Speaker urges discipline and  proper approach in Parliament
December 7, 2012
Speaker urges discipline and proper approach in Parliament

Speaker of the House Hendrick Alexander has urged discipline and a “proper” approach to parliamentary proceedings.{{more}}

His plea came on Tuesday, during the contribution by Senator Vynnette Frederick to the debate on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. Frederick said that many young people are underemployed, and referred to a young lady, who she said despite attaining eight ‘O’level and four ‘A’ level passes was working at her (Frederick’s) mother’s residence, cleaning twice a week.

“Underemployment is the order of the day, so that a young lady with eight ‘O’levels and four ‘A’ levels would catch her hand by cleaning my mother’s home two days a week – what a revolution,” Frederick said.

“She is overqualified for that job, vastly overqualified and so that reality is manifesting itself in our young people, in that is not only what they are doing, but in what they are forced to do,” she continued.

The prime minister interjected saying that there had to be specific reasons why someone that qualified had to find work at the residence of the senator’s mother.

“…Something highly specific – your governance, your governance puts them there. Unrealised potential, Mr Prime Minister, unrealized potential. Better she work by me than by your home – better she work by my house than yours – we know what happens at your home,” Frederick responded.

“We know what happens at your home and not even with members of the public not members of the public but members of the uniformed constabulary too,” she continued.

Alexander intervened, telling Frederick to take her seat and explained that he did not want the debate to break down with members on each side of the House throwing words at each other.

“We need to have some discipline in the Parliament; let us as adults approach this thing in a proper way,” the Speaker of the House said.

Frederick was then allowed to proceed with her presentation, but Gonsalves later rose to correct her on a comment she made.

He then requested that Frederick state to members of the House what goes on at the residence of the prime minister.

“Before my Honourable friend winds up, I want her to tell the Honourable House what goes on at the residence of the prime minister – I would invite her to do that, to tell us what happens, because she said that the last time you stopped her. Mr Speaker, I would like to know that,” Gonsalves said.

“Thankfully, I have never been one of the women to visit your residence – it would never happen – so I can’t speak with any authority what happens there now,” Frederick said.

“Therefore, you had no basis to say what goes on at the residence of the prime minister?” Gonsalves said.

To which the senator said responded “indeed.” (DD)