Submitted by Heather Cole
To some it is known as blood money. In the Bible thirty pieces of silver was the sum of money given to Judas for his betrayal of Jesus. On the other side of the coin it was the price at which Judas sold his integrity. Judas did not live to enjoy his ill-gotten gains. It is written in the Bible according to Matthew 27:5-8, “So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said,” It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.’
A well-known quote by H. Jackson Brown Jr admonishes us to “live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.” It makes one wonder the price at which Mark Maloney has bought the integrity of the Minsters of Government in Barbados.
It is no wonder that the present Administration, although it was promised has ignored any discussions regarding the placement of Integrity Legislation on the Statute Books. Neither is there any white, black or even grey areas in the Constitution demanding integrity and accountability from Ministers of Government. So again, deficiency in the Constitution is a problem with many symptoms, one of which is that no remedies are available for corruption and the lack of integrity that is displayed by Government Ministers.
Let us examine a few of symptoms where the integrity of Ministers of Government can be questioned. There was the matter of the Speaker of the House, who stole from a pensioner yet remained as Speaker of the House. When the matter became public, if I remember correctly the Prime Minister said that the Speaker had broken no law. Under normal circumstances funds belonging to the public are not kept at the Central Bank. Although I believe this to be wrong, I am not aware that any law of Barbados was broken by the Governor of the Central Bank in keeping the money for Leroy Parris. There was no law to prevent Mara Thompson from remaining as the Representative for St. John in the House of Assembly even though she was involved in the missing funds of the Clico scandal. Even with the Cahill scandal, there was no law to make those Ministers who signed the Agreements resign. On the other side of the coin, while there are no laws to prevent Government from exclusively awarding contracts to a select few citizen’s time and time again, it infers that the relationship between the Administration and these contractors is not healthy. It makes a case for bribery and corruption especially when the population is made up of 200,000 blacks and none of them receive these prized contracts and neither are the contracts offered to any companies in Caricom especially when the companies in question do not even possess the technical skills to complete the contract.
Roy Morris in his column last week saw the scandal with Mr. Maloney as related to doing business. I totally disagree it has nothing to do with conducting business and in his recent column The Lowdown, Richard Hoad does not have a problem with Mr. Maloney breaking the law since he gets things done. He forgot to mention that it is all done at the expense of the taxpayers of Barbados. My beef with him though is this strange argument that he has brought to the table in defense of Mr. Maloney. He brought the argument of Rosa Parks who stood up for her civil rights by refusing to give up her seat. The argument that Mr. Maloney’s civil rights are being infringed upon cannot be in any way justified. Since he brought this argument, I must inform him that more than likely any black Barbadian should from now on demand those coveted contacts as part of their civil rights which are now being violated as they are clearly being discriminated against by a political group.
Although slavery was abolished in 1833, some white men have found a way to keep us working for free, to use the hard earned taxpayers’ money of the workers to live extravagant life styles, to perpetrate the myth that whites are better than blacks, that whites are to remain business owners while the blacks remain their source of labor. It is just a modern concept of slavery. They have used the politicians by paying them bribes in order to gain access to the funds in the Treasury. Those same funds that could be used to provide better care at the QEH, social services, income tax refunds, jobs and assistance for the poor.
Thirty pieces of silver caused a black woman to lose her son. Thirty pieces of silver caused a Coverley to be built as well as a Grotto. Thirty pieces of silver is also responsible for the racing track at Bushy Park, for the awarding of the contract to refurbish the Empire theatre and thirty pieces of silver of also responsible for latest scandal involving the building near the flour mill.
Essentially, Barbados has no laws to reign in those who believe that they are above the law. If the poor must abide by the regulation of the TCP so too must the rich. Mr. Maloney was operating above the law all along until he fell out of favor with the Government.
Unfortunately, the list of people who took the blood money does not end with the Ministers. It includes Mr. Sutherland and every person who has worked or is working for Mr. Maloney. They too have benefitted from the blood money and are part of the betrayal just as a drug lord uses people to launder money to make it clean and seemingly to appear from a legitimate or respected source.
It was indeed disturbing to see young black embracing slavery when they went out to show support for the notorious Mark Maloney. It reminded me of something that I read recently that birds in a cage do not know that they are not free. Therefore, if the door of the birdhouse is left open they will not fly away because in their minds, they are free. We have a situation where free men have the mindset of slaves. Badly needed in Barbados is a course in reverse psychology to be taught to the entire back population.
If they really wanted to change the course of History by talking about money, they would be pressing for Reparations. They would have made their way to London to have a demonstration for Reparations since this is the best time and place to highlight their grievances about money owed to them and their forefathers. Closer to home since these workers have the skills to build up the coffers of Mark Maloney. the best advice one can give them is to pool their resources and skills to form a black company to compete against Mark Maloney et al in the near future.
In the final analysis, the only result that the public can expect regarding those Ministers who have been bribed by Mark Maloney for thirty pieces of silver is political suicide. For how can any Government claim fifty years of independence in public while in secret it clings to the vestiges of slavery by giving away the people’s money to the new Plantocracy?