Troublemakers in Barbados

UPDATED: June 1, 2012

With the firebombing of homes lately, we’ve put this article at the top for a day or two as Bajans consider what kind of a society we have, and what kind of a society we want. We at BFP do not count ourselves heroes in the grand scheme of things. There are some real Bajan heroes out there, and we honour a few of them in this post…

Where do the troublemakers go from here?

We have to take the next step. We have some ideas that we’ll share in the next few weeks, starting with this one: VOTE INDEPENDENT. Vote for anyone but a Bee or a Dee. We must disenfranchise the ones who for the past 20 years have lied to us and stolen our tax dollars. In truth, they stole our future. They are amateurs playing with other people’s money and consider it their right to skim off the top.

The next 10 years are going to be difficult ’bout hey, and if we’re a billion or two short with nothing to show for it, you can blame the BLP and the DLP.

Original post published October 19, 2011…

by BFP’s Anonymous Cowards

We at Barbados Free Press are anonymous cowards – and for good reason. We’ve seen what happens to the troublemakers on this small island who have the courage to stand up in public and criticize the political and business elites.

Death threats. Arson. Threats to pets and family members. Crops burned. Shots fired at a home. Cars keyed in the middle of the night. Jobs lost. Feces smeared on a business. Homes broken into. Home searched without warrant in the middle of the night. Woman arrested and vagina searched for a copy of the home rental contract. (Really!). Police question your child at school to pressure you.

Oh yeah, we’ve covered all these stories and more here at Barbados Free Press.

Barbados is not Cuba or Venezuela, but neither are we “Little Britain” anymore although we cling to the moniker for marketing purposes.

We’re a small society where a politician is our Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister, and then you blink your eyes and the same man is Chief Justice in charge of the court system where citizens are suing him as Attorney General. Why not just do away with the courts altogether and let the government dispense justice? What a sad joke.

We’re a small society where some wield tremendous power, and others had better keep quiet.

Real Heroes

The real heroes in Barbados are those who use their own names to stand up and say what needs to be said in public. True, they have to be careful about what they say, but unlike we anonymous cowards at BFP, the real heroes put it on the line.

And sometimes they are made to suffer for the most low-key and reasonable objections or observations…

Mullins Bay Blog: Our blogging friend is feeling a bit fearful these days after having been branded a “troublemaker” by some people at the JADA construction site on the West Coast. You know how it starts ’bout hey: they start calling you “troublemaker”, and it all goes downhill from there. Will (NAME WITHHELD BY BFP) experience the threats, fear and consequences of speaking out in Barbados? Check out the Troublemaker.

Richard Goddard fought for our natural heritage. Like any fool he could see that putting a garbage dump in a National Park was just plain wrong, and like any fool he could see that Greenland was too unstable to be used as a landfill. In return he was publicly vilified by Government Minister Elizabeth Thompson for being “Caucasian”, his business was audited too many times to count and his sugar crops were burned. (Amazing how lightning strikes out of a clear sky just before harvest three years in a row, isn’t it?)

Ian Bourne. Now there’s a story of a newsman with integrity who asked questions that were a little too insightful, a little too revealing. A newsman who wouldn’t allow himself to be used as a propaganda tool. There’s an untold story there. We know the story, but we’ll let Ian tell the tale if he wants to. Ian and his wife remain loyal Bajans and that is a wonder all things considered. He’d still be at the CBC if he was willing to crawl and put aside his integrity as so many others have.

Adrian Loveridge. A man who loves Barbados and Barbadians and has given almost thirty years to making Barbados Tourism the best it can be. He disagreed with the nationalization of our tourism industry and said it wouldn’t work, that it was a waste. When he was proven correct, then the trouble really started! Death threats. Arson at his business. Burglary. Spying into his bedroom in the middle of the night. The police refused to investigate any crimes against Mr. and Mrs. Loveridge. The hotel is up for sale. Mr. and Mrs. Loveridge have had enough, but Adrian still speaks out. Nothing left to lose now, I suppose.

Journalist David Ellis who had the cojones to ask then Tourism Minister Noel Lynch how he had such assets on a politician’s salary and what he thought of Integrity Legislation. Ellis was slammed for asking what would be a fair question in any real democracy – but he gave it a good shot.

Irene Sandiford-Garner. As a DLP candidate Sandiford-Garner lost the 2007-2008 election by a handful of votes, but they feared her words and presence enough that shote were fired at her home and faeces was smeared on the door and windows of her business.

Troublemakers at Barbados Free Press

In less than three months Barbados Free Press will be six years old. It was on January 17, 2006 that we published our first post Prime Minister Owen Arthur Opens a New Can of Paint – To Cover Old Corruption and followed up the next day asking Barbados Tender Process Corrupt?

The tender process story concerned the awarding of the flyover contract, and yes in our two original stories we were proven correct: both the tender process and Owen Arthur were, and are, corrupt.

Have we at BFP changed things? Some people credit BFP with pushing the DLP into the winners circle during the 2007 election campaign by making them publicly “commit” (cough, cough) to Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information, Conflicts of Interest rules and Accountability laws.

Sure, the DLP and David Thompson lied and proved to be just as corrupt as the Owen Arthur BLP government, but at least we made them say the words “Integrity Legislation”.

We embarrassed the Bajan news media time and time again by showing how they refused to cover certain news stories, lied to their readers and generally were a lapdog to the government advertising revenues. A few times, we even embarrassed the news media into covering stories – even if a few weeks late.

I’m not sure that the above list is much of an accomplishment for BFP, but perhaps our greatest contribution to life pon de rock is that we started people talking in public about the corruption, cartels and abuses of power in Barbados.

Where do the troublemakers go from here?

We have to take the next step. We have some ideas that we’ll share in the next few weeks, starting with this one: VOTE INDEPENDENT. Vote for anyone but a Bee or a Dee. We must disenfranchise the ones who for the past 20 years have lied to us and stolen our tax dollars. In truth, they stole our future.  They are amateurs playing with other people’s money and consider it their right to skim off the top.

The next 10 years are going to be difficult ’bout hey, and if we’re a billion or two short with nothing to show for it, you can blame the BLP and the DLP.

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15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

15 responses to “Troublemakers in Barbados

  1. 7

    occupy barbados!!

  2. Alice in Dreadland

    VOTE INDEPENDENT….I love it!

  3. Mr Coco

    Keep it rolling BFP.

    Heres to another 6 years!!!!

  4. rasta man

    Keep on keeping on. Maybe one day the people will say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and act accordingly. Maybe then the Defence Force would earn its keep.

  5. millertheanunnaki

    @ rasta man:
    You sound like a man with vision! 2013-14 might be a watershed period for this little place.

  6. Pingback: Troublemaker calls for environmental testing at Jada Construction beach project | Barbados Free Press

  7. vetistheunholy

    We need real change, not a change of parties. We need a new idea, a new vision.

    Keep publishing the truth. The truth needs needs a vehicle and thanks to the internet, the vehicle is here now and just needs good drivers to get the truth to the people.

    Transparency on public spending is needed. Transparency on who funds these political parties, who pays the piper. Corruption needs to be stamped out. Government departments purged and reformed. Policies that hurt local manufacturing, policies that hurt the low income and middle class in the pockets. The slow morphing of our medical care system to that of the corrupt USA system that has failed. We can rant on for days on this but real change has to start with “us”

    6 good years BFP. Keep the truth coming.

  8. Newbie

    I know that the tag of troublemaker is not hard to acquire here in Barbados, A person only has to stand up for their right to information and good service, or refuse to be oppress by those with status or wealth to gain the tag. I would like to see and hear more Bajans standing up publicly, as a group if necessary and saying enough is enough when it needs to be said.

    I am new to your publication but I like it already. keep up the good work.

  9. 13990-32/A-6

    we need 100,000 less people on this island
    -starting from the bottom up!

    that wud make a huge difference in the strains on our transport systems
    water resources, land-space resources and all other resources.

    anyone want 100,000 nwords? -going cheap!

  10. countryview

    lewwe trow out 99% of the lawyers and established politicians first….

  11. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Ahh BFP this is one of the reasons this gal post here and not over there. Not that I do not like over there because it makes for interesting reading but your articles are very concise and I like that. Thank you for exposing the corruption that plays out in Barbados every single day. May justice one day be meted to the corrupt elitist who pose as champions of causes but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Fire Pun Dem

  12. Apathy

    Meanwhile, King Arthur and his cronies are getting ready fror the recoronation.

    You get what your willing put into it and if Barbadians aren’t willing to unite and roll up their sleeves and put positive change in front of the electorate,, Barbadians will get what they deserve.

    Nothing

    Take that to the grocery store and see what it will buy you.

  13. VOTE INDEPENDENT OR NOT AT ALL
    Tee Shirts comin’ out before election call next year.

    Would luv to give them way fah free..,

    we’ll see, we’ll see

  14. Breadfruit

    Love it BFP, what would we do without you?
    keep it coming.

  15. Peter Webster

    You are on the wrong track. If the politicians do more than determine policy it is because the Civil Servants allow them to do so. If the contract process is corrupted it is because the Civil Servants allow this to happen. If the Civil Servants are not forced to improve their performance it will not matter who you elect!

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