Jeff_column

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – An Evolving Democracy (II)

Jeff Cumberbatch - New Chairman of the FTC

Jeff Cumberbatch – New Chairman of the FTC

BU shares the Jeff Cumberbatch Barbados Advocate column – Senior Lecturer in law at the University of the West Indies since 1983, a Columnist with the Barbados Advocate since 2000 and BU commenter – see full bio.

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Musings: An evolving democracy (II)
8/16/2015
By Jeff Cumberbatch

“Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom…” – Benjamin Cardozo, US jurist

I posited in the first part of this essay that two of the major contributors to any evolution in local democracy are an increase in popular freedom of access to official information and an expansion of the civic freedom of expression. While there has been no contemporary positive attempt by the state to effect the former, there has been an indirect, though as yet under-utilised, realisation of the latter, as I argued last week. This is owed in part to the common law development whereby there is now an overarching regard paid to publication of material in the public interest even if it may harm an individual reputation, so long as it is responsible, and partly to the locally legislated relaxation of some of the strict rules of defamation.

However, as I also argued in closing last week, freedom of expression for the purpose of evolving democracy goes beyond its theoretical existence and depends rather on the extent to which it is availed of especially by those who hold views different to those of the accepted prevailing dogma, be it religious, political or otherwise.

In this context, self-censorship poses a threat to the democratic ideal.

To what degree may it be fairly stated that we have this form of freedom of expression in Barbados? There are two undeniable facts. First, it seems clear that there is not now, nor has there ever been, an official governmental policy of suppressing the free expression of citizens, although certain individual statements have, from time to time, betrayed a certain discomfort with contrary opinion. These are too well known to bear repetition here, but suffice it to say that both sides of the political divide have seen it fit to accuse the local print media of being unduly adverse/supportive of their party or the other. The relatively recent online publication, Barbados Today, has managed so far to avoid this partisan censure, but no doubt its turn will come. Fortunately, to my best knowledge, there are no repercussions for the accused publications, beyond perhaps loss of the custom of a few ardent party supporters.

Similarly, the government-supported Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation has been accused over the years, not entirely without justification, of being an extension of the administration in power so far as its presentation of information and general ethos are concerned. A degree of popular cynicism has developed as a result, with a resigned acceptance by the party in opposition that our turn will eventually come.

It must be remarked, however, that the greatest impact on the breadth of Barbadian freedom of expression in recent times has been the anonymity of the publisher afforded by the popular call-in programmes on local radio and, to an even greater extent, on the equally popular blogs, especially Barbados Underground. It is true that the radio contributions are frequently more guarded – clearly it is not as easy to disguise a voice. On the other hand, the blog obviously affords far more security of anonymity and posters have exploited this to the full with their unbridled criticism and, in a number of cases, their unswerving support, of the current administration.

Even though this anonymity does not render the blog publisher or the contributor wholly immune from prosecution or from a civil suit for defamation, the complexity of the legal process and the potential claimant’s probable attempt to avoid the appearance of being thin-skinned currently ensure some degree of protection for the blogging exercise. I will have more to say about this on another occasion, since I am scheduled to present a paper on the liability for defamation of intermediaries such as “blogmasters” at the annual conference of the OECS Bar Association in September.

Not everyone will be partial to this argument that the advent of the blogs has improved the quality of our democracy. Barbadians, who are ever ready to refer to corresponding responsibilities whenever a right or freedom is asserted, will no doubt point to the probability of an irresponsible abuse of free expression, especially when virtual anonymity is guaranteed, and Pete Singer, the Australian moral philosopher, contends that “the new freedom of expression brought by the Internet goes far beyond politics. People relate to each other in new ways, posing questions about how we should respond to people when all that we know about them is what we have learned through a medium that permits all kinds of anonymity and deception”.

I note the force of these arguments but they are not persuasive. I am prepared to concede that freedom of expression is not absolute and that, apart from its constitutional restrictions, the use of that freedom to incite unlawful discrimination, hatred or violence, for examples, towards a group should be proscribed.

Likewise, the assumption of certain roles may serve to restrict an individual’s freedom of expression; consider the case of the Cabinet member who is opposed to an endorsed policy of his or her administration or, to be more personal, as the new Chairman of the Fair Trading Commission, it should not be thought that I would use this space to fulminate for or against the utilities or other entities under the regulation of that body. This is the point that I believe the respondents may be trying to make in the case of the forced removal of the retired UWI professor from the organisation, CHART, that he headed and whose mission might have been diametrically in contrast to certain sentiments that he publicly advocated. Some things just may not be said.

However, beyond these restrictions and the others previously mentioned, it should be difficult to justify the legal restriction of political speech, no matter how inelegantly expressed, simply because it does not comport with the view of a governing administration.

A distinctive effort
I was intrigued to read in recent days of more students than one or two in Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago who had managed to secure passes in as many as 20 subjects in one sitting at CXC. Indeed, in one remarkable case in Guyana, the young lady secured, if I recall correctly, a total of 21 passes, all with distinction. I am not sure that I could have even attempted the undertaking of 10 “O” Levels, as they were known over four decades ago, and I sincerely congratulate these students on their truly fantastic achievements. However, and with no attempt at all to seem niggardly in their asking, the enormity of their success does raise a number of questions in my mind.
Having witnessed in my day job an alarming decline in the facility of law students, usually the cream of their crop, with the written use of English, I am forced to wonder whether these distinctive performances at CXC also reflect equal merit in written expression.

Further, it would be instructive to learn the names of the 20 or more subjects examined at CXC. Are they all justifiably relevant both substantively and intellectually?

Finally, with these kinds of results, does CXC not fear conceivable and reasonable accusations of dumbing-down the standard of regional educational achievement?

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145 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – An Evolving Democracy (II)”

  1. Artaxerxes August 17, 2015 at 7:12 AM #

    @ Jeff

    “………… but suffice it to say that both sides of the political divide have seen it fit to accuse the local print media of being unduly adverse/supportive of their party or the other.”

    On Thursday, August 13, 2015, while listening to VOB’s 12:30pm news, I heard a news item in which the DLP’s general secretary, George Pilgrim, saying that it was ridiculous what specific media houses were not engaging in fair reporting of the truth as it relates to the DLP. Pilgrim went on to imply that those media houses were basically being politically influenced.

    I have noticed that politicians conveniently forget when the occasion suits their cause or they think some Barbadians suffer from short-term loss of memory. The DLP, while in opposition, enjoyed an extended honeymoon vacation at the expense of the Nation Newspaper under Harold Hoyte and VOB’s “Brass Tacks” and “Tell it like it is” call-in-programs, which had a plethora of DLP apologist as moderators. During those years, The Nation Publishing Company and StarCom Network were “the best things since sliced bread” for the DLP and its supporters. Their love for these two entities has dramatically changed over the past 5 years.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Ironically, in 2005 (ten years prior) then prime minister Owen Arthur expressed sentiments similar to that of Pilgrim. For example, on Thursday, March 17, 2005, the Nation carried a news item, headlined: “PM Blasts Nation.” The story went on to state:

    “Prime Minister Owen Arthur has criticised the NATION newspaper for what he sees as a BIAS in its reporting on the problems of the Urban Development Commission (UDC). Holding a photocopy of Page 5 of last Friday’s WEEKEND NATION dated March 11, he told the House of Assembly yesterday the feedback/ opinion poll carried was another “clear attempt” to “manipulate” public opinion and gain favour for Opposition Leader Clyde Mascoll and “every aspect of the functioning of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)”……..”

    “I truly feel so, but I feel also that this unchecked, like all the other things that have been done recently in the NATION newspaper, to put the work of the PAC and the work of the member for St Michael North West in a light that tears down the Government to promote the opposition, is further proof of what I’ve been saying – an attempt to MANIPULATE THE MEDIA UNFAIRLY TO DISCREDIT THE GOVERNMENT.”

    Arthur also implied that the Nation manipulated an opinion poll, mentioning if things like this continues, “it would reduce the NATION newspaper from being a GREAT NEWSPAPER to being A RAG.”

    “That people randomly chosen in Barbados are strongly in support of the work that the Member of St Michael North West is doing to hold the Government’s feet to the fire,” Arthur said. Reading five of the six names and professions given in the poll, the St Peter MP said it was “a very serious matter” because the poll was done at the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) George Street headquarters.”

    “Here are the facts: The caretaker called Mr. Moore is the person who serves drinks at the bar at the Democratic Labour Party in George Street. “Mrs. Straker, Sir, is the lady who cooks food for the Democratic Labour Party every Friday for their Friday afternoon session. “Mr. Wiltshire, the retired one; he is the one called ‘Who Say’ and he is the person who looks after the George Street auditorium. Mr. Miller is Who Say’s friend and he helps [him] in managing the auditorium. “And Mr. Boyce operates an office that used to be managed by the DLP Women’s League,” he said.

    “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” (John-Baptiste Alphonse Karr)

    Like

  2. de Ingrunt Word August 17, 2015 at 9:19 AM #

    Yes Artax well said, things do remain the same despite a perspective that there has been change. But fortunately for us here and wherever David’s BU reaches is that you are here now to push, prod and notify the ‘independent’ among us to see and understand the unabated nonsense that comes from the mouths of these politicians.

    Social media gives us the ability for that ‘check your facts’ inquisition and you are a leading proponent here.

    As you have clearly shown, the Nation over the years has been a strident voice on the news of the day; some stories may have been pushed harder than others or some even suppressed but all-in-all there has been seeming equal bashing of inept governance or perceived malfeasance.

    The Nation is a business and advertising not the sale of BLP or DLP propaganda is their main revenue stream. And surely the simple equation for the Nation has been: more readership = higher ad rates = more revenue = better profits.

    It was noted just last week that the profits of their OCM media enterprises was significantly higher than some of their Jamaican regional media players, for example.

    The politicians have also a simple equation to their revenue stream of votes: blame enemies for all mistakes = all negative media news is from political enemies = grandstanding is confident PR = popularity = votes

    You sir, along with David and BU are a key balancing act in that political equation…maybe something like : objectivity, truth and transparency , does not = popularity, does not = votes.

    Long may your strident objectivity last!

    Like

  3. ac August 17, 2015 at 9:55 AM #

    Freedom of expression is a fundamental right with lured guarantees limits which secure and protects all individuals against slander and malicious intent by word or deed
    With the advent of technological interaction via correspondence there has been an overflow of abuse to inhibit with bullying action
    If such a trend continues the negative actions of a few might give legitimate conservative rise for hardened and stringent policies to be put in place as a combatant against free speech abuse via social media

    Like

  4. Artaxerxes August 17, 2015 at 12:45 PM #

    de Ingrunt Word August 17, 2015 at 9:19 AM #

    “The politicians have also a simple equation to their revenue stream of votes: blame enemies for all mistakes = all negative media news is from political enemies = grandstanding is confident PR = popularity = votes.”

    De Word, your above comments describes the issue perfectly. Politicians from BOTH political parties are guilty of exploiting the political process and their supporters.

    Shortly after the 2008 general elections, the DLP’s “mottos” were “blame the BLP” and “the worst recession in 100 years,” as a cop-out for their inability to proactively solve problem confronting Barbados. Politicians are aware that the gullible party supporters would readily accept and allow these “phrases” to guide them, to the extent that it became a part of their vocabulary when discussing the general political and economic environment of Barbados.

    Furthermore, when the DEMS were confronted with criticisms about their handling of the economic situation, the new “motto” used to encapsulate their supporters was “instead of criticizing, bring solutions.” Again, the party hacks used this phrase in their verbal or written commentary. Check many of the ACs’ contributions to BU.

    George Pilgrim “adequately” addressed “all negative media news is from political enemies” in last week’s press conference, while Donville Inniss uses the “grandstanding is confident PR,” since, in doing such, his popularity has increased whereby many people are saying he should be the next prime minister. In my opinion, Inniss grandstands and talk a lotta shiite, which is evidenced by the nonsense he spews specifically at constituency branch meetings.

    The press had PERFECT opportunities to hold this DLP administration under scrutiny as it relates to the proposed CAHILL project and their [DEMS] promise of good governance (as outlined in their 2008 election manifesto) to immediately implement ITAL; press briefings by Ministries/Departments to inform Barbadians of major developments and changes; the publication of details of agreements and contracts involving the government and its agencies; and formal Ministerial statements at regular intervals on the progress of ongoing programmes and projects.

    Additionally, questions were raised about apparent conflict of interest issues relative to SSA trucks and Transport Board buses being repaired by Trans-Tech Inc. and ministers Denis Lowe and Michael Lashley allegedly driving vehicles owned by that Kendal Hill establishment. The press could have referred to that 2008 manifesto and the DEMS stating they “SELECTED A TEAM OF CLEAN, caring, competent and committed politicians who have SIGNED ON to a CODE OF CONDUCT that promises Good Governance.”

    The DLP, on page 47 of their 2008 manifesto, reminded Barbadians that “Reports from the Auditor General are disregarded.” Interestingly, concerns the Auditor General highlighted during those years continue to occur under this present DLP’s tenure.

    Finally, David Estwick publically stating that the DLP’s economic policies exacerbated the effects of the economic recession and went to parliament to endorse those same policies, have all the qualities for an excellent newspaper story.

    Unfortunately, rather than hold politicians accountable for being in solidarity with their party and collectively supporting an issue and subsequently criticizing it in their “private capacity”, as well as parties accountable for their “inaction,” the press seems comfortable with this “political to and fro” depending on which party is “in power.”

    Surely the press has been giving the DEMS a free pass for the past 7 years.

    Like

  5. Alvin Cummins August 17, 2015 at 10:56 PM #

    @Balance:
    I am old but I am not stupid. I lived in the days when I had to pay fees to go to cawmwere. I lived in the days when the brightest student did not get the Barbasdos scholarship. I lived in the days when parents had to make painful decisions on which son would or could go to secondary school. Would I therefore rejoice if ANY government reduced the number of Barbados scholarships and exhibitions? Especially when the DLP is the government that increased the number of such scholarships and exhibitions? You are more stupid than I gave you credit for. Your duck feathers are dropping out.

    @Money Brain, I am no young pup. I graduated from Cawmere in 1951. I knew Hugh Eastmond very well. I lost contact with him a number of years ago. When he was at the Government Lab, I was working at Mt. Sinai Hospital; Charge technologist, Microbiology
    (Immunology and Serology) I do not remember Lyndor from Mona.

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  6. balance August 18, 2015 at 4:50 AM #

    . ‘I lived in the days when the brightest student did not get the Barbasdos scholarship”

    I have never attempted to writ a book and so I wouldn’t refer to you as stupid just purblind in your efforts to defend the indefensible but on another what evidence do you have that the brightest student did not get the Barbados scholarship in those days in which you lived.

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  7. balance August 18, 2015 at 5:06 AM #

    “I lived in the days when I had to pay fees to go to cawmwere. ”

    ‘This setback is actually good for the young people. they need to become more self reliant and forward thinking’

    Well it seemed that what you described as a setback was not good for you and did not help you to become more self-reliant and forward thinking. One day when you sit and reflect on your posts you would come to the realisation that what I am saying is true.

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  8. MoneyBrain August 18, 2015 at 8:21 AM #

    Alvin C wrote

    I lived in the days when the brightest student did not get the Barbasdos scholarship.

    Interesting, please amplify for our education.

    Thanks for your reply, Hughy and his wife ran a couple of Nursing homes in Penetang and out by Kingston (while still managing the Govt Lab, his associate there was my client), it did his blood pressure no good and eventually he went blind in one eye very suddenly. I loss track of him when my client a Trini retired, but later learnt he had passed. Very hard worker who had success but maybe at a steep price, I dont know whether he ever was truly able to enjoy.

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  9. are-we-there-yet August 18, 2015 at 8:28 AM #

    Alvin;

    Thanks for the information on Harold Standard. This is the first information I have had on him since he left to go to Canada in the very early 1960’s. I worked with him in the Medical Labs at the old General Hospital and at Enmore before leaving to take a different career path to the chagrin of Dr. Dos Santos who wanted me to do medicine instead. You remember that old Flame Photometer in the Lab? I was the only one who could get it to work reliably and saved it from being thrown out in one of Dr Dos Santos’ periodic instrument purges. Does Harold ever get back to Barbados?

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  10. Alvin Cummins August 18, 2015 at 5:22 PM #

    @ Are we there…;
    I think I can place you now. Of course I remember the Fame Photometer; how else could we have gotten our electrolytes done? Yes Harold gets back to Barbados for the winters every year. I spoke to him just day before yesterday. He comes back for the summer to Toronto , and goes back home for the winters. We are too old now for these long cold winters here. My planned schedule for the same summer/winter sojourns got disrupted last year when I became ill. I shall see if Harold remembers you and give him your regards.

    @ Moneybrain;

    Amplifying on my previous statement for your edification. Sorry I have to refer to myself again.
    In my day, the fees to go to a secondary school like, St. Michaels or Combermere was sixteen dollars($16.00) per term. Wages in those days were meagre; my mother worked as a maid. Her wages were ten shillings per week. A shilling was twenty four (24) cents, so she worked for $2.40 per week, with which to pay rent and feed, clothe and educate four children; me, my brother and my two sisters. Our father; a seaman, died in Bermuda, when I was seven years old. My mother never remarried, so she had to raise us all without his support. Although he survived torpedoing, (if he had died at sea she would have gotten a pension from the Harrison Liners with whom he worked,at least that would have helped) he took ill and died on land, so we did not qualify for that pension..
    Anyhow, to continue. Many families, especially those in country districts, who were labourers on the plantations, worked for even less. Fees for Harrison college or Queens college were even higher twenty four dollars a term;for Harrison College, or any of the other secondary schools, you can imagine the strain it put on families; financially and psychologically. Thus if a family had in three or four children who were bright enough to go to a secondary school, the money to pay for even one child, far less two or three, would have been so onerous that the family had to make the choice of which one would go to secondary school., and which would go to work in the fields. I was fortunate to some extent because I won a vestry scholarship, and my brother was awarded a scholarship; (Combermere Old Scholars Association) which paid some of the fees, but books had to be purchased, (second and third hand), lunch had to be acquired and all the other expenses. Parents in those days had to be among the worlds’ greatest economists. They knew how to stretch a dollar; how to cut and contrive, and still keep their pride.

    That was the significance of Barrow’s decision that ALL children gaining admission to secondary school would go without having to pay ANY fees. it then opened secondary education to everyone and not a select few, and families did not have to make the types of choices they had to previously.

    When I decided that I wanted to go to university; (it HAD to be overseas) I was awarded a tuition waiver to State University of New York, based on my SAT results; The exam was held in Barbados, paid for by me, but supervised by a. teacher from the Evening Institute, at the time. I had to work on campus for all my other expenses, This is not only my experience, but was repeated in many other households, where the money, or access to money, was short
    but the desire to study was great.
    People were ambitious and worked with what was available

    @ Money brain,

    re:” I lived in the days when the brightest student did not always get the Barbados scholarship.”
    In those days one person was awarded a Barbados scholarship. It was a competitive exam and the tests were corrected in England (set in England too) The results were sent back through the department of education, and it has become common folk lore that the results were switched so that a famous person was awarded the scholarship, when they had not actually secured the highest marks. It was a colour thing.

    Like

  11. David August 18, 2015 at 5:38 PM #

    @Alvin

    Are you saying if we are to judge from your comments on BU your intelligence has dimmed a litter over the years? Because you have the resume of a ‘bright’ boy in your youth

    A joke🙂

    Like

  12. ac August 18, 2015 at 6:13 PM #

    glad that you (david) have finally come to the realization that Mr,cummins is not a demented ole man. but is very smart and intelligent and does not need to be guided or rely on any given advice by any select person/s to advanced his opinions, for too long here on BU when an opposing view is presented the rule of thumb is name tag and hash tag such views as “clueless”
    Over the past few days any one reading Mr, Cummins comments would have to be clueless to believe that he was a puppet of any organization, his views have been refreshing or as they say a breath of fresh air,

    Like

  13. are-we-there-yet August 18, 2015 at 6:29 PM #

    Alvin;

    An excellent post!

    It describes exactly what it was like to qualify and attend a Secondary school in those days as a child of working class origins and fits firmly within the context of Jeff’s article.

    Your experience is somewhat similar to mine in that my parents were also from the working class, with my mother’s work being a housewife looking after the children while my father carried out his carpenter / joiner trade with several forays Overseas. It was tough for them to send us to school but they did it while undergoing many hardships and sacrifices. We were fairly lucky. I was the eldest child and I qualified for both Combermere and HC. My father chose HC and then I won a Foundation scholarship at HC so my parents only had to find clothes and food, etc. for me for nearly all of my school days there. My brothers and sisters all qualified for Secondary Schools, HC, St Michaels,Combermere and QC, most of them in the days of Free Secondary Education.

    Barbados has come a long way since then, fuelled in large part by the vision and practice of Free Secondary Education. A pity that this lot so mismanaged the economy as to have no option but to dismantle one aspect of that system (LOL). However, I agree with you that the current and coming times are likely to strengthen the resolve of some youngsters now in the system, as they realise that they themselves have to bear a large share of the necessary costs and not totally depend on freenesses from government to get ahead of the game.

    They will turn out all the better citizens.

    Glad to hear that Harold Standard returns to Barbados annually. Tell him he should be able to contact me through your sister and I’m in the directory.

    Like

  14. Dompey August 18, 2015 at 6:38 PM #

    Alvin Cummins, your above comment moved me deeply, and I can say without any equivocation that I have the utmost respect for you sir. No disrespect to MoneyBrain, but it would appear as though he cannot relate to you because he was probably born with a silver spoon stuck in his mouth.

    Like

  15. Dompey August 18, 2015 at 6:55 PM #

    Alvin, if you may permit me to address in this manner sir, but you have more credibility in my book than that fraud Georgie Porgia, who run around this blog spewing his plagiarized information.

    Like

  16. MoneyBrain August 18, 2015 at 7:10 PM #

    @Alvin–

    Thanks for elucidating, not surprising as those days were tough, importantly you proved the old saying that “when things get tough, the tough get going” as in finding a solution. I did not discover, until recent years, that some of the fellas at HC with me in the 70s had been hungry at school. Naturally, pride prevented them from speaking up at the time but not from becoming successes. I would have assisted them by organising those more financially able to complain at home for more lunch, so we could share.

    Like

  17. MoneyBrain August 18, 2015 at 7:25 PM #

    @Dompey–

    You have absolutely no evidence for saying that MB cant relate or had a silver spoon. I spent most of my formative years with black kids— my neighbours, the village kids where I played Cricket/Soccer and at HC. My father went to work at 13 having to leave Cawmere young and my mother was orphaned at 8 yrs one of 7 children. Needless to say my parents were very strict especially with finishing your food, no wastage. By the time I came along my family was no longer poor but we were not spoilt. I mixed with well known darker families that were given access to things like cars, fancy clothes, that I did not have.

    Like

  18. David August 18, 2015 at 7:29 PM #

    What will be achieved by a bunch of anonymous people excluding Alvin and a few others personalizing comments?

    Like

  19. Alvin Cummins August 18, 2015 at 7:46 PM #

    @ Everyone,

    Thanks for your kind sentiments.

    Voice of Barbados; (VOB) once had a call in program called “Tell It like it is.” I have just told it like it was, and to also emphasize that my case was not unique. Many Many families had similar experiences. In Primary school,children went to school with shoes highly polished; (you had to have your shoes polished for inspection when you lined up outside the classroom before going in. Hair had to be combed and finger nails cleaned.) those who had shoes, but in many cases the shoes had holes in the bottom with cardboard as inner soles.But the shoes would be shining. As Money Brain said, many went to school hungry, but their pride made them bear the hunger and still study; perhaps harder. Failure was not an option.

    Like

  20. Dompey August 18, 2015 at 9:32 PM #

    MoneyBrain

    “By this time I came along my family was no longer poor”

    Money, I am quite sure you’re a good man and meant no harm, but your attempt empathize with the struggles and sacrifices of the common people of Barbados through your association is not very convincing in my estimation. Listen Money, I was born and bred quite poor in Barbados, but yet I still cannot relate neither can I empathize with the struggles and sacrifices of the African kid who has to hunt for his own food in the bush, fetch water from the river, live in a house made of manure and mud, cook on wood fire, and defecate in the bush, amongst many other dehumanizing and distasteful things. And finally my dear friend, if you may permit me the pleasure to regard you in this light? There is an old perennial-dictum which says: ” One ought not to render a judgment until he/she has walked a mile in another shoes.”

    Like

  21. are-we-there-yet August 18, 2015 at 9:49 PM #

    David you asked;
    “What will be achieved by a bunch of anonymous people excluding Alvin and a few others personalizing comments?”

    I think this thread is remarkable in that it gets the participants nearer to a true “Electronic rumshop” concept. The people in the traditional rumshop knew one another and part of the attraction was the disagreements and agreements and fights and personalization of comments, etc. Most of the people who patronized rumshops were friends or became friends, not only through the drink, but through the conversations. They solved many a personal or national problem in those rumshop discourses and developed a level of tolerance for opposing views as they got to understand or appreciate why people could quite easily develop such views based on their peculiar life experiences.

    This thread, with Alvin using the BU electronic medium to get to an important aspect of the ” evolving democracy” theme, i.e. the early manifestations of democracy and the social and economic pressures it brought with it as it progressed from the standpoint of personal experiences, while laying bare the circumstances which moulded him and his outlook on politics and national development in Barbados is an important development which could not have the same powerful effect if it were delivered by a totally anonymous poster. But some anonymous posters, including myself and Dompey and moneybrain, have personalized their experiences in several disparate posts on BU so I think that the BU family knows us as real living individuals who are consistent in our recollections of occurrences in Barbados and can contribute to this unfolding even though at a less forceful level.

    The relative anonymity of the BU rumshop goes one better than the traditional one in that a BU family member can quite easily predict almost exactly what the views of any regular poster will be about any particular topic. That may also be true of the regular rumshop but the difference is that anyone consistently reading the Blog can get a feel for the pulse of the regulars and, if they are a microcosm of Barbadian society, can get a feeling for where the political wind is trending; what is the level of popularity of certain national figures; what people feel about new initiatives being taken in the country, etc. etc.

    BU is real!

    Like

  22. Dompey August 18, 2015 at 9:52 PM #

    MoneyBrain

    How can I really emphasize with a man who has been afflicted with the medical-necessity of Cancer, when I haven’t been stricken by it myself? Money, do you understand the logic in my argument, or what I am trying to induce you to comprehend?

    Like

  23. Bush Tea August 18, 2015 at 10:06 PM #

    yaba yaba yaba…

    Bushie is not moved by Alvin’s sob story.
    Practically every damn black student who went to secondary school in the 50’s and 60’s (especially Cawmere) was poor as shiite ….many with even more difficult stories than Alvin’s.
    That does NOT provide an excuse to become a DLP ‘pooch licker’…. on the contrary..
    Yuh would think that someone coming from such a background would be concerned about current BLACK LEADERS getting in bed with all kinds of shady foreigners and local bribers to juck black people in their damn eyes…

    Alvin may impress wunna with his sob story…. “poor me I was poor as shiite and Bushie here cussing me left, right and centre… ” But contributions here on BU have NOTHING to do with his poverty or his academic qualifications…. Either talk sense logically, ….or hold yuh ass for some whacking – ..
    What Alvin needs to do is to come with some SENSIBLE contributions to the discussions – especially politically biased discussions, and hold off on the lotta shiite talk about his poor background on an anonymous blog – that will come back to haunt him….

    Poverty is no excuse for yardfowlism and brass bowlery…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Alvin Cummins August 18, 2015 at 10:28 PM #

    @Dompey,
    A small correction in your post. (Not being rude or anything) what you mean to say is “empathize” whose meaning is different from “emphasize”. So you can, as a medical person (as money brain obviously is), “empathize” with a person afflicted with cancer, because in your work you would have come to understand the pain and suffering they have to go through, either as a result of the illness or the severity of the treatment.

    Like

  25. Alvin Cummins August 18, 2015 at 11:01 PM #

    Are We there Yet,
    Harold remembers you and says hello. Spoke to him tonight.Will send you his email address.

    Like

  26. MoneyBrain August 18, 2015 at 11:13 PM #

    @Dompey

    I know where U want to go but your use of Cancer is a poor choice since I watched my father and brother die of Cancer (to say nothing of other family members)When over the period of a year U see a 200 lb man reduce to 80 lbs and when he is turned over his hip breaks, that leaves quite an impression of what cancer is about. I believe I have an excellent identification with Cancer without actually feeling the pain. I use to make sure my brother had a very good supply of Demerol 50mg as in Bim there was only 25mg, so went to Bim 4 times that year and carried a bunch each time prescribed by his Dr in TO!

    Like

  27. balance August 18, 2015 at 11:15 PM #

    “and it has become common folk lore that the results were switched so that a famous person was awarded the scholarship, when they had not actually secured the highest marks. It was a colour thing”

    MY friend your own words particularly ‘ commonfolklore’ are instructive. I rest my case. No respect intended to my elders but take off your political blinkers man.

    Like

  28. balance August 18, 2015 at 11:21 PM #

    “Bushie is not moved by Alvin’s sob story”

    Me neither with all that bullshit about some meter in a lab and Harrisonian platitudes by the very same people who pour scorn on the educational system of the so-called colonial days.

    Like

  29. balance August 18, 2015 at 11:25 PM #

    “Poverty is no excuse for yardfowlism and brass bowlery”
    Well said Bushie perhaps Alvin needs to draw on your satirically profound skills when he is contemplating writing books in the future.

    Like

  30. Bush Tea August 18, 2015 at 11:48 PM #

    @ balance
    …not only is poverty no excuse, but unless bloggers possess the kind of balls that Caswell, Adrian Loveridge and Jeff Cumberbatch have, then we don’t REALLY need to hear their damn life story….cause when the whacker start up a whole lotta shiite will fly…

    BU is about LOGIC, argumentative positions, and knowledgeable posits… We don’t give two shits about qualifications, status, rank ,poverty or connections.
    Anytime you hear a debater bringing up his ‘poor background’ and ‘hard life’ (as per Denis Lowe recently) you just KNOW that he is pulling a fast one on your ass…

    BUT NOT on STINKING BUSHIE!!!

    ..write another damn book or something man…, or call “heartbreak hotel” or some shiite… but don’t come here looking for no damn empathy OR sympathy. What we RESPECT on BU are logical arguments that represent sound reasoning.

    Like

  31. David August 19, 2015 at 12:19 AM #

    @Alvin

    How has sales been for your last two books?

    Like

  32. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 3:38 AM #

    Alvin Cummins

    Alvin, you’re not being disrespectful at all sir, I wonder what gave you that idea because I do welcome your constructive critique? Now with respect to your inquiry of my understanding of the words Empathize and Emphasis which I do understand quite well, even though I misused the word Emphasis instead Empathize in my latter post, I nonetheless, employed it correctly in my first post, so should have gotten the general idea that I was trying to convey in my latter post.

    In any event, getting back to your comment regarding Empathy, well I am presently employed in the healthcare industry here in the States, as you an I confabulate. And I am currently working with a patient who is on “Hospice Care” because of complications from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which has compromised his lungs and he hasn’t long to go. And even though I know that he lies on this death bed at the end of his life brother, I still cannot empathize with this patient because at the end of my shift, I go home to my family,and forgets about what this guy is probably going through spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. I can’t relate at all because had I been in his situation, I might have been able to empathize with his suffering, but how can I when I have been there?

    And lastly, as a former military man, it kinda puts me in the mindset of the seasoned veteran who has fought in many battles and is now battlefield tested, and the green infantry soldier who is about to face combat for the first time. Can this unseasoned infantry soldier empathize with this battlefield tested veteran? Of course not, well the same goes for the patient who lies on his death awaiting his impending demise, and a person much like myself who hasn’t been there as of yet. Alvin, have you ever heard the saying that: True knowledge comes by way of personal experience?”

    Like

  33. Bush Tea August 19, 2015 at 6:25 AM #

    Oh get a life nuh Dompey! …. mean they still letting you around sick people after that incident with the cellphone charging…?
    …and did the army not discharge you for the wasteful manner in which you persisted in peeling the damn potatoes in the cookhouse where you were assigned ‘for combat’?

    Shiite!!
    Next we will hear a moving testimony from sister AC about how tough life has become since her DC left for Arizona ….and of course of the wicked role that the BLP played in DC’s escape …errr leaving.

    Steupss
    …see what Bushie means balance?

    Like

  34. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 6:58 AM #

    Alvin Cummis

    Empathize, according to the Oxford American Dictionary means to: “Understand and share the feelings of another”. Yes as a human I may feel a sense of sadness that another human being is appoaching the end of his or her life, but on the fundamental level, do I really understand this dying person state of mind, or can I actually relate to the suffering of this person unless I have experience it firsthand myself? Listen! My wife has been under anaesthesia ( Bristish or Bajan spelling Anesthesia) several times, and she tells me of the euphoria one experiences when put under the influence of that sedative. But it was not until I had gotten my first colonoscopy this year, that I could really understand what she was trying to convey to me as fact. Because I did in fact experienced that euphoric feeling she had been stating all along. Now, I don’t wish to ride this issue any longer because I hope that I have gotten my point across to some extent.

    Like

  35. de Ingrunt Word August 19, 2015 at 7:21 AM #

    Are-We, I agree with your ‘rum shop’ post above but interpret the concept of anonymity with a slight difference.

    In the wood & mortar rum shop, as you suggest, one ” can quite easily predict almost exactly what the views of any regular … will be about any particular topic” and so too right here indeed. But I think that when the faceless/nameless posters personalize their experiences here it certainly still enhances a true feeling of friendship (or enmity).

    Being anonymous takes nothing away from the interplay in my view because from what I have seen here there are BU family members who are great friends and seem to walk lock-step in discourse; those who are verbal rivals and battle back and forth often; then those who tend to be aggrieved maybe because of previous disagreements; and of course those who can’t stand the mere thought of each other.

    Yah tink all those dynamics are diminished in this virtual rum-shop? No sir, in fact it just makes it ‘sweeter fah days’. So oh yes, good sir, BU is as real as can be in its virtual life!

    @ Bushie and Balance et al: Why would Cummings’ story of growing up evoke special empathy here on BU when most of us either lived it directly or vicariously through our parents or other family members?

    The comments by Cummings were absolutely not much different from other grand pieces of personal driftwood that posters have cast into the BU waters.

    The man is a writer and story teller and obviously loves that type of historical hiking, so to speak, …was it not enjoyable (certainly for me and based on others’ comments) when he chronicled some early music students and their successes. This is all interesting and back in the day this ‘oral history ‘ was invaluable. What makes such remarks so damning here?

    His comments should be interpreted as about the period and the life of that generation not about him; and I would hope he continues to provide other historical nuggets and names as he did.

    Cummings make a remark several weeks back to the effect that he was looking through the ‘jalousies’ of his family home the morning of the riots. The next time after that when I had reason to address one of his comments I added the honorific ‘Mr’ to his name out of simple momentary awe.

    My point to all that is take the man as he comes with all his Barrow/DLP unshakable devotion.

    If one puts his life as gleaned here into perspective that love is absolutely understandable… even as we also understandably disagree vehemently with him and his corrupt DLP on this Cahill matter and even as we understand not all of that generation have an unflappable love affair with Errol Barrow’s DLP.

    Like

  36. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 7:44 AM #

    Bush Tea

    Oh dear Bushie! I do recall the incident involving the cellular-phone quite vividly, but it would appear as though you have the facts of the incident somehow misconstrued and convoluted. The incident has little do with me and more do with you when you were a patient at psychiatric hospital commonly known as the Mental, under observation for claims that the DLP government had planted a listening device in your cell phone to monitor your every movement.Oh Lord, poor Bushie, is in the advanced stages of dementia and can’t seem to get over the fixation that the DLP government is out to get him.

    Like

  37. MoneyBrain August 19, 2015 at 8:34 AM #

    The DLP under the Skippa Dippa and Cammie was a COMPLETELY different Group of true Leadership than this wayward bunch of CLOWNS! Serious alternatives must be considered, monitored and once qualified, elected.

    Note to younger family members —-NEVER blindly support any group. political party, Sports team, simply because of their historical performance or leadership.

    The questions must always be centred around who is leading now, why, how, what they plan to do and what they actually do, are they genuine or just con men brekking for themselves. For example, I grew up backing the WI Cricket Team, however given the”leadership” in Admin and the attitude of some players I would be a fool to place faith in that entity today! SAD!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. ac August 19, 2015 at 12:58 PM #

    N o bozie ac never had to undergo those hard times. I remember the days wearing Bata and Clarke shoes no holes in my shoes deputy dawg

    Like

  39. MoneyBrain August 19, 2015 at 1:07 PM #

    @Dompey—

    So the only way to understand the consequences of someone you know jumping in front of the Subway is to jump too???

    Clever people learn from experience BUT the truly Clever learn from the experiences of others!

    Like

  40. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 2:13 PM #

    MoneyBrain

    That’s a fair enough analogy, But let me ask you this question though: would you agree that some people account of a given event is limited to their individual interpretation? So if a religious-zealous comes a long and tells me that he has seen God, should I then accept his accounted at face-value, or shouldn’t I examine his claim through a process of empirical evidence to determine its validity?

    Like

  41. MoneyBrain August 19, 2015 at 2:48 PM #

    @Dompey

    Yes interpretations will vary.

    Especially when there is Religion involved you have to conduct much research. People can easily be brainwashed eg Charles Manson had those young ladies murdering innocent people they did not know and had never even met!

    Hitler had most Germans believing they were better than any other group!

    Mao had people beating the Educated Uni Profs/ Lecturers and sending them off to work in the fields!

    Like

  42. are-we-there-yet August 19, 2015 at 4:00 PM #

    De Ingrunt Word re. your 7:21 am post;

    Thanks for your comments on my earlier “rum shop” post. I think you found the signal weakness in my comparison of the traditional and the virtual bajan rum shop.

    Balance;

    I am beginning to think that the mere mention of HC is like a red flag for you and a few others, sometimes without considering the context in which it is mentioned. My allusion to HC in earlier posts was essentially to posit that the HC geniuses and brainiacs of “the day” imho contributed much less to Barbados as compared to the contributions of other HC students and of those from other schools who did not do particularly well at GCE but went on in later life to excel on the world stage and also to contribute greatly of their talents to Barbados’ development.

    My allusion to HC in this particular thread was merely to offer another example of progression in the continuum of evolving democracy, perhaps 8-10 years after Alvin went to Cawmere, i.e. that coming from a similar background to Alvin, I was able to go to HC and all my siblings to the top Secondary schools by dint of my parent’s sacrifices and our own efforts, and in the later stages through far reaching changes in the system born of the Governments’ strategic thinking. I am almost certain that I would not have been able to attend a Secondary school if I had been born earlier. Now that is not to say that 90% of the people posting on BU did not have similar experiences but at least it is recording that such a situation did happen.

    re. the flame photometer. The short discussion on that was an aside, particularly directed at Alvin to point him to who I was as no one outside a technologist or worker in that particular laboratory would know what I was talking about. It really did not deserve that vituperative comment.

    All;
    I had an old neighbour, one of whose favourite sayings was; “tuh explain yuhself yuh have to expose yuhself”.

    The personalised comments on this blog may be good examples of the truth of that aphorism. Alvin exposed himself to explain himself. So did I, partially. So have a number of others on BU over the years without calling down the ire that this seems to have generated.

    I wonder why?

    Like

  43. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 6:53 PM #

    MoneyBrain

    I would agree with you that people can be so easily brainwashed, look what a western education has done to some of the eldership here on BU? Their western style education has been deeply influenced by the western intellectual tradition which some of the eldership here have failed to realized influences their thinking in many respects.

    But I have said this before and I shall say it once again: anyone can say or state a claim, but until empirical-evidence gives way to truth, such claims are tumble weed tossed and turned by the wind and finally buried under a pile of rubbish.

    Like

  44. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 7:27 PM #

    I have been on this blog for quite sometime now, and I do not recall any of the readership here on BU paying homage to the well noted and international-acclaimed Barbadian novelist, essayist and poet, the illustrious George Lamning. Is it because he has attended Roebuck Boys’ Primary and then Combere Secondary, that he doesn’t warrants the attention of the mostly Harrison College readership here on BU?

    Like

  45. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 7:31 PM #

    Sorry that was supposed to be Combermere… please forgive my constant human shortcoming.

    Like

  46. MoneyBrain August 19, 2015 at 7:41 PM #

    @Dompey

    Are U attempting to get in my Castle or under my Skin?

    When did we discuss Poets and Literary Genii??? Harrisonians respect this gent immensely.

    There is friction with some Cambermerians who have INFERIORITY complexes who continually attack former HC alumini. When U are number 0ne, in any aspect, the wannabes are always sharpening the knives! It is a fact of life eg many hate the Yankees.

    Like

  47. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 8:03 PM #

    David, I often wonder if our own Bushie could be the well noted and internationally acclaimed novelist George Lamning, masquerading behind the verisimilitude of the pseudonym of Bush Tea? His writing skills are impeccable and his intellectual lucidity is above and far beyond mediocrity we often find here on BU. We obviously have a national treasure who remains in incognito, but whose intellectual luminosity breaks through the veil which cocoon this rare diamond that rest in still concealment beneath our feet.

    Like

  48. Crusoe August 19, 2015 at 8:12 PM #

    MoneyBrain August 19, 2015 at 7:41 PM #

    That was a bouncer but unfortunately went quite astray. Number One? Hah……

    Measurements of success are relative and subjective.

    The US? For sure, getting sick if you don’t have insurance your tail is grass.

    Many are wealthy, but a multitude sleep homeless on the streets, while good houses lie fallow.

    Number One?

    That said, in terms of the title of this blog ‘an emerging democracy’ , surely ‘an emerging autocracy’ is more apt?

    Like

  49. Crusoe August 19, 2015 at 8:15 PM #

    @Bushie ”Anytime you hear a debater bringing up his ‘poor background’ and ‘hard life’ (as per Denis Lowe recently) you just KNOW that he is pulling a fast one on your ass…”

    Maybe , maybe not.

    Denis Lowe may indeed have had a ‘HARD’ life… very hard….

    Hah!

    Like

  50. Dompey August 19, 2015 at 8:28 PM #

    MoneyBrain

    I was schooled at Roebuck Boys’ Primary which as you well know, was in close proximity to Harrison College.
    And from time to time my friends and I would ventured over to Harrison College during our lunch break, and I must tell you without any ambiguity, that I founded quite a few of the students at Harrison College during the early 1970s, socially -aloof. So it is now wonder why many at the time and I would imagine to this today held/holds a visceral as well as a pathological hatred for those who have and continue to attend Harrison College today.

    Like

  51. de Ingrunt Word August 19, 2015 at 8:51 PM #

    Are-We, no need to wonder deeply. The remarks or interpretations by Bush Tea and Balance re Cummings personal reminisces and the nostalgia both of you enjoyed could best be described as puerile. That’s the best adjective to match their possible ages and comments to the time of the reminisces! LOL.

    Cummings has been so far ‘off the reservation’ on Cahill that anything he says is considered toxic so the ire was more about that I believe.

    re your HC comment: The day that Bajans stop getting worked up about HC, Lodge, QC, C’mere etc is the day when those schools stop producing the leaders of the country, most of the judges and basically being at the forefront of the country’s life.

    But of course you know that so why waste your time responding to more puerile school boy remarks about stuff like that!

    Suffice to say that your Cummings’ discussion was interesting and enlightening.

    @Dompey, stop being a flame thrower. Your remarks ” Is it because he has attended Roebuck Boys’ Primary and then Combere Secondary, that he doesn’t warrants the attention of the mostly Harrison College readership here on BU?” are BASELESS.

    Whether George Lamming is discussed on BU or not has nothing to do with such a nonsensical remark. Comissong (a Harrisonian) wrote a blog which highlighted him just rcently.

    What would be practical would be to write a piece on Mr Lamming if you want to have a discussion rather than writing such a load of cow-dung…steeupse.

    You obviously have a large chip on your shoulder. I do hope for your sake you can shrug it off some day.

    Like

  52. David August 19, 2015 at 9:00 PM #

    @Dee Word

    It would be a most interesting exercise to find out who on BU are required to take meds to perform normal functions.

    Like

  53. Crusoe August 19, 2015 at 9:06 PM #

    @ David,

    Well, due to the ‘DeeWord says’ Harrison led Gvernment, meds such as BP meds are essential, due tot he stressed brought on by an inept Government with ludicrous approaches.

    And this after an aloof Government, previously, also per Dee Word, Harrison led.

    Bah Humbug.

    Like

  54. de Ingrunt Word August 19, 2015 at 9:21 PM #

    @Dompey, let me tell yah, if “from time to time [your] friends and [you] would ventured over” to my nameless school, uninvited, during lunch I am confident that we would have cut your asses. So you would have had ample reason for your ” pathological hatred for those who have and continue to attend ….”

    Dude, get over yourself. Where you went to school is relevant and important to no one here.

    If you enjoyed your school life then sing its praises but good lawd man get off the HC bull crap.

    You sound like a desperate wannabe who after all these years is still upset that the HC boys looked down their nose at you….oh boo hooo; does it hurt??

    Are you a grown man or still stuck in your difficult adolescent years?

    @David, see if you can organize this lad Dompey with some of those meds, do!

    Like

  55. MoneyBrain August 19, 2015 at 10:36 PM #

    Dompey
    Your Headmaster at Roebuck was a neighbour.
    Kolij fellas did not tend to laud over others.

    Like

  56. ac August 19, 2015 at 11:11 PM #

    how about the name Harrison College be replaced with the EWB college of higher learning,,but seriously outside of barbados and a few carribbean nations Britian included who ever hear the name or pay attention to Harrison college as an accredited school of higher learning,

    Like

  57. MoneyBrain August 19, 2015 at 11:24 PM #

    @ac

    Actually there are several Professors at Oxford, Cambridge, MIT et al, who went to HC. Very highly respected among the academic cognoscenti.

    Most intelligent Bajans are very proud of HC, QC and some other schools that are easily forgotten! (Lodge was a great school until Smitty mash it up!) How did ruining the school of the former plantocracy benefit Bajans? It was servicing the people for many years.

    Like

  58. Dompey August 20, 2015 at 4:54 AM #

    MoneyBrain

    Money, I would have to agree with AC that most Americans would chuckle at the thought of a college of any sort being a school of national recognition.

    And with the easy accessibility of an education in the Great White North, I wouldn’t be surprise to find Barbadians who attended most if not all of the secondary schools in Barbados holding professorships throughout North America and in various parts of Europe.

    Greorge Lamning was once a visiting professor at Brown University; that’s and Ivy League school Money. And Sir Arthur Lewis who now respites peaceful in tranquil meadows in the Great-Beyond was a attendind professor at Stanford University for many years; Stanford happens to be another Ivy League school.

    But I guess that in the minds of most Barbadian people Harrison College is still to be looked upon as a school of academic-excellence, but I am also resolve to the fact that some Barbadians do believe that time to move beyond Harrison College as being a institution of learning to aspire for is now?

    Like

  59. balance August 20, 2015 at 5:04 AM #

    “cummings make a remark several weeks back to the effect that he was looking through the ‘jalousies’ of his family home the morning of the riots. The next time after that when I had reason to address one of his comments I added the honorific ‘Mr’ to his name out of simple momentary awe.”

    Then you might have given him a Lordship if he had remarked that he went to the toilet to ‘jobby’

    Like

  60. balance August 20, 2015 at 5:07 AM #

    “N o bozie ac never had to undergo those hard times. I remember the days wearing Bata and Clarke shoes no holes in my shoes deputy dawg”
    Ac you must have been privileged then.

    Like

  61. Dompey August 20, 2015 at 5:19 AM #

    MoneyBrain

    This is little off topic, but some here have spoke of the need to revamp our academic system, and I am quite sure conscientious listeners would agree that it is imperative that we do so quickly and for the sake of our posterity.

    But beyond revamp our educational system devoid of a specific aim, we need to move towards a more Afrocentric focus, and away Eurocentric emphasis which has shaped our thinking and impacted our behaviour for far too long.

    Like

  62. ac August 20, 2015 at 5:39 AM #

    Classism was rooted and bred in our educational system and is self explanatory in reading differing comments here ,it is obvious by some who went to those school which they believed were the top tier still express a sense of distinguished perplexing attitude wearing a halo of ‘greatness”

    Like

  63. Dompey August 20, 2015 at 5:47 AM #

    Balance, how about having to wear Dog-Sandals and Hush-Puppies?

    Like

  64. ac August 20, 2015 at 6:32 AM #

    @ balance but the philosophy “it takes a village” was not said but done ,. with having an extended family being a neighbor ,yes ! i was fortunate to be part of such a family setting who did not hide or shy away from responsibilities when necessary with helping buy my school supplies including uniforms and shoes

    Like

  65. are-we-there-yet August 20, 2015 at 7:02 AM #

    Wile we here debating HC and Cawmere and QC anso-onn we ent raylize dat sumting big mite be hapning.

    The Cabinet and top Civil Servants met in retreat at the Crane Resort for two days. On the first day the meeting discussed the Ministry of Finance and the AG’s department only. I have not yet seen what was discussed yesterday but it was reported in the Nation that for the first day no currently hot button items like escalating levels of crime were discussed.

    Seems to me that there’s something very much out of the ordinary going on here.
    Why did the PM have such high levels of security protection while the other members of Cabinet were not reported to have had excess protection or any protection at all? Why did they have this meeting in mid term rather than in 2013 when at that time it might have been feasible for decisions coming out of the meeting to have been implementable in this cycle as contrasted to a mid term meeting when it is unlikely that any significant changes could be made before this term comes to an end?

    Wonder what the meetings were really about? Is there any significance to the report that on the first day only Finance and the AG’s ministry were discussed? Wonder why CBC ent even unpick duh teet last nite bout de meeting?

    Like

  66. Bush Tea August 20, 2015 at 9:28 AM #

    @ AWTY
    No real surprise
    Even the most dedicated DLP die-hard brass bowls must by now be coming to see that they have been doing bare shiite… and that idiotic attempts to continue to blame everyone else – from the BLP, to OPEC to Bushie … is ringing hollow..
    Perhaps Froon has finally found time to start with the AX matter…

    @ Crusoe August 19, 2015 at 8:15 PM #
    Denis Lowe may indeed have had a ‘HARD’ life… very hard….
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    It is not that such debaters did NOT indeed have a hard life, but that they are trying to use a ‘poor me’ tactic to avoid dealing with the REAL issue or to distract the gullible audience…

    The ONLY thing that is relevant on the debate floor is the moot…

    Like

  67. Alvin Cummins August 20, 2015 at 9:40 AM #

    @Yard ducks et al.

    I went back to the archives; a short item from October 2007:

    …”Here are some more questions:
    Why was no tendering for this massive project?
    Why a company without any prior experience given the contract?
    Did this company present to Government any financial status in case of a malpractice suit?
    Did this company present a portfolio of past jobs to ascertain their credibility?
    Were drawings for the scope of work deliver to Government and analysed by professional personnel?
    If the answer is no, are decisions only made as work progress, thus the reason for the magnitude of additional costing?”

    Do you know what this is from and what it is about?
    It is from Word Press, and it is in relation to the building of the Flyovers and the ABC road widening contracts.

    What say you?

    Like

  68. de Ingrunt Word August 20, 2015 at 10:01 AM #

    Are-We as usual you are ahead of the game re the Crane Resort meeting. We can only but speculate that a major announcement is possible. I too was confused by the PM security presence. That suggests a conspiracy of threats leveled at the PM. LOL.

    @Balance:

    Absolutely correct and astute observation that, ‘[I] might have given him a Lordship if … went to the toilet to ‘jobby’.

    Your prowess to conflate the seminal magnitude of the 1937 riots to the mundane task of a bowel movement clearly shows your intellectual gravitas and ability to move beyond the puerile I so incorrectly accused you of previously. I now stand ashamed of my earlier description of you!

    @Dompey & AC

    Of course, a comprehensive and forward thinking review of education is needed in Barbados – and this point has been discussed here at length previously. BUT to suggest that such a revamp should be done at the expense of our older schools is simply ludicrous.

    If either of you had that ‘esprit de ecole’ that Lodge, HC, QC, Foundation and other boys and girls from the older secondaries have you would realize a few basic things.

    —1. Students from Princess Margaret, Ellerslie, St. Leonards etc – the newer secondaries – also have a sense of pride in their alma mater and they develop that by doing positive things for their schools and building on their successes; not by pulling down the success of others.

    —2. You would realize that our educational system has indeed undergone change over the years with a focus away from the main older secondaries as there was a concerted effort to better spread the ‘wealth’ of talented students.

    —3. And finally you would understand that in any country you will always have a ‘best of class’ institution or institutions and rightly or not they will be given precedence over others.

    BTW, let’s see if I can put into perspective your insulting (to all Bajans) remark: “… chuckle at the thought of a [Harrison] college of any sort being a school of national recognition.”

    I came across an article in the Economist some years back, which noted that (at 2012) one particular school, Ecole Nationale d’Administration (university) in France, had seven of the past 12 prime ministers as former students in addition to several other prominent officials, civil servants etc. The writer thought that was ‘breathtaking’. It was also noted that this school was one of three from which 46% of the country’s business tycoons were grads.

    Now, consider that our first Premier went to HC, and all but two our PMs attended there as well – over 70% I believe. Further consider that over 85% of our high court judges attended that school and at various times in the tenure of the court that number was 100% I suspect.

    These are simple facts that clearly suggest that the frigging school is in not a ‘chuckle’ at being a ‘school of national recognition’. Success breads success; a number of those who topped common entrance went there and thus the school got the best school leaving results.

    So Mr Dompey please get your thinking cap on properly…In most countries that means your school is touted as one of the best, whether we like it or not.

    If you want to discuss the teaching practices and resources they have and argue that Ellerslie or Deighton Griffith could turn out more talented students if they had some of those resources then make the point with facts but this insane petty folly is pathetic.

    Like

  69. MoneyBrain August 20, 2015 at 11:12 AM #

    Dompey

    De Ingrunt got it exactly correct above at 10.21am.

    All Nation’s have superior centres of learning at various levels! There is no example of tearing down a top institution because of some errant political game, that has proven beneficial. Singapore has Raffles College/ National Junior College pumping out genii like no tomorrow. These institutions are revered and Singaporeans do not want to denigrate or destroy. The fact is that the top Bajan schools are tops because the best brains go there. Having said that,students develop at different rates and in my own bloodline connections they were many clever students that went to HC, Lodge, QC BUT the one that won the Bdos Schol did their formative education at Foundation!

    The gent in the US with the highest IQ (they could not put a number to his IQ as he was that clever) never finished high School because school was a waste of time and when he was younger classmates despised him for being so clever, so he decided to appear dumber in order to preserve social acceptance. Suppose he had been identified and placed in a school for the very Gifted this chap may have solved Cancer/ “free energy”/ anti gravidic propulsion or some other conundrum by now. This situation was a waste in terms of human advancement and effective use of assets.

    The fact is that with computers/ technology today it is possible to “flatten” teaching differentials. You can take the very most effective teaching methods/ systems and place them in programs for everyone’s use. The teaching role should change to supporting those that need help as the computer/ Tech system will integrate testing, immediately showing who gets the work and who does not. I would encourage everyone to acquaint themselves with the Khan Academy and to recommend this to all family / friends with youngsters.

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  70. ac August 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM #

    Surely not arguing the level of competency .but the level of arrogance that emits from some who enters those educated walls.what I describes as classism not found in other western colleges. Yes across across N america one would hardly noticed or recognize a distinguishable difference in intellectual prowess to impress by any university grad unless specifically told by another source

    Like

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