Columns

Really, Mr Kellier?

BY Eliot Penn

Sunday, August 19, 2012    

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Derrick Kellier is either taking all of us for fools or his arrogance is turning him into a fool.

When there is change in government the new administration sets about removing persons that it believes are loyal to its political opponents, not because they are incompetent, but because loyalty is a very necessary prerequisite to efficiently reap the spoils of a victory in Government.

The spoils of government lie in contracts. The spoils, for most, is not the pay, nor is it the service to your community (big kiss teeth), it is, in my view, about who gets what, when and how.

Derrick Kellier might say publicly that he can only recommend, but who would dare not to seek to find a way to accommodate his recommendation, a senior member of the ruling Administration?

If you want to keep that job you better find a way to get that contract in the hands of that "recommended" contractor. There is a process, and politicians have no business recommending who they think should get contracts. Does the phrase undue influence have any meaning to the Hon Mr Kellier?

The vehicle for corruption in government spending is primarily through the awarding of contracts. If we are to remove the stench of corruption from our affairs we must ensure that like Caesar's wife the process is above suspicion.

A senior minister recommending that his brother's company get a government job does not meet that standard, regardless of how many others he might also recommend. Let us be realistic; if the minister's recommendation did not help, he would not have bothered to do so.

I can't imagine a minister of Government making a recommendation and not expecting it to have any effect.

This is one of the reasons that we have such a deep distrust of politicians, not just because of the recommendation of a family member's company to get a contract, but also because of the reasons offered when questioned about the issue.

The cynicism causes most reading to see me as being unrealistic and would ask "So what you think man go into politics for, fi di pay?", and seek to convince me that it is I who am the fool to expect any other type of behaviour.

We are not fools, we just expect better, and we hope to see better governance in our lifetime. Lapse in judgement? Acknowledge it quickly and move on. We await the contractor general's report.

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