A Word To The Wise About Mia Is Enough
Submitted by Mark Jones
Just when we thought we might have heard it all from Miss Mottley (the eager beaver prime minister in waiting) once again she has put on full public display her very dangerous ambitions to seize power in Barbados and brandish prime ministerial power as if it was a personal machete used only to chop up and destroy rather than act as a force force for good use instead to build up and strengthen. The occasion – the Barbados Chamber of Commerce Luncheon – the audience – the usual group of business leaders anxious to hear how a politician will fix every problem in Barbados so they can maximize their profit margins – the outburst – that when (not if) elected her government will over turn any appointments made by the current administration to such positions as that of Governor General, Governor of the Central Bank and even more startling that of Director of Public Prosecutions.
Well well well. Now for those of us who were not present we can stick our necks out as to what the reactions in the packed and food filled Hall were. But the fact that since that most unfortunate occasion we have not heard even a peep of concern or consternation from especially the leadership of the Chamber to those dangerous words were uttered, must tell you a whole lot about the state of politics and society in Barbados.
Indeed that some average and not so average people in the land could spend so much precious time discussing the fact that the Office of Prime Minister saw it fit to replace an old broken down official car for the real PM to use for official business but can utter nary a word on these utterly dangerous intentions of the Leader of the Opposition must equally tell us something about who and what we are dealing with. To be sure, even as the gossiping groups and political pundits pimp around Rolling Hills peeping through the gate of a 12 year old “brand new 2.5 million dollars house” which it is erroneously alleged the poor Minister of Finance just got built and moved into, not one of them has taken the time to speak up on this potential imminent and clear threat to democracy and a treasured way of life in Barbados. Not a business leader, not a union leader (oh they have clearly gone to sleep where their favoured politician is concerned) and not a third party group whether Integrity or Solution.
But why the silence we ask? Is it that they hate the current government so bad that they are prepared to throw out the baby with the bath water? Is the apparent “gain”of changing the current government worth losing the time bound legal, constitutional and good governance principals that have come to define this fair land of ours and set us aside from the rest. Is Miss Mottley’s entitled ascendency to the prime ministership of Barbados so important that we risk casting the country into a political abyss to ensure it. Are we witnessing another Donald Trump scenario in the making ?
Now even before the Leader of the Opposition delivered of herself these dangerous intentions, Chamber members must have noticed a “funny smell” coming from the podium when the said Miss Mottley so ungraciously and arrogantly allowed them to know that she was not coming back to speak to them again – at least not in that capacity – a less than veil hint that she expected to be back but as prime minister. That in itself should have caused many to tune her out if not forced some to take a much deserved bathroom break to perhaps regurgitate the afternoon’s lunch.
Be that as it may, those who chose to demonstrate the good manners which our “prime minister in waiting” seems so decidedly incapable of displaying, could hardly have expected this amazing politician to express these wild and potentially dastardly intentions in the public space for all to hear and ingest.
From what little we know about the Constitutional Laws of Barbados, and in some other jurisdictions, the office of Director of Public Prosecutions is one of the most highly treasured and protected public offices. Indeed in our context the office and it’s holder are virtually untouchable as well they ought to be. It is an office that by law is protected as its holder is appointed by the Governor General on advice of the Judicial and legal Services Commission. In this way it is shielded from any mischief, misgivings and misuse of potential or actual political megalomaniacs. That being the case, and certainly we assume a fact well known to the current leader of the opposition, ( who just happens to be one of her Majesty’s legal counsels), one is left to ask the question, what manner of thought and intent goes into the mind of a “prime minister in waiting” that would make her believe that she can rip up the Constitution of Barbados and undo any appointment to the Office of DPP independently and properly made by the Judicial and legal Services Commission of Barbados? Are these the thoughts and mouthings of a grossly ignorant and misguided politician or a potential despot in the making who believes that she is or will not be subject to the highest laws of the land. And what role is the “latter day father of integrity” playing in advising his “prime minister in waiting” on these matters? It would be interesting to her his view on this particular one.
Just as it would be interesting to hear the voice of the alleged “governor general” in waiting Sir Richard Cheltenham, (oh of course Harold Hoyte and a few others have been also promised this prize pick as well) on the equally outrageous intention by this clearly power hungry politician, to fire any Governor General legitimately appointed by the current administration.
Now of course unlike the office of DPP , that of GG is an appointment that owes it’s origin to the political directorate as the it is the Prime Minister who advises the Palace (Queen) on who is preferred to assume this high ceremonial and state governance office.
But so serious is that office it is recognised by both major political parties and countless others down through constitutional history in Barbados as one that embodies the symbolism of political stability in the land and the graciousness and dignity of the Barbadian people, our customs and culture. To the extent that this has been the case , never before in the history of domestic politics has it ever been thought of far less expressed by any active or retired politician that a potential incoming government would be so bold and arrogantly fire a sitting GG because he/she was appointed by the opposing party.
Seriously!! Is this what Barbados is coming to?
The changing of a governor general other than for some serious offence is an affront to monarchy and a slap in the face of Queen as indeed it would be to the people of Barbados.
To even suggest such a thing is the mouthing of a seriously disturbed person who is clearly intoxicated by a sense of self importance, entitlement to power and ultimate disregard for the long enshrined basic tenets of liberal and constitutional democracy. It is a serious potential affront to political, social and ultimately economic stability in Barbados – a feature that has singled out the island as among one of the best and most dependable democracies in the world.
Surely It goes way beyond law or even politics. It strikes at the heart of our way of life as a country by creating the impression that once you don’t like something or someone, indeed worse yet, if something is not ordered by you and your clan, it is unworthy to stand and must be brought down.
Barbados is not a banana republic. Barbados is the Gold Standard of constitutional liberal democracy . If we permit this hideousness to envelope us where will it end. Who is next , the chief justice, the Auditor General, who.
Will the alleged illegal wire tapping of people’s personal telephones resume ? When will it end. Or worse yet where will it start?
There are many in the United States that would so love to turn back the hands of time to the first Tuesday in November just over a year ago. Indeed as they watch with much embarrassment, concern and consternation over the machinations of the President they freely elected, many now wish they had cast their vote in a different way. Be that as it may at least they know that constitutionally their system has certain built in checks and balances against the abuse of Presidential Power. In Barbados however we have no such constraints on the wild and dangerous abuse of the substantial power of prime minister.
In the hands of the ill-tempered and entitled it can be a vicious weapon suited only to destruction.
The real question is, will the goodly people of Barbados find themselves in the same position as those in the USA wishing this time next year that they had not made the decision Miss Mottley and her handlers seem so arrogantly convinced they are duly about to make.
A word to the wise is enough.