23 Jul 2008

Autocracy or undiplomatic sense?

Hazel Manning walks out of a Local Government reform consultation yesterday, raising the ire of the participants.

"I want to express my dissatisfaction, the disrespect of the Minister. Parliament could wait," said Victor Copeland, one of the attendees.

"I am totally dissatisfied with the behaviour of the Minister. I would like to take my leave as well," said Copeland.

Another attendee, Yolande Gooding, also rose to vent: "I would like to also voice my dissatisfaction over the disrespect the Minister has shown to us."

"Meeting with the people is the highest Parliament in the nation. Hearing from the grassroots," shouted one angry man who argued his point with the ushers.

"Don't tell me to hush my mouth!" he yelled.

I don't share that view, though I would say she showed extremely bad manners to leave as she did. I guess being the wife of a Prime Minister and a minister in your own right does not necessarily mean you'd learn manners.

But to say that Parliament could wait? I fail to see that one. If she absents herself from Parliament, who knows whether her vote might be missed? I mean, don't forget that "The Rott" Rowley is seeking to have a UDeCOTT enquiry started as soon as possible.

And when you miss crucial PNM votes you can wind up with all kinds of unwanted and unsavoury scenarios, like having to publicly televise hearings of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which examines how Government spends our money.

Considering that Tattoo probably ranted a bit and tore a new one for the errant members who failed to attend that last meeting, one of whom was Hazel herself, we can expect her to go scurrying along to where her bread is buttered.

The absent Government members were: Senator Hazel Manning, the Local Government Minister and Senator Tina Gronlund-Nunez, Minister in the Ministry of Planning and Development. Roger Joseph, the La Horquetta/Talparo MP, arrived late for the meeting and missed the crucial vote.

It still won't prevent them from ignoring the people, the law and the criminals though.