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PUBLIC OR POLITICAL SERVANTS? by Eugene Reynald

posted 26 Sep 2014, 11:27 by Gerry Kangalee
The issue involving Christophe Grant and the letter issued in his name cannot be allowed to rest until certain issues it brought into stark relief are recorded if only for those who centuries down the line are conducting digs to determine how come

the island people of T&T perished in the way they did.

 

I record as follows:

The letter issued in Mr. Grant’s name reflected a position and included statements which in other circumstances would have been considered libellous – given the truths that he, at some risk to himself, found it necessary to make public.

He clearly was challenging the inaccuracies and untruths attributed to him in the letter issued in his name - and the letter having found its way into the public domain had to be denied in the public domain – not privately to the person in whose defence they were issued. Any other approach would not have served to protect and preserve Mr. Grant’s good name and establish truth.

Subsequent facts emerging proved him right and further suggested the use of a supposed “protocol” in a way that made him the fall guy. As to whether this was intentional or not is not yet clear but what is, is that such “protocols” cannot be used as a rationalisation for the defamation – intentionally or otherwise, and to misrepresent facts to the public. We cannot seek to trump law, morality, civil rights and justice with public service “protocol”.

It is interesting that the responses from the PM and her AG did not seek to deny Mr. Grant the right he claimed and the public right to know - and indeed sought to offer rationalisations and apologies for the injustice done to him. And I say this even though I am no fan of Kamla and the AG who have jointly put in writing that they do not have to respond to FOIA Enquiries from the public.

What is worse is that the AG has in a separate matter broken the Law by refusing to respond to or even acknowledge the receipt of FOIA Enquiries. But that is par for the course on the road to hell.

More interesting is the fact that certain persons whose views represent and shaped those of public servants over the years, if not decades, did not take the line the PM and the AG did and instead took issue with Mr Grant for defending his name and integrity in the way he did. Their attack on Mr Grant was indeed a revelation as to the “ethics and practices” that has informed the actions of these “servants of the public”.

It represented a clear assault,  from those we pay as public servants to represent and protect our interests, on the right of the public to be educated and informed (an acknowledged and essential requirement in a functioning democracy).

My real concern in all of this is it is another manifestation of the transformation of public servants into political servants. The denial of the public’s right to know what goes on in the conduct of public affairs can only be challenged by good Law.

I have evidence of such denial in letters I receive from Permanent Secretaries in almost all the Ministries including from Reynold Cooper who is the head of the public service. The real danger is that no one is able to discipline or fire these miscreants who preside over and promote the destruction of our society and purposefully stand in the way of us taking any action to save ourselves.

 I cannot close unless I mention that our leaders never tire of telling us about the rule of Law with the inference that once you cannot prove their guilt or transgressions they will continue doing such.

Of course this means that right in their logic and morality is whatever you can get away with until and unless the Law determines otherwise. This places them, those who have the resources or influence to challenge or corrupt the Law and those who frame and administer it, above the Law. The evidence in reality supports this in that the big fishes are never caught.

All persons who frame and administer the Law are public servants and those who have the influence to facilitate its corruption are also public servants and it has proven impossible to find a corrupt or dishonest public servant in this town: at least that is what the President and his appointees at the Integrity Commission have been telling us.

Meanwhile a recognised poll indicated that the public is less trustful of the Judiciary than it is of Politicians/Parliamentarians. In delivering his recent address the CJ seemed totally unconcerned about this in that he spoke to the politicians and those who were there to cheer; never to the public who pay their salaries, who they are there to serve and who are on the receiving end of the questionable quality "justice" he and his team dispenses.  

As this hopelessness and mindlessness goes on year after year, the Parliamentarians, the Judiciary the IC, the Police, the Army, the Coast Guard, etc. all complain that money is their problem; that is why they cannot catch and prosecute the real thieves/villains among us who we all know either by reputation or name. Our protectors mentioned in the aforementioned were all once public servants but have today become “political servants” or “corrupted servants”.

Yet the rich continue to bitch about transfers and subsidies to the poor in the country (even though most of these go to the rich) when in effect it is just giving to the poor a very small portion of what is their birthright, instead of allowing public servants to steal/waste/squander it or just give it away to those whose interests they really serve. 

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