Our Readers' Opinions
August 21, 2009
In defence of PR Campbell


Editor: I get the impression that there some persons in this country who think that they have a constitutional right to malign, insult, slander, impute improper motives and hurl any assortment of innuendoes at anyone who they perceive to be in opposition to them on any issue. I gather that these same persons do not believe that those at the receiving end of their attacks have any right to respond.{{more}}

On Saturday morning, I listened, as P R Campbell became the latest in a long line behind the likes of Carlyle Dougan, Rev Victor Job, Ralph Gonsalves and Justice Bruce Lyle.

The Rev took his jabs and they have not ceased. Ralph Gonsalves is “petty” if he responds. And the judge had the audacity to respond. Who told him to do that? It was said of the judge he wanted to silence people: that “he wants to come from Africa to run things”. This by some who are always yapping about their African heritage. The nasty emails were read with gusto. A man – married to a Vincentian – has no right to speak here – to defend himself against scurrilous attacks by the ignorant.

On Saturday – and I am sure it will continue – all sorts of things were said about Mr Campbell. He was bragging to state his experience as a lawyer on matters constitutional; he would do anything to get his name in the history books; some rambling about banks and loan, loans from off-shore banks – nothing was omitted. The barrage was enjoined and further encouraged by the Leader of the Opposition, who stated that “it was an attempt to dissuade persons from commenting on the CRC process and that he found Mr Campbell’s response to be “quite despicable”.

Constitutions and interpretation are always a matter of debate. In the US, their 223-year-old document is still being debated. Mr Campbell encouraged debate but spoke out against insults, which he felt Mr Ballantyne hurled at him when he said that he was “convinced that Mr Campbell thinks our people are stupid,” (see Searchlight, Aug. 14, pg 3). Since I am of Mr Ballantyne’s view about how the vote should be conducted – straight “yes/no” or “item by item” it might be a matter for The Court to decide. Recall that in 1989, other constitutional lawyers differed with Mr Campbell on the appointment of opposition senators.

Whatever you may think of Mr Campbell, he has a right of self-defence and he chose to do so himself – not to have a self-proclaimed sexual deviant defend him. I find the former to be most honourable and the latter to be most “frankly despicable”.

Frank DaSilva