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Oh no, Leacock, NO!

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Fri May 24, 2013

Editor: On most occasions, I let what happens in Parliament slide. As a regular listener to the parliamentary debate, I have come to realise that at times, it is best to selectively listen to the musings in the chamber. In fact, we cannot be too sober that we over-fuss about some of the usual political picong that is traded across the floor. It is okay to giggle and chuckle and quickly expect the people’s business to continue apace. After all, with the exogenous difficulties our country faces, coupled by our man-made inefficiencies, a good laugh here or there can be a remedy for sore men and women.{{more}}

But, I take no pleasure in the behaviour of the Central Kingstown MP, Hon. Major St. Clair Leacock at the last sitting of parliament. This was no cackling matter. The rules are clear as are written in the standing orders of the House. For a constituency representative, a member of parliament and a former member of the military and para-military services in this country to blatantly disrespect the Speaker of the House of Assembly by shouting above the Speaker’s beckoning calls to sit and a latter muted microphone, Mr Leacock must know and should do better.

No one has to tell the Honourable St. Clair Leacock that it is not the Hon. Hendrick Alexander he is “dissing” when he refuses to heed to “what you’re looking for, you will get it.” The fact is that he seriously disrespected the office of the Speaker of the House of Assembly. The ramifications cannot be seen only through the lens of “standing up to a biased speaker”. If our society continues with this “two wrongs can make a right” attitude, then, one will not have to stretch the imagination to consider that our institutions will run amok. We are bombarded daily with how everything is wrong in our society, but, if others across our society follow Mr Leacock’s example, then social conventions will be replaced with this persona of “bad boyism of vigilante justice”.

I wonder what would have become of the young cadet who would have refused to follow a lawful command given by a Major Leacock. What will happen if defendants turn up at the courts and shout down to our magistrates, or if citizens take matters into their own hands because of “unfair rulings”? Those who aspire to lead must do so by example and as the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) continues to increase its efforts to show a distinction between themselves and the current Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration, then, this sort of conduct is most undesirable, and should be admonished by the leadership of the party. If not, Vincentians will feel that any call for a change of government will just be an “exchange”. Moreover, I am reminded that “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”.

Being tough does not mean “rule breaking”. The same message that was shouted out in defiance could have taken the form of a letter to the editor, an interview with SVG TV, a segment on Nice radio, a statement at the “fair of the year”, or all of the above. But what the public got was two contrasting messages.

But since Carnival is in the air, maybe this is “you hit me, ah hit you back” of road march fame many years ago…but I am most wary of what will happen if in a few years’ time it becomes “do so, nah like so”.

Oh boy, what a tangled web we weave! Or as the band Touch sang, “Murdoooo!”

Adaiah J Providence-Culzac

Comments at: cemsvg@gmail.com

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