BLP Blog Endorses Censorship Of Blogs, Call-In Programmes

barbados-mottley-blp-blog.jpg

FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND BLOGGING

BLP’s official blog website endorses Mia Mottley’s proposal to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association that call-in programmes and internet blogs should be reformed and placed under government control. i.e. State censorship. (BLP Blog article “Deputy PM Has Her Say” – link here)

Here is the BLP Blog wording; “We agree with the Deputy PM that the work of the conference (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association- Caribbean) should lead to a policy to reform the Westminster system so as to protect the credibility of our Parliaments.”

Amazingly this did not produce the same shocked reaction that Miss Mottley’s own words did. No attempt is made to explain in what way the “credibility of our Parliaments” is endangered by unfettered expression. What does “credibility of our Parliaments” mean exactly? Has frank comment on call-in shows caused our citizens to cease believing in our parliamentary democracy? I very much doubt it. What evidence is there?

Miss Mottley’s actual words are in part, as follows: “…For in the absence of that reform entities such as the call-in program which have no accountability to anyone and no modality to be able to ensure that there is transparency, or that there is indeed informed discussion- will continue to predominate.”

Miss Mottley’s meaning is hard to get to grips with because of the windy and bombastic way she expresses herself. Unlike Sen. Lynette Eastmond Miss Mottley seems incapable of speaking concisely and lucidly.

mia-mottley-finger-2.jpg

English or Mottleyish?

Whoever heard of such empty verbiage as “no modalities to be able to ensure that there is transparency”? Just look up the word “modality” and tell me what it means in this context. Meaningless rubbish!

If she meant “Call-in programmes are anonymous and unregulated and there is no way to ensure that statements made are accurate” why did she not say so?

Omitting the lengthy relative clause in the middle of her sentence, we have “Entities (call-ins and bloggers)…will continue to predominate.” “Predominate” is defined as “to exert controlling power or influence.” Is she seriously trying to tell us that call-in and blog comments are exerting controlling power and influence over our parliament?

Ms. Mottley is either deluding herself or exaggerating to the extreme for political intent.

If her party felt her words went too far, they could have tempered their support. Instead they come out in unqualified endorsement!

It is frightening to realise that the Deputy Prime Minister, slated before long to take over the reins of power, has bullied her party into accepting her inflated fears that healthy criticism poses a threat to the government of our nation.

What Could Bajans Expect From Prime Minister Mia Mottley?

The “reform of the Westminster system,” with or without the promised referendum, is likely to mean we are ruled by a President rather than a Prime Minister, with more autocratic powers. As the current Deputy Prime Minister, it is not inconceivable that Mia Mottley might someday end up being the President of the Republic of Barbados.

One regretfully concludes that behind her dictatorial rhetoric lies a threat to the civil liberties we cherish. If the public can see through the tsunami of portentous hot air to the veiled meaning of her words and sentiments they will feel the same way.

Our thanks to Barbados Free Press reader “M” for this well-written and insightful piece. M – if you’d like us to publish your real name – just drop us an email and we’ll credit you.

Thanks, M!

Story Links

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

Advertisements

39 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

39 responses to “BLP Blog Endorses Censorship Of Blogs, Call-In Programmes

  1. God Bless David

    As man…what do you expect from one of the most notorious abusers of civil liberties on the island? Just ask the female lovers who have felt the weight of Mia’s awesome right hook…as man…

  2. Spooky

    @GDB..hahahahahahahaha..ROTFL

  3. Pat

    They scared, because people are listening and most importantly, asking questions.

    Does she think they only have call-in programmes and blogs in the Caribbean? The call-in is a North American invention. I have been in Canada for 39 years and they had them when I arrived. No Canadian member of parliament, would be so stupid to make the statements she did. It is a know fact, that MP’s assistants are tasked to listen to these call-in shows, to read the “pulse of the public” they serve.

    It is time Barbados and her MP’s come into the 21st century.

  4. John

    … but the easiest way to protect the credibility of our parliament is to lock up the parliamentarians.

    Maybe we should start advertising in the local press of our intention to apply for 30 work permits.

    …. whereas it is now 40 years and we still are unable to fill the vacancies as may arise periodically with honest men and women,

    … and whereas we have have searched hither thither and yon for said honest men and women,

    …. be it resolved that we the people of Barbados intend to advertise in the foreign press to fill the 30 vacancies as will soon become available as we are unable to locate qualified Barbadians to fill these vacancies.

  5. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Barbados: Blog censorship

  6. DMC

    I think that Mrs mottley is running scared of the people of Barbados. She knows that the people have power when they are a united force, and under the DLP they are becoming a united force, check the amount of people who were in Lower Green on wednesday night. Who would believe that there was a free concert at the national stadium. Time is runnign out and I can see a trinidad in Barbados. The way that Panday and his minister have been charged I can see. No wonder she wants the cal in programs and press controlled

  7. ross

    DMC it is Ms.!!! Mottley

  8. green

    modality??? give us a break

    Mia has missed her calling for the the future of all Barbadians.

    She should be immediatly hooked up to the natural gas grid. She appears to have an unimited source of fossil fuel.

    As we all know gas does not come in any particular shape rather it fills an empty space and given the right set of circumstances, it explodes.

  9. John

    DMC

    Don’t get too carried away by the crowds at the DLP meetings.

    They are probably ony there to watch the performers, hear what they say and see if they are consistent between now and elections.

    And if those crowds ever vote for one based on the impression created at the performance and they get let down later on, ….. look out.

    Bajans are changing!!

    BTW, don’t look at them as a crowd, look at them as a congregation of individuals who have come to inspect the merchandise and make a decision before purchasing.

    If this lot of performers disappoints, there will be hell to pay.

  10. Carson C. Cadogan

    The news media in Barbados is to be blamed for this situation.

    As I have said previously when the Barbados Labour Party was in opposition and warming the oppsition bench in Parliment, they promised the people of Barbados that when they were returned to power they would do, among other things, privatise CBC and reform the Libel laws of the country to encourge greater freedom of expression. To this day they they have not done either.

    While all Barbadians would have benefited especially from relax Libel laws, the news media in particular would have been the greatest beneficiary. They would have been able to report the news without fear or favor.

    The Barbados Labour Party was returned to power. The first year past, the second year past, the third year past and they did not not keep their promise. But what did the news media in Barbados do? Absolutely nothing! They sat on their fannies and refused to call the Barbados Labour Party government to account. Things should have been made extremely hot for Owen Arthur and his morons.

    Another thing which I noticed was the fact that Journalists from all branches of the news media in Barbados were suddenly in demand by Barbados Labour Party politicians as press secretaries, personal assistants, etc. There is no doubt in my mind that these former Journalists put pressure on their former workmates to get them to not print stories about the Government that were not flattering. Thus a great deal of corupption was kept hidden.

    Now in 2006 the only way to get true information to the Nation and the World is means of blogs.
    Now even that the Barbados Labour Party government is trying suppress. Not that I am surprised.

    where is the mainstream media in all of this? Instituting self-censorship in their institutions to a level never before seen in this country. And Barbados is supposed to be democracy!

  11. Rumplestilskin

    John’s post ”but the easiest way to protect the credibility of our parliament is to lock up the parliamentarians…etc”

    Excellent John, excellent.

    Further, the article refers to the blogs’ ”lack of accountability which can directly impact on the society that we become….”

    That sounds just like……..Government!

    So does the Honourable Lady also support a framework (maybe supervised by say, the United Nations) to manage & monitor Government?

    Really. Put blogs under Government control?

    What utter nonsense.

  12. Curious

    Hi, I am curious again. But why is BFP responding to something that is so obviously stale news. This was posted in July and all the responses to it are in July. Yet you respond now to rehash boring news. Why? Can’t find anything important to deal with? Hoping to stir up some controversy? When I first started to read this blog. It looked interesting, dealing with some issues, (borderline libel) but the freedom of the net gives you latitude. And where there is smoke there is usally fire. So if you sift through the libel and slander and associated comedy there may be someting there. But recently it feels like you are scrunting for topics (piggies and troughs and whatever) and this takes the cake. You are not dealing with real on the ground, happening TODAY in Barbados issues. Find a way to keep in touch and leave out the foolishness . The value of this medium is being lost.

  13. reality check

    freedom of the press and continuing suppression
    is hardly stale news to anyone who is really concerned and more than just curious—it is the very foundation of one of our basic rights to hear all issues on a fully and informed basis —not manipulated and spun with our own money—it will continue to be a daily issue until true and strict Integrity Legislation is passed as promised.

  14. John

    Carson

    If blame is to be apportioned we as citizens must all share it. Sure the journalists and media have a higher responsibility but we are also responsible.

    Think back to the days when Joan Benjamin wrote to the editor highlighting her concerns.

    I think that if we had just a handful of citizens who approached her no nonsense stand on sometimes minute issues that it would have been impossible for Owen Arthur and the BLP to have got away with what they have been doing.

    She was fearless and none of the politicians could match her. I can’t remember if she had any political leanings but I do remember her letters were concise and deadly and that I was amazed in my youth that a person could be so forthright.

    We as citizens need to realise that the power really resides with us and it is we who allow foolishness to occur.

    You might get the impression from my suggestion for an advert for 30 work permits that there are no honest people in Barbados.

    There are, its just that they do not want to be politicians or members of any party.

    That’s fine, so long as they bear the example of Joan Benjamin in mind and speak their minds.

    It is the small things that go first and count the most.

  15. John

    Here is a link to the Corruption Perceptions Index and some thought provoking data.

    http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi

    Over the last three year period, Barbados’ performance has consistently fallen.

    2004 ——— 7.3
    2005 ——— 6.9
    2006 ——— 6.7

    Compare what has happened in Trinidad.

    2001 ——— 5.3
    2002 ——— 4.9
    2003 ——— 4.6
    2004 ——— 4.2
    2005 ——— 3.8
    2006 ——— 3.2

    Trinidad has integrity legislation and locks up (?) its prime ministers when they step out of line. It also deals with its CJ’s to suit.

    It also has a chapter of Transparency International.

    Yet its CPI continues to fall. It is quite conceivable that given its falling rating that it might overtake Haiti as the most corrupt country in the world. Interesting thought given it controls much of the economy in Barbados!!

    Does this mean that integrity legislation and serious punishment for offenders in office does not deter corruption?

    Do we need to find other steps besides integrity legislation to take to stop our downward path towards Trinidad …… and Haiti?

  16. Curious

    You know. You all are so busy worry about politicians it is become boring . Take the item on trafficking of women in Barbados. Not interested in that ah. Too mundane, just some women. A few weeks ago there was something about child abuse in the country in the local press. Not a word on that. Let me see, maybe we can blame that on politicians too. And, of course, we are drowning in cars on the roads, cannot get to work on mornings, and we are repairing every road at the same time. Yeh, great, we can blame that on politicians for sure. It is a shame there is no David Ellis in this blog to fend off the assorted ‘yard fowls’ so we can get pass the blame game. Folks can we have some real issues, and maybe we can use our brains to suggest some solutions. Oh I forgot, your solution to everything, string up the politician.

  17. BFP

    Curious Said…

    “…But why is BFP responding to something that is so obviously stale news. This was posted in July and all the responses to it are in July. Yet you respond now to rehash boring news. Why?…”

    Hi Curious – We published this article because we received it right out of the blue from BFP reader “M”, who rightly pointed out that we and everyone had missed the fact that while Mama Mia Mottley had shown her true colours, the BLP Blog backed her 100%.

    Reader “M” thought this important enough to write this very well-done piece, and – judging from the number of comments and our readers reaction – many Bajans feel strongly about this issue.

    AND… while we try to be topical, and we try to cover as many issues as possible around here – we all have day jobs, so we miss writing about many important issues.

    If you or any other BFP reader feels strongly that an issue should be covered, please email us or better yet – do some online research yourself and write us an article as so many have done.

    We don’t all have to agree all the time folks – and this is a good forum to bring issues forward for discussion.

    So much of the time in the old days (pre-blogs) there was no discussion “allowed” publically.

    Now… they can’t stop us!

  18. Curious

    Thanks BFP for the clarification, but the fact that the BLP blog backed their Deputy PM in her opinions is not surprising. After all birds of a feather flock together. That is not a story. What would have been a story, is if they did not back her. Now that would have been ammunition for the rumour that all is not well in that camp. Don’t you wonder why M would rehash stale news or rather non news. It is well known that the same politicians you keep complaining about use the blogs and call in programme to stir intrigue. Don’t let my comments fool you I understand political intrigue very well. I have been following politics in this country for many years. Inter party and intra party intrigue can be quite intense and you all will get used in their games if not careful.

  19. Spooky

    Curious seems to me you are a Goebbels protege. You are trying to set this blogs discussion agenda. Forget about it. I have read stuff on this blog that I never knew about. Particularly as it deals with corruption and arrogance in the BLP. They have been in government for twelve years. Its too long a period and the ministers believe they are a master race.

    Take a look at Rev Joseph Atherleys face and demeanour. That smug, know it all, God complex smirk epitomises the BLP. Time for them to go. Now weve got Mia talking about controlling cyberspace.For your information that can never be stale news in this IT era. BFP is doing a good job, the shut outs and non included now have an outlet.
    Praise be to the one on High.

  20. John

    Curious

    “Inter party and intra party intrigue can be quite intense and you all will get used in their games if not careful.”

    …. or the games will get exposed and come to nought.

    For me the idea of sitting and doing or saying nothing because I am concerned about being used is repugnant. I rather be used.

    But guess what, the more people who comment and shed light on the games the better the chance of minimising the damage those games cause.

    We all can choose if we want to be used or not and I think we are old enough to determine how we are used, if for the beeter or the worse.

    Those games need to be exposed to the light of day.

  21. reality check

    good statistics on corruption and the transparency indices in Trinidad and Barbados John

    Integrity legislation is only one form of protection and not worth much if it is not enforced

    Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom ( Thomas Jefferson ) and this is almost impossible when the local press has been consistently intimidated, or worse, bought off.

  22. De Orginal

    That is it BFP let CURIOUS know this is place of free speech as long as it is not distasteful or offensive in nature. Political “yardfowls” like he cant stop or wont be able to stop Bajans from having their say as it’s clear the people who are paid to look after their interest aint doin it. He is obiviously being used in the political games he speaks of.

  23. Jason

    BFP is correct. They cannot stop us now. The genie is out of the lamp and there’s no way he’s going back in.

    Notice how THEY fear open discussion?

    FYI, JASON is going to win the piggy prize this year. I could use $1000 USA money and it wasn’t difficult to come up with a contest entry.

    BFP when will you print my story?

  24. De Orginal

    Ahh Jason what story is that I am interested…….lol

  25. Hants

    Mia cannot control anything outside Barbados.

    She should check and see how many Bajan IT specialist in Canada and the US.

    The day she tries any foolishness the Bajan IT posse in North America will provide a voice for the people.

    Freedom of speech is paramount and until Mia finds a way to control the Governments of Canada and the USA we have no worries.

  26. Hants

    Being very careful this morning BFP. Mia got you worried?

  27. BFP

    “Being very careful this morning BFP. Mia got you worried?”

    Don’t follow you Hants. Something we missed?

    Cliverton

  28. Absolute madness… That is all I have to say on the matter.

  29. Good day, Curious.

    “This is no story”?! You say you feel BLP’s support of Miss Mottley aim to curb freedom of speech is stale news and you would rather move on to fresh subjects like trafficking in women. How can the potential loss of cherished freedoms be stale news at a time when our Constitution is being revised without giving us the details. Not stale at all.

    It is getting harder every day to keep track of all the important issues BFP raises. A number of items one would like to see stay on the front burner get pushed to the back. For instance:
    1. Why has the PM not clarified whther he and Mr Nurse met privately with the promoters of Caribbean Splash as is maintained?
    2. Has Caribbean Splash’s application to install a water park in Graeme Hall been approved, rejected or merely shelved until we are distracted by trafficking in women?
    3. Is Government ever going to break its silence about a national park at Graeme Hall?

    I for one am glad when someone brings back an issue we are supposed to have forgotten about. The authorities insult our intelligence if they think that by keeping silent long enough issues will die a natural death.

  30. Jason

    And how much public money exactly did Minister Gline Clarke’s “special friend” receive when buying the lot and building her home? How much was from Gline Clarke’s ministry?

  31. Of course Government is going to remain silent about the Graeme Hall National Park initiative. They will never admit anyone but them could come up with a good idea for our nation’s future. Small people, big egos, small minds.

  32. Pat

    Hants said:
    December 3rd, 2006 at 5:52 pm
    “Mia cannot control anything outside Barbados.
    She should check and see how many Bajan IT specialist in Canada and the US.
    The day she tries any foolishness the Bajan IT posse in North America will provide a voice for the people.”

    You are so right there! My son is one and I would gladly encourage him.

  33. John

    The counterpart to the CPI of Transparency International is the BPI or Bribery Perception Index.

    Companies in OECD countries are major perpetrators in offering bribes to other countries to take their goods and services.

    However, it is interesting that the worst offenders for 2006 are companies from India and China, emerging nations looking to export their goods and services.

    Guess one question might be, “What do we have going on in Barbados that involves Indian and Chinese companies and those from OECD countries?”

    Another question might be “Are there any politicians or business executives in Barbados that might be tempted to take bribes and serve as “facilitators” for foreign companies looking to market their goods and services?”

    …. I know I know ” Is the Pope Catholic?”

    http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/bpi/bpi_2006

  34. Curious

    Hi Everybody
    Interesting I got a few people up and going, that is nice. Actually I have no alphabet allegiances B D X Y or Z. I just like some balance and something positive for a change. ‘Goebbels protege’ eh. I love it. My friends, nobody can threaten your freedom of speech on the Internet, least of all a little, (figuratively speaking), Caribbean politician. Not the way the net is constructed. You cut off one limb another grows. Actually I take your arguments more seriously in connection with the Call in programmes. They serve a very important purpose, but the fact that they are accountable, means that they are more balanced, not to mention relevant, because their issues are more immediate and in touch with the needs of people on the ground here. Oh and they do keep the Government hopping, which I agree is a good thing, but at the same time, so is balance and responsibilty. So maybe from that respect I agree with her. Now that should get you all up and going again. But I am not too worried because I think all of them know, Mia included, that the day of reckoning is coming and the Bajan electorate know how to deal with politicians at that time. We vote tham out. But you see I don’t like being used to serve somebody’s quest to overthrow somebody else.

    By the way I am female to the person who referred to me as male, can’t you guess by my concern for issues dealing with the abuse of women and children. This blog seems to be a rather male space needs some gender balance.

    So let us try something positive for a change. Hilary Beckles just put on an interesting play at the University, called The Redemption of Sister Dinah. It deals with Errol Barrow and the independence period and all the issues that happened around that time. Interesting mix of history and fiction with some political satire. Hope you all get a chance to see it if they take on the road to the diaspora. Happy Independence belatedly.

  35. Hants

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2006/12/01/censor-tool.html

    I wonder what Mia is going to do about this.

    Researchers at University of Toronto plan to introduce a software tool on Friday that aims to help people in countries that censor the World Wide Web.

  36. CURIOUS

    Didn’t I tell you you you cut off one limb, another grows. It is the way the Internet is structured.

  37. Jerome Hinds

    The Deputy PM talking a bunch of pooh about censuring bajans freedom of speech. Can the same lady remember in a national debate on television with Mr. Tyrone Estwick she used the same press – tv and radio- to mislead bajans on how supposedly awful conditions were at the QEH at the time – no toliet paper, eating utensils, drugs…..? 12 years later under BLP rule what are the conditions today, DPM?

    People are just using what ever medium (TV, INTERNET, RADIO, NEWSPAPER…) is open to them to express their points of view – just like she did when seeking political office. Come off it Madam DPM and follow what is being done to the nest you left at CBC!

  38. Jerome Hinds

    The Deputy PM talking a bunch of pooh about censuring bajans freedom of speech. Can the same lady remember in a national debate on television with Mr. Tyrone Estwick she used the same press – tv and radio- to mislead bajans on how supposedly awful conditions were at the QEH at the time – no toliet paper, eating utensils, drugs…..? 12 years later under BLP rule what are the conditions today, DPM?

    People are just using what ever medium (TV, INTERNET, RADIO, NEWSPAPER…) open to them to express their points of view – just like she did when seeking political office. Come off it Madam DPM and follow what is being done to the nest you left at CBC! Wake up and smell the coffee.

  39. SLJ

    Hey Curious
    I agree with a little gender balance. I also agree with lack of commentory on women’s/childrens issues. That has been big concern of mine for years. Wrote many articles…never published until finally one made it…Dec 12 I was told. never got to see it myself…need more dialoge on incest, child sexual abuse, battering. Mentioned it in another Blog somewhere here, but new to the program so to speak…
    S
    ps, sorry fellas/gals, I know lots of you are being abused as well. i should just say ‘abuse’ period….then that covers all including our ‘different sexual orientated folk’…