Government Says: Barbados Free Press, Barbados Underground Are Unpatriotic

I couldn’t find a better explanation of Samuel Johnson’s most famous quotation than this…

Perhaps Samuel Johnson’s most famous quotation is “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”

The point, as I always understood it, is that appealing to loyalty to one’s own country is the act of a demagogue, of one who will say and do anything to gain public approval and political power. Primarily, it casts those who disagree as unpatriotic, hostile to the institutions and interests of their own country. Honest disagreement becomes character assassination. Underneath the appeal is the exploitation of bigoted or prejudiced feelings of the masses.

The quote is famous, but I don’t know the context in which it was said. I do know that there is nothing wrong with patriotism itself. Your country is, after all, the land you call home. To do what is best for your country is to do what is best for your home…

(Our thanks to The Partial Observer)

After squandering billions of our tax dollars in mismanagement and outright corruption, pushing through a secret Order in Council to enable the suppression of free speech and opposition, ignoring and then openly threatening citizens who ask reasonable questions about the lack of accountability and transparency and the corrupt conflicts of interest that make overnight millionaires of elected representatives – the Barbados Labour Party is now wrapping itself in the flag as its last defense.

In the latest government article published at the Barbados Labour Party Blog and in The Nation News, citizens are told that they should remain quiet about corruption in the Barbados government. To publicly speak about government corruption is “unpatriotic”…

“… posting negative economic and political comments about Barbados on the World Wide Web can certainly not be considered a patriotic thing to do.”

… from the Nation News article BLP Column – Where Is The Proof, Thompson? and also found at the government’s Barbados Labour Party Blog article Thompson: Believability Factor On The Line Again

The government is acting much like a husband who beats his wife and then blames her when she reveals his violence to the community.

No word in the BLP article about the $750,000 “campaign donation cheque” that the Prime Minister was caught depositing into his personal bank account. Nothing in the article about the secret Order In Council that the government is using to listen to citizens’ phone calls and read their emails. Nothing about government ministers who become overnight millionaires or build a home for their girlfriends on land that they expropriated as a member of Cabinet. Nothing about reporters beaten by police for the offense of taking an accident scene photo. Nothing about the government official who had the police arrest a female tenant and strip search her over a civil debt for back rent. Nothing about police using “pre-signed” blank search warrants to terrorize a family in the middle of the night.

The list goes on and on and on.

The BLP article attempts to link Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground blogs to the opposition DLP party. The government must attempt this because they just can’t accept the reality that the ordinary non-political citizens of Barbados have had their fill of corruption and oppression.

But like that beaten wife who has had enough, who is not going to take it any longer, the ordinary citizens of Barbados are crying out to the community and to the world that this is what is being done to our country.

No, Mr. Prime Minister, we will not be silenced.

Now Mr. Prime Minister, about that $750,000 “campaign donation cheque” that you deposited into your personal bank account …

24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

24 responses to “Government Says: Barbados Free Press, Barbados Underground Are Unpatriotic

  1. John

    “The government is acting much like a husband who beats his wife and then blames her when she reveals his violence to the community.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    … and then hollers for murder if she turns out to be like Mrs. Bobbit!!!

    There are ways and ways of communicating a message and if one party isn’t listening …. well, … am … er ……. something has to give!!

    It all depends on how badly the deliverer of the message wnats to get the attention of the deliveree!!

    Communication is a two way street.

  2. Jerome Hinds

    It is amazing how these BLP scoundrels are behaving !

    You gave the people education……..but by the same token they must not ask you the government to account for your shady deals !

    ** Where is the promised audited accounts for GEMS ?

    ** Where did the proceeds from the sale of Silver Rock & Eastry House go ?

    ** Now Mr. Prime Minister, about that $750,000 “campaign donation cheque” that you deposited into your personal bank account … ?

    ** Now Mr. Prime Minister, where is the FBI file you told Barbadians was on your desk ?

    Doan mind doh…….the BLOGS gine stay pun yuh case ?

    Yuh check how Keith Mitchell in Grenada bawling……bout the POWER of the PRESS…..?

    Freedom to BFP & BU……!

    Death to the cruel deeds of Owen Arthur’s Administration !

  3. Anonymous

    I feel a sense of loyalty and patriotism only to my WALLET, and there’s not much of that on this island

  4. Jerome Hinds

    BFP&E
    October 5th, 2007 at 11:52 pm
    Stupid BFP monkeys.

    Meanwhile, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BAJANS ARE ENJOYING LIFE.

    Useless idiots.

    BFP&E

    *******************************************

    I guess you do not MEAN the teachers , nurses at the Geriatric Hospital nor the prison officers who have not been paid by this WICKED BLP government……for months !

    And talking ‘ bout being FIRST WORLD ?

    You mean we are been led by a FIRST WORLD crook & drunkard ?

  5. Hants

    Barbados corruption was put on the world wide web because of the linkages to companies and people who have been charged with ALLEGED fraud in the lawcourts in Alaska,USA and in the UK.

    The Barbados Government has 2 projects that have cost overrruns in excess of 200%.
    Both projects are being built by companies that have been associated with ALLEGED fraud and corruption.
    This why the perception of ALLEGED corruption in the Barbados government is an issue.

    All the Government of Barbados has to do is show proof that the alleged fradulent activities associated with said companies are not part of the Barbados contracts and they did due dilligence to make sure that they were dealing with honest people.

    That is patriotic.

    ******************

    BFP Comments

    Hi Hants

    VECO’s corruption is not “alleged”. People have plead guilty and been found guilty. VECO’s political corruption was part of their corporate culture.

  6. Hants

    BFP…….You are correct about VECO, but I have chosen to use the word alleged because I am making the point that if the Government of Barbados had done due dilligence, even an allegation of this nature (charged in a court of law) should prevent them from doing business with VECO.
    The same goes for 3S and the flyovers.

    Both principals in these companies were charged with fraud and or bribery and the public of Barbados deserves to hear why the Government chose to sign contracts with these people.

    Given that the Owner of VECO pleaded guilty, why is the Government of Barbados not making a statement to the public about their dealings with VECO ?

    Due Dilligence? Well I heard a prominent former BLP Minister say on VOB that he knew absolutely nothing about Building Construction but he formed a company which got a contract to build a school and other Government projects.

    Strange place is little Bimshire.

  7. Andrew

    Recommended reading:

    Virgin VS harlot

    (‘The Lowdown” Weekend Nation)

  8. Hants

    The minister I referred to also said it was a big mistake on his part.
    He was actively involved in the running of the company but I will not go any further with this as the gentleman is a very senior citizen.

    Let us deal with the current 200% cost overruns
    on the Flyovers and the prison.

    Lets us deal with the issues relating to Hardwood housing.

    Let us deal with the fact that the people of Barbados needs to hear the truth about these issues.

    The Taxpayers of Barbados need to be told how their money is being spent.

  9. ILLUMINATOR

    Hear Hear

    Why would you give such massive projects (at least for us ) to rookies in those particular areas and then both of them have massive overuns . Something has got to be wrong or maybe very right for somebody or bodies.

    This is a country ya dealing with not your own little set-up and you giving a fella a chance.

  10. ILLUMINATOR

    Commenting on the title of this piece , resorting to questioning people’s patriotism when not in agreement with the Government’s policies or decisions made is the general direction of a Police state .

    We going down a funny road fa truth.

  11. liz

    The taxpayers money is obviously not being spent on salaries for teachers etc.
    Where do the unions stand on the non payment of public servants?

  12. FamilyB

    and the tax payer’s money certainly isn’t being spent on the Boys on the Block program either. According to today’s Nation, the farmers who stuck with the project are lamenting the fact that resources in the way of chemicals, fertilisers, seeds, storage space – a shed to operate from have not been forthcoming … only a flood of promises from the “authorities”.

    Meanwhile, Bare Foolishness Posted Electronically (or BFPE) wants to suggest that people enjoying life … only the ones who are living high on the hog at other’s expense, or those who have no vision for themselves or this nation, and are content with a new cell phone, a pair of Timberland boots.

    Lord help us all…

  13. Anonymous

    “Strange place is little Bimshire.”

    and getting stranger

  14. cherry2enpowered

    A company that has difficulities in paying its staff or on time have a problem with cashflow and is or may be on the verge of bankrupcy.
    A country that has difficulities in paying its civil servants or on time have a problem with cashflow and is or may be on the verge of bankrupcy.

  15. Wishing in Vain

    Seems to me that BFP is on the ball in their reporting of the facts.

    Minister Lynch awarded $60 000
    Published on: 10/7/07.

    MINISTER OF TOURISM Noel Lynch is today $60 000 richer following his libel settlement with Starcom Network Inc.

    The suit stemmed from the content of an email read by the moderator of Voice of Barbados’ Brass Tacks on a Sunday programme last March. The email raised questions about Lynch’s alleged current life status.

    Lynch objected to the question and walked out of the live broadcast.

    On Friday, Starcom’s chief executive officer Vic Fernandes confirmed the settlement.

    Fernandes revealed the minister was paid $60 000 while his attorney’s costs were $10 000.

    The CEO said the station settled the matter as it was advised it had no strong defence. (RG)

  16. Rumplestilskin

    ”posting negative economic and political comments about Barbados on the World Wide Web can certainly not be considered a patriotic thing to do.”

    Evidently this was learnt from ‘the Republicans” if you not with us, then you are against us’.

    The errant ways of that northern administration has failed to negate the international threat it faces, have resulted in a weakening of the US economy and a massive fall in the Dollar and possibly a US and International recession (but the large corporations such as Halliburton have done rather well).

    Likewise, the errant ways of this administration, in inappropriate resource allocation, over-spending and debt-accumulation, is affecting the quality of life here, in terms of essential infrastructural facilities being ignored, in terms of lack of development in critical areas and in terms of putting the financial situation of the Nation in jeopardy.

    Every administration, whether France, Germany, Britain, Argentina or the USA faces well-publicised and open pressures on inappropriate choices, from recognised journalists. Are these journalists to be considered ‘unpatriotic’?

    Surely in a Nation that aspires to International standards and holds itself to International Treaties on Human Rights etc, democratic and open discussion of significant matters should be encouraged?

    A few Nations limit free speeech, due to their demand on control of citizens. It is these Nations that are quick to execute or jail dissidents, purely for being ‘against’ the Government.

    Will we in Barbados be ridiculed for exercising a right earned by our forebears i.e. the freedom of expression, particularly against socio-economic wrongs?

    Definitely NOT! In fact, voicing our opinions on matters of resource allocation and socio-economic priorities is not only warranted, but demanded by history, nationally and internationally.

    How DARE anyone criticise citizens for their legitimate voicing of concerns, for their exercise of a RIGHT!

    We must never be swayed by bullies. We must stand for our beliefs and for what was earned by our ancestors by hard work, by blood, sweat and tears!

  17. liz

    Is the use of bad language really ncessary to get an opinion across to other readers?

  18. Bush tea

    No Liz, but it feels so…… Bajan

  19. Anonymous

    Used to be there was a time when we in the other islands looked up to Barbados as a Bastion of Democracy and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. Not so anymore, not so.

  20. Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.

    -Bertrand Russell

  21. Kathy

    BFP writers risk serious repercussions in reporting the truth for the benefit of the Barbadian people. Certain Barbados government operatives try to cover up the truth for their own advantage, to protect their money and power base. It is obvious who the true patriots are.

  22. Sargeant

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”

    Samuel Johnson

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