Tag Archives: Rule of Law

Bizzy Williams: Forget the law if illegal development makes money.

“The Law? Piss on it… Successful developers should buy their way out after breaking the law”

Vaucluse Raceway was built without permission. The developers thumbed their noses at the law and did what they wanted to do. And, because we are a country where all laws are selectively applied and enforced for reasons of money, family, status and connections, the developers got away with it.

No permissions, no permits, no plans submitted for approval, no environmental study, no traffic plan… and the only input from the community was HELL NO!!!. With support from powerful elites like Bizzy Williams, the government feared to close the place down. Some government officials tried to close it down, but the developers told them to Piss Off and kept working.  Soon the government officials went away. A wise man would guess the government officials were given the word from high up.

And maybe probably there were some “campaign donations” made too.

Vaucluse developers ruined their neighbours’ property values and destroyed the quality of life for hundreds of folks living within the sound of the revving engines and squealing tires. Some folks can’t even get in and out of their gaps on race days.

The Vaucluse developers knew they would have little chance of obtaining permission if they obeyed the law, so they said “Piss on the Law. We’ll handle the law later and Bizzy Williams will give us a hand.”

Bizzy Williams lends a hand to law-breakers

Vaucluse makes money and Bizzy Williams says that’s all that matters. He says the developers should be fined and then allowed to continue. After all, the place is making lots of money and the developers can afford to pay a fine, so fine them and let them continue, says Bizzy.

The fine is a little concession so ordinary people can’t claim the law wasn’t respected. That is a disgusting manipulation but that’s Barbados.

Bizzy even confessed that he didn’t follow the law when he took Bushy Park track so long ago. So, he says, the same should go for the Vaucluse developers.

Sum up Bizzy’s statements like this: “Piss on the law if it pleases me to do so and I can make money.”

Bizzy and the Vaucluse boys show everybody that certain Bajans can do as they please – so long as Bizzy Williams or some other business or political elite supports the law-breaking.

Same old, same old

For ordinary Bajans, there’s nothing new in this story. We’ve heard similar happenings a hundred times. Remember the Turf Club collected $20 million in gate taxes but kept the money. You and I would be in jail for doing the same thing at our little shop.

The government again proved there are two laws in Barbados… One law for THEM, and another law for the rest of us ordinary folk.

Piss on the Law and pay a only small fine when caught, Mr. Williams?

Ok Sir. I’ll follow your example from now on. Thanks.

Further Reading

Here is the Barbados Today article that started this conversation – Flog them and let them go

Please read the article at their website, but as usual we have to print the entire piece here because the Bajan news media often re-writes history. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues

Barbados VAT shortfall: a cultural problem of rule of law?

Barbados Government announces it has hired a consultant! OOOOOOH!!!!

(VAT delinquents must be shaking in their boots!)

Barbados Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler recently held a press conference to announce that the Government of Barbados has failed miserably to collect a staggering $300 million dollars in VAT arrears.

That wasn’t exactly how Sinckler put it though. With typical political bluster he announced that the government was REALLY, REALLY, REALLY going to get tough and enforce laws that are on the books.

This time.

Here’s what the press release said said…

“The hammer could be coming down on those Value Added Tax (VAT) defaulters who have racked up a staggering $300 million in arrears inclusive of penalties and interest.”

And it got better…

“Given this situation, Mr. Sinckler disclosed that a consultant had been hired to review the legislation as it related to collections and enforcement.  He also revealed that the consultant had already submitted the draft amendments which were being reviewed by officials in the Customs and Excise Department.”

My God! A consultant, reviewed the legislation and submitted draft amendments that are being reviewed RIGHT NOW!!!

Wuhloss!!! I’d better pay up that VAT tomorrow.

Or… maybe the next day. 🙂

Frankly, Sinckler sounded an awful lot like the Commissioner of Police warning gangs that if he had the officers and the budget, the gangs would really really really have to worry. And the Commissioner of Police sounded an awful lot like the Minister of the Environment talking foolish saying that the government was going to install hidden cameras all over the island to catch illegal tippers.

A Culture that disregards Rule of Law

Could it be that the problem is that Bajans have been conditioned that laws and rules are generally optional depending upon circumstance and position? Could it be that we’ve learned from the big-ups that laws, if they exist at all, don’t apply to all? That is the way it is on de rock. Anyone can name a dozen situations and stories – most of them true.

And where laws don’t exist (integrity legislation, drunk driving, freedom of information, environmental legislation) they are to be promised at election time but never ever implemented. That is what we have been taught by our political elites and we have learned our lessons well from skilled masters.

“Doan give me such a fright, Minister Sinckler! For a moment I thought you were serious, but then I remembered all the other laws that your government promised to pass.”

Pass me another beer, darlin’. I don’t think we need to hurry off to pay that VAT right this moment! 🙂

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Politics

Why Al Barrack will never win against the Barbados Government: The Fix is In!

UPDATED: June 13, 2012

“CONTRACTOR AL BARRACK HAS declared war on Government, saying Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s unfulfilled promises had convinced him it was not serious about paying him.

An angry Barrack, who was awarded $34 million by the law courts six years ago after suing Government over the completion of the Warrens Office Complex, said yesterday he was tired of being turned around, and would now do whatever it takes to recover every cent he and his creditors are owed – with accrued interests, $75 million.”

… from the June 13, 2012 Nation News article Fed Up Barrack

Barbados is broke and cannot, will not, pay a court-ordered judgement to building contractor Al Barrack. Mr. Barrack is ruined because there is no real rule of law ‘pon this rock. Successive Barbados governments ignore or obey the courts as convenient and right now it’s not convenient to pay Al Barrack the 70 million dollars as the court ordered.

So Mr. Barrack is in back in the papers saying he has “declared war on the government.” Yes… THAT should teach the Barbados government a lesson! LOL!

The real lesson here is that if you do business with or on Barbados, you’d better pray that everything goes well when it comes time to pay – because the courts don’t matter. It’s all about the cartels. Mr. Barrack thought he was favoured to get a huge government contract without an open bidding process, but it was all a set-up.

Says the Barbados government to Al Barrack… “Thanks, sucker!”

Original story first published April 5, 2011…

Al Barrack says “Don’t trust the Barbados Government!”

by Nevermind Kurt (with Cliverton)

Poor Al has a message for businesses and foreign investors:

Beware when you do business with the government of Barbados, because the court is the government and the government is the court.

The Government of Barbados screwed building contractor Al Barrack $65 million dollars. That’s what the Barbados court ruled. Al built the new office complex at Warrens, but when previously unknown caves raised costs, the Barbados government didn’t live up to their side of the deal. That’s what the Barbados court found as it ruled against the Government of Barbados and determined that Barbados owed Al sixty-five big ones. That’s with an “M” for “million”.

But then…

“Oh? You want the money?” said the same court, “That’s a different matter.”

Poor Al is now reduced to writing letters to world leaders. As if they care and as if those leaders would side against an offshore banking centre like Barbados. A big chunk of the world leaders probably have funds flowing through Bridgetown ‘an their own countries don’t know.

You think they are going to side against Barbados, Al? Continue reading

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

LIME cuts top Police Wiretap Executive: Donald Austin

If these walls (or Mr. Austin) could talk…

The man who knows more than anyone else about police and other wiretapping of phones, emails and text messages at Cable & Wireless Caribbean has been gently sacked with a large severance and a “consulting” contract designed to keep him loyal and silent. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Ethics, Human Rights, Police

Barbados Customs apply Rule of Law to Simon Cowell – he’s “miffed”

Cowell shells out £100 extra duty on Sapporo beer

The Sun says that Simon Cowell was “a bit miffed” that Barbados Customs made him pay duty on ten cases of Sapporo beer last Tuesday. Mr. Cowell enjoys yeast-free Sapporo beer and it’s not available in Barbados so he brought some with him on his executive jet.

Fair enough. We can see Mr. Cowell’s side of things.  He spends a small fortune every time he visits the island and he helps keep many folks employed, so he sees £100 as nit-picky. His jet will fill up with thousands of dollars of fuel and he’ll pay far more than £100 in fuel taxes and service fees alone and that’s just his airplane arriving. Mr. Cowell thinks, “Why are you bothering me with this?” Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Corruption, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Race

Why Is Costa Rica “The Happiest Place On Earth” ? How Happy are Barbadians?

In an age of uncertainty, society globally needs a new compass to set it on a path of real progress. The Happy Planet Index (HPI) provides that compass by measuring what truly matters to us – our well-being in terms of long, happy and meaningful lives – and what matters to the planet – our rate of resource consumption.

The HPI brings them together in a unique form which captures the ecological efficiency with which we are achieving good lives. This report presents results from the second global HPI. It shows that we are still far from achieving sustainable well-being, and puts forward a vision of what we need to do to get there…

…”Every society clings to a myth by which it lives. Ours is the myth of economic growth.”

… from The Happy Planet Index 2.0 2009 published by the New Economics Foundation

“Economics as if people and the planet mattered”

The New Economics Foundation recently published the latest edition of their Happy Planet Index with Costa Rica grabbing the number one spot and the U.K. rated at a pathetic number seventy-four.

Barbados wasn’t listed, but if I had to make a guess I would think that true to our “Little Britain” moniker, Bim would fall closer to the U.K. than the land of “Pura Vida” (“Pura Vida” – Pure Life – is Costa Rica’s national cultural saying).

Why (IMHO) would Barbados be low on the Happy Planet list?

Look at what we, our families and our communities became as we raced for the dollar above all. Look at what our beautiful island became: garbage everywhere, destroyed coastlines and decayed water, health and public security infrastructures. Look at how “we culture” has so readily adopted bad parts of North American popular culture and consumerism.

Sure, you may have a new car or a bigger home than your parents did – but how many happy times do you spend with your family, your children? Can you walk to a nearby clean park or beach? Is your street clean and safe? Does clean water come from your tap without fail?

Remember when you were little – the excitement of waking up, the “can’t wait” to see what life would bring that day? How much do you enjoy waking up now? Do you enjoy your life, your country, your community at this moment?

How much of your dissatisfaction relates to the decaying natural and cultural environments of Barbados that you find yourself living in?

If progress means that five years from now I’ll have to spend an additional hour on the road driving the same distance to work, you can have your “progress”. If progress means that our green spaces will be filled with housing, and the beaches will be disappeared or inaccessible without buying a condo… you can have your “progress”.

How much more of this “progress” can our island take?

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Washroom - "Progress & Quality Of Life" As Defined By The Arthur/Mottley BLP Government

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Washroom - "Progress & Quality Of Life" As Defined By The Owen Arthur /Mia Mottley BLP Government

What is “Progress” for a Country and an Individual?

Since 1994, Barbados has had some truly good years economically. Considering how small we are, those years of economic success were probably not so much to do with how we ran our country as with the phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats”. Barbados did well when the rest of the world was doing well, and not so well when the world’s economy shuddered.

During those good years though, where did we invest our profits? What were our priorities?

I’d suggest that during the good years the Barbados BLP government “invested” money in many places that didn’t matter: in failed mega-projects like Cricket World Cup, Hotels and Resorts Inc., that were supposed to “improve the economy”. Then there were the countless wasted smaller projects that were merely give-aways for political expediency and favours. (Hey… how many of those government giveaway weedeaters ever saw an honest day’s work and income generated for their original recipients?)

Instead of improving public transit, the BLP government built more roads and allowed more cars. The BLP government had money for roads, but not for repairing a water distribution system that is leaking up to 60% of the clean water we can produce. Money for “economic progress” instead of hospital maintenance and staffing.

Video: How Graeme Hall was before PM Thompson decided to let his friends build on the wetlands.

Graeme Hall as it was before PM Thompson stole 2/3 of the parkland for his developer friends.

Millions for new and fancy diplomatic missions in New York and Miami – but no money or government desire to fix a rusted sluice gate and save the last mangrove forest on the island.

Did the BLP Arthur/Mottley government make these choices because the citizens demanded such “progress”, or because this was the BLP’s vision of “progress”? Or a little of both?

How Do We Bring About Positive Changes To Barbados?

The current DLP-Thompson Government of Barbados has been conducting an “environmental sustainability” publicity campaign for the last six or so months. I use the words “publicity campaign” rather than just the word “campaign” because I wouldn’t want anyone to misunderstand what the Thompson government’s new-found environmental talk is really all about. The government’s environmental publicity campaign is about words, promises and more words. Image, not reality. Advertising, not positive change.

The Thompson government is certainly slicker at publicity and spin than the Arthur/Mottley government ever was – but the priorities and economics-based definition of “progress” have remained the same.

And like the Arthur/Mottley government, the David Thompson government deals primarily with words – not actions.

Some may argue that talk, discussion and education are necessary precursors to cultural change and real action – and that is true. Some say that words are the catalyst for the personal changes that lead to changes in individual actions.

All that is true as far as it goes, but without real actions on the part of government the status quo will remain. Talk does not produce change. Action does.

And then there is that one huge factor we love to ignore in Barbados when we speak of change, that one part of the equation that successive governments have failed miserably at: the leading role that laws and the rule of law play in changing culture and individual actions.

Want To Change Our Society? Establish Good Laws and Enforce Them Justly For Everyone.

When the USA and Canada wanted to stop public smoking and smoking in general for well-found reasons of public health and cost, not a whole lot happened until various levels of government started to change their laws to prohibit smoking in public places and in the workplace. Some jurisdictions enacted laws that even prohibited smoking in one’s own car if children were present.

And people stopped smoking.

Changes in laws led the way for societal change. The same was true for the cultural and attitude shifts that took place about wearing seatbelts, drinking and driving and wearing helmets on motorcycles and bicycles.

These changes saved lives and millions of dollars in health costs – but it took changes in the laws before the people embraced the underlying cultural changes.

The USA and Canada use laws to make cultural changes because their governments know that laws are generally respected by citizens and fairly enforced by authorities. In short, laws can change culture in the USA and Canada because the rule of law is respected.

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

No "Rule of Law" in Barbados - This "campaign donation" cheque was deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur's personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear because they know they will never be held accountable by the next government. Its all about being part of "the Club"!

There is a huge difference between the rule of law in the USA and Canada – and in Barbados where laws are seldom enforced and the rule of law is secondary to the social and economic position of privileged law-breakers. When powerful people can buy their way out of rape or assault charges, when ex-Prime Minister Owen Arthur doesn’t have to answer for depositing “campaign donations” into his personal bank account – or when Prime Minister Thompson can misuse his position to give public funds to his friend’s company (CLICO) – and at the same time shield it from public scrutiny – the citizens soon learn that the law is not to be respected or obeyed.

And that is the problem that is faced by any Barbados government at this time in our history: the law has been so disrespected by our leadership for so many years that it is no longer effective as a tool for leading positive change.

Robert with Cliverton

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Environment, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Private Beaches In Barbados – Boulders At Almond Beach

Private Beaches Exist In Barbados – Even Though They Are Against The Law

Try this little experiment on a nice day… drive to the Port St. Charles condo development and park at the north end by the old rotten fishing boats and then walk south on the rocks under the pier to the “exclusive” waterfront club until you find yourself on the PRIVATE beach in front of the condos. Erect a sunshade on the sand, sit down, take out something to eat and put on the radio.

If you can get that done without securty coming to give you a rough time on the “private” beach, you will have done well.

The last time some of our friends did that they were harrassed and photographed by the condo staff. How dare Bajans walk over the boulders that had been strategically placed to prevent people in bare feet from getting to the condo’s beach!

With that in mind, we followed this little exchange on Barbados Free Press with great interest. Does anyone have more to add?

Hants Said…

Hants
March 11, 2009 at 4:19 pm 

Breaking news BFP. Tune in to Brass Tacks.
Boulders placed on beach in st. Peter by Hotel.
Dah beach is ????

Hants
March 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm 

I am so angry that I will take a time out because I do not want BFP to ban me. Investigate BFP.

Littleboy Replied…

littleboy
March 13, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Hants

I checked your “break-in news” about the boulders at Almond Beach.

Apparently the operations manager Chris Forbes gave instructions to block the south end so that jet ski operators could not launch their boats there. The excuse he used is that it is a turtle nesting site…but Almond Beach Village use that same area to take tables, chairs and other equipment across the SAME AREA that they refer to as a nesting site…

They even got two NCC rangers to tell the operators not to use that end, but the head of the Watersports Association took them on and they have had to reverse the decision.

Chris Forbes told the watersports head that he could bring the police the NCC or the Prime Minister he was not moving the boulders. But the youngster turn on the heat and he was forced to back off.

Nello Bynoe, who is one of the managers of Almond told a friend that he wanted to “…keep the jet ski fellows from ’bout there”

A few points to ponder here…in Jamaica where Chris Forbes comes from, beaches are private…maybe he should have been told that…

SOMEBODY SHOULD ALSO TELL HIM THAT WE RESPECT LAW AND ORDER HERE

I hear that the young man that he tried to block out is the son of the Barbados Tourism Authority’s deputy chairman…that young man’s father had similar problems to deal with years ago

ARE WE TURNING BACK THE CLOCK?

UPDATE from BFP…

Our friend Don Mitchell has an article up this week about the problems with beach access in Anguilla. Same issues. Of beaches being blocked by hotels and big money, Don says “I feel bad for the children. They will never be able to enjoy what we once had.”

Too true, Don. Too true.

Read the article at Don’s blog Corruption Free Anguilla: Shoal Bay West

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Real Estate, Tourism, Traveling and Tourism