Daily Archives: December 31, 2007

UPDATED: DLP’s National Campaign Manager Lays Out The Issues – Doesn’t Mention Integrity Legislation, Conflicts of Interest, Government Corruption

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Updated: Jan 1, 2008 – scroll to bottom for update.

We Told You So!

The DLP Piggies Can’t Wait To Get Their Hands On The Public Chequebook

Branford Taitt, former Cabinet Minister and now the DLP’s National Campaign Manager lays out the campaign issues and strategies for the Nation News and doesn’t breathe a word about corruption, conflicts of interest or integrity legislation. (Nation News Bajans Calling For Change)

Nope… those items simply aren’t on the DLP’s agenda in a major way.

Mr. Taitt makes it quite clear that the DLP hopes to win the election simply on the public’s desire to see a change. What the DLP and Taitt obviously don’t understand is why the public wants a change: they have had it with the big-spending corruption of the BLP government.

I guess Taitt and his party forgot some of the corruption issues he addressed in an interview back in February when the former Cabinet Minister told of how Government officials and insiders form companies on the side and then award government contracts to their own companies. (See BFP’s Former DLP Cabinet Minister Branford Taitt: Ministry People Are Directors Of Companies Receiving Government Contracts)

The DLP could have declared years ago that they would institute laws to prohibit this type of insider abuse that has characterized the BLP government. The DLP could have prepared legislation two years ago and had it all ready to go in the event they form the next government. The DLP could have embraced integrity in a big way for years – not as a throw away promise in the final days of the campaign.

But nope – the piggies in the DLP want their share of the public trough so they are not about to make any laws that would hinder their efforts.

Friends, Mr. Taitt’s interview again proves that there is not a lick of difference between the BLP and the DLP. Just different versions of the same old same old.

Yup… if the DLP win, prepare to sing that old song from The Who, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Won’t get fooled again.”

Updated Jan 1, 2008

We received this email from the Communications Director of the DLP, Reudon A. Eversley…

Hello BFP folks

Just to notify you that the post under the name DLP Campaign Communications is genuine. I am the Communications Director with the DLP campaign and if you have any queries about any aspect of the DLP’s programmes and policies, please send me an email and I will endeavour to provide with an answer in as timely a manner as possible.

Let me assure you that the DLP is committed to openness and is serious about effecting meaningful change. If it weren’t, I would not have accepted this assignment.

With every best wish for the new year.


Reudon A. Eversley, M.J (Carleton), Dip. Th., J.P.
Journalist/Media & Communication Consultant
Motto: “Possunt quia posse videntur”  

BFP Replies…

Happy New Year to you too, Reudon!

Yup, we do have a request. Please forward to us or post on the DLP website the exact wording and all details of any intended DLP integrity legislation, conflict of interest laws, campaign financing laws, freedom of information legislation etc….

And tell us when such legislation will be placed before Parliament should the DLP form the next government.

Thanks!

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Barbados Election Date Unlawful – Not Enough Clear Days From Call To Voting Day

If you haven’t read Douglas Trotman’s article in the Nation News, you should do so.

Readers of the article Registers Cannot Be Ready can only come away with more evidence that our Prime Minister does not respect the rule of law or our Constitution at all. It seems that Owen Arthur did not allow enough clear days under law from the election call to the voting day.

Friends, the election laws are there for a reason, but Owen Arthur cares nothing for the law. We’ve already seen that a hundred different times so this latest abuse of power is no surprise.

Mr. Trotman makes a strong case that the January 15th date for the Barbados election is unlawful for a number of reasons. He is also asking for the Barbados election to be “monitored by the relevant authorities” although he doesn’t state who these “relevant authorities” are.

This call for election monitoring in Barbados should be taken seriously by the international community as our country started down a slippery slope several years ago. Personal freedoms and democracy are under attack by an Owen Arthur led cabal that does what they want, when they want – without fear of the police or the courts because they own both those institutions.

Mr. Trotman is a respected lawyer and is running as an independent candidate in St. Philip South. Please take the time to read his Nation News article. (link here)

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Questions we would like answered by Government before the election on 15th January 2008!

Let’s see where this takes us.

Comments are open without moderation (for now).

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Journalist Peter Wickham Banned From Nation News – So We’ll Print His Article Here

Regrettably I have to confirm that for the first time since my Grandfather Clennell Wickham started writing People and Things in the 1940s, this article has been unilaterally suspended by the Newspaper that agreed to host it. Clearly, my perspective on this occasion is very different to that which I offered during the 1999 and 2003 elections. I am therefore grateful to BU and to BFP for carrying this review of the politics of inclusion which is yet to see the light of day”.

THE POLITICS OF INCLUSION REVISITED

The Sunday Sun of January 3rd 1999 presented an article entitled “The New Politics of Inclusion” which sought to critique an apparent “programme” of the Arthur administration which was apparently intended to allow for greater participation in the governance of our country. This article took the position that the politics of inclusion represented a development that was not only good but absolutely necessary for the proper development of a country like Barbados which is both small and resource deficient.

This perspective was, however, a theoretical argument which assumed much about this programme of inclusion which this author presumed would take democracy beyond the right to vote in elections and allow Barbadians the opportunity to play a role in a government that is open, accountable and participatory.

The BLP fought and won the 1999 election and created history in the process. The bumper harvest of seats in that election was no-doubt assisted considerably by this programme of inclusion, which can now be reviewed against objectives which were both political and developmental. This review is concerned more with the delivery of developmental objectives, however, since the 1999 article is used
as a base and it concluded that:

”The politics of inclusion is worthy of consideration, so long as it can be identified as a derivation of “participatory democracy”. The nature of participatory democracy is such that is can easily be confused with a programme of overtly political patronage and the use of public funds to advance a political cause. A fine line separates the two; hence it is essential that either party adopting such a programme give it the fullest possible expression so that the objectives of the programme are clearly a contribution to national development”.

Needless to say, very little has been forthcoming from the Arthur administration regarding the philosophical and developmental objectives of the politics of inclusion, hence it is difficult not to conclude that it has been a crass programme of political patronage, that had nothing to do with development. The programme targeted “progressive” elements of Civil Society as well as political operatives; however in virtually every case there has been a direct political benefit, while an objective assessment of our system of governance now does not reveal any obvious contributions to the enhancement of democracy.

In a contribution that was perhaps ill-advised, Mr. David Commissiong who was one of the beneficiaries of that programme, indicated that he was “offered a ministry” in the Arthur administration in return for his support and that of the “Pan African Brigade” and while the PM has stated categorically that he did not make such an offer, it is clear that some discussion of options took place with agents of the PM who might or might not have been acting on his instructions. As a result Commissiong was able to negotiate the establishment of the Pan African Commission and a directorship for himself. The extent to which this commission has contributed to the development of Barbados is questionable, however the expenditure of three million dollars annually on its activities is not in question. Moreover it is a fact that the Commission has allowed the BLP to embrace “left leaning” characters such as Dr. Michael Hutchinson, Dr George Belle and Commisiong himself.

This component of the politics of inclusion programme is instructive since it provides evidence of the manner in which political commodities were traded and moreover we are now able to reflect on the extent to which these trades benefited the BLP’s politics, but not the development of this country. It was important that the BLP capture this “ideological bias” that the Pan African Commission represented since the BLP has always struggled to occupy that political space that is left of centre and consistent with its socialist philosophy. The DLP has traditionally been considered the more progressive of the two parties and as a result personalities like those associated with the Pan African Commission were always assumed to be Dems. The programme of inclusion successfully changed that perception overnight and added the philosophical dimension to the practical politics of attracting DLP politicians to cross the floor.

In almost all instances those who were “included” have lost their independence and become BLP apologists and in virtually every case these apologists have been rewarded in some way at the public’s expense. As a result the list of consultants attached to the office of the Prime Minister and indeed several other government agencies has grown exponentially and if the PM were to be brave enough to respond to Parliamentary question tabled in the last term requesting such information, then we would be in a position to know exactly who these consultants are, what they do (if anything) and how much of our money these people are paid.

As one reflects on the last three BLP terms, one struggles to identify the fundamental improvements in our governance that this inclusion has brought. The net size and expenditure of the central government has grown and this government has successfully executed some projects, however several of these have been poorly managed which speaks volumes about the extent to which government’s capacity has been enhanced. Moreover there are several governmental deficiencies that are yet to be touched by this intellectually enriched administration. As a result, we still do not have anything resembling integrity legislation in Barbados and our public service is still able to withhold information from taxpayers that was collected using taxpayer’s money. Certainly these two governmental innovations have been installed in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago without a politics of inclusion and in this author’s opinion the transparency offered by these initiatives is considerably more beneficial to governance and far less demanding on the public purse.

It is doubtful that a thorough reflection on the politics of inclusion will ever be written and this is unfortunate since it would be nice to hear some beneficiary of the programme speak to its benefits and attempt to convince us that it was not a crass vote buying exercise. It would also be interesting to see a comprehensive analysis of the extent to which this programme might have impacted negatively on our development in a way that goes beyond its enormous cost. Certainly if we accept that the opinions previously offered by persons like Commissiong were useful to democracy in Barbados, then any attempt to bring such persons under a party whip should be viewed contemptuously.

Peter W. Wickham (Wickham@sunbeach.net) is a political consultant and a director of Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES).

This article will be included in our next print edition.

For the story as to why and how journalist Peter Wickham was banned from the Nation News, check out Barbados Underground’s post Peter Wickham’s Articles Banned By The Nation Newspaper

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Reminder: Moderation Is On For Everyone

Hello friends,

We’ve had a few of our regular readers email us asking why they are being moderated. The answer is that everyone’s comments are being held for moderation due to ongoing attacks from government agents. If there is one thing that the government can’t stand it is citizens holding open discussions of news that isn’t censored.

Because each of the writers at BFP have real jobs and real lives, your comments are sometimes not moderated for several hours.

That’s life on our island.

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Barbados Death Threats: Copy Of Letter From Adrian Loveridge To Prime Minister Owen Arthur

The Right Honourable Owen S. Arthur, Prime Minister

Sir,

Two days ago the brother of the Chief Justice, Mr. Peter Simmons, telephoned me at our hotel to voice concern about any possible linkages between himself or brother, and what can only be described as almost daily death threats against myself and wife.

Most of these death threats and similar vows to burn down our hotel have been placed on two very popular blogs: Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground.

Barbados Free Press recently advised that they have identified at least one of the death threats to IP: 69.73.212.201 timed at 10.39pm (GMT) on 28th December 2007.

I understand that with the assistance of the Police and Cable and Wireless, it is possible to trace the sender (s) of these deeply offensive threats which are often linked to pornographic websites and contain explicit vile comments.

While, we may not entirely share the same views on every subject, I am sure you would not condone this sort of behaviour and I would respectfully ask for your assistance to initiate a Police investigation into this matter.

I promise you my full co-operation to track down this person (s).

During the nearly 20 years of residence on Barbados, my wife and I have tried to make a useful contribution to our field of endeavour, tourism.

Of the 106 hotels on Barbados rated by the worlds most visited website, TripAdvisor, Peach and Quiet, is currently ranked #2, which are entirely based on actual guests comments.

I thank you for considering this matter and wish you and your family a healthy and happy 2008.

Adrian Loveridge
29th December 2007

Sent to info@primeminister.gov.bb at 0512 hrs 29 December 2007

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