Our Governor-General will not be attending the opening of Parliament tomorrow. Filling in will be Retired High Court Judge Elliott Belgrave, who will read the Speech from the Throne outlining the policies and goals of the new DLP government.
The Barbados media was told last Wednesday that Governor-General Sir Clifford Husbands is “indisposed”. No other reason was given to the public, but many knew that he would be “indisposed” for the opening of Parliament even though he was still performing official functions as the news came out!
Sir Clifford was born August 5, 1926 and is eighty-one years old, but he is known to be a sharp, energetic and robust man who is often photographed… most recently appearing in the Barbados media at the swearing in ceremonies for MPs and Senators. That was only last week.
So how is Sir Clifford “indisposed at the last minute” if it was known almost a week before the opening of Parliament that he would not be attending?
Slippery Albert Brandford’s Nation News Article
In his article “Belgrave Acting As G-G“, Albert Brandford glosses over the reason for Sir Clifford’s non-attendance and seeks to minimize the importance of this development – saying that the opening of Parliament is a “largely ceremonial affair”.
Sure… it is full of pomp and is “largely ceremonial”, but at its heart the G-G’s role is foundational to our system of government for without the Governor General opening Parliament, our elected members do not form a legal body that is able to pass legislation.
Also, as much as the republicans hate to hear it, the Governor General is the last line of legal defense for democracy in Barbados. Because we have a Governor General, any despot would have to act illegally to seize power or to dispense with the rights of our elected members.
So the Governor-General is vital to the opening of Parliament and that is why a retired justice is standing in. All legal… but raising so many questions that the Barbados news media is ignoring.
Could It Be About The Secret Order In Council?
Back in September of 2007, multiple sources told of the BLP Government’s implementation of a secret Order in Council to enable the tapping of phones and interception of internet communications without going through Parliament. (See BFP’s Secret Order In Council Cancels Privacy Rights – Invokes Executive Powers – Barbados Government Takes The First Step Towards The Abyss)
Governor-General Sir Clifford Husbands may have been a party to that Order in Council. He should have been in order to put a veneer of legality upon the government’s actions.
Is this why the Governor-General is “indisposed” now? Has Prime Minister Thompson made his displeasure with Sir Clifford known to Her Majesty? Has this “indisposed” excuse been adopted as the the face-saving solution for our country? Will a new Governor-General be appointed soon? Is Sir Clifford in poor health and unable to carry out the duties of the Governor-General? Is he on holiday out of the country? Does he have the flu?
We don’t like the lack of transparency about this development because is smacks of the Machiavellian contortions of the last BLP administration.
The people of Barbados deserve to know the truth about why Sir Clifford will not be opening Parliament – but we obviously can’t rely upon Albert Brandford and the “professional” Barbados news media to provide us with the truth.