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EVERYTHING BUT: All our business

Ridley Greene

EVERYTHING BUT: All our business

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If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. – George Washington.
I was minded to help into oblivion Maureen Holder’s railing against the airing in the “public domain” of the Alexandra School imbroglio. That foolishness publicly espoused by Ms Holder was unworthy of any response – especially coming from a public radio moderator remunerated by taxpayers who wished to speak out on the misfortune that engulfed a public school for nigh three weeks.
Then she ups and extends the nonsensical position to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP)?St James North Branch controversy. To boot, she makes the CBC news with it.
In essence, Ms Holder is of the opaque view that the travails sitting BLP?Member of Parliament Rawle Eastmond is experiencing with his own party and branch executive are none of the people’s business. That the MP’s pains ought to be discussed in camera, any fallout probably being swept under the carpet; that Mr Eastmond’s challenges ought not to be in the “public domain”, talked about by every Tom, Dick and Harry.
This madness is worrying.
Won’t every eligible Tom, Dick and Harry be voting in St James North? Every Tom, Dick and Harry have a right to know of the goings-on with their political representatives or wannabes – everything except their bedroom business.
If Mr Eastmond feels the members list of his St James North Branch is “padded” against him, he has every right to say so publicly, and his party has a responsibility to explain or deny – publicly. Even Cuba and Russia have done away with the cloak and dagger politics.
When criticisms of a party or its branch are freely voiced, either has the opportunity to respond to what may be considered unfair – even untrue. On the other hand, when free public discussion is restricted – and to an elite few – there comes the breeding ground for rumours and falsehoods.
Freedom of speech, truth be told, calls for tolerance towards of a great deal of nonsense said; but without it elections would have no meaning. The positions and views of parties and branch contestants become responsive to public opinion only by virtue of free speech.  
Of course, no less was the right of Ms Mia Mottley to seek private audience with Opposition Leader Owen Arthur to broker some settlement on this contentious St James North matter, as it was Mr Arthur’s to deny – publicly.
And is it so much that Mr Eastmond would never subject himself to a contest for nomination of the constituency, or is it not subject himself to a “padded” list? This is as public a matter as it can get in the name of transparency.
As far as I know, the St James North Branch is not a masonic lodge bound by secrecy.
The too often combative, yackety-yakking moderator Maureen Holder comes over as she alone reserves the right to postulate and pontificate on political issues of the day, and that normal human beings – the others – have no right.
Why? Because she is resident political analyst of CBC?
We may not be on the same page on all things with her predecessor CBC resident political analyst Peter Wickham, but there is one quality of his we can all emulate – and Ms Holder would do well to copy: humility.
Some radio speakers find it difficult to listen back to themselves and review the validity or sense of their public utterances. Ms Holder should make the effort to review the often too hasty opinions she blindsides call-in radio listeners with on what should be discussed in public and not.
Ms Holder needs to get on with the job of CBC resident political analyst for which she is being paid by the public purse, and leave judgement on whose tongues should be tied or loosened to Almighty Jehovah – and those mortals who dare to think they are gods like Him, among whom I hope we will not find our dear chatty moderator.