“I want to apologise to all persons who may, in any way, may have been offended by anything that I have said, done, or perceived to have said or done,” Bahamas Immigration Minister Shane Gibson on state TV, declaring that he was resigning. (Sydney Morning Herald link here – thanks to BFP reader “A” for the tip)
LIKE EVERYONE, Barbados Free Press covered the Anna Nicole Smith story with our post Newspaper Publishes Photos: Anna Nicole Smith In Bed With Bahamas Immigration Minister!
While Bahamas Immigration Minister Shane Gibson still denies that he provided preferential treatment to Ms. Smith, he recognizes, as Prime Minister Perry Christie said, “… that it is the correct course of action for him to take in all of the circumstances,”
Cynics will say that Minister Gibson had no choice but to resign, and therefore should not receive credit for doing “the honourable thing” – but we at Barbados Free Press disagree vehemently.
When a leadership figure or a person in a position of trust is caught in a wrongdoing or a PERCEIVED or POTENTIAL wrongdoing, it is necessary for that person to step down to avoid damaging the image and integrity of the organisation – in this case, the Bahamian Government.
Without this necessary step – either temporarily until matters can be sorted out, or permanently if need be – public confidence in the government plunges. Worse, multiple incidents of apparent wrong-doing that produce no satisfactory public explanation and transparent enquiries foster a dangerous cynicism.
Make no mistake – a government that refuses to seriously acknowledge and answer real or potential wrongdoings or conflicts of interest by its members harms more than itself. It damages the very character of the nation, and fosters an understandable “What can you do?” malaise that sucks the energy and ambition from the citizens.
Minister Gibson did the right thing for the country. I know nothing of Mr. Gibson’s total record. After the furor dies down, Bahamians may judge him as a man who had a one moment of weakness in years of good service – or they may say that they expected something like this from him. As I say – I don’t know the man’s record.
I do know this: Bahamians will never remember Minister Gibson as a man who clung to power no matter what the cost to the credibility of the government, and they will not remember his government for corruptly ignoring the damage he would have done had he stayed on.
There is honour to be found in Mr. Gibson’s resignation.
Barbados Government Minister Clarke’s Situation – The Only Difference Is The Involved Woman Is Not A Celebrity
All of which brings us back to the situation with Barbados Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke. The house where the Minister Clarke sleeps every night is built upon land that was originally expropriated by the Government of Barbados for “Public Housing”. According to a fellow Member of Parliament, the house is owned by Minister Clarke’s lady-friend. (Original BFP story Link Here)
As Minister Clarke lives with the “lady-friend” at the house, we refer to her as his defacto spouse. This is as much of an apparent conflict of interest – in many ways even more of a conflict of interest – as that faced by the Bahamian Immigration Minister. Yet both the government and Minister Clarke refuse to acknowledge the potential wrong-doing.
Perhaps Gline Clarke and the government would acknowledge the situation if any of the lapdog Barbados media published the story, but so far the media lacks the courage to chance being cut off from their government advertising revenues.
No Integrity Legislation exists in Barbados. As a result, powerful Government Ministers like Mr. Clarke do not have to declare their assets or explain how it is that, as a Member of the Cabinet that approves the expropriation of privately-owned lands, a Minister of Government comes to live upon a choice building lot that was forceably taken from an owner – using the full power of the Government.
Gline Clarke and the Owen Arthur government harm much more than themselves.
The government’s total lack of concern with ethics or even pretending to do the right thing is a festering sore on this nation’s image.
How much longer will Bajans put up with this immoral elitist cartel? Or, are they beaten down so much that they have lost all hope of having honest leadership?