Daily Archives: March 13, 2007

Constitutional Amendment 2007: Prime Minister Owen Arthur Engaging In Cover-up Of Immense Financial Scandal

The Constitutional Amendment Act Of 2007 – A Deceitful Cover-up

Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government have a problem. The country is in far worse shape financially than they can ever admit – and that was even before the wild spending orgy called Cricket World Cup.

With an election fast approaching, the Prime Minister and his cabinet have to find some way to hide the bad news – if not forever, at least until after the election.

Their dishonest solution is happening this week in Parliament…

Secretly, before anyone can catch on, the government is amending the Constitution and changing the way the Country’s books have been done ever since Barbados became a country.

This is the first article of a three part series where Barbados Free Press sounds the alarm and exposes the government’s deceitful attack upon democracy in Barbados.

THE GENESIS OF THE DISASTER

(Part 1 of 3 about the proposed Constitutional Amendment Act of 2007.)

The BLP came to power in times of unemployment. Keynesian economic theories (the PM is an economist) were used to get Barbados back on its feet. In those days borrowing money and spending on projects was justified to jump start us and create more jobs.

 

But while this was going on the government ‘forgot’ to put controls in place which would ensure there was no leakage, no graft, or larceny in the spending program. Worse, they promoted a policy of secrecy and obfuscation to hide the incompetence, the cronyism, and the eve- increasing theft of public monies. The people in the lower ranks of government took their cue from the top and things got worse in that more and more leakage occurred. Larger dollops of the borrowed funds were not used for productive purposes but instead found their way into cars, trips, investments that were sure losers and handouts to friends. To top it all off Government Ministers awarded valuable government contracts to companies which they or their cronies owned without any public tender or disclosure.

 

Then, at a time when prudent fiscal policies might have turned the tide and avoided the coming financial meltdown the government instead adopted the ‘bread and circuses’ strategy employed in earlier days by the Roman Empire. You know that one: exploit the masses, overtax them, mortgage the country’s future and then when they start to complain, or worse, put on grand spectacles the Coliseum – or in our case at Kensington -to distract them.

 

And so CWC 2007 was chased and won. This tactic, they knew, would mesmerize the people for a while, probably through 2007, but what to do when the honeymoon was over and the price tag arrived?

 

By then of course what with all the past fiascoes (how about GEMS, how about $50,000,000 being owed after arbitration for a contract that was never completed…tips of the iceberg these…we could go on) the debt will be out of the stratosphere. The country already owes or has guaranteed well over US$1 billion dollars that we know of. Debt service (interest) payments have climbed to over US$6,000,000 a month. There is no way we are going to be able to pay all this back.

All of the country’s valuable assets have already been mortgaged off. CWC is not – never has been – the hoped for cash cow and so soon and very suddenly there will be no way to hide the impending disaster. Which is not good because there is an election to win in 2008. If the people find out the truth before then the perpetrators of this disaster, our beloved government are doomed to go down to defeat and maybe to jail.

What to do, what to do?

Enter Arthur the Illusionist. All that is needed here is some good old fashioned sleight of hand.

… to be continued in Part 2

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Ikael Tafari Says Africa Had No Slaves – (Perhaps Most Africans Came To Barbados On Vacation And Were Then Enslaved?)

It was fitting that Ghana should be the gateway to national Independence on the continent for, historically, that West African country was a major gateway through which European slave-traders penetrated the interior of the Motherland, in their rapacious quest to capture those Africans who they shipped for over three centuries across the Atlantic into chattel slavery in the Caribbean and the Americas.

Incidentally, the term ‘slave trade’ misleads, implying Africans shipped to the New World were already slaves, when in fact the overwhelming majority of them were enslaved later on plantations in the West.

Ikael Tafari – Director for Barbados Commission For Pan-African Affairs in The Nation News (link here)

Doctor Tafari is once again confused and confusing. Perhaps he had been smoking some of the herb before writing his latest in The Nation News. According to him, those bad old whites “penetrated” Africa to personally capture every black person shipped across the Atlantic to the plantations.

No way the Africans themselves would have captured other tribes and sold them to the whites. No way they had slaves themselves – and as for the Muslim and Arab slave trade, it just didn’t exist. Not worthy of mention by Tafari anyway.

What a propaganda statement by Tafari as he writes off historical and contemporary African and Middle East slavery – where thousands upon thousands are still enslaved in a business that has been ongoing for hundreds of years prior to the European Atlantic slave trade.

Dr. Tafari is perpetually confused about history, religion, culture and sexual perversion – and is a strange choice for a government appointment considering his being a proponent for the legalization of marijuana. (see BFP’s Barbados Director of Commission For Pan-African Affairs Confused About Religion, Culture and Sexual Perversion AND another BFP article We Need To Send A Message To Drug Gangs And To Bajan Youth.)

Dr. Tafari needs to take a trip to Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia and Northern Africa and keep his eyes and mind open. Christian groups still purchase what slaves they can to free them as Tafari and his peers look the other way for the convenience of their political message.

Slavery is dead as an institution in Western Civilization largely to the efforts of white Christians like William Wilberforce and his contemporaries – not because of African or Arab efforts. Yes, we know that some sex slave trade still exists everywhere – even in Barbados – but that is certainly illegal and on a different scale than the slavery and slave trade that still exists as societal institutions in Africa and the Middle East.

Like everyone, Tafari is entitled to his views – but as a government appointee his views on the legalization of marijuana and the absence of African slaves in history are given a legitimacy that they do not deserve.

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Slavery

Decline Theory, Econocide and a Bottle of Rum

Ask any student and they’ll tell you : November and March are the cruelest months, with March being the far more vicious of the two. The deadlines for assignments are fast approaching and exams are right around the corner. Sleep becomes a rare commodity. My days are spent alternating between staring intently at a blank Word document, willing 3000 words to appear on the screen, and gazing longingly at that unopened bottle of rum still sitting on top of the fridge … sigh …

Focus Clive …

The Abolition of Slavery

The question I struggle with – The primary stimulus for the abolition of slave-based labour.

Eric Williams 1944 work “Capitalism and Slavery” posits that it was economic factors that would ultimately be the catalyst for abolition. According to Williams’ ‘Decline Theory’, the modern industrial era, created through the use of slave-labour, would eventually render that same system of labour unprofitable, leading to its demise.

Seymour Drescher‘s response to Williams, “Econocide”, disputes the Williams thesis. Drescher credits the British humanitarian efforts with ultimately being responsible for the abolition of slavery.

My view? Like most academic arguments, I find the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. However, a thesis statement of “sort of yes, but sort of no”, does not a good 3000 word essay make. So, I suppose it’s back to staring at that blank screen again … Unless … maybe I’ll just dip into that rum a little, I’m sure just a taste won’t hurt …

Value of this whiny, complaint post to the reader – Questionable.

Value of this whiny, complaint post to the writer – Immeasurable.

Cheers,

Cliverton

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Filed under Barbados, Slavery

Having Some Proxy Problems

Hi Folks

For the last 48 hours, we’ve been having some problems that have resulted in, for instance, articles not appearing in the “recent posts” sidebar – as well as some comments not appearing in the “recent comments” sidebar.

I think this all started when we changed the hardware on “proxy 2” – as I’ve taken it offline and everything appears to be back to normal. Side message to Clive, you’ll have to go back to your first system until we get it figured out. We’ll get back to you on the phone or maybe through your brother with the new proxy settings – don’t want to use email for obvious reasons.

Nothing sinister going on here friends – I just tried to reconfigure something to make it “better” (ha ha) and lost a full day trying to undo the damage. Computers!

M & company

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