Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bishop Simeon Hall has chastised politicians for their recent lawless behaviour in the House of Assembly

Bishop Simeon Hall hits out at politicians over House behaviour

FORMER Christian Council president and community activist Bishop Simeon Hall has chastised politicians for their recent behaviour in the House of Assembly, accusing them of contributing to the growing wave of lawlessness afflicting the country.

He noted that MPs represent the country both locally and internationally, and therefore have the capacity to influence the opinion of others.


Bishop Hall said: "Their behaviour is emulated by young people who desire to rise to the annals of Parliament one day. The current level of parliamentary debate in our House of Assembly is becoming less and less inspiring and may have now become a major contributor to the spirit of crime which pervades our country."

The bishop pointed out that people from all walks of life have seen or listened to a parliamenatary debate at least once. "Most recently, they would have seen uncontrollable behaviour; lack of order and respect; and a disregard for those who care to pay attention. It is reflective of today's culture of widespread anger, despair and violence," he said.

"Young and old listening to the parliamentary debate might misinterpret the way MPs speak to each other and cause the public to lower their anger management skills."

Bishop Hall said politicians have an obligation to "work in the best interest of all Bahamians", and that "well-paid officials should do a better job of setting the standard of inter-personal communications.

"If the present tone of debate in Parliament is expected to set the level of dialogue throughout the nation, then we are in far greater trouble than we had first imagined," he said.


Bishop Hall warned that the nation's "anger index" is at an all time high.

"The criminals are committing more horrific crimes; fights in our schools have become commonplace and more violent; domestic violence and child abuse persists; and respect amongst fellow men is dying," he said.

"It is almost impossible for the unemployed, marginalised and despairing Bahamians to listen to Parliament and conclude that his or her position will soon change."

Bishop Hall said it is little wonder that many people believe the Bahamas "lags woefully" behind other nations in the region in "intellectual exchange" and progressive and innovative ideas.

He added: "It is useless pointing to the bad behaviour and disrespect manifested in other parliaments of the world as an excuse for ours.

"One bad behaviour ought not to be used to justify another bad behaviour.

"If we cannot speak strongly to each other - even vehemently disagreeing with each other - without denigrating the person, we fail the rudimentary examination for participation in the ongoing struggle of nation building," he said.

October 26, 2010