Recently the BU household observed in awe the incident where a Republican candidate vying for a seat in the US Congress body slammed a journalist for asking a question about the contentious health care system. The incident was “straightoutta” Hollywood. Greg Gianforte the Republican politician at the centre of the furore went on to win the seat to add to the storyline. Gianforte was charged with a misdemeanour offense that resulted in him having to do 40 hours community service. The most surprising part of what has transpired surrounding the incident is the blind support by Trump supporters who have justified his behaviour by spouting the Donald Trump narrative that the mainstream media is about fake news therefore any anti media cause is a noble undertaking.
Members of the BU household live our humble lives ‘undergirded’ by traditional values to determine what is right and wrong. What Gianforte did when he body slammed the Guardian journalist was wrong and President Trump, Republican leadership in the Congress, Senate and the public at large should have immediately forced Gianforte to resign from the contest. Instead the incident was glossed over and the opportunity for a teachable moment was missed. Imagined all the impressionable minds that were influenced by the incident and the likelihood how it will manifest in undesirable behaviours in years to come. Who are the gatekeepers of public morality if not the people themselves.
In Barbados we have our version of the Gianforte incident being played out. At a time when the economy continues to underperform despite the best effort of the government we have a prime minister who pleads ignorance about the fact his government has purchased two luxury vehicles in recent months with a combined cost of greater than $500,000. Where is the morality in those decisions is the growing cry.
Wrong is wrong!
However this is not the local equivalent of the Gianforte incident. Here is an extract from a 2015 BU blog:
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 ‘po-rakey’, now there incontrovertible is proof.
Let us for argument sake accept that leader of the Opposition does not possess a Legal Education Certificate (LEC) and therefore does not have the right to practice law in Barbados. Let us accept that she and three other lawyers who were afforded a waiver at the time there was the transition to the LEC certification is invalid. Let us further assume that Mottley has been illegally practising law in Barbados and other Caribbean countries for the past 30 years. Let us also assume that several Registrars of the Court and Attorney Generals from both political parties were wrong not to have dealt with the matter in the intervening years. What is also WRONG Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is you rising on the floor of parliament in June 2015 to promise Barbadians that you will investigate the matter of Mottley’s LEC and two years later not delivered. What sensible Barbadians must conclude is that there is no evidence to support the claim that Mottley has been practising law illegally in Barbados since the late 80s or you have been playing politics read the ass with the issue. BU suspects it is very much the latter.
The issue after 30 years of practicing law is not for Mottley to produce her credentials. It is for the Attorney General to deliver on his promise to share the results of his investigation of 2 years in the making. The public is also reminded that it is Adriel Brathwaite who joined Freundel Stuart immediately after the 2013 general election win to promise Barbadians that voting irregularities witnessed by them would have been addressed in some form or fashion certainly before the next general election is called.
The reputation of Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite will be forever sullied by his silence on the matter of the findings of his LEC Mottley investigation. Even if he were to deliver on his promise tomorrow by sharing the results of his two year investigation, he has earned the right to be accorded the reference –the worst of the Attorney Generals produced by Barbados post Independence.