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

Local Media Houses Can Do Better Opines Retired UK Journalist

al Austin, retired journalist

Hal Austin, retired journalist

The following is a response to  BU question by retired journalist Hal Austin formerly of the UK Financial Times –Do you have a view on the role a local newspaper should play as far as community journalism s concerned? Is local media filling that role? Barbados Underground was motivated to ask the question because for the most part local media houses are news takers and lack the strategic management to Centres of Excellence in the community they serve – Barbados Underground

David, There is a clear role for local newspapers, to inform local readers, and articulate their concerns and to publish stories that bind the community together.

This may range from reports of the local school fete to how the member of parliament is doing, to fires, crimes and crises at the local hospital. The local paper is the eyes, ears and mouth of the community. In bigger societies, they are not, and cannot pretend to be, national newspapers.

If by your question you imply local newspapers in Barbados, I say no. Even though I hate criticising hard-working journalists, I dismiss the Advocate as a poor imitation of what it was years ago; the Nation I believe can be vastly improved, plus it has a political agenda, or at least reads like it (what we call news bias); and it does not fully understand the craft of producing news.

One online publication, which is meant to be a newspaper, leaves the same story on the home page for weeks. They seem not to understand the trade they are in – that they are in NEWS reporting. There is nothing new about a stale old story.

Then of course you sometimes get three or four stories on the same subject illustrated with the same picture. That shows lack of creative thinking. Then again, they all fall in to a consensual interpretation of events, because they all share the same or similar backgrounds. Just look at how often they report nonsense from Donville Inniss or Owen Arthur. In Britain, for example, the Daily Mail is a different beast to the Guardian.

Then local newspaper editors must learn to pay their contributors; you get what you pay for. If you want citizen journalists, you cannot complain if you get citizen journalism.

Finally, in local terms, there is a lack of training and it shows, from ‘balance’ when writing stories to digging out stories that fit the old doctrine: if a dog bites a man, it is not a story; but if a man bites a dog, it is a story.

The Day the Local Media Blinked

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart it is reported held a four hour meeting with members of the local press corps and addressed several issues that have been stoking national discussing in recent weeks and months. It is reported he addressed the Cahill Energy issue and that  he confirmed the government has pulled the plug on the project, however, contrary to what some have opined, he rubbished the view that government is exposed to being held financially liable for doing so by Cahill Energy. He expressed the usual rhetoric about concerns highlighted by the Auditor General in his 2015 report. Of interest to BU was his lack of confidence in the laws of the land which permit those charged with heinous crimes to be released on bail. To quote the prime minister ‘’it struck him for six’’. He touched on several other issues during his surprisingly lengthy press briefing and only time will tell if this was a sincere leader addressing his people or whether it was about espousing the rhetoric one expects at the start of the political season.

To be honest the calling of a press briefing by the Prime Minister flummoxed members of the BU household. This is a man whose period of stewardship of the country can be characterized by the words taciturn, silent and aloof. The BU household must be given the benefit of a huge doubt about the true motive of the Prime Minister’s press briefing. How many press briefings has Stuart held since the mantle of the office was thrust on him? He has refused to honestly communicate with Barbadians except when he does it on his terms usually at constituency meetings. For those who believe BU is harsh in our assessment he needs only to refer to a few of his Cabinet minsters who have echoed a similar few.

When Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart invited members of the local media to Llaro Court yesterday it was the perfect opportunity for them to have declined and send an unequivocal message to this government that the Fourth Estate must be respected. Instead they all seemed to have been intimidated by the Office of Prime Minister or were directed to attend by the bosses.

What does the Prime Minister mean when he hints that an increase in public servants salaries is in the offing if the economy improves? On the other side of his mouth he communicates rationalizing of statutory corporations will be implemented shortly. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate that there will be job cuts.  Are we not living in a country where banks are paying .25% in interest yet the Central Bank of Barbados is paying a savings bond rate of 7.5% and engaged in the printing of money based on the most recent Economic Review. Did he say he will defend the issue of the return of the 10% for parliamentarians?

Who will hold the government accountable? This is a local media who refuses to share the Cahill Energy documents with the wider public. We have posted the Ionics Freshwater Agreement and local media again has refused to share with the wider public. We have asked for full disclosure of the SBRC agreement while local media remains silent. We are aware that Bizzy William’s companies are major advertisers with local media houses. BU has taken the initiative to send links and messages to senior reporters on Facebook. Yet daily we have to listen to representatives from FLOW, DIGICEL et al being given easy access to the public airwaves. What we have is a commercialization of media products. It is only news if it fits a definition of their making.

What is a known is that with the advent of social media the traditional media will have to reform or become irrelevant, it is only a matter of time. What is known is that our politicians will have to become more transparent in policy making or bear a tarnished legacy to the embarrassment of kith and kin.

Sir Hilary Beckles and a Bought Bajan Media

The following article originally posted at Bajan Reporter.

Did Sir Hilary change tune because he was “kicked upstairs”? Or how Bajan Media make Piranhas seem ethical…

Ian Bourne - Bajan Reporter

Ian Bourne – Bajan Reporter

by AirBourne / May 13th, 2015

When UWI enrollments diminished by 4,000 students compared to the previous year, Sir Hilary Beckles was enraged – he said Barbadian education has taken a 20 year retrograde step in development and an assault on the average student of UWI –  a working class mother with (at least) one child…Fumble Freundel Stuart instead of recognising Sir Hilary’s genuine concern, accuses the man of trying to form an alternative Government, so disagreement is not an option? What kind of idiot are you, you should’ve stayed asleep! average student of UWI –  a working class mother with (at least) one child…

Read full story HERE

Response to JAMAICA GLEANER: EDITORIAL – Barbadian Press Blunder

Submitted by Fair Play

The Gleaner said to have "fraternal relations" with the Nation newspaper.

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!

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Goodness Gracious CBC, Time to Get Doug Some New Suits

Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte

Doug Hoyte, CBC Morning Barbados host

Doug Hoyte, CBC Morning Barbados host

Don’t say it, and we are not being picky, but one cannot help but notice Morning Barbados’ lead anchor Doug Hoyte is in need of a couple of new suits. Good grief man, hasn’t the Board noticed Doug’s futile attempt at hiding the fact that he has out grown his current wardrobe and now has resorted to hiding this embarrassment ?

Viewers cannot help but notice the first button is unduly stressed and barely able to maintain its confines. Doug on the other hand, being a true professional, has resorted  to placing his coffee mug (snugly in front of him) to camouflage the obvious.

We the viewers have begun to wonder why Doug would always be seen hands crisscrossed on his coffee mug positioned strategically, in a rather perplexing position. Much to our dismay, on closer examination, it has become most obvious that the good man, like many Bajans,  has been caught at the counter of overly indulgence once, twice, too often.

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Police Service Commission Should Have Passed Darwin Dottin’s File to the Director of Public Prosecutions to Seek His Arrest

Former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

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.

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Nation Newspaper Exploits Children in Need of Help

Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank/Watchdog Group

Vivian Anne Gittens: Publisher of the Nation Newspaper

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 .

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Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Reacts to Criticism on the Eve of No Confidence Motion

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Yesterday [21/10/2013] David Ellis of Voice of Barbados shared audio of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler [MoF] and Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley. BU finds the audio interesting because of the comments which the MoF directed at David Ellis, Dennis Johnson, Corey Layne and Netafari Caddle in their role as talk show hosts. Listen and be the judge, justified you think?

Although the focus today [22/10/2013] is expected to be on a motion of No Confidence brought by the Opposition against the MoF the broadside by the MoF on the media should be of concern. At a time when the country should be fixated on finding ways to surmount the economic challenges this is where we find ourselves. Is it not interesting both political parties eventually become confrontational with the media?

Listen to the MoF’s comment followed by the Leader of the Opposition

Tales from the Courts – Mars(ton) and Pluto Were Inside the Closet Part XVIII

Justice Saunders opined that it was because Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly.

Justice Saunders of the CCJ opined recently that  Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly.

For some years now BU has been highlighting the issue of the almost terminal state of our justice system. We have been highlighting, among other things, the backlog of cases both before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the complete inefficiency of the Registry with its loss of files and procrastination, the mess that is the Bar Association and the clear conflict between Bar Association enforced membership and the Constitution; but most importantly, we have been highlighting the quality of our judges, both at High Court and Appeal levels.

A very short while ago, attorneys-at-law from Barbados raised the issue of delays in both getting matters heard and in receiving the judgements on those matters with CCJ Justice Saunders at one open forum. Justice Saunders opined that it was because Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly. Meanwhile, in another forum, CCJ President Sir Denis Byron advised that appeals to the CCJ from Barbados had risen by 350%.

Having read some of the CCJ decisions in right of Barbados, we have to say that Justice Saunders was being diplomatic, for these judgements do not censure delay alone, but the lack of quality of the judgements themselves, judgements that in any other jurisdiction would lead either to the judge being asked to resign or to his/her dismissal.

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CBC News Staff Worried About Michelle Arthur Becoming Director of News

Submitted by CBC Staffer

Does Michelle Arthur have the inside track to take over as Director of News ?

Does Michelle Arthur have the inside track to take over as Director of News ?

There could be a strike or some kind of protest at CBC soon. Staff of the news and current affairs department are waiting to see who the board is going to appoint to head the department. Arnon Dyal has  been acting as director of news since Reudon Eversley resigned this year but he is supposed to go on retirement at the end of this month.

Michelle Arthur has been walking about telling people the prime minister promised her the job and the staff are awaiting to see if this will happen. Michelle Arthur is trouble. Few people at CBC like her. She has caused a lot of confusion and problems. The last time she was appointed to act in the position when Reudon Eversley was on study leave, she lasted two days. The staff walked out on her and CBC changed its mind. She walked about telling people it hurt because she was president of the BWU division and fight for staff and the staff did not stand up for her.

Staff have many issues with Michelle Arthur. She is behaving like she is the news director already. Every day now she parks in the yard in the spot for the Director of News and Current Affairs like she is sending a message. Michelle Arthur has created a lot of confusion and strife at CBC. Staff are worried that if she is appointed she will terrorise people because she terrorising people already as assignments editor. If she likes you, you can do what you like like her child father Sean Farrell who came into CBC one day and threatened to lick her up. If she does not like you, she walks over you and tries to make you look small in front of everybody. Shane Sealy can tell you. She has been trying real hard to get him out of CBC. The administrative assistant can tell you about Michelle Arthur and her childish behaviour.

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Barbados Government Begged Facebook to REVEAL Three Users

Submitted by St.George’s Dragon

Facebook is the largest social network site.

Facebook is the largest social networking site.

According to an article in the Jamaica Observer, the Barbados Government is the only one in the Caribbean to have asked Facebook for information on its Bajan users. Apparently the Government has made three requests for information in the last six months. It’s not a high number of requests but why are we the only ones to be making them?

The original of the article can be found here:–data and the Facebook report is here Interestingly, Facebook denied information in all 3 cases.

Roy Morris ME

Roy Morris

Roy Morris

BU understands from a reliable source that former Associate Editor Roy Morris will be returning to the Nation newspaper in mid-September to take up the BIG job. The murky circumstances which led to his departure from Barbados’ leading newspaper appear to have dissipated with time.

Our source has confirmed that the coming of Morris was announced at a staff meeting yesterday by the Editor Emeritus. If the management and staff are welcoming of the man who developed a reputation of an expositor of the minibus sector, then BU joins them to welcome the return of Roy.

Related Links

Are We to See the Second Coming of Roy Part II

Submitted by Nomen Nescio

Roy Morris

Roy Morris

Well guess who, it is Nomen Nescio again. I found it interesting reading the comments to my post that perverted Roy Morris will be returning to the self-dubbed family newspaper or Nation Newspaper. Thank you David for your comments against those doubting Thomases such as, in particular, Plantation Deeds and BAFBPF or Baffy.  I will respond to them at the end of this update.

Since the posting of the article more cutting edge information was received which I felt compelled to share with the BU family. As I first suspected and was confirmed by impeccable sources, the resurrection of Roy Morris was triggered by the Board of the Nation Publishing Company, which as I said before is chaired by that hypocritical Harold Hoyte. We going get to the salacious on him after we deal with the facts of the matter.  And I’m going to be fair to all.

See Related Link: Are We to See the Second Coming of Roy?

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Are We to See the Second Coming of Roy?

Submitted by  Nomen Nescio

Roy Morris

Roy Morris

Word in the journalistic fraternity is that Roy Morris will be returning to the Nation Newspaper come 5 September. Ever since a week-and-a-half ago when the Newspaper advertised for an Editor-in-Chief the phones have been buzzing in Fontabelle about the imminent return of the PERVERT Morris, who at present is the Editor-in-Chief at the fledging on-line Newspaper Barbados Today.

Well for those suffering from short memory it was back in July 2007 that Morris, the then Managing Editor of the Nation Publishing Company, was fired after he invited a 16 year old girl he met whilst the girl was visiting the Nation, on a night ride in his jeep. As the story unfolded, after making his play for sex and was turned down by the teenager, Morris placed his licensed firearm on the dashboard, the sight of which persuaded the young lass not to resist.

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Is Big Brother Listening to YOU?

Submitted by St George’s Dragon

What happened to the surveillance equipment used by CWC?

What happened to the surveillance equipment used by CWC?

The big news in the USA and UK is about their Governments tapping into the internet service providers and having access to all the emails, Skype calls, photos etc., that go through Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and the other technology companies.

What about Barbados?

Will our Government tell us what access it has to our private data? No, of course not. Will our press seek out the truth as happened in the USA and UK? I don’t think so. So it is left to us, the public, to piece together the facts about what goes on behind the scenes in Barbados. Here is my starter for ten.

There have been rumours in the past of phone tapping relating to Jeff Broomes, Hal Gollop and a senior officer in the BPF. Although the Hal Gollop case was referred to the police, unsurprisingly I don’t remember seeing any conclusion to this or the other cases.

It is fairly common knowledge that some security systems were put in place at the time of the World Cup Cricket in 2007 although the headline was focused on a “blimp” which apparently no longer works. It is also known that there is a Command and Control centre in the District A Police Station grounds although what it does is not clear. One of the floors was rumoured to have been fitted out by or for an Israeli company. An Israeli company was also linked to the cameras which appeared on the south coast a while ago. Whether that is the same company is not clear, although the odds are that it is likely to be.

So is Big Brother listening in? What other information do you know?

Nation Editorial, Classic Example of ‘Pussy Cat Journalism’

Submitted by Douglas

Eric Smith, Editor in Chief of Nation Newspaper

Eric Smith, Editor in Chief of Nation Newspaper

Monday’s Nation Editorial is a classic example of what my Mass Com professor used to call ‘Pussy Cat Journalism’. From the accusing headline to the first few paragraphs and the  general drift and body of the story, a reader is sure to deduce that Government was at fault for the delay in the Bushy Park Development.

But, read on, and you would see who is responsible for the delay. In fact, no application has been submitted to Town Planning as yet.  So, a reasonable person is tempted to ask: why such an editorial? Why even state that “in light of the number of Government Ministries and Departments that would be involved in carrying out an assessment …….. of the application”; and “We are sure that once the application seeking permission has been duly submitted, the Town Planning Department would, as speedily as possible, process the paperwork for a developmental project that would greatly assist our starved economy, while ensuring that the public’s long-term interests are respected and protected.”

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Mum Wants Answers, Mum Got Answers

Submitted by Jay Arthurs


The Mother – Nation

Now that it has been proven that the student did steal the boom box:-

  1. Is Ms.Whittaker going to the Nation and having them print a back page for Thursday as an apology to the Principal?
  2. Is the officer at the Ministry who advised Ms.Whittaker going to call her and advise her to go to the Nation and have an apology written?
  3. Who is going to pay for the destruction of the Principal’s reputation?
  4. What is the Ministry saying now that the truth is out that Darron’s witness verified that it was Darron who took the boom-box? Is it going to tie the Principal’s hand behind his back and flog him?

Related Article: Mum Wants Answers

Notes From a Native Son: Pressuring Credit Unions to Shore up Foreign-owned Banks is a Missed Opportunity

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

There is a lot of back room chat about whether or not the Financial Services Commission has been putting one or more credit unions under pressure to move capital to foreign-owned commercial banks. Although this is wrong, based on the principles of financial regulation and financial management, the only legitimate exclamation has got to be political.

The other exclamation, of course, and one that neither the government nor central bank would entertain, is that the economy is in such bad shape that the ministry of finance, through the proxy of the FSC, has moved to capture all available institutional cash in the economy in order to meet its day-to-day costs. Whatever the official or unofficial explanation, it is simply wrong.

Credit Unions:
The key principle behind the creation of credit unions is to allow members to pool resources in order to provide alternative services to more commercial retail banks and at reasonable costs. They are not meant to operate in the same financial space as banks; their business models are different and their democratic decision-making may be cumbersome, but allows members to have a say in the management of the society. In Barbados, and indeed globally, they have been enormously successful, particularly so since the 2007/8 banking crisis, which has largely left mutual societies undamaged.

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Letting it Ride on 11% of the Budget

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Sometimes timing can be everything and that has left me to question the recent launch of the Barbados Island Inclusive promotion.

On Saturday 20 April 2013, the Minister of Tourism held a local media conference to launch the initiative, which according to reports is expected to cost a staggering 11 per cent of the annual budget of the Barbados Tourism Authority. Without wanting to repeat information already in the public domain, the objective is to drive an ‘additional’ 15,000 long stay visitors this year, who are expected to spend $30 million.

The following week the Minister then travelled to the United Kingdom, where I believe he met with several British travel interests, including both Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Holidays. On his return, the Minister appeared on a 45 minute long CBC News Extra programme, where he was the only speaker. While CBC TV8 clearly had a full hour available, no time whatsoever was allocated to attending journalists so they could pose any questions they may have wished to ask. Personally I think this was a huge mistake. It gives the impression either that there is no accountability and/or, it is not important to keep the public (and industry) fully and accurately informed.

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Update: Leroy Parris v BLP, Nation and Barbados Advocate

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados Designate

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice

In the interest of sharing all information received about any matters which BU has reported on, we have been advised and updated on the issue of the Parris v BLP and Nation and Barbados Advocate as follows:

Mr Hal Gollop QC filed an action for defamation against the Nation which pre-dates the Parris action. The law firm of Carrington and Sealy acts for the Nation and Mr Vernon Smith QC is acting for Mr Gollop.

The essence of the complaint is that on January 07, 2013, the Nation captured and published the photograph which is the subject of dispute. Reasonable conclusion, the Nation was the author and the holder of copyright of the photograph. The BLP subsequently used the photograph and caption in their campaign. Thus, Mr Gollop has also advanced a claim of conspiracy against the Nation and the BLP.

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Leroy Parris v BLP, Nation and Barbados Advocate: Chief Justice Gibson Produces a What the Hell Moment

Barbadians were treated recently to the news that the enigmatic Chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Leroy Parris who was deposed when the bottom fell out of the CLICO parent company in Trinidad has filed a legal action against the Nation, Barbados Advocate and Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Parris would not have made the top 200,000th popular person list in Barbados prior to his recent court action. Now that he has filed the action his position is likely to slide to 250,000th.

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A Case of Massaging News

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica - photo credit Dominica News

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica – photo credit: Dominica News

On 27 April 2013 Barbados Underground (BU) posted the blog Who Are the Local Partners in Cost-U-Less?. Although the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit has denied the word making the rounds that he is a local shareholder, BU defends our right to ask questions of Skerrit or anyone in the interest of providing clarification.

In the interest of providing further clarification it should be noted that the Companies Act Cap 308 places sole responsibility of managing the company in the hands of the Directors. What this means is that unless a shareholder choses to be a Director the public is left to speculate who are the shareholders. The Act is drafted to protect the Shareholder who  – if not a Director – has no say in the conduct of the company.

BU reiterates our position taken in the original blog, in the interest of transparency the other names mentioned (Hartley Henry, the Estate of David Thompson and Leroy Parris) should state publicly whether they have an interest in Cost U Less (CUL).  The government has approved significant concessions to CUL and given the names mentioned the public has a right to know. It should be noted that Pricesmart has since denied receiving similar concessions. Also at the time of launch it was widely reported that David Staples represented local shareholder interest. Perhaps in the interest of protecting its goodwill CUL should make a public statement stating who are the local shareholders.

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We Are News Takers

The hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers captivated Barbadians this week

The hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers captivated Barbadians this week

There is no denying that the main news feeds for individuals and media come from CNN, ABC, NBC and to a lesser extent the BBC.  The result is that news about the Boston Marathon bombing and the resultant manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers have bombarded our media channels all week long.

At workplaces, on social media discussion points remain fixed on events which unfolded in Boston this past week. While it is understandable that Barbadians have a strong connection with North America – in this case Boston – there is the realization that we have allowed the Western media to heavily influence our thought process. If a similar incident had occurred in a non Western country there would hardly be the same preoccupation by Barbadians which we witnessed this week. A tragedy is a tragedy wherever it occurs.

The tragic Boston episode should highlight the important role of the media and how it is capable of winning and influencing the minds of citizens. Should educated Barbadians not be expected to want to be equally informed about protests in Bahrain and Egypt,   preparation for the 2013 Zimbabwe presidential election, the coup attempt in Sudan, Ahmadinejad about to visit West Africa, an Iraq which continues to be gutted by civil strife. You get the point. Ask the average Barbadian about these non Western stories and nine out of ten BU is willing to wager are clueless.

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Tales From the Courts Part XI: Sir Frederick Smith Attacked by Nation Editorial – when hypocrisy becomes high camp

Sir Frederick Smith

Sir Frederick Smith

BU has read with interest the editorial in the Sunday Sun of 10 March 2012 in which the writer launched an attack on Sir Frederick Smith QC for comments made about the Barbados judiciary. BU holds no brief for Sir Frederick but one is left to question the motive of the ‘editor’ of what is regarded as the most widely circulated newspaper in Barbados.

BU’s research confirms that in the mid-90s Sir Frederick delivered a speech to a legal body, an event attended by judges and members of the Bar from throughout the Caribbean. At that time, Sir Frederick stated, inter alia, “It appears to me that judges in Barbados think they have a constitutional right to be stupid.” Sir Frederick is consistent – unlike the “editor” of the Nation.

The tenor of the “editorial” suggests someone has an axe to grind. Could it be there is some fire rage being directed at Sir Frederick Smith because he was chosen to deliver the eulogy for retired judge, Lindsay Worrell, the father of Mr Justice Randall Worrell.

The editorial gets off to a pompous start:

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2013 General Election Media Campaign

The 2013 General Election is behind us and the analysis is  being processed by those interested to determine the factors which led to the final result. There is surprise that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) ran a media campaign which was more effective in persuading voters. One DLP TV Ad capitalized on the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) blunder of introducing the privatization issue to the campaign. BLP supporters have accused the DLP that the Ad misrepresented their position.

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Prime Minister Stuart’s Second Term and Expecting Real Change From the Political Parties

Submitted by Hamilton A. Hill

Will Arthur stay on?

Will Arthur stay on?

The tsunami of emotions that was campaign 2013 is now behind us and except for a battered ego here and there Barbados will settle down to a state of normalcy and life goes on. So too does business, though we hope not as usual.One can choose almost any angle from which to begin the advocacy for change, but the area of public influence and its manipulation is where this writer’s soap box is mounted.

There can be no denial of the biased stance taken by some in the media against this Prime Minister and his government. From the flat out ridiculous to those that bordered on disrespect, certain comments became a part of life in Barbados. That having been said, the governmental tic for tac that has been the staple of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation since inception must be ended. As we recognize the ruling party as the government of Barbados those in the minority form the official opposition of Barbados, must be respected as such.The respect due would surely resonate across the country with the assurance of unfettered access to air time. Selective dissemination of news stories must be seen as unacceptable for as a people discernment is our strongest attribute. The souffle` that now coats the face of Peter the Pollster lends confirmation to such. It behoves this administration to extend the olive branch where the CBC is concerned as a step towards maturity at a parliamentary level.

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Can Denis Lowe be Trusted?

Denis Lowe (1) Peter Allard (r)

Denis Lowe (1) Peter Allard (r)

Last night at the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) meeting which  introduced the candidates at Carlisle Car Park, Owen Arthur read a letter. BU found the letter interesting for many reasons. It was a letter (according to Arthur) which was written by a regular caller to the talk shows, known to many as ‘Mr. Welchman Hall’.   Mr. Welchman Hall is a self-confessed Democratic Labour Party (DLP) supporter but was driven to resign from the SSA Board because of certain irregularities which he had observed.

In the letter Mr. Welchman Hall complained to Stuart that as a member of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) board Minister Denis Lowe frequently presided over board meetings. The fact that there was an appointed chairman did not seem to sway Lowe’s decision to usurp the role of the chairman.

See emails recently uploaded : #1, #2 and #3

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Beware BLP and DLP Politicians: LIAR,LIAR, Pants on Fire!

Donville Inniss - Minister of Health has accused BLP MPs of eating lunch in the lunchroom of parliament despite a decision to boycott parliament.

Donville Inniss – Minister of Health has accused BLP MPs of eating lunch in the lunchroom of parliament despite a decision to boycott parliament.

We are in the silly season and the standard, if we are to judge from the past, is for the public to expect lose information to spew from the mouths of politicians without serious challenge. During the silly season party supporters will seek to ‘legitimize’ information to attempt to give their side a political advantage. Given the challenges which continue to confront our tiny and vulnerable country, we deserve better from our politicians in and outside of government to manage the level of political discourse.

Those of us who try to be fair in our commentary have become fedup with the same old political barbs being tossed from one political side and then the other.  Hopefully the traditional media will join BU and others in social media to put the many unsubstantiated utterances of politicians under the microscope.

Yesterday in that august place Minister of Health Inniss revealed that some BLP members of parliament (MPs) ate lunch in the lunch room of parliament. Ordinarily such a revelation would not have raised eyebrows, however, against the background of boycott action by the Opposition it maybe viewed as bad judgement if they did. BU believes that the public should not be treated to a – yes they ate no they did not – by the supporters of both political parties. It should be a simple matter to confirm or refute Minister Inniss’ accusation.  Based on BU’s investigation so far the statement appears to be false. We are happy to correct our position if concrete confirmation is provided. The BU family has not forgotten the ‘flying a kite’ strategy by Minister Inniss that Kingsland is a location which is being favourably considered to relocate the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

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Alexandra School Dispute: Remembering the Children

The wonderful sight of teacher and pupil reunited at the Alexandra School - Photo credit Barbados Advocate

The wonderful sight of teacher and pupil reunited at the Alexandra School – Photo credit Barbados Advocate

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enoughLao Tzu

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is defined as all “the  final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time”. Can BU draw a parallel and define the well being of a country by the quality of key decisions made by the  ‘leaders’ in a given period?

The debate which continues to gain traction in Barbados is about the Alexandra dispute and related issues. It has displaced discussion about the upcoming general election, and significantly, a conversation about the state of the economy. If one were to ask any educated Barbadian what issue should be occupying the attention of the country, the answer should be ‘managing the economy’. It does not mean that all the issues at play in the country should be ignored, just that the exigencies of now require priority planning how we allocate resources.

Tension at the Alexandra School has peaked and troughed since 2005, surely an indictment on the management system with oversight for education. Many problems currently being wrestled by the government have straddled both political parties and different personnel in the public service. What it exposes is a rotten core which drives decision making in Barbados.

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Eugene Melnyk Puts the Squeeze On Barbados Underground

Eugene Melnyk - Photo credit:

Eugene Melnyk – Photo credit:

On the 6 December 2012, BU received a letter from Ontario counsel Mr Sean Campbell of the law firm DAVIES WARD PHILLIPS & VINEBERG which advised they are acting on behalf of Eugene Melnyk as follows:

Dear Sirs/Mesdames:

We are counsel for Eugene Melnyk.

It has come to our attention that Barbados Underground is disseminating information that is false and defamatory and that this is causing substantial damage to Mr. Melnyk’s business interests and reputation. Without limitation, Barbados Underground is disseminating an article entitled “Senators-owner Eugene Melnyk & Founder Of Biovail Charged With Fraud”, dated March 24, 2008 and comments related to that article. A copy of the article and comments are enclosed. Among other things, the article and certain comments falsely allege that Mr. Melnyk has been charged by regulators in Canada with accounting fraud. This allegation is manifestly false and defamatory. Mr. Melnyk has never been charged by any Canadian regulatory authority with fraud.

Our client considers this matter to be very serious. We have been instructed by Mr. Melnyk to demand that you immediately remove the above referenced article and related comments from your website. We further demand that you cease and desist from making or disseminating any further false or defamatory statements concerning Mr. Melnyk and from any other conduct that is damaging to Mr. Melnyk’s business interests or reputation. In the event that you fail to comply with this demand, legal proceedings will be initiated against you and any other involved parties without further notice.

Please contact me in the event that you wish to discuss this matter.

This letter is written under reserve of all our client’s rights and recourses.

Yours very truly,

Sean Campbell

BU has responded as follows:

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Social Media and Protecting the Right to Freedom of Expression by Ordinary People

Submitted by William Skinner

Social Commentators Carl Moore and Peter Wickham have been critical of "the blogs"

Social Commentators Carl Moore and Peter Wickham have been critical of “the blogs”

Barbados Underground and all locally based blog operators should resist the attempts to silence them, by the so called guardians, of what is acceptable media and by extension acceptable journalism. The simple truth, is that the growth of what is called the new media, has given expression to those, who were once systematically barred from national discourse.

While I will never subscribe to the use of excessive vulgarity in any form, written or oral, I believe that this is being used as a red herring to censor the freedom of expression that blogs such as Barbados Underground are now in the vanguard of ensuring.

Barbados is steeped in intellectual snobbery and I suggest it pains those who always thought that they alone will be the chosen ones to see their names in print, pontificating on all matters, while the rest of the population, worship their superior academic and intellectual skills. They were entrenched as the fountains of all knowledge. That class status has now been forever discarded.

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Blackout at Starcom

Submitted by HAMILTON HILL

Vic Fernandes – CEO Starcom

Even though Thanksgiving here in the US is symbolized by a bird we know as a turkey, somehow on this chilly thanksgiving morning other birds come to mind. Perhaps the Bajan in me comes to the fore anytime the temperature drops, but even so why am I thinking about sitting ducks and yard fowls? Maybe, just maybe it has something to do with The Market Vendor.

This morning the vendor took as his choice of discussion the selective nature of the media here in America. Market you fa real?  Market up to this very moment the Starcom stations have not been notified of the fact that there is a God. They have not been told that Kaymar Jordan [and lets put it nicely] has parted company with the Barbados Nation, their very own subsidiary sister. Perhaps she does not have the stock of a David Ellis, who was force fed contrition after being left by those blowhards and jokers at the BAJ to twist in the wind, so that a public apology sufficed, while she was made to fall on the sword of political immolation, a clear and distinct sign that her usefulness to her masters, and yours had expired. A sitting duck dat.

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Kaymar Jordan Booted

Kaymar Jordan

The departure (dismissal) of Kaymar Jordan from the Nation newspaper broke on BU last night, Kaymar Jordan held the position of Editor in Chief at the Nation newspaper.

A scan of today’s Sunday Sun reveals that Kaymar Jordan’s name has been removed from its Masthead. What BU finds interesting is the silence which surrounds her departure. The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) carried the item last night.

A BU source has informed that Eric Smith is currently in charge – Nation staff has confirmed Jordan’s departure but they remain tight lip when asked to divulge the circumstances which caused her departure. Barbadians recall the recent Nation Talkback forum generated controversy when Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart was scathing in his attack about how the session was organized. Was Jordan set up?

BU will continue to follow this breaking development. Surely there is more in the mortar than the pestle?

Voice of Barbados Parent Launches Gospel Station in T&T

Fred Gollop, Chairman OCM

Just a year ago Starcom Network kicked its Gospel Station 97.5 to the curb. CEO Vic Fernandes explained the move that the programming on 97.5FM will merge with that on VOB92.9.  Starcom Network needed the frequency to operate the newly launched Caribbean Superstation also there was the usual spin about operating efficiency.   The merge generated some negative feedback from a segment of VOB’s fan base but in the end dollars and cents won the argument. With the launch of Christ is the Answer radio station their prayers were eventually answered.

OCM, the Port of Spain parent of Starcom, announced last week that it made a net profit before tax of USD11.2 million dollars. It was a seven percent increase over the same period in 2011. OCM and LIME will be remembered by BU as two of the large companies operating in Barbados which decided to ditch employees at the start of the recession. The plea from the social partnership to protect jobs fell on deaf ears.

Of interest in the regional news this week, OCM launched a gospel station W107.1FM.

Our Governance System and Politicians – When Freedom of Information is Fiction

It is appropriate BU returns to the issue of Freedom of Information (FOI) on the second anniversary of death of former Prime Minister David Thompson. The promise that FOI and Integrity Legislation would have been introduced by this government early in its term swayed BU and we supported the DLP in 2007. Sadly the government has not demonstrated the political will to implement transparency legislation. Five years later it is fair to describe the promise as a gimmick to win votes.

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Peter Wickham, Pollster, Columnist, Talk Show Host and Social Commentator

Peter Wickham, Head of CADRES

BU has hesitantly support the science of polling and by extension the work CADRES has done in this area over the years. In Barbados CADRES has developed an enviable track record. Peter Wickham, head of CADRES has always published the methodology used, a desirable approach. Wickham has been at pain to point out that his samples are random. Over the years he has been able to gather learnings with the result his poll predictions are always close to bull-eye when the real result is known.

However many – including BU – have become concerned at the unfettered access to media space where Wickham has been  peddling his views. BU has no problem with Wickham being a social commentator, it is a free country, however a problem emerges if he is able to propagate views formed out of his polling through his contributions  weekly newspaper columns and as a host of a popular talk show. Bear in mind his polls capture the views of the population at the time taken. BU suggests that the apparent success of CADRES polls fuels Wickham’s credibility as a social commentator. The result: his views have become influential on the very population he will have to poll in the future.

The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) political strategist Maureen Holder, who succeeded Peter Wickham, has been very scathing in her critique of the methodology of the recent CADRES poll. UWI lecturer Dr. Tennyson Joseph has also been searching in his feedback of the poll in his weekly column. Many have dismissed these concerns based on party stripes or ignorance about the science of polling.  We should all take a deep breath and dispassionately discuss if there is merit to the concerns raised by the Holders, Josephs and others.

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Current State Of Media Space In Barbados According To International Press Institute – Yet a Passive BAJ

The Barbados Association of Journalist website has not been updated since February 2009 – CLICK image to confirm

On your point about Fourth Estate issues. Those considerations have long become non-existent for the people who were to be served when this idea became popular after the French Revolution. In fact it is fair to say corporate media like the Nation and the Advocate are interested, not so much in social concerns, but in making profit for their owners. Therefore our overarching point is that whether it is the BBC, CNN, The Walt Street Journal, The New York Times, The Nation or the Advocate it does not matter. Delivering benefit to the owners is the prime consideration, regardless of structure or long forgotten notions about democracy and mass participation. To them these ideas are anachronistic or quaint.


The International Press Institute (I.P.I) has submitted its evaluation of Barbados’ media space. The Barbados government has been given a thumbs down by IPI on the lack of political will to implement Freedom of Information and Integrity Legislation. The unwillingness to issue TV licenses to private players to disseminate non-state views. It was very critical of the Barbados government criminalizing defamation as represented in Section 34 of the Defamation Act.

Here are the recommendations handed out by the IPU:

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BU Talkback:Nation Letter Sent to Prime Minister Stuart

The letter of invitation sent to Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart from the Nation newspaper which has created a furor in some circles – CLICK on image to read the full letter. What is wrong with the letter? Have your say!

Did The Nation Talkback Forum Really Meet Its Objective Kaymar?

Kaymar Jordan, Editor in Chief, Nation newspaper (l) George Pilgrim, General Secretary, DLP

BU observed the Talkback Forum hosted by the Nation newspaper this week and contrary to Editor in Chief Kaymar Jordan’s pronouncement that it was a success, we beg to disagree. Perhaps she measured success based on the 500 hundred attendees and 1,500 streaming the event (it would be interesting to know how many people streaming the event were logged on from Barbados). However, if the Nation newspaper is the people’s choice and is touted to have a circulation of  greater than one hundred thousand then some may judge that – at the height of the silly season – the forum should have attracted greater numbers.

Regarding the content of the discussion, BU suggests that the report card cannot be graded with a pass mark if the government side was NOT represented. Yes there was a lively discussion but if the forum was constructed to bring key stakeholders/commentators together to discuss “The Next General Election”, surely a full ventilation of the topic could not have been achieved in the circumstances.

BU has stated on other blogs that the government erred by not sending a representative to the session. We note the general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party DLP) has taken umbrage to the quality of the invitation sent to the Prime Minister by the Nation newspaper, indicating that the Nation deviated from protocol. It does not mean Mr General Secretary that Stuart could not have dispatched an emissary to participate who could have used the opportunity to speak to any discomfort the Prime Minister has with the invitation.  A better outcome to addressing public perception. This government continues to have a problem appreciating and responding to the political dimension to several issues.

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WANTED: Fourth Estate Not Beholden To Any 'Party'

Submitted by Hamilton Hill

Albert Brandford (l) Kaymar Jordan (c) Sanka Price (r)

It is 5:00pm on the evening of the tenth day of this the month of October, the day chosen by the extended arm of the Barbados Labour Party known as the Nation Publishing Co. to make what so far has to be its most brazen attempt to hoodwink the Fruendel Stuart administration. Barbados is two short hours away from an act of political prostitution of its fourth estate, headed by a group that over the past few years has perfected the art of creative deception. Only this group could manage to disguise a political meeting so well that it could be sold as a town-hall forum.This political meeting is being held for the sole purpose of trying to force the government’s hand in calling the elections, even though all of the experts {and let me be  first to admit that I believed them} said that a longer wait was to the detriment of the government. The stench of this exercise reaches to the high heavens.

The Nation’s editor Kaymar Jordan who will be the chair person of this political meeting was heard on brass tacks today lamenting the fact that the prime minister had refused to be a speaker at this event. With all due respect I say to the lady that gone are the days when children were made to go pick the whip to inflict lashes to their very own asses. Freundel Stuart nor any member of the DLP for that matter, has any business being in attendance at this seminar of shameless deceit hosted by a bunch of part time journalists/full time party hacks who are driven to satisfy the morbid cravings of Owen S Arthur. Should he ever develop a cancer this bunch should know even before his doctor, for their heads are so far up his ass how could they miss it? One might wonder from whence comes this malcontentedness?

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Acting Crown Counsel Elwood Watts Asks High Court to Block the Appointment of Attorney at Law Alison Burke

Chief Justice Marston Gibson, heads the Judicial and Legal Services Commission

The following extracted from the Sunday Sun September 23, 2012:

“A High Court is being asked to block the appointment of a Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). In an unprecedented legal development, attorney at law Elwood Watts, who acted as Crown Counsel in the DPP’s office for the past six years, is seeking an injunction against the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Marston Gibson and includes Appeal Court Justice Sandra Mason and High Court Justice Maureen Crane-Scott.

Attorney at law Alison Burke, who was recently admitted to the Bar, was to take up the permanent appointment as Crown Counsel effective September 1. But in his court filings challenging the decision of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission to ratify Burke’s appointment, Watts has complained that the position of Crown Counsel was never advertised as required by law. As a result, the former police sergeant who has been on secondment to the DPP’s office, said he never had a chance to secure the appointment.

Reports indicated that Burke, who was attached to the Ministry of Health as a staff nurse prior to her appointment, never had any experience in court proceedings. A date is to be set for hearing of the injunction.”

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UPDATE On Alexandra School Matter – Strike Action LOOMS!

Laurie King, Chief Education Officer (l) Ronald Jones, Minister of Education (r)

Mona Robinson, the general secretary of the BSTU wrote to the Chief Education Officer, Mr King, by letter dated Sunday 02 September 2012. The letter was received 03 September 2012. The subject of the letter purports to be in order to clarify matters relating to Alexandra School.

BU notes that this letter was copied to the Permanent Secretary in the MoE, among others. BU also notes with considerable surprise that the letter is NOT copied to BSTU’s counsel, Mr Hal Gollop. May we therefore infer that BSTU has written and sent this letter without having taken competent legal advice?

Ms Robinson, referencing comments made by Mr King on 31 August 2012 states that there are no assurances given in respect of comments on Jeff Broomes and demands that BSTU be supplied with answers in writing to the list of 10 points.

These points include, but are not limited to:

Read full report

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The Starship Song By Filthy Mouth Nicki Minaj Reported To Have Been Aired On The CBC

Anthony Nelson

It was reported to BU that the controversial Anthony ‘Admiral’ Nelson  played Starship, a popular song by Nicki Minaj at 8:22 AM on the morning of 07 September 2012. The BU family can listen to the lyrics and draw their conclusions. The CBC logs can be verified and hopefully appropriate action taken in the same way it dealt with the employee who allowed ‘heavy breathing’ to go out on air .

If Barbadians are serious about guarding public morals then the same way we reacted to a little boy who was goaded by an adult to gyrate behind a woman in a ‘back-shot’ position (A Picture Sums It Up!), so too we should be concerned by the playing of Starship on public radio. Continue reading

We Have To Protect Our Children

The sights and sound…yes the pic is meant to arouse sensibilities on a Sunday morning

Barbados, like all of the other States in the Caribbean region has committed itself to protecting the rights of children through ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (C.R.C.). Integral to this collection of rights are those geared at the protection of children who are abused, neglected or at risk of harm.


The story which continues to incense sensible Barbadians of a child being abused by two adults on Kadooment Day is rapidly reaching the end of the seven day period for top billing. Director of the Child Care Board (CCB) Joan Crawford, goaded by the public outcry, is quoted in the media that the widely circulated picture will be forwarded to the Police for investigation. Implied in the action by the CCB is that there is enough evidence to support a case of child abuse.

It was interesting to listen to Joan Crawford explaining that the picture does not expose the faces of the adults in the picture therefore it will be difficult to locate the individuals. Her apologetic observation begs the question, is Miss Crawford a member of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF)? She is obligated to report the matter and let the RBPF used its sleuthing skills to locate the individuals.

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Local Media Lacks Financial Intelligence

Annie Lowrey,A Harvard grad who is an economic policy reporter for the New York Times’ Economix blog – Credit:: Policymic

…what percentage of investors who invest in Bim are driven by ratings? what rates can we raise money at if we need to? The fact is that Jamaica with a much lower rating has been raising money globally at comparable rates to Barbados, actually lower in some cases.

My general point is that all the people who have been opining have not bothered to check or try to get info on the trading in currently outstanding Barbados government bonds graded internationally. has there been any selling off, have the yields gone up. How can we claim to be serious about these issues?…

Ellis Chase

Of concern to BU and others we know is the lack of financial Reporters employed by traditional media. One only had to observe the Central Bank of Barbados press conference yesterday. The traditional media whether it wants to accept the responsibility is an opinion shaper for many Barbadians.

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Time To Go 95% LOCAL Music!

Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture

A few weeks ago while listening to the highly entertaining and informative Fireworks Show on VOB radio, kudos to Dennis Johnson and Carol Roberts (in the PM), Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley called the program.  During his contribution he voiced his displeasure at the low level of local music being played by local radio stations. BU is onside with the minister, we definitely need to make some ‘earth moving’ decisions about how we leverage the power of the airwaves to kickstart a revolution in local music which continues to endure labour pains.

It boggles the mind why a minister of government in 2012 should have to plead for Disc Jocks et al to play more local music for several reasons. The two reasons at the top of the BU pile:

It is approaching near 40 years since Crop Over was restarted and synonymous with the festival is the making of music, usually calypso. Through the years local entertainers have produced some wonderful music which to this day continues to thrill the locals and others abroad. BU conservatively estimate if we have produced 250 songs in the near 40 year period there is a calypso/soca repository of songs of about 9000+. Perhaps Dennis Johnson can tell us if this is not sufficient music to adequately fill  the airwaves should we decide to make the push to GO 95% LOCAL. Imagine our horror to listen to the government owned station pushing hip hop two weeks ago by none other than Admiral who should know better!

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Wait Mia, Wait Mia Wait

Submitted by HAMILTON HILL

Leader of the Opposition Owen Arthur (l) Former Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (r)

Listening to today’s (6/07/2012) edition of Fireworks on VOB, my thoughts ran wild once Mia Mottley again spoke of her dream to see the building of nationhood in Barbados. Though tangentially, she touched an area that finds resonance with those who refuse to permit patriotism to be stunted or seconded by party loyalty.

Not for one minute have I missed the very crafty attempt by the unofficial co-leader to rebuild, to revamp an image that fell victim to a group of misogynists led by “King Conniver” to whom she still reports. Be that as it may there are any number of questions that readily come to mind.

Lets for just a moment put the questions about her dream aside. Perhaps this one is not for her but it has to be asked. What has changed over the passage of time? She has the same credentials that qualified her to be “King Conniver’s”deputy, the same ones that were not fit for ascension to the leadership once the Bajan version of Mitt Romney came aboard.

What has changed?

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