The battle to secure transparency by government and the need to exercise greater governance practice is being fought all across the region and the world. Barbados is not excluded.
Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:
It seems to me that we are entering a sustained and hard-fought Information War, global in extent, but with local flavour. The main features of this are the attempted redefinition of Privacy as a defunct notion, right alongside the State’s duty to know all about us, but tell us as little as possible of their own operations. That is the name of the game, so these issues are going to be challenged strongly as we go forward.
Sen. Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Minister of Planning & Sustainable Development
The High Court ruled on 14 July 2014 that the Minister of Planning & Sustainable Development must provide the legal advice which was said to have justified the development process at Invader’s Bay. This case was brought by the JCC after the Ministry refused to publish the legal advice obtained in response to our challenge that the Invader’s Bay development process was in breach…
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Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler and Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell
In May this year Governor Delisle Worrell issued a directive to ban the Nation newspaper from participating in press conferences hosted by the Central Bank of Barbados. His action provoked wide condemnation from every corner within in civil society. The Governor and Central Bank obviously yielded to the pressure and public expectation reverted to the Governor having his routine press and Q&A sessions or so we thought!
It was a surprise therefore when the media was informed that the regular press conference to cover the six month economic performance review was to be cancelled. To date Barbados Underground has not discern the same level of outcry in response to the decision by the Central Bank compared to when the Nation newspaper was banned. Which is to be condemned more, the short-lived ban imposed on the Nation newspaper OR the cancellation of the press conference that denied the Fourth Estate from interrogating the banker of government at a time when we have more questions than answers.
The feeble excuse offered by the Central Bank and supported by leading media practitioner David Ellis that all press briefings are posted to a website is unacceptable. At a time when a greater level of public engagement is the desirable option, the Governor has chosen to retreat and is happy to limit his public appearances captured in the press to attendance at crop over events.
Submitted by DLP Supporter
Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition
Back on September 29, 2010, Mottley said in her address to the Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Hilton Barbados that Government should not continue to wholly own and manage some of its facilities, when to do so would “challenge its ability to afford other services and benefits which are more important to us as a society – like affordable health care and free tertiary education”.
In other fora she spelt out her vision by asking, rhetorically, if people would prefer to pay a little for garbage collection while continually getting health care and education free.
At one such gathering, a political meeting, Mottley explained that Government spent about $55 million providing islandwide garbage collection. This included collection from businesses that at present pay nothing for this service.
She argued it would be better for Government to charge householders and businesses for this service.
Submitted by Pachamama
IsraeliPalestinian conflict entered its third week.
As the latest Zionist massacre of Palestinians enters its third week the international ‘shareholders’ have now dusted off their scripts and are again mouthing their tired refrains. These choruses would by now be sounding tired to the Crop Over judges in Barbados. However, the western tools, as blatant and tireless supporters of empire find it impossible to change the hymnal. It matters not that their bleatings are ahistorical, defy reasoning, illegal and unfair, White global dominance demands strict adherence. Unless one knows how to rap your tongue around these notions, there shall be no role for that voice within the discourse of global elites.
After supporting the collusion between General Sisi and Netanyahu which spawned the ‘Egyptian’ abortive ceasefire, Ban Ki Moon was previously prepared to let a civilian population be massacred, under false pretenses, by the Zionists. The informal understandings by Ban and his handlers was for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other Resistance fighters to be destroyed in their valiant attempts to mount a sacred defense of the Palestinian people. This is the sycophant who pretends to hold the post of GS of the United Nations. And this is not the first time. Ban has a long history of siding with the powerful against the weak. Of siding with the moneyed interests, against the poor. Of siding with the minority against the majority. Of being a faithful stooge of empire against the majority of the peoples of the earth. Ban must qualify as the worst, most supine, General Secretary in the history of the United Nations. He owes his position to the Americans, of course, so what more are we to expect? The UN is no more than an extension of the American empire! And Ban’s tenure clearly proves this.
But Ban is now talking about this conflict, like he always has, as though he came from Mars. As though both sides are equal antagonists.
In April of this year BU reported on Caribbean Capital Reserve Bank and exposed it for what it is, a scam – see Caribbean Capital Reserve a Total SCAM. BU is pleased to acknowledge all the bloggers who helped to highlight this matter. It is a good feeling to know when something positive happens and that we (the BU rum shop) may have been a small contributor. We urge the CIA to go further and remove the Facebook site as well.
When and where ignorance rears its head it must be exposed for what it is. When it occurs within the realm of the judiciary that is responsible for the administration of justice – the foundation of an orderly society- it definitely is cause for concern.
The incident reported by the Trinidad Express that a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) judge and his wife attempted to sell (scalp) two complimentary tickets, and when the driver of the CCJ ‘humbly refused’ and expressed his disappointment that the CCJ’s wife behaviour – the instigator of the scalping - reflected poorly on the CCJ, the CCJ judge asked for a replacement driver.The story gets more intriguing.
The CCJ acceded to the request of the judge and assigned a replacement driver, the attempted scalper (the judge) refused to accept the new driver and demanded an allowance to privately recruit a driver. Although the CCJ Registrar and Chief Marshal Paula Pierre [who] analysed the incident and the judge’s demand in correspondence to the [Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission] RJLSC, dated April 29, 2013, concluded that “…the Court administration has been delegated the responsibility to select and appoint drivers for the organisation. This would include the judges’ drivers and the messengers/drivers for the office vehicles. The Court would have the corresponding responsibility to pay the judges’ drivers under the terms and conditions set out… This does not mean, however, that a judge cannot hire his own driver, at his own expense, for unofficial commitments.”
Interesting to note despite the findings of the CCJ Registrar, a driver’s allowance was approved for the attempted scalper (the judge). The approval request submitted to Caricom from the underutilized CCJ again is interesting- “At its 87th meeting, the Commission approved an exception to the current Terms and Conditions of Judges approved by the Heads and Governments and indicated that a monthly driver’s allowance be paid to Justice (name called) in the amount of US$1,226.33 without benefits retroactive to October 2013. This is in lieu of having a driver from the Court. The judge is therefore expected to make his own arrangements with regard to retaining a driver to meet his needs.”
BU regards the decision of the CCJ and Caricom to approve an allowance, AND, the behaviour of the CCJ judge and his wife to be the highest level of ignorance in response to a trivialism. This naked level of poor decorum coming from the highest court in the region should provoke Caribbean citizens to take note.
BU compliments the driver whose behaviour, as reported, was more judicial then the judge.
Read the full text of the report .
Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition
The following is a statement issued by the leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party Mia Mottley. The action by Mia Mottley may prove to be a defining moment for her in the battle of public perception over BLP leadership. If she is able to rally her troops on Thursday, it will go a long way to prove she is the preferred leader.
The implementation of the Muni Tax, for whatever reason, has provoked Barbadians from all spheres to rally against it. The good thing is that it has brought focus to bear on the vexing issue of solid waste management. Barbadians must try to separate political rhetoric and naked political opportunism from the real issue read Kerri Symmonds.
Thanks #Barbados for coming out to our mass meeting last Sunday to show your support. http://bit.ly/1p7hDKx
I SHALL NOW DO MY DUTY. I propose to take that first step. I have prayed on it. I shall walk. I shall walk on Thursday at midday from Parliament to Government Headquarters on Bay Street.
Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier
Trawling through the Internet, when it has been available this last week, I have been almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of beautifully presented and creative local world class websites, clearly built by what appear to be mostly small Barbadian entrepreneurs. Often with stunning images both in still and video format, frequently highlighted by outstanding graphics. It raises the question why any private or public sector entities feel the need to venture overseas for this expertise which is available at our doorstep.
Follow this to a logical conclusion and it is an absolute wonder why so many websites, especially in tourism, look sad, neglected, out-of date and lack the dynamic attraction that is a prerequisite these days to compete on a global stage.
The quality and resolution of images are especially critical. Thirty plus years ago, as a tour operator, I recall spending hours and sometimes days with renowned photographers attempting to capture the ‘right’ picture that would dominate the front cover of a holiday brochure. These would be placed on the shelves in thousands of travel agents throughout the UK. The exact placement in a prominent position at eye level was absolutely vital to ensure maximum pick-up and would directly influence the eventual level of bookings.
Submitted by James Bynoe – CEO Cyber Security Centre
Cyber crime a threat to regional productivity in the Caribbean
The Caribbean Cyber Security Center (CCSC) continues to urge the Caribbean region to take the growing threat from cyber criminals and hackers seriously. CCSC estimates that on a frequent basis Caribbean businesses, organizations, governments and homes are targeted and scanned for information system weaknesses and vulnerabilities that can be exploited, yet very little has been done comprehensively to combat this growing national security, public safety and economic development threat. In the last 12 months we have seen reports from all across the region of network breaches, website defacements, ATM scams, denial of service attacks, and credit card fraud incidents. According to recent reports from leading global security organizations in 2013 the region saw significant increases in data breaches, banking trojans, mobile malware and other online threats.
While we are pleased to see justice served in the recent sentencing of the ATM scamsters in Barbados, ATM scams represents only one front of the multi-front cybercrime war we face as a region. Cyber criminals must not only be prevented from ATM scams (by the entire banking sector finally moving to more secure ATM technologies), they need to be prevented from breaking into business, government, and home computers all across the region. In recent months CCSC has responded to successful and unsuccessful attempts by cyber criminals and hackers to steal thousands in revenue from businesses and individuals, we believe that as a region we could be losing millions via unsecure and unprotected work and home computers which are compromised “right now” without the system owners or home user even knowing it.
Submitted by Karquena Healez
Message: What do you do when an organisation like the police force try to hold you down and force you to have sex with one of their old men?
Metaphorically speaking and just so they can say that it is understandable, you make mistakes when you are young, admit it, confession is good for the soul? The truth is not important for police. They will create evidence and conditions to satisfy their inferior morals. Commonsense to them is something that apparently only comes when you’re old. Pity. Grown men and women constricted by law and a hideous uniform–especially khaki on black men–eww when the man is really dark and ugly thinking that commonsense is equivalent to experience.
This dilemma confronted me for the past three years. I went about my business for the six years I was in the force before attachment to the admin division. I was cordial and polite to all, no matter what deformity of morals, character or attitude the officer possessed, no matter what rank. But I perceived attitudes of malice, deceit and that akin to a cat taunting a mouse before the kill. The first persons to intimate what was afoot were two female officers; one who was involved in a long term relationship with an older policeman who was much more experienced than her and the other who boasted of brief encounters with male officers–more than one?!, being involved with a man old enough to be her father and someone else’s husband–all different relationships.