Mottley, Castro, Chavez All Agree – Citizen Free-Speech Must Be Stopped

mia-mottley-finger-1.jpgcuba-castro-1a.jpghugo-chavez.jpg

mia-mottley-finger-2.jpgfidel-castro1.jpghugo-chavez-finger-2.jpg

Deputy PM’s Comments Reveal Distain For Citizens & A Firm Belief in Her Own Elite Status

When Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley called for the regulation of internet blogs and call-in shows to prevent citizens from speaking freely to each other in public forums, she was not the first elected official to display both a distain for citizens’ rights and a sure belief of her own elite status.

Miss Mottley appears to have forgotten, if she ever knew, what it is to be a citizen of Barbados – as opposed to enjoying a privileged lifestyle as one of the ruling elites.

She travels around the world – Asia, Europe, all expenses paid – and she sure doesn’t travel coach. No cheap motels for Mia Mottley! And, no – the Deputy PM doesn’t spend much jet time squeezed into Row 35 between the screaming 4 year old and the fat lady who hasn’t bathed in a week.

A Nice Wide Seat

Nope – Mia travels up front with a nice wide seat, pleasant music, real china and a curtain to separate her from the ordinary folk in the back of the bus – er, airplane. Been that way for years – well over a decade.

So it is no wonder that during the past ten years the Deputy Prime Minister has forgotten her tongue occasionally and has said and done whatever she desires without worrying too much about what the peasants at the Oistins fish market might grumble to each other…

… except that things have changed in the last decade.

Now the peasants at the Oistins fish market have call-in radio shows and web pages. They might still smell of fish, but darn it – they are talking to each other on the radio and writing blogs and researching on the internet ’bout all sorts of political things…

…Political things and other subjects that only the privileged few can really understand. People like Mia herself, of course… the Wise, the Elite… who know what is best for their country and their constituents.

And so the lawmaker proposes a law – regulations – to stop those bothersome citizens from asking those bothersome questions and making those bothersome observations in public forums. (They are sometimes incorrect! They need researchers! Can’t let them bloody-well say anything they want to! Regulate them!)

Do Not Ignore The Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados

There is a tendency to write off Miss Mottley’s statements as hyperbole – just an exaggeration. Indeed, her supporters are rushing in at the BLP Blog to proclaim that very point. (Oh the irony!)

Mia Mottley is the Deputy Prime Minister of a sovereign nation. Her political party has an overwhelming majority, a full war-chest and for twelve years has been able to utilize all the public resources enjoyed by any long term government.

Many (but certainly not all) in the Government of Barbados exhibit a sense of entitlement, privilege and pure greed that comes from forgetting why they entered public service in the first place. The PM has even cautioned his members against what he sees some of them getting up to.

And now Miss Mottley’s political party is supporting her call for curtailment of free speech on the BLP Blog (link here) and in the newspapers (link here).

With the statements by the Deputy Prime Minister and the public support by her political party, the intent of the Government of Barbados has been clearly shown.

No excuses – fair warning has been given. The government would like to regulate blogs and call-in shows.

Will Bajans Allow This?

Previous BFP articles…

Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Says Internet Blogs “Marginalize…Parliament…”

Attempted Libel Chill – Barbados Free Press Will Not Be Intimidated

43 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

43 responses to “Mottley, Castro, Chavez All Agree – Citizen Free-Speech Must Be Stopped

  1. You have now restored my faith in you. Never will i doubt you again. 😀 This is exactly the material that i will be using, to protest the Deputy Prime Minister when ever she makes a visit to America.

  2. Jane

    I cannot believe this is happening in Barbados. Surely Ms. Mottley was misunderstood by the press. Is there a recording of what she actually said so that we can hear for ourselves and draw our own conclusions?

  3. neil

    I have no doubt that Ms Mottley and other career politicians view themselves as a kind of ruling elite. However, this doesn’t mean we should consider whatever she says as elitist and disregard any truth in her message.

    Actually, I think she has brought to the fore the neverending tension between free speech and responsible journalism. Free speech is a wonderful human invention that is a necessary part of any democracy. But like all human inventions it isn’t flawless. Surely no one would argue that free speech should include defamatory speech or hatred-inciting speech. This is why there are laws to prevent ppl from saying ANYTHING they like and then running for cover under the shelter of free speech.

    So I think Ms Mottley is right to raise the question of how such laws should apply to new as well as old media. And we as bloggers shouldn’t be afraid to ask ourselves these kinds of questions because in the end such checks and balances on free speech help to improve the quality of the journalism (citizen or otherwise).

  4. Jane: I believe it is an accurate account of Mia comments. Mia and Albert Branford has a love hate relationship, where Albert reports without fear or favour, and Mia hides behind the cover of parliamentary immunity to cuss Albert. Was Albert at the Hilton Hotel where Mia made these comments he most certainly was. A CBC news clip of Mia taking nearly a minute to say that she didn’t think anyone in Barbados has use petitions as a method to request action of some sorts from the parliament since Samuel Jackman Prescod, turning to ask Albert if he could remember any.

  5. Neil: you need to read the Transparentcy document that Jane Goddard put out. Our Lible laws have created a culture of passivity and acceptance of an unaccountable political class in this country. The fear of being libleing someone has effectively silence many Barbadians. For all the long talk where is the proof todate to solidify her comments? How are the callin programs marginalizing parliament? how can this be when the people, and the radio programs cannot influence, has no say, and is kept in check with the strick laws and the fear that these laws bring to bear on the Barbadian people. Stop with the soundbite commentry and bring the proof for your support of this Anti-democratic position of the GoB. Journalism does not need to be improve it needs to be free, and independent. Harold Hoytes comments in an article dated in 2003 and that i have put on the BLP site speaks to the real problem, this nonsense about marganalizing and unaccountable institution would not have been stated if politicians could continue to get their way with the media. In the U.S. the bias of the old media is well known, so rather than complain, those who couldn’t get their message out use their god given ability to think, and find a solution, the talk shows came to fruition and talk radio is now under the same threat from Godless liberals in America like Mia, simply becuase they bring the balance that she and others would not allow. This talk about quality journalism is seen for what it is.

  6. missinghome

    “A Nice Wide Seat”

    I laughed and laughed and laughed. Did you mean the humour or was it an accident?

  7. ha ha ha ha i saw that and smile, but her obesity isn’t anything to laugh at. The Minister of Health issued a starling report in 2004, that 60% of all Barbadian woman 40 and under are obese, and i am in no doubt that Mia Mottley is heading that statistic. She is indeed the posture child of obesity in Barbados. A subsequent revelation so a similar disturbing picture amongst our male population and children. I believe that the high incidents of obesity in Barbados is the cause of the high instances on non-communicable desease and other metabolic symdromes in Barbados, and that these incidents are exempliflied in the sendentary lifestyles that have become the norm, I also think that this is demonstrated in the observance of low productivity in our work force, It is certainly the case in all the ministries that Mia Mottley has headed todate.

  8. West Side Davie

    ha ha It say she “travels … with a nice wide seat”!!!

    Yes indeedy!

  9. West Side Davie

    Marcus

    I love it. All the fingers are at the same angle – top row and bottom.

    How long did it take you to find all these pics?

  10. BFP

    We cannot tell a lie!

    Shona PhotoShopped them a wee bit. 😉

    Looks good, yes?

    Thanks, darlin!

  11. BFP

    She flipped them to all face the same way, cropped them square and then made them all black and white. Lastly, she rotated some of them a bit to get the angles more less the same.

    You are a genius, my love.

  12. JR

    I was really shocked when I heard her say this. VOTE OUT THE BLP.

  13. banana bread

    Shona,

    Those pictures are great!!

  14. BFP

    thanks banan bread

    take time to find all de pics. not to much time to Photoshop.

    shona

  15. Velzo

    From the time Owen Arthur appointed one of its Cabinet members, friend and a very partisan Member of Parliament to be Chief Justice of our country, I knew that we were on the Gadarene slope. That could happen no where else in the world practising the Westminster system – or a system of separation of powers.

    There have been very serious issues in our country that will affect our country for years to come and the press has been timid, deferential, unsure, cautious and often unintentionally unthinking. As citizens, we need to wake up.

    I have been following the CBC/tv licences debate and the way the government operates CBC is testimony to their control-freak policy. We must resist Mia’s recommendation in all forms.

    But when I can’t help but think that Owen believes these things too. And Mia knows that…

  16. What Transparency International, National Integrity Systems, has to say on The David Simmons appointment:

    Practice: The current Chief Justice of Barbados Sir David Simmons was appointed to the bench, following his tenure as ATTORNEY GENERAL of the ruling Barbados Labour Party Administration and as a Parliamentarian of Long-Standing. Whilst this does not in itself question the independence of the chief Justice, it indicates a degree of POLITICISATION, Which is not often associated with the Office of Chief Justice.
    ——————————————————————————–

    I have the balls Mia so permit me to be Frank. IT IS ACTIONS LIKE THis THAT MARGINALIZE PARLIAMENT AND IT’S ACTORS, NOT THE BLOG, NOT THE CALL IN PROGRAMS.

  17. passin thru

    “The current Chief Justice of Barbados Sir David Simmons was appointed to the bench, following his tenure as ATTORNEY GENERAL of the ruling Barbados Labour Party Administration and as a Parliamentarian of Long-Standing. Whilst this does not in itself question the independence of the chief Justice, it indicates a degree of POLITICISATION, Which is not often associated with the Office of Chief Justice.”

    MARCUS: THIS SOUND LIKE GOOD FODDER FOR A BFP ARTICLE!!!

  18. If you study the politics of Cuba and Venezuela, one may understand why their leaders are “marxist/communist”.

    What I do not understand is why Mia would be provoked into thinking she has to censor Barbadians along the same lines of Communist Dictators.

    Is this a prelude to the “Republic of Barbados” governed by a single party or is it she just doan like that calypso called “Gag order”.

    My Bajan brethren this is very serious stuff so doan ease up but try to keep your sense of humor.

  19. If you understood the make up of our mixed government system you will see that the only difference between those two and ours is that we elect a Dictator every five years. Temporary or permanent a Dictator will show his/her ways. A socialist is to a Marxist/communist what Moulson light is to Mousehead beer, it will still get you drunk, but only takes you longer.

  20. ross

    You think this could have anything to do with Mia’s problem? http://www.ar-africare.com/

  21. Pingback: Barbados Free Press » Blog Archive » Barbados Free Press - Another Best Day Ever!

  22. BajeBoy

    If Mia has such a problem with free speech and expression then maybe she should consider relocating to Cuba or Venezuela. Less she forgets, we the people are the ones that put her there and the power is ours to remover her.

  23. Reply to bajeboy,

    We will remove both Mia and the entire government as soon as the general elections are called.

  24. Hants

    Hopefully they are removing themselves. If you read todays Nationnews and the Advocate you will see Owen talking about a $500million foreign exchange problem.

    You will also see an extra $20million to add to the $120millon for flyovers and “Traffic improvements”.

    There are more borrowing from the CDB.

    I hope for the sake of Barbados that CWC2007 brings in far more money than the government expects.

    They are already talking about more improvements around Kensington Oval to generate income after CWC2007.

    Todays statements by the PM suggest that all is not well with the economy. Read the two newspapers. I may be wrong but I think not.

  25. Hant: I am telling you the economy may have it’s concerns indeed every year they are concerns, small economies like ours are subject to the cyclical nature of the world economy, the best we can do is manage these cycles, and i am of the opinion that the BLP is doing a pretty good job given the circumstances. What the DLP needs to focus on is building a link between how the government is managing the economy at the Macro level and how this is trickling down to the average bajan if it is at all. The BLP is looking to cut cost by scaling back on capital works projects after worldcup, rain in private spending via taxes, cess, interest rates etc. at the same time they are embarking on short term and long term foreign exchange generation. All of these capital inflow projects that we see i.e. golf courses, villas, condos, water parks, are propping up your economy we need the money like it or not. Our business class has failed us over the years by not engaging in more foreign exchange generating business ventures, content to stay at home and price us to oblivion, and to the point that we see a barrel trade in excess 45,000 barrels per year. The long term foreign exchange revenue generation that government has embarked on, like attempting to rework the sugar industry to produce ethanol, energize our now expanded enegry/oil sector, pushing new tourism concepts to excite higher numbers from non-traditional sectors, while pushing initiatives to encourage entrapaneuraship amonst avarage bajans, so that they can benefit from the global market by identifying and capitalizing on niche markets, can bring benefits. Thompson has to do better than the generalizing he has done so far.

  26. Pingback: Barbados Free Press » Blog Archive » Reuters News Published Many, Possibly Hundreds, Of Faked Photos - Bloggers Uncovered The Fakes

  27. Un-Ominous

    Chinese blogger persecution in CHINA.

    snip

    ‘Human rights activists are concerned that the technology is being misused by some governments to track the online activities of people and to filter dissident comment.’

    BFP what say you to the possibility of gov. snoops here?

    see link:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6102180.stm

  28. Pingback: China Leads In Reporters and Bloggers Jailed - Barbados Deputy PM Mia Mottley Says “Way To Go!” « Barbados Free Press

  29. What she said back in July was:
    “Blogs will marginalise our existence as parliaments and will cause disrespect, not just for the rule of law, but for the institutions that are required to keep our societies safe.”

    This rightly caused a furor because whether she intended it or not, these remarks, in her usual portentous, menacing manner, revealed her true authoritarian colors. The institutions required to keep our societies safe means the police, regiment and jails, etc., and to inhibit their work is a jailable offense.

    “Sedition” (a very serious crime one step short of treason) is defined in Webster’s dictionary as “incitement of resistance to, or insurrection against lawful authority”, “conduct leading to or inciting commotion or resitance to authority but without overt acts of violence or betrayal.”

    So watch it, fellow bloggers, keep your comments mealymouthed. Big Sister is watching!

  30. “Lie back and enjoy it.” Big Sister is in line to be our first President when we dump de white lady in Buckingham Palace, so better learn some respec’ quick.

    She learn about civil liberties from the Yankee “Patriot Act” and if you watch sumo wrestling you know the tall skinny fellers get throw from the ring quick.

    Once Big Sister in the saddle you don’t worry about future elections. She go take care of biz.

  31. Bimbro

    Unbridled free speech should be written-in as an inviolable part of our constitution and any politician who disagrees with that deserves to be voted out of office!

  32. Rumplestilskin

    Greengage says ” Lie back and enjoy it”….

    What are you inferring…….

    Naughty.

  33. Bimbro

    Congratulations, BFP, on drawing this disgrace to the attention of our people. Don’t let them forget it. Life in Barbados, clearly, is n’t perfect but free speech, after life and good health is the most valuable, possession which you have so don’t let ANY politician take it away from you for there lies the path to slavery! Remind our people of her comments, particularly, at election time. My own hope is that she and any others who share her views, will NEVER be voted into political office, again!

    Well done BFP and keep up the good work!

  34. noreligion

    bimbro what do you mean by unbridled free speech? anything goes? anyone can say/write/broadcast what they want?

    in an open secular society which i advocate free speech would pretty much be guaranteed. obvious exceptions would obviously have to be made, for example nazi parties.

    for many people free speech means freedom to say what they want but not the freedom for others to disagree!

  35. Straight talk

    Sounds by your ref to nazi parties you’re one of the “many people”

  36. noreligion

    i am not but based on what the nazi party did in germany, there must be some exceptions to the free speech rule.

  37. Bimbro

    ‘noreligion’, freedom for people to disagree must be an absolute must if we’re to have free speech otherwise it would n’t truly, be free speech.

    To allay your fears, the absolute right to disagree and the odium which it would produce would ensure that Germany’s nazi past did n’t happen again.

  38. Pingback: Organisation Of American States Concerned About CARICOM Press Freedoms - Barbados News Media Fails To Mention This In Washington Coverage « Barbados Free Press

  39. Straight talk

    Looks like Chavez is changing their constitution again to make himself President for life.

    Can’t happen here, can it?

  40. Mia can only be understood through the actions of her grandfather who ensured the millions he left were as a result of the citizens of Bridgetown being kept in poverty to this day. So freedom of the press would hightlight her familial instincts for control through elitism and pigeon holding the citizenry in the inescapable position of not having the “where with all” to challenge the superior Mottley’s clan at any time soon.

  41. sandy

    is barbados going communist