Daily Archives: October 8, 2009

PBS Communications Inc. Blog: Reliance upon Privy Council “Niggardly” (!!!)

“Mind you, this is not to say that the CCJ is the only real alternative. In fact, the jingoistic politics that have made CARICOM such a dysfunctional laughing stock actually militate against member states turning to this regional court as a replacement for the Privy Council.

Accordingly, we may find that the only viable alternative is for each CARICOM country to simply establish its own Supreme Court. To be sure, this would be an ironic default outcome; after all, a judiciary with a final court of appeal at its apex is a hallmark of any independent nation.

In any case, it is immature, irresponsible and, frankly, niggardly for Caribbean leaders to have relied all these years on our former colonial master to fulfill this essential function of our national self-determination.”

…Lawyer Anthony L. Hall writing at Petal Barclay-Smith’s blog

Anthony Hall proposes nothing less than full surrender to an oligarchy

Petal Barclay-Smith

Petal Barclay-Smith

Washington lawyer and Turks & Caicos ex-pat Anthony L. Hall is letting fly over at Petal Barclay-Smith’s blog about the failure of CARICOM states to establish a Supreme Court or courts.

If Mr. Hall uses the word “niggardly” to attract attention, well, he has ours. I don’t care what the origin of the word was. I don’t care what the proper use of the word is – in the real world it makes the hairs on the back of my neck start to tingle and it works its way right around the top to my eyebrows and then for just a moment I want to punch somebody in the face. Then it passes.

A writer can do something a little outrageous and keep the audience thinking about the main point, or upset the readers and cause them to lose focus on what the writer wants to communicate. We have that problem around here ourselves all the time so we understand about coming a little too close to the line.

But, “Niggardly”???

Really, Mr. Hall…

Now as to Mr. Hall’s conclusion that perhaps Barbados and other CARICOM states should each establish their own Supreme Court…

Is Mr. Hall on the planet earth?

Has he been in Washington so damned long that he has forgotten what it’s like on these small island nations when a small group of people wield all power? Good Lord!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

In Barbados we have a Chief Justice who was first a lawyer and businessman, then a politician, then a Cabinet Minister, Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General – who then took a few weeks off and was appointed as the highest judge in the land!

Chief Justice David Simmons and Prime Minister Owen Arthur who appointed him didn’t care about even the appearance of judicial independence. It was a consolidation of raw political power the likes of which set Bajan democracy back four decades.

And that is exactly what citizens of Barbados could expect if our tiny country of fewer than 300,000 people established a Supreme Court. It’s bad enough now trying to get a fair shake in the courts, but if there was no higher authority to turn to outside of Barbados this country would be nothing more than a dictatorship of a select group of insiders (which we are close enough to already.)

Mr. Hall should give his head a shake.

Agree or disagree with Mr. Hall, you can tell him what you think at…

PBS Communications Inc. Blog: No more Privy Council; take care of your own judicial mess!

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

Cowardly pee-in-pants Barbados Nation Newspaper hides name of corrupt Government Minister

When a Government Minister’s husband is awarded a $300,000 contract for work he has no experience doing – That’s Corrupt!

Cecil McDowald "Asbestos removal? Sure, I done lots of that before!"

Cecil McDowald "Asbestos removal? Sure, I done lots of that before!"

The current DLP Government says it is taking steps to sue the husband of a former Minister in the previous Arthur/Mottley BLP government – over the non-fulfillment of a 2004 government contract for the removal of asbestos roofing from government units.

Naturally, the BLP Government Minister’s husband was paid $300,000 of your tax dollars despite complaints of shoddy work.

Some will hail this move by the DLP Thompson Government as some sort of great milestone or victory for integrity in government. Some will say this proves the current Thompson DLP government is serious about fighting corruption.

Ha! Not so fast, children!

It’s all a sham for the purposes of political publicity and we can prove it – so read on.

Nothing will really happen, so don’t get your hopes up. This is not some fundamental change in the behaviour of government. It’s more of the same politics that we’ve heard all along from the Thompson government. “Going to do” this. “Going to do” that. “Thinking about” this or that. But real change or real action about government corruption? Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.

Don’t forget friends – this is the same David Thompson who waved around a “campaign donation” cheque made out personally to then Prime Minister Owen Arthur and corruptly deposited into Arthur’s PERSONAL bank account. In the end, Thompson did nothing about that because the DLP and the BLP have a gentleman’s agreement that only harsh words will be spoken. Nobody will be charged with any offense because the DLP don’t want the same treatment when they are once again in Opposition.

And you can take that to the bank, friends… after all, Owen Arthur did!

Liz Thompson - Married "Her love of four years" McDowald in January 2005

Liz Thompson - Married "love of four years" in January 2005

The current story about BLP Government Minister of Housing, Lands and the Environment Liz Thompson and her contractor husband Cecil McDowald is actually old news that was known as far back as 2005 when the DLP (then in Opposition) made a big deal about it. The papers covered the story and the DLP Opposition knew the details back then.

So why did it take until now to announce “GOVERNMENT HAS instructed its attorneys to pursue all legal means to recover about $300 000 paid to the company of a private contractor and husband of a former government minister for work done at Kensington Lodge, St Michael, five years ago…” ??? (Nation News: Govt wants money back)

That’s simple, my friends. The government strategically held off and then played the issue like a surprise in a card game. Note the government doesn’t say it has filed a lawsuit, or actually DONE anything. The government announced it had “instructed attorneys”. OH…. Why didn’t it happen back in January of 2008? Why now?

The answer is: The DLP government is announcing this now because it is convenient for them to do so. They undoubtedly have all kinds of dirt tucked away that will be released when it is politically expedient. Nothing will happen, but it sure gets people talking for a month or two! Then… it will fade away just like all the other dirt that the government discloses but does nothing about.

Gosh the Thompson DLP government thinks everybody is stupid – just like the Arthur/Mottley government thought too.

And the worst part of it is that even today the yellow-bellied-pee-in-their-own-pants editors at The Nation don’t dare to print the name of the former BLP Government Minister whose lover of four years and soon to be husband was CORRUPTLY awarded the government contract in 2004.

As our friend over at Living in Barbados blog says “Does it look like a piece of rotten fish? Does it look like ‘business as usual?” Ha! The answer “yes to both observations”.

Here are a few quick thoughts about this story that is an indictment of the two major political parties and the Barbados news media…

– It was not illegal for Minister Thompson’s spouse to receive big government contracts back in 2004/2005. There was no law against this, and there still isn’t.

– Back in 2004/2005, it was not illegal for the Barbados Government to arbitrarily award fat government contracts without due process or transparency. If a Government Minister’s husband put in the highest bid and it was accepted… so what? It’s corrupt and immoral, yes – but not illegal. That is still the case today that no law prohibits such activity by Government Ministers and civil servants or their families.

– The current DLP Government said they would introduce a Ministerial Code and Conflict of Interest standards IMMEDIATELY upon taking office in January 2008. They lied to get your vote. Get over it.

– Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley told the papers yesterday that “there were several grey areas in the entire saga, including the manner in which the company was awarded the contract in the first place. He said the company had the highest bid, was not even on the Environmental Engineering Division’s list of preferred contractors for the removal of asbestos roofing, and had no history of dealing with such specialised work.”

– Minister Lashley knows very well that no laws were broken because there are no laws. He knows that his government has failed to put integrity legislation and conflicts of interest standards in place just like the BLP.

– So any potential court case is simply about the quality of the work… and five years later, good luck taking that to trial. I guarantee that no photographs or evidence gathering was done at the time by the BLP against Liz Thompson’s husband, so Lashley can forget about a win in court.

Besides, the Chief Justice of Barbados, David Cathcart Simmons, is an old friend and fellow Cabinet Minister with Liz Thompson!  Cha! For a whole lot of reasons, this case against Liz Thompson’s husband is going to go nowhere fast and Minister Lashley knows that full well.

It’s all a show, my friends. Just a scam.

To the Cowardly Nation News Editors

Cowardly Nation News Pees Self Thinking About Reporting This Story

Cowardly Nation News Pees self thinking about saying the words "Cabinet Minister Liz Thompson"

Why didn’t you print Liz Thompson’s name in your article? What are you afraid of?

If you are afraid of being sued, why didn’t you ask Minister Lashley why the DLP Thompson Government hasn’t changed the defamation laws as they promised to do within 100 days of being elected?

Why didn’t your reporters ask Minister Lashley about his government’s failure to “Immediately” implement a Ministerial code and conflicts of interest standards?

Why didn’t your story point out that Barbados has no laws prohibiting the awarding of fat government contracts to the family members of Government Ministers?

Why didn’t you ask if any other government members or their families were ever awarded government contracts?

Talk about useless!

Here’s the Nation News article folks, in case they take it down like they have so many others. Wade Gibbons is a good man and a good journalist, but he works for Cowardly pee-in-their-pants editors. Don’t blame him…

Govt wants money back (click title to read the original at The Nation)

GOVERNMENT HAS instructed its attorneys to pursue all legal means to recover about $300 000 paid to the company of a private contractor and husband of a former government minister for work done at Kensington Lodge, St Michael, five years ago.

Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley told the DAILY NATION yesterday his ministry was intent on recovering taxpayers’ money paid to Creative Business Services in 2004 despite the unsatisfactory removal of asbestos roofing from Government units. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption