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Here is NEWS that was mailed to my readers on August 8, 1998:-

August 8, 1998
Bajan News

In front page headlines yesterday, the nation reports the firing of
350 workers at the Royal Westmoreland Golf and Country Club.

Management, fed-up with a seven day strike of one-third of it's staff,
fired the picketing workers and ordered them off the compound.... with two
dozen Special Branch and uniformed police officers assisted by the Company's
own Security staff... the gates were locked... but even from outside the
gates, protesters did not let up, demanding to be let back inside to collect
tools left behind.

The Barbados Workers Union (BWU), our most powerful trade union, is expected
to have a lot to say, in due course, about this high-handed behaviour.

Here is what I have to say... the average Bajan cares NOTHING about
Royal Westmoreland... where the cheapest property is around a million

Barbados is now a millionaires playground and this is so because
it is believed that we are docile people with a stable government....
we cannot let this be at the expense of our pride and dignity.

The Bajan politician has a serious dilemma, trying to please the masses
and play to the rich maguffies at the same time. Trying to avoid "a noise"
that would upset the tourist industry.

These construction workers are building MILLION DOLLAR homes... at least
that is what they SELL for... the investors want maximum returns, don't they
and it is certainly in managements interest to build these lovely homes
as CHEAPLY as possible, see where I am coming from.

These workers are distressed over their conditions of work AND the way
they are being TREATED (like animals perhaps ?).

Even if the workers demands could not be satisfied immediately, the onus is
on management to make the workers feel that they
(the management) CARE and are trying to resolve the matter. They must make
the workers feel that they (the workers) are IMPORTANT... that they are
NEEDED... this they have clearly failed to do.

This final high-handed stroke, just proves the point... they are expendable.
get rid of 'em... and find a set of people who are so desperate... they will
work without a fuss... a set of people who "know their
place" and will NOT be filled with any imaginings of their own self-worth...
or any such "DELUSIONS of grandeur".

They don't want us to "emancipate ourselves from mental slavery"... this will
be expensive for them... they will actually have to SHARE with us, to
keep us happy and satisfied, or find some other country and people to

I say give 'em hell down there at "Royal" Westmoreland... make management pay
up generously... and enrich the pockets of as many "common" Bajans as

13 hurt as stadium ramp collapses, 4 patients missing after Psychiatric
Hospital fire... and 7 stabbed enroute to Spring Garden.

In case you had friends involved, here are the names of the injured, all
were jamming in the Powerx4 band, Brown Sugar section.

Amina Hyland            Kim Odle
Carla Springer          Lyle Antoine
Dawn Franklin-Julien    Felicia Merrit
Jackie Franklin-Sealy   Julia DeLabastide
Tracy Carter            Ria Muhammed
Annette Cole            Kim Derrick
Evanda Ward

Most serious were, Carla Springer (broken ankle), Dawn Franklin-Julien
(sprained ankle) and Jacki Franklin-Sealy (injured back and bruised ribs)

There may be Insurance compensation for the injured, in the ramp incident.

Just after 3 p.m., signs of smoke could be seen coming from the Psychiatric
Hospital.. and patients could be seen having their own celebration on the
grounds of the hospital as they jumped to the music of the passing sound
trucks !!! the Nation (Tuesday) carried a dramatic photo with revellers
in full swing.. while the hospital burns in the background.... the revellers
shown clothed in costumes reminiscent of ancient Rome...

The burning of the hospital has brought to light the deplorable conditions
that pertained at that institution... the operation of which, had not changed
much since medieval days... including the Anglican Hymn and
"God save the Queen" before the evening meal... troublesome inmates
incarcerated in "cages with iron bars" and hosed down with a fire hose to
quiet them down and/or clean them up. The call to bring the
institution in line with modern day practices has been renewed.

Temporary hardship remains at the overcrowded institution as a result of the
fire, which has only increased the overcrowding.

Of the stabbings, the most serious were 19-year-old Dwight Bowen of
Salmonds, St. Lucy (stabbed in the abdomen) 24-year-old Adrian Watts of
Winsor Road, Bank Hall (stabbed in the lower back) and 17-year-old Shurland
Lavier of Hill Road, Bank Hall.  Police are, as usual, investigating......

Please, Bag, save calypso

In "letters to the editor", reader Eric Thorpe is appealing to
calypsonian, Red Plastic Bag, who he believes can write excellent lyrics,
based on his past success... to save the nation and the future of Calypso..

In his opinion, there was NOTHING this year, NOTHING NEW... only re-hashed
"wuk-up" songs with crude lyrics that insult women...

Instead of getting "Down Behind The Truck", he says.... we should GET IN..
.. get in and DRIVE this Crop Over madness from our island... which only
stresses movements below the waistline and not in the cranium
(i.e. progress).

Eric also wonders why a certain radio station finds it necessary to use a
"homosexual voice" to advertise a television commercial and to highlight
Crop Over activities.

He says, we must not advertise Barbados as a "homosexual nation", for
that is what Trinis think we are (they believe all male Barbadians are from
St. James).

(Editor's note - Since boy days, we always heard to watch out for the
"bullers" from St. James - I wonder why? - but boys from St. James used to
get tease bad, bad)

What is happening to our Crop Over Festival
In "Letters to the Editor", J. Pat Thorington says she overheard a cassette
tape being played by one of her son's acquaintances... a dub song with the
most vile, vulgar and profane words imaginable and she believes that this
type of music is what the youngsters listen to when they congregate without
adult supervision.

She is therefore blaming the artistes, for the lewd  and vulgar behaviour
being exhibited by our young people.

In particular, she singles out Alison Hinds, and the song where she
encourages her audience to "ignore the wuk-up police and juk"

(editor's note - the wuk-up police are now a feature of Crop Over, their
function is to stop excessively vulgar or obscene incidents, and to protect
those persons who don't want to be "wukked-up on" from having an "unpleasant
experience" - to wit, a "strange" person attaching themselves to their
"bumper" and attempting to go for a "ride" without their invitation or

and she asks, what is really our culture ??? and where has the original
concept of Crop Over gone ???

FUNGUS at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital

They are now finding FUNGUS growing in the nasty air-conditioning system at
the QEH... and the doctors and specialists are getting on bad, bad, bad..

They are appealing for an end to political rhetoric and bureaucratic
bungling at that institution.

Now is definitely NOT a good time to get sick in Barbados.

What's up with the SEWAGE PROJECT ???
So asks Senator John Boyce, in Senate Chamber on Wednesday..... and wouldn't
we all like to know !

I heard, through the grapevine, that the "Expiry Date" on the pipes that
have been used is very likely to occur BEFORE the project is ever finished..
and even if it IS ever finished.... due to "certain technical problems" that
were never considered initially.. it  cannot and will not ever function as
expected or intended.

It seems to me that Government was taken for a very long and expensive ride..
by "foreign" engineering concern, who either did not know what they were
doing or else deliberately set out to "con" our nation.

One thing is certain, it is a political "hot potato", and a source of
embarrassment to the administration.

Of white heroes and calypsos
Ella Hoyos is of the view that the question of race and racism in this
country will not be addressed by the witty phrasing of a few calypsonians

Indeed, the Mighty Gabby's most recent song on racism has caused a furore
Gabby has defended his position by saying he has never got in trouble for
singing about the Opposition or the Prime Minister, so why all the hue and
cry now he singing 'bout racism ????

The song, is seen by whites, as extremely hostile to them.

Ella says race problems will be fixed when

1. whites believe that blacks can excel in business and blacks believe
   that whites can contribute to good government.

2. there are white teachers, white policemen and white civil servants

3. the brightest black children are not pushed into the professions
   but challenged to create enterprises for the future

4. people of similar interest and social standing, regardless of color,
   invite each other into their homes to socialize.

5. we are more concerned about the character of our childrens friends than
   the color of their skin.

6. when all Barbadians can agree that a person who deserves to be a national
   hero can be recognized, whatever the color of their skin

Arthur: No fear of Backlash
Prime Minister Owen Arthur says he is not bothered about any fall-out with
Barbadians who were opposed to the recent visit by Cuban President
Dr. Fidel Castro.

"Barbados wants to develop constructive relations with Cuba based upon
recognition of our differences but also on mutual respect," Arthur said
at a Press conference, "if it means that some Barbadians want to oppose
the government for doing it, well that's the nature of adversarial

He went on to say that the situation should be viewed in the present day
context... not in the context of cold wars that have long ended...

"We cannot  contemplate a future in which Cuba does not play a more
significant role in Caribbean affairs...." he said.

Asked if Barbados feared a backlash  from embracing Cuba, Arthur said,
"There is always the possibility of a backlash, but I do not believe that we
should be intimidated into not doing what is right for fear of reprisals.
International terrorism thrives on the strengh of people being afraid to
take principled positions. We are sensitive to the fact that terrorism is not
a dead matter, but we have to do what is right no matter what the

Let 'em have it, Owen... from the least to the greatest... all ah we ain'
taking no s___ from NOBODY....  sight !

Well.. that's it for this week folks... ah gone.

Ooh, I forgot to mention, the RIOTERS of 1937... you remember those fellas
that caused the authorities some trouble back then... well now, they are seen
as heroes... they have their very own monument... you can even see it, right
now, in the NEW PHOTO area... they have been OFFICIALLY PARDONED of all dey
crimes... so I guess there is hope for all ah we.... REBELS DO BAD, DEN !

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