immigration documentation they required BEFORE letting them into their countries.
WE let in all and sundry for all sorts of spurious reasons, and then started to bawl when the flood started to wash everything away. The fault is not CSME; and you are all wise enough to know where the fault lies. Be bold enough to put the blame where it belongs.

Time to ask Hard Questions about CSME

Attempts at Caribbean integration have always been [and I fear will always be] dogged by insularity.
When the Caricom Travellers Cheque was introduced as the currency to be used for travel within the region, in TT dollars, Jamaica did not recognise it. Guyana owed Barbados millions under the CMCF, and did not pay.
The OECS was once referred to as the “Organisation of Eugenia, Compton & Son” in the days when they sought shelter under the Regan umbrella.
Today, Comrade Ralph, his protege in Dominica and the Godfather from T&T are seeking to establish a new network to mirror the Eugenia, Compton, Tom and Son days. This time, they are hoping the finance will come from the oil barons of the region: Trinidad and Venezuela.
We have been sold to the highest bidder from the sweet days of slavery, and are still offering ourselves to the highest bidder today.
We like it so!…

Caricom Under Threat

Outside of editorials, newspapers do not comment; they report.
Across the region, newspapers that carry analysis and comments usually disassociate themselves from the commentary and analysis.
Media entities that do not depend on advertising revenue are usually government controlled and/or subsidised, or owned and controlled by some very wealthy, usually anonymous individuals.
Just some random thoughts generated by your comments.

[whisper] – Ah still employ by de same people – OCM. It is just that I am not afraid; of anything.

Points to Ponder

My fear is that we create these positions [This Ombudsman, That Authority, Auditor General, Czar, and so on] and then we either ignore their recommendations, or take “note” and no action. I am as concerned as you are, about threats to our practice of democracy. I am even more concerned that so few people seem to consider it so!

A Society Locked in a Full Nelson by Lawyers and Doctors

The Case of Barbados Underground

A few months ago the blogmaster relented to a request from two post-grad students and shared a few insights. The result in the paper attached – CASE STUDY REPORTWhat are the motivating factors for news blogging? The Case of Barbados Underground.

Unfortunately the information sharing from Barbados Underground was not as free flowing as should have been ideal but the paper is a fair effort. The reason the blogmaster agreed to share – there is an urgent need for more bloggers to setup on platforms like WordPress to secure more control of the content and therefore be protected from the tentacles of the establishment. Posters to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are beginning to battle with interference from the publishers AND we know how easy it is to report a post on those platforms.

The blogmaster takes this opportunity to express deep appreciation to all contributors and commenters to Barbados Underground from the inception (est 2007).

See paper attached:

<object class="wp-block-file__embed" data="https://barbadosunderground.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/case-study-report-motivating-factors-for-news-blogging.pdf&quot; type="application/pdf" style="width:100%;height:600px" aria-label="Embed of <br><strong>The case of Barbados Underground.
The case of Barbados Underground.
Download

Investigative Journalism or Repeat Reporting

Submitted by Chefleur

In a Sunday Nation Article of 2020 – Next Friend not happy her case is thrown out – I reported some anomalies in an elder abuse case in the High Court in Barbados particularly the difficulty in getting the relevant agencies to respond.

First of all,  I initiated that article in a social media group intending to do my independent reporting because I was long disillusioned with the negative slant of the Nation Newspapers’ reporting.  I was, however, contacted by the Nation Report-Or about it since it was shared with her by a colleague involved in elder abuse also. I sent my typed article via email.

I never stated that I was the Next Friend. I couldn’t have since I am no blood relative of the elder.  That’s the hasty conclusion the Report -OR or her Edit-OR who jumped to in an effort to sensationalize a serious issue and increase sales.  They only know one thing.

Having merely scanned my complaint then listened to Lashley’s diatribe, the Report-OR went to press without further investigations.  Had she gotten off of her hefty laurels and visited the Registry and read the file and made a sound analysis of the legal case and the outcome such nonsense would not have been sold to the Barbados public. 

Further, she would have had on record that Lashley was not the Attorney who represented the family in the case and instead would have gone and gotten comments from the representing Attorney.  She would also have had even a copy of that first Order that was made and signed by the Judge.

Too often, Nation Reporters are printing lopsided and ridiculously subjective opinions on matters that should be given more serious attention and scholarship.  Elder abuse is not your daily Soap Opera.


So one year later this issue has arisen in another country in the Region and the Nation Newspapers and its Report-OR is being held to scrutiny.  How different is the legal outcome versus that rubbish?

So my assignment for the Report-Or is to visit the Registry, get the file and write a propper article on the outcome of that elder abuse case that was treated under the Mental Health Act. Find out what because of the Order the judge made and signed.

Journalism is in a crisis in Barbados.

Minister Duguid, Who Are the Owners of EWBSB?

The country continues to be embroiled and pitched forked from one issue to the next; transitioning to a republic, pandemic, tanking economy, DLP resurrection, National Insurance Fund (blogmaster’s pick)…

The latest issue choking public conversation-feeds is veteran journalist David Ellis answering the call up to national duty to serve in the role as Covid 19 Public Advisor. The blogmaster has no problem with decisions made by individuals as it affects career and livelihood. Although it is regrettable the single journalist who stands tall in the local arena was first put out to pasture because of company policy, followed by his right to make a decision to leave the profession- he hosted popular talk show 2-days weekly- to serve in his new role. Let us hope for the sake of Barbados he is successful in helping the country navigate the Covid 19 challenge.

Ellis known to ask searching questions of public officials will be missed as it pertains to government’s recent decision to import 150 prefab houses from China. Peter Wickham hosted Minister Duguid last week to discuss the matter and more questions were created than answered from the exercise. When Mr. Ellis called the show to ask more relevant questions, it seems preference was given to reading messages from WhatsAppers.

It has been reported a local company East West Buildings Solutions Barbados promised to complete the setup of the prefab houses within 42 days. This government promised to be transparent therefore Minister William Duguid should be able to answer a few reasonable questions.

  1. Who are the directors (beneficial owners) of East West Building Solutions Barbados?
  2. Usually Mark Maloney and Bjorn Bjerkhamn are on the same page, this time both have been reported to be singing from different hymn sheets. What is different this time around?
  3. Why was Maloney not asked by traditional media if he has been(will be) contracted to supply services and materials as part of the physical preparation for setup of the Chinese prefab houses?

The taxpayers deserve to know.

The BU community is free to add questions or share information to enlighten an unknowing public.

Traditional Media: Fail, Fail, Fail!

The blogmaster tuned into the Brasstacks show on Voice of Barbados yesterday because the topic was about press freedom. It is a ‘large topic’ and one that could not be fairly discussed in 2 hours. The moderator Dr. Kristina Hinds gave it her best effort supported by panellists David Ellis, Carol Martindale (journalists) and Michelle Russell (lawyer).

Listen to Down to Brasstacks Show – 16 May 2021

A few observations from the show:

The traditional media must accept that citizen journalism is a permanent feature how the public consumes and distributes information. Opinion blogs and other social media outlets do not need validation from traditional media to continue to define the information landscape.

The traditional media must manage convergence of traditional and social media tools to maintain competitiveness to deliver on its mandate. This has nothing to do with acceptance and penetration of non traditional media players. The traditional media must ponder why there has been the explosion of citizen journalism activity. The reason is simple. Traditional media has fallen woefully short of playing the watchdog and advocacy role required in a well functioning democracy and can be cited for contributing to some of the challenges we currently face. The blogmaster will be fair to admit we have some unsavoury and dishonourable characters who resort to social media platforms under the cloak of anonymity to pursue mischief. Here is the rub, some of these unsavoury and dishonourable characters occupy honourable positions in the society when wearing other hats.

Panellists freely admitted local journalists are not adequately paid therefore a reasonable conclusion to make is that there is roomto question the quality of work by the traditional media. How ironic the Nation newspaper selected Senator Caswell Franklyn as the news personality of the year after he was sacked as a columnist with his appointment to the Senate in 2018.

The explosion of non traditional media means it significantly acts as an influencer; opinion shaper. Smart governments, best in class organizations understand the importance of leveraging its power. Does it explain why the Mia Mottley led government established the Department of Public Affairs? Of course it does.

If the traditional media was doing its job the blogmaster suspects the government and vested NGO agencies would be forced to add a more coherent and strident voice to issues of the day. It is unsatisfactory for the media practioners to say, we cover this story and that story offered on the program yesterday. It is how the story is covered to ensure resonance with the target audience.

  1. With the National Insurance Scheme severely compromised and government’s inability to make public up-to-date audited financials, why is this not a priority item for traditional media? Does it have to do with the lack of financial expertise in traditional media rank?
  2. With the hire of boutique firm White Oak Advisory to assist government with renegotiating contracts with local and foreign creditors, why the veil of secrecy concerning the current status of the relationship? A respected media should have been qualified to ferret out this information to serve the public it has a mandate to serve.
  3. What is the status of the Cahill Agreement and how much money are taxpayers liable?
  4. Since the 70s going back to late prime minister Tom Adams successive governments have tagged team to frustrate the proclamation and operationalizing of Transparency Legislation. Governance is not a sexy topic BUT the traditional media with its resources can do a better job to keep this important issue front and centre, that is, to report and at the same time distil its importance required by a well functioning democracy. Many of the problems we currently face are rooted in a crumbling governance structure.
  5. How was the Eager 11 case settled after several members took to the Court to defend their honour?
  6. What has happened to Senator Lucille Moe?

At the risk of generating a 2000 word prolix, let us agree there is a vacuum created by a poorly performing traditional media, this has given rise to a strident citizen journalism voice – the interference from deep pockets, the tentacles of interfering governments and members of the political class, the inability/unwillingness of local journalist/media houses to coalesce around shared objectives and strategies to deliver on the mandate of a high performing media…

Long live alternative media sources Carl Moore!