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The Worst Of Bermuda Awards 2004

Bah, humbug. While local people and businesses have been congratulating themselves on being the recipients of The Bermudian’s annual ‘Best of Bermuda’ awards, your curmudgeonly correspondent, passed over for mention in the ‘Best Local Website’ category, has been plotting some honours of his own. It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to welcome you to the 1st Annual Worst Of Bermuda Awards…

Shadow Minister Who Should’ve Kept Out Of The Limelight
Maxwell Burgess, for his insistence that the PLP are biased against black males.

Least Effective Politicians
Jennifer Smith and Dean Foggo, for seeming to stand up for the second P1 stream at St. George’s Prep, only to back down at the first sign of opposition from Education Minister Terry Lister. Fortunately the parents persisted anyway, and eventually got their way.

Most Incompetent Minister
Education Minister Terry Lister for his handling of the St. George's Prep issue and teachers' strike, and failing to push for a speedy resolution of the Abdallah Ahad situation. Not to mention his last-minute attempt to change the rules under which special needs children took the Terra Nova tests.

Most Counter-Productive Display Of Histrionics
Premier Alex Scott's table-thumping nonsense about his office being disrespected whilst trying to persuade the Governor to allow his car to pick him up on the airport runway.

Bermuda Bummer
The US State Department’s Travel Advisory categorising Bermuda’s crime rate as “moderate but growing”.

Local Ad
Capital G’s vacuous “What are your wants and needs?” ads. “I need to walk on the beach,” one man replies, improbably. “You have great expectations, for your dreams and your dreams’ dreams,” intones an otherworldly female voice, sounding like a cheap fortune teller. “You are you,” she finishes, philosophically. You don’t say?

Radio DJ
Carol Marshall, of Mix 106. Bless her.

Lawyer
Shade Subair, for running up $16,000 in unpaid parking fines.

Movie Theatre
Southside, before the air-conditioning was fixed. The giant industrial fans used to cool the audience instead ensured it was virtually impossible to hear the film.

Restaurant
Blackbeard’s in St. George’s, where we spent over fifteen minutes waiting for someone to show us a menu or offer to bring us some drinks. In the end we gave up and went to Café Gio instead.

Weather
Hurrican Fabian. Well, duh.

Traffic Jam
Waiting to cross the Causeway after hurricane Fabian all but swept it away. The first couple of weeks were the worst, when the wait often stretched to an hour, but gradually things did speed up.

Most Obnoxious Cruise Ship
The Norwegian Crown, which moors in St. George's at the foot of our hill every Tuesday and has a loud party on its stern in the evening. Take it inside, people.

PC Games Selection
They’re all pretty bad, but Leisure Time takes the biscuit for having the lowest new-game-to-shelf-space ratio and for still charging $50 for Quake 3.

Computer Sales and Service
Gateway. Never have anything you’re looking for and never seem to care.

Photo Development
Kodak on Church Street. For the sheer effrontery of charging us hundreds of dollars for digitising our wedding photographs even though the results looked like crap because their machine wasn’t working properly.

Department Store
Triminghams, for taking eight months to get all the gifts purchased on our wedding list to us.

Taxi Driver
The sonofabitch who was supposed to meet me outside Godet & Young on Thursday 25 September last year, to take me to my stag do in Hamilton. So what if half the Causeway was in Castle Harbour and a tropical storm was forecast?

Local Website
A Limey In Bermuda. Christ, that guy’s a moaner. And does he really think he looks cool in those shades?

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LOL :-) :-)

You forgot:

"The Armageddon/Sky is Falling Award" - Louise Jackson.

"The BHC I Know Somebody Got Paid Award" - Unknown PLP Ministers.

"The We'll Try Anything But Real Change Award" - The UBP Caucus.

"The You Got Punked Award" - Ewart Brown and the other PLP MP's who dupped the electorate in 2003.

"The Why Work For It When It'll Be Handed To Me Award" - George Scott and Rolphe Commissong for waiting on Brown to legislate GPS.


"The Who Gives a Damn about Reality Award" Awarded to teachers who striked their way to a sweet pay rise just for being on the job, and regardless of personal performance measurement.

That's really unfair about Shade, Phil.

The no case to answer submission was granted by Will Francis, a kind and gentle judge who may have made an appealable mistake in this case. Shade is a fair prosecutor, who fearlessly prosecutes sexual offenders, wife/girlfriend beaters and all manner of crimes without regard to the possibility of retribution in a small jurisdiction.

She is also one of the smarter young members of the bar - generally - and a good advocate. Her ability to run up parking tickets has nothing to do with her legal skill, and that judgment does not either.

You owe her an apology, my friend.

Yes, my friend, you do owe her an apology. What the Gazette and other media did not ask in those stories about the parking tickets is why are the island's prosecutors forced to park by the roadside? Can you imagine, MS Subair prosecuting one of the Wellington Oval guys and a few hours later getting into her car on Church street? Open for any physical attack by someone she prosecuted? Why is it that anyone elected to Parliament has lifetime free parking on the grounds of the House of Assembly but prosecutors have to leave court or their office to move their car before traffic wardens appear? By the way, other than that hiccup, a great post.

The reason for the success of the no case to answer submission was that the testimony of one of Ms. Subair's witnesses was found to unreliable and that of the second to be inconclusive. Ms. Subair must bear responsibility for that, her other successes notwithstanding.

It boggles my mind that Ms. Christopher was able to convince the court that the machete could not be considered an offensive weapon - was Mr. Butterfield carrying it in case he happened to see a hedge that needed trimming? Perhaps the success of her submission reflects more on Ms. Christopher's brilliance (she won the Bermudian's Best Lawyer award, after all) than Ms. Subair's failure to marshall the necessary evidence, but I doubt any of us have sufficient knowledge of the case to be second-guessing Mr. Francis' judgement.

As for the parking fine issue, I make no apologies for bringing that up again. I expect those who are responsible for upholding the law to respect it themselves. It does not matter that the current parking restrictions may be inconvenient. They are the law. As crown counsel Ms. Subair has a moral obligation to obey them. Instead she showed a flagrant disregard wholly inappropriate for someone in her position. If there is a problem with an existing law it should be amended, not ignored. While legally her infraction may make little difference to her ability to prosecute similar offenders (should any cases ever come to court), morally she'd be on a very sticky wicket indeed.

Firstly Phil, it is not Mrs. Subair's job to get a conviction - a misconception held by many in the public, nor is it Mrs. Christopher's job to exonerate her client. The prosecutor is tasked with the presentation of the evidence in the most forceful manner allowable, and IF that evidence, properly considered by a tribunal of fact is sufficient to found guilt, then so be it. The test for the tribunal is beyond a reasonable doubt.

She cannot be faulted here, as she presented the evidence in this light. How can you criticise her, and hold harmless the trier of fact? It is the trier of fact (here the magistrate, but in the Supreme Court, the jury) who are tasked with deciding whether the evidence is sufficient (beyond a reasonable doubt) to convict.

In the no case submission, the Magistrate acts as the trier of law, and says effectively that, on the evidence presented, no conviction can be based. So if anything, it is a mistake in law that the magistrate made - again not Ms. Subair's fault.

And if you can honestly say that Shade Subair is not as good a lawyer as Liz Christopher (whom I also respect), then you have no insight into the process.

She is a good, effective, and honest lawyer. You, who are not a lawyer, have little basis to judge her legal skills.

As for her parking tickets, she got tickets and she paid them. If you have questions over her appropriateness as a prosecutor (the job) then that is a matter for you, but it does not call into question her skill as a lawyer (the profession). But perhaps that is a lawyer's view.

The fact remains that $16,000 in fines were unpaid -- and that undermines the integrity of the public prosecution service.

For the record, I think the prosecutors should be given secure parking at the House of Assembly. It makes sense -- the MPs simply are getting yet another perk.

If she had responsibility for the collection of unpaid fines, then perhaps. But if you receive a ticket for parking, then the notice/summons is the document that gives you an opportunity to dispute the ticket. It is a known fact that the notice of ticket that has been used is faulty in law - which is why the tickets have not been enforced. She has every right to reserve all and waive none of her legal rights in this matter - like the other ticket holders responsible for millions. There is one law for us all - not a special one for prosecutors. She took advantage of it, and in doing so demonstrated her ability to practice law.

Blackbeards? Obviously you've never been to Dennis' Hideaway! Great list though.

Jake. I certainly did not intend to question Ms. Subair's competence in general - I was merely expressing my frustration at the lack of prosecutions in one of the most egregious acts of violence Bermuda has seen. Since it is possible that the judge may be at fault, or that the defendants may not have committed any criminal activity (and hence there may be no evidence for a prosecutor to marshall against them) I have expunged that part of my post and I apologise for it.

The rest of it stands though. I have no sympathy with your defence of her accumulation of parking tickets and I suspect most others won't either.

Jake, I often agree with you, but here I've got to differ. You response seems to be "the system is broken so it doesn't matter".

On this small island, we should be able to fix broken aspects of the system! Our Government seems fixated with chasing dreams (independence) and glory (big cars, international travel) rather than making our government work better.

Instead, we see case after case of issues being swept under the carpet.

Phil, fair point on the tickets, although I don't think it is that big a deal. I just think that some of the judges need to have a healthy dose of "common sense" when it comes to these applications. It reminds me of the Rebecca Middleton case. Somebody killed that girl - of that we are sure. But no one has managed to be convicted for it, notwithstanding the DNA evidence which tells us who it was. Our whole legal system failed that girl and her family.

I guess I am for tougher judges all around.

Fair point also, Tiger Bay, except to say that I don't think she is responsible for fixing it. That is for the Attorney General's department, who are responsible for legislative change (the mechanics of it). She is in the DPP's, which is quite separate.

I hope I was not being too judgemental of you Phil. All in all, your posts are fair and sensible, and I hope I have expressed that this is my opinion over time.

Jake

You still have not answered why should prosecutors have to park by the roadside - risking a verbal or physical attack?

Secondly, it is time for Mr. Will Francis to retire. Ask any policeman, prison officer or courtroom observer, and you will learn that the 73 year old magistrate is far, far too soft. The backlog in our lower courts was the result of his leadership for more than a decade until Carlisle Greaves was put in charge.

People can quickly pull the wool over Mr. Francis' eyes. He's got a soft spot and everyone knows it. But we have a government that does not want to tell him "no more" and so he has stayed on for six years now, still fining people at 1990 rates. Still giving them three and six months to pay fines. I'd bet that Liz Christopher had the run of that courtroom and Will was too sleepy to catch it.

Sounds like we need a "Bermuda Law" blog!

Jake: agreed that its the AG's responsibility to tackle those structural issues. I think that department badly slumped under Dame LBE; I hope Mr. Mussenden can turn it around. Modernize the court system. Improve the quality of drafting. Work out the backlogs.

"Local Website -
A Limey In Bermuda."?????? What?! I feel completely cheated!! :( My site is much worse than your terrible site! ;)

airplanes leave bermuda most days.
if it don't play to you Leave.

or maybe you prefer the vicarious pleasure
of moaning and complaining. Is it your only
job?

typical brit full of it as if britian was
something to rant about.

lol

Worst example of a lack of capital letters goes straight to you Devil's Hole.

Vicarious. Devils Hole. One of these things is not like the other.

Hmmm there are alot of holes in the worst awards...Im looking forward to THE BADDEST WOLF AWARD.....I would just like to thank the Academy...Do you like my body!!! Where would we be without that Phil!!! thank you from one pond dog to another. 2005 the year of the Baddest Wolf^..^ Howl with me Bermuda...Its plain beautiful to be a free Wild Thang!!!

I think Devils Hole Youth should get the "Nobel Peace Prize" for Bermuda

Jake should get the "most active black activist" award

J Galt should get the "iron lung" award

And Graeme should get "the most likely to fail in politics" award

Give me a brake the only thing I'm running for at the moment is my shadow. Come here shadow ...stand still!

how wonderful, trolls to fix typo's and what not's

to top it off i'm not even from bermuda nor
have i been there just messing with my roomy lol
she's from this notorious hole
nice site though keep up the blogs

HOTT 1075 SHOULD WIN WORST RADIO STATION IN THE WORLD

hott 1075 should get the worst show for (MISS THANG). worst station HOTT 1075. worst music ever HOTT 1075. worst talkshow MISS THANG.worst music in a show TAAO DILL & worst in talking BOOTSIE&CO.

THE FIRST RADIO STATION TO EVER WIN 6 AWARDS FOR BERMUDA'S WORST AWARD SHOW.

Ash you just don't know what is HOTT!!! ^..^

Ash, i completely agree with you, HOTT 107.5
really deserve the worst radio award. their
music is so predictable and they all sound
really stupid (when they try to sound 'hot').

i agree hot 107.5 is very bad it should win in every catagoree.

WORST TOURIST SPOT ON THE ISLAND

THE AWARD HAS TO GO TO DEVIL'S HOLE "AQUARIUM"

EVEN THE DEVIL MUST BE EMBARRASSED TO HAVE HIS NAME ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PLACE....NOT TO MENTION HIS HOLE.

ACTUALLY DEVIL'S ASSHOLE MIGHT BE A MORE APPLICABLE NAME

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