Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has defended his colleagues and opponents against abusive, “demeaning” and “ugly” accusations of corruption.
Speaking as Parliamentarians resumed debate on and approved the Prevention of Corruption Bill, the country’s leader said he had heard “all of the judgmental talk” from “naysayers”, but made it clear he was fully committed to “the clean arena of politics and that’s why I feel so deep a commitment to it”.
“The truth is, every member of the House, on both sides, has had the courage and conviction to expose him or herself to public scrutiny, to have every man and woman in society pronounce on their character,” he said.
The St. Michael South MP said while the Democratic Labour Party and Barbados Labour Party members had their differences, which he expected to sharpen “over the next few weeks, months, whatever”, they all “ought to be commended because not many people will be willing to do that”.
“Politics is a noble profession made up for the most part of noble men and women. You will not get me joining the naysayers who from the security of their prepared positions and from the comfort and safe distance of their preferred positions sit in judgment and want to say all sorts of ugly and demeaning things about politicians,” he stated.
“We have passed the test by daring to go public and say ‘I submit myself to your judgment, and not many people do that, I expose my family to being abused, I exposed myself to being abused.”
He said politicians on both sides of the House of Assembly’s aisle had made a sacrifice “because of a profound commitment to the development of the country” and gave the anti corruption legislation his full support.
“No piece of legislation is perfect, no piece of legislation has had the capacity to please everybody, but it is our attempt to deal with a problem which we did not create and which did not begin with us — it dates back centuries,” Stuart said. (SC)