Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith suggests there is a cultural factor behind recent domestic murders.
The revelation by the Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith that there appears to be a “cultural factor” which threads recent domestic abuse cases is interesting if not surprising. We have to give credit to the police force that they have a sound basis for reaching the conclusion that the cause behind some recent domestic disputes is linked to non nationals. Of course many Bajans will be compelled to intervene in the interest of demonstrating ‘balance’ by suggesting the obvious, that is, Bajans are equally committing crime and therefore why blame non nationals. Of course non nationals cannot be blamed for all the crime BUT it does not mean we should play ostrich if there is a trend which has emerged which will add to our crime woes and wider societal challenges. Comprehension is a wonderful thing.
A few years ago when BU led the national discussion about possible sociological repercussions as a consequence of the unbridled immigration policy practiced by the former BLP government under the guise of freedom of movement, we were ridiculed by many. Why is it the ideologues like Peter Wickham, Rickey Sigh, BLP opportunists and others have refused to this day to appreciate that our fragile economies which are mainly service based, owning limited resources to protect borders, an possessing undermanned police forces means that any system which allows the unskilled and ignorant to move about freely across the Caribbean must be carefully ‘managed’? Instead they label such concerns by shouting xenophobia. Have we become do intellectually impotent not to understand that issues will emerge from having unchallenged freedom of movement?
The recent showdown in Southern Algeria with Jihadist militants has shown once more that globalisation is not just an economic phenomenon, but once that crosses religious, ethnic, cultural and other social conflicts… Globalisation is more so about the movements of people, of the shift of world-leading thinkers and artistes – and the super-rich – to places that previous generations could only think of.
However, this mass movement of people is not just the smooth shift that most liberals would have us believe. It is also about Samuel Huntingdon’s Clash of Civilisation theory. Although heavily criticised, at least on one point Huntington was right: the more we become globalised on a macro level, the more conflicts there are – and will be – at a micro level.
Recently at a diner party of a small group of Barbadians, men and women, all of whom came to Britain in the late 1950s and 60s, one woman, who came as a young teenager in the 1960s, said that she had a perception that racial conflict in Britain was getting much worse. It was an incredibly perceptive observation. This is also my experience, as someone who had actually seen in shop windows in Kensal Rise in North West London advertisements for rooms saying: No blacks, no Irish, no dogs.
A few weeks ago Sir Roy Trotman set off a wild debate in the country with his ‘Egyptian Jew’ comment directed at Jacob Hassid, the CEO of Diamond International (DI). The unnecessary taut served to bring to the fore the latent racial tension which continues to seethe below the surface of Barbados society. I
n response to the comment by Sir Roy the CEO of DI raised the ‘fearing for the limb of he and family’. Bear in mind Barbados has demonstrated that it is one of the most tolerant – some say docile – countries in the world.
After watching the following videos of Jews openly and vehemently demonstrating against immigrants, particularly African, one is left to wonder.
Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union
It is becoming very painful to watch the Stuart Administration govern this country. As a proud and loyal Barbadian who put country first, it hurts when my Government continually foul up and blunder. It is obvious to me if no one else that they had a plan to capture the Government in 2008, but thereafter they had no plan to govern and their every action is showing it. Consequently, they lunge from one ill-conceived policy decision to the next.
I was on time to hear Senator Darcy Boyce announce some initiatives in the Senate that were designed to attract high net worth persons to relocate to Barbados. I could not believe my ears when he detailed the specifics, so I waited for media reports to verify. On the back page of the Wednesday, June 20, 2012 edition of the Nation, under the headline, OK TO INVEST, my disappointment and embarrassment for this Government were confirmed.
From what I heard and read, it would appear that Government was merely repackaging some aspects of the existing Immigration Act and proudly trumpeting them as new. Whoever advised the Government should have read the Immigration Act. According to the Minister’s announcement, persons would now be entitled to stay in Barbados on special entry permits if they satisfy certain criteria and they are either: parents of citizens of Barbados; retirees with means to support themselves; or investors. These new measures have already formed part of the laws of Barbados and have been so since the 1970s, specifically, they can be found at section 6 of the Immigration Act which states, in part:
Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union
It never ceases to amaze me, the amount of time and energy the Government puts into trivial pursuits. The country is hurtling from one crisis to the next while Government seems to be fiddling while our economic Rome is burning.
The recent ceremony for the swearing in of 120 new citizens of Barbados is one such unnecessary waste of time and effort which serves no practical or even sensible purpose. All we have achieved is to demonstrate that we are a nation of copiers by parroting what takes place in the USA, but to what end.
I could understand if Barbados were a republic and new citizens were required to swear allegiance to this country. However, that is not the case: those who were sworn in would have been required to swear allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen. My understanding is that most of the persons who were sworn in were already Commonwealth citizens who already carry the burden of allegiance to a foreign monarch. In some cases those who were sworn in were already citizens of countries who have Queen Elizabeth as their head of state and as such were already loyal subjects of the Queen. Other than copying the US, what has the Government achieved with the elaborate ceremony?
The much publicized Myrie Affair occurred in April this year. By all accounts Barbados came out of the affair with a bloody nose if we are to judge by the comments made by all and sundry. Despite the vitriol spouted from both sides Barbadians, Jamaicans and onlookers are none the wiser what actually happened to Shanique Myrie when she attempted to cross the border of Barbados. She alleges that she was inappropriately searched by local officials, a charge which was denied. In the absence of substantive evidence who does one believe?
What was evident from the episode is that the Jamaican media and political directorate were in cahoots to ensure Jamaican Myrie’s story was propagated and propagandized. To be expected we had the so-called regionalists like Peter Wickham, Rickey Singh, David Commissiong et al who abandoned the need to be patriotic and gleefully jumped across to the other side of the debate.
BU does not intend to paper over any indiscretions made by Barbadian agencies if any did occur at all in the Myrie incident. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart’s offer for Myrie to return to Barbados to facilitate meaningful investigation remains unaccepted after several months. The haste with which Jamaicans and others across the region used the opportunity to exposed a latent dislike for Barbados cannot be ignored. Some in local media and elsewhere would want Barbadians to ignore the obvious and not rock the CSME boat. It always has to be Barbados to turn the other cheek!
Posted in Blogging
Tagged Bajan News, Barbados, Barbados Police Force, Caricom News, CSME, Drugs, Immigration, Jamaica, Jamaican Drug Mules, Law,Crime, Shanique Myrie
Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow
Hopefully the Myrie issue will be fully investigated and the matter put to bed, although we doubt it! It seems passing strange that Jamaica and Guyana should be the countries complaining about treatment meted out at our border. These two regional countries represent the largest land masses in the English speaking Caribbean. In a sensible world regional labour flows should be in the other direction. Not to forget St. Vincent which has also been making negative noises directed at Barbados. St. Vincent like Jamaica has become a major source of drugs entering Barbados.
It is worthy of discussion that both Jamaica and Guyana have resorted to exporting labour of late to the tiny islands of the Eastern Caribbean. It appears to be a consequence of the harsh economic times being experienced by the respective economies, or is it? Casual observation detects that a large body of unskilled labour has been entering Barbados from these two countries. The argument which is given by the apologists is that our agricultural sector has been the beneficiary of a Guyanese presence, so what it the point? The Barbados Workers Union has given its blessing to a registry or some enrolled system being implemented to regulate labour to this sector. The solution has always been a simple one!
In the case of Jamaica we could explain the apprehension demonstrated at our border by stating that there is probably no country in the world which does not feel and act similarly. We all know why. BU does not condone actions by our officials which would seek to dehumanize anyone. There is a legitimate reason for Barbadians to fear the consequences of an influx of Jamaicans into Barbados. Our court and prison are already providing ample evidence that we are correct in our fear. Also Barbadians have become very aware that our red light activity has become saturated by Jamaican and Guyanese personnel. Last week Barbados Police were involved in two major drug busts where Jamaicans and Guyanese figured prominently.
Posted in Blogging
Tagged Bajan News, Barbados, Caribbean, Caricom, Caricom News, Crime, Guyana, Immigration, Jamaica, OECS, Shanique Myrie
Harry Husbands, Parliamentary Secretary for immigration
Today’s Jamaica Observer highlights a story which alleges that a Shanique Myrie was “subjected to two demeaning cavity searches by a female immigration officer who continuously spewed venom about Jamaicans.” Immediately the question came to mind, how could the immigration officer have performed the cavity search in a manner that was not demeaning? The incident has provoked the elusive Parliamentary Secretary responsible for immigration Harry Husbands to respond to the story. It appears the lady was not allowed into Barbados for a legitimate reason.
Those of us who have travelled the world are aware of the limitless authority immigration and custom officials appear to possess. Individuals who are compliant with the law usually have nothing to fear. If we accept the position of the government conveyed by Husbands, Shanique Myrie was ‘pulled’ for a legitimate reason. All of those who are shouting for murder should remember Jamaica is a destination where drug mules originate in abundance. It is no excuse to profile people to the extent they are victimized or dehumanized, however simple logic says Barbados must protect its borders. If an immigration officer is found to be overzealous in carrying out their duty, there is a process to seek redress. The Jamaica Observer’s article is therefore alarmist, sensational and smacks of Jingoism.
Click image to read expanded version
Can anyone explain why a hotel operating in Barbados in the year of our Lord 2011 would believe they need to apply for work permits for the positions of Director of Food and Beverage, Executive Assistant Manager and Director of Hotel Operations? The question is being asked against the background of a nation whose number one business has been tourism.
BU has come to the conclusion that the practice of issuing work permits by the Chief Immigration Officer is a routine matter. Now that the hullabaloo has abated regarding how immigration matters were being dealt with in Barbados under the previous government, things have quietly returned to a business as usual culture.
Can the Chief Immigration Officer explain why the positions above and others we have seen in the local media in recent weeks are being entertained?
What is so special about the jobs advertised by Almond?
Are Barbadians objecting to work permits being issued?
Is the Chief Immigration Officer obligated to make public disclosures on how work permit processing is done?
Let the record show BU objects to the above positions being filled by Almond Resort Inc.
Submitted by Yardbroom
I was fascinated but yet discomforted, by a story on another Blog, about “allegations” of rudeness by an immigration officer, to a young lady on her return to Barbados. The story in summary, is that the young lady on arrival at Grantley Adams Airport from America was spoken to rudely – she said without justification – by an immigration officer.
The essential feature of her story being, that she was asked to wait in a room, until certain investigations the officer thought necessary were made. After some time had elapsed, she refused to do so, and a verbal confrontation ensued. The “allegation” is that in this exchange she was rudely spoken to.
If I accept that on her recall of the confrontation, there is a prima facie reason for complaint to the authorities to investigate the matter, it would therefore be necessary to hear the immigration officer’s side of the story. What was particularly alarming, was this young lady “allegedly” – and I have her word for that- solicited a telephone call to be made through her connections, to the Attorney General on her behalf and a complaint was made. The tenure of her report indicated that the Attorney General sprung into action on her behalf.
Submitted by Yardbroom
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel the German Chancellor recently said: ” Multiculturalism has “failed utterly” in Germany, she further elaborated. . . ” we kidded ourselves for a while that they – immigrants – wouldn’t stay, but that’s not the reality”. If Angela Merkel’s views are in tune with her electorate’s, it demonstrates that it was never Germany’s intention for immigrants to take up permanent residence in their country.
A case is often made of the economic benefits immigrants bring to their host country; but economic integration of immigrants does not nullify the separate requirement, inherent in some immigrant’s religion, which appears if only on the surface, to them not fully participating in activities or practices, which have made the host country economically successful.
In Europe attitudes have hardened in recent years towards immigrants, this has been caused by the perception, that some of the Muslim faith, have not as vociferously as thought prudent distanced themselves from terrorist sympathies. It is so obvious that “all Muslims” are not sympathetic to terrorists that it is not worth saying. However, in the early years of terrorist activity in Europe “some” Muslims sought to justify such activity by the West’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and their failure to solve the Palestinian problem, by putting economic pressure on Israel.
It is difficult for the inhabitants of countries like the UK, to understand how groups of young Muslims, born in the UK, could openly state that their sons/daughters serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan deserve to be killed. This is challenging for UK residents to accept, particularly when the young Muslims live in the same town and may even be their neighbours.
Freundel Stuart, Attorney General
The recent CADRES poll commissioned by the Nation newspaper has generated the usual debate, especially given the peculiar circumstance created by the Prime Minister’s illness. At the top of the discussion for many Barbadians has been the insensitivity of the part of the poll which dealt with identifying a successor for Prime Minister David Thompson. BU is on record to admitting not being a fan of political polls. In our opinion political polls can act as opinion shapers.
Disappointing in the current discourse when assessing the government’s performance to date has been its inability to rollout several pieces of legislation – Freedom of Information, Integrity Legislation and the New Immigration Act. Barbadians who followed the last political campaign may recall that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) built key messages around delivering the mentioned pieces of legislation as a matter of priority on assuming office. Although Attorney General Fruendel Stuart has been heard to promise that the legislation will be forthcoming soon, there is a feeling that delivery has been long in coming.
BU continues to be concerned especially in the case of the New Immigration Act. The Town Hall meetings which were held to discussed the Green Paper exposed a loose immigration structure which needs to be fixed pronto. The business of preserving our national security should be a priority for a sovereign nation in the current climate of rampant cross-border crime. Bear in mind tourism is our business.
Why does the Attorney General need so much time to draft the amendment to the Act? If one is to measure the work rate/productivity coming out of the Attorney General’s Office by the number of items brought to be debated in parliament – seems they have not* been busy campers!
The Immigration Debate has abated because of a combination of a stagnant economy, Barbadians loudly voicing dissatisfaction at the open door immigration policy practiced by the former government and a new government whose politics is built on a hybrid ideology of socialism cum populism.
In October 2009 the government disseminated a Green Paper on Immigration which sought to stimulate discussion on these issues which drive our immigration policies and which are critical to both national security and national development. It is anticipated that on conclusion of this extensive dialogue the White Paper will therefore reflect Government’s position on this important issue in addition to the views of the people.
True to its word the government of Barbados facilitated feedback from the public by staging town hall meetings, receiving letters and emails etc. Prime Minister David Thompson promised at the final town hall meeting in March 2010 that in a matter of a few months, a white paper setting out a new immigration policy will be completed. The last time we checked about two weeks ago our parliament had not received any notification the White Paper on Immigration was ready for debate. It is interesting to note because of the illness of David Thompson Fruendel Stuart has been appointed acting Prime Prime Minister, he is on record declaring that Barbados is not ready to become the warehouse for unskilled workers in the Caribbean. He is now in a position to drive the amendment to the Immigration Law to give meat to his pronouncement.
Posted in Blogging
Tagged Antigua, Bajan News, Barbados, Caribbean, Caricom, Caricom News, CSME, Governance, Immigration, leadership, Local Politics