We propose you speak up, Mr Carrington

In a government of laws, the existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by example . . . . If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.

–– The late American Justice Louis Brandeis.

Justice Brandeis is right! So too Barbadian attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim when he says our goodly Speaker of the House of Assembly Michael Carrington owes this country an explanation –– and a very detailed one at that –– about what actually transpired between him and his legal client John Griffiths that has led Madame Justice Jacqueline Cornelius to render a verdict against him.

Granted, it is a civil and not a criminal suit and Speaker Carrington was not operating under the authority of the mace when he seemed to have exercised less than the best judgement in a lawyer-client relationship gone sour –– which Mr Carrington should have expected to haunt his ability to preside in the court of Parliament.

As leader of the third oldest Parliament in the Commonwealth, whose duty it is to defend the dignity and honour of our 375-year-old legislature at all times, it is now for Mr Carrington to convince us all of his innocence of claims by his elderly client that in his capacity as attorney he continues to withold some $250,000 from the sale of the client’s property at Dayrells Road            in Christ Church.

In fact, even if the payment was made today, Mr Carrington must still explain why this matter has been allowed to drag on over the past 14 years without settlement.

We have been seeking to give Mr Carrington the benefit of the doubt. However, that the Speaker would recuse himself from Parliament this week, instead of issuing swift rebuff of the Opposition’s attempts to make political meal of the situation, was for us a worrying telltale sign that offered some validation to the Barbados Labour Party’s call for him to resign.

And the circumstance was made no more palliative by Mr Carrington’s   terse dismissal of our reporter when trying to get his side of the story.

“I do not discuss my clients’ business with anyone,” were the Speaker’s exact words to Barbados TODAY.

Really, Mr Speaker!

Certainly, there’s much more at stake here than a pensioner’s plea for payment. We do accept that what occurs in Mr Carrington’s private legal practice should remain there, except when it impinges on his ability as Speaker to maintain order in the House of Assembly and, by extension, our society.

Therefore, as one of this island’s chief legislators, Mr Carrington must never appear remotely to be out of order. Accepting otherwise would be to make a mockery of our political system, already boasting its fair share of harlequins  and clowns.

How else could it be justifiable for the Government to continue to demand its fair share of taxes while failing to honour its own financial obligations, such as tax refunds, to its populace?

We are not about to join any bandwagon of callers for Mr Carrington to step aside permanently at this stage, but we do feel Mr Carrington’s return to the Speaker’s chair should be accompanied by a satisfactory and acceptable explanation of this civil suit outcome hovering above his head, that has obviously brought discomposure to his office and some discomfiture to the Freundel Stuart administration.

It is of little relevance at this point that many years back the Barbados Labour Party blundered in its appointment of Burton Hinds as Speaker, as Sir Frederick Smith would have us recall. With a more politically aware and interactive electorate today, Mr Carrington must be receptive to the disposition –– given his place as a contemporary of jurisprudence and the most powerful voice in the Parliament of this land –– that silence is not always golden.

We respectfully propose that Mr Carrington speak up and out.

All in favour say, aye. Those against say, no. We think the ayes have it!

8 Responses to We propose you speak up, Mr Carrington

  1. Mac10 January 16, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    He only needs to say two words “I resign”

  2. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock January 17, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Some of you, aren’t well read, or have your party at heart but mr. SPEAKER is facing indirect contempt or direct contempt of court if by the 28 days given to release the client funds an can be jailed.

  3. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock January 17, 2015 at 2:12 am

    As jailed, in Barbados is only for the boys on the block!

  4. Donna Harewood January 18, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I have voted DLP all my life and I want a reasonable explanation or a resignation. Mr. Griffiths has spoken out so the Speaker’s reasons for silence do not hold. How can we respect people who show no respect for us or our intelligence. If nothing comes of this I shall not vote again while this current crop of politicians is the only option.

  5. E. Jerome Davis January 19, 2015 at 7:56 am

    This is not about speaking up. It is about resigning. And please stop the reference to it being a civil matter or that he was not acting as Speaker. There can be no separation of responsibility here. His action was done while he was Speaker. If he does not resign it will be seen as the last straw in respect for law and order and morals in this country. It will have serious repercussions. Mark my words.

  6. Alishakka January 22, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I believe that this is a slap in the face of our government. How can the government expect us to have confidence in their rule if one of they members show such dishonesty. Look at the time this money was outstanding base on the article above. If this was an orderney person our fraud department would have them charge and convicted. ( ARE THEY LAWS FOR THE PRIVILAGE DIFFERENT FROM THE LAWS FOR THE UNDER PRIVILEGE ) As the speaker of our house I believe the thing to do is to resign. I under stand the position our prime Minister position is in and believe that it would have an impact on government recognising the 14 to 16 position. We the people trust those who we appointed to lead us and when they can preach such trust they should vacate they office with immediate effect. Take a look at world politics if such a thing happened the person or party involve would have receive instruction from they leader to tender their resignation. It is about public image and its impact on the party (CONFIDENCE).

  7. seagul January 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Democracy Matters? —–Under a system shaped by US & UK lobbies. Whoever wins the elections will still be beholden to them. It is almost impossible in our market driven society to understand what can be done to fight this colonial economic supremacy. Barbados is a wonderful country full of good people – but we have this one huge problem with a long-established culture of corruption and entitlement in politics and government service. International visitors to the Barbados Free Press are usually shocked when they learn that Barbados government officials are not prohibited from accepting gifts of any value—from land developers or companies that receive government contracts.
    Freedom????……this illusion.

  8. patrick king January 26, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    i see this issue as a three dimensional issue,politicial,legal and moral i will stay on the side of morality JESUS and GOD instituted “instructions” to regulate the behavior/conduct of mankind,what disturb me as a barbadian is the fact that the prime minister of all persons came out in defense of the speaker,what messages are we sending to our youth in this country,stealing by any other name is still stealing,the fact that there are no rules in place to prohibit the speaker from occupying the chair does not excuse the morality of this serious issue “MR SPEAKER where is your conscience SIR?your actions has disadvantage this elderly man who once had confidence in you to the extent where he employed your services,is this the thanks that you wish to reward the weel chair bound gentleman with?


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