Our Readers' Opinions
October 15, 2004
No backing down

Broad mandate

Seeing that the Constitutional Review Commission (C.R.C.) has been given a broad mandate in the exercise of its functions, will it take on board the ever-present clamour for anti-corruption measures? Accepting, as it must, that “integrity is the portion and proper virtue of all public officials” the C.R.C. has no choice. Government by the people, of the people and for the people demands that those charged with executing this noble precept be above suspicion.

Fairy tale world. {{more}}

The naysayers contend that man by his very nature will always find ways and means of creating loopholes in any integrity legislation. It is rank idealism to expect anything otherwise. Neither does it act as a deterrent for would-be violators like the poor would always be with us. If that is so, isn’t it necessary to contain if not break the unbridled greed and unquenchable thirst for corrupt financial and material gain?

Heart in Boots

Bearing in mind that corruption hurts the public and spreads like a cancer to kill all that is decent in society, we need legislation with biting teeth. Does the C.R.C. have the will “to go down that road”? It must be remembered that those with integrity need not fear no matter how stiff the law. Fear not, only the corrupt will be sanctioned!

Exhortation – our charge and responsibility

The public and the C.R.C. are exhorted to examine concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, in particular arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities and matters relating thereto and to make recommendations as to any change in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life.


All the consultations, brain storming and brilliant efforts at Constitutional Reform would amount to nothing, and be even counter-productive, if we were to lose the opportunity to establish a culture of decency and integrity in public life and public affairs. There will be no easy formula if political correctness is the goal. The only goal must be the public good. Indeed, how could strong public integrity measures ever be left out of “root and branch” reform? The message of integrity for all who deal with the public purse and are paid from the public purse must take deep root and so be implanted in the new Constitution.

Time will tell

The question is – will it be a case of aggressive implementation or benign neglect? Hope is the last thing we lose – Time will tell! Be mindful – the power is with all of us!

l Writer’s note – This is a brief preface to a series of articles to be written on this subject from time to time.