August 31, 2010 Leave a comment
November 13, 2008 Leave a comment
Had Prime Minister David Thompson not contested the St. John bye-election in 1987 he most likely would have joined the world of academia at none other than Oxford University in London.
As part of his introductory remarks while delivering a lecture at the world famous Oxford Union recently, Mr. Thompson
recalled how he was accepted by Oxford to pursue post-graduate studies in politics, Philosophy and Economics. However, his life and career fortunes changed, following the sudden death in June that year of former Prime Minister, the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow.
“I opted to contest the seat he had represented and won it, thereby starting my parliamentary career. My dream of
studying at Oxford was deferred,” Thompson quipped.
Speaking in the presence of several members of the Barbados Diaspora, who journeyed to Oxford for the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled that throughout the vagaries of his political career, he visited Oxford on several occasions and roamed its beautiful gardens “ruminating on whether I had made the right decision”.
“Today, 20 years later, I visit Oxford as Prime Minister of a very small island state which, it is said, punches above its weight and class. Barbados is the number one developing country on the United Nations Human Development Index,” Mr. Thompson added.
He said it was a privilege and an honour to have been invited to address the Oxford Union. “I must tell you, though, that I am neither the first Barbadian to address this Union, nor in the context of your history, am I the first to have made contact with the Oxford Union. “Those distinctions belong to the late Sir James Cameron Tudor who was the first non-white President of the Union. He later distinguished himself while serving for many years as a Member of Parliament and a Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados as the time of our Independence”.
Mr. Thompson went on to pay glowing tribute to the life and works of Sir James, pointing out that “anyone who has heard Sir James holding forth
on a political platform or during meetings of Parliament and even in ordinary discourses can easily appreciate the origin of his legendary eloquence and formidable debating skills”.
The Prime Minister said “the stock and trade” of the Oxford Union, debating, was a wholesome activity. He congratulated the current leadership of the Union for going to great lengths to preserve “this sadly depreciated skill”. “Debating requires preparation of an intellectual and personal nature, developing public speaking skills and self confidence”.
He said, however, its greatest benefit was to facilitate an exchange of views. “The absence of such exchanges breeds ignorance, suspicion and misunderstanding and is the source of many of the world’s most pressing problems,” the Prime Minister said.
Source: Barbados Advocate
November 4, 2008 Leave a comment
Mr Kordan, who stubbornly refused numerous calls to resign instead of facing impeachment, told parliament on Monday that he would never have presented the degree if he had known it was a fake.
He claimed that it was issued for his “managerial and executive experience” and for a thesis he had submitted to the University of Oxford through a person who had opened an affiliate office in Tehran.
Mr Kordan insisted that he received the degree in good faith and doubted it only when deputies questioned its authenticity. “To my utter disbelief, the university did not confirm (the degree) when my representative went there”, he maintained.
He claimed that he had filed a complaint against the mysterious intermediary who purportedly represented Oxford in Tehran. But Mr Kordan said that he was unable to find the man and has declined to name him.