Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our moral authority at stake


Mark Fraser

Trinidad and Tobago athlete Semoy Hackett has been suspended from competition until April 2015 by the National Association of Athletics Administration for her second doping offence. On her first suspension, it was Sport Minister Anil Roberts who pontificated, in the most self-righteous fashion throughout the media, that there is no room for athletes using dope in his ministry and as such, all funding for the young athlete would be suspended with immediate effect. Need I say more on this matter?

A few weeks ago, a video of a woman beating the living daylights out of her daughter was leaked on the Internet and went viral. First out of the blocks to comment on the issue on national television was the Prime Minister, who launched an investigation into what she deemed violence in the home to see if any crime was committed. In a matter of days, police officers went a-knocking on the good lady’s door and thoroughly interrogated the woman to see if there was anything with which to charge her. After a thorough scouring through the law books, a determination was made that there was nothing done that constituted an offence. Need I say more on a certain video that is yet to be investigated?

Attorney-at-law Wayne Sturge, who staunchly defended Mr Roberts on the Morning Brew with Hema Ramkissoon, noted if the video was made in a foreign jurisdiction, then Trinidad and Tobago has no “locus” in the matter, especially if the act is not a crime in that foreign jurisdiction. A question for counsel: if a Government minister is caught on video engaging in several acts of paedo­philia and ritualistic murders in, let’s say, Holland where such acts may not be a crime, yet and still such acts are crimes in Trinidad and Tobago, would it be a sufficient defence for the minister to stay in office by offering Wayne Sturge’s reasoning as an explanation for his/her actions? The issue is not one of jurisdiction but one of morality, integrity and character. Isn’t it?

Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was banned for life by the NBA (Na­tional Basketball Association) for racist statements made in a phone call to his girlfriend, Ms Stiviano. The 2012 US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was caught on tape making derogatory remarks concerning Ame­rica’s lower-income class and was so badly hurt that it, in essence, cost him the election.

Our nation’s youth and several hundred young black men are jailed each year for having

in their possession less than one-tenth the alleged substance which was used in the video.

If Roberts is not fired forthwith by the Prime Minister and we as a nation do not rise up against any attempt to keep him in office, then

we have once again, by our actions, endorsed this Prime Minister and her renegade Government and, as such, we have lost all moral authority to tell our children to say no to drugs.

Dave Mckenzie