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Double standards in business community

The Government minister with oversight of the country’s business community is accusing some operators of involvement in “corrupt” practices.

Minister of Industry, International Business and Commerce Donville Inniss made the accusation last evening while responding to an open letter published in another section of the media, in which some businessmen called for an end to vote buying during general elections, and stiffer penalties for those found guilty of the crime.

A visibly agitated Inniss suggested that the claim made by Andrew Bynoe, Andy Armstrong and Patrick Frost was an affront to elected representatives like himself.And he indicted there appeared to be double standards by some members of the business community.

Minister of Industry Donville Inniss

Minister of Industry, International Business and Commerce Donville Inniss

“Look at the beam in your own eye before you look at the [mote] in other people’s eyes,” he said during a joint meeting of the Democratic Labour Party’s St Michael Central and St Michael South Central branches at the George Lamming Primary School.

“There are some people in some segments of the business community in this country who could never see the face of God for the level of corruption that they engage in . . . When it comes to a matter of talking about a young black fella on the block getting a dollar to go and vote, which is wrong, all sort of people want to write letters and say how wrong it is . . . but when [people] call ministers and ask us to go out to dinner, lunch or get a few dollars to do them a favour, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.”

The minister also accused the trio of writing the letter based on rumour and anecdotal evidence, and said he could not take such claims seriously.

He agreed that buying votes could undermine Barbados’ democracy, but contended that the impression should not be given, “that this is deeply rooted in this society and you have to come with these stiff penalties to root it out”.

“You need to strongly state, not subliminally, . . . that any businessman who provides money to a politician and buys votes should also be locked up and heavily fined,” he challenged, adding that there was no other group in society that was cursed, vilified and attacked like politicians.

“It is a wicked and nasty thing when individuals who hold these lofty positions want to give the impression, not just to people in this country but those from outside, that our political system is corrupt and that votes are sold and bought in this country and that is where I draw a line in the sand,” Inniss said.

“I’ve said this to my dear friend Andrew, [it’s] nothing personal. He has taken his stance and, like him, I do not want to see votes being bought in this country.”

6 Responses to Double standards in business community

  1. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce February 24, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Double standards? Look who talking! He had a double helping of food for that pot guts. BARBADIANS had enough of the walkie talkies. The citizens don’t want no detours, they want their Tax Returns, Pensions, Redundancies, NIS unemployment, no more monthly draws of the lucky dip or raffle to see which group i.e. the Medical staff, Police, Teachers, Fire and Prison Officers etc will be lucky enough to receive a wage this month and sort out QEH.

    • Michael Parris
      Michael Parris February 24, 2015 at 8:36 am

      You must admit he has a very good point there

  2. Tony Webster February 24, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Sir, there is an elephant in de room. Speaking of people in lofty positions, …what about your bossman, speaking after the last elections and “things that he saw”…but perhaps because he was very busy…he overlooked to call 211, and have the cops actually do something about it. So it’s still right here, in the room…and that smell..whoeeee, sir! That elephant is crapping all over the room, sir. We gotta get dat pesky pachyderm OUT, and then CLEAN UP THIS place, Sir! What say you Sir? Bynoe, Armstrong, Frost…AND Inniss ? Let’s do something to solve the problem, please, Sir. I feeling shame Sir. What about you? Next time a businessman approaches you wid a heavy briefcase…just say “no”.

  3. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner February 24, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Ok don’t care for any politician anywhere in the world but bussiness people have been buying favours for years through donations to election campaigns which is just one of many slimy ways, so im going to agree with him on this one.Lets be honest Barbados have been this way for ever and that aint gine change because money talks and b/s walks and these business people have lots of it not ordinary Bajans,give him credit though for saying it.

  4. Alex Alleyne February 24, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Corn beef and biscuits and a snap of rum is the same as vote buying . half dozen or six is the same . We all know it still going on in good “ole Bim.

  5. Santini More
    Santini More February 24, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Minister, if the politicians said “no” to the dinner invitations and “no” to the brown envelope of money from business people then that would help put a stop to it….This is why we need Integrity Legislation that would jail an MP for 15 years if found guilty of corruption.


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