Tag Archives: Ethics

Should BFP remove all David Thompson ‘piggy’ cartoons?

Google search for deceased PM Thompson. Click photo for larger version.

“Google search engine is pulling your pig image of Prime Minister David Thompson in its search mode. The image may have been hacked or intentional, but nevertheless, I do not think that it should remain in its present state. Not sure if you are aware, but a lot of us would appreciate that it is rectified. For me its not about politics or how we feel about a person, but rather its more about respect to a memory of not this prime ministers only but every one of them. Hope you understand.”

Should Barbados Free Press remove cartoons of deceased politicians?

Well folks, what do you think? We haven’t created any new political cartoons of David Thompson since he died because 1/ We have a new Prime Minister in charge of corruption, and 2/ We don’t think we should create disrespectful political cartoons of dead people, at least in the immediate time after their passing.

We are aware though, that had David Thompson lived he would have been savaged in the coming election for the breaking of his election promises regarding integrity and transparency, his corrupt actions relating to the CLICO fraud and many other actions of the DLP piggy government.

Should we remove the David Thompson political cartoons? All of them? Some of them? Just the piggy ones? Just the ones deemed ‘disrespectful’ by our readers?

Should we remove the one about David Thompson’s corrupt relationship with Leroy Parris and his free use of a corporate jet when the Barbados Government provided favours to the corporation?

PM Thompson Says His Use Of CLICO’s Business Jet Is None Of Your Business

What do you think?

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics

Should Down’s people be killed? Hitler said “Yes”

Hitler, Jews, abortion, God, Neo-Nazis, Racists: “180″ has it all

Dear Barbados Free Press

They showed this movie today at adult bible class and it was all people could talk about for the rest of the day. I cannot say that I ‘enjoyed’ the movie, but I couldn’t turn away.

Watch it and you might consider posting a link.

Frederick C.

BFP SAYS: CAUTION – mature theme, horrible images of Holocaust, abortion etc. Made me think though.

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Filed under Abortion, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, History, Human Rights, Race, Religion

If Marston Gibson loves Barbados, he will refuse the job

If Prime Minister Stuart loves Barbados he will not offer the job to Gibson

A few days ago the Barbados Government news agency announced that a new Chief Justice will be appointed by the first week in August. (See end of this post for the press release) The same press release quoted Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as saying that he never mentioned that New Yorker Marston Gibson is in the running.

That statement by Stuart is accurate – because he was never quoted personally in the press about appointing Gibson as the next Chief Justice.

But Stuart’s statement also communicates a big lie – because back in March, Freundel Stuart himself voted to pass an amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act that was aimed at no other end result than appointing Gibson.

If you don’t understand how a statement can be 100% accurate and still communicate a lie, well then you haven’t been around lawyers all that much. It cannot be argued that our Prime Minister is not a politician in every negative meaning of the word.

So PM Stuart put out a press release to state that he would never politicize or cause controversy over the office of the Chief Justice.

hmmmmmmmmmm. We will see, won’t we?

Prime Minister Stuart also took the time to slap former Chief Justice SIR David Simmons in the face. Twice. Like David Thompson before him, PM Stuart recognizes how unethical it was for the former Attorney General to manoeuvre himself into being appointed to the position of Chief Justice by his old drinking buddy Owen Arthur.

What does the Press Release really mean?

In the press release, the question is unanswered as to whether or not PM Stuart has shelved Marston Gibson as a candidate for the Chief Justice. Simply put, Bajans are unable to decipher whether the PM’s press announcement was to pave the way for Gibson, or communicate that while SIR David Simpson’s was appointment was unethical, the appointment of Gibson would not be.

Why Marston Gibson should not be our next Chief Justice

We have this little problem in Barbados: the rule of law doesn’t exist. Instead of one law being applied impartially to all, we have different laws for different classes. It used to be about race, but now it’s about class and money.

The law is viewed as a tool and a weapon in Barbados – to be wielded by those in power without regard to any principle other than expediency.

Thus when the Constitution of Barbados prohibited foreign troops on Bajan soil and this was inconvenient for Cricket World Cup, the Constitution was changed overnight with no debate and no public notice – to allow foreign troops on Bajan soil.

Thus when is was discovered that the law prohibited an American named Marston Gibson from being appointed as Chief Justice (after his coronation had already been announced), Freundel Stuart was happy to change the law for expediency so that the favoured candidate could be appointed.

The law is an inconvenience for Bajan elites – nothing more

IF Marston Gibson is our new Chief Justice, his appointment will be as tainted as the appointment of David Simmons. The law was changed for one man: Marston Gibson. The law was proved to be worth nothing. It was a minor inconvenience standing in the way of a government that wanted to do what it wanted to do. So, the DLP government changed the law. Tomorrow it will be some other law that stands in the way of what the government in power wants to do, and another law will be changed in the middle of the night with no public debate or societal discourse on why the law is the way it is in the first place.

Marston Gibson should refuse the appointment – if he loves Barbados and the rule of law.

Of course, if Mr. Gibson just wants the big-up job and doesn’t care that his appointment undermines the rule of law and the general respect for the courts – well, welcome back to Barbados, Mr. Gibson. Just remember: we don’t sing the Star Spangled Banner here as our national anthem. And as far a rule of law goes: you take the position and you prove to all Bajans that everything is the same old same old ’bout hey.

A press release from the Barbados Government… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics

Resume vs Reality: Environment Minister Denis Lowe

Nothing like a little resume padding to get elected or enhance your image!

Caught peeing away his credibility?

We at BFP have a natural sympathy towards Barbados Minister of the Environment Dr. Denis Lowe, as we would have towards anyone who just came back from death’s doorstep. Dr. Lowe is looking better and thinner these days after spending some time in Intensive Care at the QEH and being out of action for many months. We wish him well and we’re happy to see him recovered.

But seeing as the Minister is back and fit enough to resume his duties, perhaps he can make some time to explain to voters the big differences between his stated professional qualifications and career experiences – and an official letter published by The Bajan Reporter.

It seems that Dr. Denis Lowe and the DLP Democratic Labour Party have a little problem with credibility. Well, maybe not such a little problem.

Judge for yourself at the BR story: Denis Lowe’s qualifications & The DLP: At Cross Roads and in Crisis

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Ethics, Politics

MP Lashley – Sex and homosexuality on TV: bad. Fellow government Minister’s internet porn business: No Problem!

SexSearch.com – Health Minister Inniss made money from this business

“We believe that Minister Inniss’ business history makes him unacceptable to represent and lead the people of Barbados.

Minister of Family Stephen Lashley says that too much sexuality and promotion of homosexuality is reaching our young people through home television. Well, before Minister Lashley starts cleaning up the world he might want to take a good look closer to home.

Fellow DLP Member of Parliament and Minister of Health Donville Inniss made a ton of money in the online sex industry, but Minister Lashley doesn’t seem to be concerned about his friend’s vile business history and slimy associates. Whatever we see on television is NOTHING compared with the degradation of women and loss of human dignity that characterizes the shameful business that Minister Inniss chose for himself before being embraced by the DLP as an “ideal candidate”.

We believe that Minister Inniss’ business history makes him unacceptable to represent and lead the people of Barbados.

Further Reading

Caribbean 360: Too much sex on TV, says Minister of Family

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Human Rights, Politics

Gline Clarke talks from experience, says Goverment should help folks build a home!

Government Minister Clarke: love nest on expropriated land. Barbados news media let it pass!

Gline Clarke, Member for St. George North, said in Parliament the other day that government should be giving long term land leases and help folks to acquire mortgages to build homes.

Fair enough. On this small island where land is at a premium and Town Planning permissions to build turn scrub land into gold, there has to be some government control and oversight. But without Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information, who will watch over the government people?

So give folks access to land and homes.

But when a Minister of Government like Gline Clarke ends up living on land his government expropriated…

Well, that’s something else, isn’t it?

How about it, Mr. Clarke? In five years you haven’t answered the people of Barbados about how you, as a Minister of Government, ended up living in a home on land that your government expropriated.

Your government never paid for the land after expropriating it, but that’s a pretty common story ’bout hey.

Man, if this was New Jersey or the UK, the news media woulda been all over the story. But this is Barbados.

So the newspapers ignored the story, but the people and the blogs doan forget!

Further Reading

Barbados Advocate: Opposition MP wants government allocate land to the poor.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Tourism Authority becoming a Family Affair?

Consolidation of power and influence along family lines?

Dear BFP

Your article about Verla Depeiza being named as a Director of the Barbados Tourism Authority puts a question into my rum-fogged mind.

Can anyone answer my question?

Is Verla Depeiza (photo left) the sister of Francis Depeiza (photo right), the DLP hopeful for St. Michael North in the last election and if so, is being married to Kerry Hall, another Director on the BTA Board not a bit too close for comfort?

Just a question!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Ethics

China gives Barbados journalists “Hard-to-resist treats, free trips, all expenses paid… and flattery”

To The Nation, Barbados Advocate, Barbados Today: How much of your content is paid for by China?

As part of its efforts to influence global opinion about China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gives hard-to-resist treats to media workers in the Caribbean. In exchange for its generosity, the CCP hopes to get coverage of China in line with its propaganda.

“Interviews with participants indicate that success has been mixed, but that certain basic propaganda goals were achieved.”

Since around 2007, journalists and editors from these small island nations are fêted with official tours to China where they are greeted and banqueted, given tours and lectures, and patiently educated on the “peculiar characteristics” of modern China’s political and social system.

They are taught that China is a multi-party state, not a one-party dictatorship; that the current regime is authentically Chinese, rather than a foreign import; that the domestic media are very patriotic, not that they are state-controlled; and that the CCP is doing its utmost to distribute the country’s wealth in the most equitable fashion, not that it is rife with corruption. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Full weight of law descends upon Rawle Eastmond’s spurned mistress

“Cause when you’re out with your women, your wife will be at home: Cooking your food, doing your dirt, buddy what you trying to do?”

… Eric Clapton’s “Outside Woman Blues”

Adultery carries its own price

No Bail for Rawle Eastmond’s outside woman gone crazy

Please don’t misunderstand what I am writing to you now. No one has a right to assault anyone or threaten their wife or family even if that someone is a woman who was used and discarded by a married politician.

I wanted to say that the sin of adultery carries its own cost in ruined lives.

I thank my husband Marcus that he is always true to me and our children.

And I want to say to my husband about him being true to me…

YOU BETTER BE!

Your loving wife,
Shona

P.S. To the woman I say, “Rawle Eastmond isn’t worth it.” Get on with your life and never think of that two timing adultering bastard again. Don’t steal from other women. Get yourself a good man who is honest. You think if you did steal him away from Mrs. Eastmond he wouldn’t cheat on you too? Once a thief always a thief. Same for lowly pieces of trash who cheat on their childrens because that is what they do. They destroy everything.

“Well, you can’t watch your wife and your outside women, too
You know you can’t watch your wife and your outside womens, too
‘Cause when you’re out with your women, your wife will be at home
Cooking your food, doing your dirt, buddy what you trying to do?”

Eric Clapton, “Outside Woman Blues”

For when the Nation removes their article to change history we’re going to repeat it here… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Politics

Bajan Reporter publishes photo of dead or severely injured motorcyclist.

UPDATED: 2 similar accidents on the same day. Motorcyclist died on Passage Road and the gruesome photo is at Bajan Reporter. Motorcyclist on River Road lived (Tori Watson). See Ian Bourne’s comments and website for updated story.

Original story…

Morally Right to publish photo?

Is driver Dead or only Injured?

The Bajan Reporter (BR) is currently displaying a photo of a dead or injured motorcyclist under a truck. According to BR, the accident happened outside Starcom on River Road after the motorcyclist lost control while doing “wheelies”.

Bajan Reporter says he died. Barbados Today reports Tori Watson, 19, alive in the hospital.

Two issues

1/ Is the driver dead or alive?

2/ Should Bajan Reporter and the rest of the Barbadian news media publish such photos?

Bajan Reporter: Barbadian man wheelies bike and slides under truck in City: broke both legs and back then died!

Barbados Today

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press

Kammie Holder’s Swimming Upstream: The disease of evading accountability

Accountability and Offering Excuses for Excuses

by Kammie Holder

Most of our problems in life tend to come about as a result of trying to evade being accountable. It appears like a disease in the government, the private sector and in our personal lives. It’s just not an easy thing for some of us to accept accountability.

Accountability means we are responsible and answerable for our actions or inactions, thus the consequences must be accepted. Managers and leaders must accept accountability for the actions of others in their organization or on their team, just as they accept praise when the team does well.

In order to be accountable, we must also embrace the fundamental principle of integrity. It’s not always easy to do the right things, but we can save ourselves a whole lot of time and trouble if we invest a little more time to do things right the first time.

In communications with the late Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson, he always reminded me to “Do what I think I have to do and what is always right.”

It’s also much more difficult to clean up a mess than to just simply avoid it. Continue reading

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Should news media cooperate with the Barbados government to delay publishing news?

Barbados Free Press intends to print any news “embargoed” by the government.

by Nevermind Kurt

Last Saturday, November 6, 2010 in the wee hours of the morning, Barbados Free Press was the first to publish the news that gas, diesel and kerosene prices would be raised the following Sunday at midnight. (See BFP’s Breaking: Barbados gasoline, diesel, kerosene prices up Sunday night)

That story actually originated from the normal press releases posted on the internet at the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) media section on Friday, November 5, 2010 at about 6pm. (The composite image from the press release is above.)

Although the BGIS posted the story online in their press release section on Friday evening, they “Embargoed” the news for two days until “7pm Sunday November 7″ – meaning that news outlets were requested by government to not carry the story until 7pm Sunday.

The regular Barbados news media obeyed the government and did not carry the news to the people until Sunday evening – even though Barbados Free Press printed the news very early Saturday morning.

I’d like to make some observations about this “special understanding” or “working relationship” between the ‘professional’ Barbados news media and the government that results in the news media intentionally withholding news from the public for days. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Politics

Sir David Simmons declares Turks & Caicos public servants must declare assets – but not him!

Re-virginated politician David Simmons: “Do as I say, not as I do”

Oh, this hypocrisy is almost too much to take!

As the newly appointed head of the Turks and Caicos Integrity Commission, SIR David Anthony Cathcart Simmons recently declared that members of the advisory council and consultative forum must now declare their income, assets and liabilities along with all other senior public servants. (Turks and Caicos Weekly News: Integrity commission extends its reach)

In truth, that’s a great idea that, in conjunction with other measures, assists in making sure that the political elites have the best interests of society in mind and not their own profits when they make decisions.

Yup. SIR David thinks it’s a great idea for the Turks and Caicos, but not for himself of any other Barbados politician or public servant.

“In the last 35 years David Simmons had many opportunities to propose and implement all kinds of rules and oversight into how people in positions of power access and spend public money. He never did.”

Simmons fought against integrity and transparency laws for 35 years… Continue reading

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CLICO Leadership caught in corrupt conflict of interest – “So what?” says Barbados Prime Minister

Picture this for corruption…

According to the Nation newspaper, in 1993, CLICO Chairman Leroy Parris and President Terrence Thornhill started their own little insurance company on the side that offered the same products as CLICO. (Keltruth Blog says it was registered 1986-04-16)

Hey… where do you think the customers for “Professional Financial Services Incorporated” came from over the last 17 years? Good old Leroy Parris said to people he knew “Don’t sign up with CLICO, sign up with Professional Financial Services Incorporated and get a competitive product for less money”.

That’s where those customers came from. Parris took customers that would otherwise have signed up for Clico’s products. How many customers, how many dollars did Parris take over the last 17 years? Maybe David Thompson should ask him.

Unethical, Corrupt: CLICO bigshots Leroy Parris, Terrance Thornhill

It’s like the President and CEO of Ford decided to manufacture autos to compete with Ford on the side while still taking the paycheque from Ford.

What a scum of the earth thing to do.

And given that Prime Minister David Thompson made his old buddy Leroy Parris the CEO of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, how much of this important story do you suppose will hit the airways?

Hey… Prime Minister Thompson: Watcha gonna do ’bout all this nonsense?

Right. Nothing.

That’s what we thought…

Here is the article from The Nation. Friends, you should visit the Nation website to read it, but we’ll repost it here in full because the paper has a habit of revising history…

CLICO QUERY

by WADE GIBBONS

QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED about the involvement of two senior CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited officials in a private insurance enterprise offering services similar to those of their Whitepark Road, Bridgetown company.

The WEEKEND NATION has learnt that both chairman Leroy Parris and president Terrence Thornhill are directors of the company, Professional Financial Services, which was incorporated in 1993 and offers similar business as their subsidiary CLICO General Insurance, including home insurance. CLICO General Insurance was recently sold. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

What did Robert Hoffman know about Sir Allen Stanford’s crimes, and when did he know it?

Cover Sir Allen & Me Journalist started Antigua Sun newspaper for Crooked Sir Allen

Here is a book I’d love to read – because I want to know if author Robert Hoffman comes clean about how he personally started up Sir Allen’s Antigua Sun newspaper that was used to bait the trap for the suckers who trusted Stanford with their life savings. I’d also love to have an archive of the Antigua Sun sitting beside me while I read this book to see what Hoffman was publishing at the time.

I stand to be corrected by the author, but somehow I don’t think I’d find any investigative journalism at the Antigua Sun exposing Stanford for the crook he was.

Or, perhaps I should say “exposing Stanford for the crook that Hoffman knew he was at the time” ???

It turns out that the publisher’s media release (below) tells of Sir Allen Stanford describing for then-employee Hoffman exactly what his methods were to “lure investors into believing his Antigua operations were legitimate.”

That statement seems to imply that Hoffman knew at the time that he was working for Stanford that the operations were not “legitimate”.

Yes, I will read Sir Allen & Me if for no other reason than to remind myself that despite all the high talk by journalists of “duty to the public interest” that the almighty dollar usually comes first – especially in small societies where the government in power controls the news through advertising revenues that are dispensed like little doggie treats to obedient media lapdogs. And, as the Nation News discovered, a change of master means no treats for you!

Southern Cross Publications says they will send us a couple of review copies if we just provide our address. That’s tempting, but we’ll have to say “no thanks”. I will, however, purchase the book myself as I am anxious to read how the Antigua Sun assisted Sir Allen in luring those suckers in.

Here is the media release about Robert Hoffman’s new book as sent to us by the publisher.

REVEALING BOOK ON DISGRACED BILLIONAIRE PUBLISHED

Texas billionaire and accused Ponzi scammer R. Allen Stanford is the focus of a new book written by a former Stanford executive. Sir Allen & Me: An Insider’s Look at R. Allen Stanford and the Island of Antigua peers into the private and business life of the flamboyant financier, whom the federal government claims operated a “massive” $8-billion confidence game from his bank in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Author and journalist Robert Hoffman was hired by Stanford in the mid-1990s to start up the Antigua Sun newspaper. For two years, Hoffman was privy to the billionaire’s political maneuvering and manipulations, including Stanford’s efforts to rewrite the island’s banking laws to favor the Texas money man and to keep prying eyes from the highly questionable running of Stanford International Bank based in Antigua.

Hoffman also tells about Stanford’s forays into the world of cricket, his disastrous stab at establishing a regional airline, his lavish lifestyle and his shameful treatment of many of his loyal employees.

In the book, Hoffman quotes from Stanford describing clearly what his methods were to lure investors into believing his Antigua operations were legitimate by creating what Hoffman calls Stanford’s “financial Potemkin Village” on the island.

The 200-page paperback is currently available on http://www.amazon.com (keyword: R. Allen Stanford) and will soon be in bookstores throughout the United States. It can also be purchased at http://www.atlasbooks.com, which is the publisher’s chief distributor to outlets and Internet-sales sites. Retailers can call 800-BookLog to order. Retail price is $14.95.

Southern Cross Publications
86 Union & Mt. Washington / PO Box 24704
Christiansted, VI 00824
(340) 718-0615 / 643-4631
southerncrosspubs@gmail.com

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Offshore Investments

Let’s Hope Our Next Barbados Chief Justice Isn’t A Political Hack Like SIR David Simmons

“It’s no secret, however, that Prime Minister Thompson when he was the Leader of the Opposition had serious misgivings about Sir David’s appointment and it would be surprising if Sir David remained in office a minute after the April 28, 2010 (Simon’s 70th birthday)”

… Stephen Alleyne writing in the June 22, 2009 edition of the Barbados Advocate

Stephen Alleyne Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of “Judicial Independence” Or The Importance of the Appearance of Justice

In today’s Barbados Advocate, columnist, lawyer and ex-cop Stephen Alleyne states that SIR David Simmons has the “integrity and independence that’s a sine qua non of this high judicial office”.

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

What absolute rubbish from a person who should know better. If David Simmons had any integrity, if he was concerned about the independence of the judiciary, he would never have accepted the Office of Chief Justice of Barbados.

The courts in Barbados have always been a highly politicized but this reality moved to new heights during the BLP government when then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur appointed his long time political colleague and Attorney General as the Chief Justice of Barbados. The move effectively consolidated the power of the government and the courts under the control of Barbados political elites – and the image of both the courts and the Office of the Chief Justice have never recovered.

Certainly when David Anthony Cathcart Simmons agreed to accept the position from his old friend Owen Arthur, the act brought the administration of justice in Barbados into disrepute. It is the very presence of a career politician, former Attorney General and former Acting Prime Minister as Chief Justice that warns ordinary people that they haven’t a hope of seeing justice in Barbados. (See David Simmons’ bio here. Very impressive career politician!)

Chief Justice David Simmons On His Way Out – But Will Another Politician Replace Him?

Prime Minister David Thompson has no intention of extending the tenure of Barbados Chief Justice SIR David Simmons, who turns 70 on April 28, 2010 and would need Thompson’s recommendation to continue. No, Sir… you can bet your house on the fact that David Simmons will not be Chief Justice of Barbados come the day after his birthday.

And so the process of easing the Chief Justice out of office with all honours begins in the local media with a column by Stephen Alleyne in today’s Barbados Advocate newspaper. “Sir David: A hard act to follow” is available in the dead-tree edition or online for 24 hours at the Barbados Advocate in “photo” form.

As usual in societies where the news media is tightly controlled, the Barbados Advocate does not publish even mildly controversial articles online in a “text” format that can be read and indexed by Google or other search engines. This protects the ruling elites from the inconvenience of having historical records easily accessible by the public.

Will Prime Minister Thompson reverse his position and appoint another "political friend" as our Chief Justice?

Will Prime Minister Thompson reverse his position and appoint another "political friend" as our Chief Justice?

For instance, there are no newspaper articles available online from the time when David Simmons was appointed as Chief Justice by his old friend then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur. At that time the DLP was up in arms that a politician and former Attorney General and Acting Prime Minister should be appointed to the highest court in the land.

It was argued by David Thompson that Simmons’ appointment politicized courts and brought the entire system into disrepute. Notwithstanding that the DLP itself had previously appointed two of its own former Attorneys General as judges in lower courts, David Thompson and others argued that the office of the Chief Justice should be protected from even a whiff of politics.

It will be interesting to see whether David Thompson as Prime Minister still believes as strongly that no politician should be appointed Chief Justice as he argued when in Opposition!

Barbados Advocate Article

We reprint the Barbados Advocate article referred to here under “fair use” provisions as we are criticising the Barbados Advocate and it is the practice of that newspaper to remove all historical records from public view after 24 hours. (Click to view full size)

David Simmons CJ Barbados

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

US “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act” Names & Targets Barbados – Has David Thompson Actually Read The Legislation?

BARBADOS’ Prime Minister David Thompson said he does not believe that Legislation tabled recently in the United States Congress to deal with offshore tax havens is targeting jurisdictions like Barbados…

“I want to say that despite the strong feelings about that piece of legislation, it did not seem to us that it was aimed at jurisdictions like Barbados,” the Prime Minister told the function organised by Invest Barbados, this country’s leading business promotion agency…

… from the Barbados Advocate article Barbados Is Safe!

Internal Revenue Service Barbados

U.S. Internal Revenue Service Names Barbados As A “Secrecy Jurisdiction”

According to David Thompson, Barbadians have nothing to worry about when it comes to the new American “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act”. You see, the Prime Minister “feels” that the legislation is not aimed at jurisdictions like Barbados.

Perhaps Prime Minister Thompson had better read the American legislation and speak with the authors — who originally included a Senator named Barack Obama — because unlike David Thompson, those authors and the Internal Revenue Service “feel” that Barbados is an offshore secrecy jurisdiction and tax haven and they have said so in writing.

Senator Carl Levin Tax HavenYou don’t have to believe me, or Prime Minister Thompson. Just go to the website of President Obama’s partner pushing the legislation, United States Senator Carl Levin, and download it for yourself. (US Senator Carl Levin: Senate, House Members Introduce Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act – and here is his website: Senator Carl Levin Website)

The act includes a list of 34 jurisdictions identified in Internal Revenue court proceedings and Barbados is number five on that list of targeted jurisdictions. Again, you don’t have to believe me, you can read it for yourself (and frankly you won’t read it in any Barbados news media) Here is an excerpt…

‘‘(E) INITIAL LIST OF OFFSHORE SECRECY JURISDICTIONS.

For purposes of this paragraph, each of the following foreign jurisdictions, which have been previously and publicly identified by the Internal Revenue Service as secrecy jurisdictions in Federal court proceedings, shall be deemed listed by the Secretary as an offshore secrecy jurisdiction unless delisted by the Secretary under subparagraph (F)(ii):

(i) Anguilla.
(ii) Antigua and Barbuda.
(iii) Aruba.
(iv) Bahamas.
(v) Barbados.
(vi) Belize.
(vii) Bermuda.
(viii) British Virgin Islands.
(ix) Cayman Islands… (and 25 other jurisdictions)”

… From the (PDF) “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act”

Why Should The United States Trust Barbados?

If you take emotion, patriotism and sheer will to survive out of your normal Bajan reaction to the US anti-tax haven legislation, you must admit that Barbados neatly fits the definition of both a “secrecy jurisdiction” and a “tax haven”. As well as the United States, both Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have named Barbados as a recognised “tax haven”.

What defines a “tax haven” and “secrecy jurisdiction”?  If you read the US and Canadian government reports and other materials freely available on the internet, you’ll see that a big part of that definition concerns what a “tax haven” is MISSING in terms of controls, oversight, transparency and rule of law. These missing structures allow what President Obama defines as “tax haven abuse”.

How About Barbados’ Controls, Oversight, Transparency and Rule of Law?

Ahhhh…. not so good….

Successive Barbados governments have failed to implement even the most basic controls and oversight over offshore corporations and government officials, so why should the United States remove our country from the list of secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens targeted by the new legislation?

Let’s look at some of the mitigating qualities for “good” offshore jurisdictions that might make Senator Levin and his colleagues reconsider placing Barbados on the list…

* Transparency of operations through Freedom of Information Legislation?

(NO! – Barbados doesn’t have FOI legislation or a culture of transparency and accountability. We were promised FOI, but it never came. As for transparency, Barbados does not hold inquests into deaths even when an entire family is wiped out . The elites are protected at all costs. )

* Oversight over Corporations?

(NO! - Barbados has a record of failing to provide sufficient oversight and accountability when it comes to corporations. Corporations are allowed to get away with refusing to file financial information as required by law. When the current Prime Minister was a practicing lawyer, some of his big corporate clients like CLICO failed to file required information and he didn’t care. Not to mention the fact that many government-owned corporations have failed to account as per law. Heck, even the Chief Justice of Barbados doesn’t file proper corporate documents for 13 years and gets away with it!)

* Integrity Legislation, Conflict of Interest Laws for Government Officials?

bribery.jpg(NO! Barbados has no integrity legislation, conflicts of interest rules or a Ministerial Code! The current DLP Government promised to implement all this within the first 100 days, but that was almost a year and a half ago. Unbelievably, in Barbados it is still legal for a government official (elected or appointed) to issue a government contract to a company owned by the government official or their immediate family! See: Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit)

* Corporate Records Requirements?

(NO! Barbados has consistently failed to compel Barbados corporations to adhere to the law. It is not unusual for records to go missing – even government records – if it is convenient to some of the elites. Even government-owned corporations don’t file records as per the law! Here are some examples of failed oversight regarding corporate records keeping5: Gymnasium Limited, GEMS Hotels, CGI Consumers’ Guarantee Insurance Company, and CLICO for a start.

* Requirement To List Beneficial Shareholders of Corporations?

(NO! According to the International Monetary Fund Country Report No. 09/19, (link shows all IMF reports) Barbados law does not require the disclosure of beneficial shareholders of corporations. While the Registrar of Companies maintains a register with information on directors and registered offices of companies, there is no legislative requirement to disclose beneficial ownership information. Many Barbados foreigner-owned offshore corporations are “fronted” by Bajans, but the corporate records are kept in another jurisdiction, while the money flows to another jurisdiction like Panama or the Caymans. The true owners of the corporations remain hidden by Barbados law!

IMF Barbados Corruption

The IMF report also talks about corruption and bribery and other serious offences not being illegal…

“Barbados has criminalized money laundering (ML) broadly in compliance with international standards. However, while the definition of unlawful activity allows for a wide array of serious predicate offenses, human trafficking, corruption and bribery are not totally consistent with the requirements of the Palermo Convention.”

See the – PDF – IMF Country Report No. 09/19, January 2009)

* Rule of Law?

(NO! Successive Barbados governments have consistently shown that the “Rule of Law” means “We enforce laws when convenient to do so for our purpose and agenda.” Prime Minister Thompson declared that previous government officials stashed millions in foreign bank accounts, yet no action was taken against them. Rapists with money are allowed to buy their way out of criminal charges. THAT says everything about how Barbados views the wider societal importance of Rule of Law.)

* Effective Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement?

(NO! First, as the IMF report above points out, Barbados lacks the laws necessary to curtail bribery and conflicts of interest. Second, as the IMF report points out – the anti-money laundering authorities in Barbados haven’t really done anything! Left unsaid is that the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority hasn’t really done anything, but the government took the international funding anyway. Naturally… :-)

The most telling indicator of how the Government of Barbados views money-laundering, tax evasion and other international financial shenanigans though, is the fact that our country had to admit that the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority Acted Illegally and Without Authority For Two Years.

The government only fixed things up retroactively after the story broke on a Barbados blog! – See Keltruth Corp’s article Does the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) Really Exist?)

Lack Of ITAL (Integrity, Transparency & Accountability Legislation) Is A Root Cause Of American Legislation Targeting Barbados

PM Thompson Lied About ITAL

PM Thompson Lied About ITAL

Successive Barbados governments, including the current DLP Thompson government, have deliberately refused to implement integrity reforms because doing so would limit their ability to profit from their public offices. Period.

By their actions and inactions, Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley, David Thompson and dozens of other political elites placed Barbados squarely in the target sights of the Obama administration’s “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act”.

How fitting that if Barbados finally does implement ITAL, it will be because the corrupt politicians were finally dragged kicking and screaming to do something decent for the country – by the first black President of the United States of America.

Further Reading Continue reading

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Filed under Barack Obama, Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Lighting Erected At Kensington Oval – Barbados Now Ready For Cricket World Cup 2007

kensington-cricket-barbados

Revising History Is A Barbados Advocate Specialty!

Barbados Advocate Says Lights “Were Not A Requirement For Cricket World Cup”

I guess the folks at the Barbados Advocate can’t remember Mia Mottley’s electricity-conserving CWC 2007 when the final was played out (sort of) at night – without lighting. If you need a laugh, you should read their latest article before they take it down from the internet as the newspaper normally does so citizens cannot hold them to account. (Barbados Advocate: Light At The Oval)

Not to worry though, the internet and cricket fans everywhere still remember the Barbados Labour Party’s supreme triumph as reported around the world in dozens of articles similar to the New Statesman’s “The Cricket World Cup: A Farce In The Dark”

Meanwhile The Nation newspaper reported that the management at Kensington Oval obviously views the project as (cough, cough) highly secret…

“Acting chief executive officer of the Kensington Oval Management Incorporated, Charles Holder, who did not want to divulge too much information yet, said the project was expected to be completed next month. Above, the first of the light towers at Kensington Oval being put into place.”

Who Profits From “Kensington Oval Management Incorporated” ?

The real secret in Barbados is that after shoving hundreds of millions of dollars into Kensington Oval, the Barbados public is not allowed to know who makes a profit from Kensington Oval Management Incorporated. Who owns the company? How much are the staff members paid? How much does the company pay for “consultants”? Are any of the “consultants” related to any public official? Are any of the Oval’s suppliers owned by or related to a public official?

Don’t look to the Thompson DLP government for answers to such questions – like the last BLP Arthur/Mottley government, the current DLP piggies at the trough lost all enthusiasm for transparency and integrity the moment that they started to control the public purse.

Same old, same old ’bout hey!

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Cricket, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption