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NDP are hypocrites & dangerous over media criticisms!

- Media and talk show fraternities note calls by politicians for censorship as a threat to democracy
The controversial Minister for Education and Culture Myron V. Walwyn has been relentless in his ranting and raving against the local media houses especially one particular online news site. He recently claimed in Parliament that one online news site did a story to change the topic in the Territory, but never advised the public of the story and what the topic in the VI was at the time. The news site has since responded by questioning Mr Walwyn's mental stability. Photo: VINO/File
At-Large Representative with the ruling National Democratic Party, Honourable Archibald C. Christian is another critic of the media houses, but has stop short of calling for censorship. He called for an investigation of pro-government news site BVI Platinum News over the leak of a House of Assembly document. Photo: VINO/File
At-Large Representative with the ruling National Democratic Party, Honourable Archibald C. Christian is another critic of the media houses, but has stop short of calling for censorship. He called for an investigation of pro-government news site BVI Platinum News over the leak of a House of Assembly document. Photo: VINO/File
Julio 'Sam' Henry, one of the popular talk show hosts, is adamant that 'our politicians have no right to censor the media'. He said it was ironic too that government lambasted the media in the House of Assembly and then hours later turned around and asked for their support amid allegations of leaks of private offshore financial information. Photo: VINO/File
Julio 'Sam' Henry, one of the popular talk show hosts, is adamant that 'our politicians have no right to censor the media'. He said it was ironic too that government lambasted the media in the House of Assembly and then hours later turned around and asked for their support amid allegations of leaks of private offshore financial information. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Since the Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith-led National Democratic Party Government (NDP) took office in 2011 they have spent much time in the House of Assembly not working on solving the crime issues, improving education, completing the long awaited hospital in Road Town, along with the promised one for Virgin Gorda, or doing much about unemployment in the Virgin Islands (VI).

However, they have spent much time with nasty attacks on the media, albeit selective attacks on some media houses. The unprofessional ranting has been led by controversial Minister for Education and Culture Myron V. Walwyn, who has the record of the most attacks on the local media.

Media Fraternity Reacts

However, according to Mr Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, the media plays a very important role in the Virgin Islands. “The media is important everywhere, but I would say here in the BVI it is particularly useful because we are trying to develop our democratic institutions.”

He spoke of civil servants being able to use the media to highlight wrongdoings within the civil service without having their identities revealed, which he said was a good thing.

“You have some online stories that are able to express their [civil servants] point of view without disclosing identities. That is useful for people in the civil service to express their view point without being victimised or disciplined by their supervisors.”

The media, Mr Wheatley continued, allows for important issues to be brought to light and be discussed. “I think more than ever before our leaders are being held accountable for things they have said because at a click of a button now we can have access to information….”

The former At-Large Candidate told this news site that the VI has to be very careful about attempting to curtail the freedom of the press “because we could be stopping something that we feel is irresponsible and is not helpful yet the system that determines who is irresponsible may be subject to abuse by those in control.”

Mr Wheatley added that Ministers or Legislators should have “a broad back” and understand that there are a lot of criticisms that comes with the territory and should be taking it in stride and not react as soon as they are not comfortable with something in the media.

Meanwhile, talk show host Julio ‘Sam’ Henry believes the media in the VI should be completely independent. “Journalists or media outlets should be free to go where the story leads,” and said he would like to see more investigative journalism being done in the VI. He opined that there is a lack of that for fear of victimisation especially since most of the journalists are expatriates.

“I don’t feel that any of our politicians have any right to censor the media”. He said it was ironic too that the government lambasted the media in the House of Assembly and then hours later turned around and asked for their support amid allegations of leaks of private offshore financial information. “So I think with that we have to be very careful. The media has to be independent and should be able to access public information and the story should be told based on the information.”

Another talk show host who has now apparently turned friendly to the government of the day, Edmund Maduro, was adamant that “Government should never find itself attacking the media.”

On the issue of the International Financial Centre (IFC) calling a meeting of all media houses and asking for their support, Mr. Maduro stated; “I don’t agree with her (Elise Donovan). The media has a right to report everything….and as far as I am concerned I don’t see how the leaks could do any damage to the British Virgin Islands. I see it doing damage to the individual whose private business was disclosed”.

The talk show host and farmer said, “we must never ever, in any shape or form, try to muzzle the press. The day we start doing that we are going to end up with dictatorial behavior. The press must be free at all times. The press must also be willing and able to make any apologies if they err in any way but I do not see the press making a mistake in reporting stories [about the alleged leaks of private offshore financial information in the VI].”

Mr Maduro, who is also a government consultant, added that every Virgin Islander has a right to know what went on and the only way they are going to know that is by way of the press.

“I was at that meeting and I tried to speak and they tried to shut me up when there were other people who spoke steadily. What happened at that meeting is that they were not prepared to hear the comments and the questions genuinely from anybody. They brought us there to try to tell us what to say and no Government department can tell the press what to say. No authority should tell the press what to say. The moment we do that we are losing our democratic value,” Mr Maduro stated with clarity.

NDP are Hypocrites

Another local reporter for one of the online news sites, who spoke to us for this article on condition of anonymity, said “the NDP are hypocrites and dangerous for criticising the media as they used the media to spread propaganda to come to power. “How dare they now hit out at us?...it’s just a way of intimidating, to stop us from doing our jobs…I saw one Minister last week who was throwing words at me in a diplomatic way…but they have not seen anything yet especially on the ports project,” the reporter said with a smile.

NDP Political Attacks

While the now Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) was in power they never attacked the media or talk show hosts. The then VIP had to endure well over five talk shows dedicated to being critical of the then government, along with many anti-government stories.

The incumbent Education and Culture Minister Hon. Walwyn had already, earlier in his term in office, called for the censoring of the media. His position came under fire from veteran legislator Hon. J. Alvin Christopher.

At-Large Member Archibald C. Christian called a few weeks ago for BVI Platinum news to be investigated over the leak of a House of Assembly report.

59 Responses to “NDP are hypocrites & dangerous over media criticisms!”

  • POPE (16/04/2013, 14:55) Like (19) Dislike (38) Reply
    well saw the NDP going down hill fast
  • ann (16/04/2013, 15:02) Like (15) Dislike (5) Reply
    Someone needs to discipline deeds NDP attack dogs
    • virgin gorda (16/04/2013, 15:15) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      IT'S NOT WHAT YOU DO, BUT HOW YOU DO IT. That is the number one fault with the Government
    • mmmm (16/04/2013, 15:21) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      The word is "these", not deeds.
    • Deport Massive (17/04/2013, 00:19) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      ............incompetence at its highest proof that the govt is disfunctional and the UK should take over
    • zrod (17/04/2013, 08:00) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      The Education Minister is a good man he means well but he needs to lay low for a while... Ha!

  • . (16/04/2013, 15:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Talk is cheap
    • Shara Parlin (16/04/2013, 15:11) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
      The damage to this nation is going beyond repair and by the end of this decade we will be worse off than the refugees in Uganda if the NDP keep this up. we have a constitution that everyone should strive to protect especilly elected memebers ...but these new jack believes they have the right to cut up the constitution to fit them....Lord Help us!
    • george w. touch (16/04/2013, 15:34) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      Even with its shortcomings, the press in the BVI, particularly in recent times, has kept the focus on the real issues plaguing this society — crime, poor education, poor health care, water woes....so give them a break
    • Virgin Son (16/04/2013, 17:58) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Man you tola media should keep them frustrated for ever
      • lucky dobay (17/04/2013, 08:33) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        A very sad day in our country when a Parliamentarian/Minister who was elected to make laws can easily break them..LOL

        This must be a banana Republic!

  • shelia (16/04/2013, 15:03) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply

    to investigate a leak??? archie go sit down you old id*ot

    • TO: Mr. Walwyn (16/04/2013, 18:04) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
      Minister of Education spend your time knowing: Education should be our main priority at this point. Our people are losing because we are not educating them...the country will continue to lose because our people are ignorant. The definition of ignorant/ignorance is literally: 'Lack of education'.

      • Princess (17/04/2013, 13:53) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        Lack of Education? If the children wants to learn they would learn..The education system should not be blamed for children not learning..The parents pays a big roll in this to. I am from the old school and we never had equipments or as many teachers as now and we learnt. We had no choice but to learn.
      • wise-up (17/04/2013, 20:35) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
        well said; he needs to focus on what we are paying him to do; he want to be the media-police....he need to focus on making sure the children of the virgin islander gets the best education and better conditions at our schools;
  • ooooo (16/04/2013, 15:04) Like (26) Dislike (29) Reply
    who myron think he is?
  • ---------------- (16/04/2013, 15:17) Like (0) Dislike (10) Reply
    Myron is prone to using "strong arm tactics" just to get at VINO...give it up my yute
    • she the cat mother (16/04/2013, 18:11) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Mr Premier please stop giving the press reasons to write unflattering stories about your government by controling these ministers. The Pen is mightier than the sword and if you continue to give the press reasons to write unflattering articles they have no choice but to do so.
  • farmer brown (16/04/2013, 15:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    why do they hate the media so much? Are they all afraid they will discover something about dem all?
  • DarkVader (16/04/2013, 15:23) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Entertainment on a daily basis by clowns is not what The People voted for.

    Neither did The People vote for continuous attacks on Press Freedom.

    Will these jokers ever Work for The People?
    • well done (16/04/2013, 18:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I ask that the NDP conduct yourselfs in such a manner that the press will have no choice but to write positive reviews about you.

    • DarkVader (18/04/2013, 12:43) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      How about finding your own blog name!! and stop hiding behind other persons own like myself...typical critic, ooooo and the rest alike...
  • I say.... (16/04/2013, 15:27) Like (9) Dislike (27) Reply
    While free press is fundamental to a democratic society, when media houses and hosts use their informative power as a tool to divide a country, spread mayhem, gossip and hearsay, then we must really wonder about the purpose of that media house/host and national pride. Journalism and reporting is a discipline, an art. Not everyone that appears to write/speak well can call themselves a journalist/radio or tv host. It takes more than that. It's called social responsibility in the field.
    • Pffft (16/04/2013, 17:34) Like (1) Dislike (51) Reply
      I am not sure if it’s just me but this behavior of bashing the media and wanting censorship seem to be restricted to three persons, Mark, Myron and Archie.

      Ronnie, Dr. Pickering, Fahie, Fraser, Deloris, Dr. Smith, Alvin and even Malone they do not displace this kind of immature behavior
  • for real (16/04/2013, 15:28) Like (16) Dislike (15) Reply
    The media is blessed to have VINO, a warrior fiercely committed to protecting its freedom
    • margaret thatcher (17/04/2013, 07:14) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      This administration is worse than I thought and it would appear to lack depth.
  • Janet Williams (16/04/2013, 15:30) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Today, press freedom and integrity is being challenged by the highest office of the land. While I too share a view that unprofessional partisanship exists, particularly in radio, that does not justify intimidation. The media is the people's watchdog on those who govern. It is a vital institution of democratic governance. Already the hand of government is felt in too many unnecessary places".....
  • Music (16/04/2013, 15:36) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Were it not for their vigilance, so many important things could have slipped by an unknowing population. For just these reasons, the media must be unbridled
  • Yes (16/04/2013, 16:15) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The ndp is fighting a loosing battle against the press
    • bvi all the way (16/04/2013, 18:17) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      vino we support you please keep being a A well-written and unbiased news paper...
  • tola (16/04/2013, 16:21) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cant wait 2 vote out Archie an I am a ndp
  • Vance (16/04/2013, 17:36) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oh god when I saw Myron face I almost run for my life!
  • pckb (16/04/2013, 18:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a sorry situation Mr. Myron, has created for himself and the BVI. And no amount of huffing and puffing, rants, tantrums and generally angry pronouncements in the House of Assembly will make anything better for him. In fact he's making a bad situation worse with his really quite remarkably poor behavior.
  • legal team (16/04/2013, 18:33) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI Constitution:At the Court at Buckingham Palace,on the 13th day of JUNE 2007-Present was the QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY IN COUNCIL. And there at Buckingham,Her Majesty,in Exercise of the powers conferred upon Her by sections 5 and 7 of the West Indies Act,1962 (a) and all other powers enabling Her to do so. was pleased,by and with the ADVICE of Her PRIVY COUNCIL,to order,and it was ORDERED-as [THE VIRGIN ISLANDS CONSTITUTION ORDER 2007-The Constituion of the Virgin Islands]
    Her Majesty-The Queen declared in section 23 (1-2)of the Constitution:She said "(1) No person shall be hindered in the Enjoyment of his or her freedom of expression".She further declared "" (2) A persons's freedom of expression includes freedom to hold opinion without interference,freedom to receive information and ideas without interference,freedom to DISSEMINATE information and ideas without interference (WHETHER TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY or to any person or CLASS of persons) and freedom from interference with his or her correspondence or other means of communication"".This declaration by Her Majesty,to the people of the BVI,was approved by Her Privy Council!Her Majesty instruct me that I can BLOGG freely:We need the Media to expose lawlessness in high places: However,and notwithstanding freedom of expression,the Media does have a responsibility of PROTOCOL as alluded to By The Honorable Member of Her Majesty's House of Assembly-MR Archie Christian.It is my Constitional Opinion to say " I agree with the Hon.Member-Christian,that the media,should follow protocol,like in the case,the Hon.Member referred to.""His criticism was very constructive and unbias: I APPLAUD the Hon Member for his courage. He did not and could not call for sensorship of the MEDIA,but call on the media to recognise PROTOCAL.I see nothing wrong with the statement..
    • mp (17/04/2013, 07:20) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Dr. Smith!!! a wah yuh a duh? wah mek yuh not know tis time to shuffle di deck
    • 3 Sides (17/04/2013, 08:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I read your remarks and agree, however if freedom of speach and opinion is such liberty of the people why all the negative backlash when one voice their views or opinion through free speach? I think people don't respect themselves muchless other people's views or opinions. Hence Politicians, Gay Rights Advocates et al can all have a field day in legal court and the "court of public opinion" because of a fundamental flaw in the pretense of "Freedom of Speach". When the dust settle and all scores are tallied, only what God ordain will stand.
  • . (16/04/2013, 20:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am continually impressed with the level of reporting by the online media in the BVI. Not like the old days when the only paper published only items prepared by and for the government. I am also continually impressed by the level of discourse on 'deeds blogs.' Spelling and grammar and annoying habits aside, BVIslanders are wide awake with eyes wide open. I am so proud of my BVIslanders.
  • critic (16/04/2013, 21:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wasn't it the same media who helped them to get in?
  • Give it some thought (17/04/2013, 07:58) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    The issue is the NDP has not started to work for us as they is still conducting audits of the ministries trying to dig up things on the VIP.... maybe the audits and reports will be completed by the next election.
  • Confucius (17/04/2013, 09:04) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    The fact that Mr. Walwyn would like nothing better than to muzzle the media (and in turn the bloggers) is pretty frightening. If you look at the countries that support media censorship, you will quickly be able to identify the "type of leaders" who promote this measure.

    China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Libya, Uzbekistan, Syria, Belarus, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Burma and Turkmenistan ~ just to name a few.

    Most of these countries are dictatorships lead by tyrannical and sometimes downright crazy people!

    Is this really what you want Mr. Walwyn? Do you really want to be identified with the likes of Kim Jong Il, Muammar Qaddafi, Fidel and Raoul Castro, Hugo Chavez, Than Shwe, Isaias Afewerk, Saparmurat Niyazov, Islam Karimov, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Bashar al-Assad and Aleksandr Lukashenk?

    Each of these "leaders" have in the past or currently do support and employ media censorship.

    I'll leave it up to all individuals to draw their own conclusions as to what this says about those who would like to "control" the media. The fact that Mr. Walwyn has himself not been censored by his own party members is rather telling as well.
  • GoonSquad (17/04/2013, 13:54) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Struppsss, these stories about the government and the press getting wash out now man...geezzeee..move on now man..
    • how long? not long? (17/04/2013, 23:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      How long can this government wear the albatross that is MW around its neck?
  • TCI (17/04/2013, 18:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Myron seems like a nice kid, but I have to tell you the truth, that boy ain't too smart.

  • willis (18/04/2013, 08:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am afraid the people is beginnning to loose confidence in the Government. I would be surprise if NDP survives the next general ecletion. They may have the country at heart but the people feel they cannot be trusted. That is why they are falling out of favour with the people.
    • Interesting (18/04/2013, 09:58) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well because half of them and their other half not from here they trying to bring that wicked divisive politics that has killed the other Caribbean islands to the BVI. This is not Jamaica, St. Vincent, Antigua or St. Kitts/Nevis we have our own political culture so that why the NDP gone to the dogs and taking the country with it!!!!!
      • GoonSquad (18/04/2013, 12:41) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        You are such a jackDonkey with your blog it aint funny. Ok man from the Matrix..cause i guess that is what Tortola is for you, not an island....struppssss
  • pope john (18/04/2013, 11:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Myron, most times putting his big paw into his loud mouth.
  • 1 (18/04/2013, 12:07) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    The problem we face as a people is, we had 40 years of VIP dictatorship, Now democracy seems strange and wrong, because we never tasted democracy and its freedom, and dont know any better. Sad but True
  • manhunt (19/04/2013, 11:14) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    PEOPLE POWER IS ALL WE HAVE LEFT
  • justise (19/04/2013, 21:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    funny man needs to stop pandering to the idiotic class with this silly media bashing


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