Travis Robinson, the FNM MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism has not learned his lesson. He was fired for voting against government policy when he refused to support the raise in VAT. He was reappointed after sucking up to the Prime Minister. Now he is vex because he didn’t get to speak on two bills , one amending the Bail Act and the other amending the Juries Act which he said affected his constituents. The Government’s whip decided the debate had to come to an end. The MP thought that this took away his rights and so published a video in which he said that democracy was being throttled in the FNM. Here is the transcript of what he said on Wednesday 30 September 2020.:
FNM’s today in parliament there was a blatant attack on democracy and actions taken that surmount to stifling the voice of the people in this country.
Today the parliament debated two amendments. One was to amend the Juries Act and the other to amend the Bails Act. These two bills directly affect the 20,000+ people living in Bain and Grants Town. Particularly some young men in my community who unfortunately find themselves on the wrong side of the law at times.
The speaking list issued to MPs indicated that my speaking time today will be at 3:30pm. However, shortly around 2p.m. the Parliament moved to the third reading and passing of Bills. When I heard this I reached out to the relevant person to find out what was happening and why? It was reported to me that the Opposition had walked out of the house. This, I do not accept as a reasonable explanation. As a hard working MP who fights for my people and speak on their behalf, I stayed up all evening and morning writing my presentation for debate on behalf of the people of BGT, only to have that right and obligation taken away from me by the inconsiderate third reading and passing of the bills without allowing all members who wanted to speak to do so.
If there was a legitimate reasoning, the least what should have happened was to post in the group that the time had changed and members who are speaking should make their way to the parliament if they still intend to speak due to the change in the agreed upon time. Or, as has been done in many other cases if the opposition was set to speak next and they didn’t, then, suspend the house for 5-10mins etc call the members who were set to speak in the afternoon session and summons (sic) them within a limited time frame to make their way or the parliament would carry on. But to blatantly move to the passing of the bills without consideration for MPs who were elected to speak on behalf of their constituents is a slap in the face and one that I do not take lightly. That is an attack on democracy and actions that stifle the voice of the people.