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House Speaker Rochelle Forde and opposition lawmakers, St. Clair Leacock in Parliament on June 1, 2023.
House Speaker Rochelle Forde and opposition lawmakers, St. Clair Leacock in Parliament on June 1, 2023.
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Opposition MP St. Clair Leacock says there is “a constant war” every time opposition lawmakers submit questions to Parliament for answers by the government and another “war” could take place when the national assembly meets on Tuesday.

The Central Kingstown representative said “we going have war” if house speaker Rochelle Forde does not permit him to ask a question he submitted to be posed to Minister of Urban Development Senator Benarva Browne.

Leacock who has been an MP for almost 20 years, including his period as senator, before being elected in December 2010, said on radio recently that because of the issue, “Parliament is now no longer a very happy place for me to be”.

He said some things are happening in the national assembly “where people want to usurp the right of the electorate as to who should or who should not be in the Parliament and speak down to us, representatives of people”.

He emphasised that he is in Parliament at the pleasure of the people of Central Kingstown, adding that he is also a beneficiary of what “my people and parents did for me in Kingstown.

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“I’m not in the Parliament at the behest of Ralph. I ain’t there at the behest of Rochelle Forde and others,” he said in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

“There’s a constant war every time Parliament is being called to get around submitting questions to the Parliament,” Leacock said on the New Democratic Party’s “New Times” on NICE Radio.  

He said he had submitted a question to Parliament to ask the Minister of Urban Development “whether she would be prepared to go through the constituency with me to see the things that need a policy framework, not the operations, the policy framework, to say that these things are out of place, and need to be attended to [so] that she could nudge her port folioed minister to give those attention.

“And I’m identifying Dam Wall, for example, a place where the children from Largo Height, Old Montrose, Dasent Cottage walk over a river at great risk. Sometimes, you have to hold on a piece of vine like the Tarzan to come ‘cross the place and walk on a little piece of embankment to come to Lodge Village school. She telling me that I can’t put that into my question — Dam Wall — because this defies some rules, something or the other,” Leacock said.

He continued:

“Those things are irritating. And when she is to see the damn things that must be addressed in Parliament, like that the Parliament should have gone on to have [the Budget Debate], you can’t see that.

“But you want to come and flex on people like me. That ain’t going happen. It ain’t gonna happen.”

Leacock said that when he goes to Parliament, he is going to read his question.

“She going stop me from read my question.  I’m gonna read my question. She going stop me from reading my question and then they will throw me out. Because I have other things there that I rest down there that I am representing.

“And all this kind of intervention that you’re most bright and you most this and you most that, when you supposed to be most all of them, you don’t have no strength for Ralph. You ain’t go have no strength for Major,” he said, referring to himself by his ranks that he attained in the Cadet Force, a title by which he is commonly referred to.

“And it go cause a disruption all the way down to family relations. I hope it reaches her, I hope it reaches her immediate family relations for years but I ain’t uncompromising on them things, you know.”

Leacock acknowledged that his language was strong, adding that the speaker should be a facilitator.

“She is too much of a gatekeeper and putting up guardrails to keep an iniquitous regime in office,” he said.

“I’m too old and too far gone in my stage of life and living to be set off and put aside because you figure you hold an office which is very temporary. Keep that for somebody else; not for me. I am good cool and thing but when you see you get out of line, out of order, I ain’t have no tolerance for that,” the opposition lawmakers said.

“Girl, where you going with that? So, we going have war. And when I have war, me ain’t want — me ain’t looking left, me ain’t looking right. Me ain’t looking up, me ain’t looking down for nobody fuh defend me. I’m standing on my principal on what I believe. And where you see I beat the demon here, that’s what I going die for,” Leacock said, slapping himself, apparently on the chest.

“That is the continuation of a stupidity that St. Vincent having that I don’t have no part of. And I hope it reaches her. Catch yourself!”

Leacock said the speaker wants to “play you’re most bright.

“She the age group of my children. Don’t come and put me in my place. You want to speak to my children. You can’t speak to my children like that, because I have made sure that they are properly educated and respected.”

He said there is still in St. Vincent and Grenadines a generation of people who believes “that history and classism and who they are and where they come from, give them some head start over some of these other people.

“Well, I’ve paid my dues. I’ve had my imperfection. I have all my warts; I have all my sins. I’ve fallen short of the glory. But you see on principle, I will die for that.

“So, I’m just saying it because it does make me lose a little sleep sometimes when you upset me…

“I drafted a question that I know falls properly within the governance, rules and representation. I will stand on the floor and I will ask my question. You could cut off your mic. You could send your sergeant of arms; you could bring who you want.

“I will stand for the people and I will ask what I prepared properly to be asked. And if you want to throw me out for one week, one month, one year or whatever, that’s your business, that’s your prerogative. But I will do what has to be done in representation of the people of Central Kingstown who gave me the honour and privilege, she is not replacing them,” Leacock said.

“Me ain’t breaking no rules. I’ve been there before she … What is happening there now has never happened with any of the other speakers. Bad as Henrick [Alexander] was, he ain’t been there.”

He said that other opposition lawmakers face the same challenges when submitting questions.

“Maybe they have a stronger tolerance level than me. But me ain’t have that; me ain’t have that patience. I don’t have that. That ain’t reside in me. That’s not how I am wired. I ain’t make up so.”

2 replies on “MP threatens ‘war’ with Speaker over question in Parliament”

  1. dem too darm one sided and bold faced with it in my opinion and also the opinion of many citizens , dem na ha fo behave so fo please massa be cause hand picked . yo ha to do everything to please massa?

  2. When on earth is this going to end.
    Why “Massa Massa” and his posse think they must ha all de sayin.’ School nah ah keep so.
    Enough is Enough!
    Do they ever hear themselves?
    TUG-O’ WAR, DAMN SHAME.
    THE BROKEN SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE REPAIRED.

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