Categorized | National News

It’s A Matter of Principle

The Clifton Review

The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires, the links to unsavory characters, the use of the courts for personal agendas, the involvement of a political party, and the attacks on the Government of The Bahamas.

We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings. This series of articles asks the needed questions and presents the arguments in full.

It’s A Matter of Principle

By P.J. Malone

Warning: We are allowing one lower court’s decision on parliamentary privilege, by one judge, to set a precedent for the entire Westminster system; and all because of the disclosure of financial information that is deemed “public” information by the United States Treasury Department (since the organization in question has United States 501(c)3 status).

Does the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas really wants to go down in history as dismantling the constitutional governing system of The Bahamas and with such dire implications for the rest of the region?

The fathers of our nation must be turning over in their graves to watch this new Government kowtow to the likes of attorney Fred Smith and his foreign interests.

Former Attorney General, Alison Maynard Gibson says that she respects the right of the Attorney General to decide what to do on behalf of the Government.

She informed the listeners on the Love 97 Radio Show “On Point” that the Government’s Advisors asserted that this court case is about important principles, and the former Government concurs.

AG Gibson stated this during the show:

“This was such an important point of principle, not just for the Bahamas, but for anybody, who comes under the Westminster System, and is governed by a system that has Separation of Powers, would want to understand what is the extent of those powers; it was fully contemplated that this matter was so important that it was likely to end up at the Privy Council.

“For such an important principle, that is the last Court; and so it was fully expected that we would want to have a Privy Council decision on the matter.

“With separation of powers people want to know where the lines are drawn. That is why it is important to have the decision fully considered, not only by the Court of the first instance, but also by the Court of Appeal, and ultimately by the Privy Council, the final court of appeal in The Bahamas pertaining to Bahamian law.”

Yes, it’s a matter of principle.

As expressed by the show’s host, Mr. Wendall Jones, how can a judge decide that something is not allowed in Parliament, a place where laws are made? That is really the job of the Speaker of the House of Assembly—to determine what can and what cannot be said.

What has happened, in essence, is that a politically motivated organization, Save The Bays, has determined what is allowed to be said in Parliament, regardless of the Westminster system’s history of parliamentary privilege in Great Britain and throughout the entire Commonwealth.

What has happened is the undermining of our constitutional governance by a politically motivated organization working on behalf of a foreign interest, and our Caribbean colleagues are laughing at us for having allowed it to happen.

All attorneys throughout the length and breath of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas have a responsibility to this country as Legal Officers to protect our Constitutional system of governance, to speak out against such abuse and undermining of the separation of powers, and even more so if you are considered to be none partisan.

Attorneys must know that they are not there just to fill their pockets with attorney fees. Attorneys must seek to protect our constitutional system out of the public’s interest.

Every attorney within The Bahamas needs to place a call to the Attorney General, Carl Bethel, and let him know that this issue is bigger than him. It’s bigger than the Free National Movement. It’s bigger than a politically motivated organization trying to please their foreign donor, hedge-fund billionaire, Louis Bacon.

This issue is about the future of our democracy; and unless he wants a legacy of shame, he needs to do the right thing by Bahamians.

If the FNM Government is found to be starting off on the wrong foot trying to protect the interest of Louis Bacon while sacrificing our constitutional democracy and not protecting the public’s interest, they should be ready for the consequences. They should know that the Bahamian people are not stupid and see right through this move.

It will be the people’s time alright.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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