Notes From The Margin

February 28, 2008

Hartley Henry Tries To Blame BLP For Rihanna Tribute Mess Up

We REALLY hadn’t wanted to blog on the whole Rihanna/KB Kleen Fiasco, we had hoped that much like the whole “hairdo” controversy it would fade in to the general background noise of life in Barbados. However an op ed column by Government campaign strategist Hartley Henry has brought KB Kleen to Margin.

We really had no problem in how he started the column…

Owing to commitments abroad, I was not among the multitude, but I got a “blow by blow” account of the Independence Square megaevent. It is because I heard and understood clearly what transpired that I am calling on the critics to “ease up off KB Kleen“. I accept his unconditional apology.

Today, he stands ten feet taller in my sight.

So far we agree whole heartedly with him. Kevin Hinds has done the correct thing, clearly there was a screw up. Rather than trying to defend it he apologised unreservedly. We should accept it and move on.


Then Mr. Henry goes on to attempt to build a case that Kevin Hinds is the end result of years of mismanagement of the cultural industries under the BLP.

The Ministry of Culture and its offspring the National Cultural Foundation have been rudderless for close to two decades. Mediocrity abounded during a period when success was measured in terms of gate receipts and tourist arrivals.(edit)

Now here’s our problem with this…
An MC does not run or produce a show, whoever the producer of the Rihanna tribute was must bear the ultimate responsibility for EVERYTHING that happened at the event (good and bad). We know that WHATEVER the cultural environment of the past 14 years that there is a history of successful events of this type, so clearly the skill exist on island to produce “world class” shows. If the emcee was out of line, the producer or stage manager should have taken him in hand immediately and reigned him in.
Kevin Hinds has done the honorable thing, yes this was a screw up, he acknowleged it, apologised and let the matter rest. The producers of the show have stayed hidden in the background and left Kevin to twist in the wind. They should come forward and take responsibility for what happened on the night of the tribute, apologise and then we can all move on.
To have a government spin doctor attempt to shift that responsibility to a political opponent who had no involvement in the event is not only ridiculous, it’s insulting.
Mr. Henry should know better.


  1. Totally agree with you. I thought the same thing, the producer of the show should have called KB aside and tactfully asked him to tone down a bit. In my opinion, they could have done some damage control early the next morning by issuing some kind of a statement and the show, especially KB, would not have received the bashing it got.

    Comment by Evergreen — February 29, 2008 @ 8:29 am | Reply

  2. Henry should realise that once you are in government, you have to take responsibility.

    Not quite as easy as being in opposition is it ?

    Comment by Getting it off my chest.... — February 29, 2008 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  3. I surprise dat lickmout lou din seh nuttin bout it bein d blp fault too. Dum seem to fuget dat de dems is de guvverment now

    Comment by cattle — February 29, 2008 @ 9:43 pm | Reply

  4. Marginal, I think that you have missed the point of Hartley Henry’s article. Obviously he accepts the proposition that when a government is power it is responsible for the total environmental context of everything. This is true of the BLP, as it will be of the DLP. The point is that by winning the government on Jan. 15, 2008, the DLP must, and will accept full responsibility of everything that happens after that date.

    Comment by Linchh — March 3, 2008 @ 2:39 am | Reply

  5. Linchh,

    I think you have missed MY point. Whatever the policies of the BLP administration with regard to culture, there is a history in Barbados where many of these shows were produced at a very high standard. CLEARLY the skills exist on island to do better than what was done in this case.

    My secondary point was that the person who SHOULD take responsibility (the executive producer) of the show has not yet come forward to do so.

    This was not something that needed to be politicized, and Mr. Henry’s attempt to do so just looks like he is trying to cover for the producers.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — March 3, 2008 @ 8:12 am | Reply

  6. Marginal:

    My name is “Linchh” not “Lynch”. It has absolutely no connection with Barney, or blarney, or even Muscle Marys. What’s in a name, you might ask. Well “stinking missy will still smell, no matter what you call it. Incidentally, this seems to be what we are learning about the RHOSA’s use of consultants.

    Comment by Linchh — March 3, 2008 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  7. My apologies,

    I have edited the original comment.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — March 3, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

  8. Your good friend Hartley was in the paper today saying that “they just HAD to take a private jet to Trinidad, “imagine how embarrased we would be if LIAT was delayed????”

    Other leaders of the Caribbean have been managing just fine without private jets but somehow Thompson doesn’t seem to be able to manage it. MARGINAL PICKS UP HIS EDITORIAL PEN – Play nice and be civil

    Comment by Anonymous — March 6, 2008 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

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