Notes From The Margin

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”


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.



  1. You still haven’t commented on the fact that the “new blogs” were obviously established by the same person(s) who run BFPE and made all the death threats against Loveridge, Bourne and others. Do you deny this?

    Freedom of speech HAS limits but you chose to provide your support to people who threatened death.

    You have ruined your blog for the sake of BFPE. Too bad.

    Comment by Anonymous — February 7, 2008 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  2. My anonymous friend who posts from anonymouse. I have my suspicions as to who YOU are…..

    I have dealt with that issue on at least three occasions, I have also spelt out what stick will be applied to the new blogs if they fail to respond to the carrot of being on my blog roll.

    If you believe that NFTM is ruined by standing up for diversity of opinion, then you are entitled to your own opinion, I can’t say that I share it.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — February 7, 2008 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  3. Marginal, this is your blog. A lot of people appreciate the way you handle it I am sure. I for one like that there is no conjecture and no insulting language allowed.

    Comment by Anonymous — February 7, 2008 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

  4. Marginal~Let us get this straight. You believe that to list 3 blogs which are obviously owned by BFPE is you giving outlet to freedom of expression? This is the BFPE that caused both BFP and BU to have to moderate the blogs, this is the same BFPE which hurled invective and abuse of the worst kind at BU and BFP and commenters, this is the same BFPE that threatened the lives of Adrian Loveridge and Ian Bourne, this is the same BFPE which has a complaint filed against it with the Police? We could go on but we have made our point? We did not want to delist you but we feel that we had to take a stand against BFPE for using foul means to disrupt what the Bajan blogosphere was trying to do.

    Your right however that it is your blog and you can do as you please with it. At least you are proving the point that you stand for something.

    Comment by David — February 7, 2008 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  5. Oh too much! Marginal is all concerned about “diversity of opinion” when the diversity is threatening to rape Mrs. Loveridge and burn down the family business.

    If I threaten to rape while wearing a red hat, but then change to a blue hat and promise not to threaten to rape, Mr. Marginal will let me back in! Oh Goody! What hat shall I wear today?

    Comment by Diversity of Opinion — February 7, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  6. Marginal:

    I am now satisfied that you are a young person, who is struggling to live up to an ideal which is really difficult in the type of society that Barbados,sadly, happens to be. Don’t let the buggers get you down! That is good advice that I got from my son who is a doctor, and who was not being homophobic when he gave it, but was, probably concerned with the potential dangers of letting something into an organ that was designed to let something else out. The moral of this is that one must understand the organ on which one is playing. Indeed, one must understand that while both make music there is a difference between the organ and the pee-ano.

    Freedom is not a cloistered virtue! Nor is it an unmixed blessing! Every society has to determine the amount of freedom that is consistent with its continuing existence over the long haul. But this still raises the question of who is to decide. Democratic societies function on the basis of both “exit”, and “voice”, and people quickly learn how to speak with their feet.

    As a person who has always attempted to pitch his contributions at a higher level, my advice is to keep on keeping on.

    Comment by Linchh — February 8, 2008 @ 3:36 am | Reply

  7. David,

    In the context of a change of government, I think that giving opposition supporters a forum for the responsible expression of their views has value. I’m taking a risk that rehabilitation is possible. If I’m wrong, they will not be on my blogroll for long.

    Perhaps we are both doing what we feel we have to.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — February 8, 2008 @ 7:25 am | Reply

  8. David, I simply don’t agree. While the three blogs that are “obviously owned by BFPE” use the same format, they don’t appear to be identical. BFPE are obviously a bunch of juvenile, partisan thugs with nothing better to do than to threaten innocent people. I’ve looked at Cat Piss & Pepper from time to time and it’s much more reasoned, and has none of the sort of racism or idiocy that BFPE do. Why not give ’em a chance ?

    Comment by nonsense — February 8, 2008 @ 10:56 am | Reply

  9. BFPE is behind the “new” blogs. That was shown a dozen different ways when they were launched. The “new” blogs are all run by the same person or persons. Perhaps they will put up a dozen all trying to pretend they are independent of each other and unrelated to BFPE. It changes nothing.

    Marginal: you KNOW they are from the same source because they stupidly used the same IPs to post comments on everyone’s blogs announcing these new blogs. They didn’t have enough smarts to bring them online gradually and it was BFPE that announced them to the world… ergo: they are associated with BFPE.

    You were so anxious to support BFPE for the longest time even though they were making threats. You let it go on and you linked with them until the last. Now you are part of the new deception even when you know the truth.


    Comment by Anonymous — February 9, 2008 @ 2:05 am | Reply

  10. Actually these blogs were revealed on BU to be run by ********** son of **********


    Now either you are doing a mischief or David has removed the post. We can’t find this fact that you refer to on BU. We’re not publishing people’s names just on your say so. However if you can supply the link to BU, we’ll allow the link to the story.

    Sorry there has just been too much wholesale abuse of innocent people’s names on the blogs. We’re not having it here.


    Comment by Anonymous — February 9, 2008 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  11. My anonymous friend,

    I think you are missing the point I am trying to make. Read back through the several posts I have made on this issue.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — February 9, 2008 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

  12. “I’m taking a risk that rehabilitation is possible.”

    After threatening murder and rape and arson against, YOU intend to “rehabilitate” these BFPE people and let them continue anonymously? Surely your perspective is naive or suspiciously in sympathy with BFPE. I don’t buy what you are selling. Nice try. You have ruined your blog and your credibility.

    Comment by Anonymous — February 11, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

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