by HE Dr Thelma Phillip-Browne
Those were my exact words at a public meeting spoken from the T U platform when I became aware that perhaps another Cambride Analytica-type move was going to be used against the TU.
I was conceding that politicians we were dealing with were flawed hence good governance required that leaders needed to be limited by time in office i.e Term Limits and rules i.e Integrity in Public Life which were at the top of my list.
It is more necessary than ever and I am convinced that the then leadership whose desire it was to “stay in power for life” would never make such changes! I still am and his desire is obviously not altered although many people believe that the Labour Party stands a better chance without him at the helm after all these decades!
I am not going to get into shoes and watches, nuts and bolts, millions and thousands but I googled political gift- giving and it is extremely common. (I note than no mention was made of gifts to UK politicians but article indicated a political party donor and some key associates).
I am not saying it is right but individuals, businesses, lobbyists do it all the time in one form or another as there are always willing recepients.
What many countries and states have done is to limit the value of gifts and or make them disclosable by law thereby improving transparency. I know many politicians whose homes and offices were full of gifts but not the circumstances of how they received them.
Disclosure is certainly needed in our Caribbean countries so yes, Integrity in Public Life! Term limits!
Is one who sees himself and is seen by many supporters as teflon coated, who is being given more coats of teflon even by some who had once seen the light, going to to pass laws like Term Limits and IPL?
I think not, especially having flouted his own law regarding holding another countries passport!
We all vote for many reasons. I am reiterating that I voted for a contract so TU please do not get distracted and get on with the contract to ensure the checks and balances are in place.
Finally, my hope always was and is, that the next generation of TU will really bring unity. Mostly because they will not have known the Robert Bradshaws, Billie Herberts, Simeon Daniels and thus the baggages of bitter rancour and rivalries. I believe that once checks and balances are in place, a younger generation of men and especially women ( since statistics show governance is better and more transparent when are more women), will see the need to become involved rather than criticise from the sidelines.
It is said that the best way for evil to thrive is for good people to do nothing. In the US unprecedented numbers of ordinary citizens, young, coloured, female, are rising to the challenge. No more standing on the sidelines but getting involved. Politics is about life! Our life! It is not enough for good people to say we don’t like politics because we will continue to get that which we then deplore!
Just my view!
Young ladies of the Caribbean, go for it! TU, No distractions!The Contract!