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!

Continue reading is that You?

Submitted by Due Diligence
Adrian Elcock, Chairman of the BTA

Adrian Elcock, Chairman of the BTA

When I Googled “Barbados All Inclusive” yesterday [17 November 2013] I clicked on the link, then,There I found a list of 8 all-inclusive resorts, I then printed pages 1 to 3 of the 5 pages. On the printed page 2 of 5, the same two pictures of the two kids and the two adults which appeared on the website were printed – and, unbelievably,  under those pictures there is an ad for Transat Holidays for – SAINT LUCIA!. A copy of the printed page is attached. When I revisited the same page this morning, and printed page 2 of 5, the Transat/Saint Lucia ad was replaced with an Air Canada/CIBC ad.  Copy also attached. Apparently sells ad space to travel organizations which rotate and appear only in the printed material.

I suggest it might be timely for those who control, the “Official Website of the Barbados Tourism Authority“, to do a bit of due diligence into the workings of its website.

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.

Continue reading

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 .

Continue reading

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

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

Cable & Wireless: When is a LIME not Local?

Send info to BU by using the contact form at the bottom of this blog

Send info to BU by using the contact form at the bottom of this blog

The following was received from a trusted source and BU adds its voice to the query.

Barbados Underground

“It is alleged that a Canadian who has Barbados citizenship is living in Barbados and being paid out of Cayman and not paying a cent of taxes to the Barbados Government. Her name is apparently J*****er M*******son from Cable and Wireless and all the Executives know and is pushing it under the carpet. Maybe this is why our economy is how it is.

Please let this email address remain anonymous. But do some investigating around it. It was reported to the tax department and no one seem to have followed up on it and this individual would owe hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

If there information out there to clarify this matter please send to the BU confidential comment box below which can only be read by BU personnel. Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

Young Barbadians Athletes Excel at CARIFTA Trials Despite No National Stadium Track

CARIFTA GAMES 2013 to be held in the Bahamas

CARIFTA GAMES 2013 to be held in the Bahamas

A few days ago BU highlighted the sorry state of local sports with real possibility the National Primary Schools Athletics Championships (NAPSAC) and the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletic Championships (BSSAC) are in danger of being cancelled – NAPSAC and BSSAC in Danger of Being Cancelled. The reason: the National Stadium track is under construction and has been unavoidably delayed.  Incredible though it seems there was no contingency planned for this eventuality.

The result of the poor planning means that our two premier track and field championships which affords the opportunity of our young athletes to showcase their talent remains uncertain on the meet calendar. The Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council should offer a public apology to ALL athletes who have to train everyday day with the mental anguish created by the doubt that BSSAC and NAPSAC will not come off. To repeat, the thought of a similar mishap occurring in Jamaica or Bahamas is unfathomable.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

The Violet Beckles Affair, Separating Fact From Fiction Part V

Related Links:

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:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

The Nation Is At It Again

Submitted by Barbados Election Watch

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

One can now be left in no doubt that the Nation Newspaper has set itself the agenda of getting rid of Prime Minister Stuart at all cost. On more than one occasion, contributors to this blog have drawn attention to the unmistakably biased approach of that paper towards the Prime Minister of Barbados. It would seem that  whatever he does, or fails to do, no matter that he conducts himself with the highest level of decorum, and honesty he can be the subject of some form of ridicule . Very recently noted historian and  veteran trade unionist Mr Robert Bobby Morris drew attention to the way the Prime Minister was depicted by the paper when it sought to comment in a front page  article on the results of the CADRES poll . Mr Stuart the tallest of the persons presented in a form of picture chart , was made to look like some puny midget in a straight-jacket while the others , of shorter stature , were much more favourably presented. Other persons have been commenting on the kinds of photos of Mr Stuart that the paper has been recently using in its efforts to ridicule him in some form or fashion .

Today however, the newspaper has done its worst. The BIG BOLD HEADLINES IN RED SCREAMED …” NOT A WORD”. BHTA head says PM has not responded to request for meeting “It was a story by a Gercine Carter in which the paper has outdone itself in its efforts at  vilification . The Prime Minister was being ” rapped for failing to respond to a Barbados Hotel Association ( BHTA ) request for an urgent meeting to discuss the  plight of the Island’s vital tourism industry “. It went further to state that “the Prime Minister’s priorities were yesterday called into question by the outgoing president of the BHTA, Colin Jordan, who pointed to Stuart’s promptness in meeting with Cuban ex-convict Raul Garcia at Dodds Prison recently, while a letter requesting the meeting more than two months ago had not been acknowledged to date “.

Continue reading

LIME Defines Corporate Greed

Alex McDonald – LIME Official

In a Press release issued yesterday, LIME announced “all post-paid mobile customers completing data streaming, browsing, tethering and downloading of documents, games and any other transactions which go via the WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) and/or Internet Gateways on the LIME data network will be billed”.

Nation Newspaper – 4/5/2012

Barbados Underground agrees with the decision by LIME’s management to increase mobile rates effective July 1, 2012. Today many Barbadians have been demonstrating outrage via the various media channels at what they believe is the obtuse manner LIME has unleashed its new pricing plan.  BU would venture the opinion that LIME has made its decision full in the knowledge that Barbadians will ‘keep noise’ but continue to subscribe to their services. Truth be told BU can’t wait until the next increase.

LIME prides itself on being a good corporate citizen although BU recalls that it was one of the first companies in Barbados at the onset of the global recession to retrench staff. It should come as no surprise after the recent settlement of the collective bargaining agreement with the Barbados Workers Union that LIME would seek to find ways to boost its revenue position.  It now has three quarters to get the job done.

Continue reading

A Credit Union Bank, Good Idea?

Consultant Sir Courtney Blackman (right) and credit union executive Hally Haynes – photo credit: Nation

He said that only one CEO of a Credit Union disagreed totally. “Another CEO was enthusiastic about the initiative, which he considered vital to the growth and development of the Movement,” he said.

Barbados Advocate – 5/28/2012

There is a saying that the devil is always in the detail. Last week former Governor of the Central Bank Courtney Blackman – contracted to do a study – gave his support to the idea of the credit unions in Barbados owning a commercial bank. It was instructive to listen to the former Governor at a press conference last week flanked by Hally Haynes from the Barbados Credit Union League. He gave his support to the idea. Truth be told there was no mention of the business plan – if any exist – and what are the ‘money’ considerations. He referenced feedback from credit union members or what the marketers refer to as qualitative information. In his words,  “The large majority of Credit Union members interviewed supported in principle, the establishment of a Bank by the League, but several expressed various reservations”. It is positive that credit union members are supportive, buyin is obviously needed from the membership to move forward.

Of concern to BU is the revelation by Blackman that one credit union is not supporting of the idea. The Barbados Advocate article quotes Blackman, “… only one CEO of a Credit Union disagreed totally. “Another CEO was enthusiastic about the initiative, which he considered vital to the growth and development of the Movement”. After investigating the matter the credit union opposing the idea was identified in the Business Authority as the City of Bridgetown (COB). Using deductive reasoning it is not hard to conclude that the other credit union enthusiastic about the idea is Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union (BPWCCU). The recommendation afterall is for Capita to be transformed into a bank.

Continue reading

Political Spin Masters: Barbados Advocate and Nation Unite


By way of an example yesterday I listened to the U.S anticipated Republican nominee Mitt Romney speak to Virginia voters on CNN, in the speech he stated that President Obama has weakened the U.S Navy and cited that the US Navy today has the same “number” of ships as it did in 1917 as why.  Now how in the “HELL” can a logical person compare the U.S Navy’s capabilities in 1917 to that of the U.S Navy in 2012.  One US Aircraft Carrier today carries  5,000 men onboard and enough weaponry to destroy entire nations, just one.  One nuclear submarine has enough weaponry to destroy large chucks of the earth, just one.

This kind of statement I call “Political Spin” and if politics was like Kung-fu folks like Romney would be considered “Shaolin Spin Masters”.  “Spin Masters” bank on the public not fact checking claims as the spin masters distort many realities and truths in favour of political agendas.

Continue reading

Transform Or Perish!

Submitted by Pachamama

We must transform or perish,” Arthur warned yesterday in an address to the Barbados Association of Office Professionals at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre – Nation Newspaper

Leader of the Opposition, Owen Arthur

Today the corporate media has Owen Seymour Arthur mouthing the arguments that BU has made for several years about the pressing need for radical transformation in Barbados, as a cultural construct. But we think he means the economy alone. Any real cultural transformation, the type we have been calling for, must of necessity transcend the dubious arithmetic methods of the Keynesian, post world war two architecture, to which Owen Arthur is an avid devotee. He knows nothing else and this old dog cannot be thought any new tricks. He seems to have now awoken to the truism, which has been obvious to those of us who closely follow global events, that all of what we think of as Western ‘civilization’ is under threat – and may well collapse sooner that we think.

This is a man who whole-heartedly embraced the Washington Consensus Neo-liberal policies of his masters in American and European capitals for more than 30 years. This is a man who is known to have a close relationship with one of the most plutocratic ‘leaders’ in the West, Tony Blair. It was Blair who spearheaded an illegal war on Iraq to steal Iraqi oil. Arthur has no history of transforming anything, with the possible exception of his personal life. We well remember him shedding crocodile tears on the floor of Parliament in a public relations (PR) gambit to attract resources. That this kind of man would now want to present himself as an agent of transformation is an affront to all that is Barbados and more particular those of us who have been fashioning this argumentation for many years.

Arthur is no more than an imposter!

Continue reading

NIS Vigil

Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, Minister of Labour and Social Security

The news that the Barbados Rights Bill is currently being debated in parliament is good news. It is one of many bills which was in danger of being still born. Of interest to BU though is the visibility which a successful reading of the legislation will afford Dr. the Hon. Esther Byer-Suckoo, M.P who is Minister of Labour and Social Security. There is a view that St. George South, the constituency she represents, is a bellwether constituency, one which the government cannot lose if it desires to win a second term. Her fight against Dwight Sutherland, the BLP candidate is already shaping up nicely between the two with deep roots in the constituency.

It is not unfair to suggest that Minister Suckoo has not satisfied legitimate expectations about her performance in the several portfolios she has been give responsibility. Her homage to late Prime Minister David Thompson in parliament suggests she maybe disappointed with her performance as well! Many do not know what to make of her invisibility in the current national debate about the the NIS investment strategy. Besides one statement made in the recent Budget debate which was a general statement she has allowed her male colleagues Messrs Sinckler, Kellman and Sealy to defend the investment strategy of the NIS.

Continue reading

Time To Rein In The Nation Newspaper

Kaymar Jordan, Editor in Chief, Nation Newspaper

The following was submitted by a concerned Barbadian who prefers to remain anonymous – Barbados Underground

It really is about time that every effort is made to bring some sanity back into the operations of the Nation Newspaper and deflect it from the path it has embarked upon. In its present state the newspaper is no more than a scandal sheet whose main agenda seems to be doing no more than creating sensation, much of which is anti government, and in the process breaking all the rules of propriety.

Some time recently one of the lawyers for Mr Leroy Parris of CLICO upon whom they have been waging a personal vendetta, went on national television to complain about two articles which the newspaper published . The first suggested that his client had gone ” MISSING ” in an effort to avoid being served process by a Marshall of the Supreme Court; the second “SERVED” referred to the first article and suggested that his client had gone overseas and also imputed that this was in his attempt to avoid being brought before the court on a CRIMINAL charge. Mr Parris’ lawyer made it very clear that he was informed that the CHIEF MARSHALL had no record of any failure by any Marshall to serve Mr Parris. In addition, the marshal for the area had confirmed that he had neither tried nor failed to execute service on Mr Parris. He also informed that his client had refuted any claim that he had left the island; in fact he had not left the island for months .

Continue reading

A View Of The NATION From Underground

Submitted by WordSong

Kaymar Jordan, Editor-in-Chief of the NATION Newspaper

No Kaymar Jordan you did not tell the truth and stand justifiably accused by the general public. Your manipulations and distortions converted what could have been an otherwise great story into a scandalous piece of journalistic tripe. Now you and whoever helped you write that editorial would hoodwink the public (again) into believing that there was merit in what you did; all you have done in the editorial is to confirm the stupidity of the NATION’s newspaper policy. Technology has seen it fit that newspapers remain widely read. So what was the point you were making about technology again? No amount of spin doctoring will alter what remains a travesty.

You distorted the truth – for effect and commercial gain and possibly out of pure ignorance. You could not even give the public that your deliberateness in distorting was influenced by the expectation of more information and for that you apologize. I now say any decent newspaper would have fired you or put you on the back bench like they will put Sinckler. I for one will not buy another Nation or Sunday Sun newspaper. But what does it matter? Who cares? Not the Nation . Harold Hoyte I am ashamed of you too because I know you still have influence in what goes on at the paper.

Minister Ronald Jones Clears The Air About ‘The Letter’

Minister Ronald Jones, Parliamentary Representative, Christ Church East Central.

THE Nation Publishing Co., in its edition of the Sunday Sun on December 11, 2011, published an article which purportedly carried contents of a letter written to the Prime Minister.

The Friday, December 16 edition of Barbados Today, an online newspaper, carried a letter which it states is a letter similar to that of the Sunday Sun’s version. Readers should bear in mind that the Sunday Sun embedded the contents of said letter in their story and wrapped it in parenthesis. So, in fact, the Sunday Sun has already published the contents of the said letter.

The only difference was the Nation warping its interpretation of the contents of the letter. They alluded to the MPs’ intention: “Their main reason for doing so was to discuss matters of grave concern” pertaining to his leadership and “to chart a path forward for the retention of our party in Government”.

The Nation emphatically stated this in the context of its story of Tuesday last. This differs somewhat from their initial quotation when the article stated that the MPs wanted the meeting, “with respect to perceived weaknesses in our leadership of the country”. This is a variation to that quoted above.

Continue reading

The Letter: A Question Of Honour And Integrity

Submitted by Yardbroom

The Letter

It is “alleged” that all eleven members had not seen the draft copy and it is speculation to conclude that the members concerned would have signed the final copy.  Therefore, it is not the situation as was reported in the Nation in their report of Sunday December 11, 2011 which stated:

“ELEVEN GOVERNMENT MEMBERS of parliament (MPs)- including seven cabinet ministers – yesterday affixed their signatures to a formal letter and immediately dispatched it to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart requesting an “urgent” audience.”

One could “speculate” that they would have signed because there was a conversation but that is just “speculation” the FACT is they did not “AFFIX” a signature as reported.

Fontabelle 7 Day Eager 11 Sales Plan

Oh what a tangled web we weave,

When first we practise to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott

Kaymar Jordan, NATION Editor in Chief (l) Carol Martindale, former Sunday Sun Editor (r)

In the same way Editor in Chief of the NATION Kaymar Jordan believes she has the right to ration news to Barbadians, BU claims the right to continue to express disgust at the decision. It is obvious to most people that enough time has elapsed since the story broke that any responsible newspaper in possession of the facts would have sought to clarify the story for the public it serves. Journalistic integrity should never be traded for a bounce in sales.

BU has been criticised by some who believe we should be focussed on the bigger story which is the disquiet haunting the DLP camp concerning Prime Minister Stuarts leadership. Our response is,  we will do so on Sunday when the NATION reveals it all. Then and only then will the public be relieved of the manufactured suspense and be able to engage in a coherent analysis of what transpired.

BU was born in April 2007 because we felt the media was being intimidated by the Arthur administration. A working Fourth Estate is critical to ensuring the crust which protects our democracy is safeguarded. It is serious business. The yellow journalism which is being foisted on Barbadians by the NATION is not acceptable and we need to tell them to stop it!

Continue reading

A Matter Of Integrity

Kaymar Jordan, Editor in Chief, Nation newspaper

A letter the group dispatched to Stuart said: “Against the backdrop of growing concern among supporters of the Government and our party, with respect to perceived weaknesses in our leadership of the country, and a sense of drift and inertia arising therefrom, we the undersigned elected members of the Parliamentary Group seek an urgent audience with you to discuss matters of grave concern to us, as well as to chart a path forward for the retention of our party in Government.”

Nation Newspaper Mon, December 12, 2011 – 1:43 PM

The Nation newspaper broke the story last weekend that 11 disgruntled DLP parliamentarians signed a letter which was dispatched to Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart. The message conveyed in the letter was that many on Stuart’s team were dissatisfied with his leadership. BU subsequently confirmed that there is some concern in the DLP camp about Stuart’s leadership and his ability to lead the party successfully into the next general election. The Nation newspaper was very clear in its message to its readership that the letter was signed by the 11 DLP parliamentarians.

Since the newspaper report Ministers David Estwick, Michael Lashley et al have challenged the local newspaper to produce the letter which is alleged to carry their signatures. In fact they have threatened legal action. The Nation newspaper in its most recent statement on the matter has indicated it is sticking to its story. The question which is on the lips of many Barbadians and political commentators is whether the Nation should produce the letter with the alleged 11 signatures and in the process ensure its journalistic integrity, at the same time the reputations and political careers of MPs identified in the Nation newspaper report would effectively be destroyed. To most onlookers the decision for the Nation is a no-brainer, it should produce the letter. One is left to speculate by the refusal of the Nation to produce the letter whether sensationalism is winning the battle over ‘journalistic integrity’.

Continue reading

Should The Enactment Of Transparency Legislation be a Priority?

Owen Arthur, Leader of the opposition (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)

To the independents who voted for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) last election, it is evident that it has retreated from its promise to make enactment of transparency legislation a priority. Of equal concern to BU has been the reluctance by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to pressure the government to honour its promise. Civil society should be concerned that the BLP – the government in waiting – is committed to following through on proclaiming transparency legislation. There will be the obvious argument that the 2011 perception index released by Transparency International, Barbados achieved the highest ranking in the region of 7.8 out of 10.  Perhaps the two political parties might suggest in light of the #16 ranking out of 183 countries, anti corruption legislation is not a priority. Such responses can be dismissed by asking – why did both political parties see the need to include it as a deliverable in their last manifestos?

Listed on the Corruption Index for 2011  are the USA at 7.1 and India 3.1. Although at opposite ends of the index these two countries are regarded as economic power houses on the global stage. More interestingly, the two are regarded as the two biggest democracies in the world. To acquire government approval in India for the most mundane request one must overcome an institutionalized system of corruption. Last week two angry Indian farmers acted out their frustration by dumping two dozen snakes in a government tax office. It is interesting that in India the fight against corruption in government has tossed up Anna Hazare. His charismatic leadership has attracted millions of Indians to the movement which has forced the government to prioritized its anti-corruption policymaking agenda. It seems India deserves its rating of 3.1.

Continue reading

Lets Get The Facts

Submitted by DLP Supporter

Kaymar Jordan, Editor in Chief, Nation newspaper

The role of the media in sensitising persons to the issues germane to the well being of society cannot be questioned. The current world trend is for receivers of news to have access to multi sources. We have seen the development of the social media [ i reporter, Facebook , Twitter , Hi 5] take its place as a source of news. Today, persons on locations thousands of miles away can report on the truth as it unfolds. We saw how powerful the anti Obama news channels were in delivering on the anti Obama campaign but he survived because people also had an alternative in the many sources that were part of his campaign strategy.

In recent times, we have seen the local media rush to publish stories without getting the facts. While, we have so many advances in technology and access to information, how is it possible for the constant circulation and publication of misinformation in our small country? We are aware of the many BBC stories that raised concerns about the stewardship of the last administration which never saw the light of the day.

We have witnessed the full centre spread page on the coverage of the status of Transport Broad and how damming the quality of service was according to the big poll conducted by the Nation news paper. The Truth is the Nation newspaper has not been fair and balanced in their coverage of news regarding the state and its functionaries. Let’s examine two issues that received the centre spread in colour to illustrate the concern.

Continue reading