Brecqhou owners: We have no intention of taking over Sark

SIR David and Sir Frederick Barclay have insisted that they have no intention to ‘take over Sark’ and have offered to sell properties in the island for a reasonable price if the law were changed.

Brecqhou viewed from Sark overlooking Havre Gosselin.
Brecqhou viewed from Sark overlooking Havre Gosselin.

SIR David and Sir Frederick Barclay have insisted that they have no intention to ‘take over Sark’ and have offered to sell properties in the island for a reasonable price if the law were changed.

In a letter sent to all the island’s political representatives, new chief secretary Colin Kniveton and also sent to all residents, the Brecqhou owners hit back at a suggestion by a Sark resident that they were ‘the sworn enemies of the Sark government’. ‘This description was both gratuitously offensive and fundamentally wrong,’ said Sir David and Sir Frederick in the letter.

They say that it was due to the challenges they brought to Sark’s constitution that all conseillers are democratically elected. As part of that they also gave up their seats in Chief Pleas.

‘It is absurd to say that we are enemies of Sark’s government because we brought legal challenges which resulted in democratic reforms to Sark’s constitution.  Likewise, it is illogical to regard us as enemies of Sark’s government because of our challenge to male primogeniture and treizieme.’

Comments for: "Brecqhou owners: We have no intention of taking over Sark"

Postman Pat

I note the Daily Mail's headline that we are experiencing an 'avalanche of junk mail'....


As Mandy Rice-Davies once pithily observed:

"Well they would say that, wouldn't they?"

As for these fine Knights of the Realm presenting themselves as being arbiters of what is and is not "gratuitously offensive" or absurd, my irony-ometer just bent its needle.

Have they never been shown a copy of the SNL?

I need to lie down and recover.


They have already, haven`t they?

Guern abroad

If you do not like where you moved to them move somewhere else that you do like.

Challenges instigated for change rooted from personal wants is not democratic.

Rebuking those challenges is a right to exercise again and again.

Lindsay Mitchell

Right, well that sounds reasonable to me. I will take it that the people of Sark and in particular the Sark Government will start to buy the properties back then and then apparently all Sark's "problems" over the last few years with Brecqhou will seemingly be over.....

GSY Fred

And i have no intention of eating dinner this evening.

(In case you didnt get it - i was being sarcastic)



Spot On!

Totally agree with your comment.

Perhaps they should be shown the full 6 years of the SNL issues.

This letter appears to try to distance themselves from the SEM manager and the editor of SNL.

Where did the finance come from to print the SNL?

Where did the finance come from to buy the 1000's of vines now planted on the Island?



.......suddenly, in the face of yet another in depth and most probably damning John Sweeney-esk investigation, with speculation circulating as to the interesting timing of the damage to their vine wires (NOT the vines, there aren't any to see anyway) actually working against the protestors (who've tolerated the damned things and the damage of natural habitat to establish them for many years now without a problem), escalating police involvement (which may actually get to the bottom of this 'heinous crime') and more fuel being thrown on the fire by the SEM newsletter, we get this *ss covering letter.

Well, denial is not just a river in Egypt, and actions speak louder than words.

I hope that Panorama releases it's programme soon, and they are shown to be what they truly are.

Postman Pat

I read that their kind sirs have "full confidence" in their MD of SEM, the same man who brands Sarkese as fascists, brown shirts and members of a feudal Taliban, which he broadcasts across the Web, who hounded a well loved doctor from the island and triggered the first public demonstration on Sark since the burning of the mill in 1791, who used the personal tragedies of two families for his own political axe grinding and who attracted world wide attention when he sacked his entire workforce in 2008 when the islanders refused to vote for certain candidates as they had been instructed. What exactly will it take for them to become 'concerned'?

the man

I dont want a row or anything but......

I actually was working for Delaney at the time of the 2008 elections and nobody was 'instructed' to vote. That is a popular fallacy often repeated by the anti Barclay crowd.I'm not having a go or looking for an argument but please - stop lying.


Sark seems to be the sort of place where the loudest messages are frequently not spoken.

Postman Pat

OK, so you don't want a row, and then accuse me of lying...

To clarify, Mr Delaney did not directly instruct people how they should vote but in his newsletter he listed 9 candidates which were described as "a safe pair of hands" and 12 others who were "establishment" candidates and who would "destroy" the future of island.

Splitting hairs?

The main point I was trying to convey is are the Barclay Brothers happy with the way Mr Delaney has conducted their affairs on Sark?

We can only presume that they are.

the man

thankyou for the clarification.

so you agree that no one was instructed as to their voting? so what you wrote was untrue? and writing things that are untrue is......lying.


A Resident

@pull_the_other_one: I am not persuaded by the "damage to natural habitat" line, and I'm not sure anybody else is either (including those who keep repeating it) — they are growing *grapes*, a natural product and a practice as old as history.

OK, so you don't like them. Why don't you just say so and not make up nonsense about how grapes cause pollution.

I find the insinuation implicit in "interesting timing of the damage" very sinister, on par with saying about a rape victim that "she asked for it". You appear to suggest that the damage was self-inflicted, whereas there is in fact no reason or evidence to suspect this and in the absence of such evidence I find such insinuation offensive.


Dutch Elm disease and phylloxera are both "natural" in their own contexts.

Introduced vines and grapes that are sprayed with chemicals designed to prevent or kill "natural" infestations/diseases/afflictions" and also fertilised with chemicals are only "natural products" if you are pursuing a spinning agenda. So please don't be condescending; we all know the score.


Not a single mention of vineyards in the letter I notice!

Flame boy L


Quite right. Looks like they wish to get rid of the over priced hotels or some retail outlets perhaps.

So what are they after? more land for vinyards? have they put in a fresh bid for The Title again?

The next elections are going to be very interesting.

I'm glad I'm just and outsider looking in.


What a boring subject

Let us not forget the last Sark elections and closures due to people not voting for Barclay candidates!!!

If these billionaires have feeling for Sark they would get a really good manager into SEM with a feeling for the island. Sack current one please


@soph - having SEM managed by someone that could exude charm, empathy and reason is probably the single most all-round sane thing that could be done at this point.

Can anyone suggest any other single action that could have such a positive all-round result?

In which case, that must surely be the #1 action on Colin Kniveton's todo list if he is to prove himself as the objective and no-nonsense fixer that Sark so plainly requires at this juncture.


I suggest that Colin Kniveton become a 'real estate agent' just for a while and sell off ALL SEM interests on Sark.

That would be the BEST FIX that can be done for the whole of the Island of Sark.

But unfortunately it probably isn't in his 'curriculum vitae'

Find a big enough mug!!

I think the Barclays have already said they'd be happy to consider offers. The problem will lie in finding someone with tens of millions of pounds who is happy to invest it in an island that is full of backward types who actually don't want them there.

Slightly tricky n'est pas?