NOT MANY of your contributors choose to reveal their true names.
It is Harold Hoyte. And first of all, I am a friend of Barbados, and secondarily of Senator Liz Thompson, the Barbados candidate for an appointment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Although I hold no brief for Ms Thompson, yet I am offended by the apparently malicious leading article of the April 8, 2010, Barbados Free Press, titled: “Concerned Barbados Citizens oppose Liz Thompson’s nomination to UNFCCC position.”
Your headline may factually be correct. Doubtless, some Barbadians believe that Senator Thompson should not have been nominated by the Government of Barbados for this post. I in turn believe that the diametrically opposite also holds true for many: “Concerned citizens support Thompson’s nomination.”
I count myself among this number.
As do Prime Minister David Thompson and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.
When, however, your corrosive article went on to state, “Shock, laughter and outright disbelief is the almost universal response by environmentally conscious Bajans…”, I searched in vain for the identities of individuals and organisations, and sought their quoted responses, but none were to be found.
What followed were sly, snide, vitriolic and irrelevant generalisations, all of a negative nature.
Except for accurately noting what I regard as a crude and unjustified remark made by Ms Thompson in 1995 with reference to Richard Goddard, one of her fiercest critics on the Greenland landfill proposal, your sneering scenario constitutes nothing less than an unwarranted attack on her good character and reputation.
Where is the honour of hiding under an undeclared authorship to berate an individual on the basis of innuendo, oddments, twisted tales, bogus half-truths, sneering lies and shameless counterfeit concern?
To a casual reader researching this candidate, particularly one in the international sphere, Ms Thompson might appear a suspect choice, for she is heartlessly painted in a manner that is as cruel as it is unjust, with the potential to effect more disfavour than can be justified.
Thankfully, people who are required to make judgments will have the benefit of empirical evidence with documented information about a track record of integrity and unselfish public service which compares favourably with anyone, I repeat, ANYONE, serving in Barbados public life during the past 50 years.
It is not my desire to do a paint job for Ms Thompson. It is not in my nature. My record as a newspaper editor is open to scrutiny.
What is my desire is fair-minded argument.
What I abhor are quasi-anonymous misfits who use positions of access to mass-dissemination-of- information unconscionably to dismiss the high standing of others under the guise of secrecy, on the basis of merely oblique and concocted hyperbole.
That is why I feel compelled here to register my personal disapproval of your decision to give international glare to your manifest pent-up hatred for an individual without bothering to provide the barest facts for your decision.
It is grossly obscene that a faceless Barbados Free Press can blatantly tout Ms Thompson’s so-called shortcomings (sic) with the wicked intention of derailing a legitimate nomination made on her behalf by the duly elected (and popularly so) government of Barbados.
How scurrilously unpatriotic!
National pride demands higher standards of us all.
I urge those who chance upon your defeatist outrage to recognise it, and dismiss it, for what it is: a mean-spirited attempt to render ineffective what our Government leadership recognises as a truly splendid opportunity to place Barbados, rightly, in a position of high influence on the world Climate Change stage.
Barbados Free Press replies…
For the information of our foreign readers, Mr. Harold Hoyte is the founder and former editor of the Barbados newspaper The Nation. He is a renowned journalist in his own right. A former President of the Caribbean Publishing and Broadcasting Association, he remains active in media organisations including the Commonwealth Press Union and the Inter- American Press Association.
A former Commonwealth Press Union Fellow and Eisenhower Fellow, he was recognized by Columbia University in the United States for his contribution to Caribbean journalism with the Maria Moors Cabot Citation in 1984. He was awarded the Gold Crown of Merit (GCM) by Barbados in 2003, is a Distinguished Honorary Fellow of the University of the West Indies, and was awarded the honorary Doctor of Letters Degree by the University of the West Indies in October 2005.
Dear Mr. Hoyte
It is george from BFP. Thank you for your email to us and mentioning BFP or any citizen blog for the first time in almost five years that we’ve been on the internet. Marcus, Clive and us all have lunch on Friday. Then they will writing a response to you.