3 May 2009

On Henry Charles, ethics and integrity

I was wrong about the reasons of why Zainool Hosein resigned from the Integrity Commission.

However, I am still of the view that McFarlane ought to tender his own resignation, given that he has a prior cushy relationship with Calder Hart. A relationship that is freely admitted, and that can be easily verified by the way.

Potentially, this is disastrous on the new Commission. For one thing, it is already one member short, thus making the casting of votes (if that is required) dubious in case of deadlock. Further, if to avoid a conflict of interest, McFarlane does recuse himself as he says he will do, then that leaves only 3 members.

On the issue of him having to file declarations with the Commission of which he is a Deputy Chairman being a case of himself reporting to himself, McFarlane said: "Surely in relation to that point the proper thing to do in a case like that is to recuse ourself [sic] from discussions on a matter that concerns yourself".

Is that sufficient to decide potentially legally and damaging issues? Let us not forget how many thousands of dollars in damages had to be paid to Rowley.

The past Commission, in my humble opinion, was a political tool. Of the many hundreds of persons who did not file their papers with the Commission on time, if at all, were many members of the PNM, members of PNM appointed State boards, etc. Yet, the only one prosecuted (persecuted?)  was Basdeo Panday, Leader of the Opposition. Clearly, a political witch hunt by the PNM. After more than 3 years(!), he still remains the only one so charged.

Now, I hold no brief for Panday as all my readers know, but to me this sparks of a insanity that reeks of cronyism to the highest level. By that I mean all the way up to Papa-tricks.

What remains to be seen, aside from the possible removal of McFarlane, is whether the ethical Father Henry Charles, Chairman Extraordinaire, will allow himself to be manipulated by the political heavyweights. My opinion? He has little choice. He will be used.

If indeed he is to make his mark, then the first order of business, of necessity, will be to begin charging those miscreants of law & order and hauling their sorry arses before the courts, political affiliations aside. How much of this will be done, and how much McFarlane stands in the way of it being done, remains to be seen.

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