Notes From The Margin

April 15, 2008

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish….

It’s been a year since NTFM first debuted in the blogosphere, in that time we have done 198 posts which have been seen by 42,000 visitors, we have logged some 650 comments and unfortunately we’ve also dealt with 10,000 emails of spam. Small numbers perhaps in comparison to Barbados Underground or Barbados Free Press, but we think that we have established our own following and we’ve also established a reputation as a quality blog with high standards.

It’s been an interesting ride, that has taught us much. The search for quality articles has led us down some interesting paths and turned up some surprising stories. We are particularly proud of the work we’ve done on the whole Venezuela issue as it relates to the Caribbean. We remain deeply concerned that not enough is being done by the mainstream media to educate Barbadians about our South American neighbour.

We started a blog in large part because we were concerned about what was being said about Barbados in the blogosphere. Based on what some very biased people were saying, it would be very easy to equate Barbados with Zimbabwe. That is not the Barbados we know, the country we know and live in may not be perfect but it’s a far cry from what is portrayed on BFP and to a lesser extent BU. A dermatologist following their approach would describe someone with acne as having flesh eating skin cancer. We felt there was an unfilled space for balance and thoughtfulness, a space that over the last year we have tried (with uneven results we admit) to fill. We freely admit that there is an important role for Barbados Underground and Barbados Free Press in ensuring democracy and freedom in Barbados, we may disagree with their methods but we believe that they are truly motivated by good intentions and that in the long run they are a healthy addition to the Barbados social scene, we wish them well.

However after a year, we have found the demands of running a daily posting blog difficult to meet. In that regard we have considerable respect for David over at BU and even the BFP crew. Given the demands of our day to day lives we find that we can no longer devote the time to NFTM that will maintain the standard that we want to have.

In short NFTM has had it’s day. We have to admit, it’s difficult to put down something you have carried for a year, but it is far better to go out with style than to dribble off into obscurity.

To our well wishers thank you for your kind comments, to our critics… when you think about it, you’ll come around to our opinion 😉

Farewell

Marginal

Marginal puts down his editorial pen.

March 28, 2008

David, We will have to disagree on the 100 days point!

We are great fans of Barbados Underground, we find their articles though provoking and well reasoned. We don’t always agree with them, but that’s what makes the blogosphere interesting. David served up an interesting article this week:Barbados Needs National Energy Policy, NOW we agree with the headline and the main point of the article, that in a global economic environment we need a realistic energy policy with a strong emphasis on renewable resources, however we will have to agree to disagree with his subsidiary point.

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) pledged to Barbadians that within the first 100 days of assuming the reigns of government, it would roll-out several major initiatives. Our commonsense, which has been honed over the years through observation, tells us that the pledge was part of a gimmick which political parties are expected to engage at election time. It should be obvious that a political party in opposition is not equipped to deliver on promises made, simply because it is not in the obvious position of government to efficiently plan and allocate resources. The BU household continue to be amazed at the frenzy which is demonstrated by our educated public concerning trivial matters, whenever we have elections. Following the script to the letter, the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has reminded the government of its 100 day promise, we listened to Senator Liz Thompson doing so with her usual eloquence in the Senate yesterday.
We commented on the post, to the effect that the “100 Days” was a political gimmick that worked and that it was now fair game for the opposition to use to attack the government. We don’t think it’s the only reason why the DLP won (or even the main reason), but it was a central plank in their platform.
However our real reason goes deeper than that……
The “100 days” was a political gimmick that was packaged for consumption by the electorate. However read more deeply it was the DLP’s statement of “THIS IS WHERE OUR PRIORITIES ARE” and even if you did not believe they were capable of delivering it in the 100 days, (as we think most people with common sense felt) the idea of a time frame communicated that there was a real plan behind the statement.
An opposition party is not in the position of a ruling government in terms of access to information and allocation of resources, however they have a luxury that the Government does not:
Time.
An opposition has time to consult with stakeholders, time to sound out opinions, time to float ideas in informed circles, to create and construct a plan. They also have the unmitigated luxury of doing this in an environment where there is absolutely no pressure to implement. These two things, a sitting government does not have (As Dr. Estwick has found out with Greenland). In this case the DLP had 14 years to craft its agenda for governance.
We think that the Thompson administration should be accountable for its 100 day agenda. If it can’t be done in 100 days, when can we expect it? A year? two years? If the first orders of business are delayed what about the elements of your manifesto that were not in the first 100 days? We should not let it fall quietly by the wayside.
We agree that a discerning eye should be cast over the ABC Highway expansion project and it’s conduct, however we think that the level of scrutiny should be applied to this administration, the principle at stake is simply too important.
Until we hold our politicians accountable for their words and actions we will get the government we deserve.
Marginal

February 7, 2008

Freedom is a funny thing….

“I may disagree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it”

Voltaire 

Over the last few days we’ve had quite a few posts about freedom of expression, and in reflecting on this period we’ve had to remark that freedom is a funny thing. Having a blog gives the writer the power to say anything, really with very little chance of having to face any consequences for having said it. Now in some ways this is great, corruption that would only be hinted at in public fora (or never mentioned at all) can be exposed for all to see. Lots of quiet little back room deals may find themselves subject to public exposure. Democracy is generally strengthened by this.

The corollary of having freedom of expression is that you may hear things that you don’t agree with. Things that you may find repugnant. And the funny thing is that there are many people for whom “Freedom of Expression” means that they can say what they want and anyone else can say what they want too as long as they agree with them.  That’s not freedom, that’s swapping one yoke for another.

We have taken a great deal of pressure over the past week or two to unlink from three new blogs that have been established by (we presume) supporters of the BLP. Despite, what many of our passing commenters may say, we have never set out to be a “political blog” and we don’t have any particular brief for these three new blogs. We see the ongoing campaign to silence them as a step in the wrong direction. We see a larger issue here that we feel is worth fighting for. We have been delisted from the two major Barbados blogs in the blogosphere, we have received several emails (some of it public, most of it private) with various levels of abuse.

We think we are doing the right thing.

The vindictiveness of the response makes us sure that we are doing the right thing.

We have also received expressions of support  and we thank those that have sent them.

Notes From The Margin is not going anywhere.

Marginal

February 6, 2008

Why NFTM Links to the Three New Blogs….

I posted this as comment, but I’m placing it as a post to fully ventillate the issue.

If they represent an attempt by BLP supporters to CONSTRUCTIVELY engage the blogosphere, I believe that is worth encouraging. At the moment, the blogosphere is for the most part a group of persons who all say the same thing. I believe that blogs with a different view will enhance the blogosphere. Yes I am concerned that they have a connection to BFPE, for this reason they are “on probation” If they devolve into racist talk or threats then they are off the blogroll. I am not linking to any site that contains either death threats or racisim. To the point where I warned Cat Piss when he started to go down a race related line.

What happens in the blogosphere right now is that dissenting opinion is shouted down, blocked or smothered, criticism is seen as a personal attack, and the biggest blog BFP indulges known party hacks who use information that I know to be wrong. That’s right, they use OUTRIGHT LIES to further their own political ends and BFP is complicit in that.

Further, the lack of checking of information means that innocent people have their reputation smeared on a stage that carries a global audience. People who have done nothing wrong, in many cases who have done years of service get tarred and feathered because BFP wants to increase it’s number of visitors. I’m not saying that everyone accused on BFP is innocent, some need to be accused, but that is what makes the smears of the innocent worse.

I support freedom of speech and expression however I believe that this freedom comes with a responsibility to
use it correctly.

I consider linking to the new blogs to be an effort to foster diversity of opinion. There are a number of denizens of the blogosphere that have openly demonstrated that they do not want that diversity to happen.

Marginal.

February 4, 2008

Notes From The Margin Censored by Both Barbados Political Blogs

Well it was bound to happen at some point. The two most forthright advocates of freedom of expression on the net have censored another blog.  Notes From The Margin would appear to be banned from Barbados Underground (my comments appear to be blocked) and Barbados Free Press.

Yes we on the margin have been harshly critical of these blogs (particularly Barbados Free Press) and we have resisted all sorts of comments about our listing three BLP associated blogs bajan free press, De Stand Pipe, Cat Piss And Pepper. While we were not really surprised by BFP’s actions we have to admit that we are more than a little disapointed in Barbados Underground and their creators. It is however their decision and we accept it.

We do have to say, that as much as these two blogs which are known for their unrelenting criticism of others, it is ironic that their response to the expression of a differing opinion is to resort to censorship. It’s a shame really.

We do hope that they will reconsider their decision but Notes From The Margin will continue in much the same vein as it did before weather or not they choose to link to us.

Marginal

January 29, 2008

BFP – “Notes From The Margin Now Revealed To Be Part Of The BLP’s Grand Plan!!!”

Recent comment by BFP….

LMAO!!!!! 🙂

Marginal

January 25, 2008

In defense of Albert Branford

The latest victim of Barbados Free Press is Nation journalist Albert Branford. Our friends over at BFP have jumped on Mr. Branford’s article “The Money Factor” and seized on the following passage.

“DAVID THOMPSON has finally achieved his life-long ambition: to be the Prime Minister of Barbados.

Newspaper photographs of his swearing-in ceremony last Wednesday portray a smugness that reflects his inbred sense of entitlement.”

Now the storm in a teacup controversy stems around the use of the word “inbred” in the above sentence.

Here is BFP’s interpretation:

The Nation’s Albert Brandford Makes A Backhanded Racial Comment Against Barbados’ New Prime Minister

The Nation News & Albert Brandford Should Apologise To Prime Minister Thompson – And To The People Of Barbados

We have come to expect very little professionalism and quality from The Nation News. God knows that the paper and most of the staff left behind any sense of public duty years ago.

Brandford’s article is nothing more than a biased political hit-piece – and that’s ok. It is not like we haven’t seen one before at The Nation News. That’s life. That’s politics. At least you can clearly see where their bias is.

But this business of negative racial comments and racial slurs from the writers at The Nation News must stop.

Barbados deserves better than this evil and divisive practice by the largest printed daily.

The dictionary.com site lists the following definitions for “inbred”


So there’s a definition that reads and makes sense, and then there’s a definition that doesn’t fit the context but can be construed as an insult.Naturally BFP takes the latter.

This is ridiculous.

Mr. Branford owes no one an apology for writing what he sees as the facts, which is the purpose of any op/ed piece of journalism. BFP has a long history of savaging people who have the temerity to disagree with them, and we on the margin believe that this is just the latest example of that.

The sad part of it is, that Barbados Free Press tends to undertake these “slash and burn responses” while wrapping themselves in the flag of “freedom of speech”. Unfortunately, Barbados Free Press has become a textbook case of what happens when freedom is exercised without a shred of responsibility.

Marginal

January 22, 2008

It’s the Dog Days of the Blogs

The bajan blogosphere has gone quiet in the last week. After the sound and fury of the election campaign we had Barbados Free Press running a story about British Airways being forced to carry surfboards, Barbados Underground is running with a story about Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey . It’s too early for the government to have done anything stupid yet so they aren’t really available for the usual abuse, and beating up on the BLP just smacks of kicking a man when he’s down (unless you are Waiting In Vain, and even then everyone else looks at it as bad form)

and we on the margin were thinking that it’s all just a little bit….

boring.

There we said it.

All we need is for one politician to do something stupid and then we can get back to business as usual 🙂

This too shall pass guys (and probably not before too long either!) 😛

Marginal

(tongue firmly planted in cheek)

January 21, 2008

Happy Errol Barrow Day For All

The blogosphere was joined by three blogs today, bajan free press, cat piss and pepper and De Standpipe. Yes unfortunately all three of these blogs appear to be connected with BFPE, however they seem to have an interesting approach based on how intellctual or how crude you want your political discussion to be. The blogosphere will judge them, and they will stand or fall on their content. We will add them to our blogroll, however if the discussion goes the route of BFPE they will quickly be removed. (They can consider themselves “on probation”)

Bajan Free Press celebrates Errol Barrow Day by publishing the famous “mirror image” speech. We had always heard references about the speech but this is the first time that we have had the opportunity to read it in full. We now understand why this speech is famous and we have linked to the speech to encourage our readers to review it.

“What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself?”

Address to a political rally 13 May, 1986, at which the Democratic Labour Party’s 27 candidates for the general elections of 28 May, 1986 were introduced.

What I wish to speak to you about very briefly here this evening is about you. About yourself.

I want to know what kind of mirror image do you have of yourself? That is what I am concerned about. What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself? Do you really like yourselves? Because you can never really like anybody unless you first like yourself. There are too many people in Barbados who despise themselves and their dislike of themselves reflects itself in their dislike of other people… people who live next door to them, members of their family, husbands, and wives, and the ox and the ass and the stranger within the gates.

I would like to say that in 1951, 1956, 1961 the Conservatives used to do a few favours for people.

A planter would send a man who had a little influence, let us say in Ellerton Village in St. George, send him down to Plantations Limited or Manning and Company and get some lumber to repair the old house, or if he had a cheap canvasser you would send him to Detco Motors and let him trust a new car. And those people would be motivated into giving their support to the Conservative candidate because of the favours which used to be given out to them.

But it really did not matter because the people who accepted that kind of help thought that they would be beholden to the rich people of this island, because the rich people were in a position to do personal favours for them. But what the rich people in Barbados did not realise is that they did not have money to do favours for everybody who had the right to vote after universal adult suffrage.

That was all right when you had 250 people voting in St. Thomas, and probably 178 voting in St. Andrew, and probably 311 voters in St. Lucy, but when you have 38,000 voting alone in St. Michael – voting for two candidates, not even John D. Rockefeller himself would be able to do enough favours for 38,000 people to persuade them to go and cast their votes and exercise their suffrage against the Labour Party’s interest, in favour of that wealthy person.

Which group in wealthiest in Barbados then? Who has the most money to spend? There has never been anybody in the history of Barbados with six million dollars at his disposal. The Tom Adams government had $600 million in each and every year at its disposal to bribe you with your own money, and then spit in your face.

So the Conservatives can now save their money. They are not going to France and Italy anymore because of terrorism, but they are going to Tampa, Florida, Vancouver, British Columbia and California, because they have people now who will spend the workers’ money to bribe the workers and they could save their money and thus go off and live like true politicians, while they use your money against you.

Now what has bothered me in this society is that every time after elections, people expect certain things to take place. And although the law says taht he that giveth is as much guilty of bribery and corruption under the Corrupt Practices Act as he that receiveth, we know that even on polling day, people were given envelopes with $100 bills in them.

Philip Greaves and Asquith Phillips and I sat down trying to get people to bring affidavits, so that we could lock up some of them. Our own people, registered Democratic Labour Party people, said they were not prepared to go into court and swear.

So what kind of mirror image would you have of yourself? If there are corrupt ministers in Barbados tonight, you have made them corrupt.

I am not trying to make any excuses for you, but I realise what has happened in this society. You have people who are living on the brink of, and at, subsistence level. I look around and see people who have not done an honest day’s work in their whole lives driving around in MP cars, having an ostentatious standard of living, unlike my poor families in St. John, who the Welfare Officer gives $50 to feed a family of ten for a whole week.

What kind of mirror image can you have of yourself?

Let me tell you what I mean by ‘image you have of yourself’. You so much despair of this society that you queue up at Trident House (United States Consulate) day after day. Those of you who have read Julius Caesar would know the passage that say: ‘You have sat the live long day with patient expectation to see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome.’ And you have stood the live long day with great patient expectation for the man to tell you down there that you can’t get the visa to get on the 400 to New York next week.

Your greatest ambition is to try to prove to the people of the United States Consulate that you are only going up to visit your family, when you know very well that when you get up there, you los’ ‘way. And you are surprised when the people at the United States Embassy tell you that you do not have a strong reason to return to Barbados. And you are the only person dishonest enough with yourself to realise that you do not have a strong to return to Barbados, because Barbados has nothing to offer you. You are not being honest with yourself, but you tell the man down there, ‘Oh yes, I’m returning.’

If I had to answer that question now I would be in trouble, because under this dispensation for the past ten years, I never had a strong reason to come back here.

But I want to tell you this, that I believe I am as much Barbadian as they are and I do not like my country being run down the way it has been run down since 1976, and that is the reason why I return.

When I went to Mexico, I had to make a decision, and I returned; I went to the Pacific and I had to make a decision and I returned. I had a strong reason. My reason is that I did not want to see my country go down the drain but you who are not in politics, don’t have a strong reason. Tell me one good strong reason you have to return to Barbados.

Your mirror image of yourself is that your ambition in life is to try and get away from this country. And we could call ourselves an independent nation? When all we want to do is go and scrub somebody’s floors and run somebody’s elevator or work in somebody’s store or drive somebody’s taxi in a country where you catching your royal when the winter sets in?

What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself? Let me tell you what kind of mirror image I have of you, or what the Democratic Labour Party has of you. The Democratic Labour Party has an image that the people of Barbados would be able to run their own affairs, to pay for the cost of running their own country, to have an education system which is as good as what can be attained in any industrialised country, anywhere in the world.

It is only now that you are reading that in the state of Texas, the government of that state has asked to make the teachers pass an examination – you know what kind of examination? To see if they can read and write!

The gentleman of the Texas teachers’ union came on the news and he said that he was proud of the result because only eight per cent of the teachers couldn’t read and write!

If (President Ronald) Reagan had to take the test, I wonder if he would pass. But this is the man that you all say in the newspapers, how great he is for bombing the people in Libya and killing little children. I am no (Libyan leader Mu’ammar) Qathafi supporter. I don’t know Qathafi and I never had any desire to go to Libya. But this ia the man that you all go up at the airport and put down a red carpet for, and he is the President of a country in which in one of the more advanced and biggest states eight per cent of the teachers cannot read and write, and he feels that they are better than we. And you feel that we should run up there and bow.

What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself? Why don’t you sit down there and start trying to put people on the moon, too? Instead of using $100 million to develop the potential of the young scientists that we have, and the young doctors that we have, we spend it putting up an expression of a monumental edifice behind the Cathedral and call it a Central Bank Building, because we think that people develop by ostentation, by showing off, and not by developing people.

But when a government steals from people in the way of consumption taxes and takes that money and spends it on their own high lifestyles, and unnecessary buildings, then that government not only has contempt for you, but what is most unfortunate, you have contempt for yourself, because you allow them to do it.

And you get the Prime Minister of the country saying that his ambition is to have the same kind of lifestyle as the people in the Uinted States enjoy. I wonder what kind of lifestyle he is enjoying now? And then his successor goes outside of Barbados and says we are drifting away in Barbados from the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy, and we are easing into a presidential system; that we want a presidential system, so that, like Reagan, they can go and bomb. They can go and bomb the mental people in the hospital in Grenada and the little children in Benghazi, in Tripoli? Is that what we want a presidential system for?

We don’t have a Presidential system yet. But you have people who are employed and paid with your taxes who could buy a boat and give it to an Englishman to smuggle arms into Barbados. I can give you the name and the place and everything you want.

We don’t have a presidential system, but you can have people removing money from a Canadian Imperial Bank account and people who are in charge of institutions in this island, and in transferring it to the Barbados National Bank without the authority of the people from whose account teh money was being withdrawn. I know it is so, because I told (Prime Minister Bernard) St. John who said it was and that man has not been locked up yet.

I told him then that you should never appoint a person to a responsible statutory corporation in this island who is accustomed to forging people’s signatures. And then he went outside and came back and never said a word. And you allow that to go on in Barbados.

And there are people in high places in this island who conspired to allow that to happen, because the gentleman was fined $1,000 for so doing, and not by the law courts, but by a private group of people who got together and said, ‘You committed forgery; we are going to fine you $1,000.’ So you circumvent the Director of Public Prosecution, and you hold your own dumb-head court martial and then you present him with a big bowl and congratulate him on his achievements.

What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself if you allow this kind of thing to happen?

What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself when you allow the mothers of this nation to be beasts of burden in the sugarcane fields? In Mexico where people suffer under a lower standard of living than in Barbados, they use donkeys to freight canes out of the fields.

In Antigua, they use a small railway; but here the mothers of the nation with sons at Harrison College, the Alleyne School and daughters at Queen’s College, St. Michael and Alexandra – they are used as beasts of burden and there is no shelter in any of those cane fields. I have talked time and time again to the Barbados Workers’ Union about this and you allow that to continue. What kind of image do you have of yourself?

I suggested, and I was inspired by the work done by the late Mr. Ernest Bevin, who was (British) Foreign Minister, who went to work at eight – I don’t mean 8 o’clock in the mornin, I mean eight years of age – and those dock workers in London used to turn up during the winter and summer from 5 o’clock in the morning waiting for a ship, and if a ship didn’t come in for three weeks or three months, they wouldn’t get any pay. And Ernest Bevin introduced the guaranteed week for dock workers. I set up a commission of enquiry into the sugar industry and made the examination of the guaranteed week for agricultural workers one of the terms of reference of that commission, and the commission reported that nobody gave any evidence before them in support of this recommendation.

What kind of mirror image do the people of the Workers’ Union, of whom we have members, have, even of you or themselves? And I had to wait until there was a dispute in the sugar industry and we had television and get on a blackboard and say, well these will be the wages from next week and on Tuesday I went into the House (of Assembly) and introduced the guaranteed wages for agricultural workers.

Why should only one man have a mirror image of you that you do not want to have of yourself? What kind of society are we striving for? There is no point in striving for Utopia, but you do not realise your potential.

You have heard the opportunities which our members have taken to improve themselves by going to certain institutions and so on – not that we believe that people with good education are the only people who can be in politics. The very fact that a man has made the effort and taken the time to improve himself shows that he has the kind of calibre which would make him a useful representative of the people.

I lived in a little country when I was young, the Virgin Islands. It was just bought from Denmark by the United States of America. My father was a Chancellor. I was too young to go when he was transferred. So when I was three months old, I went.

There is no unemployment in that country. They don’t manage their affairs as well as we did in the past. They don’t receive any big lot of grants and loans and that kind of thing, even from the United States.

They have to bring in workers. They have the largest oil refinery in the western hemisphere run by a man called Hess. But that is a small country. But there is another small country which is run by a friend of mine. That country has 210 square miles; it is 40 square miles bigger than Barbados. If you took the Parish of St. Philip and put it right in the little curve by Bathsheba that would be the size of the country of Singapore of Lee Kwan Yew.

But you know the difference between Barbados and that country? First, Barbados has 250,000 people. You know how many people Singapore has on 40 more square miles? Over two-and-a-half-milion, on an island just a little larger than Barbados.

They don’t have sugar plantations; they don’t have enough land to plant more than a few orchids on. It is one of the orchid centres of the world. They grow orchids in Singapore. They don’t have enough land to plant a breadfruit tree in the backyard and nearly every Barbadian, even in the metropolitan area of Bridgetown, have some kind of fruit tree in the backyard.

Sixty per cent of those three million persons have been housed by the government of Singapore. They don’t have oil for ministers to steal. They don’t have any beaches like we do here. There are people here in this audience, Barbadians who have served in Singapore, who can tell you about Singapore. There is no unemployment in Singapore.

They have developed an education system but they are teaching people things that are relevant to the 21st century. They are not teaching people how to weed by the road. They are in the advance of the information age.

But you know the difference between you and them? They have got a mirror image of themselves. They are not looking to get on any plane to go to San Francisco. Too far away. The government does not encourage them to emigrate unless they are going to develop business for Singapore.

They have a mirror image of themselves. They have self-respect. They have a desire to move their country forward by their own devices. They are not waiting for anybody to come and give them handouts. And there is no unemployment.

Is that the mirror image that you have of yourselves? Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen, I done.

A Happy Errol Barrow Day To All,

Marginal

December 31, 2007

In Support of Adrian Loveridge

We indirectly received a copy of Adrian Loveridge’s letter to the Prime Minister regarding the near constant death threats that appear online from BFPE. We have published the letter as part of our blog not because we support Mr. Loveridge in all aspects of everything he does, but on the principle that there are some things that should never be tolerated.

BFPE has issued threats and hurled racial invective since they began. They purport to be Government supporters but it is not altogether clear that they are, as they are an embarrassment to the Government. (Or to any organisation that they support) While the threats have to a large degree been directed at BFP, who have the benefit of anonymity, a large portion of them have been directed at Adrian Loveridge, who has had the temerity to disagree with and criticise the Government on several issues.

While some may advance the argument that BFPE is a harmless looney who is not to be taken seriously, we on the margin know that if those threats were directed at us we would take them very seriously. People standing at our funeral wringing their hands and saying “I didn’t think he was serious…” would be very cold comfort.

Mr. Loveridge should make a formal report to the police of the death threats, and also Mr. Arthur should make a public statement condemming the threats. Not to do so, sets a dangerous precedent in Barbadian politics, where we have been fortunate not to have a history of violence.

There should be zero tolerance for the behaviour exhibited by BFPE and its cohorts. And because of this we are publishing Mr. Loveridge’s letter.

Marginal

The Right Honourable Owen S. Arthur, Prime Minister

Sir,

Two days ago the brother of the Chief Justice, Mr. Peter Simmons, telephoned me at our hotel to voice concern about any possible linkages between himself or brother, and what can only be described as almost daily death threats against myself and wife. Most of these death threats and similar vows to burn down our hotel have been placed on two very popular blogs: Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground. Barbados Free Press recently advised that they have identified at least one of the death threats to IP: 69.73.212.201 timed at 10.39pm (GMT) on 28th. December 2007

I understand that with the assistance of the Police and Cable and Wireless, it is possible to trace the sender (s) of these deeply offensive threats which are often linked to pornographic websites and contain explicit vile comments.

While, we may not entirely share the same views on every subject, I am sure you would not condone this sort of behaviour and I would respectfully ask for your assistance to initiate a Police investigation into this matter.

I promise you my full co-operation to track down this person (s). During the nearly 20 years of residence on Barbados, my wife and I have tried to make a useful contribution to our field of endeavour, tourism.

Of the 106 hotels on Barbados rated by the worlds most visited website, TripAdvisor, Peach and Quiet, is currently ranked #2, which are entirely based on actual guests comments.

I thank you for considering this matter and wish you and your family a healthy and happy 2008.

Adrian Loveridge

29th December 2007

Sent to info@primeminister.gov.bb at 0512 hrs 29 December 2007

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