Are Barbadians being treated equally under the law?

21 Apr

Dorothy Height a female voice in the USA Civil Rights movement died at the age of 98. She fought for racial and gender equality

There have been two recent gun related incidents in Barbados that have raised a great deal of debate in Barbados. The debate has not subsided as yet. The first concerned two members of Parliament (Dale Marshall and David Estwick), one of which, David Estwick has been accused of assault. This particular issue got side tracked by a belief that the Speaker had jurisdiction over criminal offences in Barbados as long as they occurred within the precincts of Parliament. Commonsense would suggest that this is untrue even if one were unschooled in the law. The second incident had to do with the death of a youngster. Everyone sympathises with the loss of a child in whatever circumstances. Many Barbadians do not know what happened in the house of the Bjerkhamns that day but a child is dead and this could throw up a situation of mere accident, manslaughter or even murder. We do not know and it is certainly not the point of this piece to speculate on the circumstances.

The issue that concerns a number of Barbadians is process. In the first situation the Police should have been present at the time of the incident in Parliament. They should have been there because it is the practice that they should be there to protect all those visiting and working in the Parliament. The alleged offence was never investigated in order to determine whether or not charges should be filed. In the Bjerkhamn episode the Police delayed in filing any charges and then the public was informed that the suspect (forgive us if that term is not appropriate) had left the island by private jet. Well some argue that he was not charged so he could leave. Many a young male in Barbados have expressed the view that they would never have been allowed to go to their child’s funeral.

What is it that the ordinary Barbadian is concerned about? Individuals can relate incidents where simply because they were present at an incident they were charged and held over night. Even though one would not recommend this approach as the norm, the approach taken to these two incidents must suggest that there is some inequality of treatment. These are not only legal matters they are societal matters. A cursory glance at our newspapers would suggest that it is only working class Barbadians and tourists that are ever involved in the drug trade whether as consumers or retailers.

Are Barbadians being treated equally under the law? These are questions similar to those that were raised in the USA Civil Rights movement. Yet in 2010 Barbadians wonder if there is still anything to fight for, whether there is still some noble cause. Well there is!! While there has always been a suspicion that there is inequality of treatment, these two incidents seem to confirm what had been suspected for a long time. The leadership in the country needs to provide us with some explanation. It would be unwise to allow these feelings of inequality to fester in the breasts of our people for too long.


5 Responses to “Are Barbadians being treated equally under the law?”

  1. Allegiance April 22, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    Since this story appeared an arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect. The Commissioner of Police sought to explain the procedure in which they engaged before issuing an arrest warrant for the suspect. The need for the Police to be careful is obvious since they would not wish to lose this case on a technicality. Nevertheless the question still has not been answered as to whether all Barbadians are treated the same way when offences have been committed. It seems that the answer is “no”.

  2. James April 27, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Well this was an interesting. One would be tempted to put the Barbadian outburst down to a belligerent feeling that Whites are treated better than Blacks Barbados. The truth is that Barbadians are angry about the unfair treatment that is meted out to them on a daily basis. No one is saying that the accused is not entitled to medidical treatment if he needs it, but why did it take so long to chrage him. The whole episode seems a bit fishy to me.

  3. The People's Democratic Congress April 28, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Yesterday Tuesday’s ejection by the Speaker of the House of Assembly of two senior BLP members from the so-called Lower House for the rest of the day’s sitting, and the events leading up to and surrounding it, are indeed greater more revolting chunks of evidence that both the DLP and the BLP must within the next 7 years be VOTED TO HELL OUT of the House of Assembly of this country by the vast majority of voters in Barbados, who, though, quite sensibly must – as time goes by – see the absolute necessity to give newer and far more serious people-centered parties a deserving chance to be elected to better help manage and run the political governmental affairs of this country.

    It is clear too that both these older very ramshackled parties are bent on running this country further and further into the ground, in almost every regard.

    Moreover, understand that over the years the many countless instances of gross and reckless DLP and BLP misrule would have been leading to the further despoilation and destruction of the political environmental landscape of this country.

    Let us take for instance the matter of CLICO’s deficit in regard of this statutory fund under the Insurance Act. This matter has been badly terribly mismanaged by both DLP and BLP Governments.

    Both DLP and BLP Governments allowed CLICO to get away with nonsense in regard of its racking up such a huge deficit in relationship to this Statutory Fund within the last five years or so.

    They knew all along that CLICO Holdings had racked up such a deficit on the Statutory Fund, and did therefore for reasons best known to themselves relish hiding such information from the public, until about January, 2009, when “all hell broke loose” in the affairs of its parent company in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Therefore, it can be properly argued by the PDC that had not for this international recession – which clearly exposed the depths to which its parent company in Trinidad and Tobago – C L Financial Co Ltd – was also being terribly mismanaged and maladministrated – this issue of the gross and reckless mismanagement by Parris and Co and by CL Financial of CLICO Holdings Barbados Ltd would not have emerged in the public’s domain in the way that it has been done so far.

    So, with regard to this matter wherefore CLICO Life has clearly been writing new insurance policies in stark contravention of the decision that was made by the Supervisor of Insurance – since August 2009 – to prohibit CLICO Life – and another CLICO Holdings Barbados subsidiary – British American Insurance Co Ltd – from writing any new business in this country, this said matter has to be seen by many individuals in some ways against the backdrop that had both DLP and BLP Governments in previous times seriously firmly arrested and brought this matter to a satisfactory state of operation, such a very very grave and serious one as this as CLICO Life continuing to unlawfully write new business without the permission of the Supervisor of Insurance new business would not have been controversially figuring now in the political arrangements of the country.

    As such these egregious DLP and BLP Governmental failings in respect of this latest major CLICO issue must be met by country wide mass popular behaviour that imports that this matter is a very grave critical one that no longer needs being dealt with any more by any more immature DLP and BLP hands.

    But must be dealt with fundamentally correctly by most concerned members of the public of Barbados acting in the fundamental interests of Barbados, and by any public institutions and offices whose responsibilities it is to take active roles on behalf of those others who are being affected by the mal-actions of CLICO Holdings in this matter, esp. given the fact that CLICO Life has gone and unlawfully written new business – when it ought not to have done so – and since this type of criminal misconduct has very clear and adverse implications for the rule of law in this country, for the financial security of the these new policy holders, and for the integrity of the functioning of aspects of the financial system in Barbados.

    Therefore, the Director of Public Prosecutions – as well as the Supervisor of Insurance – must act swiftly to investigate and prosecute any principals of CLICO Holdings Barbados that have been found to be in violation of the prohibition order that has been placed by the Supervisor of Insurance against the writing of new business by both CLICO Life and British American in Barbados.

    The Solicitor General must also sue CLICO Holdings in a court of law in Barbados as a means of getting such a court to properly judicially equitably protect the financial interests of these new and older policy holders and the financial interests of the financial instituions that might be affected by any actions pursuant to the unlawful writing of new business by CLICO Life.

    Surely, the days of the DLP and the BLP engaging in silly mindless theatrics inside and outside of the parliament of this country, in order to primarily score cheap political points, whilst many thousands of the poor masses and marginal middle classes suffer greatly adversely from the consequences of the status quo generally nationally, with some of them too invariably suffering from and fearing the worst of the many consequences of actions that suggest the POSSIBLE BANKRUPTCY of CLICO Holdings Barbados, must be tagged on here and elsewhere as being numbered.

    Clearly, such and other forms of action that we wish to see taken in regard of this CLICO matter and against CLICO Holdings come against the backdrop that the PDC is serious about seeing action being finally taken in the interest of the closing of the chapter on the history of CLICO operations in this country.

    Such desires of ours pale in profound and crystal clear contrast to the parliamentary motion that has been proposed by the BLP parliamentary party – wherefore – after correctly satisfactorily presenting some very grave and fundamental issues that are urgently, yes, without doubt – in need of being addressed as a matter of fundamental public importance by the House of Asssembly concerning this matter of CLICO proceeding to write new business without the permission of the Supervisor of Insurance – the drafters of this motion – and this is what is so disturbing and hypocritical about it – decided to end off such a proposed motion so weakly and so disappointingly by asking the House of Assembly to resolve that “the Minister of Finance takes urgent action to ensure that the aforementioned policy holders and financial institutions suffer no loss or prejudice as a result of policy holders buying these policies in good faith” – Excerpt courtesy of the April 27 2010 edition of the Barbados Today on line Newspaper.

    What a sick sad pathetic ending!! What a farce, joke and mockery – all in one put together!!!

    For, in this motion, it makes no mention of criminal civil action being urged to be taken against the Directors of CLICO Life for their wilful lawlessness and negligence, et al!!! And furthermore the question must be asked: which Minister of Finance would those of the BLP side within the House of Assembly want the rest of the House of Assembly members – who happen to be members of the DLP that itself got so much campaign finance from CLICO in the last election – to be appealing to – one who has already demonstrated a clear bias towards CLICO ? To the one who is already a partial DLP Prime Minister?

    What childish political pranks from the BLP leadership?

    Surely, there is more in the proverbial mortar than in the pestle!!

    So, Down with the Damned DLP and the Blasted BLP.



  1. Global Voices Online » Barbados: Child Dies in Shooting - April 21, 2010

    […] Corp. reports on a shooting in Barbados which left an eleven-year-old dead, prompting Allegiance to wonder if Barbadians are being treated equally under the law. Cancel this […]

  2. infinity downline - May 3, 2010

    infinity downline…

    Great post I really enjoyed reading it….

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