Sir John “Sets The Record Straight”

March 8, 2012

Former Premier Sir John Swan released a statement refuting comments made by BIU President Chris Furbert, and said that there was no time during his tenure that “the superannuation fund was used for any project other than the purpose for which the fund was established, that is pensions.”

“I wish to set the record straight in regard to a comment made by BIU President Mr. Chris Furbert on ‘Let’s Talk’ with Gary Moreno regarding the purchase of Global House which occurred during my premiership.

“For the public’s information, the Government was in need of a building to house its administrative departments and the purchase was made from the Government’s surplus cash as were many other projects during that time.

“There was no time, in my tenure, that the superannuation fund was used for any project other than the purpose for which the fund was established, that is pensions.”

Mr Furbert has not replied to our request for comment, however we will update as able.

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Comments (43)

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  1. 32n64w says:

    But hold on a second … the BIU have proven they can’t even comply with the simplest of regulations (filing annual audited accounts in a timely manner) so of course they must be total experts when it comes to all things monetary … well as far as paying the officer salaries I guess they are quite astute … at the expense of their membership:

    Year Salaries vs. Member Benefits

    2009 3,146,017 vs. 22,175
    2008 2,966,462 vs. 21,987
    2007 2,731,351 vs. 23,384
    2006 2,744,545 vs. 50,472
    2005 2,783,290 vs. 56,078
    2004 2,330,655 vs. 55,275
    2003 2,362,068 vs. 64,294
    2002 2,941,480 vs. 66,474
    2001 1,947,169 vs. 31,837
    2000 2,076,783 vs. 17,108

    Total 26,029,820 vs. 409,084

    • Bewildered says:

      Where are the figures from the 2010 Year? Oh, sorry, back to the popcorn.

    • Specialgirl4You says:

      @ 32n64w…..What point are you attempting to make? This information, has been made available to the public. It has been printed and published. YOu are not revealing no earth-shaking information. So what is the point???? Trying to win votes for the OBA/UBP?? Please go and print out the some of the Capital projects over-runs as well made by the OBA/UBP, you may be surprise, but a few projects far exceeded projects done by this government.

      • 32n64w says:

        “What point are you attempting to make?”

        Simple (or so I thought). If you don’t possess basic financial reporting skills or have the courtesy to follow legally mandated regulations you are more than likely the last person in the room qualified to given an opinion on matters of a fiscal nature (as has been proven by the rebuttal provided by Sir John).

        “YOu are not revealing no earth-shaking information”

        So am I revealing information or am I not?

        “Please go and print out the some of the Capital projects over-runs as well made by the OBA/UBP, you may be surprise, but a few projects far exceeded projects done by this government.”

        Such as? Name them.

        • all clogged up says:

          Special gurl is…..special….government has a special bus for her that leaves hamilton at 8:40am every morning for MAWI…..all jokes aside, yeah there were a few UBP government projects that had overruns, Airport and CedarBridge and Government also bailed out SeaLand…..the difference is that the UBP had CASH RESERVES on hold to be used for these incidences. Now we’re having to BORROW the funds. Special gurl you should really stop and think before shooting off your mouth! If elder Cox was still around, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, the PLP will have a surplus or breaking even, looking forward to another term in power……elder Cox and the old stalwards are very much missed.

          • Specialgirl4You says:

            Not sure about that, one must judge the economic climate based upon that specific time period. No one can predict the future. Since the OBA/UBP is a government that is extremely conservative, it is likely they would not invest in the people or the infrastructure of Bermuda. But what makes the PLP different is that they are a government that cares for the people, and so are willing to invest in Bermuda. All benefit from it, even one is not willing to admit it.

            • Hmmmm says:

              Ok economic climates in history….Try on this hat… 1970 (stop go), 1974-1975 (oil shock), 1980 (oil shock II), 1981-1982 (Volckler), 1990-1991 (Desert Storm). Three of those recessions had a much bigger impact on US GDP than this current recession.

            • 32n64w says:

              So I’ll just assume by your non-answer that your earlier remarks were simply another attempt to deflect attention from the issues/criticisms.

              • Hmmmm says:

                Special Girl has no answers or debate, just propaganda and lies.

            • INB says:

              Special Girl….you really are “special”, thats for sure. You say nobody can be predict the future! EXACTLY!!!! Thats why you should save some for a rainy day! You really should learn to pick your fights! If you are defending the PLP on this, all I can say is WOW1

            • The nitty gritty says:

              Hello ‘special’, the OBA/ubp government, as you put it, is not a government..yet.
              It is a political party hoping to do the impossible and put a tourniquet around the gaping wound that was opened up some time between 1998 and today.
              The PLP cares for the people!!! Willing to invest in Bermuda??? The massive outflow of foreign exchange has escaped your short attention? Ask the people out of work if they saw this coming and feel the love from Ewart’s reign. Infrastructure?! Like a $60 million collapsing jetty in Dockyard? that forms part of the 1.3 billion dollar debt? Or the Low cost housing scarring South Shore, Warwick that nobody can afford? Gawd you gotta stop dis iggrunce.

      • star man says:

        The OBA never had any Capital Project over-runs… simply because they were not in power at the time. Soon… OBA: 39% PLP: 30%.

        Ewart’s PLP/BIU Party not doing so well in the Polls.

    • observer says:

      The membership can’t see that their hard earned money is being spent on persons that otherwise would be average people making very agerage wages. This is an amazing comparison. The officers get all this money for very little work. I suggest all companies stop collecting and have their staff take the money to the union headquarters themselves. See how much they will have to pay themselves then, I would think a good percentage would not pay. Plus have you seen Mr. Chris Furbert’s new home. WOW!! While the ones giving him all this are having a hard time making ends meet. By the way, I also would like to see the proof.

  2. Family Man says:

    Wonder when they’re going to file the 2010 accounts that were due PRIOR TO JUNE 30th 2011 – almost nine months ago.

    I’m sure the Registrar of Companies is “actively” following up on the filing delinquency. NOT.

  3. Specialgirl4You says:

    Please Sir John, How would you know, often you were so aloof as to what your Ministers were doing. Sometimes they even left you out of the circle. Provide some hard evidence to prove the facts.

    • Bewildered says:

      Wrong. Chris Furbert made the allegation without any evidence so it is he who needs to provide the hard evidence. After all allegations against Dr Brown are always met with “prove it, show the evidence, etc”. It’s up to Chris Furbert to prove his case.

      • Specialgirl4You says:

        Why? Since Sir John has come forward to suggest this is not the case, he should also present evident, case closed. You think Sir John will admit to something like that now? Now, no one is free from error.

        • Shaking the Head says:

          Specialgirl4. I’m alleging you are not only a paid PLP blogger, but also an MP. Using your argument it is up to you to prove you are not. Now do you understand?

          • Cleancut says:

            @Shaking the Head, I think Specialgirl is either Paula Cox or Col.Burch, maybe a little less Col.Burch as he is presently planning world war III.

            • Hmmmm says:

              Interesting, not enough flowery irrelevant use of words for one of them, and not aggresive enough for the other, but I could be wrong. They will be revealed at some point though.

          • Mad Dawg says:

            I agree with Shaking The Head.

            In fact, I allege that you, SpecialGirl, are Col Burch.

            Unless you prove you are not Col Burch, that must mean that you are in fact Col Burch.

            And since you are Col Burch, as you haven’t proved you aren’t, you must come clean in public and admit that’s who you are. Othewise we have to conclude that Col Burch is not telling the truth about this.

        • jt says:


    • 32n64w says:

      It’s amazing that when confronted with inconvenient facts (such as documented project overruns, abysmal implementation of Future Care, etc.) PLP supporters can be miraculously silent, dismissive or ignorant but when the PLP/BIU make allegations (absent any proof) their supporters are the first ones calling for blood absent.

      Can’t spell HYPOCRISY without bIu or a PlP

    • Mad Dawg says:

      SpecialGirl/Betty, it was Furbert who made the off-the-cuff allegations with no evidence. Furbert is the one who should be coming up with “hard evidence to prove the facts”.

      This was something PLP people don’t really understand. It is called an ‘investment’, paid for out of ‘government surplus funds’. Neither of those things really exist any more in Bermuda.

  4. Chart says:

    Like the PLP, the BIU have no real excuse for most of their failures.

    So they have no choice but to divert the conversation with falsehoods or personal attacks.

  5. Cancer says:

    Well all know the BUI and PLP are in bed together! We all know that Chris and Derrick Burgess tell the Cog what to do. Chris and Derrick don’t even pay attention to what the Cog has to say.

    • Yup says:

      Chris and Derrick are running Bermuda. Bermudians need to change that on election day. Change is coming to Bermuda.

    • Specialgirl4You says:

      @ Cancer….always ask yourself………Who are you in bed with Cancer, besides your daily attempt to hide in Cyber-Space and lynching at the government? You must be in bed with the UBP/OBA and the forty thieves. So that means you are not apart of group that is free from some sinister behaviours.

  6. Serious Though says:

    Former Premier Sir John Swan released a statement refuting comments made by BIU President Chris Furbert, and said that there was no time during his tenure that “the superannuation fund was used for any project other than the purpose for which the fund was established, that is pensions.

    Chris before you start pointing fingers on accounts management ( real not doctored) $$$$ , you have a lot of glass windows in your Building!

  7. Rummy says:

    This is like the Bullsh!t!sh Revolution.

    Caymen/St. Kitts Island/Marthas back yard……

    Where the hell is Sir. George Layden when we need him.

  8. Real says:

    I was at a meeting with the Head of the BPSU where he started off by saying that we are in the position we are in now because the UBP used pension money to by Global House. Well, if the PLP wouldn’t have said to the BIU don’t worry about the money you owe us,I believe this was during the Berkeley scandal, they would be about $200 million in the Kitty now. Then again, maybe they would have spent that too.

  9. Face the Nation says:

    Chris Furbert needs to answer a few questions about the construction divisions contributory fund which had a few million dollars in it when he took over the union . Apparently the fund is now bankrupt . Please Mr.Furbert address this issue as it has an immediate effect on the wellbeing of former and present construction division members .

  10. Rhonda says:

    He said than He said…we all circle the wagon of our choosing Bermuda no better of worst…….

  11. Just sayin says:


  12. Real Talk says:

    This is not a fight that the UBP wants to have, it wont be a pretty picture if we open that can of worms. Polls that say PLP vs OBAUBP are not accurate. Only polls that pit the actual people running mean anything. But if the paid posters, cancer 3264, LIF etc feel better, have at it.

    • 32n64w says:

      So one needs to be paid to express a critical opinion of the current Government? Sorry to burst your bubble but I neither want nor need remuneration for offering a dissenting view.

      I’ll logically assume from your remark though, that the PLP do in fact financially support their online mouthpieces (given your erroneous accusation) as they are so crucially overwhelmed on a daily basis by the electorate’s disgust I guess the only way to keep the side up is with a fiscal incentive. Thanks for the insight.

      • The nitty gritty says:

        if they are paying then please use some cash to get a spell check installed or learn how to use the one you didn’t know you had. Is it just me or does anyone else find reading and replying
        to the koolaid crew like playing chess with a two year old who keeps sticking his king up his ….

  13. Clark Trott says:

    Dear Sir John

    Chris Furbert made two allegations on Let’s Talk. Why was the Funds used before its time?

    • MadProphet says:

      Whow had fun before tyme???

      Furbert wears panties all the tyme???

      Yes folks I am MAD AS HELL!

    • Tired of Rhetoric says:

      Mr. Furbert’s comments/ accusations are simply political red herrings. They have done what he intended, and that is to get us away from the fact that both the BIU and the present PLP government have mismanaged the PUBLIC purse for all these years, so that now we are in serious debt. The PLP have been in charge for 14 years – and yet he is still trying to suggest that the UBP is to blame for the Pension scheme being underfunded?
      Desperation is all that is.

  14. S.T.F.U. says:

    I think it’s becoming more and more clear as to who and what is going on in all of these forums. It reminds me of reading the comments on football related stories from the UK. Regardless of who or what the story is about, Manchester United fans come out in their droves to defend against some alleged slight or to point fingers at Man City or Liverpool. It’s pretty pathetic.

    The majority of those who write in do not claim any particular allegiances although most of those who do are avid PLP supporters. Here in Bermuda we do not have a third party (unfortunately as I have zero faith in the OBA) so those who are disgruntled and speak as such are automatically OBA “kool-aiders”. We actually don’t have another choice so in order to affect a change in governance, we have to vote for the opposition.

    There are those who have a fanatical and blind support of their respective party. The OBA supporters grasp at any dissenting voice and use it as an example of their righteousness. Even if the comment doesn’t directly advocate the OBA. The PLP supporters however rather than grasping at straws seem to honestly believe in what they are saying. I mean, this “specialgirl” trying to say that publicly available data isn’t any use as an argument! How “special” do you have to be?! That is exactly why we have freedom of information.

    The thing that gets me the most above everything else though is that those who most vehemently defend the actions of the BIU and the PLP are the ones who will suffer the hardest. They believe that all white people are rich. They believe that foreigners have taken their livelihood and they believe that the debt THEIR government has accrued is manageable. None of this is the case. White collar workers (white people according to some) won’t be reliant on Govt. pensions. White collar workers aren’t members of the Unions. White collar workers have a grasp of the world around them and understand basic if not advanced economics.

    Wake up BIU members and wake up PLP mouthpieces. I understand that for some of you, you see a future of kickbacks and cronyism, but if you sell your soul to the devil eventually your @ss will get burnt.

  15. Winnie says:

    Key words in all this “surplus cash”.

    • proudbermudian says:

      Yes, desperation indeed. The BIU/PLP are definately desperate after all have you seen the Polls? I know, I know, they should not be belived, but are more and more turning against the PLP/BIU? I think they’re finally getting it. WE DON’T WANT YOU ANYMORE, so back to the Plantation to you. Foggo said that, not Ewart, but probably coaxed by him. When will you BIU/PLP people get it. Your government has bankrupt this country, pure and simple. The UBP when in power had money galore just cuz they saved their money. Not this government, they find it hard to drive an older car.