Deaf, blind and mute: The three monkeys in the Japanese proverb. *Image supplied
Deaf, blind and mute: The three monkeys in the Japanese proverb. *Image supplied

The three monkeys in the Japanese proverb are Mizaru, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, who speaks no evil. 

The recent story appearing on Politica (www.think.bm) clearly outlined shocking allegations against the Premier of Bermuda, the Attorney General and the Tourism Minister.  

Premier Cannonier: “I think it’s clear. We haven’t violated any laws here. We haven’t violated any code of ethics or any code here. We’re in good stead here.”  

Okay, let’s review both the Ministerial Code of Conduct and the OBA Constitution 

Mizaru, See No Evil

Code of Conduct:

6.1 The Attorney-General must be consulted in good time before the Government is committed to decisions involving legal considerations

(xvii) Ministers should not seek or accept any kind of favour from individuals who are in negotiation with, or seeking to enter into contractual or proprietary or pecuniary relations with the Government.  

16. Expenses on Travel and Hospitality — Accepting offers of free travel can be misinterpreted. ... Offers of travel from other organisations should not normally be accepted ... in any cases of doubt, the Secretary to the Cabinet should be consulted. 

It appears Attorney General and MP Marc Pettingill, whom, we assume, is familiar with the Ministerial Code of Conduct, never advised the Premier that accepting this all-expense trip was at the very least a potential violation.  

MP Crockwell:  “I said that there was nothing untoward on that trip that I observed.” HoA, May 9, 2014 

Kikazaru, Hear no Evil 

Code of Conduct:

A. (i.) Ministers must uphold the principle of Collective Responsibility.   

OBA Constitution: Integrity — “One Bermuda Alliance will have a zero tolerance policy for fraud and corruption in government.”

Transparency: “We are committed to transparency, open government and reform. We   will hold ourselves to the higher ethical and moral standards .”

The OBA failed to demand accountability and transparency from the JetGate Trio. After one year, they are only now beginning to investigate what appear to be serious violations of their very own constitution. This highlights their lack of integrity to the electorate.

Iwazaru, Speak No Evil 

 Code of Conduct:

1.(v).  It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament… Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignations to the Premier. 

May 29, 2013: No mention of the presence of  a fourth person:  “They therefore offered to fly the Hon. Mark Pettingill, JP, MP, Attorney General & Minister of Legal Affairs and the Hon. Shawn Crockwell, JP, MP, Minister of Tourism & Transport along with myself .” — Premier Cannonier  

February 14th, 2014 — Premier Cannonier admits that his business manager, Stephen DeCosta, was merely “bumming a ride”. When asked if DaCosta attended the Landow meetings, our Premier responded, “No, of course not.  Of course not.”   

Days later, MP Crockwell admitted on The Sherri J. Show that Mr DaCosta attended the Landow meetings.

Attorney General MP Pettingill has never offered his version of the events.  

 Code of Conduct: 

 A. (vi) Ministers should be as open as possible with Parliament and the public. 

June 3rd, 2013

Premier Cannonier: “They were aware of the trip. We didn’t say we were going on a private jet per se, but they were aware we were going away.”  — The Royal Gazette  

MP Grant Gibbons, When asked whether Cabinet knew of the trip, he responded, “I was not aware.” — The Royal Gazette

 March 7, 2014 

Premier Cannonier: “…we will not be discussing this matter any further.  I refuse to prejudice myself concerning this matter - my answer is my answer.”

MP Pettingill: “I certainly wouldn’t get into any answering any questions which are almost like cross examination questions in the House of Assembly.”  

The Way Forward

The OBA has failed to swiftly address the violations of the Ministerial Code of Conduct:

Whether there was a prior relationship between  MP Cannonier and Landow;   

• The allegations of a $300k election campaign contributions made by Landow; 

• The troubling presence of the Innovative Group in the Landow meeting; 

• The real possibility that the Corey Butterfield report and subsequent decision to abandon the gaming referendum being the direct result of Landow influence; 

• The accusation that there was an attempt by our Premier to procure $2m from Landow [Editor’s note: subsequently repudiated by Landow himself].  

The Code of Conduct is clear:  “Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignations to the Premier.”   

So who does the Premier and these Ministers hand their resignations to? 

carib_pro@yahoo.com

Related stories:

Landow: We sent the $300k

OBA top brass surprised by chairman’s announcement

‘Premier not in danger’

Investigation will help Cannonier, says OBA source

Viewpoint: Are you happy with Craig Cannonier as Premier?

Some may not want donations made public

Bean: Premier should dissolve Parliament

Former premiers disagree on seriousness of allegations

JetGate: A timeline

Jetgate roars on social media

Opinion

JetGate: It’s a cheap, sordid and murky affair

JetGate: Mr Premier, I hope it’s not true

Kudos to journalist Ayo Johnson