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.
BU stated in its recent blog when attacked by Ontario counsel for Barbados resident, Eugene Melnyk:
“BU will unhesitatingly side with any blog on which bully boy tactics are attempted, even if it is Barbados Free Press (BFP) – indeed, on the sole occasion that BU did take up cudgels on this issue – it was on behalf of BFP, believe it or not. Reciprocation is, of course, not anticipated.”
BU understands that such an attack has been made on BFP in relation to the FIFA and other issues involving Jack Warner and that BFP has been ordered to remove its reporting on Jack Warner by WordPress.
BU has also carried reporting on Jack Warner and therefore considers the instruction to BFP to remove its reporting to be completely out of order and has no problem with BFP providing the link to this blog to WordPress as being BU’s condemnation of their instructions and its support for BFP in these circumstances only.
Social Commentators Carl Moore and Peter Wickham have been critical of “the blogs”
Barbados Underground and all locally based blog operators should resist the attempts to silence them, by the so called guardians, of what is acceptable media and by extension acceptable journalism. The simple truth, is that the growth of what is called the new media, has given expression to those, who were once systematically barred from national discourse.
While I will never subscribe to the use of excessive vulgarity in any form, written or oral, I believe that this is being used as a red herring to censor the freedom of expression that blogs such as Barbados Underground are now in the vanguard of ensuring.
Barbados is steeped in intellectual snobbery and I suggest it pains those who always thought that they alone will be the chosen ones to see their names in print, pontificating on all matters, while the rest of the population, worship their superior academic and intellectual skills. They were entrenched as the fountains of all knowledge. That class status has now been forever discarded.
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart promised integrity legislation in the current term
As incredible as it may seem to some, the Prevention of Corruption Bill, 2012 has passed the Lower House on its journey to being proclaimed. Hopefully this will be done before the Prime Minister rings the bell for the next general election. One suspects though that Prime Minister Stuart will deliver on this piece of legislation, this is the stuff legacy is built. Perhaps the one regret is that yet again Hansard will NOT record a contribution from the leader of the Opposition Owen Arthur.
A listen to the debate disappointed yet again. Members of parliament on both sides joined hands to paint a picture of a courageous group who has had to bear the brunt of vilification from the public. References were made to the #16 ranking which Barbados holds on Transparency International. The Prime Minister referenced the need to recognize that there is a perception that many in public life engage in questionable behaviour, therefore the need to have integrity legislation. The listener was left with the impression that the government although tabling the legislation, has done so kicking and screaming.
To state the obvious integrity legislation serves many purposes. In private enterprise rules governing code of conduct is routine. It ensures that all employees are aware of the consequences of certain actions. It helps to feed a culture of excellence. BU posits that many practices which currently fly under the radar may be discontinued or forced into the open with the advent of integrity legislation. Should we remind the Attorney General that Transparency International’s ranking is based on a perception index? It is known how PSV permits were procured by may as a good example. A read of the Auditor General reports from 2006 also helps to form positions unfavourable to politicians and others in the public sector.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Many of you have been asking about Terence Blackett who up to a few months ago was a prolific contributor to BU. He along with Zoe and Georgie Porgie were part of a formidable triumvirate who – with pride- used this forum to defend their faith based doctrines.
BU has learned of the tragedy which the Blackett family has recently experienced. The BU household extends our deepest condolences to the Blackett family and entreat Terence and his wife to keep the faith despite the testing circumstances.
Out of respect for Terence and his wife we have deliberately withheld intimate details about the tragedy. If it is his will he can share with the BU family.
Terence if you find the time listen to this song which encapsulates what we are unable to cobble together in words.
Submitted by David Bryan, Attorney-at-Law and former General Manager of the Barbados Advocate Newspaper
I received a telephone call last Friday June 8th, 2012 by a concerned person, who decided to do what rarely Barbadians do, when they have heard a rumor about someone, and that is to approach them directly about it.
Even though I was surprised what this individual informed me on what people were saying concerning me, in this country. Indeed, I was not disappointed, since it is systemic in our culture to gossip about individuals regardless of the consequences this behavior may cause. Hence the law of libel is there to protect such innocent parties.
In any event, I would like to “clear the air” as it relates to these rumors which according to my anonymous friend were circulating for the last 5 or so years, to which I obviously had no idea, until now.
Why the last 5 years? Well as the story goes this was the time, that the Barbados Underground and the Barbados Free Press started their blogs. It was also around the time in which I resigned as General Manager of the Barbados Advocate newspaper.
Some comments suggest we know and understand little about the country and less about how the world spins. Some party faithfuls without knowledge or facts preach falsehood in tattered narrowness. A few seem to have difficulty with the written word. Prodigal Son asks if theSt Joseph hospital was sold how could government “be able to lease it out.” Yes I said the BLP sold the port, airport, the National Bank and the hospital in the north. Is the northern hospital located inSt Joseph? Austin (not Hal) asks if I “honestly consider what the Bajan public is getting from the current PM is leadership.” The article dealt exclusively with the BLP not the DLP. To answer your question try reading my other submissions.
According to Enuff the submission is “symptomatic of a government that fails to accept that public policy and behaviour inspires the private sector to invest….” Does he mean the current opposition? The submission dealt only with the BLP. To find out who bought the Port and Airport ask those who know but choose to be conveniently unaware.
I am not suggesting the private sector is to blame. That sector (White) built and developed the country. For example four arrived as indentures (another name for slaves), worked on the plantations some of which they later owned, invested their savings in business and built Bridgetown, all by utilizing the only natural resource, the land. (Little England 2). Politically it provided education for blacks (CodringtonCollege) and other social facilities at a time when the Uncle Sam considered the Nigger to be 5/8 of a human. And they supported the abolition of slavery. Recall the Conservative Party? You voted them out of power. Why is another story. Today the private sector provides the bulk of taxation used to support social services, government employment and remains by far the largest employer.
I’ve been bothered for some time now by an incident that occurred a few months back wherein a Muslim man was charged with bestiality and instead of being prosecuted under the laws of Barbados, the Magistrate chose to hand him over to the Muslim community to deal with the crime.
What I cannot believe is that the Attorney General has done nothing to correct this horrendous wrong that has been committed by this Magistrate, and that Barbadians seem to have accepted this as the norm. Since when did Sharia Law become legal in Barbados? If a Rastafarian member was arrested for smoking a weed cigarette, would that person have been turned over to the Rastafarian community to deal with him. I DON’T THINK SO!!!!!!
This is not something to just sweep under the rug. It sets a very bad precedent and is sending the wrong signal about the laws of Barbados. I hope that this is brought to the attention of the Attorney General because I think that he’s the only one that can right this wrong.
Many have questioned the reason for the bad blood which exist between Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground (BU). Up to now we had taken a decision to use whatever reputational capital we had acquired to absorb all* attacks directed at us. The attacks on BU have been centred on race related concerns and in recent weeks we have observed surrogate blogs adding to the vitriol being spewed. The real reason for the antagonism we know is our conflicting position regarding the Nelson Barbados Group matter. This is a matter which has seen Prime Minister David Thompson being engaged. What all of it has done is to spur us to stay true to the ideals which BU seeks to represent. Why have we decided to depart from our policy of direct engagement with Barbados Free Press now becomes the obvious question.
We had hoped the perpetrators of the uncalled for attacks on BU family member ROK would have abated after WordPress requested a blog be removed/changed that was offensive to ROK. As time has passed the attacks have become more and more vitriolic whether from the blogmaster of Barbados Free Press or via comments. All Barbadians who have followed the career of ROK know he has given unstintingly to the country Barbados in which he lives, most notably as an Intervenor in public utilities hearings through the years. It would therefore be negligent of BU if we did not use our blog to expose the duplicity of Barbados Free Press who by the weight of the evidence in our possession has been disingenuous to the cause.
The effectiveness of the blogs as a tool for social consciousness and social change is largely dependent on the anonymity of bloggers. Very few people are willing to put themselves and their families at risk of being sued or becoming the victims of official displeasure and censure or, indeed, in some cases of facing torture and even death in extreme cases. The advent of the blogs has allowed people with a social conscience to exercise that social conscience with minimal risk. The blogs have also allowed anyone who wishes to, to inform themselves, without the spectre of persecution that once visited both author and reader. It is against the foregoing we view the attack on ROK as a cowardly act by Barbados Free Press and in recent weeks by Dave No-balls Speller.
BUhighlighted the plight of an 80 year old Canadian man on October 18, 2008 who alleged that he had been swindled by an offshore company based in Barbados. The Barbados based offshore company Bridge Management (Barbados) Incorporated reportedly received several million dollars from many Canadians who now seem to be fighting a losing battle to redeem investments. Some frustrated investors in Bridge Management Barbados Inc have since used the BU blog to exchange information and extend moral support during this time of great anguish.
In keeping with our promise to be transparent in how we operate, BU has taken the decision to apprise the BU family of an unfolding situation. Yesterday (4 January 2010) we received an email threatening legal action if we did not withdraw certain information from the blog referred to above. We have sought a legal position and BU’s position is our blog did not defame the person purporting to be Frank Mastrocola. However, out of an abundance of caution we have taken certain actions which are outlined in the document attached.
We ask the BU family to continue to be responsible when posting comments and continue to use BU as a vehicle for freedom of expression.
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