Foreign Soldiers & Police In Barbados Now Acting Illegally!
The Democratic Labour Party MP for St. Lucy has called for withdrawal of the Mutual Assistance Bill that gives foreign police and soldiers authority while on Barbados soil for Cricket World Cup.
Member of Parliament Denis Kellman also points out that the bill has not yet passed the Senate – which means, if I am not entirely incorrect – that it is not yet law, and therefore the foreign police and soldiers on our soil are now acting illegally. (Hey – I’m no lawyer, but if it is necessary for the bill to be passed for foreign police and soldiers to assume duties in Barbados, and the bill has not been passed into law, then foreign troops and police on Barbados are now operating outside the law. Correct me if I’m wrong here, BFP readers!)
Did Dr. Duguid Misspeak?
Meanwhile, the question of whether or not the DLP Opposition supported the bill in the first place has been re-opened by a Barbados Free Press reader who says that there was a vote taken, and that MP Dr. William Duguid was not present.
Dr. Duguid informed BFP readers that no division was called for by the Opposition, but BFP reader Vezlo stated…
“When the vote was taken (Dr. Duguid was) not even in the House of Assembly two weeks ago! (Duguid’s) name was not even called for a vote… The debate was led off by Mr. Kellman, who was followed by Dr. Estwick and then at the end a division was called for and five Opposition members (including the Opposition Leader) voted against it. 14 government members voted for it.” (See BFP article UPDATED: Opposition DLP Approved Cricket World Cup Security Legislation – Source: Dr. William Duguid)
Hopefully, we can get the real story out of someone, somewhere. It is almost unbelievable that no public voting record exists about what happens in the legislature – but, that’s Barbados!
MP Kellman’s Letter…
MP Kellman’s writing appears in the Barbados Advocate (link here), but we are printing the letter in it’s entirety because the Barbados Advocate has no archive system and regularly deletes it’s stories so they are not able to be found in the future.
Noble Profession – Police Force
by Denis Kellman
MP, St. Lucy
LESS than one week after the Mutual Assistance Bill was passed in the Lower House, policemen from Barbados were subjected to searches by guards who are not spoken for in Law. I have to check to see if we have passed any laws giving the ICC authority over our security forces. I always thought that the Visiting Forces Bill had to do with working along with the local police. Can anyone tell me what charges these guards can bring against an offender? Do they have to request the police in order to get someone charged? Or, is it that we are now a Banana Republic without knowing?
As I write this article the Senate has not met yet, and one would expect this Bill to be withdrawn in light of what occurred on Monday. The passing of this Bill will give two contracting states certain privileges. This right should be withdrawn and a wider consultation sought in such a serious matter. I think that a matter that has the slightest charge against its constitutionality should have been discussed by the constitutional experts. I do not claim to be a lawyer, but I think I know when someone is interfering with my constitutional tights, by requesting of me something that I did not have to do before. When I leave Barbados I expect authorities in other countries to protect their law, but I do not expect them to come into my country and have the same authority.
This incident has occurred at a time when young people are not gravitating to the Force, and clearly this matter will not be the best example for the Force. I was at pains to tell the members of the House how to ignore an amendment that subjected the Commissioner and his Force to the dictates of the Ministry of Education on how to be a suitable candidate in order to be a policeman. This means that the Regional Police Train-ing Centre, with its wide experience in delivery to the discipline forces, now have to wait on theoreticians to dictate to practitioners, who are not able to practice their readings.
We must understand that respect was one of the main features that caused persons to be police officers. I was schooled at a place where policemen were seen as honourable men and nearly every student gravitated to that institution. A closer look at the intake will show that the north of the country provided the main numbers for the Force. We have now changed the demographics of the north and we have to ensure that the changes do not continue to urbanise the north. This has interfered with the numbers joining the Force and we have to find the solutions to the problems.
As it now stands, the Police Force has been able to highlight some factors that are attractive. These are the attractiveness of their personnel, the opportunity to improve their education and the right to be compensated for their advancement.
The Police Force must now seek to have lower rank officers with the same pay as senior officers. We have to be careful that we do not promote persons who are specialist and place them in positions with which they are not happy. Too often we promote persons to positions and end up doing them a disservice.
Society must continue respecting the Force and stop judging the Force based on a few persons who can be found in all organisations. Society, instead of focusing on the positives, tends to point to the too few, and this is used as the factor by which the others are judged. The Commissioner of Police can be assured that we as a Government will do everything possible to ensure that the Police Force is respected and not be subjected to subordinates. This must start with the other disciplinary forces and religious groups.
The time is right for us to look at the opportunity cost of our disciplinary forces. Our country can no longer continue to live in hope. We must have a marriage between our forces and the heads must be increased. We need a Coast Guard service and the demands for this service is great. When we had the Cold War we needed a strong Defence Force, now that we do not have this threat we need to divert personnel from within the disciplinary forces. We must now train multi-talented persons who are capable to be seconded.
I have over the years believed that every person has the same capabilities as myself. I am now realising that good qualities are not found freely. Trust is something that I have given to everyone, only to realise that it must be earned and not given anymore. Those to whom it has been given freely previously should cherish it because based on the abuse all persons now have to earn it. I honestly believe that this is a step in the right direction.
I have been proven wrong in treating trust in the top down method. One should always provide an opportunity for someone to build goodwill, instead of destroying goodwill. The assumption that because you were a good worker, that all others will be good workers is folly. Employers must create opportunities for workers to prove themselves and stop assuming that by providing good wages and salaries, that it will be an incentive for increased productivity. Employees should be proud to know that an employer is prepared to pay for what he wants up front.
No employee should expect upward mobility until they honestly believe that they are delivering the goods. Employees must appreciate that the employer provides the capital, but they must provide the labour to create a good or a service. This combination must be seen as equal partners. The same way workers get returns on a weekly or monthly basis; the capital provider is expected to receive a return on his investment. Too often I have witnessed that workers believe that even though they are well looked after, the capital provider is now seen as a replenishing well without a contribution from labour. Capital is seen as a source for labour.
Government has shifted its taxation policy, which will impact 100 per cent on the masses’ disposable income. The belief that workers at the bottom should not seek higher wages and salaries is nonsensical. This has shown that persons do not understand that this argument can only be accepted if the Reverse Tax Credit is upgraded. The $500 paid to compensate this group must now be upgraded and expanded to persons who will be affected by Indirect Taxation.
Peace, love, unity, humility, common sense, wisdom and understanding.
(Denis Kellman is the Parliamentary Representative for St. Lucy.)