OPEN LETTER: To Charlesworth Tabor Attorney at Law

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Dear Mr. Tabor

It is most unfortunate that the Daily Observer in its publication Monday May 18th, should reproduce as a guest editorial an article submitted by you, and headed “Speaker Sir Gerald Watt Was Wrong”.  Reputable Newspapers are required to ensure that they carry guest editorials that are factually accurate and presented by a person, professional or otherwise, who is thoroughly versed with the subject on which he or she writes. I will proceed to show that your article indicates your inability to interpret simple legal learning, your ignorance of the Standing Order of the House and Parliamentary Practice and usage. In your piece you partially based your opinion on what you referred to Erskine May, which you referred to as “His Authoritative Text” on the Law, privileges, proceedings and usage of Parliament. You therefore are in agreement with me that Erskine May treaties is apropos and you are in disagreement with the former Speaker, Ms Giselle Isaac, the former President of the Senate, Mrs Hazilyn Francis and none other than Justin Simon QC., all of whom have stated that Erskine May does not apply. You then deliberately proceeded to mislead the readership, by quoting only half of the relevant text, a ploy that is blatantly dishonest and unprofessional.

In quoting Erskine May, you reproduced the first three lines of the text and left out most of the learning. For your benefit, the Editor and the Daily Observer readers, I quote the entire learning which is as follows:

“The House is usually indulgent with regard to personal statements, and will permit personal explanations to be made without any question being before the House, provided that the speaker has been informed of what the member proposes to say and has given leave. Because the practice of the House is not to permit such statements to be subject to debate, the precise contents of the propose statement are submitted in advance to the speaker to ensure that they are appropriate. The indulgence of a personal statement is granted with caution, since it may lead to irregular debates. (emphasis supplied)

For your information and education, a member cannot under personal explanation rise and speak on any subject with members utilizing Parliamentary time to raising their personal grievances and political grandstanding. In any event the ambit of personal explanations is further explained in the Canadians Parliament House of Commons Procedure and Practice pg. 631, thus “the Chair may occasionally grant leave to a member to explain a matter of a personal nature. Such occasions are not meant to be used for general debate when granted they have been used by members notably to announce a resignation, or to explain changes in Party Affiliation.” (emphasis supplied) It is not as you are suggesting a free for all.

However there are other blunders in your ill-thought out and misleading editorial, one of which is your failure, specifically to refer let alone interpret Standing Order 20 of the House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda and which States: “With the leave of the speaker, a member may make a personal explanation at the time appointed under Standing Order no. 13 (order of business) although there is no question before the house but no controversial matter maybe brought forward nor any debate arise upon the explanation. (emphasis supplied).

This Standing Order clearly forbids personal explanations “of a controversial nature, which may lead to debate, no law student could possibly not come to the conclusion that Mr. Pringle’s statement was of a controversial nature, but you erred further by pointing out that Mr. Pringle should have been allowed to make his statement, and the Prime Minister be allowed to respond, which would result in the precise debate that Standing Order 20 strictly forbids. In suggesting this, you have gone for the sublime to the ridiculous.

Your snide remarks that my “flawed reasoning” smacks of senility or is a case of malice, and that I am not on top of my game, you just may be in a position to find out if that is so. I will be appearing against you in one of your ill-advised defamation cases, at which time you will be able to judge my level of senility.

I would also wish to advise you that I have been a Queens Council for upwards of 22 years, and my successes can be followed in many reported cases in the High Court of Appeal, reported on various legal cases used by counsel as authority in their matters. I certainly did not become one of Her Majesty’s Counsel by losing cases to Junior Counsel and beginners.

 

 

 

Sir Gerald A. Watt KCN, QC                                             Dated the 22nd Day of May, 2020

Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

 

38 COMMENTS

  1. Arrogance is an unhealthy ego in need of repair. Sir Gerald, your utter arrogance does not become you. True humility is thinking of yourself less. There is no reason to be boastful when you know who you are.

  2. Whooooii me belly👀. Let me get my popcorn🍿 ready. Mister man going to come with some mile long essay with a whole lotta nothing. Sips tea☕

  3. What if the Leader of The Opposition’s statement is not deemed ‘personal’, but in the interest of his constituents and democracy? What if the nature of his complaint has a direct correlation to the quality of his debate? Just to remind Sir Gerald that Common Law is most useful when clearly understood by The Common Man. I would be much enlightened if Sir Gerald could respond to my question.

  4. This man Watt has a double standard.I listened to the Parliament in session from hundreds of miles away.I heard the Member of Parliament for St.Peter.Telling this same Speaker in Parliament.That he realized he is old and if he is tired.To let his Deputy Speaker take over the session.The Speaker did not respond.Could anyone imagined Pringle saying that to Gerald Watt as Speaker of the House in Parliament.Gerry Watt how could you let Asot get away with those remarks.Because he is of your complexion and rich.How dare you Pringle a black man respond to me that way.However,that man of a lighter pigment could say just about anything to me in Parliament.Time for you to go,NOW.The people should picket your Office until you get the heck out of there.

  5. Why is anything Tabor says important? Is he running for office or something? I sure hope not. If you know the guy you’ll probably know why I say what I say.

    • If he know what good for he he best not. One thing about that dutty game name politics all bets are off and they will go digging for all of your skeltons.

      • If Gaston, Asot, Chet, Melford, can run for politics with their tainted history, anybody can. Choir members sicken me.

  6. “I will proceed to show that your article indicates your inability to interpret simple legal learning,..”

    Tell him this all the time but he prefers to ignore and hence makes himself look even sillier. His inability to comprehend even the simplest of things is worrisome especially for someone who is a legal practitioner. Even a secondary school dropout would understand that “usually indulgent” applies only when the speaker has given leave. Not Tabor he wrongly takes it to mean its the speaker who must be indulgent. Fact is though usual, in 1844 and before, the members still have the option of arguing against him being able to essentially waste their time. Imagine having to wear a mask due to covid measures, and hearing Pringle reiterate what he said before in a letter, on OMG, on Crusader Radio. If he was allowed then at least the PM, then Weston would want to respond. Wrong place and time. Man then storm out of parliament like a child having a tantrum. Does he really think the other members missed him? He probably got a call to come and pick up dead dog

    • Well Tenman that dead dog business is serious business. I envy him for that. Wish I could have gotten such a sweetheart deal. I would be so quiet. Not a word ever from me. $500 per dog in Antigua where dogs are runover by divers almost daily. Wow. I hire some Spanish guys, pay them $50.00 per dog and they would be very happy as well.
      But on a serious note. You see why the UPP is doomed for a very long time. They don’t have people with the capacity to think and comprehend. Why you think they do not want to be part of the Recovery Committee? They have absolutely nothing to offer. Their thinking is flawed as always.

    • To both Tenman and FTS. When do you guys go on holiday from your job? Anyways, isn’t it obvious that the speaker, still conscious of being unceremoniously removed from the position of Chairman of the Electoral Commission, still has envy and revenge in his heart? Alas, in Antigua, double standard is the norm. Take a look at the following comment from Melchisedec below. I took the liberty of pasting it here to avoid you having to go search for it:

      Melchisedec May 18, 2020 at 10:23 am
      “My take on this issue is as follows where the opposition is so limited the speaker should give that such minority as much latitude as is permissible. Such minority should not be limited by time to speak because he can speak until the cows comes home the Is will always have it.

      1 Sir Gerald himself spoke about D Gisel Isaac on matters that was not before the house.
      2 Minister of Education spoke at length about the Ebooks saga and that issue was not before the house.
      3 Mr G Browne spoke at length about Observer Media Group that issue was not before the house.
      4 Asot Michael spoke poetically about his near death experience that to was not before the house.
      5 Sir Gerald himself spoke about the standing orders at length that issue was not before the house either.

      Let the lone minority talk until he get white squall it will not affect nothing.”

      I just love that song for Sugar Aloes: “Double Standard is the Norm!”

    • HOW SAY YOU TEN?

      Seemed that ‘Sir Gerald’ had fired a shot across the bow of the Media as well.

      He writes;

      ‘…Reputable Newspapers are required to ensure that guest editorials are ‘FACTIONALLY accurate……’

      Some ‘geriatic fanatics’ would not even take time out to understand some darn ‘Sir Gerald’ words.
      Ten, it seems ‘Factually’ may have been a better used word. Write any darn thing ‘Sir Gerald.’

      Best wishes to two great friends, ‘Sir Gerald’ and ‘CharlIe Tabor,’ -two learned attorneys.

      And ‘…Why yuh screw up yuh darn face as if eating sour tamarind?

  7. When two legal minds are having it out it is best the commoners stay quiet and listen and learn.
    Cause we are waiting for Tabor to respond. And not to respond with rhetoric but with law and facts. And not with feelings. Cause even a lay person like myself understood very well that the speaker was trying to guide Pringle as to when he perhaps make his remark. Not under the Personal Explanation. But you see. Pringle is being falsely lead by his leaders in the UPP and to think that one is a lawyer and another was a former Speaker of the House. But I’m more disappointed in Justin Simon. Can he not give them proper legal advice as a QC.

    • What Law School did Gerald Watt graduated from? I have looked all over and could find it.I have been dealing with Lawyers in Antigua since in the 70’s.I could go on line and see their credentials.Like their Degrees and Universities graduated from.I would Google my name and would see the class of 1972 at The University of Pennsylvania.Like I asked.What Law School did Gerald Watt graduated from in England.

      • Almost all of the text under his name says he graduated Law School in the UK, without giving the specific University (Law School) or year he graduated. But you are talking to a wall trying to explain anything to Tenman and From the Sidelines. I think this is their job: Prop up any article with Pro ABLP and anti-UPP rhetoric.

  8. Although I share the sentiments that it would be nice to see a younger person as the speaker of the house, I think it is full time that persons should desist from attacking the speaker because of his age.
    As the speaker mentioned sometime ago in parliament, his age, is a ” Badge of Honor”.
    Ironically,, not only has he acquired a sound education but he has acquired wisdom, skills & a reputation that many of us have not achieved in spite of the fact that we may be younger than him . Many young limes (persons) have dropped from the tree (died). Many persons cannot and will not be able to walk in his shoe… It is only prudent that we do not attack the messenger but focus more on the message and be constructive in our arguments in order to welcome proper debates.

  9. Dear Sir Gerald, My good friend. Although I understand and appreciate you responding to Tabor in public like this. Neither he nor Mr. Pompey is worthy of any response.

    • AH HA!

      See that you are bringing ‘Pompey’ in the discourse between two legal minds.

      Why me ‘FTS?’

      Sure Sir Gerald had read the commentary ‘…SIR GERALD -WRONG LIKE HELL.’

      There could be hardly any disagreement with the contents.

      Stuck only to the current ‘House Rules’ that ‘…governs the conduct of Members of the national Parliament and powers residing in the House Speaker.’

      These speak to personal knowledge and actual performance in the capacity of ‘Sergeant-At- Arms’ in the said Parliament.

      Sir Gerald had not applied these ‘Rules.’

      Clearly, Sir Gerald has no qualms.

  10. Sir Gerald Watt…Thank You very much for your article. You have showed that Tabor does not interpret the LAW properly. I am so happy that Sir.Gerald Watt exposed Tabor’s ignorance. Tabor and His Son Damani just have BIG FAT chat without any substance. Thanks again Sir Gerald Watt.

  11. Wow! TENMAN I knew you would be one of the first to respond. I have responded to Sir Gerald Watt QC so enjoy my letter as well.

  12. Melchisedec May 18, 2020 at 10:23 am
    My take on this issue is as follows where the opposition is so limited the speaker should give that such minority as much latitude as is permissible. Such minority should not be limited by time to speak because he can speak until the cows comes home the Is will always have it.

    1 Sir Gerald himself spoke about D Gisel Isaac on matters that was not before the house.
    2 Minister of Education spoke at length about the Ebooks saga and that issue was not before the house.
    3 Mr G Browne spoke at length about Observer Media Group that issue was not before the house.
    4 Asot Michael spoke poetically about his near death experience that to was not before the house.
    5 Sir Gerald himself spoke about the standing orders at length that issue was not before the house either.

    Let the lone minority talk until he get white squall it will not affect nothing.

    • Sir or madam whom ever you are
      1 I spoke about Gisele Isaac under the item on the Order paper “announcements by the Speaker.”that’s my privilege,I am the Speaker.
      2.Michael Browne MP spoke about the e book matter ,in his presentation of the Annual Budget as he is perfectly entitled to do without leave.
      3 PM Browne spoke about OMG in a debate ,not under personal explanations.
      4 MP Asot Michael spoke to his absence from the House by reason of health, and sought and was granted leave.
      5 I addressed the House on the question of Standing Orders as I am entitled to do , you seem oblivious to the fact that I am the Speaker,
      do you expectme to give myself leave.
      There are ways in which members slip in matters during a debate that may be irrelevant or sans leave,it simply needs Parliamentary skill, which his Party seems unable to teach him, that however is not part of my job

      • NOT A DARN IMPOSTOR -TORRID ZONE

        Hope not a ‘Darn Impostor.’

        Welcome to this page Sir Gerald, and to the ‘Torrid Zone.’

        Could be ‘dicey’ sometimes.

  13. To hell with the Constitution. To hell with the Standing Orders. To hell with the Opposition. To hell with democracy.

  14. Watt Ever whoever you are, your comment was absolutely brilliant. I have to repeat it. To hell with the Constitution. To hell with the Standing Orders. To hell with the Opposition. To hell with democracy. Wow! this would lead to pure chaos and anarchy. Once again, thanks for your beautiful post. It is quite serious and instructive but it also made me laugh. Great stuff.

  15. @ Sir Gerald

    These are the words Sir Gerald used to describe TABOR ( BLATANT DISHONEST , UNPROFESSIONAL).These are strong words TABOR. Hope you will concede and DO NOT tangle with Sir Gerald ( ANTIGUA TOP ATTORNEY ) .

  16. Just on another topic. The UPP promised to show Their Candidates by end of MARCH 2020. Almost the end of MAY 2020 and no Candidates ?????. Overheard that UPP having problems recruiting Persons. UPP …please DO NOT present CANDIDATES similar to what you presented in the last election. You will definitely gave a problem. Hon.Gaston Browne will say He produces WINNERS not RUNNERS. Hope to see your Candidates soon.

  17. STRONG BELIEVER I can tangle with Sir Gerald any time QC or not. If you guys were the least objective you would appreciate that he is applying our Standing Orders and Erskine May at the same time to our Parliamentary Procedure. Our Standing Orders regulate conduct in our Parliament not Erskine May. Erskine May is only referred to for guidance if our Standing Orders are unclear or silent on an issue. Do you need to be a QC to know that. Even a first year law student in constitutional law would know that.

    • Do you need to be a lawyer to understand that you need the Speaker’s permission beforehand to make a personal explanation. Means he needs to be given the contents of what you are going to say before you can stand up to speak. Do you understand that? or do you have to be a QC to understand that?

  18. FROM THE SIDELINE you are the one who don’t seem to understand. Yes you need the leave of the Speaker to give a personal explanation. The Standing Order says that, however, our Standing Order unlike that of Dominica does not require advance to be given to the Speaker. When Pringle stood up he told the Speaker what the personal explanation would be about. The Speaker then has the discretion to grant leave or not. He refused to grant leave on the spurious and silly excuse that the matter is controversial. FROM THE SIDELINE I doubt a Speaker any where else in the Commonwealth would have refused to grant leave. Sir Gerald’s decision was wrong as hell. In Parliament his reasoning was you could not give a personal explanation on something said outside of Parliament. WRONG. He also said that personal explanation should be used when a Member is changing party affiliation. WRONG. How much clearer do I have to be for you to begin to faintly see the light that Sir Gerald was wrong and this is not about POLITICS it is about LAW.

  19. DUNLOP I believe you are a little mistaken. There is no indication under Sir Gerald’s article about where he studied. With respect to his legal training though, he read law at one of the Inns of Court in London.

  20. I have read ALL of the comments.The “RED CHOIR BOYS” ARE OUT IN FULL FORCE DEFENDING THEIR BOSSES AND ASSES.PERHAPS YOU CHOIR MEMBERS SHOULD READ,ISAIAH 1:23. It says “YOUR RULERS ARE REBELS,PARTNERS WITH THIEVES”. READ IT FOR YOURSELVES,PERHAPS YOU WOULD GET A TRUE SENSE OF YOUR LEADERS.PERHAPS AFTER READING THE ENTIRE CHAPTER .YOU WOULD PUKE UP THAT RED KOOL-AID OF WHICH YOU HAVE DRUNK AND BE MADE MADE WHOLE AGAIN.WHAT DO HAVE TO LOSE,ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

      • @Market BUOY: I AM A VERY WELL TO DO FOOL.UNLIKE YOU A BEGGAR.I DO NOT DRINK KOOL-AID OF ANY COLORS.THE ONLY TIME I EVER VOTED IN ANTIGUA WAS 1976.THE UPP POLITICAL PARTY WAS NOT EVEN AROUND THEN.

  21. BLACK MAN why don’t you go and ingest some household detergent as you president Trump suggetsed. Always dey forigen and ah wash up ya mouth pan likkle Antigua.

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