Lesson #492 why the DLP won’t pass Integrity Legislation and political financing rules. Ever.
Barbados PM protecting one of the DLP’s prime financial backers.
Like Finance Minister Sinckler, our accidental Prime Minister Freundel Stuart just doesn’t get it or doesn’t care about Integrity Legislation, Conflicts of Interest and the optics of senior Ministers of Government cavorting with someone who at the very least is at the center of a scandal involving billions of dollars missing, and who should be under serious investigation.
But it’s okay because Leroy Parris is “a long-time friend and a one-time client” – not to mention a major financial supporter of the Democratic Labour Party. Oh… Stuart didn’t mention that financial support to the DLP, did he?
Prime Minister Stuart says it doesn’t help the CLICO situation to try to exploit a photograph of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler talking to Parris (photo above) at the just run Gold Cup horse racing event. Stuart doesn’t mention that the photo was taken at a private little gathering where ordinary folks weren’t invited. He tries to make it like they just bumped into each other on the street.
So according to Prime Minister Stuart, victims and taxpayers should just shut up about CLICO conflicts of interest and if they don’t, the PM will blame the victims when they receive pennies or nothing on their “investments”.
That’s quite a different response than taken by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, that set up a Commission of Enquiry to look into the CL Financial – CLICO debacle: including the examination of how relationships, conflicts of interest and election financing concerns contributed to the collapse.
What is it that causes Mr. Stuart to tell ordinary Barbadians that the relationship between government and Leroy Parris is none of their business?
Is it “honour amongst thieves” and all that? Or is it that Leroy Parris and CLICO funded the DLP election campaign that saw David Thompson made Prime Minister? Is it a combination of factors all working together that causes Mr. Stuart to tell ordinary Barbadians that the relationship between government and Leroy Parris is none of their business?
Ladies and gentlemen of the Democratic Labour Party: please excuse us for bothering you. Please continue to enjoy your champagne, lobster pate and your close relationship with the people who stole our future. Sorry for mentioning it. Truly.
Here’s the latest slap in the face of ordinary Bajans from our Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart. Please read it at The Nation, but as usual we’ll reprint it here because they change history every so often at that newspaper…
Prime Minister Stuart: Parris a pal
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says he’s prepared to let the law take its course with regard to the $10 million lawsuit filed by former chairman Leroy Parris against CLICO.
But, in making his contribution to the 2011-2012 Estimates debate in the House of Assembly yesterday, Stuart also made it clear that he was not about to shun Parris.
In fact, he described Parris as a long-time friend and a one-time client who was definitely not a “leper”.
“I don’t disown him. He’s not a leper. I don’t agree with everything he does. I have never agreed with everything he’s done, but like all other Barbadians he has worked his way up and he has had his ups and downs. But he is not a leper,” the Prime Minister said.
Stuart also noted that if “that estimable gentleman has sued the company for which he has worked, that is a matter the judges will decide”.
Stuart said he himself had a vested interest in CLICO’s recovery and success, and that it would not help to try to exploit a photograph of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler talking to Parris at the just run Gold Cup horse racing event.
Earlier this month, lawyers for Parris filed writs in the High Court claiming more than $10 million from CLICO Holdings (Barbados) and CLICO International Life Insurance.
According to one writ, to date Parris received about $3.5 million from the company starting with a payment of just over $3.5 million in January 2009 and four payments of $30 000 each last year, the last being paid November 24.
The Prime Minister told MPs that if CLICO had been the only conglomerate to experience collapse in the last two years, he would join in the criticism but he had also seen prestigious companies in North America and Europe fall.
He said the Government was committed “to ensuring that at the level of principal . . . ‘pal’ not ‘ple’ . . . the commitment of the Government is to ensure that people get their principal investments in CLICO. I do not resile from that”.