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Legality, morality and responsibility of public officers

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Fri, Sept 09. 2011

Editor: Come on, Hans King, my brother and comrade. I know you are much bigger than that. You made a terrible mistake and should at least admit it, offer an unqualified apology to Vincentians and move on. The subtle appeals for partisan support on Shake Up wouldn’t wash this away.{{more}}

Bryan “Paper” Alexander was very wrong to make the remarks he did on FaceBook. But two wrongs do not a right make. I was first told that by my Father when I was in Stage Two at the Calliaqua Anglican School. It stuck forever.

Even the most casual observer on FaceBook and those who followed the last general elections campaign see “Paper” as a very mean-spirited guy who takes delight in attacking the character of those who support Prime Minister Gonsalves and the ULP and criticise the folly of Arnhim Eustace and the NDP. Some like to forget the skeletons in their own closets.

“Spread Love Not Hate”, Bryan “Paper” Alexander (hypocritically) exhorts us all.

Bryan “Paper” Alexander is much more than a political fanatic. He seems to be a very angry man who can’t stand being away from “the trough” for too long. Perhaps he expects huge personals benefits, should the NDP return to power. He believes in saying bad things about others, while trying all methods of intimidation to silence his political opponents. I am confident that the God I serve will deal with the likes of Bryan “Paper” Alexander. “…the mills of God grind slowly, but exceedingly fine…”

Allegedly calling you (Hans King) the dirty names he did is not enough for “Paper” to go “six feet under”. The “contemplation” you spoke out aloud should never come from the lips or pen of the Press Secretary of a progressive Prime Minister in a democratic country like SVG. If “Paper” slandered you, or in any way besmirched your character, there are laws in our country that offer recourse. The Prime Minister should have told you that. He uses these laws quite successfully.

Remember this: While you hold your present public office, you are public figure Hans King and not “private citizen” Hans King.

De Comrade was a leading regional Lawyer in practice for many years, before he ascended to the Prime Minister’s office. I will not question his expressed legal opinion that you (Hans King) did nothing illegal by stating a feeling you contemplated. I simply disagree with De Comrade on this. There is what is considered legal, moral and responsible for high national office holders. It is for this reason I question – big time – the decision of the Prime Minister to come to Hans King’s defence for the two separate remarks reportedly made on two different (international) radio programmes.

Hans King is not the Press Secretary of the Leader of the ULP. Hans is the Press Secretary of the Prime Minister of SVG. Even though both offices are held by one and the same individual, there is a huge distinction to be made here. As such, Hans King is accountable to Prime Minister Gonsalves, the ULP government (not the party) and all Vincentians – ULPers and NDPers alike. The Prime Minister’s Press Secretary has the obligation, as well as the responsibility, to stay above the fray at all times.

As justified in his action as many partisans believe Hans King may be, this sort of behaviour has no place in modern politics. Moreso at a time when we are in search of reconciliation, in the interest of national unity and economic progress.

As I see it, our popular Prime Minister jumped to Hans King’s defence in order to shift the focus from Hans King, the less popular public figure. With due respect, I believe De Comrade may have made the biggest blunder yet of his forty plus years of political activism. “Backfire” is the word to watch in time to come.

Comrade, Vincentians – including this writer – love you and continue to appreciate the massive gains you have brought our country over the last 10 years. Under your visionary, progressive and energetic leadership, the Labour-MNU merger – the ULP – became the most disciplined, pragmatic and efficient political machine in the region. Our leader, party and their performance became the envy of the Caribbean. Of late, though, the discipline seems to be waning. Political operatives and some public servants are becoming offensive by their attitudes and actions. Some even publicly contradict the Prime Minister. These frightening transgressions should never be supported or condoned by our leaders.

I feel quite certain the vast majority of right-thinking Vincentians, regardless of political affiliations, are expecting the Prime Minister to repudiate Hans King and demand from him an immediate public apology.

Wade Kojo Williams Sr. remains an unrepentant “Labourite” who refuses to condone what he considers to be wrong, simply because it comes from a member of the party he supports. Never did and never will support any action or measure, unless I believe it to be in the best interest of SVG. I stand firm on this position, even at the risk of being again maligned and disavowed by many in the ULP. I refuse to depart from the teachings of my (late) Mother and Father – Luenda and Daniel Williams.

Comrade, I remind you of the lyrics of the 2001 calypso (“Now That You Win”) composed and sung by my (late) brother, Winfield “Mighty Rey” Williams. Ask “AD” to give it a spin on Star FM radio.

I rest my case on this issue… or “non-issue”. Over to you, Hans King and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

T. Wade Kojo Williams

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