Did Sir Hilary change tune because he was “kicked upstairs”? Or how Bajan Media make Piranhas seem ethical…

I have seen memes which lament how a comedian is the only real journalist in USA, this was referring to Jon Stewart… Now sadly readying to relinquish his late night mantle on Comedy Central. HBO has one of his alumni doing very well, John Oliver, he has taken what seems like a joke and dealt with serious matters. Like how beauty pageants spend or do not spend, or compare what Barack Obama said as a Senator and what he said as President about the ongoing feud betwixt Armenia Vs. Turkey.

John Oliver is a UK transplant who has a habit of examining what people said early in their career and compare it to how they behave now, probably not the sort of thing Aaron Kamigusha watches?

John Oliver is a UK transplant who has a habit of examining what people said early in their career and compare it to how they behave now, probably not the sort of thing Aaron Kamigusha watches?

No one denies he does it salaciously or with irreverent humor, yet no one avoids how he is taking apparently innocuous matters and giving them rough scrutiny…. Try doing this in Barbados! Before we continue, let’s recall how Finance Minister Sinckler says UWI students now have to pay their way, which is in direct contravention to the fulcrum of the late Right Excellent Errol W. Barrow’s claim as Father Of Independence for Barbados – the right to FREE education!

Many continue to see Sinckler's move on charging for tuition as a backwards step of gigantic proportions... This is leaving off the implications of selfish moves as the current lot in Parliament already have their free degrees, it is thought these MP's are now saying let the next crop suck salt!

Many continue to see Sinckler’s move on charging for tuition as a backwards step of gigantic proportions… This is leaving off the implications of selfish moves as the current lot in Parliament already have their free degrees, it is thought these MP’s are now saying let the next crop suck salt!

When UWI enrollments diminished by 4,000 students compared to the previous year, Sir Hilary Beckles was enraged – he said Barbadian education has taken a 20 year retrograde step in development and an assault on the average student of UWI –  a working class mother with (at least) one child…

Fumble Freundel Stuart instead of recognising Sir Hilary’s genuine concern, accuses the man of trying to form an alternative Government, so disagreement is not an option? What kind of idiot are you, you should’ve stayed asleep!

That was mid-April and by National Heroes day of 28th April, all of a sudden, Sir Hilary praises the ruling Democratic Labour Party and says fees are necessary... This is apart from his rise in UWI stature which may mean a lesser presence in Barbados?

That was mid-April and by National Heroes day of 28th April, all of a sudden, Sir Hilary praises the ruling Democratic Labour Party and says fees are necessary… This is apart from his rise in UWI stature which may mean a lesser presence in Barbados?

Meanwhile as Sir Hilary looks to take up fancier mortarboards? Here’s the following piece of propaganda gem from BGIS;-

The Government of Barbados has reaffirmed its commitment to the continued growth and development of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in general, and the Cave Hill Campus in particular, as a critical provider of tertiary level education for the region.

That commitment came from Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, as he met with the new Principal of the UWI, Professor Eudine Barriteau, during a recent courtesy call at Government Headquarters.

Mr. Sphincter Sinckler said his Ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, would continue to work on initiatives which would seek to stabilise and further build the future financial sustainability of the Cave Hill Campus.

He lamented that retrenching public officers and making adjustments to its tuition policy at the University were two of the more difficult decisions Government has had to make in its quest to reduce its current spending levels and restore macro-economic stability to the country. Mr. Sinckler admitted that while some fall in enrolment levels at Cave Hill was not entirely unexpected, the extent to which the numbers had declined was a matter of concern.

In this regard, the Minister indicated to the new principal that Government, through the two relevant ministries, was closely assessing the situation and working on an initiative to assist in UWI’s stabilisation, while ensuring that Government continued to meet its expenditure reduction targets.

He maintained that while the new tuition policy seemed harsh, the alternatives would have been much worse had Government not intervened when it did.

He also informed the new Cave Hill head that his Ministry was at an advanced stage of finalising a solution to liquidate the outstanding arrears owed by the Government of Barbados to the UWI and official word on this would be forthcoming. (EDITOR's NOTE: Oh Professor Eudine? Hold not thy breath!)

He also informed the new Cave Hill head that his Ministry was at an advanced stage of finalising a solution to liquidate the outstanding arrears owed by the Government of Barbados to the UWI and official word on this would be forthcoming. (EDITOR’s NOTE: Oh Professor Eudine? Hold not thy breath!)

Mr. Sinckler pointed out that the UWI and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were two key institutions, and their long-term sustainability in providing the critical services called for immediate re-examination of the funding models which govern them now and into the future. In this regard, he assured that the public would be given an opportunity during this financial year to make suggestions on the funding models for education and public health.

Sinckler added: “There are ideas in the society as to how it should be done and there are different options. Before this financial year ends, after wide public consultations, we should be able to say to Parliament, this is how we propose to handle the financing of these institutions going forward, so everybody can continue to access them.”

Professor Barriteau told the Minister that the Cave Hill Campus would definitely want to be a part of the conversation on financing education. She said one of her immediate priorities was increasing student enrolment, and welcomed Government’s efforts to assist by putting a plan in place to stabilise the numbers at the University. “We are very pleased that this is happening and I think the student body, in fact, will welcome it,” she remarked.

She gave Minister Sinckler the assurance that the Campus would continue to work very closely with Government. She acknowledged that the Cave Hill Campus and Barbados were going through difficult periods but stressed they were both greater than what they were currently experiencing. “So, even though there are challenges, we can see the other side,” she stressed. (SA/BGIS)

So I decided to call Sir Hilary on what appears to be his reversal after his vigorous and justified sally against the current regime’s decision especially when you bear in mind German is not charging for tertiary education now and Finland or Denmark exercise approximately 56% of Income Tax to ensure Health & Education are free! I asked what caused his “road to Damascus” referring to the biblical character of Paul and his conversion to Christianity.

Trevor Yearwood from the Nation (with Mic in hand) looks at me afterwards, insinuating I threw "a curve ball," yet his story the next day was based on my questions - poor thing, his own ideas not good enough? Should I send a bill?

Trevor Yearwood from the Nation (with Mic in hand) looks at me afterwards, insinuating I threw “a curve ball,” yet his story the next day was based on my questions – poor thing, his own ideas not good enough? Should I send a bill?

After the streamed gathering, up rushes Aaron Kamigusha, a junior professor I think (had his card, can’t find it now), who declares to me in front of all and sundry how what I did was not a newsworthy story and uncalled for… I looked him straight in the eye and replied since he works at UWI and he has to obey what piper decrees his tune is it any surprise what he said? He snivelled off like the offended toady he remains… Keep quiet, Aaron, or you may not get your next lecture circuit stipend funded how you wish!

I have to wonder if Sir Hilary becoming Vice Chancellor was not a move to hush his anger at this Government and he also felt it best to acknowledge where his bread is buttered?

Yet even Ryan Broomes from CBC appeared ready to joust at me because I was saying they did not ask any really hard questions, but if the Nation does “real journalism,” then why not ask Chefette if it has the same staff numbers this year like last year… Less? More? Why? I mean Chefette advertising with the newspaper shouldn’t stop any pursuit of news, right?

As for CBC, I am sure they have a great reason for leaving the CLICO issue alone and how Leroy Parris openly avoids bailiffs? I am sure their silence has NOTHING to do with when Parris was Chairman of CBC’s board, right? But they are true reporters, eh?

The sad thing is I saw true journalism in Guyana in 2013 during the Caribbean Week Of Agriculture, when Sen. Maxine McClean was running an MOU there, I decided to surprise her and she was annoyed about me asking on the CCJ’s decision over the Shanique Myrie case, but then she got a bigger shock when GT reporters took up my cause and lambasted her! That is REAL journalism, oh Barbadian colleagues…

I brought up Jon Stewart and John Oliver and their habit of looking at what people originally said and compared it to their present behavior as it is a standard journalistic practice – this is known as taking political leaders and make them accountable to what they do, as their decisions and policies can affect THOUSANDS! I may joke a lot, but the stuff I attack is serious, pay attention – Aaron, Trevor and Ryan… All of you may learn, without having to pay tuition like what the next generation of Bajans have to face at Cave Hill!

However, the greatest irony was at the end of the media summit, Sir Hilary made it his business to shake my hand and say “I liked your poke, it was well thought out!” Color me stunned, but then this is when one can be man enough to admit there are better ways to handle issues (watch the videos)…

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