Speaker invokes rarely used standing order against MP Asot Michael


Dear Editor,

All those who give Sir Gerald Watt the benefit of the doubt in the face of accusations that he uses the Speaker’s chair to spread hate and wage his personal vendettas, should look at his treatment of St Peter MP Asot Michael during the budget debate on February 17th, 2022.

A few short minutes into his remarks on the 2022 budget on February 17th, MP Michael was interrupted by Speaker Watt for a lecture on the rule regarding not reading speeches in parliamentary debate.

At the time, Michael was actually quoting a few lines from the Budget Statement of Prime Minister Gaston Browne. Referring to notes and reading a direct quotation from the presenter of the budget does not and cannot mean that someone is reading a speech. Michael assured the Speaker he was familiar with the rules and he was not reading. But a characteristically hostile and caustic Watt went on a rant about the rules. He insisted the St Peter MP was reading and proceeded to threaten him with “consequences”.

A few days ago, I saw the Tourism Minister Max Fernandez and Lands Minister Maria Browne reading speeches. There was no interruption from Speaker Watt. Foreign Affairs Minister Chet Green read a substantial part of his debate contribution. There was no interruption from Speaker Watt. The three-hour budget statement itself was read from a tele prompter. Not a word from Speaker Watt.

So why was he picking on Asot Michael? Why was he hassling and bullying Asot Michael? Why was he unnecessarily interrupting the flow of MP Michael’s presentation? And if he was not acting out his personal dislike for that duly elected member of the House, on whose instructions was he behaving in such an abusive, dictatorial and discriminatory manner.

My aunt commented that at this stage of Sir Gerald’s life instead of disgracing himself with ugly displays of pure prejudice against Antiguans and Barbudans he does not like, he should be the perfect example of statesmanship in the Speaker’s chair.

I agree.

Unfortunately, it seems too late now for Sir Gerald to find the capability of leaving behind the baggage of his political frustrations in the sixties and seventies where they truly belong.

What a shame!

Thank you for affording me the opportunity.

Yours truly,


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  1. A dat Asot min dey a do? Maria read an entire prepared speech. EP had his speech in hand and read from it.

    Tell the DINOSAUR of a Speaker. You NAR TEK UM!!!!!

  2. Dear Mr. Watt,
    Please make an application for the School Debate which needs an old man to help the schoolchildren. Your presence in the House is causing unnecessary conflict with your need to be seen and heard and not elected.

  3. Well, these are the distasteful memories he is leaving us as part of his legacy.

    I also note his long letter to Kieron as well. Condescending rude and haughty tone as usual.

    Also to choose to personally sit on the other MPs criminal case.

    This Speaker is sickening. I look at him and think PLEASE let me not be bitter and condescending in my OLD age.

    And yes we ALL note the disparity in treatment.

  4. One of the rare times that i actually agree with this. Watt DOES wage campaigns against people oppposed to him

  5. Retire retire retire please retire,…
    Retire you must
    It is time to retire.
    Retire retire retire
    Yeah is all that is left to do.
    Retire now before you have a wet accident on ABS
    Sir Lester does not want any company.

  6. These old men don’t know when it’s time to step down. Please don’t wet your pants or pass out in the house. Go home and try to enjoy the rest of your miserable life. Enough is enough.
    Get stepping.

    • A lot of older people don’t have anything or anyone to go home to. They need something to do to get out of bed and their house. Give Mr. Watt a break. He can be amusing sometimes.

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