The unruly attitudes exhibited in the Lower House are for the most part caused by the loose and intrusive behavior of the Speaker of the House!
His age has not produced the dignity, which is a prerequisite of the job, and his politically aggressive nature seems to miss the debate and the cut and thrust of the platform. His inability to restrain himself from interrupting the elected officials’ debate to offer at times silly and outdated advice on how to run the Government has been more of an irritant than a valid solution.
Old age must be respected especially when it comes with its companions, which include loss of hearing, the need to talk and be heard in spite of no longer being relevant, the need to protest and fight the rising tide of uselessness, and the overpowering need to frequently relieve oneself. These are the companions, which require honesty to oneself, respect for others and the ability to accept that age is honour and the time to retire from public office has arrived.
Gossip and other people’s business is also one of the ways, which keeps old people in touch with their reality and the exhibition of disappointment and passion by the Barbuda Representative was clearly a delight to the Speaker that he even forgot to do the job for which he is paid regarding the Standing Orders.
Clearly the Speaker was enjoying all that was being told regarding the sand mining money and the land grabs and sales of leases, which enriched the ALP members to such an extent that the Speaker forgot to stop the Representative as he overstepped onto the toes of a sitting Member.
Old people get frustrated easily and the power of the Speaker position in the framework of politics can cause serious mistakes when personal involvement surfaces and the cognitive response does not trigger the sense to recuse oneself.
The request for the Speaker to reprove the Barbuda Representative for calling out the sitting Member, was handled by the Speaker as an irritant instead of a trigger of self control.
What the Member failed to remind the Speaker is that he should have recused himself from the Chair when re realized that the Barbuda Sand Mining case was being tabled as the Speaker personally and his law firm represented the Barbuda Council in all of its Sand Mining litigation.
Mistakes engender errors, and errors when sought to be resolved by those who make mistakes can often turn out skewered. The first error was made when in his glee to have some of his former opposition colleagues embarrassed, the Speaker forgot where he was and that his job required him to vacate the Chair and have the Deputy Speaker sit on the matter.
Had the Deputy Speaker been in the Chair, it is unlikely that we would have the convolution of errors, which have resulted from that fateful Thursday, and has now spread outside of the House, and which cannot be considered a violation of House Rules.
So now we have before the House a vindictive power play by the Speaker who should have recused himself from the Chair because of personal involvement, and an accusation against the Member who interjected the request for the Standing Orders who got shut down.
Of course the salacious details of the Sand Mining Case and the land Grab has taken wind and the Speaker’s error is being overlooked, but these are the power plays of the Majority, which will allow politics to push the Legislature to punish the Member when the Speaker is the instigator of the ridiculous situation because of his pride.
The saying pride goeth before a fall is a not a difficult theory when looking at this Parliamentary boo boo. The Speaker is clearly suffering from the longing to be relevant which is also a sign of old age, and can only cause him further loss of pride if he continues to fight gravity and thereby lose more and more pride. The Speaker should be saved by a graceful departure from the Chair before he falls by disgrace.