Author: Gordon E. Mullings | Date: 17 December 2014
On Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 – a date that shall live in dishonour – I was utterly astonished to hear my family name called in thinly veiled form, on ZJB Radio.
This, during a string of accusations being made against the PDM government by the new, MCAP Opposition Leader. Having set a context of alleged cronyism and claimed documents and sources, the Opposition Leader proceeded to associate my family name and my practice of policy advice consultancies with the notion of a proposed shady consultancy of EC$ 250,000.
In fact, I have made no such proposal.
On cross-checking, no relevant responsible officer of the Government has been authorised to propose such an offer.
On track record (for instance with developing the 2008 – 2027 Energy Policy), I have consistently charged well below market rates when I have done consultancies for Montserrat; given the volcano plight we all face. Any alleged document showing such a $250,000 shady proposal is therefore either twisted utterly out of context into falsehood, or it is a plain out and out fabrication and dirty trick. If instead, such grave and questionable accusations were made based on little more than irresponsible office gossip, that is even worse. (I note, as a key moral principle, that: to lie is to speak in disregard to truth, in hope that what is said or suggested will be taken as true.)
The true facts could easily have been found out. If, there was a serious desire to be fair, accurate and truthful. It is therefore utterly irresponsible for the Leader of the Opposition to make abusive and unfounded allegations in the Assembly about innocent third parties, knowing full well that because of parliamentary privilege he is immune to being sued for defamation.
For the record, the first I heard of such a shady proposal, was the public accusations instantly broadcast to Montserrat and the wider world and automatically written into the record of our Legislature.
My clan has thus been subjected to a breach of honour, by way of unjustified false accusations and implied guilt by association with a long string of other accusations.
The Temple of Law in Montserrat must be cleansed.
I have therefore communicated with the Speaker. I have called for correcting the record and for dealing with the abuse of parliamentary privilege under the rules of Parliament. A retraction is due.
If such is not done our Honourable House of law-making is in danger of falling into disrepute.
Similarly, political parties are responsible for the behaviour of their officers.
Accordingly, through a formal complaint, I have called on the MCAP leadership to correct what was done under the colours of their party, and to repudiate the false accusations that were made.
There is obviously a need for a restoration of civility in political debate and behaviour in Montserrat. So, I have copied my formal complaint to the leadership of the PDM, and I have called on the Christian Council to facilitate development of a code of decent political conduct.
Edmund Burke warned us all long since, that “all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing.”
I find it especially saddening to notice a tendency to shrug shoulders and say in effect, “that's politics . . . “
As though, the hunger for or exercise of power confers an exception to civility, honour and respect for one's neighbour, made in the Image of the Awesome God and Dread Judge of all Flesh.
Such is little more than a flimsy excuse for wrong-doing.
One, that imagines that might and manipulation make 'right' and 'truth.' That, is a monstrous doctrine condemned ever since Plato in The Laws, Book X exposed those who taught the up and coming youth of his day that “the highest right is might.”
Such, must not stand.
Let us cleanse the temple of law in Montserrat, lest we utterly undermine civility and mutual respect; which are the foundation of a stable and just democracy and community worth living in.
Further actions as outlined are of course under way, towards reformation of the culture of governance.
PS: The following excerpts from SRO 11 of 2012 will clarify and correct impressions also given during the relevant remarks:
(Yes, providing reasonable circumstances apply, single source procurement of goods and services is legitimate. One of these, patently, would be confidential policy analysis and linked support services.)