Tag Archives: Politics
VIDEO: Time to Face the Facts about Caribbean Corruption – 26 May 2013
This is the Afra Raymond interview on Caribbean Corruption for ‘Time to Face the Facts‘ which was broadcast out of Barbados-based Caribbean Media Corporation on Sunday 26th May 2013.
The audience was regional via cable and global via their Facebook page. The interviewer is Jerry George and the format was a live call-in. Video courtesy Jerry George.
For parts 2 and 3, head over to Afra Raymond’s blog.
The next time Owen S. Arthur gets going, we should call Julia Gillard
“Let’s go through the opposition leader’s repulsive double standards when it comes to misogyny and sexism…”
In a parliamentary debate, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called opposition leader Tony Abbott a misogynist and a hypocrite. Abbott had requested that the government remove Peter Slipper as speaker following the release of offensive text messages he sent referring to female genitalia. In response Prime Minister Gillard lets fly at Mr. Abbott – who looks like he wishes he had kept his mouth shut.
I had to watch this video twice.
Also look at the proportion of women elected representatives in the Australian Parliament!
Mia Mottley withdraws from BLP Chairman race
“Yes, Mia is justifiably outraged at the abuse of democracy and the disregard for the BLP Constitution – but her outrage is selective and selfish. Where was her outrage when her BLP government habitually ignored the rule of law?”
This October 18th marks the first year since power-hungry opportunists ousted Mia Mottley as Leader of the Opposition. Owen Arthur and his wild boys thought they had driven a political stake through the enemy’s heart, but then four months ago Mottley announced she would run for the position of BLP Chairman.
That sent Owen Arthur’s gang crazy. Not to mention that an independent poll found the vast majority of BLP members wanted Mia Mottley as leader over Arthur. In a one person / one vote contest Owen Arthur would be given his walking papers. What was Arthur to do?
For Arthur and his wild boys, the decision was simple: they would just illegally change the rules before the upcoming BLP Conference.
It didn’t matter that the BLP Constitution prohibits the declaration of new rules until the membership ratifies the changes. It didn’t matter that none of the general membership knew about the changes until they were a done deal. Welcome to Barbados – where rules and laws are mere tools to be wielded or ignored by those in power.
Any Bajan knows that when rules or the law stands in the way of those who have power, they do what they want anyway. That is part of the reality on this island. Rule of Law is a stranger in this country and that is the truth.
Mia Mottley is no stranger to ignoring, bending or changing the rules
In her current circumstances Mia is crying victim and warning about the abuse of democracy. She is correct, of course, but how soon she has forgotten that when she was the Attorney General with the full power of a majority government, the BLP changed the Barbados Constitution at the drop of a hat with zero public discussion. Mottley chooses not to remember that her government expropriated private lands with wild abandon and often never paid for those lands. That’s called theft – but not when you are in power.
And when some of those expropriated lands ended up in the hands of government ministers or their family members and friends – Mottley didn’t see anything wrong with that at the time.
Yes, Mia is justifiably outraged at the abuse of democracy and the disregard for the BLP Constitution – but her outrage is selective and selfish. Where was her outrage when her BLP government habitually ignored the rule of law?
Press Release by Mia Mottley, MP
On May 22rd this year, I announced my intention to contest the post of Chairman of the Barbados Labour Party. I made it clear that I was running on a platform to secure for every member of our Party the right that all Members of Parliament enjoy – to participate and vote at our Annual Conference, our highest decision-making body.
In 1951, the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams fought for and won the right for every adult Barbadian to vote. On this 60th anniversary of that momentous victory for Barbadian democracy it is only fitting that his Party, our Party, should enhance our own internal democracy by ensuring that every member has the right to vote. Indeed, this is consistent with section 11 of the BLP Constitution, which states as follows:-
“The purpose of this Constitution is to provide for procedures and practices which are democratic and efficient to the end that all Barbados Labour Party members may participate meaningfully and effectively in the deliberations and activities of the party.”
Last Thursday, I received an email from the General Secretary and also a communication from the Secretary of my Constituency Branch regarding new Standing Orders for the Annual Party Conference issued by the National Council. Neither of the two communications indicated when the National Council ratified these Standing Orders.
While the National Council has the power to propose Standing Orders to the Annual Conference and any Special Conference, it does not have the power to ratify them in advance of the Conference. It is appalling that it has acted in this manner. In so doing it has reduced the rights of women and young people in the Party by forcing them to now choose if they want to be members of a Branch or the Women’s League or Young Socialists respectively. Continue reading
Peter Wickham: An insider trapped by his job, torn by conscience
Patrick Hoyos wrote an opinion piece at the Broad Street Journal that basically says Peter Wickham didn’t talk about anything hardly at all to the US Embassy, and if he did it wasn’t about any subject that everyone didn’t already know about. Hoyos also says that journalists should be very careful talking to foreign governments.
Hoyos is right on one count: it’s going to be a long time before journalists or anyone else talk freely with any government representative ever again. Journalists and others have always talked to diplomats for a variety of reasons: status, to further a personal or group agenda, to exchange information in the hopes of inside tips or simply for the scotch and steak.
“You can buy a ten-hour voice recorder built into a pen for a couple of hundred dollars at Amazon.com. The Americans probably hand them out like candy to their Embassy personnel.”
Everybody knew that the conversations were reported and in this day probably secretly recorded – but they talked anyway and it was all fun and games until WikiLeaks. Now everybody is SHOCKED! SHOCKED I TELL YOU! that the US Embassy personnel actually prepare intelligence reports and conversation summaries and ship them home to Washington. Imagine that!
Don’t you think that Barbados diplomats file a few reports themselves out of New York, Beijing and London?
How far back do such diplomatic dealings go? Read your bible and go back from there to the cavemen. Embassy personnel submit reports on cocktail party conversations, chance meetings and private briefings. Always have, always will. Why the shock?
I think that Peter Wickham probably said exactly what the US Embassy reports attribute to him and I wouldn’t be surprised if tape recordings exist – not that any US diplomat will ever admit to them. You can buy a ten-hour voice recorder built into a pen for a couple of hundred dollars at Amazon.com. The Americans probably hand them out like candy to their Embassy personnel. If you were in the business of meeting with people and filing reports, why wouldn’t you always have one in your pocket? Get dressed in the morning, put on the watch and put the wallet and voice recording pen in the pocket – just like that.
Damage Control Strategy for everybody: Let’s all pretend it doesn’t matter
Patrick Hoyos is in damage-repair mode for his old friend Wickham and I won’t blame him for that, but the cow pies dropped by Hoyos and Wickham are pretty stinky indeed.
I want to point out that Wickham is reported to have relayed quite a bit of insider information to the US Embassy personnel and many of Wickham’s big revelations were NOT in the public knowledge at the time. Hoyos and Wickham himself conveniently ignore this.
Take, for instance, the May 22, 2008 cable where Wickham is reported as saying “In the last election the Chinese gave money to both of the major parties in Barbados, in order to assure continued recognition…”
I never heard that before in private conversation and I never heard it from the Barbadian news media. How about you?
Where did Wickham get that information? As a political insider, mover and shaker he probably received information directly from credible BLP and DLP sources. Of course the Chinese gave money to both parties, but Wickham spoke with an insider’s knowledge and authority.
Then we have the St. Vincent Unity Labour Party coming out in defense of Wickham – saying “We believe that Peter is being misrepresented in these matters…“
What else did you expect politicians to say? “Leroy Paris bribed us with CLICO money just like Wickham said… and we flew in voters, fixed roofs and bought groceries to bribe the voters?”
No, the ULP had to say that Wickham was “misrepresented”, and then Hoyos followed up with his column saying everything was known by the public and it doesn’t matter anyway.
Nevermind blame – Let’s talk about the truth of what Wickham said or is alleged to have said
As Barbados Free Press reported in its Wickham-WikiLeaks articles, one of the big topics throughout the Wickham briefings was the unregulated foreign and domestic monies being poured into political campaigns in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean. Nobody gives big money for nothing. Leroy Parris and all the corrupt business people who fund politics with big money do so on a tit for tat basis.
Nobody gives a quarter million dollars to a political campaign without an agenda. Five hundred dollars, even a few thousand can be contributed because you believe in a candidate or a party – sure – but a hundred thousand dollars cash or fifty thousand dollars of biz jet services? That kind of “donation” expects and requires a payback from the elected politicians.
Peter Wickham: An insider trapped by his job, torn by conscience
I think I understand both Peter Wickhams. The first is, as Patrick Hoyos observes, the quintessential political insider: “In regional polling, there is just no organisation that can match Peter Wickhamʼs CADRES. I mean that sincerely, and I am sure his professional services will remain in high demand on the basis of their quality, despite the leaking of those embassy communications.”
The second Peter Wickham is another man with a conscience who knows that the vast amount of foreign and corporate monies flowing into our political parties have corrupted democracy, stolen from the people, and caused our elected representatives to stash money away in Switzerland as they vote contrary to national interests.
Peter Wickham is part of that system. His funds from political parties are supplied by those who have corrupted the system and undermined democracy.
One Peter Wickham took the political party’s dirty money – while the other Peter Wickham under pangs of conscience told the US Embassy officials about it. The CBC sacked Wickham because he betrayed the established system.
Wickham is no better or worse than any other Bajan who knows what’s going on, but still takes the dirty money, promises of jobs and other perks from the DLP or BLP in exchange for their vote and vocal support.
Campaign funding laws are long overdue, but as Doctor Duguid said in a moment of truthfulness: Bajan politicians will never pass that kind of legislation. More’s the pity.
Because it’s Monday morning and we all need a smile with our coffee!
“… campaigns once depended on rousing oratory by stump speakers but now feature expensive rallies with musical acts and other entertainment; the political speakers are an annoyance that the audience must endure.”
… from a WikiLeaks US Embassy cable talking about political campaign funding in Barbados.
Our thanks to an old friend for sending us the video!
Barbados US Embassy WikiLeaks: DLP-BLP no difference. Alan Chastanet “brown species, Mulatto, not loyal to anybody”
Racist Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves quoted extensively in new WikiLeak
The things people say when they don’t know that the US Intelligence and Consulate personnel are recording every word!
Dear Barbados Free Press,
Have you seen the latest WikiLeak attached to my email?
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves doesn’t like mixed race Mulattos like me and my children?
FUCK HIM. FUCK EVERYONE from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who supports Gonsalves.
Please excuse the language, but sometimes it’s justified and this is one of those times.
(Name withheld by BFP editor)
Gotta love WikiLeaks
The latest release of secret cables from the US Embassy in Bridgetown to Washington should set the mongoose amongst the chickens. So much to read, so little time because I’m off to an early night shift, so I’ll pick out a few quotes and throw in the whole cable so our readers can find more…
Barbados’ two main parties are so similar that “differences will have to be manufactured to keep the party faithful happy.”
And then there is this…
“Chastanet talks a lot of rubbish when it comes to regional air transport.”
He (Gonsalves) further criticized St. Lucia’s Alan Chastanet as among “a species of brown people in the Caribbean with money” who are “not loyal to anybody”. Gonsalves continued by noting that such people, whom he described as “Castries mulattos”, believe they are “oracles” and represent a “break
in the social advancement in the Eastern Caribbean.”
Read it all… Continue reading