The New Integrity Commission Fiasco in Trinidad and Tobago

integrity-one1Plagiarismis the “use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.” Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary,

Integrity – One needs to be honest to have integrity – aka_lol

Somehow I don’t feel a self-confessed, under-pressure, serial plagiarist should be allowed to even come within 1000-feet of a member of the Integrity Commission much less chair it. What makes the matter most horrible for The Father, and the country is that he is a Father which requires him to be more honest than even a PM.

Now Pro Max was under pressure from both the Drunken, Proven-Corrupt Opposition and the Assumed-Corrupt Ruling Party to appoint honest members to The Commission and choosing a famous Father might have been an easy choice. But maybe Pro Max has not lived in this world long enough to realize that there is nothing about being a Father which makes someone more honest than, say, a Central PH taxi driver. Also, maybe Pro Max never expected an appointed member to tell the public the truth about what position he was promised on the board. Pro Max should have realized the consequences of plagiarism since he is from the academic field where plagiarism is well known. So when a prospective appointee to the Integrity Commission admits his bouts of dishonesty to the Prez then the Prez should have taken the appropriate action – I don’t think that wining and dancing as appropriate for this case.

Maybe, unlike the ex-Judge, the Father met Pro Max’s strict political requirement. Maybe The Father has more Integrity than the Prez himself, which doesn’t say much. If Kevin Baldeosingh didn’t point out the plagiarism to The Father would he have confessed? That is the big question but the answer seems horribly obvious. And as Kevin Baldeosingh said “I found the apology unconvincing and I would have let the matter  rest there, except I am now wondering what will happen when, as chairman of The Integrity Commission, Mr. Charles, finds himself under pressures rather more intense that writing a weekly newspaper column.”  Please note the inverted commas and thus no plagiarism.

The Father seems to be our local Stephen Glass – a disgraced columnist.

The only difference between a fishmonger and a man of the cloth is that nobody expects the fishmonger to be honest.

So the new Integrity Commission is even worse than the last and somehow I don’t think people are surprised given the recent track record of the Justice and the Integrity systems in Trinidad and Tobago. We are going from bad to off the cliff and we don’t even know we just hit a big Julie mango tree and are about to burst into flames.

15 thoughts on “The New Integrity Commission Fiasco in Trinidad and Tobago

  1. “Somehow I don’t feel a self-confessed, under-pressure, serial plagiarist should be allowed to even come within 1000-feet of a member of the Integrity Commission much less chair it.”
    I do see your point, however, I beg to differ. Plagiarism is definitely constantly on the minds of many in academia – many times even harboring on the brink of paranoia. But, on the hierarchy of evils that one can commit, I wouldn’t place it up there with many of the common offenses that exist in our society today.
    What is integrity? Does it mean that one never does something that is ethically wrong? Or, does it mean that if one does transgress one’s moral code, one is willing to admit that malfeasance was done. That to me is a truly virtuous person.

  2. We are talking about the Integrity Commission and not some high school CXC student paper.

    People get fired for plagiarism and just do a Google search and you will find several recent instances of this. The reason they get fired is because of a loss of confidence – distrust. I think he is unfit for the post and if the country can’t find a better soul then Heaven help us.

    • What do T.S. Eliot, Stephen King, Martin Luther King, William Shakespeare, H.G. Wells, VP Joseph Biden and Fr. Henry Charles all have in common? They were all accused (with good reason one might assert) of plagiarism. Oh, I left out the heart throb of middle aged women who would be performing this weekend in sweet TnT, Michael Bolton! I definitely wouldn’t choose Bolton to be on an Integrity Commission but good old Dr. King seems like a good pick to me.

      • Accused of plagiarism is different form actually plagiarizing. Willfully copying 300 out of 1100 words and then hoping no one would notice is a bit too much of a qualification for an Integrity Commissioner. Maybe in the new job spec they should specifically include the statement Plagiarist Welcome – it doesn’t matter if you only admitted guilt when exposed.

        If a man admits he is a pedophile should he sit on the Integrity Commission? At least he would be honest having admitted it when confronted.

  3. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Trinidad & Tobago: Lack of Integrity

  4. Plagiarism is against the law. No matter how stretched for time the good Father Priest was, adding inverted comments or attributing the excerpt to the person who wrote it does not eat up hours in the day. Yes, there are crimes which on a scale of 1 to 10 rank only as a 3. For a member of the Integrity Commission, the sliding scale cannot apply. There are no shades of gray here.

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