Over the course of several years leading up to the general elections of 2015, this newspaper took great pains repeatedly to warn the people of St. Kitts and Nevis that the said elections were going to be about ‘TRUST’. Over and over, we did warn you that those who had arrayed themselves against us could not be trusted, that their utterances were utterly devoid of any kind of sincerity, genuineness or substance, and that everything which they did was designed to mislead you into making a political decision which would harm you and yours now and for many years to come.
Without any doubt our words have come to past, but we take no joy in that. Thousands of our people are suffering very badly, indeed, and, as we have said before, our country has been dragged right back down into the abyss of ignominy.
As we have pointed out before, the pain has been made all the more unbearable as we had expended more than a decade of hard, grinding work, sleepless nights, self-sacrifice, and patient agonising as we pulled ourselves back from the appellation of ‘Devil’s Island’ and all the indignities attendant thereto.
As we pointed out last week and the week before, SCHEME UNITY has reverted us to that and an even worse status, and it HURTS us all, very deeply, and will do so for years to come.
One aspect of the government’s behaviour which hurts our nation (people and country) especially deeply is the rather glib manner in which members of SCHEME UNITY lie to us, and the world, about any and all matters, then, whenever caught, seek to either brush off their acts of deception as though they are mere peccadillos (relatively minor faults or sins), and at other times to just ignore them all together.
During the most recent sitting of parliament our Party Chairperson, Comrade Marcella Liburd (MP for St Christopher 2) took great pains to explain to our people the way in which the member for St Christopher 7, as prime minister and minister for finance, had earlier informed parliament that the services of Lanny Davis and Associates were being rendered on a non-paying (gratis) basis, and that he had presented the matter to cabinet, and obtained the full approval of every member thereof.
Recent disclosures have now made it clear, for the whole world to see, that the prime minister misrepresented the facts to parliament when he made the claim that the services were obtained free of cost.
Lying to parliament is considered an even greater offence than committing perjury before the courts of law, for members are expected to be at all times mindful of the fact that ‘The House’ is a place of honour (hence the honorific in their title), that they will be ‘on their honour’ at all times, and especially when they make statements, reports and comments while in the chamber, and particularly when addressing The Speaker.
It is also a most grievous offence to lie to Cabinet. By his own mouth, the prime minister has condemned himself in both regards. But there is yet another serious offence which he committed, and, quite remarkably, he also did so in parliament. When he made the disclosure that ‘every member of his cabinet’ had approved of the arrangement (with Davis and Associates) he committed a most egregious violation of the constitutional provision (and requirement) that cabinet ‘proceedings’ are secret.
Given the facts as they have now come to light one wonders if the other members of cabinet intend to sit there are allow themselves to be ‘held hostage’ in this messy, highly offensive, and hugely embarrassing state of affairs. Is it the case of ‘birds of a feather’, or is it the case that, in St. Kitts and Nevis under UNITIM, ‘one is greater than six’?
Is there not even one of them who cares for his or her personal reputation, for their family and relatives, for their souls, given the sacred oaths which they swore upon taking up office, or even just for plain decency’s sake? Is there not one of them so minded? Could this be a situation akin to the biblical case of Sodom and Gomorrah?
On 6 December of 2015, in their Global Affairs columns, The Atlantic magazine carried an article captioned “Lanny Davis’s Caribbean Adventure”. It was written by Molly Ball, one of their staff writers charged with covering United States politics, based on interviews which she had conducted with several guests during a party at the Washington DC offices of Davis and Associates, an event which was attended by Prime Minister Harris, and at which he spoke.
The very wording of the sub caption of the article is enough to cause the hairs on the back of one’s neck to stand erect: “What is the Clintons’ longtime consigliere doing hawking passports to tiny island nations? Inside the exotic, paranoid world of the rich and powerful.”
Consigliere? Why not legal adviser or consultant? Why use a term normally associated with the mafia and kindred societies and organisations?
The article then goes on in the following manner: “Lanny Davis, the longtime DC fixer, lawyer, lobbyist, crisis-manager, influence-peddler, and professional friend-of-the-Clintons, would like to present to you his dear friend Timothy Harris, the prime minister of St. Kitts & Nevis.”
“The government of St. Kitts has asked me, as an attorney, for assistance,” says Davis, a slightly wizened 69-year-old in a dark suit and red tie. We are on the fourth floor of a Washington office building, at a public-relations firm decorated in sleek, modern red and white, with glassed-in conference rooms along the halls and tall tables laid with tea lights and hors d’oeuvres.
“And we are hopeful,” Davis continues, “in getting this great little democracy – and a beautiful island that I’ve had an opportunity to visit – a chance to develop jobs, deliver health care, improve the quality of life of the people of this wonderful, beautiful paradise in the Caribbean.”
‘Deliver health care’? Really? How interesting? Could that have had anything at all to do with the ‘stem cell’ affair?
Miss Ball continued: Allow Prime Minister Harris, a large, 50-year-old black man with glasses and a lilting accent, to explain. “Try as we might to pursue traditional paths of development, trade and so on, there is always the disadvantage of smallness,” he says, gesturing with the hand not holding the wireless microphone. “Small countries are faced with the challenge of being much more structured, much more creative about pursuing certain parts of development.” … “We are a responsible government, and we take our responsibility seriously,” he says. “We are a respect-able member of the international community.”
Given the depths to which our country has descended one can only wonder at the brazenness with which such words were uttered.
And there is so much more that we could, and need, to go on with where this entire matter is concerned. We assure you, dear people, we shall return to this topic again and again.
For now, and given the main theme of this item, we turn briefly to an observation made by The Atlantic’s writer, Molly Ball: The motto on the wall of the PR firm says, “COMMUNICATING TRUST.”
Could it be that our prime minister has attempted to use, and will continue to avail himself, of that agency’s services to mamaguy our people?