following was posted by this site to Bermuda Free Speech forum:
I have no love or knowledge of
politics at home or abroad (Bermuda) and
tend not to post on the subject. I know my limitations and am too
far removed from Bermuda to have an interest in or familiarity about
affairs of state. I do however have an interest and knowledge of
The latest affair has me intrigued, interested; it involves
$8,000,000 of public money, scandal, politicians and the police. Now
you are speaking my language and bless him, Ewart
appears to be
fuelling the suspicion about his involvement each time he acts or
speaks. If he's not `Bent Brown' he's picking a mighty strange way
of preaching his innocence.
Forgive me if I am wrong but as I understand it Ewrat (Freudian slip –
was not meant to read `you-rat') is named in a scandal, one that
cost Bermudians $8,000,000; that is to say, one heck of a lot of
Bermudians money has gone astray.
The money was in Government coffers. I doubt it sat around as
piles of cash, so there is an account or accounts. Bank accounts
mean transactions, records, bank statements. Even if the money was
withdrawn as cash (and why would it be) there will be records of the
Now if I buy something it is either because I have ordered it, in
which case I will raise a `purchase order', or I nip off down the
shops and buy my goods, in which case I am given a receipt. I check
my account against my receipts each month to make sure something
inappropriate is not going on and to see who many beer tokens remain.
I balance the books. I am the only signatory on my account, so if
there's something amiss it is either because I overspent or there's a
problem I need to resolve.
What did the BHC buy for which there is not an invoice? It cannot be
that hard to reconcile the accounts but I suspect people are daunted
by the sums involved – they should not be. It matters not whether
you buy something for $100 or $100,000 the fact is there should be a
paper trail. So who oversaw the BHC account and who is being held
accountable for not realising something was wrong until $8,000,000
disappeared? How does this sum go missing without notice and why has
no one been held accountable for the `oversight'?
Returning to `Cedar-Beams-Brown' (allegedly), show me the paper
trail for the acquisition of the wood. It's not much to ask. Ewart
is in business, he is no doubt familiar with sales ledgers, invoices
etc. and I note his wife is / was a business person. Surely Ewart
understands accounts; profit and loss? So where's the paperwork?
Renovation work on the Flatts property involves materials, where's
the paperwork? Whoever carried out the renovation should have raised
an invoice for the work and in turn they would expect payment in
settlement. Where's the paperwork? Is it too much to ask for? Why
is it not being produced, why instead are there demands for a police
enquiry, an insistence that the leak is discovered? Could it be that
whilst everyone is looking for the leak, they are not looking for
$8000, 000? As for seeking control of the police, this too diverts
attention from the loss of $8,000,000 ….
Who would want to hand control of the police over to a Government in
respect of whom the police have raised concerns about their ethics,
have been labelled suspects in an investigation and apparently could
have been prosecuted if it were not for antiquated laws? Just why
would a Government riddled with suspects in an $8,000,000 scandal
want control of the police that investigated them …. You don't think
…. Surely not ….
Another thing if, as Ewart says, he is independently wealthy as a
result of his wife, why does he hold two ministries? Why spread
himself so thin and prevent the Bermuda people having a minister that
can devote their time to one ministry? Does he receive two salaries
… $160,000 for each? You can tell I don't follow politics … but
don't tell me he receives a total of $320,000 for the two ministries –
does this sound like someone who is not in it for the money?
As for his house sale. Okay, lucky chap, he got well over asking
price courtesy of, hang on, … the Bermuda public who he is supposed
to serve. If the property was valued at $350,000 (for arguments
sake) and he received $500,000 he did well – though in a free market
one has to question what went astray such that he did profit so
handsomely. BUT … was it right, is it right that he should profit in
this fashion and continue to profit from the arrangement? Did Ewart
really have so little knowledge about the property's worth that he
accepted the sum of $500,000 without question? What concerns me is
not the profit but the source of the funds – I have no objection to
someone selling a property to Joe Public and making a profit (it's
not a dirty word). But when it appears a Government Minster sells
his house to a government quango, what market forces were operating
such that he was able to receive 50% more than it was worth?
The mechanics of the sale need a detailed study, but now the deal is
in the open what does he intend to do about this … continue to
benefit from the situation; continue to retain the $150,000 `bonus'
Ewart must know that the deal appears contrived that he looks
culpable. But what message does his current activity send? If he
looked guilty before, how much more blameworthy does he appear now?
The arrangement stinks. I don't want to hear anything from Ewart
except a detailed explanation and an agreement to make all records
available to an independent enquiry. Politicians place themselves in
the spotlight and should expect to have their personal lives
monitored in the natural course of business. When a scandal, an
unnatural event, such as this breaks and the world's eyes are on
Bermuda, is it really that unreasonable to expect robust calls for
complete disclosure and for this to be granted unconditionally?
Possibly now is not the right time to hand over control of the police
to the Government. It appears someone wants to spill the beans about
the BHC scandal, give themselves up and name names. Can I
respectfully suggest to Ewart that he may want to hold off taking
control of the police for a few days, at least until he finds out
whether the investigation will be reopened and in turn, whether he
and the former suspects are to be reinvestigated. Aside of any
conflict of interest, it would be a little disconcerting, if not
embarrassing, for the police to be interviewing their masters … and
anyway, what's the point of obtaining control unless you know your
Government will be in place long enough to enjoy it?