Corruption Dry Talk

The blogmaster has participated in three general elections in the decade since Barbados Underground (BU) was established. There was the memorable 2008 general election when a young David Thompson wrestled the government from a tired Owen Arthur. In 2013 Freundel Stuart was given a second chance to be his own man after taking over from David Thompson who died in office on 23 October 2010. And in 2018 Barbados recorded its first female prime minister. Mia Mottley’s Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won 30-0 on the 24 May 2018.

The blogmaster supported the David Thompson campaign in 2008, disliked the slothful leadership of Stuart in 2013 and by default was left with limited options after a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) vandalized the Barbados brand in 2018.

A recurring message has been peddled by the duopoly in the three general elections. That of alleged corruption by elected officials.

In 2008:-

  • VECO and the Dodds prison
  • CLICO $75,000 cheque paid to Owen Arthur
  • 3S and Operation Freeflow flyover project
  • Hardwood Housing Factory Inc
  • etc

In 2013:-

  • CLICO Forensic report
  • CAHILL Scam
  • Pierhead Marina Project
  • Cost=U-Less
  • etc

In 2018:

  • CLICO (again)
  • Corruption by Members of Parliament
  • National Housing PAC report
  • Maloney (Rock Hard Cement)
  • etc

Both political parties have been successful in bamboozling a gullible public in the three election cycles mentioned by promising that on winning the government corruptors will be ‘hanged, drawn and quartered’. The inability of the duopoly to deliver on the promise exposes the message from the duopoly for what it is, an electioneering scam.

A disappointment for many – and a significant contributor to the current state – has been the extent to which the traditional media has contributed to the hoodwinking of the public.  By usurping its role as a guardian of our democracy to deliver on its mandate to fairly and accurately report the news- the democracy we aspire to have remains elusive. As a consequence of the vacuum created, we have seen the rise of citizen journalism taking advantage of the emergence of social media platforms in a technological driven world. The blogmaster’s observation contrasts starkly with a recent Barbados Today Editorial summarized in the following extract:

The role of the media, whether print, electronic or broadcast is to educate and inform and to present factual news and balanced opinions without the suggestion of partisanship or personal bias. The media sometimes fail on this score because mortal men and women are the media, and subject to personal foibles, corporate dictates and political linkages. They can – by their deliberate spin – influence public opinion to a significant degree.

 

 

But, thankfully, in most instances and in the case of Barbados specifically, the media operate within the realm of an educated public which easily discerns where unvarnished news starts and stops and where spin begins. We hold absolutely no brief for anyone, inclusive of politicians or political parties. But as a member of the media fraternity who, too, can be accused rightfully or wrongfully of not always carrying out that which it now trumpets, we feel it incumbent upon us to call a spade a spade and to address a particularly troubling scenario.

 

 

Barbados Today 27 August 2018

Although early in tenure the Mia Mottley government has been following the corruption script albeit with greater stridency, or so it seems.  The recent arrest by US authorities of a former high profile minister has dovetailed government’s public consultation by the Committee on Integrity In Public Life Bill.  The two events have magically served to pump up the corruption talk volume in the public domain. The blogmaster remains cynical that Barbados will be able to implement a transparency framework to efficiently hold officials ‘feet to the fire’. Our inability to manage key functions in the country like public transportation, NIS fund, waste management to name three support the view.

One of the reasons first offered by the former government for not implementing Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation promised in 2008 was the cost to operationalize. It has not gone unnoticed by the blogmaster that Sir David Simmons in his recent contribution to the Committee on the Integrity in Public Life Bill matter-of-factly indicated that the Bill as proposed will be ineffective unless related laws are enacted. He cited the need for a code of conduct to manage breaches, proper regulation of campaign financing and a few others.

The blogmaster is of the view Barbadians do not have the capacity to fairly assess the mirror image late Errol Barrow prophetically shared in 1986. The fact we have sunk billions of dollars in education since he delivered the Mirror Image speech serves as an indictment on our leadership and people.

Where do we go from here amidst the chaos and the lack of a realization by the majority of citizens that we need to achieve a new normal? The jury remains out 104 days into the Mia Mottley government.

A mantra of Prime Minister Mia Mottley is that many hands make light work. Unfortunately Barbados at this critical juncture in history – despite crumbling economic and social structures – is at its most politically polarized state ever. A condition that will make the task of rebuilding all the more challenging.

We live in hope!

 

 

 

119 comments

  • RE We have no idea of how to develop a so-called blue economy; apart from the risk of over-fishing, we have allowed conch and other shell fish to disappear; we have no idea of preservation and canning, of exporting, of breeding.

    WHAT ON EARTH ARE SHELL FISH? I THOUGHT ONLY AMERICANS TALKED SUCH SHIT

    FISH HAVE SCALES NOT SHELLS!

    SEA CREATURES WITH SHELLS ARE EITHER CRUSTACEANS, MOLLUSKS OR ECHINODERMS. BUT NOT FISH!

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  • In other news (Nation)

    GENERAL SECRETARY of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Roslyn Smith, will today have to explain the reasons behind her using the union’s credit card to rack up over $13 000 in purchases.

    Smith was sent a memo yesterday inviting her to a special meeting of the National Council, the union’s highest ranking body, to explain the purchases. This is even after an intervention by treasurer Asokore Beckles in her defence at a council meeting last Thursday.

    “The union’s treasurer attempted to justify the charges made by the general secretary, but the National Council stopped his presentation and noted that the charges were not approved by the National Council,” an informed source told the MIDWEEK NATION. “The council decided that she [Smith] has to attend the meeting [today] to answer to the charges.”

    The council was not satisfied with the reasons given by Smith and Beckles for racking up over $13 000 in bills recently, some of which included electronic items, duty-free purchases and restaurant bills.

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  • @Sargeant

    This NUPW story and the one before about Walter Maloney’s undid overseas calls highlight the problem of corrupt behavior in the private sector. We tend to focus only on the politicians, it takes two hands to clap!

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  • Wonder what was the Treasurer’s defence?

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  • Good question, the decision to haul Smith before the exec council can easily be construed as a lack of confidence in the treasurer. What is going on with one of our two trade unions?

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  • @ David
    We spend so much time thrashing the essentially black political class and our public servants, that we forget the rampant corruption in the private sector. They are importing foods and other items that are banned elsewhere; they have sold out rather than innovate; control the new vehicle industry; refused to invest in the proper marketing of the tourist industry; destroyed agriculture; employing hundreds of workers on a part time basis do as to avoid giving them health and retirement benefits and just forced the BLPDLP to remove the NSRL with the promise that prices would come down and prices gone up.
    If we cleaning house let us clean I’m upside down as the old people say. The private sector has done precious little to develop this country and the successive governments have accommodated their greed and lack of patriotism.

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  • Should read let’s clean um not I’m. Apologies.

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  • On Dec 12th 1952,the sea on the west coast arose with such rage and ferocity that every fishing boat and moses in sight get lick up pon the seashore. Wood,rope,sail,canvas,oars,oar locks,grig hooks,bait baskets,hooks,lines and sinkers all went down in Davy Jones locker,some rising again according to the laws of gravity and landing pon de bay side for buccaneers and land pirates to claim ownership.
    Post this singular and historic event the fishing industry in Barbados was changed drastically by the Grantley Adams led BLP government.Sail boats gave way to Calvert boats with Petter Diesel engines,A training school was set up to train fishermen in fishing,survival and safety techniques and a government vessels named Investigator 1&2 led the fisherfolk in the methods of deep sea fishing.I think one such vessel now lies in the compound of the Polytechnic.Did someone have a brilliant idea later?

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  • “We spend so much time thrashing the essentially black political class and our public servants, that we forget the rampant corruption in the private sector. ”

    “We spend so much time thrashing the essentially black political class and our public servants, that we forget the rampant corruption in the private sector. They are importing foods and other items that are banned elsewhere;”

    The private sector has done precious little to develop this country and the successive governments have accommodated their greed and lack of patriotism.”

    I figured if I separated the key words in your post…you would realize that you outlined the problem…the culprits….and those who not only enables them to operate dishonestly and corruptly on the island…but who also colludes with them..and take their bribes.

    So are you just parroting David Simmons for parroting sake or do both you and him have a plan to stop them..cause at the end of the day, this present government has the power to stop the private sector from committing crimes against the population, maybe you should ask them to use that power.

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  • Do not forget the rampant over invoicing to government departments that is not endemic. I t is how the spoils are shared. Of course this is nothing a decent procurement policy cannot fix.

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  • @Hants

    The BLP owns the copyright on red?

    We want blood! Lock up a boy?

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  • In past discussions I have suggested that Gov’t encourage the study of Marine Biology and Oceanography amongst young people. We have to treat the Ocean not only as a place to play but as a resource and an opportunity for development. The BLP promised to build some artificial islands in its Manifesto. I know that manifesto promises often go the way of the dodo but did someone ever think of how that would affect the ecology of the area? Every year people bemoan the fact that Flying fish are “scarce” but fish migrate so perhaps if we have “experts” in place they can advise the Minister of the Blue Economy that the Sargassum seaweed is not responsible for the absence of Flying fish from these shores.

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  • Wily thinks this BLUE ECONOMY idea has merit, we need at lest one NEW MINISTER, THREE DEPUTY MINISTERS, a PERMANENT SECRETARY and a staff of say 100 to administer this latest careful thought out endeavour.

    New GOB share the wealth(poor taxpayers $) idea for patronage(nepotism) idea.

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Is the blue economy is meant to be the water that surround the island. Mind you the colour blue is and illusion cause at nigh it is not blue. But blue is the PR word that was chosen, I suggest the Marine ecomony. Bur who am i just a former sheep telling big ppl things?

    We have a private sector that is very slow at investing. If tourism/tourist is our current life blood, and the “seaweed influx” can potentially cut off the “forex/life blood; why did the private sector not dive right in when the seaweed influx was really bad a few years ago and now to a greater extent to clean the beaches. It seems that the bulk of the work was left for GOVT but the PS wants us to beieve it is the driver of the bus; or more so the driver in the bus ? Cuss driving down the road in a mini moke is a sight to be seen?

    Sometimes the PS actiosn and want-to-be actions really don’t line up with all the bluster that comes from these PS heads when caught or recorded on the media. There is a disconnect; a gap somewhere between the head and shoulders?

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  • @ WARU

    Obviously you have never read my comments on Sir David as recently as forty eight hours ago in this very BU. And certainly as many as six months ago.

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  • William..nothing personal or connecting you to Simmons, but…we keep going around this mulberry bush for years, Simmons finally came out and said who is responsible for the corruption…we know who has the powers to stop the corruption, the same people who AIDED the corruption..

    My point is…why has something not been done immediately about the private sector and their dishonest criminals practices, the days for talking are really done…time for the government to end the practices completely..

    And…we will know if they don’t.

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  • Sargeant
    New islands could engender the opposite too. One word MITIGATION, determined through an EIA. Keep up.😂😂

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  • @ David,

    I sincerely apologise for the BLP Red question ? However I have fond memories of a BLP ” red ” from back in the day.

    See how easy it is for me to get distracted from the main topic.

    MIA already distract me with that Tanya Stephens wonderful song called ‘What a Day’, and her other songs.

    As usual I providing rice but no meat lol.

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  • @ Wily Coyote August 29, 2018 5:11 PM

    Please understand that 26 ministers will significantly boost internal devaluation and possibly open the gate to the very much needed external devaluation as well.

    So having 26 ministers was a good move from a cynical perspective – if you look at the outcome. Even Sinckler served his purpose in the greater game to recolonize Barbados although he was never aware of this development.

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  • Does it even bother former government ministers and ministers of the present government that despite all the titles and airs they have, that they are all being shown up as common class thieves…does that not bother them, it would bother me..that tends to bring conscious people back to earth..

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  • I will never accuse my countrymen of lacking ideas or words. With over 1 million comments how could I?

    But we are men of words and not of action. We recycle the same phrase with just one mi\or change; we exchange a B and a D. I can bet you that in two or three years we will be recycling “0-30 “or “not one RH seat for them”.

    Stamping out corruption is too big a task for those in power. They resort to smoke and mirrors or just dry-talk. This is not a new party, but are are and integral part of the corruption and failure of the past 50 years. The election did not give us new wine, but served up old wine in old new-skins..

    As I watch this new party try to assert itself, I look at its BU spokesmen. They are brazen, insensitive and often border on being clueless. Indeed the only time they seem to gather their thoughts is when attacking Mariposa. Without her the only characteristic they would display is arrogance.

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  • Corruption and Rouge Barbados Police

    @ TheoGazerts

    As I watch this new party try to assert itself, I look at its BU spokesmen. They are brazen, insensitive and often border on being clueless. Indeed the only time they seem to gather their thoughts is when attacking Mariposa. Without her the only characteristic they would display is arrogance.

    I agree 200 percent with the comments you just made above.

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  • ” Photo by Charles Jong Director of Communications and Social Media in Prime Minister’s Office. (Picture by Charles Jong, Director of Communications and Social Media in Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s Office.)”

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/190573/judging-panel

    Like

  • @ PUDRYR,

    See how de PM maximizing de support staff ? Director ding dong Jong tekkin photo.

    Must be nice to fly bout wid de PM.

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  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ Brother Hants.

    It would appear that even in spite of the talk bout the man being a Cuntsultant of the GIS she and others still calling him “…Charles Jong Director of Communications and Social Media in Prime Minister’s Office…” euphemism for SPY & Enemy to the Barbadian Public

    @ Theophillus Gazerts

    You were at one time called an anonymice by Carl Moore. TO the best of my knowledge, the man that you were and are DID NOT CHANGE with the pronouncement of that IDJIT.

    We need to understand that these people are who they are.

    Men like Pain, or Teets or Stinkliar or Fumbles ARE POOR MEN and the very dredges of our society.

    Yet every 5 years these throw aways come to the electorate and say ” I am an unknown man WHO is on the run from the bailiff and I need a job. Vote for me and when i get in, i going wave at you from the back seat of MP2 when I driving past you a.s on the block”

    We deserve what we get UNLESS you change the equation

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  • NOTHING to see here. NUPW has people some of whom like to create mischief and play politics. Ask Caswell . DLP stinking dogs within any organization always seek to disrupt. The DLP and its supporters are the worst things on this earth. The DLP produced the worst Prime Minsiter, the worst Government; The worst Cabinet , The WORST Minister of Finance and the worst Minsiters of anything ever. The only person who gets a pass is Stephen Lashley but he is tainted by certain actions and events and tainted by association.

    DEMS THEN ; DEMS NEVER EVER AGAIN

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  • Stinking dogs…???????

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  • Some in the current government already need ankle bracelets and much, much more..

    ” OUTSPOKEN OPPOSITION SENATOR Caswell Franklyn has accused the former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government of inviting businesses into this country to exploit Barbadians.

    According to him, this had resulted in some workers today being treated like slaves since the invitees believed because they might have been friends with a politician, they could treat workers as they liked.

    In a verbal onslaught, which was interspersed by suppressed laughter from fellow senators yesterday, Franklyn cautioned those in the new Government not to follow the alleged bad examples of the Dems because “bad examples can lead you to an ankle bracelet”.

    Underhand

    Speaking during Senate debate on the Fiscal Incentives (Repeal) Bill, 2018, the trade union leader declared he would not tiptoe around the issues, as he charged that under the previous administration, taxes were waived and concessions given by the load unnecessarily, on account of underhand deals.”

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  • The big question remains: Is a Barbados free of corruption performing better in economic terms??? I assume the economic performance was better but still NOT GOOD ENOUGH to escape the current malaise. Do not expect anything from integrity legislation EVEN IF this legislation is enforced and guys walk into the jail.

    The economic fight was lost 5 years ago. The money coming from the IMF is not for the benfit of any Barbadian but to pay out the foreign creditors, to make a deal, to smoothen the negotiations between White Oak and the angry creditors: Instant repayment of loans and payment for bonds IN EXCHANGE for a hair-cut. The IMF money is not for any new infrastructure, for the hospital or at the disposition of local politicians.

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  • “or at the disposition of local politicians.”

    Well that’s certainly a blessing…and every extortion/bribery attempt of theirs is hopefully recorded and released to the world.

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  • @ Tron
    A simple look at Argentina should be enuff to show Bajans that ANY KIND of IMF arrangement is a sign of dire straights.
    That ours now come when we lay prostrate and helpless does NOT bode well for the outcomes…

    It won’t be long now before Bajans cone to know which god they are serving…. and it does not deserve a capital ‘G’.

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  • Franklyn lol
    Frankly speaking you are looking just like the same people you crticize
    Never mind yuh closing yuh eyes officially to the corruptors tjose with whome you sit at the table and share bread
    Well i’ll be dam

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  • Bush Tea,

    Some nations need the IMF for high debt load, others for lack of forex, natural disasters or wars.

    Barbados needs the IMF for high debt load + lack of forex + lack of productivity + lack of transparency enforcement. Too many problems to fix in “8-9 months” (sic!). Maybe a combination of IMF, World Bank and Paris Club would help PROVIDED Barbadians WERE really willing for political, social and economic reforms. However, so far they mix up said Club de Paris and Moulin Rouge when it comes to clubs in Paris.

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  • Theogaz
    “As I watch this new party try to assert itself, I look at its BU spokesmen. They are brazen, insensitive and often border on being clueless.”

    Who are the new government’s spokesmen on BU? 🤔

    Like

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    @ Tron August 30, 2018 12:51 PM

    If the four(4) lacks that your have indicated were all that was lacking that would be something to smile at. As u probably know there are many more things lacking in lil barbadus.

    Taking a look at the four you highlighted, and lets says for argument sake these four constituted 80% of our lacking “issues. I am, not saying that each is 20% but the four is equivalent to 80%. We certainly don’t need the IMF to “fix lack of productivity” + “lack of transparency”. We can can become the productive and transparent in a flash; and without the help of the IMF. But do we really want to?

    The real issue is do we as a ppl being lead by leaders that kinda need “lack of productivity” + “lack of transparency” in order to bamboozle the electorate every 5 years so that they have a party platform which will include mutterings of fixing “lack of productivity” + “lack of transparency” blah blah blah etc.

    So fixing these things with out IMF help will be putting a shot across the bow of the manifesto authors of each party?; Actually it may be putting a shot directly in the hull of each party. And when was the last time you got the impression that any “active” or “would be” or “want-ta-be” politician was self sacrificing in the true sense and meaning of the word.

    I doan kno i just asking?

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  • Fuzzy,

    Indeed. All the IMF can do is to provide forex as a loan and to assist. Barbadians have to do the rest by themselves. As long as there is no nationwide spirit for a new path, the misery will go on. The IMF is neither some kind of big brother or guardian of nations. Barbados is an independent nation and member of the IMF like everybody else.

    No forgiveness without penance.

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  • “Who are the new government’s spokesmen on BU? 🤔”

    Three guesses..the first two don’t count.

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  • Corruption and Rouge Barbados Police

    WAS PATRICK KING USED AND KICKED ASIDE BY MIA .MOTTLEY AND THE BLP CREW?

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  • @ Tron @ sirfuzzy
    No forgiveness without penance.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    One of the BASIC spiritual Laws.

    What Barbados REALLY needs is CULTURE change….
    from being servile, lazy, clueless albino-centric brass bowls…
    …to being assertive, productive, enlightened COMMUNITY-MINDED HUMANS….

    To expect that such change can be driven by LAWYERS….
    who are the very expression of lazy, albino-centric, selfishness
    is BEYOND idiotic….

    It speaks VOLUMES that we cried DOWN a serious (albeit clumsy) proposal from Grenville to bring SUCCESSFUL business people to the leadership table….
    …only to accept a den of despicable lawyers instead…..

    It is like having a death wish…..

    Like

  • Talking Loud Saying Nothing

    “Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta wants legacy to be fight against corruption
    President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has promised a new lifestyle audit will show the assets of all public servants, including himself. His family is one of the country’s biggest landowners.

    He told Hardtalk’s Zeinab Badawi: “If there is an instance where somebody can say that what we have done or obtained has not been legitimate, say so, we are ready to face any court.”

    President Kenyatta came to power in 2013 with a pledge to fight corruption: “This is something I am committed to and something I am determined to leave as my legacy in this country,” he added.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-africa-45344787/kenya-president-uhuru-kenyatta-wants-legacy-to-be-fight-against-corruption

    Like

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Talking Loud Saying Nothing August 31, 2018 1:43 PM

    Maybe Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta will fight corruption tooth and nail. but first he may want to serve out his presidential term(s).

    Lol

    Like

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Bush Tea August 31, 2018 7:15 AM

    are u saying that we got a fetish with dying. Are we a suicidal bunch and just don’t know it?

    Like

  • Beautiful post.This will change the mindsets of many people.I wrote something similar.Feel free to go through it.
    https://natesh557112956.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/change-starts-with-you/

    Like

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