UPDATED – Scroll to Bottom
Hudson Husbands Arranges To Smuggle Unknown Indian Journalists Past Security!
Indian Journalists Had No Accreditations – Could Have Been Jihadist Terrorists!
Barbados Tourism Authority Employee Gregory Armstrong Also Involved
HAVE NO DOUBT: the police and security officials at CWC will be livid when they hear of this breach. The Muslim terrorists only have to get lucky once – whereas the good guys have to be perfect all the time.
But what good is even the most well-executed layered security system if some big shot politician or official foolishly uses his knowledge and authority to violate security procedures for strangers?
This is the best thing that could have happened.
Folks, despair not. This is the best thing that could have happened to us in the public run-up to the Cricket World Cup. Heads may roll, and there will be public worldwide embarrassment – but you can bet that senior police and security leaders will now assert their authority and kick the behinds of any politician or official who tries anything like this again.
Muslim terrorists will also be aware that an embarrassed and alerted security force will now be unlikely to sidestep procedures for anyone.
This is the best thing that could have happened.
From the Financial Express…
Three Weeks To Go, Barbados Seems Ill-Prepared For The Big Day
by Boria Majumdar
Our reasons for coming to Barbados last week (there were three of us in all) was to watch and be part of the opening ceremony of the Kensington Oval, the venue for the World Cup final. In fact, central to travelling half the world to be in the Caribbean was yet another opportunity to see the great Sir Vivian Richards in action. And when he was to be preceded by the legendary Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes and followed by Carl Hooper and Richie Richardson, the occasion had to be special. Add to the privilege of watching these greats the opportunity to interview
Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes and Reverend Wes Hall and the trip seemed more than justified.
However, it is not always that things go according to plan. In fact, on most occasions they don’t. At the press briefing on the eve of the match it suddenly transpired that our accreditations had been goofed up and there was a possibility that we might not make it to the game despite reaching Barbados a couple of days early. We had had enough to press the panic button. Efforts in making our way seemed to come to nothing when on the morning of the match we were left stranded at my hotel, The Accra, without accreditations or even match tickets…
It was time to put our aggressive Indian caps on.
On reaching the accreditation room at the venue, we were greeted by a long queue of more than a hundred journalists waiting to collect their passes. When we finally made our way to the counter and met the media coordinator of the local World Cup organising committee, it was less than an hour for the match to start. Members of my team had almost given up by then and the tripods and lenses were being folded back to shoot some other local sights.
Repeated explanations that we were journalists who had come specifically for the game did finally register and we were told that something would indeed be arranged before the match started. Finally, about a quarter of an hour before the start, our local Barbados tourism authority guide, Gregory Armstrong, landed up with four complimentary tickets. That was the best under the circumstances he said and we were to watch the game from the stands and not from the media centre.
While this was indeed a step forward, it was hardly enough. We couldn’t film the game, nor could we attend the post-match press conference, things Gregory fully understood. And when Hudson Husbands, yet another influential member of the local media, took up our cause we were once again in with a chance.
The final fifteen minutes leading up to the match were individual capsules of hectic activity. Failing to make headway, Hudson finally came up to me and suggested that the best he could do was to escort me once to the media box. It was then on me to get something out of it. In an event billed as the final dry run leading up to the World Cup, this wasn’t a route we wanted to take. On the other hand, prospects of watching the match from the stands and finishing up with no work done seemed even worse.
And so we were forced to go down the unscrupulous path. It was a classic Bollywood case of the system forcing you to turn corrupt! Hudson took me into the media box, I met some of my colleagues from the British press, explained to them our plight and asked for their media passes to smuggle my team in. This wasn’t something I hadn’t done before. Rather, as a child we had repeatedly done this to watch Mohun Bagan’s matches in the local Calcutta football league, when most of us did not have the required membership.
And once we had all made our way into the media box and had settled into writing the opening lines in our laptop, we were all stunned by the nature of the act. So much for the tight security before the World Cup! Even more bizarre was the claim from the media coordinator that he had taken personal initiative in getting us in. “I could not sleep a wink last night”, he said on seeing us in the press box. “It was acutely embarrassing that members of the media, after having travelled half the world were being treated like this. But please understand that we were determined to get you in.” Indeed we did.
The moral of this incident is that Barbados is still not fully prepared to host the tournament, the biggest cricketing extravaganza in Caribbean history. If people can break the security cordon this easily, the World Cup might easily turn into a field day for the Mukesh Kochars, men who will surely relish the idea of making a fast buck. With three weeks still to go before the start of the tournament, here’s wishing the World Cup organising committee and the thousands of volunteers all the luck in the world. They will need every bit of it just like we did while in Barbados.
… read the entire article at The Financial Express (link here)
We originally incorrectly identified Hudson Husbands as still being Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority. He stepped down in July of 2006 to pursue his business with Tourism Global Inc.
Tourism Global Inc. is a professional services and consulting firm specializing in the hospitality and tourism industry throughout the Caribbean. Tourism Global Inc. currently provides consulting services to various Barbados Government agencies including Barbados Tourism Investment Inc.
It is unclear from the news report whether Hudson Husbands was acting at the time as an official media representative for Cricket World Cup or a government agency or whether Cricket World Cup security is so bad that it was bamboozled by an ordinary person with absolutely no official position.