Elements of Barbados Media seek to muzzle Bajan Reporter; other segments use story without Permission

On occasion there have been times when Bajan Reporter used other media’s interviews, for the majority of occasions we usually credit it – even Koran hating Barbados Free Press if we use their images, we say so! Some quick examples – fashion designer Toni Thorne’s BOUiK collection earned the attention of Alyson Holder, we videoed those interviews (just got a Nikon with video and was experimenting then) but? We said who was interviewing and why!

(L to R) Executive Director Lisa Gale, BCCI's President Andy Armstrong & Sr VP Lalu Vaswani

There have been occasions when we get a grump who says “TAKE THAT OFF,” and unfortunately it’s not a cute chick who wants my shoddy body but a vituperous ol’ cow like the dude who asked for me to pull the photo of the Canadian hockey team’s mascot Spartacat from an Ottawa Senators story. However when I was at a Police Press conference and Peter Thorne asked Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin a rather daring question, and I stated who asked! The point, mes enfants, is ETHICS! If no one stands, then who will?

The Chamber Luncheon fell on Denis Kellman's birthday, seen here with Chris Sinckler at the Hilton

Both the Advocate and Nation’s print editions used my one question of Freundel Stuart who addressed members of the Business community both Chamber and Non-Members at their annual PM Luncheon (a Bajan State of the Union, if you will) and it is still in the Advocate’s online status but not very search friendly… So I’m listing the URL where appropriate and also their text before it goes away, also linking the audio to it where I ask the question and he answers me so no one can question it {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

A series of meetings will take place in this country come Monday, to discuss a number of issues related to regional airline LIAT and its future.

That is the word from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who said that the meeting is expected to bring together the directors of the Antigua-based company and the leaders of the three Governments which currently control the majority stake in the airline – St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados. That disclosure came yesterday at the Hilton Hotel during the first monthly luncheon for 2012, of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in response to a question from a member of the audience about the cash-strapped airline.

“I am hosting a meeting here on Monday to discuss with Prime Minister [Dr. Ralph] Gonsalves and Prime Minister [Baldwin] Spencer and other people from LIAT, the challenges being faced by LIAT. That meeting will take place in the morning here at the Hilton and in the afternoon I am meeting with, I think representatives of the 10 or the 11 unions, with which LIAT has to deal… to see if we can hammer out some kind of understanding that will make the life of LIAT less complex,” he said.

The meeting about the airline, which operates scores of flights daily throughout the Caribbean, has been faced with massive economic problems primarily due to its ageing fleet and the rising cost of fuel, is also expected to touch on the newest entrant in the regional transportation sector – REDjet, which is a nationally designated airline of this country.

He revealed that recently Ministers of his Cabinet, including Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Christopher Sinckler and Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson; met with the principals of REDjet, and were able to reach “some kind of concordat” with them on challenges that were raised. The Prime Minister contended that Barbados’ interest in LIAT cannot be ignored and with REDjet being a nationally designated airline of this country, there must be some kind of “modus agendi” developed between the two, and it is with that understanding that the discussion is likely to take place.

Late last year the pilots of the airline staged industrial action, which stakeholders feared would result in the already financially challenged airline losing additional revenue. Meanwhile, reports earlier this month are suggesting that two other Caribbean countries could be acquiring shares in the airline, which remains the foremost carrier which serves the region. (JRT)

Now, what was very interesting is there were other elements of the table who wanted me to be quiet? I was told let the paying members ask their questions! The media is not only muzzled but they seek to silence others who are doing their job, which is Social media remains a crucial element of Truth in the 21st Century. The fact I have not recited names shows the lack of Press Freedom in Barbados, since I have to be careful as the only difference between local media and piranhas is they breathe air…

One of the Media personnel in attendance expressed a wish for strong coffee before the PM spoke, since they expected the address to be boring & insignificant!

Being truthful? I was not impressed with Freundel Stuart’s Main Address otherwise, it was very dry and boring, a rehash of last year’s fiscal misadventures; this was better off presented as an Introduction to Advanced finance to 4th Formers at Secondary level of education. The real question I wanted to direct towards the Prime Minister I could not due to time constraints, everyone felt they had to submit a College Thesis as a prelude to their query, I squeezed my REDjet question into 45 seconds or less – I was actually the final question of the day!

The personnel at this Luncheon were quite a number of sectors - from BIBA their President & CEO, Connie Smith & Henderson Holmes respectively; there was Auditor Lisa Padmore a former VP at BCCI; Scott Neal of Net2Vu; most of the Banking fraternities of Barbados were also represented apart from supermarkets and even solid waste communities...

What I really wanted to ask was based in part what GIS confirmed, the level of unemployment Barbados is suffering at the moment;-

Statistics derived from the Continuous Household Labour Force Survey indicated that the rate of unemployment for the third quarter (July to September) of 2011 stood at a provisional 12.5 per cent. The unemployment rate among males stood at 11.2 per cent and 14.0 per cent among females.

In the review period, there were 145,200 persons in the labour force, which represented an increase of 3.8 per cent or 5,300 persons when compared with the 139,900 recorded in the third quarter of 2010. The number of persons employed in the labour force totalled 126,900 persons which was an increase of 2.2 per cent or 2,700 persons when compared with the 124,200 recorded in the third quarter of 2010.

The number of males employed for the third quarter of 2011 stood at 66,100, while 60,800 females were employed. The total number of unemployed persons stood at 18,200, comprising 8,300 males and 9,900 females. The total labour force stood at 145,100 persons, consisting of 74,400 males and 70,700 females. The number of persons not actively looking for work, hence excluded from the labour force was 68,700 persons comprising 26,700 males and 42,000 females. The Labour Force Participation rate stood at 67.9 per cent with participation among males at 73.6 per cent and 62.8 per cent among females.

In the third quarter of 2011, the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector generated jobs for the largest number of persons, employing 21,400 persons, while the Construction, Mining & Quarrying Sector employed 14,900 persons. The Accommodation & Food Services Sector employed 13,000 persons, while the Public Administration & Defence sector employed 9,400 persons.

The Transportation and Storage Sector provided jobs for 8,400 persons; the Manufacturing Sector employed 8,000 persons and 7,700 persons were employed in the Education Sector. The Administrative & Support Service Sector employed 6,900 persons, while the “Other Groups” category generated employment for 6,500 persons.

The Finance & Insurance sector employed 6,200 persons, while the Human Health & Social Work Sector generated employment for 5,800 persons. The Activities of Households as Employers Sector provided employment for 5,300 persons, while the Professional, Scientific & Technical Services Sector employed 4,100 persons. The Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing Sector employed 3,700 persons while employment in Other Services totalled 3,300. The Electricity, Gas, Steam, Water & Air Condition Supply Sector employed 2,600 persons. {Data Courtesy – CL/BGIS}

The PM shares a moment with senator Andrew Bynoe's younger brother Paul, who is owner of B's Bottle Depot

So, what I really wanted to ask went something like this…

Bearing in mind when the late David Thompson was Opposition Leader he kept jousting at Owen Arthur how Leadership apart from Crime & Violence were the real issues… Then as Leader of this country for however short, Thompson while leader told the public that CLICO was a safe investment and keep pouring money into it (you yourself told the House of Assembly that one of CLICO’s key players was not only your client but your PAL) and now many Bajans wonder when, if ever, they’ll see their money as a result of poor leadership (be it Government or CLICO is for Judicial Management, if ever, to ascertain); S&P downgraded Barbados to a pubic hair shy of Junk Bond Status; Bearing in Mind we just had a Crisis in Education which dragged into almost 3 weeks as pupils are set to take mock-CXC or CAPE tests; Unemployment is at 12%; Bearing in Mind how Barbados is under the stewardship of the DLP for the last 4 years – so blaming the Opposition is a poor crutch at best, a deluded means of confusing a small portion of the Electorate at worst Many Bajans see this as a lack of Leadership on your part, will you do the right thing and hold Fresh Elections? If so, WHEN??

However, I had only enough time to phrase my brief query on Intra-Regional Travel, but I also loved how David Leacock sought clarification if Government would create legislation to protect Small Businesses who invest on overseas projects like 4 Seasons and then Mr Leacock emphasised he’s been waiting 3 years now for an ROI {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Can you believe all Stuart can do is tell Leacock that it falls under Divine Providence, then make more religious inferences? Is he a leader or a Clergyman? Why cannot such legislation be drafted, modified or established?

The President of the Chamber, Andy Armstrong, made an astute if incomplete analysis of the Duty Free day last year (I know when I was at Colombian Emeralds, staff got watches & jewellery at Duty Free plus 25% so this is how much of a mark-up there is), he also indicated that a logical extension of this venture is to have an Island-wide VAT-free day.

Chamber President Andy Armstrong bragged how this Luncheon was fully subscribed - could this be since he used the Social Media Services of BajanReporter.com?

Mr Armstrong also spoke to illuminating the City but I feel this can be expanded all over Barbados, try it out – drive in St George or St Thomas at 8:00 pm without headlights for ten seconds, scary! He explained it’s a partnership with Barbados Light & Power and the Ministry of Transport and Works, the Chamber rolled out a programme where companies can assume responsibility for keeping their surroundings well lit. The cost is modest – about $30 per month per light {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

In a survey done by BCCI, they learned why Barbadians will avoid Bridgetown is they do not feel safe and comfortable. Poor lighting is one of the main factors that has contributed to that feeling of insecurity.

4 Responses

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  1. I’m not sure what’s happening, but I am sure you have angered both parties – be careful.

  2. I’ve got a strong suspicion your plan to attack the issue of Rawle’s status in BLP is irking someone, thus the stupid weight comments since they cannot touch you otherwise. But Morlock has quite a crush on you – if Wifey gives you grief, then you have a replacement? 😀 LOL!

  3. Hello, Ian. There’s a spammer on BFP for this item, you must have mashed their corns to get all of this? I am looking forward to your item on Arthur re Rawle Eastmond, your humor is so The Bomb (member of your Facebook group).



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