Has Sir Richard Lionel Cheltenham KA., KC, Ph.D been called by the Disciplinary Committee of the Barbados Bar Association for grave professional misconduct and is in breach of 22 of the clauses of the Legal Profession Act?
The Barbados legal eagle was ordered by the disciplinary Committee to submit a sworn affidavit to the complaint #31 0f 2020 and appear for the hearing of the complaint. How could such a case escape the media when other attorneys in breach with the same professional misconduct are being prosecuted and imprisoned?
Scott informed the committee that the Sir Richard, summoned called by this court, with status and authority of the High Court, will not be attending the second hearing in March.
The blogmaster understands the matter Everton Cumberbatch versus Larry Tatem, Leroy Parris and Johnny Cheltenham is finally set down to be heard on January 26-27, 2022 in the Barbados Courts. For those who have not read the previous blogs – see links below – this matter was filed in May 2008. Let that sink in!
Although former President of the Senate Johnny Cheltenham whose brother is the Chief Justice was removed from the list of defendants, a matter is pending with the Disciplinary Committees to determine his involvement in the case and if it warrants him being sanctioned and handed to the Court of Appeal for review. The blogmaster understands Cheltenham’s lawyer, one Alrick Scott, attempted to broker a deal to have a document signed that would have shielded Cheltenham in the pending matter. O what a tangle web we weave when we practice to deceive.
One must ask why this matter was permitted to bounce around judges chambers with Justice Sonia Richards the only one to give attention to the matter. One presumes Justice Cornelius would not have had the appetite because it is known she and husband Ralph were privileged to have attended Cheltenham’s wedding in Miami a few years ago and presumed to be friends.
The blogmaster along with interested onlookers await the oral hearing come January next year AND the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee hearing. In Barbados it is known that justice is often delayed and delivered at the slowest pace BUT ultimately a judgement has to come if the persecuted perseveres.
Previous blogs on the matter of Everton Cumberbatch versus Larry Tatem, Leroy Parris and Johnny Cheltenham.
The embedded letter dated 30 January 2019 was sent to the Registrar of the Supreme Court in the matter of Civil Case 99 of 2016 – Clico International Insurance Company (under judicial management) Claimant vs. Leroy Parris First Defendant, Branlee Consulting Services Inc Second Defendant and Estate of David Thompson (acting through duly appointed Personal Representative Marie Josephine Mara Thompson) Third Defendant by senior lawyer Vernon Smith Q.C.
The blogmaster has been reliably informed that to date the Registrar of the Supreme Court – paid with tax dollars – has not seen it proper to reply to the letter. Many in this space will read the letter and be happy to focus on the minutiae of the several issues exposed in the content. The more sensible critique should be the breakdown of the justice system in Barbados. A simple letter to the Registrar that should have triggered a routine response in a 7-day period has stretched to six months. This is not an isolated case.
Today the blogmaster listened to Senator Caswell Franklyn in the Upper Chamber outline the horrific state of the public service. We have to wait for 6 weeks for garbage pickup, we have to tolerate a fleet of 60 buses to serve the country… more importantly we do not have a clear strategy for waste management. This week so far we were subjected to the Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith and the Registrar of the Court Barbara Cooke-Alleyne expressing public disagreement.
CLICO’s Leroy Parris approved a payment to Thompson & Associates on a false invoice
The Deloitte CLICO Forensic Report exposed to the world that a cheque for 3.333 million dollars was paid to Thompson & Associates by CLICO for legal services rendered. The invoice to support the payment was found to be a ‘false invoice’. Maurice King (lawyer) is listed on the fake invoice as providing a watching brief in matters related to Abarco versus Grant Hotels Limited for $250,000. Maurice King is on record denying he provided the service itemized on the (fake) invoice.
Further, in the Forensic Report which was recently unsealed by Justice William Chandler, the former group financial controller, and at the time of the audit, President and CEO of Clico Holdings Barbados Limited Terrence Thornhill confirmed to the Deloitte Auditors the following – “He believed that the creation, approval and submission for payment of a false invoice to facilitate a significant payment from CIL to Mr.Parris’ benefit (via PFS) and to conceal its true nature was an acceptable transaction” (Deloitte’s Forensic Report p.14).
Barbados Underground (BU) sincerely submits there is enough information for Director of Public Prosecutions to ACT!
Since his assets were frozen by the court, the former CLICO boss has lamented that he had been experiencing hardship – Leroy Parris (BT)
The mouth of Mr. Hal Gollop, lead lawyer for Leroy Parris, has been running like a sick nigga botsy of late. His protestations about client Leroy Parris are easily accessed on a weekly basis in the traditional media. How convenient when lawyers and traditional media hide behind the cloak of sub judice to keep the masses ignorant. Our mistake, this is only an interlocutory matter still to be heard!
The CLICO issue is complex and must be delineated within the boundaries of what is legal, moral and political to intelligently inform discussion. Parris and his legal Senior Counsel (SC) to be may yet win the battle to be staged very soon in a law court near you if Gollop’s constitutional motion succeeds, however, the fallout caused by political and moral outrage continues to gain momentum. It appears certain the CLICO issue will bury the political ambition and stain the legacy of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) for eons to come. It rides the back of this government like the proverbial Albatross.
There is a heavy focus on the role former Chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited Leroy Parris played in the demise of the company. The revelations to be found in the CLICO Final Forensic Report UNSEALED should make sensible Barbadians feel ashamed. A listen to the contribution of Edmund Hinkson to the 2015-2016 Estimates Debate would have cemented the feeling. Hinkson was relentless in his assault of the Speaker of the House Michael Carrington by highlighting the immoral act of withholding client’s monies for several years until ordered recently to pay by a Barbados High Court. During the assault Michael Carrington occupied the Chair. What a farce!
The other embarrassment Barbadians have to suffer is to observe prominent members of society who served as directors on the Board of CLICO Barbados allowed to go about their business without being called to account. One of many functions a Board of Directors has, is to ensure a robust governance framework is established to guide quality decision-making by the management team. Reconciling the findings of the recently unsealed forensic report and the role of the Board of Directors continues to be a challenge if the CLICO mess is to be viewed through a corporate governance lense.
BU seeks clarification, in the public’s interest, on a 5 millions dollar deposit listed on an asset disclosure to the Barbados Court in an Affidavit filed by LEROY PARRIS to overturn an order freezing his assets and those of Branlee Consulting Services Inc. BU is unaware the Central Bank of Barbados is authorized to accept deposits from individuals. Last week David Ellis, a friend of Governor Delisle Worrell, asked the same question on national radio. To date the question, not surprisingly, remains unanswered.
In May 2012 BU posted on the matter Everton Cumberbatch Versus Leroy Parris, Larry Tatem and Breakers Investment IncCase number”2008/770. Arising from the law suit one gleans that Leroy Parris has access to monies which he is the beneficial owner lodged in offshore accounts totalling in the million of dollars.
In todays Sunday Sun we learned of a case where Leroy Parris has applied to the High Court of Barbados to overturn an order freezing his assets and those of his company Branlee Consulting Services Inc. In his Affidavit to support the application Parris listed assets as a residence at #8 Dayrells Heights, St. Michael valued $3.5 million; property at #243 Crystal Heights, St. Michael $1.5 million; Lots #’s 403, 404, 601, at Crystal Heights valued at $1.5 million; Lot 7 Dayrells Heights valued at $450,000; three lots at #’s 17,18,19 at Sentinel Gardens. Barrack, Christ Church; and lot 15 at Westmorland, St. James valued at $2.2 million. In addition accounts were listed at Scotiabank and the Central Bank totalling $12 million dollars.
Embattled Leroy Parris flanked by Chis Sinckler, minister of finance and Hal Gollop QC, Parris’ lawyer on the campaign trail in 2013
The failure of CLICO and other failures in the Eastern Caribbean require regional governments to implement a whistleblower policy. It is evident regional regulators are more committed to managing within national boundaries therefore pan Caribbean companies will continue to be a challenge. BU believes a whistleblower program facilitated by Caricom can act as an ancillary mechanism to support the function of moribund regional regulators. The lack of labour mobility in the Caribbean means individuals are not motivated to risk personal financial hardship and victimization in the name of doing what is ethical and moral.
The following comments were posted in another forum by individuals purporting to be Neval Greenidge and Larry Davis, both former CLICO executives. There is always the case to question the motives of former employees in a situation like the one unravelling with CLICO. In light of what has transpired all actors who played a part should be clinically interrogated to accurately piece together the truth behind the demise of CLICO Barbados Holdings and subsidiary companies.
Former Prime Minister David Thompson (l) Former Chairman CLICO Holdings B’dos Ltd rumoured to be local partners in Cost-U-Less
The news that the Deloitte Judicial Manager has taken action to recover $3.3. million dollars paid to Leroy Parris via Thompson & Associates has flushed out Laroy Parris and his credentialed lawyers Hal Gollop QC and Vernon Smith QC. BU will not be side-tracked by the theatre that will be orchestrated around this matter about how $3.3 millions dollars found its way into the deep pocket of former Executive Chairman of CLICO Leroy Parris. What some of us want to know is if there is consensus the invoice generated to support the $3.3. million payment is legitimate and whether taxes and relevant laws have been honoured. Does Parris and his lawyers dispute the findings of Deloitte Judicial Forensic Report on the matter?
A story that is a blight on the landscape of Barbados and will never grows old – Blogmaster
Dear Mr. Leacock,
I am a citizen and taxpayer of Barbados. I am also a pension actuary.
My fundamental responsibility, as an actuary, is to provide services skilfully and competently, to operate with integrity, and to uphold and protect the public trust. I believe your chosen profession has imposed similar responsibilities upon you. By definition, therefore, whenever the public trust is involved, your objectives and mine are always convergent.
For the past couple of years, I have watched in dismay as pieces of information doled out for public consumption revealed how a major life insurance company operating in Barbados was stripped of almost four hundred million dollars of its assets.
Barbadian observers have recoiled in sheer disgust and anger as evidence from reliable sources suggest that our laws were systematically and disdainfully trampled by a group of persons, some of whom masqueraded as executive managers of the ill-fated insurance company, and some of whom pretended to be statesmen.
In the business section of BBC of 19 June 2013 there was a headline Deloitte gets one-year New York ban. In the world of global finance it represented a routine report given the vagaries of how business is done today. Then it dawned on the author to question – why is it regulators in Barbados are never driven to censor the entities which they regulate? Is the corporate climate in Barbados so principled as to avoid the censure from those with oversight?
Then there is the association to be made between Deloitte, who is the Judicial Manager of CLICO and PriceWaterhouse (PWC), who acted before as external auditors for CLICO Barbados. Why have we not been asking robust questions of PWC? It seems all of the focus has been directed at Leroy Parris, and yes he should be held to account given his fiduciary role. However, if we want to fully prove what led to the demise of one of the largest privately own conglomerates in the Caribbean, we need to cast the net far and wide.
Mr Hal Gollop QC filed an action for defamation against the Nation which pre-dates the Parris action. The law firm of Carrington and Sealy acts for the Nation and Mr Vernon Smith QC is acting for Mr Gollop.
The essence of the complaint is that on January 07, 2013, the Nation captured and published the photograph which is the subject of dispute. Reasonable conclusion, the Nation was the author and the holder of copyright of the photograph. The BLP subsequently used the photograph and caption in their campaign. Thus, Mr Gollop has also advanced a claim of conspiracy against the Nation and the BLP.
Barbadians were treated recently to the news that the enigmatic Chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Leroy Parris who was deposed when the bottom fell out of the CLICO parent company in Trinidad has filed a legal action against the Nation, Barbados Advocate and Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Parris would not have made the top 200,000th popular person list in Barbados prior to his recent court action. Now that he has filed the action his position is likely to slide to 250,000th.
Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica – photo credit: Dominica News
On 27 April 2013 Barbados Underground (BU) posted the blog Who Are the Local Partners in Cost-U-Less?. Although the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit has denied the word making the rounds that he is a local shareholder, BU defends our right to ask questions of Skerrit or anyone in the interest of providing clarification.
In the interest of providing further clarification it should be noted that the Companies Act Cap 308 places sole responsibility of managing the company in the hands of the Directors. What this means is that unless a shareholder choses to be a Director the public is left to speculate who are the shareholders. The Act is drafted to protect the Shareholder who – if not a Director – has no say in the conduct of the company.
BU reiterates our position taken in the original blog, in the interest of transparency the other names mentioned (Hartley Henry, the Estate of David Thompson and Leroy Parris) should state publicly whether they have an interest in Cost U Less (CUL). The government has approved significant concessions to CUL and given the names mentioned the public has a right to know. It should be noted that Pricesmart has since denied receiving similar concessions. Also at the time of launch it was widely reported that David Staples represented local shareholder interest. Perhaps in the interest of protecting its goodwill CUL should make a public statement stating who are the local shareholders.
Late Prime Minister David Thompson (l) disgraced former Chairman of CLICO Holdings B’dos Ltd rumoured to be local partners in Cost-U-Less
We do not charge membership fees and believe we can offer low prices to Barbados shoppers, just as we have in our most recent store opening in the Cayman Islands, which was also a partnership with local business people
It has been almost five years from the time of the announcement Cost U Less Maybe Coming To Barbados that it launched in Barbados. However, based on consumer feedback the wait has been in vain. It has been two months since launch and Barbadians continue to wait for the low prices promised. Before the coming of Cost-U-Less the Trinidadians, who now have a vice grip on our food retail and distribution channels, had promised Barbadian consumers the same, that is, we would benefit from economies of scale created by a larger T&T market.
Barbados now finds itself in a situation where we have a new entrant to an already competitive retail food sector. And it has not demonstrated any appreciable price differentiation in its offering. Sad to say the inevitable must follow. We created 200 jobs with the coming of Cost-U-Less but SuperCentre and DacostaMannings, owned by the Trinidadians, continue to send home employees.
There is a healthy interest by Barbadians in the CLICO Affair as in unfolds in the T&T parent market. A catastrophic failure of local and regional regulatory and political systems. Listen to searching interview by Fazeer Mohammed (known more in Barbados as a cricket commentator) and Afra Raymond, a vocal Trinidadian commentator leading the effort for transparency in the CLICO matter.
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank/ Watchdog Group
Owen Arthur, Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley MP, Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
The so-called silly season is upon us. Once more, sooner or later, Barbadians will elect a new BLP/DLP government. Or a new DLP/BLP government. It’s six of one and half dozen of the other.
We can predict that none of the manifestos will contain any of the following:
(a) Radical reform of the educational system and the abolishment of the elitist Eleven Plus Exam, which continues to condemn our children to the equivalent of social and economic gas chambers.
(b) Neither will contain the slightest reference to genuine worker/employee participation in company profits. We have mega businesses that either giving the workers peanuts or nothing at all in terms of real ownership.
(c) Neither will touch land reform that will guarantee perpetual state ownership by the citizens of Barbados. The BLP/DLP has sold our prime land to the highest bidders. On the other hand a few rich locals control most if not all arable land.
Sir Richard Cheltenham (l) Leroy Parris (c) Larry Tatem (r)
A response to BU’s earlier blog – The Everton Cumberbatch Versus Leroy Parris, Larry Tatem And Breakers Investment Inc Matterwas a cry to have sight of the documents for the defendants. We are pleased to post additional documents which shine light on the other side of this matter. We highly recommend that the BU family read these documents which give insight into how the prominent and ‘deep pockets’ in our society operate. The affidavit of Leroy Parris is of particular interest and instructive in this regard.
Sir Richard Cheltenham (l) Leroy Parris (c) Larry Tatem (c)
On March 16, 2012, BU posted the Leroy Parris The Litigant blog. BU has now had sight of the Plaintiff (Everton Cumberbatch’s) Affidavit in support of his action. While not in any way taking a position on the affidavit, BU found it to be a fascinating read and highly recommend it to the BU family.
BU also post the Judgement of the High Court in a motion by the Defendants (Leroy Parris, Larry Tatem, The Breakers Investment Inc) to have the matter discontinued and struck out, in which the Defendants failed.
The action refers to, in the main, the Companies Act Cap. 308 of the Laws of Barbados, Section 228. This section specifically deals with Oppression of the rights of members and officers and charge-holders of a company. We quote one small portion of Section 228:
The following was submitted by a concerned Barbadian who prefers to remain anonymous – Barbados Underground
It really is about time that every effort is made to bring some sanity back into the operations of the Nation Newspaper and deflect it from the path it has embarked upon. In its present state the newspaper is no more than a scandal sheet whose main agenda seems to be doing no more than creating sensation, much of which is anti government, and in the process breaking all the rules of propriety.
Some time recently one of the lawyers for Mr Leroy Parris of CLICO upon whom they have been waging a personal vendetta, went on national television to complain about two articles which the newspaper published . The first suggested that his client had gone ” MISSING ” in an effort to avoid being served process by a Marshall of the Supreme Court; the second “SERVED” referred to the first article and suggested that his client had gone overseas and also imputed that this was in his attempt to avoid being brought before the court on a CRIMINAL charge. Mr Parris’ lawyer made it very clear that he was informed that the CHIEF MARSHALL had no record of any failure by any Marshall to serve Mr Parris. In addition, the marshal for the area had confirmed that he had neither tried nor failed to execute service on Mr Parris. He also informed that his client had refuted any claim that he had left the island; in fact he had not left the island for months .
Finance Minister, Christopher Sinckler with Board members of the Financial Services Commission. Others, from left, are: Felton Burton, Professor Frank Alleyne, Lawson Yearwood, Virginia Mapp, Sir Neville Nicholls and Jefferson Cumberbatch - Photo Credit: Advocate
The unravelling CLICO Mess has the potential to reshape how business is done in Barbados and possibly the Caribbean. For the transformation to occur the Fourth and Fifth Estates must play a lead role. The facts of the this case must be presented to the public in an unbiased manner.
The political class in Barbados is in cover-your-ass-mode but here is some of what we know about the CLICO Mess so far:
If the Late David Thompson was alive he would have to answer a few ‘hard’ questions, for example, why did Thompson & Associates generate an invoice for 3.3 million dollars which a forensic report suggests Leroy Parris was the beneficiary?
Both political parties have contributed to the weak regulatory framework which governed the insurance industry in the pre-CLICO British American collapse period
As a boy at secondary school my love for the arts drew me in an astounding way to the Masterpiece called “A Psalm Of Life” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Today from that Masterpiece I borrow the excerpt “Things are not always what they seem.” Is there any other way to digest the disgusting display of dishonesty, magnified by the simple fact that thousands of us in this person reposed our trust? This CLICO mess is shameful. It is scandalous. God knows that it is also felonious.
For too long the poor folk in our little country have taken it up the wazoo from persons who view their participation in politics as a path to riches. We as a people have always acceded to their ways for in times past, issues like this CLICO master con were raging fires on the political platform, the embers of which were quenched by the thrill of victory by one or the other.
If we are to judge from the back and forth in recent days there is the suggestion that a window of opportunity supported by the Pinochet Case (I,II) favours Leroy Parris. Is the claim that Leroy Parris and company had full knowledge of Patrick Toppin’s role as Receiver for Plantations Holdings – a subsidiary of CL Financial – and failed to challenge when along with Oliver Jordan they were appointed Judicial Managers to unravel The CLICO Mess? Did the onus of such disclosure rest with Patrick Toppin as a professional bonded to uphold the ethics of the accounting profession? Bear in mind lawyers for Toppin have subsequently confirmed he disclosed his role to the Supervisor of Insurance and Minister of Finance. It is unclear if similar disclosure was made to the Courts which have jurisdiction in the matter.
For the benefit of BU family who have demonstrated a healthily interest in the legal component of the argument. Here is the Pinochet Case dissected:
Senator Peter Gilkes (l) with the late Prime Minister David Thompson
BU received the following communication where the author seeks to warn about the CLICO chess matched being played in the game which BU has labelled The CLICO Mess. We take this opportunity to advise BU will continue to guard the identity of our many sources.
Barbadians need to look at substance over form: Is Mr Toppin not of adequate skill and competence to perform in the role of Judicial Manager? Kindly note that it was Deloitte Consulting that was appointed as Judicial Manager with Oliver Jordan and Patrick Toppin as representatives. Ironically, of the two representatives it is Mr Jordan who has been the person leading these efforts thus far.
The Court approved of Deloitte Consulting as Judicial Managers in Barbados, The courts in the majority of the OECS territories were CLICO International Life operated appointed Deloitte Consulting as well. Does this tell you that the courts in all these territories were also deficient/negligent in their duties in appointing Deloitte Consulting as Judicial Manager??? I do not believe this to be the case.
The following has been delivered from a usual reliable BU source. BU has taken the decision to publish in the interest of pursuing transparency and truth in what can be labelled The CLICO Mess.
It has become public knowledge that the Judicial Management team has compiled its Report on the CLICO matter. However, BU has been alerted that this Report might not see the light of day because of a very fundamental legal obstacle. It has become known to Mr Parris’ legal advisers that one of the Managers charged with the production of the said said Report pursuant to the work it has been doing is MR PATRICK TOPPIN .
This is a very significant fact. Mr Toppin was a former employee of CLICO until he was DISMISSED by the Company then under the management of Mr Parris . It has also become known that there was a subsequent legal battle between the two. The informed view now being expressed is that against this background, Mr Toppin should have recused himself from acting as an official in ANYTHING to do with CLICO far more to act as a member of a judicial management team which could possibly pass judgment on the company . We have been advised that at the heart of the matter is the requirement for any such body like the Judicial Management team to observe the RULES OF NATURAL JUSTICE ; the particular rule being the RULE AGAINST BIAS .
Minister John Boyce having a drink in the company of Leroy Parris at Valery yesterday
In March 15, 2011 BU wrote about the insensitivity demonstrated by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, to be caught publicly sipping champagne in the company of former Chairman of CLICO Holdings Leroy Parris; he was all smiles on that occasion in the Sandy Lane Box on Gold Cup Day. Yet another minister is caught in the company of Leroy Parris at the launch of the Valery high rise housing project yesterday 8/11/2011).
It is a free country and ministers are free to fraternize with whosoever they please. However one would have thought with the CLICO Saga raging and a hotbed issue, ministers in government especially would show some modicum of commonsense and sensitivity indifference to policyholders who stand to lose significant lifesavings. So far the Deloitte judicial managers continue to search out the best way forward.
Where ignorance is bliss it should be exposed. Media reports confirmed that Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart along with Ministers Michael Lashley and Richard Sealy were in attendance at Valerie but appeared to have exercised better judgement to avoid being caught out. Kudos to Nation photographer Nigel Browne for the Kodak moment.
Somebody needs to give Leroy Parris some advise. Whether you feel you have done nothing wrong in your former capacity as Chairman of CLICO Holdings there is something called commonsense, please exercise some. Why would you want to keep a high profile position at this time?
To further rub salt in the wounds of aggrieved CLICO and BAICO policyholders we understand he is about to change his Mercedez.
Has any serious discussion been given to the news that the office of the Supervisor of Insurance has had to manage a backlog of cases going back to the year 2000? Given the role of that office juxtaposed with the financial stability Barbadians love to boast about it is God’s mercy Barbados has not suffered any major insurance catastrophe -that is until now. We cannot ignore the fact the inefficiency of the office spans a time when both political parties held the reins of government. BU is aware the Office of Supervisor of Insurance has never been held in high regard by principals in the insurance industry, bear in mind this is the office charged under the Laws of Barbados to regulate the insurance industry in Barbados.
Against the foregoing it is not surprising the former Chairman of Clico Holdings Leroy Parris would not have felt pressure to comply with a mandate from the supervisor of insurance which ordered Clico Life Insurance to stop selling the controversial Executive Flexible Premium Annuities. The matter was the subject of a police investigation and the file has been handed over to the Director of Public Prosecutors (DPP) for his consideration whether to press charges in the matter. Barbadians and others will await the DPP’s decision with interest. On the face of it it seems an open and shut case, Clico life under the direction of Leroy Parris deliberately violated an order from the insurance regulator. He afterwards demonstrated unfathomable ignorance by admitting it publicly.
BU has been sympathetic to how the government attempted to manage Clico at the start of the crisis. Many turned it into a political matter and the visible relationship between late Prime Minister David Thompson and Leroy Parry did not make the issue any easier to manage. A couple years later the final piece of the puzzle remains to be fixed, the disposal of Clico life insurance as a going concern.
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.
As I said in an earlier post there is no way that the DLP was going to throw Parris under the bus, however I never anticipated that the PM would have openly given him the kind on support that he gave today. As Crusoe said ASTOUNDING! So where does this leave us ? Who is [sic] going to support average Barbadians who have [sic] their life savings in CLICO ? My view on this is that an election close at hand and Stuart will not be seeking re-election[sic] after all he has qualified for PM pension already so why hurt is head trying to fix this debacle that is why he was so careless in his speech today. He could not in all honesty expect to regain his seat after that showing so he must be bowing out – Watching
BU is on record that Prime Minister Fruendel made an error by not calling a general election after the death of David Thompson. His explanation as to why he did not rings of political naiveté which does not bode well for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) heading into a general election in a recessionary climate. If the political landscape gives an advantage then is should be accepted and exploited with the ruthlessness that it deserves. The irony for some is that Stuart represents himself as a student of history, recent history supports the view that if former Prime Minister Owen Arthur had called the general election when Thompson and Mascoll were warring the DLP would still be warming the opposition benches.
With a general election constitutionally due in two years Stuart would have been forgiven if he had called a general election to refresh the mandate. The analysis of the last general election suggests that the public profile of David Thompson loomed large. Six months after Thompson’s death Stuart continues to manage a cabinet handed to him by Thompson. The longer he remains inert on the issue of manhandling his men the more it becomes fodder for the opposition and stokes the perception he is dithering on the job.
Former President of CLICO Holdings Barbados socializing with Minister of Finance on Gold Cup Day at the Garrison Savannah
A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. BU will not ascribe any meaning to the picture which appears on the back page of the Nation newspaper today (8 March 2011), other than to suggest it smacks of insensitivity on the part of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler. No doubt Nation reporter Gercine Carter, credited with the picture, could not believed her luck for what can be surely be described as a ‘kodak moment’.
The CLICO issue has become a concern given its implication for local and regional economies, especially at a recessionary time. We should not forget British American which is owned by CLICO parent CL Financial. CLICO and its figurehead, until recently, in the personage of Leroy Parris has become one of the most politically charged discussion ‘pieces’ in recent months. We are where we are because of a lethargy which the Office of Insurance and the political directorate have exercised over CLICO which spans several years. Despite the foregoing the government of the day has the responsibility to manage the CLICO problem with minimum fallout to Barbadians. Who can envy the government at this time!
Of late the concern for BU has morphed to the issue of allowing Leroy Parris to remain as Chairman of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). BU respects Leroy Parris for what he has been able to achieve, big chip on his shoulder not withstanding. In many ways his ‘rags to riches’ story bears a parallel to that of Cyril Duprey, who was able to build a financial empire which had Colonial Life Insurance at its foundation from a relatively humble beginning. The fact that Parris is still able to command an invitation to Sandy Lane’s Box on Gold Cup Day speaks to how he has position himself on the social ladder in Barbados.