Speaker of the House of Assembly Michael Carrington is challenging members of the media who know of politicians dealing with criminals to “say so”.
Speaking yesterday at his St Michael West constituency branch meeting at Westbury Road, St Michael, Carrington took issue with a media report that appeared on the day that Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler presented the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
In that story, former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons was quoted as warning Barbadian politicians of the dangers of getting into bed with criminals.
Sir David, who had earlier appeared on the radio talk show Down To Brass Tacks on Starcom Network, had said that throughout the Caribbean, especially Trinidad and Jamaica, there was evidence which showed that political parties embraced gang leaders and drug lords, including politicians who involved those criminals in state-funded projects.
While Carrington refused to criticize the former Attorney General and retired Chief Justice, contending that Sir David must have known what he was talking about because of the various senior positions he held both in Government and the legal service, the ruling Democratic Labour Party parliamentarian claimed the coverage sent a message to the people of Barbados that the 30 members of Parliament who were speaking on the budget were dealing with criminals.
“That is the interpretation I gave it and I am sure that is the interpretation any right-thinking person would give it. I am saying you should not do it unless you have good evidence because you run the risk of making people lose faith in our systems and our rule of law. When we start to do that we are going down a slippery slope. If the persons responsible for putting that kind of story on the front page know which politicians are dealing with criminals, they should say so,” Carrington said.
Carrington, who had earlier complained that there were some people who were attacking every institution in the country, complained that the story was responsible for the absence of sizeable crowds during debates in the House of Assembly.
Director of the Urban Development Commission (UDC) Derek Alleyne, who also addressed yesterday’s meeting, charged there was a lack of discipline in every aspect of Barbadian life.
While complaining about the behaviour of drivers and motorcyclists on the roads, Alleyne also talked about a lack of discipline in the home and at schools.
“We are teaching our children foul and aggressive language that is repeated in the classroom. It is now normal to misbehave, it is now normal to use foul language before a teacher,” Alleyne said.