The coverage of l’affaire Williams has been extensive, if not fevered on occasion. I waited a while (uncharacteristically) to get my bearings and to come to grips with who said what and who did what during the haze of battle. As is now obvious, all of this overflows with escalating emotion in and out of that fated courtroom. This is my take on that drama on that day.
First, I think that the Attorney General succumbed to calculated and intensive baiting. Some might justify this strategy as part and parcel of normal courtroom theatre. But having allowed himself a rush of blood to the head, and to be drawn beyond the edge, there is the high probability (and should be) of some level of quartering to follow. At the very least, some slap is forthcoming. The where and when and the velocity of that slap are subject to all manner of conflicting conjectures at this time, but some price has to be paid.
Second, I detect that there is some muted reciprocal animosity, if not outright disregard, between the two adversaries before the bar. This may be denied by both parties, but the personal breached the civil; it may not have been one-sided. The controversy rages as to which side is more blameworthy. Regardless, some spillage occurred; there is blood in the water, and a lot of circling at the scene.
Third, there is the hope that the incumbent Chief Legal Officer of the land will appreciate that he cannot, and must not comport himself in this manner. It is too reminiscent of the excesses of a former head of state strewn across the length and breadth of this land. It was just plain unacceptable; it would have been, too, from anyone, much less an officer of his elevation. One of Mr Williams’s sins was that he chose the perfect venue to unleash his pent-up fireworks. He ought to have known that it would not, could not pass; the arcs were too damning. Perhaps, the AG will learn from this and be wiser in the future; will recognize the concealed mines in the terrain; and will know when to put a lid on things, starting with himself. Some humility will help; it is healthy for mind and spirits.
Fourth, now that Mr Williams has presented the heel of Achilles before intrigued and delighted opponents, he is even more vulnerable. More than a few will be waiting with bow and arrow to take a shot after goading him first.
Fifth, it should be noticed that I make no mention of his tormentor and predecessor. From my perspective, this is about the Attorney General of this country; astute generals do not fall for what ought to have been an obvious stratagem designed to roil. He delivered a bonus.
Now, I move on. As I do so, I respectfully suggest to the Attorney General that he moves on too. But first, a mea culpa would be in order, and help with a clean moving forward. In some circles, more than a mea maxima culpa might be desired. This could include a pound of flesh and what goes along with that.