Category Archives: Politics & Corruption

Solution to vote buying in Barbados – Pay a US$500 reward for proof

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We can argue all day about what the average price of a bought vote is on this rock, but in an unofficial drunken poll on a Friday night at Oistins my friends say it’s a little lower than what many folks believe.

US$100 is what it is so they say. Yup. One hundred good old American will do the job.

And how big a problem is vote buying in Barbados?

Vote buying shapes elections, governments, national policies and the economy. It levers power elites into power and keeps them there.

Lately many folks have been talking that a reward would increase the risk of buying votes and drive the price into the stratosphere. I think that’s a good idea. It costs nothing to implement and it just might work.

So let’s do it. Let’s offer a goodly reward for reporting and proving vote buying. Let’s increase the risk so much for these bastards that they won’t dare and can’t afford to buy votes.

Let’s pay US$500 for proof of vote buying. Hidden cameras are so small and can be everywhere these days.

Yup. Let’s do it!

“The recent declaration that PM Froon intends to go republic has been met with almost universal disdain. How can a government which has made a mess of virtually every facet of Barbadian life expect to be entrusted with such a task? No republic without referendum. Let the people decide.”

“Say the going bribe rate for a vote is $300, Peter Wickham would pay $600 for a voter to testify against a briber. If the fellows play this right, they could end up getting $900 for their vote, $300 from one candidate and $600 to testify against the other. Since the cases will no doubt be thrown out, it’s win-win all around.”

THE LOWDOWN: Parpissitatory horizontality

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Land use, land theft, backroom deals a worry for small Caribbean island nations

Barbados Expropriation

How long must ordinary Bajans put up with corrupt politicians compulsorily acquiring private lands – to be converted into private profits for the political elites and their friends?

“Sobbing uncontrollably, his mother said she was afraid that her house and land would be taken away.” (Nation News)

“A small State such as Trinidad & Tobago must accord a very high priority to the judicious management and utilization of its land resources or perish. All elements of land policy must must be designed to ensure that these finite resources are efficiently utilized and husbanded in such a manner as to serve the long term interests of the national community.”

—Conclusion of “A New Administration and Policy for Land” (19 November, 1992)

Afra Raymond’s new piece Our Land talks about the same problems we have in Barbados with greedy elites using public and private lands like their own little piggy bank.

Between crooked lawyers scamming little old ladies like Violet Beckles, and Bajan politicians doing backroom deals, land ownership is a dangerous jungle out there.

Any Bajan has heard the stories and sometimes read the news…

– A relative of a Government Minister ends up with a building lot after an expropriation.

– An official advises his cousin to buy a piece of useless land, and six months later the government expropriates the land and pays a very good price – far more than the original purchase price. Who knew that a new road was to be built there? Don’t ask!

– For fifteen years, a farmer tries unsuccessfully to re-zone his land for housing, but then gives up and sells out. Thirty days after the new owner (and friend of government) buys the farm, the zoning approval comes through and the land is now worth millions. No one knows who the real shareholders are.

– Prime land is expropriated for “low income” government-sponsored housing, and eleven months later a Government Minister moves into a new home in the “low income housing” sub-division. Of course, his girlfriend owns the home – not the Minister. (Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes on Expropriated Land)

– “Back door” land expropriations where building permissions are denied for no good reason until the owner gives up or goes bankrupt over unpaid land taxes. While one arm of the government refuses permission to build, the other arm expropriates for back-taxes… and the land eventually ends up in the hands of a friend of the government.

When a politician gets his eyes on your land… it’s all over. Corrupt Barbados politicians prepare to expropriate widow’s land – probably for personal profits

… and on and on and on. Then when the citizens start ignoring the laws, the elites wonder about the state of the world.

“We can never move forward as a nation until we have men/women of integrity running our country – that is our problem, and it cannot be said too often.

Until then we will always be second raters, puffing and panting on the world stage with a veneer of progress, but the condos, concrete palaces and circumscribed greens of the golf courses which are admired, will not be our own. We will be strangers in the land of our birth, Oh! how our forefathers must weep, as to what has become of us.

So much pain, for so little gain, a pain “perpetuated” by those who felt the same warm confines, of the womb from whence we came.” Yardbroom, August 2007

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

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves lied about Argyle International Airport

Argyle International Airport 10April2011

When you lie to the Business Investors you ‘Own the lies’ when it all goes wrong

by Peter Binose

When Ralph Gonsalves announced the finish and operational dates for the Argyle International Airport, we must ask ourselves if he knew each of those dates was unachievable. I like many others believe he did know that the completion dates he gave us were not just unachievable, he knew that such statements were downright lies.

When you tell lies sooner or later your very own lies will come back and bite you in the arse, as the old folk would say.

Saying the airport would definitely be up and running by 2011 may very well have caused all sorts of business people who were ardent followers of Gonsalves, to invest money in their business’s to take advantage of the upswing in trade that the same Gonsalves claimed would follow the airport opening.

He also told the people that he would build a city on the Arnos Vale site when the air traffic was transferred to Argyle. He said the new city would be linked to the old city of Kingstown by a four lane tunnel under the hill, it doesn’t matter that approaching the tunnel from either end it would only be one lane. The whole matter was embroidered to wind the business people into spending money.

Hotels in Villa who are ULP supporters have invested fortunes in upgrading their family owned hotels in anticipation of the Gonsalves forecast of a huge surge in stop over’s and business in general.

People like Ken Boyer borrowed money from banks to build his supermarket and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, why? because as a cousin to Gonsalves he believed that Gonsalves would finish the airport by 2011 and the new city would be finished five years after that in 2016. Ken was a little silly because he should have known better than most of Gonsalves ability to make things up, to embroider the truth and make it into blatant lies.

The Harlequin Buccament Bay Project based all its plans on the airport opening in 2011, they have also been shafted and they must be seriously in danger of folding because the airport is the key to much of their projected business. They were made promises and are now suffering from lies. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The List: major drug dealers in Barbados who work with corrupt police, politicians

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Drug dealers, corrupt politicians and bad cops

Who made this list?

Sheri Veronica, that’s who. And she ties it to vote buying in Barbados elections.

That woman has stones.

And she’s pretty too!

Sheri Veronica’s blog: Barbados: Bad cops, Corrupt politicians and drug lords

 

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Afra Raymond questions the motivations of Trinidad & Tobago’s Integrity Commission

Integrity Trinidad

Shocking behaviours by those entrusted to investigate corruption

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

This column sets out my reasons for seriously questioning the motivation and priorities of the Integrity Commission. Despite my doubts as to the way in which successive Commissions have operated the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA), I have continued to offer suggestions as to how their work could be made more effective.

The continuing Code of Silence on the CL Financial bailout, the sharp attack, from many quarters, on our substantial national institutions and the very doubtful history of the Integrity Commission are clear signs that the Public Interest needs to be safeguarded with utmost vigilance at this time.

In relation to the Commission’s history, we need to note the shocking details unearthed during Dr Keith Rowley’s litigation against them. The Commission had made certain findings without giving Rowley the opportunity to respond, as recommended by its advisers and in 2009 the High Court made an historic finding that…

“…The Court declares that the Integrity Commission has acted in bad faith in relation to Dr. Rowley and is guilty of the tort of misfeasance in public office…”

At Para 45 (i) of the 2009 ruling –

“…The Court does not accept the Integrity Commission’s explanation as to why it wrote to the Honourable Prime Minister on the 19th October, 2004, to ascertain whether an inquiry was to be undertaken and if so, the names of the persons to man the enquiry and their terms of reference. The Court notes that the Integrity Commission is an independent constitutional body which ought to act independently pursuant to its constitutional and statutory powers and duties…”

The entire Commission resigned immediately as a result of that High Court ruling.

… continue reading this article at Afra Raymond’s blog Integrity Reflections

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Filed under Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Sales persons are liable for Harlequin pension losses!

Harlequin Resort

Oh boy!

“Financial advisers who recommended clients switch their pensions into self-invested schemes heavily exposed to investments being marketed by embattled overseas property group Harlequin are legally liable for losses, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme confirmed…”

… from the Financial Times article Advisers are liable for Harlequin pension transfer losses

Yup…

Do them. Do them all. Lead them away in handcuffs and beat them on the way to jail.

Lives ruined. Pensions devoured.

Barbados politicians played a pivotal role as enablers for David Ames and his gang. Do them all.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

CLICO INSURANCE: THE PERFECT CRIME

BFP:

Sheri Veronica says…

“CLICO has become the poster child for all that is wrong in Barbados. The people know that elite wrongdoers are well protected – they have the protection of the police and the government.

The stench of corruption and the grandstanding of sanctimonious, arrogant, lawless and contemptuous elite engulf the people. Citizens are arming themselves, shooting at police and committing more grievous crimes. With millions of dollars stolen and no real hope of its recovery, approximately 20,000 seniors are at risk of poverty. And finally, as has been alluded to above, hardly ever are elites incarcerated in BARBADOS.”

All we at BFP can add to that is… Amen, sister! Amen.

Originally posted on Sheri Veronica:

vscON JANUARY 2, 1994, CLICO International Life Insurance Limited opened its doors taking over the life insurance operations in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean of Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited. CLICO served the Caribbean for over 60 years. The mission of CLICO International was to become the company of choice among life insurance buyers in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. “We will do this by tailoring our products to the needs of our customers, by delivering superior customer service, and by developing our reputation as a strong, financially stable company, deeply committed to the welfare of the communities that we serve.” At the helm was Leroy Parris, chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Ltd., which included services such as CLICO International Life Insurance Ltd.  With 60 years of service under its belt, the company became one of the largest local conglomerates in the region, encompassing over 65 companies in 32…

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