Daily Archives: July 11, 2009

Barbados Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner Tells A Whopper Of A Lie

Typical Politician Thinks Media Should Serve The Plans Of Powerful Elites – Not The Rights Of The People

irene sandiford-garnerSenator Irene Sandiford-Garner gave Barbados media folks a piece of her mind the other day at a “sensitisation and familiarisation workshop on issues of national development hosted by the United Nations Population Fund for media workers.” (Nation News article: “Media Must Grasp Power“)

The Parliamentary Secretary in the office of the Barbados Prime Minister slammed the media for creating “a generation of young people who have rejected traditional moral values in favour of those propagated through the antisocial lyrics of popular music…”

She urged the news media to “define reality and what is newsworthy” (God forbid that the citizens themselves should do that on blogs like this one!) and then she blamed the media for remaining silent on a number of her favourite “safe” issues – like popular music’s propagation of the drug culture and “the reluctance of the developed world to help solve problems of the developing world.”

“the reluctance of the developed world to help solve problems of the developing world.”

Good Lord! What nonsense. Apparently Sandiford-Garner hasn’t noticed the billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid shelled out every year to beggar nations like Barbados that, for instance, irresponsibly spend hundreds of millions on a few weeks of cricket while neglecting foundational necessities like clean water, professional police, modern hospitals, and protecting our precious few remaining natural environments.

She also said nothing about the refusal of governments to accept foreign aid when it is tied to performance standards and accountability reviews by the donor nations – like our refusal to accept the EU sugar subsidy when standards and reviews were mentioned. Or, that bottomless foreign aid pit known as Africa where only a few pennies of every dollar make it to the people. (See BFP’s article: Would Barbados Be Better Off If Foreign Aid Was Linked To Government Performance Standards and Accountability Structures?)

The Really Big Lie About The Power Of The Barbados News Media

To appropriately end her speech with one huge bombshell of a lie, Irene Sandiford-Garner said the following“In a democracy the media can hold everyone accountable, including Government, and force them to explain the actions and decisions which affect the people they represent.”

What a damned lie from Irene, for the truth is this…

Neither The People, Nor The News Media Can Hold Government Accountable Without Integrity Laws & Freedom Of Information Legislation

The news media can publish all the exposes it wants, but thanks to Prime Minister David Thompson, there is no law that makes it illegal for Barbados government officials to accept gifts from people they award government contracts to. There is no law that prohibits Barbados government officials from awarding fat government contracts to companies owned by their spouses.

We have no Freedom of Information laws, so the corrupt government officials can do what they want, safe in the knowledge that no independent citizen or journalist can see government documents and hold officials to account.

We have no campaign financing laws, and no duty for politicians to disclose how much money they receive from corporations and individuals who profit from government contracts, land use permissions or tax concessions. Our Prime Minister can use CLICO’s corporate jet and then give millions of our tax dollars to his friend’s company without revealing how much money his party received from CLICO as (cough, cough) “campaign donations”.

During the last election Irene Sandiford-Garner and her Democratic Labour Party promised integrity legislation, freedom of information and an “immediate” code of conduct for Ministers.

Irene lied to us about Integrity Legislation. The DLP lied to us. Prime Minister David Thompson lied to us.

Now Irene lies again – saying that the news media has the power to hold the government accountable.

OK Irene, we’ll take you up on your party’s damned lies.

When you, Irene, were running for election and someone shot up your home and smeared faeces on your door, you Irene were happy to come onto Barbados Free Press to comment and ask for our assistance.

Irene: let’s see if you really believe in accountability. Let’s see how it really works when you tell the news media to hold the Barbados government accountable…

Answer this Freedom of Information request Irene…

Dear Irene,

In a detailed list, please inform us how much in “campaign donations” the DLP and/or its candidates received from CL Financial, CLICO or related companies and principals during the last five years.

Yours truly,

Barbados Free Press for the people of Barbados

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