Dec 14, 2018 Editorial
It has to be seen to be believed. And having seen, many sober Guyanese still don’t believe. Just can’t be; not that gallery of parliamentary members representing the Guyanese people. How citizens must cringe at the classless behaviour.
Look at them: demeanor surlier with each new session; language reminiscent of a sailor up to elbows in booze and the ooze of the gutter. In Guyana, the gutter has come to parliament. With few exceptions, this is a howling pack of legislative hostiles. It is a wild bunch that is out of control; and clearly evidencing little by way of decorum or standards.
Where is the pride and dignity; the example for the youthful? A fitting title for a book on Guyana’s parliament could be either “Parliament of Impostors” or “A Pantheon of Pathetic Pretenders.”
Keen observers should be moved to put pen to paper for a voluminous effort, since there is so much source material from there; and most of it ugly. In some respects what Guyana has is not a legislative body, but a Roach Motel overflowing with a cast of creepy characters; a real-life Bates Motel horror that shocks and frightens the public.
It is obvious that the great majority of members have little by way of shame or nonnegotiable moral imperatives. This is a set of people paid well to perform and deliver the crass and the cheap. They like being the way they are. They do not prepare; do no research; have no pride.
They falsify, they exaggerate, they dissemble and all the while revel with their fellows in what has been reduced to a brawling parliamentary slum. They care neither about the image projected nor the impressions left.
Members know nothing of skillful use of the English Language through the calculatedly savage thrust, or the finely disguised twist, or dripping, withering sarcasm. These finer points are wasted on them, unknown by them. Parliament ought to flourish with vocabulary, style, and comportment.
After all, quite a few of the honorable members were well-schooled. But even a fleeting glimpse of them in action prompts this question: in what are they well-schooled? What they do know is the dormitory practice of uninterrupted desk-thumping and foot-stomping, and heckling rendered meaningless by their continuousness.
Voice power is substituted for brainpower. The Speaker is on record appealing for conduct and carriage commensurate with the heights of this supreme national institution. The response and attitude of members have been even lower, more degrading exhibitions of the churlish.
There is a glaring absence of individual or group will to cultivate the discipline, focus, and priorities that address national anxieties and national yearnings. Rather, there is contentment and ferocious dedication to accessing and maintaining power at all costs and by any means for the primacy of party. Instead of insistent curiosity to explore options to improve the national welfare, there is only the predictable obscene exuberance.
This is the sorry state to which Guyana has descended. TV coverage of the outrageous parliamentary fare should not be rated “R” but “O” as in off-limits and offensive. Where is constitutional reform when needed: what is happening in the National Assembly rises to the level of subversive conduct. Forget about pulse pounding oratory (none capable); or Byronic forays and slashes (they never heard of him); or Shakespearean dramatics (they know not what they do).
Thus, parliament is relegated to the droll and the dumb dialogue characteristic of Marvel Comics. Guyanese people pine for a much-needed break from the antics of these elected embarrassments.
But spare the nation please. This is a national disgrace; another form of domestic abuse on grand stage and scale.
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