Backbenchers in the House of Assembly have been urged to speak out against the government’s poor performance especially because they can’t be fired from any position by Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.
Social commentator Julio ‘Sam’ Henry threw out the challenge last evening.
“The government ain’t doing good; they ain’t doing good by the people.They are running a secret organization; they are lying and deceiving the people. They say they spending money and we can’t see the result… We still got roads unfinished in this country from the time the election campaign started [and they] still ain’t complete,” Henry said.
According to him, the backbenchers should consider switching political allegiance if the government ignores their appeal.
“Let me say something to the backbenchers; Dr Smith can’t fired you. There is six of you in the back bench; the people voted you in… They believe you would make a difference for them; they believe that you are gonna stand up for truth and righteousness. They believe you going to stand up for what’s right in this country. And if something is wrong, you stand up against it.”
“The people who voted you in got your back… There are six of you in the back seat [in parliament] and two on the Opposition side; that’s eight. You need seven to form the government. Don’t let them hold nothing over your head,” added Henry during his ‘Open Mic’ television programme last evening on Channel 51.
He further stated that Premier Smith is not ‘wearing the pants’ and also has been doing a poor job as minister of finance.
“Give it (Ministry of Finance) to somebody else who could manage the finance better. You can’t do ti? Why? Because you ain’t wearing the pants?”
“Ronnie [Skelton] ran it better than you Dr Smith; we didn’t have this problem we are having now. We have a lot of problems with the finance of the country Dr Smith, you know it, I know it, everybody knows it. We see it; we feel it. You can’t do nothing now,” Henry further said.
NDP Helped me with my eyes, but
Henry made it clear that he is not afraid to speak his mind although the NDP administration assisted him on one occasion when he sought treatment for an eye condition.
“NDP government did help me at one point with my eyes – one of my surgeries. I could say that; that’s their job as a government to ensure that the citizens could get some kind of assistance because we didn’t have anything proper in place here [like the National Health Insurance]. Who want to run around and talk about how they help me, I have six surgeries on my eyes; they helped me with one. I foot the bill on five. If you think you could hold that over my head, you wrong. If I go blind tomorrow I’m happy; God blessed me to see the truth.”
Henry also claimed that there is a power struggle in the NDP, which is negatively affecting the performance of the government.
According to him, two Cabinet members are leading the power struggle.
“They say one [of the two fighting for power] don’t get along with the other one, because one feels he has more vote and strength throughout the territory. The next one is a founding member of the party; he feel he got more strength. It’s there; don’t mind them; they fighting and fighting all the time,” added Henry.
“Something is wrong when Dr Smith now have to step up like he wearing the pants when we know he ain’t wearing the pants to get rid of John Cline [as chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority] to prove a point. And you got backbenchers who totally disagree, who were duly elected by the people, but can’t say what really they mean to say or want to say because they in fear of getting fired.”
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