• Today
    October 21

  • 10:28 PM

Online readers say: Shame!

Amanda Lynch-Foster,

Added 29 April 2010

A FAILING GRADE! That is what Barbadians near and far have given to parliamentarians for their behaviour in the House of Assembly in recent times. On NATIONNEWS.com and our Facebook page (facebook.com/NationBarbados), readers were scathing in their denunciation of MPs, particularly in light of Tuesday's row which ended with Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and MP George Payne being ejected by Speaker Michael Carrington. Readers termed the behaviour of Mottley and Payne "shameful" and "total disrespect" to the Speaker. Of the 165 readers who responded to an online poll at time of writing, 84 agreed with Carrington's actions to eject them from the House, while 69 disagreed. Mottley in particular, as Opposition Leader, was harshly criticised. "The Speaker explained his ruling with relevant Parliament rules . . . Mia had 14 years of the Speaker on her side now she [has] got to learn to operate as the Opposition and learn some manners," commented Ryan Kellman via Facebook. On NATIONNEWS.com, one reader using the handle my 2 cents also knocked Mottley, saying: "The Leader of the Opposition has proven time and time again that she does not have the temperament necessary to lead anyone, anywhere. . . . I believe that she might wish to take heed of the question posed by the late Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow: "What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself?" Some readers were also critical of Carrington's handling of the event and asserted that the Opposition Leader should have been allowed to make her point. "This is what the Parliament of Barbados come to? Why were the Opposition members not given an opportunity to speak? Is this democracy?" questioned John B on the NATIONNEWS.com report on the incident, while Concerned Youth queried: "How can he reject a point of privilege if he does not allow the member to speak? It makes no sense." However, with Tuesday's events coming weeks after an incident between MPs Dr David Estwick and Dale Marshall during the Estimates Debate on March 19, the mood was one of general disgust with MPs, with readers saying the standard of behaviour was not befitting of the House. "My opinion was that the behaviour of those parliamentarians was shameful. For a moment there I thought that I was viewing a rum shop brawl. I think those people better get their act cleaned up," commented Charol Forde via Facebook. Another Facebook fan, Deborah Thompson, expressed dismay at the behaviour on both sides of the aisle, writing: "What is happening to [our] society and our leaders? Then to read the reaction of the Government side saying "put them out". "They should have kept quiet. How do we turn back from here?" On NATIONNEWS.com, one reader wrote: "I expect this type of behavior from schoolchildren, not from the people we have elected to lead this nation into the future. Grow up and look beyond your own personal agenda and false [bravado] . . . . Go to the headmaster's office." Perhaps the most damning criticism came from the many readers who charged that MPs were not setting the right example for young Barbadians. "We are wondering why our youth are behaving the way they are . . . What message are we sending to the young people of this country? The message is clear- it is okay to disregard and disrespect rules and order" declared NATIONNEWS.com reader Nita. "They [should] be good influences and [are] failing miserably in doing that, and then they don't want dancehall artistes in Barbados," stated Stefan Browne.

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