Notes From The Margin

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 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.



  1. Agreed !

    Comment by Anonymous — January 26, 2008 @ 12:31 am | Reply

  2. Marginal I don’t know why you have listed all the blogs run by BFPE on your sidebar. Here is what BFPE left over at Free Press:

    Are you part of it too?

    BFP is pure S — H — I — T — E.

    But these blogs are NICE!

    b a j a n . w o r d p r e s s . c o m

    b a j a n f r e e p r e s s . w o r d p r e s s . c o m

    c a t p i s s a n d p e p p e r . w o r d p r e s s . c o m

    n o t e s f r o m t h e m a r g i n . w o r d p r e s s . c o m

    s t a n d p i p e . w o r d p r e s s . c o m

    Comment by DisneyWorldLover — January 26, 2008 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  3. I agree… I thought this was a very weak argument posted by the BFP

    Comment by Confused 888 — January 26, 2008 @ 11:46 am | Reply

  4. In other words you are promoting filth. These are the same people who continue vilify Adrian Loverige. Didn,t your blog publish an article in support of Adrian Loverige effort to get the authorities to respond?

    Comment by BU & BFP Commenter — January 26, 2008 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  5. BU & BFP commentator,

    no I am not promoting filth, I am promoting the responsible use of the freedom that comes from having a blog. There are two separate issues here. BFPE’s behaviour and BFP’s behaviour. The fact that BFPE is a troll does nothing to make BFP a saint. I can quite easily condemn both of them.

    As for the new sites I have put them on my blog roll in the hope that they contribute something positive. If they go the direction of BFPE I will remove them. Unlike BFP dissenting opinions ARE actually welcomed here, once they are expressed responsibly and people are prepared to be challenged in a civil manner.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — January 26, 2008 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

  6. I know you did not just write that filth. Commonsense clearly show that all those blogs are owned by the same people, the same people who threatened Adrian Loverige and spammed BU and BFP for several months now. Yet you encourage it? You should be ashame to call yourself a blog in Barbados.

    Comment by BU&BFP commentator — January 26, 2008 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  7. Not sure if I agree with you on this one Marginal. I suspect that it was both racial and intentional. I also very much like BFP’s no-tolerance stance on any racial issues. However, I do agree that BFP have gone overboard on this, slapped down dissenting opinion and generally behaved a little arrogantly. I’ll personally give the guy the benefit of the doubt and mark it down as the effect of power (readership in the case of BFP) with a limited notion of responsibility (e.g. self restraint).

    Comment by james — January 27, 2008 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  8. Well, I am not basing my comment on what BFP wrote. I read the article in the Nation and I thought it was in poor taste. Marginal I think you are being really blind here to the nature/natures of the article. It is quite clear that A. Brandford is no fan of D. Thompson. I did not see the racism since I never look for that type of thing in people.
    However, BFP is like everyone else, entitled to an opinion

    Comment by Anonymous — January 27, 2008 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  9. All these new blogs are part of the BFPE group any fool can see that. You are promoting them Marginal. That is not a wise decision and you lost much of your credibility as a result. It looks to me like you are either allowing yourself to be used or really are part of that group.

    Comment by DisneyWorldLover — January 27, 2008 @ 10:01 pm | Reply

  10. Well let’s see here.

    IF (and I stress IF) the three new blogs represent an attempt by BLP supporters to engage the blogosphere in a CONSTRUCTIVE manner, then I think that is worth encouraging. In my opinion there is a paucity of diverse opinion on the blogosphere right now. It is remarkable how a thread that started with a criticism of a specific action by BFP has been turned to accusations that I somehow am on “the other side”, that somehow my “credibility” is under threat, that I should “be ashamed to call myself a blog in Barbados”.

    My decision is that the three new blogs are ON the blogroll, if they go the direction of BFPE then they will be OFF the blog roll. It is my fervent hope that they develop into something more than the crap that BFPE spews. I am prepared to risk it as there is a larger issue at stake here.

    To anonymous on comment #8, yes it’s clear that Mr. Brandford is no friend of David Thompson. His bias is quite obvious. However that is why these columns are considered to be OPINION. Just as BFP is entitled to an opinion, so is he. I have a real difficulty with the smear of racism on what is (in my opinion admittedly) non existant evidence.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — January 28, 2008 @ 8:31 am | Reply

  11. Must have been my mistake Marginal. I thought Brandford was the Nation’s political correspondent and that this would carry some responsibility. Therefore I thought he would take a more evenhanded approach in his writings. I think he should be given a different title or just given a column.
    Well maybe I am thinking too much. Hmm, now there is a thought.

    Comment by Anonymous — January 28, 2008 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

  12. Perhaps you are right on that score (Brandford getting a column). But being biased doesn’t make him guilty of being racist or deserving of being branded as one.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — January 29, 2008 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  13. I agree with you on the racist call since I did not interpret it like that either.

    Comment by Anonymous — January 30, 2008 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

  14. Most of the time I can’t handle BFP and their crazy rhetoric. But I admire you for continuing to try to counter it with clear thinking and logic, though I suspect you are fighting a losing battle. 🙂

    Comment by titilayo — January 31, 2008 @ 11:08 am | Reply

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