During that time, Robertson, a member of the conservative Jamaica Labour Party, has survived a political career that would have derailed many. He was reelected in 2012, when a backlash against the JLP’s association with a drug trafficker forced the prime minister to resign, and the rival People’s National Party (PNP) nearly swept the elections. When he tried to push out his party’s leader in 2013 and lost, he kept his deputy leader position in the party anyway. But those episodes were child’s play compared to what he faced in 2010. That year the U.S. State Department revoked Robertson’s visa for reasons never made public. Then he was accused of murder.
Barbadians were informed on national radio by former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons that gangs are present in Barbados. He quickly clarified that the gangs are not as organized as those in Trinidad and Jamaica, BUT, local authorities must not make the same mistake as Trinidad in the early 90s by refusing to act on evidence in their possession.
Many of the gangs in Trinidad and Jamaica are affiliated to political parties and manage ‘store fronts’ to receive government contracts. Control the money and you have the power to control the people. The story of Jamaican politician James Robertson of the Jamaican Labour Party (JLP) makes for a riveting read. What is scary is that many Barbadians have become very complacent to believe – it can’t happen here. A weak fourth estate means that society’s protective shield is not at full force.
The scourge of corruption is known to have destabilized societies through history. One pillar that a politically stable Barbados has built its reputation has been on law and order. In recent years a rising level of corruption now threatens to erode all the gains accrued on the backs of our forefathers.
All those who aspire to lead Barbados whether from the political or the NGO class MUST address how we intend to stave off the scourge of corruption.
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