2009-09-09 07:02:42
Pathetic Editorial On Michael Barnett's Appointment As Chief Justice
Your editorial of Wednesday August 26 Playing politics must be the most pathetic and disingenuous editorial since the takeover of the new regime at The Nassau Guardian.

How you could accuse the chairman of the PLP for playing politics for her justified criticism of the appointment of Michael Barnett as Chief Justice escapes even some of the most partisan FNMs.

To attempt to justify this appointment as your editorial writer has done has removed any semblance of fairness, logic or common sense on his/her part.

I have always been amazed of how Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham seems to be able to get supposedly rational people to do the most irrational things.

Everyone, including your editorial writer, seems to agree that Mr. Barnett is a man of integrity. But how can he accept the office of Chief Justice as head of the Judiciary a day after being Attorney General and legal advisor to the Cabinet.

What becomes of those matters that Mr. Barnett gave advice to the government on as AG when they are litigated in the courts?

Your editorial writer might make the case that he will excuse himself from these matters, but since he will have the responsibility to assign cases he might assign those matters to, get this, Claire Hepburn who a few weeks ago was an FNM Senator, or perhaps to Rhonda Bain who worked out of his law firm just last week.

If your editorial writer sees nothing wrong with this appointment God help The Nassau Guardian and God help The Bahamas.

It's obvious that there is no respect by this government and the prime minister for the long established tenets of the Westminster system.

This appointment undermines this system especially in small democracies like The Bahamas where the executive wield such unfettered powers. Think about the prime minister having unfettered powers and the chief justice of the country is his soulmate.

You see no harm in the prime minister stacking the judiciary with his friends and political mates. Never mind if this appointment further undermines the already dysfunctional and overwhelmed administration of justice system.

This is very serious business. It has nothing to do with Mr. Barnett's qualifications; it has everything to do with poor judgment on the part of the prime minister for offering the appointment under the current circumstances and Mr. Barnett for accepting that appointment.

Your editorial writer's illogical attempt to compare Sir Burton's religious background as a Roman Catholic with Michael Barnett's recent partisan political background as an FNM is so specious that it does not deserve further commentary. What a tangle web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

Yours etc.,
BYRON GARDINER
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