A few months ago the blogmaster relented to a request from two post-grad students and shared a few insights. The result in the paper attached – CASE STUDY REPORT – What are the motivating factors for news blogging? The Case of Barbados Underground.
Unfortunately the information sharing from Barbados Underground was not as free flowing as should have been ideal but the paper is a fair effort. The reason the blogmaster agreed to share – there is an urgent need for more bloggers to setup on platforms like WordPress to secure more control of the content and therefore be protected from the tentacles of the establishment. Posters to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are beginning to battle with interference from the publishers AND we know how easy it is to report a post on those platforms.
The blogmaster takes this opportunity to express deep appreciation to all contributors and commenters to Barbados Underground from the inception (est 2007).
For the cause that lacks assistance, the wrong that needs resistance, for the future in the distance, and the good that [BU] can do – George Linnaeus Banks
One of the challenges the BU household has had to manage from inception is the ‘right’ of the BU community to express opinions and share information protected under the cloak of freedom of expression. The BU household has zealously guarded this ‘right’ because the traditional media players in Barbados- with a few exceptions -have relinquished the role it is expected to play in a breathing democracy.
With a few exceptions BU has managed the majority of our battles with lawyers and WordPress away from the public – the main reason, to not betray the code of confidentiality members of the BU household has sworn to honour at any cost.
A recent notification from a local lawyer is interesting because as we always do in an effort to be fair to the aggrieved party is to request copies of the offending BU links for our review. If after a process of review that may or may not include legal support, we will amend, remove or leave the links being questioned. Through the process BU ALWAYS share the reasons for the final decision taken. On a few occasions we have apologised to the parties. In this case, after several weeks have passed, the local lawyer has refused to share the links of concern to his client and instead transmit a veil threat of a legal action to come.
The second event of this week we want to share is the attempt to muzzle BU for sharing comments on Facebook (FB). Obviously the BU household has no control over the comments policy of FB, it is the main reason we have operated from the more protected platform of WordPress. The opportunity to practice freedom of expression on Facebook can be hijacked with ease by those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. It is interesting to note the most significant interactions David of BU engages on BU is with Minister Denis Kelllman. We plead guilty to ‘ragging’ him on the issue of the GROTTO because we hold strongly to the view that it is the public’s right to know if it pertains to how taxpayer money is spent.
Let the message go about that Barbados Underground will continue to defend the right of the BU community to freely express itself AND at the same time fairly respond to objections raised by parties who feel defamed in the process. All aggrieved parties are asked to do is click on the Send Confidential Message at the top of this page to share a brief note detailing the concern and links to blogs and comments being questioned.
Here is wishing everyone in BU land a Happy Christmas.
Members of the BU household wish to extend a hearty thank you to all who shared comments and submitted contributions in 2016. The social media space continues to grow and exert influence in our community despite the naysayers. Let us continue to highlight the issues as we see them and as the right to freedom of expression affords.
Remember to eat and drink responsibly -Christian or not!
BU thought to share a few doodles from the BU note pad about 2016 Budget and related.
We should declare that except for listening to some of Sinckler budget presentation and most of the reply by the leader of the opposition one was left with a feeling of ‘what next’. It is obvious that government’s fiscal and monetary interventions to date have not realised the improvements ALL Bajans have yearned the last five or six years.
There is talk about the economy turning the corner but how it this possible if the Central Bank continues to print money against the advice of all? Isn’t it a commonsense position if a country (or individual) spends more than is earned over a protracted period there will be no discretionary money to invest and develop? BU commented before the budget was delivered that the government would have added more taxes to slow consumer demand to protect falling foreign reserves. On the other side of the equation the economic model we have calls for consumer spending to fuel growth. We are caught between a rock and a hard place as they say.
Prime Minister Owen Arthur use to preach during the period of plenty that tourism revenue will never be adequate to pay the bills, we have to supplement with revenue from foreign direct investment (FDI) and international business. This is the model Arthur bequeath to the country. Barbados continues to feel the brunt of such a policy. With FDI drying up and international business not as robust the Stuart led government has struggled mightily to maintain the economic model it inherited with a deer caught in headlights policy approach. One thing we should have learned since 2007/8 is that the world has shifted how it does business. Capital flows from North to South is receding, oversight bodies mandated to track how money flows across the globe to support criminal activity means that the economic model we are tied to is under constant threat. How the international banks have been slimming down operation in the Caribbean is a bellwether of what is in the forecast for the region. The Caribbean Development Bank, a homegrown independent financial institution, has been posting concerns about the debt burden of Caribbean countries for more than a decade.
The inability of our governments in the last ten or fifteen years to build relevant policy and not implement lazy policy prescriptions means we proudly wear the title of banana republics. Managing economies is a complex business in today’s world. To place blind trust in a group of individuals who we refer to as the political class is reckless. Bear in mind our best people are not motivated to offer themselves for political office. This means that the majority of those who represent us in government come from the bottom of the barrel. A reminder that the people get the governments they deserve. The parliamentarian will shout across the divide in parliament to ‘char yuh mudda skunt’ then want to play the role as leader in civil society. The Attorney General will succumb to political narrative then wonder why violent crime is on the increase. Sir David Simmons has chaired many Commissions across the region and therefore must be privy to sensitive information about criminal networks and level of endemic corruption. Why not leverage the fact that he is Barbados based for the benefit of the country? We all have skeletons don’t we AG Brathwaite? You do not want BU to expand.
The idea of having to pay a 2% levy so that the monies can be placed at the disposal of Minister Lowe to buy trucks we find repulsive. Lowe should have been fired given a poor performance at Sanitation and Drainage. He should have been fired given his lead role in Cahill Energy scam. He should have ben fired given that he was a Peter Allard stooge. The bigger doodle (or dawdle?) is that in 5 years we will be back to where we are today, trucks not maintained and taxpayers having to saddled the burden of cleaning up after an inefficient, ineffective and or corrupt politician and minions. In addition, at a time we should be discussing waste management in the context of leveraging what we have that is working, we have Bizzy Willliams cussin Anderson Fat Child Cherry, Cherry cussin Lowe, Bynoe from B’s Recycling retreating to the protection of God and so forth. Does it not make sense for all of the players in Barbados to sit around a table, serve them generous portions of soup and come up with an approach for a waste management approach for Barbados that is homegrown? If you need support from consultants it would be requested on our terms? And the requite transparency of course.
Finally, it must be stated that there is no public trust in the mouthings emanating from our parliament. Young people and millennial could care less and even independent civic minded Barbadians (like the BU household) are struggling to remain engaged. Lack of confidence in this government would have been reinforced by the calling of a Budget in the middle of the Olympics. One has to conclude this was delibere by the government to deflect public scrutiny of the 2016 budget.
We agree with the leader of the opposition that the period 2008 to present deserves to be labelled the the lost years.
Freedom of expression is often taken for granted by the many who comment on Barbados Underground blog. One does not have to agree with views expressed by others, however in a democratic society, we should always be willing to defend the right of others to disagree. Usually when alternative ideas contend the big winner is the opportunity to learn.
BU shares the Jeff Cumberbatch Barbados Advocate column – Senior Lecturer in law at the University of the West Indies since 1983, a Columnist with the Barbados Advocate since 2000 and BU commenter – see full bio.
I was flabbergasted after reading in today’s Daily Nation that Donville Inniss, while speaking at his St. James South constituency branch meeting, mentioned “The Opposition party in Barbados now has mastered the social media…….. and they are being heavily used to spew a lot of filth.”
David BU, these are the types of issues you need to articulate more and raise on the blog for comments. In my opinion, Inniss is essentially saying social media needs to be controlled in the same manner the Advocate, CBC, Government Information Service and, to a lesser extent, the OCM Network are influenced to report in favour of the DLP.
Submitted by Quinzel (BU looks forward to the BU intelligentsia translating this submission)
It is a Mystery.
Here is valuable wisdom! If you rule your speech, you will save yourself from trouble. Your mouth and tongue are two of your greatest enemies. If you will keep them under control and only speak the right words at the right time, your life will be blessed. It is unruled speech that gets men into all sorts of trouble. Here is wisdom for a good life.
You can get into trouble by filthy talking, foolish talking, and jesting. You can damage your reputation, hurt others’ feelings, and waste time with such talking. God despises such speech, though they are very popular with the present generation; and He is coming soon to judge the world for these very sins (Pr 14:9; 26:18-19; Eccl 7:6; Eph 4:29; 5:3-7).
You can get into trouble talking negatively about others. Men will know you are wicked, and you will create enmity and strife. Though easy to commit, the blessed God hates backbiting, slander, talebearing, and whispering. They are much like murder, in that they destroy another’s reputation (Pr 10:18; 11:13; 16:28; 18:8; 20:19; 25:23; 26:20-22).
BU apologizes for the disruption caused to our readers and contributors over the last 48 hours. Site traffic drops below average during the holiday period and the BU household belatedly grabbed the opportunity to transfer the blog (BU) from bajan.wordpress.com to barbadosunderground.wordpress.com. Due to the large size of our blog the operation took longer than anticipated. A few comments were dropped as a result of the migration.
We made the decision to change the URL for easier access. Again, thanks for your patience. Wishing you and yours the best for the holidays.
Barbados Underground is pleased to introduce BajanFlickblog. We all have a smartphone (blackberry, iPhone, Samsung etc) let us use them to improve our way of life. If you see a ‘Kodak’ moment which is in the public interest, capture the pic or video and email BajanFlick blog.
There seems to be some direct correlation between snow fall and slumber. As I sat last night at the old desktop intent on taking in the happenings in my Barbados via the world wide web, mother nature delivered her calling card in the form of powder white, and equally light snow. For me light snow makes for heavy eye lids so quite soon I was fast asleep…and now I understand why they say peaceful sleep.
I am reading BU where it has been reported that PM Stuart has shared with us a secret that has been kept better than the code to the vault of the US treasury. I am preparing to cuss Prodigal Son for his claim that my PM didn’t even know what “de damn date was till de inner circle tell he. “I just had to get the jump on AC, CCC and ! for surely my three compadres would not permit Prodigal to get away with such disrespect for a man, my man who has just created major history in Barbados. Just as my finger is about to press the submit button so as to upstage AC and them, David writes that PM Stuart…my man of the century has just announced that a major player in the CLICO master con would be arrested and his assets frozen, all this to take place on or before nomination day.
Of course the DLPites will challenge Barbados Underground (BU) because we are about to ask a few hard questions of a DLP minister. In a recent contribution to debate in parliament Minister Ronald Jones confirmed that ‘the blogs’ are not partial to one political side or the other. BU agrees with Jones, it is an uncompromising characteristic of BU.
Before he [Inniss] became a member of parliament he was involved in managing a portfolio of offshore companies. There was the revelation that a few of the companies included in his portfolio were x-rated websites. Minister Inniss publicly declared when he was challenged by the media that the x-rated websites were no longer part of the stable of companies he had an interest. Further, in keeping with what is required he had ceded the management of his business to others when he was appointed a minister; BU assumes to his wife Gail Williams-Inniss.
In the absence of freedom of information legislation the public is left to accept the word of Minister Inniss. We have no evidence that Inniss has been less than truthful but in the interest of satisfying transparency, the public should have recourse which a FOIA would provide. Regrettably a general election is about to be called and the draft FOIA continues to languish in the office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.
The documents attached show that Minister Inniss was served to appear in a matter in Virginia.
The following recommendation was submitted by St. George”s Dragon for discussion.
BU needs to consider adopting a set of rules in respect of posts which are vicious or hostile. I believe this is important in order to be able to demonstrate to those who are starting to make noises about banning Barbados Blogs that there is a degree of editorial control over what is posted. If done in the right way this would not be censorship, just make the Blog a more responsible place and elevate the discussion. Apologies to other websites from which I have borrowed wording but as a start, what about:
BU promotes a receptive, transparent and civil atmosphere for comments and users. Critical, in-depth and intelligent discussions and debates are encouraged. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with other community members, as long as those opinions are respectful and constructively add to the conversation. However, this community does not tolerate direct or indirect attacks, name-calling or insults, nor does it tolerate intentional attempts to derail, hijack, troll or bait others into an emotional response. These types of comments will be removed from the community. Individuals who consistently or intentionally post these types of comments will be warned and, if necessary, excluded from the community.