Category Archives: Politics

The hottest topic on BU, news, opinions, analysis…

A Garrulous State

Dr. David Estwick

Dr. David Estwick

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) led by Freundel Stuart won the 2013 general election by a 16:14 margin, collecting 51.2% compared to 48.3% of the eligible vote. However, the statistic which stands out for BU is the 4,539 votes that separated the two parties in the first past the pole system of democracy we practice in Barbados, that is, 74,027 for DLP and 78,566 for the DLP. Another statistic civic minded Barbadians should take note of is that voter turnout continues to languish in the low 60 percent except for the general elections held in the period 1966 to 1986.

Although the system of democracy we practice in Barbados is described as “a universally recognized ideal” because it purports to protect the individual rights of individuals and ‘encourages the distribution of political power’, it is not perfect. It should be obvious to many our democratic system needs a revamp, we need to improve the quality of individual attracted to public service but more important, we need to have a system which holds politicians and public officials accountable to the electorate.

For the last 10 years, or so it seems, there has been too much twitter and not enough doing to build a better Barbados.  Since 2007 which coincides with the global meltdown, the country has had to endure incessant complaining from a demanding public dissatisfied with an uncommunicative government. A government that appears not to accept the responsibility of being representative of ALL Barbadians.

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Letter to President Barack Obama, Re: The Cuban Five

Robert Clarke, Attorney-at-Law

Robert Clarke, Attorney-at-Law

The Cuban Five; René González, Fernando González, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero were wrongly imprisoned by the United States Government for collecting information in Miami that was important in safeguarding not only Cuba but the United States of America. During the period of their imprisonment, the Commission on Arbitrary Detentions of the UN Commission on Human Rights declared that the detention of the Five was arbitrary and illegal and therefore they should be released from prison. That was back in 2005.

The former President of the United States Mr. Jimmy Carter also described the trial of the Cuban Five as dubious.

In the Annual Report of 2011, Amnesty International made reference to the case and included it under the Section of Unfair Trials.

René Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez completed their unjust sentences and were allowed to return to Cuba where they are now settled and with their families. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero and still languishing in American prisons in spite of habeas corpus submitted to the U.S. Courts since 2010. Because of their imprisonment they have had no real contact with their families in Cuba. This amounts to very inhuman treatment.

Read full letter…

Scottish Independence Now!

Submitted by Pachamama
 supporter of Scottish independence holds a yes flag. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

A Supporter of Scottish independence holds a yes flag. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

For centuries the British empire has wreaked havoc around the globe – partitioning countries, being a hegemony, stealing resources, imposing colonialism, imposing chattel slavery, making endless war and recently being a dependable lapdog for the Americans. There was a time when it was widely said that the British empire was so large that the sun would not set on it. Some of the Scots however, used to say that because God could not trust an Englishman in the dark, was the real reason why the sun would not set on empire, LOL. But it since has. On Thursday, September 18th, 2014 the people of the heroic William Wallace will attempt to strike a final dagger into the weakened heart of this malevolent entity once referred to as Great Britain.

Though we are generally minded to hold that there are too many countries in the world and would normally argue for less states and state-lets, in this case we are unrepentantly on the opposite side of the divide. We are contending that the historic struggle of the Scottish people for independence from Britain should start a final push to end empire once and for all. We trust that other areas like Gibraltar and The Malvinas Islands will soon follow. In these cases long time foreign occupations must be defeated, but a blow right at home is no insignificant event. None of this will encourage the predominantly monarchists, often posing as republicans, in the (English speaking) Caribbean from dismantling the British colonial structure which still rules, de jure – de facto, as can be exemplified in any regional institution.

As the ‘yes’ camp gains ascendancy in recent polls, shock waves have reached Whitehall. The criminals and the descendant of criminals are being made to feel the pain inflicted on others. All kinds of monetary and other reasons are being forwarded why the children of William Wallace should not enjoy the freedom for which he gave his life.

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Former Owen Arthur Bagman in a Jam

The office of Executive Car Rental closed and under police investigation.

The office of Executive Car Rental closed and under police investigation – Barbados Today

OCTOBER 25, 2002 – Mascoll attacks Arthur on his connection with close friend, GEMS boss, Rodney Wilkinson, and accountant David Shorey. How could you not know that your best friend [Rodney Wilkinson], who was in your ministry, who then turned around and got a job as chief executive officer of Gems that was under your portfolio, how could you not know of his elevation? . . . There is lots to be revealed. I am a researcher and I intend to research this to the boneNation News 2002

Did Clyde Mascoll ever reveal what he discovered in his role not as politician, not as economist but as a researcher? BU suspects it was the usual rhetoric espoused by politicians who often see there role to engage the public in aimless palaver.  Since making the promise history has recorded that Mascoll resigned  from the Democratic Labour Party when it became imminent parliamentary colleagues were about to switch support to the late Davis Thompson.  The move effectively shunted his career.

Ordinary Barbadians do not want to witness Barbados earn the label of a banana republic where corruption and malfeasance becomes the norm, yet all the signs point to the fact we are well on the way. This week a report appeared in a section of the local press and has gone ignored by many. The story has piqued the interest of the BU household because of relationship of an actor mentioned to prominent others.

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For a Few Dollars More

David:

T&T will have a Budget on Monday 8, 2014. In Barbados we wait patiently for ours. One would have reasonably thought in the economic circumstances that we would have more twitter about the economy. We wait.

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

Sen. Larry Howai, Minister of Finance

Sen. Larry Howai, Minister of Finance

Next Monday, 8 September 2014, is carded for the Finance Minister to deliver his 2015 Budget Statement to the country and of course speculation is great as to whether this will be an ‘election budget‘ or if a more restrained approach might be taken.

In preparing to write this column, I took a look at our budgets since 2005 and it was really striking that many of the key issues identified a full decade ago are still at the fore of the more recent budgets. Some of those issues were the imperative to reduce our dependence on the energy sector; the constant push to upgrade our infrastructure; the demand for more resources dedicated to national security and of course, the repeated statements about this or that program to reduce white-collar crime.

These expenditure and revenue figures were drawn from the Budget Statements…

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Arthur’s King Move

Submitted by William Skinner
Former Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, M.P.

Former Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, M.P.

Those who would seek to write off former Prime Minister Owen Arthur are making a potentially grievous political mistake. Apparently, it is now customary in our society, to declare anyone above the age of 60 as a has been. This means that all those teachers, police, nurses and others including those in the private sector, are supposed to go home at 55 or 60 and grow lettuce or roses. I respectfully beg to differ. The truth is that, as far as I know, Arthur has no impediment that will affect his ability to be a very productive citizen for many years to come.

This desire to declare people old prematurely has led to the destruction of West Indies cricket when we deliberately hastened the exit of players such as Desmond Haynes and more recently Brian Lara, out of the game before they were, in my opinion ready. When we determine that people who are that young are of no more national use, we are technically wasting all the money we have spent giving them free education!

In Arthur’s case he took about eight or years or so to master Bajan politics. While I do not “sing in his choir”, I have to really ask why the callers to the call in programs, who support Mia Mottley and the BLP are so harsh on the only political talent of any magnitude that the BLP had in its ranks. To blame Arthur for Mottley’s inability to emerge as a viable leader is a poor escape from the fact that Mottley herself is perhaps her greatest enemy. It is beyond belief that Arthur who gave her all the tools to evolve as a creditable leader is now being told he was her “problem”, according to political scientist, Peter Wickham. Wickham has gone so far as to imply that if Mottley had led the BLP in the last election, she would have been victorious. He is yet to bring any substantial argument to support such a far out conclusion.

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Putin – The Theory of the Big Lie

Submitted by Pachamama
Vladímir Putin - President of Russia

Vladímir Putin – President of Russia

Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it – Lysander Spooner

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act  – George Orwell

If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truthJoseph Goebbels

All warfare is based on deceptionSun Tzu

Our central point of departure rests on the truism that we live within a tapestry of lies. But when it comes to Geo-politics, the theory of the big lie was always necessary in the maintenance of empire. Notwithstanding this centuries old adage, the big lie remains a potent weapon in the quiver of the powers as they seek to conduct war, by any means necessary, against their foes. In recent years we’ve had big lies serving to instigate illegal wars against Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Gaza, Yugoslavia and others. However, the recent war propaganda against Putin’s Russia take the big lie to new and staggering levels of acceptability. Indeed, the very existence of the Anglo-American Empire has come to rest on the acceptance of these big lies as truisms.

We have never been persuaded that any country commands any high level of innocence. Indeed, we see countries as impersonal entities without any enduring friendships but with perennial interests. These national interests guide countries and blocks as they tussle for advantage and ascendancy. In this pursuit countries may try a combination of diplomacy, politics and other cultural and economic levers to change the balance of power, gain strategic advantage. In the event where there is a failure, militarism, including sanctions, maybe employed by belligerents to achieve, through violence, that which could not be so done by ‘peaceful’ means.

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