Who Needs Integrity Legislation Anyway

Attorney General, Minister Adriel Brathwaite

The news that the Prevention of Corruption Bill has been sent to a Joint Committee of parliament for deliberation has not come as a surprise to many. It is only naïve Barbadians who expect politicians to proclaim integrity legislation in this century or the next. The promise by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) to deliver integrity legislation in 100 days has finally been exposed for what it always was, an election gimmick.  Culpable as well has been the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Opposition who have been relatively silent on the matter.

The promise made by Opposition member of parliament Dale Marshall that it is hoped a revamped bill will emerge from the joint committee quickly, must be taken with several grains of salt. In fact, it should probably be dismissed as an untruth delivered with the confidence of a politician who knows the tolerance threshold of Bajans to be passive.

It is more than one year Barbadians have waited for a ruling on the David Estwick/Dale Marshall gun issue. Subject to correction the matter was referred to the Committee of Privileges by Speaker Michael Carrington and that is the last heard of the matter. Is it any wonder there is a growing cynicism and lack of confidence about the inner workings of our democracy and politics in Barbados by young people? Many literate Bajans believe that a true measure of our democracy is the ability to vote.

Some may remember this is not the first time there has been an attempt to enact integrity legislation in Barbados. Under a Tom Adams government BU recalls Sir Henry Forde’s effort. Thankfully he was able to replenish his political stock when he successfully championed a bill for women’s rights for which he is not fondly remembered by men to this day. Why would those issues reported to have stymied the progress of the  Prevention of Corruption Bill not be anticipated by the drafters of the legislation? Why would the draft bill have to disappear in joint committee because of impracticable and contentious clauses? Why would we not have learned from the last attempt to move the legislation?

It is shaping up that the battle on the political platform next general election – forecasted by some BU family members – will be about the performance of the economy. Given the protracted and unprecedented nature of the economic problems facing Barbados, the electorate is likely to be more sensitive to rising prices which continue to threaten the ability to provide food, clothing and shelter. Promise by the DLP to deliver Integrity  and Freedom of Information  Legislation will just be another opportunity of politicians maintaining reputations.

While this government will exact some sympathy as it confronts the global economic challenges, its failure to enact Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information will seal its legacy in this tenure as a government who followed the worn path of those who went before it.

Ralphie was correct after all, there is no difference in philosophy between the DLP and the BLP.

0 thoughts on “Who Needs Integrity Legislation Anyway

  1. The drafters would have been prep for this outcome.
    These lame excuses from Dale Marshall should tell Barbadians why they should not vote back in the BLP.
    The AG excuse that the only problem they have with the bill is the fact that they will have to declare they assets every year. Now, that is one lame excuse to continue the good practice of getting rich off the taxpayers.
    I do not see this legislation being passed and therefore for the first time in my life I will not be voting.

  2. By putting this legislation before a Select Committee, it’s death is assured. The last Bill that went there is the Employment Rights Bill early in this century. Congrats, DLP, congrats, BLP. Business as usual!

  3. That bill would expose so many things about all the different party members who aren’t doing the right thing for the people, but only thinking about SELF; All in power knows that good old Bajans just keep being accepting all the shit that’s being handed to them for years; One would think that by now change would have taken place; I guess it wouldn’t be in my lifetime; I’ve noticed that more hell is being raised over different songs that about the BULL SHIT that’s being handed to them by they elected officials; Maybe being a politician is lucrative to the persons seeking office. And it surely isn’t about the folks who voted for them; I remember an old saying:- Many don’t believe shit stinks even when they faces are in it; This is what’s being handed down right about now. PURE 110% SHIT;
    GOD help Barbadians, since they seem to be so laid back when they should be standing up and demanding results; But on the other hand all politicians seem to forget that they are servants for the people. But instead they seem to be working for themselves first;

  4. is it true to say that some big boys in barbados own, zm vans and illegal van that pirate de route and that some police dont report them but choose to report de legall zr van can the police tell why ah zr van was excorted to central police station this morning and a pirate van loaded with people some of de passender do not wear seat belt and the va n only insure for 4 pass was allowed to goin, barbados is not a fair place the law should be for all people , and we talkin bout prevent corruption law to pass in de house well get really, whom that law for, any way to the commissioner mr darwin dottin do some ting bout de vans and do an investigation who own them.do u no sir that there are about 130 pirate running or plyin de route, do u no that each pirate van make about 350 ah day, and some zr make bout 120 per day, so u could now see y these zr men break de law, with high insurance and road taxes well i ent own no zr van but me friend got one and he say that he talk to de authority bout that and no boby tek he on,what is wrong with bajan, more on de pirate next week.

  5. The present Government, whilst in opposition, promised to enact integrity legislation to deal with politicians within 100 days if elected. They were elected and immediately started to move avay from that promise. They started to confuse the issue by introducing red herrings about other people in public life. That was not their promise. According to their manifesto promise there should have been integrity legislation to deal with politicians long ago. If they still wanted to deal with others, they could have introduced the appropriate legislation as the next step.

    I am clearly of the view that there was not any serious attempt to hold politicians to any standard of integrity. If they wanted to introduce such far-reaching legislation, Government should have put the bill out for public comment. I do not believe that they are serious.

    So much for the Government. I can’t really understand the point, about persons who make contributions to political parties, who don’t want to be identified. Opposition spokesman, Dale Marshall, claimed that there are persons who contribute to political parties who don’t want to be identified. According to the laws that are currently on the books all contributions made, during an election campaign, must be reported to the Electoral and Boundarries Commission. Our laws do not allow secret contributions.

    • @Caswell

      Can’t agree with you more.

      The politically partisan will obviously disagree.

      It seems we never learn, there is so much precedent to show how political yardfowlism can wreck a country but we continue full steam.

      The politicians, many of who are lawyers, continue to block attempts to make the system more transparent and in the process inspire confidence in the political system.

      We can truly feel proud to be described as sheeple.

      There is a sense as this comment is posted that we are losing the fight. Perhaps Bush Tea is correct.

  6. So many topics so little time, what is one to make of the evidence given at the Coroners inquest by geologist Leslie Barker. It is reported that he said that the vibrations by the heavy equipment being used in construction in the vicinity could not have caused the cave to collapse.

    On cross examination he admitted that he reached his conclusion based on a report prepared by engineers who were part of the construction team that was working on the adjacent building.

    Read em and weep.


  7. Don’t make laugh, Franklyn, what nonsenses are you writing did you read this crap before you posted, to hold politicians to any standard of integrity.
    You and you clan of crooks masterminded a level of dishonesty never seen in this country in the past even now out of office you are so greedy for control of the purse strings that you have the Roger Smith before the courts for theft of Sagicor’s money any you want to instruct someone or this gov’t on what is right and what is wrong ??

    You have unabated gumption in truth, bet you would never have asked Nicholls and Arthur why they were moving out as money as they were, this money being hard earned taxpayers dollars.

    A whole suite of relevant legislation is in the process including IL that you and your people will cringe to face it.


  8. Barrow once described Barbados as a “Nation of Thieves” perhaps that is why Integrity Legislation bill will NEVER be passed. WE the ELECTORATE are the ONES to DEMAND it! Do we have the BALLS to do so? We have to become more politically active when OUR POLITICIANS defy our wishes. Where are the marches supporting this legislation? You can see marches for all kind of causes that don’t really affect us BUT where are you all when it comes to things fundamental like this one. We are also a nation of HYPOCRITES as well.

  9. @islandgal

    Who do we have marching again?

    The only marches
    Are those who march for ‘Christ’ which exposes the great irony in this debate.

  10. @David

    You have read my mind exactly. We hide behind our so called religion all the time and refuse to address the real issues affecting us.

  11. It is crystal clear now that the Corrupt Barbados Labour Party is firmly against integrity legislation .

    Let me see how DAVID deals with this. I suspect that now that he knows that BLP is against it he will let it die a natural death.

  12. Well we did our part.

    We brought integrity legislation to the floor of the House, the first Political Party in the History of Barbados ever to do such.

  13. @Caswell
    Cannot agree with you on this occasion. Big difference between disclosing contributions and disclosing the contributors. That is exactly the point. Personally, should there be disclosures on the contributors, there should be qualifications of an agreed financial threshold and perhaps professional affiliation. It is corruption or the perception of corruption that is being targeted, not individuals who support a particular party. In saying all of this, it means that there should be a simultaneous and substantial increase to the political parties from the public purse. After that is done and thereafter, strict enforcement of any legislation would be the necessity.

  14. I agree with Caswell on this one. Note that the bill only requires the contributions to be disclosed to the Integrity Commission. Unless folks are only making cash contributions there would already be a record in the banking system of who gave what to each party or politician.

    Caswell, doesn’t the current law give the public the right to inspect the returns filed by election candidates within a certain period of time? Is there a loophole that contributions to the political parties do not have to be reported? Otherwise the spending by the candidates as reported in the press seems very low – of course, the amounts have to be within the limits set by law.

    Caswell – pls explain.

  15. @Carson Cadogan

    Again you mislead with the facts. It is not for the first time that a bill was brought to the house on integrity legislation (and unfortunately it may not be for the first time that it is likely to die just there).


    I think we are singing from the same page and hence your questions to Caswell and my disagreement with him (and you if you are in full agreement with his statement). What is being called for in this instance is a disclosure of names; that has not been the case. Of course any one is likely to follow a paper trail for their own agenda (inclusive of the DPP in chasing fraudulent claims), but traditionally it is sums of money that have been reported under the People’s Representation Act.
    Unfortunately, I do not have all of the information here, but on recollection, the sums spent by the candidate in an election are reported together with receipts etcetera; however, there is no legal obligation as far as I remember to include names of contributors or indeed the names of disbursements. I have not had to file those things since 2003, so I do speak from memory and under the possibility that I may not be totally accurate.
    I do join with you in having Caswell check the facts or having someone who has those facts to clarify.

  16. We can be a funny/hypocritical bunch on BU.
    Here where pseudonyms and ‘apolitical’ views abound, there is support for legislation to reveal the identity of persons who make monetary contributions to political parties. A society where people are still dismissed from their jobs because they support the opposing party.

    The truth is, our politics is immature and any progressive policy such as this one ought to be introduced only when the entire SYSTEM itself is made more progressive.

    As I have said before, Barbados is a 1×1 island with 10 people and 2 degrees of separation. The issue of Integrity Legislation must not be about being malicious (colloquially and formally); but focused on accountability and transparency in a manner that fits the Barbadian context.

    Politicians, however, make a conscious decision to run for Parliament and should have no difficulty declaring their assets at the outset. After 3.5 years and having integrity legislation for its MPs as a major plank of its election platform, the DLP should by now have had some system in place to hold at least the Cabinet accountable. Having failed to do so, we continue to hear ‘talk’ of a Minister benefitting financially from a construction company.

  17. Hants | July 21, 2011 at 9:11 PM | Anoyher Lawyer out on bail. This time a female. lawd havest mercy!

    BU you have to start one more thread on dishonest lawyers give us a chance to discuss one more time the pompous theives in dark suits.
    They use thier alleged knowledge of the law to fleece Bajans particularly diaspora ones.
    Lawyers come like boys on the block a real and present threat to society the block boys run drugs, rob and murder,rape and worse the lawyers just thief and thief and theif.
    Vonda Pile, Leroy Lynch the Waterman woman whats become of her first name was Laurene or Lorraine, Ernest jackman , Errol Niles list endless.
    Then BLPites like Roger Smith on serious money missing charges.
    If this is what the BLP bringing to the table better them stay outside the House and continue the war between Mia nd Rawle eastmond on one side and the midgets Owen see thru and Al barracks boys hats george Payne and Dail Marshall on the other.

  18. You’re right enough Enuff – there is frequently to be found a ‘funny bunch’ on BU and long may it continue – but you should not decry the right of honest people who wish to expose hypocrites and corruption whilst remaining anonymous. You have no idea about why they wish to remain so – but almost without exception it is rooted in fear. Fear for their life, their job or, possibly, their family. If ‘whistleblowing’ and the like, as well as sites like BU (even with the frequent crap), became extinct because anonymity could not be guaranteed then the world would be all the worse for it. Anyone who doubts that need look no further than Watergate and that smarmy, self-aggrandising bastard Nixon.

  19. @enuff

    It seems you are knocking an initiative by government that would pave the way for transparency? Ion the words of your leader you want to go to heaven but you do not want to die.

  20. George Brathwaite

    I did not ask you to agree with me. That said, please refer to section 52 (1) of the representation of the People Act. That section provides for the “Return and Declarations as to Election Expenses”form. Page 1 of that form (Form 5) states:

    “Include all money, securities or equivalent of money received in respect of expenses incurred whether before, during or after the election, on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of the election”

    On the first section of Form 5 there is a table to be filled out, the headinge are:
    1. Date
    2. Amount or value
    3. Nature ot article received
    4. Source from which received

    I do not come on this blog to mislead or to represent any other interests but the truth. I have no political masters to protect.


    You are correct, the law makes provision for the public to examine election expenses, but sadly no one goes to the Registration Department to do so. It is not a public library but you would find many works of fiction.

  21. @ Reality

    You are in essence agreeing with me.

    The point of my post was not to demonise persons on BU for using pseudonyms, after all I am guilty of doing such.

    What I wanted to highlight was that the same reasons (fear, intimidation etc which you raised) that fuel annonymity on BU also apply to persons making financial contributions to political parties. Unless our system evolves to a point where the membership card of the ‘wrong’ political party is no longer a scarlet letter then, as is the case on BU, persons wishing to contribute should have the right to remain annonymous.

    Like BU, it is not the contributor but the contribution.

  22. @Caswell

    Thanks for the clarification and putting the wording there. What you have done in fact is to support my position that names were never a requirement and hence the identities of contributors were not a matter of disclosure. Even if with some stretch of the phrase “source from which received” this in no way means the disclosure of an individual or companies name. What it does request (and certainly the way it was done in practice) was denoting the general source of those funds (e.g. members contribution, retail firm; society, etc.).
    Please do not go away with the impression that I come here to oppose you or anyone else. I use the forum to share my views, to educate, to clarify, and in some instances, to chastise and that is usually with reference to government or the opposition and any other entities that I believe are not pursuing the right course for progressing Barbados and Barbadians. Just thought that I would make that point clear to you Caswell and to any other BU readers that may think I am on a personal crusade. In any event, you know that you and I have never had reason to fight other person’s fights between us. As the old people say, leave well enough alone!

  23. @Enuff
    I agree with your rationale; makes a lot of sense. Generally, persons in Barbados in both private and the public services, express trepidation at the thought that they can be identified with a particular political party or regime. Persons like myself, maybe it does not matter and for different reasons, but for the majority they would rather not be identified. Given the fragile nature of our internal politics and the polarities to which strong partisan views reach the public domain, I suspect that that if the disclosure of persons names; in essence their identities, become a legal requirement, we may find the legislation being counter-productive. Only those with the financial means (and relative economic comfort) would risk putting forward themselves as political candidates and some may even be reluctant to sit on boards etcetera). There has to be a logical and rational divide between the contributions and the contributors. Let the legal brains deal with that!

  24. @ David

    I am not knocking any initiative by the government for transparency!! We are fast to decry the wholesale adoption of ‘foreign’ elements into our culture only when it suits us.
    All I am saying is that Barbados is a small society with 10 people and nearly everybody connected, and to implement legislation that ignores this fact would be ignorant.
    Membership on a statutory board pays $120 a month, who want ‘malicious’ Bajans all up in their financial business for such pittance? This brings me back to my mantra: evidence-based, coherent policy.
    You see what happening with Kamla and her PP Government and state boards?

  25. @ Enuff

    “We can be a funny/hypocritical bunch on BU.”

    Speaking from the party platform on Monday (January 7, 2008), Thompson pledged that his party would make the promise of such legislation a reality within the first 100 days of the DLP assuming office, should they win the general elections.

    In her post as Chairman of the National Housing Corporation, Marilyn Rice-Bowen questioned the Minister, Michael Lashley’s leadership of the Ministry of Housing, and accused him of by-passing the NHC board in making decisions when it came to projects funded by the Corporation. She was subsequently terminated.
    Some of these same people who came to this blog and the call-in-programs to give Rice-Bowen some lashes on her stance, are the same ones who are boasting that the DLP has brought integrity legislation to the House of Parliament. Hypocrites indeed.

  26. @enuff

    Thanks for your comment which further exposes the promise of integrity legislation as a gimmick. The farce which saw Mottley and Arthur tabling a one-pager detailing their assets compounded the matter.

  27. Excerpt from the proposed integrity legislation:

    1. There has been a growing recognition in the Commonwealth Caribbean of the important contribution of good governance to the promotion of social and economic development. Strangely, however, little attention has been paid in the past to the role that political corruption, defined as the misuse of public power for private benefit, plays in retarding that development. This neglect may have been partly the result of the absence of a robust theoretical framework for analyzing the effects of corruption, and the difficulty of assembling a body of empirical evidence confirming its existence in specific jurisdictions. In Barbados, sporadic attention has focused on issues of perceived corruption and lack of public integrity, but no sustained effort has been made to analyse their scope, extent, and consequences.
    2. In 1975, the then, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. J.M.G.M. Adams, tabled a resolution in Parliament calling upon the Government to introduce legislation to compel members of Parliament to disclose their assets. Adams subsequently made charges that members of the Government were corrupt, and when he became Prime Minister in a Barbados Labour Party administration towards the end of 1976 he instituted a commission of enquiry into the financial activities of the previous Democratic Labour Party government during the period 1961 to 1976. The report of that commission which was undertaken by the Hon. Justice Duffus, a former Chief Justice of Jamaica, concluded that there was no evidence of loopholes in the constitution, and procedures for the proper administration and control of the public finances in Barbados.

    Seems like déjà vu to me, instead, now-a-days we have replaced commission of enquiry with forensic audits.

  28. @ Josquin

    The late PM was akin to a snake oil salesman. Good at selling/telling but delivering ….another story.

    According to the Nation, Richard Sealy said: “Mr Speaker we the members of this side recognize the far-reaching implications of this bill, and recognizing the contribution of the official spokesman of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, I wish to move that this bill be considered by a select committee of Parliament.”

    And Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite indicated that the Government had no difficulty with Members of Parliament declaring their assets and liabilities but had some difficulties with the section that required persons in public life to make an annual declaration.

    So I am also lost at the comments of those people to whom you refer.

    @ George Brathwaite
    I firmly believe that a society where citizens are less fearful about party politics would redound to our development: better candidates, stronger parties, stronger governments.

  29. George Brathwaite

    You wrote,
    “Thanks for the clarification and putting the wording there. What you have done in fact is to support my position that names were never a requirement and hence the identities of contributors were not a matter of disclosure. Even if with some stretch of the phrase “source from which received” this in no way means the disclosure of an individual or companies name.

    I have not supported your position. The law requires that a candidate should disclose any money paid to him: he must also disclose the source. How are you going to fill in the section that says, “Source from which received” unless you name the person or entity that provided the money.

    If you name the source of the campaign contributions, you might be able to identify the persons who get all of the most lucrative government contracts. Incidentally, if campaigns were not so expensive talented people with little money to splurge on campaigning and buying votes might make their way to the House of Assembly.

  30. @ David

    I don’t know if it were a gimmick or not. All I am saying is that legislation such as this must take our size into consideration so as avoid deterring people from serving on statutory boards etc.

    I am, however, NOT making a case for politicians especially Ministers!!

  31. @Caswell

    This is my final statement on this particular point. Having had the privilege (as the particular candidate’s agent) to have filed such document to which you refer and for which the law cited applies, I shall contend that there never was a requirement to provide a name of a person or institution. To name the source meant to provide the generic category and NOT TO NAME THE INDIVIDUAL LEGAL PERSON. Now you should check your facts and confirm that statement. And I signed on the dotted line on that occasion and made the filing as required by law.

  32. Excepts from the DRAFT Ministerial Code – A Proposal
    (Revised December 15, 2007)

    “17. Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests, financial or otherwise.”
    The Official Gazette of Jan 26 2009 states that the Government, i.e. Minister of Finance, has waived the penalties and interest for non-payment of VAT for over $1 million relating to VAT periods from 2003 to 2005. Further, income tax waived is almost $600K for income years 2002 to 2005, for Rayside Construction.

    “4. Ministers are personally responsible for deciding how to act and conduct themselves in the light of the Code and for justifying their actions and conduct in Parliament.”
    What is the outcome of the alleged gun incident relating to Estwick and Marshall?

    6c. It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament. Any inadvertent error should be corrected at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister;
    6g. Ministers should avoid accepting any gift or hospitality which might, or might reasonably appear to, compromise their judgement or place them under an improper obligation;
    6h. Ministers must not use government resources for Party political purposes. They must uphold the political impartiality of the Civil Service and not ask civil servants to act in any way which would conflict with the accepted code of behaviour of civil servants.

    Will the integrity and freedom of information legislation be a reality?

  33. Carson C. Cadogan | July 22, 2011 at 7:34 AM |
    “Well we did our part.”
    “We brought integrity legislation to the floor of the House, the first Political Party in the History of Barbados ever to do such.”

    Wrong again, Carson, Tom Adams introduced an Integrity in Public Life Bill in Parliament in 1979.

  34. Pingback: Barbados: Still Waiting on Integrity Legislation · Global Voices

  35. Pingback: Barbados: Still Waiting on Integrity Legislation @ Current Affairs

  36. In 1991, The National Democratic Party, Of which I was a candidate, stated in its Manifesto, on page 27 the following:
    .Introduce integrity and anti-corruption legislation
    Require Cabinet Ministers and Chairmen of Statutory Boards to make full declaration of their assets and liabilities
    Abolish the Housing Allowance for the Prime Minister. whether or not he chooses to live in Ilaro Court……
    I kind of figure that if it has taken twenty years for such legislation to reach Parliament, we can now wait another twenty years for it to get out of the Select Committee !
    Why cuss the politicians- the truth maybe is that as Sparrow said: ‘We like it so…”

  37. We, as a country dont have an absence of laws, we have an absence of informance of the laws we already have. Everybody is somebody counsin, somebody friend, a friend of a friend or just willing to look the other way in hope of a favour.

  38. to the police office whom left de station to report ah zr van pound de proute route stop lookin to report them vans and look to report de pirate pun de route that carryin people in de illegal van , i want de government to setup a special committe to look at who owner these van, some of them van are not insure. no seat belt at the de back,stop any place, drive true no entry , dragg in ,callin out passengers, goin into the bus lane. put off passenger before complete de route, do u want me to cont mr officer,do u remm the mid nite asssin, zm 75 on black rock road, i want to hear your comment from bu fan…….

  39. Josquin

    “Will the integrity and freedom of information legislation be a reality?”

    Ask your Barbados Labour Party.

  40. Josquin

    “In her post as Chairman of the National Housing Corporation, Marilyn Rice-Bowen questioned the Minister, Michael Lashley’s leadership of the Ministry of Housing, and accused him of by-passing the NHC board in making decisions when it came to projects funded by the Corporation”

    She has never proven one of her accusations.

    All myths.

  41. neither carson has any of the allegations of corruption levelled against members of the B.L.P administration in the last election yet been proven; not even the much debated hardwood. when would partisan persons like you understand that you are just pawns in a political game played for the amusement of a gullible public by a select few to benefit a select few. politicians do not lock up each other. it is like a lodge or a close-shop like law.

  42. George Brathwaite

    Your post at July 22, 2011 at 1:40 P.M.
    You admitted that you broke the law. It is as simple as that.

  43. Many persons voted for the DLP in the last elections because of the promise to enact integrity legislations within 100 days, of all the failed promises made by this administration, if this one is not made, the DLP will lose many many votes, maybe enough to cause them to lose the government. There are many rumors about some hanky-pankying that is going on in some ministries that needs to be made right with the act being passed. It is not good enough to say the other party didn’t want it either, it was the DLP who introduced it in their manifesto and made a big issue about it at Haggatt Hall and we are holding this party to it.

    • The bottomline is this, the DLP promised integrity legislation in 100 days which was an unreasonable timeframe.

      The issue now becomes whether after three years of waiting the draft bill should retire so meekly to a joint committee.

      The answer is obviously no, it was a setup.

  44. Integrity legislation and a Freedom of information act should be implemented in Barbados.

    If you have something to hide DON’T become a politician.

    If you manage a company that does business with government
    you should be made to declare your assets.

    It works very well in Canada and it will work in Barbados. Ask Bannister.

  45. The dream of IL cannot be achieved so long as you have party politics. The very nature of the party on both sides is to protect the party members and image of the group.

    A return to independent candidates who are all voted into parliament and are therefore all eligible to represent the requirements of their voters is the best guarantee that we can have of enforced integrity. Instead of watching each others back for the sake of party or majority in the house, politicians will be forced to watch their own backs and keep their act clean, through fear of exposure.

    Based on the two powerful motivational emotions of Love and Fear, we can recognise that not many politicians are motivated by love so they need to be motivated by fear.There is very little to fear in a closed shop called party politics.

    To gain a level of independent candidates that can put that fear into the party politics is difficult because the mainstream media controls what the majority of the public gets to understand about the choices that exist and the way in which corruption is hidden.

    Look at the power that Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp holds/held within British and American politics for decades.


  46. David

    You have to be careful of the information given by these political operatives, some might say yardfowls, but I will stick to operatives. From the way some of them pontificate on this blog, you would come away with the impression that they know what they are talking about.

    Take for example the political operative, George Brathwaite, who insisted that there is no requirement to publish the names of persons who make campaign contributions. He was so adamant, I was almost convinced of his argument. However, I will stick to my interpretation of the relevant law, that is, section 52 (3) which states, in part:

    (3) The return shall also contain in respect of that candidate –

    (d) a statement of all moneys, securities and equivalent of money received by the election agent from the candidate or any other person for the purposes of election expenses incurred or to incurred, with a statement of the NAME of every person from whom they are received.

    I rest my case.

  47. DAVID

    “The response will elude you anyway”

    …..because I may choose not to see things your way?

  48. @Caswell

    For your information my dear friend, I am neither political operative or yardfowl. I am a member of the BLP and when last I checked, you were a member of that political party.
    As you would know, at some time in the past, we both turned up at the same office, requesting the same person, to facilitate us in ways in which we did not think were forthcoming by normal means. The truth of the matter is that I do not think either of us were ‘kissing ass’; I certainly was not nor did I have any secret files to hand over.
    Caswell, as I said, I remember what I did. I also said it was 2003 and there was the possibility that I may be incorrect because as far as I remember, there were no obligations to reveal the names of persons making each and every contribution in the political process. Whether I am right or you are right, the practice to my mind is counter-productive unless there are other specific qualifications set, and unless the public purse is willing to increase substantially the sums granted to political institutions considering the exorbitant costs to mount elections.
    Now, I would suggest you leave this man alone. I take no hostages once attacked at a personal and unwarranted level. I shall repeat for you and BU. I voluntarily became a member of the BLP and I intend to remain a member for the foreseeable future. I am a thinking individual with more than enough initiative and assertiveness to speak my mind. Moreover, as records here or any other public forum will show, that while I do support my political party, there are occasions when it necessitates me taking a different direction as is my right to so do. I have no regrets about being a member of the BLP, in fact, I am deeply proud of the BLP’s contribution to national and regional development. In saying that, let me also say that I recognise the history some values in the DLP but I am not tempted to be a member of that party.
    I am not an operative of the BLP in these fora and my actions, words, thoughts are not sanctioned nor are they actively encouraged by any official of the BLP. If I do have a concern, it is in relation to my personal and academic integrity. In those circumstances, what I say in the morning I will say in the night. My research interests are not directly parochial, and even when there must be work on local matters, I let every one know my association. Disclosure is one sure way of my being objectionable to persons like you who would choose to castigate or attempt to demean by suggesting yardfowlism. As the old people would say, know your place Caswell!

  49. @ David

    “The bottomline is this, the DLP promised integrity legislation in 100 days which was an unreasonable timeframe. ”

    UNREASONABLE/UNREALISTIC and the DLP promises are synonymous.

  50. david, only yesterday in discussing the swift and unanimous agreement by both sides to hustle the integrity bill to select committee for its i hope not final death rites; an independent political observer declared that he smelled a rat in this compromise and it seemed to be a set up before the bill was discussed. in response to maat, i have mentioned on this forum before that political parties have outlived their usefulness and cannot rebrand because their is not much to rebrand in terms of bread and butter issues and fighting for the rigths of the masses. we need to introduce a system where politicians are selected from the bowels of the constituencies and go to parliament to represent the interst of the constituency which helected him/her and not the party. in short we do not need professional politicians.in my virw, the worst thing that mr barrow did was to introduce the concept of statutory boards to barbados which as mr marshall correctly said in his comments on the integrity bill are a source of reward for party hacks. these borads which end up manned by lilliputians who know not and do not know they know not have been damocles sword on the public purse and the people of barbados ever since.

  51. @George

    On the evidence of what Caswell extracted from the law it reads that the name is required, your recollection of what you did in 2003 therefore becomes redundant. Why should Barbadians not know how much money certain companies are donating to political parties? Do you think they are making contributions out of the goodness of their hearts?

  52. @ David

    I share the same concern. However, we must be practical. If we do not want political parties to receive monies from independent contributors then the state has to sponsor the very elections that are expressions of democracy. You may say the naming of companies is essential; my question is what about persons (not companies) who because of membership, affiliation wish to donate contributions and especially wherein the sums are reasonable small. Hence, I said clearly that I would support the legislation once they are other criteria that delimit major contributors from the average John Doe wishing to make such contributions. I further said, and you can check my first statement on the matter, that there has to be a reasonable cut-off point less we run the risk of the legislation being counter-productive. In fact, it is very likely you would find that only those persons with what we on the street will call a very long bank account would want to enter politics. Certainly that cannot be desirable, because I think it is not necessarily the rich or wealthy in terms of money who also have a similar disposition regards to thinking and the capacity to serve the people.
    Now you know, Caswell knows, and I know that from the smallest individual, the first question almost all the time is: what is in it for me? It is not a matter of it is right or wrong; it is a matter of ‘what is the reality’. I genuinely believe that I have a contribution to make in Barbados and I do not and most likely will not be a candidate in any election. But do you think if I make contributions to the 3 political parties in varying degrees it is really anyone’s business, or for that matter, do you think it would reduce the propensity for anyone who wants to be crooked not to be? Let us have fair, open, and realistic discussions. Do not let us believe we can fool people into thinking that an overly restrictive legislation that is not balanced by commensurate criteria inclusive of the state funding political parties is viable considering all the technologies and other means through which money transfers hands. I respect the opinions of those who do not agree with me. What I shall not tolerate from anyone regardless of if they are members of either political party, Caswell, or yourself, are suggestions that I am a yardfowl or political operative. When I do become a political operative (again) it means that I will be paid for my services; and then I only work in a professional and honest environment.
    As an aside, Caswell has not produced evidence; Caswell has produced perhaps what the law intended. I assure you that a practice undertaken from time immemorial constitutes sufficient to have a legal ground. Dispute that!

  53. George

    Oops! I struck a nerve. You cannot name and shame me I have nothing to hide. You wrote,
    “As you would know, at some time in the past, we both turned up at the same office, requesting the same person, to facilitate us in ways in which we did not think were forthcoming by normal means.”
    My recollection of that event is somewhat different. I was there to see the person of whom you speak by invitation because SHE was seeking to use me to attack the present Government. I went to see how much gall she had after having me fired from my job: I declined the offer. On the other hand you were there begging. As a result that meeting, you hitched your wagon to a falling star, that is why you were recently spewing your venom on Owen Arthur. My case is vastly different; I believe that neither SHE nor Arthur is suitable to lead this country again. I have stated that Dale Marshall is the only viable option to lead the BLP at this time. That does not mean that I will not comment negatively on things that he says if warranted. You attacked me for doing so, which is my right, and now tells me to know my place. George, I remember you from cadets, so you will understand when I say to you do not get into a battle with me, your powder is wet.

  54. @George

    How can we hope to win that battle of words which easily flow from a lexicon supplied from your world of academia?

    Of course it is nobodys business to know your contribution, of course reform of existing and introduction of new legislation is required, isn’t that what the discussion is about?

    Brother George we have to embrace new approaches if we are to manage effectively given the current realities.


    “For your information my dear friend, I am neither political operative or yardfowl. I am a member of the BLP and when last I checked, you were a member of that political party.”

    That explains the colour of all his discourses on this blog.

    As CASWELL and some others attack the Democratic Labour Party on this blog they always profess to be “non political, independent, I think for myself”.

    Yeah, right!

  56. @ caswell

    Your memory is dwindling, it must be age or discomfort. You did not go to see a ‘she’ but a he; and you were begging while I was expecting based upon my qualifications and capacity to do the job. It is a pity, that you only remember me from cadets. It is even worse that you say my powder is wet. If truth be told, the same today as yesterday except that I am wiser through experiences of all kinds. Caswell, like anyone else and many persons in Barbados who feel that they have been marginalised for one reason or another, I did not give up, I remained determine to succeed at everything I attempt.
    On the point of Mr. Owen Arthur for whom I have loads of respect for his leadership and economic qualities; I have never written any venom or disdainful comments about him as a person or as a person who has held office. I never did it to any Prime Ministers of Barbados before him or after him. However, I shall call a spade a spade. I still believe that his return to leadership speaks volumes about the generation that I grew up in and those that have followed. I believe that there comes a time in life when the mantle has to be passed on and the support one once enjoyed, one should be committed to extending to others. I disagreed with Owen then (and perhaps more so with those who felt it necessary to make another fellow MP of the same party a public spectacle). Arthur is the leader of the political party of which I am a member, under those conditions, he shall receive my fullest support if it is ever required. I am about the party not holding onto the hem of anyone’s pants or skirt.
    If there is merit in my abilities, then I shall likely progress with the party. If there comes a time when a different calling should welcome me, then it is my choice to do as I deem fit. Caswell, it is sad to say, that you have an attitude of bitterness that clouds what otherwise is a clever and intelligent persona. I wish you every success in all that you do; but in the very proverbial and accurate sense, you are a lightweight!

  57. George
    This is my 7th letter: I will not write you anymore, but by way of parting shot let me explain.

    I do not feel marginalised. I did not give up. I chose to use what little talent God gave me in other pursuits because I could not support some politicians after what I saw their behaviour first hand. I moved from you and your cohorts because I could not stomach their behaviour, like taking bribes and calling magistrates to get their desired result in a case. What you mistake for “an attitude of bitterness” is really a sense of shame. Shame because I helped some of those who performed the shameful acts to get elected.

    I will remain a lightweight but an honest lightweight.

  58. Paul Barnes (July 21) has suggested that to get rid of corruption in the House, we get rid of 75% of the dishonourable members I propose that we get rid of 100% of them! Let the honourable members of the House who would be willing to vote for integrity
    legislation and to declare their assets stand up and let us know who you are!

  59. That exchange between George and Caswell has been very illuminating even to the cynical among us.

    However I was jolted by Caswell’s last statement about politicians taking bribes and calling magistrates to obtain certain decisions in their favour.

    I hope everyone understands the import of that submission; here we have an admission from a former insider that politicians were using their office to enrich themselves as well as pervert the course of justice.

    It demonstrates the need for Integrity legislation more than ever, Bribes and calling magistrates? One would think that if a politician called a magistrate about an active case, the next call should be from the magistrate to the CJ complaining that he was being pressured by the politician to make judgments favouring the politician. However when the CJ was also a career politician what’s a lowly magistrate to do? That’s presuming the magistrate would be inclined to call the CJ, perhaps such calls are a routine part of the job.


    • @Sarge

      No doubt you would have also observed after that last salvo by Caswell George retired from the debate.

  60. @ Charles Cadogan Snr
    These politicians dont have a clue about statesman like leadership. They purposely get involved in politics to feather their nests ONLY. The people are purely pawns to be played with in the attainment of their wealth goals. This is precisely why I have great difficulty in understanding why some highly educated non insiders continue to believe that one party is permanently better than the other.LOL, but sad.

  61. Wow…there was nothing lightweight about that exchange between Caswell and George. This was Ali and Foreman all over again…the rumble in the jungle. Caswell knocked me clear out of my seat with his last post…and I’m only a spectator. I’ve always known that corruption exists to some degree in all governments, but it really shook me to read what Caswell wrote in his last post. It’s like knowing that we all have to die some day, but we still hurt immensely whenever a family member or close friend dies.

    • BreakingNews Breaking News
      by MKirton
      FIFA bans Qatar official Mohamed bin Hammam for life in election bribery case – @AP

  62. @David

    What Caswell has written in his last submission has been hinted at and bandied about these pages by many during the past few years. However, Caswell lends credence to the discussion as a former insider who is willing to pen his own name to his posts.

    To use a cricket analogy, the tussle between Caswell and George was like Charlie Griffith in his prime against someone who was formerly thought to be a good batsman. We all sat back expecting each to give as good as he got but the batsman (George) parried at a few balls missing a couple and edging the others through the slips, then the short pitched which found the rib cage, finally when he is expecting another short pitched ball he gets the Yorker, stumps catspradlled and bails flying

    George is now relaxing in the comforts of the pavillion why he didn’t retire hurt early in the over.

  63. If you have something to hide DON’T become a politician.

    The recent crop of politicians do not realise that integrity legislation and a Freedom of information Act will protect them from people like Hants who has a Blackberry with a very good camera and a Digital (silent) tape recorder.

    It is absolutely ridiculous that Barbadian politicians would not be happy to declare their assets.

    A FOI and compulsion to declare assets did not stop multi millionaire politician Paul Martin from becoming PM of Canada.

    This lotta long talk can stop if Politicians in Barbados are honest enough to pass FOI and Integrity legislation.

    As intensely as I dislike Owen Arthur, I accept that he and MIA (who I do like as a person) declared their assets. Fair is Fair.

    I remain a 99.79% DLP yardfowl.

  64. As intensely as I dislike Owen Arthur, I accept that he and MIA (who I do like as a person) declared their assets. Fair is Fair.

    Hello Hants,

    Was it Owen or Mia…..that Pick A Fair ?

    Ooops…leave MIA with her……POPSICLE !

  65. @David and BU

    Thanks for following the slight tussle between two lightweights. However, I had a coach to take from Newcastle to London; I could not afford the cost of postponing. Anyway, I am in London for a few days and I have no desire to engage Charlie again less I return to the pavilion out rather than not out. The comments after that hoopla were hilarious. Anyway, hoe everyone has a good weekend, I expect that I shall do just that. Talking about lightweights, none of us seem able to address the real issues confronting Barbados without a personal tirade. Lord Have Mercy!

  66. George

    What kind of individual would want to support at any cost a person who put 75 grand in his personal bank account that did not belong to him while as Prime Minister?
    As an intellectual heavy weight should you not be fighting for Integrity legislation to be pass so that kind of thing done by your leader will never happen again.

    • @Clone

      You should leave that line of defense alone because we were told many politicians on the huskings do the same thing.

  67. @clone

    You obviously know things that I do not know. You obviously have facts that I do not have. Maybe you understand why I do not comment on things I do not know. I am not sure who is an intellectual heavyweight? Are you sure that you are not describing yourself? If you read my comments carefully, I am not opposed to integrity legislation. Go read, and try to understand the points I made rather than focus on George, that may be misleading you. Cheers and have a good weekend.

  68. have a friend but never to them your secrets tell for when your friend becomes your foe then to the world your secrets go. it is a good thing that george nor caswell were only lightweights in the party which they support or continue to support.in my view, it was a draw. dale marshall beware.

  69. Balance

    I think you misunderstood what transpired. No one told me any secrets: I discovered certain behaviours that I considered to be either unethical or illegal, or both. I did not believe that because of my membership of a political party that I should stifle my conscience and continue to support persons who I considered to be acting contrary to the interest of this country. I have to look myself in the mirror and I prefer to like the person that I see looking back at me. I could not do that and pretend that all was well. No one has to fear me if they do the right thing.

  70. I guess he maybe getting his last wearing of a red shirt for some years to come so he is making the most of his publicity, only thing miss is Owen Arthur and Mia Mottley, Hallam Nicholls and a few others around him with hand cuffs on as well.

    Ex-Sagicor manager and BLP candidate off to Dodds
    Roger DaCosta Smith (centre) being escorted to court yesterday to answer theft charges. (Lennox Devonish)
    By Tim Slinger | Sun, July 24, 2011 – 12:11 AM
    FORMER SAGICOR MANAGER Roger DaCosta Smith was remanded to Dodds Prison yesterday when he apppeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court on charges of stealing over $1.6 million.

    A stoic Smith stood in the dock as Acting Magistrate Manila Renee read out 18 counts of dishonesty, dating from as far back as 2003, and including offences of fraud, money laundering and theft from Sagicor Life Incorporated.

    Some of the charges included the purchasing of several thousands of dollars of household furniture and appliances from Courts, DaCosta Mannings and Designer Decor.

    An application for bail was set aside when defence counsel Sir Richard Cheltenham, QC, along with Shelly-Ann Seecharan, conceded that prospective bailors for Smith were not able to satisfy the required documented proof of sureties’ assets and worth at the time.

    As a result, an agreement was reached for an adjournment until Tuesday for the next hearing of the matter.

  71. Information around the integrity legislation debate of 79 is sketchy, would be appreciated if someone with a recollection could share with BU.

  72. my apologies caswell for drawing the incorrect inferences. i do agree that the actions of those persons more than anyone else who seek and hold positions of trust should be held accountable. the exchange between you and mr brathwaithe has emboldened my view that political parties no longer serve the interests of the country as a whole but the party first.

  73. Integrity legislation and a FOI act would see fewer Lawyers becoming politicians.
    Client “accounts” may be a problem.

    • Ex-Sagicor manager off to Dodds
      Roger DaCosta Smith (centre) being escorted to court yesterday to answer theft charges. (Lennox Devonish)
      By Tim Slinger | Sun, July 24, 2011 – 12:11 AM
      FORMER SAGICOR MANAGER Roger DaCosta Smith was remanded to Dodds Prison yesterday when he apppeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court on charges of stealing over $1.6 million.
      A stoic Smith stood in the dock as Acting Magistrate Manila Renee read out 18 counts of dishonesty, dating from as far back as 2003, and including offences of fraud, money laundering and theft from Sagicor Life Incorporated.
      Some of the charges included the purchasing of several thousands of dollars of household furniture and appliances from Courts, DaCosta Mannings and Designer Decor.
      An application for bail was set aside when defence counsel Sir Richard Cheltenham, QC, along with Shelly-Ann Seecharan, conceded that prospective bailors for Smith were not able to satisfy the required documented proof of sureties’ assets and worth at the time.
      As a result, an agreement was reached for an adjournment until Tuesday for the next hearing of the matter.
      Full story in today’s SUNDAY SUN.

    • Of course the DLPites would seek to piggyback on how an employee at Sagicor is alleged to have pilfered and which came about as a direct result of internal fraud systems.

      There is an irony there somewhere.

  74. Honestly David, it was not about the story.

    I live in Toronto and I have never seen an accused person being escorted without handcuffs.

    What if Smith had grabbed the cop’s gun?

  75. Can some one remind me which political party’s members wear RED SHIRTS?

    Can you assist me SCOUT?
    This is a new twist on political fund raising.

  76. @Carson Cadogan

    In the history of Barbados, there have never been any members or potential members of the DLP or any other party in Barbados besides the BLP that have been accused of a criminal offence (proven or otherwise). Moreover, anyone who has or has been alleged to have stepped over the line, naturally joins or is a current member of the BLP.
    With that thinking, why should there be integrity legislation? Based on what you are saying, all one has to do is to banish the BLP and anyone who is a potential candidate, or supporter of the BLP from Barbadian politics. That said, one would save so much of the taxpayers’ monies so that all of the development projects promised in late 2007 and January 2008 would come to fruition.
    Strange enough, you know this entrenched trait of distinguishing every thing in a red or blue or yellow or what ever colour shirt, sounds like the demarcations of warfare that erupted in Jamaica since the late 1970s. Is that the type of Barbados that you are gleefully cherishing and promoting? Are we no longer interested in blue, yellow, black as a combination for which all should strive to respect and work to progress?

  77. @ david

    No right thinking person should take anything the late PM said with a grain of salt.

    Here he is pontificating about $2m given to a ‘private company’, yet approved a $10m ‘loan’ by the Central Bank to CLICO at a time when one of his law firm associates was a member of the Central Bank Board. Further, it is alleged that the same late PM and board member prepared, signed/witnessed a contract outlining a $10m bonus for his client and head of CLICO. Then there is the alleged loan, against the wishes of the NIS Board, to BPWCCU to purchase CLMFC.

  78. This thing is not only about Smith.

    Sagicor is supposed to be a World class Company. Yet this guy got away with whatever he got away since 2003. This is a serious indictment on the Control systems within this company.

    I am told that his actions were only spotted by outside Auditors. To fully investigate him, what was done he was promoted out of the dept. where he worked so that Auditors could go through his work with a fine tooth comb.

    That he was able to do what he is alleged to have done for such a long period is a mamouth failing of the Sagicor Management.

    Are they any others in that company? My experience with serious infelicities in companies has taught me that there is always more than one person.

    If I had money or a policy in Sagicor I would be worried.

  79. Good news. I just come back from a West Indian store that had 3 brands of real Barbados pepper sauce. There is hope for Barbados exports.

    I bought a bottle of Windmill to which I will add a packet of tumeric and one day somebody will tell Miller that he needs to add tumeric to his pepper sauce.

  80. Why would I want to implement legislation that would stop me from getting money I do not have to raise a sweat to get. If the lengislation get past I will kiss my own ass

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