The George Brathwaite Column – Ethics and Morality

George Brathwaite (Ph.D)

James Madison, one of the founding fathers shaping the American Constitution, asserted that: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” From the outset, ethical behaviour is social and constituted through norms and standards of behaviour that are generated as partial responses to the pressures created by the force of being accountable. Put differently, political ethics calls for mechanisms to distinguish good from evil, right from wrong and propriety from impropriety in governance.

For these purposes, a system or code of ethics is put in place to moderate behaviour from elected public officials, and to more generally govern the conduct of public servants while serving the national interest. Establishing norms are indicative of how things ‘should’ or ‘ought to’ be for the common good of Barbadians. Public office holders exercise powers and distribute resources entrusted to them by the governed, so that holding public office is a matter of public trust.

To that end, ethical behaviour in public administration leads to good governance; and must be reinforced with effective supports, checks and balances. In Barbados, both elected and appointed public officials, must act by doing the right things and for the right reasons on behalf of the citizens and residents. Barbadians have perceptions of behaviour which are expected to meet their expectations; and these are the consistently shared values that are phased into a system of ethical behaviour.

The huge difference between ethics and morals is that the former is collective and institutionalised while the latter is individual and personal. Thus, today is not more of a moral moment than at any time in Barbados’ history. Barbadians are certainly concerned with the conduct of elected officials and their surrogates in the public administration and governance. The bedrooms of individual citizens and residents cannot reinforce good governance.

Therefore, it is fallaciously mischievous for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) which, was popularly elected in 2008 and less convincingly returned in 2013, to bamboozle Barbadians. It is irrational and a dangerous ploy for the DLP to invade or suggest intrusion into the privacy of the individual but leave the public administration and conduct of individuals to shades of grey.

Barbadians may recall the front cover of the 2008 DLP Manifesto which is picturesquely graced and carries the phrase: “I would never lie, cheat or steal.” On hindsight, the CLICO fiasco clouded the good governance model to which Barbadians ascribe ethical significance. Likewise, the DLP’s 2013 Manifesto remarkably divulges on page 50 that: “Barbadians of all ages and from all walks of life often perceive the political system as corrupt, ineffectual and not serving their interests. There is a need to restore the image of Government in Barbados to one of decency, ethical behaviour and serving the interests of the people, instead of the interests of powerful groups and politicians themselves.”

If the DLP’s main strategy for winning the next general election is to ignore good governance best practices, and instead try to sully and rebuke Barbadians for exercising personal choices, then on what basis should that party be re-elected? Maybe we do live in a surveillance society, but why would the DLP be peeping into people’s bedrooms to determine sexual preferences or lifestyles?

Barbadians prefer that the DLP’s gaze is on fixing an economy which has been critically ill for the last seven years. The defiant wounds comprise foreign exchange leakage, inefficiency, wastage, mounting national debt, high taxation, and the sustained printing of money. For nearly 10 years, DLP initiatives demanded great sacrifice, but brought no joy to the majority Barbadian population.

Yet, there are some DLP spokespersons that are fascinated by the stigmatising of this nation’s citizens. They are prone to maliciously insult or denigrate individuals and groups contributing to the national good. Is the interest of the nation being served when the Minister of Environment and Drainage, whose portfolio leaves much to be desired, ridiculously implies that persons affiliated with a political party are making ‘a legislative call for same-sex marriage’? Dr Dennis Lowe is unlikely to substantiate the claim because there has been no advocacy for same sex marriage by any of the political parties in Barbados.

However, if Lowe believes in ‘the biblical way of life’, rather than berating the ‘childless woman’, he should allow his Christian spirit to come to the fore and crush institutionalised and all forms of discrimination. Additionally, consider the rash statements about the ‘bald-pooch cat’ and its targeted disrespect; or the invidious invitation for a fellow honourable Member of Parliament to run down Broad Street naked; and what about the ‘enemies of the state’ or the guttural censure of trade union leaders?

Equally perplexing, must be a Prime Minister of Barbados presiding over the uncharitable statements by Cabinet Ministers to citizens and residents without any admonishment. Many of the same Ministers will likely claim moral authority over others, when they live in glass houses, have opened windows, and a dirty ‘welcome’ mat at the door. Indeed, there is likely to be the presence of unisex clothing in wardrobes, but those things ought not be the business of elected state officials nor their surrogates. Where is the ethical standard? Is unethical conduct excusable on the fallible grounds of preserving morality?

Perhaps, one day is coming soon when aberrant conduct in public office will be exposed, punished, and discontinued. Surely, the Barbadian public perceives that there are elements of governance under this administration’s purview which necessitate forensic investigation, if only because decision-making and power have led to unusual outcomes.

From the proverbial falling from the back of trucks, shielded information has led to alarming discoveries. The unethical concerns run as deep as the chaotic transportation system and piles of garbage defacing Barbados’ image. Had the DLP legislated an unequivocal code of ethical conduct to be part of governance reform in Barbados at any time after 2008, the nation’s fingers may not be pointing in the direction of an imploding and distressed DLP.

Still, Barbadians remain in the dark. There are simply too many issues and contentious matters that have not been adequately addressed by PM Stuart or Cabinet. When one listens to the ‘morality’ chatter coming from the DLP, clearly, there is a disconnect between the governing and the governed, between what the DLP government wants to say is normatively right and what Barbadians observe to be performatively bad.

Undoubtedly, the Stuart-led Cabinet is one whose credibility remains in tatters but whose utterances signal the absence of ethical conduct. Having a warped sense of morality without institutionalising ethics does no one in Barbados any good. An ethical code is needed for good governance to obtain in Barbados. Yet, the DLP appears more interested in political gain than in ‘clean’ governance. The recent gibberish from the lips of a DLP longstanding member is another example painting a dismal picture of a political party desperate to win at all costs.

This abject nonsense is precisely why the DLP has become moribund with its chronic failures. Why must the DLP with its self-proclaimed moral uprightness choose to empty mischievous chicanery on registered voters? Certainly, gutter-politics should not go un-reprimanded by Freundel Stuart. Prime Minister Stuart must recognise that his silence may be misconstrued. Is it an endorsement for the reprehensible and unethical behaviour being pursued by DLP operatives?

Finally, the feminist Emma Goldman established decades ago that: “Morality has no terrors for her who has been raised beyond good and evil. And though morality may continue to devour its victims, it is utterly powerless in the face of the modern spirit, that shines in all its glory upon the brow of man and woman, liberated and unafraid.” Barbadians must demand high standards and commitment from all candidates and political parties. The liberated, yet unafraid holds the key to future reforms.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email:

50 thoughts on “The George Brathwaite Column – Ethics and Morality

  1. If we are going to ask any politician to account for his or her sex life, then we must call on all of them to account for their sex lives. So starting at the top we want to know when the Prime Minister first had sex, with whom, and was that person male or female, where did this sex take place, if with a female was a child conceived as a result of this sex, if so was the pregnancy brought to term, and if it was not brought to term then we want to know what became of the pregnancy, if the pregnancy came to term did the Prime Minister raise the child in his home, and if the child was not raised in his home, then why not, if a child was born did he marry the mother of the child and if not why not, if the child was not raised in his home did he nevertheless provide OPTIMUM physical, social, moral, spiritual and financial support for this child [or these children] and if not why not. We also want to know of all of the Prime Minister’s subsequent sex partners [if any]

    And we want to know the same of all candidates for political office, that is the name, genders and ages of all sexual partners, and whether the sex took place in or outside of Christian marriage. We want to know as well if the sex took place in a consensual or non consensual way.

    Same questions to all regardless of party. And we want public written responses.

    Or shut up.

  2. Hall @ 11.43 AM

    You are correct on Nina, as well as with others………as did the majority of the ex-PMs.

    Hmmm….this “Christian” society better recall the injunction……let those without sin cast the first stone…….


    What has Hall written that is wrong……we are a mature society…..he quoted from a source.

  3. ” who foopin who ” is none of the voter’s business…. unless a law has been broken.

    There will of course be plenty “foopin innuendo” as comedic fluff at the upcoming

    political brass meetings to entertain BBB ( Bushie’s Brass Bowls ).

  4. @ Vincent at 12 : 06 PM

    There is no contradiction between a “christian” and a” mature” society. They both require that we do not recklessly cast stones.

  5. BC

    Kindly show me how Hall was reckless in making a true documented statement which is known by folkes of my age grouping.

    I will allow the Xtian&Mature comment to pass alongside the off stump.

  6. @Bernard Codrington. October 3, 2017 at 11:51 AM “Come off it , Hal. You are capable of saying and writing better.”

    This information on Errol Barrow has long been in the public domain. And according to this same Wikipedia entry Barrow as well as being the father of Lesley and David was was also the father of Eric Wayne Padmore.
    Barrow served as Premier of Barbados from 1961 until 1966 when, after leading the country to independence from Great Britain, he became Prime Minister. He served continuously in that capacity as well as stints as Minister of Finance, and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the next ten years. During this period he had a lengthy affair with American musician and civil rights activist Nina Simone, who had fled to Barbados to avoid prosecution for tax resistance.”

  7. @Vincent Haynes October 3, 2017 at 12:06 PM “this “Christian” society better recall the injunction…let those without sin cast the first stone.

    Barbados is not the Middle East of 2000 years ago, and it is not the Middle East of today where sex between consenting adults is punished by the church which is oftentimes the same as the state.

    Sex between CONSENTING ADULTS is not a sin, and in Barbados it has NEVER been a crime that should be punished by the state.

    Wunna need to learn to take joy in wunna consensual sex lives, and stop taking wunna guidance from the miserable Middle East.

  8. @Bernard Codrington. October 3, 2017 at 12:16 PM “There is no contradiction between a “christian” and a” mature” society. They both require that we do not recklessly cast stones.

    Dear Bernard:

    I had no idea that you were so funny. It is NOT possible to cast stones at a dead man. Stone throwing is meant to kill…the Dippa long dead. We therefore have to power to kill him. Lol!!!

  9. Vincent Haynes at 12 :32 PM

    Although not a lawyer by training or otherwise, I can give you three dissertations on reckless speech and actions,on what constitutes truth in the present context, and what can be construed as documented evidence and hearsay.
    My fear is that not only will they pass off stump but that the arguments will fly above your head. So let us agree to disagree on these trite moral and ethical points.

  10. Near 2 weeks after Barbados Today article was published Mia Mottley then realised it was speaking about her ?? !

    Easy job Mia..,,,,produce the qualifications once you have them !!!!!

    Or else keep quiet !!!

  11. BC

    Chuckle….no response required from me as Simple Simon has dealt with you.

    Simple Simon

    Chuckle……we are not in disagreement on anything so far.

  12. @ Fractured BLP October 3, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    FB, why don’t you stop with your two-speed hypocrisy in your two-faced view of morality?

    How can you call out Mia for practising law illegally but refuses to condemn your party’s founding father and national hero for his role in perpetuating such a massive fraud and cover-up against the judiciary of Barbados?

    Why is her opposite number in Parliament so taciturn about this act of pure dishonesty which is clearly in breach of the Constitution and immediately disqualifies any sitting member of Parliament from taking part in its proceeding and deliberations?

    Look how Kaymar gone and lost her pick (again)!

    She should follow her master and keep her loose journalistic lips between her literary teeth.

    Why do you think the incoherent OSA is afraid to speak clearly and specifically about MAM’s proclivity of biting off more than can be swallowed as salty pork while serving time in the moral “pokey” of sing sing instead of suck suck fulfilling the dream of every ‘sweet’ man walking with a ‘sluggish’ corpse between his legs?

    Now which lawyer holding the LEC will be prepared to represent poor KJ?

    Would it be that greedy galloping Hal the god horse because of his easy grazing in the verdant financial garden of Par(r)is called Greenverbs?

    Or would it be the soft-spoken Lyn the grasshopper from the East now going West to the dirty dingy dying city as was done to plead the dead case for the poorly Maria objecting to the ‘blacklisting’ fatwa issued by the wicked witch in white from Bush Hall?

    Only the CCJ would decide when all of them are themselves corpses either politically or somewhere in God’s green acre blessed by perpetual Light!

  13. Why would anyone have to join a political party to vote out or oust an incompetent government, stay away from these political parties so as not to be recruited to become broken, damaged yardfowls.

    Vote candidate…….not party…the yardfowlism and idiocy has to end, it will lead to nothing good.

  14. Mia should sue Carson Darson Yardfowl, Angela Yardfowl and Fractured Damaged Yardfow nextl. …am sure she knows their true identities.

    None of them can prove she does not have a law degree….until they do, let them pay for their mouths…lol

  15. Mia is right to sue for defamation. Smearing public figures has nothing to do with freedom of speech. She should now systematically go through social media and sue individually each one of the contributors who joined in the smearing spree. She is the lawyer, but all the anonymous contributors can be torpedoed out of their little holes.
    In any case, being the mouthpiece of Owen Arthur and Donville Inniss is not journalism.
    Great @Mia.

  16. @ millertheanunnaki,

    Did you know that ( in Barbados ) the term “biting” was used in the 60s and 70s to describe oral sex on a female?

  17. Simple Simon October 3, 2017 at 12:51 PM. “We therefore have to power to kill him. Lol!!!”

    CORRECTION: We therefore have no power to kill him.

  18. “Look how Kaymar gone and lost her pick (again)!

    She should follow her master and keep her loose journalistic lips between her literary teeth.”

    Isn’t the owner of barbadostoday Peter Kutuppa-Harris Mia’s adviser, so how does all of that work out…lol

  19. @Hants October 3, 2017 at 3:58 PM @ “millertheanunnaki, Did you know that ( in Barbados ) the term “biting” was used in the 60s and 70s to describe oral sex on a female?”

    I hope that all of you BU guys enjoy your cunnilingus, but I trust that none of you literally bite anyone. Literal biting sounds painful, and bloody dangerous.

  20. Now that she has sued. The public once and for all would know if she is legally qualified as dictated by state law

    concerned citizen

  21. Lol…ya can only sue if the accusations are FALSE…and proof of those falsehoods can be presented.

    If the accusations are true and proof presented…yardfowls wont have to pay…so yardfowls bring ya proof.

    ..interesting case to

  22. @Caswell Franklyn you warned us about Mia Mottley and so has Owen S Arthur. I cannot not now vote for the BLP nor Mia Mottley. #SMH

  23. What fucking idiot Mia now proves she is catching at straws

  24. Barbados Today is the best local friend of the international financial market. Love this paper.

    Robinson reminds me of Jester Ince: ratings do not “pronounce on the overall health or well-being of the economy, or the nature of Government’s economic policies”. Ask yourself: Why should an international investor pass any foreign currency to a destination where people celebrate low productivity, invest more time in their CV for their hobbies than their stations of duty and get medals for talk, but no action.

    Whe have now nearly TEN years of talk, talk, talk. Endless lectures, articles in newspapers, songs and other lamento. In the meantime, thousands of Barbadians got promoted as S1, judges, ministers and received medals and badges. Beside a permanent tax increase and high inflation on food and services, we, the taxpayer on this island, got NOTHING. ZERO economic growth in comparison to 2007, but prices 30-50 % higher than in 2007. NATO-principle at its best.

    The current situation has nothing to do with the colonian past, hurricanes, the colour of skin, any specific Caribbean cultural weakness or something like that. I would not say that. It is simply a question of WILL. The political WILL for change and action is missing. You cannot finance the needs of the 21st century with an attitude of the 1950s.

  25. I have difficulty grasping how anyone could disassociate the health of an economy from its credit rating. One does not need to be a finance or economic guru to see that in light of the prevailing vital signs, the Barbados economy is NOT healthy; therefore Dr.Robinson’s inference that it is, based on an expected 1.75% growth, is an attempt to mammaguy the public. It seems like everyone connected to this government is trying hard to keep information from being exposed come 2018.

  26. Enuff

    Why don’t you go and take your medication ?

    The Barbadian public more aware of the economic issues facing the country & Caribbean region than you & the other jokers around.

    Have you followed the Budget speech yesterday coming out of oil rich Trinidad 🇹🇹?

    Things are challenging all around……not only in Barbados 🇧🇧

    And rational thinking Bajans …….knows this .

  27. Dr.Robinson saying growth will be 1.75% for this FY and the Minister of Finance saying 0.5-0.75%, which is a whole percentage point difference and worse than last year. I done!

  28. Law professor Lawrence Lessig: “The perpetual danger is that this competition will be “distorted by incumbents,” because of an obvious fact not about markets, but about humans: “Those in power… prefer to stay in power. They feel threatened by free markets”— even if it was free markets that gave them their power!” Archive pick:

  29. When we see the BLP scribes resorting to people like James Madison, a slave owner, a White supremacist, for ethical and moral inspiration we are at a lost, as a country.

    We are to be left wondering what people like Bussa, Denmark Vesey, Gabriel Prosser, Nat Turner and Nanny Grig would counter with.

    We have argued before that these types of mindsets are worthy of death. You may disagree with us. In those circumstances you must then tell us how else is it possible to kill the likes of James Madison, who continues to live through these, his slaves.

  30. Dead slave owner, white supremacist…pretty disturbing.

    We should have evolved by now to be able to create our own truths intellectually. .

  31. “One of our wisest Ancestors, defined mentacide as a form of insanity that leaves many of us thinking out of the mind of the European as if it were our own. It is the state of being psychologically brain-dead and having one’s thoughts replaced with alien ones, a state akin to being a “zombie.” Mentacide is derived from the root word ‘menta,’ meaning “mental or thinking,” and ‘cide,’ meaning “to kill.”

    Mentacide means to kill the mental process, to kill one’s normal thought processes, essentially, to kill one’s own mind. In that there is still a thought process at work, mentacide also means that an artificial, alien collection of thoughts and way of thinking have replaced what has been altogether suppressed or removed.
    – Mwalimu Bomani , Book “Menatacide and other essays””

  32. If Mia Mottley is suing, that is a major news story, so why is it not a big story in any of the newspapers or on CBC? Or have I missed it|?

  33. @Hal Austin October 4, 2017 at 12:30 PM “If Mia Mottley is suing, that is a major news…”

    Maybe not.

    Bajan politicians are so suit happy that is is no longer news when they do sue (again)

    It is like reading a headline:

    “The sun rose today”

    A truthful statement, and of course the sun is very necessary for all life. But sunrise of itself is NOT news.

  34. Knowing the demons involved. ..the pretend lawsuit may very well be a way to once again misuse and abuse the supreme court to pass finance campaign funds from Kutappa-Harris to Mia’s incoming government for bribes…, a bought and paid fir government., the time frame is right for the “lawsuit” to work it’s way through the system leading up to election….8 months to settlement,

    When I saw the article, I questioned the wording and the timing…and knowing the Harris creep keeps a gaggle of dishonest lawyers on retainer…it is no way that blatant defaming article could have gotten through unless it was contrived and deliberate in intent.

    More the reason for the electorate to split those votes and do not give the two decrepit political parties a majority. …let their bribers waste their money..

  35. @ Vincent Haynes at 12:25 PM

    A very timely post. We all need to examine critically all information that is filtered to us.

  36. President Trump (we call him Donald the Great) is asking the US Congress to appropriate US$29 billion for Puerto Rico.

    Why are WW&C and Simple Simon not falling to their knees to apologise for attacking this great man.

    President of all the people. Even those who despise him.

  37. One: I don’t recall attacking any great man.

    Two: I don’t fall on my knees for anybody.

    Three: So the President is asking the people’s Congress to appropriate some of the people’s money to aid the people who have suffered a a disaster. So what’s news here? Isn’t that what tax collecting governments are obliged to do?

    Four: Stupseee!!!

    Five: Take your medicine and go to sleep.

  38. Chadster…dotard stole 32 million from the Puerto Rican people with his scam golf course and that was recently 2015, right now he owes them…Puerto Ricans pay taxes and congress has been robbing them for decades.

    Bad enough bowing to man, even worse bowing to an illiterate like trump, i dont do either and leave that to the trumpturds like yaself.

    Sorry Mueller can’t work any faster, every I has to be dotted and t crossed to impeach that stain.

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