Monthly Archives: August 2008

Barbados Government Announcement Of (Yes, Another) SPECIAL AUDIT for NHC!!! Wow!!! (Yawn…)

UPDATE: January 10, 2012

Here is a little article we wrote back in August of 2008 where we explained that Prime Minister Thompson will be calling all manner of “special audits” looking into wrong-doing by the past BLP Arthur/Mottley Government – but that no persons will be held responsible due to a gentleman’s agreement between the DLP and BLP.
Have a read and tell us – was BFP right on the money or not? Four years later and not one person charged.
Prime Minister Thompson and his DLP told us that money flowed into  overseas BLP bank accounts. The DLP told us that corruption was rampant. They told us that they would introduce Conflict of Interest rules, Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information.
Did the DLP lie to us?
Big time!
Michael Lashley & Maxine McClean Pretend Something Will Happen!

The Big Show: Michael Lashley & Maxine McClean Pretend Something Will Happen!

Previous Arthur/Mottley BLP Government Shouldn’t Worry: The Fix Is In!

I think I’ve lost track of the number of “Special”, “Forensic” and “Special Forensic” audits talked about by the David Thompson DLP Government. Thompson and his gang are in their ninth month of governing Barbados and one thing is for sure…

The fix is in. There will be lots of shouting and posturing, but no real action will be taken to hold members of the previous administration to account for their corruption. And there will be no real action taken by the Thompson Government to recover any of the millions of our tax dollars that were given away in overpriced sweetheart government contracts by the Arthur/Mottley administration.

If Prime Minister Thompson and his government were serious about integrity and recovering our misspent tax dollars, we would have seen three serious indicators…

1/ Thompson and his DLP Government would have kept their promise to adopt a Ministerial Code from day one. (Instead, a rebellion by government members who want the DLP to have their turn at feeding at the public trough forced Thompson to cancel his integrity promises.)

2/ Barbados government policy from day one would have been that no government contracts were to be issued to businesses owned by elected or appointed government officials or their immediate family members. (Instead, the Prime Minister himself borrowed a business jet from people who have contracts with the Barbados government – a clear conflict of interest to which the PM’s only answer is silence.)

3/ On day one, the new Barbados government would have immediately moved to secure the paper and electronic business records of the government in all areas – and particularly in major projects over the past 14 years where tens of millions of tax dollars (and probably more) is totally unaccounted for. (This was not done. No use looking for those records now – nine months later! – But that was the Thompson plan all along… don’t force the issue.)

Good god – Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur and the rest of their cabal spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars on major projects like the prison and flyovers where standard business contracts simply do not exist! Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, VECO Corporation

Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas Announces Integrity Commission – Don Mitchell CBE Hopes It Isn’t Empty Promises Like Barbados PM David Thompson

The new Prime Minister of Grenada, Tillman Thomas, says his government is embracing integrity legislation and vows he is setting a new course for his country. As reported by Caribbean Net News…

The Governor General announced that the government will set up an Integrity Commission to ensure integrity in public life. The Commission, he said, will obtain declaration of the assets and liabilities and income of persons in public life. Governor General of Grenada Sir Daniel Williams He also said a Public Procurement Authority will be established to regulate public procurement and practices in the Public Service.

In a move to prevent corruption, the Governor General also announced the establishment of an Investment Policy Review Committee to look at investment proposals (local and foreign) before they are considered by Cabinet, as well as a National Economic Council to advise the Government on macro-economic policies and other major issues.

Sir Daniel also announced the appointment of an Ombudsman, who will have the power to investigate the administrative actions taken by on behalf of Government and other public authorities, including statutory corporations.

… from Caribbean Net News (link here)

Corruption-free Anguilla Hopes Grenada Isn’t Deceived Like Barbados!

Grenada is in big trouble because the treasury has been emptied by successive governments who operated without effective integrity and freedom of information laws – the same lack of integrity laws situation that we have in Barbados.

Now Grenada’s new Prime Minister wants to establish effective integrity legislation – or so he says. While it is obvious that this call for ITAL is a prelude to yet another bailout by the international funds, perhaps Grenada will end up with actual ITAL. (ITAL = Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation)

Or, as Don Mitchell wonders on Corruption-Free Anguilla blog…

“If it is just empty promises, like PM David Thompson of Barbados seems to be making, then we shall have been betrayed by our leaders once again.”

Prime Minister Thompson should have a read of Don Mitchell’s article Grenada. He just might learn something.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Grenada, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Vasbert Drakes Returns To Barbados After Coaching Stint With Emirates

Cricketer Back To West Indies

Despite his stern appearance in the photo, Vasbert Drakes is considered one of the nicest guys in cricket (at least according to the Flickr account we nicked the photo from!)

Vasbert is a (very) fast bowler and is returning to Barbados from a three-month coaching contract in the Middle East.

Glad to have you back, Vasbert… and from what the Dubai newspaper says, it looks like you will be missed in the land of oil, sand and big money.

Welcome home!

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket

Barbados Lodge School Reunion This Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yes folks, that grand occasion (Lodge School Reunion) is almost here and for those of you still undecided about going to the reunion, here is the number one reason why you should attend – Alumni Social Networking.

Many of us participate in some form of social networking almost every day without even realizing it. Most of the Lodge School Alumni have Facebooks, Hi5 and MySpace sites. We build these elaborate online social networks of friends and acquaintances and use them to gather or share information about ourselves or others.

So why not come out to the reunion events and do the same thing, there is no better place to network than amongst the alumni. The most successful social networks to date have been established on a common shared experience. Alumni communities represent a set of diverse individuals with one thing in common. They each share a very unique life experience and common affinity for their school.

The Lodge School has one of the most enthusiastic online communities in Barbados. Start to re-connect with all your friends at the Lodge School Blog

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VECO’s “Corrupt Bastards Club” Has A Barbados Chapter

Alaska Politicians Made CBC Caps!

Alaska Politicians Made CBC Caps!

Source: At Least Two Barbados Politicians Received Undeclared “Campaign Donations” From Corrupt Alaskan VECO Corporation

Alaska’s VECO Corporation is now infamous for using bribery of politicians as a standard operating procedure. In the United States, numerous US politicians and corporation executives are facing criminal charges or are under FBI investigation for receiving gifts, loans and outright payments from VECO.

Several people have already plead guilty or been found guilty, including VECO CEO and founder Bill Allen, VECO Vice-President Rick Smith and political big-shots Bill Bobrick, Tom Anderson, Pete Kott, Vic Kohring, Jim Clark and Bill Weimar.

The VECO Barbados Connection

VECO also did over half a billion US$ worth of business with the previous BLP Barbados Government – building the oil terminal and the new prison. Barbados citizens are unclear on the exact amount of tax dollars that was paid to VECO because under both the previous Arthur/Mottley BLP government and the current Thompson DLP Government, citizens have no right to know how much of their money the government spends and what for.

To give you an idea of how VECO typically operated, another one of Alaska’s senior politicians has just been charged by the FBI with various corrupt offenses. It is alleged that Senator Ted Stephens received considerations from VECO Corporation in return for sweetheart government contracts and for pushing through tax laws and other regulations that favoured VECO. Stephens also arranged for VECO to have an inside contact at the World Bank and to receive favourable treatment in an oil deal in Pakistan. Here is what he received that we know about…

– A job for his son.

– The ability to invest US$5000 in a Florida condo which was later sold for a profit of over US$100,000. (Not a bad return on $5000!!!)

– A new Jeep Cherokee vehicle for his daughter.

– A Land Rover for himself discounted by US$20,000 under list price from the CEO of VECO.

– A free generator for his chalet.

Ted Stephens and the others also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in “campaign contributions” from VECO to ensure that they would be reelected. Yup… nothing was too good for any politician who could award multi-million dollar government contracts to VECO. The corrupt company gave cash, renovated homes, bought cars, trips and condos for politicians as their standard method of operation.

That is just how VECO operated worldwide: they obtained government contracts by bribing politicians, but Barbados politicians would have you believe that none of that went on here. No Sir!

VECO’s Corrupt Bastards Club

At one point the bribes were so open that some corrupt Alaska politicians made up hats saying “CBC” – which stood for “Corrupt Bastards Club”.

This is the same VECO that the Owen Arthur/Mia Mottley BLP government of Barbados hired without open competitive bidding to build our oil terminal and our new prison. VECO had never built a prison before, but by god, they were given the contract as a gift by then Attorney General Mia Mottley and Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

Our source says that Mia Mottley received over $100,000 in undeclared “campaign contributions” from VECO Corporation that she fed into her constituency office. This is only what the folks in the office saw and is probably a fraction of the total. After all, if VECO received half-a-billion dollars in government contracts, you can bet that they paid out more than a lousy $100 grand.

Our same source says that Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s constituency office also received big money from VECO, but on the amount they are unsure. Would Arthur have accepted less than his Attorney General that he barely tolerated?

Perhaps Mr. Arthur can advise his fellow citizens from Switzerland, London or Miami – or whatever jurisdiction he ends up retiring to as he becomes a “consultant” to justify his continued income.

Former Attorney General Dale Marshall: Corrupt Bastard

And what did the Government of Barbados do when Barbados Free Press and the other blogs broke the story to the Barbados public that VECO executives and politicians were being arrested? (BFP and the blogs broke the VECO story on the island because the Barbados news media naturally wouldn’t touch a story that showed the government in a bad light.)

Well… good old Attorney General Dale Marshall announced that he would have a meeting with VECO executives to get the truth of the story… to see if any improper payments were made by VECO to Barbados government officials and politicians.

Yup… Attorney General Dale Marshall met with those VECO executives for a half an hour one morning and then held a press conference to announce that everything was on the up and up because the VECO executives said it was.

Whew! We were glad to hear that, Dale!

Dale Marshall: You corrupt bastard. You were supposed to look after the interests of your fellow citizens but instead you participated in a sham of an inquiry and then covered-up the corruption by your BLP friends.

VECO’s Corrupt Bastards Club – Barbados Chapter

So far the known membership of the CBC Barbados includes…

Owen Arthur

Mia Mottley

Dale Marshall

Arthur and Mottley are on the list because they took money from VECO. Marshall is on the list for being a corrupt bastard that covered-up for his friends.

Folks, let us know if there are others who should be on the list. Some of the BFP staff want to include current Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson for his reluctance to investigate the VECO scandal and failure to ask the FBI for access to their evidence against Barbados politicians.

We’re going to consider adding Thompson to the list, but we’d like some input from other citizens first.

Let us know what you think, folks!

Further Reading

Alaska Report: Case Against Senator Stephens Growing

Wikipedia: Corrupt Bastards Club

Anchorage Daily News: Corrupt Bastards Club – From Barroom Joke To Federal Warrants

Washington Post: Busting Alaska’s Corrupt Bastards Club

Barbados Free Press

May 26, 2007 – How Much Cash Did Corrupt VECO USA Executives Provide To Barbados Labour Party As “Campaign Donations” ?

May 30, 2007 – Who Did Barbados Prison Consulting?… VECO Paid Alaska Bribes Through “Consulting” Contracts With Politicians’ Relatives!!!!!

August 25, 2007 – Barbados Jail Builder VECO Added As Defendant In Lawsuit Against Prime Minister Arthur and Chief Justice Simmons

July 22, 2008 – CNN.com Links To Keltruth ‘VECO Barbados Jail Fraud’ Story – Big Step For Little Barbados Blog

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, FBI, Offshore Investments, Police, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, VECO Corporation

Not Too Early To Buy Tickets For A Caribbean Christmas At The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

December 13, 2008 – 8pm

The University Singers have distinguished themselves as one of the leading choral groups in the Caribbean with their widely versatile repertoire of original music composed by Caribbean writers, classical choral works, American Negro Spirituals, Jazz, and Gospel. Always a favorite at Brooklyn Center , Jamaica ’s cultural ambassadors return with a joyous holiday program. Tickets $40, $25

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College
2900 Campus Road, Brooklyn, New York

Online orders: BrooklynCenterOnline.org
Box Office: 718-951-4500, Tuesday – Saturday, 1PM – 6PM
Subscription Orders/Season Brochure Requests: 718-951-4600, ext. 25

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Filed under Barbados, Jamaica

Should Barbados Ban Tetra-Pak Containers?

A few weeks ago I was doing some Google research on those wayward billionaires and Tetra-Pak heirs, Hans and Eva Rausing, when I stumbled across a couple of articles at Temas Blog about environmental problems with Tetra-Pak cartons.

It seems that as good as the packaging is for keeping food fresh, the darn things are almost indestructible when put into landfills. If you bury them, they will still be like new a few hundred years from now – and still doing their job too well, keeping other garbage from rotting and breaking down because they create waterproof pockets and layers in the landfill. Recycling Tetra-Paks is difficult, requires special machinery and leaves huge piles of materials that have dubious value in manufacturing new products – thus defeating the final step in “recycling”.

Our friend at Temas Blog laid out how the Brazilian state of Paraná got fed up with Tetra-Pak and issued an ultimatum in May of 2007…

In a meeting held in Curitiba in the middle of May, the government of the southern Brazilian state of Paraná gave Tetra-Pak executives (including the Vice President for Central and South America) 60 days to come up with their own proposal to solve the post-consumer waste problem in that state associated with their long-life (aseptic) packaging — or face drastic action by the government, such as banning the sale of such packaging within the state.

Faced with the loss of a major South American market, Tetra-Pak caved in and cooperated on a major programme to mitigate the environmental impact of it’s product. According to Temas Blog, the Brazillian government sees it this way…

The State Environment Secretary, Rasca Rodrigues, declared that the point of the deal was not to make Tetra Pak solely responsible for the waste created by its packaging, but instead to ensure that the company was fully involved in the state’s efforts to realize its Zero Waste goal, particularly to design programs that feature “social inclusion”

What About Barbados?

As pointed out time and time again on this and other Bajan blogs, we as a society could be far more responsible when it comes to disposal of garbage. I am often shamed when taking visiting friends on drives across the island because you never know what ugly pile of garbage you will find in the middle of an otherwise beautiful view. There’s nothing like the beauty of a cane field ready for cutting against a blue blue sky… and then you see the dumped rusting stove or bags of stinking household kitchen waste.

The answer to our problem is not extorting a million dollars from Tetra-Pak – but producers of hard to dispose of products like Tetra-Pak could be part of funding a necessary change in our culture. Let’s face it folks… we don’t have much to sell to the tourists on this island except our natural beauty, and lately that beauty is becoming difficult to see with walls of condos blocking the seaview and garbage piles taking care of the rest of the island.

So take a note, Minister of the Environment: the precedent has been set by Brazil. If Tetra-Pak and other manufacturers of environmentally unfriendly packaging want to continue making billions, they should be giving something back to Barbados and assisting in cleaning up their products.

Further Reading

Temas Blog

Tetra-Pak Chooses To Deal

Tetra-Pak Given 60 Days to Propose Packaging Waste Solution… Or Else!

Barbados Free Press

Barbados Upper Crust Members Hans Kristian Rausing and wife Eva Rausing Charged With Drug Offenses

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Filed under Barbados, Environment