Barbados Attorney General Loses Cool: Right & Wrong Way to Handle Media
Among the many fumbles this Government has performed over 2013 was how it handles visitors who may or may not be of a suspicious nature… Specifically, in finally losing the Shanique Myrie case that was brought before Caricom’s Court of Justice (to replace London’s Privy Council which does not use wig & robes but suit & tie) where she alleged Barbados Immigration officers treated her worse than shabby, all they had to do was ask who was she here to see, but some folk imply that line of questioning would open another can of worms the ruling party in Bim would just as soon forget!
The case was succinct as lawsuits go, and Senator Maxine McClean sought to dodge the matter while in Georgetown and so too has Adriel Brathwaite, Barbados’ Home Affairs Minister as well as Attorney General, who was recently part of a Panel Discussion at the University of West Indies’ Errol Barrow Centre on Cave Hill. The rest of the ensemble included Senator Orlando Marville, Dr Tennyson Joseph and a Dr David Berry.
The Senator sees the ruling as a means of changing the definition of what sovereignty now means for Caribbean people who abide by the CCJ as opposed to the London Privy Council; while Dr Joseph feels that Sovereignty is now a malleable term – it has made Caricom look at Citizenry but not how to ameliorate the feelings of Xenophobia which can be concurrent.
Mr Marville, a published author in his own right, also thinks Caricom now needs a more pro-active approach to Sovereignty especially when one bears in mind how the region itself embraces and accommodates performers from one territory to the next far more easily than when it pertains to Politicians.
Eventually the chat (yes, a frothy interaction as opposed to a serious enlightened discourse) diverted to the ongoing dispute of Trinidad and Barbados over whose flying fish are being harvested.
As it finally opened for questions from the audience (including Buddy Larrier‘s soliloquy which everyone gets annoyed with, since it takes 30 minutes for him to make a point); I was able to ask if Myrie’s suggestion is true pertaining to her treatment then is it time for Immigration Officers to be retrained I also asked if this is part of what led to decide to replace Darwin Dottin as Commissioner Of Police?
The entire auditorium was a huge inward hiss as there was a collective gasp because I brought up the departure of the island’s top cop which remains a sore point with this current regime… Adriel himself got quite annoyed and had a scouring mien for the balance of the night as can be gleaned from this video I made sure to record;-
However, while he is a lawyer and politician and supposedly went to a “good” secondary school? Clearly he lacks cunning and a diplomatic suaveness! This is what I’d do if in his position…
“Well, Ian, first of all we need to conduct a survey to see how poorly or properly Immigration officers interview candidates as they arrive. If it shows they’re a bit acerbic then perhaps they need a refresher or a retraining like Dale Carnegie? But as for your second query (deprecating giggle here)? I know you’re not a lawyer, Ian (subtle dig at my credibility), but you have been in journalism long enough to be aware if I respond to the Dottin salvo while the matter is sub judice then this bodes no good for either Plaintiff nor Defendant! Tell you what (close in for the kill now), come and talk to me after the show and let’s set up an Interview to see how best I can allay your Concerns…” He would have appeared magnanimous and I would look like an insensitive bully, instead he showed why is not really qualified to handle such a crucial posting!
This Government is getting more and more sensitive by the second as they hope to reach at least 3 years to qualify for a term and thus get the second tranche of their Government Pension as an MP for 2 terms – therefore the vitriolic volleys directed at the Nation over a blurred photo on sex in secondary schools and their delayed rage at disclosing struck records in Parliament, it was a subtle warning which coincidentally erupted just before the Sinckler revelation how 3,000 from the public sector must go (even though in elections in February they claimed no one would go home)! Every Barbadian must continue to keep Government on their toes at every public opportunity they get, before we end up in a Gulag!