Overview of the Call

On August 10, 2007, Peter Simmons and Stuart Heaslet were talking on the phone. Heaslet had initiated the call. Many outrageous statements were made during this conversation. (Peter Simmons, a brother of Chief Justice Sir David Simmons, is a defendant in the Canadian Action, Bill McKenzie is the lawyer for the plaintiff and John Knox is a witness.) Here are two quotes:

“Well, all I would say to McKenzie is that when he comes to Barbados he must walk good and he must watch his back, because there are people here that are extraordinarily angry with McKenzie and see him as a bit of a blood-sucker who is coming here, he is only interested in money, he has no morality and he has no character.”

… and …

“… They are saying that McKenzie came here and took this innocent boy and dragged him into this nasty legal thing and that John Knox is going to be up the creek without a paddle and that then Allard and McKenzie will have to be funding him like they are funding his mother and his aunt.”

In my opinion, Simmons’ part of the dialog has three themes:

  • Ridicule
  • Threat
  • Apology

The Ridicule

On the ridicule theme, Peter Simmons is telling his friend Stuart Heaslet that there is no merit in the case. He tries to achieve this by discrediting McKenzie, Allard and Knox. McKenzie’s motives are attacked by describing him as a “bloodsucker”! John Knox, Barbados Scholar and Professional Engineer, is portrayed as being innocent - read naively stupid. (See definition of innocent at the bottom of this page.)

The Threat

On the threat theme, is “advice” that is intended to be relayed to McKenzie and Knox. It must be born in mind, that Simmons is a defendant in the case in question. Simmons is a former diplomat, and is highly skilled in the use of the English language. The advice to McKenzie is that he is most unwelcome in Barbados. In my opinion, Simmons uses threatening language to bolster the weight of his advice. The advice to John Knox - you will be unable to work if you testify. “Watch your back” is threatening language in itself. Using the word “must” in front of “watch your back” increases the intensity of the latter phrase.

The Apology to Heaslet

On the apology level, Peter Simmons appears to acknowledge the desirability making Graeme Hall a National Park, but he confesses that he is under “tremendous pressure” to distance himself from the project. One writer on BFP expressed the opinion that Peter Simmons was not the type to originate threats, but that he was merely delivering threats, presumably from the same people that were giving him the “tremendous pressure”. On this level, I can see that Peter Simmons still wants Stuart Heaslet to respect him, despite his spineless action of abandoning the formation of the National Park. Simmons apologizes to Heaslet in this respect.

Don’t Think for a Minute that Simmons did not want this Conversation Relayed

Read the entire transcript of the call. It is very clear that Peter Simmons wanted the targets of his message to be informed. This is not somebody making a few off-colour statements after drinking. This is a person talking in calculated, sober tones with clear instructions to relay the information.

No Apology offered to Victims of Threats

Simmons’ apology was limited to Stuart Heaslet. Despite the defamatory and threatening tone of his speech, Peter Simmons never offered an apology to either Professional Engineer John Knox or Attorney Bill McKenzie.

Apology Demanded

When I wrote my second chapter on Sir David Simmons, I received this request for an apology from an anonymous source: “Kathleen Davis, From what I hear you are no different from Ms Knox! If you don’t apologise I shall let the world know all about your hidden sexual exploits in Barbados and beyond”

My demand is not anonymous. I demand an apology for the disrespectful treatment of my brother. This behaviour is not becoming of a former diplomat!

Update: I have made a serious omission. Under the circumstances, Peter Simmons should not contact John Knox even to deliver an apology. Instead, Simmons should deliver the apology in writing to his lawyer, Alair Shepherd.


Read Stacy Ball’s Affidavit here. (The first page of the transcript of this call is on page 7.)


My Personal View of the Conversation

(Note: p1 refers to page 1 of this transcript, which actually starts on page 7 of the pdf file linked above. The page numbers are at the bottom of the page. p1-7 refers to page 1, paragraph 7.)

p1-7 last 5 lines

“… They are saying that McKenzie came here and took this innocent boy and dragged him into this nasty legal thing and that John Knox is going to be up the creek without a paddle and that then Allard and McKenzie will have to be funding him like they are funding his mother and his aunt.”

(Up to the last time I checked, it was derogatory to refer to a male over 50 as a boy. I view this sentence as an attempt to cast John Knox as naive and immature,thus implying that his testimony may be unreliable. Simmons used the phrase “innocent boy” to enhance the derogatory meaning of “boy”. John is a Barbados Scholar and is an accomplished professional Engineer. From the age of 10, when he entered Harrison College as one of the top 5 students, through his first-in-class First Class Honours from England, through his post-graduate study in Europe, his education has been fully paid by merit scholarships. As a Senior Engineer and Manager at Intel, he was offered a position in the USA when Intel moved out of Barbados, but chose to stay in Barbados. He was sought out and recruited away from his business by UWI and his contract there renewed year after year, until the time of this telephone conversation. )

p 2-7 2nd para

“Well, all I would say to McKenzie is that when he comes to Barbados he must walk good and he must watch his back, because there are people here that are extraordinarily angry with McKenzie and see him as a bit of a blood-sucker who is coming here, he is only interested in money, he has no morality and he has no character.” (Simmons continues to try to discredit McKenzie, and to provide opportunistic motives for his actions. Based on my prior knowledge and subsequent enquiries, the phrase “watch your back” is invariably taken as a threat in Barbados, the USA and in Jamaica. The statement McKenzie “must walk good” is construed to mean that McKenzie must restrict the practice of his profession, and that he must refrain from certain activities that are not “good”. The implication is that Simmons will decide what is “good” and what is not “good”. It is interesting to see the different tactics that Simmons employs in dealing with these two gentlemen. McKenzie is portrayed as an evil, greedy man with no morals. This is the voracious Devil figure tempting the poor young innocent boy. John Knox is portrayed as a callow youth, unable to resist the slick enticements of the big town lawyer.)

p 2-7 under pressure

“I myself am under tremendous pressure to make a public statement to say that I am no longer associated in any way with the Friends of Graeme Hall - I am under tremendous pressure.” (Note the repetition. This implies that Peter Simmons sees the National Park as valuable to the Barbadian Nation. It does not take tremendous pressure to get water to flow downhill. Simmons appears to be saying that while he does not want to break from the Friends Of Graeme Hall, it is not feasible for him to resist external pressures. Yes, Mr. Simmons, let me assure you that I understand what “tremendous pressure is”! Based on what he said, Peter Simmons may be a victim of coercion. Motive - Apology.)

p 3-7 2nd para

“All of the animosity is directed at Bill McKenzie and Peter Allard and John Knox.” (This appears to be a theme of this conversation - angry feelings. Motive - Threat by emphasizing that strong emotions are at play.)

p 3-7 last para

“There are some very, very angry people … ” (I hear much emphasis on these words … this scares me. Motive - threat.)

p 4-7 3rd para

“No, he can come to Barbados, Barbados is a commonwealth country and nobody can stop him from coming to Barbados but once he gets to Barbados he needs to be, A) be very careful and also he must be aware that there is a perception that he’s taken John Knox and lead him up the garden path and, you know, that John Knox is going to be left carrying the can and that there are people who are very angry about that and, but you know, nothing is stopping him (McKenzie) from coming to Barbados, but what happens after he gets here is another matter. Nobody can declare him a prohibitive (prohibited) immigrant, if they could they would.” (There are two motives evident here - ridicule for Knox and threat for McKenzie.)

p 5-7 1st para

” I think the atmosphere is so poisoned at this stage that people are just saying, “Look, to hell with the Water Park, to hell with the National Park and, you know, Peter (Allard), you make sure you put as much distance as possible between yourself and these people because they are up to absolutely no good and that you have been used, deliberately so.”(Interpretation - Certain undisclosed “people” have told Peter Simmons that he is being deliberately used by Peter Allard’s “people” to implement goals that are “absolutely no good”. Motive - Apology to Heaslet.)

p 6-7 1st para

“So, I mean, he has done his very, very worst in Canada - Canadians are denying him and the people in Barbados are extraordinarily angry with him including some members of the Deane family who think that (McKenzie has) taken this young boy, John Knox and led him up the garden path, you know, he (Knox) is going to pay for what he had been suckered into doing.” (Reiterates the concept of the evil McKenzie mesmerizing the mindless child John Knox. The words “young” and “suckered” emphasize Simmon’s continued derision of a respected middle-aged gentleman. Nobody in my family would ever dream of calling Mr. Simmons a boy. I am dismayed that Mr. Simmons has resorted to this. Motive - Ridicule.)

Conclusion

I interpret this conversation as skilfully designed to both diminish the intellectual standing of John Knox, and to smear the character of McKenzie. Apparently, Simmons was trying to immediately change Heaslet’s loyalties short term, and in the long term to affect the court case.


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innocent

    1. free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil
    2. harmless in effect or intention
    3. free from legal guilt or fault;
    1. lacking or reflecting a lack of sophistication, guile, or self-consciousness
    2. ignorant
  1. lacking or deprived of something



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