Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Melina Gracelyn White
I could not believe my ears when I heard the Prime Minister in her address Sunday night as she spoke on the issue of the rape charge that MP for St Michael North West and former Deputy Speaker Neil Rowe is facing.
“I would urge that as a mature people we respect the privacy of all concern”, the PM said.
No, no, no, Mia. Rowe is a public figure, by his choice, sent to the House of Assembly by the fine folks of St Michael North West.
This is in no way a “private” issue.
Given too that your party was elected to office on a ticket of integrity, touting Integrity Legislation, you now need to do the right thing.
As a resident of St Michael North West, who voted for Neil Rowe because of your Party’s mandate, I am begging you to do the right thing.
For the sake of transparency, for the sake of integrity, to ensure full transparency, no matter the outcome, Neil Rowe must resign especially given the severity of the charges levelled against him. Mia, do the right thing.
You said you have all confidence in the integrity of the police and the judiciary.
What about the integrity of us the people who placed their confidence in Neil Rowe and by extension your party? We demand he step aside to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done.
Mia, do the right thing.
The world over when allegations of this magnitude are made the person in public life does the right thing and steps aside.
Sometimes in politics even the leader of said Party steps aside as was the case earlier this year with former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chris Pincher scandal.
Here in Barbados, back in 2018, when the Chairman of Goddard Enterprises [Charles Herbert] was charged and appeared before the law courts it was reported that he “voluntarily stepped down”. His charges were subsequently dropped and he regained his post.
Goddard Enterprises is a privately-owned company accountable only to its shareholders. What then of a Government Member of Parliament who is accountable to us the people? Should he not do likewise as the wheels of justice turn? Madam PM you said:
“Comrades, we are a family and as brothers and sisters we are there for each other in good times and bad times”. I have no quarrel with that.
You can continue to be there for Neil Rowe and your Party can continue to rally around him. That is your right.
But, do not get twisted. Your role as leader of the party is totally different from your overarching role as Prime Minister of Barbados.
Lead your party as you may, but remember the entire country, thousands of whom are not BLP party faithfuls, expect their PM to do the right thing.
Thirty seats in Parliament do not mean that everyone voted for the BLP. As Prime Minister of all, do right by us who voted for you and those who voted against you.
No, no, no, Mia, removing him as Deputy Speaker only is not good enough.
Neil Rowe has to go as our MP as well. Mia, the goodly people of St Michael North West are expecting you do the right thing!