We’re corrupt

Sir David speaks of high level of corruption in Barbados

There is a high level of corruption in Barbados and it is high time Barbadians admit it in order to combat the problem, former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons charged.

Appearing MondY as a guest on the radio talk show Down To Brass Tacks on Starcom Network, Sir David did not cite specific examples, but he said the problem was not new.

“I have been walking around telling the country that for years, but we have been denying it. I think there is a lot of evidence but it seems to be more than a perception of corruption at all kinds of level in this society,” the former Attorney General under a Barbados Labour Party administration told his audience.

Sir David did not say how rife the problem was when he was in Government. However, he was emphatic that Barbadians had swept it under the carpet for much too long and that the problem was worsening over time, in both Government and the private sector.   

“More and more we are having evidence that there is probably a genuine increase in the incidence of corrupt practices both at the private sector and the public sector levels.

“The bribers are usually the people in the private sector. All the big international companies that get exposed from time to time, they would have bribed the politician who is then held up to ridicule and exposed and often a lot of them get away. They are the ones in the wrong. You have to look at the briber and the “bribee, ” the former Member of Parliament for St Thomas said.

The retired jurist recommended that Barbados follows the examples of Jamaica and Trinidad and establish a branch of the global anti-corruption agency Transparency International (TI) here. He also volunteered to give evidence if TI were invited here “to carry out a proper study”.

While acknowledging that some changes had been made to the Prevention of Corruption Act, he said the legislation was still antiquated and needed to be modernized.

In any event, Sir David stressed, corruption existed essentially in people’s attitudes.

“You are either corrupt or you are not corrupt. You are either corruptible or you are not. If it is known that somebody would take a couple of dollars to do a favour which as a public person, they ought to do as a matter of routine, as a necessary part of your functioning, then people would prey on that weakness,” Sir David said.


14 Responses to We’re corrupt

  1. Joan Wickham
    Joan Wickham August 16, 2016 at 12:33 am

    starting with the head

  2. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva August 16, 2016 at 1:57 am

    “There is a high level of corruption in Barbados”…you have only now figured this out, how convenient…lol

  3. Hal Austin August 16, 2016 at 2:24 am

    This is a very serious allegation from a senior politician and public servant. There must be an independent judicial inquiry to investigate this.
    Sadly, it is also the public perception of Barbados and Barbadian politicians and officials. Partly it is enormous ignorance and partly, as Sir David has said, corruption.

  4. Cisco Wolf
    Cisco Wolf August 16, 2016 at 3:51 am

    You tell them Captain Obvious!

  5. jrsmith August 16, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I always said Barbados politicians has join the world’s band of merry men (Political Corporate Corruption), bajans don’t want to admit this is so because bajans is still living in the slave cycle too frighten to speak they minds.. massa plays no part in politics in Barbados no need to, because bajans are controlled as like all black people..

    Barbados will fail because there is that group of people who is protected, how many big criminals are arrested in Barbados not one, guns keep flooding into Barbados, containers of chicken keeps arriving , then they is the person which supposed to be known preventing ten of millions of imported duty to be paid to our government. everything in Barbados is corrupt we are treading a dangerous path, lots of land owners owes tens of millions in land taxes, I know of one offshore company owes $576,000.00 over decades….

    The (Audit General ) report says it all , in Jamaica they arrest crooked Attorneys , local corrupt government officials , police officers ,people in public management , this will never happen in Barbados..
    (People frighten to speak up /out)

  6. Tony Webster August 16, 2016 at 6:38 am

    A well-remembered former Prime Minister once witnessed a huge sign to be erected over the entrance to the arrivals hall at airport…something about “Barbados has no serious drug problem”. The sign was taken down in short order, perhaps owing to the author’s Christian respect for The Truth. I also heard wid my two poor-rakey ears, the same fine upstanding gentleman, disavow any knowledge of Barbados having gangs.

    So much for fine, uptanding citizens , who have both power, authority AND responsibility, and are sworn do do dis…and to do dat….whenever they are not too busy…preparing for the next elections…and the Big Fifty Bashment.

    Lord, hear our prayers.

  7. BaJan boy August 16, 2016 at 7:01 am

    This current Government has taken it to a new low and they even boast. Just look at the one who said a few months ago he can choose whether to drive his X 5 BMW or his grand vitara nobody can control him. This same hungry one was driving an old rotten Suzuki van just before they came to office. Look at all of them and how they are showing it off on poor citizens who cannot afford to even send their children to school…

  8. harry turnover August 16, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Was saying about 10 years ago that Barbados is the MOST CORRUPT COUNTRY in the Caribbean and I would say that it has gotten WORSE in the last 5 years.
    Evidence is there for ALL to see.Once heard a POLITICIAN IN THE HOUSE say to another one on the other side…..” why you don’t leave me “…..meaning that he too got info on he..and the talk dun dey.
    The PM in the last election said he has evidence of vote buying and not a fella en get lock up…WHY ?? maybe other people got their evidence too.
    Naked corruption on BOTH sides.One side keeping quiet the other side en saying nutten BECAUSE both got evidence on the other.

    Here we have big ups celebrating INDEPENDENCE knowing full well that had the Queen remained as Head of State that that level of corruption would have been exposed EVER SINCE.

  9. Rick August 16, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Mandatory release of information on assets would give a very good picture of who is living way above their means and then they should have to justify theor assets.
    I believe we all know that many have assets that their jobs do not support but turn a blind eye….especially in government, this is where accountability needs to start since only government can give a yea or nay to the actions in barbados.

  10. BoboTheClown August 16, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Is this something new? Why are Barbadians going ape over the former AG’S statement regarding corruption ? Every sensible, or educated Barbadian have at some point heard of, or personally witnessed corruption either at work or by someone placed in authority.We are all aware,or have heard of our Police being involved with some shady indivisuals that deal in drugs, guns and crime. There is no doubt about that ,when the evidence in some cases conveniently disappears when it is time for a trial.
    In trying to obtain Government housing i’ve heard of indivisuals asking for cash to speed up the process.
    If you are friend of a friend that has some pull ,you will be treated quite differently than some one else . The same rules are not applied.
    I say , ” If you can sit on a Judges lap ,you can expect an honorable discharge.””

  11. Donild Trimp August 16, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Bribe and Bribers.

    Banana Republic and kickbacks.

    Been going on for a long time now.

  12. James Franks August 16, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Corruption is rife.
    Consider how Butch got such incredibly generous tax treatments f o r his Sandals project. No tax to pay for 25 years!!
    Money obviously changed hands,me thinks and it stinks!!

  13. Kim August 16, 2016 at 10:14 am

    So with All if this talk( which is what we do best) how are we going to change it. As it so drastically need to change. The allegations have been made. We have a witness how do the ppl proceed because, having this knowledge and the acts continuing for another 4 years is a waste.

  14. SAM CLARKE August 17, 2016 at 1:17 am

    This could very well be the start to something very important in Barbados. Only if we can get this serious conversation continue to the level, of the group that Mr. Simmons have mentioned.
    The problem is that as soon as you start to discuss it, we get people trying to swept it under the rug, as political talk. Folks this is a serious problem in Barbados.
    You have persons working in certain jobs be it public and or private , declaring certain amount of annual taxes yet owning multi- million dollar properties.
    Where is the Internal Revenue, the Director of Public Prosecution and the Royal Barbados Police?
    If a new born child can get out of its crib and can name the most notorious drug purveyors in the villages, why is it so difficult for law enforcement?
    To get any sort of public document done, it takes literally years for the simplest of documents, with out at times blamed demands for a bribe.
    It almost seems like it is institutional, but I know that they are some decent public and private workers who dutifully do their jobs, but are hamstrung to say anything for fear of losing their jobs.
    How many times, have you heard the common phrase,” man I got someone in this place of government or private business who can fix it for a berry”?


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