BFP Announces 1st Annual Barbados Piggies At The Trough Awards – US$1,000 Cash Prize For Winning Nominator


First Prize Nominator To Win One Thousand US Dollars – Cash

Barbados Free Press is pleased to announce that the 1st Annual Barbados Piggies At The Trough Awards will take place on December 31, 2006. The “Piggy” as the award is affectionately known, is presented annually to the Barbados politician or civil servant who best exemplifies the “chow down and climb right into the trough” spirit of Bajan corruption. The winner will be the Barbados politician or civil servant who, in the opinion of the judges, best misuses position, political contacts or internal knowledge to benefit self, family or friends. (And yes, extra points will be awarded for creativity or sheer brazeness)

Land Expropriation or Forced Sale Is This Year’s Theme

With so many types of corruption flourishing on Barbados, it was a tough decision to decide which category of unethical behaviour should be the focus of this year’s contest. Robert was all for Nepotism (oh so many targets!) or simple kickbacks for government contracts, but in the end our sponsor’s first choice won out – with Shona and Marcus also giving the vote to “Land Expropriation or Forced Sale”.

The Public Is The Nominations Committee

Nominations are open immediately, with anyone able to nominate any current or past Barbados politician or civil servant for the prestigious “Piggy”…

And we don’t care how far back in time that the corruption occurred. Whether the unethical actions happened last week by a BLP supporter, or two decades ago under a DLP government doesn’t matter – we’re looking for real quality here, folks. Only the best, most audacious hog will be this year’s winner!

Nominations Can Be Made Anonymously – Cash Prize Can Be Delivered Anonymously

The person nominating this year’s winner will take home a cash prize of One Thousand US Dollars – which will be delivered in a “dead drop” (read a spy novel if you don’t know about dead drops – or consult the Wikipedia entry here)

Marcus & Robert Meet Contest Sponsor – “Mr. O”

Two days ago, Robert and I met with a man who wants to make Barbados better and who has put his money where his mouth is. Neither of us had never met him before, but we knew who he was (as most any Bajan would) and we questioned him about his motives and his business history.

“Mr. O” is a Bajan, born and bred in Barbados and he has done well for himself and his family. He says he has seen all the good and bad things that Barbados has done and not done in the last few decades.

Under questioning, “Mr. O” admitted that he has probably benefited from the way the system has been even though he has to admit that it is not always fair. This system, the system we inherited from the British, has favored him and his friends while also disadvantaging other “non-connected” residents of Barbados.

He approached us with mixed feelings and, for reasons we can understand, has insisted on secrecy. Why? Because, he says, he knows how the system works. As long as he looks the other way when tax monies are wasted or ‘borrowed’ by public officials never to be repaid, as long as he takes his piece while others around him are taking theirs and says nothing, he will have a nice life.

But, he says, he knows the other side too. Rock the boat, express disapproval, try to do the right thing by speaking out to stop some of the excesses and you immediately become a pariah.

And then it starts: phone calls, visits from ‘concerned friends’, blocking and obstructions of things you need for your business such as imports, permits, and customers who suddenly don’t want to do business with you. Audits happen, monies owed to you are delayed or never paid. And then your life, and the life of your family become tough. So you keep quiet and shrink away from the more serious sins that are being committed.

“Why now” we asked. “Why after living quietly on the so called good side are you suddenly coming out?”

He was ready with an answer: “Because, because it is getting worse; and I worry that if it does not stop the real Barbadians and future generations are going to be harmed. You’ve seen it on other islands, in third world countries, and it can happen here. When there are no controls it just escalates until the have-nots turn on the have’s and chaos reigns. And that is going to happen here and spoil everything if we don’t put a stop to it.

And don’t just blame the politicians. They are part of it, sure, but they are just doing what comes naturally, feeding at the trough. And they get fatter and need more, and more, until they fall in or, worse, the trough is emptied so there is none for anyone. And so it keeps on going till someone puts a stop to it. And that is why I am here.”

And then he put to us an interesting proposal. At first I thought it was a bit off the wall – but after a while we all thought that this will work…


The prize is US$1000 cash which he gave me (See how honest I am Mr. O. I could have pocketed your money and what could you have done? But even though that is a lot of money to me I agree with you- we need to get started putting a stop to the piggies that are slowly but thoroughly destroying the fabric of our country.)

The contest requires Barbados Free Press readers to identify cases where lands expropriated by the Barbados government have ended up back in private hands. Here are the rules… You can enter as many times as you want. Just give us as many of the details as you can about each entry.

1. Name of person
2. Location of land
3. Description of land
4. Original owner of land
5. Date of seizure or expropriation of land by government
6. How much did government pay for land?
7. Date of transfer of land to new owner.
8. How much did new owner pay?
9. Picture of land taken within the last year.
10. Put a code word on your submission so we can identify you (see below).

On December 31st, at midnight we will select the winner, who will receive the US$1000 cash prize via dead drop – or if the winner desires, we will donate the cash to the hospital.

Anonymous Entries Accepted

And the unfortunate part about this is is that in order to make this contest work we have to go out of our way to make sure that the entrants are protected so that their identities are never known – even to us. So don’t put your name on the entry, use a code word. You can email it to us or mail it to us (address to be supplied later).

When we select a winner we will publish your story and then a way for us to get you the money without being detected by, dare we say it, the piggies who will not be happy that you are interfering with their trough. Or if you don’t want or can’t take the money we will donate it in the name of the BFP to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

So fire up those computers, folks. You might win a thousand bucks US (that’s real money) and you’ll help bring accountability to government in Barbados. (Hey, if the politicians don’t want to bring in conflict of interest and integrity legislation – no matter. We’ll show them that they can’t hide anyway!)


Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

30 responses to “BFP Announces 1st Annual Barbados Piggies At The Trough Awards – US$1,000 Cash Prize For Winning Nominator

  1. victimized

    The delivery of information by regular mail could pose some challenges.

  2. Velzo

    I don’t have the time to fill out the form. But would the PM’s special piece at West Terrace qualify for an award?

  3. John

    Does the private sector need to be included? After all, they provide some of the “incentives” to the politicians and civil servants.

  4. rightvwrong

    What about “Jaws” and whose bank accounts did the money go and who facilitated? Who has details?
    If you don’t have teeth in any new transpareny legislation it doesn’t really matter how obvious the corruption!
    At least the Trinidadians had the guts to go after Panday.

  5. Jupiter

    2 things come to mind immediately.Remember:

    1) The big piece of land owned by an elderly man (Mr Brathwaite I think),who kept repeatedly trying to subdivide this land in the prime Holders Hill/Sandy Lane area and he was denied permission because Town & Country said it was in zone #1 .Well after all the frustration he sold the land cheaply and the person who is connected to that sale had friends in high places.Within in a quick space of time,the zone was changed allowing the buyer to cash in ‘nough dough’ and sell it in lots.Incidentally are some of these players also part of the Kingsland matter?

    2) Remember Eastry house where it was bought from ‘certain private persons’ allegedly to be put back into public control and then surprise – surprise – it went back for sale on the market.

    Bfp I would like you to investigate any cases of non- nationals corruptly getting elderly citizens property.Any truth to that ?

  6. Robert Dee

    I vote with Jupiter on the Holders Hill deal. The principals – two well known BLP operatives – made $9 million profit in a few days.

    Who was the Minister of Town Planning then? Owen or Liz?

    Can’t want it better than that.

  7. felix b

    We will now see if any of our politicians are serious about transparency.

    Should this contest be won by a brave politician there should be a dinner for 2 awarded as well.

    Jupiter, I think the gentleman they ripped off with the Holders Hill land was named Babb. And yes the players in that were the same as Kingsland, Cox and Shorey. Ask David Thompson for details.

    Kingsland is a little different though because parliament passed the Kingsland land for development since 1992 for the itended benefit of senior members of both political parties. Ask David Thompson for details.

  8. Sweet Cakes

    Oh BFP!!

    This latest “Courts” promotion will be enough to keep your fans entertained for weeks.

    Oh what hogwash! What swill!

    They must be revelling in it

    And to think US$1,000 for the best submission put up by a self-confessed perverter of the law – the mysterious Mr O.

    Here’s hoping he does not feature among the prize winning entries.

    What a good soap opera this would make. You boys are in the wrong business.

  9. victimized

    You boys & girl are in the right business.

    You have changed my life and given me the zeal to carry on.

    You are obviously rattling cages.

    Thank you again BFP!!! Keep it up.

  10. Hants

    There are plenty topics that need to be front and centre on this Blog.
    Example in todays Nation.

    Published on: 9/25/06.

    PRIME MINISTER OWEN ARTHUR last night defended the sale of Barbadian land to foreign investors, saying the country had to be able to pay its bills.

    A discussion of this alleged statement by the PM should be a priority.

    I would like to know how much foreign exchange is earned from the use and rental of a Luxury house on a 2 to 5 acre lot.

    I would prefer to see Luxury High rise buildings for Foreigners and land for poor people to help feed themselves.
    At least the foreigners can afford the cost of High Rise Living.

  11. I don’t know … … it is always so difficult for us human beings to avoid the slippery slope – you have a secret meeting to conclude a secret deal with an anonymous donor for a campaign contribution (your campaign is one for transparency and against corruption of course) – someone is going to pay you to do something that you were doing anyway. How will we know that all that is received by you is the money for the contest? Who will be the judges? Who can we appeal to if we think that we have the winning entry? How will we ensure accountability? How will we ensure transparency? How will we know that there is no nepotism? How do we know that if we win that eventually some country – be it the USA or Barbados will not be trying to trace the money under their Proceeds of Crime or Anti-money laundering legislation – and that we wont be stopped when transiting Miami?

    Don’t those old sayings like “off to hell in a hand cart” or “the thin end of the wedge” or “he who pays the piper calls the tune” … … come to mind … …. what happened to all the stuff about transparency and anti-corruption.

    We might very well witness the unfolding of the mini series “How Good Causes Become Corrupt” OR “How the AntiCorruption Lobby (not hotel) Itself became Corrupt”.

    Maybe we can see all of this unfold in time for the Bridgetown Film Festival.

    Press on Sons and Daughters for a Transparent Barbados (SDTB) Mr. O is behind you!!!

    Just some thoughts … … hope you take them positively.

  12. BK

    a vigilant press will always have to be unordodox in its collection methods; this is why blogs in the USA have been successful. the challenge will be in separating the fat from the lean. all Barbados must support any effort to get transparency especially when there is no integrity legislation!

  13. Hants

    BFP, doan ease up.
    If the the BlP has done nothing wrong, they have nothing to worry about. Same for everybody else.
    If the dealings of both parties have not been illegal no problem. If it is a question of morality the voters will be the judges.
    If any of the current BLP members are caught at the “trough” they would be guilty of stupidity.

  14. ross

    Lynette’s comments amaze me. Hants, I agree with you, once their hands are clean none of them have anything to worry about.

  15. Jane

    Lynette you have finally twigged. What you are describing is the Barbados system. Yes, Lynette, how do we know any of this about Barbados? We do not, we will not and we have no right to know. This is what those in authority have been telling us for decades. Well I for one will not accept it.

    “Who can we appeal to if we think that we have the winning entry? How will we ensure accountability? How will we ensure transparency? How will we know that there is no nepotism? How do we know that if we win that eventually some country – be it the USA or Barbados will not be trying to trace the money under their Proceeds of Crime or Anti-money laundering legislation – and that we wont be stopped when transiting Miami?”

  16. If you can bear to hear the truth you have spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools

    …. ….Yours is the earth and everything that is in it.

    Rock On Sons and Daughters for Transparency in Barbados Mr. O is backing you 1000% !!!

  17. BK

    I know you all
    and will awhile uphold
    the unyoked humour of your idleness…

    Henry IV

  18. John

    “…. ….Yours is the earth and everything that is in it.”

    Spoken like a true politician.

  19. God.

    I maintain my Observer Status
    as I look down on you all..
    making notes(in Aramaic)..
    so far without judgement.
    so far.
    Good Luck, all.

  20. Nocturne

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions – that is to say, meaning to do good without actually doing so is useless. Why dont you BFP kiddies get into the game and run for office? You could start a party called the Barbados Free Party. Think of the campain slogans you could spin with that moniker.

    By the way, God, you have always been a little more proactive that. How about doing some of that smiting we always hear about.

  21. Cliverton

    Lynette says… “How will we know that all that is received by you is the money for the contest? Who will be the judges? Who can we appeal to if we think that we have the winning entry? How will we ensure accountability? How will we ensure transparency? How will we know that there is no nepotism? ”

    Easy to assure all this Lynette… because Barbados Free Press has just taken a vote and we would like to have you as one of the judges for this contest.


    Will you agree? We will be publishing each nominee, so you would easily be able to vote. How about it?

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  23. God.

    ‘Smiting’ is so.. so old fashioned,
    so Biblical!
    – so OLD TESTAMENT. age now.
    I leave them to smite themselves.

    Besides, they do it so well.
    (less work for me, huh?) !

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