During the Presentation of the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals 2015 the intelligence of Barbadians was trivialized (or was it) by the debate whether Lowe has earned a Doctorate or leader of the Opposition possesses the requisite qualification to practice law in Barbados. Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur has routinely described contributions to debate in parliament as ‘poorakey’, now there is incontrovertible proof.
The fact the government and cohorts have been allowed to persist with such a serious accusation is a reflection on wider civil society, and importantly the Attorney General of Barbados. The clarification should not have to come from Sir Henry Forde who was one of two persons who recommended Mottley to the Bar of Barbados, what about the independent entities and individuals who could have deflated the political rhetoric the next day? We refer to entities/individuals like the Law Faculty of the University at Cave Hill, Barbados Bar Association, former Attorney General Maurice King et al. This is one of the major problems plaguing our little society; we allow political brinkmanship to override the intelligent arguments.
The majority of Barbadians would have preferred Lowe, Sinckler and the others respond to the scathing accusations levelled by the Opposition concerning a lack of transparency and accountability about the Cahill Energy Waste to Energy Plant matter and obvious conflict of interest issues arising from Lowe and Lashley leasing luxury vehicles from Trans Tech Inc.
BU reserves our biggest disappointment for Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite who promised to investigate the matter and advise Barbadians of his findings. Commonsense suggests the gravitas of two ministers who sit on the front bench questioning the bona fides of a leader of opposition to practice law should be considered a priority issue. Brathwaite has allowed his political affiliation to besmirch the office of the Attorney General. Then again this is an Attorney General who promised to act on sighting irregularities during the last general election. This is an Attorney General who promised new domestic abuse legislation about two years ago. This is the DLP who accused a BLP government of holding the findings of the St. Joseph Hospital Commission Report over the head of the late Branford Taitt and in the process taint his reputation and puncture his legacy. Interestingly, the DLP has not published the report since ascending office.
The refusal of the Prime Minister to touch the issues raised by the Opposition exposes a bug in our governance system. Who will debug it?
The debate which continues about the qualification of the leader of the opposition and minister Lowe is an indictment on the quality of governance we practice in Barbados. Anywhere in the world a Speaker of the House who has been found guilty of withholding thousands of dollars from a client, a deputy Speaker who has been named in a serious court matter, or a minister who brandished a gun in a threatening manner in the precinct of parliament would have been severely disciplined and asked to resign by any self respecting nation.
What is democracy? – “government of the People, by the People, for the People – has come to symbolize the definition of democracy”