Daily Archives: November 1, 2006

BFP Reader Reports: DLP Headquarters Broken Into On Weekend

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Barbados Watergate? Probably Not, but…

Just heard that DLP headquarters at George St were burgled last weekend.
Memories of “Watergate” have sprung to mind, especially since William (Duguid – DLP Party Secretary – ed) on the BLP blog says he is working on something big to discredit David Thompson. Hope I am wrong!

… post from Barbados Free Press reader Littleboy56@caribsurf.com

IF somebody said to me that Dr. William Duguid, Secretary General of the Barbados Labour Party, knew of or was in any way associated with a plot to break into the headquarters of the Opposition DLP, I would say “Not a chance”.

In all seriousness, Dr. Duguid is far too good a man to even tolerate talk of such nonsense at BLP. So, no matter what comes up about this break-in, there is no way that Dr. Duguid has anything to do with it. Knowing him, I don’t buy into the idea even one tiny bit. Period.

Some other persons? Well, that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

What Did Dr. Duguid Say On The BLP Blog?

On the BLP Blog on October 25, 2006 at 9:57pm, Dr. Duguid stated during a discussion that he (or the BLP) was “Working on something very big. Will totally discredit Thompson.”

You can link to the original here.

Here is a cut and paste from the BLP Blog…

william duguid Says:
October 25th, 2006 at 9:57 pm

Working on something very big. Will totally discredit Thompson.

Hants Says:
October 26th, 2006 at 12:27 pm
William I think RoyalRumble has “stolen your thunder” and given your hot story to BFP.
Unless you have something bigger than “Sandy Lane”.

That’s just politics, folks. I’ll wait for further information before deciding whether the break-in at DLP headquarters was a political act or just theft.

photo: Notorious Barbados Cat Burglar being apprehended by armed home-owner

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

How Do We Keep The Next Barbados Election Honest?

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Votes Have Been Bought And Sold On Barbados Since Forever

Even if we haven’t personally participated in selling our vote, most of us on this island have heard the election-time stories.

– Meet the man with the blue truck behind the certain shop or just off the roundabout. Give your name, go to vote and then say hello to a certain man sitting outside. Shake hands around back with another man. Be careful you don’t drop anything after you shake hands!

– A group of fisherfolk go together to vote, only to run into another group of their friends meeting the same fellow outside. Embarrassed smiles and winks all around.

– Vote and give a nod to certain gentleman = nice Christmas basket delivered that year. No nod = no Christmas basket. Meet another gentleman and be seen… maybe somebody comes and has a little chat with you in a few days.

… and on and on and on.

Such things have been a tradition going back I don’t know how long. Everyone has a story or two about election time.

How Do We Stop This, Folks?

They bribe us legally with our own money during the term and especially just before the election is announced. A nice project for this village. A new community center for that parish. A grant of some paint for a church, a road leveled out…

That’s politics. But what we are talking about is something else… Something that undermines democracy, and makes a citizen less than a citizen. Something that makes a man less than a man.

Such happenings have not been restricted to the governing party.

How do we stop it this time?

Any ideas? Shout Them Out!

Future article: Looking At The Voting Process.

Send us your experiences and your ideas. We must take back the democratic process. Even if we trap only a few the next time around, we will start to safeguard the future.

Now where did I put that video camera and hidden tape recorder?

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Gas Pipeline Awaiting Barbados Decision ‘Announcement’

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Source: Decision Made But Barbados Government Waiting To Announce It

There is probably a good reason that the Government of Barbados has not yet announced its decision to allow a US$550 million dollar natural gas pipeline from Trinidad & Tobago to Barbados.

Probably some details have to be finalized… like who pays for the pipeline, and where it will come ashore. Hmmm… I wonder who now owns the land where the pipeline will be coming ashore? I wonder who will be paying for it, who will get the construction contracts, and how much Barbados will make from the next section between Barbados and St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique & Guadeloupe?

I wonder if this pipeline will create any “instant millionaires” on Barbados? No way of knowing because, here in Barbados, the details on billion dollar government deals never see the light of day.

There’s no way they would keep it under wraps just for political timing is there? Naw…. no way they would do that…

Advancement of a US$550mn natural gas pipeline project in the Caribbean is pending approval from Barbados’ government, Omar Gorib, gas marketing manager at Trinidad & Tobago’s National Gas Company (NGC), told BNamericas.

The first phase of the project would transport natural gas from Tobago to Barbados, said Gorib. The natural gas primarily will be used for power generation.

A source in Barbados connected to the pipeline project told BNamericas the government has approved the project and an official announcement is expected soon.

… article continues at Rigzone (link here)

Also see The Nation News September 28, 2006 pipeline article (link here

A word of thanks to our sweetheart J, who sent this subject along to BFP

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Environment, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

Indian Cricket Article Laments: “Never Ever Get Fooled By That Bajan Politeness…”

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From Our “If You Can’t Take The Heat, Stay Out Of The Kitchen” files…

A few excerpts from an Express India cricket story. The story is well written and a bit of fun as the author, Mini Kapoor, relates a cricket trip to Barbados…

Candid Caribbean

You here for the cricket? The question never varies, and it is put to me with clockwork regularity. In airports, hotel elevators, cabs, souvenir shacks, everywhere. In Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica. Cricket it is, and in a curious way talk of the game — the game itself — keeps me tethered to Caribbean diversity. Cricket it is that binds these emerald isles — this unique entity still called the British West Indies — but cricket it is too that separates them.

In Barbados — its moniker ‘Bimshire’ emphasising its enduring Englishness, its reputation for producing more worldclass cricketers per capita intact — they are keen competitors, but so achingly polite about it. It helps that they are already celebrating victory in Bridgetown when I arrive. But they are itching for more, they will settle for nothing less than a series win.

…snip

Never ever get fooled by that Bajan politeness. Engage Barbadians a little more, spell out the need for an Indian victory, and you’ll have them guffawing. They will have you cringing in seconds, they will go breathless as they laugh over the dismissals at Kensington Oval. Party with them in this most beguiling, most friendly of cities, spend countless hours watching the waves roll in and rush back on its white beaches, discuss Caribbean literature in its well-stocked bookshops, but maintain contrite silence when dwell upon the funny old game.

… Read the rest of this excellent piece at Express India (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Island Life

Barbados Calling Mr. Ibrahim! – Billionaire Offers Prize To African Leaders – For Least-Corrupt Government

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In September, Barbados Free Press announced the 1st Annual Barbados Piggies At The Trough Awards – with US$1,000 cash first prize going to the person who nominates the winner of the award. The winner of “The Piggy” 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.

That’s one approach to political corruption.

Cellular phone billionaire Mo Ibrahim from Sudan has another idea…

Africa’s political leaders are being offered a $5m prize and a stipend for life if they do not plunder the national coffers or rig elections. Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton are backing the initiative to be formally launched tomorrow in London by a foundation started by a Sudanese-born telecom tycoon, Mo Ibrahim.

From The Guardian International (link here)

Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton All Give Blessing – But Transparency International Does Not

…Hassan Lorgat, head of the South African branch of the global anti-corruption group Transparency International, said the thinking behind the prize is flawed because it puts the emphasis and responsibility for good governance on one person.

“It targets individuals and at best you can pick a few dozen leaders for the prize and that reaffirms the principle of the ‘big man’,” he said.

“It doesn’t read Africa’s problems correctly. Those who keep governments accountable are ordinary people and that accountability needs to be strengthened. That’s where he should have put his money. Or into the parliaments that could hold leaders accountable.”

“Those who keep governments accountable are ordinary people and that accountability needs to be strengthened.”

Our Take On This Story…

Transparency International makes a good point: in the end it is the ordinary people who keep governments accountable, but they need proper Integrity Legislation and Conflict Of Interest Rules put in place to do so. (Which is why Barbados has neither, folks!)

At least Mr. Ibrahim’s offer will get people talking about corruption and honest government, and for that we wish him well.

Story Links

Guardian International: Prize of $5m Awaits Honest African Rulers

Brett Keller & the World: Quitting for Democracy

Transparency International

Utstein Anti-Corruption Centre

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Cricket World Cup Spending Orgy – Barbados Borrows Yet Again

Barbados Needs Yet Another Loan To Fund Orgy Of Spending

Cricket World Cup Barbados is going to be one heck of a party. I just hope the hangover doesn’t last more than twenty years or so…

From The Nation News “Loan Bid Soon

Barbados could soon be going to the international market to borrow in order to boost foreign reserves.

Central Bank Governor Dr Marion Williams made the disclosure yesterday during her review of the economy for the first nine months of the year…

However, she declined to disclose the figure, noting it was “better” the announcement came from Minister of Finance and Prime Minister Owen Arthur…

Last November, Parliament gave the green light for Barbados to float a $250 million bond on the international capital market through a German bank, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., to boost the foreign reserves and underwrite a significant portion of the expenses associated with hosting Cricket World Cup next year…

What Do You Mean, “The Good Economic Numbers Are All Cricket Construction?”

Central Bank Governor Dr. Marion Williams stated pretty much that in her review of the economy…

Again the non-traded sector led by construction, was the main engine of economic activity, increasing by 9.5 per cent on top of a 15.7 per cent jump for the same period in 2005.

This, the governor noted, reflected continued preparations for Cricket World Cup 2007 and various private residential and public infrastructural projects.

… Nation News Economy On The Up And Up

Let me see if I can figure this all out…

1 / We are borrowing big time to finance the construction associated with Cricket World Cup.

2/ The construction associated with Cricket World Cup is a “main engine of economic activity”…

3/ Which means that when the party is over, we will have to begin paying back the loan… but the engine of the economy that allows us to borrow for the party was preparation for the party itself… and the party will be over….

All too complex for me, so you had better pour me a double shot of Mount Gay, darlin’ … But I know if we ran our little house like the country is doing, we’d be out on the street in no time!

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Politics & Corruption