The Speaker Has A Problem
If this had been the UK or Canada or
the United States, the Speaker of the House Halson Moultrie
would not have lasted the weekend. After last week’s
emotional rant of prejudice and personally directed
invective, there is only one place to go but out the door.
The Speaker attacked the Chairman of
the PLP Senator Fred Mitchell saying that he had placed in
the speech of the Leader of the Opposition the word
misogynist and applied it to the Speaker. The Speaker in an
appalling example of ignorance confused the word misogyny
with the word homosexual. After that it was all downhill.
The Speaker revealed his insecurity
about his sexual identity when he unleashed a broadside
against Mr. Mitchell calling him pervert and a reprobate and
soft and a powder puff. He did it behind the mask of
parliamentary privilege and so it is not an actionable
There are some obvious ethical issues.
First the use of homophobic slurs are not acceptable in this
As a mature man, surely Mr Moultrie has
been around homosexuals. He goes to a church where they are
in the choir and in the congregation. Now they know what he
a Christian man thinks of them. It is just ignorance at it’s
Secondly, Mr. Mitchell should not be
the object of his ire, since the statement was not Mr.
The Speaker’s logic in attacking Mr
Mitchell was wrong. The Speaker himself has professional
advisors. Among those are the Chief Clerk and his staff at
the House of Assembly. David Forbes is the Chief Clerk. No
matter what Mr Forbes writes for the Speaker or what he
whispers in the Speaker’s ear, the statements made by the
Speaker are the Speaker’s. The statement that irritated the
Speaker was that of the Leader of the Opposition not Mr
Should now Mr Mitchell attack Mr Forbes
for penning the words which the Speaker spoke? Is Mr
Mitchell now justified in similarly attacking Mr Forbes?
The Speaker is on shakey grounds it
seems with his own party with former FNM Deputy Prime
Minister Frank Watson opining that the Speaker suffered from
inexperience and an anonymous FNM in the same Tribune
article 10 February saying that the Speaker had erred in
suspending members for leaving the Chamber.
So for all sorts of reasons, the
Speaker is in an untenable position. He has a lot to think
about. When the House resumes on Monday 12 February, he
ought to resign.