Privy Council Rules

It has just been announced that the Privy Council has ruled against the media ban on reporting about BHC.  No doubt, things are going to be interesting over the coming weeks.

Of particular interest:

They also awarded the costs, which could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, against the Government.

Awesome.  Even more of our taxpayer money has gone to poor use.

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Mike TaylorvanzvanzsilencedogoodDenis Pitcher Recent comment authors
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creg
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creg

Why is government paying the Legal costs, I thought this was an action taken by individuals to try and cover up some actions by individuals. The tax payer should most definatley not be covering the fees

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Nope, the action taken by individuals (Dr. Brown) was to sue for libel. The media gag order was undertaken by our government on behalf of all Bermudians so we could rest assured that less than ethical behavior would not see the light of day. Thus, seeing as the ruling has gone against the goverment, we have the joy of not only covering the legal fee’s for the governments host of special lawyers, but also for the media’s. It may cost us hundreds of thousands for the media’s legal fees, but when considering all that was spent for both sides, it… Read more »

silencedogood
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silencedogood

“thinking that the privy council will go against the plp is wishful thinking – remember a few years ago the stevedores wer equally as smug but ended up w/ egg on their face:
Posted by: vanz | September 12, 2007 at 04:58 PM “

Ahhh, I love being right. Any comments on the Privy Council ruling Vanz???

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

I will make an easy prediction that beginning in as little as a few days that Julian Hall, Calvin Smith, LaVerne Furbert, et al. will be dispatched by Dr. Brown to allege this is either 1) part of a conspiracy (probably UBP or white), 2) colonialism designed to oppress bermuda, and/or 3) race was somehow involved (this one for sure). I would likewise not be surprised if Dr. Brown appealed the denial of his personal request for an injunction in his libel suit. If so, that sends a pretty strong message about what may be in the files because it… Read more »

Floating Onion
Guest
Floating Onion

“Sadly just another example of government wasting our money.”
I’m torn. We should not have had to spend a dime on this, but if this is what it will cost to keep freedom of speech then bring it on. I’m certainly not supporting yet more waste of our money, but this does set a strong precedent in favour of the media. That is worth something.

Gombey House
Guest
Gombey House

Funny how the Premier managed to be in China when this news hit and therefore unreachable for comment. Coincidence? Maybe not!

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Floating Onion, “We should not have had to spend a dime on this” While I agree, I don’t think the media should be required to foot the bill for defending their right to freedom of the press when the government was clearly wrong in attempting to gag the publication of the details of an investigation into a scandal involving a government organization. Unfortunately, because it was our government who was inept enough to believe they could successfully appeal this all the way to the Privy Council, it is they who shall be held accountable for the costs. Seeing as the… Read more »

Floating Onion
Guest
Floating Onion

Denis: “While I agree, I don’t think the media should be required to foot the bill for defending their right to freedom of the press when the government was clearly wrong” I completely agree. I have been behind the media the whole way. If they (media) were persuing a useless case I would expect them to pick up the bill. This is why I then said: “if this is what it will cost to keep freedom of speech then bring it on” We still have freedom of speech & need to hang on to it. I’m not happy that our… Read more »

Mike Taylor
Guest
Mike Taylor

Congratulations to the Royal Gazette! I hope they do not forget that they have won this case on the grounds that WE the public have the right to know the truth. The documents should be published in full on the internet or otherwise made available to the public without delay! We deserve the whole truth not just excerpts and commentary.

Full Fullish
Guest

Floating Onion, too right considering that WE the public have just paid a hefty price for that knowledge!

vanz
Guest

looks like a win for the dr. brown haterz – pretty sad – especially if this gets the ubp back in power.

32n64w
Guest
32n64w

looks like a win for the dr. brown haterz.
Oh … ok … so if the government acts improperly and attempts to obfuscate the release of information that is of serious public concern regarding the ethical conduct of certain PLP ministers the people (i.e. the voters and tax payers who are footing the $100+ bill for this David Copperfield exercise) are now “haterz”?
C’mon Vanz … does the public not have a right to know if their elected officials have acted unethically? If not, why?

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Vanz, I disagree. This is not a win for Dr. Brown’s haters. This is a win for true democracy, freedom of speech and public access to information. The information contained within the BHC investigation report is not personal, it is tied to a government organization and the actions of government officials and thus the public has a right to knowing what it found. All along Dr. Brown has contested that he was exonerated. If this indeed is the case, the report will show that the accusations against him were thoroughly investigated and shown to be unfounded in fact and thus… Read more »

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

Vanz, That’s a cop out and you know it. Or are we supposed to believe that everyone from the drafters of the laws involved, the various judges establishing the legal precedents relied upon by the media in their arguments (most of whom are either long dead or never heard of EB), as well as the various Bermuda courts and the privy council are all “brown haterz”? This case was about many things, freedom of the press chief among them, but certainly not about hate for anyone, including the Premier. If, as you fear, the UBP does win the next election… Read more »

vanz
Guest

the point is that dunkley tried to take the govt. down through the courts – the courts, along with help from scotland yard and the fbi ruled that nothing illegal had been done. the only illegal thing done was that confidential police files were stolen and put out into the public. i guess brown’s enemies felt that if they couldn’t lynch him in the legal courts they’d try and lynch him in the court of public opinion. if all of the allegations are true then yes something should be done – the fact is that dunkley is the one who… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Vanz, Of course for the UBP this is political, how could it not be? It is their job as the opposition to find corruption. If corruption happened under the UBP, it was the PLP’s job as opposition to uncover it. However, this case wasn’t about the UBP, it was about the PLP attempting to gag the media from publishing something that rightfully should be allowed to be distributed in the public domain. Frig, the PLP itself promised to introduce Public Access to Information legislation and the results of this investigation would have be able to be acquired under it if… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

one more thing
“my gut feeling is that the plp did nothing that the ubp hadn’t done for decades”
So what? That is the exact reason why the UBP is no longer in power, people lost trust for them.
If the PLP get voted out for the same stupidness, don’t be surprised, because if we have to, we’ll keep swapping parties until one of them smartens up and starts thinking of whats in the best interests of our people instead of themselves.

Mike Taylor
Guest
Mike Taylor

The courts have not decided that there was no wrong doing. It was the DPP that did. Some of the revelations made by the Mid Ocean seem to shed a possibility of doubt on the validity of that decision.

Full Fullish
Guest

if all of the allegations are true then yes something should be done
Careful Vanz, you’re starting to sound like one of them Brown Haterz.

Rummy
Guest
Rummy

Not really Full Foolish. It’s called covering your ‘chapstick’.
Gotta run………get my ‘rikshaw’ ready at the “Becauseway”.

Full Fullish
Guest

Bummy, I believe you missed my intent. I was being sarcastic as what Vanz said was pretty much what most of us have said, with the exception that most of us “haterz” also wanted the gag order lifted. I found it amusing that Vanz sang this tune suddenly and sounding like the rest of us “haterz”. 🙂

rich
Guest
rich

“probably because he knew how the UBp had used the BHC as their cash machine for decades”
Care to back that up with anything?
And your right. If it is the case “it doesn’t make it right but t does show this whole thing for what it really is” is certainly true. But that’s hardly any reason for us to accept ‘politics as usual’.

harry
Guest
harry

MAN oh MAN !!!! The ignorance here is increadable. The “PRESS” is fighting for your that is you to have a “FREE” press.Unless you want to be like “CUBA” ????????? And incase you have forgotten there are alot of PLP that love “CUBA”. and alot of black bermudians whom love cuba.Because of their “SEX” tourism. The “UBP” never had to suppress information. Once you start to supress information,you head toward dictatorship. JUST LOOK AT ZIMBABWEE,IT USED TO BE THE FOOD BASKET OF SOUTHERN AFRICA. ANY ONE LIKE A FREE ONE WAY TICKET TO JAMICA OR MAYBE HAITI. Did you read… Read more »

32n64w
Guest
32n64w

the point is that dunkley tried to take the govt. down through the courts What power does Dunkley have over the police, department of public prosecution and the courts that would him enable him to take the government down? Please be specific. the courts, along with help from scotland yard and the fbi ruled that nothing illegal had been done. Isn’t that for the courts to decide? the only illegal thing done was that confidential police files were stolen and put out into the public. The files were allegedly stolen … theft hasn’t been proven. In fact the Police Commissioner… Read more »

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

Settle down there harry. You are mangling what was initially a valid point with semi-coherent ranting.
Please don’t create a situation in which I might have to agree with Vanz due to your comments about sex tourism, etc.

vanz
Guest

if you “byes” really feel that the UBP would do a better job then vote for them – end of story – having met and talked to dunkley, pamphlin etc. they don’t seem like teh smartest bunch – but hey – more power to you “byes”.

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

You know Vanz, if you want to criticize someone else’s intelligence, particularly if you plan to do so vaugely (aka a “cheap shot”), it might be a good idea to at least spell properly in your post. Just a suggestion…

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Vans suggestion that the UBP were using the BHC as their cash machine is off the mark. The police didn’t go in, seize 30,000 documents, and stop looking when they reached the election date. The police investigated corruption at BHC, period. If there was long-standing corruption that occurred before the election:
1. It would have been uncovered in the course of the investigation, and;
2. The UBP would have no motivation to unleash the investigators on BHC – it would uncover their corruption too.
Think people!

vanz
Guest

andrew- i need you to think – i asked dunkley (the person who initiated this concern) personally, why not look futher back at the bhc books and he said that there was no need to – so what nonsense are you spouting about the police having looked at all the bhc records – they did not they looked only at a small window during the plp rule Think Andrew!!! also, go down to public records and look at the records for building the new airport terminal and the westgate prison and then dig a little into how much over budget… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

” i hope dr. brown ends this nonsense of letting the ubp and the white elite get away with biz as usual and stands up to them once once and for all ” Vanz, I wish you could hear yourself. You condemn the UBP and ‘white elite’ for taking advantage of their political power, yet turn a blind eye to the PLP and the ‘black elite’ when they do the exact same thing. Have you considered that Dr. Brown may be no great savior and is partaking in the exact same abuse of power? It is very possible that he… Read more »

32n64w
Guest
32n64w

also, go down to public records and look at the records for building the new airport terminal and the westgate prison and then dig a little into how much over budget that those projects came in at Vanz … are you just guessing here or do you have hard numbers? You know … hard un-refuted numbers … sort of like the new Berkeley Institute which is inxs of 100% over budget. and then look into who got the contracts for even the smallest jobs on those projects – you’ll see that the jack sharpes and david gibbons’ etc. got those… Read more »

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

Vanz, go down to public records and look at the records for building the new airport terminal and the westgate prison and then dig a little into how much over budget that those projects came in at – and then look into who got the contracts for even the smallest jobs on those projects – you’ll see that the jack sharpes and david gibbons’ etc. got those contracts – so much so that gibbons co. even had the contract to provide the House of Parliament with toilet paper. Although I sincerely doubt that you have, you say this as though… Read more »

vanz
Guest

dennis i usually find your comments fair minded – but pls. never accuse me of this, “The reality is that politicians like Dr. Brown use racism to get you all fired up emotionally.” – i graduated from hampton university and went to post grad at howard – so i am not some “yokel” who gets fired up over “race talk” – been there done that as a student. – maybe your readers are projecting their anger on me – right now i’m in my bathrobe – scanning my daily internet reads and watching the new season of scrubs (blk and… Read more »

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

Let me get this straight so I’m clear on what you are saying Vanz: 1) Detailed allegations that the leader of the country may have defrauded not only the people of Bermuda, but also a charitable government program designed to build homes for low income (predominantly black) Bermudians, for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars and may have taken fixtures of our historical buildings to install in his personal home does not qualify as “real shit” in your book, correct? 2) You are not the racist ass you appear to be, but instead are an enlightened individual who… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Vanz, If you’re as educated as you purport than certainly you can agree that it is better to have no corruption. The core reason why I see you as being emotionally fired up over race talk is because in many cases you have condoned and supported alleged corruption if done by blacks because whites did it. If race wasn’t a factor, you would deplore all corruption and call on Premier Brown to institute proper anti-corruption legislation that was promised years ago. As for the Dr. Brown vs. Michael Dunkley debate, we’ve discussed this before and I disagree completely with personality… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Silencedogood,
I don’t appreciate the use of “racist ass” and will remind you of the only rule I have for this site: no personal attacks/derogatory remarks.

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

I apologize to you, Denis. I respect you but I must say I call it like I see it–Vanz’s repeated racist comments about white people are as offensive and ignorant as if someone else were making racist comments about blacks. IMHO, neither should be tolerated.
It’s your blog, so it won’t happen again.

Denis Pitcher
Guest

I’m not saying you can’t question whether or not Vanz displays racist tendencies, I’m just asking that you try to phrase it in a better manner.

vanz
Guest

again dennis – as far as the non – pro – plp set go – u seem to be the most level headed – but if after looking at the plp and ubp candidates side by side and reading or listening to the solutions and plans that each party is proposing, how do u come up with casting ur vote for the ubp – i hate speculate but anytime that uve voted was probably for the ubp.

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Vanz, You shouldn’t speculate on such matters. Last election was the first I was eligible to vote and I did not vote UBP. I’ve looked at the candidates and the solutions and I’m impressed by neither. There is only one thing that stands out. That is reform to our system of government which I have long advocated. There is nothing stopping the PLP from instituting the many needed reforms which have been proposed by myself and many others. If they were to do so, they would earn my support. Right now, only the UBP have proposed such reforms. I am… Read more »

vanz
Guest

dennis – rnt u missing the forest 4 the trees – the ubp has no plan to lead the country other than that they’ll institute some reform measure s that they should’ve done decades ago anyway. seems a rather oddly singular reason to choose a govt. i mean isn’t dunkley the ceo who was too dim to know that there was a major drug ring operating under his nose and who also appointed an ex drug dealer to be his right hand man – this is the person you want steering bda into the future – i mean he replaced… Read more »

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

Vanz, Since there is a problem with drugs in Bermuda, and presumably more than one drug ring in operation, which is arguably getting worse and Brown is the current premier (or CEO equivalent) does this make him “dim” as well since he hasn’t uncovered them? What about Col. Burch? Are you calling the police “dim” also? Never mind that part of government’s job is to fight crime and that it has trained resources available to do so while a dairy’s job is simply to produce and distribute milk? But hey, if you want Michael Dunkley to put on a cape… Read more »

vanz
Guest

silencedogood u r funny

Mike (the Hater) Taylor
Guest
Mike (the Hater) Taylor

Dunkley panders to the most conservative, homophobic churches, seems somewhat out of touch with public attitudes, doesn’t seem to be able to understand the current state of race relations and only looks good when you compare him to Dr. Brown. Lucky for him that’s the only person he’s up against and man, he looks absolutely GOLDEN compared the doc.! With regards to all the friends in low places – both parties and party leaders are surrounded by convicted criminals which doesn’t lead a person to place must trust in either party which is sad because I think right about now… Read more »

vanz
Guest

“he looks absolutely GOLDEN” – is golden white speak for blond – cause yeah i guess he’s got that going 4 him. hey wait a minute – he’s going for the dumb blonde vote – he’s a shoo in – thanks 4 the observation mike.
– and do ya’ll really think that the ubp will win the next election – seriously?

Mike (the Hater) Taylor
Guest
Mike (the Hater) Taylor

“and do ya’ll really think that the ubp will win the next election – seriously?”
No I don’t think so at all. I hate to say it but the vast majority of swing voters will have lost all their outrage by Christmas let alone next spring.

vanz
Guest

don’t you think that the majority of bdan voters both blk and white vote for the best possible candidate? if so then the ubp will be a shoo in.

vanz
Guest

[moderated: removed for having absolutely no relevance to Bermuda nor this thread]

Mike Taylor
Guest
Mike Taylor

Vanz,
Firstly, I will go waaay out on a limb here and speculate that the vast majority of Bermudians vote for parties rather than candidates. This is probably even more true nowadays with single seat constituencies.
Secondly, I believe that there has been no point so far in Bermuda’s history when the PLP were the best party and they have won twice so far so, no I don’t believe that Bermudians neccessarily vote for the best possible party. Does anyone?

Denis Pitcher
Guest

“the ubp has no plan to lead the country other than that they’ll institute some reform measure s that they should’ve done decades ago anyway. seems a rather oddly singular reason to choose a govt. ” From what I can tell, the PLP has no plan either and the reform measure is one that should be getting pursued by both parties. “don’t you think that the majority of bdan voters both blk and white vote for the best possible candidate?” I can tell you from the perspective of one voter in Constituency #3 that the best candidate right now is… Read more »