Monthly Archives: September 2012

New Poll says Owen Arthur’s corrupt Barbados Labour Party will form next government

Bajans are gluttons for punishment, it’s true. In the 2007 – 2008 election campaign the DLP – Democratic Labour Party put across an effective message that they would clean up corrupt Barbados politics through Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation that BFP called ‘ITAL’. After almost 15 years of proven BLP corruption that even extended to then Prime Minister Owen Arthur getting caught putting a $75,000 ‘campaign donation’ into his personal bank account, the public was ripe to respond to DLP promises to change the systemic conditions that bred corruption.

So the public voted and the DLP became the government with a strong majority mandate to put their promises in place.

Unfortunately though, the DLP lied. No Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information or corruption trials happened.

Now, according to the latest Cadres poll, the DLP are about to lose the election. The DLP will lose for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that Prime Minister Stuart and his boys lied about their intent to introduce Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws.

And Bajans agree that while the BLP and Owen Arthur are corrupt beyond measure, they form a better corrupt government than the corrupt DLP.

Welcome to island politics where the choice is always between two corrupt gangs – because that’s the way the system is set up and neither of the gangs is about to change anything!

Cartoon courtesy of The Nation

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Is Chief Medical Officer Joy St. John sending the right message to Barbados?

And… is Minister of Health Donville Inniss the right man for the job?

Further Reading

Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: King of Pregnant Women Porn?

* Thanks to a reader for the comic. Thanks to the Barbados Advocate for the photo!

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Filed under Barbados, Health

When our new Chief Justice was announced, I was genuinely excited…

“Barbados must be the only country where lawyers are on bail and practicing!”

by A Policy Holder

When our new Chief Justice was announced I was genuinely excited. I naively believed that we would see a speedier court system. We’d surely spent enough on a fine new Court Building, but in truth and in fact the new Chief Justice has achieved S*F*A*. There is good reason for this and it relates to the In Chamber hearings by appointment – appointments which are often callously disregarded by both Judges and lawyers.

As I understand it there is an alternate method known as JEMS – Judicial Enforcement Management System. It’s simplicity is just too much for our legal fraternity who are undisciplined and uncontrollable. JEMS would allow the CJ to randomly distribute cases/suits to sitting judges. Each Judge would be responsible for the resolution of the case from start to decision time. There would be no ducking, changes of judges mid-stream as the CJ would on a weekly or fortnightly basis meet with the Judges to see what progress is being made. This system is in place and working effectively in Trinidad (yes, Trinidad) but lawyers and judges here are anti-JEMS.

There is also the question of the legal fraternity policing themselves and the disbarring of dishonest lawyers. I understand that even if there is a Disciplinary Committee in the Barbados Bar Association, it does not sit. If it does it is a toothless committee. Barbados must be the only country where lawyers are on bail and practicing! What a disgraceful story about the American lady swindled out of $100,000.00 and the general view being “What can you expect? It’s Barbados.”

Having said all that, how in name of God can we expect to find a firm of lawyers who will take on dealing with the CLICO and BALICO matter where they have to sue the Directors of those companies, who may be family, or “connected”?

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Chief Justice joins Barbados politicians celebrating 63 years of Chinese Communist murders

Chinese government officials order extra-judicial execution of protestor by steamroller

Like his predecessor, SIR David Simmons, Barbados Chief Justice Marston Gibson joined the politicians to honour China’s Communist government – celebrating with representatives of one of the most brutal and oppressive regimes on earth. (Barbados Advocate: China marks 63 years)

There is no doubt that the Chinese press will cover the appearance of the Chief Justice just as they covered and propagandized the participation of SIR David at the time he was Chief Justice. The appearance of members of the Judiciary and police officers from other countries is regularly publicized in China to enhance the sorry image of the Chinese judiciary with the masses.

The festivities were held in Bridgetown on Wednesday night to mark the 63rd Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China when Mao and his gang took over, seized all privately held lands, businesses and assets and started the world’s largest slaughter of peasants and anyone else who disagreed with the communists. During the 1950s, the ChiComs established the world’s largest slave camp system where entire families of Christians, business people and other dissidents were imprisoned and forced to work for the state. China still maintains this slave camp system where Christians and others now make consumer products including soccer balls and auto parts for China’s economy.

“I have always found it shameful that Barbados – a nation founded with the assistance of chains, whips, rape and cultural genocide – now so easily supports nations involved in slavery and human rights violations.”

Human Rights in China delivered by road building machine

The arbitrary theft of land by the communists still goes on, and that leads us to the horrific story of He Zhi Hua – a Changsha villager who was forcibly evicted from his home so the land could be given to local business interests closely tied to the communist government officials. He Zhi Hua laid down on the road in protest to prevent the construction equipment from moving in.

The response from the government officials was to order the execution of He by driving over him with a steamroller in the same fashion as has been reported in North Korean executions. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, China, History, Human Rights

Lawsuit in Arch Cot cave-in deaths

Codrington family survivors seek justice

Five years after five sleeping members of the Codrington family were buried alive when their home collapsed into a known cave, lawyer David Comissiong has announced his intentions to sue the negligent parties on behalf of the surviving family members.

Named in the lawsuit are the Attorney General, the Town Planning Department, apartment building owner Peter Cox, Mahy Ridley Hazzard Engineers Limited, Lemuel Rawlins (original land owner) and Dr. Jerry Emtage, who was constructing a building behind the apartment where the Codringtons died. (Nation News: Arch Cot Suit)

Civil Cases often take 20+ years in Barbados courts

In January of 2012 we predicted that an Arch Cot civil case would be at least 22 years in the Barbados Courts. We didn’t pull that figure from a hat, you know. 22 years is a reasonable estimate based upon the size of the case and the known and proven non-performance of the Barbados Justice system and island lawyers who will be opposing Mr. Comissiong.

See Arch Cot Justice will be delayed another 20 years

BFP will continue to follow the Arch Cot Disaster story

Cover-up: AG Marshall said nobody was to blame

Barbados Free Press followed the story from the early morning of August 26, 2007 and joined the Codrington family survivors in shaming the government into calling an inquest. This was after then Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall actually announced the results of his ‘investigation’ a mere six days after the disaster by concluding that nobody was to blame.

“It could have happened to anyone” said then-Attorney General Dale Marshall before the bodies had even been pulled from the rubble.

Yes, of course it could have happened to anyone in Barbados with people like Dale Marshall in positions of power and authority – who are part of and responsible for the corrupt public institutions that issued the building permits and failed in their duty to protect innocent citizens.

It was Barbados Free Press that first published the work of noted Professor Hans G. Machel, who said right out that the deaths were caused by “gross negligence”

“The five Codringtons were murdered just as surely as if someone had put a gun to their heads and pulled the trigger – especially in the crimes that were committed when the ticking-time-bomb of a house was built upon a known cave.”

from BFP’s March 17, 2009 article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

When Barbados newspapers and electronic news media refused to publish Professor Machel’s letter to Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Free Press published the story of how witnesses lived in fear because they know how things go ‘pon de rock…. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Disaster

Hydroponic agriculture – one solution to food self-sufficiency for Barbados

“Cucumbers hanging down grow six inches a day.”

Our thanks to an old friend for forwarding some websites about the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla. The resort features a hydroponic farm and organic gardens that supply vegetables and herbs to the hotel.

The hydroponic operation is run by Dr. Howard Resh, a Canadian who became involved with hydroponics in the early 1970’s while a graduate student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Upon graduation in 1975, Dr. Resh taught at the University of British Columbia for three years, but his interest was always in the commercial application of hydroponics. As a result, he became involved in hydroponic projects throughout the World including countries as Canada, United States, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Venezuela, Tortola and Anguilla.

Can hydroponics survive ‘island time’ culture?

Have a look at the video of the CuisinArt Resort project, then read some of what Dr. Resh has to say at his website. (www.howardresh.com) This method of agriculture seems to be working well in Anguilla. Could hydroponic agriculture assist in making Barbados self-sufficient in food production… or would the hydroponic facilities just end up a victim of the ‘island time’ malaise that prevents preventative maintenance on the island and sometimes kills initiatives that work well in other locales?

That’s an interesting societal question.

Dr. Resh believes that Caribbean islands can be commercially successful with hydroponics and eventually supply sufficient fresh produce for the cruise ship industry. Here’s some of what he says on his website:

“Dr. Resh is presently working with Cuisinart Resort & Spa in Anguilla, British West Indies in the Caribbean growing lettuce, herbs, bok choy, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers with various hydroponic cultures including raft culture, NFT, perlite bato buckets, and plant towers using perlite. This hydroponic farm is part of the hotel-resort complex that provides fresh salad crops to the hotel restaurants.

It is Dr. Resh’s belief that hydroponics will be used more in areas of the Caribbean having large tourist industries. Water is scarce on many of the islands having more favorable climatic conditions, so with the generation of fresh water from the sea water through a reverse osmosis process the water must be conserved in the growing of plants using hydroponic techniques. Islands having drier climates with the generation of fresh water provide opportunities for hydroponic production that may be exported to neighboring islands and cruise ships.”

Further Reading

Anguilla: a hydroponic paradise

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Filed under Agriculture, Anguilla, Barbados

Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds retires. Leaves a legacy of conflict and chaos.

Submitted by Turtle Soup in response to Stephen Alleyne’s Under Scrutiny: Ciao, Bertie!

When his junior, Darwin Dottin, was promoted to Commissioner of Police, Bertie Hinds had to make a decision to do his best to support Dottin’s leadership and direction, or if he could not support the new Commissioner, to do the honourable thing and leave the Royal Barbados Police Force. Hinds had several good offers at the time in both government service and private industry and could have exited the police with best wishes from all in the larger community and a ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ from the vast majority of police personnel. He undoubtedly would have been successful in any new position where he was in ultimate charge because the man has vision and is a capable leader and policing professional.

“Stay and work to support the new police leadership, or leave – those were the two honourable choices. But Hinds chose a third option…”

Instead of going quietly or accepting his lot and doing his utmost to support the new Commissioner and his beloved Royal Barbados Police Force to the best of his ability, Bertie Hinds decided to stay and fight the new Commissioner of Police at every step – which he did most strongly for nine full years. As the clashes with Dottin became more serious, more frequent and increasingly public, the senior management of the RBPF became ineffective and split with various senior officers choosing sides. There were battles in court, and dirty tricks by Dottin and Hinds supporters. The focus of senior management (and increasingly by junior personnel also) shifted from serving the community to internal politics and conflict.

All of this was because Mr. Hinds could not discipline himself to say “Yes, Sir.” to the man whom Barbados chose over him to be the leader of the Royal Barbados Police Force. Some observers believe that Hinds thought he could someday be Commissioner of Police if he undermined Dottin sufficiently, and indeed during the battles there were calls from Hinds supporters to fire Dottin and promote Hinds.

Could Hinds have made a better Commissioner of Police than Dottin?

Possibly, even probably – but so what?

Dottin’s promotion and appointment was legal and it was the decision of those who were lawfully charged with making that decision. For whatever reason Hinds was not chosen and Dottin was.

Whatever Darwin Dottin’s professional and personal failings, he deserved better from Bertie Hinds than he got right from the start. As Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin deserved respect, support and most of all loyalty from his senior officers because anything else in a military organisation is destructive and undermines the public confidence in the institution.

Bertie Hinds has left the Royal Barbados Police Force, but the organisation and the community at large will be many years recovering from the decade of conflict and chaos in the senior leadership that Hinds could have stopped at any time by submitting his resignation or saying “Yes, Sir.”

Further Reading

Readers are encouraged to visit the Barbados Advocate to read Stephen Alleyne’s Ciao, Bertie! but unfortunately BFP must reprint the entire piece here because the Barbados Advocate has in the past deleted news stories to suit political agendas. As our post is based upon Alleyne’s article, we must preserve a copy… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Police