Daily Archives: April 16, 2009

President & Mrs. Obama Release Income Tax Returns – Will Barbados Politicians Do The Same?

UPDATED: April 17, 2010

ONE YEAR SINCE we published this article about President Obama and his lovely wife releasing their tax returns for public scrutiny. That’s another year passed without the integrity, transparency and accountability laws that David Thompson and his DLP promised to implement “immediately upon taking office” in January of 2008.

Transparency? More like “cover up” especially regarding the CLICO scandal and the Prime Minister’s continuing protection of his old friend Leroy Parris. Some things never change ’bout hey. Now the problem becomes “Who do we vote for in the next election?” because – really – there is only one political party in Barbados.

So how about it Prime Minister Thompson… can we see your income tax filings too?

Here’s our original story published in April of 2009…

obama-tax-returns

Bajans Got Fooled Again When They Believed David Thompson And The DLP

Barbadians were told that the David Thompson government would be “The most transparent, most accountable government Barbados has ever seen…”

Well, we all know what became of that, don’t we? We were promised integrity legislation, freedom of information, and a Ministerial code with conflict of interest rules. Instead, we are still a country without standards of conduct for elected and appointed government officials. It is still legal in Barbados for government officials to award government contracts to companies owned by themselves or their immediate family members.

David Thompson and the DLP government lied to us during their 2007 campaign. Their supporters, who so heavily criticized former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government for failing to introduce integrity legislation and conflicts of interest standards, remain silent one year two years and 100 days after David Thompson became Prime Minister of our country.

In the United States though, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have released six years of income tax returns.

It’s called Transparency, Accountability and Integrity.

Further Reading

TaxProf Blog: Obama Releases 2000-2006 Tax Returns

Reuters: Obama tax return reveals memoirs made millions

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

George Ayittey on “Dead Aid” To Africa – Someone The Barbados Government Should Listen To

dead-aid-africa

Africa – Barbados Relations

For years, Barbados as a country has supported the Pan African movement on the island and in Africa itself — admittedly less so since the death of Ikael Tafari —  but the political and social will to do so continues even if Barbadians do not have deep pockets at the present moment. Unfortunately, to date our intergovernmental and business relations with Africa have only borne fruit of non-viable pie in the sky and a tourism scam gone horribly wrong.

Before we continue further down our current path, anyone in Barbados who has anything to do with Africa is well advised to consider the ideas and passion of Ghanaian economist George Ayittey and author Dambisa Moyo. Moyo wrote “Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa”.

Most disturbing though, are Ayittey’s and Moyo’s observations that African countries that reject international aid do far better than those countries that embrace the foreign aid model. Ayittey has also championed the argument that “Africa is poor because she is not free”, that the primary cause of African poverty is less a result of the oppression and mismanagement by colonial powers, but rather a result of modern oppressive native autocrats. He also goes beyond criticism to advocate for specific ways to address the abuses of the past and present; specifically he calls for democratic government, debt reexamination, modernized infrastructure, free market economics, and free trade to promote development.*

Defeating The Mentality Of Barbados As A Beggar Nation

All this makes one have thoughts about the rejoicing that goes on around Barbados [ at least by the politicians and media ] every time some new “gifts” arrive from China, the United States or Cuba. Don’t forget folks, we live in a country where the newspapers and the government seem to think it’s a huge accomplishment when the big boys deal Barbados another loan and plunge us further into debt. The newspapers celebrate every time the government receives another 5 million from the Caribbean Development Bank like it is an asset instead of a liability for the future.

Can anyone tell us what the last $10 million European Union sugar grant to Barbados was used for? Can anyone point to a benefit or a national asset that resulted from the $10 million?

Come on BLP and DLP supporters —  where did the money go? Tell us what benefit resulted for the country!

Maybe Africa isn’t as far away as some might think.

Further Reading

Ted Blog: George Ayittey on “Dead Aid”

Africa Unchained Blog: Issues and solutions raised by George Ayittey’s latest book ‘Africa Unchained’.

* These two sentences were lifted from the Wikipedia entry for George Ayittey. Everything else is original BFP material.

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Filed under Africa, Barbados

The War, My Grandfather – And The Sore On The Girl’s Lip

RAF Pilots 1943 - Flying Officer Arthur O Weeks (Barbados) & Flt Sgt Collins A Joseph (Trinidad). Neither of these men were Robert's grandfather!

RAF Pilots 1943 - Flying Officer Arthur O Weeks (Barbados) & Flt Sgt Collins A Joseph (Trinidad). Neither man was Robert's grandfather!

Ghosts of London

I have had far too much to drink tonight so I will tell you a story that my grandfather told me a long time ago. I am visiting his ghost tonight in London.

The year was 1943, and my grandfather was in Britain wearing a uniform.

He was on leave in London and, traumatized and in a zombielike state, he walked along the river where he met a young lady. They talked and walked for the entire afternoon. My grandfather said they never touched, they never held hands — they only talked. He said that he fell deeply in love in a matter of a few hours. Admittedly he was only 19 years old but he said there was no doubt in his mind that he would marry this woman and that she would have his children. All this decided in a few hours over a chance meeting. But it was wartime.

When they were hungry he decided to spend a month’s wages on a meal. As he told me, no one saved anything during the war. What was the use of saving if you might not be around to enjoy it?

They chose a restaurant and took a seat. After 20 minutes when no service was offered, my grandfather became angry and he stormed into the kitchen to demand service. An old cook took him by the arm and said “Lad, the girl has a sore on her lip. Everyone knows who she is and what she does and you had best not be mixed up with that sort young lad.”

I asked my grandfather what he did and he hung his head and said, “I went out the back, and there is hardly a day has gone by when I have not thought of that in shame.”

I have never told anyone about this before. Not any of my long gone wives or women. Not my frineds. No one until tonight.

And that is my story for you on a wet and dreary London night.

Robert

( Marcus: if you want to delete this go ahead)

Photo credit: Flickr

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History

Canada’s Conquest Vacations Dies: Any Tourists Stranded In Barbados?

conquest-vacations

After 37 years of sending cold Canadians to Barbados, one of Canada’s oldest travel companies has called it quits. Conquest Vacations says they will not strand any travelers — but reality often eclipses media releases. Although Conquest only represents 7% of the Canadian vacation package industry, its failing is an important indicator of reality.

Whatever happens, even if Barbados hotels and tour operators are not paid — we hope they have enough sense, compassion and intuition to keep all the cold Canadians warm and happy. Give them fond memories of Barbados and how we came together to show the kind of people we truly are.

Hug a Canadian tourist today!

Further Reading

Vancouver Sun: Tour Operator Halts Operations Under Discount Pressure

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism