“Listening to Mia Mottley and Owen Arthur, one would think that the CLICO affair is entirely a DLP problem. The BLP want the populace to forget about the 14 years they were responsible for letting Parris and CLICO run wild and roughshod over the interests of Barbados…”
The close family and business relationship between our current Prime Minister David Thompson and former CLICO mis-director Leroy Parris is well known and the subject of numerous BFP articles and cartoons.
Leroy Parris is Godfather to one of Thompson’s daughters and Thompson is Godfather to Leroy’s son. Leroy Parris is a longtime financial and political supporter of David Thompson and the DLP. David Thompson also did lawyering for Parris and CLICO for years and years.
It was and still is a cosy relationship where Parris looked after Thompson during the Opposition years, supplying money to grease the DLP political wheels and lucrative jobs to Thompson’s law firm. He provided Thompson with connections, other clients and perks like the use of the CL Financial corporate jet and I’m not only talking about the trips that are publicly known and covered in BFP’s articles.
In return when elected Prime Minister, Thompson provided millions in bailout bucks when CLICO collapsed and made sure there was no independent judicial oversight once the trouble became known. When things went all to hell for Parris, Thompson gave him a cushy job as head of the CBC – Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation. Once in charge of the CBC, Parris worked with Thompson’s former campaign communications director (now a CBC employee), Reudon Eversley, to make the news organization effectively an arm of the DLP government.
As an example of what they can accomplish when they put their minds to it, the CBC covered the Sam Lord’s Castle fire on the night it burned, but haven’t mentioned it since! Neither have they performed anything but perfunctory reporting on the CLICO – CL Financial collapse. One doesn’t have to be clairvoyant to see the DLP and Leroy Parris agenda in CBC’s reporting. Thanks to Parris and Thompson, the organisation’s credibility is at an all-time low.
Naturally, the BLP are upset that Parris was put in charge of the CBC and BLP spokespersons rightfully remind the voters of this fact whenever they can. But the BLP conveniently forget that they were great friends with Parris too. Listening to Mia Mottley and Owen Arthur, one would think that the CLICO affair is entirely a DLP problem.
The BLP want the populace to forget about the 14 years they were responsible for the non-oversight of CLICO – when the BLP let Parris and CLICO run wild and roughshod over the interests of Barbados.
To put some context to the current BLP complaints against Parris and the CBC, let’s read what then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur had to say about Parris and CLICO…
“The growth and transformation of Clico in Barbados has been impressive . . . . Clearly it has been achieved in large measure by the financial resources Clico has been in a position to deploy . . . . I also have no doubt that the large and impressive investments that it is poised to bring on stream in Barbados have been inspired by its conviction that such clarity of purpose, soundness of policy and a climate of confidence will continue well into the future,”
…Then Prime Minister Owen Arthur speaking in 2007 as reported in The Nation article CLICO on course
You should read The Nation article at their website, but Barbados Free Press will reprint the entire piece here because that newspaper sometimes changes history by removing articles or re-writing them without notice.
Clico on course
Published on: 6/4/07.
by WENDY BURKE
CLICO’S PLANS for a golf course at Bath, St John, fall squarely within Government’s plans to develop the south-east of Barbados.
Speaking during the company’s Gala Awards ceremony at Sherbourne Conference Centre Saturday night under the theme, Embracing Diverse Communities, Prime Minister Owen Arthur said such a facility would not only create new earning capacity and provide employment, but would ably serve Barbadians living in that area as well as tourists holidaying at Villa Nova and Sam Lord’s Castle; both projects which Clico is undertaking.
Arthur congratulated Clico on its success.
“The growth and transformation of Clico in Barbados has been impressive . . . . Clearly it has been achieved in large measure by the financial resources Clico has been in a position to deploy . . . . I also have no doubt that the large and impressive investments that it is poised to bring on stream in Barbados have been inspired by its conviction that such clarity of purpose, soundness of policy and a climate of confidence will continue well into the future,” said Arthur.
He said Clico was proposing to set up the golf course on 300 acres of Government land and the future path of private sector capital investment lay in the seizing of the vast opportunities to modernise the south-east corridor of Barbados.
He said there were spectacular vistas in St John, St Joseph and St Philip.
Arthur said the BDS$200 million restoration and development at Sam Lord’s would also be of tremendous impact on that landscape.
He suggested Clico should take the old house on the property and through a joint public/private sector project, turn the property into something which both parties could make good use of.
“Make it into a protocol house that can be leased to the Government for official activity as well as to give Sam Lord’s the ability to be able to entertain high-powered executives who need protocol facilities,” said Arthur.
Meanwhile, president of Clico International Life, Geoffrey Brewster, said work would start soon on the 250-room five-star hotel and 200 condominiums, with the ground-breaking in August.
Chairman of Clico Leroy Parris, speaking after he received a Gold Award for the innovation he had shown in moving the company forward, said they would also be enhancing Villa Nova in St John.
“Villa Nova is under renovation. We are putting in 16 more rooms, and that is starting from next week, to move it up to 44. We are giving you what you ask for; give me what I want,” he told Prime Minister Owen Arthur with respect to the golf course.