Though such releases from Cabinet are expected to be embracing the collective decisions and positions of all members or at least the majority view, there seems to be some fundamental differences regarding the facts that led to the opening of the office in the Far East.
Therefore, earlier today, Thursday, 5th April, 2012, another and similar media release was issued, but this time by the Deputy Prime Minister, Sam Condor, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and who has already gone on record to state that both the consulate and the person appointed to head the office, were put in place without him being consulted by Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas on the specifics of the details.
A copy of the Cabinet Statement is featured elsewhere on MiyVue.com and we now publish without further comment, the statement from the Deputy Prime Minister.
Response by Honourable Sam Condor, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs
Press Release purported to be a
Opening of the Consulate in Dubai
On Monday 2nd April 2012 a Cabinet Retreat was held at the Marriott Resort. That is, a meeting of Cabinet Members with facilitators, to discuss the issues affecting the effective and efficient operations of Cabinet. This in itself is an admission that there are difficulties with the operations of Cabinet.
The procedure is that a Facilitator’s Report to Cabinet would follow. This would be discussed by Cabinet and acted upon. We await that Report.
A meeting of Cabinet on the other hand, is a meeting of the Body of elected and nominated Members, appointment by the Governor General under the Westminister System, and chaired by the Prime Minister. This Body makes decisions on policy and strategic directive for the Government that would be implemented by the various Ministries
Importantly then, there was no meeting of Cabinet on April 2nd, 2012. Instead a Retreat was held. At this Retreat, the only reference to Dubai, was whether it was appropriate for the Minister to:
(a) Speak to the Press
(b) To make the Statement in Parliament.
I of course held the view that I am accountable to the Public and remain strongly convinced of the principle that one is never more effective than when one is transparent.
The Opening of a Consulate therefore, was not considered; not discussed, in fact no statement could have procedurally emanated from said Cabinet Retreat for (2) two reasons:
(1) It was a Retreat and not a Cabinet Meeting
(2) From the Retreat there can only be a Facilitator’s Report with recommendations to Cabinet. We are awaiting that Report.
It is noteworthy that at the end of the Retreat which lasted some 12 hours, a release, was in fact brought to the Retreat and distributed. There was no time for the reading of that Release there. I however made it clear that I will read and respond as appropriate. As it turns out that release differs from the one released to the public.
It was the famous 18th Century Bishop J.C Ryles, first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, who said “Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of the truth on the Alter of Peace.”
Galatians 4:16 “Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”
The purported Cabinet release serves to confirm my claim in Parliament and Press Interview that the move to establish the Dubai Consulate circumvented, violated if you like, proper procedures and protocols and excluded for what ever reason, the due involvement of the Minister with legal and constitutional responsibility. In other words, I was kept in the dark.
The bottom line remains that the Submission to Cabinet must come from the line Ministry. Establishment of the Consulate must be undertaken by the line Ministry.
The Appointment of the Consul General must be done after consultation with the Foreign Minister. None of this was done!
This is a travesty and goes to the heart of the increasing difficulties surrounding the operations of Cabinet and Good Governance. Another effort to find resolution to these problems is exactly why the Retreat was agreed to.
A similar Retreat in 2007 saw recommendations speaking to working together to conscientiously and faithfully uphold the constitutional and conventional doctrines relating to the roles, rights and privileges and positions of the offices of Ministers, as they have evolved in the Westminister Parliamentary System over the centuries down to present day.
This whole affair speaks to just where we are on these matters.
There will be no letting up on this matter until the public gets the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A subterfuge is being played out right before our very eyes.
How and for whatever reason can or should:
- A past Line Minister and Permanent Secretary be allowed to continue to operate as though they still have legal and constitutional responsibility for that Ministry.
- An Ambassador sign to formalize Foreign relations and seek approval for the Establishment of a Consulate without prior discussions and approval of the legitimate Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- A Consul General be considered and appointed without the Submission and approval of the Foreign Minister.
- A Diplomatic Note requiring the signature of the Minister be initiated by a Senior Foreign Affairs Officer” on 14 February 2011- without the knowledge and or approval of the Minister.
- A delegation be selected and approved to travel to Dubai without discussion and involvement of the Minister.
And it is critical to note here that, a memo was issued to the Permanent Secretary which strongly disapproved of the entire process was copied to the Rt. Honourable Prime Minister. It is extremely unreasonable to infer that I could have at that late hour seek to have the approval annulled.
It is interesting to note that the Minister learned of the details of the mission through the circulated Press Release.
It was Francis Schaeffer, the American Evangelist and Author who wrote “Today not only in philosophy, but in politics, Government and individual morality, our generation sees solutions in terms of synthesis”, (the putting together of parts or elements to try to make a whole) “and not absolutes. When this happens, the truth, as people have always thought of truth, has died!”
Not only our people but Christ himself expects an honest, holistic approach to the sharing of information and in our accountability in the Affairs of State. This delegation of authority enshrined in our Constitution and practiced by our Founding Fathers inculcated good relations and facilitated great progress in our Land.
In the final analysis the people must see, understand and believe in the “Good We Can Do!”
The Cabinet’s statement can be accessed by clicking the following link:http://www.miyvue.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7355:cabinet-statement-on-the-opening-of-a-consulate-in-dubai&catid=42:rokstories&Itemid=109