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The Jeff Cumberbatch Column–The Agard Affair

BU shares the Jeff Cumberbatch Barbados Advocate column – Senior Lecturer in law at the University of the West Indies since 1983, a Columnist with the Barbados Advocate.
Jeff Cumberbatch - New Chairman of the FTC

Jeff Cumberbatch – New Chairman of the FTC

Musings: The Agard Affair

11/29/2015
By Jeff Cumberbatch

[…]

It is always with a certain degree of trepidation that one attempts a public analysis of what might reasonably be perceived to be a partisan political event, and, given the local penchant for the simplistic categorisation of ideas rather than their critical discussion, significant teachable moments may become lost in the diligent search by the reader for mostly-imagined cryptic clues as to the partisan leanings of the author. To reuse an expression once employed by the Prime Minister among others, sometimes it is akin to a search in a dark room for a black cat that is not there!

Not that I am dissuaded by this from commenting on the issue at caption; one that has managed wonderfully to concentrate the national attention and that has morphed from an internecine spat between the sitting member of parliament for a constituency and the executive of that constituency branch of her party into a very public and woefully messy expulsion of the MP from the party last Sunday evening.

The very unlikelihood of such an outcome in our political culture that idolises the MP above all else provides ample fodder for all kinds of conjecture and hypotheses by the local chatterati, but my immediate interest in this essay, as a keen student of the law and governance, has more to do with the events of Sunday evening that culminated in the expulsion of Dr Agard than with the reasons that led to the dispute in the first place, or the subsequent reactions and non-reactions by various personalities.

It is perhaps to be regretted that some local political commentators are seeking to trivialise the relevance of law to these proceedings but, arguably, once the National Council of the Barbados Labour Party chose to adopt a quasi-judicial procedure for Dr Agard to show cause why she should not be disciplined, the matter became, principally, a legal and not merely a political one, as would have been the case, for example, had the party chose rather to proceed forthwith to deselect Dr Agard as its candidate for the constituency in the next general election and to nominate another in her stead.

The matter became even more of a legal issue when Dr Agard was informed that she could be accompanied to the hearing by a legal representative, impliedly of her choice, in spite of public utterances as to precisely whom or what the nature of this representation might be.

By thus clothing the proceedings as quasi-judicial, and given the possibility of Dr Agard’s expulsion from the party on a determination of culpability, the national council of the party irrevocably bound itself to adhere to the rule of law which, in turn, entailed that the matter should be conducted in accordance with the principles of natural justice. Perhaps some readers may be more familiar with this concept in its US formulation of due process.

The legal position is that while there may be much to be said for self-regulation by private organisations, not least their familiarity with the subject matter of internal disputes, and that sometimes it may be better for lawyers to be kept out of the matter entirely, the law nevertheless requires that any such proceedings pay due regard to, at least, the two overarching tenets of natural justice, first, that the party charged be allowed to be heard in his or her own defence (the audi alteram partem rule) and, second, that the hearing should be before an unbiased decision-maker; more familiarly known as the rule against bias.

Since last Sunday’s hearing was designed specifically to afford Dr Agard a hearing with regard to the charges preferred against her, this aspect of the matter would appear to have been satisfied or at least not denied, since it seems that her lead attorney made an objection in limine (at the outset) to the composition of the Council. To my understanding, it was, and remains, the contention of the lead attorney for Dr Agard that the tribunal assembled to adjudicate on the matter offended the rule against bias in that it included at least one member who had signed the charge sheet against his client and thus, by sitting, constituted him or herself a judge in his or her own cause. This would have been directly contrary to the Latinised version of the maxim ‘nemo debet esse iudex in causa propria sua’  no one should be a judge in his or her own cause.

The rule against bias has its general basis in the celebrated dictum enunciated as long ago as 1924 by Lord Hewart in R v Sussex Justices exp McCarthy: ‘it is not merely of some importance but it is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done’.

At a more elemental level, it is based on the premise that it is against the human psyche to decide a case contrary to his or her personal interest, and that there are certain situations where there is a real likelihood or a real danger of bias in the adjudicator. These cases of apparent bias may include circumstances where the decision maker has a personal or professional relationship of friendship or hostility with the person charged; or where there is the existence of a financial interest in the outcome of the proceedings; or where there is the likelihood of bias because of some preconceived notion of the matter in dispute that may reasonably be attributed to the hearer of the issue.

I gather from media reports that the objection on the basis of apparent bias was denied by the Council, much to the understandable chagrin of Dr Agard’s attorney, even though the issue is strictly one of mixed law and fact and not one of fact purely. In other words, the determination as to whether the Council was fairly constituted was up to the Council itself, based on its view as to whether the existing facts carried with them a real likelihood of bias. One assumes therefore that it was not of this opinion.

Events then culminated in a walkout by Dr Agard and her team and her subsequent summary expulsion from the Barbados Labour Party by the Council. It would be both imprudent and unfair for me to suggest here what the decision of the council should or should not have been. It is now up to Dr Agard and her advisors, I suppose, to decide whether a judicial review of its decision will be sought in the local courts.

The observation must be made in concluding that the entire affair has raised a number of intriguing issues. Among these are (i) that given the particularity of the charges against Dr Agard and the detailed nature of the evidence provided in support, it would appear exceedingly difficult for the charges to be rebutted on the facts; (ii) that a legal issue of whether her constitutional freedom of expression has been infringed does not arise in these circumstances. For one, this freedom may be contravened by, and be vindicated against, a statal body only, according to the state action doctrine; (iii) that any successful court action by Dr Agard will result in a quashing of last Sunday’s decision and a restoration of the status quo rather than the judicial determination of the charges against her. This might allow for a further attempt at rapprochement between the parties to the dispute, but could equally result in a re-laying of the charges; and (iv) that although we might never get a satisfactory answer to the question, it still beggars belief that there could be this degree of acrimony between an MP who still appears unfailingly devoted to the party and the ¡°engine room¡± of the party itself.

This, I presume, is where I should step out and mind my own business.

Happy Independence Day 2015!

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60 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column–The Agard Affair”

  1. Caswell Franklyn November 29, 2015 at 5:53 AM #

    Jeff

    There should be some mechanism where Agard could appeal to a special conference of the party before gong to court.

    You mention that a person should not be a judge in his own cause. Maybe, the Chairman of the National Council was absent when her class did that lesson. It is embarrassing to think that a lawyer presided over these proceedings, and worst yet that lawyer sits at the inner bar.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fractured BLP November 29, 2015 at 6:28 AM #

    Caswell
    Mia Mottley did miss a class!

    Mia simply never pursued the Legal Education Certificate (LEC).
    Mia is a fraud and law breaker!

    Anything that is ILLEGAL you will find Mia.

    Like attempting :

    Issue condoms among the male population in prison – even though the Laws of Barbados prohibits buggery!
    Female genital mutilation – even though the Laws of Barbados prohibits such a practice!

    The best description I heard about Mia…….is that she is a DESPOT!

    Like

  3. David November 29, 2015 at 6:31 AM #

    What is astounding is to read the report by Agard’s lawyer Lynette Eastmond about the thumping of tables by those present at the ‘heating’.

    Like

  4. Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 6:36 AM #

    Indeed, Caswell. I notice in his column in today’s Sunday Sun that Mr Albert Brandford appears to pooh-pooh the requirement for natural justice to obtain, but the National Council chose a procedure that made it a must. They could have acted politically,,,

    “It is perhaps to be regretted that some local political commentators are seeking to trivialise the relevance of law to these proceedings but, arguably, once the National Council of the Barbados Labour Party chose to adopt a quasi-judicial procedure for Dr Agard to show cause why she should not be disciplined, the matter became, principally, a legal and not merely a political one, as would have been the case, for example, had the party chose rather to proceed forthwith to deselect Dr Agard as its candidate for the constituency in the next general election and to nominate another in her stead.”

    Like

  5. Enuff November 29, 2015 at 6:45 AM #

    And again I ask, does the government appointed Chairman of the Employment Rights Tribunal (Hal Gollop) not sit as the “judge” in cases brought against the government? It would be interesting to know who should have sat on the panel to preside unbiasedly. Look at Dr.Agard’s lawyers for an insight into the circumstances we’re dealing with..context, context, context.

    Like

  6. Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 7:21 AM #

    @ Enuff, The “Government” would never appear before the Employment Rights Tribunal, since it is not bound by the ERA, although statutory boards might. And it is only the appearance of bias that matters, a panel member does not have to prove that he or she is unbiased. A mere suspicion does not suffice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Caswell Franklyn November 29, 2015 at 7:43 AM #

    Jeff

    You are so right. The candidate selection committee of the BLP consists of three persons: the Chairman, political leader and one member selected by the National Council. Mia is both Chairman and political leader. In this case, the rules provide that the political leader can select another person to be the third person. All Mia had to do would have been to appoint one of her many minions to be the third person. In essence she would be in control of two votes out of a three person committee, nothing could have been simpler. But my guess is that she has not finished reading the constitution of the party.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  8. David November 29, 2015 at 7:47 AM #

    @Jeff

    You were too kind in your review of Albert Brandford’s column. In the main he posted BS.

    Like

  9. Bush Tea November 29, 2015 at 7:47 AM #

    @ Jeff
    Skippa, you are becoming a bit of an embarrassment….

    Every week you are taking these matters, which appear to have totally confounded the jokers that we have as leaders, and breaking them down into primary-school-level issues whose solutions then become obvious…..
    How do you think that makes the leaders of the country look…?
    shiite man…wuh you much worse than bushie…

    The ‘REAL’ issue is that we really needed to have brains of YOUR ilk deployed at the national leadership level… and Bushie DO NOT mean at the shiite university or the Fear Trading poppet show….

    Hopefully, in the near future, you will delve into the logic of our ‘learned’ AG announcing that he ‘don’t care what the CCJ says…..’
    ….or that he will remove corporal punishment from the juvenile system “cause he don’t beat his own children”….
    What the hell does corporal punishment have to do with “BEATING”?….

    …and shiite man, if Bushie’s children were as daft as his (by genetics) must be …. Bushie would not ‘beat’ them either…. BUT TO EXTEND THAT LOGIC TO NATIONAL POLICY…..and at a time when juvenile delinquency has reached crisis proportions with violent crime among youth …this surely requires a special level of idiocy…..

    Of course his first order of business as AG was to remove ANY possibility of hanging, so now we have too many murderers on remand – and have to let them out on bail…. where some have killed innocent citizens AGAIN…..

    This man is truly a GEM…..He was at school with you….?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Vincent Haynes November 29, 2015 at 8:04 AM #

    @
    David November 29, 2015 at 7:47 AM #

    @Jeff

    You were too kind in your review of Albert Brandford’s column. In the main he posted BS.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    Why is it BS…….could you do a point by point breakdown of what is wrong with his statements and conclusions.

    Like

  11. William Skinner November 29, 2015 at 8:11 AM #

    Jeff,
    It is indeed refreshing to be exposed to such fine scholarship. It shows that many of your intellectual depth and training can at least share such knowledge with their fellow citizens. Its a tribute to BU we can read such gems of information. I also appreciate Caswell’s contributions. Keep up the good work.

    Like

  12. pieceuhderockyeahright November 29, 2015 at 8:20 AM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch

    My takeaway

    One. Those trying the matter erred in their strategy (i) because they did not need to revert to a legal mechanism given the two options i.e. to expel or wait until the general election and expel

    Two. Having someone on the Disciplinary committee who was involved in the specific disciplinary matter was at least suggestive of a biased examiner and at worst an indication of an incensed witch hunt that was not mindful of the public perception of having the victim of the crime empaneled on the jury

    Three. For those persons who are going to be brought up in from of the National Executive council ( and there are 4 more on the side of the BLP) do not get into a flurry when you are in front of the NEC and storm out, go through the entire inquisition as it appears that deviation from the process can invalidate you case.

    With this all said, given that WHEN the court rules that Agard be reinstated, as Fumble will see that they do, and the BLP restates the charges that Agard would win the skirmish but Mottley and her NEC would have lost the war.

    As an aside the ole man will insert this passage inspired by its precedent “the (BLP) NKVD troika” and ensuingly explained through text borrowed from the internet

    “The Great Purge was started under the (NKVD chief Genrikh Yagoda – BLP General Secretary Jerome Walcott), but the height of the campaigns occurred while the (NKVD – BLP) was headed by (Nikolai Yezhov – Mia Mottley) , from (September 1936 to August 1938 change of time period required by the political scientists out there), hence the name (Yezhovshchina – The Excision of the Mia Cabal).

    The campaigns were carried out according to (the general line – National Executive Commitee Standing Orders) , and often by direct orders, of the ( (BLP) Party Politburo) headed by (Stalin – de ole man doan know who name to put here)…

    Church starting soon so me Madam dun iron me clothes las week befo’ she lef and i get instructions to go, plus she call de udder night pun magic jack and reconfirm de instructions, jes like de National Executive Committee but dere was no hand pounding doah she did say it three times…

    Anyway, whu i saying is dat I may still gots time tuh read any uh you remarks effing you “step back in and mine mi(a) business….heheheheh

    Like

  13. Donna November 29, 2015 at 8:27 AM #

    Pieces,

    It took you four marriages to find out who is really in charge? Better late than never.

    Like

  14. millertheanunnaki November 29, 2015 at 8:36 AM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 7:21 AM #
    “The “Government” would never appear before the Employment Rights Tribunal, since it is not bound by the ERA, although statutory boards might.”

    I am a bit befuddled by your response above, Jeff.
    Please permit me,- in the interest of clarity and needed edification on my part- to ask you to expand a bit more on your assertion.

    I was of the view that statutory corporations are owned and controlled (managed) by the State through the Executive Arm of Government.
    Wasn’t the decision to terminate workers from the NCC a Ministerial/ Cabinet approved policy decision?
    Wasn’t the recommendation to refer the matter to the ERT made by the Chairman of that Cabinet,?

    Not debating your expertise in this area of law; just seeking ‘enlightenment’ like one of your eager students in class.

    Like

  15. Enuff November 29, 2015 at 9:53 AM #

    Thanks for your response Jeff.
    So Hal Gollop’s judgement of NCC workers shows no “appearance” of bias given his publicly known and observed association with the Prime Minister?

    Like

  16. ac November 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM #

    Mia decisions on the Agard matter was mostly fueled and dealt (with) by political yarfowlism
    Which reignites the cause for the reasonable and questionable allegation leveled against her concerning her not obtaining a Legal Certificate a legitimate question which she has refused to answer ,but one however which will remained opened and a glaringly spotlight in the public domain given her decision making in the Agard affair in lieu of her mishandling against the Constitutional right of freedm of expression by the claimant.
    With in the vein of constitutional gaffe where Mia was part and instituted a Kanagroo Court to preside over the charges leveled against Agard
    The calls for Mia LEC must be dealt with and Mia should be required to show proof by any means necessary sufficient enough that would restore a high degree of truthfulness and full transparency giving the discrepancies after the past weeks of her unintentional misunderstanding or really not knowing the full tenants of the Barbados Constitution and its guaranteed rights to its citizens

    Like

  17. Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 10:12 AM #

    @millertheanunnaki@ 8:36 -That is precisely why I put “government” in quotation marks; to distinguish the constitutional authority known as the Crown, from the statutory bodies which are subject to the ERA and are separate legal entities. The Chairman of the Cabinet in fact stated that, contrary to press reports, the decision to refer the dispute was really that of the unions and the NCC.

    Thanks for your kind words, Mr Skinner @ 8:11 and Bush Tea @ 7:47 although, Bushie, we will have to agree to disagree on the thesis of corporal punishment of children. It has never worked and it shan’t work.

    Nice, PUDRYR@ 8:20

    Like

  18. millertheanunnaki November 29, 2015 at 10:16 AM #

    @ ac November 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM
    “Which reignites the cause for the reasonable and questionable allegation leveled against her concerning her not obtaining a Legal Certificate a legitimate question which she has refused to answer …”

    What about the report into the matter as promised by the A G? Isn’t against the law to try to practise Law without the necessary qualifications?

    Don’t Mia’s so-called illegal activities offer the perfect opportunity to have her removed as a sitting member of parliament thereby removing the thorn in the DLP side by killing two despots with one stone?

    As a brightly-coloured yard-fowl you need to stop involving yourself in matters that can find you as the main attraction on the Xmas menu at KFC.

    Like

  19. Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 10:18 AM #

    Enuff@9:53, that would be a mere suspicion of bias would it not? Mr Stuart is not involved in the dispute except to the extent that he heads the administration that provides subventions to the NCC. Would we argue similarly if, though it is unlikely, if a known supporter and colleague of the Leader of the Opposition were Chairman of the ERT?

    Like

  20. ac November 29, 2015 at 10:25 AM #

    Why would n/t Mia not put the matter to rest by officially placing her accreditation in the public domain in an official capacity where it can be seen or read,
    Miller why would you and the other yardfowls now depend and put trust in a govt to resolve the LEC documentation.
    By the way a govt which you openly criticized as not being trustworthy

    Like

  21. millertheanunnaki November 29, 2015 at 10:29 AM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Is the Chair of the ERT is appointed by the Minister/ Cabinet or the GG (Crown ‘s representative)?
    Could any of the dismissed workers from the NCC appeal any decision made by the ERT under the chairmanship of Hal Gollop using the principle of Natural Justice as a fulcrum to advance his or her cause?

    Like

  22. David November 29, 2015 at 10:38 AM #

    @Miller

    Please do not drag the conversation down by engaging in nonsense with ac the proverbial DLP yardfowl. It is for the BA and the Courts of Barbados to block Mia from practicing, like the CJ did Vernon Smith, if she is not accredited.

    Like

  23. ac November 29, 2015 at 11:12 AM #

    David your retort is what MIa is being accused an action to curtail an individual right to Freedom of expression
    Most notably your toxic retort to calling a blogger a yardfowl is a contaminated characteristic attack that can attributed to a despot,
    Your actions in reference shows clearly your lacked of tolerance which ostensibly might be beyond your control in order to appraise each individual comment of their Constitituional right to Freedom of speech,
    Of course in the BU court house the judge has the Final word and can say whatever like without fear of reprisal.There goes the neighborhood
    My comment in reference to MIA LEC is not a secret and as long as she uses any kind of legal advantage to the disservice or disadvantage of an individual the matters /s pertaining to her legitimacy would continue to be of concern until the matter is sufficiently satisfied in those who want show of proof.
    After all this is the age of information and any things said and done in the dark of night when arisen to the surface and given light of day would be question and scrutinized until sterile and antiseptic solutions clear the way,

    Like

  24. millertheanunnaki November 29, 2015 at 11:39 AM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 10:18 AM
    “Enuff@9:53, that would be a mere suspicion of bias would it not? Mr Stuart is not involved in the dispute except to the extent that he heads the administration that provides subventions to the NCC.”

    Jeff, wasn’t it a Cabinet decision to dismiss the workers from the NCC? Who promised the unions a list of the workers to be retrenched?

    A mere reduction in the subvention would have been ‘enuff’ (no pun intended) to put the NCC under heavy manners for the management to make the ‘correct’ decision regarding manpower levels with out demonstratively obvious direct partisan political involvement by an Administration headed by a person who openly admitted there were some “mis-steps” relating to the whole NCC retrenchment exercise.
    Weren’t the avenues or opportunities to minimize bias in whichever form needed to satisfy the criteria of Natural Justice seriously compromised because of Stuart’s interventions?

    Like

  25. Sargeant November 29, 2015 at 12:04 PM #

    Jeff is just reiterating what has been known and discussed on these pages all week long viz. The fix was in.

    Jeff is too kind when he uses the word “trivialise” when he wrote about the opinions of the political commentators in this issue, when one reflects that Peter Wickham’s response seemed timed to coincide with the announcement of the decision I would much prefer “abysmal”. All of which suggests that those “political commentators” are really Mia’s lap dogs.

    First the charges were bogus and the “jury” selection was rigged to obtain the desired result, they were so ham handed in the actual performance (that’s what it was) of the farce that Agard and her legal representatives had no option than to walk out. When members of the “jury” start to cheer the prosecution you should know that the gallows have already been prepared.

    Mia must have enjoyed the spectacle, I could imagine her channeling Peter Cheyney during the whole sorry episode “See how she twists and turns in parlous straits, finger your neck, sweet, the urgent hangman waits”

    Like

  26. Enuff November 29, 2015 at 12:39 PM #

    Jeff I woud fail your course cuz I aint buying what you’re selling.

    Like

  27. Caswell Franklyn November 29, 2015 at 12:44 PM #

    Sargeant

    I remember watching an old western where the judge visited the accused murderer in his cell and said to the accused: we’re going to give you a fair trial and then we’re going to hang you.

    Maria Agard was in same position. The outcome of the trial was known before the hearing. I reluctantly take Hal Gollop’s word that Dr. Agard did not speak at the trial. And that being the case, it would strengthen the point that the outcome was known in advance because, Ms Mottley speaking from a prepared text claimed that the decision was made after the National Council heard from Dr. Agard and Gollop. That would tend to suggest that the person who prepared the statement in advance anticipated that Agard would have spoken and fooley-the-fourth read the statement without thinking.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  28. ac November 29, 2015 at 1:03 PM #

    Furthermore enough have been said about the issue and how the uneven hand of justice directed by Mia Mottley took control
    In accordance to Agard statement i like others await her rebuttal as she stated would be forth coming in a media news conference ,,,,,,,ditto

    Like

  29. Albert Brandford November 29, 2015 at 1:19 PM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 6:36 AM #

    I’m glad you wrote “… Albert Brandford appears to pooh-pooh the requirement for natural justice to obtain”. An unfortunate suggestion.
    My main submission was that there is no “natural justice”, that is, fairness, in politics, only expediency. And in the third para, I indicated the BLP’s approach to the matter may now require a legal resolution, to which I will add that’s where “natural justice” will be found.
    To paraphrase Basdeo Panday on politics and morality, politics has its own notion of fairness.

    Like

  30. Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 1:50 PM #

    But Mr Brandford,my essential point is that the matter was transformed from a merely political one once Dr Agard was given a hearing and permitted to bring counsel. The natural justice which the courts will deal with will be that which should have pertained to the hearing by the National Council last Sunday, not pure;y that for the court hearing itself. The remedy which Dr Agard will seek from the court will be a quashing of last Sunday’s hearing, not a retrial of the matter by the court. The NC was under an obligation to observe the rules of natural justice ab initio…from the outset.The court will determine whether they did or did not.

    Like

  31. Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 1:58 PM #

    Enuff@ 12:39,

    You would not fail but would in fact get an A+ if you could defend your position effectively. But to address you and Miller, appointment does not automatically mean a legal bias in the appointee towards the appointer. Ask yourselves who appoints the judges.

    And then read Caswell @ 12:44 for a brilliant account of “perceived notion” bias.

    Like

  32. Enuff November 29, 2015 at 2:19 PM #

    Yuh see that word “perceived” that is where I find the argument weak given its subjectvity.

    Like

  33. Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 2:28 PM #

    @Enuff, it needs only be perceived because you do not need to establish actual bias… apparent bias suffices…Justice must be SEEN to be done. Any other method of seeing justice done except through perception? If a judge told you that you will get a fair trial and then we will hang you, would you and any other reasonable individual not PERCEIVE that his decision would be most likely biased? You must be able to say with reasonable probability that there is in every sense of the word PREJUDICE in the adjudicator.

    Like

  34. David November 29, 2015 at 3:06 PM #

    @enuff

    Do you live in Utopia or what.

    Like

  35. millertheanunnaki November 29, 2015 at 3:19 PM #

    @Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 1:50 PM
    “The NC was under an obligation to observe the rules of natural justice ab initio…from the outset.The court will determine whether they did or did not.”

    Amen! Now let us see if this matter would be taken out of the moot court of public opinion and speculation and taken on the road to Justice in some hallowed legal chamber on Whitepark.

    BTW, Jeff, would visual and audio recording of events that took place last Sunday in the so-called kangaroo court in Roebuck Street be considered as admissible evidence in theWhitepark trial?

    Like

  36. pieceuhderockyeahright November 29, 2015 at 3:41 PM #

    Whuloss Anunnaki…

    You nearly was did kill de ole man wid dat one

    “As a brightly-coloured yard-fowl, you need to stop involving yourself in matters that can find you as the main attraction on the Xmas menu at KFC….”

    I wonder if de Blogmaster ent start writing he book yet?

    First of all he gots to write the authores of these utterly brillianf pieces of information for permission to publish BUT then he can come out with a small publication titled

    “GEMS OF BARBADOS (UNDERGROUND) a Sterling Collection of Precious, Rare and often semiprecious jewels of comments ensuing from the cauldron of premiere repartees of the Intellingencia, Literatti and the Chatterati (all vulgar commentary by Domps, Legion and Alvin Cummins has been removed by the prestigious WCOI Board World Censorship of Idiots Board)

    Like

  37. pieceuhderockyeahright November 29, 2015 at 3:54 PM #

    Sage ExtraOrdinaire or Anunnaki.

    Brilliant!! absolutely brilliant…

    You said and I quote “…A mere reduction in the subvention would have been ‘enuff’ (no pun intended) to put the NCC under heavy manners for the management to make the ‘correct’ decision regarding manpower levels …”

    You see Kasparov versus Joe Heap mares??

    I can bet you EU $600,000 (dst fellow SC contract fees heheheheheh) that even though you have come here and given the DLP and the BLP the mechanism to fire all of the additional government workers that the World Bank has told them to decrease the workforce by 4,000 more people, de ole man gine bet you dat dem female rabbits by de time de next financial estimates fiasco come round, if not dis month, dem dufuses gine become embroiled in some udder contention with de guvment employees…

    But as Bush Tea dun say when you gots Brass Bowls at de Top whu you expect dem tuh do but Brass Bowlery….

    Like

  38. de Ingrunt Word November 29, 2015 at 4:12 PM #

    @Jeff, frankly I would likely also fail your course cause I am bemused by the comments by most of the people here. To recall from your essay you said: [it is likely that] ” …any successful court action by Dr Agard will result in a quashing of last Sunday’s decision” Let’s stop there.

    The Natural Justice case won. Praise be to principle. Ok, let’s continue…

    “…and a restoration of the status quo rather than the judicial determination of the charges against her. This might …[allow an] attempt at rapprochement … but could equally result in a RE-LAYING (my emphasis) of the charges”.

    And therein lies the reality of the whole conniption.

    Aligned to the point Mr Branford is making re “there is no “natural justice”, that is, fairness, in politics, only expediency” is that not the crux, kernel, baby and bath-water of this debate???

    We playing all around this like the West Indies players against Muralitharan in 2001when your bowling is not difficult to read on this particular wicket (sometimes you does really catspraddle me). You took the mystery out of the political spin but for some strange reason people still getting their head tie-up.

    In my view there is no disconnect with you and Branford’s main thrust. Rather a pellucid nexus that says Agard can win her natural justice claims and still lose the political battle and frankly so to can Mottley win this fight and lose the war.

    The final and real determination re that brouhaha last Sunday are the electorate, not so! Or as David so glibly says: let it play out!

    Like

  39. Enuff November 29, 2015 at 4:20 PM #

    No I don’t David and that’s why the natural justice debate in this matter has me flummoxed. Alice in Whiteparkland!!

    Like

  40. David November 29, 2015 at 4:28 PM #

    @enuff

    As the lawyers say, first principles. No mystery.

    >

    Like

  41. balance November 29, 2015 at 4:31 PM #

    “Caswell Franklyn November 29, 2015 at 5:53 AM #

    Jeff

    There should be some mechanism where Agard could appeal to a special conference of the party before gong to court.”

    I cannot understand why Dr Agard would go to such lengths to remain in a group where both sides have obvious challenges/difficulties. I wouldn’t wait to be expelled. I would move on rather than seek to exploit situation as she appears to be doing to no end.

    Like

  42. balance November 29, 2015 at 4:34 PM #

    “Vincent Haynes November 29, 2015 at 8:04 AM #

    @
    David November 29, 2015 at 7:47 AM #

    @Jeff

    You were too kind in your review of Albert Brandford’s column. In the main he posted BS.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    Why is it BS…….could you do a point by point breakdown of what is wrong with his statements and conclusions. ”

    I share your view.

    Like

  43. balance November 29, 2015 at 4:38 PM #

    “The Chairman of the Cabinet in fact stated that, contrary to press reports, the decision to refer the dispute was really that of the unions and the NCC.”

    Were you able to verify if the statement by the Chairman of the Cabinet was indeed true?

    Like

  44. ac November 29, 2015 at 4:55 PM #

    Owen Arthur recalls facing expulsion //and this is where all the bitterness lies
    More in the mortar than in the pestle

    MEMBER of Parliament for St. Peter Owen Arthur says he, like Dr. Maria Agard was brought before the National Council of the Barbados Labour Party to answer charges levelled for speaking publicly.
    He was speaking to the media yesterday morning at the Barbados Parliament where he lamented that the Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has in the past made unilateral decisions even though the parliamentary group decided on a particular course of action or even without their knowledge.
    Arthur said he also came under attack from certain sections in the Labour Party when he refused to be used as a gimmick by putting forward his name to sit on an eminent persons group, which had not been requested by the government of the day.
    He said his actions were also called into question during the Government debate of the Barbados Revenue Authority, an entity which was conceived under his leadership as Prime Minister.
    He also referred to an incident relating to the Estimates debate at which time it was unanimously agreed not to vote against the Bill.
    Arthur said he took the matter to the public because it became a public issue, to explain why he did not participate on the vote against the Estimates.
    ¡°And I knew at that moment that I was going to leave the BLP because if in an institution that should be looking to support and uphold the freedom of expression, you cannot express an opinion about yourself on a matter concerning yourself, then as I said the party has lost its way and has lost its soul he exhorted

    barbados advocate .

    Like

  45. Jeff Cumberbatch November 29, 2015 at 6:47 PM #

    Just two responses necessary after my nap. First, to iterate, my reference to the natural justice point is designed to clarify that the procedure adopted by the National Council of the BLP necessitated it, contrary to published arguments that the entire affair was political and that there was no room for legalisms.

    Of course, Dr Agard’s immediate concern is to have the decision annulled. I am not looking beyond that. If she is successful, the NC may decide to use the political strategy next time and natural justice may not be relevant then. That bridge is to be crossed at that time.

    As some here, I too wonder at the usefulness of wanting to maintain a relationship that the other side clearly does not want, but that reason may be the same as that which explains why some petitions for dissolution of marriage are contested, I suppose.

    Finally, @Balance at 4:38, neither of the parties has attempted to deny the statement, so I am prepared to assume that it is true.

    Like

  46. David November 29, 2015 at 7:12 PM #

    @Jeff

    It was instructive to hear the response the first Tuesday Agard reported to Parliament when asked by a reporter if she still considered herself a B. She said yes. Agard’s press conference should tell us more.

    Like

  47. ac November 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM #

    if in an institution that should be looking to support and uphold the freedom of expression, you cannot express an opinion about yourself on a matter concerning yourself, then as I said the party has lost its way and has lost its soul he exhorted

    Potent ! damaging But True

    Like

  48. Bush Tea November 29, 2015 at 8:44 PM #

    @ balance
    I cannot understand why Dr Agard would go to such lengths to remain in a group where both sides have obvious challenges/difficulties.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    What is hard to understand?
    Just because two rats can’t live in the same hole does not automatically mean that a PARTICULAR one has to leave….the problem can also be solved if the other goes…

    also…
    “I wouldn’t wait to be expelled. I would move on rather than seek to exploit situation as she appears to be doing to no end.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Fair enough. And there are likely others (Dee Word /Vincent??) who would have wet themselves AND ….resigned just from being accosted with that deep, biting, voice….

    Maria just have more balls….

    Like

  49. balance November 30, 2015 at 4:08 AM #

    “As some here, I too wonder at the usefulness of wanting to maintain a relationship that the other side clearly does not want, but that reason may be the same as that which explains why some petitions for dissolution of marriage are contested, I suppose.”

    Perhaps can be construed as similar but not the same.

    Like

  50. David November 30, 2015 at 4:12 AM #

    As some here, I too wonder at the usefulness of wanting to maintain a relationship that the other side clearly does not want, but that reason may be the same as that which explains why some petitions for dissolution of marriage are contested, I suppose.

    When does one sacrifice a principle at the altar of what is convenient?

    Like

  51. balance November 30, 2015 at 4:22 AM #

    “Finally, @Balance at 4:38, neither of the parties has attempted to deny the statement, so I am prepared to assume that it is true.”

    So I can assume then you came to a conclusion on the basis of assumption.

    Like

  52. balance November 30, 2015 at 4:30 AM #

    “Just because two rats can’t live in the same hole does not automatically mean that a PARTICULAR one has to leave….the problem can also be solved if the other goes”

    Correct me If I misunderstand you. Are you saying that if I became a member of Bushie’s brigade which has been in existence for over fifty years and I have a difficulty with mechanisms opposed to me within the brigade then the brigade should be dissolved or to be direct,you should go and I should stay?

    Like

  53. Bush Tea November 30, 2015 at 7:01 AM #

    Since when did Mia have a brigade?
    These are two officers in an organisation that is supposed to be bigger than them both.

    This is why Caswell suggested that the matter should go to general membership for resolution. After hearing both sides, the membership (who CAN be said to have a ‘brigade’) may well decide that NO ONE has to go; Both have to go; or that a particular one is expelled.

    You like you have personal interest in this matter which are off-setting your usual balance yuh….!!!

    Like

  54. Jeff Cumberbatch November 30, 2015 at 11:12 AM #

    @ Balance @ 4:22 am

    No, Sir, I came to an assumption. That is all you may assume.

    Like

  55. are-we-there-yet November 30, 2015 at 2:11 PM #

    So we are now getting a clearer picture of why OSA is fighting to rekindle the soul of the BLP from a perch outside the BLP.

    As relayed by ac, who has no axe to grind:

    1) He, like Dr. Maria Agard was brought before the National Council of the Barbados Labour Party to answer charges levelled for speaking publicly. Explanation (Mottley refused to recognize that he was no ordinary member of the BLP and that his opinions must carry)

    2) The Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley, has in the past made unilateral decisions even though the parliamentary group decided on a particular course of action or even without their knowledge. Explanation (Mottley refused to recognize that he was no ordinary member of the BLP and that his opinions must carry, and to besides, he was OSA, the great, who had been fully entitled to take similar actions in the past, the interloper had no such entitlement )

    3) He also came under attack from certain sections in the Labour Party when he refused to be used as a gimmick by (MAM) putting forward his name to sit on an eminent persons group, which had not been requested by the government of the day. Explanation (Mottley refused to recognize that he was no ordinary member of the BLP and that his opinions must carry)

    4) His actions were also called into question during the Government debate of the Barbados Revenue Authority, an entity which was conceived under his leadership as Prime Minister. Explanation (Mottley refused to recognize that he was no ordinary member of the BLP and that his opinions must carry)

    5) He also referred to an incident relating to the Estimates debate at which time it was unanimously agreed (by the BLP?) not to vote against the Bill. Arthur said he took the matter to the public because it became a public issue, to explain why he did not participate on the vote against the Estimates. Explanation (Mottley refused to recognize that he was no ordinary member of the BLP and that his opinions must carry)

    6) The above incident made him realise that the party (BLP) had lost its way and had lost its soul. He therefore had no other choice but to leave the BLP because he was not allowed to express an opinion about himself on a matter concerning himself, in an institution that should be looking to support and uphold freedom of expression. Explanation (Mottley refused to recognize that he was no ordinary member of the BLP and that his opinions must carry)

    OSA was the keeper of the the soul of the BLP and Only OSA could rekindle that lost soul. In his absence it had no soul so he was keeping the figurative soul until duh said sorry.

    Uh lie?

    Like

  56. Gabriel November 30, 2015 at 3:49 PM #

    Seeing the chaos that now exists in the BLP,I am encouraging OSA to accept the offer of Economic Adviser to the Government of Barbados and move on towards saving this country from further disaster.It would have the obvious effect of killing two birds with one stone.Stuart ably advised by Arthur is a winning combination in 2016 or 2017 at the latest.

    Like

  57. Vincent Haynes November 30, 2015 at 4:59 PM #

    Stuart ably advised by Arthur is a winning combination in 2016 or 2017 at the latest.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    One in time of plenty borrowed and did not prepare for a famine and one in a famine borrowed and presumably the winning combination will borrow much more……interesting.

    Like

  58. Alvin Cummins December 2, 2015 at 10:46 PM #

    @David;
    I maybe mistaken (according to many here I usually am) but didn’t I heat that Mia said that the decision To expel Agard) was a mere formality? In other words, irregardless of what Maria or her defence team said or argued, the decision had already been take. Justice?
    If Maria is true to her word; that her decision is to serve the people of Christ Church West, the constituents who elected her, and she decides to contest the next election as an independent, and wins, where does that leave the BLP, and Mia, assuming she leads the party into the election?

    Like

  59. balance December 3, 2015 at 6:13 AM #

    “When does one sacrifice a principle at the altar of what is convenient?”

    What is the principle in the issue ?
    Convenient for whom?

    Like

  60. ac December 6, 2015 at 7:34 AM #

    Why is it the BLP brigade does not want to accept the realities that their leadership behaviour cannot be tolerated in a modern day society where nothing is hidden or protected
    In seven days what will be revealed is whether Mia actions were fueled by political opportunism or a lack of will and a desire to be bold and decisive in making necessary changes within the party
    The letter which she read had all the makings of a collective agreement with those in the executive group who were on a hunting expedition for fast dispatch of Maria
    If that is the case it bodes well With glaring suspicion why Maria was not giving the opportunity to present her case

    Like

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