Daily Archives: August 13, 2007

Minister of Transport Gline Clarke Finally “Talking” About Driver Breathaliser Tests – As First Suggested By By Barbados Free Press Over A Year Ago


Too Little, Too Late – And Only Because Of The Recent Mass Road Deaths

Over a year ago, on Tuesday, July 25, 2006, the Government of Barbados announced “proposed” changes to the highway laws that would have banned the use of cell phones while driving, introduced controls and licensing for the transport of hazardous materials and made other long overdue improvements in the current Road Traffic Act. Even the government’s lapdog newspaper declared “After more than ten years of countless promises, ministers and proposed changes, major amendments to the Road Traffic Act are to be “introduced” in Parliament tomorrow…” (Nation News July 25, 2006 story link here)

That was last year, July 25, 2006.

Glaringly absent was any sort of modern anti-drunk driving law such as breathalyser tests for suspect drivers or drivers who are involved in collisions.

On the morning of July 25th, 2006 Barbados Free Press called the government’s proposed legislation “a good start” but was critical of the government’s lack of responsibility and vision in the area of drinking and driving laws and prevention initiatives. In our article Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving we said…

Drinking and Driving Still Not Effectively Addressed

All of this is a good start, but unfortunately doesn’t address the problem of drinking and driving – which is a concern on Barbados.

Unless there is something about the new legislation that the newspapers haven’t covered, Barbados still lacks an effective drinking and driving law.

If we are really concerned about public safety, we must have effective drinking-driving laws in place and equip the police with modern breathalizers and train enough officers as technicians to ensure 24/7 coverage.

So while we are pleased with the Government’s initiative as far as it goes, we can only give it a “B-Minus” or even “C-Plus” grade in terms of overall road safety performance.

How long would it take to get an effective drunk driving law and testing equipment & personnel in place? Six months if we started today?

How about it MPs? Can you make it happen in six months?

That was in July of 2006 and since then… nothing. Not a word from our playboy Minister of Transport Gline Clark or our yachting virtuoso Attorney General Dale Marshall. And from Prime Minister “Scotch & Soda” Owen Arthur, only the occasional hiccup as his contribution to the discussion.

So What’s The Rush, Minister Clarke? Feeling The Election Heat After The Mass Road Deaths?

There must be an election coming up. Along with thirteen years of injuries and road slaughter by drunks behind the wheel, we’ve had the recent mass road deaths – one incident involving a driver with a history of drug abuse – and the government still hasn’t acted to provide the laws we need to stop this epidemic.

Only now after all these years and all these preventable deaths and injuries does Minister Clarke and his government “act” (said tongue-in-cheek)…

If you call yet another media interview “action”…

“Minister of Public Works and Transport Gline Clarke told the SUNDAY SUN recently that there was a committee in place to examine the introduction of the breathalyser. “We are pursuing it at this time. I am convinced that we have to do this now because a lot of complaints have been coming to the Ministry recently about this issue…”

Playboy Minister of Transport Gline Clarke making excuses for 13 years of road slaughter in The Nation News (link here)

“Committee” – Who Does Gline Clarke Think He Is Fooling?

Who is on “the committee” Gline? Name them. When was it established? The Sunday afternoon of the 6 deaths, or on Emancipation Day after 4 more deaths?

Read the Nation News article yourself, folks. Clarke makes it seem like the issue of breathaliser legislation and testing technology is some newly discovered science that needs another committee and another 13 deadly years to implement.

Guess what? Breathaliser technology and the supporting legal jurisprudence are over 50 years old.

Civilized jurisdictions all over the world have amassed tens thousands of legal cases, trials, reports, and committees to develop modern laws, training and operational standards for the police and the courts. The breathaliser technology itself is now computerised, mass produced, more accurate and cheaper than it has ever been. Roadside screening units for uniform patrol officers can be had for a few hundred dollars. The laws in British common law countries are decades old… been through the Supreme Courts and back again.


What’s your problem, Minister Clarke?

What have you been doing for the past year? What has your government been doing for the past 13 years of slaughter?

Your so-called “committee” and press conference is too little. Too late.

And worst of all – you only mentioned the word “breathaliser” because it is politically expedient to do so because of the upcoming election, the recent road slaughter and your government’s pathetic performance.

If you need some legally-proven legislation, I suggest you try Britain or Canada or the United States or Australia for a template. It has all been done. The technology, laws, training and operational experience are yours for a few phone calls.

Just stop pretending that you and your government really care and are actually capable of implementing breathalisers within our lifetime.


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics

We Identify Which Bajans Are Most At Risk Of Falling For Nigerian Scams

Urgent Business Proposal. Please Consider Most Secret For Your Eyes Only…

“I am BORO AZIZI the manager of bills and exchanges at the foreign remittance Department of BANK OF AFRICA OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO. I am writing following the information about you through International web directory and wish I know you are capable and reliable person to champion this business opportunity…”

… one of 23 “Nigerian Scam” emails received by Barbados Free Press in the last 24 hours

How Can People Still Fall For This? … But They Do!

It is surely the wonder of the ages that the old Nigerian “lost bank account” fraud is still hooking suckers by the thousands. Nigerian fraud is so pervasive that more than anything when people hear the word “Nigeria” they think “scams” – and not without good reason. According to the Wikipedia entry for the “419 Scam” as it is called…

The 419 scam originated in the early 1980s as the oil-based economy of Nigeria went downhill. Several unemployed university students first used this scam as a means of manipulating business visitors interested in shady deals in the Nigerian oil sector before targeting businessmen in the west, and later the wider population. Early variants were often sent via letter, fax, or even Telex. The spread of email and easy access to email-harvesting software made the cost of sending scam letters through the Internet extremely cheap. In the 2000s, the 419 scam has spurred imitations from other locations in Africa and Eastern Europe.

The number “419” refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code (part of Chapter 38: “Obtaining Property by false pretences; Cheating”) dealing with fraud. The American Dialect Society has traced the term “419 fraud” back to 1992.


Estimates of the total losses due to the scam vary widely. The Snopes website lists the following estimate:

“The Nigerian scam is hugely successful. According to a 1997 newspaper article: ‘We have confirmed losses just in the United States of over $100 million in the last 15 months,’ said Special Agent James Caldwell, of the Secret Service financial crimes division. ‘And that’s just the ones we know of. We figure a lot of people don’t report them.'”

Although the “success rate” of the scam is hard to gauge, some experienced 419 scammers get one or two interested replies for every thousand messages. It is claimed that an experienced scammer can expect to make several thousand dollars per month.”

People Want To Believe The Offer Is True

Much the same as gambling offers the lure of easy money to part fools and their money, the Nigerian scams seem to cause otherwise sane and ordinary people to want to send thousands of dollars to strangers under circumstances where any fool should know the outcome. Yet ordinary folks continue to send millions of dollars to Nigerian banks and scam artists every year.

There is so much of it going on in Nigerian banks that it has become a national stain as many of the frauds are assisted by insiders within the banks and government who regularly provide genuine documents that are used to facilitate the frauds.

According to yesterday’s emails, our total take for the day would be about US$30 million dollars if we answered each call for help.

For one day’s take.

That might not sound too credible to most Bajans, but then again, if they are willing to believe the ongoing promises and predictions made by Barbados Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch – or the tales of fabulous oil riches that are just around the corner as told by Energy Minister Liz Thompson… some Bajans might be at serious risk of falling for a Nigerian scam!



Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Richard Hoad At His Very Best Talking About Cow & Bizzy Williams and Friends…

I had to read Richard Hoad’s piece Lowdown – By Their Fruits three times… the first time with a smile and a laugh out loud, the second time with sad agreement of his core points – and the third time for the love of reading. Because Mr. Hoad can surely write.

Mr. Hoad has some thoughts on the Williams’ brothers attempt to purchase Barbados Farms.

Hopefully I’m not stealing his thunder and you really should read the whole thing – but here are a few quotes…

“However, the Williams brothers and I part company on where the country we all love should go. I see Barbados as already a paradise in which, if only people would realise it, we need very little for a happy contented life…”

“…But most of all, we differ on agricultural land which I see as a gift from God to be lovingly tended and handed from generation to generation.

Neither Cow, Bizzy, Eastern Land Developments, the Town Planner nor the Pope can create a cubic inch of soil. Every square foot lost to development is virtually gone forever…”

A worthwhile read at the Nation News: Lowdown – By their fruits

Our thanks to a good friend for the tip about Richard’s article.


Filed under Barbados

Historical Moravian Cemetery Destroyed – Thanks To Our Barbados Courts & Government


300 Year Old Cemetery Destroyed – Our Dead Disrespected

On Saturday, August 11, 2007, a man without a conscience, without a sense of history, drove a bulldozer through the 242 year old tomb of Sara – the first black Moravian Church convert in Barbados.

The entire cemetery was systematically destroyed as the construction machines rolled over the tombs and graves containing the remains of both our slave and free ancestors.

It really doesn’t matter much what happens now because the cemetery is rubble. Almost 300 years of history erased with the expenditure of a little diesel fuel and the movement of a few levers and pedals.

Who Is Responsible For This?

The Moravian Church Grand View cemetery has been the subject of an ongoing legal action in the Barbados courts since 1999.

Like so many other cases before our courts, the parties have been waiting for justice for so long that one side obviously acted either out of frustration of justice delayed, or because the delay left a window for them to act without fear of admonishment by the court.

Eight years waiting for justice and still before the slow-as-molasses Barbados courts.

How can there be justice when so many cases aren’t even close to settlement after over a decade before the courts?

How can there be justice when it is well known that files “go missing” in our system? How can there be justice when some of our judges – including the Chief Justice – were part of the very BLP government that is sometimes a party in cases?

Eight years still waiting for justice – and then somebody weighed the risks and said “The courts are nothing. I will settle this dispute right now with my bulldozer.”

Blame that bulldozer driver and his employer – but blame the Barbados Courts as well. All are guilty.

And then there is the matter of the law. Barbados is a country without laws and without the rule of law. Oh, we do have some laws, but our elites prefer not to enact proper laws for much of anything – lest the laws be used against them.

Thus we have no environmental laws, no integrity rules, no rules against driving while having over a certain limit of alcohol in the body and on and on and on. And where we do have laws, the elites violate them without fear. Even upper crust murderers get a break.

So we have no law against desecrating a graveyard or digging in a known gravesite – as many other civilized jurisdictions do.

Eight years waiting for justice and still before the courts.

That’s not justice. That’s not an indication of a government that respects the law and the rule of law enough to properly fund a cornerstone of our society.

Eight years waiting for justice and still before the courts…


Story Link

The Nation News: 300 Years Of History Destroyed


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, History

A Great Bajan Quote About Road Maintenance

We are a nation of archaeological drivers.
We are experts at seeking and finding vestigial smatterings of paint
that once existed in a past civilization more affluent than ours is today!

BFP Commenter Rich? Barbados? laments a time when our roads were in better repair. Read the full comment here.


Filed under Barbados, Politics