Sir Probyn is of the view that such legislation is deeply connected with the core principles of the Labour Movement of times past.
“I have long been advocating that whatever might be the misgivings individuals have, as a country, we should have, and should have had for a long time, integrity in public life legislation, said Sir Probyn on local radio on Tuesday, 6th November,2012.
He said it has nothing to do with the individuals; it is a matter of a country, saying to its citizens, that this is what this country stands for. “It stands for integrity, it stands for fairness and these are principles which our country should adhere to and should try to emulate in terms of all of their public activities,” said the former governor who is also a trained lawyer.
Sir Probyn who served as Head of State from 1975-1980 indicated that it is not going to be possible for a trade union or the Labour Movement to prosper, if it abandons the principles and the values for which the original leaders like Mr. Robert Bradshaw, Mr. Paul Southwell and Mr. Joseph N France stood; because unless you are faithful to certain principles, for example the principle of fairness it would be a departure from the core values of previous Labour leaders and their organization.
This is a message Sir Probyn said he repeated at the recent annual conference of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union, held on Sunday 28th October, 2012, in the presence of Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, his Deputy Sam Condor and Senior Minister Dr. Timothy Harris.
He said he hopes that sometime soon there will be Public Life Integrity legislation passed in the parliament of our country. “It’s absolutely essential because unless you have that, you are saying to the younger citizens in particular that integrity, fairness and decency do not matter.”
“I am saying that Mr. Bradshaw would have been outraged at the thought that the Labour Movement, of all the movements, of all parties, (do not) subscribe to such a philosophy. It was the character of the man
“As I tried to say at the convention, if they said Comrade Bradshaw and Comrade Southwell, it was because there was a bond. They felt a loyalty and a bond to each other; these were not just idle words. Here again it is important to recognize that these were principles on which a movement is supposed to be built and if you ignore this you are quoting disaster.”
Sir Probyn however opted not to speculate as to why the government of the day is resisting or opposing such legislation but what he said what he would want to do, is emphasize and re-emphasize how important it is, because he said he has a feeling if it is not done, and done fairly quickly, the Labour Movement would be forever tarnished as a party which had nothing, which had no use for integrity. He said he does not think that that is going to be fair to the legacy of the Labour Party.
“Bradshaw never seemed to have removed away from this obsession, this passion to do all that he could, to enhance the lot of the working class people, of which he regarded himself as one. This is one of the enduring qualities of Sir Robert Bradshaw, sated Sir Probyn.
This was one of the things he tried to say at the 73rd Conference of the union several Sundays ago.
It was the character of the man which stood out, “… because here was a man, as I have put it, on many occasions, was living the motto of our country, long before that motto, Country Above Self, was articulated and formulized in this way. Because Mr. Bradshaw died a relatively poor man and money was not an obsession and there was never a question that people absolutely trusted him. In all his career there was never any suggestion of any scandal regarding his public life or anything of that nature and he stood for certain principles,” said the former governor.