BU has made the call already but sometimes one has to be as strident as one can be to be heard above the din. BU is absolutely clear in light of recent events that Leroy Parris must resign from the board of directors of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) with immediate effect. Each day that passes his tenure represents an embarrassment to the people of Barbados. The fact he was forced to resign as director of CLICO last week would have come as a surprise to many. Commonsense if nothing else should have guided all right thinking people to have viewed his retention on the CLICO board as a stupid.
More than most BU has defended Parris and CLICO in the past for what both have achieved, often times having to confront severe challenges. The failure of the Office of Supervisor of Insurance and politicians positioning personal above national interest has seen the demise of a regional (and international) company which has been a beacon of success. The achievement would have been all the more satisfying to many in the Caribbean because it was built because of the vision of a Black man, Cyril Duprey. While the focus is on the financial implication of the CLICO, there is a psychological factor which has not even been discussed by social scientists.
The action by Parris to sue CLICO Holdings for 10 million dollars informed our position to call for the resignation of Parris from the CBC. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart explained – not with his usual eloquence – in parliament that it is Parris’ right to do what he wants. It is the right of the people to expect that he should resign from a state agency with good reason. By suing CLICO Holdings Parris is de facto suing the people of Barbados. CLICO Holdings is the legal entity which has umbrella responsibility for all CLICO interest in Barbados. Although CLICO is a private company there is an acceptance or so it seems from the ‘talk’ that the government will participate in some form of a bailout. By Parris’ decision to sue he has ‘spat’ in the faces of all Barbadian taxpayers. Yes indeed it is his right to sue but to refer to the more politically versed response of Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, Parris would or should have weighed the fallout from any action he has taken.
The naiveté which the government continues to demonstrate when dealing with Leroy Parris is mind boggling. One would have though the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) could have taken the opportunity to jettison the political dead weight which Paris has obviously become with the passing of the late Prime Minister. Instead we had Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart giving root to the public perception that Parris has the DLP by the short and curlies. A perception based on the view that a CLICO led by Parris has contributed heavily to past DLP campaigns. The result will be that the negative weight of Parris and CLICO has been transferred to his administration like an athlete would in a 4 X 100 relay.
Oh no Parris must go!