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Claude O. Skelton-Cline & Peter W. Wickham trade punches over Poll

-Skelton-Cline, radio commentator raised some issues about the CADRES survey done by Wickham
Heated argument erupted between Claude O. Skelton Cline, former Managing Director of BVI Port Authority (BVIPA) and social commentator (right) and Peter W. Wickham (left), owner of Barbados based firm Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) over the recent poll addressing the preferred government and ministers. Photo: VINO/Internet Source
An opinion poll conducted by the Barbados based Caribbean Development Research Service Inc., (CADRES) has showed that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, is in a statistical dead heat with Leader of the Opposition and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, as the Territory’s preferred Leader. Photo: VINO/File
An opinion poll conducted by the Barbados based Caribbean Development Research Service Inc., (CADRES) has showed that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, is in a statistical dead heat with Leader of the Opposition and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, as the Territory’s preferred Leader. Photo: VINO/File
The CADRES survey stated that NDP voters believed Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL), The Education and Culture Minister (left) is the best preforming Minister and Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour (R7) right has the worst performance. Photo: VINO/File
The CADRES survey stated that NDP voters believed Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL), The Education and Culture Minister (left) is the best preforming Minister and Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour (R7) right has the worst performance. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - A war of words have erupted over a poll conducted in the Virgin Islands (VI) by the Barbados based firm Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) owned and operated by Peter W. Wickham and local radio commentator and former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA), Claude O. Skelton-Cline.

Mr Skelton-Cline in a commentary issued exclusively to our newsroom over the weekend said, “It is quite strange or is it, that a company from Barbados shows up in the BVI conducts a survey/poll and no one is prepared to take responsibility for their being here.”

Did CADRES have work permits?

He further stated, “I would ask the Minister for Natural Resource and Labour [Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering] to inquire as to whether or not this entity had work permits and if so, were the requisite fees paid and who exactly their sponsor was.” He added, “We continue to let persons or entities enter our Territory and carry out all sort of works (with public implications) and we do not know anything about its origin. The last of which, there was a bunch of signs posted throughout Tortola and to this day, we still do not know who did it nor the motives behind it.”

However, in an invited comment Mr Wickham hit back and told our newsroom in an email answer moments ago that “my initial wish was that the individual who I understand is a talk show host would have made an effort to contact me directly to raise these issues and provide an opportunity for me to respond directly.”

"We were legal to work"- Peter W. Wickham

He further added, “With regard to the first point about the work permit situation, it is clear that Mr Skelton-Cline has some other baggage that is not related to CADRES that has influenced his opinion and this is unfortunate. Notwithstanding, I can state without reservation that CADRES has done research in the BVI on 4 occasions, three of which were political and at no time did we contravene any of the laws of the BVI for which we have the greatest respect. The data gathering aspect of our work is done by local associates who are eligible to work in the BVI, while CADRES does not physically work in the BVI, nor do we receive compensation in the BVI, consistent with the stipulation of our director’s entry permit.”

Mr Skelton-Cline in his commentary also stated, “Clearly the entity conducting the survey was not here on its own. Somebody or persons hired them and fed them information that informed the nature of their questions and the categories to be surveyed. I wonder, if giving the ongoing struggles for power and the unhinged ambition that’s been on display in the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, if they or someone(s) among them is not responsible for the said survey and are the results inclined to favour the sponsor, the ones who are paying?”

Who paid?

To this, Mr Wichkam stated “The matter of the sponsor or person(s) who commissioned the survey is always a source of great curiosity and indeed has been for the last 20 years of our existence as a company. It has always been our policy that we do not identify our clients; however, our clients are free to identify themselves as they have often done.”

Mr Wickham, a Barbados national also added: “Notwithstanding, we guard our integrity as an organisation that has been providing political research across this region for the past 20 years and reiterate that we sell research and not results.”

However, not backing down Skelton-Cline further stated “Incidentally as pollsters go and you read the history of this particular entity, it’s a mix bag. Therefore, one cannot ignore the polling as presented to us has a margin of error plus or minus 5 percent. You might as well stick your finger in the air and see which way the wind is blowing. In addition, how serious can you be by placing Sir Richard Branson name on a questionnaire as an option for Premier in the Virgin Islands.”

In defending his work Mr Wickham said, “The margin of error of +/- 5 percent is the standard adhered to in the social sciences and as such is the industry standard.”

Why Richard Branson?

As for Sir Branson name on the questionnaire raised by former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority, Mr Wickham stated “We did not place Sir Richard’s name on the questionnaire as is being suggested but when asked, someone suggested it and our interviewer recorded the information correctly as instructed. The fact that Sir Richard is not a candidate is irrelevant since we often have people suggesting names of public figures such as Jesus Christ in response to questions on leadership and we record such preferences in all instances.”

As it relates to the comment about the history of this particular entity was clearly an attempt to be nasty according to Wickham and “I would encourage Mr Skelton-Cline to say a little more about this mix bag of which he speaks.” The record of CADRES regarding polling in this complex region of ours is second to none and if this comment is perceived to be an idle boast, “I would ask that the research firm with a more outstanding track record in this region be identified so that BVI public discourse can better understand the ‘history’ of CADRES and the extent to which any other firm has polled with a greater degree of accuracy than we have," Wickham stressed.

Poll results

Mr Wickham though his CADRES produced three survey results, the first results says the country is moving in the wrong direction, and there is a dead heat for preferred leadership between Premier Smith and Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1). It also said NDP voters believed Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL), The Education and Culture Minister is the best performing Minister and Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour (R7) has the worst performance.

The pollster warned that “ BVIslanders can rest safely in the knowledge that any conclusions presented in a CADRES report are reflective of public opinion and are not an attempt to change or influence such opinion.”

41 Responses to “Claude O. Skelton-Cline & Peter W. Wickham trade punches over Poll”

  • The real poll chap (09/04/2018, 20:17) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    My opinion is ndp out!!! All a them!!!
  • Wendy (09/04/2018, 20:18) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Oh my!
    A breath of fresh air.
    Handsome too.
  • ... (09/04/2018, 20:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
  • grace (09/04/2018, 20:40) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    How are outsiders showing up taking polls that we didn’t even know was being conducted? No matter what the report said, we will see who we the voters will elect when the time comes. These polls were given information from whom? I never heard of them questioning anyone about their opinions. All of this is irrevelent and just a smoke screen to keep grown people fighting. Ridiculous! Wait until elections and only then will the facts be known as to who was the most popular with the people. Sheesh!!
  • Virgin Islander (09/04/2018, 21:15) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    While I do not have a dog in this fight, I was one of the persons that was interviewed one Saturday morning by a representative of the organization and I found the questions to be straight forward. I was happy and willing to speak my mind and I didn't care who would have conducted the survey my answers were my honest opinion and I would share the same with Mr. Skelton Cline and as a matter of fact with any elected official. Truth is truth and no one should feel intimidated by anyone about expressing themselves. After all this is yet a free territory. Unless you are indebted to someone for whatever reason, then I say go for it. And besides, TALK is the only thing that is cheap these days. After Irma one can hardly live with high costs of everything and nobody doing anything about it. Customer service is at the bottom of the barrel. Contractors killing us with prices, Food only good on certain days depending on who the Cook is, and I can go on and on.
  • ------------------- (09/04/2018, 21:27) Like (5) Dislike (16) Reply
    at least Claude got balls to speak out others feel the same way but very quiet
  • 29,300 (09/04/2018, 21:45) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    CADRES, when you gonna ask us the same questions you asked your random sample of 700?
  • Ja rules (09/04/2018, 22:02) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    This man a pastor or a politician because he is not good at any of the two
  • pat (09/04/2018, 22:04) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Blah blah blah blah blah both of them need to take serval seats
  • dog (09/04/2018, 22:49) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    In most legitimate polls taken anywhere, a +/- 5% margin of error is indeed appropriate parameters to a survey.
    If Mr Cline disagrees with the poll, he should get another company to do a survey as a second opinion. Polls are just TOOLS to help give a snapshot of a community at any given point. I would also think that a company from another island would give a more neutral response instead of talking to relatives. And, with anything, if you are going to talk about someone or thing- do research in private first to get the facts before you end up with egg on your face because you didn't do your homework. It is irresponsible.
  • fake poll (09/04/2018, 23:27) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
    This survey was conducted at Charleez with an intent to make the Cuban look bad
  • high science (09/04/2018, 23:32) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    After seeing all those mysterious signs all over the island, we had a nasty flood and 2 severe hurricanes
  • wize up (10/04/2018, 01:25) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    it always amazes me how some of us conduct ourselves(medication, medication): Mr Cline, what about the other sector of this society who are here executing business in this territory;
    Sailing our waters and in some cases have no clearance but the black caribbean people always get vomit upon by some of us.....please renew the contract(medication!!!!) while tings were in our favour all was wonderful now suddenly the same actors wants the world to stop spinning: these are the jive turkeys that want to rule or destiny(can you say pier park & missing millions and who was in some of us forget)
  • So tired now (10/04/2018, 02:46) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
    Of hearing this so called man if God now

    1 Mr Skelton Cline you are called to be a pastor not a politician.
    Did not you experience in America taught you anything.

    2. Since you arrive you only start milk the government for monies I never see you put to use.
    A. $300k to start a program to help the youths given by VIP. Monies collected still waiting

    Soooooo please go sit down and reread the Bible verse of not being able to serve two masters again. Because I think you missed the moral of story or forgot
    • wise up (10/04/2018, 21:30) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ so tired now: well said; had the same NDP renewed his contract all would have been well: yes; what about that 300K(the same VIP today talking about accountability within the NDP) all our political people have creditability issues...300k under the former administration and some of you should recall which ministry gave him your tax money(where it went?)...what a country(white collar crime from pillar to post yet no prison sentances)
  • Research 101 (10/04/2018, 03:17) Like (1) Dislike (9) Reply
    I wish Mr. Wickham would answer these questions: "What was the population sample? How large was the n? Is this just an "opinion" poll of the general public? Or were actual voters polled? Validity? Reliability?" Also true and authentic research must disclose it source of funding and be transparent to ensure credibility. So, until Mr. Wickham answers those questions, the "poll" is just a political ploy and can not be taken seriously.
  • Fed Up (10/04/2018, 07:50) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    Cline - Please go crawl back under your rock. We are sick of you, and your commentary! You are a two faced disgrace!!
  • Observer (10/04/2018, 08:39) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    People of the BVI the solution to this problem could be solve at the Polls on Election Day..Some Politicians been around for nearly 20 years what can they do now for the people ? Nothing but lip service..The only Poll we need to see is NDP must go..Natural Dead People..That's What NDP means..
  • Boo (10/04/2018, 09:27) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    The public needs to trade punches with Mr CSC over a certain depletion of the Ports reserve fund and overruns at the Pier Park
  • a proud bvislander (10/04/2018, 09:34) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is Mr. Skelton-Cline's previous boss in Chicago at this time?
  • Outsider (10/04/2018, 10:53) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. S-C has brought the carnage he left in Detroit to the BVI.
    • wize up (10/04/2018, 17:19) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ outsider: so you know this thing; and its shameful: please give this guy his additional year or two at the ports and he simply fade away into the wood work: this is the kinda people seeking to lead this territory then only God can save us!!!!
    • Trump (10/04/2018, 17:22) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      why a picture of him looking so super decent is always posted?
  • Ya me born (10/04/2018, 11:08) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    Mr Skelton Kline I thought you were a man of integrity but your actions are making me think're on a personal vendetta it need to check yourself sir
  • hah (10/04/2018, 11:35) Like (6) Dislike (11) Reply
    That poll was pure BS. I too was puzzled when Branson's name was included and even so when Mr. Stoutt's name was included. Either the people who were doing the survey were not familiar with the current political scene in the BVI or was deliberately trying to "influence the way the wind blows"
  • Myo (10/04/2018, 12:16) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
    Stupid poll! Persons names we're spelt wrong. Some persons were listed in both parties. Who did these people speak to? Pure nonsense if you ask me. Whoever paid for this poll need to ask back for their money.
  • Whose Opinion? (10/04/2018, 12:27) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    I never heard of this survey until the results were published, and I have access to news in this Territory.
  • Street reporter.. (10/04/2018, 12:35) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    The pole reflects the Streets and what I'm here on the Streets.. This not about who Claude like or dislike.. This pole is accurate.. As a matter fact I will add, Labour seems to be the worst performing ministry followed by Agriculture.. How many people lost their Jobs some justly some unjustly not a word from the Minister.. Even of comfort or hope.. Agriculture been on the decline ever since this minister took charge... As a matter fact if election should call today Myron again will get the most vote.. Claude need to stop mixing his personal feelings with reality...
  • Just woke. (10/04/2018, 12:49) Like (17) Dislike (4) Reply
    Found the Pole to be close to accurate. Stop hating and encourage the Poor performers to do better. Its about the masses not a few..
  • cay (10/04/2018, 17:17) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Well sah
  • rio (10/04/2018, 17:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thought I would just lay this hete. Polls are self serving just like words.
  • @just woke (10/04/2018, 18:34) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Really just woke and you couldnt have said it better.
  • please (10/04/2018, 19:17) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Can't agree with CSC on this one. Much ado about nothing. Political surveys are done all the time in different parts of the world. It is not l i ke it is an official survey from the Government. In fact any of us ca n get a company to conduct surveys once we are willing to pay.
    • @Please (11/04/2018, 14:44) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's much ado about nothing because you don't like the results. Had the results been different the commentary would've been different as well. You are not fooling anyone. Nothing about NDP has changed since this man was apart of them so how all of a sudden since he was fired, now they're no good? Not only are the people watching and listening, they're seeing and hearing good, keep it up thinking you fooling anybody with the nonsense.
  • wise up (10/04/2018, 21:36) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The set of them that instigated the poles should conduct another pole and see how many of our people that are still suffering some 9 months after those hurricanes.....
  • long bay (10/04/2018, 21:39) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
    I will like to know how this or these survey was or were done. Many BVIslander including myself have not seen or heard about it or them until we heard the results via the radio.
    It is very shameful and insulting to us. This has caused a concern to us because this is a fault report stating that it came from us when we have not seen or heard about such survey.
    • wize up (11/04/2018, 15:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ long Bay: maybe the person or persons responsible for the billboard in Road Town had a hand in the poles: some disgruntled member.....
  • Charley Rose (11/04/2018, 07:26) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    I am not surprise of the strategies that are being used to distract the citizens of the issues that are affecting them. This is a very strategic move that occur just after the controversial bill that passed in the House of Assembly. One would have noticed the divisiveness in the debate and the possibility of a collapse of the government was noticeable. This poll was done as a smoke screen to cover the government's inefficiency in managing the affairs of the country.

    I do hope this opinion will not distract the electorates, however, I think it should energize them to strive to ensure that there is a change of government. It is time for the NDP to go.
  • Sawda (11/04/2018, 10:23) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Global Park is Back..NDP done dead they kill their own,no one to fight for them.Polls means nothing,if Flecher run he will win ..NDP have us wounded the cabinet banks accounts fat the back benchers cry for chick feed and in the yard straching for food..It's a shame those back benchers stayed there and get use..
  • Honestly (11/04/2018, 14:40) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    To me the vexation here is more about the results than the man conducting the poll or even the poll itself. If the poll indicated that Walwyn was the worst Minister then Claude and others would've used it as an indictment against the Minister. They are foaming at the mouth because Walwyn came out on top in every category because this is the one person that they want to see fall, but they will wait long. He is not perfect but he is the hardest working Minister by far and always have my vote and extended family's vote locked up from now no matter what anybody says.

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