Submitted By The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Anil Roberts (l) Jack Warner (r)
Once again, we are forced to briefly focus, on Trinidad and Tobago. The question now occupying our minds is whether there is any hope for the proper governance of the twin island state. For Trinidadians to pretend that the high level of open corruption is just a “Trini ting” is to inflict serious damage on their country and rob its future generations of any hope of living in a vibrant politically progressive society. Trinidadians are sipping a diabolical cocktail of government orchestrated corruption and a crime rate that is obviously out of control, where witnesses to crimes ,are executed almost daily ,before they can testify in court.
Our concern today is focused on Mr. Anil Roberts the now former Sport Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who has been forced to resign not only from his ministry but from parliament itself. He is the latest embarrassment to the cabinet and government of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who now certainly has the unenviable distinction of heading the most corrupt government in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. Her government is corruption on steroids!
We issue warning that unless the political corruption, mal governance and crime are addressed; our beloved and fun loving brothers and sisters would wake up and find that their country has deteriorated beyond repair.
Minister of the Environment, Denis Lowe,
Six years later Barbadians continue to wait for the implementation of transparency legislation. It was a campaign promise of the incumbent government made in 2008 but in 2014 remains outstanding. BU views it as another unbroken promise which makes a mockery of the social contract we refer to as the Manifesto. How can Prime Minister Stuart, Minister of Finance Sinckler, Minster Inniss and the off again on again Minister of Agriculture Estwick seriously expect sensible Barbadians to trust government’s policies, when there is incontrovertible evidence key members of the Cabinet of Barbados lied to the electorate about the urgency to rollout transparency legislation.
There is the popular saying credited to Albert Einstein, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results defines insanity. Over one decade of Auditor General reports which consistently detail unacceptable levels of graft and weak governance in the public sector therefore the need for government to urgently respond, yet implementation in 2014 remains a low priority. Bear in mind the public sector has to interact with the private sector to do business and are implicated in the sham. Also we recall the attempt to rollout similar legislation thirty years ago failed, the difference, it was a Barbados Labour Party government leading the charge then, or so it appeared. How are Barbadians expected to trust the policies of any government if there is clear evidence they have disregarded implementing policies to avoid scrutiny.
Both governments have been accused of squandering public funds and there is evidence to support the claim. In times of plenty inefficient allocation of resources will go unnoticed however in a guava season greater fiscal discipline must be the obvious approach. In fact commonsense suggests that fiscal discipline must be the preferred approach in good and bad economic times. What do successful people and organizations have in common?
To many the Caribbean is synonymous with a life of ease and relaxation. So it comes as something of a revelation to read the New Year’s Message issued by Branville McCartney, the Leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA). Few outside the Bahamas will be familiar with Mr McCartney, and yet the content of his message elucidates much of the mood that is abroad in the seemingly idyllic islands. The country would appear to be riddled with “crime and the fear of crime” a fact that according McCartney is exacerbated by institutional corruption and the apparent impotence of the ruling party. For all the catalogue of woes McCartney appears quite happy to vent his spleen and certainly any tourist reading this communiqué would have second thoughts about visiting The Bahamas. Did this party leader really intend his press release to further undermine confidence in the country’s economy?
For a document that has been produced by a qualified and practicing barrister this makes fascinating reading. If for a moment one puts to one side the excessive and inaccurate use of the exclamation mark the language deployed is both colourful and at times redolent of some bygone age. McCartney does not hold back in what he sees as the remedies required to cure the country’s apparent ills; “Enforcement and administration of the cat-o-nine-tail – in Rawson Square, no less – must be reintroduced.” A firm advocate of capital punishment and here is a fully paid up member of the ‘hang’em and flog’em’ brigade. His message to “My Beloved Bahamians” censures the current administration for being reactive as opposed to proactive, but in advocating a portfolio of draconian and in some cases simplistic and discredited solutions the Leader of the DNA is in real danger as coming across as a reactionary of the first order. Some will always rally to the vengeful and judgemental, but such sentiments tend to sit more easily with the followers of demagogues as opposed to those who are true adherents of parliamentary democracy for all its weaknesses and imperfections.
Six years after the global meltdown we remain a divided people
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.
― Edmund Burke
Modern societies are fighting to stem an unprecedented level of corruption across the globe. There is pervasive hankering for material things even when personal values are compromised in the process. Is Barbados insulated from the global experience?
There has been a lot of puffing of the chest by the political people in reaction to Transparency International’s release of the global corruption barometer for 2013. BU understands that Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart gave an interview to BBC and addressed the issue – how Barbados maintains its clean image given our high rating. Any good PR planted in the UK space is good given the dent to our reputation in the last 12 months. BU is not bowled over by Transparency International reports because we know this is based on a ‘perception index’ and then there is the relativity of the result. What is the significance of Barbados registering a better score on the corruption index compared to Jamaica, T&T, EC countries and others in the English speaking Caribbean anyway? Let us smile about the PR opportunity for Barbados but let us not forget that the incumbent government ran its campaign in 2008 on what it perceived was corruption by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Who do we believe Mr Prime Minister you or Transparency International?
More important should be the focus by Barbadians on what political science refers to as ‘legitimation crisis’. This is defined when “a governing structure still retains the legal authority by which to govern, but is not able to demonstrate that its practical functioning fulfills the end for which it was instituted.” Some will argue that BU is being harsh in its assessment of the reality that is Barbados. We think NOT.
National Integrity Action (NIA) is a not-for-profit organization that was launched in December 2011 with the objective of combatting corruption in Jamaica on a non-partisan basis. This film, produced by NIA, graphically details four episodes in Jamaica’s 50-year Post-Independence history, each of which speaks to how corruption undermines Jamaica’s achievements.
Submitted by Yardbroom
Barbadians urged to vote INTEGRITY
Deliverance from Whom?
Leadership to Where?
Pragmatic in what we can reasonably afford.
All underpinned by “INTEGRITY” for without that, we are nothing.
In a matter of days Barbados’ electorate will go to the Polls and elect a Government for the next five years. The time for crunching figures is over. The pollsters have trotted out their numbers, the columnists showing bias have pontificated on the rightness of their selections and those in the shadows with much to gain, have invested their dollars and largesse to be distributed, no doubt expecting a large return on their investment. The manifestos are near ready but they too rely on that word INTEGRITY for without it, they will be as useful as a loser betting tickets discarded at the Garrison Savannah.
I asked deliverance, from whom? Deliverance from those in the shadows, whose faces are never seen but their dollars are. They do not mount platforms and tell ribald jokes, and their parentage, domestic arrangements and physiognomy are never questioned, but like a fox at a Leghorn fowl shin-dig, they cannot be ignored.
Posted in Blogging
Tagged Barbados, Barbados Elections, Barbados Government, Barbados Labour Party, BL&P, Blogging, Corruption, Democratic Labour Party, DLP, Governance, Integrity, Local Politics
Submitted by Afra Raymond
“Afra Raymond is an anti-corruption activist/blogger whose work – http://www.afraraymond.com – has focused on the collapse and bailout of the Caribbean’s largest conglomerate – CL Financial – and corruption in the property/construction arenas.