13 December, 2006

Recent Issues

Recent Interesting Issues on Which Correspondence Has Been Received:

(a) Cocaine Distribution”. Correspondents are invited to send photos of the crack houses operating in each village. Photographs of the dealers outside our night spots equally welcome. Subject to confirmation, I shall consider posting them here. I have no obligation to inform the police. They already know who and where they are. They simply do nothing about them. Only the small boys are picked up.

(b) Ministerial Conflicts of Interest”. One correspondent writes: “My first issue would be conflicts of interest. Step number 1 in this connection, in my view, would be to get recognition from Government that the appearance of corruption cannot begin to be eradicated so long as government ministers and officials hold controlling positions in the banks and utilities. How to deal with that problem - e.g. whether the British system of blind trusts provides anything approaching a satisfactory solution - would be the next and very difficult step. But it seems to me that some recognition that the apparent absence of any concern whatever over conflicts of interest should at least be reflected upon would be a move in the right direction.

(c) Corruption”. Transparency International is an organization devoted to promoting good governance world wide. Their website is a mine of useful information. Their Americas page indicates that, as regards the Commonwealth Caribbean Countries, they deal only with the independent ones. The only CCC with a national chapter of TI is Trinidad and Tobago. I subscribe to their newsletter, and am often amazed at the ground covered by their intrepid secretary, Boyd Reid. They don’t appear to have a website. Several other Caribbean States were analysed in the latest Global Corruption Report for the year 2006. You can download it here. One correspondent [see the comment at article No 1] asked where we would rank Anguilla in terms of the Transparency International standard. I am not sure of the answer. We British Overseas Territories deserve to be studied as well as the independent ones. Perhaps you would like to respond to the question anyway.

(d) Public Involvement”. One correspondent quite correctly writes, Did you ever consider the thought: "Maybe I REALLY don't want to know"???? Another good friend writes thoughtfully but accurately, It has become painfully obvious that your Garden is not providing enough stimulation; may I suggest sport drinking. Any continuation of this project will certainly guarantee that you never be elected for public office.

(e) Security Issues”. My security guru instructs me to remind you: When you post documents that you are leaking, do not use your work computer. Delete the email, and empty your delete box.” Exercise all caution. Do not get caught.


  1. My initial thoughts:

    1-The longer the same people are in office, the stronger the tendency to capitulate to temptation.

    2-The more money there is coming into a system, the more temptations proliferate.

    3-The more large money projects, the more bagmen offering sweet temptation.

    4-Accepting gratuities of rides in corporate jets, sumptuous meals or lodging gets the unwary caught up in the web of corruption.

    5-Make a few guideline rules to ward off corruption.

    6-Call it the Jeremiah Gumbs Guidelines Against Corruption in Gov't.


    #1-Don't accept any favor from someone if you won't offer to return it publicly.

    #2-Trade work or skills for the benefit of both parties to the detriment of no one.

    #3-Do not exchange your influence for money.

  2. These postings are too long! I would like to see them split up.

  3. Investigate the corruption involve in:

    1. Politicians, police officers and public servants who accept gifts from private citizens. Gifts should not be tolerate. It should be an offense to accept gifts over EC$20.00. Major corporations have a gifts policy. US senators cannot accept gifts. Such gifts should be given away to charity or sold on public auctions and the monies put back in the public coffers. A few months ago on Kool FM the Minister of Finance boast about a free luxury jet ride he and his collegues took advantage of on a visit to the ailing Chief Minister. But there are no free rides. Everything has a price or a deed to be done. Yes it save us money but at what later cost?

    2. Real estate agents over pricing land and property so that they can get a higher commission. This includes the law firms that have real estate handlers.

    3. Importation of liquor on private boats and yatchs by restarauteurs. Many years ago there was an infamous case of an Attorney General and an Ex Pat caught in the act bringing in illegal imports. The Governor influence on the police officer saw a scurried effort to drop the charges.

    4.Look into the auctioneering business.


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