All Members of Parliament are styled “Honourable”; however, the reported behaviour of the eleven that were featured in the Nation, as attempting to oust the Prime Minister, is anything other than honourable. I do not want to see them hiding behind semantics: I want them to come out, like the Honourable Denis Kellman, and say unequivocally that I had no part to play in this sordid mess so help me God. If they fail to publicly disassociate themselves from this reported act of treachery, they would forever stand condemn, in my mind as being worse than Judas.
I am not saying that there should never be any disagreement among party leaders and their fellow Members of Parliament. I am making bold to say that everyone of the persons that are reported to be associated with this bloodless coup attempt look extremely bad in my eyes right now. I heard is said once that anytime two people sit and always agree at least one is an idiot, so I would expect that there would be disagreement in any group of twenty-one people. However, the way that the dissent is handled speak volumes about the character of those involved, and quite frankly, their characters have taken a bashing by the force of category five public opinion.
I have heard the denials from persons who have taken the point that they did not place their signatures on any document. I dare say that is not good enough for the public: it might be good enough for a court of law, but the court of public opinion where you are guilty until proven innocent does not follow any legal rules. Politicians must always remember that they are not elected by the courts, and could very well achieve a pyrrhic victory there. Those who are denying any association with the document must realise that it is more than the document. They must come out and disavow any knowledge of the alleged clandestine move to oust Freundel Stuart. I believe that all right thinking persons in this country expect no less. The country does not want to hear any legal double speak: we want to hear an unambiguous statement to the effect that the story has no basis in fact. Failing that they would have signalled to their constituents that they are unsuited for the confidence that has been reposed in them.
The Barbadian public is very forgiving, even in the short term, of most things but I don’t think that such forgiveness extends to treachery. If you have any doubt cast your minds back to Clyde Mascoll’s crossing the floor. He is perceived as a traitor to the DLP: no one appears to trust him anymore, and now needs Owen Arthur to clear the way for his rehabilitation. He is a trained economist but, as part of his punishment for the perception of treachery, his economic pronouncements are now called into question. I believe he is sound but remember the court of public opinion still prefers Barabbas.
Now finally to Freundel Stuart, I can only sympathise with you. I cannot say that I know how you feel because I never had friends like yours.