Daily Archives: November 13, 2011

An Open Letter to Barbados on Forty Five Years of Independence: We Are the Change

“The politicians cannot save us. Our allies overseas in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and China cannot save us…”

by Ronnie R. F. Yearwood

I was born in the small village of Boscobel in St. Peter. My family was poor, as were many around us. However, we did not let this reflect our state of mind. As was for many Barbadians, this provided the determination to create a brighter future. Better days were always ahead.

I saw a boy living in poverty. He stood proudly on the steps of his old house. The house was always about to fall apart and leaked when it rained. There was no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing. The boy went to school only because of free education, as did many other boys and girls around him. Without that free education these boys and girls would not have been able to learn, for their parents could not afford food, little more than they could books.

His father like those of others around him was absent either by will or culture. So his mother fathered him, as was the way. His mother worked hard to do all she could to help the boy into a better Barbados. I was this boy, and as much as this story is mine, it is also the story of many Barbadians. Together our stories reveal the history of a country that was built on hard work and determination to succeed, especially in the face of slavery and colonialism. A determination, as National Hero The Right Excellent Errol Barrow once said, that took a collection of small villages and transformed them into a proud nation.

Today, we see men and women who are forced to choose between paying the rent or mortgage, and feeding their families. The economic situation is not improving. It will not improve left on its own. We see boys and girls who go to school but cannot read or write yet we boast 100% literacy. We see young people unemployed with few opportunities to become active and progressive citizens. We see a decline in public standards and service, yet we talk of having one of the best tourism products in the world. We see an inefficient Government, yet we claim that public sector reforms are working. We see crime, and anti-social behaviour in schools, on our streets and on public transport. We see a country that is distrustful, apathetic, and struggling to understand itself and falters in crafting a meaningful response not only to current economic crisis, but also failing in setting out a vision for a prosperous Barbados of tomorrow. There is a future beyond the current economic crisis and political staleness that plagues this country. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

Conan O’Brien, David Ellis, Harlequin Hotels – About manufacturing public perceptions for secret payments

Bajan Journalist David Ellis took secret payments from Harlequin

Once again former CBC news anchor Ian Bourne (photo right) is slamming the news media – this time for manufacturing public perceptions. We at BFP publicly disagree with Bourne on many issues but we’ll have to agree with his post Late Night Talk Show Host Conan O’Brien exposes ‘canned news’ media – for it is all “canned”. (The video Ian links to is well worth your time. We laughed at first… then we became angry.)

We’ve never for a moment doubted Ian’s integrity to bringing the truth as he sees it to the public. The “as he sees it” is important because Ian makes no pretense: what he reports is reported as coming to you from Ian Bourne and the Bajan Reporter.

Right or wrong, wild or conservative… or unsure – it’s likely that Bourne will let you know the credibility of his sources, how sure he is of what he is reporting and most important: what is opinion and what is fact backed by research and sources. He might report something even if the sources are weak, but he’ll let you know that the sources are weak.

What more can we ask from our news reporters?

We at BFP have said time and time again – “Don’t believe a word we say. Do your own research. Test us. Confront us. Check our sources and the facts where you can and where you can’t – express doubt about our reporting, our motives, our sources.”

You see, we’re not the CBC, ABC, NBC, BBC or CNN. We encourage our readers to call us liars, well-meaning idiots or fools. We want folks to think for themselves. Quite often we are so wrong about something and our readers slap us upside the head and publicly call us out. We let those comments stand, for as we’ve said from day one: this isn’t our blog… Barbados Free Press is owned by the readers.

We have our agendas and we wear them on our sleeves: Integrity Legislation, expose corruption, do what we can for the environment, empower the ordinary Bajan to speak the truth without fear. Ridicule the corrupt and the elites who forgot the ordinary Bajan. Preserve individual freedoms and rights. Resist fascism in all forms. Get pissed on Friday afternoon and laid on Saturday night.

And we tell our readers to question us, our sources, our motives, our agendas, our writings and opinions.

That’s what BFP is all about. We have no credibility. We’re anonymous for God’s sake! But if we had public credibility as real journalists, as a real news outlet, and we sought to capitalize on that credibility and took secret payments… what then?

Ian Bourne and BFP: Fans of David Ellis

Let it be known that Ian Bourne is a fan of Bajan journalist David Ellis (Photo left). That is obvious from the article at Bajan Reporter Barbados lacks proper teeth to prevent future Madoff’s. We at Barbados Free Press are also fans of Davie Ellis. We’ve supported Mr. Ellis publicly on many occasions.

But we’ve come across something that causes us some concern. It appears that David Ellis was taking money from Harlequin to spin the news in Harlequin’s favour at the same time that he was broadcasting news to the public.

Secret money…

Folks: if I run a radio station and I do commercials for Toyota automobiles or KFC, my listeners know that when I do car reviews or say I like KFC fried chicken (and I do!) that Toyota and KFC cut cheques to me every month. That’s okay if folks know about that.

But Harlequin Hotels paid David Ellis to spin the news and we didn’t know about those secret payments. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that.

What say all?



Harlequin Hotels and Resorts is a new company embarking on an ambitious programme of resort development at a time of deep economic recession in the UK and other of the source markets for tourism in Barbados and the Caribbean. It is therefore presented with a task of presenting itself as a viable and credible entity in an environment of some doubt about the capacity of previous firms to complete projects in Barbados because of the inability to access credit.

ELLIS ASSOCIATES INC. proposes to assist in minimizing these risks and enhancing the Harlequin image in Barbados and the wider Caribbean market. The immediate requirement is to create an environment that’s receptive to the establishment of its proposed resort at Merricks in St. Phillip, and to demonstrate that it has the capability to deliver across the Caribbean region in a timely and efficient manner. The key messages ought to be Harlequin’s contribution to job creation, its impact on the generating of foreign exchange and its role as a good corporate citizen and partner in the community. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press