The Integrity Account
Having completed my four-part series [1, 2 & 3, 4] on what I termed ‘The Integrity Threat‘, I was intrigued by two recent public notices on the meaning of the Appeal Court’s recent activity on these matters.
- 6 October – The Integrity Commission issued a Public Notice which was a clear statement by the Commission that State Enterprises were within its lawful remit, according to the Appeal Court ruling on 27 June. My reading of that ruling was that it effectively narrowed the 9th part of the Schedule to the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA) so that it only applies to Directors of Statutory Bodies performing public functions. I maintain that view. Even if one accepts the Commission’s reading of events, as set out in the exchange of emails in the sidebar, this ruling was a seriously retrograde step in the operation of our nation’s Integrity Framework, as I will illustrate;
- 5 November – the Judiciary issued a Media Release on the recent reports in other newspapers on a 28 October Appeal Court hearing on a 2006 Freedom of Information request made to TSTT. I want to read the actual ruling/findings of the Appeal Court at that hearing before writing in detail on this. Two things are clear – firstly, the Judiciary is able to set the record straight if there is a danger of the media misunderstanding important rulings. That is the behaviour of a healthy Public Institution. I am also noting here that the Judiciary has made no such efforts in respect of #30 of 2008, despite the several pointed criticisms in the media. The second point is about the subject-matter of this lawsuit, which is the 2006 letter the Commission wrote to TSTT’s Directors confirming that they did not have to submit declarations. That letter and the official efforts to conceal it, were the subject of this 7-year lawsuit. I had raised this arrangement with senior officials of the Commission in earlier discussions, since it seemed incredible to me that TSTT could have gained such a concession. I was told that the Commission had agreed to ‘hold its hand‘ since the issue was subject to the Court’s ruling – this is my paraphrasing of conversations, so of course I am subject to correction. On the one hand I was recently told by the Commission that this arrangement was ‘in order‘ and on the other, it is now emerging that TSTT expended considerable time & money to conceal those details. I am calling on the Commission to publish those details…
Invader’s Bay part 3: MORE Invaders Bay Ingredients
I closed last week’s article by restating my view that all the ingredients for corruption were present at Invader’s Bay.
What are those ingredients?
Here is my list -
- Extensive public assets coming onto the market, in turbid circumstances. Those assets can include property, concessions, contracts and jobs;
- Questions of access to the gatekeepers – in these scenarios, some people will have unbelievable access to the decision-makers;
- Conflicting and confusing versions of the project or proposal. The confusion is as persistent as it is deliberate, a part of the tangled web.
- Blatant double-standards and lying is the norm in these situations;
- Apart from ceremonial fluff, such as sod-turnings and ribbon-cuttings, there is no intention whatsoever to give any proper public account or statement of intentions. True transparency is evaded like taxes;
- Professional Civil Servants who are unable or unwilling to insist on the maintenance of minimum standards…
Pre-action letter to the minister of Finance and the Economy
This is the Pre-Action Protocol letter to the Minister of Finance challenging his failure to reply to my Freedom of Information Act request of 18 March 2013, seeking details of the beneficiaries of the CL Financial bailout, particularly the EFPA holders.
Invader’s Bay part 2: All the Ingredients for Bobol…
Since my previous article on this controversial proposal, we have seen that certain legal advice reportedly considered by the government has been featured in another newspaper. If that is the advice the State is relying upon in advancing their Invader’s Bay proposals, we are seeing a large-scale act of intentional illegality and a worrying return to the ‘bad-old-days‘.
My main concerns are -
Compare the lack of consultation at Invader’s Bay with what happens elsewhere. In particular, the large waterfront lands near the city centre of San Fernando at King’s Wharf, which has been the subject of ongoing public consultations over the years. The press reports that various design and redevelopment concepts were presented to and discussed with a widely-based audience.
Whatever the criticisms one might make of the King’s Wharf proposals, it is undeniable that views have been sought from the public/stakeholders and various proposals have been made for consideration.
The JCC and its Kindred Associations in Civil Society met with Ministers Tewarie and Cadiz on 26 September 2011 to express our serious concerns. Yet, when Minister Tewarie was challenged by the JCC and others as to the complete failure to consult with the public, the only example of consultation he could cite was the very meeting we had insisted on, which took place after publication of the Ministry’s Request for Proposals (RFP) and just about one week before the closing-date for proposals.
AUDIO: Forward Thinkers Interview – 24 October 2013
Afra Raymond chats on the show ’Forward Thinkers‘ with David Walker on 104.7FM, dealing with the CL Financial bailout and my lawsuit against the Minister of Finance to get at the detailed information as to how the $24B in Public Money was spent. 24 October 2013. Audio courtesy More 104.7 FM
- Programme Date: Thursday 24th October 2013
- Programme Length: 0:45:41
CL Financial bailout – Lawsuit against Minister of Finance
This is my reply to the Ministry’s affidavit of 12 July which seemed to rely on the fact that CL Financial is a private company to refuse publication of the requested information.
Of course that line of reasoning is yet another emerging threat to our country’s Integrity Framework, so our reply challenges the validity of this assertion.
At our hearing on 1 October, Justice Boodoosingh ordered me to formally notify CL Financial and we have done that, so at our hearing earlier today, CL Financial were represented by a team led by Stephen Singh and various dates were set, with our next hearing on 27 February 2014. Of course that is the very Carnival week, so stay tuned. I expect there will be significant other developments well before that.
Integrity Commission Public Notice
Having written four critical articles consequent on the Appeal Court’s 27th June ruling and having been preceded by two leading commentators— Andre Bagoo & Anthony Wilson — I was intrigued by this Public Notice published at p. 49 of the Sunday Express of 6 October 2013.
Invader’s Bay payday?
Invader’s Bay has re-emerged from the shadows via PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi’s budget contribution on Monday 23 September 2013 (pp. 168-175). The twists and turns in this controversial proposed scheme are detailed at JCC’s webpage.
Invader’s Bay is a 70-acre parcel of reclaimed State land off the Audrey Jeffers Highway – just south of PriceSmart & MovieTowne – in the western part of Port-of-Spain. Its value was estimated by the State in 2011 to be in excess of $1.2Bn, so these are prime development lands, possessing these attributes -
- Water, Electricity and all urban services are readily available;
- Flat/gently-sloping terrain;
- Direct access to Audrey Jeffers Highway;
- Waterfront location.
Before proceeding to the latest revelations, it is important to restate the main objections raised by the JCC and others with respect to this proposed development -
- The Request for Proposals (RFP) was published by the Ministry of Planning in August 2011 seeking Design-Build proposals for the development of these lands and specifying an entirely inadequate 6 weeks for submissions;
- There has been no public consultation at all, so the public has not been involved in this, the largest proposed development in our capital in living memory;
- The RFP was silent as to the other three, extant strategic plans for the POS area, all paid for with Public Money. Given that the RFP was published by the Ministry of Planning, that is a tragic irony, to say the least;
- EIA – The RFP is silent as to the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment in a development of this scale;
- The proposals were to be evaluated against the “Invader’s Bay Development Matrix and Criteria Description”, which was only published after the closing-date for submissions. That is a clear breach of proper tender procedure, which renders the entire process voidable and therefore illegal.
Property Tax Facts
Property Tax is back and the controversy has naturally returned since the ‘Axe the Tax‘ movement was a signal moment of unity in the anti-PNM campaigns of 2009/2010.
In my opinion, the anti-Property Tax movement was an important measure of the extent to which our national discourse is now irrational and baseless. The disenchantment with the Manning administration and the thirst to have them removed seemed to occupy more time than any substantial discussion as to the merits of the proposed Property Tax.
Now, as then, I hold the view that our nation’s Property Tax regime is long-overdue for reform and updating. I support the proposals to do so and we will have to wait for more detail to analyse these proposals further.
Here are a few of the basic facts on Property Tax.
The size of the Property Tax Take – Proportionally
The Estimates of Revenue disclose that in 1995 property tax was 2% of tax revenue and in 2009 it was expected to be a mere .18%. Property tax, when last collected, contributed a small fraction of the amount it did 15 years ago. The official projections for the Property Taxes proposed by the PNM were for that revenue to increase to $325M in 2010 – even at that level, the contribution would have barely exceeded 1% of the national tax revenue.
The Draft Estimates of Revenue (2014) published in the recently-approved budget are unclear and I have requested an official clarification before making any detailed comments on those. As an example the Total Tax Revenue 2014 is estimated (at p. vii) to be $46.8Bn, with ‘Taxes on Property’ comprising $3.914M, which is a tiny proportion of the total, about 100,000th of 1%. The accompanying chart, on that very page, shows Property Tax at 1% of the total. There is more to say, but I am awaiting the requested information, hopefully before next week’s deadline.
The key point here is that property is a vibrant engine of wealth in our country and has been so for many decades, every successful person knows that. Given that fundamental, it is obvious that property has to be properly taxed if any kind of economic justice is to emerge. The historically paltry percentage of revenues raised via Property Taxes is solid justification for a comprehensive mapping of who owns what and the where. This is a flourishing sector of the economy, so proper taxes are long-overdue…
Integrity Threat: Part 4
I am fully in support of a vigorous and conscientious Integrity Commission (IC). I do not want to see the IC abolished or sidelined. The IC must realign its limited resources to ensure a decisive impact on the conduct of Public Officials. The proposals contained in its 2012 Annual Report show clearly that the Gordon Commission has started to seriously grapple with that challenge.
The derailment of the IC between 2004 and 2009 is a clear example of what can happen to an Independent Commission if we do not maintain vigilant oversight.
This matter is of the greatest interest for those of us campaigning for Public Procurement reform so as to get effective control over all transactions in Public Money. The arrangements we are proposing include new Independent Commissions/Officeholders. It is therefore critical that we learn the lessons from this debacle so as to safeguard the bodies we are proposing. The stakes are very high for our nation’s Integrity Framework, which must be strengthened, with swifter resolution of allegations.
To continue in the current manner is to drag the system into further disrepute, encourage even more bold-faced thieves, more reckless public officials and we can expect complete loss of the residual respect for the post-independence civilization we have tried to grow. That would be an ugly and violent future for our society, so this episode requires stern and conscientious examination.
One of the emergent issues is how to reconcile the competing need for an effective anti-corruption agency independent of external instructions or directions, while remaining sensitive to the views of its stakeholders.
In this case, the Commission’s formal reporting device – its Annual Reports – was silent at the time of its momentous decision to seek to omit State Enterprises and bodies under State control from its remit. That failure to publish its 2008 & 2009 Annual Reports might be understood as a natural consequence of the virtual collapse of the Commission – the February 2009 resignations of the John Martin-led Commission were less than two months before the scheduled release of the 2008 Annual Report. The May 2009 resignations of the Fr. Henry Charles-led Commission dealt a further blow to this beleaguered Institution.
Integrity Threat: Part 2 & 3
The previous column discussed the Appeal Court judgment in #30 of 2008, in which both TSTT and the Integrity Commission sought to challenge the High Court ruling in #1735 of 2005. That High Court ruling found that the phrase contained at para 9 of the Schedule to the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA) was to be taken ‘as read’ to define those people who are subject to its provisions -
- “Members of the Boards of all Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises including those bodies in which the State has a controlling interest.”
The Appeal Court – comprising CJ Archie, together with Mendonca JA and Smith JA – ruled that -
- TSTT is not a State Enterprise. The members of its Board are not subject to the Integrity Provisions.
- It is only the members of the Boards of those Statutory Bodies which exercise public functions that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.“
No appeals were filed against that ruling, so the law at this time is that Directors of State Enterprises are now exempt from the provisions of the IPLA. The Appeal Court has now removed all 59 State Enterprises from the scrutiny of the Integrity Commission…
AUDIO: Heritage Radio Interview: Treasury Scandal – 27 August 2013
Afra Raymond chats with Joseph Berment-McDowall on Heritage Radio 101.7 FM about the Treasury Scandal article. 27 August 2013. Audio courtesy Heritage Radio 101.7 FM
- Programme Date: Tuesday, 27 August 2013
- Programme Length: 1:21:45
Integrity threat from the Appeal Court
On 27th June the Appeal Court ruled that -
- TSTT is not a State Enterprise. The members of its Board are not subject to the Integrity Provisions.
- It is only the members of the Boards of those Statutory Bodies which exercise public functions that are subject to the jurisdiction of the (Integrity) Commission.
Telecommunications Company of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) is a company established between the T&T State and the British-based multinational, Cable & Wireless. C&W holds 49% of the shares in TSTT, while the State holds about 42% of the shares together with the right to nominate 5 of its 9 Directors.
That unanimous ruling has serious consequences for the viability of our nation’s integrity framework.
The intended purpose of that framework is to ensure a satisfactory level of transparency and accountability in the way Public Money is transacted and Public Functions are discharged. There is still a strong case for this Integrity Framework as a necessary ingredient in the Good Governance of our nation. The Integrity Framework includes the Auditor General; the Integrity Commission; the Investments Division of the Ministry of Finance and the two Parliamentary Accounts Enterprises Committees. Ours is the most vibrant Caribbean economy and the State is clearly the largest player, so the proper management of that sector is critical. Given the continuing rise in the waste and theft of Public Money, there will always be a need for an improved, more effective Integrity Framework to oversee these huge, controversial operations.
The Appeal arose from the 2005 case, in which TSTT sought an interpretation from the Court as to the meaning of the phrase in the Schedule to the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA), defining persons in public life -
(9) Members of the Boards of all Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises including those bodies in which the State has a controlling interest…
The Treasury Scandal
I wonder if is Bobol?
What dey doing with Taxpayer’s Money at all!?
I wonder if is Bobol?
What dey doing with Taxpayer’s Money at all!?
—Opening stanza of ‘The Treasury Scandal’ by Atilla the Hun (1937)
I took this title from the late 1930’s kaiso by the great Atilla the Hun (Raymond Quevado) on the scandal of some $200,000 missing from T&T’s Treasury. His outrage was rooted in the fact that the story came-out in bits and pieces and of course, none of the ‘Big-Boys’ was ever jailed, or even charged for that theft. That was a massive amount of money in the 1930s – at that time a good Woodbrook house cost about $6,000 – so that could give you an idea. Atilla was lamenting the lack of accountability and transparency in how Public Money was being managed. The ‘Treasury Scandal’ was a true episode from the bad-old-colonial-days of the 1930s, but of course we have progressed a great deal since then, having achieved Independence, Republican status and universal education.
The problem is that despite the obvious movement forward, we are witness to yet another ‘Treasury Scandal’. I am referring to the CL Financial bailout, announced in January 2009 and still ongoing at an anticipated cost of $24Bn – according to paras 21 and 22 of the 3 April 2012 affidavit of then Finance Minister, Winston Dookeran.
AUDIO: Forward Thinkers Interview – 15 August 2013
Afra Raymond chats on the show ’Forward Thinkers‘ with David Walker on More 104.7 FM about State Enterprises. 15 August 2013. Audio courtesy More 104.7 FM
- Programme Date: Thursday 15th August 2013
- Programme Length: 0:54:33
Ministry of Finance Dance
This is a most interesting document for several reasons -
- Attorneys – The legal team is led by Russell Martineau SC, former AG and former President of the Law Association. Martineau was lead attorney for CL Financial’s auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, during the recently-concluded Colman Commission and he strongly opposed my submissions as you can see in this revealing clip. His Junior in this case is Gerald Ramdeen, who was Junior Counsel to the said Colman Commission.
- My recent supplemental application – On 18th March, I made a further application under the FoIA for the details of the creditors of CL Financial, particularly the EFPA holders, in relation to the amounts repaid and claimed. It is interesting that the Ministry of Finance chose to treat with this in the their affidavit.
- The objection – Despite several readings of this 5-page affidavit, I am not clearly able to see just what is the Ministry’s real reason for objecting to the release of the requested info.
- State-controlled Enterprises – The recent Appeal Court ruling in #30 of 2008 on the meaning of State-controlled Enterprises is a real threat to the public interest in relation to the governance arrangements in situations like this. The final sentence of para #14 is “In any event, CL Financial Ltd. is a private company and is not a public authority under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.” Well I tell you.
- The fundamental position – At the Court hearing on 23rd May, the lead attorney for Finance, Russell Martineau SC, was emphatic in stating to Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh that there was no intention of compromising or considering the release of even some of the requested information. It is going to be a fight for every item of information.
- Public Secret – We are now being told that the bailout process for CL Financial is nearing its end with a procedure having been agreed for the recovery of the Public Money which has been spent. Serious and justified concerns are being voiced at this time since there is no way to be sure how much money has been spent or the terms of the final settlement. I will be writing more on this shortly. We are being told that the agreed terms of the settlement are solid in protecting the public interest, yet this very Ministry, Finance, is using a highly-paid legal team to oppose the publication of fundamental information.
The burning question remains…
VIDEO: Time to Face the Facts – 26 May 2013
The audience was regional via cable and global via their Facebook page. The interviewer is Jerry George and the format was a live call-in. Video courtesy Jerry George
- Programme Air Date: 26 May 2013
- Programme Length: 2:00:00
Charting our losses: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’
The last four articles in this series have focused on what I call ‘two sides of the same coin’ – the coin being the large-scale and improper use of Public Money.
I examined the THA/BOLT office project called MILSHIRV being undertaken with the Rahael group and the Calcutta Settlement land scheme in which the HDC acquired developed lands at several times the proper price the State could have paid.
Throughout this type of critique one has to strive for effective balance and fundamental integrity. The extent of the waste and/or theft is never easy to pinpoint when one is working from outside and relying solely on published documents, but my best efforts to establish those facts is what is presented. Of course it is impossible to say for sure that any amount of money was stolen in a particular project, hence the phrase ‘wasted or stolen’.
Objectively, it does not matter whether the money is wasted or stolen, if it is ultimately unavailable for the benefit of the Public. Once spent, that Public Money is gone forever, which is why Value for Money is of such importance in any proper Public Procurement system.
Subjectively, however, the errors of inexperience or poor process must be differentiated from an active conspiracy to defraud. Although the objective measure of loss might be identical in terms of the dollar-amount, there are different long-term consequences. Innocent errors and miscalculations can be rectified over time by ongoing review processes. Deliberate conspiracies to defraud require concerted and well-grounded attacks in order to be eliminated. What is worse about the deliberate conspiracies is that they affect the very atmosphere in which public business is conducted.
Order granting leave to file judicial review in Afra Raymond vs Ministry of Finance and the Economy
This is the Order by Justice Boodoosingh to grant me the right to have the Judicial Review heard in Court…our first hearing is set for 1 May 2013
Application for judicial review in Afra Raymond vs Ministry of Finance and the Economy
The case is a critical challenge to the detrimental notion that $24Bn of Public Money can be spent without Accountability or Transparency. That notion does violence to any healthy conception of the Public Interest, so I expect this contest to be a sharp one.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand…”
Frederick Douglass…Freedom Fighter and esteemed ancestor…
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant!”
Former US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis…
Calcutta Settlement review
The simple, inescapable fact is that the State could have lawfully acquired the ‘Eden Gardens’ property for less than $40M. The HDC paid $175M in November 2012 to Point Lisas Park Ltd (PLP) for that property, which is the reason I am calling this an improper use of Public Money.
Despite having available the advice of the Commissioner of State Lands, the Commissioner of Valuations and various attorneys at HDC and so on, the Cabinet approved this transaction. This Cabinet, with two Senior Counsel at its head and several other seasoned legal advisers, appears to have been unaware of, or intentionally ignoring, the legal safeguards.
Some readers may be surprised at those assertions, so here are my reasons for making such.
The last two articles examined the steps leading to the HDC’s purchase of land at ‘Eden Gardens’ in Calcutta Settlement. In my opinion that transaction, as well as the one which preceded it, are both highly improper and very probably unlawful. The HDC purchase must be reversed and the responsible parties investigated/prosecuted as required by our laws.
Pre-Action Protocol letter to Ministry of Finance pursuant to FoI Application of 11 May 2012
What is being pursued here is our right as citizens of a modern republic to the details of these huge expenditures of Public Money – the CL Financial bailout is costing some $24Bn, about $3.5Bn USD! – and the background to how critical legislative support is obtained. It is my view that S.34 was not the first time and that the spectre of ‘regulatory capture’, which underlines much of the discourse around the Great Depression 2, is in fact founded on a sinister degree of ‘legislative capture’.
Having had a series of ‘cat and mouse’ exchanges with the Ministry of Finance since my Freedom of Information Act application made on 11 May 2012, this is my pre-action protocol letter sent to them by my attorney on Thursday 7 March, seeking their proper reply in 7 days…that time expires at midnight today, Wednesday 13 March, so stay tuned, because we are going to the High Court after that…
Calcutta Settlement again
In light of the many questions raised by readers after the last article on the HDC’s purchase of land at ‘Eden Gardens‘ in Calcutta Settlement, I am continuing there.
The previous article discussed the Calcutta Settlement scheme and its relation to implementation of national housing policy. There is little, if any, connection between the provision of affordable housing and the acquisition of those ‘Eden Gardens‘ lands, at what is surely the highest price in Central Trinidad. How we create and implement a progressive housing policy is a critical part of this discourse, but there is more.
Another important aspect of this episode is the fact that sound land administration policy appears to have been abandoned for expediency. Expediency should never eclipse proper policy, especially when neither the process nor end-result advance the ultimate objective of serving our citizens.
The sidelining of sound land administration policy was essential in order to get the Calcutta Settlement scheme approved. National Land Administration policy is important so that we can be strategic in using the country’s property assets for proper national development, as opposed to the enrichment of a select few.
Afra joins the top 1%TEDxTalks featured on the TED.com website
Afra Raymond’s talk at TEDxPortofSpain 2012 is part of the 1% of TEDxTalks that get featured on the TED.com website. Congratulations to Afra. So far there have been 5,900 events held in 1,683 cities producing 25,500 talks worldwide. Only 247 TEDxTalks have feature on the TED.com website and now Afra is one of them.
From THA/BOLT to Calcutta – tangled webs: Part 2
Last week I set out my main concerns in relation to poor procurement processes with the THA/BOLT project. A large amount of Public Money was being committed to a project with little apparent regard to Value for Money concerns in an arrangement which seems to expose the THA to the principal risks at a time of limited financial resources.
Today TED featured Afra Raymonds TEDxPortofSpain talk as a talk of the week.
Each week TED selects four of their favourite talks, highlighting just a few of the enlightening speakers from the TEDx community, and its diverse constellation of ideas worth spreading. Afra’s talk was chosen. Congratulations to Afra and the TEDxPortofSpain Community.
From THA/BOLT to Calcutta – tangled webs: Part 1
With the THA elections having become a kind of national contest, the issues of governance and integrity loom large. The two relevant controversial issues, both of which emerged late last year, were the THA/BOLT office project and the HDC’s proposed purchase of land at Calcutta No. 2 Settlement.
Both those projects have given me serious cause for concern in terms of proper public procurement practice, so much so that I see them as being two sides of the same coin. Both these cases are models of inadvisable dealings in Public Money of a type which no prudent or reputable company would undertake. I am choosing my words carefully since recent reports are that litigation has already started on the THA/BOLT project and there may well be further legal action on both projects as we go forward…
VIDEO: The three sides of corruption: Afra Raymond at TEDxPortofSpain – 12.12.12
Replying to the Ministry of Finance on our Freedom of Information application of 8th May 2012…
- CL Financial accounts and if those are not available, the figures on which the Minister of Finance has been relying
- The presentation made to Members of Parliament in September 2011 to brief them prior to the debate on the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill and the Purchase of Certain Rights and Validation Bill 2011
- Details on the composition of the creditors of the CL Financial group, in particular EFPA holders. I was asking who was owed money and who got paid. That is at the centre of this issue
- Declarations filed by Directors and Officers of the CL Financial group under the IPLA - I have since established that those declarations are not being filed, so this pursuit is about the first three questions.
A fuller background on all this can be read here.
This is my reply to the letter sent by the Ministry of Finance on 14th August 2012.
Stay tuned, because this is going to be a real battle to get at the truth.
The Plot to Pervert Parliament
We have witnessed two grievous Constitutional outrages. We have to keep our eyes on the ball in this season of mass distractions. For the government, there is every reason for us to ‘move on’ and forget about these deliberate violations of our constitution.
- The first was the State of Emergency – declared on August 21 2011 – with no proper reason ever being given for the suspension of our Constitutional rights. All the persons arrested were poor people. All of whom had to be released for lack of evidence, in a situation where the Police had the complete freedom to search for evidence. But what is worse, the suspension of our Constitutional rights was not used to gather evidence against the White-Collar bandits who have this nation by the throat. That State of Emergency would have been an ideal opportunity to gather evidence against this most evasive, well-advised and malodorous class of criminal.
- The second was the S.34 scandal – on August 31 2012 – which I have called the Plot to Pervert Parliament. This abuse of our legislative process allowed high-profile White-Collar Criminals to escape justice.
An abusive double-attack, so how do we speak the Truth to Power?
According to Abraham Lincoln “…Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power…”
These scandals continue to echo in the mind of so many people that it is only a matter of time before we have a thorough Public Enquiry. We must record who abused their office. Also, we need to remember clearly, who are these apologists who are now insisting that nothing big happened and in any case, it is all over.
You might also be interested in…
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