Mrs. Harris-Lake is also the sister of Dr. Timothy Harris, former Senior Minister in the Denzil Douglas-led Cabinet and present Leader of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) and of Team Unity, a three-Party coalition standing in opposition to Douglas.
Out of the blue, on September 17th,2013, she received a notice to take 64 days leave beginning three days later on 20th September,2013, which, incidentally, was the same date on which the Court was scheduled to hear a Constituency Boundaries-related matter.
She has since commenced legal proceedings against the Government.
The 64 days would’ve expired today, December 19th, 2013.
So, lo and behold, just after 8 o’clock last night, two police officers from the Dieppe Bay Police Station appeared at her residence at Tabernacle with a Christmas ‘gift’ from Denzil Douglas.
The ‘gift’ was in an envelope, and when she opened it she saw, not a Christmas card, but a letter from the Human Resource Department in the Office of the Prime Minister, dated December 18th,2013.
The letter informed her of the decision to “re-deploy” her to the post of “Director, Legal Reform”, and advised her that because the logistics of her re-deployment had not been finalized, she was to take her remaining 32 days of leave until February 6th,2014.
Director, Legal Reform? What is that?
I won’t go into a legalistic conversation on the matter. But suffice it to say, Director, Legal Reform is a nothing post, a nonsense, just like the post of Senior Minister which Douglas had given to her brother, Timothy, and just like the post of Permanent Secretary, Public Sector Reform, which he had given to Mr. Douglas Wattley, who is presently the Chairman of PLP.
Sometimes when Denzil Douglas wants to marginalize people in the public service, he has them appointed to dead-end, sweet-sounding posts, to frustrate and embarrass them. And straight off the bat, his action tells you that he has absolutely no desire to see any results coming out of the person or the post.
As far as Denzil Douglas is concerned, Janine Harris-Lake and legal reform can go to hell.
Just two weeks ago, Timothy Harris had been told at R.L Bradshaw Airport, as he prepared to travel overseas, that his diplomatic passport had been revoked. No notice, nothing. No courtesies, just brutishness and vindictiveness.
Then, just days later, the same thing was done to Sam Condor at the Toronto Airport as he prepared to travel to the USA, on his way back home.
I wonder if any other former Federal Ministers had ever been told to turn in their diplomatic passports prior to expiry, or confronted in that manner at an airport.
I wonder whether Mr. Joseph Parry and Mr. Hensley Daniel, both of whom I presume had been issued such passports as Premier and Deputy Premier respectively of Nevis, were directed to turn in theirs after losing the Nevis Island Assembly Elections in January of this year.
This very abrupt treatment of Timothy Harris and Sam Condor appears all the more sinister, spiteful, and small-boyish in light of the fact that as recently as June, 2012, Douglas was looking to establish a Protocol on Privileges and Benefits for Former Heads of State, Ministers, Legislators and Spouses.
And the first proposal for the new Protocol was for former Ministers to retain their diplomatic passports for five years after leaving office.
Perhaps the Protocol should be published so that the people can see it for themselves and also determine whether they detect any signs in it of Douglas looking to set up himself for his post-Prime Minister days.
But it seems as if his bitterness against Timothy Harris and his family runs very deep. And it’s not only Timothy and Janine who have found themselves on the receiving end of it in recent times.
Their brother, Hester Rawlins, the Fire Chief, has received his Christmas ‘gift’ too. He received a letter on Monday, December 9th, directing him to go on pre-retirement leave, having attained the age of 55 years.
The letter was dated December 2nd, 2014. Yes, 2014. A typographical error, perhaps sent in such a rush that the writer/sender didn’t take the time to make sure that the date was correct. Rawlins had been off island for much of the week of December 2nd, and he saw the letter only on December 9th after his return to St. Kitts.
Interestingly, the recommendation to retire him had come allegedly from a person who will be 55 years old next month, although no such letter is sent unless Denzil Douglas approves or initiates it. The short point here is that Douglas wants Hester Rawlins, Timothy Harris’ brother, out!
Meanwhile, as we all know, there are a number of persons who are even older, some in their sixties, occupying high public sector posts, and not getting retirement letters. Indeed, persons who are over 55 are being brought into the public service
A good leader is measured by how he or she constrains himself or herself in the use of power. A good leader does not use power to further himself or herself, or to hurt, and be vindictive towards, people. Denzil Douglas has provided us with more than enough evidence to show that he is a weak, vindictive leader, the worst in the history of this country. And he has no season for his vindictiveness. He is a perpetual vindictiveness mode. To hell with Christmas, and what it stands for. He doesn’t care!
Merry Christmas, Janine Harris-Lake. Merry Christmas, Hester Rawlins. Merry Christmas, Timothy Harris. Give thanks, and forgive those who trespass against you, and do so in the spirit of Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela, reconciliation and in the cause of Unity for the people of St. Kitts & Nevis.
All of this vindictiveness will soon pass, as joy cometh in the New Year.
And Merry Christmas to all.