Welcome To Barbados – Or Is That Zimbabwe West?
Perhaps it was all a coincidence – or maybe it was a little message from a supporter of a Barbados government that has grown tired of all the accurate and extremely embarrassing criticism from tourism pundit Adrian Loveridge.
Adrian does not say that recent events at his home were politically motivated, but anyone who has heard or read his commentaries would be hard-pressed not to have questions about why a journalist that the government had fired should have such troubles in one day.
It started out last Monday afternoon when a two-acre grass meadow at Adrian’s home burst into flames all by itself. Adrian was not around at the time and the fire department obviously took some time to attend to put out a 2 acre grass fire – complete with burning palm trees – in the middle of a residential neighbourhood at Inch Marlow. When Adrian finally came home the fire had destroyed his telephone wires, but fortunately his structure is made of concrete.
Break-In At Night
That very night at about 1am Adrian was awoken by the sounds of his security alarm as someone kicked in the back door of his kitchen, entered and forced a lock on an adjoining door.
Our Adrian is no coward. He armed himself and raced to the kitchen but was too late to confront his tormentor(s).
(Adrian… don’t be so damned foolish you old man! Next time they will be waiting for you and it will be the old “must have surprised a burglar” excuse when they find your body. Arm yourself, stay in your bedroom and call the police… oh… they took out your phone system beforehand, didn’t they? And will the police always come or be in time?)
Police Take 90 Minutes To Attend “Crime In Progress” Call At Adrian’s Home
The police were called at the time that Adrian went to confront the burglar(s), but they took 90 minutes to attend. (You can practically drive around the entire island in 90 minutes, let alone get to Adrian’s place from the police station a dozen times in 90 minutes.) The police returned at 6am to take a report and their forensic chap arrived later to fingerprint and photograph.
Then Adrian noticed that an extendable ladder had been placed to his bedroom window in the middle of the night. Had “they” been watching Adrian and his wife as they slept? Or was it all part of a not-so-subtle message?
That these incidents all occurred on a single day is of concern – but when taken in context of the stepped up government attacks on a free Barbados media, what happened at Adrian’s home is truly disturbing.
Being A Critic Of The Barbados Government Is Not For The Faint Of Heart
When Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch became angry with Adrian Loveridge’s weekly newspaper articles published in the Barbados Advocate, the minister called Loveridge at home on a Sunday morning and screamed at him for 12 minutes before slamming down the phone. The next day Minister Lynch called the editor of the newspaper and threatened to cut off all government advertising unless the Barbados Advocate fired Adrian Loveridge.
Loveridge was fired because of Government threats to the Barbados Advocate newspaper. (See Cowardly Barbados Advocate Newspaper Caved To Screaming Government Minister)
Crowd Threatened To Attack Journalist Upon Hearing Prime Minister’s Comments
Then there was that little incident when Loveridge was attending a political rally where Prime Minister Owen Arthur was speaking. In Loveridge’s words…
I will always remember the incite (full) speech by the Prime Minister at a political rally at Oistins naming me and the next thing I knew a crowd of people had surrounded me and my wife shouting ‘attack them”.
Tourism Minister Lynch Had Journalist Dumped From Radio Show Panel
Most recently the Minister of Tourism refused to allow Adrian Loveridge to appear live on the Brass Tacks radio programme as part of a panel to question the Minister regarding a number of issues in the tourism sector. This was most embarassing for the StarCom Network as an invitation to Mr. Loveridge had already been extended and accepted – but the radio station canceled Loveridge from the lineup anyway. (See Barbados Minister Of Tourism Dictates To Cowardly StarCom Network – “Adrian Loveridge Not Allowed On Brass Tacks Radio Show Panel”)
When public pressure over the Minister’s refusal to talk with Loveridge on the air became too much, StarCom had to recall Loveridge to the Brass Tacks programme, but made him sit in another studio because that cowardly, elitist Minister Lynch refused to sit in the same room.
The controversy over setting up the show was nothing compared with the fireworks that happened later! Part way through the programme Minister Lynch stormed out of the studio when radio journalist David Ellis asked how it was that the Minister’s high net worth was so out of kilter with his salary as a government official. (See Barbados Tourism Minister Storms Off Radio Show – Audio Now Available!)
My Friends, Make No Mistake!
What is under threat in Barbados is nothing more or less than individual rights and freedoms. Certain elements in our government have forgotten about the rule of law and democracy. They are rotten to core, have become rich beyond beyond your (or their) dreams because of their position – and they possess a sense of entitlement to their power that makes a mockery of everything our flag stands for.
These people are ruthless and they do not hesitate to use all their powers to intimidate and shut down a free media in Barbados or any citizen who gets in their way. If they want land, they expropriate it and don’t pay. Then Ministers of Government build their houses on the expropriated land.
When Barbados citizens want justice in the courts, they go before a man who was part of the powerful inner government cabinet one day and then became Chief Justice a few weeks later.
Barbados is closer to the precipice than we dare to believe.