Election Day Note: We published this article way back during Cricket World Cup (April 18, 2007). We thought it would be appropriate to bring it back today in view of the few commenters who seem to think Owen Arthur is still a poor little boy with no shoes.
One of the lines in the article struck us… “…think about the wealth it takes to give away US$150,000.”
PM Gives Cricket Legends Of Barbados US$150,000 In After-Tax Dollars
That is quite a chunk of change.
Don’t you wonder where Prime Minister Arthur got it? Prime Minister or not, he is only a politician with a family (or two) to feed and send to school. Just a man with a huge divorce settlement not so long ago.
Yup. Quite a chunk of change – $150,000 American. After Tax Dollars. That is real hard money, for sure.
Oh well, that still leaves US$600,000 in his personal account from that $750k cheque he received for “campaign donations”, doesn’t it?
Without integrity legislation, conflict of interest rules, freedom of information laws and transparency, being elected will continue to be the road to riches – so many riches that a man with two families and children to send to school can give US$150,000 to charity.
There are those who will say we are too hard on the man. They say “Look at the PM. He can’t do anything right in BFP’s eyes. Owen Arthur gives away that much money out of the goodness of his heart and BFP can’t even commend him.”
To those folks, we say think about the wealth it takes to give away US$150,000.
If the Prime Minister came by his wealth honestly and NEVER profited from his inside knowledge in government, never took “consulting fees” or “gifts” from persons with an interest in having land use permissions changed, never arranged to have his assets held in a proxy’s name, never had an offshore bank account, never arranged for a family member to have a government job, housing or benefits (oops… Owen blew that one for sure!!)… then we congratulate the Prime Minister on both his charity and his business acumen.
But without laws and transparency, there will always be the question – Where did this politician’s great wealth come from if not from you and me?
We have a right to make those who control our public monies account for an apparent conflict between their annual income and their personal wealth.
Politicians can continue to storm out of radio shows or become indignant at the mention of their assets – but Bajans have had enough.
Where did you get your great wealth, Mr. Prime Minister?
From BBC Sport Cricket…
Barbados Greats Give A Little Back
A group of 41 former cricketers from Barbados, including some famous names, is clubbing together to help former team-mates who have fallen on hard times.
The organisation, Cricket Legends of Barbados, will also promote the game on the island, and stars a glittering roll-call of members.Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Joel Garner will all lend their time.One of the group, former wicket-keeper David Allan, said there was one former star which the group was already targeting for assistance, but declined to name him.
Barbados has produced more stars for West Indies than any other island.Prime Minister Owen Arthur, an ardent cricket fan, has personally donated US$150,000, an amount that has been matched by local hoteliers.
And the government has spent $2.3m on renewing a derelict house to serve as the headquarters for the venture.Allan told the BBC: “The main objective is to raise money to promote cricket, mainly school cricket. We will all chip in.”Sir Gary and Wes Hall and other legends have a lot to offer youngsters in cricket knowledge and attitude.”
… continue reading this article at the BBC (link here)