The DLP protect Leroy Parris because they have to… or else!
Had former Prime Minister David Thompson lived to lead the Democratic Labour Party into the coming election, it would have been a very messy fight indeed… because Thompson was Clico’s lawyer when so much wrongdoing happened, and he knew about many contentious activities.
“It gets worse, much worse. Former PM David Thompson was in the thick of it in August 2007, prior to being elected. Thompson’s law firm took 4% of the purchase of CLICO’s new business jet for ‘legal fees’. We told you so, folks. We told you.”
Voters remember that it was David Thompson who during the 2007-2008 election campaign voiced the DLP’s promise to bring integrity to government, and transparency in the government’s dealings in every area. He promised new laws and government rules to stop the abuses. It was David Thompson who held up a campaign cheque for $75,000 that Owen Arthur illegally deposited into his own personal bank account. Arthur stole that money from the BLP election coffers and Thompson proved it to Bajans and the world. (No one asked where Thompson got the cheque – it was, of course, stolen from banking records by a DLP supporter!)
So Thompson and the DLP were elected to provide integrity legislation, freedom of information, conflict of interest rules and to generally clean up what had become a government and civil service rotten to the core with corruption, injustice and nepotism.
Clico perks were cheap for the DLP, expensive for policyholders
Unfortunately though, it was also David Thompson who (once elected) spent days on end enjoying perks from his friends at CL Financial, including free business jet use.
- It was David Thompson, Clico lawyer, who knew that many Clico subsidiaries were in violation of reporting requirements.
- As Clico’s lawyer David Thompson undoubtedly had knowledge of the Florida swampland deals where policy holders’ assets were used to buy wildly over-priced land - complete with secret commissions to insiders.
- It was David Thompson who knew that Clico was secretly paying his close friend Leroy Parris millions of dollars for ‘consulting’ through outside companies – so policy holders wouldn’t discover how much Parris was really taking from the company.
It was David Thompson who, when Clico and CL Financial collapsed, fought off calls for judicial oversight of the volatile mess and delayed acting for months to give Parris a chance to sweep some things under the rug before the investigators and audit team arrived.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart won’t be talking about that nasty business.
You can read the current Barbados Advocate to see how he’s going to handle the issue of Clico during the election: nothing substantive, deflect all questions and delay, delay, delay.
How much Clico money did the DLP receive over the years in ‘campaign donations’ ? How much of Clico policy holders’ money went into the DLP’s election coffers for the last ten years?
And here’s another big question: Thompson’s legal fees as Clico’s lawyer…
Thompson knew that Parris was siphoning off far more money than the Clico policy holders were aware of… so how much extra did Parris award to Thompson’s law firm? How much extra padding did those invoices have?
Parris was grabbing all he could from Clico and Thompson helped to arrange it so the policy holders wouldn’t know. Why shouldn’t Parris have thrown in some extra for his good friend Thompson too? I bet it happened. I have no doubt it happened.
And to those who are upset by this analysis – no problem. Let’s have all the Thompson law firm invoices vetted in public so we can have that integrity and transparency the DLP promised Bajans back in 2007.
Here’s Prime Minister Freundel Stuart talking to the press about Clico last weekend. Please read it at The Barbados Advocate, but as usual we have to reprint the entire thing here because our article is about it, and the Barbados Advocate has a habit of deleting articles when they become inconvenient…
PM responds to critics
PRIME MINISTER Freundel Stuart, in responding to several criticisms from the Opposition, took the issue of CLICO head on and stated that the report on which several stories were published earlier this year, was stolen.
In a shocking revelation to the packed audience at the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s 57th Annual conference, which was held at its headquarters yesterday, the Prime Minister stated that the report was stolen and circulated unlawfully. “The Prime Minister was roundly condemned for not commenting on a report that he had not seen. And he had not seen the report because at the time that he was being condemned, the report was in unauthorised circulation because it had been stolen. I have never been a thief, self-confessed, petty or otherwise … I sleep comfortably at night because there is no man, woman or child in Barbados or outside of Barbados, who has a secret holding for me. There is nothing in the life of Freundel Jerome Stuart of which he can be made to feel ashamed. I have chosen to live my life that way.”
Referring to the report, the Prime Minister stated that it did not include any issues of which the Government had been accused.
“I discovered that it had accused the Government of nothing, had accused the Prime Minister of nothing, has accused the Minister of Finance of nothing, had accused the late Prime Minister of nothing, and was merely an interim report, stating no conclusions about any of the matters it was investigating. But if you were hearing the debate, you would have believed that Barbados was about to implode, or explode, as a result of the contents of this stolen document in unauthorised circulation.”
The point was also made that Government was working with other countries to find the best solution to deal with the CLICO issue and remained determined to protect the policy holders and their investments. To that end, he added that Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler was hard at work advancing the Barbados approach to the challenging situation, with a view to bringing a conclusion to the matter. “Let me repeat for the record. CLICO does not now belong and has never belonged to the Government of Barbados. It is a private concern in which people in Barbados and other parts of the Caribbean invested money in various types of insurance policies. It ran into difficulties, putting those investments at risk. It is now under judicial management and because of its regional scope, Heads of Government from across the region are working to resolve these outstanding challenges in such a way as to eliminate or minimise losses to investors. My predecessor in office, the late David John Howard Thompson, the Governor of the Central Bank and I have stated publicly what we intend the Barbados approach to the problem to be.”
Aim was taken at Opposition Leader Owen Arthur, whom he stated could not be his role model. Waxing poetic about the stern words and attacks which previous DLP Leaders had faced from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), he stated, “I do not want the endorsement of the BLP, I have the endorsement of the DLP and that is the one which matters to me.” Prime Minister Stuart was returned unopposed as DLP President. (DB)