There is never a dull moment in Grenada.
The carnival breeze and bacchanal are now behind us and the hot topic now sailing in the wind and making the rounds on the island is the Sir Anthony Bailey issue.
The controversial Knighthood that was awarded to this British subject by the controllers in Grenada has once again made our little island nation the laughing stock in the world.
Kirani James and Team Grenada made the world headlines for all the right and good reasons for the Spice Isle and its Pure Grenada brand but it was neutralised by the many negatives headlines over Sir Anthony.
THE NEW TODAY cannot help but note the manner in which the authorities have sought to brush aside this issue as no big deal.
The Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele who has emerged in recent months as the Cabinet Minister with the assignment to address such issues was very cagey in giving out information on the awarding of the Knighthood.
Mr. Steele would only say that the award was granted by “a committee” that included “legal” persons and that the members had since met to rescind the award in light of the negative international publicity.
It is rather unfortunate that government ministers are allowed to get away with questionable statements from many of the local journalists who seem to regard the profession of late as that of a Secretary on special assignment to engage in only the taking of notes.
No one choose to grill Minister Steele on which committee he was talking about and to give the names of the members of the committee that met and approved the Knighthood for the so-called Sir Anthony.
Mr. Steele was allowed to get away without a question being asked as to when did this committee met to recommend the individual for this prestigious award.
Checks made by this newspaper reveal that there are two committees that meet and consider awards – one is the Queen’s award committee headed by former Governor-General, Sir Daniel Williams and the other that was set up to identify persons for awards on Independence Day.
THE NEW TODAY is throwing out a challenge to Mr. Steele to come back before the nation and inform the people of Grenada which of the two committees recommended the gentleman for the Knighthood.
It was certainly not done by the Sir Daniel group since a member confirmed to us that this body had not met to discuss the issue far less make any such recommendation.
The other group involving the likes of Rev. Osbert James, Gloria Payne-Banfield, Acting Commissioner Winston James and Meryl Forsythe is dormant and has never held a meeting in recent months.
So which group met and decided to recommend the controversial Sir Anthony for this special Knighthood?
Mr. Steele needs to come back and enlighten the people on the names of the group and stop hiding behind loose terms like “legal” minds.
Did Sir Anthony receive a Knighthood from Grenada in exchange for something that was promised? If that is the case then what is this something and who was supposed to be the beneficiary?
Did Bailey reciprocate anyone in Grenada with a Knighthood of his own for the one that was bestowed on him?
If as Minister Steele announced that the Sir Anthony Bailey Knighthood has been revoked does it follow then that those in our midst who might have been honoured by him in exchange will also have their controversial awards revoked?
This is what THE NEW TODAY has discovered about the publicity-seeking Bailey based on a search of his website: Bailey was born in London in 1970. He is currently Chairman of Anthony Bailey Ltd, having previously held the position of Chairman of Eligo International up to 2015.
His website indicates that he is a “senior public relations and affairs practitioner” who “has since 1989 advised over sixty¬-six governments and diplomatic missions …”.
His “Client or client partners have included in recent years governmental or Non-governmental authorities in Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Montengro, Pakistan, Guyana, Russia and Venezuela among others.
Bailey’s website also lists him as being the holder of twenty-six national honours, many of which are knighthoods, while he is also the holder of five honours from dynastic orders, four of which confer knighthood.
Of the honours with which Bailey has been conferred however, only two, those of Antigua & Barbuda and Grenada carry with them the privilege of using the title “Sir” as far as can be ascertained.
So the infamous Bailey seems to be on a frolic in acquiring Knighthoods and other glamorous awards around the world from Kings and Prime Ministers and the Religious as a Quid pro quo (something for something).