Naughty politicians

Letters to the Editor

Naughty politicians

Monday, February 24, 2020

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Dear Editor,

As we move closer to the end of the political term of five years I want to look back at those Members of Parliament who have been naughty this term. The society has a tendency to forget events as we treat them as nine-day wonders.

This Member of Parliament seems to always make the list, I speak of Everald Warmington. His infraction this time around is hanging up the phone on a news reporter trying to get a response to a story.

His incident is followed up by the shouting match, in April 2018, between Members of Parliament Daryl Vaz and Dayton Campbell. This incident had the Leader of Government Business and Leader of Opposition Business in the Parliament apologising for their behaviour.

Those two incidents seem mild compared to the next two: Two Members of Parliament spoke freely, unknown to them that they were being recorded. Denise Daley had to apologise for not welcoming “green people” in her constituency speech in April 2018. And a young Mikael Phillips had to apologise for his “tek weh demself” statement in August 2019. They had to apologise because their statements were too vague and could be misinterpreted as calls to violence.

This last incident is not from a Member of Parliament, but a constituency caretaker. He used a racial epithet that is sometimes used to describe people of African descent in the United States, where Caucasians are a majority, to describe his political opponents. The thing is, the speaker, Basil Waite, is one of the darkest members of the People's National Party, but he chose to use the word “nayga”. So people from other races, in other countries, were a bit confused by his remarks. The cultural understanding of the term nasty nayga by Waite was lost on them.

The former two-time president of the Private Sector of Jamaica (PSOJ) Howard Mitchell had urged his members to examine the conduct of political aspirants before they make donations. Warmington has indictaed his intention to walk away from representational politics, but let's watch and see how many of the abovementioned Members of Parliament are returned by their constituents at the next election.

Watcher on the wall

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