Ethically-Challenged Barbados Chief Justice Subject Of Talk Show

David Simmons Virgin Chief Justice Barbados

“There was a time when the Attorney General moved from Attorney General to Chief Justice. That was a big deal. It was a very big deal. We’re still feeling the ramifications of that big deal today. And you guys (Barbados news media) were mum. You said little. You did little. And if you were challenged to open your mouth to say something about it, I tell you! You turned left, you switched right. Man, you were smoothed over and made yourself irrelevant. That was a major issue then.”

David Ellis interrupted the caller and said “Is that still an issue to be pursued now?”

“It is still an issue, but then you’re not going to say anything. Here we go, Mr. Ellis, you’re going to smooth it over again. It still is an issue!

I mean, look at the acting Governor General. Is it still not an issue? Can you just imagine the present Chief Justice saying “My country will do this” as he delivers a Throne Speech?

…You could have said something. You could have done more. You could have!”

Sunday, April 6, 2008: A citizen lets Brass Tacks panel of journalists know what he thinks of their cowardly silence on the issue of Attorney General David Simmons being appointed as Chief Justice of Barbados.

Barbados News Media Looks For Public Sympathy After Years Of Silent Surrender To Corruption

Listeners to the popular Down To Brass Tacks radio show on Sunday guffawed as the panel of esteemed Barbadian journalists tried to discuss the impact of blogs upon the news media without actually mentioning any of the subjects that have inspired citizens to question the independence and credibility of the established news media and to set up blogs like Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground.

Journalists Carl Moore, David Ellis, Ricky Singh, CBC’s Head of News Richard Cox, Nation News associate editor Eric Smith and Barbados Advocate journalist Nicholas Cox tiptoed around like they were frightened half to death of stepping on another political landmine such as when the cowardly station owner Starcom paid off that crooked and inept Tourism Minister Noel Lynch.

You’ll recall that Starcom prostrated themselves and begged forgiveness for David Ellis reading a letter from a citizen who dared to ask Noel Lynch how he became a millionaire in a few years on a government salary.

And ever since waving the cowards’ white flag of surrender, the local news media has been desperately trying to regain their credibility. (See BFP’s Cowardly Voice Of Barbados Radio Promises To Never Again Ask How Politicians Become Overnight Millionaires)

Keep looking guys. Maybe you’ll find your credibility again someday! Have you tried looking under the rug? That’s where you’ll find your credibility along with all those stories you’ve swept under there in the last ten years.

Citizen Rips Into Bajan Journalists For Their Silence

When Ellis finally stopped taking “calls” from professional journalists to discuss blogs without actually mentioning them by name, the first citizen caller ripped into the panel for their cowardly silence on Attorney General David Simmons becoming Chief Justice.

You could just hear the panel thinking “What do we do now?” and one of them spun the call into a concern that our Constitution needed revision etc etc etc.

But listeners heard what happened and also heard the journalists going through all kinds of contortions so they would not have to discuss the ethics of David Simmons’ decision to take the post of Chief Justice.

Pathetic!

Ricky Singh actually said it best towards the end of the show as they were trying to fathom what happened to the public trust in the news media. Singh said…

“The local media gave a free ride to the governing party…”

…Journalist Ricky Singh

Yup, they sure did Mr. Singh.

And the Barbados Media are doing it again with the current government.

We’re not sure who will be more uncomfortable as the DLP’s 100 day ITAL deadline approaches… the government or the news media who are too frightened to mention it.

Further Reading

Barbados Underground: April 8, 2008 – Top Barbadian Journalist Pushing The Envelope

Barbados Underground: May 20, 2007 – In The Aftermath Of Noel Lynch And David Ellis Getting Down To Brasstacks

Keltruth Blog: November 16, 2007 – Is David Simmons Unlawfully Occupying the Office of Chief Justice?

Keltruth Blog: November 14, 2007 – Business Dealings Of Barbados Chief Justice Sir David Simmons Exposed On Keltruth Blog!

BFP: December 7, 2007 – Barbados Chief Justice David Simmons – An Evil Threat To Our Democracy. (Yes, We Said Evil)

BFP: October 23, 2007 – Barbados Chief Justice Simmons Tries To Forget His Own Past As He Chides New Lawyers To Be Ethical

BFP: June 4, 2007 – Barbados Free Press Receives Full Copy Of Lawsuit “Statement Of Claim” Against Prime Minister Arthur, Chief Justice Simmons and Others

24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

24 responses to “Ethically-Challenged Barbados Chief Justice Subject Of Talk Show

  1. Sigh, at least you kept your promise, that was Feb 17 and you said one month – a week short of TWO… Exceeding expectations!Is this food or ital 4 thought?

  2. I personally am biting at the bit to speak to this topic in depth, based on recent personal experience…

    However, I have been advised that I cannot (yet). It could negatively impact a suit I might be defending myself against, you see…

    Two statements I think are fair (or rather, safe) to make, however:

    1. The Bajan Blogs are doing important work — work that is not being done by others.

    2. One should avoid putting one’s name behind their statements unless it is absolutely required. And if this is done, one should be prepared to spend a great deal of time, effort and money.

    I’m not sure which of these two statements is the most disheartening…

  3. So Long

    The guy that made those comments was “banned” from your blog. It’s you guys that are pathetic BFP.

  4. Hants

    Golden rule.

    Do not say things in public that you cannot PROVE to be true.

    Blogs do not require the same duty of care.

    Chris says, The Bajan Blogs are doing important work.

    Absolutely.

    Sunday Brasstacks confirmed it.

  5. It can be very expensive proving statements to be true…

    Especially, apparently, here in Bim…

  6. Hants

    Chris Halsall did you come on this blog “dropping hints” so that we should do “investigative journalism” ?

    You know full well that we were going to google your name and find stuff.

    The internet is a wonderful.

    I think you may have a funny thing that happened on the way with Care bull and Worth less.

    Investigative journalism at work on BFP.

  7. 132

    “Do not say things in public that you cannot PROVE to be true.”

    So… you prefer rumours (truth or lies), great, society has been ruled by rumours, etc. for milennia and were has it got us? Or rather should the question be asked, “Has free press/blogs like this helped in this area or simply perpetuate it or worse, make matters worse?”

    One thing that really worries me is that if Internet blogs were possible back in the 1930’s & 40’s, we would all be speaking German now.

    And don’t tell me otherwise because all it takes is the right amount of resources (on the internet) and proper dosage of rumour/propaganda and we’re all in some bad do-do – if we’re not half way there already!

  8. 132

    BTW, it seems that Keltruth has broken you away from the real issues with regard to the promises and actions or non-actions of the new DLP government.

    It is clear that their emphasis was not on the BLP, per se, but other factions within, so now that they have helped unhinge the BLP from government and lead us down the garden path … to where? God help us.

    Keltruth has their own agenda and you have been used by them and we (Barbadians living here) could possibly be lead to the slaughter now over the next five years (or ………………).

  9. 132

    the 100 days are soon up now, not to mention other reversals and no-shows …

  10. Black Woman Who Reads

    Blogs are not yet required to check their sources and report the unbiased truth – but that day is coming and so are the actions for defamation. Reporters are so required, because their names are on the articles and they and their publishers are liable when they print lies about people.

    So what about Sir David Simmons?

    It is by no means unheard of for an attorney-general to move on to the highest judicial post in the land.

    A case in point is Lord Havers. He was attorney-general of the United Kingdom who went on to become Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor is head of the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords which, when I last looked, was Britain’s highest court.

    So the similarity to Sir David Simmons is clear. Sir David, like Lord Havers, was a highly successful, practicing lawyer and, like Lord Havers, took silk. Like Lord Havers, he stood for election to parliament and, like Lord Havers, he was elected. Like Lord Havers, he was given the portfolio of attorney-general and finally, like Lord Havers, he was appointed to the head of the judiciary.

    The tenure of Lord Havers as Lord Chancellor was elevated by his insistence on returning the control of the courts to the judges and making them more efficient.

    And there is no doubt that this is precisely what Sir David has also done.

    Bravo, Lord Havers!!

    Bravo, Sir David!!

    Here are the details on Lord Havers.

    Robert Michael Oldfield Havers, Baron Havers, PC, QC (10 March 1923 – 1 April 1992) was a British barrister and politician. From his knighthood in 1972 until becoming a peer he was known as Sir Michael Havers.

    He was a son of High Court Judge Sir Cecil Havers and brother of Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (born 1933) who in 1988 became the first woman named to the Court of Appeal and later President of the Family Division.

    Michael Havers was named a Queen’s Counsel in 1964 and became a member of the Privy Council in 1977. He was elected to the House of Commons representing Wimbledon in 1970 and served until 1987. He served as Solicitor General in the Government of Edward Heath from 1972 to 1974, and as Attorney-General from 1979 to 1987 under Margaret Thatcher. In June 1987 he was appointed Lord High Chancellor and consequently became a life peer as Baron Havers, of St Edmundsbury in the County of Suffolk. However, he was forced to resign that October, due to ill health.

  11. John

    Black Woman Who Reads
    April 10, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Could you also comment on the similarities between the two with respect to their experience as judges prior to becoming the “Chief Judge”?

    How long exactly did Sir Michael serve as “Chief Judge” before he retired?

    …. and when exactly did Sir David start insisting prior to his elevation to “Chief Judge” that control of the courts should be returned to the judges?

    These are some points that don’t come across clearly in your comment.

    I seem to remember the same type of point you make was made, by O$A himself, when he made the appointment back in 2000.

    At that time the two examples he cited were of Barbadians. He obviously hadn’t heard about the exmple from the UK which you put forward, or chose not to mention it, …. or maybe I didn’t hear him say it.

    Both names elude my memory because I really thought it was a non point, even an excuse, at the time, …. still do.

    But for the moment, forget examples of what politicians have done in the past where the appointment to the post of “Chief Judge” is concerned and look at the broader issues.

    Do you really think that a politician should move from politics to the head of the judiciary when much is always made of the separation of powers?

    Do you believe that the separation of powers should have the appearance of being observed?

    Do you see any possible conflicts arising from a politician becoming the Chief Judge?

    Here is one possibility which gives me food for thought.

    Suppose we actually get some ITAL (not the food)and O$A or one (or many) of the CJ’s former colleagues has to appear before the courts to answer some alleged violation of ITAL which took place when he, Sir David, was also a member of cabinet.

    I can think of Greenland as one possible example where this could arise.

  12. TI National Integrity Systems Survey 2004

    See Transparency International’s National Integrity Systems Survey, Caribbean Composite Study 2004 Questionnaire (Barbados) – Page 88

    Are judges/investigative magistrates independent? Are appointments based on merit?

    Judges in Barbados enjoy a fairly wide degree of independence. The Governor General appoints the Chief Justice after consultation with the Prime Minister, according to section 81 (1) of the Barbados Constitution. The Governor on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (section 81(2), appoints Puisne Judges. Once appointed a Judge may remain in office until he attains the age of 65. A Judge’s tenure may be extend to age 67, but not beyond, by the Governor General, following the advice of the Prime Minister in the case of the Chief Justice or the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, in the case of any other judge.

    Practice

    The current Chief Justice of Barbados Sir David Simmons was appointed to the bench, following his tenure as Attorney General of the ruling Barbados Labour party Administration and as a Parliamentarian of long-standing. Whilst this does not in itself question the independence of the Chief Justice, it indicates a degree of politicisation, which is not often associated with the Office of Chief Justice.

  13. no name

    The old people always said that “two wrongs never made a right”

    Perhaps we would all be better off if we listened to what the past generations preached to us.

  14. no name

    132,

    What is this about Keltruth leading us down the garden path? Last time I checked the blog was still up. The current story is a few days old but the blog is still there.

    And I enjoy their articles.

    Are you saying that the keltruthblog is a DLP blog used to “unhinge” the BLP government?

  15. tstt

    Off the topic a bit here-

    Did anyone read Hartley Henry’s column this morning? I really don’t get it. He makes the comparison about life in Barbados and Grenada, yet when he had the choice between letting the two obviously poor boys keep the extra mango while he gives up his dollar till next time. He opts to take the mango. With all the money he makes in his current job(s). Talk about double standards. Talk about hypocricy.

    PS. I am not a BLP supporter.

  16. Jerome Hinds

    BFP moderator deleted this comment.

    As we have said before, the picture of Sir David is about him being “re-virginated” to move from AG to the office of Chief Justice al la Madonna’s “like a virgin” album cover.

    That’s it Folks!

  17. Tell me Why

    Why was the person in the picture at the top of this article seen dressed exactly the same way………around 12 :35 am this morning in the Coleridge Street area ?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    BFP, you are constantly showing serious double standards. Few days ago, commenters and yourself were up in arms with the Carlos Chase issue regarding disrespect to others, but here, we are seeing this DLP operative, Jerome Hinds who constantly use derogative behaviour to past and present BLP officials. The blogging community must disassociate themselves from this sort of official bashing. Remember, the gentleman has been designated the title “Sir” and should be respected as such.

    I must say that we scarcely see commenters using such insulting demeanour to members of this administration.

    I made this statement already and I am going to reiterate once again. Since confirming that you are an advisor for the Ministry of Trade and you are getting on with such undiplomatic conduct, Lord help this Nation. To me, it looks as though BFP rally around certain political bashers and if a commenter make any adversed comment about this administration, presto!!!!!!!!!, ……. we will hear about banning and moderations. Come on BFP, let’s have a level playing field.

    I know that BFP will remain silent on this matter, but what the heck, this is blogging.

    ***********************

    BFP says,

    Hello Tell Me Why,

    We have removed Jerome’s comment because it did not meet our standards as you quite correctly point out.

    What you don’t account for is that we are not always in a position to moderate so it may take us two or three hours to do so at times.

    Thanks for your understanding and support.

  18. Tell me Why

    Here we go again, moderation due to a big mouth.

    **************

    BFP says,

    We don’t get your point TMW. You forget that we aren’t here all the time, so don’t get your undies in a knot. Have some patience, please. We look after the blog when we’re finished picking up the children or working night shift or being stuck in traffic looking at that white elephant Kensington Oval for an hour.

    Patience, please.

  19. Insider..........

    why do some people’s posts need “looking after” while others go straight through

    Its pretty obvious that myself and TMW are on permanent moderation

    *************************

    BFP says,

    Yes, you are on “always moderate” for two reasons…

    1/ Of your last 30 posts, 23 have been complaining about our moderation policies, while 4 have been one word interruptions like “rubbish” or “lies” that add nothing to the conversation.

    So out of the last 30 posts, 27 have been basically disruptive with zero to contribute.

    2/ You are taking too much of our time while contributing nothing to the community, so now you are not only “on moderation”… you are kicked off.

    Go away and start your own blog.

    Goodbye

  20. Insider..........

    You are such a liar, my last posts were to Hants comments about how anyone could say anything on a blog

    I have posted a one word post “rubbish” or one saying “liars”

    Goodbye

  21. Tell me Why

    Thanks BFP. Although commenters are not subject to libel at present, we should still respect officials in Public Office. We must also realise that the internet is viewed by potential visitors. So let’s keep our debates to a higher standard since this medium is the vehicle for expression of views that are not entertained by the mainline media.

  22. So Long

    Black Woman Who Reads
    It has happened in England, therefore it is Okay. Sorry, not good enough…

  23. no name

    Perhaps Black Woman Who Reads should read some more.

  24. Pingback: Barbados Labour Party finally loses control of Supreme Court – Chief Justice Simmons’ term not extended « Barbados Free Press