Daily Archives: September 16, 2011

Patrick Hoyos comes out in support of Peter Wickham, a WikiLeaks victim

Peter Wickham: An insider trapped by his job, torn by conscience

by Nevermind Kurt

Patrick Hoyos wrote an opinion piece at the Broad Street Journal that basically says Peter Wickham didn’t talk about anything hardly at all to the US Embassy, and if he did it wasn’t about any subject that everyone didn’t already know about. Hoyos also says that journalists should be very careful talking to foreign governments.

Hoyos is right on one count: it’s going to be a long time before journalists or anyone else talk freely with any government representative ever again. Journalists and others have always talked to diplomats for a variety of reasons: status, to further a personal or group agenda, to exchange information in the hopes of inside tips or simply for the scotch and steak.

“You can buy a ten-hour voice recorder built into a pen for a couple of hundred dollars at Amazon.com. The Americans probably hand them out like candy to their Embassy personnel.”

Shocking? Hardly…

Everybody knew that the conversations were reported and in this day probably secretly recorded – but they talked anyway and it was all fun and games until WikiLeaks. Now everybody is SHOCKED! SHOCKED I TELL YOU! that the US Embassy personnel actually prepare intelligence reports and conversation summaries and ship them home to Washington. Imagine that!

Don’t you think that Barbados diplomats file a few reports themselves out of New York, Beijing and London?

How far back do such diplomatic dealings go? Read your bible and go back from there to the cavemen. Embassy personnel submit reports on cocktail party conversations, chance meetings and private briefings. Always have, always will. Why the shock?

I think that Peter Wickham probably said exactly what the US Embassy reports attribute to him and I wouldn’t be surprised if tape recordings exist – not that any US diplomat will ever admit to them. You can buy a ten-hour voice recorder built into a pen for a couple of hundred dollars at Amazon.com. The Americans probably hand them out like candy to their Embassy personnel. If you were in the business of meeting with people and filing reports, why wouldn’t you always have one in your pocket? Get dressed in the morning, put on the watch and put the wallet and voice recording pen in the pocket – just like that.

Damage Control Strategy for everybody: Let’s all pretend it doesn’t matter

Patrick Hoyos is in damage-repair mode for his old friend Wickham and I won’t blame him for that, but the cow pies dropped by Hoyos and Wickham are pretty stinky indeed.

I want to point out that Wickham is reported to have relayed quite a bit of insider information to the US Embassy personnel and many of Wickham’s big revelations were NOT in the public knowledge at the time. Hoyos and Wickham himself conveniently ignore this.

Take, for instance, the May 22, 2008 cable where Wickham is reported as saying “In the last election the Chinese gave money to both of the major parties in Barbados, in order to assure continued recognition…”

I never heard that before in private conversation and I never heard it from the Barbadian news media. How about you?

Where did Wickham get that information? As a political insider, mover and shaker he probably received information directly from credible BLP and DLP sources. Of course the Chinese gave money to both parties, but Wickham spoke with an insider’s knowledge and authority.

Then we have the St. Vincent Unity Labour Party coming out in defense of Wickham – saying “We believe that Peter is being misrepresented in these matters…

What else did you expect politicians to say? “Leroy Paris bribed us with CLICO money just like Wickham said… and we flew in voters, fixed roofs and bought groceries to bribe the voters?”

No, the ULP had to say that Wickham was “misrepresented”, and then Hoyos followed up with his column saying everything was known by the public and it doesn’t matter anyway.

Nevermind blame – Let’s talk about the truth of what Wickham said or is alleged to have said

As Barbados Free Press reported in its Wickham-WikiLeaks articles, one of the big topics throughout the Wickham briefings was the unregulated foreign and domestic monies being poured into political campaigns in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean. Nobody gives big money for nothing. Leroy Parris and all the corrupt business people who fund politics with big money do so on a tit for tat basis.

Nobody gives a quarter million dollars to a political campaign without an agenda. Five hundred dollars, even a few thousand can be contributed because you believe in a candidate or a party – sure – but a hundred thousand dollars cash or fifty thousand dollars of biz jet services? That kind of “donation” expects and requires a payback from the elected politicians.

Peter Wickham: An insider trapped by his job, torn by conscience

I think I understand both Peter Wickhams. The first is, as Patrick Hoyos observes, the quintessential political insider: “In regional polling, there is just no organisation that can match Peter Wickhamʼs CADRES. I mean that sincerely, and I am sure his professional services will remain in high demand on the basis of their quality, despite the leaking of those embassy communications.”

The second Peter Wickham is another man with a conscience who knows that the vast amount of foreign and corporate monies flowing into our political parties have corrupted democracy, stolen from the people, and caused our elected representatives to stash money away in Switzerland as they vote contrary to national interests.

Peter Wickham is part of that system. His funds from political parties are supplied by those who have corrupted the system and undermined democracy.

One Peter Wickham took the political party’s dirty money – while the other Peter Wickham under pangs of conscience told the US Embassy officials about it. The CBC sacked Wickham because he betrayed the established system.

Wickham is no better or worse than any other Bajan who knows what’s going on, but still takes the dirty money, promises of jobs and other perks from the DLP or BLP in exchange for their vote and vocal support.

Campaign funding laws are long overdue, but as Doctor Duguid said in a moment of truthfulness: Bajan politicians will never pass that kind of legislation. More’s the pity.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winner submits photo from Barbados

(click photo for larger, click link below for original)

Damian Peach has just won the Popular Science “Astronomy Photographer Of The Year Contest” with a photo of Jupiter and moons (above) – taken from Barbados about a year ago.

Check out Damian’s website for the story of his trip to Barbados, his original photo (the above one is degraded) and how he took this winner and his other fantastic space images.

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Filed under Barbados Tourism

Feed your mind Friday – courtesy of Charlie Chaplin


This inspirational speech comes from Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 movie The Great Dictator. We really enjoyed it, perhaps you will too.

Thanks to an old friend who suggested this YouTube video.

And… just for the record, this is post number 4,400 since we started BFP in January of 2006.

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Filed under History