National Realities Myths and Feuds

National Realities Myths and FeudsWhen man speaks to “...Reality,” he speaks to that which in “...Real Life,” exists and/or experienced; ...when he speaks to “...Myths,” he speaks to “...an Idealized conception or a widely held, but mistaken belief; and when he speaks to “...Feuds,” he is in fact speaking to “...Prolong Disagreements” [Encarta].

Seemingly, the more attempts were being made to extricate the region from “...Colonial Institutions,” the more the region entangles itself in its legacies. This commentary looks briefly at several critical “...Regional and National Issues.” Among the regional groupings, only  ...Trinidad and Tobago [August 1, 1976] Guyana [March 29, 1980] of CARICOM and Dominica of the OECS [November 3, 1978] have relinquished “...Monarchial Links with Britain.” They have opted for indigenous “...Heads of State as Presidents.”

When the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda attained sovereignty on November 1, 1981, it may have been for reasons, other than “...economic” it accepted a “...Legacy and Linkage” through “...Titular Relations with the United Kingdom.” Thus, its leadership opted for governance to be conducted and guided by a “...Constitutional Monarchy.” Hence, this was supported in the “...Constitution Order 1981.” The Order provisionally allows for “...Her Majesty the Queen to be the Head of State.” This, however, may be freely and appropriately severed through a mandatory “...Two-Thirds Majority,” based not on “...factionalized organizational membership,” but through a democratic process that requires the “...full Parliamentary Membership of the House of Representatives” [Section 47]. Complete severance and/or partial amendments may also be realized through the conduct of “...Constitutional Referendums.”

 In the formalized “ ...Constitutional Arrangements for Antigua and Barbuda, the Constitution Order 1981,” provides inter alia for (i) “...Executive Authority to be vested in Her Majesty the Queen; (ii) ...a Legislature and (iii) ...a four-tier Judicial System, that includes “ ...a Magistracy; ...High Court of Justice; ...Appellate – Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) and ...Her Majesty’s Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as its Final Appellate Court.” Suspect “...Judicial Judgments and/or Decisions” have been frequently referred to the Privy Council for correcting judgments that litigating parties and/or criminal convicts saw either as (i) “...defying logic or bordering perversion; (ii) ...extremely severe; and (iii) ...inhuman and degrading treatment.”

The “...Constitutional Arrangements for Antigua and Barbuda” seemed to have provoked feelings of apprehension in some intellectuals and among many indigenous people. For instance, with some degree of “...persistence and irritating displeasure” Rastafari Elder King Franki [Franklin Francis] has been advocating “...Dispensing with the Monarchy as Head of State.” He has argued that “...Severing Monarchial Ties” will add true meaning to the concepts “...Independence and Sovereignty.”  The Rastafari Elder was not alone in “...his advocacy for detachment from the Monarchy.” Seemingly, after assessing the state of affairs with the “...Queen as Head of State for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, to all intents and purposes,  had described the constitutional arrangements for his nation as “ ... Nancy Story.”

Hence, before he had embarked upon a “...Journey of Adventurism,” he was quoted as saying “...I find it a bit of a Nancy story that the Queen of England can be Queen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines” [Stabroek: November 30, 2009]. As modern civilization progressed, those stories had long been buried in oblivion. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves may have “...misdirected himself, miscalculated and/or underestimated the intelligence of the populace.” Consequently, he had embarked upon a “...Valiance of Futility.” Through a “...Constitutional Referendum” the electorate rejected the move [November 25, 2009]. Thus, the “...electorate” neither accepted the “...Nancy in the Story” he had advanced, nor the constitutional move. Suspecting that a constitutional change may have serious overtones for “...freedom and democracy with an Executive Presidency,” participants in the national exercise were clearly not enthused by the overtures, thwarted his ambitious intentions.

The people whom Dr. Ralph Gonsalves had attempted to persuade into severing the link with the United Kingdom had shown him that his thoughts were neither in “...sync with his intellect; ...his dreams did not reflect their intelligence and hope, nor consistent with reality.” Seemingly the people understood the differences in the two “...Presidential Concepts” and decisively ended his “...Executive Dreams.” Forced to shrug off negative suggestions, he was quoted as saying “...That would give the office holder too much power” [Claude Robinson: Jamaica Observer: November 29, 2009]. Her Majesty’s Constitutional Status and reign remain (for now) - Supreme.” Like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda Colonial Links” were strengthened by carefully considered constitutional provisions for appointment of (i) “...a Governor General as Her Majesty’s Representative” [Section 22]; (ii) ...a Parliament that comprises Her Majesty [Section 27]; and (iii) “...Full Executive Powers” [Section 68].

For the avoidance of doubt, the Constitution states “...The Executive authority of Antigua and Barbuda is vested in Her Majesty and ...exercisable by the Governor General DIRECTLY or by OFFICERS (Ministers/other public officers) subordinate to her.”  It may have been seen that all public officers’ appointments are made under the Constitution by Her Majesty’s representative, the Governor General” [Section 82]. Individually and collectively, “ALL” are subordinate to the Governor General. Ministers of Government and other public officials are bound by “...an Oath of Allegiance.” Thus, “...Legislative Tinkering” with powers and/or functions constitutionally and/or statutorily reside with the Governor General, in this instance, Her Excellency Dame Louise Lake-Tack, could precipitate “...Royal Wrath.” This could also descend upon “...Tinkers of suspect allegiance” without consideration to the exercise of the “...Prerogative of Mercy.”

Irrespective of the “...Hazy Interpretations” alluded to by Legal Affairs Minister Attorney General Honourable Justin L. Simon QC, however, “...not by any stretch of the imagination,” shall there be any “...Abridgement of the Powers of the Governor General.” Apart from that which is contained in the “ ...Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act, the Constitution Order 1981” makes it sufficiently CLEAR, even for the understanding of “...Form III students of the Jennings Secondary School,” that “...The power and authority of the Governor General shall not be abridged; ...altered; or in any way affected by the appointment of a Deputy; ...A Deputy shall conform to; ...and observe all instructions that the Governor General, in his/her discretion, may from time to time address to him” [CO: Section 25 (2)].

Specific to the “...Assignment of Magistrates to the three Magisterial Districts-A, B, C,” it has been statutorily supported that such was a “...Function of the Governor General” [MCPA: Section 6: (iii): Chapter 255].Whatever may have been revealed to him, whether through “...Attorney Ralph Francis’ contentions and/or official explanations from the Magistracy,”  respecting “ ...Jurisdictional Practice,” they are likely to occupy his attention for “...legislative considerations in the New Year” [Parliament: December 19, 2013]. Social Media has already revealed an apparent “...Leaked documentation of proposals” [Caribarena: January 20, 201]. Though an Attorney General may have reasonable cause for “...harboring misgivings over provisions contained in the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act,” in seeking to apply “...Legislative Remedies,” he was obliged to consider the “...Sacrosanctity of the Office and Powers of the Governor General.”

When Legal Affairs Minister, Attorney General Honourable Justin L. Simon QC, offered explanations to the House of Representatives, he had stopped short of revealing precisely provisions contained in the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act that may have caused him “...Haziness in Interpretations” [December 19, 2013]. He was clearly sensitizing and signaling “...Parliamentary Intentions” that Members might lend support to future amendments to enable the administrative functions of the Magistracy to be more efficient. Since it has been man’s innate nature to “...Tinker,” alerted Members may have concluded that he may have been “...Thinking Tinkering.” Legal luminaries, analyzing his explanations, concluded that he may have been considering “...treading only where fools had rushed to peril.” However, it seemed unlikely that the parliamentary membership may succeed with “...Tinkering Legislation,” designed to “...relieve Her Excellency of a Statutory function without consultations, consent and ultimately, Royal Assent.”

It may not be necessary for Her Excellency Dame Louise to boast of the recent invocation of the “...Royal Commandment.” That Commandment reads “...Thou shall attend no ceremonial parade without Her Majesty’s Representative and/or Royal Consent.” Such Commandment is based upon the “...Oath of Allegiance, constitutionally owed to Her Majesty the Queen.”  There are few “...Loyal Subjects” who may have understood that command as clearly as Chief of Defence Staff, Sir Trevor Thomas KCN” [August 10, 2012]. Though the “...Military Platoon and Dame Louise Lake-Tack’s absence from the Inaugural Session of the OECS Assembly,” may have been “...ingloriously visible,” she had made her “...Powers felt; ...Displeasure publicly known; ...Position clearly understood and ...Voice audibly heard on Radio Observer,” that irrespective of “...Speakers,” whether on “ ...Political platform: ...Guest; ...House, or otherwise,” no insults laced with “ ...subtlety, impertinence, insubordination or TINKERING” by subordinates, in whatever manner, shape or form, will be countenanced or tolerated. Therefore, All subjects, “...loyal or disloyal” shall be subjected to the “...Royal Command.”

In the name of “...Regional Integration and Caribbean Unity,” valiant attempts by “...CARICOM Leaders” at dispensing completely with “...Her Majesty’s London Privy Council, had been hit by many bureaucratic snags.” Though the “...Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Mission Statement” speaks, inter alia, to “...Maintenance of Honour; ...Integrity; and ...Independence” [Article 211 & 214], some regional leaders are still “...Mortally Afraid of the CCJ.” Most were said to have initially expressed concerns, real or imaginary, over the “...Lack of Separation of Powers between the Executive and the Judiciary over Trust Fund,” for its effective functioning. Even a Loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to facilitate the Court’s judicial functions appeared insufficient in dispelling litigants’ fears. Most people appeared to have reposed confidence in the retention of the “...London Privy Council,” thereby, removing themselves from the “...Court’s Jurisdiction.”

Historically, when aggrieved parties were forced into litigation, frequently the “...Judiciary” was seen as having failed in its “...Powers of Discernment” in sorting out “...Motive of Obscurity.” As an advocate for constitutional change in formally embracing the “...Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)” as the nation’s “...Final Court of Appeal,” Attorney General Honourable Justin L. Simon QC may have seen that through “...an apparent psychological mental block,” regional leaders may have subjected the “...CCJ” to be placed under “...dark clouds of suspicion.” This may also have been strengthened by the “...defeated Constitutional Referendum” attempted by Vincentian Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, a strong advocate for the CCJ” [November 25, 2009]. It was evident that he intended to dispense with both “...Her Majesty the Queen, as Head of State and Her Judicial Committee- the Privy Council,” as the nation’s “...Final Court of Appeal.”

Since the establishment of the “...Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ),” the judicial institution has seen only “...Miserly Success.” This may have been attributed to “...Regional Leadership” that appeared to have made themselves “...Obstacles to Progress- integrationally and judicially.” Explaining that the ‘CCJ’ had done its adjudication of the contentious issues affecting “...Freedom of Movement of Jamaican Shanique Myrie and the denial of entry and alleged treatment by Barbados Immigration officers” [March 14, 2011], the Justice reportedly said “...There is no provision in the national Laws for the Court’s Order to be treated as a national order to be enforced by the national legal system” [Observer Media: January 20, 2014].

Despite the historic ruling in the “...Shanique Myrie Case,” [October 4, 2013: CCJ: No, OA 2 of 2012] by a distinguished six-member panel of Judges, the regional leadership and people, remained circumspect. Thus, when one of the six-member panel of eminent Justices, His Lordship Rolston Nelson,  who unanimously decided the “...historic Case,” spoke to the lack of “...Enforcement Mechanisms,” this may have exposed the apparent (i) ...Comedic infrastructural nature of the CCJ; (ii) ...Bothersome jurisprudential difficulties; (iii) ...Gross insults to the professional wisdom and practice of the Justices;..(iv) ...Insults to the intelligence of regional people; and (v) ...Reducing its judicial proceedings to Farcity.” This may have made a case for regional people to delay relinquishment of the “...London Privy Council.”

Dependent upon the side of the fence “...Public officials and or Aspirants sit,” there have been assertions and/or contrary views on that which might be associated with “...Poverty; ...Unemployment and Crime.” Invariably, when“...Harsh Realities” were obscured by “...Mythical beliefs,” the end results have always been “...Feuds.” It was universally known that “...Poverty and Crime are in many respects correlated.”  Both were said to be inextricably linked. This was evident in communities with people “...living either on the edge or below the Poverty Line.” Sociologists and Law enforcement have all agreed that “...adverse socio-economic conditions” have not only impacted negatively on the “...quality of life, but also on human behavior.” Statistics by the “...International Labour Organization (ILO),” estimated that more than “...2,000, 000 people is unemployed.” Most affected were said to be “...young people across the globe between the ages of 15 and 24” [BBC: January 21, 2014].

For clearly reasons of “...populist rhetoric and/or political expediency and sentimental contradictions,” at an unprecedented well-organized “...National Youth Forum,” Finance Minister Harold Lovell, cynically labeled suggestions posited by fellow-panelist Senators Samantha Marshall and Lennox Weston as “...FACILE” that “...unemployment breathes crime.”Likened to other societies across the globe, “...untenable social and economic conditions” were known to have influenced people, particularly in indigent communities, into “...devising strategies for survival.” Morally, ethically and legally, society saw these as wrongs. In reality, however, these were among the “...influential factors” known to have created conditions for societal lawlessness, pronounced by “...crime and violence.”

Shrewdly, if not with fox-like cunningness, Finance Minister Harold Lovell attributed criminal behavior to “...question of values” [Precision Center: January 16, 2014]. His endearing animated response had provoked spontaneous laughter and applause among the “...pre-dominantly youthful audience.” They had primarily attended for the purpose of posing questions to a “...six-member panel of opposing Parliamentarians. There were various national issues critical to “...Finance and Economy; Employment; ...Education, morality and other issues that may affect their future.” Advancing calculated countering “...characteristic responses,” opposing Senator Lennox Weston, with “...Fiery Rebuttals,” had equally moved the audience to responsive rapturous applause.

In “...Protecting Society,” Courts shall consider the inevitable- “...incarceration of the lawless, violent and dangerous members of society.” Though incarceration is not an antidote to crime, it was among the “...pre-requisites for ensuring, peaceful, orderly and safe societies.” This is a requisite for the “...Rule of Law.” Therefore, the “...Lawless” shall be observed as striving to avoid that which might be seen by the “...Law abiding” as wreaking havoc on, and/or terrorizing society and that which were likely to bring about “...deprivation of their liberties.” Thus, “...when the Magistracy set bail conditions that were seen as stringent; or ...when bail was denied and/or when custodial sentences were imposed upon convicts, prison population outgrew accommodation capacity.” This was known to have “...created institutional problems, exacerbated by issues of human rights.” Then there were other complaints of “...Legal Abandonment,” reportedly attributed to “...unscrupulous and equally lawless Attorneys.” Several of whom have been accused of “...Obtaining Money under False Pretence,” (Legal Fees), without delivering the requisite professional services.”

As it affects “...R. Allen Stanford, his demise was evidently the very opposite to those “...Living below the Poverty Line.” Contrastingly, while Stanford social status was in no way related to “...Pauperism, his rarefied luxurious living,” may have resulted from “...sheer avarice, deception and fraud.” His troubles started in 2009 and ended when a US District Judge slapped a 110 year prison sentence on him for “...Ponzi Scheming US$7B” [March 2012]. Law enforcement and Court records will reflect scores of other unemployed persons who were incarcerated for possessing a “...Miniscule quantity of prohibited drugs for personal consumption to significant quantities for“...Selling or Transfer” to sundry persons. Most of the convicts were said to be ranging from “...ages 17to 35.” Most had chosen and/or taken risks in engaging in activities with serious judicial consequences. Prison statistics show “...Male convicts 171; ...Females 7; ...Awaiting trial 67; ...Appeal 11; ...Remands 67” [High Court: December 17, 2013].

The statistics have shown that most of the “...institutionalized residents are unemployed originating from indigent communities.” Research revealed that there were no inmates from the affluent communities. For instance, of the “...358 institutionalized inmates some 85% were said to have been unemployed and living below the “...Poverty Line.” The recent case “...Commissioner of Police v Hubert Roberts” vividly makes the point. Inevitably, his indigent and financial positions have placed him in an invidious position of adding to the incarceration statistical data.” Likened to “...an unplayable ball from legendary cricketer Curtly Ambrose,” he was slapped with “...an un-payable fine of $20, 000 for possessing a significant quantity of a prohibited vegetable substance” [Caribarena: January 17, 2014].

In the case of “...Crimes Against the Person,” there were the “...Serious wounding, traumatic rape and unlawful carnal knowledge, brutal and execution-style killings.” The recent killing of German national Horst Sherping 63 and the vicious pistol-whipping of wife Erika 60, vividly makes the point of the “...Deadly Violence” being inflicted with impunity upon peaceful and innocent citizens. Most law abiding citizens have been “...fighting for survival against the merciless and vicious criminal elements” within the society. Compounded by these, were other frightening situations, the “...Erupting Gun Battles” on the streets or within indigent communities, as well as the “...Cutlass and knife-wielding criminals,” endangering life and limb of “...every man, woman and child.”  As it affects “...Crimes Against Property,” there was “...constant thievery, accompanied by “...unchecked home invasions; ... brazen daylight robberies and ...unlawful and malicious damage to property.” Additionally, there is the “...state of moral decay,” the depraved acts of “...immorality-Prostitution, teen pregnancy, homosexuality, lesbianism and pornography, absenteeism and truancy.” These have been the situations that have placed “...hapless and defenceless citizens” precariously and at their wits end.

From Law enforcement perspective, to a “...Poverty-stricken man,” it was never about “...Values.” For him “...Necessity knows no Law or Societal Values.” The fundamental question was “...How does one persuade and/or bring comfort to a frustrated and hungry man whose anti-social behavior is influenced by conditions that are conducive to criminality? How can unemployed indigent people, be influenced in their behavior to conform to social norms when socially and economically, his existence, rightly or wrongly is characterized as “...poverty-stricken?” These were, and continue to be situations that were known globally to have kept “...citizens terrified; ...left families grieving and hurting; ...Emergency Services Vehicles constantly in response mode; ...Medical facilities overcrowded; ...Emergency rooms over accommodated; ...overwhelmed Nurses, Doctors caring for the traumatized and wounded.”

While ...Undertakers were kept gainfully employed: ...bereaved families were preparing for funerals; ...family members, friends and loved ones with teary-eyes were  reading eulogies;...religious Pastors reflected upon the life and time of the departed, preaching to the living-the good;...the bad; ...the evil and the indifferent.” Then Law enforcement were kept busy investigating, while ...Magistrates, Judges and Jurors were busy adjudicating and/or determining, inter alia, who shall be institutionalized and/or whose necks nooses shall be strung for their grievous and/or criminal acts.”  Then with some irony, “...Prison officials and Prisoners were forced to complain of situations within the confines of the prison.” The former had complained, inter alia, “...lack of resources; ...better working conditions and remunerations; while the latter had complained over the“...inadequacy of accommodation; ... official treatment- physiologically, physically and/or psychologically.”

It was the experience that when prison conditions deteriorate to the point where they may be described as “...dehumanizing,” inmates reportedly incensed by institutional treatment, “...violently break loose, venting pent-up rage on fellow inmates, Prison officers and facility.” Irrefutably, inmates are humans and are part of the society. Notwithstanding, the prisoners also have moral and legal responsibilities. Firstly, it is binding upon every member of society, “...affluent or indigent,” to conduct himself civilly; ...acting lawfully; ...respecting the rights of others and to avoid that which have brought “...inconvenience, pain, sorrow and grief to innocent members.”

Still there were others who had been accused of “...fraudulently converting client’s collectibles to personal uses. These, undoubtedly, reflect the “...Troubling Horrors of Prison.” Such despicable conduct may have been discernible from the “...unprecedented interventions made by Her Excellency, Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack.” Startlingly, Her Excellency had made public revelations of “...Convicts/Appellants reportedly ABANDONED by their attorneys and unnoticeably left to languish at Her Majesty’s Prison.” These situations, unmistakably, speak to “...Horrors within the Prison” and the unreliability of legal services privately offered by practicing attorneys.

Recognizing “...inmates plight and responding to their despairing cries,” Her Excellency, demonstrating her love of humanity, may have been forced into making a “...Human Rights and/or Libertarian Plea” to Justice Minister Senator Dr. Errol. Cort for“...an attorney to be ASSIGNMENT of to Her Majesty’s Prison for the purposes of rendering legal assistance to affected inmates [Observer Media: December 26, 2013]. Such abandonment not only reflects an untenable existing state of affairs, but seemed most likely to affect the “...Rehabilitation Process,” thereby rendering the recent enactment of the“...Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 2013, parliamentary exercise as “...Legislative Farcity.”
Though his complaint had nothing to do with “...incarceration, prison conditions and/or treatment,” it was public knowledge that “...prominent businessman George Ryan, Hardware operator, Hotelier, Car and Bicycle Dealer” had been forced to denounce the “...unprofessional practice of a handful of depraved attorneys.” Evidence of this may have been seen when “...litigious proceedings were instituted against a prominent attorney.” He was accused of “...defrauding his company of over EC$1.2M.” Further, Tax Consultant Everette Christian had been reportedly placed in an awkward financial position, when the Bar Association reportedly persuaded “...Piece-meal Remittances for monies siphoned off from Realty Transactions by an identifiable member.” Such may also reflect countenances of unprofessional and/or criminal behavior by an apparent “...Lame Duck Bar Association Disciplinary Committee.”

In spite of the “...Hazy Interpretations” experienced by Attorney General Honourable Justin L. Simon QC, Parliament was very “...CLEAR” in its “...Aims and Objects,” respecting the “...functions of the Governor General under the Act.” Hence, these were not to be “...politically compromised, nor should they be influenced and/or manipulated by the Executive arm of government.” Additionally, such “...Powers and Functions” were not to be “...Tinkered with by means of Legislative Usurpation.” The Constitutional provisions and the recent Case “...Supervisor of Elections v Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC),” has made such usurpation settled Law. Lorna Simon who was “...constitutionally appointed Supervisor of Elections” to perform the functions of “...Executive and Registration Officer of ABEC, was “...legislatively stripped” of those functions” [Antigua Chronicle: November 12, 2013]. Her Ladyship, Justice Claire Henry declared the legislative act “...unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect.” Constitutionally, the “...Powers and Functions of the Governor General is INVIOLABLE.” Therefore, irrespective of “...Executive Status,” its “...Sacrosanctity” shall always be respected by lesser subjects.

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RE: National Realities Myths and Feuds

#1 Time to pay » 2014-01-22 11:29


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