Home / View Point / Guest Columns / MASTER’S VOICE: Privy Council says Dumas damn right to demand info from State body

MASTER’S VOICE: Privy Council says Dumas damn right to demand info from State body

Hear ye, hear ye, O people of the babagreen—I cyar really say “grassroots” no more since in most places the grass cut and covered over with Bestcrete or pitch.

Anyway, leh mih make mih point.

The point is that ting happening and, Sherma Wilson, forgive me for calling your name in vain again but is your listeners I want paying attention to things like this. The recent ruling by the Privy Council upholding Reginald Dumas’ right as a CITIZEN of this country is so important on so many levels.

Photo: Former head of the Trinidad and Tobago Public Service and Ambassador to Washington, Reginald Dumas. (Copyright Trinidad Guardian)
Photo: Former head of the Trinidad and Tobago Public Service and Ambassador to Washington, Reginald Dumas.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

In simple language, the Privy Council say Dumas had the right to ask for an interpretation of the Constitution because he did find the President do crap in appointing two people to the Police Service Commission who eh qualified to be dey.

Now me eh getting into that; my ramble here is because I listened to the surprised exasperation of Dale Enoch on radio the odda morning. He was trying to figure out how come it wasn’t known before that Mr Dumas—and every one ah we!—as a CITIZEN has that right and how the hell it reach so far (in Massa house).

Now I have to admit I felt some surprised exasperation at Dale’s surprised exasperation. Dale, yuh never used to listen to Lloyd Best? Or Sunity Maharaj? Frig that, what about Sprangalang, or, ahm, Kizzy Ruiz song “Class Language?”

Hear this: there is an entrenched culture, dating back to Crown Colony rule, built up around the general public having to accept the authority of people in high office or any superior position to ours.

Once you above somebody or some group, you don’t have to account to them; just make a decree, sorry, decision or a lame excuse and if you eh like it, get to hell outta here. Hard luck.

The legal system, developed in an age when it was almost universally accepted that persons of a certain class were above reproach while others who were not of that class were considered naturally given to criminality, practically shuts out from seeking legal redress, on the basis of finance alone—mind you, mostly people from the labouring class.

Photo: A judge calls for order.
Photo: A judge calls for order.

The contempt towards such people is still strong today because, like someone said on Facebook, “This ruling by the old white men in the UK has now opened the door for every Tom, Dick and Harrilal to challenge all decisions that affect them directly. Don’t get me wrong; for the sake of transparency, I agree, but keep in mind that the courts will now be clogged by the insignificant and the ridiculous.”

As if daiz how it does work here, as if this ruling is going to influence many people to take similar—and in many cases, justifiable—action.

But then again, maybe it should.

So, Sherma, there’s work to be done. This ruling is for all those who felt and still feel they have no worth, no contribution valued enough to be considered. This is for those who only feel that change comes when you block the road and burn tyres. This is for those who could only openly say to those in power what they thought of them through street theatre of ole mas on Jour Ouvert Morning, the same thing that is now being slowly choked into invisibility by insecure, small-minded persons in authority.

More importantly, this is for those who decide that, since certain people doing what they want and could carry on as normal—normel, normel—then f**k dat, I seeing about myself. Hence the general indiscipline AND violent crime in the country.

The legal system, the laws, the Constitution and so on need to be broken down and made understandable to ordinary folks.

Photo: A satirical take on law.
Photo: A satirical take on law.

Where are the lawyers with a sense of principle and justice who are going to do this? Who among them is committed to the country and not just to his or her bank account?

When are we going to see a class action lawsuit where enough aggrieved citizens take on some of these major figures and corporations who are destroying our beaches, our water tables and our health under the guise of progress and development?

Kudos to you, Mr Dumas. Hol dem and wuk dem.

About Corey Gilkes

Corey Gilkes is a self-taught history reader whose big mouth forever gets his little tail in trouble. He lives in La Romaine and is working on four book projects. He has a blog on https://coreygilkes.wordpress.com/blog/ and http://www.trinicenter.com/Gilkes/. Vitriol can be emailed to him at coreygks@gmail.com.

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  1. It’s fairly obvious to me this writer doesn’t have a clue about the law. I recommend he reads:

    1) The Rule of Law – Tom Bingham
    2) How the law works – Gary Slapper
    3) Law: The Basics – Gary Slapper and David Kelly

  2. We cannot lose sight of the fact that Mr Dumas was in charge of the Public Service for years in the olden golden days when public servants took their responsibilities very seriously and so he “knew his onions” hence the reason he sought guidance from a legal mind who also “knew his onions” to take this matter to the Privy Council. He was not on any fishing expedition.

  3. Lasana Liburd ah set ah nasty dutty, good fuh nutten, no not me and mih grassroots people ah talking bout!

  4. Interesting. Like you said we already have jokers in the people’s court lol

  5. This land mark decision has opened the door for so many secret dealings by successive governments. to be made available to the general public

  6. Kudos for Mr Dumas. He believed in something and was prepared to fight for it.

  7. Well if some citizen follows suit and ask for interpretation of JLSC,CJ and President’s.latest appointments.The State might collapse.