Opinion: And the point is ….

POSTED: 02/7/13 12:56 PM

There is nothing wrong with parliamentarians criticizing the government, but there comes a moment when even the most eager reader starts wondering: what’s the point?

We read with increasing bewilderment the statement of U-MP Dr. Ruth Douglass – a politician whom we not too long ago commended for pointing out prostitution-related health-issues. This time, Douglass ridiculed the significance of the airport, labeling it as “as hob, a drop off point servicing the other islands in the region.” She basically told vice Prime Minister William Marlin and Economic Affairs and Tourism Minister Romeo Pantophlet to go back to school and she suggested that Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams wants to change the electoral law “because Madame president is not satisfied with being the PM while she only has two MPs supporting her in parliament.”

Certainly, any politician is free to make such remarks, but where do they take us? What do these remarks do to help the country forward? (remember that “going forward” is a favorite expression of politicians across the board; it does not mean anything but it has a nice ring to it).

So we ask MP Douglass: what is the point of your remarks? If you are so critical of these cabinet members, what is your alternative? That is what people would like to hear.

Young people, up to the age of 29, are standard against everything. Never trust anybody over 30 years of age, Bob Dylan once famously stated. It is easy to be against something. The current opposition has chosen this easy route.

Offering alternatives is apparently too much to ask. Cutting down the travel budget for attending useless Parlatino meetings is considered “playing politics” (and mind you:  the initiative to do this came from Roy Marlin, a member of coalition partner DP).

We already shiver at the thought of the budget debate, where opposition members are bound to ask endless questions without offering a single alternative. They’ve never heard – or stubbornly ignore – the principal of budget-neutral measures, while it is perfectly okay to be against something (for instance higher taxes) but such opposition has to be accompanied by a plan to make up for the revenue the government will miss if a tax-increase measure is taken off the books.

So we keep wondering, MP Douglass: what is the point of your statement? As politicians like to say: the people have a right to know.

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