Two years later, Remembering David Thompson’s election speeches – Part 1

PM Thompson promised Freedom of Information laws within 100 days of election. He lied.

In Opposition, David Thompson talked tough about making the BLP accountable for corruption. Has he done so?

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.”


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

15 responses to “Two years later, Remembering David Thompson’s election speeches – Part 1

  1. Love

    In this perilous global economic environment that Barbados finds itself today, it behoves me as a citizen to give kudos to our esteemed PM David Thompson and his dynamic team of ministers, for so competently managing our affairs over the past 2 years.

    As BFP caused me and will no doubt cause others to reflect on the dismantling of the THIEFFERY as highlighted in the article above, we again revel in the fact that 15 Jan 2008 is a date just as significant as 30 Nov 1966.

    For on both those dates we the citizens of this fair land threw off the yoke of TYRANNY as manifested in the era of COLONIALISM (1966) and BLP THIEFFRERY (2008).

    Upon reflection – since Jan 2008 – the good people of Barbados now find pleasure that the DLP under the steady guidance of PM David Thompson have achieved tremendous success – in so short space of time :

    * An enlightened Immigration policy.
    * Empowering of communities – Constituency
    * Cost of Living relief – Free bus rides for
    schoolchildren .
    * Draft ITAL & FOI legislation.
    * A vibrant Sports Tourism programme – Tennis
    pon the Rock and CLOBI Cup.
    * A safety net for the business community – NIS
    * Over 400 houses built during the height of the
    economic meltdown.
    * Not a single public officer being laid off – the
    GOB is the largest employer in the land.

    Whew, and I can go on Ad Naseum….but I would allow others to add their bit of the good news !

  2. RRRicky

    Where is the draft FOI and ITAL legislation? Vaporware!

    Not a single person charged with a single incidence of corruption even though hundreds of millions were misspent.

  3. broken promises


    Draft ITAL and FOI?

    Let me guess. This legislation will be announced just before the next election but not as an accomplished fact but rather as a promise.

    This spin would make a whirling dervish dizzy.

    The handle should be Love and Deception.

    The cartoon of David and Mia sleeping together comes to mind. Much ado about absolutely nothing.

  4. Hants

    Things the DLP and Thompson failed to achieve.

    A car at every house.

    Full employment.

    Free Electricity.

    Free Gasoline.

    oh shoot. Sorry.

    uh get mix up. Uh was tinking bout Kuwait.
    Besides Andrew Hulsmeir sey I doan live down dey so I gine shut muh mout till uh get vex again.

    As fuh Thompy an de Dems I Hants sey wanna dooin good cause I up hey in real world Kanader eh and we still battlin de recession, de real world USA too so little tiny over populated Babeydus khaan do nuh much betta.

    BFP wanna doing a great job as usual. Licks lef rite an centa.

  5. charl740

    about layoffs ,i think u should check out what is going on in the b.d.f

  6. RRRicky

    DLP Accomplishments

    1/ No transparency for DLP government operations allows continued thefts without public oversight.

    2/ No transparency for past BLP government operations ensures that no BLP politician will be held accountable. Wouldn’t want to establish a bad precedent.

    3/ No Ministerial code that would hamper the issuing of government contracts to friends.

    4/ Continued obfuscation of the CLICO situation with the goal of saving Leroy’s ass.

  7. akabozik

    Hant, BFP didn’t give any licks. BFP only repeated wat Thompson say and that is Thompson giving hisself de licks!

  8. Donald Duck, Esq

    May I remind readers of the various DLP promises taken from their manifesto with relevant reference page numbers categorized between those the DLP promised immediate action and those which they promised to deal with within 100 days ( they did not say from when the 100 days commenced)


    Labour rights legislation ( page 36)

    A new DLP government will move to immediately enact a comprehensive national Labour Rights legislative compendium which will include the following:

     A Full Employment Rights Act
     An Alternative Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Committee
     A Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act
     National minimum wages legislation
     Legislation fully recognizing Trade Unions.

    Approval of capital account transactions (page 25)

    Immediately review the current Central Bank procedures for approving capital account transactions with a view to simplifying and speeding up the approval (or denial) process for restricted transactions.

    Port charges (page 33)

    The DLP pledges to immediately re-examine the Port charges with a view to significantly reducing these to manufacturers as they consider them to be a burdensome cost. They say that tonnage dues are charged twice; – on raw materials when imported and again on finished products when being exported.

    Integrity legislation (page 48)

    Immediately introduce integrity legislation requiring

     a declaration of assets by public officials,
     a Code of Conduct for Ministers,
     a new Freedom of Information law,
     amendments to the Defamation laws and
     new constitutional provisions to rationalize the powers of the Prime Minister.

    Health issues (page 11)

    A new DLP Government will immediately embark on a health promotion campaign to sensitize the public to the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles


    Don’t forget the DLP promises to do the following in the first 100 days

     Introduce the Agriculture Protection Act that will require a 2/3 majority of both houses of parliament for a change of use of land from agriculture.

     Remove VAT from building materials on houses valued up to $400,000.
     convene a National Consultation on Education

    We are now two years on and how much of the above has been implemented!!!

  9. Donald Duck, Esq

    The following is an excerpt from a speech given by the former Prime Minister Owen Arthur at the BLP conference in October 2007 and which deals with corruption. Noted at the end of the excerpt the web site for the UN convention on corruption for reference.

    “I had earlier indicated that there are certain matters concerning the arrangements which constitute part of the unfinished national agenda that we will hope and wish to bring to full fruition in fourth term.

    One concerns the promotion and the eradication of corruption in Barbados.

    This is a matter that has had a long history including systemic engagement by this administration.

    It is not a matter that should be treated as a gimmick or that should be addressed merely by the requirement that persons directly involved in the political arena should declare their income, assets, liabilities and changes in their financial conditions. It must be approached in a comprehensive manner to treat to all forms types of corruption, and draw from international best practice to root it out whenever it occurs.

    There is a Prevention of Corruption Act which came into force in Barbados in 1929 and which obviously bears evidence of that antiquity.

    In 1975 Tom Adams introduced a resolution to parliament calling upon the Government to introduce legislation to compel members of Parliament to disclose their assets. It was referred to a Select Committee on January 20th, 1976 from whence it did not emerge.

    In 1979, Adams introduced the Integrity in Public Life Act. It died in the Senate.

    Throughout all of the tenure of office of the DLP administration there has never been any effort to deal with issues in respect of the prevention of corruption. And this has been so, despite promoting. For on October 20th, 1992, Henry Forde introduced a Resolution to Parliament indicating that the existing law was inadequate to deal with the regulating of integrity in public life, and called for a committee of parliament to formulate proposals for an Integrity Commission. It was not acted upon.

    In our time, we recognise that matters pertaining to corruption and integrity in Public life do not only concern the behaviours of elected officials, but is a wider societal phenomenon that can even have transnational dimensions. It must therefore be approached in holistic and comprehensive way.

    We recognise that knee jerk reactions should not be the way. Rather, we should help to develop and apply best practices that can have both domestic and international validity and application. It is in this context that this administration has been engaged.

    In December 2000, the UN General assembly decided to establish an ad hoc committee for the negotiation of an international legal instrument against corruption.

    This Committee met seven times and Barbados was represented on this committee by Louis Tull, who also served as the CARICOM regional negotiator.

    In December 2003, Mr.Tull represented Barbados at the high level political conference for the purpose of signing the United Nations Convention against corruption, which he did.

    All efforts have since then been directed towards using that UN convention as the basis for preparing new modern legislation in Barbados to fight corruption in all forms and at all levels.

    Since it goes way beyond fighting corruption by elected officials, a series of extensive consultations have been arranged to sensitise all stakeholders and to get it right.

    We had hopes that would by now be in the position to repeal the 1929 Act and replace it by this new modern and comprehensive legislation based on the UN Convention which Sir Louis signed on behalf of the Government and People of Barbados. In the event that it does not reach parliament in this term, it will be the first order of business of the new Labour Party administration in its fourth term.

    The people of Barbados will have a clear choice between accepting a legislative approach to dealing with corruption based on a UN convention negotiated and signed by Sir Louis and the approach by the DLP conceived and articulated by Hartley Henry, based on his experiences in Antigua and put in the mouth of David Thompson.”

    Click to access Convention-e.pdf

  10. reality check

    Donald Duck or Quack Quack

    Yes Donald we know all this but the BLP were no better and in fact much worse.

    Oh for the good old days when we had a chance to create a Republic and make Owen ” Emperor for Life”

  11. huh?

    Love forgot the

    “Wait and see” economic strategy…

    5% contraction in the economy

    Confusion about whether to build a new QEH or not

    No Flyovers! No relief to backing up traffic either!

    While on the topic, the TWICE paid for highway!

    Double digit unemployment

    Complete lack of clarity on what the vaunted “constituency councils” are supposed to actually DO!

    Two events does not make a vibrant “Sports Tourism Programme”. Should we add them the PGA Tour event, Rally Barbados, Banks Hockey Festival, Run Barbados, Mount Gay Regatta, International Polo (and I could go on) that pre dated this administration? Somehow Richard Sealy seems to expect Bajans to believe he invented sports tourism.

    Draft ITAL and FOI legislation? Only people who believe the sports tourism propaganda actually believe this turkey is going anywhere. Thompy promised IMMEDIATE ACTION on this, two years later…. we’re still waiting on the DLP to actually DO something on ITAL and FOI.

    In fact that could be said about much of this government’s performance….

    We’re still waiting on them to actually DO something!

  12. Love

    Donald Quack..please take your quacking backside to the days of yore…

    *When a gov’t MP ran out of the studios of a radio station because he refused to be qusetioned about his accumulation of wealth !

    *When Owen Arthur refused to be transparent & honest by depositing BLP campaign funds into his private bank acccount….unknown to his BLP colleagues !

    * When Liz Thompson can give her boyfriend a contract so that he can reap the benefits as her husband !

    You Donald Duck must be think we Bajans are fools…Public Officers already passd the files to us so we have the information for the period 1994 – 2008 !

    Jackass – Donmald Duck !!!!

  13. Donald Duck, Esq

    Why are my comments still awaiting moderation?


    BFP editor says “dear DD. RTFM”

  14. Donald Duck, Esq

    Reality check

    don’t forget about the promises made in the 2008 budget and which have not yet been delivered

    * Tax of 25% on winnings from gambling activities
    * Tax on cell phones to fund education

  15. BFP

    But Love, when the DLP received the files and the evidence they did nothing to bring the fraudsters to justice.

    That is because the DLP is looking to the future and has forged an informal deal with the BLP: lots of shouting over the “information” as you call it – but no real charges because the DLP doesn’t want reciprocity when they lose government power.

    Two bunches a crooks – just rival gangs – but willing to cooperate in their own interests and not serve the public interest.