We apologize to Walter Blackman for picking up his submission several days late – David
His silver hairs will purchase us a good opinion, and buy men’s voices to commend our deeds.
William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar
I make reference to a Nation News article dated November 4, 2013, entitled “Numbers don’t lie” and written by Sanka Price. In that article, Mr. Erskine Griffith is highlighted as a top‐level civil servant who served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance under six Ministers of Finance and five Prime Ministers, dating back from his appointment to the post under Tom Adams to Owen Arthur, under whom he retired as the Director of Finance and Head of the Civil Service in 2000.
Donville Inniss – Minister of Commerce, and International Business
“The Freundel Stuart administration says it is sticking to its guns to make Barbadian students at the University of the West Indies start pulling their pockets for tuition fees from next year even though welcoming a new private sector fund to bail out those who cannot afford to pay…The firm position was taken today by Minister of Commerce, and International Business, Donville Inniss, while launching a new charity known as Global Education Scholastic Trust…Inniss said the Government had done the right thing in the circumstances of the economic climate, and would carry through with it…It is not easy for me as a politician that would have taken in recent debates to reduce fees at UWI with effect from 2014, but it is one of those things we felt we had to do, and we stand by that decision.”
What else can one expect from an uncaring Government, whose scions – and probably their scions’ scions – have had a free education at the UWI Cave Hill Campus? The motto of this Government is now “after me the deluge”! Is this the same Government that Minister Blackett called people-centred? I guess he means centred around the 16 DLP Government MPs, but night runs till day catches it!
Minister Inniss can spare us his crocodile tears!
You do not have money for our students at UWI Cave Hill, nor for the QEH, but you have millions of dollars in waivers – including one for food and beverage which no hotel has had before – to throw at a multi-millionaire named “Butch” Stewart, although he took over a hotel here and promised to develop and refurbish it so that Barbadians could get work, but absconded leaving it to moulder and the iron in it to rust! This left those who had hopes of getting a job there up the creek without a paddle! “Is that “the right thing in the circumstances of the economic climate”, Minister Inniss?
Where is the transparency? Two letters to the Minister of Environment Denis Lowe and a full page in September have not even garnered a response from the government. Is this government serious about open government?
Thus can you post the above article from Dr David Suzuki who the Future Centre Trust is hoping along with Nature Conservancy and Greenpeace to ask for support? Thanks in advance on behalf of the other Environmental NGO’s
Kammie Holder, Advocacy Director, Future Centre Trust
Many urban areas have built or are considering building waste-incineration facilities to generate energy. At first glance, it seems like a win-win. You get rid of “garbage” and acquire a new energy source with fuel that’s almost free. But it’s a problematic solution, and a complicated issue.
Metro Vancouver has a facility in Burnaby and is planning to build another, and Toronto is also looking at the technology, which has been used elsewhere in the region, with a plant in Brampton and another under construction in Clarington. The practice is especially popular in the European Union, where countries including Sweden and Germany now have to import waste to fuel their generators.
The Gleaner said to have “fraternal relations” with the Nation newspaper.
Yesterday, The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper rushed to the defence and support of the Nation newspaper, with which, by its own admission, it has “fraternal relations”. However, right thinking Barbadians, as well as those knowledgeable Jamaicans living here, should point out to the Gleaner that, unlike some other countries – that will remain nameless – the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Barbados is a strictly independent one. So, to raise the bogeyman of political interference is total poppycock, and does not befit a reputable newspaper as The Gleaner. Wrong is wrong, regardless of who does it. Enough said on that score.
Now, the same Gleaner newspaper ought to remember that, just a few decades ago, one of its outstanding editors, the late J C Proute, warned its readers against such lecherous and off-colour reporting. In one of his weekly columns, and subsequently during a guest lecture at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) in 1980, JC termed such acts “journalistic gaucherie”.
The Gleaner’s spurious argument that “the faces of the minors engaged in the sexual act (were) blurred and unrecognisable”, hence it was ok to publish the picture, is nonsensical. The salient point is that photo was accompanied by (juxtaposed against) the most graphic, detailed and explicit account of the sex act. Nothing was left to the imagination. PLAIN PORNOGRAPHY!
Barbadians have proven once again that we live in a society where the vast majority of us prefer to bury our heads in the sand. The furore, created by the publication of a story about two school children having sex at school, has given me the impression that too many people preferred not to find out about this in a public forum. That would have allowed them to continue to delude themselves that all is well in our schools.
I must admit that the Nation could have been a bit more restrained in its delivery of the story. But I believe that it is high time that the decadence that is being nurtured, in our schools, is exposed. When children go to school, they ought not to be exposed to illicit sexual behaviour, either as a participant or spectator. Unfortunately, when instances of serious bad behaviour are discovered, the authorities go into cover up mode ostensibly to protect the good name of the school. It would appear that little thought is given to the welfare of the affected children or the law when they investigate and deal with school-based child sexual abuse and other crimes.
Over the years, there have been many reports of little school girls being introduced to sex far too early by their teachers. The method of dealing with these matters vary, but in most cases, the perpetrators get away with a slap on the wrist, and are allowed to continue their activity until they are caught again or retired.
Coming in the wake of the classroom sex video BU is looking into another matter at Princess Margaret School. It appears a teacher was beaten by a school boy and fainted from the experience. What is alarming is that other teachers who were present were scared shitless to offer assistance to a fallen comrade.
It is not surprising we are told that the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) has been slow to take action and the BSTU as is the norm is being ignored. Can we expect the Ministry of Education to take action? What about the embattled Minister of Education?
When people don’t make use of their history, they are bound to repeat mistakes. Recall the Battle of Waterloo, think for one moment how Napoleon would fall for a similar Wellington’s ploy of deception, and engage a third of his French infantry on a pedestrian bridge that led to nowhere? Obviously not, once bitten twice shy. We should always learn from our mistakes or we doomed to repeat them. The great Napoleon would.
Recall another famous general Hannibal,… think he would ever consider marching his army of ten million elephants and men, into the Alps in the near winter months regardless how lucrative the potential outcome? Doubtful indeed. We have the Greeks and the Trojan Horse, yet another to proffer. History is loaded with great men falling to mistakes while reaching for superior possibilities. Less we forget “All that glitters is not gold, often is the weary traveller told.”
We all at sometime make mistakes (to err is human), but we should at all cost avoid repeating them regardless of circumstance, no matter the potential outcomes. Beware of bearers of fine gifts, remember the dog and the bone. A bird in hand is worth three in the bush. The people of Black Rock and its echelons would surely sanctify that, as for them while streets promised were to be paved with gold… Paradise Lost was never re-found, all left was a debauched Four Seasons. A real bad omen that, when a leprechaun smell can be sniffed back to one man.
The funeral of Albert “Tank” Williams was today. “Tank” as he was known as, was formerly headmaster of Harrison College for many years, after having been a teacher there for many more years. Tank was also the brother of former chief justice Sir Denys Williams and of former justice of appeal Colin Williams and of former Barbados High Commissioner Monty Williams.
The Williams family, one of the greatest legal families in the Caribbean, was also inextricably linked to the equally legally and scholastically illustrious Marshall family, of which Sir Roy Marshall is a member, along with his sister, Monty Williams’ widow, Dorothy Williams, who Bajans of all walks of life know with deep affection as “Aunt Doro”, a leading lawyer and privy councillor. Also, there was classics scholar and teacher Winston Marshall, who was also a teaching colleague of Tank at Harrison College.
With the passing of Tank, so too an era has passed and BU remembers him with affection through amusing anecdotes. After all, Tank was a man of humour, including about himself. So, it is fitting that through humour we remember him.
A home modest or otherwise is a man’s castle – photo credit: Nation newspaper
Think about what it takes to build or fix a home when you are a low income family? and then against this background think about the severity of THE CRIME when you deliberately tear down and destroy a poor man’s house, and the chances of his ever being able to build one again.
The top story of the week stoked by the local media is that a newspaper snagged a video which was circulating on Facebook for over a month and posted a blurred image of two teens having sex in a classroom full in the knowledge they were being video recorded. BU has no doubt the public outcry provoked by this incident like all the others before will pass with nothing material done to address the factors at the root of juvenile and parental delinquency in our society. It must be said that the newspaper at the centre of the incident must have experienced a spike in sales.
This is one week since the Police Service Commission Report to Retire Commissioner Darwin Dottin was released by BU and ignored by traditional media. How can anyone take the local media and the bevy of talk show hosts seriously when in one breath they pontificate about the moral issue emanating from the sex video, and rightly so, but ignore an issue which attacks a key plank in our governance system. What separates Barbados from the rest has been our ability to maintain law and order on our little island. Despite all of our challenges Barbadians have always prided themselves in being a peaceful and law abiding nation.
While Barbados was consumed this week by the sex video saga the global media reacted to news that the USA (Big Brother) hacked the phones of prominent persons across the globe. All part of adhering to national security. And in Britain there was the news that the long awaited trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson is set to begin, a case where two journalists are alleged to have hacked the phone records of members of parliament, members of the royal family and others – Phone hacking: Court told of tabloids’ ‘decade of deceit.
Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank/Watchdog Group
Vivian Anne Gittens: Publisher of the Nation Newspaper
The publishing by the Nation Newspaper of Barbados, of two minors engaging in sexual activity, is a violent violation of the Convention of Rights of Children (CRC) as outlined by UNICEF of which the country of Barbados is a signatory. It is clearly pointed out within the CRC, that children have rights and privileges of adults. They are not the property of their parents or their schools but are equal to adults.
The photo carried on the back page of the Sunday Sun, was a very voracious grab at sensationalism and the public is correct in its outrage. Whether we condone under aged children having sex is irrelevant and the nation must know that in a small country such as Barbados, the children’s identities cannot be hidden.
The Mahogany Coconut Group calls on the greedy predators at the Nation Newspaper to desist from exploiting our Caribbean children with immediate effect .
In July 2012 ARI/N&M sold Almond Beach Club, to Fairweather Holding Co., which operates Elite Island Resorts for $33 million, the proceeds of which was used to pay down bank debt that had been incurred to keep ARI afloat.
It is not clear who owns/controls Fairweather/Elite, January 4, 2013, the Jamaica Gleaner reports that Couples is finalizing negotiations to purchase Casuarina.
“Couples Resorts is finalising a deal to acquire a hotel in Barbados, making it the first Jamaican resort group to venture into that market. It’s also Couples’ first venture outside of its home market. Couples chief executive officer, Glenn Lawrence, confirmed plans on Wednesday to purchase the 280-room Almond Casuarina Beach (ACB) Club in the eastern Caribbean island. “We are involved in firm negotiations,” said Lawrence, adding that the deal was expected to conclude on or before January 31, at which time more details would be forthcoming.”
For undisclosed reasons, Couples did not purchase the property; but January 29, 2013, announced it had agreed to manage Casuarina (it turns out) under a lease.
In an article in the Trinidad Guardian about N&M dated May 22, 2013, included “The group continues to unwind its hotel properties. The Jamaican-based Couples Hotels have leased Almond Casuarina Beach; the lessee has an option either to acquire the hotel by September 30, 2013, or enter into a long-term lease arrangement.
Have you tried catching a Transport Board bus lately? It is bare horrors. Should you be so unlucky as to have to rely on one of these buses as a means of getting to and fro, you would understand what commuters are experiencing daily. These buses are never on time whether you are in the terminal or en route there. Punctuality was lacking before to say the least, but nowadays it has reached a new low. We are talking about an hour or more in some rural communities like Sugar Hill, half an hour and beyond for the suburban.
What makes matters worse, is to see drivers engaged in games of dominoes at times with as many as six buses lying there just parked. It is alleged that the Minister had once made a surprise visit on hearing of these reports and saw for himself the goings on. We hearing that there are not enough buses as many are down and in need of repairs, however, one becomes more perplexed seeing buses traveling empty at peak hours and knowing that some communities cannot get one.
Could it be a scheduling problem then, whereas a time study is needed encompassing peak hours of traffic and the re-engaging of the ‘spy’ inspector, who used to be the Board’s man on the ground? Most definitely it would be a better use of monies than paying chauffeurs to be driving up and down empty buses. The obvious fallout of all this, commuters have no choice but to travel unsafely on uninsured minibuses. Could this be an intentional ploy, as it is alleged some bus drivers have interest in minibuses? More than the mortar in the pestle and definitely worthy of an investigation, after all, it is we the taxpayers monies being duped.
I am waiting with bated breath to see a page-one comment from either the Publisher or the Editor in Chief of the Nation newspaper denouncing, in the strongest possible terms, its own journalistic faux-pas (I am being kind) committed in today’s Sun on Saturday.
None of us, not even the most perverted person, would have expected that that tabloid would have sunk further into the depths of depravity and lewdness, especially after the recent appointment of “people of impeccable character”.
Perhaps, such erotic journalism can be easily explained-away since many in society, including some people in our most noble professions, have had to wrestle with their own amoral feelings, as they try to overcome an obsessive propensity for pornography and predatory exploits, while simultaneously fighting the said sexual appetite and their rapaciously philandering demons.