Daily Archives: February 13, 2010

Barbados Prime Minister slams retiring Chief Justice David Simmons over the ethics of Simmons’ appointment.

David Thompson pledges that our next Chief Justice will not be a political hack

It was a carefully worded comment delivered with all the outward innocence that an experienced lawyer like Prime Minister David Thompson could muster – but the intent and the impact of the Prime Minister’s words were devastating to the legacy and public memory of retiring Chief Justice Sir David Simmons.

It wasn’t just a slap in the face, Thompson kicked Sir David in the backside on his way out the door too…

Thompson added that he still held the firm belief that Sir David’s original appointment in January 2002 was wrong since it had been made after he was part of the executive or a former Government. “The circumstances of his appointment were wrong, and I don’t think you can cure it because you are a good Chief Justice,” Thompson added.

… from the Nation article PM sheds light on CJ issue.

It was Unethical for David Simmons to accept the office of Chief Justice

Before David Simmons and then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur engineered his “retirement” from government and almost immediate appointment as Chief Justice of Barbados, David Simmons was a professional politician for 25 years.  A BLP Member of Parliament in Opposition and Government. A senior Cabinet Minister for three governments. Attorney General. Acting Prime Minister.

Career politician is no independent judge

Simmons’ appointment in 2002 was a Barbados Labour Party political strategy designed to exercise political control and influence over the Barbados courts. His appointment effectively killed the separation of powers between the government and the judiciary and brought the administration of justice into disrepute. David Simmons personally caused tens of thousands of Bajans to lose faith in the entire judicial system.

Prime Minister Thompson is aware of all that and he knows that his decision to sack Simmons as Chief Justice will go a long way to restoring the faith of the people in the independence of our courts.

Those crying that Simmons is hard done by need to get a reality check. Thompson could not possibly have extended the tenure of David Simmons because that would have been giving his stamp of approval to what he knew was an unethical appointment of Simmons in the first place.

Who will be our new Chief Justice of Barbados?

One thing is for sure, David Thompson won’t be appointing another political hack – nor will the lawyer class dictate the candidates. Our Prime Minister knows that the position of Chief Justice is far too important to leave to an agenda-driven legal profession…

“Chief Justices are not appointed to help lawyers. Chief Justices are appointed to dispense justice to citizens, so my choice for a Chief Justice is not going to be based on any cacophony of noise from the legal profession. Someone has to be chosen who has the integrity, the equanimity and the outlook that is consistent with modern Barbadian society and our quest for social justice… I am not sure that the legal profession is the best place for that argument,”

… Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson

What a novel idea! Prime Minister David Thompson will put citizens and justice first.

Dear Prime Minister Thompson,

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your public stance that it was wrong for David Simmons to be appointed as Chief Justice. Thank you for promising that our next Chief Justice will not be a politician or dictated by the lawyer class. Thank you for working to restore the faith of the people in our justice system.

Yours truly,

Barbados Free Press

Marcus, Shona, George, Cliverton, Robert and Auntie Moses

Further Reading

BFP, January 3, 2010: Barbados Labour Party finally loses control of Supreme Court – Chief Justice Simmons’ term not extended

For the original Nation article quoting the Prime Minister, you should visit the Nation website: PM sheds light on CJ issue.

But just in case the Nation decides to change history as they sometimes do by re-writing or deleting news, here is the entire article in its original form…

PM sheds light on CJ issue

Published on: 2/12/2010.

PRIME MINISTER DAVID THOMPSON last night stoutly defended his position not to extend the tenure of former Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Local artist Annalee Davis holds sale in support of Haiti

Renowned local artist, author, filmmaker and feisty letter writer Annalee Davis is offering discounts on her personal art and the Manipura brand with the proceeds from the sale going to help Haiti.

Her Manipura brand works are on show daily at the Flower Forest Botanical Gardens gift shop or… would you like a private showing in your home or at her studio? No problem. Give her a call and she’ll be happy to oblige.

You should also check out Annalee’s blog for updates about Caricom’s role on the ground in Haiti.

Here are some of the links for Annalee…

Manipura Art Website

Special Sale

Personal website: Annalee Davis.com

Blog: On the Map

BFP article by Annalee Davis: Film Maker Annalee Davis Publishes Letter To Barbardos Advocate Editor – And She Does It Here At BFP

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Filed under Art, Barbados, Haiti, Immigration

Was the US charge d’affaires surprised by Barbados’ refusal to look after Haitian injured?

Rickey Singh upset about diplomatic breach – Doesn’t mention that Barbados could take in some Haitians

In his current Nation News article US envoy’s ‘pressure’ on Barbados Rickey Singh is all upset that Brent Hardt, the chargé d’affaires of the United States of America for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, went public with Barbados’ refusal to take in Haitian injured.

Here’s some of what Rickey says:

My understanding is that both Minister of Health Donville Inniss and Foreign Affairs Minister Maxine McClean had communicated to Hardt why his request could not realistically be entertained. Then followed the diplomat’s surprising letter which, to say the least, did not accurately reflect the ministerial positions that had been conveyed to him before his written request, as he made known to the media.

The question is, why? When he claimed, as reported, that the “significant medical capacity in the Caribbean” made these countries “well placed” to treat the injured Haitians, was Hardt speaking out of first-hand knowledge or assumption? And which of the other governments in the region had he communicated his request to before, or after, engaging the attention of the Foreign Affairs and Health Ministers of Barbados?

Perhaps when, as I understand, he receives an official written response to his request on behalf of the injured Haitians, we may learn why, in the first place, the Barbados Government had to suffer such an unnecessary inconvenience to explain to a United States diplomat its inability, at this stage, to offer the medical care needed by the injured Haitian earthquake victims. Why push Barbados on the defensive when, like other CARICOM states, it is also currently actively involved in various efforts to help the people of Haiti?

US diplomat Brent Hardt

Aside from the diplomatic faux pas by Mr. Hardt (which I don’t mind at all considering he was trying to save some lives and Barbados said “Let ’em die”), I pose this question…

Could it be that Barbados has spread the “first world, little Britain” propaganda so effectively that Mr. Hardt truly is unable to comprehend our refusal?

Alternatively, might it be that Mr. Hardt is disgusted with Barbados because he, like everyone else on this island, knows that Bajans could easily take in a dozen or so amputees and their close families?

Could Mr. Hardt believe that the government’s refusal is based primarily upon current anti-immigration feelings in the population and other political considerations?

Whatever the reasons for refusal given by the Government of Barbados, the message comes through loud and clear: “No stinkin’ Haitians aboard the good ship Barbados. Not a one. Let ’em die.”

If you think that’s unfair, perhaps we can talk about it over cocktails at the Hilton or during a round at Ape’s Hill. Or, we could meet at the oval and chat while we admire the $300 million dollars we spent on our cricket palace.

Just don’t try to say that the sovereign nation of Barbados doesn’t have what it takes to accept 10 or 12 Haitian amputees and their close families for a year. There’s probably going to be that many rooms empty all year at Time Out at the Gap hotel alone.

Rickey Singh had better know that the Barbados government’s refusal to take in even a single Haitian victim and family has nothing to do with our capabilities.

The US chargé d’affaires knows that too.

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster, Ethics, Immigration, Politics