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 “.

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Timing Is Everything: When To Call The Next Barbados General Election

Submitted by Yardbroom

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

After the death of Prime Minister David Thompson, no sooner had the funeral ceremony been respectably completed with much deserved ceremony befitting a Prime Minister in Office, when the call was made to the DLP, call a general election.

I said then an election should not be called.  Many here (BU) disagreed and still do judging by recent comments.  I will explain later the reasons underpinning my position.  There was a lot of public sympathy for Mr. Thompson, the circumstances of his death, coupled with his relatively young age were significant factors.  That this public sympathy could be translated into votes was evidenced by the successful campaign launched by his wife – Mara Thompson – now elected to Parliament….I am aware of her previous work in the constituency that not withstanding.  It was felt by a vocal segment that on a larger scale public sympathy could be exploited, thus handing victory to the DLP in a general election.

It is true an election could have been called by Prime Minister Stuart, but allow me to rewind and remind you of the circumstances then.  The DLP had only been in office for a short time and prior to the election it was said by the BLP that the DLP did not have the experience to govern Barbados.  That obviously had not been put to the test over time, it was therefore incumbent on Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to put any doubt to bed.  It was also believed there was dissent in the DLP with a myriad of members jockeying for leadership of the Party.

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Time To Question The Political DNA Of Media Houses On Fontabelle

…what has been the role of the media, can the media be bought or can the media push one agenda rather than another, rather than present the truth by getting the facts, all the facts and let people decide. It is about our intelligensia having the intellectual honesty to either declare who they support or give an unbiased view …

Sandra Husbands

The quote above is timely because it again brings to the fore the role of local media in civil society. Is there a local body which can be held accountable by the public if there is a need to question ‘journalistic ethics’? As far as BU is aware the Barbados Association of Journalists ( BAJ) has not suggested it has the the mandate to perform such a task. Here is an example, on page 9A of the Sunday Sun June 19, 2011, in an article titled ‘The way to health reform’ published under the by-line Sandra Husbands (Guest Column). Blatant in its omission was the fact the Nation newspaper did not indicate that Sandra Husbands is the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate to oppose Minister Donville Inniss in St. James South when the bell is rung for the next general election. The article robustly attacked her political foe which makes the omission all the more irresponsible.

Recently the Nation newspaper severed seasoned journalists Chris Gollop and Wade Gibbons. BU understands the two had signalled an interest to accept a ‘package’ when the Nation sent home the first set of employees, Adonijah et al.. The Nation management, it seems, took the opportunity to part company with the two in the most recent sending home of employees. We find the decision interesting because with the dearth of journalistic talent at the Nation and beyond one would have thought the management at that newspaper would have vetoed Messrs’ Gollop and Gibbons request to leave. The deed is done but it forced BU to share a suspicion we have about goings-on at the Fontebelle newspaper.

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Is The Barbados Population Being Properly Served By Its News Media?

Submitted by Yardbroom


The late great American writer Walter Lippmann said:

“The journalist’s role was to inform the public of what the elite’s were doing.  It was also to act as a watchdog over the elites, as the public had the final say with their votes”.

Within the above framework, ” journalism’s first obligation is to tell the truth”.

Why should journalists inform us: ” because an informed public is the only one that can correctly assess whether the society it inhabits is going off the rails”.

Perhaps I should say at the outset, this article has no political polemic, it is not for or against the BLP or DLP.  This should not be necessary, but regrettably a few of us, see every discourse through a narrow focus of political allegiance.

I put it to you, that a few too many of the major decisions, which have been taken in Barbados recently, were to the disadvantage of its citizens; and they possibly would not have been taken, had the electorate been better informed.  There was not the rigorous examination of proposals in the News Media, one would expect.  A couple projects, costing many millions of dollars were not properly examined, and because it was expedient not to “analyse” but to quietly “report” on what had been agreed, the almost empty cupboard, spewed out dollars with a haste that bordered on the obscene.

To be blunt the public were not “informed”, in the journalistic sense.

Without rigorous examination, journalists acquiesced to what history had taught them was a fait accompli.  The public accustomed to no more, accepted what they saw, as the engine turned in the background spewing tax payers dollars to the wind.

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The Barbados Advocate, A Disgrace To The Fourth Estate

Attorney Alvin David Bryan (right) and Wilfred Abrahams (left)

Most people (used reservedly given the Advocate’s circulation numbers) have read the self-serving apologia in the editorial section of the Advocate directed at the Bajan blogosphere, in defense of what many agree is a toothless Fourth Estate of Barbados. A Fourth Estate that blandly and blindly follows the beat of the drum of whichever political party it is affiliated to, ignores glaring incidents of injustice in the Courts of Barbados and refuses to take members of government to task, even if the evidence jumps up and bites them on the gluteus maximus.

A few examples :-

  • Barbados is taken to court in Canada in a civil lawsuit with costs running (on both sides) to almost BDS$16 million. This lawsuit involves the future of over 1% of Barbados’ total landmass, the purchase of  influence of the Fifth Estate (blogs) at BDS1,300.00 per week, the establishment of a blog in Miami, Florida, the collection of shredded documents in Barbados and their shipment to Canada to be reconstituted, the surveillance of the former wife of Owen Arthur, the surveillance of the family and person of former Attorney General Mia Mottley in Florida, the staking out of the Barbados consular mission in Miami Florida and the proposal to follow and stalk employees of that mission, contributing to the upkeep and election aspirations of Minister Denis Lowe (including importing Canadian experts to assist with his election), the use of false names and documents, the jail sentence of one of the parties who is now a fugitive from justice. Barbados wins the case in Canada and all is REVEALED. The case is fully and completely reported BU (Go to Search Box and use ‘Peter Allard’), with full document back-up. Yet, neither the Nation or the Advocate has even attempted to report on the matter. For them, it is as though it has never existed and the BDS16 million it cost is nothing – to the extent, we have to ask if one blog was paid BDS1,300 per week by Peter Allard, how much were others paid? The only other explanation is dereliction of duty as members of the Fourth Estate. Sub judice cannot be used as an excuse here.

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Cynical Reporting And Hidden Agendas

Credit: The Advocate Newspaper

Submitted by George Brathwaite

First of all I would like to commend the various media houses in Barbados for doing a reasonable job in reporting information to the public. However, there can and will be always room for improvements.

For some time now, I have become aware of a seeming change in traditional standards (i.e. declining) wherein the trend in news reporting in Barbados draws merited scepticism. Newspapers, for instance, protect their turf with an uncanny attachment toward their undeclared political interests and expect the general public to assume neutrality. To a large extent, the Barbados Advocate newspaper appears foremost in this indefensible circumstance.

After noticing the headlines of Wednesday 14 July 2010, which in bold typeface, communicates that Barbados Int‟l Reserves Increase, I felt heartened and confused simultaneously. This attention-grabber was coming on the heels of another electronic version, Barbados Today, in which that headline courted the notion that things were UNCERTAIN in the economy; this was substantiated in the Barbados Daily Nation appearing under the caption Gloomy Outcome and for which the first sentence states, “Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell says the outlook for Barbados‟ economy is uncertain.” Certainly there are mixed (i.e. different) messages being conveyed to the reader between the reporting of the Advocate and the two news carriers alluded to in this paragraph.

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The Blooming Of A Thousand Flowers Ready To Launch Assault On The Culture Of Silence Suffocating Barbados

The verdict on the recent application by the Barbados Light & Power Company for a rate hike promised by the Chairman of the Fair Trading Commission  (FTC) Sir Neville Nicholls passed without any serious notice by the media earlier this month. The media given its responsibility within the Fourth Estate of the Realm has failed the PEOPLE yet again given its responsibility to keep us informed. The blatant renege by the Fourth Estate of its important civil responsibility means that most Barbadians remain ignorant to the important issues affecting them.

The Head of the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (BANGO) Roosevelt King when asked by BU the possible reason for the delay gave the following response:

“Through fear tactics, psychological warfare, oppression and violence many people have been forced physically and mentally, [to not exercise] their right to voice their opinions or their desires to fight against the oppression that they experience. The people are forced to believe, and later come to identify with, the idea that the oppressor has supreme power and is working in the favor of the people. As a result a culture of quiet, non resistant, passive if you will, people are born. This Culture of Silence is longstanding and continues because the people continue to allow the destruction and the oppression to occur, not because they want to, but because fighting against the oppressor seems futile. Those that do fight are eradicated and made examples of in the attempt to silence future attempts at reform. – Author unknown – internet posting”

Be reminded Mr. King’s BANGO participated in the just concluded FTC/BL&P rate hike application.

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Nation Editorial Under The Microscope


Roxanne Gibbs - Executive Editor Nation Newspaper

Today’s Nation editorial makes for interesting reading. On another blog BU made the point that our Fourth Estate needs to demonstrate a duty of care when reporting news. If it does not it will have the inevitable effect of diminishing the integrity of the profession. The topic of the editorial is worthy but the content has fallen woefully short in our opinion.

Not to bore the BU family we have snipped extracts from the editorial to demonstrate our point:

Just this week, the acting general manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Dr John Mwanza, advised Barbadians that if they didn’t stop wasting their precious water, they could face another rate increase.

One possible reason for the hike: the BWA might have to import water from neighbouring Dominica to keep local levels up. Well, what could be wrong with a neighbourly solution to one’s island problem? Nothing, really, short of a military invasion or intervention.

How many times have Barbadians been told not to waste water? This maybe true but how will such a call resonate with Barbadians when it is known 60% of the water escapes from our distribution system because of leaks? What about the fact burst water mains are sighted daily all over Barbados and Barbadians have to literally beg Barbados Water Authority personnel to repair the bursts? How will this state of affairs create a culture of water conservation in Barbados?

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Nation Newspaper Creates News Based On Unscientific Cellphone Poll


Barbados Nation Newspaper Cartoon - 09 November 2009

Submitted as a comment by Adrian Hinds

Two accepted scientific polls with results unfavourable to Mia Mottley, followed by two questionable polls that are favourable to her. The latter enabled by the Nation newspaper; coincident, or a deliberate attempt to create news rather than report it?

We should remember the 2007-8 Cadres poll that suggested 20-10 victory for the DLP in the 2008 Jan 15 national election. We should remember the counter poll by Boxill that sought to counter Cadres projections and results.

Another Cadres poll with statistics that Mia Mottley does not like so the Nationnews decided to counter or is it contained the results of that poll with a text message unscientific poll and has sought to highlight and publicize the results as if they were or could ever be provable “statements of Facts”.

During all of this traditional media employees are reminding us that they  check and recheck facts.

Is The NATION Newspaper Service NISE Compliant?

Submitted by Adrian Loveridge

Submitted by Adrian Loveridge

Must reasonable people can understand when organisations have a problem, but it’s how you deal with it that’s important and how you communicate with people that are keeping you in business. It’s 3.45pm and still no paid-for Sunday Sun has been delivered.

Calls to the 1) Circulation Manager, 2) After hours Distribution, (3) News Hotline, 4) Customer Experience and 5) Eric Holder (Circulation Manager) home number all meet with FULL voicemail boxes. Eventually yesterday late into the afternoon our Saturday Sun was delivered.

Yes! there are presumably paid ‘ad’s on at least one radio station telling us that today’s edition will be late, but 4pm plus to get a daily paper? And what value is there to those companies paying to advertise in the publication?

Will Nation Publishing refund those that have locked into paid subscription.?

It’s Your Move!

Roxanne Gibbs - Executive Editor Nation Newspaper

Roxanne Gibbs - Executive Editor Nation Newspaper

Two weeks have passed since the Nation newspaper printed the front page story which declared that the government’s political strategist Hartley Henry had threatened Nation newspaper Sunday Sun Editor Carol Martindale. The management of the Fontebelle newspaper reacted swiftly to that telephone call made on the Saturday afternoon by going to  print hours later to meet the next day edition. To demonstrate the seriousness of how the action by Henry was received, the Royal Barbados Police Force was summons, a letter dispatched to Prime Minister David Thompson and other correspondence sent to international media watchdog agencies.

The dust has settled somewhat and some Barbadians who have remained above the partisan prattle are starting to ask the tough questions. BU has a few of our own as well.

  1. Did Carol Martindale have a conversation with leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley concerning the DLP sponsored CADRES poll before it was published?
  2. Is it true the telephone call between Henry and Martindale was NOT recorded?
  3. Is it true the witness to part of the telephone call between Martindale and Henry at the Nation end was not party to sufficient of the conversation to validate the charge which has been made by Martindale?
  4. Is it true the Nation newspaper maybe facing a law suit given the flimsy evidence used to support their actions?

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No Threat To Press Freedom It’s All About ‘The Connection’

Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

Barbadians are truly ‘something else’. The hundreds of calls, texts and mails I have received over the past four days suggest that I need not say very much in response to certain allegations, because people already know about ‘the connection’.

I thought I had stumbled upon a dark, grey secret with respect to why a certain person enjoys seemingly unfettered access to a particular publication, week in and week out. But every mode and means of communication has been used in recent days to convey to me graphic details of ‘the connection’. What I thought was a piece of ‘hot, juicy news’ turned out to be ‘a particle of rich history’; for Sam Cuch, the Duppy and their in-laws know all about ‘the connection’.

‘The connection’ apparently did not start yesterday, last month or even last year. ‘The connection’ has been ongoing for years now and apparently has been a rocky road for one, characterized, as has now become the norm with cohorts of the aggressor, by an enormous amount of abuse. I am hearing now of blows to the face, blows to the head, blows about the body and even attempts at slitting the wrist. I am also told of the entry of a company head honcho into the “ling”, and the moving out and moving in with the said heavy roller. This heavy roller must be packing a mean punch, kick and especially lick to have two bosses in so pitiful a state, lying prostrate at every beck and call.

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Adonijah Sent Packing By Nation Group, Read All About It!

newspaperArising from an earlier blog Down By The Riverside fellow blogger from the Living In Barbados Blog expressed the view that  private enterprise must be allowed to manage to stay afloat and make money for shareholders (parsing). We have no problem with that position, the flip side however is that BU has the freedom to critique the genuineness of decisions taken as we perceive them. As a corporate citizen the public’s perception should be of value to the Nation Group of Companies.

We are aware that three hundred daily newspapers have gone out of business in the last 25 years in the United States. We are aware that the main reason from the drop in circulation has been because the younger readers have been tapping into Internet based sources like blogs, free online news sources etc.

Unfortunately we have to take the word of the OCM Group Chairman Sir Fred Gollop about the reason for sending home Adonijah and 20+ other media workers from the Nation Group of Companies last week. He mentioned about increase cost in newsprint blah blah blah. We have access to the OCM consolidated financial statement for 2008, what we don’t know is how the Barbados companies performed vis-a-vis others in the OCM Group. We have to guess.

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Editor Of The Kaieteur Newspaper Edits Letter To Editor

Submitted by the Caribbean Institute for Democracy

Mr. Adam Harris


Kaieteur Newspaper

Georgetown, Guyana.

Dear Adam:

I must again take issue you Mr. Adam Harris, Editor of the Kaieteur Newspaper.

It has not been lost on me that Kaieteur News apparently deliberately edited my letter to the press, which you published in yesterday’s edition (Dec 8), to make it appear unintelligible as well as an attack on the PNC, as a party, as opposed to a rebuke of Robert Corbin’s undemocratic and vindictive politics. All of CGID’s correspondences are reviewed by a team of legal professionals. Hence, our correspondences, we think, are libel and slander proof. A reasonable conclusion therefore is that your edits were not for the latter purpose but merely political.

KN removed my criticism of President Jagdeo. You also removed my criticisms of Corbin and, like the following paragraph, inserted the name of the PNC instead, when clearly the intent of my contentions was condemnatory of Corbin himself. Example: You published that: “CGID believes that the recall of James McAllister provides a keen insight into the PNC‘s domineering approach to governing and antipathy for democratic values. No party with such mentality must ever again be entrusted with governing Guyana.” Continue reading

Barbados Media Turns Blind Eye To Prime Minister being Sued In Canada

We have linked to the Keltruth Blog to update this story. If some of us felt that the Kingsland Estate trial ongoing in Canada is not news worthy enough for the traditional media, maybe it has now become so. If we understand Keltruth latest blog right, they have sent letters to all the world leaders attending the United Nations 63rd General Assembly in New York today (23 September 2008). Continue reading

Lowdown Hoad Attacks Barbados Media

Middle Media

Censorship has reduced the Barbadian media to a spineless, wishy-washy affair where adverse comment about certain untouchables is banned from print and talk outlets. Ezra Alleyne has written (and I hope he doesn’t mind being quoted): “Speaking as an attorney-at-law who . . . advises on the law of defamation on a daily basis . . . I say that the ‘black letter’ Law on Defamation in Barbados is among the most modern to be found anywhere.”


Ezra feels that the Defamation Act 1996 “places Barbados almost on par with the USA” in certain aspects of public comment. If all this is so, it would appear that much of the cutting in newspapers and radio talk shows has more to do with the personal whims of faceless censors than with breaching the law. But as Jesus pointed out in Acts 9:5, it is hard to kick against the . . . authorities.

The above two quotes are taken from the enormously popular Lowdown column.

It is no secret that the BU household is addicted to the weekly column penned by the venerable and highly intelligent Lowdown Hoad. His masterly articulation on social and other issues that affect Barbados society are often cleverly delivered when he resorts to his uniquely satirical style. Again, we have to make the point that his column is a must read for all Barbadians who want to read an untarnished view.

This week we have detected a ‘cold biting’ to his writing which is a departure from his norm. The confidence which he has to attack the media, obviously his criticism is pointed at the Nation Newspaper as well is interesting and refreshing. It tells us volumes about the man. He is very secure in who he is and is willing to defend a position he believes in. It also speaks to the point that the Nation Newspaper editors do not dare to apply their editorial license in the same way they have done to Peter Wickham and others when reviewing Hoad’s column.

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Are Media Practitioners In Barbados On The "Ball"?

The ACM Executive, 2007-09: Standing – Guy Delva, Peter Richards, Michael Bascombe, Canute James; Sitting – Nita Ramcharan, Wesley Gibbings & Anika Kentish.

We find it interesting, in fact amusing, that there is an association called ‘Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) and media houses or a cadre of journalists from Barbados have not assumed a meaningful role in that association in recent times. The association recently held its Fourth Biennial General Assembly and to our surprise Barbados was reported to have been absence. It is worthwhile to note that the inaugural meeting of the ACM was held in Barbados six years ago.

Barbados has historically prided itself as playing a leading role in many of the regional agencies. We therefore have to ask media practitioners in Barbados to explain their glaring absence from the ACM Executive in recent times. BU should not be surprise at this current state of affairs because we have been asking the question over and over in our previous articles: why is it that the Barbados Association of Journalist (BAJ) have disregarded the need to organize themselves under an umbrella body that would enable them to more effectively mobilize the cause of the venerable Fourth Estate which they represent. Do they not appreciate their key role in disseminating accurate news on behalf of the PEOPLE?

The last time we checked the BAJ was still involved in a deep slumber.

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Analysis Versus Rubbish From Our Nation Newspaper


In the coming weeks and months, BU will be highlighting what we believe to be deficiencies in the Barbados media. We have written extensively on the role of the Fourth Estate and its importance to commit to report on the news accurately. What is equally important is for the journalists to present the news after applying the basics of What, When, Where, How, and Why. The two quotes below adequately illustrate the glaring inadequacy of our leading daily newspaper.

The two articles highlight the performance of RBTT a leading regional bank. The first article published by the Trinidad Express gives a detailed analysis of the banks performance which any idiot should be able to follow. The second article published by our own Nation newspaper published a public relations release obviously issued by the bank. We would have thought given the fact that RBTT operates a bank in Barbados, the Nation newspaper would have felt obligated to provide the public with voluminous analysis of the banks’ performance. This is in light of a pending acquisition by Royal Bank of Canada.


Flat financial results were the order of the day for RBTT Financial Holdings Limited (RBTT). For the nine months ended December 31, 2007 the Group reported an EPS of $1.95, a 1.5 per cent decrease over the previous financial year’s nine month EPS of $1.98.

Net Income of the Bank underwent a marginal 6.6 per cent increase from $2.21B to $2.36B. The sole contributor to this increase was Net Interest Income which increased 12.5 per cent. However, the Other Income component endured a 2.8 per cent reduction. Operating Expenses for the nine months increased 8.5 per cent year on year to $1.46B, while the Bank recorded an Impairment Expense of $6.4M compared to $20.1M last year.

Read More in the Trinidad Express…

RBTT FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LTD has reported US$145 million in pre-tax earnings for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2007, a five per cent increase over the corresponding 2006 period. Group chairman Peter July said the profit attributable to shareholders, US$107 million, was affected by a higher effective group tax rate that moved from 21 per cent to 25 per cent mainly due to changes “to tax legislation in one jurisdiction, increased provision for tax assessments, and higher taxable income generated by our retail banking entities”.

As a result, the banker reported diluted earnings per share, US$0.31 vis-a-vis US$0.32 for the same nine-month span last year.

Read More in the Nation newspaper…

We will let our readers judge for themselves.



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Barbados Media Houses Failing The Profession

…But what else does the report show us? A need for some education at the local papers, I suggest. In the same article the paper talks about there not being any “KNIGHT” of long knives, meaning no recriminations. Now, I’m sorry, there is no excuse for misuse of phrases. The correct phrase should be “NIGHT of the long knives”, and refers to a purge that took place in Nazi Germany during June 30-July 2, 1934 when Adolf Hitler’s regime executed at least 85 people for political reasons (see Wikipedia). This is a schoolchild type of mistake (like “Gladly, the cross-eyed bear”) . If it were a deliberate malapropism or some other play on words (“Sir David, knight of the long knives”, he who wields the sword?) then I would say “how witty”, but I suspect that it’s just sloppy journalism. Tsk! If the editorial staff do not know what is right there is a problem. If they do know what is right and don’t catch these errors then their system needs to be reviewed.

Read More – Click On Image

Public comments, including Doctor Don Marshall and a recent editorial suggest that our democracy is safe if our traditional media houses, with their well trained and zealous workforce is allowed to do their job without the intimidation of politicians in high places. Let us not forget the stricture of our unforgiving Defamation Laws.

We agree wholeheartedly!

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Media Houses In Barbados Charged With Dereliction Of Duty


In the aftermath of a short and intense political campaign which ended Tuesday, 15 January 2008, with victory for David Thompson and his Democratic Labour Party (DLP), we continue to worry about the perennial problem of an ineffective media in Barbados – read Barbados Free Press. The willingness of our media practitioners to sway and buckle to political and other pressures should be of concern to defenders of our democracy. It is not acceptable that as a country we should pride ourselves on a high standard of education, yet our media practitioners continue to demonstrate that they are devoid of any courage by demonstrating their spineless disposition. We have written extensively about the importance of the role of the Fourth of Estateenter keywords ‘fourth estate’ in our search area on the top of the page.

The time has come for media houses in Barbados to stop failing the people and to awake from their slumber.

There is a saying that people get what they deserve – well, something like that anyway – and in very much the same way that we are able to send a clear message every five years to the political directorate, so too we need to send a message to the owners of the Fourth Estate in Barbados. The only way we can expect balance reporting from our media houses is to speak-out against the inequities when they occur, embarrass them with our public comment, let them suffer by our lack of financial support, let us write to stakeholders such as the unions, and to their important clients and international watchdog agencies to help agitate for justice. The actions we can take as civic minded Barbadians are limitless.

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The Games That Newspapers Play

PM Arthur’s Tiawan Deal Allegations Exposed As Lies

There is the popular saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. To those of you who are a bit slow this Monday afternoon we have highlighted four areas on the image. Can you connect the dots?

The Politics Of Inclusion Revisited

Regrettably I have to confirm that for the first time since my Grandfather Clennell Wickham started writing People and Things in the 1940s, this article has been unilaterally suspended by the Newspaper that agreed to host it. Clearly, my perspective on this occasion is very different to that which I offered during the 1999 and 2003 elections. I am therefore grateful to BU and BFP for carrying this review of the politics of inclusion which is yet to see the light of day.


Peter Wickham – BA, MSc, MPhil (UWI)


The Sunday Sun of January 3rd 1999 presented an article entitled “The New Politics of Inclusion” which sought to critique an apparent “programme” of the Arthur administration which was apparently intended to allow for greater participation in the governance of our country. This article took the position that the politics of inclusion represented a development that was not only good but absolutely necessary for the proper development of a country like Barbados which is both small and resource deficient. This perspective was, however, a theoretical argument which assumed much about this programme of inclusion which this author presumed would take democracy beyond the right to vote in elections and allow Barbadians the opportunity to play a role in a government that is open, accountable and participatory.

The BLP fought and won the 1999 election and created history in the process. The bumper harvest of seats in that election was no-doubt assisted considerably by this programme of inclusion, which can now be reviewed against objectives which were both political and developmental. This review is concerned more with the delivery of developmental objectives, however, since the 1999 article is used as a base and it concluded that:

“The politics of inclusion is worthy of consideration, so long as it can be identified as a derivation of “participatory democracy”. The nature of participatory democracy is such that is can easily be confused with a programme of overtly political patronage and the use of public funds to advance a political cause. A fine line separates the two; hence it is essential that either party adopting such a programme give it the fullest possible expression so that the objectives of the programme are clearly a contribution to national development”.

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Peter Wickham's Articles Banned By The Nation Newspaper

My fear of a DICTATORSHIP is a very serious aspect of my reason for change. This admistration has clearly shown its willingness to take us down the road of a DICTATORSHIP. Let us address the withdrawal of PETER WICKHAM from writing articles for the Nation and the risk of the halting of CALL IN SHOWS, and from what I have been reading and what I have heard that this gov’t has undertaken illegal means to tap into private citizens telephone calls, text messages and Internet activity such as the interception of emails etc, this was facility was first introduced with the CWC and has since been put into active use to control and monitor the actions of those not favourable to the DICTATOR.

Commenter~Wishing in Vain

peter-wickham-small-potrait.jpgFrequent contributor to the blogs under the moniker Wishing in Vain hinted yesterday that certain actions behind the scenes were unfolding which can be interpreted as restricting freedom of expression among Barbadians. Today, Peter Wickham confirmed on national radio that the Nation newspaper has withdrawn his articles because he has been deemed to be a biased contributor.

We should try to have some more discussion on this matter.


According to frequent commenter Adrian Hinds, he believes that the genesis of Peter Wickham’s censure by the Nation newspaper maybe traced in the following video:



Roy Morris Goes To Court Tomorrow

November 1, 2007 is significant for Mr. Roy Morris, a man Barbados has grown to love and hate, especially the mini-busmen. He is expected to return to court to have his matter heard. If his case is handled based on how efficient we know our Magistrates Courts to be, this matter will be adjourned for sure. Wow, so many cases in our courts which are suspended in a perpetual state of going no where! Anyway we have been promised by the Chief Justice David Simmons that Night Court will be coming and the appropriate legislation to respond to lawyers who frustrate the efficient running of our courts has been introduced by our Attorney General.

Back to our friend Roy Morris who has dropped off the radar!

For what it is worth Roy, we are prepared to offer you the opportunity to publish on Barbados Underground your unedited views to the world using your name or a moniker of your choice – please contact us at if you are interested. Unfortunately our job as guardians of free speech and defenders of our democracy goes unpaid, but sometimes arm in the knowledge of fighting for a just cause is often reward enough for some of us. We have had our say on your situation and we hope whatever happens its takes a turn for the better. We are all human and any transgressions which occurred in Fontebelle should present an opportunity for you and your former colleagues to learn from. Your ‘roll-up the sleeves’ approach to reporting has been sorely missed.

Chief Justice Simmons it is time that we see some improvement in our court processing. When the Judicial Centre is finished we will be holding you to your promise.



Previous Stories

The Demise of Roy Morris: Veteran Journalist At The Nation Newspaper Part I

The Demise of Roy Morris: Veteran Journalist At The Nation Newspaper Part II

Roy Morris Rape Charge In Court Thursday

Media House Takes Another Feeble Left Jab At The 3S Affair~Come On Vivian-Anne, There Is The Right HAND!!!


Source: Nation Newspaper

It looks like Mascoll is the appointed fall guy on the 3S project. What else can we think given his incoherent pronouncements on the contentious issue so far? If we did not know better, we would have thought that all the other Ministers in the cabinet refused to speak on the 3S matter, in the absence of the convalescing Gline Clarke; or that the Prime Minister Owen Arthur has deemed that Mascoll is expendable.

What do you think? Could it be that Mascoll is being groomed to succeed Owen Arthur?

Today, we listened to an interesting exchange on the call-in program hosted by Dennis Johnson. The caller questioned the role of the media in Barbados and asked Dennis Johnson for an explanation of the role of the media. Dennis Johnson responded by saying that the media should be charged with “informing, educating and entertaining the public” and he lamented the prevailing impression that the media was more concerned with public relations (This is a precis of what we thought we heard). Thank you Dennis Johnson for making the point which BU have been trying to make for so long, and for logging your support for the “agitators” who operate outside the Fourth Estate (Media). One thing we can say about Dennis is that he speaks passionately about what he believes. Others should try to do the same.

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The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth About The Operations Free Flow Project In Barbados. Will It Ever Be Told?

flyover.jpgIt is the eighth day since we broke the story about the Jonathan Danos, 3s Barbados SRL, Barbados government affair and still not a murmur from the media houses in Barbados. We have heard reports of news from countries around the region and the world but the one story which is pertinent to Barbados, the media have taken a collective decision to refuse to carry the story. History, we believe will record this moment as one of the darkest periods of news coverage in Barbados. Our sources at a leading radio station tell us that most of the moderators on the call-in programs are aware of this story; they too remain silent.

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Press Freedom Continues To Be Under Threat In Barbados



POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING a fire at the Lawrence T. Gay Memorial Primary School that extensively damaged two classrooms of the Matilda Deane Block. The fire in the room used for the two reception classes occurred on August 20. It was the second at the Spooners Hill, St Michael school in three weeks.

Source: Nation

bfp_piggy125.jpg This morning Barbadians hear about yet another news report of a building damaged by fire. It seems to BU that the reports have become all too frequent. Have you the public ever wondered why we never hear of the authorities telling us the cause of the fires after their long investigations? Is it unreasonable to ask why many of the fires which occur under suspicious circumstances never seem to produce a culprit? The biggest question which we should consider is whether our Media Houses is doing a good job to keep serious issues at the forefront of the public. Are Barbadians so pure in their reputations that buildings which have been burned to rubble or extensively damaged should never yield a culprit?

We should blame many but at the top of the pile we hold the Media Houses in Barbados accountable.

A check of Wikipedia defines the role of the press as “its explicit capacity of advocacy and in its implicit ability to frame political issues. The term goes back at least to Thomas Carlyle in the first half of the 19th century.” We think Barbadians in recent months have become resigned to the fact that our media practitioners in Barbados operate with the fear of reprisals if they advocate on any issues which will confront officialdom. Their comfort level is to passively report on the “harmless” events which will usually offend no one.

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Adrian Loveridge Questions The Local Media Houses Regarding Their Deafening Silence About The Jonathan Laslo Danos 3S (Barbados SRL) Affair

All Barbadians know that Adrian Loveridge who is a Barbadian citizen has been one never afraid to speak-out. It is something that all Barbadians should take note of if our democracy is to be protected.


The Daily Nation

The Barbados Advocate


On the 11th May 2007 in the Royal Courts of Justice (London), Jonathan Laszlo DANOS, President of 3S (Barbados) SRL, the company currently engaged by the Government of Barbados to widen the ABC Highway and build overpasses was charged with fraud and conspiracy by his former employers, Mabey and Johnson Ltd.

3S (Barbados) SRL, contention was that they had gained valuable experience while constructing Flyovers in Panama. According to Robert Capurro, Director of Sales-Latin America & Caribbean-Mabey and Johnson Ltd., “Mabey & Johnson has supplied a number of steel flyovers to Panama since 1997. As far as we are aware, no other company has supplied or completed such steel flyovers in that country.”

Bearing in mind the Project Manager of 3S (Barbados) SRL, George Siddall, recently announced that the estimated cost of the work undertaken was expected to rise from US$60 million to US$180 million, it is difficult to understand why your publication/station has not carried this story.

Adrian Loveridge

The Demise of Roy Morris: Veteran Journalist At The Nation Newspaper Part I


The hot story in Bridgetown in recent days has been the fall from grace of a veteran journalist who over the years has shown a penchant for using two heads. For many people with their ears to the ground the exploits of Mr. Roy Morris is nothing new. There was the incident of the girl from St. Lucy; then there is the young lady who worked in the media who is currently overseas studying. BU suppose she must have been happy with her $30,000.00. The question being asked on the corridors and the rum shops__what has the gentleman done to deserve being asked to resign by the company? We could spread the sordid details on the Internet but we have taken a decision not to do so to respect other players involved. Suffice it to say that employees are asked to resign in organizations everyday for one reason or the other. When that time occurs the employee in question will make a judgment call, whether to resign or not. In this matter our source confirms that Mr. Morris has admitted to …

This is what we will say!

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Barbados Labour Party Spin Machinery Moving Into High Gear~Is The Democratic Labour Party Around?

Minister Gline “wuk fuh wuk” Clarke, the battled hardened Minister and Owen Arthur loyalist has boldly stated that:-

“We do not envisage an increase in bus fares either” he added, “because it is this Government’s belief that public transportation is important; it is this Government’s belief that there is no need to increase fares, and we believe that the Government should provide a subsidy since transport is one of the leading sectors in order to keep the country viable.”

Source:Nation Newspaper

Over the years the Barbados Labour Party has sent mixed signals on whether there is a plan to increase bus fares in the face of increasing petroleum prices. Barbadians remember when the then Minister of Transport Anthony “Too Silent” Wood indicated in a bold pronouncement that he would propose that bus fares be increased. Little did he know that he was being set-up by his boss, Prime Minister Arthur, to test “the waters”. The hue and cry which ensued put paid to that proposal and prompted this response from Democratic Labour Party strategist Hartley Henry in his recent Nation Newspaper piece: “Anthony Wood’s “moment in time” was the stillbirth he gave to an increase in bus fares”.

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BU's Top Post July 2007

As you would expect Barbadians love to read and discuss when prominent people in our society fall from their pinnacle. To write about the Roy Morris story was very difficult because of what he represented, however at BU we try to write about what we know to be factual. Our observation over the short life of BU confirms the view that people are drawn to stories which involve sex, injustice, violence or “tieffing”. Our top post for July smashed the previous record of visits and views by a single topic by over 300% and achieved top post ranking on WordPress which hosts over 1.2 million blogs.


To think that July 2007 is not finished yet!

People have been reading the story from all over the world. We have said before that people who continue to underestimate the power of the blogosphere and the Internet, as an alternative medium by which to move information will get a rude awaking very soon.

A worthy mention is the piece which recorded second most popular on BU for July 2007. It highlighted the unprofessional way in which Chefette Restaurant treated a young Barbadian when she found a worm in her purchase.


Top Posts


  1. The Demise of Roy Morris: Veteran Journalist At The Nation Newspaper
  2. Chefette Restaurant Needs To Be More Customer Friendly

David Ellis Speaks-out On Behalf Of The Beleaguered Media Practitioners In Barbados

BU was heartened today to hear David Ellis of STARCOM Network speak-out against the recent attack on the Press which occurred at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. As Barbados leading journalist he has had to suffer a battering in recent times; especially at the hands of the Barbados Labour Party politicians with a general on the horizon. Much of what he said suggested to us that he reads the Blogs-that being the case he needs to go that step closer and mention that we too are playing a part to protect freedom of expression in Barbados.

So Mr. Ellis we congratulate you on the bold decision to speak-out on a matter which we recognize is before the court. Regrettably it appears that you maybe alone and you should therefore prepare yourself for the onslaught which is sure to come.

Listen to DAVID ELLIS as he defended the Press on the popular VOB 92.9 call-in program, Down to Brasstacks.

Please note the file is MP3 format.

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Barbados Spends Millions On CWC 2007 And Other Projects But Ordinary Workers With Children To Feed Continue To Wait Over Two Months For Wages

Bajan Government under fire

The Barbados opposition has accused the Government of neglecting the needs of Barbadian businesses that worked throughout the Cricket World Cup. Opposition Leader David Thompson highlighted the plight of School Meals staff who have not yet been paid for work done during CWC.

“They don’t factor the CWC horror stories of ordinary Barbadians into their analyses. The Democratic Labour Party is insisting that the true experiences of Barbadians from all walks of life should be factored into the analysis and not just the profits of those for whom the fatted calf was killed,” said Thompson.

Read More In The Voice Newspaper

The story quoted is about Leader of the Opposition of Barbados David Thompson lamenting the fact that the school meals workers who worked around the clock to ensure the “who is who” that attended the CWC 2007 were fed, HAVE NOT BEEN PAID! BU will not even bother to flog a dead horse on this issue except to say that the longer it persists it signifies a callousness on the part of the persons responsible to remedy the matter.

What we want to highlight is the fact that this negative story has been featured in The Voice newspaper which is a newspaper targeted to the black community in the United Kingdom. I suspect our many black family and friends who live in the UK, and who scour the newspapers for good news to derive comfort in a “foreign land” must be very disappointed at the bad press CWC 2007 continues to generate. Hopefully despite what the head of the local organizing committee for Barbados has hinted, that the final report for CWC may not be made public, at BU we fully expect that on the election trail the government will be hard pressed to suppress this information.

If we thought that the school meals workers not being paid was an isolated one, BU understands that workers at the half way house which provides support services to the Psychiatric Hospital of Barbados have not been paid for the past three months. Increasingly we are hearing stories of so many government workers not being paid for months. In a country which no one can deny as a high cost of living; BU fears the societal tensions which must be brewing given the bureaucratic bottlenecking which continues to prevent ordinary Barbadians from being timely paid. This is the same government which has admitted to paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars in mobilization fees to bogus contractors.

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Press Freedom Under Threat In Barbados

A CARIBBEAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC) CAMERAMAN was arrested and charged, while two NATION media personnel were manhandled by police officers at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) on Friday night. The incident occurred when the media converged outside the QEH’s Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department to report on casualties arriving from a Transport Board bus accident at Bath, St John.Jimmy Gittens, a contract photographer with CBC, appeared before Magistrate Deborah Holder in the District “A” Bridgetown Court yesterday charged with trespassing on the QEH’s compound.

Read More:

The Nation Newspaper has reported this morning that members of the media were arrested and charged yesterday (27 May 2007). The transgression is reported to be that the cameraman was deemed to be trespassing on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) compound. Let BU add its voice to those in recent times which have shown concern at the way the media is being manhandled in Barbados. BU has written exhaustively in its short existence about the ramifications of an ineffective media in Barbados. This recent attack on the Barbados media has come days after Amnesty International released its Report for 2007 outlining concerns that governments around the world are using the threat of terror in the aftermath of 911 to infringe on the rights of citizens and media alike. By the way is this the same Royal Barbados Police Force which allowed themselves to be searched like “looppy dogs” at the just concluded CWC 2007?

We applaud the effort of the QEH to crack down on security, but if the Press after showing credentials is not permitted to do the work of informing the country, we have a problem. A simple solution to this matter would have been for the PR personnel at the QEH to “arrange” the photos which would have been acceptable to all present and avoid creating a public incident. BU applaud the members of the Press involved who for the first time that we can remember in recent times have stood-up for a principle. BU is surprise that the senior reporter present, Timothy Slinger appeared to have been given the same lack of respect meted out to his more junior colleagues.

BU waits to see the fallout from this incident and how the media in Barbados will mobilize at the obvious threat to treat them as “ordinary citizens”. A timely intervention from the Barbados Association of Journalists and the Media Houses is required, NOW!

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Barbados Slave Trade Records Go Online In England On The Eve Of National Heroes Day – A Day Barbadians Want To Forget On CWC Finals Day

barbados national heroesIt appears to us here at BU the lack of recognition of National Heroes Day tomorrow because of the hosting of CWC 2007 is a true reflection on the current state of Barbados. We can aptly describe our mirror image of that of “hypocrite”.

National Hero’s day is April 28th. We celebrate the 10 Patriots who have made a mark on Barbados. A slave rebellion leader, a woman preaching equality in the church, a skilled writer and orator, a political activist, populist leader, public educator, a trade union leader, the complete athlete,the Father of Independence and the founder of our Democracy. Celebrations take place in Hero’s Square, where their pictures have been painted by the best Barbadian artists.

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