The Silly Proposal of Mia Mottley

The following was posted to the Poster War Page by BU commenter Sunshine Sunny Shine

mia mottleyMia Mottley, the opposition leader of the Barbados Labour Party, made an appeal with plenty of justifications, why the small 166 square mile 12 Parish island of Barbados should increase its current number of Parliamentarians. This appeal was made at a time when the island is suffering from serious economic problems that have resulted in services being depressed and neglected. It is due, mostly, to the poor management skills of the incumbent deceitful DLP government, and to a large extent, by the policies and poor oversight of government-spending by both political parties.

One would think that with the momentum in favour of the BLP, this fork tongue speaking silly woman would continue to ride on the wave of DLP nonsense and failures that is causing many to look upon the the opposition leader’s BLP party with renewed interest and wide eyes. But, as per usual, this indifferent, but very intelligent woman (I think) has a tendency to lean towards her alternative self that has landed many of the things she think are good into a lot of harsh criticisms. To present an articulate case for more parliamentarians at a time when bajans are very upset with their parliamentary leaders, especially the highminded Prime Minister shows that the Mottley level of confidence is causing her to not think things through, thoroughly. As a result, Mottley’s proposal was given a deserving tongue lashing, as the assumptions drawn is that she must make a way for her people thus ensuring that they can return to feeding at the Treasury trough after 8 lost years.

192 thoughts on “The Silly Proposal of Mia Mottley

  1. @David at 3:31 PM re “The BU family really needs to read the BT article. What is the date of the article?”

    WHY exactly?

    If the article has been pulled from public display it’s clear that the author has reconsidered her position or her advisors have done that for her…So it’s a ‘slip of the tongue’ which has been retracted … for now.

    No consternation needed …particularly when the recommendation makes absolutely no practical sense!

    But I was astonished by the audacity of the blogger CraiggHolder’s interpretations.

    According to him Ms. Mottley is recommending that the august group of legislators elected by the people have been so compromised and rendered useless that the nation now needs to ‘select’ another group of persons “from outside of the political party system and for them to be elected Nationally”.

    Really! And how soon would it be before they adopt the same behaviors and practices of the current lot.

    One can say that his remarks were a most subtly insulting damnation of the sitting parliamentarians…graciously done tho. LOL!

    The entire model speaks in Orwellian ‘Animal Farm’ terms; you so aptly noted that it depicts politicians who really do take us for a bunch of jack-asses and idiots.

    @Vincent no straw-men being created. I ascribed a fight against corruption to your posts. It was difficult therefore for me to understand your line of reasoning that supports this thinly veiled BS as something intended to solve anything.

    Ms. Mottley was the AG of Barbados and a major power broker. From that time is there a record of her doing anything remotely resembling aggressive legal prosecution of our system defects or using her power to help disentangle any barriers to representation and voter power!

    Why should we buy this DLP’ type FOI sweet palaver now…just to get sold a ‘lemon’ by the Bees too!

  2. You just could not make it up. After nine years of the DLP jokers, the best the leader of the official Opposition can say is she wants more MPs.

  3. @Bush Tea May 6, 2017 at 8:02 AM “demon-possessed state”

    A Simple Response: Barbados is not demon possessed, except in your fevered imagination when you neglect to take your medicine.

    @Bush Tea May 6, 2017 at 8:02 AM “she is best known for burning down the prison”

    Ms. Mottley is NOT responsible for the burning of Glendairy Prison. The prison was over crowded for more than a hundred years before the prisoners rightly burned it down. It should have been burned down long before Ms. Mottley was born.

    @Bush Tea May 6, 2017 at 8:02 AM “seeking to legitimise Peter Wickham”

    Peter is not a bag blind bastard like you. His parents were properly married long before he was born.

  4. de pedantic Dribbler

    How else are you going to change the political system? You think that they are going to vote themselves out of the powerful positions they have had for decades?


  5. correction


  6. @ Angela and Bush Tea May 6, 2017 at 8:08 AM “When we had Parish Councils and Vestries we had a far more efficient island. Roads etc. we’re well maintained.”

    When there were vestries and parish councils the roads may have been well maintained is Bridgetown and select urban and suburban area.

    But in fact in the country most roads were unpaved cart roads.

    The vestries were collecting money from everybody–even for bicycle licences–and paving roads for only a few.

  7. The quality and type of the MP’s in the house is a representation of the kind of people their constituents want as representatives. Does anyone out there understand the problem?

    In essence the problem in Barbados is it is not and has never really been meritorious society. People expect to ‘get thru’ by knowing someone or by knowing how to ‘get thru’

  8. @Bush Tea May 6, 2017 at 9:15 AM “The reason that Grenville is the ONLY one coming with ANY ideas and public proposals of any substance is that he is the only one without such skeletons in the closet?”

    I don’t know anything about Grenville.

    But aren’t you confusing yourself here?

    Since to have something hidden, means that it is unknown to others.

    If something is hidden how would you know?

    The truth is that none of us know whether or not ANY political aspirant has something hidden.

    Hidden=We don’t know.

  9. @William Skinner May 6, 2017 at 10:13 AM “I am still waiting on Arthur to publicly state why Mottley is “unfit” to be PM”

    Me too.

    Word on the street is that some people see her as too upper class, too upper income, and not one ‘o we down to earth types who went to the pipe, and went to school barefoot, and were raised in a gap in the village.

    But are these things important?

  10. @CraiggHolder, this is a blog so we can talk whatever BS we like. But with respect your remarks do not represent CHANGE…they offer a fantasy.

    It is sweet sounding to write that type of stuff but it has NOT a pray of being enacted..moreover it will CHANGE NOTHING.

    What is “elected Nationally” first of all? How does that differ from being elected as a member of St. James Central or St. Lucy or anywhere in Bim.

    Our island is freaking 166 sq miles. There are less that 200K (or how many ever) voting age citizens. What exactly is the different ‘national interest’ that is going to be represented. And how are these folks going to be inured from the same malaise that plagues the current lot!

    The concept is puffery. It simply creates more political largesse and cronyism.

    There is no real foundational change.

    I completely concur with Caswell that the current system needs the teeth of law to bite HARD.

    We cannot seek these changes of mere window curtains and leave the grime inside the room and expect to rid ourselves the air quality problems.

    How did my mum say it again, ah yes… Lime juice can’ spoil vinegar!

    Or more apt when we use Old Spice on a stinking underarm rather than take a bath, it does wear off soon enough and the stink still there!

  11. @Pachamama May 6, 2017 at 12:25 PM “The White boys were then with David.”

    Why would you think so?

    Here is what another of the white boys said

    @Thomas Jefferson “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”

  12. dpD

    We really are saying the same thing and I agree with Caswell that the law should be allowed to work.

    I do not see the need for a senate but see the need for a local govt. elected by the respective communities.

    As I said from the outset what I had hoped those utterings portended.

    Graig has sort of lost me now with exactly what is being proposed.

  13. MAM should have quantified her statement by saying that the Senate needs to be abolished which would have made for a wider discussion on reform.

    Listening to the absolute BS that I hear on DLPTV coming out of that chamber, its days should be done.

    Right now with the absolute desimation of Barbados by the DLP, any new government may not be able to buy a brown mint far less increase constituencies………..that sure is a nonstarter.

    Maybe MAM’s idea is a understandable but BAD timing………….

  14. Prodigal Son May 6, 2017 at 5:41 PM #

    None of us have heard or seen the full statement……until such time the jury is out.

    I have given my hopes of a local govt, like you I would get rid of the senate and reduce the house to 13 seats(11 parishes plus2)

  15. Simple Simon

    Its that all you got? I am more illiterate then that but I certainly do not steal from the pooor to make the rich richeeer. You should also check to see if the grammar and punctuation are correct or is it is correct. And for the record, never call Mottley an idiot. Said she would have to be s jackass idiot to make such a suggestion at this time. Are you here to defend your queen? Then tell the big bee to be a good leader. Because it seems like the silly woman cannot hold back her excitement before she becomes Prime Minister. How else can think about her claim more at this time.

  16. The Senate would be necessary, not functioning as a rubber stamp body, but as a truly independent body.

    The issue is by what process should the Senate members be enrolled, to create such independence.

  17. @Sunshine Sunny Shine May 6, 2017 at 5:52 PM “Are you here to defend your queen?”

    I have no queen.

    Not Mia.

    Not Elizabeth 2.

    I have no king either.

    Just an old fashioned Bajan who believes in giving Jack ‘e jacket, and Jill she bodice.

  18. @Simple Simon, @William Skinner May 6, 2017 at 10:13 AM “I am still waiting on Arthur to publicly state why Mottley is “unfit” to be PM”

    Me too.

  19. if most are thinking that the proposal was a bad idea, what would have motivated Mia to fly such idea into the political arena at such a time, in my opinion one word Desperation,
    Here is an economy in need of repair and instead of MIA floating ideas that would decrease govt and cut spending she mounts her traditional hobby horse called wreckless thinking.
    Wreckless thinking has been her way of pretending that she is doing something worthwhile another reason that made OSA called her a despot and more often than not she has proven him right
    Any one with a smidgen of political understanding would see and understand her motivation is driven by the entrances of third party candidates who might erode at her baseline

  20. You really have to take statements from people like Kevin with a big LOL.

    Statements from a party kool aid drinker who conveniently forget what David Thompson. Ronald Jones, Richard Sealy and Michael Lashley with the then unelected Chris Sinckler did to force Clyde Mascoll from the leadership of the then opposition.

    And to think that the same set of deceitful players led this time by an elected Stinkliar tried to plot to take away the leadership from Freundel.

    Poor Freundel had to beg OSA not to join the plotters to take away the leadership from him……………and what did the ungrateful Freundel do?………..use the note OSA wrote back to him against the said OSA in a election ad.

    Never trust a dem.

  21. The new government needs to get rid of the constituency councils on day one…………big savings to the taxpayers.

    I saw on DLPTV a few nights ago, a dlp yardfowl who is chairman of the St Philip South council presenting a school in the parish with a gift of security cameras. All this was was a prop for the DLP.

  22. CUP.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI on said:

    Craigg Holder May 6, 2017 at 2:31 PM #


    That is simple, you ought to have been able to work that out all by yourself. MAM represents both then and now, the biggest threat to OSA’s desire to be PM again.

    Ask yourself this what kind of man runs and leaves his own house? The person left in the house cannot be the coward.@@

    OWEN left the House because he knows the shit about to hit the fan, and Mia was his AG when they were selling and building and move the land to please awaiting the death of the landowner, Owen got some bad advice on fraud and planning PONZI as the owner lived till 92. The Massive land fraud by Sir Richard and Sir Cow was “moving the land to please” self,
    The CUP will put out more information as time comes.
    So far we agree with your words posted, Some people know and are waking up, Welcome to the club of the non dead,

    Owen now shame for he dont want me talking or calling his name in the next elections , We will call all names of all wrong doers as we know ,

    • Thanks Peter, it is why we asked for the date of the article because we would have searched the Archives.

  23. CUP.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI on said:

    Craigg Holder May 6, 2017 at 3:49 PM #

    I just hope that come Budget Day we don’t witness a spectactular set of fiscally irresponsible measures just to give the DLP a chance to win the next elections.@@@

    lolololol, My good man, it’s too late, as stated over and over, they hold back the money for another 5 years and right before elections spend like dogs and after election take back more than they spent. You have to know the tricks by now all have to go, Will the 40% who did not vote in 2013 please vote out both parties ,BLP and DLP MUST go , Get out the Peoples House

  24. If there was ever an example of the uselessness of the Barbados Senate it was confirmed by the idiocy of this government of Barbados, in using the Senate to share the spoils of the Fatted Calf Brigade. Thompson might be dead but he continues to rule the Stuart led DLP from the soil of St John’s churchyard. Byer-Suckoo a reject by the popular vote. Sandiford-Garner another reject by the popular vote. Harry Husbands another reject. Patrick Todd another reject. Jepter Ince another reject. Haynesley Benn another reject considered for the Senate but suffered another reject in order to accommodate Senator the Quisling Boyce and was eventually shipped out to Canada to maintain his sanity as he was embarrassingly turning up to Senate meetings,humbugging his former colleagues,meanwhile eating a food because he had no job to go back to,hence,down on his luck. One the other side the BLP has confirmed the uselessness by appointing two rejects,Wilfred Abrahams and Mr Jerome Walcott.In fairness to Abrahams he was beaten by a nasty piece of work,a scoundrel,a liar,a con man,corrupt and professing sainthood.
    All this has done is to spit in the face of the electorate.

  25. CUP.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI on said:

    William Skinner May 6, 2017 at 10:13 AM #

    @ Boy seem like Skinner waking up,, that best thing about BU and Blogs you can go back and read comments and see how people are speaking different as the IMF is at the door,

    White elctions are near, As We keep speaking the same as We see new faces blogging, DBLP not looking good to get back in, but id they have split seats these crooks will join together to continue with the same madness

    Bajan can not lose this elections

  26. Earlier when BU took a stab at why MAM suggested increasing the representatives we got it half right. The article explains her position which has some merit. She would need to explain why she is of the view that cabinet cannot be reduced.

  27. After seeing this BUNCH of DLP Ministers REDUCED Barbados to this state, Ms. Mottley is on to something , every Minister should be elected by the people and not a PM ,

  28. Barbados cannot afford the luxury of so many Ministers to cater to all these international and regional “obligations”. Far better to federalize and commit to a nation state embracing all the former misnomered Caribbean states.These islands too small for all these big paying ideas that stifling the countries.There is an opportunity cost attached to lining people’s pockets and everybody doing the same thing.Pure idiocy.Think of all these tin pot dictators going to the UN huffing and puffing,talking bare crap and can’t pay people their income tax refunds or their vat refunds.Idiots who think dressing up like they live in a temperate climate and four pens in their pockets and clocking in at ten and leaving at eleven.Thats Westminster style but no money to pay people tax refunds.

  29. There are those in Barbados, including in the DLP and BLP who want to twist her words cause for the first time in a long time we have an aspiring PM who is willing to limited the powers of the PM and create a system which is more resistant to corruption and to vote buying. I am missing something here?

  30. After the 2013 election the PM and the AG said they witness vote buying and would do ‘something’ about it, what exactly have they done in last 4 years? NOT ONE SHITE.

  31. This matter is a nonsense issue, not deserving the attention of a LOTO at a time when there are many more fundamental issues at stake.
    What is the point of having 12 more MPs when she, as chairman of the PAC cannot mark fat?
    When she as deputy PM left us with a shiite system…. a shiite PAC ….a shiite AG, ..DPP?

    There DOES needs to be more say by ordinary people in the affairs of State …. but not by hiring 12 more jackasses for the current parliamentary circus.

    Frustrated Businessman has long offered a MUCH more practical approach of disbanding the shiite senate and appointing GENUINE community leaders (who already represent various community groups) to a kind of National Supervisory Committee …with the power to veto the MP’s parliamentary shiite.

    Mia is simply offering bullshit in a drive to maintain the shiite system that she spent 30 years helping to establish.

    @ Enuff
    OK … apologies are due.
    Bushie agrees that you did push the idea of ‘attracting quality people to the political parties …and to parliament’.
    However the bushman was hoping that you were smart enough to realise that this is a FLAWED hope. Putting good apples into a shiite bag can only have one result … and it is not a sweet smelling result.

    If you were to attract the 10 BEST Bajans to your precious BLP tomorrow, 4 would end up like Maria Agard, 2 like Owen, and the other 4 would toe the line like good little boys and girls.

    The two of these four who become MPs would then either fall for the million-dollar bribes; the sexy bait; the expensive gifts; or the threats of death to family and self.

    The SYSTEM needs to be changed to encourage TRANSPARENCY, RIGHTNESS, FAIRNESS, JUSTICE and honesty. Then good people would naturally gravitate to the top, and the shiite would fall to the bottom … and in jail.

    You can tell the fella who claims that Bushie used to ‘big-up’ David Thompson – that Thompson was one of the most intelligent people to enter politics in Barbados ( or to blog on BU) since independence. He had the POTENTIAL to be a great PM ..and to even outdo his hero Barrow.
    He most certainly would have qualified as a ‘good quality’ candidate according to Enuff’s line….
    …until he came under the grip of the Machiavellian need to win at all cost…. and the destructive access provided via the CLICO savings of thousands of Bajans…..

    If you want a QUALITY leader, then BBE would have to send a fella….
    …This would be someone that not-a-boy can touch…
    …not a fella could bribe…
    ..not a temptation could entrap.
    “Except BBE builds a house, they labour in vain that build it.”

    • @Bush Tea

      You have to be fair, we can’t be exerting pressure on the political class to share ideas how they plan to change the governance setup and when members respond we rubbish it. What we should be critical of is the low keyed floating of this idea of hers. And why has the media not blown it up given its importance.

    • David

      The media like her so they are protecting her from herself. The idea would only come from an idiot at this time.

      Sent from my iPad

  32. You all can call it what you like, interpret how you feel. If Mottley wants to bring an alternative, which see thinks would work in favour of the people than ensure that it has a name that is not related to any increases in Members of Parliamenta, which can be intrepreted along the lines as a type of politics of inclusion. A constitutional change, an amendment after careful consideration can be introduced to ensure that the PM or any member of parliament knows that they are answerable to body of people with powers to impeach and remove him or any other for conduct that breach rules that must be strictly adhered too. Establish such a system so people knows that Barbados politics is no longer an operation in absolutism. Other than that, the SSS will admit that the Increase in Parliamentarians is what clouded her eyes from seeing the complete picture that was proposed, maybe because I do not trust and believe she wants to do good by Barbados. Be that as it may, the SSS is not to big or small to apologise if my poster has misled anyone into thinking the wrong thing or shaping public opinion in this matter. Thus an apology is forwarded.

  33. We have now had this two-party system for over 56 years and what has sit got us? The 50th anniversary of independence was an opportunity for our so-called political scientists to write extensively on 50 years of self-rule; they failed. What about the nonsense of the Barbados model? Is it the Social Partnership, in which a buffoon of a prime minister could take monetary and fiscal policy making out of the hands of the central bank and minister of finance and give it to the business class and still expect policies to eradicate inequalities?
    A two-party system with a silent and dumb Opposition, in which the only words muttered are that they want more MPs, more pensions, more expenses, more opportunities for corruption?
    And then what do we seriously get as an alternative, a group of corporatists with their idiotic spreadsheets and powerpoint and ISO papers that are ignored even I the countries for which they were intended.
    What has Solutions Barbados got to say about the economy, education, health housing, infrastructural development, job creation, central bank independence, criminal justice, reform of the constitution, of national identity, cultural development, the chaos on our roads – we want substance from Solutions Barbados, not second-rate management speak.
    Where are the voices of all those who benefited from an expensive education and now remain silent?

  34. David

    I agree with you totally. I suspect that having floated the idea she has come in for a lot of criticism in the BLP. If this is so then it is the insecurity of the party and not the comment itself that is the real problem.

    If you send dogs into a HOUSE you must accept fleas and ticks and it takes a lot of effort clean a HOUSE of dogs, fleas and ticks.

  35. Not going to say nothing bad about Mia as an individual she is likable and exudes a good personality. However her political reasoning leaves much to be desired in so much that she has allowed certain undesirable elements of this society to infiltrate the blp camp which can be problematic for the voter sitting on the fence many who are looking for change derivative out of good character.
    Also what these infiltrators conjured up in the mind are those questions alluding to their influence on matters of change .
    There is also a view of suspicion that many of them are only looking out for self. These are factors that are not trivial and weighs heavily in the voters mind

  36. angela

    The paid political wanna-be clown Nichols got a whole 123 views on Youtube after a 12 months of being posted there. He is likely to be very influential in the next elections, LOL.

  37. Bush Tea I thought the licks from Vincent ana Simple Simon run you.You claim David was one of most intelligent persons to enter politics and could have outdone his hero Mr Barrow.Really ? in what talk.are you drunk or high?Mr Thompson was all style and very little substance In fact I remember well in 1994 when people like Branford Taitt andRichie Haynes openly resisted Mr Sandiford effort to place him as their leaderso they obviously did not see this potential.You remember the bus fare and lunch money proposal?What about his first Budget?Bush tea Mia Mottley is 10 times the politician Mr Thompson was. yet you lambaste her on half truths put forward by the said Thompson who on becoming PM did not prosecute a boy.Why because he had like you no evidence.Like your old rival Goergie Porgie would say you are a comedianand a very poor judge of character and just for the record Ms Mottley did not burn down any prison and for that reckless statement you should apologise.

  38. Simple Simon said…………

    @Thomas Jefferson “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”

    The merchant class has rightfully been vilified throughout history as the bloodsuckers they have always been.

    However, Cow and Bizzy do not fit neatly and always into that formation.

  39. BushTea
    More vacillation.
    Anyhow… to enlighten us on what should have been discussed instead, given the topic for discussion was “Towards A More Engaged Voter”?

  40. @ Craigg Holder. question that you and other blp yardfowls still must answer and should be of concern are those question relevant and influential to Mia polling numbers. Lke voters apathy and Mia leadership of the BlP in spite of people being unhappy with present govt handling of the economy. A statiscal dead heat on the cusp of an election goes to her leadership performace of het party.which voters would intrepret as a leader incompetent to manage a country in harsh economic times
    If one looks back at her leadership implementing other proposals like no confidence vote which by all accounts she should have stay far away and her numerous walk out in parliaments on matters that could have no real bearing on the economy the poll by all accounts only reinforced what voters are thinking about her stating that her leadership of the blp project her decision making categorizing them as failures.
    That is where your concern should be.

  41. @ Enuff
    …care to enlighten us on what should have been discussed instead, given the topic for discussion was “Towards A More Engaged Voter”?
    Off hand, Bushie would say ‘Public Education’.
    But having held that portfolio for a significant period in our history, she probably would not want to incriminate herself….

    Look Lorenzo, Bushie had decided not to engage those people who cannot think beyond basic levels, for fear of further confusing the moot. However one must consider that they may be intelligent bloggers who are able to get the point.

    Anyone who knew Thompson would have to testify to his commitment to improving Barbados and to do so along political lines. This was evident from school.
    He also possessed a sharp brain and mind, with the ability to grasp other points of view quickly, AND to rebut with focused and impactful counters.
    The man was bright.
    In any case, only REALLY bright students excel academically at Cawmere – where the focus was more on a rounded personality.

    His mistake is a common one, one that practically all of our politicians suffer. They followed Enuff’s advice and took their good intentions to a crooked political party.

    The road to Hell is not paved with barber green, but with good intentions…

    After years of frustration in opposition, Thompson took the Machaivelian ‘offer of support’ that was made available from CLICO ….and once you sell your birthright, ..your ass is grass….

    The only difference between him and 95% of the others is that they remain in powerful positions to protect themselves so far…
    …the Speaker of the House
    …the son of the $5M mother
    …the CAHILL scam party

    When they are no longer in ‘power’, and an honest public officer releases their ‘papers’ like was done with David Thompson’s $3.3M cheque, they too will join the condemned.

    Look back at the prison fire….
    It occurred well after the unarmed prisoners were rounded up by the Prison officers – who were armed with shotguns, the fully armed defence force, the police force… shiite man, half of Barbados was in and around the prison when it began to burn….

    What do you think…?
    The prisoners rubbed some sticks together and fanned the embers with towels … while holding back the armed forces with the mattresses …? …or that somebody said “pity they did not burn it down…..”

    Bushie is not questioning the INTENTIONS of many of our politicians. Some REALLY want to do good things. The reality however is that we live in a world of EVIL… where those who want to do good are in the vast MINORITY…… and they quickly learn that when in Rome, you do as the Romans do …. or die…
    …unless of course, BBE stands by your side…

    See if you can explain that to Enuff…
    Bushie obviously can’t….

  42. Look Bush Tea I knew David Thompson from way back and all he wanted was to become Prime Minister.,so much so that when he was facing a third suceesive thrashing thrashing from former PM Owen Artur which would have killed off his chances of becoming PM he ran away and left Mr Mascoll to face the heat.Therefore I don,t know where this great potential and sharp mind comes from probably in your fantasy world.The evidence do not bear this out.Thompson was a king of style and innuendo nothing more nothing less.

  43. What is your point Lorenzo?

    Since when does having a strong desire to serve, and to reach the top, translate into a negative?
    If you don’t know where the sharp mind came from, then ask…
    ..and style and innuendo are critical requirement for success in public life…
    Both Froon and Mia could do with a good dose of style and innuendo…
    …and anyone who wins a scholarship is at least intellectually OK….
    …so don’t be petty.

    Ya mean you can’t see how Bushie is refining these very qualities for his upcoming role when his step-dad (BBE) checkmates this shiite we currently call life on earth?

  44. angela

    Two things:-

    The DLP has not handled the economy, they mismanaged it.

    The real poll coming soon, that is the one that matters.

  45. TODAY, OPPOSITION LEADER Mia Mottley rose to debate the no-confidence motion filed against the Democratic Labour Party administration

    Mottley, of the Barbados Labour Party, blamed Prime Minister Freundel Stuart for the ills affecting Barbados.
    Following are some of the major points she touched on during her submission which lasted roughly five and a half hours.
    The Prime Minister failed to intervene in the ongoing impasse between the Ministry of Education and the Teachers’ Union – Barbados Union of Teachers and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Unions.
    The Prime Minister did not oversee a critical service such as healthcare, including the declining situation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
    The Prime Minister did not personally visit the people who are being affected by water woes.
    The Opposition Leader questioned the intended use of the Empire Theatre since it is in the middle of a UNESCO-designated heritage site.
    The Barbados performance figures being produced by the Central Bank of Barbados were questioned by the Opposition.
    Miss Mottley said the printing of money by the Central Bank was one of the major concerns of the International Monetary Fund given Barbados’ current financial position.
    There has been a steady decline in the island’s foreign reserves.
    The deficit has grown bigger despite the measures introduced in the Budget.
    The Opposition Leader said devaluation would spell disaster for Barbadian businesses.
    Miss Mottley spoke on the Cahill waste-to-energy plant and the documents which were signed by four Ministers.
    The issue of cost over-runs at the St John Polyclinic was raised.
    Miss Mottley said opposition MPs and Senators will not be accepting the 10 per cent increase for parliamentarians until public officers get an increase.
    The problems surrounding the Villages at Coverley were raised.

  46. @Lorenzo, don’t miss the trees…Thompson did have a sharp mind. You can’t objectively question that. The man excelled academically at the basic construct of read, understand, apply/reproduce, after-all.

    And yes he was deeply ambitious. That however only becomes an albatross of trouble around the neck when the character infuses the ‘by all means necessary’ mantra and becomes essentially evil to reach his objective.

    As a youngman Thompson appeared as altruistic and very impassioned towards a better Barbados…even if he tragically then thought he alone was the only one to lead the country to reach that goal.

    The way how he ‘allowed’ himself to be counselled by elders that he ‘ran away and left Mr Mascoll to face the heat’ as you said so smoothly is an excellent reference of that sharp mind morphing well to ‘style and innuendo’ that masked the evil that enveloped him!

    We all know that that both Mascoll and Thompson sojourned at the same school. A good friendship was torn asunder …politics can do that to you!

    Both the Bushman and you are quite broadly accurate about David Thompson.

    @Bushie, What do you mean with the remark :”…only REALLY bright students excel academically at Cawmere – where the focus was more on a rounded personality.”

    Oh Really!

    Seems to me that is true at Kolig, Alleyne or Deighton Griffith…re the really bright students.

    The mystic that Cawmere produced rounded personalities is all good but realistically that long-held and well deserved mantra of that aura certainly takes nothing away from other schools and their own esprit de corps! I was always impressed with what Niles developed at St. Leonard’s (or was that Ellerslie) and Blackman at Deighton Griffith, for example

  47. @David May 7, at 2:29 AM …It is possible to adopt a completely different perspective re your Mottley affection re this ‘silly proposal’. Maybe SHE does NOT consider it to be serious!

    Consider that as LOTO she has the resources to research and propagate her ideas across the country. One presser, an email blast and hits all across her social media platforms and voila!
    She has done NONE of that.

    So why should we give such an experienced, skilled and intelligent orator even the slightest acknowledgement for what is apparently a turn of phrase moment of political ‘hop-scotch’: jumping from square to contiguous square – yet totally separate squares – just for a great show!

    Bushie is accurate. It is nonsense.

    Various of her palaver, as ‘reported’ and “quoted”…

    - ‘The current system left a lot to be desired in terms of oversight of the executive branch because of the large ratio of ministers to ordinary members.’

    “Because the complexity of Gov’t does require the number [of ministers] that we have…it means that we may have to consider increasing the number of [MPs].”

    “…we need a category of member of parliament called national members of parliament. We need to do it in a way where you, the voter, retains the right to choose, not the political party, to appoint on the basis of proportional representation.”

    ‘The [LOTO] said the country was at risk of having a prime ministerial dictatorship because the Prime Minster was the only one with the power to hire and fire members of Cabinet.’ ====

    David, that would impress a secondary school student. But the more informed and knowledgeable folks here, fah real!

    I believe it was Jeff (not sure) who said that an increase in MPs as suggested does NOT guarantee any better oversight as she is opining.

    What is the basis of her position? Are there others forms of governance that inform that view? Can she not carefully advise.

    What about establishing some of the control she seeks by getting bi-partisan rulings to properly empower the PAC!

    How can a PM be a dictator unless his/her cabinet allows that? Wasn’t Sandiford’s rule stopped by his own members of cabinet!

    Political Hopscoth, Mr Blogmaster.

    Caswell said it best: “The media like her so they are protecting her from herself. The idea would only come from….”

    I try to refrain from calling names so bluntly so had he gone with another twist of his Judges v15, ‘jawbone’ reference then I would have reveled in a full quote. LOL.

    Mottley is no idiot…much too intelligent but surely these mouthings attributed to her are dangerously incomprehensible…is she presaging an intent for dictatorial PM rule when elected!

    Now THAT is a reason to take note of her throw-away remarks…so maybe YOU are on to something here!

  48. The Observer
    The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked
    A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
    by Carole Cadwalladr
    Sunday 7 May 2017 09.00 BST

    “The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.[…] The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.”
    Alex Younger, head of MI6, December, 2016

    “It’s not MI6’s job to warn of internal threats. It was a very strange speech. Was it one branch of the intelligence services sending a shot across the bows of another? Or was it pointed at Theresa May’s government? Does she know something she’s not telling us?”
    Senior intelligence analyst, April 2017

    In June 2013, a young American postgraduate called Sophie was passing through London when she called up the boss of a firm where she’d previously interned. The company, SCL Elections, went on to be bought by Robert Mercer, a secretive hedge fund billionaire, renamed Cambridge Analytica, and achieved a certain notoriety as the data analytics firm that played a role in both Trump and Brexit campaigns. But all of this was still to come. London in 2013 was still basking in the afterglow of the Olympics. Britain had not yet Brexited. The world had not yet turned.

    “That was before we became this dark, dystopian data company that gave the world Trump,” a former Cambridge Analytica employee who I’ll call Paul tells me. “It was back when we were still just a psychological warfare firm.”

    Was that really what you called it, I ask him. Psychological warfare? “Totally. That’s what it is. Psyops. Psychological operations – the same methods the military use to effect mass sentiment change. It’s what they mean by winning ‘hearts and minds’. We were just doing it to win elections in the kind of developing countries that don’t have many rules.”

    Why would anyone want to intern with a psychological warfare firm, I ask him. And he looks at me like I am mad. “It was like working for MI6. Only it’s MI6 for hire. It was very posh, very English, run by an old Etonian and you got to do some really cool things. Fly all over the world. You were working with the president of Kenya or Ghana or wherever. It’s not like election campaigns in the west. You got to do all sorts of crazy shit.”


    On that day in June 2013, Sophie met up with SCL’s chief executive, Alexander Nix, and gave him the germ of an idea. “She said, ‘You really need to get into data.’ She really drummed it home to Alexander. And she suggested he meet this firm that belonged to someone she knew about through her father.”

    Who’s her father?

    “Eric Schmidt.”

    Eric Schmidt – the chairman of Google?

    “Yes. And she suggested Alexander should meet this company called Palantir.”

    I had been speaking to former employees of Cambridge Analytica for months and heard dozens of hair-raising stories, but it was still a gobsmacking moment. To anyone concerned about surveillance, Palantir is practically now a trigger word. The data-mining firm has contracts with governments all over the world – including GCHQ and the NSA. It’s owned by Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of eBay and PayPal, who became Silicon Valley’s first vocal supporter of Trump.

    In some ways, Eric Schmidt’s daughter showing up to make an introduction to Palantir is just another weird detail in the weirdest story I have ever researched.

    A weird but telling detail. Because it goes to the heart of why the story of Cambridge Analytica is one of the most profoundly unsettling of our time. Sophie Schmidt now works for another Silicon Valley megafirm: Uber. And what’s clear is that the power and dominance of the Silicon Valley – Google and Facebook and a small handful of others – are at the centre of the global tectonic shift we are currently witnessing.

    It also reveals a critical and gaping hole in the political debate in Britain. Because what is happening in America and what is happening in Britain are entwined. Brexit and Trump are entwined. The Trump administration’s links to Russia and Britain are entwined. And Cambridge Analytica is one point of focus through which we can see all these relationships in play; it also reveals the elephant in the room as we hurtle into a general election: Britain tying its future to an America that is being remade – in a radical and alarming way – by Trump.

    There are three strands to this story. How the foundations of an authoritarian surveillance state are being laid in the US. How British democracy was subverted through a covert, far-reaching plan of coordination enabled by a US billionaire. And how we are in the midst of a massive land grab for power by billionaires via our data. Data which is being silently amassed, harvested and stored. Whoever owns this data owns the future.

    My entry point into this story began, as so many things do, with a late-night Google. Last December, I took an unsettling tumble into a wormhole of Google autocomplete suggestions that ended with “did the holocaust happen”. And an entire page of results that claimed it didn’t.

    Google’s algorithm had been gamed by extremist sites and it was Jonathan Albright, a professor of communications at Elon University, North Carolina, who helped me get to grips with what I was seeing. He was the first person to map and uncover an entire “alt-right” news and information ecosystem and he was the one who first introduced me to Cambridge Analytica.

    He called the company a central point in the right’s “propaganda machine”, a line I quoted in reference to its work for the Trump election campaign and the referendum Leave campaign. That led to the second article featuring Cambridge Analytica – as a central node in the alternative news and information network that I believed Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon, the key Trump aide who is now his chief strategist, were creating. I found evidence suggesting they were on a strategic mission to smash the mainstream media and replace it with one comprising alternative facts, fake history and rightwing propaganda.

    Mercer is a brilliant computer scientist, a pioneer in early artificial intelligence, and the co-owner of one of the most successful hedge funds on the planet (with a gravity-defying 71.8% annual return). And, he is also, I discovered, good friends with Nigel Farage. Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s communications director, told me that it was Mercer who had directed his company, Cambridge Analytica, to “help” the Leave campaign.

    The second article triggered two investigations, which are both continuing: one by the Information Commissioner’s Office into the possible illegal use of data. And a second by the Electoral Commission which is “focused on whether one or more donations – including services – accepted by Leave.EU was ‘impermissable’”.

    What I then discovered is that Mercer’s role in the referendum went far beyond this. Far beyond the jurisdiction of any UK law. The key to understanding how a motivated and determined billionaire could bypass ourelectoral laws rests on AggregateIQ, an obscure web analytics company based in an office above a shop in Victoria, British Columbia.

    It was with AggregateIQ that Vote Leave (the official Leave campaign) chose to spend £3.9m, more than half its official £7m campaign budget. As did three other affiliated Leave campaigns: BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and the Democratic Unionist party, spending a further £757,750. “Coordination” between campaigns is prohibited under UK electoral law, unless campaign expenditure is declared, jointly. It wasn’t. Vote Leave says the Electoral Commission “looked into this” and gave it “a clean bill of health”.

    How did an obscure Canadian company come to play such a pivotal role in Brexit? It’s a question that Martin Moore, director of the centre for the study of communication, media and power at King’s College London has been asking too. “I went through all the Leave campaign invoices when the Electoral Commission uploaded them to its site in February. And I kept on discovering all these huge amounts going to a company that not only had I never heard of, but that there was practically nothing at all about on the internet. More money was spent with AggregateIQ than with any other company in any other campaign in the entire referendum. All I found, at that time, was a one-page website and that was it. It was an absolute mystery.”

    Moore contributed to an LSE report published in April that concluded UK’s electoral laws were “weak and helpless” in the face of new forms of digital campaigning. Offshore companies, money poured into databases, unfettered third parties… the caps on spending had come off. The laws that had always underpinned Britain’s electoral laws were no longer fit for purpose. Laws, the report said, that needed “urgently reviewing by parliament”.

    AggregateIQ holds the key to unravelling another complicated network of influence that Mercer has created. A source emailed me to say he had found that AggregateIQ’s address and telephone number corresponded to a company listed on Cambridge Analytica’s website as its overseas office: “SCL Canada”. A day later, that online reference vanished.

    There had to be a connection between the two companies. Between the various Leave campaigns. Between the referendum and Mercer. It was too big a coincidence. But everyone – AggregateIQ, Cambridge Analytica, Leave.EU, Vote Leave – denied it. AggregateIQ had just been a short-term “contractor” to Cambridge Analytica. There was nothing to disprove this. We published the known facts. On 29 March, article 50 was triggered.

    Then I meet Paul, the first of two sources formerly employed by Cambridge Analytica. He is in his late 20s and bears mental scars from his time there. “It’s almost like post-traumatic shock. It was so… messed up. It happened so fast. I just woke up one morning and found we’d turned into the Republican fascist party. I still can’t get my head around it.”

    He laughed when I told him the frustrating mystery that was AggregateIQ. “Find Chris Wylie,” he said.

    Who’s Chris Wylie?

    “He’s the one who brought data and micro-targeting [individualised political messages] to Cambridge Analytica. And he’s from west Canada. It’s only because of him that AggregateIQ exist. They’re his friends. He’s the one who brought them in.”

    There wasn’t just a relationship between Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ, Paul told me. They were intimately entwined, key nodes in Robert Mercer’s distributed empire. “The Canadians were our back office. They built our software for us. They held our database. If AggregateIQ is involved then Cambridge Analytica is involved. And if Cambridge Analytica is involved, then Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon are involved. You need to find Chris Wylie.”

    Mark Zuckerberg says change the world, yet he sets the rules
    Carole Cadwalladr
    Even if we don’t think the Facebook boss’s manifesto is ill-intentioned, we should be worried by its implications
    Carole Cadwalladr Read more
    I did find Chris Wylie. He refused to comment.

    Key to understanding how data would transform the company is knowing where it came from. And it’s a letter from “Director of Defence Operations, SCL Group”, that helped me realise this. It’s from “Commander Steve Tatham, PhD, MPhil, Royal Navy (rtd)” complaining about my use in my Mercer article of the word “disinformation”.

    I wrote back to him pointing out references in papers he’d written to “deception” and “propaganda”, which I said I understood to be “roughly synonymous with ‘disinformation’.” It’s only later that it strikes me how strange it is that I’m corresponding with a retired navy commander about military strategies that may have been used in British and US elections.

    What’s been lost in the US coverage of this “data analytics” firm is the understanding of where the firm came from: deep within the military-industrial complex. A weird British corner of it populated, as the military establishment in Britain is, by old-school Tories. Geoffrey Pattie, a former parliamentary under-secretary of state for defence procurement and director of Marconi Defence Systems, used to be on the board, and Lord Marland, David Cameron’s pro-Brexit former trade envoy, a shareholder.

    Steve Tatham was the head of psychological operations for British forces in Afghanistan. The Observer has seen letters endorsing him from the UK Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office and Nato.

    SCL/Cambridge Analytica was not some startup created by a couple of guys with a Mac PowerBook. It’s effectively part of the British defence establishment. And, now, too, the American defence establishment. An ex-commanding officer of the US Marine Corps operations centre, Chris Naler, has recently joined Iota Global, a partner of the SCL group.

    This is not just a story about social psychology and data analytics. It has to be understood in terms of a military contractor using military strategies on a civilian population. Us. David Miller, a professor of sociology at Bath University and an authority in psyops and propaganda, says it is “an extraordinary scandal that this should be anywhere near a democracy. It should be clear to voters where information is coming from, and if it’s not transparent or open where it’s coming from, it raises the question of whether we are actually living in a democracy or not.”

    Paul and David, another ex-Cambridge Analytica employee, were working at the firm when it introduced mass data-harvesting to its psychological warfare techniques. “It brought psychology, propaganda and technology together in this powerful new way,” David tells me.

    Steve Bannon, former vice-president of Cambridge Analytica, now a key adviser to Donald Trump.
    Steve Bannon, former vice-president of Cambridge Analytica, now a key adviser to Donald Trump. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
    And it was Facebook that made it possible. It was from Facebook that Cambridge Analytica obtained its vast dataset in the first place. Earlier, psychologists at Cambridge University harvested Facebook data (legally) for research purposes and published pioneering peer-reviewed work about determining personality traits, political partisanship, sexuality and much more from people’s Facebook “likes”. And SCL/Cambridge Analytica contracted a scientist at the university, Dr Aleksandr Kogan, to harvest new Facebook data. And he did so by paying people to take a personality quiz which also allowed not just their own Facebook profiles to be harvested, but also those of their friends – a process then allowed by the social network.

    Facebook was the source of the psychological insights that enabled Cambridge Analytica to target individuals. It was also the mechanism that enabled them to be delivered on a large scale.

    The company also (perfectly legally) bought consumer datasets – on everything from magazine subscriptions to airline travel – and uniquely it appended these with the psych data to voter files. It matched all this information to people’s addresses, their phone numbers and often their email addresses. “The goal is to capture every single aspect of every voter’s information environment,” said David. “And the personality data enabled Cambridge Analytica to craft individual messages.”

    Finding “persuadable” voters is key for any campaign and with its treasure trove of data, Cambridge Analytica could target people high in neuroticism, for example, with images of immigrants “swamping” the country. The key is finding emotional triggers for each individual voter.

    Cambridge Analytica worked on campaigns in several key states for a Republican political action committee. Its key objective, according to a memo the Observer has seen, was “voter disengagement” and “to persuade Democrat voters to stay at home”: a profoundly disquieting tactic. It has previously been claimed that suppression tactics were used in the campaign, but this document provides the first actual evidence.

    But does it actually work? One of the criticisms that has been levelled at my and others’ articles is that Cambridge Analytica’s “special sauce” has been oversold. Is what it is doing any different from any other political consultancy?

    “It’s not a political consultancy,” says David. “You have to understand this is not a normal company in any way. I don’t think Mercer even cares if it ever makes any money. It’s the product of a billionaire spending huge amounts of money to build his own experimental science lab, to test what works, to find tiny slivers of influence that can tip an election. Robert Mercer did not invest in this firm until it ran a bunch of pilots – controlled trials. This is one of the smartest computer scientists in the world. He is not going to splash $15m on bullshit.”

    Tamsin Shaw, an associate professor of philosophy at New York University, helps me understand the context. She has researched the US military’s funding and use of psychological research for use in torture. “The capacity for this science to be used to manipulate emotions is very well established. This is military-funded technology that has been harnessed by a global plutocracy and is being used to sway elections in ways that people can’t even see, don’t even realise is happening to them,” she says. “It’s about exploiting existing phenomenon like nationalism and then using it to manipulate people at the margins. To have so much data in the hands of a bunch of international plutocrats to do with it what they will is absolutely chilling.

    “We are in an information war and billionaires are buying up these companies, which are then employed to go to work in the heart of government. That’s a very worrying situation.”

    Google is not ‘just’ a platform. It frames, shapes and distorts how we see the world

    A project that Cambridge Analytica carried out in Trinidad in 2013 brings all the elements in this story together. Just as Robert Mercer began his negotiations with SCL boss Alexander Nix about an acquisition, SCL was retained by several government ministers in Trinidad and Tobago. The brief involved developing a micro-targeting programme for the governing party of the time. And AggregateIQ – the same company involved in delivering Brexit for Vote Leave – was brought in to build the targeting platform.

    David said: “The standard SCL/CA method is that you get a government contract from the ruling party. And this pays for the political work. So, it’s often some bullshit health project that’s just a cover for getting the minister re-elected. But in this case, our government contacts were with Trinidad’s national security council.”

    The security work was to be the prize for the political work. Documents seen by the Observer show that this was a proposal to capture citizens’ browsing history en masse, recording phone conversations and applying natural language processing to the recorded voice data to construct a national police database, complete with scores for each citizen on their propensity to commit crime.

    “The plan put to the minister was Minority Report. It was pre-crime. And the fact that Cambridge Analytica is now working inside the Pentagon is, I think, absolutely terrifying,” said David.

    These documents throw light on a significant and under-reported aspect of the Trump administration. The company that helped Trump achieve power in the first place has now been awarded contracts in the Pentagon and the US state department. Its former vice-president Steve Bannon now sits in the White House. It is also reported to be in discussions for “military and homeland security work”.

    In the US, the government is bound by strict laws about what data it can collect on individuals. But, for private companies anything goes. Is it unreasonable to see in this the possible beginnings of an authoritarian surveillance state?

    A state that is bringing corporate interests into the heart of the administration. Documents detail Cambridge Analytica is involved with many other right-leaning billionaires, including Rupert Murdoch. One memo references Cambridge Analytica trying to place an article with a journalist in Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal: “RM re-channeled and connected with Jamie McCauley from Robert Thomson News Corp office,” it says.

    It makes me think again about the story involving Sophie Schmidt, Cambridge Analytica and Palantir. Is it a telling detail, or is it a clue to something else going on? Cambridge Analytica and Palantir both declined to comment for this article on whether they had any relationship. But witnesses and emails confirm that meetings between Cambridge Analytica and Palantir took place in 2013. The possibility of a working relationship was at least discussed.

    Further documents seen by the Observer confirm that at least one senior Palantir employee consulted with Cambridge Analytica in relation to the Trinidad project and later political work in the US. But at the time, I’m told, Palantir decided it was too much of a reputational risk for a more formal arrangement. There was no upside to it. Palantir is a company that is trusted to handle vast datasets on UK and US citizens for GCHQ and the NSA, as well as many other countries.

    Now though, they are both owned by ideologically aligned billionaires: Robert Mercer and Peter Thiel. The Trump campaign has said that Thiel helped it with data. A campaign that was led by Steve Bannon, who was then at Cambridge Analytica.

    A leading QC who spends a lot of time in the investigatory powers tribunal said that the problem with this technology was that it all depended on whose hands it was in.

    “On the one hand, it’s being done by companies and governments who say ‘you can trust us, we are good and democratic and bake cakes at the weekend’. But then the same expertise can also be sold on to whichever repressive regime.”

    In Britain, we still trust our government. We respect our authorities to uphold our laws. We trust the rule of law. We believe we live in a free and fair democracy. Which is what, I believe, makes the last part of this story so profoundly unsettling.

    The details of the Trinidad project finally unlocked the mystery that was AggregateIQ. Trinidad was SCL’s first project using big data for micro-targeting before the firm was acquired by Mercer. It was the model that Mercer was buying into. And it brought together all the players: the Cambridge psychologist Aleksandr Kogan, AggregateIQ, Chris Wylie, and two other individuals who would play a role in this story: Mark Gettleson, a focus group expert who had previously worked for the Lib Dems. And Thomas Borwick, the son of Victoria Borwick, the Conservative MP for Kensington.

    When my article linking Mercer and Leave.EU was published in February, no one was more upset about it than former Tory adviser Dominic Cummings, the campaign strategist for Vote Leave. He launched an irate Twitter tirade. The piece was “full of errors & itself spreads disinformation” “CA had ~0% role in Brexit referendum”.

    A week later the Observer revealed AggregateIQ’s possible link to Cambridge Analytica. Cummings’s Twitter feed went quiet. He didn’t return my messages or my emails.

    Questions had already been swirling about whether there had been any coordination between the Leave campaigns. In the week before the referendum, Vote Leave donated money to two other Leave groups – £625,000 to BeLeave, run by fashion student Darren Grimes, and £100,000 to Veterans for Britain, who both then spent this money with AggregateIQ.

    The Electoral Commission has written to AggregateIQ. A source close to the investigation said that AggregateIQ responded by saying it had signed a non-disclosure agreement. And since it was outside British jurisdiction, that was the end of it. Vote Leave refers to this as the Electoral Commission giving it “a clean bill of health”.

    On his blog, Dominic Cummings has written thousands of words about the referendum campaign. What is missing is any details about his data scientists. He “hired physicists” is all he’ll say. In the books on Brexit, other members of the team talk about “Dom’s astrophysicists”, who he kept “a tightly guarded secret”. They built models, using data “scraped” off Facebook.

    Finally, after weeks of messages, he sent me an email. We were agreed on one thing, it turned out. He wrote: “The law/regulatory agencies are such a joke the reality is that anybody who wanted to cheat the law could do it easily without people realising.” But, he says, “by encouraging people to focus on non-stories like Mercer’s nonexistent role in the referendum you are obscuring these important issues”.

    And to finally answer the question about how Vote Leave found this obscure Canadian company on the other side of the planet, he wrote: “Someone found AIQ [AggregateIQ] on the internet and interviewed them on the phone then told me – let’s go with these guys. They were clearly more competent than any others we’d spoken to in London.”

    The most unfortunate aspect of this – for Dominic Cummings – is that this isn’t credible. It’s the work of moments to put a date filter on Google search and discover that in late 2015 or early 2016, there are no Google hits for “Aggregate IQ”. There is no press coverage. No random mentions. It doesn’t even throw up its website. I have caught Dominic Cummings in what appears to be an alternative fact.

    But what is an actual fact is that Gettleson and Borwick, both previously consultants for SCL and Cambridge Analytica, were both core members of the Vote Leave team. They’re both in the official Vote Leave documents lodged with the Electoral Commission, though they coyly describe their previous work for SCL/Cambridge Analytica as “micro-targeting in Antigua and Trinidad” and “direct communications for several PACs, Senate and Governor campaigns”.

    And Borwick wasn’t just any member of the team. He was Vote Leave’s chief technology officer.

    This story may involve a complex web of connections, but it all comes back to Cambridge Analytica. It all comes back to Mercer. Because the connections must have been evident. “AggregateIQ may not have belonged to the Mercers but they exist within his world,” David told me. “Almost all of their contracts came from Cambridge Analytica or Mercer. They wouldn’t exist without them. During the whole time the referendum was going on, they were working every day on the [Ted] Cruz campaign with Mercer and Cambridge Analytica. AggregateIQ built and ran Cambridge Analytica’s database platforms.”

    Cummings won’t say who did his modelling. But invoices lodged with the Electoral Commission show payments to a company called Advanced Skills Institute. It takes me weeks to spot the significance of this because the company is usually referred to as ASI Data Science, a company that has a revolving cast of data scientists who have gone on to work with Cambridge Analytica and vice versa. There are videos of ASI data scientists presenting Cambridge Analytica personality models and pages for events the two companies have jointly hosted. ASI told the Observer it had no formal relationship with Cambridge Analytica.

    Here’s the crucial fact: during the US primary elections, Aggregate IQ signed away its intellectual property (IP). It didn’t own its IP: Robert Mercer did. For AggregateIQ to work with another campaign in Britain, the firm would have to have had the express permission of Mercer. Asked if it would make any comment on financial or business links between “Cambridge Analytica, Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon, AggregateIQ, Leave.EU and Vote Leave”, a spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica said: “Cambridge Analytica did no paid or unpaid work for Leave.EU.”

    This story isn’t about cunning Dominic Cummings finding a few loopholes in the Electoral Commission’s rules. Finding a way to spend an extra million quid here. Or (as the Observer has also discovered )underdeclaring the costs of his physicists on the spending returns by £43,000. This story is not even about what appears to be covert coordination between Vote Leave and Leave.EU in their use of AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica. It’s about how a motivated US billionaire – Mercer and his chief ideologue, Bannon – helped to bring about the biggest constitutional change to Britain in a century.

    Because to understand where and how Brexit is connected to Trump, it’s right here. These relationships, which thread through the middle of Cambridge Analytica, are the result of a transatlantic partnership that stretches back years. Nigel Farage and Bannon have been close associates since at least 2012. Bannon opened the London arm of his news website Breitbart in 2014 to support Ukip – the latest front “in our current cultural and political war”, he told the New York Times.

    Britain had always been key to Bannon’s plans, another ex-Cambridge Analytica employee told me on condition of anonymity. It was a crucial part of his strategy for changing the entire world order.

    “He believes that to change politics, you have to first change the culture. And Britain was key to that. He thought that where Britain led, America would follow. The idea of Brexit was hugely symbolically important to him.”

    On 29 March, the day article 50 was triggered, I called one of the smaller campaigns, Veterans for Britain. Cummings’s strategy was to target people in the last days of the campaign and Vote Leave gave the smaller group £100,000 in the last week. A small number of people they identified as “persuadable” were bombarded with more than a billion ads, the vast majority in the last few days.

    I asked David Banks, Veterans for Britain’s head of communications, why they spent the money with AggregateIQ.

    “I didn’t find AggegrateIQ. They found us. They rang us up and pitched us. There’s no conspiracy here. They were this Canadian company which was opening an office in London to work in British politics and they were doing stuff that none of the UK companies could offer. Their targeting was based on a set of technologies that hadn’t reached the UK yet. A lot of it was proprietary, they’d found a way of targeting people based on behavioural insights. They approached us.”

    It seems clear to me that David Banks didn’t know there might have been anything untoward about this. He’s a patriotic man who believes in British sovereignty and British values and British laws. I don’t think knew about any overlap with these other campaigns. I can only think that he was played.

    And that we, the British people, were played. In his blog, Dominic Cummings writes that Brexit came down to “about 600,000 people – just over 1% of registered voters”. It’s not a stretch to believe that a member of the global 1% found a way to influence this crucial 1% of British voters. The referendum was an open goal too tempting a target for US billionaires not to take a clear shot at. Or I should say US billionaires and other interested parties, because in acknowledging the transatlantic links that bind Britain and America, Brexit and Trump, so tightly, we also must acknowledge that Russia is wrapped somewhere in this tight embrace too.

    For the last month, I’ve been writing about the links between the British right, the Trump administration and the European right. And these links lead to Russia from multiple directions. Between Nigel Farage and Donald Trump and Cambridge Analytica.

    A map shown to the Observer showing the many places in the world where SCL and Cambridge Analytica have worked includes Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Iran and Moldova. Multiple Cambridge Analytica sources have revealed other links to Russia, including trips to the country, meetings with executives from Russian state-owned companies, and references by SCL employees to working for Russian entities.

    Article 50 has been triggered. AggregateIQ is outside British jurisdiction. The Electoral Commission is powerless. And another election, with these same rules, is just a month away. It is not that the authorities don’t know there is cause for concern. The Observer has learned that the Crown Prosecution Service did appoint a special prosecutor to assess whether there was a case for a criminal investigation into whether campaign finance laws were broken. The CPS referred it back to the electoral commission. Someone close to the intelligence select committee tells me that “work is being done” on potential Russian interference in the referendum.

    Gavin Millar, a QC and expert in electoral law, described the situation as “highly disturbing”. He believes the only way to find the truth would be to hold a public inquiry. But a government would need to call it. A government that has just triggered an election specifically to shore up its power base. An election designed to set us into permanent alignment with Trump’s America.

    Martin Moore of King’s College, London, pointed out that elections were a newly fashionable tool for would-be authoritarian states. “Look at Erdoğan in Turkey. What Theresa May is doing is quite anti-democratic in a way. It’s about enhancing her power very deliberately. It’s not about a battle of policy between two parties.”

    This is Britain in 2017. A Britain that increasingly looks like a “managed” democracy. Paid for a US billionaire. Using military-style technology. Delivered by Facebook. And enabled by us. If we let this referendum result stand, we are giving it our implicit consent. This isn’t about Remain or Leave. It goes far beyond party politics. It’s about the first step into a brave, new, increasingly undemocratic world.

    Key names
    SCL Group
    British company with 25 years experience in military “psychological operations” and “election management”.

    Cambridge Analytica
    Data analytics company formed in 2014. Robert Mercer owns 90%. SCL owns 10%. Carried out major digital targeting campaigns for Donald Trump campaign, Ted Cruz’s nomination campaign and multiple other US Republican campaigns – mostly funded by Mercer. Gave Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU “help” during referendum.

    Robert Mercer
    US billionaire hedge fund owner who was Trump’s biggest donor. Owns Cambridge Analytica and the IP [intellectual property] ofAggregateIQ. Friend of Farage. Close associate of Steve Bannon.

    Steve Bannon
    Trump’s chief strategist. Vice-president of Cambridge Analytica during referendum period. Friend of Farage.

    Alexander Nix
    Director of Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group.

    Christopher Wylie
    Canadian who first brought data expertise and microtargeting to Cambridge Analytica; recruited AggregateIQ.

    Data analytics company based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Worked for Mercer-funded Pacs that supported the Trump campaign. Robert Mercer owns AggregateIQ’s IP. Paid £3.9m by Vote Leave to “micro-target” voters on social media during referendum campaign. Outside British jurisdiction.

    Veterans for Britain
    Given £100,000 by Vote Leave. Spent it with AggregateIQ.

    Youth Leave campaign set up by 23-year-old student. Given £625,000 by Vote Leave & £50,000 by another donor. Spent it with AggregateIQ.

    Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. Spent £32,750 with AggregrateIQ.

    Thomas Borwick
    Vote Leave’s chief technology officer. Previously worked with SCL/Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ.

    ASI Data Science
    Data science specialists. Links with Cambridge Analytica, including staff moving between the two and holding joint events. Paid £114,000 by Vote Leave. Vote Leave declared £71,000 to Electoral Commission.

    Donald Trump
    US president. Campaign funded by Mercer and run by Bannon. Data services supplied by Cambridge Analytica and AggregrateIQ.

    Nigel Farage
    Former Ukip leader. Leader of Leave.EU. Friend of Trump, Mercer and Bannon.

    Arron Banks
    Bristol businessman. Co-founder of Leave.EU. Owns data company and insurance firm. Single biggest donor to Leave – £7.5m.

  49. Craigg Holder May 7, 2017 at 11:56 AM #

    Top post. Thanks.

    Yes, brave new world indeed. Sinister too.

  50. Sometimes I wish some of us would just accept that we are wrong whether than continue to prove that we are truly wrong. #allofusbehavelikethepoliticians

  51. You do not want that thing Le Pen as president at all….Macron is really the lesser evil.

  52. La liberté, l’égalité et la fraternité…

    As close as France can come to it anyway.

  53. Bush tea this is my last response to you,since you are defending Mr Thompson as if he is your relative.Let me be clear Mr Thompson intention was not to serve the masses as you pointed Mr Thompson was about Mr Thmpson not about no better Barbados so this is not about being petty this about reality. as for style and innuendo that fascinates yardfowls like yourself notsensible people,i gone.

  54. Crusoe

    Micro-targeting was used by Cambridge Analytica in elections in Trinidad and Antigua, what about Barbados 2013?

  55. Crusoe and Craigg;

    Very Interesting Observer article at 11:56 am. My memory is atrocious, but fwliw, I seem to recall talk about Cambridge Analytica in Barbados for the 2013 elections. It might be worthwhile to check out that angle. There may be several correlations between Trump and Freundel Stuart that might merit some investigation and might suggest that Stuart might well be helped to win the 2017 election against all normal odds.

    Anyhow, the brave new cyber enhanced world has arrived, soon to be followed by the New World Order, and the Observer article, considered along with several of Rachel Maddow’s presentations about the Trump Russia connections and the unfolding of Trump’s post election strategy, has clarified the inputs of several of the personalities who I did not realize had global as well as US tentacles. The various governments will be hard pressed to overcome the Cybernaut billionaites who think globally.

    It is interesting that there were hints of the really deep cyber potential of the Trump electoral campaign, overseen by his son in law, by mid year 2016, that put the lie to the Clinton side crowing about the avant garde capabilities of their electoral database systems that was based on Obama’s own of 8 years vintage. Trump’s system was far superior and may indeed be the main reason for his victory.

    The Observer article also suggests a reason for MoneyBrain’s counterintuitive pro-Trump comments leading up to Trump’s election win and his atypical silence since then. I wonder if Moneybrain is better connected than most of us thought?

    Very Interesting Times indeed!!!

  56. Looks like the people of Bim are no longer responsible for the operation of their country nor electing their representatives……EWBs prediction has come to pass 30 years after his passing…..interesting.

  57. Meanwhile!

    Things are moving rapidly in Trump’s america.

    The Treasury has been requested by the Senate Committee to provide them with all the financial information they have on members of the Trump campaign’s financial dealings with Russia.

    I suspect that is the main reason for the firing of the FBI director, James Comey.

    Willing to bet that Trump will be out of office before Freundal Stuart calls elections here.

  58. @ AWTY
    Willing to bet that Trump will be out of office before Freundal Stuart calls elections here.
    Don’t bet too much.

    Any man that would fire the FBI director like that; would engage the Russians to win an election in America; would brag about grabbing women’s personal cats….
    …would go to great lengths to remain in office.

    Do you think that Americans will focus on ridding themselves of Trump if they find themselves in a hot war with …. say North Korea?

    It must be obvious by now that Trump is either insane or possessed….
    Even rational presidents of late have started major wars in order to divert national attention from their personal issues….

  59. Bushtea;

    In today’s ( i.e. Trump’s ) America anything goes.

    In yesteryear’s america there were a few patriots and clear thinkers who no longer exist, especially in the Republican party.

    The patriots who would have fully supported any trumped up excuse for a war have been diminishing in number and so I think a president pulling a war out of the hat will not necessarily be widely accepted if Trump continues on that path.

    But actually there is no need of warmongering for trump to escape justice and reap the rewards of a cynical plan by the billionaires and avant guard cypernauts to rape the American economy. Trump has fortuitously (perhaps) found an electorate largely devoid of reason, patriotism, empathy with the downtrodden, etc., and it is almost certain that he will prevail in changing America forever into a mere shadow of its former glory as the Republicans use the shadow of short term gains to cloud most of the populace’s perceptions and dull their senses into avoiding doing what is right for the country and paving the way for the coming woes.

    Trump will most likely succeed in making America largely white again in most areas that matter and the change will be almost irreversible unless the Democrats can surmount all odds, despite Trump’s regular shooting of himself in the foot, by getting the requisite number of normally self-seeking republicans to do the right thing.

  60. Bushtea, dPD

    Wunnah following the latest episodes in the Trump-Comey soap opera?

    Looks like it may be not a totally unrealistic stretch of the imagination to predict that Trump is into impeachment territory and may be forced to resign sooner rather than later.

    Watch for when his billionaire / multi-multi millionaire friends suddenly opt to go back to private life, while ostensibly still backing him. Various congressional committees have already started to foll the various money trails and it would be surprising if some don’t hit pay dirt. But the biggest elephant in the room will be the Comey memos. They will have fangs that Trump and his associates can’t avoid.

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