Monthly Archives: February 2013

The atrocious crime of being a young man

Baba Elombe CARICOM

Recently in my reading, I came across this speech by William Pitt the Elder in reply to Horatio Walpole in the House of Commons in the UK in 1741. I am sure readers will find it interesting in light of recent events in Barbados.

It was during a debate on search warrants for seamen that the famous altercation took place between Mr. William Pitt and Horatio Walpole, in which the latter endeavored to put down the young orator by representing him as having too little experience to justify his discussing such subjects, and charging him with “petulancy of invective,” “pompous diction,” and “theatrical emotion.”

Baba Elombe Mottley

Reply to Horatio Walpole on a charge of Youth delivered in the House of Commons, March 6, 1741

SIR,–The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honorable gentleman has, with such spirit and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny, but content myself with wishing that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience.

Whether youth can be imputed to any man as a reproach, I will not, sir, assume the province of determining; but surely age may become justly contemptible, if the opportunities which it brings have passed away without improvement, and vice appears to prevail when the passions have subsided. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Van Cliburn and “My favourite chopping”

My favorite Chopin

Memories of Auntie

Van Cliburn died yesterday and there is not one in 100 people on this island who would recognize his name, let alone know who he was: one of the first 20th Century classical pianists to have rock star cult status.

I only know who he was because Auntie lived with us for her last ten years and she had one Cliburn ‘record’ that she loved and played over and over and over. And then played some more.

But Auntie called the album “My favourite choppin” as in chopping onions, not listening to ‘show-pan’.

We never had the heart to tell her.

When I read that Van Cliburn died I thought of Auntie and it made me sad and happy at the same time. I hope you don’t mind I shared that with you.

Robert

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Filed under Celebrities, Music

Barbados Detective Constable on Owen Arthur: “Give the man 2 bottles of Mount Gay and tell him go home and don’t come back.”

Barbados Police Politics 2

Should police officers openly discuss politics?

by WSD

We have many sayings in Barbados and two of my favourites are mostly true: “Everything is political” and “Nothing is secret for long”.

Everything can’t help being political in a smaller society where everyone knows everyone else and knows everyone else’s business. You can sneak around on Bim with somebody’s husband or wife but sooner or later it will out. Sneaking around always does out in Bim.

No secrets when it come to politics either! Bees against Dems on election day and after election day too. In the public service when a supervisor position opens up, LOOK OUT! Watch the Bees and the Dems line up to support their brothers and sisters.

Our last Chief Justice – just the highest judge in the country that’s all – was a former BLP politician, attorney general and acting Prime Minister. Did something ever get judged one way and not some other way because the judge was a BLP and the accused was a BLP member too? That was always in the back of people’s minds and it shouldn’t have been. Whether David Simmons was a good Chief Justice or not doesn’t matter if it looked bad that he was a politician in charge of the courts.

When there is a possible conflict of interest based on family or friendships or business relationships it damages the people’s faith in the institutions. A big criticism of Chief Justice Simmons accepting the position was that it looked bad, and caused people to be suspicious that the highest judge might have conflicts of interest based on his politics.

So it can be with other government professions too, and that includes police officers.

“This tell me something about Owen Arthur, he pushed out Mia because he wanted to be prime minister if they won the elections, now they lost he put he back in, give the man 2 bottles of Mount Gay and tell him go home and don’t come back. My respect to Mia for taking things so cool.”

Posted on the BLP Facebook page by a Detective Constable of the Royal Barbados Police Force

Is it proper if a police officer discusses politics on the internet while identifying themselves as a police officer?      Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Police, Politics

Harlequin replies to Mail on Sunday article: “highly defamatory disinformation, seeking legal advice”

David Ames and Harlequin released a statement in answer to the latest Mail on Sunday article about the holiday property scheme that has failed to deliver properties in the promised time to thousands of ‘investors’. (See BFP’s Serious Fraud Office asked to investigate Harlequin)

Fair is fair and we’ll let Mr. Ames speak for himself. Please take the time to get Harlequin’s side of the story…

Dave Ames Statement re press  (Download PDF)

David Ames denies bribing Prime Minister Gonsalves

In another recent press interview, Dave Ames also denied giving a suitcase full of money to the Prime Minister of St. Vincent in exchange for citizenship…

“The BBC has accused the Prime Minister of St Vincent Dr Ralph Gonsalves of accepting from me a suitcase of money in order to receive my citizenship. This is an outrageous lie.”

“Sam Commissiong, my solicitor in St Vincent, has attended each and every meeting I have had with the Prime Minister and will confirm the allegation is completely false.”

… read the full story at the Basildon Recorder: South Essex businessman denies bribe claims

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

Government Minister in the family makes dog abuser ‘untouchable’ ???

Barbados Dog Abuse 2a

Abuse of dogs: Holders Hill, St. James, Barbados

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Once again the relevant authorities are not responding as it appears that the owner of these pups might have a government minister in the family hence “untouchable”. The Nation and the Barbados Advocate refused to follow up on this story. They know about it.

For over a year people have been calling on the RSPCA, Animal Control and the police to put an end to this neglect and abuse. We know that they responded but for some reason it continues. These people breed the dogs before they are mature. They don’t feed them and they curse the outsiders that try to feed them. They physically abuse them. Puppies that came before these would disappear and then weeks later more puppies appear. It is alleged that they are being bred for fighting. What else can be done to save these dogs????

More about this at Facebook: Barbados Votes for Animal Rights

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Buccament Bay Resort staff member asks: March 1, 2013 a tipping point for Harlequin?

Harlequin Resort

Some local Buccament Bay staff haven’t been paid for December or January!

by BB Staffer to Barbados Free Press

I think tomorrow will be a tipping point for Buccament Bay and Dave Ames. You might call it ‘Desperation for Dave Day’.

Harlequin has staff to pay and all the loan interest for the ‘investors’ that should have been paid earlier this month. If they don’t make those payments, I suspect there will be a lot more people will talking to the Mail on Sunday.

“There are staff at Buccament Bay Resort who are yet to be paid for December and January.”

Will these local people be paid? All the expat staff have been paid! Why not the locals?

I’m not even talking about how expat staff members are paid many times what locals are paid for doing the same jobs. Will Dave Ames and Harlequin ever show these wonderful local staff the same loyalty they demonstrate to him on a daily basis? Simply paying the local staff would be a start!

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Filed under Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

Barbados vote buying scandal starts at the top with BLP and DLP leadership

barbados-offshore-money

“How did the two political parties, both claiming to be rather financially impoverished, raise a conservative estimate of over twenty million dollars to pour into a three week campaign?”

“Deals are commonplace and state agencies are used to distribute largesse.”

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group.

The Mahogany Coconut Group submits that the real vote buying is in the upper echelons of our society. What we witnessed on Election Day was some voters getting cash, cell phones, iPods and a bill paid here and there. The real votes were bought by those shadows – black and white – who Dr. Don Blackman referred to a few decades ago! Of course Dr. Blackman talked only about white shadows but the corporate landscape has dramatically changed over the years – we now have shadows of all colors and ethnicities.

While we shout from the roof tops about what took place on elections day, we bury our heads in the proverbial sand by refusing to ask one simple question: How did the two political parties, both claiming to be rather financially impoverished, raise a conservative estimate of over twenty million dollars to pour into a three week campaign?

We ask Dale Marshall (BLP) to tell us about the successful “cake sales and car washes” that raised their money.

We ask Ronald Jones (DLP) to tell us more about the “$500 here and there” that was given to his party by well wishers.

Let’s face it; elections are now big business and the corporate shadows are well entrenched in both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party. Anybody who believes that car washes, cake sales and a five hundred dollar donation here and there, can raise this large amount of money, needs to seriously wake up from their slumber! Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics

Mega Cruise Ships: Disaster risks for the Caribbean

Carnival Triumph Disaster

Carnival Triumph – Yet another cruise ship drifts helplessly

by Robert MacLellan for Barbados Free Press

In considering risk assessment for Caribbean nations in relation to cruise ship emergencies, let’s do the math…

Nearly sixty percent of the world’s cruise ship fleet is in the Caribbean from November to March each year. Over forty per cent of the world’s cruise ship fleet is owned by Carnival Corporation (Carnival, Costa, Cunard, Princess, P&O, Holland America, Seabourne, Aida and Ibero cruise lines). At least four major incidents have occurred in the last twenty-seven months on that company’s ships alone.

Two potential disasters for Barbados and other small Caribbean countries

Let’s consider just two of many potential Caribbean disaster scenarios, based on the fact that three of Carnival Corporation’s cruise ships have each drifted helplessly for approximately ninety miles. If a ship leaving or returning to the busy cruise home port in Barbados loses all propulsion and steerage-way when west of that island, wind and current might very likely make it drift the ninety miles to the wild and rocky east coast of St Lucia – with huge risk to human life, to the marine environment and to the country’s tourism based economy. If a ship leaving or returning to the principal Caribbean cruise home port in Puerto Rico experiences the same situation when south-west of Anguilla and St Maarten, a ninety mile drift could take it to the pristine but dangerous reefs of the Virgin Islands.

Unlikely disasters? No – very possible based on recent events. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster

A reasoned view of the Royal Barbados Police Force

barbados-police.jpg

If the current staff could be like the police officers I once knew

by Mark Fenty

We obviously cannot invalidate the important job the Royal Barbados Police Force is doing in Barbados, but we are certainly troubled by the many instances of misconduct surrounding this institution. Some people fail to realize that the Royal Barbados Police Force is much like any other organization in Barbados, and is therefore subject to some of the same faults and failings as all. And like any other organization there are good and bad apples within.

So with this thought in mind, we therefore cannot unilaterally or arbitrarily besmear the efforts of the majority for the wrong doings of a few bad apples in the Force. It is important however that we are impartial in our judgment of the Royal Barbados Police Force, and assign blame where it is needed. I think we all can agree that the job of a peace officer is quite difficult at times.

And to be quite frank, there are often calls for some officers to do things that aren’t conductive to proper policing. Nevertheless, too often some of us take for granted the effort it take on the part of these peace officers to maintain the public peace.

In any event, some of these peace officers are men of integrity whose objective it is to ensure the public order. Others are rotten apples who see an opportunity to use their position of power to take advantage of the marginalized elements in our society. I knew both elements quite well, because I was born and bred just behind a major police station in Barbados. I saw both sides of the coin but for the most part, most of the men and women I once knew were good nature people who would go out of their way to give you their shirt of their back. That’s the kind of men and women I once knew, and that’s the kind of men and women who once constituted the Royal Barbados Police Force in my day. I would like to give a shout out to Commission Alvin Griffith if he is still living, a man of honest purpose and simple integrity, cloth with the rare qualities of dignity, decency and decorum.

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American Airlines / US Airways merger could be good for Barbados tourism – but only if the Barbados Tourism Authority performs

beverly nicholson-doty tourism

“The region as a whole has regained ground lost in the heat of the global economic depression.”

“The Caribbean also saw its largest number of stayover visitors in five years, with the region’s overall hotel occupancy increasing by more than seven per cent and room revenues up by nearly nine percent.”

“About 25 million tourists visited the Caribbean last year, a more than 5 per cent increase from 2011. Its a growth rate that outpaced the rest of the world.”

Beverly-Nicholson-Doty, Caribbean Tourism Organisation Chairperson

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

These and other equally encouraging statements were recently uttered by Beverly-Nicholson-Doty, chairwomen of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation. To the majority of the Minister’s of Tourism within the Caribbean, it must be like hearing pleasurable music in their ears.

Sadly, not to Barbados where instead of recording an almost 6 per cent growth in 2012, we experienced a 5.5 per cent fall in long stay visitor arrivals – a near 11 per cent differential. Any newly elected Government must consider the reasons behind this dismal performance as an imperative before more hotels close, further lay-offs occur and remaining airlift is further eroded.

Also interesting is the tourism spend in the Caribbean for 2012 which was estimated at US$27.5 billion a increase of 3.6 per cent over the previous year and the third successive year of increases. This again seems to buck the trend on Barbados where the overwhelming opinion across the industry is that average spend is down.

I was frankly amazed at the absence of dialogue and solutions on the current crisis in tourism leading up to the general election. Perhaps highlighted by when the moderator on the popular Down to Brass Tacks Sunday programme admitted that no-one from the sector’s trade association was available to participate.

Barbados Tourism Authority rejects a viable proposal: Second Cities  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Future Centre Trust looking for help with booth at UWI’s ‘Going Green Day’

Barbados Future Centre Trust

The Future Centre Trust has been invited to participate in the Going Green Expo being organised by the Science and Technology Student Committee of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, on Monday March 4, 2013.

“The Going Green Day is one of the events organised by the Student Committee during the Faculty’s Week of Activities under the theme “Science and Technology – Endless Possibilities” which run from 3rd – 9th March 2013. The main objective of the Going Green day is to heighten awareness on campus of Energy Efficiency.”

The expo runs from 11:30 til 3:00 pm and the Future Centre Trust needs help setting up and running their booth.

How about it, folks? Come and give FCT a hand and you’ll have a chance to meet BFP’s co-editor, Cliverton – who will be hanging about the campus as usual.

So give the Future Centre Trust a call and a few hours help…

T: +1 246 625 2020  |  C: +1 246 836 6188  |  F: +1 246 620 2021
E: volunteer@futurecentretrust.org | info@futurecentretrust.org
http://www.futurecentretrust.org

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Serious Fraud Office asked to investigate Harlequin – “3,000 Britons fall victim”

Harlequin Pension Fraud

(click photo for full size)

Mail on Sunday visits Merricks Beach Resort in Barbados “Rubbish-strewn field”

“We have been left completely in the dark and fear we’ve lost everything. they haven’t even started building the resort yet.”

Merricks buyer Mrs. Gupta in the Daily Mail article 3,000 Britons fall victim to £250million fantasy villa fiasco

The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday are publishing a series of investigative news articles about David Ames and the Harlequin Property scandal that saw thousands of people ‘invest’ in what is so obviously a Ponzi pyramid scheme that relies upon finding new ‘investors’ to pay sums promised to earlier ‘investors’.

Journalist Russell Myers and his colleagues Martin Delgado and Sharon Churcher published the first piece in the series on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

Online reports from investors here at Barbados Free Press and elsewhere recently revealed that Harlequin is behind in interest payments to some investors who took out mortgages and loans to fund their Harlequin purchases. Harlequin was supposed to pay the interest to the purchasers’ financial institutions as part of the agreement with the ‘investors’ but it looks like the house of cards is getting very shaky indeed.

The role of the governments of Barbados and other Caribbean nations caught up in the Harlequin scandal is also drawing international attention and must reflect badly upon the involved Caribbean governments and nations.

Barbados and the other nations failed to protect foreign investors and as a result the Harlequin fiasco will taint the region’s other resort and retirement projects for many years. Barbados Free Press has been extensively covering this story because we believe our leaders made very poor decisions about Ames and Harlequin in an environment where Barbados lacks Integrity Legislation, Conflicts of Interest standards and Freedom of Information laws. The lack of accountability for elected and appoint public officials likely played a large role in how Barbados politicians welcomed David Ames and his ‘political donations’…

“Our government gave Ames and Harlequin the benefit of our country’s reputation – and when the Harlequin house of cards falls, it will be the reputation of Barbados that is harmed the most.

Something for our ‘leaders’ to think about the next time that some offshore investor property developer arrives bearing gifts – because no doubt Mr. Ames spread some gifts around freely.”

… from the January 26, 2013 BFP story How Harlequin damaged Barbados reputation

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments

Barbados Prime Minister and Attorney General confirm vote buying during 2013 election

Adriel Brathwaite Barbados

“Attorney General Adriel Dermont Brathwaite said it was distressing that some Barbadians were selling their votes.”

Two Political Parties have the money to buy votes

Newly-sworn-in Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite confirmed Friday to the news media that “some” Bajans sold their votes during the recent general election.

A different way of putting it would be that “some” political parties bribed voters with cash – for it is surely true that unless there were ready buyers, there wouldn’t be any sellers of votes.

So let’s cut the B.S. by our Attorney General and tell it like it is: members of the political class bought the votes of willing sellers during the February 21, 2013 election.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart also said he was concerned about reports (as in more than one) about people buying votes. The CBC said about PM Stuart: “…throughout the day he has heard stories of people exchanging money for votes. The Prime Minister said this is an ugly practice which digs at the roots of democratic structures.”

The first question of many is…

Who sold? Who bought? Who are the ‘Some’ mentioned by the Attorney General?

Missing in all the news and commentary about vote buying is the name of the person arrested Thursday for photographing their marked ballot in the voting booth. BFP covered the election day story as Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both? but no details have appeared in the oldstream news media since then. Strange… or maybe not so strange.

What constituency did this arrest happen in? Did the arrested voter mark their ballot for a DLP or BLP candidate? How many other instances of vote buying/selling is Attorney General Brathwaite aware of? After all… he spoke in the plural. Continue reading

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

Barbados Election Results 2013

barbados wave flag

2:14am DLP – Democratic Labour Party retains government

DLP – 16 seats    BLP – 14 seats  * Recounts possible in some areas

Independent candidates a washout. Voters return the DLP/BLP single party government to office. More to come!

VERY CLOSE ELECTION – One contest decided by 10 votes!

We’ve already said that it doesn’t really matter who wins this election because with only two corrupt political parties to choose between: Bajans have already lost.

Obviously memories of the BLP’s legendary corruption under Owen Arthur are still in the public consciousness – while the realisation of DLP corruption has not quite sunk in.

We know where this election takes us…  Nowhere

Results by Constituency (Compiled February 22, 2013 at 2:30pm Bridgetown)

St. Peter

BLP – Owen Arthur WINNER (3665 votes)   DLP – Haynesley Benn (1982 votes)   NBKA – Lynroy Scantlebury (72 votes)

St. Michael South

DLP – Freundel Stuart WINNER (2524 votes)    BLP – Noel Lynch  (1385 votes)  PDC – Alex Mitchell (9 votes) Continue reading

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Former Minister Elizabeth Thompson predicts Donville Inniss defeat and BLP Government

UPDATED: Friday, February 22, 2013 2am

Minister of Pornography  Health Donville Inniss was re-elected. Obviously the goat vote opposition wasn’t enough to unseat the porn profiteer.

Elizabeth Liz Thompson Barbados

“At the minute, I’m predicting a BLP Government”

Friday, February 22, 2013 @ 12:01am

We just saw former Barbados BLP Minister of Government Liz Thompson on CBC tely predict that in St. James South Donville Inniss will lose to Sandra Husbands – and the BLP will form the next government.

Will porn industry profiteer Pornville Donville Inniss retain his seat?

Let’s see what happens!

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both?

Barbados Election Corruption

Voter arrested for photographing ballot – only one caught of many!

Did the voter support the DLP or BLP candidate?

by Passin Thru

Why photograph your ballot? To prove your vote so you can receive payment!

Police made an arrest today after a voter was seen about noon using a cell phone to photograph their marked ballot while voting. This arrest absolutely proves that the rumours of the past three elections are true: people are being paid for their votes. But this was only voter arrested and obviously this was not the only person bribed to vote. How much were they paid? Who paid them? How many other voters were paid for their vote?

The practice of paying for votes strikes right at the heart of our democracy. This person should be jailed for the full six months penalty and all inquiries should be made with the party and candidate supported by the arrested voter. The voter’s jail sentence should be doubled if he or she doesn’t tell the name of the person who paid them for their vote.

The results in that constituency  should be nullified and a new election should be held.

Biscuits and Tinned Beef

In ‘de good ol day’ candidates would drive through the village handing out tinned beef, biscuits and rum. The corruption is a little more sophisticated these days with voters required to document their vote via cell phone camera. That was the rumour and now we know it is for truth.

Was the voter putting his mark on the DLP or BLP? Bajans deserve to know!

Arrested for photographing ballot

One person is in police custody following an incident in a polling booth where the individual reportedly took a cell phone picture of the ballot after it was marked with an x for one of the candidates contesting the 2013 general election.

The incident occurred after allegations surfaced that some individuals were paying Barbadians for their vote in the 2013 election.

CBC understands that the incident occurred just after midday and that the individual is likely to be charged with breaching the requirement of secrecy in an election.

Legal officials have told CBC that the penalty for such an offence on summary conviction is six months in jail.

… thanks to the CBC for the news story and the photo!

Also see CBC’s Cash for Votes

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics

Two cheques prove it doesn’t matter if DLP or BLP win Barbados election

"Campaign Donation" deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur's personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

“Campaign Donation” deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

During the 2007-2008 election campaign, then Opposition Leader David Thompson produced a cancelled $75,000 cheque proving that Owen Arthur deposited a ‘campaign donation’ into Arthur’s personal bank account.

In other words, at best Prime Minister Owen Arthur stole $75,000 from his own party’s political donations, and at worst that the $75,000 was a straight bribe to the Prime Minister – disguised as a ‘campaign donation’ that was never intended to make it into the BLP’s bank account.

David Thompson jumped all over this, and ran the DLP election campaign on promises of personal and party integrity, and to implement ITAL: Integrity Legislation, Transparency and Accountability Legislation. Thompson promised Freedom of Information within 90 days and Conflicts of Interest Rules immediately.

David Thompson and the DLP lied.

Then we had the CLICO mess where it was learned that Thompson had performed all manner of unethical acts when he was CLICO’s lawyer. After being elected the corruption continued with Thompson and the DLP using the CLICO business jet for free and money-laundering for his old friend Leroy Parris.

At the time of the big collapse, David Thompson issued a phoney invoice from his law firm to CLICO – without the knowledge of Thompson’s law partners. His friend Leroy Parris approved the cheque $3.3 million dollar cheque to the Thompson law office – but that cheque went straight back to Parris through David Thompson on January 16, 2009! That’s right folks… while David Thompson was the Prime Minister of Barbados and within days of the CLICO collapse.

Clico Parris Theft

(click photo for larger)

It’s called theft. Stealing. Money Laundering… and Prime Minister David Thompson did it!

Owen Arthur and the BLP are thieves. David Thompson, Freundel Stuart and the DLP are thieves.

Two cheques – two corrupt political parties.

So tell it true, folks: does it really matter if either the BLP or the DLP form the next government?

I think not.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption

TED.com features Afra Raymond talk: Three myths about corruption

Congratulations to our old friend Afra Raymond, whose December 2012 corruption lecture has been picked up by TED.com.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago