Barbados Labour Party Blog Nominates DLP Leader David Thompson For “Piggies At The Trough” Award

barbados-dlp-sandylane.jpg

BLP Blog Nominates The Leader Of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition David Thompson For “Piggies At The Trough Award”

The Barbados Labour Party Blog has nominated DLP Leader David Thompson for the 2006 Barbados Piggies At The Trough Award. The “Piggy” as the award is affectionately known, is presented annually to the Barbados politician or civil servant who, in the opinion of the judges, best misuses position, political contacts or internal knowledge to benefit self, family or friends.

A cash prize of One Thousand US Dollars is up for grabs, and will be won by the nominator of the winner of the 2006 Piggy. (For contest rules see the Barbados Free Press story – link here.)

BLP Blog Reveals 1994 DLP Concessions To Sandy Lane Hotel & Golf Course

The BLP Blog’s nomination of David Thompson is supported by a July 4, 1994 letter from the Barbados Ministry of Finance to Sandy Lane Hotel and Golf Course. The letter has been published on the governing party’s BLP Blog and is presented by the BLP as genuine and complete, except for a redacted signature.

The letter to Sandy Lane lists numerous major tax and duty concessions granted by the Ministry of Finance on the eve of an election – including a waiver of all corporate taxes for ten years, waiver of all import duties including on vehicles, waiver of property transfer taxes and so much more.

The BLP Blog characterizes the DLP’s actions in this manner…

“This is what Thompson was up to just right after the 1994 election was called when he was the Minister of Finance. You the voters must ask yourselves if he was acting in your interest or in his own interest when he bestowed these numerous concessions. He knew the writing was on the wall. He knew his party was going to lose and yet he was busy granting hefty concessions to a private entity after having presided over pay cuts, short weeks and thousands of Barbadians being laid off, losing their homes and furniture and appliances as hundreds of people had their property repossessed…

…(Thompson) is famous for secret deals. Well this must be one of the most lucrative secret deals for him which is no longer a secret.

He must be instantly nominated for a piggy at the trough award by Barbados Free Press…”

… excerpts from BLP Blog article “DLP Concessions Just Before Leaving Office

BLP’s Charges Must Be Answered. The Public Interest Demands It!

The BLP Blog hits the nail on the head when it says “… voters must ask yourselves if he (Thompson) was acting in your interest or in his own interest when he bestowed these numerous concessions.”

And that is the point – were these concessions granted by the government of the day for the legitimate purpose of encouraging foreign investment with absolutely nothing to be gained by anyone remotely associated with the DLP or the government? AND… was there absolutely no appearance of a conflict of interest?

Those are the issues at the heart of Integrity Legislation and Conflict of Interest Rules. One does not have to prove that a benefit was received – only that there was an appearance of a conflict of interest by a person in a position of public trust, or their family or friends.

So Many Questions!

Did Finance Minister Thompson or DLP members or or family or friends receive anything from Sandy Lane – whether or not such gifts can be directly linked to the concessions? Did Sandy Lane Hotel or any of the corporate principals or shareholders contribute to DLP’s or David Thompson’s election campaigns? Does, or did, David Thompson or any other DLP member or family or friends receive any gifts or golfing memberships from Sandy Lane Hotel or any of the corporate principals or shareholders?

Barbados has no laws respecting Integrity and Conflict of Interests, so even if Minister Thompson or some other persons took gifts or benefits from Sandy Lane, it may not be a prosecutable offense.

Whether or not any laws were broken, if Thompson or anyone else holding a position of public trust did a “lucrative secret deal for him” and engaged in unethical behaviour or had an apparent conflict of interest, it would certainly qualify as prime “Piggies At The Trough” material.

Should The BLP Blog’s Nomination Of Thompson Be Accepted By The “Piggy” Judges?

As stated in the original announcement of the 2006 Piggies At The Trough Awards (link here), this year’s theme is “Land Expropriation or Forced Sale” – and the situation as described in BLP’s nomination of Thompson does not appear to fall within this year’s criteria…

However…

The judging committee has received numerous other nominations thus far that – while juicy – also have nothing to do with Land Expropriation or Forced Sale. Many of the nominations have to do with Cricket World Cup contracts or other situations outside the announced theme.

We Put It To Our BFP Readers…

While the circumstances of the Thompson nomination do not appear to fall into this year’s theme, the judging committee is of the opinion that even if Mr. Thompson did not receive consideration for the concessions to Sandy Lane, the granting of such major concessions after the announcement of an election has the appearance of unethical behaviour.

The BLP’s nomination of Thompson with uncontested facts as stated would, in the opinion of the judging committee, qualify as a valid Piggy nomination – were it not for this year’s theme.

The judging committee is considering dropping this year’s announced theme and opening up the Piggy nominations to all situations.

What is the opinion of our readers?

Should the 2006 “Piggies At The Trough” Award be opened up to all situations?

Let’s hear what you have to say, folks!

43 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

43 responses to “Barbados Labour Party Blog Nominates DLP Leader David Thompson For “Piggies At The Trough” Award

  1. Jason

    Accept the nomination open it up to everything they done

  2. Hants

    Sandy Lane is Rated as one of the Best Hotels in the world.

    Sandy Lane is hosting the World Golf Championship on a world class Golf course.

    Giving concessions to Sandy Lane helped it to establish the infrastructure to host an event for which the BLP can now take credit.

    Thompson you screwed up royally. You should have told Sandy Lane to go to St. Lucia instead.
    You had no right helping Sandy Lane become what it is today. I hope you at least got a share of a condo at Port Charles for your efforts.

    Meanwhile Bajans they spending too much on lunch.
    It is the single most important item affecting the cost of living in Barbados today, says Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Clyde Mascoll

    “But the truth is that I checked along the South coast and West coast to recognise the amount of tents that are being put up, the amount of food stalls that are now decorating the landscape of Barbados to really recognise that Barbadians are eating out, said Mascoll.

    Thats right Clyde get these wayside food vendors off the street before World Cup. They can find other employment and Bajans can lose some weight.

  3. JK

    When did Sandy Lane open? Was it a new hotel then? Was it already built? When was the golf course built?

  4. Anonymous-

    Hants is CLEARLY a DLP member if not Thompson himself. Here we have it in black and white that David Thompson is granting the same things that he and that loud mouth uncouthed pig David Estwick cry down the Prime Minister for today. It is the height of hypocrisy and it shows just why he wants so badly to become Prime Minister of Barbados. Not only is David Thompson a pig, he’s a pig without a trough.

  5. honeybee

    Yes, “Piggies At The Trough” Award should be opened up to all situations.

  6. Anonymous

    Just Check who was the attorney for all of the conveyances of the properties, most in the millions with proprtionate legal fees. He was the attorney in the vast majority of those conveyances.

  7. reality check

    These are standard concessions to any company stupid enough to attempt to have someone risk bringing capital into a country where inertia and delay are the order of the day. David Thompson and Owen Arthur should not be faulted for trying to attract foreign capital into the country and for the jobs they create but rather where and how the money is spent.

    The irony of the whole exercise is that this country puts up serious roadblocks to the free flow of capital all the while attempting to do it themselves ( ie Hilton and GEMS etc etc ) in a very non transparent way, One can only conclude after years of failing to receive audited statements
    is that these go it alone projects with borrowed monies is to siphon off monies to friends and political allies.

    So every time you hear the cry that this country needs foreign reserves, don’t believe a word; their actions speak loud and clear to the contrary.

  8. Anonymous

    Where is velzo now.

  9. william duguid

    Even a mouse can bite. Over to you Velzo.

  10. william duguid

    Just check how many conveyances of these multi-million dollar properties with proportionate legal fees were done by him when he returned to legal practice.

  11. Velzo

    Go to the land registry Willie. See if you see David Thompson’s name anywhere. You will not. You know why?

    As I said already, (1) the land on which the Villas/luxury houses which will benefit from these concessions has not yet been put on the market because of the Mangrove Dump so how Willie could Thompson benefit from land sales? (2) the letter refers generally to all golf course developments not just Sandy Lane’s. The decision to grant these concessions was therefore not made after the election was announced – it was made long before in respect of Westrmoreland, Bushy Park, Coronation etc. It was a general policy approved by Cabinet and not a policy on which the Minister of Finance exercised a discretion. (3) Willie: prove your case since your government has the files and give the list of memberships, conveyances, dealings etc. which Thompson was involved in.

    Your silence on this would be a grave failing on your part.

    It also says alot about the BLP that they can attack Thompson for reducing the property transfer tax on foreign purchases. Yet in 1999 – on the eve of an election and by law – they totally abolished it! We lost millions in trasfer tax since then.

  12. Anon

    SHAME – spelt – S-H-A-M-E-

    Is something the BLP doesnot have.They are trying to worm their way into the hearts of the readers on this site (check lynette and dugid posts).

    I hope barbadians are not going to be too gullible and believe evrything that politicians spout whether B or D.

    However in the case of this set of blp politicians, shame is something they don’t have – they are as bold as a brass monkey.

    So that you can question Lynette all you like she is going to tell you that she only can answer things under her ministry.Ask her about things under her ministry she tells you about Mr Bascombe and others in the ministry who can provide information or to check her news letter.Is this how Gov’t is run these days.However let there be something praiseworthy and the whole cabinet talks about it anytime a microphone is pushed in their face.

    Dugid who initially was trying to pose as Mr transparency and Mr Clean,suddenly comes up with Sandy Lane deals etc.Is this in his ministry or was this Ministry of Finance?

    Is there any information on the Kingsland Estates deal where those poor owners are being beaten to the ground. …I hear silence from the Blp bench.

    Is there any information on the David Shorey (a friend of the P.M.) sweet deal that saw land change from Zone 1 to Zone 3 and allowed him to reap million in benefits….alas ..silence from the Blp camp again.

    So tell me,who are those lovely politicians who are coming to this site and being magnanimous by at least talking to us?

    Servants or propagandists?

    Are they answering us or spouting out the information they want to give.

    Ah well,c’est la vie – such is life in this little paradise where the UNDP rates us high in the human index scale, and tranparency Intl says we are the least corrupt in the caribbean.

    Ah well.. sigh .. patta cake,patta cake,bake me a cake.

    I went up a higgy,higgy mountain,and I saw some higgy,higgy people…..

    Let’s sing nah people all is well – the Blp is in power – and all is well with the world.

  13. william duguid

    Velzo would have us believe that the concessions that Thonpson gave were not utilised. What about,

    Waived withholding tax on interest ie what the banks deduct from interest on your money.

    Waived import duties on all imports.

    Waived all corporate taxes For TEN YEARS.

    Waiver of duty on Vehicles.

    Waiver on duties on management fees.

    Certainly these did not need a dump to be moved before the entity was able to benefit.

    You have to do better than that Velzo.

  14. william duguid

    How many incidents of being at the trough will a piggy need. I believe more and separate incidents of being at the trough are in the works.

    Should the BLP Blog win for the nomination I pledge to donate the winnings to 4 needy families
    in Christ Church West of course.

  15. Velzo

    Which entity Willie? Check the records. You are providing the information. Don’t ask me. If you have a case against Thompson, then lay it.

    Tell us how much in dollars Sandy Lane benefitted and how much they invested? Tell us how much in dollars import duty was lost. How much in dollars withholding tax was lost.

    Concessions on paper mean nothing… give us the facts or stand condemned.

    As to your needy residents, you have no problems, You are a dentist, a building contractor, a property owner, an MP and a Duguid. No doubt no one ever gave you any concessions.

    Can you tell us why Owen did not want you to be the candidate in Ch. Ch. West? He might not have told you, but he surely told others!

  16. Anonymous-

    And the Honourable Member for St. Lucy has spoken.

  17. Anon

    Velzo

    Is it true that Dugid is also a building contractor?I hope this is reliable stuff.If it is then can you help me understand why so many BLP M.Ps are building contractors or associated with contracting companies.

    Mia with Ajax construction and the straker guy,oh and Jose & Jose

    Dugid – building contractor

    Anthony Wood – building contracting firm

    Liz Thompson – Her husband’s contracting company

    George Payne – association with Barrack Construction

    Dale Marshal – assoc. with Barrack

    6 ministers so far and counting.I wonder what contracts were they getting?

  18. Comment Maker

    Are these concessions any different to those given to Port St. Charles?

    Let’s be realistic here, the Barbados economy has benefited from all of these major investment projects. (It’s why Owen keeps emphasising the need to attract such projects)

    I don’t see anything wrong with these concessions. Owen has improved the transparency somewhat through the special development area legislation but there will be a need to offer concessions to attract large capital projects that will develop the economy’s capacity.

  19. This so called information about Thompson and the Sandy Lane affair is the ‘information that Duguid had that will discredit Thompson”? Give me a break, I tell Mr. Duguid already to talk to Kerrie Symmonds and find out what goes on behind his (Duguid) back at home, do not let me have to tell BFP readers. Lay off of David Thompson, ya hear.

    Readers, do you know that departure tax will be raised by more than 100% on December the 1st. The BLP do not want us to live here so they have priced everything out of our reach, and watch it, we ain’t to travel either. We must stay here and suffer, but no way, whenever election is called the gone with the wind, as my deceased aunt used to say.

    But by the way William Duguid, seeing that you know so much, tell us about the 2 million dollar at the Lears round about and the agricultural land that was changed to industrial or commercial land. Also what is the price and how is it selling, by the sq.ft or by the acre?

    SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!! This government has to go!!!!!!!!!!

  20. This so called information about Thompson and the Sandy Lane affair is the ‘information that Duguid had that will discredit Thompson”? Give me a break, I tell Mr. Duguid already to talk to Kerrie Symmonds and find out what goes on behind his (Duguid) back at home, do not let me have to tell BFP readers. Lay off of David Thompson, ya hear.

    Readers, do you know that departure tax will be raised by more than 100% on December the 1st. The BLP do not want us to live here so they have priced everything out of our reach, and watch it, we ain’t to travel either. We must stay here and suffer, but no way, whenever election is called the gone with the wind, as my deceased aunt used to say.

    But by the way William Duguid, seeing that you know so much, tell us about the 2 million dollar round about at the Lears junction and the agricultural land that was changed to industrial or commercial land. Also what is the price and how is it selling, by the sq.ft or by the acre?

    SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!! This government has to go!!!!!!!!!!

  21. passin thru

    Open up the piggy contest to everything not just land. That’s my vote.

  22. reality check

    The airport departure tax has now more than doubled starting in December—just in time for Cricket 2007 and the Fall season—part of making us competitive in the tourist world I guess?

    at least now the airport is suppose to be run as a private authority and revenues going into improvements and not what use to be the case—general revenues and God knows where?

    but did they have to make it $55 and not an even $50—more bureaucratic handling of money (change) until the fare is added to the tickets a year later

    PS where are the statements on the airport now that it is a private authority? I notice that public and other companies are having to publish audited reports in the newspapers —what about this government???

  23. Hants

    Anonymous- “Hants is CLEARLY a DLP member if not Thompson himself.”

    WRONG on both counts. I have chosen not to identify myself because I dont live in Barbados and my identity is irrelevant to all of you.

    I am a Barbadian who is currently a Canadian citizen. I am a DLP supporter not a member.

    The Bajan in me draws me to this blog as it as close to a political platform as I can get.

    For the record I will support the DLP regardless of what William and Sylvan say.

  24. Pat

    Whoaaa! Even first world countries give concessions to businesses which provide employment. I have overseen some of those in my duties with Industry Canada. (I managed several hundred million in loans, industrial incentives and contingent liabilities.) Billionaire, Eugene Melnyck, got concessions from the City of Ottawa when he bought the Ottawa Senators. In some cases it is a tri-partite arrangement :- municipality, provincial and federal.

    It is a good incentive to get development/jobs in depressed areas. However, I have an issue with the ten year corporate tax holiday. That is too long, we never gave more than two years. (If they could not manage on that, they were offered an interest free loan, or a grant that had strict conditions that included repayment if terms were not met.) That would be enough to get the business up to a going concern. The tax free imports should also have had their limits. This should have been for the initial refurbishment and set-up. I would say one year. I would need to read the fine print and know the economic conditions on the island, in order to do any meaningful analysis.

  25. Pat

    Anon,

    Duguid is NOT a building contractor. His great uncle (Unk) the family patriarch was. He took all his nephews out with him on jobs during the summer and after they left school. Some liked it others did not. None stayed with it, as far as I know. However, they all learnt the trade, built their homes and had rental properties.

    What you should concentrate on is whether he is complicit with the politicos who jump the qeue to buy cheap NHS land ahead of poor people who have been waiting for up to 20 years. Or whether he himself has done it.

  26. Anon

    Thanks Pat.This is why BFP is so great for us bajans here and those away,we learn a lot from this site,which we would never have known if we were still stuck with the Nation,Advocate and Starcom network.With CBC we knew what to expect.

    This is also why I get vex to see gov’t politicians using it to peddle their propoganda dressed up as public service information a la Dugid and lynette.

    You know BFP may not have the total facts when they run a story but they sure give all sides a fair opportunity to present their viewpoint.You couldn’t want it fairer than that,right anonymous and royalrumble?

  27. Anon

    Pat
    Oh by the way pat it still doesnot take away from my question of ministers owning or having some interest in construction companies.

    And Dr Dugid maybe you will indeed tell us as Pat suggested whether you or any close relative of yours are the beneficiary of NHC lots or housing at their subsidised rate,which is of course intended to benefit the lower income group?

    If the answer is no and we have information to the contrary that you or any other minister did indeed enjoy this benefit then I hope you won’t mind if we publish it on this site?

  28. Ralph

    Look nuh, the kissmebrass BLP has been in power now for 12 long years. If they believed that there was impropriety in the behaviour of Thompson and the DLP regime re/ Sandy Lane, how come they wait till now to raise the issue? This is an old fashioned political smear, and the BFP should do nothing to help the BLP to spin it. Now I happen to like Duguid, I know him since he was about 10 years old, both at school and when I used to lime by friends in the Navy Gardens/Dayrells road area– he is a bright and decent guy. But this is one prescription from the dentist that I do not propose you fill ….

  29. What about the ackee tree for which over $6000.00 was paid for its removal then a government agency still had to remove it? What about the Government minister who is living on land taken away from its rightful owner? what about the south coast sewage project which was to cost $19millon dollars and wound up costing $80million? what about the $24million wasted on Greenland? What about the miracoulous conversion of an area from zone one to zone two with an election just around the corner? What about the buying of xmas gifts and goodies for Barbados Labour Party members and friends out an agenccy controlled the Ministry of Social transformation? What about the disaster at the corner of Eagle Hall sometimes refered to an as a market which took three years to build and cost over $3million and to this day one still gets wet inside of it when it rains? what about the ugly monstrosity in St. Thomas a few people like to refer to as a sculpture, how much did that that cost? What about the Barbados Hilton overbuget by about $30million? What about the Government offices at warrens what will the final price tag be? What is relationship between the Barbados Labour and Simpson Motors? Should I go on and on or do you get the picture of Barbados Labour Party corruption and mismangement? There is an old saying, ” those who live in glass houses should not throw stones”. Before the Labour Party nominates anyone they ought to look in their own backyard!

    Best regards

    Carson C. Cadogan

  30. Pat

    Ralph and Coralene:

    I agree with both of you. What I, however, find abhorent and unethical is the publication of a letter from a previous Minister of Finance, in a public forum like this, with a view to discredit, if not cast aspersions by a sitting government. I think it incredulous that a sitting government would sink so low. “First world” some would have us believe. I say small time.

    In addition to Conflict of Interest guidelines, Barbados also needs an Access to Information and Privacy Act. This Act would specify what government held information can be disclosed and set time limits for secrecy on some ministerial documents. This is done in “first world” countries!

  31. Velzo

    Pat, you have it all wrong. I do not know about Willie’s grandfather – I leave that to Trevor Prescod who doesn’t like those “types” – or grandmother.

    But I know for a fact that Duguid is in the building business. If you are so close to him, ask him to come on this site and deny it. And then he might have to face a bombshell that will damage much more than his credibility – and yours too!

    Barbadians know very little about these pious politicians who are in it for the business.

  32. ross

    Velzo said “Barbadians know very little about these pious politicians who are in it for the business”
    We are learning though.

  33. Jupiter

    Velzo

    Don’t be too hard on Pat.I find him to be quite fair,I don’t think he was trying to shield the minister but to explain the facts as he knew it.

  34. Pat

    Velzo, I dont know William. I knew the old people. I left home 40 years ago. However, I wonder what you mean by the building business. You said:

    “But I know for a fact that Duguid is in the building business”.

    I dont know if he is or is not. I can find out next time I am home. What I do know is that he apparently has apartments. Almost everyone in his family does. (Even his dead uncle’s widow inherited her husbands units when he died eight years ago.) But owning apartments does not necessarily mean he is in the building business anymore than my owning apartments mean I am in the building business.

    If someone in the family is following in Unk’s footsteps, I say, good for them. You may be wise to look into the acquisition of the land for these apartments. Was the land acquired for the family when his Dad was alive, did William buy it, and if so, when, from whom, etc., etc.

    I am not aware of his owning a construction company or having an interest in a construction company – unless as I said someone in the family is carrying on the great uncle’s business. His dental company is another matter all together.

  35. Hants

    Integrity legislation would make life so easy for everybody and we wouldn’t have to speculate about peoples assets.

    I am sure William will explain his situation just as he did the Glyne Clarke “special friend” situation.

  36. william duguid

    Dear Friends,
    I am intrigued at the interest in my private life.
    Let me just say this.
    I have never and will never benefit from a Government contract for building services.
    I build only for my self or 1 or 2 friends.
    All land I build on I have bought from other private individuals.

  37. Jupiter

    M.P Dugid

    Thank you for responding on the precise point without trying to promote yourself like other m.p.s e.g lynette eastmond.

    WE will now await Velzo’s response to your explanation,although bulding for 1 or 2 friends on land you bought privately can mean anything.

    For one thing it suggests that you are involved in some construction activity although on a part – time business.

    How do you find the time though,with a busy dental practice,a constituency to run,a family man and then some building on the side?

    Anyway thanks for the explanation,we await lynette’s response on her rural dev. house consituency office.

  38. Velzo

    What more do I have to say? Contrary to what some clowns on this site assert, I have facts. And Willie’s credibility is often at stake in matters that come up here.

    I found his targeting David Thompson so pathetic but I understand it. Willie wants to lead the BLP and he wants Thompson to be his opposite number. But what he had to say was a wet squib.

    I like how he responded to the construction issue though. And I think I will provide a little morre information shortly that might make his statement a little suspect!

    Willie, are you sure you don’t want to add something. I will give you some time…

  39. Pat

    Velzo, why dont you come clean with what you have. I, being the nosy Bajan that I am, am here on tenderhooks. Dont keep me waiting too long.

    I sympathize with him on the Thompson thing. I get the impression he is a political neophyte. The party rather than giving him some dental business is using him as their spin doctor. I think it is because he commands some respect and is believable. He is not a minister, yet someone in the Ministry of Finance had to release that letter from Thompson. William’s mistake was in making the actual letterhead public rather than stating the contents. I think he needs a good political advisor (or obeah man) if he has hopes of leading the party and NOT engaging in gutter politics. I only hope that if, and when, the government changes, he is not bitten in the ass. What goes around comes around.

  40. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Barbados: Ruling party nominates opposition for a Piggy award

  41. william duguid

    I get very concerned when men want to relate biting to my ass I must obviously be more careful and protective of my assets Ha Ha HA.

  42. Cane-Nine

    That wasn’t funny Billy Boy. Seriously, wha going on with Graeme Hall? I hear dey used to have some crocagaters in dey dat could bite nuff ass.

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