The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

Do they love you? To heck they do! They love themselves and the power they wield over the ignorant and uneducated.

The latest expose of their nasty tactics to rob Vincentians of what they own is a very clear indication that what Labour offer is cupboard love.

“Cupboard love” is an English phrase referring to affection that is given purely to gain a reward. The term derives from the way in which a cat will give the person who feeds it superficial “love” (which is not normally exhibited) when it wants to be fed.

The phrase is most often applied to human activity, for example, when a child says, “I love you so much” before or after requesting a treat, for example an ice cream.

Cupboard love is a milder version of conditional love, where love is given solely in response to certain behaviour.

But in this case, it is much nastier than that. I would describe it more as downright skulduggery, which according to Miriam Webster’s dictionary, is secret or dishonest behaviour or activity.

After all, the government is made up of lawyers that would have known or certainly should have known every aspect of the laws relating to possessory title of government land. Even the Prime Minister is a lawyer and claims to be an expert in all aspects of the law. It is one of the most basic lessons when studying for a law degree.

So what did they do, they tricked people who had been squatting on government land for 30 years or more into believing that they had to pay for the land or be dispossessed. Land was offered to people for EC$0.50 a square foot along with a 5 per cent duty fee without telling them that if they had possession of government land for 30 years or more without paying rent, not having a lease or not being put on official notice that the land they were occupying was owned by the government and they had no rights to be there.

If the government failed to do any of that during the previous 30 years, the occupier had the right to claim adverse possession and the court would be obliged to certify that they owned the government land by possession for more than 30 years.

It doesn’t have to be the original occupier it can be one of his children or grandchildren, as long as the occupancy by the family is unbroken for 30 years or more.

So the government sent letters out to those people and told them they had to pay up, when they most certainly did not have to pay up. The trick being they also sent out a form that required the occupier to acknowledge the land was owned by the government and they were willing to pay for it. Once the occupier admitted that the government had the right to do that, the occupiers were trapped by their own written admission and most of them paid up, without I must say realising they had been conned.

Adverse possession is a method of acquiring title to real property by possession for a statutory period under certain conditions, viz, proof of non-permissive use which is actual, open and notorious, exclusive, adverse, and continuous for the statutory period. It is governed by statute concerning the title to real property (land and the fixed structures built upon it). By adverse possession, title to another’s real property can be acquired without compensation, by holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the true owner’s rights for a specified period. For example, squatter’s rights are a specific form of adverse possession. (Twelve years for private land and thirty years for government land)

Ref: Black, Henry T. (1979). Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed. St. Paul: West Publishing Co. p. 49. ISBN 0829920455.

Ref: Law of Property Act 1925.

Where did the money from the occupiers go? Straight into the Argyle airport fund. It’s long gone. Just like the 61 people who had their land taken for the airport and have never been paid — trickery and skulduggery.

Can anyone really claim that “Labour Loves You?” I don’t think so.

Peter Binose

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

4 replies on “Labour love is cupboard love”

  1. This short article, better if it were longer, needs to be on the front page of all the SVG newspapers. The “skullduggery” of our corrupt leader needs to be exposed!

    “The way to bring down a dictator is to get them to act like one, where everyone can see it.”

    1. Yes, I agree with its widespread dissemination which would bring some credible legal interpretation which would show that Peter Binose’s assertion taken from a speech made by Kay Bacchus-Browne at an NDP rally is false.

      It is too bad that so many people are so full of hatred for the present regime and/or such blind NDP supporters that they accept as gospel truth any outrageous politically-biased assertion made in the heat of a pre-election campaign.

      No wonder our country is in so troubled on so many fronts and our people so indifferent to factual evidence or legal precepts.

      This makes it all the more likely that the ULP will remain in power regardless of whether they deserve a fourth term or not.

  2. C. ben-David:

    Peter, your quote from Black’s Law Dictionary actually shows that your interpretation is wrong because these people were not in “adverse possession” of these plots as defined in law.

    This is because the government knew from the beginning that they were squatting on Crown land but chose not to run them off for political reasons. In other words, they had “permissive,” deliberate, recognized, allowed but not unfettered or unknown use of the plots.

    This gave various regimes votes while letting them off the hook of providing a full menu of expensive services such as good roads. Still, they were allowed to obtain metered electrical and water service from the state, further undermining your claim of “non-permissive” use.

    The state never abandonned this land to the squatters.

    I am also concerned that these people are getting land for well below market value while other otherwise needy individuals have to pay ten times as much for the same types of property.

    All this does is encourage the greedy and dangerous (the plots are often located in drainage basins which are now blocked by the houses) practice of squatting.

  3. Peter, at the very least your claim of “adverse possession” is moot simply because none of the occupants of the plots that were offered by the lawful owner(s), the people of SVG, as represented by the State and Crown, made a legal case for “adverse possession” via the courts of SVG.

    They are free to do so at this point, employing Bacchus-Browne as their attorney. None will do so for four reasons:

    1. They have no legal grounds for claiming adverse possession.
    2. After they lose, they will have to pay Ms. Bacchus-Browne thousands in legal fees.
    3. Even if they win, after years of litigation and appeal, the “reward” of winning would be overwhelmed by the stress of being insecure about the outcome during this long period.
    4. At the outrageously low price of $EC 0.50/square foot, these people have won the lottery.

    Peter, dismount; this horse is dead in the starting gate.

    Kay Bacchus-Browne knows all this but is pre-occupied only with trying to damn the ULP with her spurious allegations and fooling gullible and biased people like you.

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