The Importance Of Integrity In Public Life, Moving to Stage II
There is a rising concern about the level of integrity demonstrated by people in high office in Barbados. Such concern is usually targeted at government officials. Not since the late Rt. Hon. J.M.G.M “Tom” Adams, Q.C., M.P failed to enact integrity legislation in the 70s have we had a Prime Minister who has demonstrated the testicular fortitude to put Transparency Legislation on the statute books. The Honourable Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart Q.C, M.P maybe the man to do it.
When the Prime Minister announced recently that the Prevention Against Corruption Bill is coming, it caused the political cynics to snigger. BU believes Stuart is serious about delivering the legislation. This is a man who exudes honesty and integrity when compared to his parliamentary colleagues. He appears to be the type of man who will do what is right and let the chips fall way they may. His biggest challenge maybe within his own team and he will therefore have to drag a few kicking and screaming to the party.
If Stuart can operationalize Transparency Legislation in Barbados – win, lose or draw come general election time, he will command a special place when political history is recorded. However, there is another matter which he needs to put to bed to reinforce the perception that he is a man of integrity. He must inflict Stage II on the Alexandra matter.
Now that the hysteria associated with the Alexandra impasse has subsided, it is time for rational analysis to rise to the fore. BU was chastised for sitting on the fence when we did not throw full support behind headmaster Jeff Broomes. Our position is simple, as headmaster responsible for the administration of the school he did not ‘manage’ the situation effectively. Consequently under his stewardship the reputation of the St. Peter institution was dented.
There is the the flip side of the issue.
On BU we pride ourselves in distilling issues especially the legal component. There is a strong view in the legal fraternity that no legitimate industrial action should have been taken by the BSTU because Jeff Broomes did not violate the terms of employment of the teachers and therefore there was no grounds for industrial action.
The BSTU took strike action on the grounds that it wanted Broomes removed which, unless Mr Broome had broken the terms of his own employment, did not make sense. In summary if Broomes had not broken his own terms of employment or the terms of employment of the teachers the BSTU was not within its rights to take industrial action. The teachers by striking were the ones to breach.
The legal argument however does not negate the sympathy which many have for the teachers in what turned out to be a black eye for the school. Barbadians continue to wait for Prime Minister Stuart to put the icing on the Alexandra cake. It is a matter of integrity.