RESPONSE TO DR LAWRENCE JOSEPH FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE GRENADA BAR ASSOCIATION – “PETTY POLITICS IN THE BAR ASSOCIATION”

You have chosen to write and publish two of your most recent articles on what you purport to be your concerns with internal events occurring in the GBA. You captioned the most recent article as “Petty Politics in the Bar Association”.

You were free to make that choice, but in so doing you had a responsibility to be accurate, fair, balanced, honest and above all to be respectful to others who hold views that are at variance with those you hold and cherish. This is a democracy and people are entitled to hold positions that are different from those held by others.

This response to you will address points you made in your said article, hopefully,  without compromising the integrity of the GBA.

(1) Petty Politics in the Bar elections –

Is it petty politics for committed and active members with varying political outlooks to support a candidate for election to  the post of President of the Association, who is known to have publicly expressed his personal position against Grenada joining the CCJ and his disapproval with the Bar’s lack of involvement in the Constitutional Reform process?

Or, is it petty politics when members who are not known to be supportive of most of the initiatives of the Association having varying desires and intentions, appear either in person or by proxy on the day of the election, just to ensure that the candidate who has expressed himself in public as aforesaid never succeeds in that election?

(2) Electioneering ambush pulled off against the sitting President by the Secret Five, especially before the first day and twisted messages given in order to solicit support for their ideals.

An ambush can only occur if someone is caught by surprise. Perhaps you should do some investigating to find out who were caught by surprise on the first day.  You might be surprised by the honest answers you would get. Indeed, you may also discover that there were even more surprises on the second round of voting. None of these surprises either on the first round or the second round were orchestrated by the Secret Five. Note no use of the word ambush.

(3) Your belief that the so-called Secret Five had an agenda that was clear but not all members understood the full ramifications –

This is a figment of your imagination. In fact, what took place, was that the majority of members were mobilised by persons with disparate agendas and aspirations who bonded in a marriage of convenience, to support Ruggles whom some of them openly opposed in the past. It was those unsuspecting members so mobilised who were the ones who did not fully understand the ramifications of what took place.

(4) Giving support to a candidate who is perceived to be against Constitutional Reform – As former representative of the Bar on the Constitution Reform Committee, in disseminating information to the public, you have a duty to be forthright, honest and to write sensibly when you do.

You well know that while serving as the Bar’s representative on the Committee, you passed off your personal position on Constitutional Reform as the Bar’s position, which Jimmy quite rightly, opposed. This Committee’s work is now complete and the Bills are being drafted with you as a paid Consultant. How could Jimmy and his personal position, if he was elected as President, change what you passed off as the Bar’s position on Constitutional Reform, at this stage?

How could Jimmy’s personal position on Constitutional Reform or for that matter Ruggles’ or yours affect how members of the Bar would vote in any referendum on Constitutional Reform? Like you said, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing stupid as long as you do not become stupid in the process”.

(5) The feather in the cap syndrome –

Your diatribe concerning certain members not wanting to see some projects of the Government succeed for fear that this may put a feather in the cap of the Government, indeed exposes who is in fact responsible for bringing petty politics to the Bar.

Be assured that some of us who have always fought to keep party politics out of the Bar, will never give up.

Secret Five

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