As we approach the second anniversary of the election of David Thompson’s DLP government, we thought it would be appropriate to revisit some of then Opposition Leader David Thompson’s speeches and promises.
There’s really little need for us to comment on the situation two years later. We’ll let our readers do that as they try to reconcile what was said then, and what Thompson has done in the two years since.
You can read the full version of Thompson’s big “Owen Arthur Cheque” speech at the two-years-dead DLP blog.
Here are a few excerpts from that speech…
“In 1993 Owen Arthur cried on national television that he could not get a job and he could not make ends meet. He said he could not live in Barbados, because he was less than a man in his own house.
Tonight, many rate him among the 10 top wealthiest men in Barbados…and certainly, the wealthiest leader in the Caribbean.
I allude to his wealth, because we are in the middle of a general election campaign and Owen Arthur appear to like general election campaigns. He has the temerity tonight to be engaging the Democratic Labour Party on the issue of campaign financing.”
“The DLP has cited numerous examples in recent years of questionable financial dealings on the part of this government. We have all heard of the more than $750 million in cost overruns racked up by this government. Those of us close enough to Owen Arthur can draw the connection between his perceived astronomical increase in wealth and the procurement policies of this government.”
“I would believe that Hallam Nicholls, a frighteningly close friend of Owen Arthur, has benefited directly from in excess of $30 million of government procurement business over the last decade. “
“Johnnie Cochrane, in recalling his business exploits and experiences in the Caribbean, recalled how he was introduced to other Caribbean countries and Caribbean leaders and found it a pleasure doing business elsewhere.
But, he said to me, he had never encountered such shrewd negotiators as Barbadians. Cochrane spoke of a near six-hour meeting that took place in a hotel room in Washington where the failure of his company to agree to a demanded commission on all ticket sales in Barbados, would have led to the East Caribbean Lottery not being granted a license to set up business in Barbados.
In other words, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am saying tonight that someone in Barbados benefited to the tune of 4.25 per cent or, in practical terms, eight cents from every ticket bought by Barbadians during the time that the East Caribbean lottery was operating in Barbados.
I am saying further tonight that it is known to the person who has benefited that at least one member of this party is in possession of that information and that is why that person is the target of abuse on a nightly basis from the platform of the Barbados Labour Party.”
“While the Barbados Labour Party on one side of their mouth criticize gambling, I want them to tell the country about the 4.25 per cent commission that was made a standing order to the secret account of a high flying official of the Barbados Labour Party.”