MP Dunkley: Questions About Brussels Office

January 26, 2019

[Updated] “Government has seen fit to cut the ribbon and open the office without appropriate details that are important for the public to know,” Michael Dunkley said following the opening of the overseas office in Brussels.

His comments follow after Premier David Burt officially opened Bermuda’s new Overseas Office in Brussels, and announced that Renee Webb will serve as the Brussels representative.

“I am pleased to announce that the Hon. Renee Webb, Former Minister of the Government of Bermuda will serve as our Brussels representative,” the Premier said yesterday. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in European Affairs and I am confident she will accomplish the goal of deepening ties.”

The opening of the new office in Brussels

Brussels Office January 2019 TC

Michael Dunkley, the former Premier who currently serves as an MP, said, “Once again transparency and accountability seem to have gone out the window with the PLP Government.

“This hiring has been rumored for some time and the PLP Government has seen fit to cut the ribbon and open the office without appropriate details that are important for the public to know.”

“Any Government should be able to easily justify the need to hire staff and you would expect the net to be cast widely to see who is available, what experience and skill set the person has, and how the applicant can fit into what is required.”

“Many questions need to be answered; what has Government done to fill this position? Have they advertised it? How many applicants were there? What is the job description? What is the length of contract, annual compensation and benefits? What is the annual budget for the office? Will other staff be hired?

“Until these and other questions are answered it seems this could be a friends and family plan part II as it is well known that Dr Webb is a former PLP MP and Minister.”

“I would hope that the Government has advertised this and taken all applicants into account and not just given it to Dr Webb.”

“We don’t have money to burn, we have significant debt, and the taxpayers demand accountability,” Mr Dunkley added.

We asked the Government for additional information, and a spokesperson said, “The Hon. M.D. Renee Webb, JP, has been engaged for one year to act as the Government of Bermuda’s representative in Brussels.

“With the increasing threats which Bermuda faces as a result of efforts by the European Union [EU)] to address calls for greater tax transparency, the requirement to ensure that Bermuda’s interests were safeguarded now transcend the use of retained counsel and other consultants only in the Brussels area.

“It was important to now forge relationships and foster a higher level of engagement with the EU, its official organs and its Member States. The funds expended on hourly rate retained counsel would be better spent on a permanent, dedicated resource, in situ on behalf of Bermuda.”

Update 6.20pm: The Government said, “Ms. Webb’s salary is $156,864.00 for her one year contract. The office space is a modern, shared services rental facility,” and they provided this link.

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Comments (79)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    Another shameless PLP hypocrite feeding on the public teet. Of course Minister Titty-MIlk is there…what a bunch of absolute muppets. Meanwhile Curtis is raising taxes on an ever shrinking population.

    Everyone who voted PLP needs to take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves if they thought their cunning plan all the way through.

    • 2 Bermudas says:

      The average Pee El Pee voter accepted the $1.2m paid to Ewart Brown as reparations not realizing it came from taxpayer funds which includes them!! Hahaha!! Same case here.
      Someone should do a test to see what’s in that titty milk they are serving at Alaska Hall!!

      Go ahead and increase taxes but it’s going to hurt the struggling worker more than it will the rich.

      • HELLO OBAERS says:

        Looks like the OBERS do not understand the significant of Bermuda having an office in Brussell. Dunkley failing to education the OBAers, but after all he may not know either,.lol

        • Hair says:

          WHY would you have an office over there? Can she speak the language? You lot have issues with outsiders coming into our country and can’t speak the language.. Do as I say, not as I do!!! smh

        • Question says:

          Did she have to certify that she can speak Dutch, French and German? The official languages of Belgium? Like we make people certify they can speak English?

        • LocaliCartel says:

          “Failing to education the OBAers” is all the irony I need for today

    • inna says:

      Most of those who voted the PLP in do not (and will not) care until they are not able to cash their paycheques!

      • Sandgrownan says:

        It’s coming

        • swing voter says:

          You and the oba/UBP clowns talk about accountability but you have Craig Trump as your leader. Are you serious lolololol!!!! Stop trying to win black votes with the wrong man. You will lose the next election again.

          • kevin says:

            at this rate there wont be a country worth governing ….this and the rest of the squandered money will hit you square in the face one day….i’ll be in the stands watching…plp = economic disaster
            I didn’t vote for them

          • 2 Bermudas says:

            You get excited about wins and losses at the polls. I like paying less tax no matter which party is gov’t. Get the picture? Typical Pee El Pee supporter.

          • Pork & Bean says:

            You call yourself a swing voter, but clearly your comments show that you obviously anything but.

            What is wrong with asking the questions? Don’t you care where your tax money is going?
            When doing business will she need a translator?
            Don’t you care that we have the best person for the job, not just the best person within the PLP circle of friends?
            Don’t you want to even know to you what her job is? How can we gauge if this is good for Bermuda and makes sense if we don’t even know really what the end goal is?

            Probably not as I trust you are really a benefactor of the friends and family plan.

        • HELLO OBAERS says:

          Why not R.Webb, she is the most qualified and well verse in the language and knowledgeable about Europe. Get over it OBAers, the reality is this is the best pick.

          Bermuda is behind in having someone there, it in our best interest best on the changing and moving target on doing business. WAKE UP DUNKLEY OBAErS

          PLP keep doing your thing for the PEOPLE, NOW

          • Sandgrownan says:

            Tick tick tick tock – 60 less taxpayers this week – tick tock

            Remember RW was art of the very first PLP failure

          • Question says:

            Still wasting $175k a year on the empty space in DC.

          • James says:

            Well verse? Maybe you meant well versed. Hopefully she is better at grammar than you.

    • mixitup says:

      Hilarious that no one bat an eye on the ‘appointment’ of a staunch PLP Critic Denis Pitcher to Fintech (BY THE PLP GOV’T), but conveniently cherry pick Renee Webb because it suits their ‘friend & family’ narrative…Denis Pitcher is no friend of the PLP Gov’t.

      And these are the people who want us to take them seriously…. You, your following, your time was called in July of 2017.. The Bermudian populace spoke and almost two years later you still sucking on sour grapes…I Feel sorry for you, you must walk around this Island miserable..

  2. 2 Bermudas says:

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck!! No doubt this is a friends and family deal. The least the Pee El Pee can do is say how much she’s getting paid, how she was chosen and what is the measure for success!!

  3. Concerned Bermudian says:

    I’ll say it again… vote no confidence PLP…. they need to go and stop spending our hard earned money on luxuries we can not afford, whilst literally strangling us Bermudian people. No confidence!!! How much of this do we need to suffer???? Where are all the marchers now!!!?????

    • mixitup says:

      Maybe others see different, might I suggest that you gather a coalition of the willing and head down to parliament… I’ll bring you a case of bottled water. (hey, beats pepper spray)

    • Come Correct says:

      It will never happen. What don’t you understand? Pride before reality. Jamaica is amazing…to visit (OJ that’s at you).

    • I can’t believe it says:

      Why don’t you clowns accept the fact that you are not the Government and will never be the Government ever again. People are tired of Oba/ubp clowns running the country and falsely claiming that everyone will enjoy the wealth of the country. You put Craig up front because you want to give the impression that black people matter to you. That is a lie. Black people are wise to your antics.

    • Joe says:

      cause the oba didnt spend any taxpayers hard earned money either right?

  4. Mark says:

    They’ll take a page from the Trump playbook and never answer anything. Great to see Onion Juices’ tax dollars being wasted.

  5. Bluebird says:

    Bermuda cozying up to the EU by opening an office in Brussels in the wake of the enactment of EU-driven economic substance legislation designed to shut down Bermuda’s business model is concerning.

    • Fact says:

      It is actually a master strategy to keep friends close but enemies like the EU closer! An excellent chess move mr. Premier!

      • question says:

        Exactly who went with Burt on the Davos trip? Exactly?

        • Ain’t Happening says:

          Bermuda at Davos makes for great hilarity. Most of the corporate participants have millions and hundreds of thousands of employees and make and spend more in a day than Bermuda does in a year. Burt as Davos Man? LOL. Opening an office in Brussels is like a Turkey voting for Christmas.

          • Question says:

            I still think we should know who exactly went. All of them.

      • Come Correct says:

        You’re delusiona. Especially with you’re $24,000 a month front street business.

        • Fact says:

          Try opening 2 eateries in Hamilton and employ 20 Bermudians for less than $24,000 per month fool! You are wasting my time!

          • Come Correct says:

            Oh, so now it’s 2. See before you claimed it was your “business”. That’s singular not plural. Please carry on, you aren’t wasting my time.

          • Come Correct says:

            You claimed your rent for a single business on Front St was $24,000 on a previous article. Is that your rent for one space or your total overhead? Rent for 2 spaces? Maybe you’ll magically open a 3rd?

          • Question says:

            Arrogant little **1t aren’t you.

          • aceboy says:

            You aren’t so good at twisting your facts. You moaned about having to pay $24,000 in rent, not salaries etc.

            At least TRY and be truthful when posting. You have now lost all credibility. Maybe change names again.

  6. Cow polly says:

    I need a job. I need a job in Bermuda. Why are we spending money in other countries and creating jobs elsewhere instead of focusing on our own people in our own country first?

    What ever prompted YOU to function as you did as the the premier??
    What prompted you to say” My hands are tied”?
    What prompted you to lead this country towards increased racism, divisiveness?
    What are your own thoughts about yourself concerning your clear lack of understanding and intelligence towards most of the decisions made by YOUR BELOVED O.B.A.?
    What do you see when you look into your mirror daily?

    • The real Terry says:

      Question for STRAIGHTFORWARD and how many people do you employ or what have you ever done to benefit the community?

    • sandgrownan says:

      Ah ha..Dunkley Derangement Syndrome on display. Christ, you’re pathetic.

      16 of 20 years remember, and nothing but failure. Abject failure. Bermuda’s population reducing, Cayman’s going increasing. A belligerent Dept. of Immigration and a bigoted and homophobic leadership. Buses don’t run, trash doesn’t get collected, taxi service isn’t. Dept. of Education is chaos. Berkeley fiasco, Kings Wharf invoices, Bermuda Housing Corporation mess, Port Royal vested interests, Global Hue…need I go on?

      What do YOU have apart from higher taxes? At least it’s not Dunkley least you have that. Pathetic.

      16 of 20 years.

      Bermuda is a different world.

    • What? says:

      Divisiveness is Purely a PLP tac. Get it right moron.

  8. 25-11 Russian Trolls.

    • 2 Bermudas says:

      $2.5bn in debt, PLP govt for 16 of the past 20 years and people still struggling. Things make you go ‘hmmmmmmmm’.

    • puzzled says:

      Your a divider Onion Juice.

      Your a complete a** and bigot.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      16/20 years. Not a single positive achievement.
      A record of solid failure and financial mismanagement

    • Mark says:

      Hi there oh mighty predictable one. You do realize the sum of your boring formula right? 25-11 = 4 (as in fourth world status). Stock up on your Pedigree before it gets taxed out of your price range.

    • Retro says:

      That’s actually funny !

    • Come Correct says:

      It’s funny you have no argument to fall back on but the 25-11. Do you know why that is funny to me? In a football game the score determines the win or loss. In politics when an election is won, the work just begins. It’s funny to me because you feel like you are getting back at the boogeyman (the god dammed boogeyman…grow the hell up) when it is you, your stupid self, that will feel it first.

      You support a government that is absolutely bereft of ideas (or they don’t care cuz they got theirs (dummy)) and has absolutely no clue how to return Bermuda back to its former glory where EVERYONE benefited.

      Your only argument of late is about the America’s cup which was a resounding success.


    • Come Correct says:

      Also by calling people Russian trolls, you’re clearly, poorly, attempting to align us with American politics…you sound like that kid who always tried to put the square block in the circle hole.

      • Mark says:

        Wow Onion – you got roasted for being the mindless twerp I always took you for.

  9. Trump supporter says:

    To think they PREACHED transparency.

    • wahoo says:

      You didn’t believe they were actually going be transparent did you?

    • aceboy says:

      And good governance. So much for that….

      To see Dunkley being accused of leading the country towards increased racism and divisiveness after the last election is really quite funny. Almost as funny as Roban on the radio this morning claiming that the PLP have slashed taxes.

      Doesn’t matter if it is true or not…just say it so the likes of this fool can repeat it. Then keep saying it, even as the plan to increase taxes comes to fruition.

      THAT is how to increase divisiveness. Add some race politics and that is the sole strategy of the PLP.

      It clearly works but t is poisonous.

  10. JAOS says:

    Wow. Let’s spend more money we don’t have. My guess is this effort will not bear fruit. Meanwhile more money doled out for rent, expenses, salary, and travel not just for Ms. Webb but visiting party members. Meanwhile our education system is in a state, we can’t manage a bus system and are in a housing crisis.

  11. Playstation says:

    The plp needs to be removed.

  12. WSP says:

    Why is our national security minister in Brussels.The only thing i can think of is that he is meeting with Interpol.
    He wouldnt waste our tax dollars on a free trip, um um yes he would.This is getting ridiculous now.

    • kevin says:

      he is there because believe it or not titty milk is quite smart probably the best the green machine has and when you only have 3 smart ones out of 25 voted in …you really don’t have a lot of choice.

    • mixitup says:

      You mean like the Olympics in Brazil?

      • Question says:

        So there would be no problem being transparent about who went on this carefully planned European trip then, So why don’t we know who went?

  13. Bermuda has no future says:

    Boycott taxes!!

  14. Kimberley Smith says:

    I think Mr. Dunkley’s questions are entirely appropriate and should absolutely be answered.

  15. Coffee says:

    Why would Dunkley complain loudly for all the world to hear about the benefits of Bermuda having a presence in Brussels , and yet whisper softly , in closed circles , his admiration for Craig Cannonier’s Jetgate art of the deal ?

  16. PANGAEA says:

    The E.U will want acountability and full disclosure.

    Watch out for Brussels Gate ! theyhave their own laws and could invent a situation .

    We don’t just walk into another mans country turn on the lights and play at marbles.

    A dog and money are mans best friends.

    I have said before .

    ” Never put your hands in another mans pocket”.

  17. Coffee says:

    Micheal Dunkley needs to Shut Up about Brussels and Speak Up about Jetgate!

    • sandgrownan says:

      zzzzzzz…what about the PLP’s own JetGate..GlobalHue….anyone?

    • Mark says:

      You need to grow a brain rather than rely on your ignorance.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Yeah , a discussion on the real Jetgate would be more than welcome . You know , the one where an ex Premier went for rides on his school buddy’s jet and then gave him multiple untendered advertising contracts that were later determined to be way overpriced .

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      YAWN….You need to find something more recent & substantial than that. Remember it cost the taxpayers NOTHING, unlike the ongoing debacles costing millions from the PLP.

      • Coffee says:

        Why would Dunkley complain loudly for all the world to hear about the benefits of Bermuda having a presence in Brussels ?

        Yet he whispers to himself , barely audible to anyone else , the rank and gross misconduct surrounding the Jetgate scandal.

        Remember Dunkley , and I quote, ” the World is watching !”

        Please remind me who , from that ragtag OBA government , said that a few years ago .

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Why do you keep avoiding the topic of the REAL Jetgate ?

        • Mark says:

          Wow – your cut and paste skills are improving! Whom did you plagiarize?? Must be time for the pull-ups!

    • Fact says:

      That’s right! Let’s hear your thoughts on Jetgate Michael and also on the deal they may have had with your OBA cronies!

  18. Good move Premier Burt says:

    For all the bellyaching going on about this office. Just think what you all would be saying if we sat back and didn’t protect our interests.

    Both Dunkley and Burt get it. BERMUDA needs representation in SC and EU.

    Why Not Webb. She speaks French. She lives in the EU.

    Let’s moan about this after we can judge the results anything before is wasting good crypto mining bandwidth!!!


    Good on you Burt.

    • Chris says:

      FFS. If Dunkley or BOB had put this forward you would have tweedy marching. Give me a big fat break.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      How will succes be measured? What does it look like?

  19. LaV says:

    Coffee, you just need to shut up.

  20. JIGGSBDA says:

    Actually Ms. Webb was educated at then Sorbonne University in Paris, and is fluent in French, which is the primary language in Belgium

  21. Joe says:

    its funny the oba complaining about no transparency when they did the same thing with the airport. Ill say it again, politicians are politicians no matter their color or party, the ppl will always suffer in the end, the only difference is which demographic of ppl suffers more.